With about a month and a half left until the release of Chain of Iron, the second book in the Last Hours series, Cassandra Clare is building up more hype in her newsletter! Yesterday, she released the chapter titles for Chain of Iron, and, well we have theories.
Chain of Iron is the second book in the trilogy, and we’ve read enough Shadowhunter books to know what that means: shit is getting real. There’s probably no way to predict what’s going to happen in this book, but I’m still going to try, because it’s fun and because Cassandra Clare is the queen of foreshadowing. So. The most noteworthy titles:
Chapter 3, Bitter and Sweet, makes me think of Jordelia. The wedding, perhaps?
Chapter 4, A Good Name, could mean a lot of things, but the first thing that comes to mind for me is something about faeries, since names are important to them. Ominous.
Chapter 11 is Crowns and Pounds and Guineas, which probably comes from A.E. Houseman’s poem When I Was One-and-Twenty. The poem is quite short and could definitely apply to a lot of characters from The Last Hours, but here’s the relevant passage:
“Give crowns and pounds and guineas
But not your heart away;
Give pearls away and rubies
But keep your fancy free”
Again, this could apply to a lot of characters from this series, including Cordelia, Matthew and Anna. Interesting.
Chapter 12, Requiem, is very ominous. Will we get a major character death this early on in the book? I wouldn’t be surprised.
Chapter 14 is titled The Flaming Forge, and a quick google search tells me there’s a poem by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow called The Village Blacksmith that fits the era and ends with this passage:
“Thus at the flaming forge of life
Our fortunes must be wrought;
Thus on its sounding anvil shaped
Each burning deed and thought.”
This is… interesting. If there are any English majors reading this who want to guess at what this reference might indicate, hit me up.
Chapter 19, Thine Own Palace, probably refers to a John Donne quote: “Be thine own palace, or the world’s thy jail.” Why do all these titles sound so ominous?
Chapter 20, Equal Temper, is interesting. There’s a Tennyson quote that might fit:
“Though much is taken, much abides; and though
We are not now that strength which in old days
One equal temper of heroic hearts,
Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will
To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.”
This could mean a lot of things. The word “temper” also makes me think of Cortana, which we already know is going to be a big part of this book – according to the goodreads summary, Cortana has been burning Cordelia.
Maybe I’m reading too much into this, but Chapter 23, Silken Thread, is one of the more interesting references here. My mind immediately jumped to the myth of the labyrinth – Ariadne gave Theseus a ball of thread so that he could find his way out of the labyrinth, according to Greek mythology. Of course, there’s a character called Ariadne in this series, but you could also make a connection between the myth and James being able to escape the Shadow Realm because of Cortana. The phrase “Silken Thread” has been used in a few significant works, but it’s most likely a reference to Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing: “Fetter strong madness in a silken thread,” which as far as I can tell is about there not being an easy fix to “madness.” Again, I am not an English major. Make of this what you will.
Anyways, moving on, the last few chapter titles are very dark. Chapter 24, He Shall Rise, is definitely about Jesse, right? Like, Jesse is definitely coming to life at the end of this book?
Chapter 25 is titled Archangel Ruined, which is probably a reference to Milton’s Paradise Lost. I think we can all agree that this is about Belial, right? Or at least one of the Princes of Hell. Cool that this chapter comes right after He Shall Rise. I’m not scared at all.
Chapter 26 is Older than Gods, which also makes me think of the Princes of Hell.
Chapter 27, Wake with Wings, is probably also about Jesse.
Chapter 28 is No Wise Man, which might be referencing a quote from Jonathan Swift: “No wise man ever wished to be younger.” Again, this could be about Jesse, but if you’ve been reading the theories about Matthew becoming a downworlder, this would also fit. Again, I am scared.