A Court of Mist and Fury Chapter 4: Return of the Rhys

A Court of Mist and Fury Chapter 4:

We are moving full-speed ahead because we are only a couple days away from the wedding. You can tell Maas really wants us to get over this whole silly nonsense about Feyre and Tamlin being in love because the whole chapter is just Feyre reminding us how miserable she is now and making it pretty clear she doesn’t care about Tamlin anymore.

I get that killing those two Fae was really traumatising for Feyre, but what I find the strangest about her grief is that she’s not beating herself up over not figuring out the riddle sooner, thus being able to spare the lives of the Fae. Instead, she just keeps telling us she deserves to burn in hell even though she could have chosen death over completing the trial. I am all for Feyre being damaged after this awful experience, but can’t it at least be compelling?

I was grateful that I’d never be High Lady, never be Tamlin’s equal in responsibility and power.

A small, forgotten part of me roared and screamed at that, but …

Dinner after dinner, luncheons and picnics and hunts.

Guess not.

I thought the ‘but…’ was going to be followed by another reminder that Feyre is too despondent to care, but instead it just sounds like she’s so super busy she doesn’t have time to worry about feminism!

She talks about how much she hates the social events that Tamlin is clearly enjoying:

So I weathered it, clinging to Ianthe when Tamlin wasn’t at my side, or, if they were together, letting the two of them lead conversations while I counted down the hours until everyone would leave.

[…]

“You should head to bed,” Ianthe said, both of us watching the assembled revelers packing the great hall. I’d spotted her by the open doors thirty minutes ago, and was grateful for the excuse to leave the gaggle of Tamlin’s friends I’d been stuck talking to. Or not talking to.

So Feyre is not even going to mention the fact that this is exactly what she fought for? She’s not even going to examine why this doesn’t bring her joy? That would actually be a different angle to take than just reminding us that she stabbed two characters none of us had any investment in. It’s horrible, but hard to sustain interest in.

She hangs out with Ianthe at the party, and Ianthe is pretty dull. The only thing I’ve gathered is that she’s a sexy priestess who Feyre feels is her crutch now. Again, why did this relationship develop off-screen?

Some guys come over to hit on Ianthe, and Feyre even has some mopey dear-diary thoughts about how they’re just interested in Ianthe and not her. Um, you are engaged to their High Lord, I definitely do not think they’d be coming over to hit on you, Feyre.

“We were Under the Mountain with you.” I managed to incline my head a bit as they straightened.

Omg someone else was actually also Under the Mountain? Can they confirm the capitalisation? We really need to conduct a survey of all Fae and former-humans (I’m looking at you, Feyre) who were Under the Mountain and try to understand why we have to refer to it like this.

“Congratulations on tomorrow,” Bron said, grinning. “A fitting end, eh?”

A fitting end would have been me in a grave, burning in hell.

Again, why didn’t you refuse to kill them? Or focus some/most of/all of the blame on Amarantha who deserves it.

“I have to say,” Bron went on, “that trial— with the Middengard Wyrm? Brilliant. One of the most brilliant things I ever saw.”

Bron, you are a fucking dick. Honestly! He was clearly just Under the Mountain, casually strolling around with a beer acting like Feyre’s first trial was a football match. Dude, your life was in danger! The stakes were high for you too! Do you guys think that there are Fae who weren’t taking this shit seriously, this is a flaw in the writing, or that Bron is a special snowflake who was just totally clueless? Discuss!

Feyre internally freaks out, but politely thanks him. Because PTSD?

Now seems like a good a time as any to try to work out another issue I’m having with how Feyre is portrayed in this book. She relentlessly complains in her head, but tells us things like there’s a “small, forgotten part” of herself that wants more power, and she won’t speak up at all about the things she’s unhappy with.

On the one hand, she’s telling us how she doesn’t care about anything, but then she’ll turn around and tell us how much she hates Tamlin’s friends – at one point this chapter she tells us she hasn’t even bothered to learn their names, which seems super rude – and everything in her day to day life. It’s not clear why she’s not expressing any of this frustration with someone like CLUELESS BRON who is now my enemy and needs to be put in his place.

I could understand if she was really so numb she wasn’t acknowledging her feelings internally, but instead she manages to make trauma sound so petty and her inaction just seems like a way for us to blame Tamlin later for not being perfect enough to read her mind. I miss how Feyre’s traumas were portrayed in the last book. You could see how they’d influenced her, but I felt they gave the book more room to breathe on its own.

Anyway, I hope we’re supposed to hate Ianthe, because what kind of dope wouldn’t pick up on the fact that clueless dummy Bron over here just said something super offensive? She’s a super powerful badass priestess lady, tell him what’s what!

“Oh, it sounded terrible,” Ianthe said, stepping closer as she noted I was no longer wearing that bland smile. She put a hand on my arm. “Such bravery is awe-inspiring.”

#FriendshipGoals?

Clueless Bron and friend ask Feyre if she’ll be joining them on a hunt soon. I have no idea what they’re hunting, but Feyre tells us she never wants to use a bow and arrow again. However, in upcoming chapters you find that she wants to learn to fight, so it’s not clear to me where these lines are drawn.

After more nightmares, it’s time for the wedding! Yes, it’s already here!

I really, truly hated my wedding gown.

But she suffered silently about it because otherwise how would would we acquire exclusive rights to her angst?

Ianthe had personally selected the gown to complement whatever tale she’d weave today— the legend she’d proclaim to the world.

A true friend always make sure she selects the wedding dress for her BFF that helps accomplish her own goals. #FriendshipGoalsTheSequel.

This is actually interesting because, intentional or not, this is one of the better ways Maas has presented evidence of how Feyre has become more fragile. I believe she would find comfort in someone who is happy to be directive with her. It still doesn’t quite align with the disgust Feyre expresses over the dress. Whereas, “I didn’t like it, but I didn’t really care. I was happy Ianthe made the choice for me” would add up.

At the wedding ceremony, Feyre has a panic attack because she doesn’t feel she’s worthy of Tamlin’s love or happiness. She tells us, “I was going to vomit” (take note!) before she starts internally begging anyone to help her. ANYONE YOU SAY???

But who could possibly be able to hear her silent pleas? Who could possibly read her mind?

Thunder cracked behind me, as if two boulders had been hurled against each other.

People screamed, falling back, a few vanishing outright as darkness erupted.

Oh yeah! It’s the guy who gave Feyre a non-consensual, magical tattoo that allows him to read her mind. Damn, Rhysand knows how to make a grand entrance.

“Hello, Feyre darling,” he purred.

FYI we are also going to pay attention to how many times Rhys purrs in this book. You got that? Vomiting and purring.

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7 comments

  1. Dana

    I keep laughing at that Kuzco gif. Rhysand is Kuzco now. He speaks with the voice of David Spade. This is my official headcannon now.

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    • 22aer22 Post author

      I can’t undo the damage I’ve caused with this gif. But I have to admit it does kind of feel right.

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  2. Rebecca

    Ariel, I’m in Vegas right now and one of the billboards said “You are what you eat. You’ve always wanted to be a burrito.” and I thought of you. You must have mentioned burritos enough times that this stuck.

    Feyre’s angst reads as that of a misunderstood sixteen year old and that’s 90% why I can’t stand the beginning of this book. Like why did you fight so hard to save all the fucking Fae if you can’t be bothered to give a shit about what they do in their lives? GET IT TOGETHER FEYRE.

    Also the thing with Tamlin’s friends, it’s not even funny how much that pissed me off. She sounds like such an asshole.

    Rhysand purring. Same as it ever was. Gah. It sounds vaguely threatening in my head.

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    • 22aer22 Post author

      Most days of my life feel like a struggle not to get Chipotle for lunch. I try to tell myself how often they are in the news for terrible things, but the little voice in the back of my head is like, “Risk it…” To compound the issue, there are a total of 6 burrito places around my office that do decent burritos, so the temptation never ends. This billboard speaks to my soul.

      Ug I agree. It’s not like Feyre went off to war in a different country and the lives she saved might feel really disconnected from her experiences…the Spring court was there with her, though, and those Fae also suffered some pretty dark shit down there. It’s weirder that Feyre is presented as the only one who is still in pain. It’s frustrating that SJM seems to think that by writing Feyre this way, she’s showing us a complicated character, but she’s not. Feyre is one-dimensional here, and there’s no complexity to the feelings.

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  3. callmeIndigo

    Between the vomiting and the purring, are we sure this isn’t a book about cats?

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    • Cara

      I would find Rhysand more interesting if he was a catboy and was literally purring as he spoke.

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  4. Cara

    I’m not a big fan of grimdark fantasy, but if that’s the way this series was headed anyway, then Feyre should have killed Lucien in the third trial. It would have been a more difficult and dramatic choice for Feyre; it would make sense because Amarantha was sadistic and Lucien pissed her off; it would have a bigger impact on the reader, making Feyre’s guilt more immediate and sympathetic; and it could be used to cause a believable rift between Feyre and Tamlin. Whether Tamlin resented Feyre for killing his friend, or Tamlin was less affected than Feyre and she was disturbed by that, it would be easy to make the sudden coldness between them seem like a natural (but tragic!) effect of what they’d been through. Killing off two nameless characters is just really half-assing it with the hard choices thing. Go big or go home, Maas.

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