by cassie

Julian and Malcolm

While going over some of my notes from LOS, I realized how similar Julian and Malcolm Fade are-I think as readers we tend to overlook the bad things or cruel/dangerous things that Julian does because he’s labeled as the protagonist. Its hard to remember the no one is the villain in their own story *Mara dyer reference* For example, if any of you have read the Young Elites trilogy by Marie Lu, you’d find yourself often feeling hatred towards those who-in your typical YA Fantasy book-would be the heroes simply because you’re seeing from the point of view of the villain. Similarly, I’d like to think that if we’d gotten TMI (or at least the last three books of TMI) in Sebastian/Jonathan’s point of view, I could have better understood him-ignoring, of course, his inexcusable actions such as attempted rape. But what I’m trying to say is that I could easily see Julian being a Malcolm in the future, or even if we just read from a different perspective. I just didn’t notice it earlier because I get to see from his point of view and understand why he does what he does. But in LOS, we got small pieces from Malcolm’s journal, which allowed me to sympathize with him. And as Jia Penhallow said, I got an explanation-definitely not an excuse. Anyways, here are some similarities I found between Julian and Malcolm (some are more obvious than others):

-Both were involved in forbidden love

-Both made a deal to get the black book for a powerful figure in Faerie for their loved one/s

-Both were wronged by the Clave because of hatred towards Downworlders (Julian for Helen and Mark/Malcolm for being a warlock)

-Both are seen as manipulative and lie often for the one/s they love (Julian all throughout LOS most prominently in the Unseelie Court Scene and Malcolm to the Blackthorns and other shadowhunters)

-Both are willing to do whatever it takes in order for their loved one/s to survive, this includes necromancy  (let’s be honest, when it comes to the Blackthorns or Emma I don’t think we can officially cross raising the dead off our list of our “Things Julian Will Do to Keep His Family Safe ™” list)

-Both were related in someway to the Blackthorns (its a stretch, but its something)

-Both seem to have this air of calm cruelty-unfeeling yet feeling too much at once. If you were an outsider, looking in, then you wouldn’t be able to tell that they were threatening someone’s life any more then you would be able to tell that they were talking about the weather 

-Most importantly, both are fueled by good intentions. Malcolm, though we tend to overlook it-for good reason, has relatively good or understandable intentions. He lost the one person he loved deeply and he wanted to bring her back. Julian wants to keep his family safe. Both think of things as a “the ends justify the means” type of situation, when really that’s not the case at all. But we all know the saying- “good intentions pave the path to hell.” 

In conclusion, I find Julian Blackthorn to be one of the most interesting and dark character (aside from maybe Sebastian Verlac/Jonathan Morgenstern) that Cassandra Clare has written. Definitely one of the most scary and shudder-worthy male “protagonist” in any Shadowhunter novel I’ve read. I found this very surprising-yet I can’t help but think how unique the idea is. As most YA male protagonist is someone with a cruel facade and a good heart. It makes me most intrigued to realize Julian is someone with a good facade and a somewhat cruel heart. Well done, Cassie Clare, for creating the most in depth, unique, and interesting character I’ve read about in a while.