Hi guys! So I decided to write something about the epilogue of Clockwork Princess which turned into more like a wild rant. Haha! I originally posted this in my tumblr but I thought that I might share this here too. And guys, don't get me wrong. I love this book so much but there were just some part in the epilogue that didn't quite sit well with me. I'll be explaining here why is that and I think I might as well get this all out before writing a review (I don't want to write a review oozing with some bitterness). Hehe. This contains major spoilers (obviously since I'm talking about the epilogue here) so I recommend not to read this if you haven't read the book yet.
I know this topic has been discussed by a lot of readers and questions regarding it has even been answered and explained by Cassandra Clare, the author itself. I have read them and I have to say they did actually help. It helped lessen the bitter on the bittersweet feelings I had. My mind has been much more open and understanding yet even if I have seen and read them it feels like it wasn’t enough. Some part of me still can’t quite completely accept the explanations. And then I realized maybe I really wouldn’t. That maybe that’s just how it is. And all that I have to do is let it all go out, because they are UGLY feelings (coming only from a very small part), and if I didn’t, I wouldn’t be able to completely see the bigger and much better picture, That everyone got their chance to be happy. That’s why I’m writing this. I don’t mean any offence to anyone, or to bash this book, or to discourage fans in loving this book even more. I just can’t let these feelings affect my overall judgment and love for the series. I have to let this all go and then eventually learn to accept how things were and concentrate more on the good and happy parts. So here we go.
Note: Do not hate me please if on some parts I became a little too harsh and too opinionated. Remember I’m just getting this all out, a process I needed to get all the negative feelings out of my system and be able to completely love the whole book.
First, I want to clarify that it wasn’t the whole epilogue that had bothered me so much. The whole part of Will’s death was, I have to say, a very saddening part but also a very compelling and poignant way to address the full weight of immortality. It was a hard truth that I know would eventually happen and some part of me, of course, refused to think about it. But that’s how it is, it made me cry bucket of tears but the other part of me also understands the reasons why Claire had written it.
So now we go to the part that made me cry harder not because I was touched but because it felt like I was slapped in the face, hard. It was the latter part, the part where Tessa and Jem got together. And before you guys (Team Jem especially) start sending downworlders to hunt me down, I’m going to make this clear, I HAVE NOTHING AGAINST TESSA AND JEM BEING TOGETHER! Although, of course, my too-loyal Will-fangirl did a little double take on that part, it was still, I think, a very nice part - Jem having his chance to be happy, to share a lifetime to the girl he had only loved. And Tessa had been alone for years, she had mourned Will for so long and I think it’s just natural to moved on and find someone to love again, and what better is it than to be with someone who she had loved and cared for so long too, right?
It was really okay for me for them to be together after all those years but what bothered me about it was her claim and insistence that she had loved him all those times. And just as equal as she loved Will.
“You asked me if I have loved anyone but Will,” she said. “And the answer is yes. I have loved you. I always have, and I always will.”
So maybe she did love them equally especially during the earlier times, but does that mean that it had been that constant even throughout the years she had been with Will building a family and Jem being a Silent Brother? It never changed? That she had loved Jem just as the way she had loved him from the start? In a romantic level?
What I fault about the epilogue was not about Tessa’s choice of being with Jem. It was after all a rational and reasonable action. And I believe the both of them deserved that chance. Will, I know, would definitely approve of that too. What I fault about it though and what I think most readers took offense to was when Tessa claimed that her love for Jem had been just as consistent and just as equal as she had loved Will throughout those years.
Maybe before she built a life with Will, yes, I could accept that. But I doubt that it never changed nor diminished a little when she made a vow with Will and became his wife and the mother of his children. I find it unrealistic and unbelievable.
That’s also probably why some readers thought negatively of Tessa’s yearly visits with Jem. Clare explained that Will was well aware of these visits and that it was something both Tessa and Jem needed especially since both of them were immortals. However I couldn’t also entirely fault those readers who thought how it might look like to be emotional cheating especially after what Tessa said in the epilogue. When she said that she have always loved him and just as much as she had loved Will, then, doesn’t that imply that during those visits half of her heart had been already to Jem and that she was as very much in love to him as she was to Will?
I find it impossible and very unrealistic to think that her love for both boys had been that equal for 130 years. A marriage would change that; an everyday life with a husband would change that; having a son and a daughter with the said husband would certainly change that. So can you honestly tell me that while Tessa was living a happy married life, with a loving husband and adorable children and Jem was on the Silent City, being a Silent Brother with so minimal communication, her love for them had been consistently equal? Realistically speaking, I don’t think so.
If you tell me it was more in a general way that her love and care for Jem was just as intensely as to Will –in a general form and not in a romantic way- that I could accept. Tell me it’s of equal love but of different ways and I would understand. But I don’t think it could ever be both romantic all at the same time. Being in love with another guy, just as equally in love as she was with her husband whom she had a son and a daughter? I can see how it could look and feel very insulting.
After reading Clare’s post in tumblr, I know that what she really intended to write was a balanced love-triangle. Although it was something I’m not sure I can easily wrap my mind into, I am open to that idea. If that’s what it was really should be then fine, but I have to be honest and say that she failed in writing a convincing one. In the first place, the epilogue wouldn’t have been an issue if most of us were convinced. I wouldn’t question Tessa’s ability to love both boys at the same time genuinely and truthfully. I felt it and saw it. But equally? I couldn’t say I did the same. Looking back on the previous two books and up to this one, I have to say that I found very little proof to support the claim that Tessa’s love was equal. And how she can still insist it, after one and a half century, where a lot have happened, where so many love have lost and gained, where so many things have changed, is just beyond my comprehension.
This may seem that I hate the epilogue but that wasn’t entirely the case. I actually love it that Jem and Tessa got the chance to be together in a different lifetime. I never read a triangle where both sides were a win-win and I would have still preferred a conclusion like this over that of the other series (Goodreads buddies know what I’m referring to). The idea of each of them having their chance to be happy but in different lifetimes is a very fair conclusion. I know a part of Tessa, of course, will never stop loving Jem and the same with Will. She could love Jem in their lifetime together as equally and as intensely as she had loved Will in their own separate lifetime but I’ll never ever be convinced that she had loved them both equally and as intensely in one and same lifetime.
*On the side note, (this is purely me as a reader) I have to say that the arrangement of the epilogue didn’t help too. ‘Cause you see, I’ve just read of Will’s death in 5 pages! And unlike Tessa I didn’t have years and years to sort it all out in my heart and brain and soul! I only have minutes, short freaking minutes to fully absorbed everything before seeing Tessa declaring her love for Jem and kissing him. I know I couldn’t compare my grief as to what Tessa had felt but boy, Will is almost like a real person to me. I have seen the weakest and the strongest, the ugliest and the prettiest, the saddest and the happiest of him! I’ve seen his thoughts and been with him throughout this journey and although I know I’m merely just a reader I still need time to grieve over a character I’ve come to really really love. It would have been a little helpful if everything was taken a little slowly because my poor poor heart just couldn’t cope up. I mean, I just saw Will die and the next thing I knew Tessa was kissing Jem and was walking with him hand in hand in the sunset? That doesn’t mean though I wasn’t happy for them but making it a little slowly would’ve been greatly appreciated. *sigh*
*This post can also be seen at my tumblr.*