Needless to say, this post will contain spoilers of A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas. If you haven’t still read that book, I’d much rather you do not read this and ruin your life.
However! If you’re not that interested in reading the book/series, please do go ahead with this post :D
Also, a short glossary (in case you haven’t read the books but are still interested in the discussion)
Feyre – main female lead
Tamlin – the guy who suddenly turned all bad in ACOMAF
Rhysand – Feyre’s love interest
Amarantha – the witch or the villain of the first book
Under the Mountain – Amarantha’s ‘den’
So let’s recap what we know till now.
Tamlin is a bad guy.
Tamlin is heartless.
Tamlin is a control-freak.
Tamlin is bad.
We hate Tamlin.
So, basically, almost 99% of the people who’ve read the books are all completely against Tamlin now, and more or less everybody is Team Rhysand. When I read ACOMAF in a frenzy, I too completely shifted over from my love for Tamlin to my obsession with Rhysand. I had sworn my love to Tamlin in the first book, and the second book saw me completely changing and Rhysand happened. I too, like almost everybody, hated Tamlin for the things he did. But, that was all in a frenzy.
Today I started rereading ACOMAF (because I want to annotate this time and take it in slowly, not all in a rush) and this sudden discussion post struck me. Why not see things from Tamlin’s POV?
So, Tamlin did some questionable things in this book. Let’s list them out?
- stole Feyre’s freedom, basically
- would not allow her to go out of the house
- locked her up
- entered into that stupid deal with King of Hybern (or Heybern? I forgot :P)
Now let’s see what all happened to him.
- had to live with Amarantha’s curse for fifty (was it fifty?) years
- set his love free even though she was the only one who could save him from the curse
- watch Amarantha break Feyre Under the Mountain
Clearly, after the events of Under the Mountain, both Feyre and Tamlin suffered from PTSD. They were broken, hurt, and just shattered after what all happened there. Tamlin, thus, being a control-freak, forbid Feyre from leaving the house, at one instance even locked her up, and why? All because he loved her and was afraid to lose her yet over again.
He did horrible things. Basically abused her. And thus began the whole #Let’sHateTamlin journey on the internet. Everyone hates him now, and by this time I’ve just heard such bad things about him that I have to make myself stop from lashing out. What really pushed me to this post was about how I read someone’s views that Tamlin is an ‘evil, bad person.’
I just feel, that in spite of all that hate, we should see reason behind his behavior. Instead of straight-out hating him, maybe we could try to understand why he did the things he did? While reading the book, we were all so ready to sympathize and understand and support Feyre that no one even thought that maybe Tamlin did everything because he was affected Under the Mountain too. Each bad/wrong thing he did, we all just assumed that he’s a naturally evil and bad person, but we never stopped to think of how the events with Amarantha may have affected him?
I don’t like how as readers ( me too) we sympathize so much with Feyre, but completely block out Tamlin. Bad guy. Evil. Heartless. Hello? He saw the girl he loved tortured to death in front of his eyes? Doesn’t that have to have an effect on him? His people were under a curse for years. Wouldn’t that affect a good person? I don’t like how we were all so ready to jump to conclusions about his character while we never even thought to consider what might have made him do all that horrible stuff.
(I keep saying ‘we’ because I did the same and now I realize enough to reconsider him. He’s not a bad guy. Nah. He’s a troubled guy.)
I’m not saying what he did was right. And understanding the reasons behing his acts won’t make those acts any less horrible. But, they will definitely help in bringing down all the unnecessary hate.
The Under the Mountain incident broke him and troubled him and maybe all that hurt just made it’s way into his actions and pushed him to extreme limits. But, since the book is written in Feyre’s veiwpoint, and since the book basically glorifies Rhysand and his court, no one cares to give a second thought to Tam and everyone jumps onto the #TamlinSucks bandwagon. Well? Tamlin’s actions sucked. But I feel that there is a hint of reason behind them. And mainly, if I can sympathize with Feyre, then I can definitely sympathize with Tamlin, because the trauma Tam went through was NO less than what Feyre went through. I think he was just horribly misunderstood and overlooked and we, as readers were too eager to jump to conclusions about his character, ALL BECAUSE the book is from Feyre’s point and her thoughts are our thoughts.
So, do I hate Tam anymore? Nope.
Am I still Team Rhysand? Yes. But I feel sorry for Tam.