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Around the Theory Mill : The Magister

The last “Around the Theory Mill” that I wrote was all about Brother Zachariah, and there were some interesting points that many of our readers brought up. It seemed like we were split with a little bit of a lean towards Jem being the “true identity” of Brother Zachariah. One commenter pointed out that the Name “Jeremiah has a derivative of Jem. Other commenter brought up that Brother Zachariah could possibly be Stephen Herondale. Some interesting thoughts to take in as we quickly approach the CLOCKWORK PRINCESS. The next topic is not as discussed but just as important in the outcome.  “Who is the Magister?”  The Magister is a very complex character. Since the beginning of THE INFERNAL DEVICES the Magister has been a mystery to every character. We know that in CLOCKWORK ANGEL the Magister was revealed as Axel Mortmain, but with the many twists and turns that have happened already in the series, could it be possible that we have been duped again? Many different views on this subject have been shared. We know that the Magister wants Tessa. We know that the Magister played a hand in her birth or the conceiving at very least, and we know that Magister is very secretive about their identity. So are you convinced that Axel Mortmain is truly the Magister? If not Mortmain, then who?

A while back there was a theory floating around claiming that it could possibly be, of all people, Jem Carstairs. Granted in doing my homework for this particular theory I could only dig up one major point and that is that the Magister wanted to marry Tessa and Jem also wants to marry Tessa. Personally, I don’t think there is any way that Jem could possibly be the Magister but you could have a better back up to this theory. Tell us why you think Jem is the Magister in the comments!

Others believe that the Magister could me Magnus Bane. Now this theory I could almost wrap my brain around. The Magister would have to be someone that could live a long time. As Axel Mortmain and Magnus fit that description it makes sense. What I thought was interesting is that someone brought up “The Pandemonium Club” that is mentioned several times in THE INFERNAL DEVICES. And we know that the club does not end with the series. The Pandemonium Club is where we first meet Clary, Simon, Jace, Alec and Izzy. Could it be that the original founder of the Pandemonium Club is still at its head? And if so, is that person Magnus?

There are so many others that we could point fingers at but the one thing that we have all come to know with being a fan of Cassandra Clare’s work is expect the unexpected. I personally believe that a candidate for the Magister that fits in that category is, Henry Branwell. Henry is one of the most overlooked characters but has some amazing similarities to Mortmain. They both are interested in clockwork. They both are (at least at first) seen as weak, and they are both from Yorkshire. It could be that Henry is the Magister, it could be that he is in league and it could be that we are grasping at straws but this is why we theorize, to keep it fresh in our minds.

So who do you think the Magister is? Do you believe that Mortmain is the real Magister or could it be someone that we haven’t mentioned? Leave your thoughts and comments below and we will let you know the result of everyone’s thought on our next “Around the Theory Mill” article.

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I'm Megan. I am extremely sarcastic and I like making other people smile.

42 Comments on Around the Theory Mill : The Magister

  1. I don’t think it could be Jem… I mean, really?! Our sweet and caring Jem?! Oh well, expect the unexpected! so, maybe it could be Henry… :O

    • I dont think it’s Jem either. Neither do I believe Jem is Jeremiah. In Clockwork Prince a few things were repeated. Will explains to Tessa that the bond between parabiti’s are so strong that where one is buried so is the other. Tessa keeps asking questions about parabiti bonds, and in the end she despairs over tearing Will and Jem apart. I think that Will and Jem will both die in the end. Magnus says in MI: “I knew Parabiti so close they were nearly the same.” Or something like that. So I think Jem and Will both die, together. Remember Jems belief in reincarnation. Maybe they return to Tessa in her immortal life?

      • Yeah, I agree. I think that Jem isn’t Jeremiah… but I do think that he could be Gabriel or Gideon… I mean there might be some plot twist where Will saves one of their lives or even Sophie’s, rendering Gideon forever in his debt. And whilst I do think that “The Jem-Being-The-Magister” theory is a little far-fetched – and frankly heart breaking- I do think it’s one to consider, also the one about Henry is one I hadn’t considered.

    • I HATE JEM!!!!!! I HOPE HE’S THE MAGISTER!!!!!!!!!

      • OK, I would really appreciate it if you could explain why you hate Jem, because frankly I have no idea how anyone could hate him. Also, I find it rather offensive actually. Thank you. (btw, if your answer is because he is marrying Tessa, then I rather don”t want to hear it)

      • Sheila (the thong) Barbarino (Rita) // December 1, 2012 at 8:12 PM //

        @defendant I hate him for various reasons;

        1. He betrayed Will. He obviously saw the way Will looked at Tessa then he just had to go get with her. He betrayed his own parabatai-no his own brother! How could he do that to his own brother! Like Nate and Tessa!

        2. He is soooooo annoying!!! He’s like mah mah mah mah mah mah mah mah. I am so ugly (which he is) I can do nothing. Mah mah mah mah.

        3. He cannot protect Tessa and Will can.

        4. I always like the bad boy. Like how I hated Peeta because he was so sweet, I loved Gale and Cato.

        5. He acts like he is so innocent.

        6. I always like guys like Jace and Will, who are so arrogant, an amazing fighter and funny. He is neither. He is just the decent Shadowhunter.


        Those are 6 of my 1,000,000 reasons why I HATE James Carstairs.

      • Miss, your argument is weak, uneloquent, and has several irrelevant points. Let me elaborate.
        1. He never betrayed Will. They loved the same girl, that is all. He did see how Will looked at her for two weeks–scornfully. He also saw how Will treated her–like trash. When Will asked her to have a purely sexual relationship, well, whatever his reason, it was way out of line. Jem had no reason to think that Will liked Tessa.
        2. Mah is not a word. Jem never said this, nor can I imagine him saying this. This point is ill-worded, you cannot possibly expect anyone to take this seriously.
        3. That is low. But let’s be honest. Will needs time to get his act together. He is not ready to date. Not yet. Now tell me this, how can Will protect Tessa if he can’t even think straight? He has to heal from five years of living a lie first.
        5. Is Will really the ‘bad boy’? Actually, Clare stated that Jem would technically be the bad boy.
        6. You like guys who are arrogant? People like that tick me off to the extreme. Second, Clare said that Jem and Will are equals in their shadowhunter skills.

      • mina blak // December 3, 2012 at 1:54 AM //

        To Hanna,
        Thank you so much for answering this immature, rude person. When I read Sheila’s comment I felt compelled to confront her over the sheer immaturity of her argument, but you have saved me the hassle. I agree with everything you said 🙂

      • Hey guys Jem and Will are both great characters and it is perfectly normal to pick a side. However when hateful comments are made toward people commenting and not to fictional characters that is where we have to step in and remind everyone that we have a strict non-hate policy here at TMI Source. Please refrain from calling names or degrading individuals…

        Again banter and debates we love as long as they are respectful towards one another any hateful comments will be deleted!

  2. nevertrustaduck // November 25, 2012 at 11:19 AM // Reply

    I hope that it isn’t Jem. You might be right about Henry… That would be an epic twist, but I don’t think so. Remember is CP when he was really worried about Charlotte? I don’t think he could put her in danger like that. And I thought that Cassie said the two Pandemoniums had nothing to do with each other? I might be wrong, but I think I saw that in the FAQs on her site.

    • I always thought that both pandemonium clubs were separate as well. I figured that the modern one was named after the nineteenth century one because of the stories and the folklore that would have emerged and spread within the shadowhunter and downworld in response to what happened in the Infernal Devices. Kinda in the same way that Jace and Clary’s story impacts on the Dark Artifices years later. But I don’t know maybe they are the same thing, it wouldn’t be the first time we all got it wrong, when it comes to Cassie anything can happen!

    • Exactly. If Henry is Mortmain then Im a monkey’s uncle. Mortmain wants to marry Tessa. How awkward would that be if a pregnant Charolette finds out Henry’s pining away after Tessa.

  3. I Knew Cassie was not going to reveal who “The Magister” in the first book, than again look at Clary’s brother Sebastian in City of Glass who was the nice guy?

  4. I was amazed to read those theories about Jem, Magnus or Henry, who are such important and well liked characters, being called the Magister, but I was even more surprised to find that my brain wasn’t rejecting the possibility either.

    As for Magnus, I don’t think he could ever be the Magister. In The Mortal Instruments Saga, he is a powerful and resourceful warlock who constantly does business with the Clave. If Magnus was the Magister, do you think the Clave would ever allow him to live?

    As for Henry: I wouldn’t say the theory is completely bogus, but I do have some serious issues with it. It’s true that he is a very “quiet” character, but we do see a little romantic interaction between him and Charlotte, and I don’t think anyone who shows that kind of humanity could be the magister. No, Henry is just too innocent to be the Magister.

    As for Jem: that I could see, but Cassandra never actually gave us any clue of that. Jem is always a gentleman and a lovely person, I honestly don’t think he is hiding anything.

    I think Mortmain truly is the Magister. The question is not “Who is the Magister?” but rather “Who is Mortmain?”


    • We still have no idea what Mortmains real name is or why he was adopted by the Shades. They where warlocks that reanimated dead bodies and created atomotons(or however you spell that.) Makes you wonder about Starkweathers dead granddaughter; the one who resembled Tessa in the old oil painting.

      • That’s a good point, and maybe, if Mortmain is the Magister, then maybe it’s because he’s the same as her and he feels it’s their job to stick together and create more like them. As for the girl in the painting…. Well, lets just say, I don’t trust Starkweather at all.

    • I think you’re right about Magnus. Remember in Magnus’s vow when Magnus was looking at that photo of Jem, Tessa, Jessamine, Will, Charlotte, Henry etc…? Nothing EVER implied that he was the Magister. He only complimented them-unless you include the part where he said the Shadowhunters break peoples hearts. Also, I wold think Magnus would be dead by now if he was the Magister. I also think that Woosley Scott could be the Magister.

  5. If Jem was the Magister how would he have been a part of her birth, at age 2?
    We know he’s not immortal because he’s grown up with Will and the rest of the Institute.
    I don’t know but I guess Mortmain may not be the Magister.

  6. What if it’s truly Tessa’s father? He could have faked his death… And Mortmain’s just an accomplice….

  7. Jem My Darling // November 25, 2012 at 4:23 PM // Reply

    It really isn’t a question of who the Magister is–that’s already been answered, and I truly believe that it is Axel Mortmain. It’s really a question of who Mortmain really is. Not in the sense that he has an alter ego or whatever theories that started brewing in your silly little heads when you read that, but more of his character background. Why is he interested in Tessa? Why did he create the clockwork beast, if you will at all. That’s the real question. This is just my opinion, but for all the back story that Cassie has already given him, I don’t believe that she would just throw all of the to the wayside and reveal that the Magister is actually Jem or whoever you might think it is.

    • I have to agree, I believe that Mortmain is the Magister. However, i think I can answer your other two questions… theoretically of course.
      Why is he interested in Tessa? He wants her powers for his own. In one of the books, it discussed the implications of their union, and how if done using magic, he could use the wedding and the magic to essentially bind her to him. This would give him her abilities.
      Why did he create the clockwork people? Because he needed to get into the institute, and also, a lot of the Shadowhunter’s runes and magic are designed to work against demons and downworlders, not machines. The clockwork creatures are just more effective, and Mortman has complete control over them.
      My question though, is really more like… What is Tessa? and What are her powers? There has to be more to it than Cassandra is letting on.

  8. You all forget Starkweather, the elderly Yorkshire man who runs the institue there. He had a strange painting of his granddaughter with storm gray eyes who died when they tried to mark her with runes. She turned into a foresaken and it ripped the family apart. Now the the little girls mother lives in Idris. Remember when Starweather see’s Tessa? He gets oddly nervous. Remember when he told them where Mortmains/The Shades old house was, and Cecily Herondale just happened to live there with a bunch of automotons? I think, unwittingly or not, she’s in on it. Think about it, she just happens to turn up, after Will’s discovered his astranged families whereabouts. Too weird for me to swallow as a coincedence. We know how bitter Cecily must be toward Will for leaving her alone with 2 grieving, unstable, parents. I think Will’s being played. Dint forget about when Starkweather just happening to show up at the last conclave meeting in London, after Tessa changed into him and found his memories blurred and confusing, like someone messed with them. She thought he was senial, but I dont buy it. Mortmain blurred Jesamines memories too remember.

    Hmm… Starkweather is either Mortmain or he’s being controlled by him. It has something to do with the Yorkshire institue.

  9. I think it could be Consul Wayland, maybe. Starkweather. Maybe even Edmund Herondale or another Herondale.

  10. What if the Magister isn’t even a man? why is Cecily living in a house filled with Clockwork creatures? This question wouldn’t come up if Axel who is just a mundane be this person, I think he is another decoy like Dequincey, and remember in City of Glass when Alec, Clary and Jace break Simon and Hodge out of the Gard how Alec explained Hodge always like to pretend he was someone else. Who is to say his ancestor didn’t do the same? Although we have yet to met a Morgenstern?

  11. Honestly, I think that some of the theories you are starting to talk about are too far-fetched… But I’ll wait and see, for sure. I’m particularly interested in “reading” Will’s reaction to his sister.

  12. This might sound horrible but i kind of hope the magister is Jem because I can’t really see Will ever being happy again without kind Jem or Tessa. It would be so mucheasier on all of us if he was just evil. Not as much heartache as when Jem is freaking amazing and Will is also amazing.

    • As nice as that may sound, it”s improbable. Jem is not particularly secretive, and he grew up around the institute. I just can”t rap my brain around that possibility.

      • Sheila (the thong) Barbarino (Rita) // December 1, 2012 at 7:47 PM //

        Jessamine grew up around the Institute, too. She was a spy for Nate.

    • Well, you can’t just say “it would be easier on *all of us if Jem was evil” because you’re not speaking on behalf of everyone! You can speak for yourself only. You certainly can’t speak for me because I would find Jem being evil really hard! I love Jem and I believe him to be the right one for Tessa. You’re clearly a Will/Tessa shipper but that doesn’t mean that everybody else is too.

  13. We know the Magister harbors resentment against the shadowhunters, so I don’t think it’s Henry, Jem or Starkweather. Not to mention the fact that his plan goes back at least 17 years, a one year old Jem or a six year old Henry? I don’t think so.
    And we’ve had chapters from Magnus’s perspective, he doesn’t seem to hate shadowhunters. Mortmain is the only one who really fits.

  14. I personally like the theory about Henry being the Magister. For example, if Charolette is the only daughter of the Fairchild legacy, how does the name continue? It would only make sense if Henry becomes disgraced because even if he dies Charolette would still keep the Branwell name. But if the name Branwell is erased from shadowhunter history then she would return to her maiden name. Also Henry might not even be “Henry” but a shape changer posing as him, though Henry is still blamed, which would explain the having a hand in Tessa’s birth. This is still stretching it a bit so im content to just wait until March. Just had to add to the rumor mill 😄

    • But Henry is 23! Tessa is 16, add the planning time and gestation period (lets say 1 year to be safe)? Henry is then left at age five. Charlotte has seen him age, and has met his parents.

      • Writergirl98 // November 27, 2012 at 10:49 PM //

        That’s why I said that he could be a shape shifter. The magister thing only just recently surfaced so Henry could’ve been ‘replaced’ fairly recently

  15. i love jem but will and tessa have to end together
    ……so he has to be the magister!!!!!!!!!!

  16. i have feeling that charlotte goes back to her original name later onwards – fairchild instead of her husbands last name which is branwell. This explains why the fairchild name lives on – clary’s mum is jocelyn fairchild. Maybe this happens because something happens to henry afterwards thats bad, causing charlotte to resume her original surname – just a guess but i really like henry!!

    • Sheila (the thong) Barbarino (Rita) // December 1, 2012 at 8:19 PM // Reply

      There always are Charlottes cousins, aunts and uncles that are Fairchild’s so she is not the only Fairchild left.

  17. Jem can’t be the Magister. Nate and Mortmain as well as Jessamine and Benedict openly admitted to Mortmain being the Magister. Also, Jem has an alibi. He was with Will when the Magister attacked.

    • sheilathethongbarbarino // December 8, 2012 at 10:24 AM // Reply

      That’s the whole point! They don’t want anyone to know who the real Magister is. So they protect Jem.

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