Icarus Juniper [he/him] is the son of the brother from the Juniper Tree, a gruesome fairy tale by the Brothers Grimm, where a young boy (the brother) is killed by his evil stepmother as he stands between her daughter and the inheritance.
Icarus is a guy who is accepting of his destiny, even though he regards it as gruesome. In order to get himself past the general disgust he has for his tale, Icarus makes jokes and writes music, often with a very dark tone. That has given him a reputation of being a rather grimm and sarcastic sort of guy, a claim he flaunts proudly.
Otherwise, Icarus is generally rather determined, loyal, and caring towards people he bothers caring about. Those people include his family, and in some odd circumstances, even friends.
On first impressions, Icarus is the chill older-brother figure. And people aren’t wrong about that.
To many, he is one sensible guy in the room. He thinks before he speaks or acts. He’s reasonable, always looking for a middle ground and sensible decisions in strife. In tense situations, Icarus always seems to be able to say something useful, whether it’s a comforting phrase or a bright idea.
Snark and sarcasm goes hand in hand when it comes to this guy. Icarus' speech is often riddled with sarcastic and snarky commentary, as Icarus likes to speak his mind. He's a very straightforward and open person – there's no doubt in what he thinks about anything.
Although sarcastic, Icarus is surprisingly calm. He's seemingly unfazed when it comes to anything. Difficult situations and odd occurrences don’t trip him up. Rather, he tends to lend an open mind towards such events, and if problematic, will try to rationally solve it.
However, he pulls this off in a way that looks like he doesn't care. In a sense, this nonchalant nature of Iccy is essentially his defense mechanism. He thinks that if he's calm and relaxed, he'll look nonthreatening and generally an approachable person. It's his way of making people like and trust him – by giving himself a sense of predictability and order.
Unfortunately, that external calm masks a storm. Behind, Icarus is a tense, worried young man.
For Icarus, life is stressful. Dude has a truckload of family problems, leading to his abandonment issues and general melancholy. Being one born-to-die has also led to some alienation and ostracisation. At every turn, Icarus finds something to worry about. He can’t envision a fulfilling and stable future for himself, and that thought terrifies him.
Although he gets good grades and has a good circle of friends, Icarus still feels empty. The poor guy suffers from a lack of motivation and a loss of his will to live. As much as he wants to protect his friends and family and be a good solid support for them, Icarus isn’t certain on what he wants to do, what he wants to achieve or what his purpose for himself really is.
However, Icarus hates being pitied or being worried about. It irks him. He feels patronised. It makes him feel pathetic, which makes him think he’s more detrimental to others than helpful. Also, as an older brother figure, it’s his job to do all the fussing-over stuff.
So he would do no matter what to make others believe that he’s okay. Thus, he disguises his feelings of unease and confusion and fear of the future so he could make people trust him properly.
This, of course, leads onto his sense of false self-confidence. Icarus tries to act like he's capable of anything, so he can radiate confidence. Through practise, Icarus has found the perfect balance between compassion and self-confidence. He’s not seen as a weakling with a heart-too-pure, neither is he seen as cocky and abrasive. Rather, Icarus portrays the chill older-brother figure role with grace. Someone aware of himself and his own intrinsic value, but also someone who visibly looks after others.
Unfortunately, Icarus can get so wrapped up in the idea of “conceal don’t feel” that he refuses to deny that anything is going wrong. He gets panicky, he gets stressed. His anxiety gets the best of him.
Finally, Icarus finds his story way too provincial. He dies, gets revenge and returns to life in the span of an afternoon. There’s no chance to get out and explore the world, meet new and interesting people. Icarus feels trapped in the boredom and predictability of his story, which is already set in a place he is far too familiar with (his home). However, the thought of escaping from his current life and doing something just for himself scares him. It’s unnerving to him, as he doesn’t like the idea of uprooting everything that previous generations worked for.
The protagonist in the Juniper Tree was described as "red as blood" and "white as snow". Likewise, Icarus has inherited the bright red hair and pale skin. His face and faces are dotted with a hella lot of freckles, and he has brilliant blue eyes that contrast sharply with his skin. He's white-Germanic.
Body-wise, he is quite well-built, being tall and fairly wide. Icarus is also incredibly strong, able to lift several people at once.
Hobbies and Interests
Icarus' extracurriculars and hobbies tend to be music-related or student-help related.
Has played piano since youth, and it's probably the most calming hobby for him.
- When booking rooms for student events, secretly tends to book rooms with a piano in them, so he can flaunt/flex his skills.
- Has no preferred genre, but will tend to play pieces with some folkloric or fairytale basis, to make people who are in the room as he plays feel at home.
- Has incredible memory when it comes to music, and has learnt some iconic pieces without needing sheet music. That said, he tends to carry a binder of pieces he's been into at the given moment.
It's never been stated what Icarus plays in Ogre-stra, though it's implied to be piano. Icarus might also be on executive board for it, we just don't know.
Along with Obsidian Tunnel and other boys, Icarus is on Ever After High's all-male a caspella group, where he sings bass. Being bass, Icarus is usually the one maintaining the beat, though he's gotten the occasional solo. His voice is incredible -- definitely capable of charming some villagers into gifting him items for free.
Icarus is also the current president of the Future Dead Students Support Group, more colloquially known as the Dead Epics Society, a social support club dedicated to students who are destined to die.
With the dismissal of destiny, the group has lost a lot of traction, but Icarus is hoping to do his best with it and continue the support and venting it offered students. Some of these ideas include expanding it to contain more outreach and awareness programs, offering proper mental/emotional health support for students who wish to attend the group, and fundraising for families who will be affected by destined loss.
Fairy tale – The Juniper Tree
A mother wants a baby. Once the baby was born, the mother died from happiness. Her husband soon remarried to a woman who wanted to kill the son because he would interfere with her daughter recieving the inheritance.
The stepmother offers the son an apple from a chest, then slams the lid on the boy's head, which tumbles into the chest. Afraid that she would be accused of her murder, she reattachs the head onto the boy and places the apple in his hand. Finally, she finds her daughter, telling her to ask the boy for the apple. If he does not respond, she should box him on his ears.
The daughter asks her brother, who (naturally) does not respond. So she boxes his ears, and his head falls to the ground. She bursts into tears.
Her mother comforts her, saying that they will disguise the body by making him into blood pudding. At dinner, Marlinchen, the girl, is still in tears, but the father devours the pudding with gusto.
Later that night, the girl goes to the Juniper Tree outside the window, crying tears of blood. Suddenly, a beautiful bird escapes from the tree, singing a song. Jeweleries and blacksmiths and various other craftmen hear this song, and offer the bird gifts.
The bird flies home, drops a pair of shoes into the girl's hands, a golden neckchain into the father's hands, and an anvril on top of his stepmother's head. The Juniper Tree bursts into the fire, and the boy returns, well, alive and happy.
This story is seriously macabre.
How does Icarus come into it?
After the brother fulfilled his destiny, he started a band, and started singing lead. After a while, he got bored, and went on to play the clarinet in a symphony orchestra.
He met Icarus' mother at a party after a concert, when she accidentally spilt wine over his shirt. Eventually the two got married, and had Icarus. Icarus' father remembered how his mother had died after giving birth to him, and did he best to prevent it. However, the mother soon fell ill to post-childbirth illnesses and died.
She was buried under the Juniper Tree, as per tradition.
Icarus only found out the truth about his destiny two years before he started Ever After High. At first, he was scared of it, but slowly accepted it as a normal part of life, and readied himself for his early grave and dramatic resurrection.
Opinion on Destiny
Icarus has never seen his story has something he could escape from. He always been desperate to live it, get it over and done with it, and forget about it until next generation. The mere thought of his destiny churns his stomach, and the best way to avoid that sick feeling is to ignore it.
That ignoring came to a standpoint when Dead Epics Society became a thing, when Icarus joined this group of like-minded people. He learnt to talk, he learnt to accept, and he learnt to deal with his deathly legacy.
During the events of Branches, Birches and Junipers, Icarus fully begins to accept his role as the next bird brother in the Juniper Tree. He recognises the importance on carrying out his family's tradition. Of course, being the bird brother is a hard thing to go through, and it's really difficult to find the strength to actually face it.
- Icarus is named after Icarus from Classical Mythology, who threw close to the sun and fell into the sea. Likewise, Icarus is destined to be a bird who gets set on fire & comes back to life.
- Icarus transforms into a waxwing, a bird associated with juniper trees. See what I did there?
- His skill with poetry and music parallels with how the bird in the tale was about to convince a bunch of smiths for items purely through voice.
- The boy in the story was described to be red and white. Likewise, Icarus has red hair and pale skin.
- Icarus' name is explained in the "parallels" section. The reason for his surname should be obvious.
- The Juniper Tree isn't actually proper folklore! It was actually a tale written by some guy and given to the Grimms, which makes sense considering the hexload of Biblical references in it.
- Icarus has a currently unclassified eating disorder, and because of this, often never eats in front of people he doesn't trust.
- This eating disorder springs from how as Icarus gets older, he starts to look more and more like his father, who he can't stand. Coupled with his hate for how he looks, along with his self-hatred for not being strong enough to keep his family together & protect Mark, amongst other things.
- He's pretty good at hiding it, even from his family and friends.