Blindness and Sight in TLH
Hello everyone!!! As you know, I often like to analyze things which lead to speculations. The irony of this speculation is that it came to me when I was talking to a friend about my “anti-birthday” (your anti-birthday is precisely six months after your birthday). My anti-birthday is on December 13th, which is Saint Lucie’s day, who is also the name of one of our beloved characters in TLH. This theory will not only tackle Lucie’s repercussions after she brought Jesse’s soul back into his body, but also other meanings of the word blind and sight in regards to James and Cordelia and Grace.
The name Lucie means light, and we’ve been told and shown several times how she is bubbly, positive, sunny, and generally has this radiant aura about her and she seems to brighten other people’s lives with her energy. But we are also aware that Lucie is often overlooked despite being so lively, and she has also problems of her own which she didn’t tell anyone of her family. These issues also include finding out that she has a power like her brother James. Her power is tied to the darkness and to death, which is an opposite motif to light and life, which are the superficial traits of our Lucie.
She can’t just see the ghosts, she can also control the dead, and this power is called mediumship. Lucie is a medium figure, she can come into contact with ghosts, but unlike James and Will, she can do it literally, because she has inherited this skill from her demon grandfather Belial.
Most of COG and then COI, we’ve seen how Lucie was pictured as the little girl. Not only because of her height. Along with Christopher, Lucie is the youngest character of the group, and at times it almost seems like the others treat her like a child, when she is mature compared to some of the other characters. And they also ignore her (as they also ignore Kit).
Lucie is connected to spirits, hence even her relationship with Jesse, who was himself a spirit, is very spiritual and encompasses that kind of romantic love that transcends time - or, in this case, physicality, since they can barely touch. Lucie then has what we’d call the “sight”, which is the ability to see things other people can’t see. In this case, ghosts. It’s possible she can also see inside their minds, just like she did with Jesse right before she put his soul back into his body. They also say that the eyes are the window of the soul, so when Lucie looked inside Jesse, she also saw his memories from a privileged window.
I mentioned Saint Lucie, did I? It’s time I explain this theory to you. For those who are not religious nor are Catholic (not only Roman Catholic believe in saints), Saint Lucie is on December 13, which is close to Winter solstice. We know that COI was set in Winter and it was almost Christmas. Weird connection, right? This means that Jesse’s soul was brought back around that time. The Lucie I’m referring to is a specific Saint Lucie, from Syracuse in Italy. She was a martyr of noble origins whose throat was cut by a sword, because she didn’t want to get married to her betrothed and instead gave her wealth to poor people. Another legend narrates that Lucie’s eyes were removed, making her blind. She is, in fact, according to Christianity, the protector of blind people but also authors. All of this to say that it is possible - at least, I’m speculating based on the associations I’m making - that one of the repercussions of Lucie bringing back Jesse’s soul into his body may be blindness or temporary blindness. We also become blind if we stare at a source of light for too long.
I apologize in advance for this theory, but there are signs that may hint to this. The name Lucie is one of them. Like I said, Lucie embeds both light (in her first name but also in her being a shadowhunter, therefore “angelic”) and dark (in her power, but also in her being also part “demon/warlock”). Which means that one of the repercussions for bringing dead = darkness to life = light is a temporary loss of light and sight in herself. This could also not go literal. I mean, Lucie could simply “go dark” and “lose her light” like for example Julian did in TDA, but wouldn’t it be too predictable? The reason why I believe Lucie may suffer the loss of her sight is also because we have other types of blindness in TLH. But wait a second.
Let me explain first. I said that Lucie and Jesse are a spiritual couple, with a pure and innocent love, which makes them appear very connected to each other that they don’t need the physicality to validate their love. They already trust each other. They know that they love each other, and that’s what matters to them. The quality not the quantity of the time they spend together. So one of their obstacles could be that now that Jesse is alive and in his body and they can finally touch and see each other properly like they’d dreamed (touch in general, I’m not talking about something romantic or sexual here), it’s Lucie who loses something physical here. Up until the end of Chain of Iron, it was Jesse who lacked physicality because he was a ghost. Now it could be Lucie who lacks her light and can’t even see ghosts, just hear them. Or this will not play out with actual blindness, but we’ll see Lucie in a comatose status or lost in the pit of darkness from where she saved Jesse’s soul, and thanks to the connection Jesse’s last breath may have with James, he could be able to reach out to her and bring her back (just like Cordelia is James’ light and is able to reach out to him when he’s in the shadow realm). So, bottom line, Lucie may become blind (temporary) indirectly because of Jesse and the act she pulled to bring him back.
I mentioned James and Cordelia because the theme of blindness concerns them too, but in different ways. Where Lucie and Jesse are not blind on their feelings and, on the other hand, embrace them completely when they come, James is under the effect of the gracelet and Cordelia, despite loving James, thinks it’s a one-sided love thus she doesn’t tell him how she feels. By being under the effect of the gracelet, it was like James was blind. He saw Cordelia, felt his longing for her, but there was something blinding in his sight which didn’t let him be honest with the person he loved. We are aware that without the gracelet, James would have already confessed to Cordelia. I looked for the term blind both in Chain of Gold and Chain of Iron, and guess what? In COG, most of the terms blind, blindness, blindly and so on, were referred to James. There is also a specific line that Jem tells James about him being a star who can’t be put out, along with his family, and whoever doesn’t see it is blind. I just love this metaphor of the Herondale family being the light in Jem’s darkness and muteness (which may be another thing pointing to Lucie becoming temporarily blind, although Jem is not mute per se, since he can talk telepathically - but it’s still a traumatic disability). In Greek mythology, Tiresia was a liminal figure like Lucie and they were also blind and could see the underworld.
The cause of James' blindness to his feelings for Cordelia was Grace.
Little parenthesis on Grace: in COI we find out she was blindfolded when she received her power, which I think it doesn’t just add more material to this analysis, but it also means a few things. She was given a power she didn’t want without her consent, because she was taken there blindfolded, blind. She couldn’t say she didn’t want it, because she had been also manipulated and abused by Tatiana. Grace’s lack of consent doesn’t just connect with her power taking away people’s feelings as well. It also links to Jesse’s body used by Belial without his consent. Jesse was also blindfolded when he woke up after Lucie brought his soul back. Covering the eyes of dead people was a habit that comes from the past. He tears the blindfold away and the first thing he sees is Lucie fainting, her world “blurring at the edges” before everything gets dark.
When I looked up for the same words in COI, Cordelia was the one linked to blind, blindness et similar. She wasn’t just wondering why she had been so blind about her father’s condition, and about James and his feelings, but also about what Lilith did to her. Cordelia had been deceived, and in her case, blindness is linked to the fact of not noticing the signs that Wayland wasn’t Wayland but Lilith. And Lilith is the mother of all warlocks, and it’s yet another link to James and Lucie’s heritage and being torn between serving the shadowhunters with a sword pledged to a demon. This also plays in Jesse being a shadowhunter but having Belial’s demonic anchor inside of him.
James and Cordelia’s blindness was played on the feelings’ side. His feelings were obscured by the gracelet and Belial and Tatiana’s wrath, and Cordelia’s heroic feelings were obscured by Lilith’s wrath against James’ grandfather. Their blindness was not literal, and as we saw, their feelings for each other were too strong that they shattered the enchantment on the gracelet. Both of them found out that they had been blind by the end of COI. Grace told James the truth, but Cordelia misinterpreted what she saw (blindness again! Miscommunication, which is also a lack of insight into something). Cordelia, already feeling burdened by Cortana’s corruption, couldn’t help but run away to the alternate reality which was Paris. In COT, Cordelia and James will finally confess their feelings for each other.
Blindness may play out differently for Lucie and Jesse. Since their feelings weren’t blurred by any enchantment, they were able to confess to each other and live their love, albeit for a short period of time. Since Jordelia’s blindness (and subsequent miscommunication, which Blackdale didn’t have because they were the only ones who talked to each other) was metaphorical, spiritual, in opposition, Blackdale’s blindness could be physically debilitating. So like Grace voluntarily provoked James’ metaphorical blindness and masked his real feelings for Cordelia, Jesse could have involuntarily provoked Lucie’s literal blindness.
I can’t stop thinking about the fact that some of the things that also happened to James could also reflect on Lucie but play out in a different way for her. Like when Grace wants James to run away with her to Gretna Green and get married. James doesn’t want to leave the shadowhunters. Not for Grace, even if he believes he likes her. This could play out for Lucie and Jesse. They might be exiled, or Lucie could decide to leave the shadowhunters and Jesse could follow her, and they become mundanes.
That’s it! Hope you liked my analysis and speculation. I like to hear your opinion about it, so feel free to write to me in my ask box to talk about it, if you want.
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Re-reading Chain of Gold ✨
Things at the first ball that foreshadowed so many of the relationships we see throughout the series
Includes spoilers for Chog & Choi
First, Alastair, the guy who at this beginning point of the series, finds most things pretty boring is actually excited when he first sees Charles. This is the first time we see him “suddenly brighten” and go and speak to anyone outside of Cordelia and Sonia. And at the time we all probably didn’t realise why but now we all know how that played out in Chog. (Inspired by @carstairsstan’s post).
After chilling with Charles, Alastair goes and “exchanges confidences” with Thomas who he is observed being quite open with, another trait we don’t see often in Alastair yet. Interesting how he went from speaking with Charles, then to Thomas, just as his interests and intentions shift from Charles to Thomas (thankfully so) from Chog to Choi.
Kamala’s (Ariadne) response when all of the girls are gushing over James & Math is like yeah they’re ok I guess and everyone thinks that it’s because she just has eyes for Charles.. but we later see who she truly has saved her heart for. Even James unintentionally hints to Cordelia that their engagement has different intentions than for love.
When Barbara falls and Anna is cutting open her corset, Anna asks Kamala for her silk wrap to cover Barbs, already well aware of what she is wearing. Now I can only imagine that Anna had been watching Kamala across the room when she was being all chill beforehand, smoking her cigar. Longing for Kamala but not allowing herself, pretending that her feelings didn’t exist. And we see this same thing play out in a deeper way through Choi.
When Grace bursts into the ball its not that much of a surprise (unfortunately) that James goes over to see her. But when he leaves Cordelia during their dance, who comes in and saves Cordelia immediately!? Matthew. Who also jumps in at the end of Choi to help Cordelia after the whole thank god situation between James and Grace? Again, Matthew. He always cared for her from the start.
During Cordelia’s dance with Matthew, who disappears, leaving Cordelia wondering later on where she went? Lucie. And who is she with? Jesse. Which we see happen again right at the end of Choi, where Lucie disappears with Jesse. And again, Cordelia doesn’t get the chance to notice/find this out because Matthew has swooped in again and this time they’re off together to Paris.
We see Charles and Grace randomly having a conversation after her dance with James. She could have gone and spoken with anyone or even stood in the corner with Tatiana but who was she with? Her future fiancé.
Also, Tatiana as always is by herself (of course) and we know she's going to end up alone; either dead, in the Silent City prison or some other form of “aloneness” that is just out of everyone elses’ way (thankfully).
James tries to go and “save Grace” from Charles but he never gets there since he’s pulled into the shadow realm. And in Choi, after Grace calls off the engagement with Charles and she goes to James for help, he has realised about the gracelet he’s been wearing and isn’t there to “save” Grace, but rather, to confront her this time.
Christopher is pretty much just chilling, he's the only one really just doing his own thing at the dance without thinking much about the others in the way that they are all thinking about each other. He might end up with Grace in Chot, but if so, I feel she would be the one to initiate things since he’s quite content to be with himself. He might also just contently continue that way too.
James’ first dance is with Cordelia, and hers is with him. This symbolises how it was always about the two of them; they really are *it* for one another. The Herondales only have one love after all, and we know where Cordelia’s heart always has been.
And, after James comes out of the shadow realm and realises what is going on, he goes and stands behind Cordelia while she is helping Kamala. He’s clearly super uncomfortable because of what he just experienced, but he’s comfortable enough with Cordelia to imply for her to get his stele out of his inside pocket, as if that was a usual thing that would happen between the two of them, when in actuality, the first time they’ve really had that kind of close physical contact was when they were dancing only moments beforehand. And then, we go on to see the natural ease in which Jordelia can be together, living on Curzon street, and we will eventually see more of it in Chot when it is really aligned for them to be themselves together.
I’m sure there’s so many more things that are foreshadowed by @cassandraclare from this scene since it is the first time we really see everyone together, but these particularly stood out to me from my perspective!
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