|Aliases/nicknames||Melissa Foster* |
Miss Evil Spirit*
|Japanese name*||美柳ちなみ (Chinami Miyanagi) |
無久井里子 (Satoko Mukui)*
|French name||Dahlia Plantule|
|German name||Dahlia Hawthorne|
|Spanish name||Dahlia Hawthorne|
|Italian name||Dahlia Hawthorne|
|Age during debut||20 (deceased)|
|Height*||5'1"; 155 cm|
|Occupation||Literature student at Ivy University (2011? - Apr. 11, 2013)|
|Family||Morgan Fey (Mother and accomplice) |
An unnamed father
Iris (Twin sister and accomplice)
An unnamed stepfather
Pearl Fey (Younger half-sister)
An unnamed stepmother
Valerie Hawthorne (Stepsister, accomplice and victim, deceased)
Misty Fey (Aunt and intended victim, deceased)
An unnamed uncle (deceased)
Mia Fey (Cousin and nemesis, deceased)
Maya Fey (Cousin and intended victim)
Ami Fey (Ancestor, deceased)
Bikini (Exact relation unknown)
|Friends||Terry Fawles (Ex-boyfriend, accomplice and victim, deceased) |
Doug Swallow (Ex-boyfriend and victim, deceased)
Phoenix Wright (Ex-boyfriend and intended victim)
|Affiliates||Diego Armando (Victim) |
Winston Payne (Prosecutor in Wright's case)
|Debut episode||Turnabout Memories|
|Character theme track||"Dahlia Hawthorne ~ Distant Traces of Beauty"|
|(Well, we know whose milkshake brings all the boys to the yard.)|
Dahlia Hawthorne was a student at Ivy University and ex-girlfriend of Phoenix Wright. She appeared as a witness and major antagonist of Phoenix Wright and Mia Fey in the murders of her stepsister Valerie Hawthorne, her ex-boyfriend Doug Swallow, and the author Elise Deauxnim.
Morgan Fey, who was to become the head of the Fey clan, married a wealthy jeweler and had two twin daughters with him: Dahlia and Iris. However, Misty Fey, Morgan's younger sister, had more spiritual power than Morgan did, and she became the head instead, making Morgan's bloodline a powerless branch family. The jeweler divorced from his wife, taking their daughters with him. He later remarried to a woman who already had a daughter, Valerie Hawthorne. Not wanting three daughters, he gave Iris away to the Hazakura Temple. As Dahlia stayed with the Hawthornes, she began to hate her father and plotted against him for his money.
When Dahlia was 14 years old, she pretended to fall in love with Terry Fawles, her tutor, to use him to exact revenge on her father. With Valerie's cooperation, she staged a fake kidnapping by Fawles to get her hands on one of her father's rare jewels. At Dusky Bridge near Hazakura Temple, however, Valerie betrayed Fawles and shot him in the arm, the signal for the "hostage" to jump into Eagle River intentionally with the diamond in her backpack. Fawles was convicted for Dahlia's "murder" and sentenced to death row. Dahlia would become involved in more crimes later in life.
- Main article: Turnabout Beginnings
Five years later, Fawles was being transferred to another prison, but his transport broke down and he broke out. He called Valerie Hawthorne and told her to meet him at Dusky Bridge to explain what had happened. Valerie called Dahlia and told her that she was going to tell the truth about the incident. Fearful of what would result from the meeting, Dahlia stabbed Valerie at Dusky Bridge and then, when Fawles arrived by a stolen car, she hid the body in the trunk of the car and then met Fawles at the bridge, posing as Valerie. Fawles was arrested soon afterward, now accused of a real murder.
During Fawles's trial, Prosecutor Miles Edgeworth prepared Dahlia as a witness named Melissa Foster, who would attempt to convince the court that Fawles was the killer. Mia Fey, the attorney for the defendant, was almost able to prove that Dahlia was the killer, but Fawles refused to cooperate with Fey, poisoning himself and dying on the stand instead. Fey would later recall that Dahlia left the courtroom with a "demonic smile on her face".
The result of the trial drove Fey and her co-worker, defense attorney Diego Armando, to investigate Dahlia. Dahlia found out and convinced Armando to meet her in the courthouse cafeteria six months later. Fearful that Armando would expose the truth, Dahlia quietly slipped poison into his coffee from her bottle necklace. The poison had been stolen from Doug Swallow, her boyfriend at the time, who was a pharmacology student at Ivy University.
Soon after, in the reading room, Dahlia stumbled across fellow Ivy University student Phoenix Wright and gave him the necklace as a "love gift" to evade the authorities. Swallow later found out about the stolen poison and broke up with her. Armando was put into a coma from the poisoning, but would later reawaken and re-enter the courtroom as the prosecutor known only as "Godot".
Due to lingering suspicion surrounding her over this incident, Dahlia asked her sister Iris to live her life at Ivy University in the event of another encounter with law enforcement, and to retake the bottle from Wright.
- Main article: Turnabout Memories
|(She's going to be a tough witness, alright... It only took her 12 seconds to wrap them all around her little finger.)|
Six months went by and the bottle necklace was not returned to Dahlia. Having failed in the task for all that time, Dahlia suspected that Iris had actually fallen in love with Wright. Without telling her twin sister, Dahlia took matters into her own hands and went back to Ivy University herself in desperation. She attempted to kill Wright by stealing more of Swallow's poison and using it to poison Wright's cold medicine.
However, before her plan could come to fruition, she found Swallow trying to warn Wright about her and the stolen poison. Wright pushed Swallow in a mixture of anger and disbelief and left. Seeing her chance, Dahlia then permanently silenced Swallow by using power cables to fatally electrocute her former boyfriend, and attempted to frame Wright for his murder.
Unfortunately for Dahlia, Mia Fey had finally decided to return to the courtroom for the first time since Fawles' disastrous trial. The rookie defense attorney took on Wright's case and relished being able to finally expose Dahlia as the killer she was. Dahlia was then convicted and sentenced to death, but swore that she would someday have her revenge against the woman who had defeated her.
Prison and executionEdit
|Yes. I was hanged. It wasn't exactly... pleasant.|
|—Bridge to the Turnabout|
Five years later, Dahlia met with her mother in prison. Morgan told her about her plan to lure Pearl Fey and Maya Fey to Hazakura Temple; there, Pearl would channel Dahlia, who would kill Maya, so that Pearl would become the master of the Fey family. Soon after this exchange, Dahlia was executed by hanging.
- Main article: Bridge to the Turnabout
|...Upon meeting a beautiful lady, always ask for her name and profession. That's one of my rules.|
|Dahlia Hawthorne. And my current profession? Permanently retired.|
|—Bridge to the Turnabout|
One month after Dahlia's execution, Godot and Misty Fey learned of Morgan Fey's plot and tried to stop it by having Misty (who arrived under her pen name "Elise Deauxnim") channel Dahlia instead. Godot would then restrain Dahlia and stop her from killing Maya. However, Dahlia attacked Maya at the Inner Temple, which was some distance away from Hazakura Temple. Upon seeing Dahlia's silhouette, Godot was overtaken with a desire for revenge. He picked up Misty's sword-cane and stabbed Dahlia, which killed Misty. Before losing consciousness, Dahlia did manage to wound Godot. Iris was put on trial for Misty's murder.
After channeling and asking her sister Mia for help, Maya used her sister's advice and locked herself in the Inner Temple's icy Training Hall and channeled Dahlia to prevent Pearl, who was unknowing of the entire plot, from channeling Dahlia and consequentially murdering Maya. Later, in an effort to save Maya, Iris was called upon to undo the lock on the training room. Once Iris had undone the lock, an earthquake shook the region, and Dahlia took the distraction as an opportunity to switch with Iris and to lock Iris inside the training room, using five locks. Rescue efforts then continued to save Maya from the Sacred Cavern, though Maya was, in fact, outside, possessed by Dahlia.
During Iris's trial, Dahlia, posing as Iris, claimed that Maya had killed Misty and then had killed herself in her guilt by throwing herself off Dusky Bridge. However, Wright was soon able to figure out who she really was and who was channeling her. Dahlia really thought that Maya had thrown herself off of Dusky Bridge, as the Training Hall had just been opened and only Iris was discovered. Wright then asked who was channeling her at that moment. Dahlia didn't know, but Wright soon revealed that it was Maya.
Mia, being channeled by Pearl, taunted her cousin, mocking her for her string of disastrous murder attempts. Distraught over her failure to kill Maya when she had been so close to her for days, Dahlia left Maya's body, and the judge suggested that her spirit never be channeled again.
Dahlia Hawthorne knew that her beauty and innocent appearance threw others off her true nature and took full advantage of it. She had the ability to make herself appear serene and innocent; she was often portrayed as having small butterflies flock about her and flutter gently. However, this aura of innocence was a facade, and when pressed into a corner, her demeanor could change to a terrifying, almost demonic visage which even caused the aforementioned butterflies to burst into flames at one point. In truth, Hawthorne looked after and cared about nobody but herself, and even went as far as to state that this had always been the case for her.
Many who have seen Hawthorne's true nature, such as Phoenix Wright and Mia Fey, have described Hawthorne as evil, and even the judge has suggested that she never be channeled again. Indeed, all of Hawthorne's murders and attempted murders were committed to cover up a previous crime or to exact revenge on Mia Fey. She displayed absolutely no remorse or regret for any of the crimes she had committed, and seemingly had no qualms about murdering completely innocent people for self-preservation.
In fact, of all the people Wright has encountered, Dahlia was the one with the most intended victims, seven in total. Of these, two died by her hand (Valerie Hawthorne and Doug Swallow), one killed himself (Terry Fawles), one was killed by other people (Mia Fey) and three failed altogether (Phoenix Wright, Diego Armando and Maya Fey). There was also one unintended victim (Misty Fey), although Hawthorne was hardly repentant of this. Despite all this, all of Dahlia's crimes were failures in one way or another, mostly due to the actions of Mia Fey against her.
Dahlia Hawthorne's sister Iris once gave a somewhat different description of her. Having been abandoned by her mother and neglected by her father, Iris felt sorry for Dahlia because Iris at least had Bikini, a fellow nun and acting mother to her, to take care of her. Iris also described Dahlia as "strong" and "smart", never complaining about her situation. She was thankful that neither Dahlia or herself had much spiritual power, so that they couldn't be used by their mother. Iris thus showed some sympathy for her half-sister, Pearl Fey, whom her mother could and did use for her own ambitions.
- "Miyanagi" (美柳) is a name meaning "beauty" and "willow", and is meant to evoke a feeling of tranquility. "Chinami" (ちなみ) may come from the phrase "chi mo namida mo nai" ("without blood or tears"), basically meaning "heartless". It also follows Wright's naming convention, as "chinami ni" means "by the way".
- Her Japanese pseudonym, "Satoko Mukui" (無久井里子), literally means "a vengeful foster child".
- "Dahlia" is the name of a flower (as is her twin sister's name), and her outfit bears some floral designs, possibly in reference to this. However, it is especially well known from the true story of the unsolved murder of Elizabeth Short, who was given the posthumous nickname "The Black Dahlia" by the press; the crime went on to inspire James Ellroy to write the neo-noir crime novel The Black Dahlia. In the language of flowers, the dahlia flower can represent elegance, eloquence and dignity. However, it can also represent instability.
- "Hawthorne" is a topographic or habitational surname for someone who lived near a hawthorn hedge or in a place called Hawthorn. It may be a reference to famous author Nathaniel Hawthorne, who wrote Rappaccini's Daughter, a short story in which a man falls in love with a woman who has a strong poison coursing through her veins and can kill anything with a simple touch. Hawthorne also wrote The Scarlet Letter, which deals with the guilt of a woman in 17th-century Boston who has an illegitimate child. The child's name is Pearl, drawing similarities to Pearl Fey. Finally, hawthorn plants usually have both attractive flowers and thorns. This could be seem as analogous to Dahlia Hawthorne, with the flowers representing her outer beauty and the thorns being her true nature.
- The "Hawthorne effect" is when the subjects of an experiment improve an aspect of their behavior, such as working harder, simply because they are being studied and not as a result of any experimental manipulation that the researcher may be studying. This is similar, in a way, to the way that Dahlia behaves; she is "nicer" when she is being "examined".
- Her pseudonym "Foster" mimics her Japanese counterpart's name.
- Her French surname "Plantule" means "seedling".
- In an unofficial fan translation of the game, she was named Dolores Willow. Coincidentally, her nickname was Dolly as well, but she called Wright "Nixxie" instead of Feenie.
- Since she only appears while alive as a witness, Dahlia's non-spirit sprites are cut off and are not full length, similar to other courtroom-only characters such as Frank Sahwit and Richard Wellington.
- Her appearance, outfit, and the butterflies that circle around her were all designed to give the impression of an "heiress".
- Before the shadowy court record profile in Bridge to the Turnabout is revealed as Dahlia, her gender is left as "?". This is despite the profile itself referring to the character as "daughter", "twin sister", and "her".