I wish Cassian and Nesta weren't Mates.
Not only do I think the bond is overused at this point, (and problematic as a concept), I feel like their connection would've been much more special, had it not been the Bond. I feel like Rhys and Feyre were forced together by the bond, and while we do get to see Nesta and Cassian's relationship develop more than theirs ever did, it would've been so nice for them to end up choosing each other. To show they don't need a Bond to be truly, deeply in love. To show not every woman Needs a Man Destined For Her, and can make her own choices. To show that men can think of women as more than just Sex. Romantic/sexual love is beautiful when done right, and the Bond often feels like a cheap and lazy cop-out instead of actually writing love and passion between your couple.
I'd also love to see a rejected mating bond (but Lucien is the last person who deserves it), so it would've been so creative to see Cassian or Nesta lumped with a mate they didn't want because they wanted each-other. There's conflict there, and I feel like that's what SJM originally intended for Feyre and Rh*s.
I want these characters to fall in love, not feel obligated because of a Bond.
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like even if elain does accept the mating bond, is it not weird that both of her previous relationships failed bc of it? say az hypothetically chooses to back off from elain and ends up finding happiness with gwyn: leaving elain with lucien as the only remaining love interest by default bc sjm said we already met them, and who else would it fucking be? cause all im seeing here is elain ending up with the reason she couldn’t have graysen or az, the two guys she chose. which quite frankly is the shittiest endgame possible for both characters cause it proves that love cannot overcome a mating bond
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The Azriel bonus chapter= Gwynriel foreshadowing
Thinking about the Azriel bonus scene and how even after a year of knowing elain their encounter felt stiff, full of false pretenses, not saying what they think, and Az feeling unworthy and looking at his hands with disgust.
And then you have Azriel with Gwyn. They are immediately comfortable around each other. They make jokes and tease each other and for the first time someone puts Azriels needs first!! Gwyn asks Azriel is she should leave because he likes to be alone. He probably does want to be alone (because az is a glutton for punishing himself) but he tells her to stay. And NOT ONCE does he think badly about himself or the scars on his hands.
The few brief pages with Gwyn revealed more about Azriel than all the other books have combined. AZRIEL SINGS!!!!
The secret keeper who knows the power that any small piece of info can hold, who barely says more than a sentence to anyone, told Gwyn he sings!! He trusts her. He’s comfortable talking and revealing intimate parts of himself. He feels safe. He feels at home
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do people not realize that maybe some of us would ship elain and the redhead if they had anything tying them together beside the mating bond?? like is it rocket science to understand why we want elain to be with the person she actually has a connection with
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Actually, you know what, I'm gonna talk about something that's been bothering me
The fae mates in acotar are definitely based off of omegaverse, right? Like everyone else sees how it reeks of slightly altered omegaverse? And that she added in just like a pinch of 1950s housewife with the whole food thing to throw us off her wolfy trail?
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inner circle going to civil war over elriel isn’t even a joke anymore like that’s a legitimate plotline
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Let’s not forget that in 2017 Sarah also implied Elain and Lucien would be endgame 👀
I mean you’re not wrong. We have multiple times where she has alluded to how good they will be together, and for one another. It’s science.
Also she made them mates, so..........
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Many have written better posts about it but I’m convinced Elain was given TWO mating bonds. She will reject the one with Lucien and she will choose Azriel.
1. He NEEDED to save her in ACOWAR. He was the one who noticed she was gone and he was moving to save her BEFORE Feyre. Like it wasn’t a choice.
2. He gave her Truth Teller and she used it, plus his shadows, to stab Hybern. Nobody else has ever touched that dagger. And the whole “bridge of connection” passage is crazy foreshadowing.
3. He “stills” whenever he see her. In ACOMAF. In ACOWAR. In ACOFAS. In ACOSF.
4. He was the only one to see her for what she is-a seer. This when everyone else thought her insane.
5. His shadows disappear when she’s around. They are ready to strike to defend her.
6. Don’t get me started about his POV and how much he wants her and thinks about being her mate. Foreshadowing much?
There is more but remember, no matter what else happens, ELRIEL IS ENDGAME.
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i'm so tired of this fandom. one thing that annoys the shit out of me is e/riel shippers claim to be the ship who supports choice, which is why they hate the mating bond. they think choice was taken from elain. yet the moment any elain fan wants her to be able to work her feelings out and talk with lucien so she can make an informed choice suddenly it's misogynistic to want elain to explore all options. you can't claim to be a supporter of choice when the only option you want available is az.
you said it!!!!
you can’t be a supporter of choice when the only option you want available is az.
Choosing Lucien is a choice. Choosing anyone else is not a radical choice when there is literally nothing stopping her from doing so. All she has to do is be honest with herself and decide what she wants and communicate that! Which is also what she would have to do with Lucien, so....
We all know that if either Az or Elain had gone to Rhys and said “look, this is how I feel, deep affection, blah blah, love, blah blah, great person, blah blah” then he would say “okay we will figure this out”. That’s not what has happened, and Az has had his chance to do that. He failed the test.
Elain needs to make an informed decision. Whether they like it or not, the trope functions in a way to push two characters together who otherwise might not have interacted, and to make them consider each other as partners. Kinda like the one bed trope, or even something like sex pollen. There are two people, you want them to be together, how can you make it so that the world is forcing them to be together? However, sjm doesn’t write it so that they do actually have to be together. She writes it more as a way for them to have to consider one another, to look at each other differently because the Cauldron or whatever said so.
But it’s not forcing them to actually be partners, the way it is written in acotar. It’s just forcing them to think about the possibility.
The thing they pretend to have an issue with is the mating bond, and the only reason they have an issue with it is because it put Elain together with someone they don’t want her to be with. I mean maybe? Maybe they were like me, because I know that I have posted a lot about the fact that I don’t like the mating bond as a trope but I can also recognize that sjm has written it in a way where it’s not completely removing anyone’s agency, mostly because of how she wrote Rhys and the IC. I can ship feysand and nessian and elucien and just be like *shrug* about the fact they are mates. I’m far, far more interested in how they interact as a partnership, as people who complement one another and are fiercely devoted.
I can’t speak for anyone who ships differently or comes up with different theories, but the fact that there are these theories floating around that Elain will choose to make another mating bond, or that she has another mate (IE Azriel), just shows me that it’s not really the mating bond they have an issue with. It’s just the fact that they don’t like who Elain is mated to. It’s a pretty disingenuous look. If they like the bond in one context but not another, we know it’s not the bond that’s the issue.
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Threads, Spells, & Mating Bonds
Full warning - this may be a crack theory. But a logical one.
Anyways, I’m a big proponent of the true mate/two mate theories. The gist of that theory is when Elain was made, the Cauldron (because it loves Elain) or Hyburn (for his own amusement) gave Elain a second mate, Lucien, but Azriel is Elain’s true mate. Azriel’s reactions to Elain really lend credence to this theory. Check out posts on that here, here, and here (the third link has major TOG spoilers).
WHAT IF the moment Elain went into the Cauldron, a spell was cast, a thread was made, that tricked Lucien’s instincts into believing that a mating bond was created?
Spells throughout the series are described as threads.
Helion describing how his spell-cleaving abilities work:
Feyre looking for a thread of Helion’s powers to undo a spell:
Helion looking for threads to undo a spell/curse:
So what if the mating bonds are spells?
Nesta and Cassian when the mating bond snapped:
Cassian describing the mating bond:
Feyre & Rhysand’s bond locking into place:
So this brings me to my point - the mating bonds are between the souls.
Rhysand, Feyre, Nesta, and Cassian have constantly described the mating bond as one that is between their souls. The bond is described as gold, as light - an indicator of magic. Once it locks into place, their scents, their selves merge as one. It’s as if the bond is woven into the very essence of their souls.
As Majda states:
Hyburn could not cleave Feyre and Rhysand’s mating bond
But the bargain between them (described as a thread):
That’s what Hyburn undid. He sought the bond between them and undid the first thread connecting them. Could Hyburn have even undone the mating bond?
Amren seems to think it’s impossible:
Mating bonds cannot be undone. Can you truly rip apart a thread connecting souls? A thread that seems to be determined at birth (see Rhys & Feyre - I saw you in my dreams; Kallias & Vivianne - in love for their whole lives; Cassian & Nesta - drawn to each other from their first meeting).
If a mating bond cannot be undone, then can it even be created?
But Elain and Lucien’s bond...
Elain and Lucien’s bond always struck me as odd.
It isn’t until after Elain is thrown into the cauldron that Lucien seems to tap into Helion’s powers, his instincts, to help Elain:
Like that instinct didn’t exist before.
[As a side note, I believe it’s Helion’s powers because Lucien broke Hyburn’s spell on the restraints after Elain was tossed into the cauldron - after the bond was made. Before that, we had no indication that Lucien had those powers. This is a direct nod to his parentage.]
Even Rhys, while Under the Mountain, was going to die for Feyre before the bond snapped into place. He tried to kill Amarantha.
The mates in ACOTAR all suspected the bond way before it locked into place. Rhys suspected it when he first met Feyre and again Under the Mountain. Cassian had an idea after the first few times of meeting Nesta. It existed for them when Feyre and Nesta were humans.
If they were mates prior to Elain being tossed into the Cauldron, wouldn’t Lucien have tapped into his instincts? Would’ve he have done more?
Hyburn’s remark made it seem like the “bond” wasn’t created until after Elain was made:
I think that maybe Elain and Azriel are true mates and maybe, the Cauldron saw Azriel dying and decided to give Elain another mate - since it loved her so much.
Check out these posts here for mate parallels between Elain and Azriel and the other mating pairs: one, two, three
More on Elain and Lucien’s Bond...
Throughout the last four books, Elain has shown no interest in Lucien and Lucien appears to try to honor the bond (due to tradition, maybe) but his reactions seem instinctual rather than personal (especially compared to the way Rhysand and Cassian act).
These snippets solidify my opinion:
Further, look at the way their bonds are described:
A thread tied to a rib.
Wholly different than a thread or threads between the souls.
And Lucien... Lucien says it’s a real thread. Almost like he’s convincing himself.
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So feyre's birthday is the winter solstice. And Nesta's birthday is in spring. We still don't know when Elain's is. What does everyone headcanon
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Helion x Lady of Autumn (part two)
NOTICE: I DO NOT OWN THESE CHARACTERS!!! This is strictly me headcannon writing and I don’t even know what SJM intends to do with these characters. This is just a kind of fanfic, if you want more parts show it some love ;). Don’t know how many parts I will write after this one if anyone has any specific scenes or moments they would like to see written drop an idea below I will give credit! This meeting scene is most definitely inspired by an amazing art piece by @/elizianna.the.one (on instagram) all credit goes to her for that bit. Also I have horrible grammar I know please don’t remind me. Sorry for any typos. >.< - Kay aka Best Selling Amateur
The week passed in a blur of preparations and quelling the turmoil between her three remaining boys at hime as they watched Eris’ accession to the throne. She only hoped the weren’t going to kill each other over something as trivial as a chair. They’d all have great power if they just worked together and got along. Cauldron knew she had mourned more children then she should have had too. Two boys dead and one she hadn’t been able to properly see in decades. Another bridge she had to fix. So many bridges Beron had made her burn to ash, so many things to fix and atone for. A part of her still blamed him for the death of her sisters. She knew she was as much of fault for letting some connections go however especially those with her youngest. She closed her eyes taking a deep breath quelling the emotions that gripped her, the fear and anxiety that came with finally going after what she wanted after so many years of suppression.
She finished putting some food in the small pack she made and a simple dress to change into one days of clothes thats all she brought for herself. She had not received a letter from Helion telling her not to come that she was not welcome. She only had to hope that he showed up now.
They use to meet in the mornings at the grove when Beron was most busy with court and the day was just beginning in Helion’s court. He took his free during most of the day he tended to the important things when the sun was setting not really wanting to be outside then anyways. She remembered that conversation his logic, the way he explained himself. Such admiration for the sun. She remembered the day he named her Sunshine, how it never shined more brightly on them during one of their escapades then in that sole moment alone. It was as if the sun agreed with the high lord of the Day court, she was bright like Sunshine. She was his Sunshine and cauldron thats all she wanted to be again…
She looked at the time and took a deep breath if she left now she would be a little early. She needed it though, the warm walk in the sun. She loved the warmth more the the brisk breeze of autumn, winnowed to edge of the grove deciding she would walk her way to their spot. She couldn’t remember the last time that she was allowed to be alone. After Beron had found out about the affair she had a guard with her every moment reporting her movements when she was not with him herself. She breathed breathed in the air and tilted her head back letting the sun warm her skin as she stood in a break between the trees.
Where would she go if he did not come?
She had no idea but she was going to find herself again somehow. It was not that she needed the High Lord to find herself again. She did not need him to be Sunshine. No she wanted him. There was a big difference for she would not let her happiness be reliant on a man again. Beron took her dreams and crushed them, he took her happiness and smothered it under his foot every chance that he got. She would be damned if she ever let that happen again. She thought to herself as she marched through the grove. The path was going up hill now and sweat was rolling down her back as she marched the path in her all her billowing skirts wishing she had changed before she left. Her thighs ached and her chest expanded trying to fill with more air quickly as she walked up the hill. Her thighs ached and she relished in every scream of her muscles, every quick inhale of her lungs. All of it was a gift. The freeness? She would never allow herself to be caged again. She adjusted the pack on her shoulder reaching the break of the trees her eyes flickering up to the top of the hill.
At the top of the hill stood a lone grand tree the grove surrounded it but that tree was their meeting spot. That tree was theirs. She knew she wouldn’t see him from there if he had arrived he always faced the east side of the tree and she was marching up the west side. She adjusted her pack once more her knuckles white as she gripped it more tightly. It was her nerves coming for her again, she paused at the top looking at the large trunk of the tree.
“If it was a workout you wanted Sunshine all you had to do was ask…” his voice reverberated down to her bones. She reached out gripping the trunk pressing her forehead against it and blowing out a breath her eyes fluttering shut for a moment. Him and his stupid fucking humor of course that would be the first thing he would say to take the edge off.
Don’t you dare fucking cry right now.
She walked around the side of the tree looking at him in all his glory. The way the sun glimmered off that spiked golden crown. The golden serpent that encircled his bicep, the start contrast of his white robes against his skin. She drank in every detail about him from the golden sandals with gold thread that wrapped up his calfs to the striking amber eyes that drank in every detail of her. Those eyes that her youngest son were blessed with, she had so much she had to tell him.
“Helion,” she choked out looking at him every steely resolve that told her to remain strong and calm incinerated under his gaze.
“Oh Sunshine,” he whispered as her eyes began to well with tears. It was the kindness in his eyes that dissolved all will, the way he looked at her. Admiration. Passion. Understanding. So different from the cold resolve of her late husband. She launched herself into his arms clothing his robes tightly in her hand tucking her head under his chin. His arms did not hesitate in encircling her and holding her close his head resting on top of her head as she cried. He rubbed her back slowly looking at the dazzling sun in the sky the beautiful day surround them.
“There there Sunshine, the eclipse is over. It’s time for you to shine brighter then the flaming sun.” He whispered when she finally calmed. He gathered her face in her hands his thumbs gingerly wiping the tears from under her eyes as he drew her lips close slowly giving her the time to back away if she chose. As if she ever could, it had been way too long and nothing was coming between them now.
Hopefully not even the news of the child they shared…
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mating bond ceremony
If Gwyn doesn’t jump on Azriel in pure excitment or pull him into the kiss…
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“Please don’t say it Mor. Give me time. I will delay the wedding. You can have all the time you need to live your life before settling down. Let me prove myself to you. Give me a year and if I don’t change your mind by then, then you can say it, I promise. But please Mor, do not say those words to me. Not right now.”
-Eris begging Mor not to renounce the mating bond 519 years ago
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I know people make fun of the fact that the Archeron sisters need like 5-7 business days to process the mating bond but has anyone thought why it takes them time to process it. I think it’s similar to what Nesta told Cassian when they were walking on the bridge in Velaris, it’s because all 3 sisters were turned into immortal beings and had no control over it. They couldn’t chose then and when the mating bond came in place like Nesta said it’s like that little sliver off their humanity was stripped away from them. And I guess all along they only wanted to gain back the control that they had in their human bodies now in their high fae bodies.
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Imagine living in Prythian, and you've met your mate. But it's still new and you haven't decided if you want to accept your mating bond yet.
And your mate says they're hungry and you say "oh I believe I still have a sandwich in my purse... NO WAIT"
Or your mate stops by just as you made dinner and you put an extra plate on the table and say loud enough for the cauldron to hear. "I'm not offering this plate the anyone. It just happens to be on the table and anyone could take it."
And the cauldron is just like 👁️👄👁️
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i don’t have enough of elucien content. i need more. friendly reminder she needs sun to live and he, as the heir of the day court, is literally the personnification of the sun 🥺 if that doesn’t scream endgame idk what does
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Ship whoever you want but mates aren’t based on having similar talents or personalities or traits or powers...that’s not a canon basis for suspecting a mating bond.
Like I think people are carried away with feyre painting stars and rhysand is from the night court, but even that is like, a very vague connection that was revealed a lot later.
Nesta and Cassian are almost complete opposites, like the only real similarity they have is their feeling of being undeserving, but if anything that’s what prevented them from jumping on their mating bond right away.
Elain and Lucien, who knows if they’ll be endgame but they are mates in canon, and again have zero in common. No shared trait, talent, power, personality, etc.
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I lowkey want a mate in real life just to spare me that clownery called dating.
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Extended thoughts on the Nessian dynamic in this book
I'm probably not going to explain this well, but I want to try.
There's this thing I love about Nessian in this book. I'm reading it for the second time, and I'm up to chapter 19. They just had a very heated, very important and, within their relationship, productive argument. Cassian just told Nesta his "special journey," aka the weight he carries still from slaughtering the Illyrian village responsible for, and culpable in, his mother's unjust life and death. From within Nesta's pov, she is struggling terribly with thoughts of her father and of all the ways she feels herself to be a monster, and she's trying to work out with Cassian as a soundboard how someone like her can recover from the grief and rage eating her from the inside out. It's a really incredible and important conversation.
But it's also a little chaotic. The intensity turns on a dime into this all consuming flame between them. Really Cassian fans it regularly with remarks that state his clear desire and appreciation for the raw ferocity that claws its way out of her when she loses her grip on keeping it tamped down and controlled.
And so they are having this really serious and painful conversation, actually getting somewhere in terms of really getting to know each other, including information about their histories but also more importantly showing the other the way their minds and hearts work, the way they struggle and the reasons for those struggles.
And then at the chapter break between 18 and 19, Nesta grabs his leathers and kisses him, to gain back some control after being so vulnerable. And right after this their first real hook up takes place.
My first time reading this I read so fast that really the details of the story and the beats in the scenes kinda all blended together into this melded sort of experience of the book as a whole, with Nessian's arc as one big paint swipe. And at that level I was pleased with my experience, even as I knew there were moments when things switched up between them so suddenly from serious to sexy that I wasn't sure if it would hold up under the scrutiny of a slower reread.
Well, I'm here to report that for this reader, it does. But for reasons I didn't expect.
I was hoping when I reread that things would feel smoother somehow on a second go around, like the tone of the scenes would remain consistent in a way I read too fast the first time to really absorb.
But they don't, and I'm realizing I love that they don't, because honestly, Nessian? These two loves who are my favorite couple in this series? Nesta who is my favorite character in this series? I didn't realize until ACOSF how inherently chaotic, irreverent, and outta fucks both of their energies radiate.
I'm sure experiencing these life transforming things in this book, including opening up to their respective mate and eventually growing to want and accept them in their life, not to mention for Nesta healing through intense physical training and causing magical objects and monsters to yield to her left and right, that getting their POVs through these intense life changing experiences, experiences that are pushing them both utterly out of their comfort zones, is why I'm only just now seeing their total irreverent chaos as individuals and as a couple.
But it's almost like this trait of theirs extends to even serious and important conversations laced with vulnerability, and someone has to just throw hands at some point to release a pressure valve on the situation, and for these two it's either through fighting words that are almost sometimes just for the spectacle it seems, or through sex.
On this reread, I'm seeing it more and more, and I get this about them, that they need this kind of chaotic rhythm to their life together. To me, it isn't inconsistent or out of character or unrealistic or cringey (all things I worried I'd experience on a slower reread). It's actually really fucking in character for these two, and so distinct to them, and I really fucking love it.
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