Oh yeah! Time to get to the good stuff!! An end all, beat all ranking of the core Mortal Instrument characters.
To wish Cassandra Clare a happy bookiversary and gear up for the FREAKING GORGEOUS special re-release of City of Bones, the lovely Jessica over at Booked J came up with this themed book meme to celebrate. And I just HAD to participate because I’ve been a lunatic over this series from the start. The anniversary edition of City of Bones will be released on November 7 and we’re doing ten prompts for ten GLORIOUS years. If you want to join in the fun and spend the next ten weeks wistfully reminiscing with us, you can find out more about it HERE!
For week two we’re ranking the main characters, which basically means I’ll be gushing for several hundred words. BUCKLE IN KIDS. This list was surprisingly difficult to construct because like, THEY’RE ALL AMAZING. HOW DO I EVEN CHOOSE?!?! I had to write everyone’s name down on paper and then reorder them about a BILLION times. Before you dive into this list though, here are some things you should know:
- I TOTALLY included the three main characters from the Infernal Devices series. Ummmmm, how could I not??? Special shout out to Charlotte who I didn’t include on the list because I really had to hold myself back. The amount of names were really getting out of hand. But I freaking love her. YOU MY GIRL CHARLOTTE!
- It wasn’t until I compiled this list that I realized several characters have like, seven last names. *COUGH* Jace *COUGH* So everyone is listed with their ORIGINAL last name when they make their FIRST appearance.
- Just because someone is lower down on the list DOES NOT mean I don’t like them. In fact, this list was hard to make becuase I love all the characters like my own kids! (And, of course, by kids I mean my dogs) But I was required to order them and SOMEONE had to be at the bottom. Just PLEASE DON’T HATE ME!
- SPOILERS ABOUND!! This is your warning folks. I just couldn’t talk about why I loved each character without giving some stuff away. PROCEED WITH CAUTION.
Okay. LET’S DO THIS!
1. Magnus Bane
This was a no-brainer. He was at the top of every list I drafted. I mean, COME ON. MAGNUS IS THE BEST!! He’s super stylish, extremely witty, sarcastic, has AMAZING magical powers, he’s lived for hundreds of years—I COULD GO ON FOREVER. He captured my attention from the start with his extreme style and memorable one-liners, but he remained my favorite because he’s just unapologetically himself. I know he’s had a loooooooooong time to build that confidence and I’m sure after a few centuries you stop giving a damn, but that’s still a quality I really admire. And watching him share that self-love with Alec was a beautiful thing. Plus, Magnus somehow manages to be hilarious AND wise in a way that I hope to emulate one day. *Sighs*
2. Will Herondale
DIBS. Everyone just stay back because that boy is mine! It’s fine, I’m basically Tessa anyway, but I’ll get to that later.
WILL YOU GUYS. WILL. I LOVE HIM. I was a complete goner for Will the MOMENT he came crashing into the room to save Tessa with his dashing good looks, hardcore sass, and ability to kick major butt. There were times when his self-sacrificing and self-loathing nature frustrated the heck out of me, but of course it also made me love him more because he truly loves the people he cares about. When he lets someone in, he gives them his whole heart and I love that about Will. I hardcore shipped him with Tessa and I also hardcore shipped him with Jem. Hell, I pretty much shipped all of them with all of them. But I have a MAJOR weakness for Will.
3. Simon Lewis
Poor Simon! He always got the crap end of the deal, but he’s always been one of my favorites and I even had a minor crush for a while. Along with is killer band names and amazing t-shirts, Simon has the best one-liners and I love the comic-relief he brings to the table. He’s just a nerd who’s in love with his best friend and I always felt for the poor guy because I’ve totally been there.
I never really shipped him with Clary though, even from the beginning, and I HATED the brief period they dated. Talk about #awkward. And as much as I love Maia, I didn’t really like them together either. Simon and Isabelle, on the other hand, I FREAKING LOVE. I SHIP THEM SO MUCH. They’re kind of complete opposites, but in an awesome way that balances the other out. They’re just so cute!! I went through a brief phase where I didn’t really like Simon because I thought it was little douchey to two-time Isabelle and Maia—TWO OF MY FAVORITE LADIES. It just seemed so out of character! But he won me over again with his sharp wit and caring nature.
He’s pretty much Xander from Buffy the Vampire Slayer, which accounts for 80% of my love to be honest.
4. Jem Carstairs
AHHHHHHHHH JEM THE FEEEEEELSSSSS!!! So many emotions around Jem.
He snuck up on me a little! I was so taken with Will from the VERY beginning and I immediately wanted him and Tessa together. So when the quiet Jem entered the picture, I was just frustrated at the road block and wanted him to see the light, notice how Will was so OBVIOUSLY in love with Tessa, and move aside for them. Plus, I was SO WARY of the whole drug-yin-fen thing. HOWEVER, once we get his whole back story and see him interact with Tessa more, I slowly started falling until I was head over heels without really knowing how I got there. When we finally learn how sick Jem really is, it KILLED me! Ugh, just thinking about it puts me into a downward hell-spiral. He has such a quiet strength that I really appreciate and I love how he can be practical, but still joke around at the same time.
5. Luke Garroway
It’s probably weird I’m including Luke in this list, but he’s just SO AMAZING! I have kind of a weakness for Luke. He’s one of the most stable characters in a sea of complete SHADOWHUNTER MAYHEM and I love him for it. He’s also an alpha werewolf, so he pretty much wins. His crazy past with Valentine and Jocelyn hits me in the feels ever time and I completely respect him for always being there for Clary and her mom despite that. Plus, it’s obvious that he’s been in love with Jocelyn for YEARS—which she was too oblivious to notice—and I love that he never pressured her for more.
6. Tessa Gray
SPIRIT. ANIMAL. I love Tessa Gray, mostly because her and I are almost the same person. She loves reading books, she’s kind of quiet, but she’s clever and strong. That whole mess with her brother was heartbreaking to watch and I really felt for her. Plus, randomly finding out you’re a warlock is so freaking crazy. One minute you’re a human, the next you’re going to live FOREVER. What? Even before we officially know she’s an ageless warlock though, I thought she was wise beyond her years. Tessa has a quiet tenacity and fearlessness that I love.
Plus, we both love Will, so obviously we’re the same.
7. Isabelle Lightwood
CONFESSION. Teenage Loretta was NOT a fan of Isabelle. She was pretty much the complete opposite of me in every way, and I had a hard time wrapping my head around her character. Isabelle is confident, strong, and fearless while young Loretta was insecure, quiet, and scared of everything. I would read her parts with a kind of confused wonder. Who WAS this girl wearing a mini skirt, kicking ass, and carrying a whip around???
Now that I’m older, I look at her with an appreciation I didn’t have before. I love that she knows who she is and loves herself so completely. Older, mature Loretta strives to be her someday. *CUE LONE TEAR*
8. Clary Fray
My main girl Clary! Teen Loretta was sooooooo all over Clary from the very beginning. As a total art nerd who was applying to art school at the time, I could really relate to Clary way more than anyone else. Plus, her and I were the same age at the time, so we kind of grew up together. Obviously I wasn’t slaying demons or anything *sobs* but it still drew me to her more than anyone else.
Fast forward to today and I still feel pretty close to Clary, but I feel like my love is spread more evenly throughout the group. She’s not the only one holding me to the series, but I still appreciate her strength and determination.
9. Maia Roberts
In the very beginning when we first see Maia, I admit that her rough personality annoyed me a little. As the story went on and we learn more about her past, however, I grew protective. I mean, can the poor thing EVER CATCH A FREAKING BREAK?!?! I think that’s a large part of why the whole Simon two-timing thing bothered me so much. If anyone deserves happiness it’s Maia. Then Jordan starts sniffing around again and I was all, boy WHAT ARE YOU DOING?? Leave the poor thing alone!!! He never really completely won my trust back to be honest. But after everything Maia had to go through, I love her strength (I feel like I’ve said that a billion times) and ability to pick herself up again. Even when she’s scared, she faces each problem head on and she’s an amazing leader.
10. Alec Lightwood
Ohhh Alec. Conflicting emotions about Alec.
I find his personality exasperating sometimes because he’s just a giant wet blanket. He’s that one kid that’s always saying “I don’t know if this is a good idea you guys.” But then he has moments where he says something funny or does something cute to win me over again. I’ve always sympathized with the struggle he has with his sexuality and ability to love himself. Watching him grow throughout the series is the best part of his character I think, and I love him a lot more now that I’ve read all the books. Alec gives me hope in a way the others don’t. You can always turn things around and learn to love yourself a little more.
11. Jace Wayland
Basically who I was talking about when I said being at the bottom of the list doesn’t necessarily mean I dislike that character. In fact, Jace is one of my fictional husbands.
It wasn’t until after I made this list and started writing that I realized Jace and Will are pretty much THE EXACT SAME PERSON. I mean, I’m not obtuse, I definitely noticed this when I first read the Infernal Devices and I know Cassie Clare did this on purpose. I guess I just forgot??? I don’t know, but when I first started this list I was so fixated on Will and now I’m trying to dissect why I like him so much more then Jace.
There’s something just so irritating to me about Jace sometimes. We have a love hate relationship. He can be soooooo dramatic. I try to reason with myself that this is understandable. The guy has been through some messed up stuff, then finds out the girl he loves is HIS SISTER. WTF. It’s good that this freaks him out. If it didn’t, I’d be worried about his mental stability. But Jace is just so TORTURED about it! Like, dude cut yourself a little slack. It’s not like you knew each other or grew up with one another. How are you suppose to know the girl you’ve known for five minutes is your sister? And Will’s tortured emotions made more sense to me I guess???? His best friend/brother is dying AND he’s in love with his fiancé. That sucks. Idk, I’m probably being weird. But I remember being SO RELIEVED reading City of Glass when Jace and Clary finally figure out they can be together. Like, FINALLY. CAN WE ALL MOVE ON NOW???
12. Valentine Morgenstern
Okay, YES HE MADE THE LIST ABOVE JOCELYN, but in my defense he was a spectacularly evil character! He tortured an angel guys. AN ANGEL. That was kept in his basement! FOR LIKE, TWO DECADES (-ish). Is there anything more evil than that? He’s like Hitler on speed.
Personally, I find that young-adult novels have villains that aren’t really scary, they’re just an obstacle standing in the way of the protagonists. A good example of this is Piper from The Raven King. Is she scary in any way? No. She’s just straight up annoying, selfishly trying to thwart the Raven Boys for personal gain. Valentine is different though. He’s TERRIFYING and I have mad respect for him as a villain. He was willing to do ANYTHING and screw over ANYONE to reach his messed up end goal.
13. Jocelyn Fray
I almost didn’t include Jocelyn in this, but since I mentioned Luke I felt obligated to include her too. But honestly, I don’t really have ANY feelings for Clary’s mother.
Part of that is probably because she was IN A COMA for the first quarter of the series, but I also have conflicting emotions for her. I don’t agree with her decision to keep Clary out of the loop for so long, but I understand why she did it. In my personal opinion, I alway think honesty is the best way to go and dumping so much on Clary at one time was not cool. It’s her 18th birthday and then BAM she finds out everything she’s ever known is a lie and she’s actually a completely different person than she thought. Jocelyn was trying to keep Clary safe and protect her, but weren’t they in trouble anyway? Wouldn’t it have been better if Clary was better prepared to fight against the danger they were in instead of being completely in the dark and defenseless??
But then I think about everything Jocelyn had to go through when she was married to Valentine and I can’t help but respect her. I don’t know. In the end, the two emotions kind of cancel each other out for me.
14. SEBASTIAN FREAKING VERLAC
Literally just included him in this list so I could rant. I have like, eight years of fiery rage built up inside of me and now it can FINALLY BE FREE!!!! MWAHAHAHAHAHA!!
I thought his entire storyline WAS SO INCREDIBLY POINTLESS!!!! Was Valentine and his “cleansing” not enough of a challenge?? Do we really need an extra creepy bad guy running around and ruining everyone’s lives??? WAS KILLING MAX REALLY NECESSARY????????? I don’t understand! Valentine was so terrifyingly evil already, why was Sebastian’s character even needed? And then there was that whole storyline in books four and five where Lilith joins Sebastian and Jace together to bring Sebastian back to life and they run off to Europe, forcing Clary to go after them. Ugh, I hated it. It just felt like a way to delay the end and stretch out the story longer. NOPE! Sorry Cassie Clare, I just can’t with Sebastian.
Hodge isn’t really that remarkable and I don’t really have any emotions for him either way. But he shocked me so much at the end of City of Bones, I thought he was worth mentioning. I honestly did not see that little twist coming AT ALL and was thoroughly surprised and betrayed. Should I have seen it coming? Probably. I have to give it to Hodge, though, for lulling me in to a false sense of security.
Who do you relate to the most?
This was a hard one to answer because I feel a little connected to everyone and my love is pretty evenly spread. I’ve already touched on this a little, but I think I’m most like Tessa. Actually, I think I’m a weird combination of Clary AND Tessa. My personality matches Tessa’s more than anyone else, but Clary is arty in a way that I can really relate to. Plus, Clary and her mom are really close and I’m really close with my mother too.
Who do you relate to the least?
This was also hard to answer for the same reason as above. Feeling connected to every character makes it hard to pick one I relate to the least. But I guess I’m leaning towards Jocelyn???? I feel like that’s kind of a cop-out answer, but that’s all you’re getting. She’s the only one that I feel apathetic about.
TALK TO ME
All right, that’s it kids! The longest post in the world is finally over!
What do you think? Do you love this list? Hate it? Tell me why!!
Do you hate Sebastian as much as I do? TELL ME I’M NOT ALONE!
Isn’t Magnus THE BEST???