Introducing Pilar Ternera
Pilar finds herself alone in her old age, but not lonely or beaten. In fact, the loss of her youth only enhances her knowledge and generosity. Described as a "sorceress" and "prophetess," Pilar's potent spirit attracts the last Buendías as it did the first. At the end of the repeated cycling of time, Pilar remains the clairvoyant, the counselor, the first in a chain of women who comfort the Buendía males, sustain them, and enable them not to give up trying to decode the gypsy's manuscripts.
Her role is also recreated and continued down the line by two more women: Petra Cotes and Nigromanta. Petra unknowingly is the lover of twin brothers José Arcadio Segundo and Aureliano Segundo. Petra is explicitly associated with fertility through her amazing capability of making Aureliano Segundo's livestock procreate wildly and earn a fortune for him. Nigromanta sleeps with childhood friends Gabriel Márquez and Aureliano Babilonia. Nigromanta provides sexual healing and consoles Aureliano Babilonia.
The Importance of Pilar Ternera
Without the ministrations and support of Pilar Ternera, the Buendía men would have faltered in their search for knowledge and might never have been able to decipher the mysterious manuscripts left by Melquíades. Pilar's strengths are instruments in the Buendías' search for the secrets of their origins. If we accept that the quest that drives the novel is the need for knowledge of one's origins and the wisdom to understand the past, then it should be acknowledged that Pilar is second only to Úrsula on the roster of outstanding female characters who play a significant role in One Hundred Years of Solitude.