Hello! I absolutely love your books. I doubt you’ll see this or read it but if by any chance you do I would like to ask you a question. I recently seen the drawing of Tessa and Will introducing their son James to Jem and Jem appears to be crying? If so are these tears of joy or sadness? In of the Bane Chronicle books Magnus meets James and there is a scene where Magnus is at the institute Tessa and Will are running. When Jem comes into the scene James calls Jem Uncle Jem. I’m aware that they brought James up to think of Jem as an uncle but how does Jem feel about all this? Im sorry if im asking questions that cannot be answered but curiosity is killing me. :) — tiffany-tmi-tid
Well, I can only tell you what I think. I think Jem was crying out of a mixture of joy and sadness. Joy because he’s happy for Will and Tessa — obviously they’re thrilled to have a baby. (Not that you have to have kids to be happy, but they wanted them, so.) And he’s incredibly touched that they named the baby after him. (Jem=short for James.) So is crying because of that.
I am sure there is some part of Jem that is sad because he is cut off from the cycles of life: from birth, death, marriages, engagements, friendships, small human gestures and larger ones. I think he is not despairing. I think Jem is patient and believes in a better future, however long it may take that future to come. Brother Zachariah talks a little in City of Heavenly Fire about what it’s like to be a Silent Brother and how they don’t quite feel things like human beings do.
I do think Midnight Heir gives some insight in the manner in which Will and Tessa keep that part of Brother Zachariah that is Jem something to be anchored to, and Last Hours will give more. But I also think it’s okay for stories to have some open parts in which you’re free to intuit what you think. How do you think Jem feels? The fondness he has for Will and Tessa, and they for him, and the happiness they all bring each other; even the fondness he has for his “niece and nephew”, Lucie and James, is there in Midnight Heir: it’s not from his point of view, but that doesn’t mean you can’t read into Magnus’ observations of him to suss out his feelings.
This may seem like an odd question, but quite a few of my friends and I on tumblr were wondering what Jem and Tessa’s relationship was like during the couple months before CP2 began (like during that blank space between CP and CP2). A lot of us like to imagine what they are like in modern day (something I hope to see!) but we never really got to know too much about their relationship during the majority of their engagement. Strange question, I know, and you don’t have to answer! Some of us were just very curious :) — mrscarstairs
I would say that just like in Midnight Heir you can do some interpreting of Jem’s feelings through Magnus’ observations of him, you can do some back-engineering of Jem and Tessa’s relationship between CP and CP2 by the things we know about them in CP2.
We know they are happy with each other, but that both of them also have things that are making them unhappy — the threat of Mortmain hangs over them both: Tessa carries the burden of knowing about Will’s feelings, and Jem carries the burden of knowing he’s dying faster than he’s letting on.
We know Tessa is learning Mandarin for Jem, which is a pretty strong sign of commitment, learning a language for someone when they don’t even require it. We know Jem is writing music for Tessa. We know they don’t fight, since the fight they have in CP2 is their first.
I think I get a lot of these questions about Jem because there’s a sense that since we rarely get his POV we don’t know what goes on in his head. But we do know a lot! We know characters through their actions and their dialogue as much as we ever know them from seeing their thoughts (think how well we know Gatsby, when we never get his thoughts at all and he’s not the POV narrator.) For instance, Jem on how his interactions with Tessa between CP and CP2 have been informed by his determination that she not know the truth about his health:
In the beginning, when I first realized I loved Tessa, I did think that perhaps love was making me well. I had not had an attack in so long. And when I asked her to marry me, I told her that. That love was healing me. So the first time I was—the first time it happened again, after that, I could not bear to tell her, lest she think it meant a lessening of my love for her. I took more of the drug, to fend off another illness. Already by that time it was taking more of the drug to simply keep me on my feet than it used to take to keep me going for a week. I don’t have years, Will. I might not even have months. And I don’t want Tessa to know. Please don’t tell her.
Kind of like we know exactly how Jem feels about Will taking drugs in CP, despite not being in his head, from his punching Will and subsequent speechifying. :)
One note about engagements in the Victorian era: Jem and Tessa would not have been given free reign to do a lot of physical stuff with each other. They could hold hands, take walks together, maybe kiss. They would be separated at nightfall and certainly no visiting of each other’s bedrooms would be all right (though Shadowhunters are always popping in and out of each other’s bedrooms, but J&T would be more watched after the engagement, not less.) This is why their making out in the music room in CP2 is a big deal and results in Jem being like “We must be married RIGHT NOW.”
Otherwise, there are certainly open spaces in between CP and CP2 in which one might imagine how Jem and Tessa’s specific interactions might have gone — but that’s okay! Sometimes it is fun to have space to let your imagination roam.