So I always thought Lockwood was supposed to be the equivalent of Nathaniel. In my head, they look a lot alike. Both are orphans, and both are male characters. It made sense that Lockwood was supposed to be Nat’s parallel.
But while rereading book one of Lockwood and Co, I realized that wasn’t actually the case. The one who is supposed to be Nathaniel is someone I never expected.
Let’s start by going back to Nathaniel’s childhood. We know his parents gave him up to the magicians just to get money. We know that he didn’t necessarily hate Mr. Underwood up until a certain point in time. When Mr. Underwood betrays him by not standing up to Lovelace, he dies in Nathaniel’s eyes.
Nathaniel begins to go down his own path, becoming independent from his teacher and eventually getting to a point where he summons Bartimaeus - despite not even being supposed to summon spirits, according to Mr. Underwood’s way of teaching him. Mr. Underwood underestimated his abilities.
He then becomes extremely close to Bartimaeus over the course of the book series.
Now let’s go to Lucy’s past.
Lucy is quick to tell us that her father is dead and that her mother was happy when Lucy was able to bring home money from her job. She wasn’t proud of her daughter - she just wanted Lucy’s paycheck. Lucy doesn’t hate her supervisor, Jacobs. She acknowledges his faults. It’s when he doesn’t do anything and her fellow agents die that he dies in Lucy’s eyes. She never gets to a point of hating him, but she certainly doesn’t like him. And, like with Mr. Underwood, Jacobs underestimated Lucy’s abilities. She knew something was wrong, but he didn’t believe her.
Lucy then becomes more independent than before, seeking her own path even though she’s still not completely ready because she hasn’t completed the final bit of her training. She eventually winds up at Lockwood and Co.
It’s here that Lucy meets and befriends the skull in the jar, who, as a lot of people have picked up, is a ghost version of Bartimaeus. And, over the course of the books, Lucy becomes very close to the skull.
Things Confirmed By Jonathan Stroud When I Met Him At A Signing
• He had an alternate ending where Nathaniel lived but it didn’t feel fitting to the story (as much as it hurts I do agree)
• Bartimaeus does assume Nathaniel’s form in the future sometimes
• He did write bits of what happened to Kitty afterwards but not enough to publish a whole book
• Bartimaeus’ favorite form is Ptolemy
• In the end, Nathaniel is elevated from an anti-hero to a hero
• *this one bROke me* what Bart wanted to say in the very end is that he’s grown to love Nathaniel
• Stroud literally said that they loved each other
• don’t look at me
“Believe me, I know all about bottle acoustics. I spent much of the sixth century in an old sesame oil jar, corked with wax, bobbing about in the Red Sea. No one heard my hollers. In the end an old fisherman set me free, by which time I was desperate enough to grant him several wishes. I erupted in the form of a smoking giant, did a few lightning bolts, and bent to ask him his desire. Poor old boy had dropped dead of a heart attack. There should be a moral there, but for the life of me I can’t see one.”
Honestly one of my favorite book series ever written, we don’t talk nearly enough about it.
Day 4: Favorite Series. I was going to do another one actually (and no, not Diviners) but the books weren’t on the shelf (yay!) so you get this one instead. The Bartimaeus trilogy by Jonathan Stroud is one of the older series but it’s awesome, with asshole magicians and a snarky djinn (Bartimaeus) at the center. It’s also conveniently next to An Ember in the Ashes and its sequel, which are equally, and differently, awesome.
Like. Some of the villains are: a goth mercenary, a ginger playwright, an evil demon, and two kinky gay fucks out for world domination and one of them clearly has no idea what he’s doing 99% of the time because THAT’S NOT HOW SHADOWS WORK YOU FUCKING NERD. YOU PICKED ONE OF THE STEALTHIEST FORMS I COULD THINK OF AND YET YOU STILL FUCKED IT UP.
MEANWHILE HIS BOYFRIEND GOT FUCKING WASTED LITERALLY FEW HOURS BEFORE THE FINAL SHOWDOWN. ACTUALLY BLACK OUT WASTED. NO WONDER THEIR PLAN DIDN’T WORK OUT. HE WENT FROM A LOWLY SLAVE KID TO A FUCKING POWER BEHIND THE THRONE BEFORE HE EVEN HIT ADULTHOOD AND YET HE STILL GOT BEATEN BY A 19 YEAR OLD AND A DJINNI.
They’re all goddamn disasters but those two losers especially. A freaking match made in Hell.
“That did it. I’d gone through a lot in the past few days. Everyone I met seemed to want a piece of me: djinn, magicians, humans…it made no difference.I’d been summoned, manhandled, shot at, captured, constricted, bossed about and generally taken for granted. And now, to cap it all, this bloke is joining in too, when all I’d been doing was quietly trying to kill him.”