Warning: contains spoilers
A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas is a tale that was originally modeled after Beauty and the Beast in the first book. In this magical sequel, Feyre has returned to the Spring Court with her lover Tamlin. I had always loved Tamlin far more than Rhysand (I had believed Rhysand would always be the enemy in ACOTAR, but BOY was I wrong!) and was prepared for it to be about rebuilding the kingdom and all of that happy, fluffy calm. Just kidding. We all know Sarah J. Maas does not do “calm” and “fluffy”. She started off the book with an image of Feyre having nightmares from Under the Mountain. You would expect that Tamlin would comfort her, but rather, he pretended to be asleep. Feyre dismissed it as them keeping their pain to themselves. However, as the months wore on, she grew thin and sick from all of her nightly nightmares, and Tamlin did absolutely nothing. I started to see how self-centered and uncaring he was. In contrast, when Rhys (anyone else just love the way his name is shortened?) took Feyre away, he opened his own pain to her by revealing that he had spent years as “Amarantha’s whore” just to save his friends. See the difference? Tamlin did everything for himself (Rhys even noted that he only tried to have sex with Feyre Under the Mountain rather than help her run away) while Rhys destroyed everything he was just to save those he cared about. He would even go to war to protect Feyre from being taken back by Tamlin. As well, Rhys treated her as a partner, while Tamlin treated her as a pet. Rhys’s idea of protection was letting her fend for herself, which Tam’s was to hide her away from the world and let her waste away. Tamlin told her that he kept her at home to help his people, while Rhys’s idea of helping his people was throwing his entire being away.
There is always a villain and a good guy in books and movies. Tamlin always seemed like the good guy because Spring and blond hair is shown as new life and innocence. Rhysand’s Night and dark hair showed darkness. The first hints of Tamlin being the villain was when he would go into rages, turning rooms to shreds. He is like a scared little boy, unstable in his position and frightened of losing everything again. Rhysand is stronger, protecting rather than shredding. I believe that most of the reason he went after Feyre was the fear of losing to Rhysand again or losing someone else he loved, like his family, to Rhysand. He needed to protect his honor and not bow at Rhysand’s feet ever again.
In short, if Tamlin existed in today’s modern society, he would be most likely possessive or prone to one night stands. Rhys would be the traveling type and attentive to a girl’s needs. This basically shows that though Tamlin was well-loved in ACOTAR, he would never be able to last through the rest of the series. Rhys is meant to last for the rest of the series…unless… Tarquin? Just kidding, guys! He is too sweet for Sarah J. Maas’s writing!