Alys – Question 8

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8) What do they look for in a platonic or romantic partner?

Everyone handles trauma differently, but I think there is a sort of caution in the way most abuse survivors approach companionship. Alys is suspicious by nurture, not nature. New people in the house meant a new danger. She bought locks for her door, she learned how to hide and not draw attention to herself. It’s the life of a cornered animal, waiting for the next predator to strike. So when looking for a companion of any sort, she waits for them to show their vulnerability first. Charlie had similar scars. Oswin showed her the watch.

Alys is first and foremost independent both out of necessity and because it simply makes things easier. She picks her friends carefully and once she does, she holds on for dear life. While she is protective of those she loves, she’s drawn to equally independent spirits, where she won’t feel mired down, but also can keep up with her ambition to escape the present.

Obviously there is a difference in who Alys is before she enters Terra Mirum and after she leaves it for the first time. She’s a bit more willing to leave her baggage behind and not let it rule her. That’s part of her whole talk with Charlie.

I’m getting muddled in this explanation, I’m sure, but for Alys, this is a particularly complicated conversation.

Alys saved Terra Mirum. She faced her greatest nightmares. By Changeling (Book 2) she has rebuilt a life for herself. She’s not just independent, she’s driven and determined, and marked for ingenuity. These qualities are paramount in a partner she chooses to spend the majority of her time with. Her partner must be able to exist without her, and rather has chosen to exist beside her. There is no room for co-dependence. Humor, obviously, or they’d be fighting constantly, and in a somewhat ironic sense, someone willing to fight with her. Alys knows she’s become a steamroller over the years, and you need someone who will stand up for themselves if you’re a steamroller. Otherwise they get flattened. If someone is too polite to say they’re not okay with something, it’s never going to work. They’ll never be able to make any decisions together.

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