thinking over it again, theres a theme of imbalance in A Second Spring thats really interesting. When Yang accuses Cinder of having poisoned Summer, and then that was apparently really the case, i was actually surprised. Not that Cinder would do something like that, but that Glynda would let her do it. Especially because Glynda had been so dedicated to stability, and it was emphasized that her and Cinder kept no secrets at all from each other after coming together like this.
But then i realized, that was the old Glynda, of the main timeline. This Glynda gave up on stability first the moment she choose to marry Cinder. It makes me think of their argument in chapter 6, how Glynda mentioned that one of them could bend to the other and come to their courts and live with them. How that would leave one of them without power, but they would be together. I think in A Second Spring, Glynda really did bend to Cinder, even though their titles and status became equal and i loved all the power couple stuff.
After choosing Cinder, Glynda almost always followed what she wanted even if it went against things she had previously been seriously invested in like the stability of the courts or traditions. Only thing i can think of is her objecting to Yang’s execution and getting it commuted to exile. Glynda doesn’t regret her choice. but at the same time theres a lingering sense that deep down she knows this isn’t the path that suited her best, such as when she calls herself a traitor to Ren instead of denouncing him.
If she had really been committed to this path 100% she should have killed him the moment he revealed his disloyalty and then rallied as much of the remains of the Spring Army to Cinder’s castle as possible to give them a fighting chance. Instead she goes off alone and lets Ren take the army, even though it finishes tying the noose around their necks.
In the end she couldn’t completely commit to this path, even though she does love Cinder and doesn’t regret choosing her.
Which makes it more clear why the main timeline is the one where Glynda burns the letter without reading it and this is just a oneshot AU of an AU. To have remained truly equal they would have had to remain separate, like this line from chapter 6 sums up nicely
More like two halves of a coin facing opposite directions, Glynda supposed, bound together but never looking towards an identical path.
because the things they both wanted were too different. So even in this AU where Glynda does what Cinder wanted, it doesn’t work out for them in the end (tho i really want them together and happy now lmao hence my thoughts of them as heroic spirits) and balance is only restored after their ends, though the effect of their lives definitely changed the world for the better in the long term, thanks to them being a common enemy that everyone had to unite against.
Kind of interested now to see a reverse AU of an AU where Cinder does what Glynda wanted instead… like, “Cinder inexplicably gives up the throne to live in Spring as Glynda’s wife” is probably not as interesting or epic a story, and it would be hell to somehow get Cinder to believably do that in character, but i bet ivory and roman could pull it off and make it interesting.
lana del rey: champagne-stained kisses on love letters, vintage photographs, smoking in lingerie, sad girls & bad boys, wading in the ocean, flower crowns, california afternoons, red dresses, lipstick smeared on bedsheets, gold chokers
lorde: your favorite worn converses, fluorescent lights, eyeliner wings, ripped jeans, abandoned streets, kissing your best friend, combat boots, cherry cola, pinky promises, black nail polish, biting your lip, convenience stores at 2am
fall out boy: speeding down the highway at 100mph, screaming in the dark, smashing windows, fireworks, running until you can’t breathe, the shriek of tires on asphalt, wayward headlights, midnight revelations, the clink of glass bottles