I have slew of different theories, but this one just came to me while sending an email to Katie at @MundieMoms on my latest moment of literary enlightenment while rereading Clockwork Prince.
Be prepared and indulge me while I slip into my TID madness...
Cassandra Clare keeps subtly bringing up the topic of reincarnation in the books. Most people may just read it and not really give it a second thought. As an aspiring author myself, I'm learning that there is very, very little that is written in a story that does not serve a purpose. If a concept is mentioned more than once, be prepared for it to be used in a big way.
At first I was sure it was going to be Jem that got reincarnated because of his illness. While that may be (and we can all dream of a Jem appearance in Dark Artifices), the discussion between Will and Magnus in "Reparations" chapter has my mind racing. I keep thinking what if it's Will who is reincarnated? Everyone would be devastated with his death, right? BUT...what could Cassie do to make the fandom happy? How could she fix such a tragedy?
First, let's take a look at reincarnation. Here's a wiki definition that explains it rather well:
"Samsara is a Buddhist term that literally means "circle" or "wheel" and is commonly translated as "conditioned existence", "cyclic existence", "cycle of existence", etc. Within Buddhism, samsara is defined as the continual repetitive cycle of birth and death that arises from ordinary beings' grasping and fixating on a self and experiences. Specifically, samsara refers to the process of cycling through one rebirth after another within the six realms of existence, where each realm can be understood as physical realm or a psychological state characterized by a particular type of suffering. Samsara arises out of avidya (ignorance) and is characterized by dukkha (suffering, anxiety, dissatisfaction). In the Buddhist view, liberation from samsara is possible by following the Buddhist path."
Will: Of course I am. Everyone is afraid of death. We may be born of angels, but we have no more knowledge of what comes after death than you do.
Magnus: You don't know that there is only oblivion after death.
Will: You don't know that there isn't, do you? Jem believes we are all reborn, that life is a wheel. We die, we turn, we are reborn as we deserve to be reborn, based on our doings in this world. I will probably be reborn as a slub that someone salts.
Magnus: The Wheel of Transmigration. Well, think of it this way. You must have done something right in your last life, to reborn as you were, Nephilim.
Magnus totally crushes on Will from day 1. I got all mushy in that moment. He totally loves Will, but alas, Will has eyes only for Tessa Gray. It wouldn't be so bad if that moment might happen. Could you wrap your mind around the thought of Will and Magnus having more than just a moment?
Let's take a look at a moment from Clockwork Princess to see Will and Jem discuss this exact same issue:
Will rose slowly to his feet. He could not believe he was doing what he was doing, but it was clear that he was, clear as the silver rim around the black of Jem’s eyes. “If there is a life after this one,” he said, “let me meet you in it, James Carstairs.”
“There will be other lives.” Jem held his hand out, and for a moment, they clasped hands, as they had done during their parabatai ritual, reaching across twin rings of fire to interlace their fingers with each other. “The world is a wheel,” he said. “When we rise or fall, we do it together.”
Will tightened his grip on Jem’s hand, which felt thin as twigs in his. “Well, then,” he said, through a tight throat, “since you say there will be another life for me, let us both pray I do not make as colossal a mess of it as I have this one."
Another life for me...that's what Will said. Now, I could debate the fact that he said "me" versus saying "us", but I won't go there in this post.
Just thought I would add this picture of the Wheel of Transmigration for a visual. Isn't it lovely in a creeptastic way?
I asked what Cassie could do to appease the fandom with the death of Will? My answer is Alec Lightwood. I think Alec is Will reincarnated.
Before you throw up your hands in the air or quickly click off this post, think about it for just a few more moments. It makes more and more sense to me. It would be a punishment fitting, almost a delightful sense of irony, for Will to be a Lightwood - the one family he seems to detest. You have to struggle to reach enlightenment, so what better way for Will to become a better person than to walk a mile (or a lifetime) in his enemy's shoes.
Magnus recognizes Will in Alec so many times. How could I not have thought of this before?! Alec, in turn, is so freaked by the thought of Magnus having this eternal experience that it would be a great reveal to know that in this Wheel of Transmigration, this act of samsara, Alec actually was with Magnus before as Will. Those same blue eyes...that same dark hair. To me, this would be the only cure to mend our broken hearts if Will dies.
I then am reminded of a snippet from City of Lost Souls when Magnus and Isabelle are arguing, and I'm struggling with what it all could be leading to:
“I know about parabatai,” said Magnus, his voice rising in pitch. “I’ve known parabatai so close they were almost the same person; do you know what happens, when one of them dies, to the one that’s left—”
It's crazy...right???? I've been debating Tale of Two Cities, just knowing more and more that Will is going to bite the big one, but maybe, just maybe, that might make it all better...if Will became Alec and we finally get the Will/Magnus ship we've secretly all craved in the form of Malec.
Here's my song for my Will and Magnus ship just in case anyone wants to listen to it!!! :)
What are your thoughts on this theory? Do you have crazy TID theories you want to share? Share your comments below or to me on Twitter at @TMI_Institute.