Character Background: Byron McAlistair

18 May


Byron is the son of Edgar and Fay. He grew up with enormous wealth as his father was one of the most powerful men in the city. However, his parents’ marriage was atrociously terrible and while he loves his mother, Byron hates and despises his father.

Fay and Edgar ended up together due to some rather nasty coercion on Edgar’s part and although he did succeed in getting Fay to marry him, all love and in fact any aspect of fondness she had ever had for him died. The marriage was miserable, this was clear to Byron, and that it was his father’s doing was also clear, in no small part because his mother Fay spelled it out to him time and time again. Fay was instrumental in incubating Byron’s distance and antipathy towards his dad Edgar.

Edgar thus had no contentment in family life and eventually turned to high scale call girls. He tried some affairs, but his massive wealth and influence made him an easy target for golddiggers. Thus he found it easier to simply attach himself to a some favorite prostitutes, where the relationship was simple, clear and above board.

Byron has found no contentment in his wealthy upbringing and is passionately rebellious against his father’s world, which he would love to tear down. Like most angry young men, he sees a world full of hypocrisy and greed, with few true values at the center and wishes to both stick his middle finger up at it as well as find a place which can have meaning for him. The Voodoopunk subculture is perfect for him and he immerses himself in it completely.

Jasper, the doll that Edgar brought back for Fay and who is also the man that Annabelle originally brought back, was Byron’s closest childhood companion and his attachment to his Doll Jasper is unhealthy.

Naturally, in Byron’s love for Jasper is wrapped up his misplaced love for his father. Unable to love his father out of resentment, he kept his father emotionally distant, which was easy since Edgar spent more and more time away from his family and terrible home life. Thus Jasper’s emotional distance resembled his father, but Jasper was passive and harmless, unable to inflict any sort of influence on the world. Or Byron. Jasper’s hyper passivity is the perfect antithesis to his father’s active power and influence.

Jasper’s inability to show love back despite that Byron knows he’s in there is like a drug to Byron. The voodoopunk movement holds voodoo ceremonies both venerating the dolls and seeking trance-like states where the dancers become possessed by spirits (or believe themselves to be). Through this Byron can find communication not only symbolically of Jasper, but with a mind blowing array of archetypal spirits.

The voodoopunks embrace voodoo the way 60s British youth embraced African American blues, and as such their take on Voodoo is a mesh of Haitian and West African rituals merged with their own Celtic faerie heritage. While they use some Spirit staples of Haitian voodoo, namely Baron Samedi, they substitute many other Loa with celtic versions, using the Celtic gatekeeper of the spirit world Anwyn for instance instead of Papa Legba, the Haitian gaterkeeper to the spirit world. It should be noted Faerie mythology just like Haitian Loa began as ancestor worship.

Returning to Jasper, Byron obsesses over Jasper and the Voodoopunk Movement in place of forming deep relationships. He has never had what could be termed a real boyfriend, although he hooks up with other young men from time to time. However his interest in other men is almost purely sexual and he is never interested in any sort of intimate emotional bonding or relationship.

Byron is magnificently charismatic and he gets along with and is well respected by his other voodoopunk “friends”. But the fact is, though he hangs out with them, participates in gatherings and rituals and is fully and completely immsersed in the Movement, he is not actually truly close with anybody. He’s like the guy everyone loves but who no one actually considers their best friend. Except of course for Amelia.

Amelia is perhaps the only (living) person other than his mother Byron has ever formed any sort of true in depth emotional intimacy with, but he can’t sustain it and at the end of the day his other obsessions make him a really crappy friend. He is unable to offer Amelia any sort of the emotional support, which she so desperately needs. He could certainly never be the lover she would ideally want him to be as his preferences run to the other team, but his inability to serve simply as friend, confidant or give basic emotional support to a friend in need ultimately leads to Amelia’s downfall and his.


Posted by on May 18, 2012 in Uncategorized


5 responses to “Character Background: Byron McAlistair

  1. Marz

    May 19, 2012 at 9:23 pm

    Thanks for posting this! I discovered the Steampunk Opera a couple weeks ago, and I have to say Byron is probably my favorite character (aside from the Narrator, of course).

  2. Cynthia

    June 5, 2012 at 6:59 pm

    Hmmm, I have to say, Byron is not my favorite character in the story. However, reading this has given me a better understanding about him and definitely solidified a few things I was guessing. Thanks for sharing this! If by chance, it would be awesome if you could post something about Priscilla 🙂

    • Cynthia

      June 5, 2012 at 7:01 pm

      Never mind, I found you already posted it 😉

  3. Aya

    May 12, 2014 at 7:55 am

    Byron is definitely my most favourite living character from DONA. Thanks for posting this ^^

  4. Lithp

    October 10, 2017 at 11:38 am

    So, I’m confused, why are there 2 pages for Byron, which say some contradicting things? Also, why do some of these pages talk about New Camden, rather than New Albion?


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