The Catalyst 

Heading: The Catalyst
Description: An Essay/Character Analysis wherein Jude Whittaker is the reason for everything that has ever happened in Dalton. Or, that time when Lida totally lost it and started psychoanalyzing fictional characters and the butterfly effects their lives/deaths have on fictional worlds.
Also, a no-Blaine hypothesis for Dalton.
Warnings: There is minor character bashing and mentions of cheating/death/suicide/bullying…but nothing trigger worthy, I don’t think.
A/N:
So I started this the week before Halloween, but I didn’t really have time to work on it (by started it, I mean I had approximately three pages written) and then Mama CP posted something about how Kurt changed everything…to be clear, I’m not ripping her off, and she just confirmed some of the things I address. So if some of this seems like I’m reiterating her, all of the Kurt pieces were already written by the time she posted that, and I went back and reworked some of the things she mentioned to make it more canon compliant.
A/N 2: I’m also admitting that I completely half-assed the Intro to Jude, because I’m assuming that everyone who actually reads this has completed the currently published amount of Dalton and knows who everyone is, and therefore didn’t spend as much time on an exposition as I would in a regular essay.

Table of Contents (feel free to skip down to whatever interests you)
Subheading 1: Introduction to Jude Whittaker
Subheading 2: Influence on the Fab Five
  Sub-subheading 2A: The Boys
  Sub-subheading 2B: The Girls
  Sub-subheading 2C: Stanton
  Sub-subheading 2D: Fab Five Conclusion
Subheading 3: Influence on Blaine Anderson and Logan Wright
Subheading 4: Influence on Kurt Hummel and Transfer
Subheading 5: Influence on Blaine Anderson and Kurt Hummel
Subheading 6: Influence on Kurt Hummel and Logan Wright
Subheading 7: Influence on the Stuart Boys
   Sub-subheading 7A: Influence on Logan Wright
   Sub-subheading 7B: Influence on Julian Larson
   Sub-subheading 7C: Influence on the Tipton Siblings
Subheading 8: Influence on the Windsor Boys
  Sub-subheading 8A: Influence on Reed Van Kamp
    Sub-subheading 8A-1: Reed Van Kamp and Kurt Hummel
    Sub-subheading 8B-2: Reed Van Kamp and Shane Anderson
  Sub-subheading 8B: Influence on Dwight Houston
  Sub-subheading 8C: Influence on Ethan and Evan
  Sub-subheading 8D: Influence on Everyone Else
Subheading 9: Influence on the Fire/Adam Clavell
Subheading 10: Conclusion

Subheading 1: Introduction to Jude Whittaker

Jude Whittaker.         

A relatively innocent person killed in an attack and brutally ripped out of the world. He’s been described as being a kind person who loved photography and worked on the school newspaper as a photographer.

He’s also the reason for every single problem in Dalton canon.

I really hate to say it because I personally like Jude. Or, rather, I don’t have a reason to actively dislike him, and he hasn’t done anything that ticks me off at any point in time, and I guess that all adds up to liking him. The thing is that his death was the Catalyst (yes, it’s capitalized for a reason here) of pretty much everything in Dalton canon, the good, the bad, and the in between. There are a few exceptions, but the majority of everything that has ever happened in Dalton is because of Jude Whittaker.

I’ve been working on a piece where Reed meets Jude at a New York art show at approximately the time when Kurt would have been there in Dalton canon (episodes 14-16). The reason I bring this up is because without Jude’s death, the last two years of Dalton canon would be completely and utterly different. Like I said, Jude is the Catalyst.

His death directly caused Erin (and Becca) to run away, Micah and Shane to seek comfort, and Blaine to feel immense amounts of guilt. Slightly less directly was Micah’s banishment and the Andersons’ respective transfers.

Blaine’s own transfer indirectly (oh, who am I kidding? directly) influenced Kurt’s decision to transfer to Dalton, and that set off its own chain reaction that we’ll go into later. That chain reaction trigged several more events (character growth, etc), including those that reflected on the Stuarts, Hanovers, and even some people outside of Dalton.

But first, let’s look more closely at the Fab Five.

Subheading 2: Influence on the Fab Five

Alright, I have to start off this section by informing you that I’ve already done personal meta essays on each of the Fab Five, so I’ve already psychoanalyzed them. Some of that stuff applies here and may be reiterated, but this is, in fact, largely new material. If you’d like to read the previous metas, they’re listed under the meta link at the top of my page. Onto the morbid influence section!

The first (and biggest) difference would be the fact that Jude was alive. A dead Jude altered the dynamics of the group, and so with Jude still alive, things shifted and changed. Of everyone Jude influenced, of course his group of best friends was the most changed through everything that happened. As a result of that, there’s no way I can do this in only one chunk, so I’m breaking it down into sub-subheadings.

If you want to read the background material for this section, it’s Chapters 16 and 18 as well as Jude’s character fact page, the side canon stories The Stanton High Fabulous Five and Lunch Period , and various other facts Mama CP has given us. If you don’t want to read them now, you probably should at some point. Just as a refresher course.

  Sub-subheading 2A: Influence on The Boys (Jude Whittaker, Micah Randall, Shane Anderson and Blaine Anderson)

The Fab Five boys (for the purposes of this essay) are Jude, Micah, Shane and Blaine, all of whom were very definitely close with Jude. I know Kurt is technically a Fab Five member (as recently as Chapter 25) but in this section, we’re discussing people who actually knew and were directly affected by Jude.

Jude, obviously, was changed by being…well, dead. I think that’s just about the biggest change anyone can make.

Micah and Shane really have to be analyzed together before they can be looked at separately. The reason they were making out on the Anderson’s couch was (more like as not) because they were both so stressed/freaked out about Jude’s death and the girls’ disappearance that they needed something. (this is backed up on Jude’s character fact page, found on the weebly) They probably wouldn’t have reached that point if the collective pile of things hadn’t begun with their bullying, peaked with Jude’s murder, and then concluded with the girls vanishing.

At this point, they split, both metaphorically and physically. Micah was summarily threatened, blackmailed and evicted from his home, to live with relatives in North Carolina. Mentally, he probably retreated into himself more than he already was—just think about everything he went through in less than a year. If Jude hadn’t died, probably 75% of that stuff wouldn’t have happened (the other 25% is me subscribing to the theory that “shit happens, no matter what”).

Shane, on the other hand, seems to have thrown himself into dance even more, because…well, Blaine took the fall and Shane couldn’t act like he’d lost his boyfriend, because according to his parents, he hadn’t. And Shane, of course, feels hugely guilty about all of this. (Chapter 16) It’s pretty clear he wishes he hadn’t messed up with Micah, triggering Blaine’s move to Dalton and the subsequent Logan Affair. If Jude hadn’t died, the past two years of Shane’s life would have a lot less guilt over his brother’s situation.

What I would like to say here is that Micah and Shane getting caught is/would not be completely avoided if Jude had stayed alive. Jude being alive probably would have prolonged the time before the incident, or potentially avoided it altogether, but it’s also highly likely that at some later point in their relationship, they would have made the same mistake, and Blaine wouldn’t have been there to step in.

Blaine too was affected by Jude’s death, in what I would say were deeper and farther-reaching ways. When we first hear about the Fab Five, it’s through a photograph on Blaine’s billboard and when we actually hear their story, Blaine is obviously guilty about how everything went down. (Chapter 18) With a living Jude, Blaine would be…well, a lot different. In Mama CP’s side canon story Stanton High Fabulous Five, Blaine isn’t the same Blaine we know. He’s a lot more protective and a bit shyer, all of which is a result of being closeted and bullied but not actively hated by anyone. In canon flashbacks to Last Year (Chapter 25), the new transfer Blaine is terrified.

If Jude had never died, Blaine never would have stood up for Micah and Shane, would never have lost his parent’s trust and never would have been sent off to Dalton. He would have been a little more naïve, and probably a lot less hurt, considering the fact that he never would have had to deal with Logan or any of the Dalton drama, and that would have changed Blaine a lot.

On the other hand, Blaine never would have met Kurt. If you’re a pessimist like me, you’ll note that most high school relationships never last long. If you’re a fangirl/boy, also like me, you’ll note that most fictional relationships exist in their own little world where just about everyone meets their soulmates in high school. That having been said, Kurt has changed Blaine’s life a lot, and their meeting is all due to Jude’s death.

I’m going to go more into Blaine later on (under Subheading 3: Blaine Anderson and Logan Wright, Subheading 4: Kurt Hummel and Transfer, and Subheading 5: Kurt Hummel and Blaine Anderson) due to the fact that you can’t really discuss one without the other being heavily involved, and I don’t count Kurt as one of the Fab Five for the purposes of this essay, mainly because Kurt didn’t know Jude.

  Sub-subheading 2B: Influence on The Girls (Erin Delaney and Rebecca Douglas)

Erin and Becca I don’t really know where to start with. Obviously, Jude’s death affected them, as it caused them to run away to San Fransisco. This is in no way an isolated event—it’s highly likely that something else would have triggered their departure from Stanton, Ohio—but it probably would have been delayed. Their behavior would probably change as well.

Erin (The Stanton High Fabulous Five) is tough. In Lunch Period she’s strong enough to stand up to multiple bullies harassing Blaine. (Granted, she was on her period, and that’s enough to make anyone back off, but still.) But when someone sent her girlfriend mutilated photos of them kissing (Chapter 18) not long after Jude’s death, she obviously felt threatened enough for both of them to pick up and leave.

And that triggered Micah and Shane, which then set off Mr. Anderson, and that led to Dalton.

But back to Erin and Becca. Since they dropped out of school, they both had to start working, meaning neither was able to live up to their full potential. This probably applies to all of the Fab Five, but mostly to Erin, Becca and Jude. Erin and Becca might have been able to change things, but without even GEDs…well, it becomes more complicated. I can’t say much more because we don’t know much about the characters, so…let’s move on to the effects on Stanton High itself.

  Sub-subheading 2C: Influence on Stanton High

In Chapter 18, Blaine admits that the Fab Five had overheard jocks talking about beating up Jude. While in canon, we have no idea who actually attacked Jude (also Chapter 18, I’d say it’s fairly safe to assume it was a group of students who went a little bit too far. I’d like you to keep in mind that this is not canon and only a personal headcanon for me. However, it does seem extremely likely that was the case.

Provided Jude hadn’t died as a result of his injuries, things at Stanton High likely would have changed. If it was, in fact, a group of students, the school administration and the local police would be forced to act. At the very least, Stanton would be the center of a very public national controversy, due to the fact that they allowed bullying to progress to this point. At the most, Jude would be transferred out of the school with a new anti-bullying policy in effect.

Here’s where things can become confusing. There are many ways this could have gone down without Jude dying, and we’ll explore two of those possibilities.

If Jude had pressed charges or his photos (which would be evidence in a situation like this) had revealed who his attackers were, there would be consequences. Legal consequences. The attackers would likely be brought up on assault charges, and, assuming Stanton was in Ohio, Jude’s attackers would face 2-8 years in prison and approximately $20,000 in fines, each, and their assault would be classified as a second degree felony. It’s highly likely they would be at the very least suspended from school, if not outright expelled. The school administration might be forced to enact an anti-bullying policy, and actually enforce it. (Just so you know, this came from the Ohio Government website.)

On the other hand, Jude might not press charges, but it’s likely the Fab Five would be left alone after that. Jude’s camera was found smashed at the scene—that means Jude probably got photos of his attackers. Knowing Jude had that kind of incriminating evidence against them, the attackers would probably back off so he wouldn’t release them to the general public and reveal exactly what kind of scumbags they were.

Jude’s death (or not death, I suppose) changes Stanton quite radically. If Jude dies, the resident “fag five” transfer out and leave the school “straight.” If Jude doesn’t die, the behavior of students changes in response.

  Sub-subheading 2D: Fab Five Conclusion

In conclusion, Erin and Becca were obviously just as affected by Jude’s death as Shane, Micah and Blaine. The only difference is that we don’t really see very much of them, as Shane and Blaine are major characters, and Micah is present due to the Mine/Rane interactions. Their high school would have been changed in lasting ways, and…well, everything pretty much winds back to Jude dying.

The thing I do have to say here is that while the Fab Five were highly affected by Jude’s death, they are by no means the only group heavily influenced, and we’ll explore that in the following sections.

Subheading 3: Influence on Blaine Anderson and Logan Wright

Blaine’s arrival at Dalton was a catalyst in its own right.  It set the Logan-Blaine-Joshua situation into motion, which in turn triggered Logan’s anger issues and revealed to the school his angry tendencies (this is a really poor description, but I’m assuming if you’re reading this, you know what I mean). Logan (from the flashbacks in Chapter 25) never acted violently or even out of the ordinary until he developed feelings for Blaine. Well, other than the gay thing. And Dalton is zero-tolerance and used to that kind of thing, so that wouldn’t even have been an issue.

If Jude had never died, Blaine never would have transferred. If Blaine had never transferred, Logan would never have had that reaction. If Logan had never had that reaction, it’s highly probable that Logan’s reaction would be delayed for a period of time. I would like to point out that when explosions are bottled up, they tend to get bigger and more dangerous.

In Chapter 17, Derek tells Logan that “…you really look different. Well—not different, more like…old times.” This implies that before the entire Blaine Situation, Logan was normal…well, relatively normal for a gay son of a state senator with dysfunctional family relationships and the intense pressure of future leadership duties filling his life.

Without Blaine there to trigger the Joshua situation, Logan presumably wouldn’t have had his blowup, and Joshua never would have left the school.

THIS IS IN NO WAY A DEFINITE STATEMENT. If I could make that flash bright colors and play an air-raid siren, I would. I just had to make that clear; there are a probably a million-million ways that this could have played out. However, I’m arguing that Dalton would be very different with a different Blaine/Logan interaction.

It could be argued that another student might have caught Logan’s interest, but (and this is really, really a negative opinion of Logan’s character and someone is going to bitch at me for it, I just know it) Logan seems to have a thing for the emotionally unstable/unsure people.  With Kurt being in the place he was combined with Logan’s interest and no Blaine/Windsor to distract him, an incredibly violent meltdown would pretty much be guaranteed, and it would not end well for Kurt.

There is no reason to believe it wouldn’t be a different transfer student, though. Other students (e.g. Dwight) have transferred into Dalton. I’m not saying Logan would have gone for them (I’m actually honestly morbidly curious about this: does anyone think Logan actually would have gone for Dwight at any point in any alternate universe??) but it is a possibility that should be taken into consideration.

However, this section isn’t about that. My point here is that Logan and Blaine changed each other, in several very key ways.

Logan revealed his true colors, to an extent. He showed he could be brutal and would do anything to get what he wanted, but he also proved how passionately he could love someone and just how far he would go to keep them his.

Blaine, on the other hand, learned he could stand up to his father, rather than just being terrified, and he learned he had to move on with his life. He learned that people could understand and actually care about him without an ulterior motive or because of a single reason, and that changed him a lot. He became a lot less naïve (at least in terms of romance) and joined the Warblers, which pushed him to excel in something he loved. In the flashback chapter (still Chapter 25), Blaine was hesitant to try out for the Warblers, and look at him now: lead singer, popular and confident. It’s a big change.

It’s entirely possible that Blaine might have ended up at Dalton later in his high school career for some reason other than bullying and parental disapproval, but the timing of Blaine’s arrival really affected Logan’s behavior, and it managed to change both of them in massive ways.

Subheading 4: Influence on Kurt Hummel and Transfer

This is a huge one right here that’s infinitely complex, so I’m not going to delve into this too much. (Also, Mama CP already covered this topic, here), so there’s not much more I can go into, not really.

Without Blaine at Dalton, the group Kurt went to spy on probably would have been fronted by Logan. We’ve seen how Logan reacted to an impressed, terrified transfer student he actually liked (e.g. Blaine) and I can only imagine how that same reaction would have affected Kurt.

Presuming Kurt wasn’t put off by Logan’s attention (and he likely wouldn’t, seeing as he was still escaping Karofsky and Kurt has implied he might have liked Logan if it weren’t for Blaine), he probably would have ended up in Stuart rather than Windsor. If Kurt had ended up in Stuart, he might have cracked under the pressure and ended up in a worse situation than he already was. But then again, Kurt is incredibly strong (both as a person and as a character) and probably would have wound up in a situation similar to Blaine’s in Daltonverse canon.

On the other hand, Kurt was in a bit of a better place than Blaine was, having already stood up to Karofsky and other bullies before, along with the support of New Directions and his family, so maybe he’d have been better able to deal with Logan’s attentions and rage. But wouldn’t put money on a good outcome.

Another point to consider would be what house Kurt would end up in. Without Blaine there to suggest Windsor or the other Windsor boys being connected to Kurt by Blaine, Kurt probably wouldn’t have boarded in Windsor. Taking Logan into consideration, I’d say there’s a large chance that Kurt would have wound up boarding in Stuart.

That would be a huge change, really. Warblerland literally would not exist as we know it. I mean, Mama CP has already gone over what changes Kurt brought in Windsor, and that’s not even covering the rest of the school.

Even if Kurt ended up in Hanover, he still wouldn’t have the same kind of influence over the Windsor Boys, because Hanovers and Stuarts just don’t mix well with Windsors. Kurt being a Warbler is pretty much a given, considering his singing voice and his passion for music (as well as the much-needed scholarship). He might make friends with the Windsor Boys that way (especially if he was a Hanover) and I’d like to believe he’d be friends with Reed no matter which way things happen, but that’s not a given. There’s no way to absolutely confirm any of these theories.

Kurt’s transfer is a third catalyst (first being Jude’s death, second being Blaine’s transfer) and it triggers the entire Warblerland. We’ve all seen what changes Kurt has wrought in all the other boys (his cookies being only one), and I don’t think that change would have ever happened if it had been anyone else.

Something else I’d like to bring up would be that Kurt transferring is largely inevitable. Sure, he might not have had Blaine to bring him there, but knowing Logan’s reaction to Kurt, it’s highly likely Logan would have convinced Kurt to transfer to Dalton and Logan who would have been Kurt’s boyfriend. Maybe Joshua Tipton (who probably would have still been at Dalton…we’ll go into that under the Tipton Siblings section) would have developed a crush on Kurt and the drama would have evolved from there.

Kurt might not even have chosen Dalton to transfer to without Blaine’s influence (although Logan’s might have been enough, as shown in flashbacks). Nothing definite can be said (as it hasn’t and likely never will happen) but it’d be something interesting to explore.

Subheading 5: Influence on Blaine Anderson and Kurt Hummel

Blaine and Kurt’s relationship is obviously affected by Jude’s death in that without Jude dying, Blaine never would have met Kurt.

But Jude affects their relationship in other ways—Blaine’s stress over his dad’s reaction (Blaine having already seen how his dad would react to Blaine dating another male), Shane’s encouragement, the guilt Blaine feels…a lot of it ties into Jude and Blaine’s history.

Would Blaine have noticed Kurt as much if he hadn’t gone through what he had? Probably. Would they have connected on the same level they do in Dalton? That’s questionable.

Their behavior is different too: Kurt is more confident in himself as a gay person and Blaine has regained some of the pride and charisma he’d lost back in Stanton. Let me elaborate on this. Perhaps a better way to phrase Kurt’s behavior change would be more like a metamorphosis. He went from being a hurt, traumatized boy with walls a mile high to being the strong Alice of Warblerland. He blossomed into someone utterly confident in himself and his sexuality, despite the constant rollercoaster that is Windsor House life. He’s begun to know what he needs in a relationship and has grown to accept that he’s something special (from everyone’s friendship to Logan and Blaine’s separate interests), even going so far as to be a relationship advisor for Reed. I know Kurt would change because of Dalton no matter what (transferring schools always does that) but I think Blaine and Klaine’s relationship pushed Kurt to be the absolute best he could be. Blaine, on the other hand, regained what he’d already lost. He was confident enough without Kurt (Windsor had already changed him) but having a steady relationship with Kurt just pushed him a little bit more in his relationship with his family, with Logan and with the Windsor Boys.

Subheading 6: Influence on Kurt Hummel and Logan Wright

Kurt and Logan have a fascinating dynamic. They both clearly like each other, but in different ways—Kurt sees Logan as a friend, whereas Logan obviously sees Kurt as potential for something more. I think they’d work well together, if there wasn’t a better option for Kurt available (Blaine). Kurt wouldn’t allow Logan to steamroll right over him, and Logan would help Kurt shine where he was reluctant to.

Of course, their dynamic is tempered by the Windsor Boys and Blaine.

I’ve already gone into this in previous sections (mainly under Kurt and Blaine) so I’m going to leave this be here.

Subheading 7: Influence on The Stuart Boys

It seems weird to start with the Stuarts instead of the Windsors, but the Stuarts were affected first, so that’s where we’ll begin. This section is broken down into chunks of the main boys—Logan, Julian and the Tiptons. Other Stuarts were affected, but these are the main ones.

   Sub-subheading 7A: Influence on Logan Wright

Logan has mainly been covered already in previous sections. I feel like if I say anything here, it’ll be reiteration of exactly the same things, which I’d rather not do because this essay is long enough. So, instead of going in depth, a quick summary will suffice. (Please don’t be mad at me for this, I’m just trying not to bore everyone to tears)

Logan was personally affected by Jude’s death in that he had his relationship with Blaine and a different chance at a relationship with Kurt. It’s be something to watch out for in a redux, but at this point…I’m going to leave this here.

  Sub-subheading 7B: Influence on Julian Larson

Julian, I think, has been the most affected out of all the Dalton boys, and that includes Logan and Blaine.

The first time Julian really ran from Logan was when Logan first fell for Blaine. I think that was a defining moment for Julian, when he realized how much he loved Logan and how much he could not let that happen.

The second major moment for Julian was Kurt. Kurt is Logan’s current crush, as we all know. But this time, instead of running away, Julian sticks out it, with the intention of helping Logan and then disappearing forever.

That’s a huge deal right there. (You have no idea how tempted I am to throw a few swear words in there to make my point but I am a mature human being and so I won’t. Yet. Maybe. The night’s still young.)

I think that revelation would still have occurred, the “I’m giving up, no hope for me getting together with Logan” one. It just would have been pushed back a year or so—maybe with Kurt instead of Blaine.

The thing to remember here is that Kurt isn’t Blaine. Kurt noticed Julian’s crush, whereas Blaine was completely floored when Julian admitted it in Episode 26 (here), showing that even though Blaine had dated Logan, he’d never cottoned on. If Logan and Kurt dated (without Blaine ever having attended Dalton), Kurt’s reaction to Julian’s crush would be a lot different from the kindly encouragement we’ve seen. Kurt doesn’t take people who want to break up his relationship well, as we know from Sebastian and his influence on Glee canon, and that would probably still translate over to Dalton canon.

  Sub-subheading 7C: Influence on the Tipton Siblings

I know that Joshua wasn’t a Stuart, but I’m mainly classifying them here because of Bailey, who is highly active in post Blaine/Logan era Dalton.

Bailey has become a hybrid student—he’s a Stuart who identifies with Windsors and has taken on the role of a Hanover.  This probably wouldn’t have happened if not for the Joshua-Logan-Blaine situation (which really needs a catchy name, by the way. Like Warblergate or something) and the resulting fallout. I’m not clear on what grade Bailey is. I know he’s an underclassman, but the impact on Bailey is highly dependent on if he’s a sophomore or a freshman. (okay, upon inspection of the weebly, it claims that Bailey is a sophomore. And as I don’t feel like trawling the entirety of Dalton again, we’re going with that.)

As a sophomore, Bailey is only about a year younger than Joshua. They were probably pretty close—most siblings who have that kind of age gap are almost like twins. In addition to their close age range, they were both Warblers. It’s highly likely that Joshua confided just about everything in Bailey. This means that Bailey had a front-row seat to the relationship trainwreck that occurred not long after Blaine’s transfer. He got Logan’s half from the fact that he was a Stuart and the Windsor half from Joshua. And he was a Warbler, meaning he got to watch the carnage unfold there.

In current Dalton canon, Bailey is watching out for Logan and Blaine, as well as Kurt. He’s still close with his brother, in that he tells Joshua what’s going on with the Dalton boys  and is the only Dalton boy still in contact with Joshua at all (although that may  have more to do with the fact that they are, you know, related and live together during vacations than anything else). The fact still remains that Bailey wouldn’t do that if Joshua had never left Dalton, which wouldn’t have happened if the Joshua-Blaine-Logan situation hadn’t happened, which wouldn’t have happened if Blaine had never transferred in, which wouldn’t have happened if Blaine hadn’t need to protect Shane, which wouldn’t have happened if Shane and Micah hadn’t been making out, which wouldn’t have happened if Erin and Becca hadn’t run away, which wouldn’t have happened if Jude hadn’t died.

I think the biggest change in the Tipton Siblings would be the fact that Joshua likely never would have transferred out. Without Blaine to set things off, Joshua probably never would have acted on his crush on Logan. Before Blaine, he never had, and I don’t think he would have. As a matter of fact, I think he probably would have stayed quite firmly in Windsor, and possibly even becoming friends with Kurt.

That’s another thing to take into account—Joshua as the second soloist. Maybe Joshua would have been leading Teenage Dream and maybe Kurt would fall in love with Joshua.

That’s a whole can of worms I’m not opening, as know very, very (did I mention very?) little about Joshua. Certainly not enough to know if he’d like Kurt or not. But taking that into account, maybe Kurt would end up in Windsor anyway. Just…in a different fashion. Maybe it would be a Logan-Kurt-Joshua love triangle instead.

I’m going to stop now before this spins out of hand (again), but it probably still bears mentioning that Joshua and Bailey would be very different without Blaine and Kurt.

Subheading 8: Influence on the Windsor Boys

The one thing that absolutely cannot be denied in this essay is that the Windsor boys were changed by both Blaine and Kurt. Joshua as well, if it comes to that.

  Sub-subheading 8A: Influence on Reed Van Kamp

Reed has come out of his shell as a result of Kurt being his friend. Through Blaine, he met Shane. And with the encouragement of Kurt, Reed has begun to fall in love with Shane. But both of these things need to be done under their own subheadings.

  Sub-subheading 8A-1: Reed Van Kamp and Kurt Hummel

Reed has grown and changed just by knowing Kurt. Kurt has changed by knowing Reed as well, but mainly we’re going to focus on Reed here.

Reed is the son of Hilde Van-Kamp. His father isn’t really around that much, and so Reed has all of Hilde’s expectations on his shoulders.

When Reed meets Kurt, Kurt is likely the only person at Dalton Reed has ever been able to really talk fashion with. Blaine is fashionable enough, as are the other boys, but no one has ever been passionate about fashion like Kurt is.

It’s interesting, to watch as both Reed and Kurt blossom through knowing each other. Reed finds the courage to duel for lead; Kurt finds that he can be a mentor as easily as a mentee. There’s more, but I haven’t got the time to go into it—so now we’ll explore Reed and Shane.

  Sub-subheading 8A-2: Reed Van Kamp and Shane Anderson

Like just about every Daltonite, I ship Rane, at least casually. But to be honest, I also ship Mine, Meed, both versions of Jeed…essentially everything that makes Reed happy. Shane less so, but I’m definitely not campaigning to ruin Shane’s life. I just don’t go out of my way to make him happy in fic. That said, be aware of any bias that may sneak in. I try to avoid it, but sometimes it’s just there. You’ve been forewarned.

This particular chunk would probably be better suited to a Reed/Shane Essay, but the premise of this particular essay is what Jude’s death changed, and this is one of the more major differences.

Jude’s death let to Micah’s banishment and the Mine breakup. That’s step one—step two was Shane visiting Blaine at Dalton.

It is entirely possible that in a living-Jude situation, Mine might break up on their own. It happens in high school, even among gay couples. Even among fictional gay couples, I should add (being fictional tends to add a degree of immunity to couples, straight or otherwise). With a later-in-high-school Mine breakup, Shane would be free to date Reed, but even with a Mine breakup, it’s highly unlikely that the two would meet. They don’t exactly travel in the same circles; Reed isn’t a dancer and Shane isn’t an artist.

There aretwo plausible ways they might have met. Reed’s mother knows Shane’s mother at least vaguely (canonized in Mama CP’s side story The Plush Battle at the Castles), through another designer, I think. It’s entirely possible that Marlene Anderson went to some kind of photoshoot and dragged Shane along (although I can’t think of a plausible reason for this to happen…maybe he’s grounded or something?) and Reed happens to be the model and they’d meet that way. The other possibility would be in a world with a living Jude, Reed and Jude meet at some kind of exhibit/competition/thing and become friends, and Rane would meet through Jude.

Neither are hugely likely, but hey, weirder things have happened in romances. It’s possible.

However, a huge part of it is timing. If Shane and Micah were still dating, when Shane met Reed, Shane might have checked Reed out and then swiftly relegated Reed to the friend zone. Reed would have been entirely comfortable with this, because (Chapter 15) he never really fell in love with Shane until long after Shane had stated his intentions.

That being said, even if Shane decided to attempt to cheat on Micah with Reed, Reed probably would have 1) turned him down flat and 2) be horrified by the mere idea. Reed is pretty much a panda, remember? He hadn’t even had his first kiss until Shane (Chapter 26). Being “the other man” would have zero appeal for him.

Now that we’ve discussed the (im)plausibility of Rane without Jude’s death, let’s move onto personality changes in both the boys.

Shane…to be honest, I’m not incredibly familiar with Shane and how knowing Reed has changed him…I personally haven’t seen many changes in him.

Reed, on the other hand, has changed a lot by knowing Shane. He’s still shy, but he’s grown in that he’s become more comfortable with his sexuality and his identity. Current events place Reed in major danger, but the fact remains that Reed has (and likely will) continue to change because he’s come to terms with who he likes and who he is.

Before, he wouldn’t stand up to his mother, and while he’s not entirely there yet, I can see him growing enough to finally tell her what hewants.

Which is fascinating, when you think of how opposite they are…and I’m deviating from topic so I’ll save that for a Mine essay at some point in the future.

The point I managed to avoid this entire section is that Reed and Shane would not have happened without Jude dying, and depending on how you look at it, that could be really good or really bad.

  Sub-subheading 8B: Influence on Dwight Houston

Dwight is introduced in a flashback (Chapter 25). If you go back and read that scene, Blaine is the one who convinces the hesitant other boys to give him a chance, and Blaine is the one who convinces the Tweedles to go hang out with him. In a way, Blaine is the one who initiates Dwight. I know that’s not a definite thing because Dwight couldn’t exactly go into any other house (imagine Dwight running around Stuart…or God forbid, Hanover), but Blaine seems to have sped up the process of Dwight being a part of Windsor house.

Another thing to bring up is Dwight’s friendship with Reed. It’s implied they were at least casual acquaintances before, but after the landslide and their collective freakouts over Shane’s disappearance, they became closer. For example, Reed went to hang out in Dwight’s room for comfort (Chapter 19), rather than seeking out Kurt or some of the “saner” boys. In return, Dwight seems to be looking out for Reed. On Dwight’s fact page, it says that Dwight sees Reed as a little brother, which is a dynamic I think they both need. Reed needs someone looking out for him and Dwight needs someone to protect.

With the Karofsky situation earlier in Dalton (Chapter 11), Dwight earned back some of the self-esteem he lost when he failed to rescue Alan.

Dwight also rose in House Esteem when he caught Pavarotti, something that wouldn’t have happened if Logan hadn’t crossed a line to get to Kurt.

  Sub-subheading 8C: Influence on Ethan and Evan

  I haven’t the slightest idea where to begin with these two, so I recommend you go read Mama CP’s post because they’re the one thing in Warblerland I’m not even going to try to figure out. Not with a hundred-foot pole.

It will just end in blood, tears and probably some kicked puppies as well.

  Sub-subheading 8D: Influence on Everyone Else

There are innumerable changes that would be made to Dalton canon—from the song choices they would choose (Blaine’s influence on song choices and the duets chosen by pairs) to the life and death of main characters (Julian and Logan).

I don’t have time (or space) to go into detail about every single character in canon, but it’s pretty clear to me that everyone in Windsor, at least, was affected by Kurt and Blaine’s presence.

Subheading 9: Influence on the Fire/Adam Clavell

This was a fun section to work on, mainly because the original chapter is so morbid, and it gets excessively less morbid with a non-dead Jude. It’s nice to have a semi-positive change, for once. Just about everything I put down here is found in the latter half of Chapter 26. For this section, if you’d like to double check what I say, assume it’s in Chapter 26, unless I say otherwise.

Anyway, a lot of the problems with The Fire trace back to Adam Clavell. With Jude alive, he’s still a stalker, he’s still mentally unstable, and he’s still obsessed with Julian. But with Jude alive, something like eighty percent of the people inside the burning building wouldn’t be in the building. (That’s not an exact calculation, and I’ll work on figuring out the percentages in a few minutes)

Just so we can keep track of who’s in danger/been harmed by Adam, that would be…

Adam Clavell / Julian Larson / Logan Wright /Derek Siegerson / Reed Van Kamp / Micah Randall / Blaine Anderson / Ethan Brightman / Evan Brightman / Charlie Amos / Justin Bancroft / Dwight Houston / Wes Hughes / Kurt Hummel / Danny Abbot / Laura Bancroft / Ms Blumenfeld

For this key, strikeout means they flat out wouldn’t be there, italics means they might still be in danger but in a different way or as a result of a different cause and bold means they’d still be there, in the same way.

To begin with, Blaine and Micah wouldn’t even be at Dalton, so that’s 2/17 out of the picture right off the bat.

Adam Clavell / Julian Larson / Logan Wright / Reed Van Kamp / Micah Randall / Blaine Anderson / Ethan Brightman / Evan Brightman / Charlie Amos / Justin Bancroft / Dwight Houston / Wes Hughes / Kurt Hummel / Danny Abbot / Laura Bancroft / Ms Blumenfeld /

Adam would have been in the building no matter what, as well as Ms. Blumenfeld (the art teacher Adam knocks out and Reed later finds unconscious).

As of right now, we’re going to mark them as the only two absolute definites and then work through the rest of the list.

Adam Clavell / Julian Larson / Logan Wright / Derek Siegerson / Reed Van Kamp / Micah Randall / Blaine Anderson / Ethan Brightman / Evan Brightman / Charlie Amos / Justin Bancroft / Dwight Houston / Wes Hughes / Kurt Hummel / Danny Abbot / Laura Bancroft / Ms Blumenfeld

Reed went to the Art Hall because the Andersons and the Hummels were fighting, and then his mother stepped in. If Blaine had never attended Dalton since Jude hadn’t died, the Andersons and Hummels wouldn’t have been fighting and Reed wouldn’t have escaped to the Art Hall.

Reed not escaping to the Art Hall means he wouldn’t have found Ms. Blumenfeld and he wouldn’t have been attacked by Adam.

It’s a little unclear as to why exactly Reed was in the Art Hall (it seems to be just to light candles, and honestly, I’m not sure why Reed was assigned to light the candles…? I checked the chapter and nothing explained why Reed was trusted with open flame in a building filled with explosive materials, especially considering his clumsiness), so I’m not sure if he wouldn’t have ended up there anyway, but the fact is, he was delayed by the Andersons and Hummels fighting. He might have managed to go in, light the candles and then leave before Adam felt the need to attack him or get him out of the way.

As a matter of fact, Adam explicitly says, “…You weren’t supposed to be here. Neither of you [Reed and Ms. Blumenfeld]…Now…is anyone else here?”, showing that he probably wouldn’t have hurt Reed if Reed had left the building ten minutes before…something he likely would have done if he hadn’t been delayed by his crush/boyfriend’s family fighting with his best friend’s family.

Adam Clavell / Julian Larson / Logan Wright / Derek Sigerson/ Reed Van Kamp / Micah Randall / Blaine Anderson / Ethan Brightman / Evan Brightman / Charlie Amos / Justin Bancroft / Dwight Houston / Wes Hughes / Kurt Hummel / Danny Abbot / Laura Bancroft / Ms Blumenfeld

Dwight is a bit of an iffy case here. Dwight was suspicious about Adam’s behavior, but I don’t think he would have actually been as interested if Laura hadn’t said something in the first place. He would have left Adam alone if Laura hadn’t piqued his curiosity, which, honestly, probably would have happened with or without Kurt or Blaine present.

The main deterrent here is that Laura referred Dwight to Kurt as proof—and this proof wound up being Kurt and Julian’s conversation.

Kurt and Julian likely wouldn’t have had that conversation if Kurt had been assigned to any other house at the beginning of his transfer, or they wouldn’t have had it where Dwight could overhear, at any rate. Without Dwight overhearing this conversation, Dwight (and Laura, by extension) wouldn’t have known about Julian being in love with Logan and Julian’s stalker. The second effect of that would be that Dwight wouldn’t have ended up on Adam’s hit list.

That one conversation Dwight overheard, combined with Dwight’s conversation with Adam immediately after, is what sets Dwight off. He immediately goes to warn people, and when no one believes him, he takes matters into his own hands and breaks into Adam’s room with Laura. If he hadn’t heard that one conversation, he probably wouldn’t have ended up in as much trouble as he did.

However, Dwight being Dwight and Laura being Laura, I’m still betting they’d end up in some kind of trouble anyway, maybe in the way that Wes and the Prefects did. So while they’re not definites, they’re also not completely out of danger.

Adam Clavell / Julian Larson / Logan Wright / Derek Siegerson / Reed Van Kamp / Micah Randall / Blaine Anderson / Ethan Brightman / Evan Brightman / Charlie Amos / Justin Bancroft / Dwight Houston / Wes Hughes / Kurt Hummel / Danny Abbot / Laura Bancroft / Ms Blumenfeld

Kurt is another iffy. Adam’s reason for going after Kurt was “The diva in Windsor who was so jealous of the fact that Julian outshone him. Kurt. Heknows everything.” I’m not sure how much Kurt would know, if he’d been dating Logan or in another house.

Actually, that’s something I’d love to explore, what would have happened if Kurt had transferred into Hanover at the same time as Adam. But not now—maybe in another essay. Or a fic, or something.

At any rate, I’m pretty sure that Kurt wouldn’t end up in the fire.

Adam Clavell / Julian Larson / Logan Wright /Derek Sigerson / Reed Van Kamp / Micah Randall / Blaine Anderson / Ethan Brightman / Evan Brightman / Charlie Amos / Justin Bancroft / Dwight Houston / Wes Hughes / Kurt Hummel / Danny Abbot / Laura Bancroft / Ms Blumenfeld

The Tweedles are an easy pair to check off the list—they raced into the fire because three Windsors were in the fire. Even with Reed inside, I don’t think they would have gone inside without Blaine and Kurt there as well. At the very least, they probably wouldn’t have raced in if Dwight wasn’t there. I think it’s fairly safe to say they wouldn’t be in the fire.

Adam Clavell / Julian Larson / Logan Wright /Derek Sigerson / Reed Van Kamp / Micah Randall / Blaine Anderson / Ethan Brightman / Evan Brightman / Charlie Amos / Justin Bancroft / Dwight Houston / Wes Hughes / Kurt Hummel / Danny Abbot / Laura Bancroft / Ms Blumenfeld

Danny got involved because of a warning from Laura. If Laura and Dwight had never gone into the building, Danny wouldn’t have gotten involved, and he wouldn’t have been attacked by Adam.

But with Laura and Dwight being Laura and Dwight, there’s no guarantee that Danny wouldn’t still be involved. Danny goes on the maybe list.

Adam Clavell / Julian Larson / Logan Wright /Derek Sigerson / Reed Van Kamp / Micah Randall / Blaine Anderson / Ethan Brightman / Evan Brightman / Charlie Amos / Justin Bancroft / Dwight Houston / Wes Hughes / Kurt Hummel / Danny Abbot / Laura Bancroft / Ms Blumenfeld

Danny was the one who ran to the main hall and alerted the rest of the school to what was going on. Without Danny, Charlie and Justin wouldn’t have found out until too late—so, that’s Justin and Charlie off the list.  Wes falls under the no category as well—he ran in to save his Windsor brothers, who already wouldn’t be there.

I’m going to put Charlie and Justin under the maybe list as well—as prefects, they’d find a way to do their duty no matter what. I’m still maintaining my position that they’d be too late to be in any real danger, but they’re also on the maybe list.

Adam Clavell / Julian Larson / Logan Wright /Derek Sigerson / Reed Van Kamp / Micah Randall / Blaine Anderson / Ethan Brightman / Evan Brightman / Charlie Amos / Justin Bancroft / Dwight Houston / Wes Hughes / Kurt Hummel / Danny Abbot / Laura Bancroft / Ms Blumenfeld

Alright, I’ve left the Stuart Trio until last in this section, and now you’ll see why.

Logan and Julian would get involved, no matter what. Adam was after Julian in the first place, so there’s no way Julian wouldn’t be involved in the first place. Adam was/is trying to protect Julian from Logan, so Logan is instantly involved.

Derek, however…Derek was involved because he tried to defend Julian in the first place. He earns a place on the permanent list.

Adam Clavell / Julian Larson / Logan Wright /Derek Sigerson / Reed Van Kamp / Micah Randall / Blaine Anderson / Ethan Brightman / Evan Brightman / Charlie Amos / Justin Bancroft / Dwight Houston / Wes Hughes / Kurt Hummel / Danny Abbot / Laura Bancroft / Ms Blumenfeld

The circumstances without Blaine change quite radically. Instead of 17 people in danger of dying, five people remain on the definitely in danger list (as opposed to the seventeen earlier) and five/seven people are on the maybe list, whereas the other five/seven are completely in the safe zone.

I’m not saying this is a good thing—in fact, I’m saying it’s a very, very bad thing.

With less people involved, Adam has a higher change of succeeding. The less people who know about Adam’s plot, the easier it is to get Julian out of Dalton without interference. The good thing about having thirteen people in a burning building? There are families and friends of thirteen people who will fight to get them out of there safe. At this point, there is absolutely no way Adam could possibly get away with it.

But with the best friends of Julian incapacitated (drugged up and knocked out) and no one else standing in Adam’s way? It’s highly likely that the fire wouldn’t ever have happened in the first place, just as it’s likely that Adam would kidnap Julian fairly easily and get away with it.

Just something to consider.

Subheading 10: Conclusion

If you’ve made it this far, congratulations! You deserve some sort of prize for sticking through my crazy.

I hope I’ve made my point, that Jude Whittaker really is more important than anyone seems to have given him credit for. He changed a lot of lives, without even meeting 95% of them. A lot of what’s been said here is a without Blaine hypothesis, and all of it hinges on chance (but what doesn’t?). It’s still something that ties back to canon and Jude’s death.

I personally like Jude. He seems to have been a really cool guy and his death was a tragedy. But I’m also glad of the results of his death, things that, with a live Jude, never would have happened.

It’s an interesting little knot, and I hope this essay either confused the hell out of you or made it a hundred times clearer. Something that made an effect, at least.

Thanks for reading (and sticking it out this far xD),

~Lida Rose <3