Why didn't Jem and Will go to the Academy? They didn't want to or they weren't allowed to? I'm feeling guilty as hell for bombarding you with questions but I just have to know! I'm sorry!

One usually goes to the Academy at about twelve. It’s assumed that one has been tutored at home up until that point in Shadowhunter basics.

At twelve, Will was the raggedy desperate boy who’d showed up at the door of the Institute and said he had nowhere else to go. Charlotte wasn’t going to pack him off to the Academy. Especially since he lacked the basics of knowing anything about Shadowhunters. He would have been chewed up and tortured. Charlotte didn’t know the specifics of Will’s problem, but she certainly knew enough to know he would have an awful time.

At twelve, Jem was poisoned and dying. The Academy simply would have not have wasted the resources training someone who wouldn’t survive to use the training.

The Clave are not nice people. Their school is not necessarily a nice place. :)

Hi Cassie After reading all the TMI, TID and TMBC books I still don’t get why Will Herondale is such a touchy subject for Magnus. I mean, yes, they were friends and we know Magnus told Camille they were dating even tho they weren’t and Magnus had helped Will and Tessa many times but there was nothing that explains (unless I totally missed it) why talking about Will made Magnus sad. Why did he kept referring to Will as a painful memory and why on earth did Alec even think they had feelings for each other. Was Magnus inlove with Will and was upset that it was one sided? Did Will somehow hurt Magnus along the years? I’m still confused about the whole thing. I’d be super grateful if you could shed some light on the matter. Thank you so much for your books! — nicky-angel  

“Are you in love with Will?” Woolsey asked—all curiosity, no jealousy.

“No,” Magnus said. “I have wondered that, but no. It is something else. I feel that I owe him. I have heard it said that when you save a life, you are responsible for that life. I feel I am responsible for that boy. If he never finds happiness, I will feel I have failed him. If he cannot have that girl he loves, I will feel I have failed him. If I cannot keep his parabatai by him, I will feel I failed him.” —Clockwork Princess

Will did find happiness, and Will did get the girl he loved. Will did not get to keep his parabatai by him. So Magnus feeling he failed Will in that would be the simplest explanation for Magnus’ feelings of sadness regarding Will, and the one that Magnus plainly says is the reason.

Text is open to interpretation, of course, and you don’t always have to agree with the characters. My perspective is that Magnus’s sadness/wistfulness/sentimentality about Will springs from a few different sources:

1. The one Magnus stated, above. He feels he failed Will.
2) Thinking of Will reminds him of his own immortality. Remembering people he cared about and lost sometimes makes him sad. He cared about Will, and Will is dead. What’s not to be sad about?

3) Magnus had a front row seat to Tessa’s heartbreak when Will died. As another immortal, her great love for a mortal was symbolic for Magnus. We think of Tessa as someone with a lot of equanimity and wisdom, but at the time she was probably miserable. Magnus was likely one of her main supports at that time, and thus he probably saw the worst of it. And  wouldn’t that remind him of him and Alec?

3. When Magnus thinks of Will, he doesn’t just think of Will as he was the last time Magnus saw him in CP, as Will-with-a-happy-ending. He thinks of all the Wills he knew over time, including the tortured young man, and the Will that grew old, and the absence of Will that broke Tessa’s heart.
Lastly, Alec thought Magnus was in love with Will because he was repeatedly manipulated by Camille into fixating on the idea that he was. But the reason Alec was so vulnerable to that manipulation was that Magnus refused to communicate about his past. (More about that here:http://cassandraclare.tumblr.com/post/23085927566/city-of-lost-souls-questions-and-answers-spoilers)
TLH snippet

James could see his mother moving like an anxious pale star among the guests in her lilac dress, greeting each of them warmly, welcoming them to her home. She had not glamoured herself to look her husband’s age for the evening, and she appeared enormously young, though her hair was done up like a gracious older woman’s, not a girl’s. When Will materialized out of the crowd and came to put his arm around Tessa, smiling down at her, the gray at his temples flashed like silver. James looked away; he loved his parents for being extraordinary, but sometimes he also hated them for the same thing.

Last but assuredly not least, Cassandra Jean’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.

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 of Cassandra Jean’s flower cards — we’re now onto The Infernal Devices, and these cards are done in oils, not watercolor. Jem and Will, together as always!

Jem, Tessa, Will questions

teresasmaze said: I have a question that’s been bugging me, and I don’t know if somebody asked you this before or not. But I have to ask anyway sorry. OKAY so did Tessa ever try to change into Will after he died? I feel like it would have been something that occurred to her, and even though she probably didn’t it would have been tempting don’t you think? I think it’s an interesting idea. Love your books, by the way! They’re filling about 75% of my second shelf on my bookshelf right now.

I think it would actually have been incredibly sad for Tessa to do that. It might almost have been like a drug, having that sort of almost-contact with Will and then not having it. Also Tessa was very firm about not “Changing” into people without their permission or some necessity, as she considered it invasive and disrespectful of their privacy — I don’t think she’d do it to Will, even after his passing. (But on the other hand I don’t want to kill anyone’s headcanons, though…so….)

congratu-freakin-lations said: Why doesnt Jem want to be a shadowhunter anymore? Is he at least still involved in the shadowhunter world?

Epilogue of Clockwork Princess:

“But—after today? Where will you go? To Idris?” Tessa asked.

Jem looked, for a moment, honestly bewildered—and despite how old she knew him to be, so young. “I don’t know,” he said. “I’ve never had a lifetime to plan for before.”

“Then … to another Institute?” Don’t go, Tessa wanted to say. Stay. Please.

“I do not think I will go to Idris, or to an Institute anywhere,” he said, after a pause so long that she felt as if her knees might give way under her if he did not speak. “I don’t know how to live in the world as a Shadowhunter without Will. I don’t think I even want to. I am still a parabatai, but my other half is gone. If I were to go to some Institute and ask them to take me in, I would never forget that. I would never feel whole.”

“Then what—?”

“That depends on you.”

City of Heavenly Fire: 

“… Zachariah? He is no longer an active Shadowhunter,” Jia was saying. “He left today before the meeting, saying he had some loose ends to tie up, and then an urgent appointment in London in early January,* something he couldn’t miss.” 

So no, he’s not an active Shadowhunter any more, but that’s nothing we didn’t know. :) Whether he decides to take an active interest in Shadowhunter goings-on is his business — he is interested in Emma. He and Tessa have something of their own agenda too.

*Yes, this is the epilogue of CP2. That’s where it fits into the narrative of CoHF - not long after the end of the last chapter before the epilogue.

xo-fairytalespirate-xo said: Hi Cassie. I just finished reading Clockwork Princess and absolutely loved the whole series. The epilogue in CP made me cry, especially when talking about Will’s last day and Jem playing his violin for him. But I was wondering why Magnus didn’t come to say goodbye?? Was it because he was waiting for Tessa to come to him?? I loved reading the development of their friendship. Sherrie

Magnus really hates being there when a mortal he cares about dies. He does talk about being with his first girlfriend while she died and I think he will do it in some circumstances, but I also think he would have considered this an event for family only. He would have come when Will was sick, and then he would have gone back to Paris. I don’t think he would have known for sure Tessa was going to come, but he would have known she might.

I think there might be a story, really, in the last time Magnus saw Will, perhaps sat with him through the watches of the night, the last time they talked. 

the-flowers-are-blooming-love said: Hi Cassandra! Like most asks you probably get I wanna say that you are an amazing author and your books really have had an amazing effect on so many people. I have loved reading all your posts about Tessa and Will and Jem, your reasoning to it all makes a lot of sense and is easy to understand. I was just curious to know if Tessa ever felt like she would have to distance herself from one of the boys and just because when you are in that kind of situation it might be painful for Will and Jem.

She did distance herself from Will. Tessa talking about Will:

Months, she thought. Months since they had been alone together for more than a moment. They’d had only accidental encounters in hallways, in the courtyard, awkwardly exchanged pleasantries. She had missed his jokes, the books he had lent her, the flashes of laughter in his gaze.  


For months they had avoided each other, had barely spoken.  

All that is on purpose — Tessa is avoiding Will to try to make it easier on him and to make it absolutely clear she isn’t dithering between Jem and Will. She’s made her choice. She’s given Will no encouragement. She believes she has to do this in order to free him to love someone else.

Perhaps it did depend on the book, she thought. But in this, the book of her life, the way of dishonor was only unkindness. Even if she had hurt Will in the drawing room, over time as his feelings for her faded, he would someday thank her for keeping him free. She believed that.” — Clockwork Princess.

Clockwork Princess is the best book I ever read mainly because of the of the way you ended it. It was the saddest and happiest ending ever. So I was wondering is COHF going to have the same kind of ending? — weleylaworld

Well, hopefully, by now, you know! :) I wrote a bit about loss and sadness and genres when I wrote about death in CoHF. While the Clockwork series takes place in the same world as TMI, it’s historical, which has somewhat different genre issues. While you can always write a fun, happy historical, sometimes you feel like you need to grapple with the fact that just about everyone you’re writing about, in today’s world, is dead. I think there’s an elegiac feeling about Clockwork Princess, a sense of a sorrow that is about facing mortality and death. By contrast the loss that is in City of Heavenly Fire is more specific to the people involved in the story and their dangerous situation. 

I hope that makes sense. These are just my thoughts about why I wrote things the way I did; hopefully they’re interesting but if you have a different reading that’s cool too.


"Cassie, as a huge fan, I want to thank you for writing such magnificent books. And…. here’s my question! I read your post in which you explain why Tessa’s relationship with Jem was more than friendship and I’m fascinated by the way you explained and pointed out things so as to make clear that they were more than friends. I was wondering if you could do the same with Will&Tessa. All characters show us they’re thoughts and therefore, we can deduce what they’re feeling but I’m sure there’s something you can add, just like you did with Jem and Tessa :) Daniela."

Hi, Daniela! The thing is, I don’t really get questions from people who think Will and Tessa were just friends. The opposite side of the argument (taken to an extreme) seems to be that Tessa and Will only felt lust for each other, not Love.

I think probably obviously that’s not what I was thinking when I wrote it. But shipping has a lot to do with personal preferences about kinds of relationships and kinds of personalities. Do I think Tessa and Will loved each other? Yes: I don’t think you’re willing to give your life for someone you just lust for (Will, Clockwork Prince), nor do you burn your hand with a poker because the emotional pain of someone you just lust for hurts you so much (Tessa, Clockwork Prince.) I think the fact that after Jem left, Tessa and Will didn’t touch each other for months while they dealt with the grief of his going, and sincerely tried to build the foundations of a solid emotional relationship with each other, speaks volumes in itself. And of course a marriage of fifty-odd years, in which one person grew older and one continued to look twenty, in which there was never a failure of passion or commitment, speaks to a deep love indeed.

The problem with the Lust narrative isn’t in thinking that Jem and Tessa have a deeper connection — that’s normal; we all react to fictional relationships in ways that reflect what we prioritize or prefer in life — the problem is that it sometimes winds up in blaming Tessa and slut-shaming her, which I have to admit, does bother me. So, I’ll share with you a brief clip from a post from a professed Jem fan (though God knows I love my Jem fans and would never tar them all with this brush, not even close) about Tessa herself. The link to the post was sent to me by a very upset fan, and I think it’s better if I don’t mention their name or the name of the poster. But here it is. Trigger warnings for rape culture, calling women bitches, misogyny.

Post: “Good lord, I knew she [Tessa] had no fuck to give for Jem, she only wanted to bang Will, but jesus christ, have some empathy, respect… Boys were doing everything for this bitch, got hurt, one finally died for her and because of her, all she could do was demand, put people in trouble and act out and never appreciate neither feel bad, and she did so much bad she was not sorry for, she was so fucking selfish and wanted to get the best out of it for her and all she could do was play them, disrespect them as people, and their lives, and describe their looks whether they were dying or not and care about nothing else but her own good. 

I wish someone bought her [Tessa] a dildo because her hormones obviously made her incapable of sorting out her priorities. And it killed Jem.”

Wow. Just, I mean, WOW.

In other words: Tessa being a woman, specifically a woman capable of sex, killed Jem.


Well, I’m not exactly sure. She didn’t sneak into his room at night and smother him with her thighs. He was dying when Tessa arrived. There was no cure for his illness. There is absolutely nothing Tessa could have done to keep him alive — and remember, she was the one pushing to find a cure, not Will. If it wasn’t for Tessa, Jem would never have chosen Silent Brotherhood, he never would have lived to be Brother Zachariah, he never would have been cured, and he would not be alive and happy today.

Boys were doing everything for this bitch, got hurt, one finally died for her”

I’m seriously curious which one died for Tessa since Will died of old age and Jem’s still alive. In fact, he’s 135 years old. The thing is, Tessa saved Jem’s life. She saved Will’s, too. It takes an enormous effort of deliberate, willfull misogyny to miss that.

POST: “ all she could do was demand, put people in trouble and act out and never appreciate neither feel bad”

 From the books:

“I’m sorry,” Tessa said. She couldn’t count the number of times she’d told him she was sorry over the past hours. (Clockwork Princess)

“You saved my life at the tea warehouse, and I am grateful, Will.” (Clockwork Prince.)

“Oh, Will. This is all my fault. Jem threw away his life for me. If he had taken the drug more sparingly—if he had allowed himself to rest and be ill instead of pretending good health for my sake—”  (Clockwork Princess)

She shook her head. “How can you bear to have me near you?” she said in despair. “I took your parabatai from you. And now we will both die here. Because of me.” (Clockwork Princess)

Tessa, actually, often feels bad for things that are not her fault: so do Will and Jem, but when they do it, it’s because they are poor sweet babies, when Tessa does it, it’s because — yeah! It IS her fault! You can’t win for losing when you’re a lady. Of course Jem taking all his yin fen at once isn’t her fault: she didn’t even know about it. Obviously Tessa feels bad often, is eaten up with guilt often, but unfortunately no woman can ever feel bad enough about herself to be satisfactory. Society as a whole tells women they must hate themselves and each other, and this sort of thing is the result.

Thinking Tessa killed Jem with her lady parts as opposed to what she actually did do, which is save and prolong his life, requires an absolute dedication to misogyny and the belief that women are significant and important only in how they treat the men in the story. If they make them happy constantly, the women are okay. If they ever seem to be making them unhappy, if a man ever does anything stupid or life-threatening because of a woman even if she doesn’t know about it, if he’s unhappy even if she couldn’t prevent it, if she sleeps with someone else even though she thought he was dead and he couldn’t give less of a damn anyway, if she doesn’t prioritize the imaginary pain of a dead man over what she needs for her own survival and mental health, she’s a bitch who needs to die. If she observes with surprise and no lust that a man is naked because she’s a Victorian girl and she’s shocked to be in the same room with a naked man, she’s a whore. And if she wants to have a consensual pleasant sexual experience before a lifetime of being raped (by the actual villain of the books — his name is Mortmain, by the way, and he’s the one who actually makes everyone unhappy) she’s not just a whore, she’s a murdering whore.

It’s the mentality at the heart of rape culture: that women are vending machines, and if you shove a few coins of attention or affection into them, they better respond with sex and obedience or they’re … broken.

Ship wars brew easily and it’s easy to get into the “If Jessa gets a thing, Wessa gets a thing” mentality. I decided to go a different way and present you with something I think both Wessa and Jessa and even Heronstairs shippers can agree on: this kind of thinking? Is revolting.

Because he is such an absolute boss >w<It’s just another doodle that I’ve been having fun with experimenting with the backgrounds and shizzI love the scene in TID when the bromance is back: Will: ‘Nice stick.’Zachariah: ‘It’s a staff.’Will: ‘It’s a stick.’Man I couldn’t believe how much I screamed when I read that book…


Because he is such an absolute boss >w<

It’s just another doodle that I’ve been having fun with experimenting with the backgrounds and shizz

I love the scene in TID when the bromance is back: 

Will: ‘Nice stick.’
Zachariah: ‘It’s a staff.’
Will: ‘It’s a stick.’

Man I couldn’t believe how much I screamed when I read that book…


“@GeorgiaBellXx: “Why don’t the herondales like ducks?”

For those who haven’t read it: WHY WILL HATES DUCKS.

Takes place at the beginning of Chapter Nine of Clockwork Angel, “The Conclave”

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