Let’s talk Lady Midnight theories and Dark Artifices theories! Does any author leave as many clues as Cassandra Clare?! There were so many seemingly minor details mentioned earlier in Lady Midnight that ended up being a either a big deal or different than what they appeared at face value, for example:
- All of Malcolm’s talk about love being important and being “the highest law”
- Malcolm whispering to Emma that he would let her down
- Jules’ locked room in his studio
- And, of course, all the hints that it would kill Jules to think that anything happened/could happen between Mark and Emma
But there are many hints dropped that we haven’t seen the culmination of yet, and it’s so exciting to theorize what these details might mean and how they might be important in future books! Below are the questions and/or theories I’ve come up with so far. My thoughts are in normal font, and book passages are in italics. Let’s start with a BIG one…
Lady Midnight Theories & Thoughts
(1) Were Jules and Emma already starting to succumb to the parabatai changes Jem mentions to Emma in Chapter 27? Were they beginning to be able to wield magic and not even know it? It seems that way in the quotes from Chapters 13 and 14 below. But my question is does it absolutely have to drive them to madness and destruction like Jem suggests? It seems like too much of an absolute to me. No one rule can work in every case!
Chapter 13–““I wasn’t saying anything about looking,” Malcolm interrupted. “I’m just telling you. No iratze should have been able to fix you. Even accounting for the strength of parabatai runes, you absolutely shouldn’t have survived.” His odd violet eyes fixed on Julian. “I don’t know if it’s something you did, or something Emma did, but whatever it was—was impossible. You shouldn’t be breathing right now.””
Chapter 14–“He started on the second rune, and Emma felt a slight biting sting as the stele moved. She frowned. Usually, though runes could sting or burn when applied, runes placed on you by your parabatai didn’t hurt. In fact they were almost pleasant—it was like being wrapped in the protection of friendship, the sense that someone else had sealed their dedication to you onto your skin. Strange for it to hurt.”
(2) Could Cortana somehow cut through the parabatai bond to separate Emma and Jules someday since it “can cut anything?”
Chapter 23—“Emma’s mother placed the sword in her hands. “Steel and temper, daughter,” she said. “And remember that a blade made by Wayland the Smith can cut anything.”
(3) Why did Emma’s runed arm hurt so bad after she hit the Black Volume Malcolm was holding? Is it because there was magic in her arm fighting the black magic in the book? Are their any other clues about the parabatai bond here?
Chapter 25—“He hurled his magic at her. And Emma flung her arm up, the arm that Julian had carved the Endurance rune on, the arm that had been burning and aching and screaming at her to use it since she’d struck the Black Volume.”
(4) Also, this Tumblr post reminded me of my thoughts during Tessa’s conversation with Emma at the end of the book. It was what she said about trying to make someone fall out of love with you when you can’t possibly change your own feelings…It totally had me thinking about what Will did to her. I guess I’m not the only one! And this gives me hope that there’s some solution out there for Jules and Emma and their parabatai problem that we can’t possibly imagine, just like there was for Will and Tessa in their seemingly impossible situation.
(5) Also, the way Clare words her description in this Tumblr post is very interesting to me. Even though Jem told Emma what happens with romantic love between parabatai, no one knows why it happens. I think this will be very key in how to make their love work while still being parabatai.
*See the comments section below for reader ideas and suggestions about the parabatai bond.
(1) I really thought this line was meant to be ambiguous. I wasn’t sure if Mark was saying “Why lie?” about developing feelings for each other or “Why lie?” about the kissing (or “more,” as he put it). But Clare has provided us an answer to this question in this Tumblr post. So I guess it’s the kissing or more that Mark was referring to, which makes the most sense since he shut the door before he said it. We will get to find out what happens next in this very scene according to this Tumblr post.
(2) After taking another look at exactly what Mark says here, I think there is another question that he is going to ask Emma besides the famous/infamous “Why lie?” Any ideas what the other question might be?
Chatper 27—“So I suppose I only have one more question,” Mark said. “But first—” He turned around, and very deliberately closed her door. When he faced her again, he had never looked to her so much like one of the Fair Folk. His eyes were full of a feral amusement, a carelessness that spoke of a world where there was no human Law. He seemed to bring the wildness of Faerie into the room with him: a cold, sweet magic that was nevertheless bitter at the roots. The storm calls you as it calls me, does it not? He held out a hand to her, half-beckoning, half-offering. “Why lie?” he said.” [emphasis added]
(3) Why is Mark so amused about Emma’s request? Clare mentions it three different times in the infamous scene in Chapter 27…
”…his mouth twitched up at the corner…”
“He was definitely smiling now, his mouth curved up in amusement.”
“His eyes were full of a feral amusement…”
(4) I have decided that Mark HAS to figure out what Emma’s reasons are for asking him to fake a relationship. Everyone knows that parabatai being in love is forbidden. Even though Mark doesn’t know why it’s forbidden, won’t it eventually occur to him that if Emma is doing something love-related to her parabatai that it must tie to the Clave’s rule somehow? Emma says that this fake relationship “could save Julian’s life.” It is the conclusion that he can come to if he’s being reasonable about and/or trying to figure out the whole situation.
Theories about Lady Midnight Characters
EMMA AND JULIAN:
(1) What does Arthur mean in this quote below? Does he somehow know the challenges Julian will face in the future…either regarding Emma, the parabatai bond, both, or something else? I think he knows more than we think!
Chapter 3–“Arthur’s head snapped up. For a moment his gaze was clear and focused. “You’re a good boy,” he said to Julian. “But it won’t help you, in the end.””
(2) What wedding could Magnus possibly be referring to below, especially since Emma and Jules are confused and don’t seem to remember it? Could this be a major clue of some sort?
Chapter 6–““I remember her wedding,” Magnus said, and there was gentleness in his eyes. “How young you both were. Though it wasn’t the last wedding I saw you at, was it?” Emma and Julian exchanged puzzled glances. “I’m pretty sure it was,” said Julian. “What other wedding would it have been?” “Hm,” said Magnus. “Perhaps my memory is going in my old age.” He didn’t sound as if he thought that was likely, though.”
*Here is an update from Clare in a Tumblr post about the wedding mentioned above. She says it’s supposed to be a mystery, although some readers have guessed it. What wedding is it that Emma & Jules don’t remember?! I don’t have a guess!!!
(3) So we know that this poem below is referring to Malcolm and Annabel. Is it possible that it has a double meaning and is also referring to Emma’s and Jules’ love, too?
Chapter 13–“But our love it was stronger by far than the love Of those who were older than we—Of many far wiser than we—And neither the angels in Heaven above Nor the demons down under the sea Can ever dissever my soul from the soul Of the beautiful Annabel Lee. . . “
(4) While Julian should basically know how she feels, Emma never once says she loves him out loud. He says it; she only thinks it but never says it out loud. Will that make it easier for him to believe her fake relationship with Mark?
Chapter 18—“Didn’t I tell you I loved you? Last night?” He shook his head. “We never said we loved each other,” he said. “Not once.”
Chapter 23—“Tell me you love me, Emma,” he said against her throat. “Even if you don’t mean it.” She gasped; how could he think, how could he not realize—?”
Chapter 27—“I love you, Julian Blackthorn, she thought…”
(1) What word is Cristina starting to say here? Is the “Di—“ that she started to say possibly the word Diana?! Do they have a connection in their past that they haven’t told anyone about? Or is Cristina getting ready to say “Diego” instead of “Diana?” I think that is the more likely scenario.
Chapter 2–“Cristina smiled. “Di—my mother used to do that for me when I was a little girl.””
(2) And what else is in Diana’s background that makes her keep secrets from the Blackthorns and prevents her from running the LA Institute? I cannot believe how many hints there are that something is up with her! It makes me think it’s something big!!!
Chapter 20—“Why couldn’t she have been asked to run the Institute?…She said no. She said it was impossible…Diana has—her own secrets.”
Chapter 21—“Does anyone else in the Clave know about your investigation?” he said. “Anyone but your family?” “Just Diana,” said Emma. “Diana is your tutor?” When Emma nodded, he frowned. “Weren’t Jace Herondale and the Lightwoods betrayed by their own tutor?” “She’d never betray us,” Emma said, outraged.
Chapter 21—“She’s in Thailand…There was a witch there she wanted to question about energy spells. Someone she knew when she was younger.” He [Julian] paused. “We can trust her.”
Chapter 25—“Oh, come now,” said Malcolm. “If you’d cared about those children, you’d have taken the post as head of the Institute years ago. But I suppose we all know why you didn’t do that.”
Chapter 25—“You liked me because you thought I was too frightened of the Clave to look closely at you,” Diana said [to Malcolm]…”
Chapter 25—“And you couldn’t tell the Blackthorns where you went because of the reason you know Catarina,” said Malcolm. “She’s a nurse—a nurse to mundanes. How do you think I found out—?”
Chapter 26—“You hide things,” he [Julian] said. “The Angel knows there’s something you’re still hiding, some reason you couldn’t take over the Institute. Something you won’t tell, anyway. You’re a good hider, but you’re not a good liar. They won’t believe you. But they will believe me.”
Chapter 26—“The wind blew her dark hair across her face. “No,” she said. “I am who I am because I’ve been part of your family. Never forget, Jules. The choices we make, make us.”
I love that Kit is the lost Herondale! (Is he for sure, by the way? Do you all believe that he is?) I thought it might be Ty because of all the references to his different appearance, but I also suspected one of the Rooks might be the one. I’m surprised (but happy!) that we found out so early on in the series. I’m excited to see what type of Shadowhunter he turns out to be. Additionally, I thought it was kind of hinted at early on with Kit’s physical description that he didn’t look like his dad. Is Johnny an adopted father? If so, who entrusted Kit to him? And why do Kit’s eyes remind Ty of something in the passage below?
Chapter 16–““I don’t know anything about a lottery,” Kit snapped. He glanced at Tiberius. What was odder, perhaps, was that Ty was looking at him. Emma remembered Ty, years ago, saying, Why do people say “look at me” when they mean “look at my eyes”? You could be looking at any part of a person and you’re still looking at them. But he was looking curiously at Kit’s eyes as if they reminded him of something.”
Chapter 27—“It was times like this, when the sun slanted through the window and lit up the fine, sharp bones of his father’s face, that Kit wondered about all the things he didn’t know: who his mother had been, if it was true, as was whispered in the Market, that Johnny’s family was English aristocracy who’d tossed him out when he manifested his Sight.”
Chapter 27—“It was odd, Emma thought, as they pulled up at the end of the road. The only things Kit had in common with his father, looks-wise, were his height and slenderness. As he stepped out of the car, hunching over his bloody shirt, his eyes were a clear blue. His hair, pale gold waves—that was pure Herondale. And his face, too, the fine bones of it, the gracefulness.”
(1) If Johnny is just an adopted father to Kit, could he possibly be a Blackthorn? Since Malcolm’s sacrifice of Tavvy went awry, which Blackthorn died to complete the spell and raise Annabel at the end? My theory is it was Johnny’s blood that did it. Don’t forget, we have that messed up family tree that Clare has told us about since Clockwork Princess. What part of it is incorrect? And we don’t even see most of the Blackthorn family tree. There has to be a reason for that!
*See the comments section below for a reader answer about whether Johnny is a Blackthorn and links to comments Clare has made about similar questions on Tumblr.
(2) Why did the demons come for Johnny as soon as the wards on his house failed in chapter 27? He knew the second they failed and the house shook that demons were coming for him. Why are the demons after Johnny, and why had Malcolm agreed to put up wards at his house to protect him from whoever is after him? And why did he only put himself inside the protection circle to repel the demons (and not his son, too)? It seems like he knew the demons would be coming for him and him alone. What has Johnny done to deserve their wrath?
(1) I loved how Annabel rose at the end. I definitely did not see that coming! I have a friend who thinks Annabel will be the antagonist/villain in the next book. Perhaps her revenge over Malcolm’s death might be what drives her? Or perhaps Malcolm is still alive and they team up for revenge on the Blackthorns or on the Clave?
(2) There were several questions recently posed to Cassandra Clare on this Tumblr post about how Annabel was raised. In a nutshell, she said that the spell could be completed without Blackthorn blood, but Annabel would be raised as some other version of herself, maybe not of sound mind or body. The Blackthorn blood would be required to raise her with her original personality intact. Clare will not comment on which version of Annabel has risen, which to me means she won’t confirm whether Blackthorn blood was spilled or not. Which blood raised her? Was it Malcolm’s, as the bolded text in the passage below seems to indicate? If so, she won’t be raised in her old form. Or was it Blackthorn blood that raised her? If so, could it be from Johnny or Kit Rook? If they are from the lost Herondale line (Tobias Herondale and Eva Blackthorn child), then they could have Blackthorn blood in their veins, and blood from both of them was spilled in the mantid attack on their house. What do you all think?!
Epilogue–“For years her coffin had been dry. Now seawater dripped in through the fine, porous holes in the wood and stone, and with the seawater, blood. It fell onto parched bones and dry sinew, and soaked her winding shroud. It moistened her withered lips. It brought with it the magic of the ocean, and with it the blood of the one who had loved her, a stranger magic still. In her tomb by the sounding sea, Annabel’s eyes opened.” [emphasis added]
Is Malcolm is really dead? While his spells did lift after Emma and the Blackthorns assumed he was dead, I don’t think Jem and Tessa are convinced. After all, they set off to find his body at the end of Chapter 27. I’m thinking we might see Malcolm again!
(1) Is Jules’ painting some sort of a flashback of Arthur’s past or possibly even a premonition of something in the future? Or is this only showing the anger that Julian feels for Arthur at times. (I really don’t think it’s my last suggestion.) My best guess is it might be a premonition of some sort or simply just art.
Chapter 8–“And the last was of Arthur, sitting at his desk. A red ribbon ran along the floor beneath him, the color of blood. There was no title. Julian reached out and shuffled them back into the notebook. “They’re not finished yet.””
*See the comments section below for a reader answer about Jules’ painting.
(2) What does Arthur mean by “the damnation of the Blackthorns” in this passage? Is he foreshadowing something else that is coming?
Chapter 20—“Well, what were you doing buying weapons there anyway? Why didn’t you come to the Institute?” Cristina demanded. “I did,” Diego said, flattening her with surprise. “I came looking for Arthur Blackthorn. I found him in the Sanctuary. I tried to tell him who I was, why I was here. He told me the damnation of the Blackthorns was their own private business, that they didn’t want any interference, and that if I knew what was good for me I’d get out of town before everything burned.”
Why does Clare continue to stress that Ty looks different than his other siblings? It was mentioned when the Blackthorns first made an appearance in City of Heavenly Fire. I feel like there has to be some significance to this as it’s mentioned in Lady Midnight, too!
Chapter 2–“Though Ty, with his gray eyes, skinny frame, and tousled black hair, looked as if he’d wandered in from another branch of the family.”
Miscellaneous Dark Artifices theories and observations:
(1) In this Tumblr post, Clare reveals that just like in Lady Midnight, the title character in book 2, Lord of Shadows, is a real person. Who could it be?! And does the title and/or the plot in Lord of Shadows tie in to the upcoming The Last Hours series somehow? I think it might because of James Herondale’s “shadow ability” we read about in the Nothing But Shadows novella and in this Tumblr post by Clare!
(2) I think the Blackthorn family motto is a good indication that somehow the parabatai law will be changed in the end. Or at the very least Julian will defy it and somehow it will be okay.
Chapter 7–“…the crest of the Blackthorn family—a ring of thorns—with their family motto beneath it: Lex malla, lex nulla. A bad law is no law.”
(3) Is the Blackthorn manor burning down significant? Did any Blackthorns die in this fire? Or were they possibly assumed dead and are part of the discrepancy in the family tree?
Idris, 2009–“The Blackthorn manor had burned down quite a long time ago and been rebuilt near to the Herondale manor. Emma wandered down a number of pretty paths until she found a wall.”
(4) I think the Emma, Jules, and gang will absolutely work with Jace, Clary, and the NY Institute in the coming books! We will see the TMI crew again! 🙂
Chapter 26—“…I never had the slightest doubt I’d see you again.” “Really?” Mark looked at him skeptically. “Really.” Jace smiled his easy, charming smile. “Just remember that the New York Institute is on your side,” he said. “Remind Julian if you’re ever in trouble again. It’s not simple running an Institute. I ought to know.”
(5) I think Kieran will absolutely call on Mark to help him in book 2, and the Lord of Shadows snippets Clare has already shared seem to show this as well!
Chapter 26—“I do not forgive you,” he [Mark] said. “But you [Kieran] came to help us, at the end. I do not know what would have happened if you hadn’t. So if you need me—if it is a true need—send for me and I will come.”
(6) What does the passage below mean? It occurs at the end of the book when Jem and Tessa are travelling back through the portal to Magnus and Alec. My Shadowhunter knowledge is failing me here. Could this be the vampire Raphael Santiago? Is he even still alive? Please help me here, fellow fans!
Chapter 27—“In the middle of raising a hand to greet Emma, Alec paused and turned his head, and said something that sounded like “Raphael.” Odd, Emma thought. Alec handed Max over to Magnus and disappeared back into the shadows.”
*I received a response on this topic via Twitter. Alec is speaking to his second son, Raphael Santiago Lightwood-Bane, in the scene above. You discover how Raphael came to be a part of the family in A Long Conversation, the short story at the end of Lady Midnight. Hopefully this novella will be available on-line to eBook readers like myself soon. I am anxious to read it! Thank you for providing this answer, CLALEC IS LIFE! Also, see the comments section below for a similar reader answer to this question.
I know these theories will continue to unfold as we read the TDA series along with The Last Hours series. I’m really excited to see how TLH will overlap with TDA, just like The Mortal Instruments and The Infernal Devices did. It looks like the publishing schedule is going to be interesting. We’ll have book 3 of TDA before we get book 2 or 3 of TLH. The tentative schedule seems to be changing, but here is the latest I found on Clare’s Tumblr site, last updated 3/19/16:
Lady Midnight (The Dark Artifices 1) March 8, 2016
Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy (print edition) Fall 2016
Lord of Shadows (The Dark Artifices 2) May 23, 2017
Chain of Gold (The Last Hours 1)
Queen of Air and Darkness (The Dark Artifices 3)
Chain of Iron (The Last Hours 2)
Chain of Thorns (The Last Hours 3)
Now let’s talk…
Please comment below with your Dark Artifices theories and opinions on anything I have mentioned! I can’t wait to hear what you have to say!!! 🙂
Ready to buy Lord of Shadows? Click to buy and help us pay for hosting!
Oh and share this with your friends who might like to add to this Lady Midnight theories discussion.