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Matthew Clairmont, also known as Matthew de Clermont and Matthew Roydon is a vampire and central character in the All Souls Trilogy, as well as, on A Discovery of Witches (TV series). He is the love interest and eventual husband of Diana Bishop. Matthew is a complex knot of contradictory impulses and desires. A poet, a healer, a scientist, a spy, a warrior, an assassin – all of these titles have belonged to Matthew over the course of his very long life. He has several vulnerabilities, including his anger, arrogance, and a profound quest for redemption and forgiveness. At one moment a dangerous and deadly fighter, he is at the same time nurturing and protective, a gentle man who yearns to be a father and have a family of his own again. Matthew has loved many women and is a faithful, somewhat obsessive lover. Yet as a vampire, he has never 'mated', the vampire term for marriage that is a devoted commitment that could last centuries.

Background[]

Matthew's ampulla.

Matthew Clairmont was born in France around 500 AD. In his mortal life, like his biological father, Matthew was first a carpenter. He later apprenticed and transitioned into becoming a stonemason. He was a devout Roman Catholic when he met and fell in love with a woman named Blanca. They were married when he was twenty-five, and she was nineteen. After struggling for many years, she gave birth to a son named Lucas.

Despite being one of the older vampires, most don't know the actual facts behind Matthew's death and rebirth. As a catholic the events are in direct conflict of the church and could cause controversy, since he was a trusted and pledged defender of the church in the decades that followed. Diana eventually learns the truth of the story through Matthew's retelling of the events in the second novel. As he recalls, in 536 a fever came to the village where his family called home. Matthew's wife and son did not survive the wave. Though Matthew was devastated, he continued to work on the building of a local church in memory of Lucas. Eventually, on what would have been Lucas' birthday, his grief became too much to bear and, in a moment of weakness, he jumped off the scaffold of the same church he had just built in his son's memory.

While awaiting his impending death, Ysabeau de Clermont, the young wife of Philippe de Clermont, offered Matthew an alternative ending to his presumed afterlife in hell, as the traditional Catholic belief is that committing suicide destines you for Hell. She offered him a life that allowed him to atone for his sin through service, and never face his coming damnation. Matthew agreed and Ysabeau made him a vampire, becoming his new step-mother and sire, with Philippe as his step-father. It was at this time that Matthew took the surname De Clermont, aligning with his new parents. His devotion to them and the new life they provided lead him to quickly become a strong, wrathful hunter. He learned to control his hunger from his step-father. Matthew later sired two De Clermont vampire sons, Marcus and Benjamin.

History[]

A Discovery of Witches[]

After hearing rumours that a witch had called out a bewitched manuscript called Ashmole 782, long believed lost, Matthew Clairmont watches the suspected and mysterious witch named Diana Bishop in the Bodleian Library at Oxford University, He introduces himself to her and is unexpectedly immediately captivated. However long-standing false or manipulated stories and historical inaccuracies passed from generation to generation between the species, make Diana suspicious and nervous around the vampire. Matthew himself is a victim of the same teachings of discrimination and stereotypes. He questions his belief in the trust of what the witch says and her true intentions since witches are alleged liars and manipulators. Quickly though, they both feel an undeniable energy which leads to respect.

As a part of his natural vampire's instinct, Matthew feels the urge and need to protect Diana. Diana initially believes that he is responsible for the startling number of new creatures that have been stalking her since the encounter with Ashmole 782 and there is a confrontation. He is shocked to learn that Diana has no idea why there is so much interest surrounding her and how she is seemingly uninterested and undereducted in any real history or abilities of herself and other creatures. Soon the secrets from Diana's past and her encounter with the Ashmolean manuscript begin to affect her daily life. Matthew intervenes and prevents the other creatures from threatening and bothering her. They begin to spend more time together discussing the mysterious volume's cultural value, what she saw, reasoning and content of the missing pages, the previously unknown bewitched writing hidden on the pages, and the expectation that the lost manuscript will explain the origins of the creatures. Diana starts to develop feelings for Matthew. After Diana experiences a series of threats in Oxford which puts her in danger, along with bursts of unrealized powers she was supposed to have no aptitude for, Matthew takes her to Sept-Tours, his mother's home in France. 

The Congregation- a council of nine supernaturals, three from each of the three creature species, question Matthew's intentions for taking the witch to the French familiar home. Upon rumors, they then threaten repercussions to Matthew and Diana as they traipse the boundaries of the Covenant, an age old promise that all creatures are bound by. The Covenant declares that species may never interfere in the religion, politics, or inner-species quarrel of the other two. It also forbids mating and committed relationships between creatures outside their species, as it could upset the balance of power.

Matthew is forced to return to Oxford because of a break in at his laboratory, leaving Diana alone at Sept-Tours with his mother, Ysabeau. While investigating the cause of the intrusion, he learns of Diana's blood test results. She possesses strains of all four elemental power sources for spells. This is unprecedented and confirms to him that there is an exponential tie that connects he and Diana. It is now believed she is the subject of a prophecy and that he is her protector. When Matthew returns from England and sees Diana he extends his arms and their fingers intertwine. Then they embrace and kiss outside the chateau. Ysabeau, explains to Diana that the action was an oath regarding he and Matthew's relationship. Diana is then accepted as a daughter by Ysabeau, which is an act of betrayal to The Covenant agreement. Diana is from this point seen as Matthew's wife, as the admissions of love declared them mated in the eyes of vampires.

Diana is then abducted from Sept-Tours and imprisoned in La Pierre by a witch on the Congregation, Satu Jårvinen. With reluctant help from Baldwin, he and Matthew find and brings her back to safety at Sept-Tours. Matthew then takes Diana back to her home in Madison, New York to her aunts, Sarah and Emily. Speculation turns to fact that Diana had been spellbound by her parents. Amidst this, Juliette Durand pays a visit to Matthew at the behest of Gerbert of Aurillac, nearly killing him, but Diana uses witchfire to destroy Juliette and rescue Matthew. His injuries cause massive blood loss at which point Diana forces him to drink from her to save his life. Matthew and Diana then decide their best choice is to timewalk to the past to escape the Congregation's wrath and understand the extent of Diana's power. 

Shadow of Night[]

This portrait miniature by Nicholas Hilliard (1547 – 1619) was Deborah Harkness's inspiration for the character, Matthew Clairmont.

Diana Bishop and Matthew Clairmont timewalk back to the Elizabethan era, arriving at the Old Lodge. Their first encounter is with Matthew's closest friend, Christopher "Kit" Marlowe. Soon afterward, Diana discovers that Matthew is Matthew Roydon, a member of the famous School of Night. They encounter the entire group, plus others (Gallowglass, Hancock, Jack Blackfriars, Annie Undercroft, etc.). Diana becomes pregnant with Matthew's child, but miscarries, leading Matthew to avoid physical intimacy with her for quite some time. They go to Prague and meet the Holy Roman Emperor, and search for the Book of Life (previously called Ashmole 782, the magical manuscript that Diana encountered in the Bodleian that started all this). They find it, but do not have time to study it, before Edward Kelley, a daemon, tears out the 3 pages that are missing from the manuscript in the present. After they make up, their relationship is stronger than ever. Diana becomes pregnant again, they leave the past and timewalk back to the future. There, they meet up with Ysabeau and everyone else at Sept-Tours. Ysabeau finds out that Diana is pregnant with twins after hearing the two heartbeats, and they find out that one of the family is dead at the hands of the Congregation.

The Book of Life[]

Matthew and Diana arrive back at Sept-Tours from timewalking in the past. Matthew takes care of Diana while she is grieving for her Aunt Emily who has died while they were away. Matthew and Gallowglass discuss that Diana's magical power has increased in the past months. Matthew struggles to keep his blood rage sickness under control. Matthew tells Marcus that to protect the family from the Congregation, the head of the de Clermont family, his older brother Baldwin, forbade Matthew from seeking vengeance against Gerbert and Knox when they earlier facilitated a Congregation witch's torture and interrogation of Diana.

Matthew feels peaceful when he returns to sleeping Diana. He reflects that he always wanted a wife and children. He makes love with her, wanting the feeling of her safety and their intimacy to last forever. Thinking of how Emily died while Diana was away, Diana asks Matthew to never leave her without saying good-bye. He promises and hopefully keeps it.

Marcus discovers the old family pedigrees, that his vampire father, Matthew, has a disowned vampire son, Benjamin, and that Matthew and Benjamin have blood rage sickness. Matthew reveals the circumstances in which Benjamin was made. Marcus finds out that if Matthew branches off from the de Clermonts as a scion, they can get out from under Baldwin's control as head of the de Clermonts, but Matthew is skeptical.

Diana and Matthew go to Chris Roberts' Yale lab to seek to discover information on creature genetics, Ashmole 782, and vampire blood rage. Matthew agrees to try to obtain the support of the other close relatives to form his own scion, while Diana stays safely away from him, looking for the missing page from Ashmole 782. Their separation would be incredibly difficult for both of them. Matthew goes to New Orleans to persuade and threaten Marcus' vampire children so they will join Matthew's new scion branch of the family.

Matthew returns to Diana's side after he learns she may be sick, and he and Jack give her a present they built together. Soon after, she gives birth to their twins. While she is laboring, Matthew tells her that to every question he ever had or will have, she is the answer. Ysabeau gives Diana and Matthew a grand house in Limousin, France called Les Revenants, so they can spend time with the twins there as a family. They look in Philippe's personal papers for information about the early days of the Congregation, vampire-witch hybrid children, Benjamin's past activities, and about The Book of Life. Matthew discovers a letter that implies that Benjamin may be in Central Europe. Matthew tells Diana he wants to "grow old" with her.

Matthew goes to the Chelm area of Poland, allowing himself to be captured and tortured by Benjamin. He finds a way to communicate to his family where he is and that Diana and others should help him. Matthew's family rescues him, Benjamin (and Peter Knox) are killed, and Matthew spends a long time recovering from the injuries Benjamin inflicted. Matthew resumes researching with Chris Roberts, Miriam and Marcus in Chris' lab, preparing to reveal someday the genetic basis of creatures as part of human evolution.

Matthew and Diana discuss the birthday party coming up to celebrate the date of Matthew's rebirth as a vampire. They see Jack's new painting of them, Diana realizing that a willingness to change is the secret of survival, and that the combination of their opposite characteristics makes them both stronger. Diana and Matthew were the tenth knot, unbreakable. without beginning or end.

TV series[]

Matthew is a complex knot of contradictory impulses and desires. A poet, a healer, a scientist, a spy, a warrior, an assassin; all of these titles have belonged to Matthew over the course of his very long life. He has several vulnerabilities, including his anger, arrogance, and a profound quest for redemption and forgiveness. At one moment a dangerous and deadly fighter, he is at the same time nurturing and protective, a gentle man who yearns to be a father and have a family of his own. Matthew has loved many women and is a faithful, somewhat obsessive lover. But he never mated… Until he met Diana Bishop.[1]

Appearances[]

A Discovery of Witches Season 1[]

A Discovery of Witches Season 2[]

A Discovery of Witches Season 3[]

References[]

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