Vampire-footer Spoilers: Crimson Death

This article or section contains spoilers for 2016 novel Crimson Death.
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"[...] Giacomo was the exception to the rule about the Harlequin. He went by the name he'd used as an assassin, but he wasn't a pain in the ass."
Anita Blake as the narrator[src]

When we first hear the name Giacomo in Dead Ice it is used for a few times in reference to one of the two Harlequin werelions Anita and Jean-Claude acquired at the same time (presumably 'Thing One' and 'Thing Two' from Hit List, the second one likely being Magda), but unless there are two Harlequin with the same name (which there shouldn't be) that name was later transferred to Magda's master. That Giacomo is a master vampire centuries older than Jean-Claude, and one we meet for the first time in Crimson Death. This article assumes that the latter naming is considered canonically more weighty and that 'Thing One' will eventually get a new name.

Appearance Edit

Giacomo started his life as a born member of an ancient Mongol horde, and is all-around big like an old-time refrigerator. His shoulders are a match or a near match to Nicky's, and he's about or over six feet tall. He doesn't look muscled thanks to the extra layer of flesh, but on that count appearances are deceiving, as he matches Nicky well on friendly weight lifting competitions.

Giacomo's face is distinctly ethnic and almost perfectly round, and his smile is infectious. His eyes are naturally dark brown, but the right one has been bisected by a scar that curves through his eyebrow and onto his cheek, and has turned into a pale milky blue. He can still see out of the eye, though, even if not as well as before. Like many Harlequin and unlike most old vampires, his face is expressive like human's. His hair is black and straight.

History within series Edit

Hit List Edit

Giacomo is not mentioned in this book by name but, if Magda is the werelion that Anita dubbed as 'Thing Two' for lack of better name, he may have been around as well. In that case he is referred to as an old-fashioned tyrant who treats his animal-to-call as little more than an animal and slave and occasionally cuts out her tongue with a silver knife to teach her a lesson that doesn't interfere with her ability to fight. This bears very little resemblance to the Giacomo we see in Crimson Death, but as the description is given by a third party, and as a joint reference to both werelions' masters, it's impossible to say which parts of it were meant for Thing Two's master specifically. Thing One's master we do see in person, and he appears to fit the description pretty well. The only thing that does match Giacomo the Vampire is that he really is old-fashioned.

Dead Ice Edit

The Giacomo mentioned in this book is likely the werelion Anita dubbed as 'Thing One', and Magda's master is only mentioned with a detail of his appearance and no hint is given that there might be antagonism between the two. We don't meet either Giacomo in person, but we learn that the werelion's presence isn't as commanding or combative as Magda's. He didn't even start the fight he had with Nicky about his position in St. Louis Pride, and after Nicky beat him up and promised to kill him if he ever tried to fight with Nicky again Giacomo the werelion settled in fine.

Crimson Death Edit

In this book we finally meet the Giacomo who is Magda's master. We learn that he used to ride the steppes of what is now Mongolia when he was a human, in a time when that mean conquering or killing everything one met, but Anita considers him easier to deal with than the other Harlequin. He is old-fashioned and respectful enough to kneel before Jean-Claude, and in her master's presence Magda follows his lead as well. Giacamo and Magda aren't lovers, but in this incarnation they are fellow warriors who respect each other, and possibly even best friends. Anita classifies their relationship as something between the ones she has with Edward and Zerbrowski, which is very different from many other master-animal pairs within the Harlequin.

Giacomo shares with Cynric, Anita, and co. some knowledge about ancient clan tigers, particularly blue ones, and connects the short-lived local earthquake to Cynric coming into his powers. Anita doesn't like how Giacomo looks at Cynric when talking about how he is as pure blooded as Fortune despite everyone, Giacomo included, thinking that the blue bloodline had been hunted down and killed beyond her. Giacomo and Magda had heard rumors of clan tigers within the US, but they weren't the ones sent to investigate.

Giacomo and Magda are two of the guards that join Anita to her trip to Ireland. He spends much of that trip carried around by Magda in a sun-proof bag.

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Inconsistencies Edit

There is very little consistent about Giacomo in any of his incarnations, but to sum it up, some of the larger differences are:

  • In Hit List Thing Two and Thing One want to be a mated pair but their masters prevent it. In Dead Ice Magda doesn't seem to have anyone trying to stop her from attempting get into Nicky's bed, and then Anita's, once learning that that might also be an option. However, it's possible that Thing One and Thing Two were only drawn to each other for lack of any better options, and once they get those options they don't want to mate anymore, and perhaps even that Giacomo is old-fashioned enough to adopt the beliefs of whomever he sees as his master, and in St. Louis things are done very differently.
  • In Hit List Thing Two's master sees her as an animal and a possession, but in Crimson Death Magda and her master have great respect for each other. However, he is described as very traditional and respectful of power hierarchy, so it's possible that he sided with Marmee Noir out of duty, and treated his animal to call like dirt because that's how things were expected to be done, even if he didn't privately agree with the sentiments. We only ever see Thing One's master's cruelty in person, and the report of Thing Two's master's views comes from Thaddeus, who would only have access to what he could observe as an outsider.

Given these points it's certainly possible that Magda is, in fact, a different Harlequin lioness than Thing Two, and that would make Giacomo a different master vampire from Thing Two's master. However, it seems like a rather too big coincidence that there are exactly two Harlequin lions who come to St. Louis after Marmee Noir is defeated. Given that the other lion is initially called Giacomo, and that Magda's master is only mentioned in passing until Crimson Death, where he is called Giacomo in turn, it seems likely that the author has simply forgotten what exactly was included in the final versions of the stories. Thus it seems more than plausible that the pair of lions were meant to be the same lions throughout the overlaying story arch even if the details keep twisting, and that's why Giacomo has got both a species and a personality transplant. It could be argued that for all intents and purposes he was born again and the earlier versions of him should be ignored.