Now, my theories are pretty much never completely right, so feel free to take this with a pound or two of salt if you like.
I just re-watched the entire series so far, but this is specifically about S2. Remember in my 2×10 Thinky Thoughts, I mentioned the nasty ear worm that Aldertree put in Alec’s Type A Overthinking Brain about his supposed relationship with a werewolf, and that Downworlders and Shadowhunters can never successfully be together because of Downworlders’ wild and deadly “nature.”
Now, let’s forget for a moment what a ridiculous idea it is to in any way compare lycanthropes and warlocks (I mean… werewolves are called that for a reason: they have the spirit of a wolf inside them, and under highly emotional or otherwise charged circumstances, they can be purposefully violent or violently out of control. I’m not sure how a warlock would be any more out of control than anyone, accept that they have more power, and thus the power to do more damage than your average human.).
Let’s also set aside that this sounds suspiciously like something Valentine would say, to the letter. How many times have we heard him say that Downworlders are dangerous to the world because “they can’t control their nature?” He had Jace convinced within the first few episodes of the season that his own “nature” was tainted because Valentine had injected him with demon blood in vitro. There was talk through the whole season about how dangerous and out-of-control Downworlders are, and that was (allegedly) Valentine’s entire reason for wanting to slaughter them all: they could pretend to follow the rules, but sooner or later, they would give in to that pesky demon NAAATUUUURE.
This is specifically about that asshat slimebag Aldertree. He came stomping into our heroes’ universe in episode 1, and started making trouble immediately. Forgetting how much we all like Nick Sagar, who is awesome and hilarious, who actually liked Victor Aldertree? He’s worse than Inspector Herondale, and ten times as creepy and nasty.
Let’s look at all the shit he pulled, from the annoying to the downright slimy and/or deadly.
- In episode one, his first act is lie to everybody about the reason he wants to find Jace. He says they don’t leave Shadowhunters behind. This lulls everybody into a false sense that everything is fine, so they will open their mouths and tell him everything they know. This then leads to Jace being declared a traitor, and Aldertree drops his sheep’s clothing. Jace is now wanted dead or alive, he throws out the Downworlder allies of the Shadowhunters, and locks Clary, her Mom, and all the people who care about Jace into the Institute. He also humiliates Lydia and yanks on Maryse’s pride in the process, getting her to literally turn her back on Izzy and Alec.
I mean, that is SOME first day, am I right?
2. He stands in the way of everyone trying to save Alec, all to catch the supposed traitor, Jace. Of course, that’s not the way he puts it. Note that he turns the whole thing around and blames Alec’s condition on Jace (instead of Jocelyn, where it belongs). Note that he pretty much literally sets Magnus up to lose his shit with Raj (SHUT UP, RAJ!) by a. forbidding Magnus to do everything he can by taking Alec out of the Institute, which is warded against much of Magnus’ magic, and b. knowing big mouth Raj (who obviously is jealous of Magnus and Alec. He totally likes Alec, everybody knows it.) is bound to act like an ass, and is no doubt given direct instructions to throw Magnus out after a rather short period of time. Aldertree clearly couldn’t care less about “one of their best,” Alec.
He then blackmails Izzy with her brother’s life! How, exactly, does Aldertree know that the rogue elements of the pack, led by Maia, are closing in on Jace? And since he knows that, doesn’t he know exactly where Jace, and Alec, are? It’s all awfully fishy to me. Ultimately, he gets exactly what he wanted from episode one, by putting Alec’s life in danger, setting up Magnus, and forcing Izzy to make a terrible choice: Jace in the City of Bones. (Where, interestingly, he is nicely deposited to be picked up by Valentine later.)
3. He doesn’t hesitate to torture Raphael for information he knows full well Raphael doesn’t have, and indeed, probably doesn’t care about anyway. The existence of rogue vampire dens feeds right into his overall purpose, which I’ll get to in a bit. He also takes a chunk out of one of the Lightwoods’ biggest Downworld allies, Magnus, by doing this. Fucking with the relationships of the open-minded Lightwood & allied Shadowhunters with their Downworlder friends weakens their willingness to work together, ultimately pitting all the sides against each other.
I also have no doubt that since Aldertree seems to know everything that’s going on in the Downworld, he probably also knows about the vampire civil war brewing between Camille’s followers and Raphael’s. Having Raphael and Magnus pack Camille off to Idris can’t help make that any better. More turmoil.
You also have to wonder how much of Jocelyn’s transfer to Idris had to do with Aldertree’s encouragement or interference, heaping more conflict on Clary.
4. Speaking of which, isn’t it convenient that it took SO LONG for Aldertree to hold Jace’s trial in the City of Bones (which is what, a few miles away? Not far, anyway.) that he was completely absent during the demon attack on the Institute? And how is it, exactly, that while a couple dozen Silent Brothers died defending the sword, Aldertree was perfectly okay? Why drag him down there just to unlock the cells? Why was Aldertree even still there to begin with? Jace was obviously locked away, the trial long since over. And while he calls for Jace to go get the sword, he knows that Jace will come and save him instead. He’s shown that he understands how Jace behaves…just like Valentine does. Makes me go hmmm…
3. He fucks with all the Lightwoods HARD:
a. Izzy: He’s gross and completely pervs on Izzy through the whole season, but still uses her desire to see the Iron Sisters to get her addicted to Yin Fein, which addiction he then uses to manipulate her into spying on Clary, among other things. THEN HE ASKS HER OUT. I mean, EW! Dude! He’s obviously twisted.
b. Jace: Jace saves his freaking life, but the guy is in no way grateful for that. In fact, once Jace has been excused by the Clave, Aldertree then makes it his mission to take away his duty and shove him out of the Institute, away from his family. This makes Jace bitter, and unwilling to fight or help with anything that’s going on. Until Clary gets in trouble, of course.
c. Alec: Alec finally stands up and puts Aldertree in his place in episode 9 (and isn’t it interesting that Aldertree just instantly dispatches all the Shadowhunters to fight all the altered Downworlders injected by Valentine, to start a conveniently timed bloody war in the streets?) Humiliating the vermin…I mean Aldertree in the process. He didn’t plan on that. But the very next episode, when he conveniently appears to help Alec during Valentine’s invasion (why isn’t Aldertree suffocated somewhere?) from somewhere behind him. (Where was he, if Valentine is set up in his office?) After they’ve made their way to the roof (where Aldertree conveniently can’t disable the angelic power core), he then sets out to put those nasty doubts about Downworlder/Shadowhunter relationships in Alec’s ear. Even in the midst of their relieved embrace later, for a moment, you see Alec thinking about that. Magnus is at the foundation of Alec finding himself, his own power and agency, his rising as a fair, just leader. Undermining that is a big deal, and a real coup for Aldertree.
Here’s my theory. SPOILERS FOR SEASON 3 & BOOKS
Sebastian is coming. I think either Aldertree IS Sebastian, OR is working with Valentine/Sebastian, as a mole within the Clave. He is in the perfect position to plant all of these little land mines in the foundation of the New York Institute, tear the powerful young Shadowhunters apart, destroy the bonds between Shadowhunters & their Downworld friends, while pitting different Downworld groups against each other AND helping start a war on the streets that will justify the violence Valentine and Sebastian want to use to wipe out the Downworld.
I can’t remember which producer/writer/director/actor said something, or even exactly what they said now, but they intimated that Sebastian would appear in 2B, somehow having to do with a character we already know. I would not be at all surprised if Aldertree is Sebastian glamoured, and the person we saw at the end of 2×10 is actually Aldertree/Sebastian carrying off the sword. (Yes, I know it was actually Dom doing it, though. LOL)
So what do you think, my sister and brother already-starving-to-death-without -Shadowhunters fans?
Only 87 days to go!