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Headscratchers / The Mortal Instruments

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  • Okay, I'm real late to the party but I have a huge question about the ending of City of Bones. So, the ring Jace was wearing was not a Wayland ring but a Morgenstern ring. But wouldn't he have noticed? I mean, the Wayland ring should have had a hammer on it (correct me if I'm wrong here) and the Morgenstern ring has stars. How can you confuse the two?
    • I guess Valentine just lied and told Jace that stars were the sign of the Waylands.
  • So what are the Nephilim going to do now without the Silent Brothers?
    • There are more of them - only the ones in the Silent City under Manhattan were killed.
      • No, they're going to have to make more of them; all of them were killed. There's only one Silent City.
      • I stand corrected - as of City of Fallen Angels, there are more.
  • If the titular City of Bones is Manhattan's Silent City and City of Glass is Alicante, Idris, then what's the eponymous City of Ashes?
    • That's also the Silent City. You know, after Valentine marched through and killed everybody.
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    • What is the "City of Fallen Angels?" New York?
      • Judging by its name alone, looks like Los-Angeles.
      • Doesn't seem likely as the book has nothing to do with Los Angeles.
      • By this point the "Cities" are not referencing any specific or special city, and are figuratively about the plot. The Fallen Angels part of the title possibly refers to Jace sort of falling from grace, albeit more internally than anything. Lost Souls refers to how Jace is a lost soul and possibly even Clary, Simon, and Alec fit the title, seeing as they're sort of lost. And Heavenly Fire most likely refers to the fact that Jace has that angel fire in his veins now.
  • Correct me if I'm incorrect, but it did seem to me that the whole "incest" thing came out of nowhere, or was there some hint that I missed?
    • With Jace, it totally came out of nowhere FOR DRAMA. With her real brother, it came out of 'How can we make him as creepy as possible?' in my opinion.
      • First one seemed to work. Second one seemed to not work considering Sebastian's Draco in Leather Pants treatment by many fans (although the author seems to sometimes encourage this idea).
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    • Did you miss the part where Jace and Clary thought they were related? Or when Clary's real brother kissed her?
    • Honestly there are no hints whatsoever that Jace and Clary could be related in City of Bones and was really a cheaply used device for wangst and drama and to allow UST. It was also obvious that Valentine lied about them being siblings too. I mean Clary has red hair and green eyes, Jace is blonde with amber eyes, neither Valentine or Jocelyn have Jace's characteristics. Props to the movie for having a scene where Valentine and Hodge conspire to trick Clary and Jace.
  • In book four, when Simon's mom finds out her son is a vampire she says "What kind of living thing doesn't have a pulse?" Let's see, examples of living organisms without a pulse include all plants, fungi, and microorganisms in addition to starfish, jellyfish, sea cucumbers, multiple types of insects...You get the idea.
    • Well, it's very possible she didn't think of those since she did just , you know, find out her son is a vampire.
    • Also, what was she going to do, say "What kind of living thing other than a plant or a fungi or a starfish doesn't have a pulse?" Funny as that would be.
  • So it was confirmed that Camille was the one killing Shadowhunters in City of Fallen Angels, but did it ever confirm whether it was her or Raphael killing humans for entertainment?
    • It was never confirmed because the only two people who know the truth are Camille and Raphael and considering both of their contempt and disrespect for humans and Shadowhunters alike it could be either of them. This troper believes it was both of them together.
    • It was probably Camille. Raphael is very pragmatic and anti fun. Risking problems with the shadowhunters for some entertainment does not fit with Raphael's character.
  • Why does nobody ever use the Alliance Rune ever again after City of Glass? By that point several of the protagonists had become regular friends with some Downworlders (or more in the case Alec and Magnus). There were numerous occasions where Clary could have benefited greatly from accessing Simon's vampire powers, especially in light of the fact that her combat skills were sorely lacking as compared to the other Shadowhunters. Luke and Maia were also likely partners for the main group.
    • Possibly because in Co FA its a bunch of young teenager rushing in quickly without any actual plan to a building so they didn't have time to think about it and in Clary's case she didn't have a stele at the time, and in Co LS there weren't any Downworlders to pair up with. Although still...
  • So who is the High Warlock of Manhattan? Or the other boroughs for that matter? Magnus is supposedly Brooklyn, but he seems to get called into Manhattan to deal with crises all the time. Is he really the High Warlock of New York City and he just opts for a more modest title to keep a lower profile?
    • Considering Magnus' personality I doubt he'd go with a modest title, even if he did want to keep a low profile, he wants people to notice him more. I assumed that the High Warlock of Manhattan died in City of Glass and no one feels like mentioning it much more (they glossed over Ragnor Fell's death quite easily).
    • On the other hand, Magnus is implied to be quite wealthy. Wealthy enough that one wonders why he lives in a slightly dingy warehouse loft that most people describe as being rather dirty in its normal state. When the young warlock gets killed in City of Ashes, Magnus is the one who goes to investigate, even though it happened in Manhattan. He also seems to be the representative of the warlocks in City of Glass. We know he is secretive despite his flamboyance (or perhaps his flamboyance is meant to aid in distracting from his secrets?), and that his father is a Prince of Hell (but he prefers not to discuss it), which probably puts him near the top of the warlock power scale. It just seems odd that Magnus seems to be the head warlock, in New York City if not on a larger level.
    • Magnus seems to hold the position de facto since the death of the former High Warlock of Manhattan, Aldous Nix, at the time of stock market crash of 1929 when Aldous, having gotten a little world-weary over his 2,000 year lifetime, decided that he literally wanted to go to Hell.
  • Is anyone else curious why no one objects a 18 year old boy dating a Really 700 Years Old Warlock? It's like all the issues with Edward and Bella's relationship all over again.
    • At this point I think people are jaded over the Mayfly–December Romance issue. How many people ship the Doctor with human companions despite him being Really 700 Years Old and it being an Interspecies Romance?
    • Here's the thing though: All of the Doctor's companions have been grown adults. Alex isn't a grown adult, he's a teenager. A teenager getting with a Really 700 Years Old immortal. See the Squick factor? It wouldn't be so creepy if Alec were at least 20-something years old.
      • Not all of them. Some of them have been teenagers, or just barely adults. Didn't put a stop to the shipping. Rose in particular was only 19 when she first met the Doctor, who by that point was into his tenth lifetime (and had long since stopped keeping track of his own age)! Granted, she was a couple of years older when it started getting serious, and not just subtext. But when you consider the apparent ages of some of the Doctor's younger regenerations at that point, now that is Squick!
    • Shadowhunters have a distinctly Medieval culture. They can pretty much drink alcohol at puberty and engage in unsupervised demon-slaying despite being legally minors! Plus, Jace had a fling with the faerie Kaelie Whitewillow, and Isabelle did likewise with the Faerie Knight Meliorn. God alone knows how old either of them were at the time either! Either or both of them could have been as old as Magnus, if not older!
      • There was some disapproval towards Izzy dating Meliorn though. And also since her relationship with him seemed mostly Played for Laughs since she quickly dumps him afterwards we never really get to see what her parents or other Shadowhunters would have said, as with Jace and Kaelie they're relationship ended sometime before the series began so there'd be little point about re-hashing what anyone thought of his relationship with her. Although imagine the kind of drama that could have come up earlier had anyone actually objected to their relationship because of the age difference (it's not like the supposed stigma of being ostracized if you're gay actually ever showed up), of course then it'd take away from the main ship and we can't have that!
      • Disapproval of Isabelle dating Meliorn could be written off as simple Fantastic Racism though. With the exception of werewolves, the major Downworlder races are all ageless. Thus, the mortal Shadowhunters are accustomed to dealing with people who are a lot older than any normal human could ever be as if they were peers and not elders.
      • The problem with the "Shadowhunters are somewhat Medieval, so teens are pretty much adults" reasoning is that it's Jossed in "City of Ashes." Luke mentions that Shadowhunters consider eighteen to be the age of adulthood and that teenagers "are a modern concept."
      • A lot of shadowhunters actually marry at a very young age (probably because so much of them die young). Jocelyn and Valentine married when they were 17 and 19. Stephen proposed to Amatis in high school and Alec's own parents seem to have married shortly after they graduated.
  • If according to one of the short stories featuring Magnus, apparently he doesn't even know why he was banned from Peru. What exactly did he tell Jace then?
    • He probably made up something, this is Magnus we're talking about, and he has lied about his age as well.
  • Other than some good sex, it was not really clear what exactly the Seelie Queen was really getting out of her alliance with Sebastian (other than screwed in a second way). She really threw her full backing to him, even sending her warriors out openly to battle the Clave and guarding his passage to Edom. Why? What was she getting out of this? And what about the Unseelie? It would seem they have a separate Court, yet chose not to be represented on the Council. This implies that they are explicitly rejecting both the Accords and the terms of surrender imposed by the Clave on the Seelie. The Wild Hunt is also an independent faction, and their disposition remains unknown.
    • Well the Seelie Queen hates the Nephilim, as do most, if not all faeries, and with good reason. They've been alive before the Accords and Shadowhunters, possibly older than humans and yet the Shadowhunters expect them to bend to their rules and lets not forget that before the accords Shadowhunters could kill downworlders with little to no evidence of them doing anything wrong. So probably many of her people were killed for no reason or for petty reasons, so she probably wanted revenge. And I think she was probably planning on killing Sebastian... somehow, after the Shadowhunters would have been killed.
    • What I understood about the Wild Hunt was that they didn't really want or care about the war, they only wanted the dead/near dead. Which is pretty much what they did was take the dead, not really purposely help any side. As for the Unseelie Court, we've never seen or heard from them and I sincerely doubt they helped at all with the Seelie Court, Sebastian or the Nephilim, they stayed neutral. So technically the laws imposed on the faeries by the Nephilim was kind of a screwed up move since they want to punish everyone rather those who deserve it. Like let's say, I don't know? Throwing the Seelie Queen in jail.
  • Okay, so Raziel makes a comment that downworlders have human souls. Okay fair enough when it comes to Vampires, Werewolves, and Warlocks since they were human or half-human. But Faeries are said to be the offspring of Angels and Demons mating, and while some demons were humans once (like Lilith or a certain character from The Infernal Devices) the Fair Folk's race is supposed to be older than the human race. So how do they have a human soul? And for that matter since demons are fallen angels how are they really that different than angels, I mean they're manipulative Jerkasses but so are the angels, and the demons!
    • As with real-world legends about the Fair Folk, they appear to mingle with humans more than a little. Helen and Mark Blackthorn are only Shadowhunters because Nephilim blood always predominates in cases of Interspecies Romance. However, many Faeries may have mundane ancestry. Another possibility is that they have souls because angels have souls. Raziel calls out the lack of a soul of the defining trait of being a demon. His contempt for the "unsouled" implies that angels, like humans, have souls courtesy of God. Most of demonkind, the spawn of Lilith and other monstrous origins, were not given souls by God. As for the Fallen Angels/Princes of Hell, their Fall apparently turned them into Eldritch Abominations, which is why they never appear in angelic form. They are also actively committed to evil and destruction. The angels are simply in a Time Abyss and don't see what the fuss is about when mortals complain about immediate (to them) problems.
  • In City of Glass Valentine speaks with the current Inquisitor as a hologram, and at the end of the conversation sticks his hand through the Inquisitor's chest and pulls it out, killing the Inquisitor. Valentine was a hologram. How is this even possible? Was it ever explained in the book and I missed it? Or was it passed off as A Wizard Did It?

Alternative Title(s): Mortal Instruments


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