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Queen Ironwood is the leader of the Zamballans, the original keeper of the Heart of Zamballa, and also one of Kadma's closest friends. She shares her life on Zamballa with her husband, Bitterroot, and her child, Bowbreaker. At first, she was hostile towards the Guardians when she met them due to Nerissa manipulating her, but she eventually opened up to them and began to trust them, but still holds them in dubious regard. Ironwood is now the current ruler and the keeper of its source of magic the Heart of Zamballa.


Ironwood is a sensitive and caring mother, but also a passionate and determined warrior who will stand up and fight for a cause she believes in. She does what is best for her and her people, even if that may hurt or discomfort other people, but she never means any ill will in these actions; she merely holds the interest of her people and the greater good higher than the feelings of anyone else.

Despite her strong personality, she showed the ability to change significantly twice. The first time she trusted the Guardians despite seeing their forms destroy her home (in reality, it was the Knights of Vengeance under a glamour).[1] The second time, she protected Yan Lin and Hay Lin from Nerissa despite forbidding them to step foot in her planet.[2]



Prince Phobos attacked Zamballa and the remaining members of C.H.Y.K.N., Halinor, Yan Lin, and Kadma, defended Zamballa. Kadma lead the charge and the Zamballans were so grateful that they gave her the Heart of Zamballa and made her their queen. Once the council raised the Veil to protect other planets from falling to Phobos' infectious evil, Kadma was stranded on Zamballa.[1] While queen, Kadma and Ironwood became close friends and watched over the peaceful planet together.

Many years later, Nerissa's Knights of Destruction, who were glamored as the Guardians, arrived on Zamballa and attacked Ironwood and her family. She was separated from her child, Bowbreaker, during one of Ember's many forest fires, and at the risk of being burnt alive, Ironwood told Bowbreaker to activate his Armor of Sleep which would protect him from the flames. Bowbreaker did as his mother instructed and fell into a deep sleep inside of his armored shell. Ironwood was distraught over the possibility that her child may never awaken from hibernation but felt comfort in knowing that at least he was alive.[1]

When the real Guardians arrived on Zamballa to warn Kadma of Nerissa's intentions of enthralling her, they ran into Ironwood who immediately attacked them in rage over the loss of her child. Yan Lin warned the Guardians not to fight her and ordered them to retreat, with Ironwood attempting to pursue them. During the battle between Kadma and Nerissa, Blunk used himself as bait to lure Ironwood and Bitterroot to the scene of the fight in order for them to assist Kadma in defeating Nerissa. Faced with overwhelming odds, Nerissa and her Knights decided to retreat, but not before ordering Ember to kill Ironwood as a parting gift to Kadma. Ironwood activated her Armor of Sleep at the last second, however, and was shielded from the attack, but entered hibernation and would have never awoken from if it had not been for the combined efforts of the Guardians and Kadma using their powers to awaken Ironwood from her slumber.[1]

During the many weeks of the Guardians and Kadma fighting Nerissa on Zamballa, Ironwood and her family volunteered to guard Yan Lin and keep her safe from Nerissa's attempts at enthralling her. After Nerissa obtained the Heart of Zamballa and enthralled Kadma, however, Ironwood elected herself as regent and ruler of Zamballa until its source of magic was returned. Her first acting order was to banish the Guardians, Caleb, Blunk and Yan Lin from Zamballa, stating that as long as they were allowed to stay, Nerissa might return to Zamballa and continue to use their planet as a war zone. Though shocked, the Guardians understood Ironwood's pain of losing so many people she cared for during the fight against Nerissa and left Zamballa.[3]

However, Hay Lin, Yan Lin and Blunk accidentally did return to Zamballa sometime later during Nerissa's attempts to enthrall Yan Lin. When they came under attack by the Nerissa and the Knights of Destruction, Hay Lin ordered Blunk to fold her and Yan Lin somewhere safe. Blunk panicked and folded them to in the middle of the Zamballan forest. Yan Lin scolded Blunk and reminded him that they were never supposed to return to Zamballa due to Ironwood's orders and Blunk apologized, replying this was the only safe place he could think of. Ironwood arrived and ordered the three of them to leave Zamaballa at once, but Nerissa and the Knights of Destruction soon arrived in pursuit of Yan Lin. To everyone's surprise, however, Ironwood attacked Nerissa and ordered Yan Lin, Hay Lin, and Blunk to flee while the Zamballans bought them some time, stating even though she doesn't want any part of their conflict, she can not simply stand by and watch more innocent people suffer due to Nerissa. After thanking her, the three of them folded away.[2]

In the epilogue, Kadma returned the Heart of Zamballa to Ironwood and abdicated her throne, presumably leaving Ironwood as monarch.[4]

Powers and abilities

Like all Zamballans, Ironwood possesses immense strength and endurance due to her large size.

She also possesses the ability to create the Armor of Sleep, a scaly rock armor which surrounds her and allows her to fall into a deep hibernation if she is threatened with the possibility of dying. She displayed this ability when Nerissa's Knights of Destruction started a forest fire disguised as the Guardians and she was specifically targeted as a cruel parting gift by Nerissa.[1]

As the de facto leader of the Zamaballans during Kadma's absence and her second in command whilst she was present, Ironwood is a natural leader and Aurator taking charge whenever necessary.[3]