An Open Letter to Sebastian Verlac

Dear Sebastian,

You were the sort of character who bypassed all the logic that fictional characters should live by: impossible to love, yet inexplicably difficult to hate. You were a demented murderer, and it seemed as if you slaughtered the fandom’s favorites with every other chapter.

Yet despite the sickening things you did…I pity you. For every word Valentine said to you as a child, for every person killed for what you saw as “the only way”, and for every chance at a human life that was snatched away from your searching hands.

Even before you were born, Valentine had pretty much sealed your fate. You were an experiment—all the angel DNA you had was eaten away by the corrosive demon blood injected into you. Your mother resented you because of it. She left you as an infant to protect her “pure” children from her malicious husband.

This set you up for an abusive and manipulative childhood. Your father hated you. He blamed you for the disappearance of your mother, and he made sure that you were aware of it.

You were never taught to love or to protect. Harsh laws were the only things beaten into your dark heart: you were a monster who was to become a weapon, a demon who would deceive angels, and an abomination that would always rot in the shadow of your angel-blooded counterpart, Jace.

I’m not really surprised you grew up to become a psychopath.

Don’t get me wrong, no one in the fandom will ever forgive you for your worst sins. But when you were first introduced to The Shadowhunter Chronicles, everyone loved you: charming, ambitious, angst-ridden—what’s not to love?

When the savage inside of you couldn’t bear to keep up the facade of delightful, charming Sebastian Verlac, we finally saw you for the monster you were.

Our favorite little boy was dead by your hands, Clary (who was your sister, you incestuous devil!) was traumatized by your sexual advancements, and you ended Fallen Angels by magically brainwashing the main character’s boyfriend—your brother, might I add—using the powers of your surrogate demon mother.

 

You were far, far away from being a sympathetic character.

 

Yet, through the painful chaos of the series finale, I saw parts of your shredded soul that were bared for the audience.

“If I cannot move heaven, I will raise hell.”

How many times did you say this to yourself? How many times did you force yourself to go on with this oath of vengeance? How many times did you have to convince yourself that you—a disgusting experiment—could never hope to have a heart?

But you did have a heart.

 

You were jealous of Jace for being loveable, furious at your mother for leaving you as an infant, afraid of the legacy Valentine carved out for you, and your sister meant everything to you. You would’ve gladly seen the ashes of the world burn at your feet just for her approval.

At the end of the series, I was in tears when you died.When Clary, the one person who was important to you, rammed a sword of heavenly fire deep into your gut, all of the evil that had poisoned your heart burned away. We got a glimpse of who you could have been.

Before your death, we met a boy with green eyes and a big heart and a lot of regret for all the lives he had ruined and the flaming world he left behind.

 

Your mother held you–Jonathan Morgenstern, not Sebastian—as you died, and I’ve kept you in my thoughts for a long time, as a somber reminder of the way our circumstances shape us into who we are.

I can’t say that I forgive you entirely. Too many characters were killed and too many families were torn apart by the raging war you. But I have enough optimism that you—the boy with green eyes—can find peace and love, even in death.

All the best,

 

To read more about Sebastian and the world he lived in, click on this link–straight from the bestselling author herself.

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