*The scene where Roman watches Carlisle struggling with the shadow and very obviously trying to deny its power over him was a really important moment for Roman’s character. He wants to be able to see the evil that exists in the world in terms of black and white but the more he realizes that things are actually much more complicated the more conflicted he feels about his own power and what exactly he’s supposed to do with it. Even though this revelation makes being superhuman harder, it also makes being human a little easier. The ultimate goal for Roman’s character is for him to accept himself and he can’t do that if he’s fearful or hateful or in denial. Part of breaking out of those mental bonds is seeing someone he hates–Carlisle–struggling to hold onto his humanity the same way Roman is.
*Jimmy’s betrayal and Roman being arrested could not have had worse timing but Roman had essentially spent three whole novels hating himself and if he was ever going to get over his own self-loathing then I had to give him what he wanted, which was to be punished. His desire to finally get what he “deserved” was his biggest hurdle and there came a point where it was really getting in the way of his own evolution. The shadows are really just a physical manifestation of his past and in this novel it was time he finally death with it. I wasn’t as concerned with whether or not he made the right choices or followed the most righteous path to self-discovery. I just wanted him to make some damn discoveries. I just wanted him to do something.
*Roman’s fight with Carlisle is life changing in more ways than one. Even as the author of this story I still don’t know whether or not to call Roman a murderer. Their confrontation was premeditated and Roman chose to confront Carlisle with violence, despite the fact that he was well aware that Carlisle was still human. It was a difficult decision to have Roman actually kill Carlisle. For the majority of the series Roman hates himself but because of who he is as a character and because of what we learn about him from his own thoughts, the reader can still come to his defense. After he kills Carlisle, not only does he become the thing he feared most but he loses that credibility and as much as he feels like he has to prove himself to Bryn (even though he doesn’t tell her the truth) he also has to prove himself to the reader. It was a strange thing having him break the reader’s trust but how could I place so much emphasis on the grey area of good and evil without having the story’s heroes make such controversial choices? No one person is all good or all bad and Roman’s no exception. In order for him to truly be a hero he has to make the kind of mistakes necessary to help him uncover what that truly means. Not to mention the fact that hitting rock bottom has always been Roman’s only means of transformation. He can’t save anyone if he’s too afraid of what will happen if he tries. By having him
face his fears head on, and then eventually climb up out of the muck of his mistakes, the fear of failing will no longer paralyze him. Because he’s already failed. He’s already done the worst thing he could possibly do. And now there’s nothing left for him to face but himself.