I am unsure who originally posted this theory and whoever it is, I credit them for this, but to give this theory the attention it deserves I’m reposting it. Evelyn Sader is Vanessa. WARNING: If you haven’t read AWWP or ACOT, then there is going to be a few spoilers:
The evidence for this is:
A) There were two unmarked graves for Vanessa’s sons. In Book 2, we saw that one had a black swan, and the other had a white swan. Japeth is the Evil Brother, and Rhian is the Good brother, so that the idea that the graves are somehow linked to them is tantalizing.
B) Sophie’s mother was clearly dear to her heart. Evelyn Sader was known to be in love with the School Master. Sophie was the only girl in her village who actually wanted to get kidnapped. Comments in the first book about her mother “finding a better place” and Sophie’s dream of attending SGE indicate that perhaps Vanessa/Evelyn Sader raised her daughter to revere the School Master. While other kids learned from their parents to envision the SM as a hideous monster, Sophie saw a dashing, prince-like man coming to save her from her horrible life as a villager.
C) Also, have you noticed the relationship between Sophie and Evelyn? In fact, Dean Evelyn Sader was quite fond of Sophie, whereas her reaction to Agatha was not as kind. Given that Sophie was Vanessa’s chosen daughter and Agatha her rejected, if Evelyn Sader was Vanessa, then her disdain for Agatha would be understandable, as would her care for Sophie, even if the latter was a part of her ploy to marry the School Master.
D) In addition, the character traits shared by Vanessa and Evelyn are also telling. Both are cold, callous, and manipulative women, villains of the worst kind. They both have seduced Good men, resulting in the birth of twins that are “two halves of a whole”. The only issue is Evelyn’s hatred of men, but that is explained by Steffan and Vanessa. Is it impossible, that, bitter and enraged over her loss of the one true love of her life to a woman that wasn’t even that pretty, she was suddenly enamored with the concept of male slavery? The two are both Evil to the core, unafraid to bribe, threaten, and bully others in order to get what they want, and resentful of those women who take what they see as theirs, such as Guinivere or Honora. Speaking of that…
E) Remember Callis? Evelyn Sader and Callis were both Professors of Evil, yet it was Callis who gained the attention of Evelyn’s beloved School Master. In the Tale of Callis and Vanessa it is completely possible that the Storian neglected to mention any hidden pasts-remember Cinderella? Was Vanessa’s treatment of Callis, with all of her threats and manipulation, completely motivated by her love for Steffan? Or was there some deeper history between them, something that may have made Vanessa desire revenge?
F)Also, we need to talk about Evelyn’s dress. Why was it so responsive to her? Why should the infamous butterfly dress ever submit to a lowly Reader who brought about the death of its mistress? Unless, of course, Sophie wasn’t a lowly Reader. At least not completely. If Evelyn Sader is Vanessa, Sophie would be her daughter. What places Sophie above her other three children though, is simple. Rhian and Japeth were sons of King Arthur, a man Evelyn had no interest in apart from his crown. As for Agatha, Vanessa rejected her, and if I know anything about the laws of magic from my fantasy reading, that would put her right at the bottom of the list. But Sophie was the daughter of Steffan, whom Vanessa loved, and was not rejected by her mother, so if the dress was looking for an heiress, then wouldn’t its former mistress’ favorite child be the one? By Rhian’s own admission, a piece of his mother is in the dress. The burning and quills in the earlier parts of the book could then be likened to a mom chastising her daughter for bad or disrespectful behavior. Vanessa/Evelyn may have been basically telling her, “Do not interfere with your brother’s ascension to the throne. Just play along and be what your mother never could.” However, by the end of the book, when Sophie knows the truth, the dress accepts her, just as her mother accepted her so long ago.
G)Finally, remember the conversation Sophie had with Tedros when masquerading as Filip of Mt.Honora? During that conversation, she revealed her mother’s name for the first time-Vanessa. She also mentioned that the name Vanessa means ‘butterfly’. You can probably connect the dots from here. What’s interesting is that that little comment added almost nothing to the conversation. Is it unreasonable to think that Soman wrote that into the book with specific intentions? After all, if that statement had no meaning to it, why bother writing it at all? Given how entwined butterflies and Evelyn Sader are in this series, it’s not a stretch to think he was trying to hint at something. But what?
So what you are saying is that Sophie is related to Rhian and Japeth. Which also means, that since in Quests for Glory, Rhian is Rafal’s brother’s name, so both people she has ever loved (Rafal and Rhian) she has been related too. Also, since Agatha and Sophie are twins, and Rhian/Japeth are twins, and R/J is related to Tedros, then Sophie is also related to Tedros, which means basically all of the main characters are related. Hmmm…. I think you might be on to something with that.
This actually makes sense! Although I think the reason for including Sophie/Filip telling Tedros her mother’s name was so Tedros would win Merlin’s test and be the one to rescue Sophie from Rafal in The Last Ever After. And I think by the end of the series everyone is just going to end up related to each other lol.
But she could have said anything for Tedros to pass Merlin’s test. Heck, Vanessa’s name could have been anything else. Author’s tend to deliberate for a long time about their characters’ names. Which is why we have to wonder: why did Soman pick a name that means butterfly?
*said in a weird ominous voice* we will only know when the book comes outtttttttttttt. And authors tend to do those things on purpose, so they can have like a bigger plot or bigger meaning to their books or smth. I do it too
Or they do it to make people anxious and want to read the book. That too 😉
Oh my gosh!! How did I not relise this!!! you are soo right! This is an extremly good theory! I will telll soman!
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