Thoughts on Thaddeus Lacer

There are so many takes on him, and since we’ve just been spoiled with a bunch of Lacer-heavy chapters, I wondered how we all feel about him. Do you trust him? What do you think his real intentions with Siobhan are? Do you like him as a character, and are you rooting for him, or are you biting your fingernails off as the action unfolds? Are you as obsessed with his beard as Siobhan is?

Spoilers for the most recent five chapters belong in the Restricted Archives - double check your content before posting if you are a Patron. The most recent public chapter is 206: Mutually Assured Destruction.

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i like him as a character, but I’m not sure Siobhan should be trusting him. I have a feeling that by the end of book 6 (if not sooner) he’s going to figure out that her identities are tied together (even if he doesnt figure out how).

As for his motives, he’s clearly searching for some kind of old old magic, and i have the feeling that Siobhan’s dual-casting and Myrddin’s journals tie into this somehow.

I’m also fairly sure that Lacer and Liza know each other from the Haze War, and that Liza probably despises Lacer (though he doesn’t return the animosity), and I really hope we get to see them interact with each other. Liza is one of the few characters I think can keep up a verbal sparring match with Lacer and I want to see who draws first blood!


I agree with you… he probably shouldn’t be trusted. I want Siobhan to be able to trust him, because he’s an amazing mentor and friend, they have so much in common - they could be the best thing that’s ever happened to one another. But I’m not entirely sure if he’s capable of real friendship or loyalty, and I have the impression he treats Sebastien like a favored pet.

I think he wants more time. It’s his only finite resource, and with that, he can achieve anything. More power. Ability to create life, to surpass Myrddin, to sever his ties with the Red Guard, and to be capable of ever-increasingly complex and dangerous magics. Immortality, or something close to it, is probably his end game. And I have a feeling Siobhan will be the key to that for him - the question is, will he use her or betray her to get it?


He seems to me to be jaided but with morals. I think it’s reasonable not to blindly trust him, I don’t think he would do it malicious, but he does strike me as the “I know best” kind of guy who would in some way end up restricting her “for her own good” if he knew the whole truth.

I do enjoy the character they are very interesting but maybe not my best friend if we met irl.


I absolutely agree, while he is trying to be open minded, he’s in this place where he is stubborn with his blind spots, because he is so open minded.

I really like him,

I like all her characters, they are all wonderfully 3d, they all have some flaw that actually makes sense, they follow their own path and rules, and while it clearly makes things a little messy, it makes it messy in the same way things are messy on this side of the pages.

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I think that Lacer’s motivations for becoming a University professor are suspect. Part of those motivations do seem to be for easy access to the library and very old texts, but given his ongoing interest and specialty in aberrants it seems likely that he also wants to be somewhere with an increased likelihood of break events… And he teaches one of the riskiest classes for casters. Like, he might not be directly encouraging his students to break, but he also might be trying to get extra data from before the process.

I’m also a bit skeptical about his supposed set of perfect rational principles that Sebastien isn’t ready to hear and ruminate on more than one of. That feels kinda indoctrination-y, trying to get someone invested with something you’re touting as wisdom, giving them some reasonable-sounding tidbits, then holding back until someone is invested is a cult tactic.

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Hold on, are we sure he’s studying aberrants? Because the end of book three, and later times iirc, he’s looking at pre cataclysm text

I kinda think he’s looking for the point of origin of what caused magic, or what broke the world.

I think he also speaks about that he accepted the role at the university for the ability to do research …

I am only my first reading (though I’ve listened to the first three a few times and the fourth once -blue read to me) so some of the small details are kinda jumbled.

And I don’t have physical copies I can open to a page and point to paragraph… Don’t know why, but I am not as good at that with digital, I have to be able to touch the book.

I don’t think he is studying aberrants right now.

[Lacer] was attempting to write a guide to translating a pre-Cataclysm language. Neither history nor languages were originally his area of expertise, but his research into unraveling the mysteries of existence had required he accumulate a breadth and depth of knowledge that few ever obtained.

Oh, were discussing Thaddeus? I can FINALLY rant about this man, dear me.

On Trust -

Thaddeus Lacer is certaintly interesting, in that he’s one of the first “true” mages we see in the story, and thus one we compare others to. He’s introduced in a way that partially helps Siobhan initially, then directly helps her in the examination. We’re prone to be on his side from the beginning.

What REALLY stops this, of course, is that from what we know in the story, knowledge on magical secrets, especially the stronger ones, does not come without a price. And Thaddeus has obviously payed it many times before. Getting to his level of power means he’s done quite a few things, some of them likely terrible.

Not to mention even before the latest chapters, his relationship with the Red Guard means he’s far from lacking means to influence certain structers. He has no lack in access to aberrant components, which we know can come from unsavory means.

On trust in relationship with Sebastian, I find it quite interesting. I genuinely feel like he has a genuine mentor like relationship with him, and that care redeems him ever so slightly. Being able to acknowledge someone in your life as a person you care about speaks well on your ability to recognize yourself as a person in need of compassionship.

Heck, he even makes sure hes eating and sleeping well. When Sébastien seems like he was fainting, he immediately rushed into action.

With Siobhan, we get into more interesting things. This is a relationship that I would say is akin to a fan and a celebrity. Because while it has some notes of intrigue, Thaddeus has based this relationship on what he perceives to be true about her, rather than what he knows. This lead to the conduit incident, which as she said, could very well have killed her. Its lucky she chastised him for that, else he might have tried other jokes that while being nothing to a free caster, would have meant everything to a beginning mage like herself.

In the coming times, I can definitely see Thaddeus becoming…not unhinged, but certainly untethered with the right motivation. He’s a character whose gotten very used to being alone on a stage, and knows hes gotten not one, but two people that could one day join him upon it.

One in Sebastian, a student with talent that could very well rival his own.

The other in the Raven Queen, who by all rights might be his equal, and seems very much interested in a lot of the same topics as him.

Who can say what he will do in order to make sure that his chances of leading a more fulfilling life are not waylaid by something simple as “morality”?

I like Lacer as a character, but I’d rather not meet his IRL equivalent.

I wouldn’t trust him to do anything but follow his own desires. He’s like looking at Siobhan in 50 years: powerful, curious, entitled but not too arrogant, and careful.

But he’s not very empathetic, unless compared to other members of the Red Guard or the Crowns; he struggles to see the pressures on Sebastien, and attributes strange motives to Siobhan, both because he has to reason out every connection he might have to other humans.

He simply has difficulty putting himself in other people’s shoes, because he is not good at the emotional part. Even when trying to help, he’s imperious.


Thaddeus would have to request the information on Moonsable later. He was unsure if he would be able to access the files with his current reduced clearance levels, despite his history and area of expertise. Sacrifices had been made.
But that was alright. His current research was more promising, anyway.

His, “history and area of expertise,” are implied to be in aberrants, and the quote you posted implies that he sees quite an array of fields of research as part of a greater whole. He thinks his current research offers a higher chance of revealing things about that whole than info on Moonsable specifically does, but it seems to me that aberrants do play in to his current research somehow, just as pre-Cataclysmic language and Titanic Lore seem to. (Elsewhere he is noted to have greater knowledge of Titanic Lore than Munchworth, the professor that teaches on it.)

Him unraveling some specific mystery of existence that involves those different fields is one of the reasons I think that Titans were essentially aberrants that were able to maintain their will and shape their own aberrant forms pre-Cataclysm, which no longer seems possible.


Siobhan in 50 years is actually a good description.

While we love her to death, she isnt a perfect person, and its only because she has ways to be kept in check that prevents some of her worse impulses. Thaddeus doesnt have that, which makes him less trustworthy.


I still do not think he’s studying aberrants, I think it’s something akin to how the world got magic, how the world broke.

That he is willing to treat aberrants like they are beings who deserve as much respect as anybody else might stem from being in the red guard and knowing what happens to them

That he might really want to speak to every single one that he can doesn’t mean he’s studying aberrants.

If you can remember, it’s stated a couple of times, he likes knowing information that only a limited number of people have access to.

How many people are going to be able to have a convention with an aberrant? And how many of those people are going to treat them with respect to make them more likely to answer his questions?

Iirc, caption goldfish doesn’t like lacer because there seems to be nothing that lacer won’t do to get information. I wonder what the good captains feelings are about aberrants? Would he be willing to have a conversation with one? Or treat it like a normal being? Or does he just want to trap it in a box and force it to do his whims.

Until lacer actually says what exactly he’s researching so hard, I wouldn’t assume.

I could be wrong, but my gut says it’s not aberrants, and my gut was right about


magic having a mind of its own.

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I suspect that the good captain doesn’t like Thaddeus because Thaddeus is clearly trying to weaken his oaths. Thus potentially leading to someone with restricted information and no restrictions. This is how former Red Guards go rogue, and the captain is afraid that this is going to happen.

I understand Goldfish worry, I think if you aren’t right, you are close to right, oh, and add the fact that Lacer has clearly showed him up a few times, prob not deliberately, but because he is abrasive, it did not help things.

I think the biggest reason why Lacer isn’t going rouge is because of how much restricted information he would loose out on.

I wonder if he wasn’t allowed to go to Merlin’s Hermitage because they were afraid he’d find some way to lock himself inside, keep all the info to himself, or he would use it, eventually, in how HE thought best, not how his ,“betters” thought best.

tbh I think it’s kinda the opposite of this.

Most members of the Red Guard feel like they can’t risk humanizing aberrants because if they view them as people then they wouldn’t be able to do their jobs (Damaging/destroying them to protect the public, locking them in tiny boxes, using them as spell components, etc., Secure, Contain, Protect if you will).

Lacer doesn’t have this hang-up because he is comfortable with simultaneously viewing them as sometimes being somewhat human and still locking them up in tiny boxes and using them as objects and sacrifices whenever useful.

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Well, yeah?

Is it suppose to be different? Just because they are beings with minds doesn’t mean crap.

Do you remember how Liza pointed out that Ravens are just as smart as monkeys and people have less of a problem using the birds than the things that look like them?

Look at how people treat the “criminal” (some of our jailable jobs in the US are jokes) and homeless.

Heck, look at how most humans, as a species, have treated anything that we have managed to label as a them.

I think Lacer has the right of it. He’s gonna treat them with respect, but also use them.

As someone who believes that animals AND PLANTS have feelings, it is not going to stop me from eating or using their components. I’m just going to be respectful in doing so.

And before you call me crazy for thinking that plants have feelings, I want to point out that evolve in ways to try to get things to stop eating them, and some have “ambition” and will absolutely try to cover every square inch they can.

I respect that, however, I need food, so I take what I need and do my best not to waste

Maybe if you think about Ender’s Game you’ll understand what I mean.

Ender was brilliant, and he go to know his enemy so well he loved them, I think like family.

But he had to stop them from ever hurting anybody again.

… Not that he knew he killed the two kids, he was just trying to defend himself from having to fight again.

Nobody told him for a long time.

But he respected and humanized the buggers, he just also found a way to wipe them out, he had to.

Thadeus Lacer…SMASH!!! :smiley:


Reminds me of the saying, “If God didn’t want us to eat animals, He wouldn’t have made them out of meat.”