#just give me my elucien content
Me rereading ACOMAF just to get the end, you know, the Cauldron scene, just to get to ACOWAR, just to read about Elucien -
- meanwhile being stuck in middle of Feysands mating frenzy that my 15-year-old self went nuts about.
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Elucien in ACOWAR and ACOFAS
I thought it would be interesting to analyze a few Elucien scenes from ACOWAR and ACOFAS as we talk and think about what these scenes mean for Elucien and also for the next book(s).
🦊 This first scene is when Feyre...intrudes into Lucien’s head when he comes to see Elain in the library at the House of Wind.
But there she was.
She was nothing like Jesminda.
Jesminda had been all laughter and mischief, too wild and free to be contained by the country life that she’d been born into. She had teased him, taunted him—seduced him so thoroughly that he hadn’t wanted anything but her. She’d seen him not as a High Lord’s seventh son, but as a male. Had loved him without question, without hesitation. She had chosen him.
Elain had been … thrown at him.
This scene is really interesting to me, especially since it’s one of the only times we see into Lucien’s head. Here, we see Lucien comparing his former love to Elain. And I think it provides a lot of insight into what Lucien wants versus what he’s been stuck with.
As Lucien describes her, Jesminda was full of life and spark. It’s interesting—Jesminda sounds a lot like Vassa... Jesminda valued Lucien for who he is, she loved him, and she CHOSE him.
And we get that juxtaposed directly with “Elain had been...thrown at him.” This contrast is striking. Jesminda actively chose Lucien, while Elain passively was thrown as him. The use of the word thrown there even suggests she’s unwanted by Lucien. It’s also interesting to compare this language to what Azriel says in the bonus—that Elain was “given” to another. Because that’s how he would view that—as a gift. But Lucien doesn’t appear to view Elain as a gift at this point based on the language he uses here.
I think this passage shows us what Lucien really wants—someone like Jesminda, who is fiery and has spark and challenges him and is full of life, but most importantly, someone who loves and chooses him for who he is. I think Sarah was foreshadowing Lucien’s fate even here, in ACOWAR.
🦊 Next, the scene where we first find out Elain is a seer.
Lucien murmured to me, eye still fixed on Elain, “Should we—does she need …?”
“She doesn’t need anything,” Azriel answered without so much as looking at Lucien.
Elain was staring at the spymaster now—unblinkingly.
“We’re the ones who need …” Azriel trailed off. “A seer,” he said, more to himself than us. “The Cauldron made you a seer.”
We’ve all discussed this scene in depth, but it is striking that Lucien does not see or understand Elain, and cannot figure out what she needs. He doesn’t get Elain. But Az sees her—he figures out she’s a seer.
🦊 Next, we hear Elain’s own words when she goes to the manor to see Graysen.
Graysen swallowed. “Did you think you could come back here—live with me as this … lie?”
“No. Yes. I—I don’t know what I wanted—”
“And you are bound to some … Fae male. A High Lord’s son.”
A different High Lord’s heir, likely, I wanted to say.
“His name is Lucien.” I wasn’t certain if I’d ever heard his name from her lips.
“I don’t care what his name is.” The first sharp words from Graysen. “You are his mate. Do you even know what that means?”
“It means nothing,” Elain said, her voice breaking. “It means nothing. I don’t care who decided it or why they did—”
“You belong to him.”
“I belong to no one. But my heart belongs to you.”
Here we hear from Elain herself that the bond means nothing to her, and she rejects its connotations. She does not belong to anyone. Elain’s autonomy is very important to her. But she can choose to give her heart away to someone. Not herself, that will always be hers. But her heart belonged to Graysen, and she will choose to give it to another in her book.
🦊 Then we have the conversation between Feyre and Rhys about mates.
Elain sat silently at one of the wrought-iron tables, a cup of tea before her. Azriel was sprawled on the chaise longue across the gray stones, sunning his wings and reading what looked to be a stack of reports—likely information on the Autumn Court that he planned to present to Rhys once he’d sorted through it all. Already dressed for the Hewn City—the brutal, beautiful armor so at odds with the lovely garden. And my sister sitting within it.
“Why not make them mates?” I mused.
“I’d keep that question from Lucien.”
“I’m serious.” ...
“You said your mother and father were wrong for each other; Tamlin said his own parents were wrong for each other.” I peeled off my dressing robe. “So it can’t be a perfect system of matching. What if”—I jerked my chin toward the window, to my sister and the shadowsinger in the garden—“that is what she needs? Is there no free will? What if Lucien wishes the union but she doesn’t?”
“A mating bond can be rejected,” Rhys said mildly, eyes flickering in the mirror as he drank in every inch of bare skin I had on display. “There is choice. And sometimes, yes—the bond picks poorly. Sometimes, the bond is nothing more than some … preordained guesswork at who will provide the strongest offspring. At its basest level, it’s perhaps only that. Some natural function, not an indication of true, paired souls.” ...
“Do you think she and Lucien match well?” I pulled out a pair of sandals that laced up my bare thighs and jammed my feet into them before beginning work on the bindings. “You know them better than I do. But I will say that Lucien is loyal—fiercely so.”
“So is Azriel.”
“Azriel,” Rhys said, “has been preoccupied with the same female for the past five hundred years.”
This whole passage is fascinating to me. We start with Elain and Az spending time together, content and in silence, in the garden. And we have this contrast of Azriel in his armor against lovely Elain, which we see again in the truth-teller scene.
Then we hear Feyre pose the question many readers were already thinking to themselves: why not make Az and Elain mates instead? We hear Azriel echo this same question to Rhys in Az’s bonus chapter. That line specifically should recall this scene to the reader. That isn’t the first time we’ve heard someone question why Az and Elain aren’t mates.
We then have discussion about how the Cauldron isn’t always right, and what happens if Lucien isn’t what she needs, but Azriel is. And Rhys confirms that there is free will, and the bond can be rejected.
Then Feyre asks if Rhys thinks Lucien is a good match for Elain. And Rhys says that he’s loyal, but Feyre counters with the fact that Az is to. And Rhys’s only counter to this, the only apparent barrier to Az and Elain, is that Azriel has been in love with Mor for the last 500 years. Which, to me at least, begged the question, “well what happens if Azriel ever is no longer in love with Mor?”
This scene is here for a reason, obviously. Sarah is preparing the reader for the fact that Elain might reject the bond, and Sarah is also flagging for the reader who might actually be right for Elain: Azriel. And to me, this is already setting up a major part of Elain’s arc: will she accept her predestiny with Lucien, or choose Azriel? Feyre at least seems to think Azriel might be Elain’s perfect match, and I think Sarah is telling the reader that might be right as well.
🦊 And finally, the last scene we get of Elain and Lucien in ACOWAR.
Elain fell into step beside me, peering at Lucien. He noticed it. “I heard you made the killing blow,” he said.
Elain studied the trees ahead. “Nesta did. I just stabbed him.”
Lucien seemed to fumble for a response, but I said to him, “So where now? Off with Vassa?” I wondered if he’d heard of Tamlin’s role—the help he’d given us. A look at my friend showed me he had. Someone, perhaps my mate, had informed him.
Lucien shrugged. “First—here. To help. Then …” Another glance at Elain. “Who knows?”
I nudged Elain, who blinked at me, then blurted, “You could come to Velaris.”
He saw all of it, but nodded graciously. “It would be my pleasure.”
This scene is remarkable for how awkward it is. Elain and Lucien plainly are not comfortable around each other. They appear to have no chemistry, and have no idea how to talk to each other. Lucien, the courtier, fumbles for a response. Elain, who is consummately polite and can charm anyone, has to be nudged by Feyre to invite Lucien to Velaris. And Lucien sees the nudge. They are not themselves around each other.
This is striking when compared to the previous scene where we saw Azriel and Elain sitting completely comfortably together.
And it’s also striking in comparison to how Lucien spoke about Jesminda, who seems to bring light into his life and make him feel alive and valued and loved.
We don’t get a lot of Elucien in ACOFAS, but what we get is telling.
🦊First, we learn that Elain, who again can charm anyone and is always friendly and kind, just ignores Lucien.
Elain, at least, would be too polite to send Lucien away when he wanted to help. She was too polite to send him away on a normal day. She just ignored him or barely spoke to him until he got the hint and left. As far as I knew, he hadn’t come within touching distance since the aftermath of that final battle. No, she tended to her gardens here, silently mourning her lost human life. Mourning Graysen.
How Lucien withstood it, I didn’t know. Not that he’d shown any interest in bridging that gap between them.
They both appear to be ignoring each other essentially, though Elain more than Lucien. And Lucien is not helping Elain heal. But I find the last line of this passage super interesting. “Not that he’d shown any interest in bridging that gap between them.” Sarah used “bridges” to talk about the bond consistently throughout this series. And yet here, she’s talking about the opposite. That there is not bridge between Elain and Lucien, but instead a gap. That neither of them is working on (or interested in!) bridging.
🦊 Then we have the solstice scenes. These are long, so bear with me.
“You look well,” I said to Lucien when we’d settled in the armchairs before the fire, Elain perched silently on the couch nearby.
Lucien warmed his hands in the glow of the birch fire, the light casting his face in reds and golds—golds that matched his mechanical eye.
“You as well.” A sidelong glance toward Elain, swift and fleeting. “Both of you.” Elain said nothing, but at least she bowed her head in thanks. ...
“You brought presents,” I said uselessly, nodding toward the small stack he’d set by the window.
“It’s Solstice tradition here, isn’t it?”
I stifled my wince. The last Solstice I’d experienced had been at the Spring Court. With Ianthe. And Tamlin.
“You’re welcome to stay for the night,” I said, since Elain certainly wasn’t going to.
Lucien lowered his hands into his lap and leaned back in the armchair. “Thank you, but I have other plans.”
I prayed he didn’t catch the slightly relieved glimmer on Elain’s face.
“Where are you going?” I asked instead, hoping to keep his focus on me. Knowing it was an impossible task.
“I …” Lucien fumbled for the words. Not out of some lie or excuse, I realized a moment later. Realized when he said, “I’ve been at the Spring Court every now and then. But if I’m not here in Velaris, I’ve mostly been staying with Jurian. And Vassa.” ...
“How are they—Jurian and Vassa?” I’d learned enough from Rhys about how Tamlin was faring. I didn’t care to hear any more of it.
“Jurian …” Lucien blew out a breath, scanning the carved wood ceiling above. “Thank the Cauldron for him. I never thought I’d say that, but it’s true.” He ran a hand through his silken red hair. “He’s keeping everything running. I think he’d have been crowned king by now if it wasn’t for Vassa.” A twitch of the lips, a spark in that russet eye. “She’s doing well enough. Savoring every second of her temporary freedom.” ...
Lucien considered my question. “Vassa and Jurian are two sides of the same coin. Mercifully, their vision for the future of the human territories is mostly aligned. But the methods on how to attain that …” A frown to Elain, then a wince at me. “This isn’t very Solstice-like talk.”
Definitely not, but I didn’t mind. And as for Elain …
My sister rose to her feet. “I should get refreshments.”
Lucien rose as well. “No need to trouble yourself. I’m—”
But she was already out of the room.
Again, this is so damn awkward. We see Lucien stumble over his words again. Elain is silent. Lucien is staying elsewhere, like he also doesn’t want to be near Elain.
But then, something interesting. A spark comes to Lucien’s eye when he talks about Vassa.
And finally, when Lucien starts talking about the human lands, Elain speaks for the first time that she’s going to get a drink, and she leaves before Lucien can even finish his sentence. YIKES.
🦊 Feyre and Lucien then speak about Elain alone.
When her footsteps had faded from earshot, Lucien slumped into his armchair and blew out a long breath. “How is she?”
“Better. She makes no mention of her abilities. If they remain.”
“Good. But is she still …” A muscle flickered in his jaw. “Does she still mourn him?”
The words were little more than a growl.
I chewed on my lip, weighing how much of the truth to reveal. In the end, I opted for all of it. “She was deeply in love with him, Lucien.”
His russet eye flashed with simmering rage. An uncontrollable instinct—for a mate to eliminate any threat. But he remained sitting. Even as his fingers dug into the arms of his chair.
I continued, “It has only been a few months. Graysen made it clear that the engagement is ended, but it might take her a while longer to move past it.”
Again that rage. Not from jealousy, or any threat, but—“He’s as fine a prick as any I’ve ever encountered.”
Lucien had encountered him, I realized. Somehow, in living with Jurian and Vassa at that manor, he’d run into Elain’s former betrothed. And managed to leave the human lord breathing.
“I would agree with you on that,” I admitted. “But remember that they were engaged. Give her time to accept it.”
“To accept a life shackled to me?”
My nostrils flared. “That’s not what I meant.”
“She wants nothing to do with me.”
“Would you, if your positions were reversed?”
He didn’t answer.
I tried, “After Solstice wraps up, why don’t you come stay for a week or two? Not in your apartment, I mean. Here, at the town house.”
“And do what?”
“Spend time with her.”
“I don’t think she’ll tolerate two minutes alone with me, so forget about two weeks.” His jaw worked as he studied the fire.
This passage is very interesting in how it describes Lucien’s emotions. He is angry when they discuss Graysen and Elain’s relationship to him, but it is completely instinctual. It’s due to the bond, not Lucien’s own feelings about Elain. “Not from jealousy, or any threat but—” I think the “but” here is “but from the base instincts of the bond,” which Lucien cannot help or control.
And we also see that Lucien is well aware that Elain wants nothing to do with him, and he doesn’t seem particularly interested in seeing if he can change that. And Lucien himself describes Elain as being “shackled” to him.
🦊 And then we have a conservation between Feyre and Elain.
I knew I wasn’t truly angry with her, not angry with anyone but myself, but I said, “You couldn’t say a single word to him? A pleasant greeting?”
Elain only stared at the steaming kettle as she set it on the stone counter.
“He brought you a present.”
Those doe-brown eyes turned toward me. Sharper than I’d ever seen them. “And that entitles him to my time, my affections?”
“No.” I blinked. “But he is a good male.” Despite our harsh words. Despite this Band of Exiles bullshit. “He cares for you.”
“He doesn’t know me.”
“You don’t give him the chance to even try to do so.”
Her mouth tightened, the only sign of anger in her graceful countenance. “I don’t want a mate. I don’t want a male.”
She wanted a human man.
Solstice. Today was Solstice, and everyone was supposed to be cheerful and happy. Certainly not fighting left and right. “I know you don’t.” I loosed a long breath.
“But …” But I had no idea how to finish that sentence. Just because Lucien was her mate didn’t mean he had a claim on her time. Her affection. She was her own person, capable of making her own choices. Assessing her own needs.
“He is a good male,” I repeated. “And it … it just …” I fought for the words. “I don’t like to see either of you unhappy.”
Elain stared at the worktable, baked goods both finished and incomplete arrayed on the surface, the kettle now cooling on the counter. “I know you don’t.”
There was nothing else to be said. So I touched her shoulder and strode out.
Elain didn’t say a word.
Feyre here is I think speaking for many readers when she expresses her frustration that Elain won’t speak to Lucien. Lucien is a good male, Feyre says. Why don’t you at least speak to him? Give him a chance?
Well, Elain doesn’t owe Lucien anything, even if he’s a good male. And Elain knows that, and deep down Feyre (and us readers) knows that as well. Elain says that Lucien doesn’t know her, and she’s right! Elain wants to be with someone who knows her. Who sees her.
Ultimately Feyre is telling the reader here what we need to know—Elain is an autonomous person, who is capable of and entitled to make her own decisions and choices. And Elain knows what she needs, not anyone else.
But Feyre is right—neither Lucien nor Elain is happy right now. And Feyre is speaking for the reader, I think, when she says she doesn’t like to see either of them unhappy. But they both seem...happier and more themselves in ACOSF. Apart. With their own people. Lucien with Vassa and Jurian. Elain with the inner circle and nuala and Cerridwen. She is a little more fiery with them; she’s funny; she speaks up for herself. Lucien jokes around with Vassa and Jurian; he is exasperated by them but seems happy.
And I think Sarah is making it clear, in these scenes and others in ACOWAR, ACOFAS, and ACOSF, that Elain and Lucien likely won’t ever make each other happy... but they could be happy with other people who are right in front of them.
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Okay, so like, this blog has low key become an ACOTAR theory/headcanon blog. But here we go again. Because I’ve been thinking about the remaining books/novella, and what might be obvious about what the next book may be. So stick with me on this one, but here’s how I hope it plays out. (Gonna be really long, because 3 books worth of theories, so gonna make it a read more post)
Let’s start with what I’d like the books to be (not in a demanding bitchy way, just what I generally hope for)
Books 5 and 6 (in no particular order): Azriel, Elain/Lucien
Novella: Feyre’s pregnancy from her/Rhys’ perspective
While books 5 and 6 could be in any order, depending on the overarching plot with Koschei and everything, I really think the next book is going to be about Az. I know that the 2 main contenders for obvious choices are Az and Elain, but I don’t think their stories are meant to be told together. Their arcs are completely different. Az needs to be someone’s first choice and get over 500 years of darkness and self hatred, whereas Elain needs to find her own agency. Here’s how I’d do those things.
Az’s story, to me, is rooted in self worth. I don’t think he has much. I think that the events of his life have done everything to convince him that no matter how much good he does, no matter how many people love him, he will never be good enough. Similar to Nesta, tbh. Just rooted in different places. His family loathed him, Mor’s been stringing him along for 500 years, and most people value him for what his shadow singer abilities can do for them. I think his story should revolve around him finding self worth, and being his own first choice, but also realizing how inherently valuable he is to everyone around him. (If we get a brothers bonding moment in Az’s book, I will cry my eyes out in the best way) Now *personally*, as a lover of Gwyn, I would love to see her tie into Az’s story. (NOTE: No hate for any shippers, Gwynriel, Elriel, Elucien, idc. They’re all valid, this is a respect only zone. This is simply my personal opinion on what *I* would like to see) Gwyn has also been shown to need some help in the self worth category. She literally says how she believes she’s a bad person for not being able to save her twin. So I’d love if her and Az have parallel stories in Az’s book. Romance or not. Actually, I’d love to see them grow side by side without having to be all horny all the time. I’d love if Gwyn prioritizes her mental health and growth above having a relationship, and tells Az that she cares for/loves him, but needs time to herself before getting into a relationship. Mates wise, I do see the merit in the Gwynriel mates theories. (I’ll get into why I don’t like Elain as Az’s mate later. But also, I have no problem with Elriel, I just don’t like the idea of them being meant to be mated. Although I have this evil!Elain idea brewing in my head that would fit with Elriel being supposed to be mates that the cauldron effed up) but I also am on the fence about it, because even with my own headcanon about ACOTAR mates, I’m still getting a little tired of every single romance having to be mated.
For Elain, I have 2 theories that I favor. Either she gets kidnapped by Koschei, and her story is a loose retelling of Swan Lake, or she ends up going to the Spring Court, and we get Beauty and The Beast part 2, but different this time. Either way, I want her story to give her some damn agency and flesh out her character as more than the Cosette character whose whole personality is “Well, I went through a trauma and stayed kind”. Because there’s a way to do that meaningfully, but since it’s been coupled with her being a character that simply does not do anything for herself, it falls flat for me.
Also, side note about Elriel being mates who the cauldron messed up. I don’t care for that. First of all, I don’t think that the cauldron picked Nesta and Elain’s mates when they were Made. Which I mention in my personal theory on ACOTAR Mates, which I linked above. I think that the Cauldron picks mates when you’re born, which would mean that Elain and Lucien were always meant to be mates. Besides which, while I’m not a rabid supporter of either ship at this point, I see what people are saying about it not being a good thing that Az’s shadows disappear when Elain is around. His shadows are a part of him, they’re his friends. So I think it’s better for them to respond well to someone’s presence than disappear entirely. Also, with the light singer theories (which I see on both Gwynriel and Elriel sides), in ACOSF, it’s said that light singers weren’t good. They were beings that looked kind but ultimately were evil, just like shadow singers look all bad, but ultimately Az is an extremely kind, empathetic person with a savior complex. So, unless you want to make your fave be secretly evil (which, again fits in with this evil!Elain theory I’ve been stewing on lately) it’s probably not a good idea to say they’re ‘the light singer to Az’s shadowsinger’. ALSO ALSO. Azriel deserves to be someone’s first choice. Not their 3rd, behind the guy that the universe destined them for AND the human that they still aren’t entirely over. Azriel isn’t a ‘well, since there’s no one else to choose, I GUESS’. Azriel is someone who deserves, and should be loved as a first choice. And no matter if that person is Gwyn or not, we should see someone fall for him as a first and only choice.
Anyway, if she got kidnapped by Koschei, I’d like for everyone to freak out and be trying to save her (Lucien included, because protective fae mate), but Elain ends up saving her damn self. Without anyone knowing until she just sort of shows up somewhere in Prythian. Whereupon everyone is like “You escaped Koschei?????”, and Elain just responds “What, like it’s hard?”. I don’t have too many specifics in mind for this theory, but yeah, I’d love if that were to happen. I can even see a path for Elain and Lucien to fall for each other in that scenario, I just can’t find a way to verbalize it.
Alternatively, and hear me out on this one, I would love for her to go to the Spring Court. SJM keeps putting connections between Elain and Spring, and has even had several characters say she’d love the Spring Court. She doesn’t belong in the Night Court. And I would love, and again hear me out here, for her to help Tamlin. I know, I’m not his biggest fan either. But I don’t want him dying alone and angry either. He was an ass, and reacted poorly to many things, but I want him to grow from that. And learn how to be a better person. And not be so overprotective. How does Elain fit into this? Well, I’m not sure how to get her there, but I would love for her to end up in Spring Court, where she befriends him. Friends. Nothing more. Not a drop more. In fact, I want Tamlin to make an advance on her, thinking that he’s falling for her, only for Elain to be like “Dude, you only think you like me because I’m the one who’s been helping you, but we’re friends. We wouldn’t work as more.” Or even vice-versa. Either way, I would LOVE to have a story about a character coming into their own without a big romance, and frankly after the way Elain has treated Lucien and Az, she can stay alone (as much as I think her and Lucien would be cute together). But I also think that Elain befriending Tamlin, and eventually becoming a member of his court, could lead to some nice healing places for Feyre, and would afford her the opportunity to actually confront Tamlin about everything they went through. (It would also be cool if Tamlin made her High Lady of Spring, without them being together. Idk, I think it would be cool for him to abandon tradition so much when he held it up to a toxic level before)
‘But how does Lucien come into this?’ I hear literally no one asking because this post is so fucking long already. Well, beloved reader of this bullshit, I simply want him to officially be able to move on. I want him and Elain to have arcs that happen at the same time, and are tied loosely together, but are ultimately separate. I want Elain to find agency and finally make up her mind, and I want Lucien to call her out on stringing him along. And I ultimately want him to find peace. (And for him to find out he’s Helion’s son in the messiest way possible, but I digress) I really just want Lucien to ride off into the metaphorical sunset and be happy and content and finally value himself. If Elain is in the Spring Court, maybe call out Tamlin for the way that he abused Lucien too. As long as he ends up happy, I’m cool with it.
Also, I want a comeuppance for Mor/Eris. They’ve been hinting at something for several books now, and I damn well want to see what’s behind those hints. (I also low key want the Eris/Mor comeuppance to cause a confrontation between Az/Mor/Cass about their weird dynamic and how toxic it was, and how it kinda made Mor treat Nesta like shit. I just really want Cass to officially choose Nesta in front of the IC, esp Mor. I think it’s important for their relationship. I could go on and on about that tho.)
Personally, I kind of want Mor and Eris to have been Mates. Not only because I already ship Mor/Emerie and want to see a mated pair that don’t end up together, but I think there’s a ton of opportunity for angst there. Maybe they fell for each other, never actually let the mating bond fully set (because, up until this point we’ve never seen a mating bond click into place without sex, which we know they never had), and Mor realized that no matter how much she cared for Eris, she was in fact gay, and so she slept with Cass, and you know the rest of her story there. Eris didn’t care, and told his father that he would marry her anyway because they were in love (I don’t think he’d play his full hand and admit to being un-mated mates because it would put Mor in a whole new level of danger). Beron basically told Eris that under no circumstances would he marry Mor, and told him to abandon her completely. With a threat to Mor’s safety thrown in there for good measure (like “Go ahead, marry her. See exactly what will befall her her in the Autumn Court. It will not go well” except more eloquent and shit) When Mor’s family dumped her, I don’t think that he found her first with people with him. I think he would have found her shortly after she got left, and he’d have been alone. So he found a way to tip off Az that she was there, and staged it to look like he found her and semi-publicly abandoned her completely. Idk, I just feel like there’s a lot more to the story than we know, and given how extremely Mor responds to someone who never actually laid hands on her, I think there’s more to why she does that. Maybe it’s because she knows he’s her mate, and is terrified he’s going to get spiteful and let that info slip. I kind of want this to be a situation to be one where she didn’t outright lie about what happened, just the context, because she knew if the context was revealed, then she’d be forced to come out, so she lied by omission.
Personally, I would love for this to be a not insignificant piece of Az’s book, because I think there’s a not insignificant part of his personality that’s been influenced by Mor, so whatever comeuppance that Cass/Az/Mor have (and I’m praying they do), I hope it’s not just glossed over. I also wouldn’t hate if this story was told in the novella, but I also really want to see Feyre and Rhys’ side of their pregnancy story (I think it would be weird to have such a significant plot for them told during someone else’s story, and not give us Feyre and Rhys’ perspective). And that would really only fit in either a novella or bonus short story. Also, I think that Feyre’s pregnancy would make a better novella, and Mor/Eris would fold nicely into the plot of a book.
So yeah, there’s my ridiculously long rundown on what I want to happen/my theories for the rest of the ACOTAR series. Feel free to add/dissect/interact/tell me I’m horridly wrong. I wanna talk about these books at length so bad
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tbh I feel so done with this series - and I only stayed because the Nesta book was coming in the first place. Like, I find it so interesting how people love to point out SJM her her thousands of problematic issues (as they should) but continue supporting her. It's ironic if you acknowledge the toxicity she promotes but spend money to get the book anyway. This is probably why I'm done with the series. Like do I still love Nesta very much? Yes! But I feel all the attention isn't going to make sjm change, instead give her the benefit of thinking people still obsess over her books
I don’t know how to respond to this. TBH. So I’ll try my best. But it is your right to leave the fandom, everyone grows out of content, or gets tired of certain things, or favors one character over another, gets disappointed. It’s chaos to get obsessed over a book series or a television show or whatever. I happen to really love chaos, so I’m really okay with this. I will complain about it loudly, but at the core I LOVE chaos.
I generally like how SJM writes, and for the most part it’s not too bad, on a regular basis. It’s just with this book for some reason, things were just wayyy lower quality in specific areas. Which again I really hold against her editor and her friends who did not tell her that so many things were inaccurate to what she herself wrote or was just plain stupid. I don’t find her writing any more problematic than any other person’s writing. Personally I feel that every piece of media consumed is problematic at its core. All human beings are problematic and therefore anything that features them should probably portray a level of wth is going on? Of course, this doesn’t mean you should love it or want it or promote ideals that are wild or immoral, but just that it’s impossible to get around and very subjective to the nature of things. I really don’t think SJM is THAT bad, but she did make a book that could have been WAY better and I will stand by that claim. She’s a writer that needs growth as much as her characters, maybe needs different point of views to really show her where she can flourish. But again, the process of promoting, the instagram lives, the covers, the actual book makes it seem to me that it’s an institutional problem rather than one SJM herself is actively trying to do. So I feel for her if that’s the case.
I also can’t say what will happen in the next book. So it could be actually really great, which would be sort of disappointing because Nesta’s arc deserved sooo much better. It could also be really shitty and at that point than you can be like (if you haven’t already) well this fucking sucks I can’t stay any longer, which maybe will happen. (Shrugs) I don’t know. I personally just don’t like waiting for anything. I’m very very impatient. So I hate that I don’t know what’s going to happen in respect to who the next POVs are. Because tbh if we knew that, it would be fairly easy to connect dots on how this is going down. It would be a relief but I’m also sure she might lose some fans with whatever she chooses.
But I’m going to be completely honest and say I am here for Nesta. I want to see Nesta from every POV. I hope to god she still causes problems and is the character that is a main focus even if she’s not always in the light, even if she’s completely sweet and I don’t recognize her and she’s fully IC, I’ll take it! Because well I read the whole ACOTAR series, reading for Nesta in Feyre’s POV, and I thought it was fine. I wrote fanfiction for three years based on small snippets. SO, look I’ll die with this fandom who’s yelling blasphemy about Elriel or Elucien or Mor and Emerie, or Gwynriel, or Anti-Rhysands, Anti-ICs, Anti-Amrens, I’ll even chant yell louder, but instinctively I’m like take your fucking ships, your opinions, because as long as Nesta is featured in that book, I’m good to go.
I’ll stay for my girl and that is the truth.
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Okay here's the thing.. I respect everyone's opinions and they can ship whoever they want but like... For Elucien and Gwynriel... I literally cannot even see how. I would gladly ship them if someone gave me a valid reason. Elain avoids talking or even being in the same room as Lucien, and Azriel had one polite conversation with Gwyn. Az is just nice to her. As nice as he would be to any female. Elriel has foreshadowing & chemistry- The roses painted on her drawer and the rose necklace...👀
Strongly agree with all of this!! My main problem with anything that's not elriel is that a lot of anti-elriel shippers completely ignore or erase Elain. With these ships, it's always what benefits Elain does or doesn't bring. It's so misogynistic, people just ignore everything she's mentioned about her own heart and how she doesn't want a mate or the bond, she doesn't care for it, but oh Lucien's had such a hard life, he deserves his mate!!!!!
Surely he deserves someone who wants him as much as he wants them, no?
Non-elriel-endgame with the canon we currently have would mean Elain's choices are stripped once again since she'd have to give up/lose the love she actually wants in favour of one she doesn't want that's attached to some cultural concept that means zilch to her and her human heart. I mean, sure sjm could spin it so Elain catches feelings for Lucien and they end up happily mated. But then what is the point of having Elain constantly avoid him for three books? That's not even setting up for a good relationship bc every time they interact/meet, the communication just gets worse.
While I can honestly see the potential of gwynriel bc platonic interactions can later become romantic, I still don't ship it bc it doesn't feel right the way elriel does to me. I can def see gwynriel becoming a strong healthy friendship, but if it's endgame then Elain ends up with Lucien, whom she visibly shrinks from and has been avoiding since acowar. She doesn't feel seen by him at all - as much as I love Lucien and truly do want him to have his own HEA, we can't deny that he's really just pursuing (I use pursuing in the loosest way since he's very respectful about it 😅) Elain bc of the bond. If we take that away, there's nothing between them imo and he probably wouldn't give Elain more than a passing glance for her beauty and that's it bc she's not the type of girl he's into.
But people don't wanna think about how that makes Elain feel. This girl who previously felt seen by only one person - who then rejected her bc of that bond itself - and craves someone to see who she truly is, is being courted by someone who doesn't actually like her for her, but just the idea of what a relationship with her would entail. He's only trying bc of some divine belief she doesn't share. That must suck like hell. It's almost objectfying, the bond. And again, I don't blame Lucien at all, not even for trying bc it is something that's important to him and his culture, but it's not a mutual thing. If it were important to Elain too and she just wasn't cooperating bc of some stupid shallow reason, then I'd be angry at her. But that's not the case at all.
But with Azriel, the first person to see her since Graysen, there's so much potential for growth - for both of them. They make each other feel seen. And for all that antis say neither has grown in the time they've known each other, how did Az pluck up the courage to almost kiss Elain after having not done anything with Mor for five centuries? How did Elain initiate that kiss - ie have the courage to follow her heart again after having it torn and shredded by Graysen? And anyway, weve never seen into Elain's head so we don't know what she feels has changed within her; we can only detect subtle changes from other povs, but there might be some huge changes in her learnt from Azriel, maybe about her outlook on life/strength, that she's just keeping hidden for the time (or that no one has bothered to see bc Elain is invisible 😭). Same with Azriel. One little chapter isn't gonna tell us everything he's been thinking the past two years.
But either way, we know now that they both have feelings for each other. Why is a mutual healthy relationship shut down so quickly, one where both partners' choices are taken heed of? If Elain had said no in that moment, Azriel would've stepped back instantly, no questions asked. He probably would've have some huge internal conflict about his own self worth but he wouldn't have gone further without Elain's consent. He's already shown he respects her, he said they've been sharing looks and touches, and these are things fandom eat up, so I don't understand why it's suddenly wrong or unwanted just bc Elain makes up half the ship.
And there's so much foreshadowing/symbolism that antis seem oblivious to, which, fair enough, interpret the text how you want. But even if somebody doesn't see the spark or blooming feelings between the pair throughout the books (how do they explain away all the stiffness whenever one of them is mentioned or is in the same room or something though? Genuinely curious here), there's a lot of plot foreshadowing. The Blood Duel has now been mentioned twice, as has the idea of breaking the bond, maybe more. There's the issue with Koschei and Elain not being able to see things related to him past mist and shadow. There's all this potential conflict that could arise between the Courts if elriel pursue their love, and conflict is the driving force of any novel.
If gwynriel were an IRL couple, I wouldn't care if there were never any conflict, but if I'm reading their story, I want more than just them falling in love and having internal conflict about whether they should kiss the other or not. Especially if the backdrop is a fantasy world on the brink of war with many players. I saw a gwynriel post mentioning Merrill once and while I do think she has the potential to be a running antagonist, I don't see her as anything but a subplot/crony for/associate with another stronger villain. I don't think she could carry a whole novel at the moment. So Gwyn is tied to nothing in the overarching plot. Same with Az. Not to mention all the theories about the Koschei/Swan Lake/firebird folklore that is potentially inspiring this new series in the acotar world. Of course, this could all change as we get more info about the next book/s and all, but compared to elriel certainly, I don't think there's as much conflict with gwynriel.
Ultimately, I don't claim knowledge of the next books' content, so I don't really care what people ship, but the main thing I take issue with is how they treat Elain in the midst. A lot of gwynriel arguments I've seen portray certain acts in a romantic/positive light for Gwyn but either completely ignore or erase any semblance of romance for Elain or tear her down. Like, we shouldn't push the narrative that Gwyn as an SA survivor can't have healthy meaningful sex in the future (yeah, of course I agree), yet some of the same people who say that are also people who judge and make fun of Elain and call her too vanilla for Az without having a clue what her bedroom habits/preferences are 🤯 This is just one of many. There are so many double standards I've seen for gwynriel against elriel and I'm just tired of it. And even if they're not doing any of that, they simply hate Elain and don't want her to be with Az and so ship gwynriel as the next best alternative. Like, can they not push down Elain in favour of Gwyn, please? That's so misogynistic 🤮
For all that this fandom flaunts the series being feminist with strong female characters, they sure do a good job in tearing down females who don't fit their definition of strong, despite even Feyre stating and acknowledging multiple times that Elain has a different kind of strength 😒
Gahhhhhhh. *exhales deeeeeeeeply* Sorry this is so damn LONG!! 😅😅😅😅😅 I did not expect to write a whole bloody essay lol but I hope it was fun/comforting to read at least 😅😆 I know I fall back on elriel posts when the ship war gets too intense bc I actually enjoy shipping elriel. They've become my otp, and I absolutely adore both characters of the ship; I think most of us elriels do. I haven't really seen any elriel stans who dislike/don't care for Elain and her welfare so it's nice being in this corner of the fandom where we can appreciate both Az and Elain equally. And of course, the other characters with their due respect. I truly do want Lucien to finally get his good life, but I don't think that's with Elain 😕
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I feel like a lot people don't realize what a HUGE deal Az's POV was or what it revealed about him.
Remember when Mor said she could take off all her clothes and Az would not move even an inch because he doesn't think he deserves her? Azriel was literally in love with Mor for 500 years. 500 whole ass years. And he was completely content to just watch Mor from afar for the rest of his life, which is something Feyre herself even mentioned. He was okay with never saying anything to her about his feelings, never making a move, never trying to resolve the fucked up love triangle they were all in. He sat on the sidelines, bottled up his emotions, and let Cassian be the buffer. People love to call Elain passive, but Azriel was passive in his own way, too.
But look what happened in his POV chapter. Azriel definitely moved more than an inch with Elain. Azriel, who did nothing but pine from afar for 500 years was seriously about to kiss Elain. Mor herself says Az doesn't think he's worthy of making a move on anyone, but he certainly felt worthy enough to share a kiss with Elain. This suggests either that his negative opinion of himself doesn't matter as much when he's with Elain, or that he's starting to see himself as worthy enough for the things that he wants. Or that he just doesn't give a fuck anymore lol. All of which are huge and so important.
Also think about how when Rhys brings up the blood duel, Az is super quick to say that he could beat Lucien's ass, no problem. That is a VERY reckless thing to say. The blood duel is no laughing matter, it's a serious thing. This is especially reckless for Azriel. Because Az is not a reckless person. He's a spymaster, so he's used to waiting, watching, planning, and calculating. Az is always portrayed as cold and unreadable, and from that alone, we can see the control he exercises over himself and his emotions. But with Elain, that control is slipping. And this is also such a huge thing for Azriel.
People always say that Az and Elain together would be boring because they wouldn't challenge each other or bring out anything in each other. But now, we can see that that's false. We can see Elain becoming less passive in ACOSF, taking control of her life and making her feelings known. And we can see Azriel showing his emotions more, loosening that tight leash he keeps himself on, and gathering the courage to go after what he wants. Az even told Rhys that he couldn't order him to stay away from Elain. This man talked back to and was even thinking about disobeying his brother and High Lord, which is still a big thing even though he ended up listening to Rhys in the end.
Also, look at the level of pure desire Az has for Elain in his POV. There's also fact that he looks at her present every night before bed, and he got over his love of 500 years for her. Elain also got over the man she was going to marry. That indicates very strong feelings. But we really don't know exactly how or when these feelings developed. We've been getting small tidbits from Feyre and Nessian's POVs, yes, but we don't actually know that much about what their relationship is like, or what it is like through their own eyes. For the two of them to have developed such strong feelings for each other, a lot of shit had to have happened that we aren't aware of. They probably had so many moments that we haven't seen because we've been stuck in Feysand and Nessian's POVs. Like remember when Az mentioned all of the small touches they had previously shared in his POV? So how can anyone really say they wouldn't help each other grow when we've barely been given any glimpses into what they're actually like together? And when we're already seeing evidence of them growing right now.
I talked about how Az's POV indicates that he is changing for the better, but we also can't forget what it shows about Elain. It was ELAIN herself who initiated things with Az in his POV. She did so when she asked him to put the necklace on her, when pivoted into his touch, and when she said "yes." Elain, who everyone called passive, was the one to initiate. Elain is also always described as modest, so this was honestly a pretty bold move for her. The fact is that Azriel and Elain ARE bringing things out in each other that we haven't really seen before. To me, they are the opposite of being boring together, and I've personally never understood that arguememt anyway. But hey, everyone is entitled to their own opinion, and that wasn't me trying to hate on anyone.
In my opinion, the fact Azriel and Elain have such strong feelings for each other right now also indicates that they're likely to be endgame. Because even if Az ends up with Gwyn or Elain ends up with Lucien, they MUST deal with this thing between them first. The mutual feelings that they both clearly have for each other has to be addressed. SJM is going to have to show Elriel together, sorting out these feelings, before she can make Elucien or Gwynriel endgame. I personally can't see that happening because I don't think there would be space. There's clearly a lot of feelings going on between Elain and Az that would take a lot for them to go away, and SJM herself said it's only one couple per book. But, I could be wrong and SJM could throw a curve ball at us.
As always, thank you for reading, and I would love to hear your thoughts 💙
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Have you noticed any changes in the fandom you would say are positive since you joined? There are a lot of posts about how much fandom has come to suck and I was just wondering as someone who has been in this one for a bit what your thoughts were on more positive notes.
I would say there are 2 things that stand out for me-
Little to no shipping fights. IDK who else was here before ACOWAR but people used to get all in a tizzy over Moriel vs Nessian. I’m not the kind of person who cares enough about fictional characters to get any particularly strong emotions, especially not to the point of fighting some Random online about it. I think it’s because of how long it’s been between proper novels (it’s getting towards 4 years since WAR and 3 since FAS). Plus I mean... The only shipping debate left is Elucien vs Elriel and of the blogs devoted enough to having an opinion on those to actually argue... They’re pretty much all mature enough to not bicker. At least the ones I’ve noticed.
I’m allowed to have followers, but I’m very liberal with the ‘block’ button so it might just be that the douchbags aren’t able to interact. For a while there was a “destroy big blogs” mentality. People would attack fanfic readers for recommending fics by blogs with large followings, attack blogs who posted milestone follower counts, and just overall give people shit for the simple fact that other people decided certain blogs were more fun to follow than what I’m guessing is their own pages. Like I said though, I’m very liberal with the block button, but I’m getting close to a milestone follower count, so we’ll have to see if it’s really gone...
Specific things that have changed are kind of hard to shine a light on, but I’d say overall- and the still-present issues aside- overall this fandom seems to be fairly chill. It’s all in who you follow and interact with, and maybe it’s because I’m liberal with the ‘block’ button and finally got ahead of the trash heap, but it’s pretty nice here.
And a lot of the problems that do exist in this fandom (fandom-specific, not the reblog issue because that’s more of a tumblr-wide one) are because compared to others this fandom is fairly shallow? Like, we have novels, 2 coloring books, and a handful of officially licensed fan art that’s been used as promotional materials. Oh, and a card game but I’ve never seen anything about anyone actually owning that come to think of it...
Anyways, there’s no visual medium beyond the fan art and book covers. I always draw lines to The Untamed fandom, which looks very chill and rich and has an incredible range of materials-- but that’s because there’s a novel, graphic novel, audio plays in 2 languages, extra content from the author, an anime (donghua), a *chibi* anime (donghua), and a live action show IN ADDITION TO fan art. They’re balls-deep in content.
If this fandom had half as much for people to play with a lot of the issues you see would just up and vanish. Untamed fandom has so little fan art theft that I haven’t had to add a single blog to my permanent block list (yes there’s a list). That’s directly because of how rich the existing content is.
So for a fandom stuck in the kiddie pool until we get a show, we’re doing pretty well. Again I block the douchbags but everyone seems very chill and calm. At least right now. Before ACOSF. Before everyone probably loses their shit again...
**I do also want to slap onto the end of this a bit of an apology for my attitude the last while. Things have been stressful IRL, always, but my big problem is that as quiet as the fandom is... I’ve still been judging it for what it was back in... early 2019? Dealing with the people who wanted to attack this page for the note count on fanfics or my position against fan art theft... it just exhausted me. And I’ve been interacting and posting partly from that frustration mindset when I should have been letting the fandom show me what it looks like right now. I will work on that, and know that I love each and every one of you and I promise I’m trying to be fun again <3
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Break Lucien ass down
How I feel about this character:
I really like him! He's among my favourite characters in acotar, actually. He just feels very real. He has both flaws and strengths, and he's one of the characters who's actually allowed to have both by the narrative. Personally, I think he's a really intiguing character and, ultimately, a good person. He's witty without being an ass, which I really like, and he seems like someone who genuinely tries to do the right things (even if he doesn't always succeed).
I just want him to be happy, and away from the Night Court! After all the shit he's been through, he just deserves a place to call home. And I want the narrative and main characters to stop constantly mistreating him, he doesn't deserve it at all.
All the people I ship romantically with this character:
Confession time: I'm not big on shipping characters. There are, of course, exceptions (a few of them even in acotar), but usually, I vastly prefer individual characters and well-developed friendships to romantic relationships. But since I feel like this answer is a bit dissatisfying, I'll just give my opinion on the main ships I've seen for him:
Elucien: I could, under some circumstances, be fine with this ship. I'm not at all fond of a ship being based on a mating bond, but I think there are certain parts of both their personalities that could fit well. Lucien might benefit from a quiet partner, while someone more fiery might be good for Elain. I've seen a few takes on them that I really enjoyed. It could only work if Elain really wanted it, though. My ideal outcome would be the two of them as really close friends.
Lucien/Vassa: There is really too little content for me to have developed an opinion on that. (Yes, says me, the person who wrote a 80k+ story on the two character who get 1-2 scenes in the entire series.) They are both rather extroverted and seem to like each other, so it might work. Depending on how Vassa's character ends up being written, it could be really cool. I prefer them as friends, though. What I absolutely DON'T want, though, is that one-sided pining I see in some fics.
My non-romantic OTP for this character:
Jurian and Vassa!!! The Band of Exiles all the way!!! They are probably the one good thing that came out of acofas.
I really love it when a group of characters who all had it really hard find happiness with each other. What little we know about their friendship also sounds really great and they are all rather snarky, so it must be fun. I desperately need more about them. Besides (and this is rather subtle) I like how Lucien started out not really liking humans and now, his two best friends are both humans. It's a nice development.
My unpopular opinion about this character:
I don't see the big mistake he made in the beginning of acomaf. I just don't. The way I see it, Lucien tried his best to help Feyre. He got her out of the manor whenever he could and often argued with Tamlin on her behalf. It isn't his fault that the only thing that would have helped (getting her out of Spring) was out of his power. He couldn't just go against Tamlin's orders, it might have ended with him getting killed or banished.
One thing I wish would happen with this character in canon:
I want Lucien to get away and stay away from the Night Court really badly. I don't want him to come work for them or anything, he should stay with Jurian and Vassa or maybe eventually move to Day. Even if he does get together with Elain, I hope they'll build a life away from Night. (And on a related note, I absolutely want him to remain friends with Jurian and Vassa. I see so many takes where he just dumps them after he gets together with Elain and I really don't want that to happen.)
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