Reginald Jameson

Reginald Jameson is a louse, no doubt about that. But I wanted there to be more to him, especially since he figured prominently in the first three novels.

As one person explains in book three, "He's not the complete bastard he seems to be."

Narain, as a protagonist, needed an antagonist, but much of their antipathy toward each other starting in the trenches of WWI stems from a differing outlook on life. For all his attempts to be down to earth, Narain is in many respects a dreamer. A romantic when it comes to life in general. It was in the hopes of fulfilling a dream that brought him to the fields of France to begin with. Narain, with the help of people like Sophie, Dom and Cassie, shows an outward acceptance of his condition and situation, but instinctively he rails against it. It's this fight against his situation that makes him try so hard to protect people from the realities of what he is, even when his efforts ultimately make the situation worse.

Jameson concentrates on the positives of his situation. He is a pragmatist. 

Before, during and after the war, Reginald Jameson was and is a realist. Where Narain had his own goals, Reg, born into privilege, had a path he was expected to follow. One that curiously ended up working with the condition from which he would ultimately suffer. While Narian ran from the chance to reunite with his family after his conversion, Reg had no qualms about rejoining his family, convincing them how logical a move it would be to make him, a man who can't die, head of the family businesses. They're happy to go along with him since he is making them so much money. And even those who question know what he could do to them should they question it too much.

Unlike Narain, Reg has a better grasp of the benefits, even the potential to his condition and isn't concerned with the drawbacks. Of course he has financial resources to rely upon so the drawbacks have less of an impact then they did, initially, on Narain.

"Narain’s brows furrowed. 'These humans? You are human.'

'Well, no actually,' Reg said, studying other areas of the lab. 'None of us are. Were, once, perhaps, but no longer. Not really. And that’s why I wouldn’t dream of taking revenge upon you for using me as a midnight snack all those years ago. I mean, look at us, Khan. We are so much more than human now. Yes, there is that inconvenient sunlight issue…' The ferals nodded in complete understanding. 'But aside from that we’re faster, we’re stronger, smarter...The point is that we have more tricks up our sleeves than we would have had that night in No Man’s Land not taken place and we should never regret it. Of course, it wasn’t easy. Took me quite some years to get over it. Death and rebirth is not something you get over in one night.'"

In the trenches, he was brutal to his men but in his mind his cruelty was actually seasoning them for the hardship of war, so he was doing them a favor. After his conversion his to vampirism, it took him much longer than Narain to regain his senses. He ran with a feral pack for nearly a decade before sentience suddenly fell upon him. He retained, however, a fondness for ferals and even managed to "tame" some, helping them become as fit for society as they're able to and adding them to his staff to do the more disagreeable things that he occasionally needs to be done. That he can feel superior to them only helps the bond. Of course, he tends to feel superior to everyone.

That's not to say that his motives were always pure. Reg lived a life of subtle frustration with a domineering father and abusive brother in the family. Often his cruelty in the trenches was a search for the sort of power he didn't have in his family. After his conversion, he was placed in a much more secure position but the frustration, deeply ingrained, did not completely dissipate after the power he gained from the conversion. 

It's Reg's tendency for realism that has him tracking down the secret that will allow vampires to walk in the sun. A secret Jameson is willing to go to any lengths to discover. 

By the middle of To Touch the Sun I realized that Reg couldn't be a one-off character. I enjoyed the tension in the interplay between he and Narain. It was fun to write. Bringing his character into the next two books I could see an arc happening with his character. There was more to him than that simply of an evil nemesis for Narain. Reg's character became more complex, especially in the third novel and part of that is due to his own growth as a person throughout the first three novels (and something the happens in book two that convinces him to change his attitude if only slightly). 

I guess in some way Reg's motives are pure. Heinous actions he commits are not done because he enjoys it (though that's not to say he doesn't occasionally get a kick out of them). Rather, his main impulse is for protection not only of who he is as a vampire but for the other beings like him who in some ways he considers another race of beings.  His attempt to discover a way to allow them to walk in the sun will of course benefit him but he would have every intention of sharing it with other vampires (unless he could find great personal benefit in not doing so). And his pursuit of Cassie is indeed in the interest of protecting other vampires.

In many ways he's the personification of "He means well."

And he truly hates Narain, perhaps because, in the trenches, Narain was the one person who would stand up to him in defense of other soldiers, especially Fred Blythe. Reg exhibited the racism of his time, a trait long since evaporated from his core, and believed Narain inferior in both race and social status. But it was Narian's rising to the defense of others that infuriated Reg the most. Putting him in his place became a daily goal of Reg's while they served in the trenches. Tormenting Narain becomes an instinctive reaction that flares even 90 years later when he sees him in Chicago.

Yet he also isn't above using Narain to try to obtain his objective. As a pragmatist, it all depends on which turns out to be more rewarding.

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