Jace’s sex life and the Carstairs name

Hi Cassie I love your books and am a huge fan but I was just wondering… Jace reveals (not that he’s had sex) that he’s been intimate before with a girl(s). I was just wondering if you had anyone in mind whom he’d been intimate with and why that didn’t even bother Clary? Would be so grateful if you answered my question Thank you — rottinpeace

I have various thoughts about Jace’s love life before Clary (we know he dated the faerie waitress, Kaelie, before Clary, because they actually snuggle and cuddle in front of Clary — I think people forget that!) but nothing so concrete I want to put to paper/Internet yet.

I assume Clary doesn’t care because why would she? It’s got nothing to do with her. He dated before her, in TDA Emma’s had boyfriends and sex before the book starts, in TID neither Will or Jem has had any sex before Tessa — people vary. I’m sure he’d tell her about it if she asked, but I suspect readers want to know the gory details more than she does. :)

Hi Cassie, I read  CoHF and The Infernal Devices too and I thought that Jem Carstairs was the last Carstairs alive, so how does Emma have the same last name? I read this and got a little confused, because Jem becomes an silent brother, resulting in the ending of that last name. Please help me. (if my English is a little poor I’m so sorry, because I’m Brazilian) Kisses! — aninkheart

And I’m leaving for Brazil tomorrow! Meanwhile, this is how the Carstairs name continues.

He was stocky, perhaps in his late thirties, with a scar that ran along his jaw. Tousled, fairish hair, and blue eyes, and skin tanned by the sun. It looked even darker against his starched white shirtfront. There was something familiar about him, something that teased at the edges of Tessa’s memories.

He came to a stop in front of them. His eyes flicked to Will. They were a paler blue than Will’s, almost the color of cornflowers. The skin around them was tanned and lined with faint crow’s-feet. He said, “You are William Herondale?”

Will nodded without speaking.

“I am Elias Carstairs,” the man said. “Jem Carstairs was my nephew.” 

— Clockwork Princess

The Carstairs line continues through Elias Carstairs. There are also other Carstairs. Jem never says he is the last of his line or the last Carstairs out there. Shadowhunter families can sometimes be huge — Cristina, Diego and Jaime are all Rosaleses, but Cristina is in fact related to neither of them except perhaps incredibly distantly.

TLH Snippet

about the Dark Artifices, are Jem and Tessa going to play a similar role to Will and Tessa in the Last Hours? I really enjoyed reading about the relationship in the Infernal Devices and the snippet in Heavenly Fire. I know you said in a previous post about how letting go of characters is a part of life, but JESSA. You’re amazing, your books are amazing, and Jem Carstairs is amazing. - Lily — falling-into-rain


I would say they play very different roles because Jem and Tessa are not the parents of anyone in The Dark Artifices.

Yes, Jem is distantly related to Emma through his uncle Elias, but neither he or Tessa are the parents of any of Our Heroes in TDA. They don’t even look old enough to be any of their parents. They have a more, I don’t know, almost Magnus-y role.

By contrast Will and Tessa are James and Lucie’s parents. They are obviously enormously bound up in their lives, love them enormously, and are people who James and Lucie spend their lives comparing themselves to and seeking approval and love from. They are also a generation older than them. Their friends are Jem and Gideon and Cecily and Gabriel and Sophie and Charlotte and Henry. Their kids are their kids, not so much their compatriots.

It’s known that Tatiana Blackthorn (nee lightwood) is the antagonist in TLH. I was just curious, if she still remained close to Gabriel and Gideon, and if she ever even attend their weddings? (Is this also when she started to plot her “revenge”?) — dumbledorelovessherbetlemons

Well, she is an antagonist. She may not be the only one. And she did not remain close to Gabriel or Gideon. She hates them.

Hi Cassie, I can’t wait for TLH and I would like to know what kind of relationship there’s between Lucie and Matthew? :) — warlockintothetardis

Lucie adores Matthew. He’s her brother’s parabatai. Everyone loves Matthew. He’s one of those people. Snippet:

Matthew held out his hands. “Pax,” he said, wheedlingly. “Let it be peace between us. You can pour the rest of the port on my head.”

James’ mouth curved up into a smile. It was impossible to stay angry with Matthew. It was almost impossible to get angry at Matthew. 

TLH questions

Hi Cassie, so I was just wondering as Will and Tessa got older did she age herself so when they went out in in public they didn’t raise any eyebrows or did they just grin and bear with the stares of say a fifty year old man flouncing around with a sixteen year old girl? I remember in Clockwork Prince I believe Tessa realizing she can alter her physical form just slightly, like giving herself bigger lips and a smaller waist. But she chose not to because she thought it was wrong (I think), would the same thing prevent her from adding wrinkles to her skin as she aged? — flying-falling-aj

Tessa does glamour herself to appear older in any situation where she and Will are going to be seen by people who don’t already know them/aren’t Shadowhunters. She doesn’t if it’s a Shadowhunter gathering. They know who she is.

Hi Cassandra Clare! I really love your books and thanks for them. I have a question about James and Cordelia. You have said that on Twitter the reason for heronstairs marriage is an unexpected one so it is the a sham or political marriage you have talked about? In CoHF we learnt that Carstairs owe Herondales because of something is it about that marriage occured between James and Cordelia? I hope that they fell in love with eachother. You have said TLH is about unusual love triangle and if I don’t remember wrong you believe that in a triangle all of them should have a connection.As I said I hope there will be love between James and Cordelia. I am looking forward to TDA and TLH. I will be glad if you release more informations about upcoming series and reply me back. Thanks. — littlecandyy

There is at least one sham/political marriage in TLH. I also did say James and Cordelia don’t get married for the reasons anyone would think (I suspect.) They do get married during TLH so you’ll find out why they did, if it was a real marriage, if it lasted, etc, in the books. We know from Midnight Heir that James is in love … with someone else. Awkward.

Hi Cassie! I love your books! I noticed that while you’ve talked about the characters for TLH as the children of Will/Tessa, Gabriel/Cecily, Titania, Charlotte/Henry, and Jem’s uncle Elias, you’ve never mentioned anything about Sophie and Gideon’s children. Did they not have any? or maybe they couldn’t? Dying of curiosity, hope you can answer my question!

— yours-to-hold72
They did have children. Barbara and Eugenia are a bit older than the others and tend not to spend that much time with them. Thomas is a significant character; I just didn’t wind up asking Cassandra Jean to draw him, but I probably should. It might be interesting to get portraits of all the characters we know — Will, Jem, Cecily, Gabriel, etc — as their adult selves in TLH, too.
Jessa stuff

Gotta keep the balance!

Hi Cassie! I loved all of your books, especially The Infernal Devices - I fell in love with Will *-*. I have a question about Jessa after CoHF: will they have children? I hope you’ll answer me :) Thank you for the amazing world you have created! — mrsherondale-eaton-waters 

Hello Cassie! I absolutely adore your books like many other people, but my boyfriend (who showed me your books) and I had one question, after Jem is no longer a silent brother, does he remain immortal like Tessa? Or will she end up losing him like she lost Will? Thank you for your time if you answer this, we’re both really curious. — sammy-mantha

Hello Cassie! I love your books!!!So… I finished to read Cohf and we know that Tessa is immortal and can have children, but I have a doubt. After so long, she can still have children? Or all these years, even with immortality, impair in any way? Thanks! — lightwoodparabatai

I love your books, and my favorite character is Jem, I just love it, then tell me we will see him next in the books of the shadowhunters? I loved him and Tessa on COHF. One more question, Jem and Tessa will have children ?? I’m so curious !!!! Please answer me !!! — anacarstairs

herondalectable said: Quick question: I know you’ve confirmed that the TMI characters will appear in future books, but what about Jem and Tessa? We know their story as far as the comic strip scene in CoHF, but what about beyond that? I’m not expecting anywhere near as much as we get of Will and Tessa’s married life (which I understand is not the main focus of TLH, but will be included as it was in TBC), but will we at least get a mention of how there doing and maybe of some Jessa babies?

gloriousburritos said: Hi Cassie! I just finished CoHF and I know this might sound weird but will Jem and Tessa ever appear in TDA since they were leaving for Los Angeles? Also, will they ever have children? I’m DYING to know because Jem is like my all-time fave character

Hey Cassie! I just had a little question about Tessa Gray. She’s immortal, but she was able to have children with Will. Is there any chance she can have one with Jem? Also, how does she put up with 130 years of periods? — 50shadesoftessagray

About Jem being mortal: Page 562 of Clockwork Princess:

Jem was mortal now. He would grow old like Will, and like Will he would die, and she did not know if she could bear it again. 

Page 711 of City of Heavenly Fire:

“So he is—Zachariah is mortal now?” Clary asked. “Just— an ordinary Shadowhunter?”
“Yes,” Tessa said. “He and I have known each other a long time. We had a standing meeting every year in early January. This year, when he arrived for it, to my shock, he was mortal.”
“And you didn’t know before he just showed up? I would have killed him.”
Tessa grinned. “Well, that would have somewhat defeated the point. And I think he wasn’t sure how I would receive him, mortal as he is, when I am not mortal.”

Jem is mortal. He has a human lifespan to live. That is a terrible thing for Tessa, but as I think you can probably tell by now, I’m not really a fan of “fixing” mortal-immortal relationships by making those who are mortal, immortal, or taking immortal characters’ immortality away. Immortality is a curse and a gift, and you undermine both aspects by taking it away easily; mortality is a curse and a gift and you undermine both aspects by taking it away easily. 

Jem and Tessa will have a lifetime together; Jem will cross over and see Will “on the other side of the river”; Tessa will be left to mourn him. I’ve always thought of all the characters in Clockwork Princess, in many ways Tessa’s is the saddest fate. Though:

About Tessa having kids: She can absolutely have kids! She doesn’t age out of that, because she doesn’t age. Cindy Pon has even been so kind as to help me with Chinese baby names so Jem’s family name, Ke, can be represented. I imagine Tessa and Jem would want to do some traveling and letting Jem adjust to life in the modern world (I think he would enjoy having an iPod filled with violin music) — and as I said, they have their own agenda in LA — before they have children, but they can certainly have them.

About 130 years of periods: I would guess this falls under the “not so great” aspect of being immortal. However, there are pretty easy ways to not have your period if you don’t want to (birth control pills) and I’d imagine Tessa has access to magical solutions as well. Boy, I never thought I’d be answering that question!

I know you’ve confirmed that the TMI characters will appear in future books, but what about Jem and Tessa? 

At the moment, they literally appear in the first chapter of Lady Midnight.

Wessa stuff

Hi Cassie, I have a question about CP2. Will obviously knows that Tessa loves him at the end of CP2, but that night in the drawing room (when Tessa burned her hand on the fireplace poker) when she didn’t tell him she loved him, he believed she didn’t and was obviously hurt. Unless I’m mistaken, which I could be, she never explained that to him later when they started dating/got married. Did he know? I mean, he’s very smart, so I feel like he could’ve figured it out, but did he? I can’t bear the thought of poor Will not knowing :( also, will Isabelle find a parabatai? D: thanks! — isabelleligtwood

Isabelle is not going to have a parabatai. Most people don’t, and Izzy is fine and happy without one. They are a lot of work and trouble. :)

I was confused at first reading the question and I thought that the question was whether Will ever realized Tessa loved him (which, after fifty years and two kids and a fabulous marriage, if he still didn’t, Will should get so much therapy) but I think now it’s whether Will realized Tessa loved him specifically that night in the drawing room.

As you said, Will is smart, and I think he figured out why she did what she did. He knows she loved him and she also loved Jem, and he knows she let him think she didn’t love him because she was trying to set him free. He would have done the same thing.

Even if he couldn’t intuit it (and he could), she does say this:

"I know how you are with your words, and, Will—I love all of them. Every word you say. The silly ones, the mad ones, the beautiful ones, and the ones that are only for me. I love them, and I love you.”

Will began to speak, but Tessa covered his mouth with her hand.

“I love your words, my Will, but hold them for a moment,” she said, and smiled into his eyes. “Think of all the words I have held inside all this time, while I did not know your intentions. When you came to me in the drawing room and told me that you loved me, it was the hardest thing I have ever done to send you away. You said you loved the words of my heart, the shape of my soul. I remember. I remember every word you said from that day to this. I will never forget them. There are so many words I wish to say to you, and so many I wish to hear you say to me. I hope we have all our lives to say them to each other.” 

That’s pretty explicit. You have to be careful, when characters are explaining things to each other (especially things readers already know) that they don’t sound like they think the other character is a dunce who needs everything spelled out for them. Tessa has to trust Will’s understanding of her, because if he isn’t someone who could understand this, she shouldn’t love or marry him.

Hi Cassie. <3 I have this important question. Well, important to me, hih. Will you be writing more about just Will and Tessa? As in, scenes from Will or Tessa’s point of view? :) (Psst, LOVE LOVE LOVE the new art of them. <3 Thank you for sharing.) — carinaolsen

Cassandra Jean is a fantastic artist, for sure. I think that it’s important to remember that TLH is about Cordelia, Jesse, Lucie, James, Matthew and the rest — though Tessa and Will are in it, and they are certainly the most important parents. They do have, also, I think some touching scenes just about them … and they also loom large in James’ mind, and indeed the minds of many in their circle as a Great Love Story (there’s more about that and James worrying his own life can never compete in Midnight Heir.) 

Maybe the best way to think about their role is to think about them as Charlotte and Henry in TID. They’re not the protagonists, but they’re background important figures who have their own relationship, do on occasion get POV scenes, and serve as a force of order in an otherwise chaotic world. :)

(There are definitely events in TLH that have specifically to do with Will and Tessa’s relationship, and Jem’s place in it, too. Just like there are also moments in TDA about Jem and Tessa. It’s interestingly difficult keeping the balance, but one could say that about the whole Clockwork series.)

Hi Cassie, I loved City of Heavenly Fire and cannot wait until the Dark Artifices comes out. I’ve seen the timeline you posted forever ago for the Mortal Instruments, but I was wondering if you could make a more detailed timeline that includes City of Heavenly Fire. Thank you so much!

Sure. Once more, with more details:

Here’s the basic timeline of the TMI books:

CoB: takes place in August 2007, the year the book was published.

CoA: begins in very early September 2007-  a few days to a week after CoB ends. 

CoG: begins in September, about 1 week after CoA ends. The whole book takes place in 1.5-2 weeks. It is mentioned that the leaves on trees are beginning to turn fall colors.

CoFA: begins in Mid-October (Halloween decorations are up, Simon mentions the month) and ends around the third or fourth week of October. In CoFA, it is also mentioned that Clary has been training to fight demons for 7 weeks.

CoLS: The prologue is set in late October. The first chapter begins two weeks later, in the 2nd week of November.

October had 5 weeks in 2007. Here’s a link to a 2007 calendar:


COHF: Takes place in early December through the end of December. It is mentioned in the beginning that people are shopping for Christmas presents. The last chapter ends before Christmas Day. Here’s where it get wibbly-wobbly-timey-wimey:

The Clockwork Princess prologue then  takes place in January, 2008, between the last chapter of CoHF and the epilogue of CoHF. Jem goes to meet Tessa.

COHF epilogue: May, 2008. It’s mentioned that it’s May, school’s almost out, etc. We see Jem and Tessa at the wedding, after their January meeting.

Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy takes up space in between May 2008— August 2013.

Lady Midnight begins in August, 2013. (Oddly, the same month the TMi movie came out. Randomly chosen, though.)


 I’ve gotten a lot of asks about where the epilogue of Clockwork Princess fits into the timeline of TMI. Here’s the basic timeline of the TMI books:

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Last but assuredly not least, Cassandra Jean&#8217;s Tessa and Will and the DSDS in Clockwork Princess.

Last but assuredly not least, Cassandra Jean’s Tessa and Will and the DSDS in Clockwork Princess.

More Cassandra Jean sexytimes — Jem and Tessa in Clockwork Prince. 

More Cassandra Jean sexytimes — Jem and Tessa in Clockwork Prince. 

the measure of love

I have a question about TID. *CONTAINS SPOILERS* Why does Jem make sure to see Tessa one day a year when he’s a silent brother and not Will? I know he loves Tessa, but he also loves Will and I always thought they were much closer than either boy with Tessa. Just something I couldn’t stop thinking about :) thanks so much!! — tessherondayl

I think there’s an innate tension between what TID is about — three people who love each other equally — and what we’re societally programmed to believe: that some loves are better, that love is always ranked somehow, that a bigger love requires a bigger gesture, that love is in any way measurable.

Jem doesn’t love Will more than he loves Tessa. He doesn’t love Will less than he loves Tessa. They’re different people. Different gestures mean different things to them. It isn’t as if Jem doesn’t see Will again during Will’s life — if you’ve read The Midnight Heir you can see he comes by enough for James to call him Uncle Jem. 

A good amount of the idea that Jem and Tessa would meet once a year on the bridge forever was that Jem and Tessa have forever. They’re both immortal. They’re commemorating not just their relationship but their unchanging state and the nature of immortality with the yearly meetings. It doesn’t make sense for Will and Jem to meet in the same way because Will isn’t immortal and all the yearly meetings same-time same-place would do is highlight that in what seems a rather cruel way.

Tessa and Will are different people; they have different relationships with Jem and need different things from him. That doesn’t make anyone closer than anyone else (hard to imagine Will is closer to Jem than he is to the mother of his children, or that he is closer to Tessa than the boy who gave his life meaning for years) — it just makes them different people with different needs and different relationships. It’s as okay for Jem and Tessa to have something that’s theirs alone as it is for Will and Jem to have things that are theirs alone and Will and Tessa to have things that are theirs alone. Which - as you’ll see in TLH more - they do!

More Floriography, otherwise known as Cassandra Jean’s flower card project, matching up characters with flowers that symbolize their characteristics! From TID, Nate Gray, brought down by folly, and Tessa, symbolizing unity against evil.