Look, a post! Get used to it, folks, because ya girl is coming back! In just over a week, Mary & the Words is officially back in session, and I’ve got so many exciting things geared up for you. Taking a break has been everything and more that I needed, and while I’m not quite back yet, there was no way that I could let today pass by without celebrating.
I’ve written a lot about Clary before, so I’ll keep this short and sweet. She is undeniably one of my favorite characters just of all-time. In all the books I’ve read, she is one of the top ten that I come back to again and again. And I could list all the obvious reasons why–she’s a badass, she literally saves the world over and over, she doesn’t take anyone’s bullshit–but the one that keeps bringing me back to her is simply this: she’s relatable.
Clary is us. If I was suddenly dropped into the knowledge that demons existed, as well as all the mythical creatures I grown up reading about, you can bet your ass that I would be scared as hell. Do I actually want vampires to exist? Kind of not! That sounds terrifying! I mean, like, actually really and truly think about that being a possibility. Think about there being a monster out there that needs blood to survive, and not just one, but millions. Like? That sounds like a world I’m kind of all set on a) not being real or b) being completely ignorant to it.
And I think that’s how a lot of people actually feel. We can say all day that we’d rise up to the occasion and fight demons, but would we actually? Nahhhhhh. I’m not buying it. But you know who does? Clary Fray. Even though her entire world has been turned upside down, even though her mother is missing and she’s torn away from her friends, even though everything she’s believed up until now has been a lie, and some of that lie fabricated by the magic she didn’t know existed, she still says alright then and gets to work.
All of this sounds like she’s unrelatable, I know, but the way that Clary fits into the world of Shadowhunters is what makes her relatable. Because, if monsters were real, and we had to figure out a way to coexist with them instead of just running to hide under our beds, I think a lot of us would mirror Clary’s deep dive into magic very similarly.
I love that Clary cries a lot. Y’all, I cry a lot. I cry at gum commercials and when lunch is running stupid late at work & all the guys are looking to me for answers and if I reach a certain level of angry. I love that she gets petty and irrationally angry and takes her frustrations out on other people. I love that she’s a little wild and stubborn, that she does what she wants and whines about the consequences. I love how human Clary is because SAME.
I think that one of the reasons that a lot of readers have issues with Clary is because they see too much of themselves in her. She’s a very good mirror to how a lot of us would react in these situations. She’s very similar to the person I was at that age. We see Clary’s angst, and we back away from it because it reminds us so vividly of being stuck in those exact emotions. Sure, it’s doubtful any of us have actually gone up against a demon and cried about it later, but we can get in that mindset, we can get to that fear and anxiety and desperation, and we can understand why she’s upset, so it’s hard to see it on page.
And, really, that’s a testament to both Cassandra Clare’s writing and exactly the reason why I love Clary so much. She is who I remember being, yes, but she’s also who I hope to be. Because Clary is not just relatable, she’s someone who has so much character growth that, when we see her at the end of TMI, she’s someone that I admire, someone that I would like to mirror someday. She’s hopeful, resilient, a badass, a little impertinent, and so damn human. She still cries, but she does it wielding a sword and saving the world, and that, more than anything, is why I love her. Even when she’s kicking ass, she’s still just a girl from Manhattan who loves soup dumplings.
So, here’s to you, Clary Fray. Happy birthday, thanks for always having our backs, and may you have many more adventures and all the joy in the world!