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Headscratchers: Infernal Devices
  • So, can Tessa Change into a man? I mean, we've only see her actually transform into females - Emma, Jessamine, and Camille.
    • I'm guessing she probably could if she practiced enough. I'm guessing that a female form would be way easier for her to do because it requires less major changes. With a man she'd have to grow new parts, with a female she just has to change the size and shape of various parts.
    • Yes. Confirmed in Clockwork Prince, where she transforms into Aloysius Starkweather. She also mentions that the Dark Sisters had her change into men on several occasions during her "training."
  • This series is a prequel to The Mortal Instruments series, but it's also steampunk. How can these two series take place in the same universe if we don't see any sign clockwork technology in the TMI books? If they were able to make clockwork soldiers back in the 1800s, why is the TMI world at the same technological level as our world?
    • This troper doesn't see how it's steampunk at all. Sure, there's plenty of clockwork technology in Victorian London, but that's about it.
      • You're right, it's not steam punk; the author says the books have only elements of steampunk. I think my question is still valid though. How is it that there's no trace of clockwork of technology or any of the other advanced technology in the TMI books?
      • [first replyer] Because the clockwork technology explicitly comes from Mortmain (who is a Gadgeteer Genius at the least). Besides, clockwork robots aren't as anachronistic as you think - European/Arabian engineers, etc. have been making them for three centuries at the least. TMI is set in modern-day NY, which doesn't really need clockwork tech if you think about it.
      • Yes, but these clockwork machines were much more advanced than even our modern robots. They could walk like a human (something even our modern robots have a lot of trouble with) and speak. I just can't imagine that something that incredible would just be forgotten or have absolutely no impact on science.
      • Rule of Cool
      • Because they were really Magitek, and thus did not have to be compliant with physical laws the way mundane technology would.
      • Although we don't really know what type of magic the clockwork automatons run off of, it seemed to me to be pretty heavily implied that it was something of the not-exactly-nice variety. After all, they are being produced by the villain. And villains in Clare's work tend to be the "deal with the devil" type. Knowing how these sort of things go, I just assumed we would find out in book three that they are powered by demons or the souls of tortured infants or some other such nonsense that would mean they would not be a good technology to continue using, and will most likely all be destroyed by the end of the series. Even if they really are just robots with magic, it seems like Mortmain is the only one who knows how to make them. As he is the villain, he will most likely be destroyed by the end of the series, and so there will be nobody to continue working on them. Thus, no clockwork during MI.
      • Resolved as of book 3: the clockwork robot thingies were originally created by Mortmain's adoptive father, who was a warlock and a very clever one by all accounts. So, presumably young Axel took the plans for the automatons with him after his adoptive parents were killed and put them into production (in secret) in order to fight the clave. They also made very good protective vessels for demons but as some magic might have been used in their conception they don't actually need demons possessing them in order to move about; but as everyone discovered, the automatons are way way more dangerous when they are possessed.
  • Quick question: does Cassandra Clare have an older brother whom she hates and who made her life hell growing up? Because it seems like all the older brothers in her books (excluding Alec) are evil bastards who like to torture their sisters - Clary's (real) brother, Maia's, and now Tessa's. It's becoming a little predictable, to the point where I knew Nate was a traitor from the moment he was mentioned.
    • Not sure about the "does she have an older brother?" question, but I would point out... Will himself is an older brother who is clearly willing to sacrifice a lot for his little sister, Cecily. Likewise, both of the Lightwood boys (Gideon and Gabriel) seem to be fairly protective of their little sister, Titiana, seeing as they've carried on a grudge for at least five years towards Will because of his actions towards her. Then from the original series, you've got Luke and his sister... it's not clear who is older, though it seems like Luke is. If so, then it would be the reverse of "back-stabbing older brother", since she ends up screwing him over before the events of the series. Plus, Clary's real brother wasn't actually trying to torture her- his actions were a combination of trying to turn her to the dark side and wanting to prove that he was better than Jace (who he had a bit of a complex towards). Add to that the fact that Nate isn't actually Tessa's brother... and there isn't really much of a pattern anymore. Out of the seven (possibly 8, depending on Luke) older brothers seen in the two series, only one of them is a) really the character's sibling and b) actually trying to torture them. Even if we include Sebastian/Jonathan and Nate (to be fair, Tessa did consider Nate her brother, and regardless of motive, both men were cruel to their sister), that's still only three out of seven or eight... not exactly "all the older brothers".
  • In Clockwork Princess, why did Mortmain make it so that if he died, the clockwork creatures died? I know it was to stop them from rebelling his authority once they had demon energies, but didn't he realise that gave the Shadowhunters an easy way of destroying all of the creatures? After all, he is a mundane with little fighting capabilities. If the Shadowhunters got to him, his plan would have easily be ruined.
    • And how would the Shadowhunters even get him if they're all dead, not to mention the hundreds of other clockwork creatures close by? The entire council would have been dead before the Shadowhunters would be able to realize what happened, and they don't know where he is anyway. He can just chill in his mountain and wait for it to finish, its not like he has to show himself.
  • Something that has been bothering me is how are Mrs. Dark and Mrs. Black sisters since the one (I can't remember which) was a demon and the other was a warlock. It's not as if only Nate called them sisters, the Dark sisters both as well called themselves sisters. Was it mentioned somewhere and I missed it, can someone please explain this to me?
    • They have the same demon father and one has a demoness mother and the other a human mother.
The Indian in the CupboardHeadscratchers/LiteratureInheritance Cycle

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