This article contains MAJOR SPOILERS from the Sons of Ares comic series and Red Rising books. Read no further until you’ve read it!
The hardcover compilation of Red Rising: Sons of Ares is now available for purchase, for those who want the whole story in one book. I originally read the SoA story with each issue’s release last year, but that was before Iron Gold was out. With the continuation of the Red Rising saga through the Iron Gold trilogy, I can’t help but wonder if some of the reveals (or characters) will surface in one of the next two books. There’s more to Sevro’s story than he or Darrow know, and that could factor in to Dark Age in some way.
I’ve already posted the spoiler warning, but here’s another one because we’re about to get into some major plot territory. Sons of Ares was a prequel to Red Rising and one that told a story we’d presumably heard before. In Golden Son, not long after Darrow learned that Fitchner was Ares, Fitchner and Sevro revealed to him that Sevro’s mother was a Red. Fitchner went on to explain how he fell in love with Bryn and married her in secret and how they’d spent pretty much all of their money hiring a carver to make Bryn compatible to conceive a child with Fitchner. Their efforts were successful and Sevro was born.
According to what Fitchner told Darrow (and presumably the same story was told to Sevro, previously), Fitchner and Bryn’s secret relationship was found out, along with the fact that Bryn’s fallopian tubes had been modified so that she could conceive a child with a Gold. While Fitchner was away with Sevro, Bryn was captured and eventually killed.
Sons of Ares reveals to us that some major details were changed or left out of that version of the story. Here are the key points from the events of Sons of Ares that Darrow (and presumably Sevro) don’t know:
- It was Fitchner’s old Institute pal Arturius au Vardan who captured Bryn.
- Sevro was also taken into custody. (In Fitchner’s story, it’s only Bryn who was taken and that the Board of Quality Control discovered her intent to have a child with a Gold from the modifications to her fallopian tubes.)
- Bryn had a sister, Ryanna, who was around for all of this, including helping him break into the facility where Bryn and Sevro were being held.
- When cornered trying to escape, Bryn surrendered herself and tossed Sevro over a ledge so Fitchner could save him.
- Arturius made Fitchner choose to save the life of either Bryn or his son. Fitchner chose Sevro. Bryn was gassed to death.
Those are some major details to leave out, Fitch.
I’m going to assume that Sevro received the same version of the story when Fitchner told it to him. After all, it seems more likely that the lies and omissions were more for Sevro’s sake than Darrow’s. Still, it’s an assumption that Sevro doesn’t know the truth, so I’m logging it as such.
So how could any of this be relevant to the upcoming Red Rising book(s)? In all truth, I don’t know that it will. We could theorize about the mystery characters (the Queen, or whoever’s behind The Red Hand), but I don’t think there are any direct clues to a connection to Sevro’s past. (I’ll keep my eye out next time I read it). This new information may only be for our benefit. A bit of added tragedy to an already tragic story. Fitchner having to choose between his wife and his son was heartbreaking, and it’s a secret he carried with him to the grave.
With that said, he’s not the only one carrying that secret. When last we see Arturius, he told Fitchner, “The red is mine. The secret is ours.” What ever became of au Vardan? If he’s still around then there’s at least one person who knows the true circumstances of Bryn’s death, including Fitchner’s choice.
Ryanna is also potentially still alive. Based on the final scene in Sons of Ares, she might have stayed with her mother. But it’s also possible she went to Mars with Fitchner to help him rise as Ares, and if that’s the case, where is she now? It wouldn’t be unlike Fitchner to keep Ryanna’s existence or involvement as a Son from Sevro and Darrow. He didn’t mention Titus until after the fact. And he never mentioned Quicksilver. Never tie two boats together in a storm, right?
Or maybe he kept Ryanna’s name out of the story because he didn’t want Sevro seeking her out and learning any more of the truth than Fitchner wanted him to know. I don’t think Ryanna knew about the choice Fitchner had to make, but she did know Sevro was captured with Bryn, which isn’t part of Fitchner’s telling fo the story.
Again, the full story of Bryn’s death may only be for our benefit, offering us a bit more depth to the weight Fitchner carried with him, not to mention a deeper understanding of his devotion to his son, knowing what he’d given up for him. In that respect, Sons of Ares really doesn’t need to factor into the Iron Gold books in order to hold up as its own story.
Sevro would surely be devastated (or at the very least, affected) to learn that his father had to make that choice, but if any of this does prove to be relevant to Dark Age, my guess is that it would be to create a connection between Sevro and/or Darrow and Ryanna or Arturius (or some other surviving character connected to SoA), assuming either of them are still alive and involved in anything that’s going on in the present.