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Characters / Theirs Not to Reason Why

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This page lists characters that appear in the Theirs Not to Reason Why Military Science-Fiction series by Jean Johnson.

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    Ia (Iantha Iulia Quentin-Jones) 
  • Affectionate Nickname: Has to put quite a bit of work into getting her mothers to stop referring to her as “gataki mou” (“my kitten”) because it stops them taking her seriously as the Prophet of a Thousand Years.
  • Celibate Hero: Had every intention of being this seeing as she’s a bit busy saving the galaxy. Then she got the hottest man alive as her Navy Academy roommate.
  • Combat Clairvoyance: Saves Ia's life on several occasions.
  • Half-Human Hybrid: Ia and her half-twin share a Feyori father. The accompanying psychic abilities really only manifested in Ia, though.
  • Heroic BSoD: All Ia’s carefully laid plans are waylaid by a single subordinate not following an order at a crucial point in time. She collapses in grief and rage and only Helstead’s abilities as a Psychodominant prevent her from murdering the one responsible. Turns into My Greatest Second Chance when Helstead helps her realize that she might still be able to fix things and save the galaxy.
  • Omniscient Hero: She is able to see both the past and all possible futures with perfect clarity. Though as she herself says, while she can potentially see all of Time, she only knows the things that she actively bothers to look for and remember.
    • Not So Omniscient After All: Knowing all possible outcomes of a situation is not at all the same as knowing which of those outcomes will prevail. Most of the series' plot twists are the result of low-percentage possibilities Ia has dismissed as too unlikely coming true against all odds. Any scenario involving Feyori or Meyun Harper will also be difficult if not impossible for her to see.
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: Deliberately. She needs to gain galaxy-wide name recognition while also not being associated with her youngest brother, so she legally changes her name as soon as she’s able.
  • Power Incontinence: When people touch Ia for too long they are likely to be pulled into her visions, which is invariably a rather traumatic experience.
  • Secret Identity: She hides her powers at first because psis in the military are deemed too valuable to risk in combat, and she needs a combat posting to set up the dominoes leading to the galaxy’s survival.
  • Superpower Lottery: Ia has massive precognitive and postcognitive powers, along with lesser talents in telepathy, pyrokinesis, electrokinesis, telekinesis, and biokinesis.
  • The Captain: From Hellfire onwards.
  • You Can't Go Home Again: By choice. It is physically entirely possible for Ia to go home even after she says her final goodbyes to her family, but doing so would cost time that she needs to spend averting galaxy-wide destruction. Her own ethics won't permit that, so in practice the situation plays out like this trope.
  • You Need to Get Laid: Bennie all but shoves Ia and Meyun into a room while locking the door.
    • Later, Ia’s team of on-board spies decide that her Celibate Hero tendencies when the man she’s in love with is within arm’s reach aren’t healthy for her and strongly encourage her to fraternize with him, to which they promise to turn a blind eye. She does.

    The Damned 
  • Ragtag Bunch of Misfits: Ia goes out of her way to only choose people for her crew whose presence will never be essential elsewhere in time or space. It naturally leads to this trope.

Christine “Bennie” Benjamin

  • Good Shepherd: Very much her personality. She cares deeply for those she’s assigned to minister.
  • Spit Take: Pretty much always Ia’s fault since she’s one of the few people Ia feels safe expressing her (extremely morbid) sense of humor to.
  • The Confidant: Part of her profession, but she’s also this to Ia on a more personal level. Ia considers her her closest friend.
  • The Shrink: While she’s officially a chaplain of the Witan Order, she is also a licensed psychologist and as such provides both spiritual and emotional counsel to the rest of the Damned.

Delia Helstead

  • Compelling Voice: As a high-ranked Psychodominant, when she projects orders into another person’s head it’s practically impossible to disobey her.
  • Knife Nut: She keeps them everywhere. Up to and including in her hair. Also cleans her nails with them when she’s bored.
  • Teleporters and Transporters: Her other psychic power, it only works over relatively short distances. Becomes extremely relevant when it allows Ia to claim that the Redeemer’s ancestor survived being spaced because Helstead teleported him to safety.

Jesselle Mishka

  • Cassandra Truth: Catches on to the situation on Dabin and tries to inform Ia, but since her conclusion runs counter to what Ia’s powers are telling her she’s brushed off.
  • Reassigned to Antarctica: How she views being transferred to the Damned. Having to provide on-the-fly care for a crew of rowdy misfits, and on top of that being required to fight, when she’s specialized in the long-term care of individual patients leaves her rather unhappy with Ia’s command.
  • The Medic: Her role in the crew. She’s an extremely skilled surgeon and psi.

Meyun Harper

  • Gadgeteer Genius: Able to merge Other-Than-Light with Faster-Than-Light Travel based on just a few hints from Ia. Also constructs a completely unprecedented device out of an unknown substance after seeing it once and only having access to specs in a completely foreign language.
  • Insecure Love Interest: Who wouldn’t be insecure when their girlfriend barely has time for them because she’s the Master of Time and busy saving the galaxy? It also doesn’t help that Ia veers between wanting him and pushing him away while not telling him what the problem is.
  • Love Confession: Bennie strong-arms him and Ia into exchanging these. They are not happy about it.
  • Scotty Time: Happens a lot. He always pulls through.
  • The Engineer: His role in the crew, as he never fails to remind Ia when she’s once again blowing holes in his ship.


Amelia Quentin-Jones and Aurelia Jones-Quentin

  • Good Parents: They are loving and supportive to all three of their children, even if they sometimes struggle with the kids’ destinies.
  • Happily Married: One of the few couples in the series to be shown being openly affectionate.
  • Mama Bear: Both qualify, though Aurelia is the tougher of the pair.
  • My Beloved Smother: Develop this tendency after Ia starts growing into her own as a soldier and the Prophet of a Thousand Years. Unfortunately she needs them to follow her as the Prophet, and so breaks them out of this mindset by exposing them to her visions in a moment she refers to as killing the last remnants of her childhood.

Fyfer Quentin-Jones

  • The Face: Where Rabbit is in charge of organization and Thorne controls the logistics of Sanctuary’s Free World Colony, Fyfer conjures goodwill and battles the Church of the One True God in the courtroom.
  • Non-Idle Rich: Becomes this when Ia helps him win the largest amount of money ever made available in a lottery in the entire galaxy. He puts it toward the Free World Colony’s underground efforts to become independent from the tyrannical government on the surface of Sanctuary.


  • Badass Adorable: Is described as having a smile that will make anyone who sees it light up with joy in response. Also leads a revolution.
  • Cold-Blooded Torture: Goes through this at the hands of the Church of the One True God when she’s discovered to be a spy. Still does her job before allowing herself to be rescued by Ia.
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: And since her parents are Church followers she quite likes it that way.
  • Polyamory: By the third book she's Happily Married to Fyfer and Thorne. Since those two are brothers they aren’t involved with each other and they sometimes struggle with sharing Rabbit’s affections, but ultimately they make an excellent triad.
  • The Chessmaster: Gained control of all three major gangs in the city of Our Blessed Mother by making friends in all of them and crying when they hurt her “other friends”. Ruthlessly manipulates her own parents in the service of La Résistance. Eventually becomes the leader of Sanctuary’s underground resistance movement.
  • Tiny Tyrannical Girl: Prefers to be seen as a harmless cutie-pie, but do not second-guess her orders.

Thorne Jones-Quentin

  • Gentle Giant: Built like a tank and nothing but kind and protective toward those he cares about.
  • Half-Human Hybrid: Shares a Feyori father with Ia, though he shows none of the psychic potential commonly associated with half-breeds.
  • Huge Guy, Tiny Girl: With Rabbit. He’s extremely tall and she’s short even for a heavyworlder, leaving him about twice her height.
  • Resigned to the Call: Not precisely happy with the future he is shaping for Sanctuary according to Ia’s wishes, or the things she’s asked him to do for the sake of that future, but knows Ia well enough to understand that her visions must be obeyed for the sake of the greater good.


In General

  • Blue and Orange Morality: See nothing wrong with causing wars, murder, rape-by-deception, or Mind Control of the matter-based species, but they are intelligent beings capable of reason and they do each obey their own sense of morality.
  • Energy Beings: The only known species to be energy- instead of matter-based. They are able to take matter-based forms if they wish.
  • Geas: Ia is able to use her abilities to put one on every single Feyori in existence. The deal is simple: do what you’re told when you’re told, or have anything from years to millennia shaved off your lifespan.
  • Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: They are not happy about having to work for Ia. Ia in return does not like them but understands that she needs them. They understand that cooperating is better than the alternative.
  • The Chessmaster: They spend their very long lives amusing themselves by playing The Game. Exactly how The Game works is unknown, but it involves extensively manipulating the matter-based species. Every action a Feyori does or does not take ultimately serves to increase their rank.
  • Nigh-Invulnerability: By way of Intangibility. The various matter-based races have collectively decided to just ignore them because there’s no way to damage a Feyori or make it do anything it doesn’t want to do. They can be killed, but the way to do so hasn’t been discovered yet (or at least hasn’t been discovered by anyone who wasn’t immediately murdered by Feyori afterward). Ia can do it after manifesting, but she doesn’t kill them so much as force them to live out the rest of their lifespan on the Timeplains, leading to their immediate death in the physical world.
  • Solid Gold Poop: Chrysium is formed when Feyori remove waste particles from their energy meals in heavy grav worlds.


  • Great Gazoo: Mentors Ia in the use of her Feyori powers for her own ends. Preferably while messing with Ia’s ship and crew.
  • Manic Pixie Dream Girl: Deliberately invokes this trope. Do not be fooled.


  • Disappeared Dad: To Ia and Thorne. He and their mothers planned it this way and they are quite happy with the situation. He himself less so since he isn’t able to use Ia, Thorne, or their descendants as pawns in the Game like he planned. Ia doesn’t acknowledge him as her father and treats him like any other Feyori, though he does call her “daughter” when they meet.
  • Offing the Offspring: Tried to do this after he realized he’d fathered two children at once, which isn’t permitted by the rules of the Game. Fortunately the heavy presence of chrysium om Sanctuary saved Ia and Thorne’s lives.



Example of: