Crackpot theory: Sam Cortland is alive.
Yes, you read that title correctly.
This idea came to me when I was reading the last few chapters of Crown of Midnight. I kind of just laughed at myself for thinking it, but then the situation dawned on me and the reality of this theory coming true and I stopped smiling and starting having heart palpitations. It’s a bit of a stretch, but then again, what theory isn’t?
In order to avoid being executed for not obeying the King’s demands, Celaena salvaged limbs from a sick house as a guise for those whom she was meant to assassinate. By adorning the severed appendages with jewelry containing a house sigil (given directly to her by said “dead” persons), she was able to deceive the King into believing she had completed her tasks. On the occasions where she brought back a decapitated head, she made certain the face was mutilated beyond recognition. All this must sound familiar to you after reading Crown of Midnight, but here’s where my theory comes to light:
Arobynn had always known of Sam’s unrequited interest in Celaena. So much so that he used it against Sam when he beat Celaena as a form of punishment for him. But when it became apparent that Celaena was in love with him as he was with her, Arobynn grew skeptical. He didn’t want to lose his heir, regardless of her emotional attachment to Sam. Nor did he want Sam “corrupting” her mind. And when the two of them confronted Arobynn and spoke of their desire to leave the Guild, Arobynn tried in vain to keep his composure but also keep them tethered to his arsenal. Although it is never fully disclosed in The Assassin’s Blade, I bet Arobynn had a major part in Sam’s abrupt death. Just think about it: Sam was mere hours away from taking Arobynn’s protégée across Erilea where he could never find her again. And then there was that scene on the rooftop as he watched the Adarlanian soldiers taking Celaena to Endovier; he had been speaking to Sam’s murderer as though they were acquaintances (which was most likely true).
Knowing that Celaena wouldn’t die at the hands of the King (otherwise, he would have interfered with them taking her to Endovier) he knew she’d come back eventually. If not to rejoin him, then to assassinate him for his apparent part in Sam’s death and her enslavement. [Another thing: does Arobynn know that Celaena is Aelin? He must if he knew of her fae heritage and the fact that it was in Terrasen where he had found her dying with her family’s sacred necklace around her throat like a beacon]. Recognizing the type of power she would wield someday, he wanted to have his dealings in her fate.
That being said, what if, instead of truly killing him, Arobynn had mutilated the body of some random boy beyond reorganization so that when Celaena found him she wouldn’t be able to identify the true person? He could have easily applied cosmetic masks, such as her expensive soap, to the body in order to make the act seem all the more real. If Celaena were able to trick the King, then would it have been so hard for Arobynn to trick her into believing Sam had died? Especially if he wished to use Sam against her when she will eventually return to the Guild. She was so distraught in that moment that she could have easily mistaken the body, or had not been paying attention to small details other than the sounds of her ragged breath and erotic heartbeat. And truly, the moment had happened so quick that there was no investigation to be had. Sure, she laid beside him as the rest of the witnesses left, but does that make a difference if her mind had already begun processing his death and the only means of identification for a body that dismembered was the lingering scent of the soap he had used?
Sam Cortland may still be alive. Imprisoned, undoubtedly, but alive.
And Arobynn is just waiting for the day he can use Sam against Celaena…or Aelin, rather.
So now we know the tittle of ToG4 aka Queen of Shadows I want to write down some thoughts and headcanons I have about it.
- Imma piece of trash so I’ll start with Chaolaena. I don’t think they will have time to discuss or “fix” their relationship bc first they have to
- Save Aedion
- Save Dorian
- Destroy the weird-ass towers that keep magic(?)
- Retrieve the wyrdkeys
And that’s for starters don’t forget the part where they gather a huge army and defeat Adarlan’s King. And by the time all of this gets done I don’t think they will happen. The moment we knew Celaena was Aelin Galathynius all the chances of a romantical relationship with Chaol were gone to never get back. And here is where I want to think of Aedion’s face when he finds out he hold himself of dismembering Chaol for nothing.
- So now I bring up Aedion what I truly want is that they can rescue him and he standing along with Aelin and helping her get Terrasen back, also I wonder if the identity of his father is a major plot twist or is completely irrelevant. #PleaseAedionDon’tDie2k15
- I feel the reunion with Arobynn Hamel will either end up with him tortured and murdered or Aelin will spare his life. Surely it won’t be a nice reunion and she will claim the answers about Sam’s death. I think Arobynn has the wyrdkey bc if his plan was to use Celaena against the Havilliards he would need proof that she’s actually Aelin and maybe he doesn’t know about the wyrdkeys but he surely can recognize a royal token and something like that you just cannot sell it.
- It is a truth universally acknowledged that Ansel will be featured in Queen of Shadows. And that’s all I got I can bet she would do some queen stuff but I don’t dare saying more. Part of me wants to believe she will face Manon (or Crochans) but part of me thinks she will play a significant role in the war against Adarlan. (Also, I want a Chaol/Ansel meet and greet, idk maybe Chaol and Ansel could end up together?)
- Manon. Mainly I bet she will stand as Ironteeth Queen either at the end of the book or the series (yeah, not only Blackbeak Queen). What truly disturbes me about her is that she doesn’t have an agenda, sure she wants the Witch Kingdom back but only bc is what she has been raised to live for, and there’s a huge difference between what you want and what you’ve been raised to want. She has a long way to go and Abraxos will play a major role in helping her to know who she truly is and what she really wants. And once Manon figures it out nothing will get on her way, nothing.
- As for Rowan I think we will have a couple of chapters with his POV but he won’t arrive to Erilea until book 5. I’m still not sure what role he will play in the upcoming events but it seems he truly wanted to approach the Ashryvers maybe he will pull some strings in there and of course he will have to keep an eye on Maeve, bc Maeve is immortal, bored and the kind of woman who baths in the blood of her enemies. (Gosh, I want more Maeve)
- I think we will see the return of Elena and Gavin. I honestly don’t like Elena (she’s the captain of the RMS Dorlaena) and her return will confirm the fact that is not only the King of Adarlan they have to defeat but Eravan himself too. Will this mean Maeve has to stand out and the war fought thousands of years ago wasn’t the final stand and they have to find a way to end Eravan and all he embodies once and forever? (Also this is where I think Manon and the Ironteeth Witches -even the Crochans- will have a major role, not with/against Adarlan’s King but against/with Eravan is where we will see the Witches standing out).
- Speaking of Havilliards I would like to know what the King of Adarlan is made of. What caused him to retrieve the Wyrdkey and unleash hell upon Erilea. I suspect some sort of Eravan doing blended with the king’s self wickedness. And also if the king helds magic and why the hell he banished magic like it was the plague.
- Chaol *sighs* -Yeah, I talk about Chaolaena which is completely different of talking about Chaol and Aelin alone-. This dude has put his loyalty in Dorian but has an agreement with the Terrasen rebel’s so he’s on a really awkward position, why? bc the rebel’s want an eye for an eye. Chaol won’t kill his people, yeah he will help retrieving the wyrdkeys, bringing down the towers, saving Aedion and even ripping Endovier down stone by stone, but he-won’t-kill-his-people. Everybody underestimates his intelligence, I think he is very good at politics even more than at military (remember the way he smuggles Celaena to Wendlyn and he figures out how magic disappeared and he doesn’t even have magic) so he not killing his people is he finding out a political -instead of military- way to end all disagreements and dealing with the consequences of Adarlan’s actions. (Also what up with the Eye of Elena)
- Aelin, she’s not Celaena anymore. She’s Aelin Ashryver Galathynius heir of two mighty bloodlines and she will claim her kingdom back. Now that she’s certain of what she has to do she will get it done asap. The only issue I have with her is that everybody thinks she will either end up with Rowan, Dorian or Aedion, I discard that idea thanks to A hundred years of solitude. She really doesn’t need a man -or get married-. “But she’s a queen a queen needs a king blablabla” Dudes let me remind you of Elizabeth I of England she’s one of the badass queens of history and she ruled a powerful country for nearly fifty years without a dude by her side. Aelin is the character we need to break this stupid “the protagonist needs to end up with a dude” trope. Ya’ll keep talking about Aelin’s badassery but refuse to let her rule by herself. She can do it, she can rattle the stars.
- Last but not least is Dorian. *cries for five days straight* We know he ends up pretty screwed up at the end of HoF, we also know that the only way to get free of that collar is by beheading so… Part of me thinks Dorian won’t die bc he’s a main character BUT Nehemia and Sam died anyway. I don’t think they can kidnap him while figuring out how to get rid of the collar without killing him, that’s not a real possibility bc as long as he has the collar he is the king’s puppet and he has raw magic which makes him even more dangerous under that condition. That cruel twisted voice inside my head says Dorian will sacrifice himself in the last stand against his father or his sacrifice will be the annihilation of Eravan. And if Dorian dies Hollin will be crowned king which gives me shivers so what if Chaol is crowned king of Adarlan, and this hc came to me after a sleepy rereading of chapter 67 of Heir of Fire.
And that’s it. For now.
P.S. What if Sam Cortland is alive but brainwashed?
Who wants to read some Throne of Glass fan fiction! You know you want to imagine what will happen when Celaena confronts Arobynn about a certain something that was stolen from her, right? Right. Please be kind, this is the first piece I’ve ever written about someone else’s work and I also wrote it in, like, a half an hour. I’M SORRY, SARAH, I TRIED.
Also, SPOILERS IF YOU HAVEN’T READ HEIR OF FIRE.
Celaena marched into the keep. There weren’t many people in the main hall, though the few that were there stopped what they were doing to stare at a face they hadn’t seen for quite a while. A face that was much different than the one they remembered.
She fought the urge to throw hair she didn’t have over her shoulder in response. She didn’t recognize most of the faces that turned to stare at her with open mouths and wide eyes. New blood for Arobynn, she supposed. Necessary, in his line of work.
She took the familiar route to his office, keeping her feet steady despite the rush of memories that lined the hallway. Memories of bruises and unshed tears. Of anger. Hope. Sam. Memories that still haunted her but no longer slowed her steps. Her heart hurt, a little, but it did not speed up, with fear or anything else. It pounded steadily in her chest, urging her towards the heavy wooden doors of Arobynn’s office.
A figure stepped in front of her.
“Well,” Lysandra rested a delicate hand on the knob, “if it isn’t the prodigal assassin.” She looked as beautiful as ever, dark hair shining and eyes glowing with maliciousness. There was a crease, though, in her forehead, that Celaena did not remember, and a tenseness to her shoulders that had not been there before. Lysandra was a force to be reckoned with but no one could hold out with Arobynn forever.
Celaena met Lysandra’s gaze. Her reactions to this woman had always baffled her a little. Sometimes she was filled with jealousy, sometimes pity, sometimes contempt. Now she felt nothing. Lysandra was a small piece of the puzzle now, a spot on a tapestry of larger problems.
“Move,” she said. Lysandra smiled her coy smile, hand tightening around the door handle.
“I want for nothing,” she said instead, leaning towards Celaena, “He gives me my every desire. My every whim. How does that feel, Celaena Sardothien? That I am the apple of his eye while you are a disgraced killer?”
“Move,” Celaena repeated. Lysandra’s grin slipped ever so slightly.
“He does not want to be disturbed,”
“I don’t quite care what he wants,” Celaena stepped forward.
“He won’t want to see you,”
“And yet we all must do things we don’t want to do,” She gripped Lysandra’s wrist and twisted, causing the courtesan to hiss with pain. Shoving the other girl aside, Celaena opened the door to Arobynn’s study.
He sat behind his desk, leaning into the back of his padded chair with his folded hands resting on his stomach. He eyes were focused on the door and she knew that he had heard the entire conversation. She heard the heavy wooden door open and shut behind her as she approached his desk. Lysandra walked to stand beside her master, rubbing her bruised wrist.
“Celaena Sardothien,” Arobynn drew out her name, testing and tasting a name that meant so much then and so little now. She did not correct him. Not yet. “Did you enjoy your visit to Wendlyn?” His eyes twinkled as his head tilted ever so slightly. So he knew that she had visited the land of her kin. Of course he knew. Nothing went by the King of Assassins.
“I actually found it quite trying,” She replied, tilting her head in response.
“And what brings you back to the keep?”
“You have something that belongs to me. I want it back.”
“My dear, I have acquired many things that once belonged to others. You’ll need to remind me what you’re looking for, exactly.” His fingers tensed and relaxed, as if strumming a song or playing the piano.
“You know what I am talking about,” Celaena ground her teeth. It was impossible for her to keep a level head with this man, to control her temper. Even her training with Rowan hadn’t tempered her enough to keep mind around Arobynn Hamel.
“I’m sorry but you really must be more specific,” He leaned forward and put his elbows on the desk, resting his chin on his folded fingers. She forced her hands to stay still at her sides instead of curling into fists.
“The amulet,” She took a deep breath, “My amulet. The amulet of Orynth.”
“The Amulet of Orynth?” Lysandra did a lady-like snort, “How would he have gotten that?” Arobynn continued to study Celaena.
“Off the neck of a young princess he found almost drowned in a river.” Celaena said quietly, meeting her old mentor’s gaze. Neither of them moved for a moment, while Lysandra nervously continued to touch her wrist, coaled eyes darting between the two.
“I have come to reclaim what is mine. And that includes the amulet you stole.”
“Mm, the long-lost queen comes to reclaim the fallen kingdom? How heroic.” Arobynn snorted but his eyes lacked the humor of his voice.
“Give it to me.”
“What makes you think I have it?”
“I know you have it,” Celaena leaned forward, resting her hands on the edge of Arobynn’s massive wooden desk. If she were in a land with magic, she would have shifted, would have focused her Fae eyes on his and summoned her flame. But for now, she would have to stay mortal, stay human, and just show him that she was no longer afraid. At least, not of him. “Give. It. To. Me.”
Arobynn stayed still. Then he smiled and leaned back into his chair. Celaena refused to show him her frustration. She removed her hands from his desk, relaxed her face and swept her gaze around the room, studying his material treasures and the one currently running a hand through is hair like a lover.
“I wonder, Arobynn,” she began, running a finger across one of his prized statues, “I wonder how much you know. I wonder if you have chosen to align yourself with the king and if you have, if you know what he’s done. What he plans to do.” She glanced back at him out of the corner of her eyes, studied him and he studied her. “I wonder if you’ve chosen a side. Or if you already have and don’t even know it.” She turned back to her old mentor, her old teacher. She had no doubt that he knew more than he would ever tell. But how much he knew of the king’s plans…that was a different story.
“This is your plan then,” he quipped, “to return the avenging queen? To rebuild your once glorious kingdom and take revenge upon the King of Adarlan?” He snorted, “You are a fool, Celaena.”
“There are two sides in this, Arobynn, and I very much doubt that either will be willing to show you mercy when all this is done.” His fox eyes darted towards me, his smirk slowly disappearing. “You do not need to choose my side, of course, but I do demand that you return what is rightfully mine.”
“And if I don’t?” Celaena was suddenly in front of his desk, face inches from his, knuckles white as she gripped the table. Lysandra’s deft fingers froze in Arobynn’s hair and his face paled the slightest. There was no magic in Adarlan, they were sure, but for a moment they believed that Celaena had just used it.
“Then I swear to the gods,” her voice dropped to a murmur, almost a prayer, “when the towers fall and magic returns to this god’s forsaken land, you will be the first to burn.”
This time, Arobynn was the first to look away. He studied his hands for a moment and Celaena could see the scars and calluses, could remember and imagine all the blood that had been spilt on them, all the pain inflicted by them. Watched then as they reached up and grasped a chain that lay around his neck and under his shirt.
Arobynn pulled the Amulet of Orynth over his head, meeting Celaena’s gaze as he held it out for her waiting palm. She placed the amulet around her neck, the weight familiar despite the years. Lysandra stood still as a statue at her master’s side, no doubt wondering what exchange had just happened but more than ready to learn. Celaena turned and began to walk towards the exit.
“You are a queen without a kingdom, Celaena,” he said, his whole body tense despite his mocking tone.
“Not for long,” she replied as she strode towards the door and threw it open. She turned to look at him over her shoulder, a smile, rather unbelievably even to her, playing on her lips. “And my name is Aelin.” She saw Lysandra’s face pale and Arobynn’s eyes widen in the slightest and then she walked out, away, not looking back, as if with every step she could burn everything – and everyone – in this place to the ground.
Not at all painful parallels
- Celaena:has to endure Sam dying
- Dorian:has to endure Sorscha dying
- Celaena:was abused by Arobynn
- Dorian:is abused by his father
- Celaena:has to endure her best friend dying
- Dorian:has to endure his best friend hating a big part of him
- Celaena:had to lie about her heritage
- Dorian:is probably being lied to about his heritage
- Celaena:had to hide her powers from everyone
- Dorian:had to hide his powers from everyone
- Celaena:was trained to be a ruthless killer by her father figure
- Dorian:was turned into a demon by his fathe
- Celaena:So, code names. I’m “Eagle One”.
- Celaena:Sam is “Been There, Done That”.
- Celaena:Chaol is “Currently Doing That”.
- Celaena:Dorian, “It Happened One In a Dream”.
- Celaena:Nehemia is “If I Had to Pick a Chick”.
- Celaena:Rowan, “Eagle Two”.
- Rowan:Thank the gods.