Cassandra Clare spoiled her fans on Monday and Tuesday with new snippets and she’s continuing the ‘trend’ today with a short snippet from The Last Hours. The snippet features Lucie Herondale and Thomas Lightwood and it was part of another tumblr Q&A:
Apprehension stole across Thomas’s face. “Lucie, you must not challenge Grace to a duel.”
“We shall see where the night takes us,” Lucie declared.
“Oh good,” said Thomas. “I see you intend to Herondale to the fullest.”
Haha, you go, Lucie.
We love that you can also use Herondale as a verb now – someone please let Meriam-Webster know 😉
Over the past two weeks Cassie also answered lots of The Last Hours questions, which we have gathered below (newest to oldest). In these tumblr posts, Cassie addresses why she isn’t sharing some characters’ sexuality, how the characters from The Infernal Devices are doing and a lot more information:
Can you say anything about the relationship Lucie has with Matthew, Thomas, and Christopher? It seems like they would be friendly, since Cordelia wasn’t in London pre-series.
C: They are all very friendly! The boys are constantly hanging about the house: if Lucie finds one of them sleeping on the hearthrug she’ll just step over them on her way to her writing desk. In some ways, Lucie treats them all as her brothers, and tells them off and loves them and worries for them and involves them in her madcap schemes. Lucie is the closest to Thomas, since Christopher is somewhat hard to get a grasp on and Lucie can tell Matthew is keeping something back from her. Lucie and Thomas get each other: they do lessons together, and Lucie and Thomas are both reeeeally stubborn.
crimzielightwood: I was wondering if we will get anything regarding Barbara and Eugenia? We know a lot about Thomas, Christopher, Anna, James, Matthew, ect…. (I don’t know why but I had always hoped Charles and Barbara would have a thing…)
C: There was a Barbara snippet pretty recently you may enjoy — check the TLH tag on my tumblr. 😉 Barbara and Eugenia aren’t major characters, as they aren’t part of the main TLH gang: they consider themselves very grown-up ladies. Barbara’s the same age (23) that Charlotte was in TID, and Charlotte was married, running an Institute, herding teens and all sorts. They’re Thomas’s big sisters, and they think Thomas is a perfect baby, and Thomas’s friends are a year younger than he is, so Barbara and Eugenia are both like “you are all tiny rascals! You are barely born and you are so much trouble!” They’re fond of them, to an extent, but they worry Thomas is being led astray.
Barbara’s affections are otherwise engaged when we start the book… but who knows what her ultimate fate may be. ;P A romantic entanglement of Eugenia’s may surprise you! Barbara and Eugenia both like Charles (whether romantically or otherwise), for what it’s worth–they think he is a fine sensible man and wish the wild foursome would listen to him.
princekierz: Let’s suppose that one ships Alastair and Charles, how happy that one would be with their relationship in TLH in a scale from 1 to 10?
C: (I see crimzielightwood and princekierz are going to fight! Who will win Charles Fairchild’s heart… Charles is engaged when TLH opens, though not to Barbara or Alastair, but the ultimate fate of every TLH character is a mystery.) I have not disclosed the sexuality of most of the TLH characters: we are going to have more LGBTQ representation and relationships in the books, but between who, I will not say: I think it’s more fun to find out in the story, and also that it is often not good to know things before the characters themselves do.
I see you, cunning spoiler hunter. Is 1 they distantly nod to each other from across a room, and 10 they roll in a torrid embrace beneath a piano? In any case, any number would clearly be a spoiler, and I’m not giving anything away — so I really couldn’t say whether you’ll be happy or not. Alastair certainly likes Charles (whether romantically or otherwise…), and that is pretty impressive going on Charles’s part, since Alastair likes exactly four (4) people in the world. Alastair, Barbara, Eugenia, the Clave generally, they all like Charles—he is popular. Politicians, they have to be able to win hearts and minds! (x)
I love all your recent Q&As, especially the ones about TLH, and although Will, Tessa and the others are no longer the main characters, how are they doing? How is married life treating Charlotte & Henry, Will & Tessa, Cecily & Gabriel, Sophie & Gideon? Do they still get along? Do Tessa, Charlotte and Sophie have time to chat over tea and scones? Is there anything you could tell us about them?
C: I’m glad you are liking the TLH questions, I’m always happy writing them! I am trying to be careful about the TID gang, because there are a lot of characters with a lot of parents on the board for TLH, and I don’t love the TLH gang any less and want to centralize the TLH gang in their story – the same way I try to be careful that Jace and Clary et al never take over the story of the TDA gang! Everybody still gets along–or rather, everybody who ever got along still gets along! Will and Gabriel still have a (by now mellowed!) frenemies thing going on, as in Nothing But Shadows when Will steals Gabriel’s carriage—complicated by the fact Gabriel is especially fond of Will’s son James, and Will is rather like Gabriel’s daughter Anna! Will especially is always proclaiming his love for Tessa, and is only frustrated when he cannot protect Tessa and his kids when others look askance at them—Tessa chose him, and the Shadowhunter way of life, and is trying to run the Institute with Will, even though there are Shadowhunters who will never accept her. People are always careful to be polite in Will’s presence, though, as Will is not a patient man.
Charlotte’s more distant from the others by necessity, because she’s the Consul and frequently has to be in Idris while Will and Tessa have to be in London, but she still cares and is looking out for everyone. We will see a good bit more of Charlotte and Henry’s relationship, and their hopes for the future, in Cast Long Shadows—which is partly told from Matthew’s PoV, where he has his own private thoughts on his parents and his brother—we already know he’s passionately devoted to Henry. Gideon and Charlotte are actually now very close, because the Clave—as you might imagine—-are not terribly enlightened about having a female Consul, and unfair though it is sometimes having a male voice amplify Charlotte’s is helpful.
Gideon—who is much more diplomatic than hot-tempered Will or Gabriel, or deeply absent-minded Henry—is well liked by everyone in the Clave, though people do still whisper about his father. Benedict’s crimes meant that his family line were punished as he could not be, and his heirs Gideon and Gabriel were disinherited—in fact Tatiana got the lot, as she was technically a Blackthorn. Gideon and Gabriel both feel the disgrace keenly, and they are getting by on their Clave salaries, but they wish they could give Sophie and Cecily and their kids the luxury they grew up in, and it pains them to know they can’t. Still, people know Gideon did not go along with Benedict’s crimes for a minute, and his kids are the best-behaved of the new generation—Barbara’s making a good marriage, and Thomas is the shy quiet one in his wild friends’ group. Gideon always does his best for Charlotte, and is deeply loyal to her, and together as a diplomat and governor team they try to smooth the paths of those they love, but they don’t always succeed. (x)
I was wondering how does Alastair dye his hair since chemical hair dye was created in 1907 and The Last Hours takes place in 1903? Did he use some kind of fake dye or?
C: Hi there!
I see you have been doing research. 😉
It is true that the first synthetic hair dye was made commercially available in 1907, but people have been dyeing their hair for thousands of years before that.
About two thousand years ago during the Roman Empire ladies of, er, negotiable virtue were required to have yellow hair to indicate their profession: some wore wigs, but others used mixtures of burnt plants and nuts to achieve the look. Saxon armies at the same time were dyeing their hair to indicate their ranks in the military.
Synthetic hair dye was actually invented in 1863–it was mauve and named “mauveine”, and it was accidentally discovered while trying to find a cure for malaria! It did take forty years to be available in shops, but people were availing of it whenever they could beforehand, as they’d been availing themselves of earlier hair dyes for centuries.
(”Her hair has turned quite gold from grief” a character in the play The Importance of Being Earnest says snarkily of a widow she knows: The Importance of Being Earnest, as Matthew Fairchild would earnestly inform everyone he could, is a play by Oscar Wilde first performed in 1895.)
So mundanes were definitely dyeing their hair, but there’s also the fact that Alastair is a Shadowhunter. He’s got access to the Shadow Market and faerie potions… there’s actually more incentive for Alastair to dye his hair in 1903, since more people would read it as natural, and him as white, than if he did so today. People were pretty cruel to him at Shadowhunter Academy for various reasons — his parents are both regarded with suspicion among the Nephilim, but being half Persian didn’t help, as being different in any way can make one a target, especially as the Academy was far more predominantly western and male than it is now. This doesn’t, of course, excuse Alastair being cruel to James in his turn: it’s a terrible toxic cycle of cruelty. But Alastair using hair dye, which was so much less common than it is today, and to turn his hair such a drastically different color (red would have been much easier and looked more natural!), was a way I was very conscious of to display his own terribly complicated feelings of shame and self-loathing. Nothing against hair dye—I think it’s fun! However, in this case, Alastair uses it because Alastair wants to be different than he is. But what he perceives as his weaknesses may not be his actual weaknesses, and he certainly is going about being different in entirely the wrong way. (For those curious: Cordelia does not dye her hair. It is naturally a dark red color. Cordelia is proud of her heritage and one hopes Alastair becomes proud in that way too.) (x)
I would like to know a little more about the relationship of Lucie and Jesse in TLH? I could not get rid of the part of “JB + LH” that appears in LOS. I do not think the relationship will be explained much or not as much as I would like 😦 I always love the couples who have less time on the page
C: Hi there!
I think we all feel our favorite characters don’t get enough time on the page or the screen, because they’re our favorites and we want the most for them!
That said, how much I can talk about upcoming characters or situations doesn’t correlate with how much page time they’re going to get: as with choosing PoV, a writer has to choose which mysteries are best left for the reader to unravel on the page.
I’ve said already that I cannot talk as much about Grace as I can about many other TLH characters. Grace’s character, and her character arc, ties in with the larger mystery of the series, and Grace arrives in London near the beginning of TLH as a mysterious stranger to both the reader and almost all the other characters. Only James knows her, and James certainly does not know all of her. Cordelia too arrives near the beginning of TLH–Cordelia and Grace are very much the twin catalysts of change–but Lucie and James have both known Cordelia a long time, and Lucie knows her well from their letters, as Cordelia also knows Lucie’s world. Grace comes in, entirely new to the Enclave in London, and turns the world upside down. And Jesse Blackthorn is Grace’s brother.
James and Lucie, Charles and Matthew, Cordelia and Alastair, Christopher and Anna (and Alexander), Thomas and Eugenia (and Barbara), they were all born in fairly usual ways, and are traditional biological siblings. Some with more demon blood than others. 😉
Grace and Jesse are the most mysterious pair of siblings we have in TLH: they were born far apart under different circumstances to different parents. They have secrets, from each other and all the world. They are not always even on the same plane of existence. Do they love each other? Can either of them love anyone? Is Jesse the most damaged, or is Grace? They grew up in the same house, with the same mother, but at different times. Grace and Jesse are both designedly unknowable–and there’s danger in the unknowable, but I hope allure, too.
There are mysteries about all the characters that I’m not letting out: Matthew’s love life is a secret, Thomas’s love life is a secret, while we know (some!) of what’s going on with James’s love life, and Cordelia’s heart. That’s because we get a lot of information about James and Cordelia’s hearts from the start, and the mystery lies in seeing how their hearts change or don’t, whereas with the others the reveal of what is going on with them is a slower process. At the beginning of the book, I want some characters to feel from the start like familiar friends (who then turn out to have surprising sides… as old friends sometimes do!) and some like mysterious strangers (who we may befriend… but who may be our enemies!). I want my readers’ hearts and minds to change as they move through the story–for instance, I remember after Clockwork Angel, several people wrote to me confidently expecting Jem and Sophie’s love story. Things changed! By the end of even the first book of TLH, you’re going to know a lot more, and I would never want to spoil that journey of discovery for you. I think of these answers given here as packing for you, so you can be ready for the journey.
But I can assure you that Jesse Blackthorn is a major part of the story of TLH.
More than that, Jesse Blackthorn is a mystery, and Lucie Herondale is an inveterate, intrepid mystery solver. I hope you’ll think the journey of discovery you will go on with them is worth the wait. (x)
I was wondering if you could maybe tell us a little something about Matthew and Will’s relationship or give us some insight into my interactions?
C: I’m so glad you like Will and Matthew, who are both very dear to my heart. Will and Matthew have a great relationship–they both love the same people, and have a keen sense of humour! Will is used to all James’s friends trailing in for meals, Matthew often accompanied by his dog, and looks upon them with love as he mumbles “miscreants, quit stealing the toast.” Will adores seeing how much his son and his son’s parabatai love and support each other: it delights him to think both of his kids are going to have that bond, which was so deeply important to him.
Matthew thinks Will’s book about the demon pox is very droll. Matthew also amusedly notes the multitudes with a crush on Will, saying ‘Uh oh, Uncle Will is making the ladies say “Oh, Mr Herondale!” again” while James is like ‘STOP IT… GROSS… STOP IT NOW!’ At the same time, in Casts Long Shadows Thomas points out that Alastair is jealous of James and Will’s relationship, and Matthew can’t altogether understand, because he can’t imagine wanting any father but his own. Matthew calls Gabriel and Will both his uncles, though sometimes he’s sad because James, Thomas and Christopher are all REAL cousins, and he’s not–but Will is definitely his favourite uncle. (x)
I was wondering if you could tell us: what’s tessa and james’ relationship going to be like? And Tessa and lucie’s? I’m really curious about how is Tessa as a mother!
C: We already see a little of how Tessa is as a mother in the short stories about James in the Bane Chronicles and TftSA, but you will definitely see more! I do think Tessa is a great mother, trying to give her kids the love and security she didn’t have… but that means both that Tessa’s kids, loving her, don’t ever want to admit that warlock blood makes their life more difficult, and Tessa goes to great lengths in order to find out information to help her children, but she and Will also has to face the fact that ultimately, no matter how much you love your kids, you can’t protect them from the world. They have to be part of the world.
In Nothing But Shadows, we see James loves his mother a lot, and he stays in the Academy because he doesn’t want to hurt her by coming home and having everyone know that’s because of his demon blood: his passionate desire to shield his mother, as she’s always shielded him, is both a huge motivator for him in The Last Hours and I think a pretty good indication of both how much they love each other, and how much that love could hurt them both–in that each would be more hurt by seeing the other hurt, and I’m afraid there is pain in store for both of them. In Casts Long Shadows, coming in May, we get another little hint of Tessa and Lucie’s relationship, and James tells Matthew a secret regarding his mother… (x)
I was wondering if Will would want Lucie to marry Alastair. I know he’s a Carstairs and thats probably a reason but I don’t think he would pressure her to especially if he sucks. Does he pressure her or forbid her from dating anyone else? Or does he just drop hints or something. I love Will and I know I will love Lucie and the other Last hours characters.
C: Haha, poor Alastair. Matthew Fairchild agrees with you! Nobody really dates in the Edwardian era, though you can court a lady–if a gentleman drops by the house at visiting hours often, asks you to dance a lot, and squires you around on outings, you probably have “an understanding.”. So Will cannot forbid Lucie to date. But of course, we all know and love Will, and Will would never pressure Lucie into anything, or forbid her to do anything–unless he thought she was throwing herself into danger. Certainly if Lucie said unto Will, “Da, I have considered Alastair and I find him to be a pill, I wish to marry this nice Shadowhunter in good standing, I love him”… well then, Will would be happy for her. Will would be less happy if he thought Lucie was making bad choices, and putting herself in jeopardy, or getting herself involved in dark magic. Will loves Jem, so he looks with the generous eye of love on Alastair and Cordelia, willing to believe in their goodness, thrilled that Lucie and Cordelia want to be parabatai. (When Lucie decides she wants to be Cordelia’s parabatai–and we’ll see the moment it happens–she thinks that she has found what her father had.) Will likes the idea of uniting his family with the Carstairs family, because of how much Will loves Jem, but more than anything he wants his children to be safe, happy, and to find real, true love. Will believes love —platonic or romantic — saves and transforms you. He wants nothing less for his kids.
I’m waiting for the last hours since years and I’m so happy you’re giving us details and I can’t wait for matthew’s tale! Will we get to know more about Alastair even through the other characters pov?
C: I’m so happy you guys are interested in TLH! I know you’ve been waiting for it, and I really appreciate your patience and am working hard to make sure it pays off! I really love these characters and am delighted your heart is open to loving them too.
Alastair is a complicated soul! He’s very much at war with himself. (He’s also at war with others.) As we already saw in Nothing But Shadows, he says and does some appalling things. Cordelia loves her brother very much, but she doesn’t really understand him. Sometimes, especially when there are just two siblings, you end up defining yourself against each other. So Charles and Matthew Fairchild are as different as it’s possible for two people to be. James and Lucie Herondale, while alike in a lot of ways, also have sharp differences–James longs for an epic love like his parents had, while Lucie thinks that seems too painful. And Lucie thinks at one point that Alastair and Cordelia are like a cat and a dog, not getting along because they have such essentially different natures and ways of expressing themselves. For instance, Cordelia is a warm-hearted girl, both verbally and physically affectionate, and Alastair is not at all, so Cordelia wonders painfully if her brother loves her. I’d say Alastair’s worst habit is that he doubles down on his bad choices, even though that’s bad for him. Alastair acts out around James, who is different from everybody because of his demonic heritage, because ostracizing someone else makes Alastair feels more like he belongs. Alastair didn’t have an easy time of it at Shadowhunter Academy, but that doesn’t mean he had to make life hard for James. Alastair’s full of bitterness, and that’s not good for people–he hates and is jealous of James, hates and despises Matthew, and thinks Christopher is a loon, but he also hates himself. Alastair is dyeing his hair, not singing ghazals as he once loved to do, he feels crushingly responsible for the wellbeing of his mother and sister: he’s not a happy person. Yet it’s very difficult to stop making bad choices once you start. The question is whether Alastair finds in himself the strength to stop… or continues to double down. (x)
you’ve already answered about the relationship between Cordelia and Sona, so how will the relationship for both Alastair and Cordelia be with their father Elias? I cannot wait for all the Persian things you will talk about in this saga thanks to this family!
C: Thank you. It has been great fun researching all things Persian, as you say: learning Farsi with my mom, going through books of mythology, old photos and histories, remembering bits of my childhood in Tehran, &c.
I’m really loving writing about the Carstairs family, who start the first book under a cloud of scandal. Elias is their father, and that means a lot in that era–he’s supposed to be the man of the house, and he is white: he’s the one with the power and privilege, the one that society says they should be able to look to, and who should protect the family when trouble comes. Instead, he’s brought a great trouble upon them. Alastair, never close to his father, is now furious with him and desperate for a way out. Cordelia has always thought of herself as like her father, while Sona and Alastair are like each other–they’re aloof and private people, not very verbally or physically affectionate, and warm-hearted Cordelia wonders how to please her mother, and whether her brother loves her. A terrible accusation hangs over Elias (you will see what it is!) and Cordelia, who wants to believe in her father, who wants to love and trust them all, has to ask herself if her family can get through this strife intact. (x)
Will we see any new locations in Qoaad or TLH?
C: Yes, in both. (x)
That’s it for today. We also have more Queen of Air and Darkness and The Red Scrolls of Magic/The Eldest Curses Q&As for you, which we are going to share the next time there is a snippet from one of the books.