- “In this world, power is all that matters.”
- ―Ash Delgado
Ash Delgado is a Malvago who appears in the Disney Channel animated series, Elena of Avalor. She is the main antagonist of the third season, who desires to become the most powerful being in the world and take over Avalor. She also becomes the primary cause of Esteban's separation from his family and kingdom.
When she was a little girl, Ash only had her two pet mice as company as she lived in a village that means she was an orphan. On one fateful day, an evil Malvago named Zopilote invaded her village and stole everything, including her pet mice. As a result, Ash came to believe only the villains get what they want. So, she turned her back on being kind and tracked down Zopilote so he can teach her his dark magic.
As her husband and daughter, Ash is a ruthless and power-hungry Malvago who does anything to accomplish her goals. Indeed, she is the most ruthless, cruel, and greedy of the Delgados as shown when she told Elena she knew Elena would die from having her magic extracted but was going to do it anyway so she can become the most powerful Malvago in the world. Because she gained her Malvago abilities by actually learning Dark Magic from years of training to become a Malvago, Ash is also the most competent of the Delgados. Her one soft spot is her daughter Carla as she wants her daughter to realize her full potential, stating Carla has true potential to be a great Malvago.
On the other hand, Ash holds her husband in contempt for raising their daughter without her, and didn't even care that she broke her promise to return to them after a year and was instead gone for seven years, justifying herself that her training took longer than expected nor did she even apologize for not contacting her husband, which left him and Carla to think Ash was dead after not hearing from her for so long as well as openly voicing how she thinks little of Victor's capabilities.
Ash's wickedness stems from Zopilote stealing her two pet mice (who were her only company) when she was just a lonely young girl, which led her to believe only the most evil of beings get what they want. She appears to have an immense amount of respect for Zopilote, even going as far as to beg him to forgive her for stealing his tamborita and being upset when he is turned into a tiny yellow bird by Mateo, though she quickly gets over it.
As she grows increasingly power-hungry and malevolent, Ash's love for her husband and daughter slowly fades away. When Victor refuses to have him and Carla continue with their dark pursuits over fear for Carla's safety, Ash has no qualms about turning him into stone. She also does not sympathize with her daughter when she cries over a petrified Victor's body, and almost immediately leaves her behind when she refuses to go with her.
Role in the series
Ash makes her first appearance in "Snow Place Like Home", where it's revealed that she has been staying in a house for shelter from a blizzard Victor created. When the blizzard is stopped by Mateo, she brings logs at the house, when suddenly Victor and Carla, the owners of the house, point their tamboritas at her. She points her tamborita at them as well, before Carla recognizes her as her mother as she takes off her hood. Overjoyed to see her again, Carla lovingly embraces her and the two reunite with a hug, much to Victor's shock and disbelief.
In "Not Without My Magic", Ash is revealed to be a Malvago. While Carla is overjoyed now that her family is together once more, Victor and Ash argue behind her back, while pretending to be a happily married couple. Victor holds resentment against Ash for not returning to him and Carla for seven years, while Ash is upset Victor raised Carla without her. Eventually, Victor apologizes to Ash for not waiting until her return, and the two make amends after Victor shows Ash the Scepter of Night's orb, which Ash plans to use to become the most powerful Malvago and overthrow Princess Elena alongside Victor and Carla. Victor and Ash embrace, though Carla remarks that her parents' love is starting to get a little gross.
In "Naomi Knows Best", Victor, Ash, and Carla set up a trap for Elena by having a brainwashed King Joaquín write a forged letter to her, lying that Victor and Carla have been captured in his kingdom. Once Elena arrives there with Esteban and Mateo, Ash reveals herself and imprisons Esteban, Mateo, and Joaquín in a cell. She and her family plan to extract the magic inside Elena into the Scepter of Night's jewel, which will kill her, and use a spell on Elena that forces her to go with them. Gabe and Naomi ambush them, but Ash is easily able to defeat them and plans to have Carla perform the magical spell with her, as she is a more powerful Malvago than Victor, much to Victor's frustration, whom Ash entrusts with guarding the cells.
By the evening, Ash and Carla have tied up Elena aboard a ship, and once the full moon arrives, they begin performing the spell. When she hears a noise, Carla goes outside to check, where Mateo, Naomi, and Gabe defeat her and steal her tamborita. Mateo also manages to destroy the Scepter of Night's jewel before Ash can finish performing the spell. A furious Ash fights Elena's friends, but Gabe impales a sword through her tamborita. In spite of her failure and the loss of her and Carla's tamboritas, Ash escapes with Carla by jumping into the water below. Carla is unwilling to leave Victor (who had been imprisoned for his crimes) behind, but Ash assures her that they'll come back for him eventually.
In "Sister of Invention", she and Carla meet up with her mentor Zopilote, who gives them a puzzle map to Takaina, where they will be able to gain powerful magic. Ash's relentless search for Takaina begins in "To Save a Sunbird", and it leads to Carla going to rescue Victor herself because she misses him. That evening, Ash finds out about what Carla did through a message she left behind, and expresses frustration towards her daughter's foolishness as she continues trying to solve the puzzle map to Takaina.
In "The Magic Within", Ash continues to try solving the puzzle map to Takaina, unaware of Elena spying on her with her Scepter. Once she is finally able to solve it, an ecstatic Ash goes to Takaina to obtain a magical artifact from the Well of Crystals, only to be stopped by an interviening Elena and Mateo. A battle erupts that results in Ash blasting Elena down the Well of Crystals, which in turn gives Elena new magical powers that allow her to finally defeat Ash.
Ash's tamborita is taken away, and she is imprisoned in the dungeon of Avalor Palace, reuniting with her husband and daughter. When Esteban's betrayal is revealed, he gets imprisoned in a cell near the one containing Ash and her family. Ash and Carla mock Esteban, but he is confident his family will forgive him. When this does not happen and Esteban is sentenced to banishment after the carnaval parade, he escapes from the dungeon by tricking Higgins into unknowingly giving him the key before distracting him. Following his escape, Esteban refuses to help the Delgados, but Ash reminds him that he needs them because he won't stand a chance against Elena and Mateo.
Once the Delgados and Esteban are all free from the dungeon, Esteban gives Ash and her family back their tamboritas by sneaking into the treasury room and taking them. The four of them escape the palace, but Elena, who found out about what happened and is now chasing them, panics and her magic unintentionally causes an avalanche that knocks Carla and Esteban off a cliff. Though Carla nearly falls to her death, Ash saves her but shows significantly less concern for her safety than Victor (who was unable to save Carla due to his tamborita being destroyed), while Esteban manages to climb back up. Victor refuses to go with Ash over fear for Carla's safety, resulting in her turning him into stone, which leaves Carla heartbroken. Ash then implores Carla to come with her, but Carla furiously refuses to go with her. Though Ash is momentarily shocked by Carla's decision, she brushes it off and asks Esteban if he's in or out, resulting in Esteban joining Ash over fear of what she will do to him if he doesn't.
As Carla is apprehended, she tells Elena she was wrong to think Ash loved her and Victor, which allows Elena to relate to her, as Elena was also wrong about Esteban.
In "Captain Mateo", she and Esteban travel to Takaina, but are confronted by Elena and her friends. Eventually, Esteban ends up falling down the Well of Crystals, which causes him to gain teleportation powers, to Ash's frustration. Afterwards, another magical battle ensues that results in Elena destroying Ash's new tamborita. Once they are safe from Elena, Ash brings the two of them to Zopilote, and she and Zopilote agree to train Esteban in dark magic, which continues onto "Dreamcatcher".
In "Spirit of a Wizard", Ash continues to aid Esteban in mastering his teleportation power, though she occasionally makes critical remarks. Zopilote returns and informs both Ash and Esteban that Takaina has been sealed with magic crystals. Esteban deduces that Elena did that with her Scepter and sarcastically suggests that Ash get ahold of Elena's Scepter if she's that thirsty for power. Unfortunately, Ash takes Esteban's joking remark seriously and gets an idea to steal the Scepter of Light. Later on, the villainous trio spy on Elena's group, and Esteban explains who Alacazar (whose spirit is with them) is, with Ash also discovering Zopilote had a history with Alacazar.
The three of them attack Elena's group, with Esteban stealing her Scepter. Zopilote attempts to kill Mateo, but Alacazar takes the blast and is sent to the Spirit World. Ash has trouble mastering the Scepter of Light's powers, and Elena explains to her that it only channels good magic, right before getting it back with Mateo's help. Mateo manages to transform Zopilote into a tiny yellow bird, and he is then chased by an eagle. Elena tries to blast Ash and Esteban, but Esteban manages to teleport the two of them to safety before her blast can hit them.
Ash blames Esteban for their failure, and when Esteban argues that Elena is still his cousin, Ash continues to try turning him against her by reminding him that didn't stop Elena from trying to blast him and convinces him that he needs to get her back for what she's done to Zopilote, Carla, and him, though there appears to be genuine encouragement in her voice. She tells Esteban they need to join forces with other villains to defeat Elena. Ultimately, Esteban agrees.
In "The Last Laugh", after she is unintentionally freed by Elena and Mateo, Ash convinces Chatana to join her and Esteban's villainous force by promising to only give her her diadem if she accepts, which will allow her to conquer Vallestrella for eternity. It is also revealed that, while Chatana's pet Pili considers Ash to be "clearly evil and rotten to the core", he sees Esteban as possibly being even worse than her.
In "Giant Steps", Ash and her group are revealed to have recruited Tziloco, and have become wanted for their crimes. Tziloco uses his powers to create a Jaquins paw that allows them to enter Vallestrella, where they plan on recruiting Chatana's most powerful creature Kizin into their alliance. However, after Ash frees him, Kizin refuses to join Ash's team due to being angry at Chatana for not freeing him before. Ash, Esteban, and Chatana try to flatter him, but he goes off to free his friends on his own, forcing them to give up on making him join them. Ash considers leaving Tziloco as well, only to realize she needs him to leave Vallestrella. She promises their next allies from the other side of the kingdom will be far more powerful, and they all depart from Vallestrella.
A mini sculpture of Ash made by Elena appears in "Elena's Day Off", along with Esteban and Tziloco.
In "Coronation Day", Ash reveals to her villainous group her intentions of freeing the Shadows of the Night so they can help her destroy Avalor, believing they will obey her out of gratitude. She also tells them about a clue, and Chatana and Tziloco manage to locate them sealed in the gateway to the Spirit World located near Nueva Vista. Once she arrives to the gateway and is about to release the Shadows, however, she is stopped by Elena, who is accompanied by her friends. A battle ensues while Ash is focused on freeing the Shadows, but when she blasts Elena, she is shocked to find herself confronted by Victor and Carla. Though she does not care the least bit about Victor, she is surprised that Carla would do such a thing. Carla retorts to her mother that she turned Victor into stone and that she never loved them, but Ash insists to Carla that she loves her and wanted the both of them to become powerful together. But if this is what Carla wants, Ash dares her to give it her best shot; Carla finds herself unable to blast Ash. Victor attempts to do so, but Ash casts a spell that swirls him away. She transports herself to the top of the gateway, and while Elena lets her anger get the best of her and goes after Esteban, Ash successfully recites the incantation that releases the Shadows. However, just as this happens, she and Elena (and Flo) accidentally wind up getting knocked into the portal to the Spirit World, with Ash pulling Elena in with her, allowing Esteban to lie to the Shadows it was him who freed them.
In the Spirit World, Ash taunts Elena over her kingdom being doomed, only for the both of them to get tangled up in spirit vines. They are freed by Bobo, who reveals that only the Grand Macaw, ruler of the dark side of the Spirit World, can bring someone back to the living world. Elena, Ash, Bobo, and Flo go to the Grand Macaw, with the former two requesting to be brought back, but the Grand Macaw instead opts to put them in a match of ultimate olaball. Despite their initial protests, Elena picks her parents and Bobo to be on her team, whereas Ash picks Troyo, Orizaba, and Zopilote. Ultimately, Ash does wind up winning against Elena's team, much to her delight. Now that the olaball match is over, Ash expects to return to the living world--only to find out the hard way that when the Grand Macaw said the winner will reach the highest of heights, he meant partying with him in the Spirit World forever, to her horror instead. As Troyo escorts the sobbing Ash, she begs Zopilote and Orizaba for help, but they just let her get dragged away, with the former stating that she is his "greatest disappointment".