Name: Amaranta "Mara" Montalvo
School: Aurora High School
Hobbies and Interests: Competing in pageants, debate club, student council, school newspaper, fire performance arts, shopping
Appearance: Amaranta is the picture of polished perfection and exotic beauty. She stands at 5’5’’ and weighs a slim 120 pounds, maintained by obsessive dieting. She has dark, reddish brown skin and almond shaped eyes punctuated by dark irises that are such dark brown they appear to be black. She has glossy, jet black hair that falls to her shoulders and, though she works to be thin, she still has a natural curvaceous build with rounded hips. Her nose is small and the only part of her appearance that irks her is that her lips are thinner than she’d like. She's quite skilled with make up and applies it with a light enough hand most days that it isn't noticeable on first glance, though she hates lipsticks because it draws attention to her lips.
In dress Amaranta is fashionable and her style is expensive clothes with close-to-the-body tailoring and favors monochromatic outfits, only occasionally pulling out bright colors. On the day of abduction she was wearing an H&M black button down shirt with accentuated puffs on the shoulders, a straight mini skirt with black and white horizontal stripes, black mary jane shoes with a silver buckle, and white frilled ankle socks.
Biography: Amaranta was born to Anthony and Lidia in Seattle, Washington. She has one sister, Rebeca, who is one year her junior. Her father is CEO of a large pharmaceutical company and though her mother has a degree in art history, she married Anthony straight out of college and has never had a real career of her own. Her father is of Mexican and Spanish decent which gives the sisters their dark complexions. The girls grew up exceedingly wealthy and have lived all their lives in Madison Park.
Amaranta and Rebeca were not particularly close growing up. Amaranta was outgoing, stubborn and outspoken while Rebeca was quieter and deeply interested in art, hoping one day to become a fashion designer. Their mother always favored Amaranta while their father favored the shyer, artistic Rebeca. This has always been a point of annoyance for Amaranta, who valued her father’s opinion more than her mothers because in her eyes, he is the more powerful role model who earns the money and has the more important role in society.
It became very important to her to win his approval. She entered into pageants at a age 6, helped by her mother, who had been in pageants as a young woman. Amaranta is very successful with her exotic looks and her strange talent. Amaranta can’t much act or sing, so at age twelve she started in fire performing arts. She became fascinated with the idea after watching the movie Miss Congeniality and her parents obliged, enrolling her in a fire poi class at a gym that specialized in circus arts. For the first two years of her classes she was only taught the routines and once she was deemed skilled enough, fire was introduced at age 14. Mara is skilled in her routines, but never deviates from her tried and true practiced sets. She does not improvise or create routines on her own and practices three days a week She pulls out acts such as spinning flaming batons, hula hooping with fire hula hoops, fire twirling and other fire acts earning her the nickname “Spitfire,” not just for the fire talents but for her very short temper. Outside of her fire dancing and related activities, she hates exercise. Amaranta doesn't like running, finding it distasteful to break a sweat and isn't very strong. The dancing is a good match for her as she likes that it is flashy and elegant with more of an emphasis on repetition and skill than anything like strength or stamina.
Pageants take up a good amount of her time but she can't help but love getting attention for her looks. She loves winning over opponents and typically donates her winnings to the runner-up because she does not need the prize money and she receives even more attention for her generosity. The job she gets from receiving a trophy that official states her to be the best is enough.
She works hard in school, earning good grades in all of her subjects and maintaining a 3.7 GPA. She hates math and is more inclined towards English class. For all of her achievements and her aggressive competitiveness in all aspects of her life, which her father encourages, he still dotes more on Rebeca and this angers Amaranta. She makes fun of Rebeca whenever she can and plays cruel little pranks on her younger sister.
While her father pushes her and pushes her to be best without ever really returning the praise she wants for the things she achieves, her mother dotes on her constantly, telling her how special she is. This combination has made Amaranta very narcissistic. She honestly thinks that she is better than her peers most of the time and doesn’t bother with people unless she feels they are on her level.
Recently at the start of her junior year of high school the family found out that Anthony had cheated on Lidia. This affected the girls in different ways. Rebeca withdrew more, their mother became depressed and Amaranta was left to try and deal with the aftermath. It is of supreme importance to Amaranta that others think that her life and family are the best of the best so she took it upon herself to keep the house running by making sure errands were done, organizing the house staff, taking care to make sure Rebeca always looked presentable, and comforting her to keep up appearances. She does not honestly care about the emotional wellbeing of her sister and becomes even more resentful that she has to help her.
Her push to gain her father’s love and approval through accomplishments became even more manic starting senior year. She competes frequently in pageants, ran for student council, joined the debate team and works on the school newspaper. She chose activities that she felt would be seen as impressive by her father and others because of their positions of leadership or influence among students. In student council she is outspoken and sees the duty as almost something that she has to be a part of because she has the best ideas and will get things done for the student population. Increasingly, she hates her position at the newspaper, not liking that she has to ask people to talk to her or do work that she feels is beneath her to inform a student population she feels doesn't care. Originally she joined the newspaper because it was the closest activity she felt she could excel at that was also somewhat artistic, trying in vain to replicate the attention Rebeca gets from their father for her artistic endeavors, with little success. She keeps the activity on because she likes to see her work widely read and because she's too proud to quit. Out of all her activities, the one she truly enjoys the most is debate club. Mara likes to present positions and use clever turn of phrases to win out over opponents and if the topic is of interest, she doesn't really mind the research involved. She slogs through her other responsibility without much enthusiasm. Her love of debate has inspired her to look towards becoming a lawyer and she has been accepted to UCLA come next fall.
Despite all the numerous activities she takes part in, deep down, she’s afraid that he’ll stray again and this next time will leave the three girls for good. Her trying to be the best is her own way of trying to make sure that her father stays near and is an attempt on her part to control something that she, as a young girl, really has no control over.
When Amaranta feels overwhelmed or particularly stressed, which is often, she finds it relaxing to go the mall and shop. She loves to dress up and buy outfits, justifying occasions for her to wear said outfits, even if they are very specific. Her one love is truly shoes. She has a closet full of more shoes than she would ever realistically wear. She loves how expressive a pair of shoes can be and she finds buying them to be soothing.
Amaranta is friends with only the most popular and wealthy students at Aurora. She believes that this is the proper crowd for her and does not even consider ever hanging out with others. Her humor is mean spirited and part of making herself feel better about her situation is to make the occasional mean comment to a classmate. She is very vain as unfortunately, she finds her pageantry and the comments she gets about her beauty to build a lot of her self worth. She’s a smart girl, but her looks are what she thinks are her best attribute. If anyone should suggest that another girl, especially her sister Rebeca, is prettier, Amaranta will fly into a rage. She often tests her friends by asking them which sister they think is prettier and there is hell to pay should they answer incorrectly. She has had a few relationships, but it is difficult for her to trust boys after what has happened with her father. She also only pays any mind to only the most popular and wealthy boys, looking for flashy husband material.
Advantages: Amaranta is smart, determined, beautiful, aggressive and selfish. She knows how to take charge and perform in a leadership position.
Disadvantages: She hasn’t been the nicest girl in the world to people outside of the popular crowd and may have gained enemies. She truly thinks she’s better than others and as a result, she underestimates people constantly which could throw her off. She hates physical activity and isn’t very strong or fast. She has an explosive and very short temper. The past year has been a time of great stress to her and she may hit a breaking point with the addition of even more stress.
Designated Number: Female student No. 027
Designated Weapon: Seattle Seahawks Football Helmet
Conclusion: A useless weapon is a bad sign for an otherwise fairly promising contender. If she overcomes it, she may be able to to go a good ways. I think, though, she's more likely to fall victim to someone she's offended and not last far enough into the game to regain control. She's not as superior as she thinks, that's for sure. - Christina Stockton
The above biography is as written by Ruggahissy. No edits or alterations to the author's original work have been made.
Handled by: Ruggahissy
Killed by: N/A, Winner
Collected Weapons: Seattle Seahawks Football Helmet (Assigned Weapon, discarded), H&K MP7 (from Michael Whaley), M4 carbine rifle (from Summer Simms), Fragmentation grenades (2x), smoke grenades (2x), flashbangs (2x), incendiary grenades (2x) (BKA award)
- Mara was the winner of the BKA for January '14
- Mara's win made Ruggahissy both the first female handler and the first non-white handler to win a version on the main board.
- The thread in which Mara picks up her Best Kill Award is called "Drink Me" to form a set with Summer's thread in which she picked up her Best Kill award called "Eat Me." Together both threads are an allusion to "Alice in Wonderland." According to Mimi, Summer was meant to have a thread at some point called "Drink Me" to complete the reference, but died before she could.
- Mara is currently the oldest winner of a main version, 18 at the time of her win.
- Mara's clothing and the colors she wears mark her progression throughout SOTF. She for the most part only wears very bright, warm-toned colors in pregame (a red blazer to give her speech for why she should be student council vice president and a gold prom dress). On the island she wears only black and white and while with the terrorists her issued clothing is gray and white. Tracen offers her a bright yellow dress for their meeting, yellow being Summer's color, intended to twist the knife of the loss of her friend further. Upon returning home her one appearance is made wearing a dress that is mostly white with only a touch of black while her sister takes her old position wearing mostly black with a little white. Her final appearance has her wearing comfortable clothing for the first time and also marks the first time she wears a cool toned, pastel color. The cool, softer color signals a shift in her personality to being more empathetic and gentle.
- Mara attends UCLA and is said to live in their dorms, Hendrick Hall.
- The unsigned birthday cards she recieves every year are implied to come from either Tracen or the terrorists.
Below is a list of threads that contain Mara, in chronological order.
- Last Days
- There ain't no more cowboys, only men with violent hearts
- Walk the Streets So Mean
- Out of the Frying Pan...
- Dude! FORTIFIED!!! Pt. 3: Directors Cut
- Dissolved Girls
- A Classy Place to Meet
- Drink Me
- Allegory, Allegorier, Allegoriest
- Miles Behind Us
- A Human Work
- Caught in a Moment
- Whispers in the Dark
- Belgian Roulette
- Under This Killing Moon
- Get Ganked
- Tears in the Rain
- Paradise (V5 Endgame)
Related Threads in Meanwhile:
Your Thoughts Edit
Whether you were a fellow handler in SOTF or just an avid reader of the site, we'd like to know what you thought about Amaranta Montalvo. What did you like, or dislike, about the character? Let us know here!
I somehow missed out on Mara during my time actually participating in V5, but I found her quirky, not-all-there narrative style bizarrely fascinating during the one thread she and Tyler had together. It's a style that persists through every thread. Mara's a wonderfully consistent character, remaining stubbornly herself in spite of all the chaos on the island. She's often scared and hurt and sometimes mean, but everything always makes sense. She was a really refreshing read, and my biggest regret of V5 is probably not interacting with her more.
The nice thing about most SOTF winners - main, anyway (I'm not really up on Mini unfortunately) is that they're all good. Even the ones of lesser quality are still generally in the top-tier of their version. Writing a winner isn't easy, either. The characters go through so much, and to you have to not only carry them on an extended journey, you have to expand upon what happens after, which most SOTF characters don't get: and that's tough. Writing something that protracted can suffer from issues. Sometimes there will be parts that lag, parts that suffer and don't age well as time goes on (and I can speak from personal experience there).
When I came back in late 2017, I took it upon myself to catch up on SOTF lore and read the stories of the winners and F4 of V4-6. Having done that, I can say with absolutely no hesitation that Mara is my personal favourite SOTF winner. Rugga took a character that was generally unlikable and broke her down bit by bit until she was a feral, fragmented version of herself. But like top-flight characters, she never stopped being herself. I started off disliking her immensely, but as her story went along, I started to root for her, which is both a testament to the handler's writing and to the quality of scenes she was involved in. Mara sits atop my own personal winner pantheon, and in my eyes only Bryan Calvert comes close to matching the overall quality, cohesiveness, and captivating nature of her story - and he is surpassed by the tremendous epilogue and check-ins that have followed. Kudos to Rugga for creating an excellent character that I believe will only be looked back upon more fondly as the time passes.