Talking about Matthias Valerian is tricky, for a number of reasons.
As the father of Ash Valerian; who is for all intents and purposes (which I’ve already discussed elsewhere in this blog) my alter ego, the character of Matthias probably says a lot about my view of fatherhood.
When he makes his first appearance in House Valerius, he seems somewhat distant, which I’ve tried to show feeds into Ash’s perceived need to win his approval. However, as book 1 progresses, I hope I’ve shown what could be considered as his softer side; the sense of loss over his wife, the regret over his mother’s death, the protectiveness towards his friends and family. He is still stern, authoritarian but (I hope) he seems more rounded by the end of book.
I think one of my favorite moments with Matthias occurs early in the book (chapter six unless I forget). Faced with Ash’s desire to potentially put himself in harm’s way, Matthias doesn’t try to stop him from making his own decision but still makes it clear that he’ll worry about his safety.
I appreciate I may be too close to the material to be entirely objective but I suppose that there may be some of Matthias’ personality in me, or mine in his. His interest in Bushido is something that comes from me and his introduction to it will be explored more deeply in his own short story, The Virtue of the Way. And, like with Ash, I hope I share his sense of honour and loyalty.
Matthias doesn’t appear nearly as much in A House Divided. For the majority of the book the two of them are in separate countries and since everything is from Ash’s POV, that doesn’t leave much room for actual appearances. But he is still a large part of the narrative, due to his influence on Ash. And, at the moment, he appears in at least six out of the nine short stories planned for Tales From House Valerius.
In a way, even more so than Ash, Matthias is the character that holds the world of House Valerius together.