As I’ve mentioned previously, my study of tropes/themes came from reverse harem manga, since that was the tone and feel I was going for in The Genie Whisperer. The most prevalent tropes for season three (now that we’re FINALLY making progress with the romantic relationships) were that of romance and jealousy!  

Warning: This post contains spoilers if you haven’t finished books seven and eight yet. 

Inspiration

I used a fair number of tropes within this season, and nearly half were focused around romance and jealousy, with both heavily involving Tavor and Rajan. 

Tavor’s side leans more toward jealousy/concern, and I used the tropes:

  • Wanting to make a move because another guy is getting close to the main character.
  • Fear of what jealousy could do to their ranks.
  • Fear of what might happen if anyone acts on their feelings for the main character since multiple people have feelings for her. 

To be fair, Tavor does have some valid cause for concern. This is most likely their only shot at freedom, and jealousy is a very serious issue with genies (something Ali will learn more about as the series goes on). So Tavor doesn’t want anyone distracted or fighting because of their feelings for Ali. Though he also has a problem that he wants to be closer to her as well. This leads to him very nearly screwing up, thanks in part to his annoyance that Ali hasn’t connected with him yet when part of him feels he should have been the first one she connected deeply with. So then he decides to decree that NONE of the genies should get too close to her. This is for his sake – so that he doesn’t get too close and distract himself and so that he doesn’t get jealous over anyone else getting close to her – as much as for everyone else’s. At least, in his mind it is. 

On Rajan’s side of things, there’s also some jealousy, though he more leaned toward the romance side of things. I used the tropes:

  • Jealousy over seeing the main character with another guy. 
  • Being confused/afraid of romantic feelings, so pushing the main character away. 
  • Wanting proof that the main character deeply cares about him. 

Rajan, as I’m sure readers are well aware, has been pushing Ali away since book six. He was so pleased to be the first genie to connect with her on a level where she could summon his magic, but following that he was pretty terrified. First, power is king with genies, and he was sure Ali would think less of him once she experienced for herself how much less powerful he was than the other genies. Second, Rajan has never had feelings like this before. He’s not even sure what he wants from Ali other than to be close to her and to be special to her. This leads to him pulling away in an attempt to protect himself and to be less confused. 

But that, of course, doesn’t stop him from being upset when he sees Ali being close with any of the other genies. He hates how Garan hangs on her all the time, which he finally admits after making up with Ali, and he’s not really a fan of when the other genies can help Ali in a way he can’t. On top of it making him jealous, it also goes back to his insecurities about being less than the others, which didn’t vanish just because he decided to be close to Ali despite his fears. 

And then we have him wanting proof that Ali cares about him like he cares about her. It’s a trope that I think is adorable in manga, and I knew I wanted to use this one with Rajan, because it would be most important to him out of all the genies to have solid confirmation of Ali’s feelings for him. So we have the lovely scene where he asks Ali if he can kiss her. He’s not quite sure what kisses mean in general, and certainly doesn’t know what it would mean for him and Ali to kiss, he just knows that it can be a sign of closeness and that’s what he wants. 

I feel I’ve gotten a great deal of use out of my personal notes and research on common tropes within reverse harem manga, though I recently picked up a writing book on common story tropes. We’ll see if anything I read ends up in future stories!