Let’s Talk (#4) – Tamlin the Man Behind​ the Mask

For this week’s post, I’m taking a look at Tamlin from the A Court of Thorns and Roses Series.

I have been toying with the idea of writing this post of a couple of weeks, and I almost didn’t write it, but after seeing so many comments on social media that are supportive of Tamlin, it’s compelled me to do this.

I realize he is just a fictional character but it’s important to recognize his character portrays very real life abusive behaviors. I’m staggered by the sheer number of people who fail to see this. The worst of which are that he acts this way out of love which is simply not true. There even some people who blame Feyre for his behavior!

This book series has huge fandom and most of the people I have spoken to agree that Tamlin is abusive. So this post is for all the Tamlin Lovers out there who think his behavior is ok.

I’m going to start by listing the 7 typical personalities of the Abuser:

  1. The Bully
  2. The Headworker
  3. The Badfather
  4. The Jailer
  5. The King of the Castle
  6. The Sexual Controller
  7. The Persuader

Tamlin exhibits the traits 1, 5 & 6. These are the ones I’m going to look at in more detail:

 The Bully 

Uses intimidation to control us, eg glares, shouts, smashes things, sulks

 Examples of this;

We see this behavior right from beginning in ACOTAR, when Feyre begins to spend time with Lucian:

 Whatever tentative truce we built that afternoon vanished at the dinner table. Tamlin was lounging in his usual seat, a long claw out and circling his goblet. It paused on the lip as soon as I entered, Lucien on my heels. His green eyes pinned me to the spot. Right. I’d brushed him off that morning, claiming I wanted to be alone. Tamlin slowly looked at Lucien, whose face had turned grave. “We went on a hunt,” Lucien said. “I heard,” Tamlin said roughly, glancing between us as we took our seats. “And did you have fun?” Slowly, his claw sank back into his flesh. Lucien didn’t answer, leaving it to me. Coward. I cleared my throat. “Sort of,” I said. “Did you catch anything?” Every word was clipped out. “No.” Lucien gave me a pointed cough, as if urging me to say more. But I had nothing to say. Tamlin stared at me for a long moment, then dug into his food, not all that interested in talking to me, either.

Not only is he sulking here he is also acting jealous. Jealousy has nothing to do with love; it’s a sign of possessiveness and lack of trust.

“You don’t get to speak to me like that. You promised you wouldn’t act this way.” “You have no idea what’s at risk—” “Don’t you talk down to me. Not after what I went through to get back here, to you. To our people. You think any of us are happy to be working with Hybern? You think I don’t see it in their faces? The question of whether I am worth the dishonor of it?” His breathing turned ragged again. Good, I wanted to urge him. Good. “You sold us out to get me back,” I said, low and cold. “You whored us out to Hybern. Forgive me if I am now trying to regain some of what we lost.” Claws slid free. A feral growl rippled out of him. “They hunted down and butchered those humans for sport,” I went on. “You might be willing to get on your knees for Hybern, but I certainly am not.” He exploded. Furniture splintered and went flying, windows cracked and shattered. And this time, I did not shield myself. The worktable slammed into me, throwing me against the bookshelf, and every place where flesh and bone met wood barked and ached. My knees slammed into the carpeted floor, and Tamlin was instantly in front of me, hands shaking”

Here in a fit if rage her physical assaults her!

The King of the Castle

Controls us by treating us as second class citizens, eg treats us as a servant/slave, says women are for sex, cooking, and housework.

Examples of this;

You think I don’t know that? But does he honestly expect me to spend the rest of my life in that manor, overseeing servants and wearing pretty clothes?” 

“He doesn’t inform me of those things.” “Perhaps it’s time he did. Perhaps it’s time you insisted.”

“Tamlin won’t allow it.” “Tamlin isn’t your keeper, and you know it.” “I’m his subject, and he is my High Lord—” “You are no one’s subject.”

“Training would draw too much attention,” Tamlin said. “You don’t need to train. I can guard you from whatever comes our way.”

“Tamlin’s lips thinned. “Because you undermine the laws of this court when you behave like that. Because this is how things are done here, and when you hand that gluttonous faerie the money she needs, it makes me—it makes this entire court—look weak.”

He keeps her ignorant of everything and doesn’t give her a choice in anything.

The Jailer

isolates us, eg stops us from working and seeing friends, tells us what to wear, keeps us in the house, seduces our friends/family

Examples of this;

 He hissed, “You have no idea how hard it is for him to even let you off the estate grounds. He’s under more pressure than you realize.” “I know exactly how much pressure he endures. And I didn’t realize I’d become a prisoner.”

 But you … Tamlin … ” The walls pushed in on me. The quiet, the guards, the stares. What I’d seen at the Tithe today. “I’m drowning,” I managed to say. “I am drowning. And the more you do this, the more guards … You might as well be shoving my head under the water.”

During ACOMAF his controlling behavior increases and becomes more apparent. Keeping Feyre locked up to keep her “safe” even when she begs for more freedom. No one should have to beg to be let out of their house.

Victim Blaming

During ACOTAR there is also an instance of victim blaming

 “She seems to have a death wish,” he went on, cutting his meat. The claws stayed retracted but pushed against the skin above his knuckles. My throat closed up. Oh, he was mad—furious at my foolishness for leaving my room—but somehow managed to keep his anger on a tight, tight leash. “So, if Feyre can’t be bothered to listen to orders, then I can’t be held accountable for the consequences.” “Accountable?” I sputtered, placing my hands flat on the table. “You cornered me in the hall like a wolf with a rabbit!”

So because Feyre dared to leave her room it’s somehow her fault Tamlin is unable to control himself.  He then placates her later on by giving her a gift which is such typical perpetrator behavior:

We apologized at dinner. He even brought me a bouquet of white roses from his parents’ garden

His Perspective

Another thing I have come across is that people seem to think we need his perspective as to why his acting like this because all we are getting is Feyres perspective.  I can’t tell you how much this makes my blood boil!

I have two points that counter this argument:

  1. Imagine this, your sister/friend/brother etc comes you and tells you they had an argument with the person they love and in a fit of anger, this person physically hurt them. I know that without a shadow of a doubt you wouldn’t be asking them for the abusers perspective! So it’s ludicrous that anyone would need to have his perspective.
  2. I don’t need his perspective, his behavior all comes down to his need for power and control and because he has little of this in other areas of his life he inflicts this on Feyre. Even Feyre herself sees this in ACOWAR:

“And like I’d gambled, Tamlin’s need for control, for strength, won out.”

Final thoughts

To conclude, you may read this and just think it’s me ranting about my hate for Tamlin. While it’s true that I will never like him I do admire how Sarah J Maas has written his character. Domestic abuse is still such a taboo subject, so it’s great that she has written a character that has gotten people talking about this subject. And it’s shockingly clear just how many people still don’t recognize the signs of an abusive relationship.

There is no reason, excuse or justification for abuse.

5 thoughts on “Let’s Talk (#4) – Tamlin the Man Behind​ the Mask

  1. Excellent article. Too many young millennials and teens I see on Facebook romanticize what Tamlin does, stating “he’s not that bad a guy” or “he deserves redemption”. No, really, he doesn’t. He chose to do these awful things. He abused and betrayed Feyre time and again, and he even sold her sisters out to the enemy to torture just to regain possession of her (as if Feyre was a thing to be owned). He’s a despicable character, and I’m utterly mind-boggled by the number of women out there defending him, wanting to ‘save’ him and see him get a reward of some sort, because he’s just ‘so misunderstood’. I liked it to the women who enjoy rape fantasy — clearly, they’ve never been the real victim of such abuse. If they had, they wouldn’t be saying such things. They’d, instead, be getting the bonfire lit and gathering the mob for a little ‘BBQ time’.

    Liked by 1 person

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