Slytherin Greatness: A Character Profile on Julian Blackthorn

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You may or may not know this about me, but I am a Slytherin. A proud Slytherin. After years of my kinsmen being viewed as “the evil House,” things are finally coming around. People are learning more about us and the idea of what makes a Slytherin is broadening. And, as such, more non-Harry Potter characters are finally being Sorted into their rightful House. And I thought it would be fun to start a new series on this blog where I do just that. And so, without any more delay, here is the first entry into my new series “Slytherin Greatness.”

Julian Blackthorn
Art by aegisdea

The Dark Artifices by Cassandra Clare


Why Julian Blackthorn is a Slytherin

You’d be hard-pressed to find a character that embodied Slytherin better than Julian Blackthorn. Everything he does is calculated and singularly focused. Julian is loyal to no one but his family (this extends, of course, to Emma), saying he would destroy an entire city if it would keep them safe. This kind of loyalty differs from Hufflepuff loyalty in the means and the singularity. Julian has no problem throwing someone under the bus, if it will keep his family safe. In fact, he does just that to Anselm Nightshade so the Inquisitor wouldn’t ask too many questions. And then there’s all the work and forethought that went into that, the back-up plans and fail-safes in place long before they were needed.

In a similar point, Julian is not quick to trust. In fact, he doesn’t trust anyone (with the exception of Emma). Not only does he not trust, but he jealously holds secrets close, so as to keep up appearances. He’s learned to hide his emotions, never showing weakness or giving someone a weapon. He researches everybody who is going to come in contact with his family, so he can plan accordingly. He knows just what to say and to who, becoming just who he needs to be to keep up any and all illusions.

Which, of course, brings me to my next point: Julian is an expert liar. Only someone cunning and shrewd could learn to lie and manipulate with ease. He lies to the Clave, the governing body of Shadowhunters, he lies to his family, he lies to everyone. Not only that, but he sometimes becomes someone else in order to sell a lie. He knows how to deflect or craft a story so that suddenly the situation seems utterly different. He can even do this to faeries, who are notoriously clever themselves. He pulls this in Lady Midnight to the Inquisitor and in Lord of Shadows to the Unseelie King and his court. He is masterful, even going so far as convincing Emma to be his parabatai in order to keep her with him (not that she didn’t have a say in the matter, just that his motives weren’t truly altruistic). He lies and manipulates better than anyone; Emma may be the best Shadowhunter of their generation, but he is the best liar.

And this brings me to my final point: he is ambitious as hell. If you think it doesn’t take a butt load of ambition to run an Institute and raise four children from the time you’re twelve, you are sorely mistaken. He does it all and he does it well. And Lord help you if you stand in his way.

In summation, Julian Blackthorn is cunning, singularly loyal, mistrustful, an expert liar and manipulator, and ambitious as hell. He is ruthless to a fault and will use any means necessary to do what he believes needs to be done: namely, protect his family. If you are expendable or stand in his way, I mean… you’re pretty much fucked, man. And truthfully, it’s due to this that he’s one of my favorite characters of all time. He can be ruthless, but still be a good guy, still someone you want to root for. And I can’t wait to see what he’s going to do next.

So, what do you think, Strangers? You want to see more of this (not that I’m going to stop)? Let me know in the comments any characters you think I should do a Slytherin character profile on for the next post in the “Slytherin Greatness” series. I’m excited to welcome more people into the House that has been a part of my soul for years.

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