Simon and his memory.

SPOILERS FOR CITY OF HEAVENLY FIRE.

bethaniebooks said: EEEEEEEEEK!!! Hi! Um, I’m like so nervous right now!! I am a HUGE fan of TMI and so is my best friend, we talk about it almost every day…but I have to ask…WHY DID YOU MAKE SIMON LOSE HIS MEMORY?! Me and my friend cried for like a week straight! I just have to know…*sigh*

Simon losing his memory was set up in City of Lost Souls, when Azazel takes a memory from each of Team Good, indicating that demons trade in memories.

Simon lost his memory because though I planned a hopeful and sweet more than bitter ending for TMI, I didn’t think it was an ending that should come entirely without consequence. Consequences are part of the theme of the books, thus the quote from Ted Hughes that opens City of Fallen Angels:

Nothing is free. Everything has to be paid for.
For every profit in one thing, payment in some other thing. For every life, a death. Even your music, of which we have heard so much, that had to be paid for. Your wife was the payment for your music. Hell is now satisfied. 

There was no way for Team Good to get out of Edom without paying a huge price. Sebastian’s life isn’t a huge price, because they came there to kill him, so accomplishing what you came there to do, however that might prick you with regrets, isn’t a huge price. They lost Raphael, but that was before the majority of Team Good even got there, and Raphael didn’t come to Edom willingly — he was forced. Being kidnapped and then killed isn’t a consequence for a choice you made.

It was important to me that Team Good be brave and willing to sustain losses to save the world. They chose to go to Edom, knowing they’d probably never come back. They were gifted with a way to come back, but that way had to come at a terrible price. It could have been any of them that volunteered to die — they all did volunteer to die. It could have been Magnus’ life, but since they pretty much forced Magnus to call upon his father in the first place, that’s very uncomfortable. When Team Good forces one of their members to do something they didn’t want to do and the result is that that member dies, Team Good may have to become Team Morally Compromised.

Not to mention I’m not sure it’s something Alec would have survived.

For every profit in one thing, payment in some other thing. They all got out of Edom, even Simon. The payment was Simon’s memories. They could all otherwise have gotten out of Edom with no payment at all, but then they look pretty stupid for having been so worried about going to Edom in the first place as it is clearly a cakewalk where you get to have sex in caves. Everyone should go to the demon realms! They have skiing! 

As for why memories?! why Simon?! — well, removing any else’s memories would have meant throwing them out on the streets of a world where they had no way to survive; they’re all Shadowhunters or magical creatures. Simon had a life to go back to. It was a survivable if agonizing compromise. It is also a choice that hits pretty much all of them where it hurts. They’re Shadowhunters. Simon’s not. They should have protected him. They couldn’t. Save the world and lose a piece of your heart; that’s a consequence.

Hi Cassie :) About Simon - I was wondering what exactly your reasoning was behind having Simon become a shadowhunter. In one of your old blog posts (I can’t remember which), you said you thought he “deserved” to become a shadowhunter after fighting alongside them for so long. But I feel like that implies vampires aren’t as good as shadowunters, something Simon and Alec talked about. From what I understood, it wasn’t okay for Alec to think Simon was beneath him simply because he was a vampire, but doesn’t what you stated imply that vampires aren’t on equal standing with shadowhunters? Also, now that Simon is mortal again, on the path to becoming a shadowhunter and also capable of having children, doesn’t that make all of his struggles throughout the series meaningless? I enjoyed watching Simon struggle with his identity and accepting his vampirism (if that’s a word), and I really liked the whole Mark of Cain thing. But if all of that is reversed, what was the point of his struggles? I just feel like his ending was too perfect. But I’m sure you have some reasoning behind it all, and I’d be honored if you’d share it with us. Thanks so much!!

I put these two questions side by side to illustrate the variety of reader response. From the idea that what happened to Simon is unbearable to the idea that what happens to Simon is too perfect, everyone has their different take. And as I believe all personal takes are valid, all I can do is give you my take. It may mean I disagree or we focus on different things but it doesn’t mean I think your reading is invalid. Just wanted to get that our of the way.

. In one of your old blog posts (I can’t remember which), you said you thought he “deserved” to become a shadowhunter after fighting alongside them for so long. But I feel like that implies vampires aren’t as good as shadowunters, something Simon and Alec talked about.

This is extra-book stuff as we’re now discussing my commentary on commentary. :) But I will say I don’t agree here. Simon deserved to become a Shadowhunter because it was something he wanted to be, not because it was something objectively better. Saying someone deserves something they want… not really the same as saying that what they don’t want is beneath them. If Simon had wanted to be a pilot and not a sailor, would that mean the text communicated ‘DAMN ALL SAILORS’?

I enjoyed watching Simon struggle with his identity and accepting his vampirism (if that’s a word), and I really liked the whole Mark of Cain thing. But if all of that is reversed, what was the point of his struggles? 

Simon lost the Mark of Cain in City of Lost Souls — traded it away for a weapon from Raziel. In fact, his speaking to Raziel was possibly the most Shadowhuntery thing anyone but Clary has done in TMI! Here is where we’re going to disagree textually (and that’s fine) — I never wrote Simon as accepting his vampirism, purposefully. He always hated it. He hated what happened with Maureen, he hated losing his family, he hated the idea of being in a clan, of living with other vampires. He didn’t have any vampire friends unless you count Raphael and that was always a tetchy relationship during which Raphael repeatedly told Simon that he was a terrible vampire because in fact he was. He was uniquely unsuited to it. The only thing he ever seemed to like about it was biting Isabelle and there are other things he could have done with Isabelle that he probably would have liked as much if not more.

(Lord Montgomery ponders.)

Also, now that Simon is mortal again, on the path to becoming a shadowhunter and also capable of having children, doesn’t that make all of his struggles throughout the series meaningless?

Jace is now free of the heavenly fire, knows who he is, knows the love of his life isn’t his sister, and is on a path to a happy life. Does that make all his struggles meaningless? Why would a happy ending specifically make anyone’s struggles meaningless? 

I mean, it could be that I am not understanding the question properly. From my point of view, Simon’s struggles — not wanting to be a vampire, not knowing how to deal with being rejected by his family, being always afraid vampires were going to spring at him for his yummy Daylighter blood — are simply being replaced with a different set of struggles. Simon is now an ex-Downworlder who is going to have to go train to become a Shadowhunter in a world where Shadowhunters, despite the progress made, still hate and distrust Downworlders, and everyone knows who he is. He has to go live in Idris, a place he doesn’t remember. He is also going to have to somehow come to terms with the fact that he no longer remembers a huge portion of his life. He doesn’t remember his childhood properly, or his best friend, or the girl he loves, or himself. He’s going to have to reconstruct an entirely new Simon out of the pieces he has and whatever he gets back. To me that is a much more interesting struggle.

Also, now that Simon is mortal again, on the path to becoming a shadowhunter and also capable of having children

All of these things are good things only if Simon wants them. Who wants to be mortal? I don’t, frankly. Others do. Not everyone would want to be  Shadowhunter. Simon luckily does, always has since book one. As for the children thing, who says he wants them or ever will? Not everyone wants children; not everyone has to have children to be happy. (Interesting post here about how difficult it is if you don’t want kids to find any kind of story that reflects your life and wants. “It seems in every other romance there must be a baby-epilogue, or baby-logue, with pregnancy and glowing and 2.5 children in the future. Which books feature heroines and heroes who are not interested in having children, whether it’s a major topic point or not? Which ones did you like best?”) TDA takes place when Simon would be 22, TWP when he would be 25. There’s no reason to think even if he wanted kids he’d have any in that time period or it would impact the story. (Besides, I think everyone assumed he’d wind up with Izzy as a vampire, and then they’d be together, and then they could perfectly well have kids by adopting them or with artificial insemination. Adopted children are your children. When Magnus and Alec adopt, that will be their kid. Sorry, tangential unrelated rant — my best friend has two biological kids, my other best friend’s son is adopted, and I don’t have kids. I get tired of hearing that only one of us has a family that is considered happy or acceptable.)

ANYWAY.

I don’t think that when struggles are over, they are rendered meaningless. I think that if there is something that feels weird about Simon’s ending, it is that everyone else gets what feels like closure. Simon gets what feels like an opening for more story. And there will be more story — in Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy, and even in TDA. I can see how that would make one feel “this ending is different/strange/why do I feel differently about it than the endings for the other characters?” And sometimes when things feel strange, we struggle to identify why – too happy, too sad, too overdetermined, too unclear? Maybe that explains the range of response to some extent. And also just that readers are always different people. A book is a bit of a kaleidescope – every person who looks in it will see the same glittering crystals, but never in quite exactly the same arrangement.

After the Bridge: The Full Story (Jem/Tessa)

hi Cassie! idk if you’ve noticed, but I think you’ve invoked a small (and quite entertaining) url revolution. — hornyjem

I did. I am very proud. :)

This is the full story of After the Bridge, a tale for those who might have wondered what Tessa and Jem did after they met on Blackfriars Bridge in the epilogue of Clockwork Princess. If you’ve been waiting to read it until it was done, it is now done.

Those who do not like Tessa&Jem together or Jessa sexytimes probably should skip this. (You will not miss anything that will affect your understanding of later books.) Those who like that sort of thing will find this the sort of thing they like.

After the Bridge alternates POV between Jem and Tessa. This is Part Five, the full story. As this is one short story and not chaptered, each post will contain the whole story from the beginning up to the point where that part ends so that new readers or readers who don’t remember what happened won’t have to hunt down the previous post(s.)

AFTER THE BRIDGE : Now with (sexy) art by Cassandra Jean! 

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After the Bridge Part Four

A story for those who might have wondered what Tessa and Jem did after they met on Blackfriars Bridge in the epilogue of Clockwork Princess.

Those who do not like Tessa&Jem together or Jessa sexytimes probably should skip this. (You will not miss anything that will affect your understanding of later books.) Those who like that sort of thing will find this the sort of thing they like.

After the Bridge alternates POV between Jem and Tessa. It will be posted in installments. This is Part Four. It is not the whole story. There are more parts. As this is one short story and not chaptered, each post will contain the whole story from the beginning up to the point where that part ends so that new readers or readers who don’t remember what happened won’t have to hunt down the previous post(s.)

[Also just a personal note: since starting to post this, I’ve been bombarded with requests to write Clace, Malec, Sizzy, Wessa, Jemma, Jordelia, ships that don’t even have names, etc short stories. I usually turn down requests to write short stories for published anthologies because I don’t have time — I really don’t have time to write a ton of short-story-length outtakes. I’m writing this as it grew out of a discussion with Holly Black and Kelly Link about romance shapes and sat on my head and demanded to be written. When that happens again, I will happily post what I write because I like to share free content. But I do need to focus on TLH and TDA right now, and nothing else is calling to be written. In other words, and I hope I am saying this the nicest possible way, I can’t take requests. We will all just have to see if inspiration strikes and hope it isn’t Mortmain/Benedict “The Worm” Lightwood.]

Meanwhile, definitely an R rating below. I admit I don’t really understand the rating system. SEXY TIMES. These characters are consenting and 135 years old, but I would probably keep the story away from kiddies.

AFTER THE BRIDGE PART FOUR 

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After the Bridge Part Three (Jem/Tessa)

A story for those who might have wondered what Tessa and Jem did after they met on Blackfriars Bridge in the epilogue of Clockwork Princess.

Those who do not like Tessa&Jem together or Jessa sexytimes probably should skip this. (You will not miss anything that will affect your understanding of later books.) Those who like that sort of thing will find this the sort of thing they like.

After the Bridge alternates POV between Jem and Tessa. It will be posted in installments. This is Part Two. It is not the whole story. There are more parts. As this is one short story and not chaptered, each post will contain the whole story from the beginning up to the point where that part ends so that new readers or readers who don’t remember what happened won’t have to hunt down the previous post(s.)

AFTER THE BRIDGE 3/4

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After the Bridge (Jem/Tessa) Part One

A story for those who might have wondered what Tessa and Jem did after they met on Blackfriars Bridge in the epilogue of Clockwork Princess.

Those who do not like Tessa&Jem together or Jessa sexytimes probably should skip this one. (You will not miss anything that will affect your understanding of later books.) Those who like that sort of thing will find this the sort of thing they like.

After the Bridge alternates POV between Jem and Tessa. It will be posted in installments.

This is Part One. It is not the whole story. There are several more parts.

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City of Heavenly Fire questions/spoilers

Hi Cassie! I love your books and the characters you’ve created so much and thank you for sharing them with the world! I’ve just finished reading CoHF for the third time and I wanted to ask a question about the tapestry Emma and Jules look at towards the end of the book. My question is why is Clary “almost invisible” in the tapestry where Jace is in the front and center clearly visible? She was the one that killed Sebastian and my logic is that she should be in the front or at least side by side with Jace. Is it because of her ties with her father and brother that stands her apart from Jace because if anything Jace has greater ties than she does. Or is it something else entirely? I’m sure Clary wouldn’t even think twice about something as trivial as a tapestry with her in the background and wouldn’t mind at all. But I’m just curious as to why she’s set apart from Jace when she was just as much, if not more, involved with the ending of the Dark War than Jace was. — winchester-squared

Is this what you mean?

"There was another tapestry as well, this one looking newer and freshly hung, which showed the Angel rising out of the lake, this time without the Mortal Instruments. A blond man stood at the edge of the lake, and near him, almost invisible, was the figure of a slight girl with red hair, holding a stele… . “

That tapestry is meant to depict the events at the end of City of Glass, but the blond man isn’t Jace. It’s Valentine. Jace would have been “a blond boy” — he’s not a man, not quite yet!

Clary is depicted as smaller than Valentine to emphasize the fact that it was a David and Goliath type victory, with an underestimated hero going up against a much bigger/more powerful villain. Jace is not even pictured, due to being dead for much of this part of the book.

Perhaps it is confusing because the tapestry is “newer” but it’s only been a few months since the Mortal War and it takes time to make a tapestry. There are no tapestries depicting the events of the Dark War in the Gard. There hasn’t been time to commission one much less make one! I imagine that when there is one it will show Clary front and center, this time along with Jace, Alec, Simon and Isabelle.

Clary-Simon parabatai

CITY OF HEAVENLY FIRE SPOILERS.

Hello Cassie I love all your books and have especially loved TID. My favourite was Jem, but that doesn’t mean I don’t love Tessa or Will. Jem was my favourite because I am somewhat like Jem myself, I am sick as well, and I understood why he did what he did and how he thinks. To read about Jem and the way clockwork princess ends gives me a lot of hope (maybe I will find a cure too) :) I want to thank you for that. I recently finished CoHf and loved every bit of it :) as you can probably guess I loved reading about Jem and Tessa in CoHf :) I do have a question for you: Does Clary ever find a parabatai? Also (2 questions sorry :p) can ascenders have a parabatai? I would love it if you could answer my questions (if you are reading this). I am very excited for TDA and restlessly await its release :) Thank you so much A huge fan of yours M3H4K :) — m3h4k

Hello! Thank you for your love for Jem, I love him too. I think you have a question about TMI a lot of people have. :)

its-carmen-venegas said: CoHF spoiler: I was wondering if in the future we will see Simon Ascend and become a Shadowhunter with his memories returned and/or him as Clary’s parabatai and finally together with Izzy? I love you stories and they have been great to read!!

klassysassyyysaid:

Hi I really loved COHF and I really just have to know if Clary and Simon are gonna become parabatai?

mortalacademyasked you:

Hi Cassie :) Do you think there is a possibility in the future for Simon and Clary to become parabatai? They would be brilliant for each other, in my own opinion :)

pa1g32019 asked you: Do Simon and Clary become parabatai???

Are Clary and Simon gonna be parabatai when he ascends?? — mejampo

sherlockthedivergentboywholived asked you: SPOILERS FOR CoHF I’ve just had an amazing thought. Would clary and simon become parabatai?? I think that would be the best thing ever and in the wedding scene there are runes all over simon and that would be perfect if they were parabatai.

thefaultinour-fangirling asked you: Any possibility that Simon and Clary could become parabatai??????

mayiaskquy asked you: SPOILER! Did Clary and Simon become parabatai when Simon became a shadowhunter? x

likeneverforeversaid:

Will Simon and clary become parabati?

spanish-rose said: Hi Cassie! I am asking this for my cousin (she doesn’t have a tumblr) and me. After the events of COHF do Simon and Clary become Parabatai or is it too late? Or does his lack of memories change their relationship? We always saw them having a bond like that, and now that it’s possible, we are super curious! Thank you in advance if you get to our question

lovee1795 said: Did you ever consider making Isabelle and Clary parabatai? I thought you were working towards it in CoHF but then it never happened. I feel they would’ve made a great team.

insult-to-intelligenceasked you:

are we gonna see simon ascend? is gonna continue the lightwood name or is he gonna pick another shadowhunter surname?

demi-herondale asked you: So Magnus mentioned to Simon about the ascension at the end of CoHF. Does Simon ever ascend and become a shadowhunter, or is that supposed to be up to us as readers?

yesihaveredhair asked you: The ending was beautiful, Cassie. I loved every bit of it. And I bawled my eyes out with Simon. I’m just wondering (and I’m thinking this question might be answered in Lady Midnight) if Simon does Ascend? Because that would just be amazing for him :) I’m going to miss these characters, but I’m excited for Emma and Jules! xxx

alyienated said: Cassie, please tell us more details about Simom’s ascension for I think the book didn’t really have details about him undergoing that and description of him being a Shadowhunter. I just know that Magnus helped him out and stuff to prepare him for Ascension. :)

It’s true, the book didn’t have any details about Simon Ascending because the process of going to Shadowhunter Academy/training/learning to become a Shadowhunter is a year-plus process and there was no room for it (plus tonally it would have been weird there at the end of the book.) City of Heavenly Fire ends with hope for Simon and the option of becoming a Shadowhunter, something he’s wanted, something all his friends are. Something he deserves, given how much he’s fought alongside Shadowhunters! But that’s all. You can stop there, if you want — the future of the characters is open with possibilities and you can imagine whatever you want into it, and many people like to do that.

I skipped answering this question publicly before because I was waiting for people to have a chance to read CoHF but now that many have: Simon was always meant to become a Shadowhunter in the end. When I first planned the spin-off Simon story from City of Glass it was about him becoming a Shadowhunter in the end. It was always his endgame.

As many of the characters from TMI show up in places in TDA, I had originally thought we’d find out what happened with Simon’s Ascension then. Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy was originally a series of novellas connected by the existence of the Academy, but it occurred to us as we mapped it out that ideally there would be a character that also connected all the stories — which is how we developed the idea of following Simon through his arrival at the Academy to his Ascension ceremony.

I think the answer to “Will Clary and Simon be parabatai?” is that Clary and Simon would like to be parabatai. Nothing is stopping them except that Simon hasn’t Ascended. If he does it on time, it’s something they could do.

And it’s always been the idea: that Clary and Simon would try to be parabatai. I understanding wanting to see Izzy and Clary be parabatai because they’re good friends and we don’t/haven’t seen a real girl/girl parabatai situation. However, Clary and Izzy just haven’t known each other long enough for it to make sense, while Clary and Simon are basically spiritually parabatai already. 

We will have a girl/girl parabatai situation in Last Hours with Lucie and Cordelia, and an incredibly close friendship between girls with Cristina and Emma in TDA. Part of what’s been interesting about TDA actually is writing the difference between a friendship —Emma and Cristina — and a parabatai relationship —Jules and Emma. 

As for what name Simon chooses, whether he and Izzy can rekindle their relationship, what memories he gets back and which he doesn’t — Shadowhunter Academy and TDA will have to answer that!

CoHF: Magnus and Alec

SPOILERS FOR COHF.

Hi Cassie, I loved CoHF and can’t wait for TDA. One of my favourite scenes from CoHF was when the wish-demon thingy sent them to those dreams that were supposedly their heart’s desires. But, in Alec’s, was Magnus actually there when he told him to wake up and smell the cookies? Like, was Magnus in the cell in Edom aware that this was going on and helped out or was it just some part of Alec’s brain going “WAKE UP” and came across as Magnus? Thanks! — justdontflickrrr

I think it’s a part of the book that’s up for interpretation. I mean, Magnus evinces no knowledge it happened later, so if he was there in some sense, it wasn’t conscious.

When I wrote it, I thought of it as being all Alec. That he was seeing what he wanted in his head, to some extent, but just as it did with all the others, the demon got his ultimate desires slightly wrong (highly overboard, in Alec’s case) and — just as with the others — something in the dream-state tipped Alec off. In this case, the being tipped off took the form of Magnus, because I think for Alec — who despite being a badass fighter sometimes gets lost in his own head — Magnus is the person who pulls him out when he gets in that state. Magnus lets him be an internal person, because Alec very much is that, but he can also tell when Alec is spinning himself into a state and ground him. He tells Alec the truth about things, things that Alec’s other grounding forces don’t necessarily have perspective on (like the Lightwood family, because they’re in the Lightwood family). Magnus, despite being something of a wild force of nature, is a calming force for Alec. He also has a lot of faith in Alec that Alec doesn’t always have in himself. So when Alec hears “This isn’t what you want, you’re better than this” it might be him thinking it, but he puts Magnus’ face to it, because it’s Magnus that’s given him the confidence to believe that himself.

However, if you’d rather read it as Magnus being there in some capacity, you can.

Aw. Malec feels!

Maybe he had known that girl, he thought. Maybe it was something he’d forgotten - who remembered the friends you had in kindergarten?

- for Esther

Damn, that’s sad.

Prologues

I was just wondering how you choose which POV to tell a scene from. Like why the prologue in Heavenly Fire was told from Emma’s point of view and not Sebastian’s. I enjoyed Emma’s perspective but it seems like it could have been a chance to get a look into his mind? Thanks and if you post this could you take my name off?

Name redacted from incendiary question about viewpoints. :) No, I am just teasing. This falls into the category of “Writers, why do you do the things you do?” Which I always think is interesting, because the choices we make shape our work, but — even if I explain my reasoning, you don’t have to agree with it. :)

Prologues are an interesting thing in writer-land because they actually are controversial. Some people love them. Some people hate them. The big argument against them is often that if the information in them is important, why is it not in the main body of the work — i.e. why isn’t it just “Chapter One”?

Me, I like a prologue. I find that they give an opportunity to tell an event in the world from the perspective of a character you’d never otherwise hear from — for instance, Aloysius Starkweather’s perspective in Clockwork Princess. Yes, we can be told the information later in the narrative that his granddaughter died receiving her first runes, but it’s much less visceral than experiencing it on the page, and it’s interesting to be in the head of someone whose viewpoint you’ll never get again (as in 1878, Aloysius is pretty far gone in senile dementia). Similarly, we get Valentine’s viewpoint in City of Ashes and then, as far as I know, never again. And it gives us the birth of the fear demon, which means that when Agramon shows up later, we know what it is. No one else in the book besides Valentine could have been there for that, or they would not later have been surprised about Agramon being around.

Sometimes prologues indicate a time skip, big or small (the prologue of CP where we see Will and Jem at 12, or CoLS where we see Simon two weeks before the rest of the book takes place.) Sometimes they exist to set a mood (Will’s prologue in CP.) Prologues do a lot of different jobs.

As for why I chose to tell the prologue of The Dark Artifices from Emma’s viewpoint and not Sebastian’s — I have written Sebastian’s viewpoint before, in City of Lost Souls. Mostly as a way to let people know he was Up to Something with Faeries, but not what. But the prologue from Sebastian’s point of view would have been near-impossible without revealing his involvement with the Fair Folk, given that they were with him at the time. He would have had to spend the whole prologue deliberately not thinking about 1) the faeries right next to him 2) the existence of Edom, to which he is about to return 3) his overall plans, including his visit to the Adamant Citadel.

Unreliable narrators are great, but usually they’re unreliable because they’ve bought into their own mythology about themselves. Being coy is something else — just not revealing what a character is actually thinking — and Coyness in Writing is a whole other topic. It drives my critique group nuts though; whenever anyone’s being coy with info they get yelled at.

There are important factual things we learn in the prologue about the story — that Sebastian is attacking Institutes — but even if I’d never planned to write the Dark Artifices, I’d still have told it from Emma’s point of view. To me the Blackthorns have a symbolic weight in City of Heavenly Fire. They represent the stakes of war. 

Without any representation of the people — ordinary Shadowhunters, some innocent children — that Clary and the others are trying to save, they become something blurry and distantly symbolic. We can understand that they want to save their parents, and those trapped in Edom, but when what’s at stake is saving the lives of Shadowhunters overall, putting faces and personalities to those lives matters.

(Also, in the fact that they escaped the Institute, they bring important information about what Sebastian’s doing to Idris — and they could still have done that if the prologue had been Seb’s viewpoint, but from his view they would have been a bunch of fleeing kids, nameless and undifferentiated. It would have taken all the meaning out of the scene where Emma wakes up screaming for her parents and Julian gives her Cortana. It would have taken a ton of meaning out of the end, when Helen is sent away — the meaning of her being separated from her family is greatly dulled if we don’t know her family.)

So I guess if the overall question is: how do I pick who tells a scene, which POV it’s from, usually I ask myself, Who undergoes the most change in this scene? Think about the engine that propels stories as three C’s: conflict, choice and change (ideally change brought about by choice forced by conflict.) Jace tells the scene between him and Alec, because he changes the most during it. Emma changes the most during the prologue. She makes the biggest choices, her whole life is transformed and she is changed as a person. Sebastian doesn’t change at all. So as well as me wanting to establish what the stakes of the war were, to put a face to all the lives that would need saving over the course of the book, I also wanted to show the birth of a hero, the inciting incident that makes someone who they are. The superhero origin story. :) Which I think is a fun thing to experience, whether you ever read the Dark Artifices or not. :)