Hiii, if u don't mind, I'd like to hear your opinion/perspective about this-Do you think TV Shadowhunters will ever explore more of a romantic relationship with Jace and Alec? Like they are setting Malec up to be the endgame it seems (which is fine too bc I like them) but the Jace and Alec romantic storyline could have great imo!! Especially because of the chemistry between Matthew and Dom..
nah the shows never going to explore a romantic relationship between jace and alec past what they’ve already done. malec is endgame, both in the books and on the show, and tbh i’m glad it is, i love that relationship. but i love jalec too, just in a different way.
i’ve always stipulated the the biggest draw to jalec for me is their relationship as it is - as parabatai, as best friends, as soulmates, etc. the romantic side of it i barely think about tbh. is it interesting? yes. i will always love a good pining, unrequited love story with some forbidden romance (since parabatai are forbidden to become romantic by the clave). jalec in that sense has all the makings of an intense and angst filled story, but that won’t be explored on the show. which imo is perfectly fine, i don’t need nor necessarily want it to be.
i enjoy what we got on the show tbh. alec pining, his real and canon romantic feelings for jace, the struggle he had with it and what he would do for jace versus what he wouldn’t. his reaction when confronted by everyone (bc magnus, izzy, clary, and jace himself were all aware of alec’s feelings towards jace) was at times funny (clary) and at all times absolutely heartbreaking (jace). he was struggling to come into his own as a gay shadowhunter and accept that about himself in this society. he struggled with his feelings for jace and jealousy of clary. he struggled with jace, at times, treating him like a “lap dog” (as simon once said). it’s a beautifully complex, albeit tragic, thing, unrequited love. i think we can all relate to alec in that sense - when you want someone you just can’t have and know you will never have.
i honestly think one of the most underrated moments of the jalec relationship shown on the show are the flashbacks. everyone loves the ceremony flashback (as do i) but i think the scene between alec and izzy where we see that, even back then, alec was in love with jace is incredibly powerful. because even with the pain he knows bonding himself to jace will bring considering he’s in love with him, he goes through with the ceremony anyway. he choses to bind himself to jace, forever, despite his romantic feelings for jace. i think there’s something so powerful in that, in alec knowing how important jace is to him, without regards to the romantic feelings, and wanting jace with him always. he knows it will hurt, and he’s struggling to come to terms with himself still, but he pushes through it because he knows he loves jace, outside of romantic feelings. he loves him and he wants to be connected with him. alec doesn’t choose to go through with the ceremony in some weird twisted way to make his romantic feelings stronger or bind jace to him for that purpose, he does it in spite of his feelings and for himself and jace and to be connected for how they already are, not what alec might wish they could be. i just… really love that. and you see too jace’s absolute joy and excitement that they’ve passed their last trial and can become parabatai. jace wants alec tied to him, he wants that bond. he loves alec so intrinsically he wants alec to have a piece of him and for alec to be a part of him.
and that flashback with izzy i think is also the ultimate answer to your question. izzy tells alec that one day someone will love him but to not give up on his parabatai bond with jace. and that’s how the show is - jace and alec are bonded, but alec is falling in love with magnus and that is who he’s going to end up with. and i think that’s the furthest exploration of a romantic jalec you’re ever going to get, and i kind of, well, i like it.
i do also appreciate that matt and dom though have researched this concept. as dom said, “ [Matthew and I] even looked back into kind of the origins of the word “parabatai,” where they come from, and this, that, and the other. And we ended up going back as far as the Greeks, and [them] moving and fighting alongside other soldiers in such an intimate sense, was very heavy through Greek mythology, folklore, and Greek history. So we looked quite heavily into that and developed our own modern take on that. ” and they would’ve looked into that, the physical romances that did happen there, and the bonds shared. and i think they work to bring a bond and level of intimacy and tactile-ness to jalec. i think this is a large part of why dom plays jace looking so broken every time he fights with alec, and alec in 109 we see the pain it causes him to say no to jace. i think matt and dom do a good job of bringing that intensity, and absolute heartbreak when the fight, to jalec. you can feel their bond at times and how much they truly rely on each other/need each other. you heard it in the way jace didn’t care what happened to him in 203 as long as he could help alec, in the broken way he whispered “please don’t leave me, alec.” and then the look jace gives alec when he sees he’s alive and the look alec gives jace when he sees him in front of him - that is beautiful. matt and dom truly do bring a level of intimacy and profound love to them. you can see, feel, how important they are too each other, the way that they love each other deeper than any human bond.
my only… annoyance with the romantic jalec portrayal is that they’ve started to completely ignored it now. yes, we saw it again in the flashback, but the showrunners have doubled down on using the word brother every other sentence to try to distance it now (not that i will ever deny that jace is alec’s family. and also part of the lightwoods), and alec seems to be completely over his feelings for jace and is solely focused on magnus. would i like the show to explore that sometimes? yes. but not in a make jalec canon way. in a conversation maybe between alec and jace about those feelings, about alec pushing forward and moving on, and about jace being happy for him. something that was so beautiful to me was the way jace knew about alec’s feelings, but nothing changed. he still loved alec, he still hugged alec, he still wanted to be bonded to alec, he still told alec he loved him. they were still tactile. jace still rushed to make sure alec was okay after he was attacked by the forsaken. jace still couldn’t live without alec. jace still looked completely broken when alec said no to him and didn’t come with him. and i think there’s something so beautiful about jace, a straight man (i do believe he is canonically outright said to be straight in the books), knowing that his best friend is in love with him but not letting it change a single thing.
i think in a lot of ways i actually consider jalec a romantic friendship. they love each other unconditionally, they’re tactile with each other, they’ve sworn their lives - their souls - to each other, they’d die for each other, they are, quite literally, soulmates, etc. and romantic friendships are so important imo, and they’re neither below nor above a romantic physical relationship (i.e. malec) imo - they exist on an equal plane of importance. i think people underestimate, constantly, and society enforces this, the uniqueness of friendships and romantic friendships versus relationships. and i love the essence of who jalec already are to each other in that sense. there’s no denying that they’ve dedicated their lives to one another, that they’d lose a piece of themselves without each other, that one dying would inexplicably and forever change the other and kill a part of them. the parabatai vows are strikingly similar to marriage vows and i think that’s important - in both senses you are choosing to bind yourself to this one person and dedicate a life to one another. that’s what parabatai’s are. it’s a friendship but it’s also so much deeper than that. it’s pure love and the power of choosing your soulmate.
so if anything, i want that explored more. i want this romantic friendship explored and their bond explored. i’m in love with the idea that your soulmate does not have to be your romantic partner, it can be your friend. alec and jace stood together and bound themselves together, knitted their souls together in a way that forever changed them. alec is jace’s soulmate and jace is alec’s soulmate. that’s an indisputable fact. now in my head and in fic and with my friends to i explore the nature of that being romantic beyond friendship at times? yes. but i don’t need it to be, i don’t want it to be on the show, and the show is never going to go that route. and i think that’s fine. matt and dom do have good chemistry together, and what i want to see is their parabatai bond, them being soulmates but not romantic, explored. but we all know that this is not the best show, especially writing wise, so i work with what we have.