I love great characters. Maybe that doesn’t need to be said, as I’ve dedicated this entire site to a series full of them. And as satisfying as the Red Rising books are in the way the characters are developed and their stories are told, Iron Gold opened up the series to new perspectives. In the process, it’s opened up my appetite for other points of view, in some cases, specifically as it relates to moments that played out in the first three books.
I know Pierce Brown is busy working on Dark Age, and I have absolutely no desire to petition for him to take time away from that just to indulge one fan’s whim for more (more, more!), especially if the hope is to get the next book into our hands this Fall. But if I were to put together a
little –fine, long– wishlist of moments and POVs we didn’t see in the original Red Rising trilogy that I would love to read someday, should Pierce Brown ever get the urge to write them in some form or another (a short story, a new comic series… heck, a thread of Tweets would do for a few of them!), this is what it would look like (in no particular chronological order or rank)…
Sevro At The Institute
Sevro dropped off the map for a while during his time at the Institute in Red Rising. He was off on his own, living off the land, hunting for food, killing a wolf pack leader and doing whatever else he needed to in order to survive (also possibly whacking off in the bushes), while Darrow and Cassius were finding their footing in House Mars. A passage from Sevro’s point of view during this time would undoubtedly be a fascinating read.
Alternately, I’d also love something that showed his early bonding period with the original Howlers. Did Clown, Pebble, Thistle, Weed and Screwface go through a similar initiation to the one we saw Darrow, Victra and Holiday go through in Morning Star? I have to imagine that trio’s “finish the bucket or get the box” ordeal was a modified adaptation of the original Howlers’ rite of passage. But was there an actual initiation process and ceremony for that core group of Howlers? Or was it just something they earned along the way at the Institute?
Virginia’s POV When She Found Darrow Half-dead at the Institute
I’d take any Red Rising moment from Virginia’s POV, to be honest. I would read a whole book of Virginia thoughts. I imagine she’s a fascinating, calculating and complex mind to be in. But if we’re getting specific here, I’d love to know what was going to her head when she was hiding out, on her own after the rest of her house was taken down at the Institute. Was she thinking about her brother at all during the time she was alone? Did she have any sense of what he was really up to? And what went through her head when she came across Darrow after Cassius stabbed him. What was her take on him at that point of the story? Did she have any kind of plan for what she’d do after he was well? Or was she just winging it? (Virginia doesn’t seem like the wing-it type, so I’m guessing there was some kind of plan there, even if it was a loose one.)
Darrow and Victra at the Academy
I loved the way Golden Son opened. I don’t think it was a mistake to skip the end of Darrow’s time at the Academy and bring us further into the story when things were just about to get really good. But I do wish we could’ve seen the start of Darrow and Victra’s friendship. There’s a story there, I’m sure of it, even if it’s just a story of mostly one-sided flirtation and witty banter, I want to see it. Heck, I’d be satisfied with a single exchange between these two when they were first sizing each other up, (preferably from Victra’s perspective, because I want to live inside her head.)
Fitchner’s First Impressions of Darrow
The Sons of Ares comic series gave us some excellent insight into Fitchner’s past and the challenges, love and tragedy he experienced early on in his path as Ares. But what was going through his mind when Darrow came across his desk as a possible candidate for his cause? How high were his hopes that Darrow would even survive the carving, let alone manage to get as far as he did through the whole process of proving himself to be Gold, surviving the Institute and becoming a Peerless Scarred? I like to believe Fitchner saw something early on in Darrow, who was really just a kid when he was given a second chance at life and a very daunting task. Pretty much anything from Fitchner’s POV as he witnessed the early part of Darrow’s journey would be really interesting.
Sevro and Victra’s Romance
Yeah, I’m going to include this one, because I’m not going to lie, I need to know. I don’t need the dirty details of the start of Sevro and Victra’s relationship, but I would pay more money than I care to admit in actual figures to read a chapter that shows us the moment Sevro and Victra truly started to get close. I realize there’s a strong possibility that actual closeness may have occurred after things started to get physical between these two. On paper, Sevro and Victra are an unlikely couple. But each had a vulnerable side they tried very hard to conceal from the world.
No, I don’t imagine it was all cuddles, warm milk and cookies between these two when they were alone together in Morning Star. In fact, I’m inclined to speculate that they tried to keep their guards up throughout their tentative courtship. At least, until the point that Victra watched Sevro do a backflip off that railing and nearly hang himself to death, just to prove a point. Maybe she wasn’t ready to admit what she felt until that point, but the feelings were evidently there on both sides.
I just need a glimpse of how those two characters really were with each other early on when it was just the two of them.
This may be opening up a can of worms I’m not entirely prepared to deal with, but I’m putting it out there anyway. Most evidence in Red Rising and Golden Son points to Tactus being a troubled soul with a dark side, likely the result of the abuse he suffered from his brothers. But we also saw signs of a desire to live up to the kind of person Darrow would want among his ranks. It was certainly there in the end when Darrow offered him the opportunity to return to him, despite his betrayal in Golden Son. And we know from what Roque said that Tactus secretly kept that violin Darrow bought for him after the Institute and was trying to learn to play it.
Tactus did some bad, bad things. But he was an intriguing character whose misdeeds caught up with him in the end. Maybe someday Pierce will grant this item on my wishlist with some nugget of Tactus’ potentially disturbing POV and I’ll regret putting it here. But the truth is, I’m less concerned that what’s going on inside his head might be even worse than some of his actions than I am worried I’d only end up feeling more sad about his inability to find redemption than I already am.
Roque’s Decision to Betray Darrow
Maybe this isn’t really a question that needs to be answered, but if I had to pick a moment from the Poet’s mind, his decision to turn his back on Darrow would be it. Was he ever torn by his choice? Was there any moment where he fought against his decision to betray a man he’d considered a brother?
Virginia’s Reaction To Learning The Truth About Darrow
If I were ranking this list, this would probably be at the top, or very close to it. I need to know what was going through Virginia’s mind when she finally learned the truth about Darrow in Golden Son. Up until this point, Mustang saw Darrow as a puzzle with missing pieces. I like to believe that on some level, when she was learning the truth, she was relieved to finally have the pieces that put him together for who he truly was. But what else was she feeling and thinking when she saw the carving and fully understood just who Darrow was and what he’d been through. What he’d lost and what he’d actually been fighting for this whole time.
Did she know she was pregnant at the time? (I’m still not clear on the timeline between when they were together and when she found out.) If she did know, what were her thoughts about the child she was carrying?
I need to know all of this, even if this chapter of Virginia’s thoughts is actually a giant wall of drawings, photos, numbers, symbols, strings and colored ribbons representing feelings and mental connections from the inner-workings of Virginia’s complex mind.
Cassius’ Thoughts Watching The Institute Videos With Darrow
Cassius needed a spot on this list, and I’m not counting the Karnus one. If we’re picking one moment from the Red Rising trilogy that I’d love to be told from Cassius’ perspective, it would have to be from Morning Star, when Darrow took him to his room and they drank and watched Roque’s old Institute Holos together.
At this point in the story, Cassius had been through the wringer. As far as we know, he still believed Darrow was responsible for the slaughter of his family. Not only had Mustang left him, but she’d also been the one to put an arrow through his throat, nearly killing him. He was out of options, out of (most of his) family and out friends. What was going through his mind as he and Darrow drank and reminisced about the good-old days, before everything fell apart, got rebuilt and fell apart again? This scene and the unseen moment where Cassius watched the holo showing the truth about his family’s murder were a turning point for his allegiance. It’d be great to know what was going through his head through all of that.
A Karnus Memory
This might be the most random item on this list, but I’m going to say it anyway. Karnus came off as a heartless brute, but he dropped some curious insights during his occasional appearances in Golden Son. And he won my curiosity with, “All we have is that shout into the wind — How we live. How we go. And how we stand before the fall,” a sentiment that stuck with Darrow even after Karnus was gone. Karnus was, perhaps, the polar opposite of Julian, with Cassius falling somewhere between them in mind and heart. I’d love a Bellona family memory from Karnus’ point of view. Perhaps something that gives us some glimpse into how he became the man he was before he fell.
A Flashback of Darrow Training With Lorn
Of all the items on this list, this one actually seems the most plausible, as there’s always the chance Darrow will deliver us a memory of the countless hours he spent training on the razor with Lorn au Arcos, at some point in Dark Age or the next book. Based on the thoughts we’ve already gotten from Darrow on Lorn, Darrow wasn’t just mastering his craft with the weapon during that time period, he was also learning a bit of life wisdom and war philosophy from the former Rage Knight. What else did old Stoneside teach Darrow?
Another Ragnar Memory
Ragnar often seemed to choose his words carefully, and in that respect, I don’t really need to know any more of his thoughts about what was happening around him during Golden Son and Morning Star. I like to think he gave us everything we ever needed to hear from his perspective. But I loved hearing him tell the story of the first time his mother took him out to fly. And I imagine he had tons of other amazing memories from his life among the Valkyrie that we could’ve heard, had he lived to tell them. I’d take anything else Pierce Brown wants to share about Ragnar’s life.
I’m sure I’ll think of more things I want to know from different Red Rising POVs, but these are the top ones that come to mind. Drop me a Tweet with your own wish-list items, or share it in the comments!