Spoiler Warning! This whole post is a spoiler if you haven’t read Iron Queen

So I had a great question from a reader last night, and judging by the crickets when I put the question on facebook to get reader opinions, a lot of people were wondering the same thing.

Here’s the question:

@AmandaLeannW: @KaitlinBevis I have a question for you about the ending of Hades last POV chapter in the Iron Queen, what’s he mean “what isn’t?”

Hades and Persephone come out of the events of this book in very different mental places. Persephone is in a place of strength. Her world has been rocked by all the events, no question, and she’s upset at how everything turned out, but she has confidence in herself, her identity, and her ability to handle anything life might throw at her next.

It’s really easy to focus on what Persephone’s been through, or even what Aphrodite’s been through. They aren’t quiet about it. But Hades plays it closet to the vest. So it’s easy to forget what he’s been through.

Hades HAD that confidence Persephone just found. But it’s been shattered In the last two years (in no particular order), he….
– fell in love with Persephone, the teenage daughter of another realm ruler
– his realm has been broken into by not one, but two demigods
– a teenage girl slipped past his security and left his realm
– his most trusted advisor/best friend betrayed him, leading Hades to kill his best friend but only after his wife went through all kinds of pain because of his insistence to use Reapers to guard her
– the man he hates most in the world that he thought was in his realm wasn’t, instead he was out, charming then abducting his wife, when Hades came to her rescue she ended up taking a knife meant for him that was made out of literally the only material in the universe that could kill a god.
– He saved her, but only by ripping her arm off while she screamed for him to stop.
-His second best friend kept vital information from him
– Demeter, a woman he kind of idolized/respected for keeping the gods sane and together before the rebellion, died.
– Persephone killed Zeus.
– He was honestly about to trap Artemis in the Underworld to trap Zeus, but he got away
– he missed the fact that Persephone hadn’t actually escaped Zeus’ realm, and gave her information that led Zeus to Apollo, nearly killed Aphrodite, Ares, Hephaestus, Demeter, Melissa, Artemis, and Ryan.
– missed the fact that Triton was in his realm (thanks to Cassandra)
– during that chat with Cassandra, he realized that he’s sat by and watched (if not directly participated) horrible things happen to people.

I’m sure I’m missing other traumatic stuff thats happened, but Hades is in a dark place. He’s feeling incompetent, and responsible for everything bad that happened. Persephone is back, so he is happy about that, but he can’t get past the feeling that everything that happened is his fault. He looks at her and sees all the ways he’s failed. He also worries that maybe the reason she’s been through so much is a price to pay for all the bad things he’s done. The scene is reminiscent of the dream he had where every time he touched Persephone it hurt her, only instead of her being hurt, he literally put blood on her hands. He’s worried his darkness is rubbing off on her, that he’s going to end up destroying her.

That self-doubt\trauma is going to reverberate through the next few books. Make no mistake, he loves Persephone, and he’s not planning on letting her go, he’s very happy with her. But there is a LOT wrong and the two of them are going to have to work through it.

*blinks at the list of what Hades has gone through.* Good lord, I’m sadistic.

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