NAME: James Ellis / “The Handsome Man”
CURRENT OCCUPATION (IF ANY): Tax lawyer and senior partner for Allen & Overy, one of the top finance law firms in the country that happens to represent some of very powerful companies.
PUBLIC ALLEGIANCE: N/A.
PRIVATE ALLEGIANCE: Currently doing what he does for his own interests. Eventually, he’ll find kinsmen in The Faceless Men and ally himself with them.
CHARACTER INFO: Being born to middle-class means left nothing to be complained about. Sure, studying at a British public school had had its fair share of the Queen’s English and Welsh and Cornish and Yorkshire accents being pounded to malleability to fit what was 1) “proper”, and 2) romanticized. Britain in the 80s, after all, had an image it wanted to emulate and emulate it did, in some aspects, but not quite to everyone’s expectations. What had been the Tories’ promising politics ended in an amassed wealth of hate and dissent among the middle-class, and James was one of them. He was only a student at the University College London at the time (the university that practically had an army of student activists), idealistic and somewhat enthusiastic for “good” things, “better” things, things that could be hard-earned, things that didn’t have to be inherited, things that didn’t require a solid patrilineal line or blue blood or some hyphenated name or a lordship in the rural north. He wanted to be someone, to earn the right to do so.
Disillusionment came, hard and fast, after the fall of the Targaryens. The Arryn/Baratheon tandem only turned out to be the lesser of two evils, not the herald of change that was virtually prophesied to overhaul the system. James wanted to get rid of them as well, but the spark of revolution had already died down, the idealistic youth had already aged, and exhaustion, it seemed, settled over London like a thick, disarming blanket. People went on the daily grind, the Arryns bowed out to the Baratheons, and everything that was supposed to change did not.
After the dust had settled, even a veteran of the streets like James was cowed by the very intimidating future of poverty if he kept at his bitterness and did onlythat for the next few years of his life. So he did something with his First in Philosophy and Economics; he went on to study Law at UCL, he sat his exams, passed the bar, earned his Esq. and his license, and, predictably and with more than his fair share of self-flagellation, went on to work for the very people whose buildings he peppered with Molotov cocktails barely a handful of years previous. He became a tax lawyer, helped the middle-class anguish over their cumbersome obligations to their government, and the upper-class stew in the excess of their relatively untouched wealth. It was a job that his old underground brothers would’ve crucified him for, but he was earning what he could, and making a name for himself; in a way, he was doing what he’d always wanted to do, but, horror of horrors, not in the manner that he felt that he would. But that was life after rebellion, and eventually, when he could finally afford a car for himself and a slick apartment in the heart of the city, James mistook discontent for peace and went on with his life.
The death of Balon Greyjoy, however, startled James out of his complacence. Here was one of those who had risen well and risen quickly during the brief post-Targaryen surge of commercial growth among the companies of Arryn-Baratheon cohorts. It was clear to anyone that his death was no accident and that it made waves among the Greyjoy family, the ripples of which had yet to reach the shores of wider scope: Parliament. Now, James was beginning to grasp at a renewed sense of purpose. He was a tax lawyer, after all; he had files upon files on the dirtiest and most hidden transactions of many of London’s kingpins, and if one death could do so much, then what could a hundred actually achieve?