Character Development Case Study #3 – Matthew Swift (Matthew Swift Series by Kate Griffin)
(There will be Spoilers!)
Matthew is a fairly unremarkable sort of guy – for a sorcerer – until he is killed, absorbed into the telephone lines with the Blue Electric Angels and subsequently resurrected, pulled back into his body along with the aforementioned Angels. The strange amalgam of Sorcerer and ancient, powerful magical creatures of the telephone lines renders Matthew a rather strange individual. Both ‘I’, Matthew the sorcerer, and ‘we’, the Angels, at the same time, Matthew is unique amongst the supernatural world, and more than a little odd, even by their standards.
Thrust unexpectedly back onto this mortal coil, Matthew’s initial instinct and drive is to avoid shuffling back off it again. He knows someone killed him, and he would both like to prevent it happening again and to exact some sort of revenge.
The thing with Matthew though is, beyond this, he doesn’t really want anything but to be in the city he loves, away from trouble and danger. He’s supremely powerful and supremely useless. He’s not an active, go get ’em sort of character. He’d rather be at home with a nice cup of tea, thank you very much. Which is a problem, because, as an incredibly powerful and unique supernatural being, he garners a great deal of interest, and people keep trying to give him responsibility…
Ultimately, however, Matthew’s sense of right and wrong, and desire to correct injustice is what drives him to action. Yes, the people trying to kill him help, but despite his apparent apathy towards being important, he doesn’t like the weak and vulnerable suffering, and that pushes him to action where perhaps a part of him would much rather turn a blind eye and let people get on with it.
After the wild thrill ride of Matthew realising the cause of his resurrection and trying to stop his murderer, Griffin throws more trouble his way by giving him responsibility. He’s named Midnight Mayor, something he tries very hard to get out of. But his developmental path is such that he comes to accept the responsibility of the position and use it to do good. He even willingly takes on an apprentice – a move that could be dangerous, as she’s in the process of destroying the city because someone stole her hat when he meets her – proving that he’s changed from the irresponsible person he was to start with into a leader.