Monday, February 23, 2015

The Wolves of Mercy Falls: Cole St. Clair

the one and only Colton Haynes as Roy Harper in Arrow.
There will probably be spoilers here. You have been warned.

Bear with me as I write this, because it’s been quite some time since I’ve read Maggie Stiefvater’s Shiver Trilogy, and I’ve probably forgotten quite a bit. I do remember that I fell hopelessly in love with Cole St. Clair, lead singer of NARKOTIKA, werewolf, incredible sass master, and first class heartbreaker. I’ve always pictured him as Colton Haynes, and I love Colton too, so there’s also that.

“Once upon a time… there was a boy named Cole St. Clair, and he could do anything. And the weight of that possibility was so unbearable that he crushed himself before it had a chance to.”
— Linger

Cole is one of many characters who have stuck with me over the years. He broke my heart first, with his desperation to feel something, and yet, at the same time, to numb himself. His pain and the mask he constantly threw up to keep others from seeing that really he only wanted to belong stomped on the pieces of my already-broken heart.

“It wasn’t until high school that suicide became a possibility. Not an immediate one. It became a possibility like:
Maybe when I grow up I will be dead.”
— Cole St. Clair, Forever

But I think when I fell in love with him was not when he was snarky or a jerk or when his tragic backstory came out. I think I fell in love with him when he kissed Isabel Culpepper when she was afraid of not being lovable. When he told her that, if he loved her, he would have kissed her exactly like that. Because that’s the moment, I think, where it all clicked for me and I realized that he did love her. A whole heck of a lot.

He was just afraid too.

It was that kiss, more than anything else, that showed what Cole was capable of. But, like the quote at the beginning of this post says, that ability to do whatever he want if he put his mind to it, terrified him. That’s why he broke his body with drugs. That’s why. And that kiss, with it’s possibility of love and it’s glimpse of Cole’s inner kindness (which can later be seen again in Sinner with Leon), that pushed Cole onto my ‘Favorite Characters’ list.
My heart broke again (possibly the most, because this part actually hurt me), when he left Isabel the voicemails. If you’ve read Forever, you know what part I’m talking about. The part where Voicemail #1 had something to do with calling her in bed, mostly naked, while thinking about…her mother, and Voicemail #20 only said, “I wish you’d answer.” Cole, the incredibly hotheaded, snarktastic, blunt, jerk, was showing that he was capable of caring, and Isabel ignoring him hurt. She, more than any other character in the book, was capable of getting past his tough exterior and hurting him. 

But he still loved her.

I think he was afraid to love someone. To care, at all, actually. Especially since he knew what he was capable of and his own self-destructive tendencies. Maybe, then, when he was a stupid and hurtful, it was a purposeful mechanism to protect himself from being hurt even more — even at the expense of those that he really did care about. 

If you haven’t read Maggie Stiefvater’s Shiver Trilogy, I couldn’t recommend it more. Fantastic storytelling, coupled with feelsy OTPs, werewolves, and incredibly dynamic dialogue. Read them. And then read Sinner because it’s all about Cole and Isabel. If you have read Shiver, Linger, Forever, or Sinner, I would love to hear your thoughts on Mr. St. Clair. 


Post a Comment