Cassandra Clare’s Lord of Shadows will be published in three weeks so today we’re kicking off a new feature: The Road to Lord of Shadows.
Every week we are going to focus on a different topic that is related to the book and we are going finish with our review of Lord of Shadows.
The first topic that we want to talk about is Diana Wrayburn. Diana is a very mysterious character and we do have a pretty big hunch why she is so secretive. I wrote an analysis of her back in November 2015 after I first read Lady Midnight and to this day I am convinced that Diana is so secretive because she is the transgender character that Cassie said she was going to introduce in The Dark Artifices:
I do have a trans* character planned for TDA. Right now I’m working on shaping her and figuring out what makes her tick and what her goals and desires are, so I feel like I should keep my mouth shut until she’s more finalized. But she is a badass. 🙂
So we know that the trans* character is a woman and we also know that
Merriam-Webster’s definition of transgender:
person whose gender identity differs from the sex the person had or was identified as having at birth
Let’s have a look at Diana Wrayburn now:
We first meet Diana in City of Heavenly Fire. She is running her father’s weapons shop called Diana’s Arrow in Alicante, Idris. After the war against Sebastian is won, Diana decides to become the Blackthorn children’s new tutor (the old one – Katerina – died during Sebastian’s attack) and she moves to Los Angeles.
Five years later and Diana is still living in LA to tutor the Blackthorn children and Emma. Here are some quotes that support my theory:
- “I had someone when I was younger who helped me become who I really am.” and “The Wrayburns had been a famous Shadowhunter family for generations, but Diana was the last. She never talked about her childhood, her family. It was as if had started when she’d taken over her father’s weapons shop in Alicante.” p. 52
I’ve highlighted the most important bits in these two quotes.
Like the definition above said, transgender people identify with a different sex and having someone who supports you unconditionally and accepts who you really are is very important.
Maybe Diana never talked about her childhood because she was born a boy and if she talked about her previous life, someone would put two and two together.
- Julian to Diana: “Keeping secrets is all you ever do.” (p. 245)
We know that a lot of LGBTQ people unfortunately have to keep secrets because of prejudices and phobias so this could explain why Diana is so secretive and didn’t tell anyone that she is trans*.
- Diana is good friends with Catarina Loss (p. 391) and she cannot tell the Blackthorns the reason why she knows Catarina.
Catarina is a nurse for mundanes (p. 579) and she has lived for a long time so she has to be familiar with LGBTQ* people. Surely she could have been the one to help Diana with hormonal treatments and the gender-affirming surgery.
- Diana turned down running the LA Institute, “She said it was impossible.” (p. 484) and Malcolm to Diana: “You have known the injustice and intolerance of the Clave.” (p. 578)
We know how intolerant and prejudiced the Clave is so I’m sure they wouldn’t approve of a trans* Shadowhunter running such an important Institute.
More information from A Notable History of Shadowhunters & Denizens of Downworld:
- Diana “spent many years in Thailand” and “travelled Southeast Asia extensively”
Thailand is known for its transgender community and from what I’ve read and watched online, it seems that the community is also more open than others. Furthermore, Thailand
is at the forefront of the growing practice of transgender surgery, capitalizing on decades of know-how, low-cost health care, and a ready supply of surgeons trained to perform the male-to-female procedures.
This is why I think it’s likely that Diana lived there for several years to transition from a man to a woman. She took hormones, given to her by Catarina, and she might have had gender-affirming surgery.
The other information that struck me was
- Ivy = “Endurance and Faith”
I think that the plant and Diana’s koi tattoo are significant. So I did a Google search to find out what a koi symbolises and quickly found some really important information:
- “Many of the attributes of the koi symbolize several lessons and even trials individuals often encounter in life.”
Hiding who you really identify with, belonging to a gender minority in a very cis community or transitioning from man to woman (or vice versa) can be seen as a “trial”.
- “characteristic(s) associated with the koi: Perseverance”
Transitioning can take years so transgender people need to have a lot of perseverance (or endurance) until they are finally the person they truly identify with.
- “Koi often symbolizes a person’s aspirations to improve themselves. A Koi tattoo is often chosen by those that want to showcase their personal strength or perseverance through difficult situations.”
What do you think of my theory? Do you agree and what are YOUR Lord of Shadows theories? Sound off in the comments or tweet us @TMI_Source.
(Disclaimer: I tried to use the correct words/terms but if you notice something amiss or if I unintentionally offended anyone, please let me know so that I can edit this article.)
Come back next week to read our thoughts on Julian and Emma’s special parabatai bond.