“Any Way the Wind Blows”: Questions, speculations, and twitter


Rainbow Rowell

Rainbow Rowell’s spin-off novels “Carry On” and “Wayward Son” have gained tons of traction in the magical realm of stories

WARNING: Extreme spoilers ahead. Read with caution.

If you’re a fan of all things love, heartbreak, and magic, then you’re no stranger to the work of Rainbow Rowell.

Originally known for her novel “Fangirl,” Rainbow’s spin off novels, “Carry On” and “Wayward Son” gained a lot of traction in the magical realm.

For those of you who haven’t read “Carry On,” or even need a refresher, here’s a recap:

Simon was the chosen one, and Penelope was his (obviously smarter) best friend. Simon’s roommate, Baz, despised him. Simon’s pretty sure Baz is a vampire, and Baz thinks Simon’s the worst chosen one to ever be chosen. Baz’s family hates the mage, who basically raised Simon as his own. When things go awry at the Watford School of Magicks, would the two be able to put their differences aside and learn to work together? Spoiler alert: They do. And they fall in love in the process.

Although the book was full of twists, turns, and more twists, there is only one thing we really care about: What the heck is going on with Simon and Baz?

In “Carry On,” Rowell stole everyone’s hearts with one line: “And then he kissed me.” That moment of tenderness should not go unappreciated, for the next novel completely shatters readers’ hearts: “‘When someone shows you who you are, you have to believe them.’ That’s what I’m going to say when I break up with Baz.”

This is a lot to break down, so here are my initial thoughts:

Throughout “Wayward Son,” I couldn’t help but feel an underlying sense of dread. “Carry On” had one of the biggest romantic buildups in magical fiction, and yet she was going to throw it away?

However, I couldn’t help but sympathize with Simon. After all, he did find out that the Mage was his dad, whom he killed. He also lost all his magic, and was forced to live with two people who reminded him of who he once was. It didn’t help that just when things start to get semi-fixed between Simon and Baz, Penelope’s boyfriend, Micah, dumps her. Neither Simon or Baz can seem to figure out what they want because Simon feels like a burden for everyone and Baz can’t seem to understand him. In all fairness, Simon did warn him that he “would be his terrible boyfriend.”

Even though there are moments where the two are about to end it all, there are also moments in the opposite end of the spectrum. For example, after they fought off the vampires at the festival, they could barely get their hands off of each other. They were practically conjoined at the mouth, yet Simon quickly withdrew again. Even in Simon’s emotional distance, he still got defensive over Baz when he thought Lamb was flirting with him. It’s a lot to process, considering you never know where these two are emotionally, and everything can change in an instant.

Before I go any further, I would like to openly state that I absolutely hated the ending. After everything Rainbow put us through, just as we were about to get some closure about the status of Snowbaz, Penny comes in warning about an emergency at Watford that demands they return to England at once. Because of the abrupt ending, I have lots of questions. Here are a few:

What’s going to happen when they return to England?

I’ve given it some thought, and have concluded that “Any Way the Wind Blows” will either shatter everyone or restore our collective faith in humanity. This is possible in two ways: a) Simon and Baz break up. Penny’s mom destroys her for breaking the law. Agatha is never to be seen again (which wouldn’t be that bad, TBH) and before all hell breaks loose, they go on one final adventure. b) Simon and Baz don’t break up, but Penny remains the shattered, female protagonist (which would be awful.) They go on another adventure, and the book ends in “happily ever after(ish).” Judging by “Wayward Son,” the most likely scenario will be that they stay together, Penny remains single but becomes one of the most powerful mages possible, and Agatha decides to return to magic, but as the enemy.

What happened to Ginger?

She knew they were vampires, right? Why did she stay? Where did she go after they tortured and almost killed Agatha? It doesn’t make sense.

Will Simon and Baz keep their relationship a secret?

Baz’s family absolutely despised Simon and the Mage, hence their childhood rivalry. I’m not sure they have it in them to go against their families, but I really hope it’s not the reason they are split apart.

What will happen to Simon’s wings/tail?

He still has the body parts from when he last tried to turn into a dragon. They’re going to have to take it out eventually, right? Or does it grow with him, over time?

Baz can live forever, because he’s a vampire. Is he going to bite Simon, so that he lives forever too?

In “Wayward Son,” Baz and Lamb talked a lot about death and leaving everyone behind, so will the book end with Baz alone in the future? It better not.

There’s a lot left to be explained, but thanks to Twitter, there are a lot of pressing things we do know, like if Baz has chest hair, or if Simon gets to eat more scones. Until we get them answered, we’ll have to wait until July 6th, 2021. Mark your calendars, folks!

If you have any answers/theories for me, or think I missed anything, make sure to leave a comment down below. I’d love to hear from you! You can also receive updates about the status of AWTWB or ask Rainbow more questions (she’s very active, and will respond!) on Twitter @rainbowrowell.