|(Picture from here)|
Hokay, let's be honest with ourselves here. Love triangles never end well for everyone in them, unless they end as love squares. That fourth side of the triangle is what will make it even for everyone, and if it's not introduced, then at least one person is never going to be as happy as they think they could be. So, when I read things in which Clockwork Prince readers say that it's not fair to choose between Will and Jem, I have to say they are wrong. You have to choose, because if you don't have an opinion then why are you reading it? You have to know which characters you think deserve to get what they want, and which ones will be okay if they don't. Not having an opinion tells me that you don't care enough about the characters to have an opinion. [It is okay to have a preference and not talk about it, as long as you have one.]
I have an opinion, but that does not mean I don't want the other person to be happy. If you've read my last post, you know that I am most decidedly Team Will (if that makes you angry, by all means cease reading), but I approve of Jem as well. But the thing is, to me Jem seems more like Tessa's friend who just hasn't been happy in so long that he has confused her friendship with something more. People have been saying he was selfish in the book, and maybe that's true. But doesn't he have the right to be selfish? He knows(/believes?) he doesn't have much time left and he wants this one happiness for himself, after spending the last five years being the barrier between Will and the world. Constantly protecting them from each other, as it's put in the book. Go ahead and be angry with Jem for not considering that Will and Tessa may be in love with each other, if you want. But I'm not.
That said, I am angry with Tessa for choosing Jem when she knows she's in love with Will. And then denying Will the minute satisfaction of telling him she loves him. I don't care if it wouldn't have been proper; the boy has dealt with enough, and going into that room thinking they would come out as a happy couple, then coming out without even the knowledge that she does return his feelings... that was just not necessary. I'm not saying it was Tessa's responsibility to pick Will just because he's been through a lot; I'm saying that it's fairly obvious that she loves Will more, so she should have picked him for that and that alone. Throughout the whole book she's constantly thinking about him when he's not there, and he's all she can think about when he is there. When she thinks she's dreaming, she doesn't think twice about the fact that she's dreaming about him. She compares people to him far more than she compares them to Jem, and everyone else can see that she cares about him enormously-- enough for Magnus to send her a letter knowing she will leave in the middle of the night to find him, and enough for Jessamine to acknowledge that her indecision between him and Jem is a bit melodramatic. Would her life be easier if she loved Jem more? Yes, probably. Does she? No. I believe she does love Jem, but she picked him because he makes her feel safe (I will point out that Will knows when to protect her and when to let her stand on her own two feet-- an admirable quality) and she's gotten used to his presence, and maybe a little out of guilt because he pulled the whole "loving you is keeping me alive" thing. And it's not fair to anyone.
Choosing to marry Jem when she has feelings for his best friend is not going to help herself or either of the boys (no matter how honorable her intentions), because Jem and Will are not ignorant of each other's states of mind. I dare say Jem will not take long to figure out that something has changed in Will, even considering how good Will has become at pushing people away. And once he figures it out, it's Jem who's going to get hurt. And then Will would never be with Tessa, for fear of further hurting Jem. And then nobody will be happy. It would be the same way if, and I am not hoping for this AT ALL, Jem were to die in Clockwork Princess. Do you think Will would ever want to marry his parabatai's former fiancee, unless for some reason it were Jem's dying wish? No. Nobody wins.
So yes, I'm Team Will. But that doesn't mean I'm Team Dump-Jem-and-Marry-Will. I'm Team Find-a-Way-to-be-With-Will-Without-Breaking-Jem's-Heart. And this is exactly why we leave things up to authors, not ourselves. When they break a character's heart, it's their job to either fix it or justify it. Just like when they break our hearts.