May I ask you something that's not so much in Mor's favor? Don't you think that she should have told Az that she doesn't want him that way? She didn't need t come out to him in order to do that. Another reason to add how this whole plot was done horribly. It made her seem.. Not a great friend. She also said that she likes things the way they are to Feyre, she doesn't want to change things, it's comfortable for her (Az, her, Cass thing). I just.. Wish that all of this is different completely.
Right *rubs temples* we have finally reached a point I have been struggling with with this whole Mor…fiasco which is the tension between my desire to drag sjm through the mud for the way this was written…but also my intense desire to protect Mor’s choices as a queer character having agency with her own identity. This ask is going to be dedicated entirely to the latter (okay maybe not ENTIRELY but when I’m talking about how Mor acted I’m going to do it in such a way that’s just ‘I wish all of this hasn’t happened how it did but it has and I’m working with what I’ve got here’) Clunky disclaimer out the way, let’s pick this apart…
Right, first off,I would like to point out that it’s canon that Mor did actually try to talk to Azriel about this after he found her in the Autumn Court. However he wasn’t really listening and was doing some babble-confessing of his own at the time and she panicked. She was seventeen years old and the boy who just saved her life, who she knew she couldn’t be with, tried to tell her that he loved her and she had no idea what to do so she panicked. After that it’s not really surprising she struggled with trying to explain things to him.
Then I think it’s important to remember a lot of things about the dynamic between Mor, Cass, Rhys and Az early on in the series when she knew Az and might have told him. So she’s only known Cassian and Azriel for two weeks when the whole Incident happens. The situation Mor is in is a hell of a lot more complicated than ‘I slept with this one dude and this other dude loves me but I’m queer I’m not sure how to tell him’ (which is complicated enough in itself)
Mor owes her life to all three of them at this point. Azriel saved her from the Autumn Court. Cassian and Rhys got her out of the Court of Nightmares and then proceeded to keep her out. So not is she indebted to them for saving her she is also completely reliant on them for her freedom. At this point in the canon we’re dealing with an extremely vulnerable queer girl who has been brutalised beyond belief and has only just been able to get out of her abusive situation. If the relationship she has with Cass Az and Rhys deteriorates she has nowhere else to go but back to her emotionally abusive homophobic family.
Factor into that that she’s recently had sex with Cassian, largely because of Az and his jealousy over the two of them, and then walked away from that and the fact that she knows Azriel is in love with her but that she can’t reciprocate…I’m not surprised she’s terrified of telling them the truth. She’s grown up being told people like her are selfish and awful and that they should be forced into marriage and breeding regardless of how they feel about it, she probably believes that’s how Az and Cassian definitely, since she’s only known them about 3 weeks, will react to her. And Rhys grew up with them, they’re his brothers, she’s probably petrified of telling them the truth about her and having them all reject and abandon her which leaves her with nowhere to go but back to her father. I don’t blame her for not telling them.
Then the War happens and she’s away from them all for a while and falls in love with Andromache and she has to go through losing her (twice) completely alone because no-one knows and she can’t tell t hem. She says herself that there was no-one for a few decades and like..Those aren’t circumstances where I’d feel like adding a whole heaping pile of angst on top when she still isn’t sure how the boys will react so she just bottles things up and hides them away again.
And then…Things settle out a little bit. The dynamic between her and Cass and Az finds something like what we see now, the three of them all tied together and loving each other just in different ways. And then she has to start trying to accept herself (Andromache was her first female lover and after that fell apart Mor was alone for decades, it’s hard to talk to people about something you barely understand or accept yourself)
She has to unlearn the vile homophobia that she grew up with, she has to coax herself into trying to be with a woman again after what happened before, she has to try and explore this part of herself without letting anyone know…That’s hard. And so she finds Velaris, she finds Rita’s and at last she has a little safe place, a place where she experiment and be herself and so she does. But that’s a safe place, a place that’s just hers, a thing that’s just hers, that no-one has yet managed to take away from her or destroy, and she feels this desperate urge to keep it safe because it’s all that’s kept her from breaking at times, knowing that no-one has ever truly known her.
All of this takes time. Mor is healing and I know she’s a strong, confident woman when we meet her in ACOMAF and she’s had while to process all of this but…Abuse and that sort of homophobia and the trauma she was subjected to on top of then losing the only person she’s ever truly loved…That takes a lot of healing, that takes a lot of time to slowly build up an identity and a self-worth and by the time that happens…She needs the people around her. She has a support system in place and she deeply loves all of them.
If she suddenly reveals that she’s queer that’s going to mess up her relationship with everyone in the Circle (except, perhaps, Amren) But everything will change and she’s only just managed to find herself and a place where she belongs and she has NEVER had that before. Cassian and Azriel both had difficult childhoods but they also both had Rhys and Rhys’ mother. Mor has not had a single positive, mutual, respectful relationship before Rhys, Cassian, Azriel and Amren. That is so fucking important for her recovery and her stability and I cannot find it in myself to shame her or hate her for wanting to keep that whole.
Not to mention the fact that she knows this will hurt Azriel. And she loves him. I don’t care what bullshit that coming out scene spouts about her not being able to love him ‘the way he deserves’ because of her sexuality (which I have issues with) because she loves this man in a very deep, unconditional way and this will hurt him and she can’t bear that.
So there are a lot of pressures surrounding her keeping her sexuality hidden. She’s petrified of her family, of the homophobia she grew up surrounded by and she wants to keep this one tiny piece of herself hidden from them, so they never truly know her and therefore can’t own or break her. She’s petrified of losing the Circle, who she owes her life, freedom, power and stability to, they’re her support system and the only truly positive relationships she’s ever known. of course she’s terrified of losing that? And she’s scared of hurting Azriel and wrecking her relationship with someone that she truly and genuinely loves, even if she doesn’t want to be with him romantically.
Also I think, when you mention that she didn’t have to come out to explain things to Azriel I think….In this case it’s complicated by them? She’s already walked away from him once while he was trying to tell her that he loved her…If she just goes to him and tells him that she can never ever be with him without the context of her sexuality…That’s going to ruin him? And she knows that. She knows how he sees himself and she’s probably terrified of offering up that rejection because the Circle is Az’s safe space and support network too and she loves him. She cannot just say ‘I don’t want you, I never will’ because then it will just…sound like he’s not good enough for her and he never will be? It’s going to sound like a ‘him’ problem than it just being the way that she is and she knows that would shatter him. (You can argue all you like that this is an Azriel problem and it’s not on her to fix or attend to his insecurities, and it’s not, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy for her to just shatter him like that? This is the reality of their situation)
Also, on the subject of her not wanting to change it…I want to make it clear that I don’t think this is actively good for her. Like, I’m sorry, but if you think that Azriel, a straight man, is suffering more for Mor not feeling like she’s able to come out, feeling ‘petrified’ of facing him with this, than she is…I don’t know what to say to you.
Being closeted is not fun. It’s not a little ‘straight passing’ card that you get to wave around so you can blend in with the normal people and not get noticed, it’s hard. It’s painful. It’s frightening. It’s constantly having to censor yourself whenever you’re talking to people, constantly worrying if they’ve figured it out even though you’re not ready, this constant paranoia and this guilt that builds up and the frustration and the hurt at not being able to be yourself.
This situation is harming more exponentially more than it is Az and when she says that she doesn’t want it to change that’s not her being selfish. at all.
(Especially when, as Mor told us herself in ACOMAF, she could peel her clothes off in front of Azriel and he wouldn’t move. He isn’t ready for this relationship anyway. He could have gone to her as well at any point in these 500 years and approached her about this and he hasn’t. Mor is not the only one maintaining this stasis between them and telling herself it’s ‘good enough’ this thing is mutual.
Azriel isn’t technically losing out on anything by this because he hasn’t tried to make a move or talk to her about it and isn’t ready for the relationship himself? Maybe he could have moved on if she’d given him a concrete no but like…After five hundred years…He could have damn well just decided to move on for himself, like I’m sorry. A man should not need a flat out rejection from a woman (which, you could argue that he’d gotten when she walked away from him when he told her he loved her) to move on with his life, okay.
He could have made that choice for himself she is not stopping him making that choice and she is not ‘stringing him along’ either, she isn’t hinting that oh maybe some day this might happen, not today but maybe tomorrow, she’s avoiding the subject and she has Cassian buffer them ffs to try and protect her from this. That’s not stringing him along, like, sorry)
“Whenever Azriel makes his feelings clear, like he did with Eris … It’s stupid, I know. It’s so stupid and cruel that I do this, but … I slept with Helion just to remind Azriel … Gods, I can’t even say it. It sounds even worse saying it.”
“To remind him that you’re not interested.”
“I should tell him. I need to tell him. Mother above, after last night, I should. But …” She twisted her mass of golden hair over a shoulder. “It’s gone on for so long. So long. I’m petrified to face him—to tell him he’s spent five hundred years pining for someone and something that won’t ever exist. The potential fallout … I like things the way they are. Even if I can’t … can’t really be me, I … things are good enough.”
Right, regardless of how you personally view Mor’s sexuality (bi/gay/queer/whatever you wish) the fact of the matter is that, in canon, Feyre states THREE TIMES that Mor did not enjoy sleeping with Helion and that she got no pleasure out of it. She’s described as ‘pale and vacant’ the next day and during the coming out scene Feyre actually thinks of her as looking ‘tortured’ okay, she is not enjoying this. The fact of the matter is, Mor is repeatedly having sex with men…For Az. To keep him at a distance. This is…Like I’m sorry but if you can’t see how fucked up that is (for HER) I don’t know what to say to you. She’s repeatedly putting herself in sexual situations she may or may not want that she does not seem to enjoy…For Azriel.
She is suffering here, okay. She is closeted, that’s painful, that’s hard in itself but she also has this to deal with. Azriel’s affection has kept her closeted (in part) all these years and she is PETRIFIED of facing him with this?? How can this possibly be purely selfish on her part? How is she the only one getting flack for doing what she needs to do to keep herself safe.
Especially when it’s hurting her like? ‘Good enough’ it’s just..It’s like Lucien’s situation in the Spring Court. That was ‘good enough’ for him, yes he was being abused horrendously, no he didn’t have any real agency or power over himself or freedom or love or respect but it wasn’t the abusive shithole he was trapped in all those years so it was ‘good enough’.
That’s what this good enough is, okay. She cannot be herself. She cannot openly love who she wants to. She has to suffer heartache and grief alone and isolated because she can’t tell anyone how she feels. She is ‘petrified’ of facing Azriel. She is closeted and that hurts. She is also GUILTY AS FUCK. She’s doing all of this, hiding herself, hurting herself, sleeping with people she doesn’t get any pleasure out of, and has been doing this for five hundred years and she still feels horrifically guilty about this. She’s said in that coming out scene too that she wants to be able to love Azriel the way he deserves but she can’t. She’s tried to change herself and has hidden herself and hurt herself all for this relationship that she doesn’t want, that makes her uncomfortable?
She likes things the way that they are because these are the first people who accepted even a part of her. They love her and they respect her and they treat her with dignity and gave her basic fucking needs from a relationship and that is ‘good enough’ for her. Because she grew up with emotionally and physically abusive homophobic parents who accepted no part of her, who treated her like an animal, or worse, and then she found this…She found this love and respect and of course she doesn’t want to change it. Of course she doesn’t want to lose it. Of course she’s terrified of telling them and seeing that same hatred that lived in her parents’ eyes. Even if she knows it’s irrational that doesn’t matter. She’s a terrified queer abuse victim and she is suffering, she cannot be herself, but that’s good enough because what choice does she have, really?
Mor is a closeted, scared, vulnerable, abuse survivor who is petrified of losing the only safe space that she’s ever had just because of who she is. She is suffering 100 times more from this situation than Azriel or anyone else in the Circle. I will not sit here and call a queer character selfish or a bad friend or any of it for doing what she feels she has to to protect herself. Especially not when most of the things that she’s doing are more damaging for her than they are for anyone else. I love Azriel, I relate to his character a lot, but I’m not going to sit here and prop up this ‘oh no poor boy’ while Mor gets thrown under the bus because she is afraid.
Her identity is her own and this choice, revealing this part of herself to who she chooses, is one of the only pieces of ultimate agency that she has ever had. I won’t say she was wrong to keep it hidden, keep it safe, if that made her feel okay. Mor’s situation is not ‘good enough’, Mor’s situation is deplorable and painful and I refuse to call her selfish for maintaining something like this because she is absolutely terrified of the alternative.
Queer people have the right to be in the closet for as long as they need to be in order to feel safe. It is not for anyone else (especially not straight characters a la Feyre) to tell them when they should come out. They are not ‘liars’ for being closeted. They should not feel guilty for being closeted and keeping themselves safe. That’s a disgusting way of looking at things and it’s an incredibly damaging mentality to have.
‘Out and proud’ is great, okay, but it’s not possible for everyone. A queer person’s safety comes first and if they feel that they need to keep their sexuality hidden in order to do so that is their choice. And it is not up to anyone, especially those who have no way of understanding what this feels like, to judge them or shame them or guilt-trip for that. It’s not selfish to want to protect yourself and not risk ruining the relationships you have with those around you for the sake of telling them something they do not have a right to know unless you choose it.
In the end I will chose validating and defending a queer person’s decision to keep their identity hidden for their own personal reasons and safety over the feelings of anyone who feels like they might have been entitled to know this every. Single. Fucking. Time.