Note: This post contains spoilers from Heartless by Marissa Meyer.
I apologise for how late this post is, my scheduling fell a little out of sync but I’m hoping to return to normality soon. Better late than never! Anyways, this post has definitely been a bit of a struggle for me, not finding any characters suitable during this month’s reads. However, I finally came to this decision while surveying my bookshelves; this character is one I don’t think is talked about enough.
Jest | Heartless
Jest is the ultimate smooth-talking, princely type character in the world of ‘Heartless’. Posing as the King’s court jester, Jest is a strong, confident man within the kingdom, having been sent on a mission and initially intends to carry it out as smoothly as possible. Throughout the novel, Jest continues to be self-assured, knowing that he is perfectly capable of completing his mission and of his own strength. However, after meeting Catherine and the progression of their relationship, Jest begins to change. This development of his character is the main reason why I find him so interesting.
At the beginning of the novel, Jest is secretive and mysterious, which is firstly what draws the protagonist towards him, yet he gradually begins to open up to her. His devotion towards Catherine is what led him to go against his mission, feeling unable to follow it through and kill her. This development is crucial to the story, adding to the heartbreak at the climax of the novel. Jest’s character alters to a completely new person, going against his kingdom and career for someone he loved and I love that about him. It revealed a weakness in the character, one that we weren’t aware existed for a large portion of the story.
Who is Jest?
- Court Joker of Hearts and the Rook of Chess.
- Love interest of the main protagonist, Catherine.
- First introduced at the King’s black and white ball, where he gave a performance as the King’s new joker, dazzling his audience immediately.
- Originally from Chess, a kingdom across the Looking Glass, he works for the White King and Queen.
- On a mission to steal Cath’s heart in attempt to stop a timeless war between the two rivaling kingdom’s of Chess.
- Has the ability to travel “faster than any carriage”.
- He is beheaded by Sir Peter during a fight with Hatta, Cath, Raven, and The Jabberwocky. This event leads Catherine to become the Queen of Hearts.
- Described as in his late teens or early twenties, he has black curly hair that often sticks to his forehead due to wearing his 3-pointed jester’s hat daily. He has lemon-yellow eyes, black kohl drawn around them.
- It is also mentioned that he has a heart “dripping” on his cheek, drawn with kohl.
‘Impossible is my specialty.’
‘Don’t they feed you in that fancy castle of yours?’ He pinched Jest’s cheek, but he was pushed away.
‘Like a cow for slaughter,’ Jest said, ‘but I’m also forced to work for my pay. A novel idea to you, I know.’
‘A horrific waste of talent is what I call that.’
‘He’s gone,’ Cath stammered. ‘He… he saved me.’
‘He was a king among beasts,’ said Jest. It sounded like a memoriam.
‘He was indeed,’ said Hatta. ‘Some might call that a checkmate.’
‘What if…’ Jest started.
She lowered her hands. He had taken a step closer to her.
‘You dance your lobster quadrille, and I’ll juggle some clams, and we’ll both pretend to be hidden away in a secret sea cave, where we don’t have to think about courtships or royal missions or anything but ourselves.’
Jest sighed. ‘I figured as much. I suppose I’ll have to find another way to make this impossibility possible.’ He chuckled, a rather hollow sound. ‘Perhaps I will enter the pumpkin-eating contest and be knighted by the King.’
Her cheek fluttered. ‘I wish you luck with such a noble conquest, Sir Jest.’
‘I sincerely hope you mean that, my lady.’