Ten Years of City of Bones: Week Four (Couples, Friendships and Families)

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First of all HOW ARE WE ALMOST HALF WAY THROUGH THIS CELEBRATION?! This is nuts. Completely bonkers. It's, dare I say it, cuckoo bananas. This week's topic in my celebration of the 10th anniversary of Cassandra Clare's City of Bones is all about the relationships of The Mortal Instruments. Romantic, platonic/parabatai, family bonds, etc. Part of me wants to really expand this week's theme to extend to The Infernal Devices and The Dark Artifices since they all technically do make an appearance in one way or another throughout all the Shadowhunters novels.

So. Guess what I'm doing? *Evil laughter* Besides drinking coffee and ogling lipsticks on Temptalia, of course.  I'M GOING WILD WITH IT. Or, at the very least moderately untamed fangirl levels of joy and squeals and probably a lot of tears because Cass does tend to have that effect on us, right? Right?! No--but for real, I am extending this weeks theme to those three series because I'm a little feral this evening, as I just finished rereading Lady Midnight and Lord of Shadows this week. And it's one of those moments where our beloved characters just pop up at random or are at least mentioned.

(And I'm still procrastinating writing a review for Lord of Shadows. Which, yes, is pretty sad as I've read it twice since it was released in the spring.)

I feel winded. Can you possibly feel winded from typing? I am pretty sure you can. Let's just get down to the good stuff. Grab a drink. Snuggle in. Find something to use as a tissue just in case the mere mention of a relationship causes total tears and distraction. We're going to be here for a good bit of time.

(Top Eight. What is this, Myspace?*) 
Honorable mentions: Cecily Herondale and Gabriel Lightwood, Maia Roberts and Bat Velasquez, Diana Wrayburn and Gwyn ap Nudd

Clary Fairchild and Jace Herondale, The Mortal Instruments: I went through periods of time where I was like, "OKAY. Uh. No, thanks." about these two. (1) That AWKWARD MOMENT/time they thought they were siblings. (2) The occasions of Jace's moods (you know the moods) and all that jazz. I shipped them in City of Bones pretty much off the bat and then cooled off A LOT for various reasons (see: #1) and I always had an idea that they weren't ever going to really be related, so you just kind of *knew* they'd be endgame. That being said, when they are in a good place they are what dreams are made of with OTPs. I was always on the edge of my seat when it came to these two and whether or not they would ever fully be sorted. I don't know if it's because their relationship was always at the center of The Mortal Instruments or what but I always had this desire to root for them even when I didn't know if I should. In order of publication, they are the ORIGINAL it-couple of the series. Because I love both Clary and Jace as individuals, it is easy to want them together and to think that they kick some serious ass.


Julian Blackthorn and Emma Carstairs, The Dark Artifices: I'm a sucker for the childhood best-friends-fall-in-love trope and this is one of the ultimate of that. It wouldn't be a Cassandra Clare romance if it wasn't penned with chemistry and ALL THE DESPAIR. Parabatai falling in love and more than likely being cursed?! Hello! When we first meet them in The Mortal Instruments, in the midst of a war, they are so smol and precious and I loved them instantly. I find them to both be utterly magnetic and alive and their chemistry is both full of tension and respect. I definitely started shipping them before I probably should have--when Julian asks Emma, "Aren't we forever?" And I basically crumple into tears because they're so tiny and sweet and about to be parabatai and basically raise Julian's siblings and train and ?????????? My heart ?????? Did I cry at the end of Lady Midnight? Absolutely. Will I cry about a dozen more times with these two? Duh. Artwork credit here.


 Side note: I saved this GIF as "killme.gif" on my laptop. #CANRELATE

Jocelyn Fairchild and Lucian Graymark, The Mortal Instruments: I'll be 100% honest with you in saying that I am almost never interested in the adult relationships in YA novels. I just never felt it was all that necessary to the central story arches to have certain things tied in--until Jocelyn and Luke were all, 'Hey! Jessica! Ship me!" Much like with Emma and Julian, I love that they were/are best friends who progressed to something more. I think that their romance is a rarity in the sense that it actually makes sense and gives you the warm and fuzzies. They're more than just background noise, more than just the parents to one of the main characters, and there's just this love there that's so strong you just knew they would always find a way back to each other. It only made sense that they were endgame. I'm not crying you're crying.


Kit Herondale and Ty Blackthorn, The Dark Artifices: Okay, so this was an unexpected one. I'm not even exaggerating when I say that Cassandra Clare basically took the entire volume of Lord of Shadows and hit me upside the head with it when it came to these two. I'm not sure what is going to happen with these two now that Kit has decided that wherever the Blackthorns are, that's his home now as well as the ending of Lord of Shadows (sniffles) and they haven't technically happened yet but let's be honest: it HAS to. Not only do they have that signature magnetic pull that all of the best Clare OTPs have, there is something clearly going on even if it isn't acknowledged yet. I remember reading Lady Midnight and thinking (1) Kit is kind of like a Herondale oh wait he IS a Herondale? What? (2) DID MY LIL TIBERIUS JUST HOLD A KNIFE TO HIS THROAT? and then all of a sudden Cassie hit me with #ALLTHEFEELS in Lord of Shadows especially when Kit holds Ty at one point. That's when I knew. I was like, "These two, man, these two."(Artwork credit here.)


Mark Blackthorn, Cristina Rosales and Kieran, The Dark Artifices: What is it about Cassie Clare and her ability to make us love all parties of a love triangle equally? I don't know that I'd call them a love triangle at this point because there's something different there than what kind of love and respect we saw in another trio in The Infernal Devices. At this point it's a straight up polyamorous situation in the making, not a love triangle, and I'm loving it (and I'm not going to pretend to know how it ends, but) so much! I guess it's not a shocking thing that three of my favourites from The Dark Artifices are something deeper than expected but Lord of Shadows set me on fire when it came to these three. They each bring something different to the table and there's a lot of past between Mark and Kieran, and Cristina has a past of her own, but there's something so right about their interactions and chemistry. (Fanart credit.)


Simon Lewis/Lovelace and Isabelle Lightwood, The Mortal Instruments: Is it weird that my love for them started when Simon got turned into a rat? Izzy's reaction to this--and her subtle part in it (I never blamed her, obviously) just showed us how much more there was to her than meets the eye. As you get to know them both further, and as Simon's love of Clary fizzles out and they both go through A LOT of various changes, you can just tell it's more than your typical crush. They are good for each other in different ways and I'm not saying that they didn't have their flaws, but what relationship doesn't? I loved the fact that they just kind of got under each other skin in the best, romantic way possible and it only developed further from there. They could have just been a distraction from other parts of their life (loss, unrequited love, a war) but the way that they came together was just perfect. Together, they are incredible and sweet and full of chemistry and at times hilarious. It's a case of two characters who by all accounts wouldn't have been paired together normally but were. I love the contrast between the two because despite how different they seem, something about their souls kind of reflect into one another and it's amazing. I love them. I will always love them. I was heartbroken for them when Simon lost his memories but I'm so glad they were endgame and ugh, I adore Sizzy.


Will Herondale, Tessa Gray and Jem Carstairs, The Infernal Devices: Do you know how rare it is to find a love triangle that just fits together and is easy to love in any combination? Call it what you want, I just adore these three together. As a team. As friends. As lovers. They are three of my favourite Cassandra Clare characters and their journey together was sweet, heartbreaking and full of so much life and love and I just... *snuggles them* I remember picking up The Infernal Devices and thinking, "I loved The Mortal Instruments but I doubt I'll love these characters half as much as those." and then I ate my words because it's my favourite of the three series. I have no real words as to how much I love these three because they just meant so much to me from the time I first read the trilogy all the way to now, and they've kind of never left me. In some ways, their love for one another is the most real I've read in YA ever. (Fanart here, I believe.)


Alexander Lightwood and Magnus Bane, The Mortal Instruments: It probably comes as no shock to you guys that these two are my #1 in the entire Shadowhunters verse but I adore these two more than anything. In the books and on the show, I just feel so strongly about these two and their well-being, okay? I had a hard time picking between Malec and Will/Tessa/Jem but I went with these two because (1) IT IS MALEC. (2) I've shipped them longer by a bit. Can you believe these two invented true love? I'm sorry, I'm getting emotional and my stan is showing BADLY right now but I can't help it. I mean, Alec literally goes through hell to bring Magnus back to him. Neither of them fit the damsel in distress archetype (which, to be fair, none of Cassie's ships truly do and I love that) and they're flawed to their cores but that is what makes their relationship work. They'll go to great lengths to protect one another and to keep their relationship as it is. There's a little bit of angst (see: a lot) but for the most part, they are two fluffy cupcakes around each other and I love them. I never expected these two to hit me this hard but it's impossible for them to not. My OTPs off raising a family and battling demons and just being all kinds of badass, what is YOURS doing? Oh, that sounds superior but I'm just exceptionally proud to see where they ended up in the post-war setting. Double points when they pop up in Lord of Shadows with their family and how they are so freaking caring over the Blackthorns. Ugh, I just love them. UGH. (UGHHH!!!)

(Whispers: they're just as painfully beautiful as the romances!)

No explanations necessary! 
Maia Roberts and Simon Lewis 

Alexander Lightwood and Jace Herondale

 Magnus Bane and Clary Fairchild 
(This gif actually kinda counts even with dialogue because BISCUIT.) 

 Clary Fairchild and Simon Lewis 

This isn't a countdown. I can't pick between these two families. I'm not sorry. 

The Blackthorns, The Dark Artifices and The Mortal Instruments:

How many families can you say have stuck together so tightly, through thick and thin?

I fell so hard and fast for these little nuggets. In one massive swoop the Blackthorn family is changed drastically during City of Heavenly Fire--suddenly, their father is dead, the elder siblings are no longer able to be around and a literal twelve year old child has to take the reins to not only raise his siblings but to keep the family together and run an institute.

Julian Blackthorn is what makes this family work and I truly don't think he gets enough credit in the fandom, even now that we have Lady Midnight and Lord of Shadows as a nod to how much he loves his family. He is both ruthless when it comes to measures he'll take to protect his family and utterly selfless.

All the way from Helene to little Tavvy to Emma, Aline, Kit, Diana and Cristina, who are family despite all the different last names, this family is one of the strongest in the Shadowhunter world and they have suffered so many losses that my heart is probably in about a dozen pieces for them.

Especially with how Lord of Shadows ends--GOD, I was definitely destroyed by that loss. There's just something about this particular group/generation that is really beautiful and heartbreaking but so very real.

The Lightwoods, The Mortal Instruments:

For a moment, I was considering not including Maryse and Robert but that just didn't feel right. Even if I have my problems with both of them--or did.

They're definitely not under appreciated when it comes to the fanbase but I still feel like words can't stress how wonderful they are together. From the siblings--Alec, Izzy, Jace and Max (RIP)--to the parents, all the way to expanding towards in-laws in the future, this family is tough and continues to grow despite its losses.

And boy--were there some losses.

I've always wanted to know more about the family (which, in some ways, we definitely got with The Infernal Devices) because they just seem so close to one another even when things are rocky. I am definitely referring to the siblings because... oh my God, do they love each other and kill me every time I reread.

You know, there are a lot of flaws in the television adaptation of The Mortal Instruments but there's a scene where Jace, Alec and Isabelle are all huddled together that just really sticks out to me and is a nice nod to that relationship and what their family has--and will--endure in all forms. I just love them. So. Much. And that was one of the rare moments that capture the feelings of the book, in all its changes.

There's so much to be said about these books and all the connections made in them. It was very hard to narrow down these categories but for now, I'm pretty content in the relationships I have picked out as my personal favourites. I can't wait to hear about all of yours!

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