|“||Maybe you don't have to be a Caster to have power. Maybe you just have to fall for one||”|
— Ethan, admitting his feelings to Lena, Beautiful Creatures
Ethan Lawson Wate is a teenage boy who grew up in Gatlin County, a town located in the Southern part of the United States, where nothing ever happens. He has dreams about leaving to travel the world and even has a map outlined of the places he dreams of visiting to one day and not become "stuck" there like many of the town's residents.
He meets and falls deeply and passionately in love with Lena Duchannes, a Caster, and along the way finds out that his family (including himself) are more involved with the darkness of the caster world more than he could have ever imagined. His discovery of the Caster world also leads him to his discovery that he is a rare type of mortal known as a Wayward. An extremely rare type of mortal who is a "compass in the Caster world" or the "One Who Knows/Sees the Way," as well as the "bridge" between the Mortal/Caster worlds in Beautiful Darkness. Also as a result, Ethan is bounded to a Caster in the most powerful of ways (which is left presumed to be Lena) and has a destiny all his own in the universe which is to be either "Great" or "Terrible." This in which is implyingly served in the third novel, Beautiful Chaos.
Throughout the series, Ethan risks his life for his loved ones and Lena. In the third installment, Beautiful Chaos, Ethan finds out he is the needed sacrifice in order to save Gatlin as well as the Caster world from ultimate destruction (when it is thrown off track when Lena claims herself as both Light and Dark, drastically breaking the Order). The book ends with Ethan throwing himself off of his town’s water tower, killing himself. Therefore paying the sacrifice, devastating his family and loved ones.
In Beautiful Redemption, he is determined to return to the Mortal world once again, sending hidden messages to Lena and his friends and family to help him do so. After a long battle in the Otherworld, he is finally reunited with Lena and his loved ones once again, even being welcomed by the surprise of finally being able to freely touch Lena without it physically hurting him as it had before prior throughout the series.
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Born to Lila Evers and Mitchell Wate, Ethan grew up in Gatlin with his loving parents and his nanny Amma. Ethan's mother died a year before Beautiful Creatures and his father, in result, locked himself in his room assumingly writing and left Ethan to be cared for by his caretaker and nanny Amma. He soon became known as "the boy whose mother died," which often annoyed him. Ethan is popular in his school having gone on a date with one of the most popular girls in school and being on the basketball team, but despite his popularity feels like an outcast. He met his best friend Link on the school bus in kindergarten when Link gave him a Twinkie that fell on the floor (later admitting in the series that he made that part up) and didn't tell him until after he ate it and had been best friends with him ever since.
Ethan always played on the basketball team having enjoyed the sport and has read anything from comics to classic novels (though keeping the latter part to himself). His favorite book is Of Mice and Men and often found the book tragic. Ethan's lifelong dream since childhood is to escape Gatlin and to explore the world (something he's kept a map to do even having his dream locations highlighted) and not become "stuck" there like many of town residents, who have been there for decades or their whole lives.
Ethan is a teenage boy in the town of Gatlin with dreams of escaping the town and traveling the world. He is a somewhat popular boy being a popular girl's ex-boyfriend and being on the basketball team, but reads comics and classic novels in private. However, despite this Ethan still feels like an outcast and as though he does not truly belong. His mother died a year previously and is sometimes known as "the boy whose mother died." His father is a shut in, locked in his room writing novels and is never seen. His nanny, Amma, takes care of him and is very close to her.
Ethan Lawson Wate, the son of two writers, has been counting the months until he can escape the town of Gatlin, his home-town. He is haunted by dreams in which he is trying to save a beautiful girl he has never met and a mysteriously appearing song called 'Sixteen Moons' that appears on his iPod and then vanishes again. He is described as having brown hair and blue eyes and lives with his care taker and house keeper Amma and his depressed father who has shut himself in his study since his wife's death. He tries to fit in and belongs to the school's basketball team. When Lena moves into the town's oldest and most infamous plantation, Ethan is inexplicably drawn to her and determined to uncover the connection between them.
Lena Duchannes is unlike anyone the small southern town of Gatlin has ever seen. Lena has wavy black hair and large green eyes. She wears a necklace made of pieces of junk, her 'memories', such as a piece from the first soda can she ever had and carries around a tattered journal.
She is gossiped about, picked on and neglected because of the fact that she is the niece of Macon Melchizedek Ravenwood (Otherwise known as Old Man Ravenwood), the town's shut in. Lena is struggling to conceal her powers and a curse that has haunted her family for generations. But even within the overgrown gardens, murky swamps, and crumbling graveyards of the forgotten south, a secret cannot stay hidden forever. When Ethan follows her home one day they both find a locket, which they find out to have been given to Genevieve Katherine Duchannes (Lena's ancestor) by Ethan Carter Wate (Ethan's ancestor and the one who he is named after). Interestingly, whenever Lena and Ethan touch the piece of jewelry, they see different visions. Each of the visions involves Genevieve and Ethan. Ethan starts to notice that she writes numbers on the back of her hand, he soon finds out that she is counting down the days to her birthday when she will turn sixteen. In a town with no surprises, one secret could change everything...
Ethan Wate and Lena Duchannes are recovering from the fact that Lena's uncle, Macon Ravenwood died during their battle against Lena's evil mother, Sarafine. Sometime after Macon's death, Ethan starts worrying about Lena, who has been acting strange ever since. Lena has stopped writing in her tattered old journal that she used to always carry around with her. She has even almost stopped Kelting with Ethan and rather prefers to block him out. She also stopped driving her uncle's hearse and instead is driving her cousin Larkin's Fastback. She also dresses in her uncle's clothing style rather than her usual Gothic clothes. Ethan, on the other hand, is having strange visions that include Macon, Abraham Ravenwood and a girl named Jane, who Macon appears to be madly in love with.
On the last day of school, after Lena has told Ethan that she and her family are leaving town, Ethan, Lena and Link are alone on a lake because of an incident that took place at the high school's parking lot. After kissing Ethan, Lena takes off into the forest and, after chasing her, Ethan witnesses her jump on to the back of a Harley motorcycle and ride off with a stranger. In hope of finding her, Ethan and Link drive to Dar-ee Keen, Gatlin's greasy version of Dairy King. Instead, they meet up with Ridley, Lena's Dark Caster cousin, who always appeared barely dressed, with the power of persuasion. Ridley is with a guy who introduces himself as John Breed and claims to know Lena. Ethan realizes that John was the one Lena had run off with.
At his job in the library, Ethan meets Marian's assistant Olivia "Liv" Durand, and they befriend quickly. After giving Liv a tour of Gatlin, Ethan and Liv go and have a bite to eat at the Dar-ee Keen. As they leave and Ethan shares a laugh with Liv, Lena's car angrily races by, obviously stating that she had seen Ethan and Liv together and is more than jealous. During the town's annual County Fair, Ethan is shocked to see that Lena is wearing Ridley's type of clothing (overall that makes her look easy); black tank that rides up on her stomach, black skirt about five inches too short, a streak of blue in her hair and black-rimmed eyes. Throughout Ethan and Lena's conversation, Liv shows up. Jealous and angry when she sees the connection between Ethan and Liv, Lena takes off, causing a chain reaction of chaos as she goes. Afterwards, during the pie contest sponsored by Southern Crusty, Ridley, John and Lena cause maggots, beetles and grubs to crawl of every pie except Amma's.
When Ethan and Link follow the three, they see them enter the Tunnel of Love and disappear, not leaving a clue as to where they went. Desperate to get help, Ethan and Link go to the Lunae Libri, the Caster library, in hope of finding Marian, the Mortal librarian and Caster library Keeper. Once inside, Ethan hears a laugh, guiding him to a room in which he finds Liv. Liv explains to him that she is a keeper in training and knows about the Caster world. Marian, on the other hand, suspects that Ethan may be a Wayward, a Mortal who helps Casters in finding the way to their fates, or the "one who knows the way". It is also revealed to Ethan that his mother was a Keeper. Determined to find Lena, the three friends, Ethan, Link and Liv set out through the Caster tunnels underground (with Liv losing any chance of becoming of a Keeper by doing so). Eventually, they find their way into a Caster bar, where they find Ridley, John and Lena. Ethan is shocked and becomes instantly enraged with jealousy to see Lena dancing with John, his hands on her hips and her hands on his shoulders. After Lena (reluctantly) admits that she does not want Ethan there, Link, Liv and Ethan himself leave. Back in the tunnels, still raging with jealousy and anger, Ethan, on an act of impulse, nearly kisses Liv and horrifically realizes that he accidentally Kelted the near encounter, therefore making it possible that Lena most likely heard (which she later angrily confirms she did).
Back in Gatlin, when Ethan goes to see Lena at her mansion, she reveals to him that she is going to run away before her family leaves and that she has put a Cast on him; one that will make sure he is unable to tell anyone even if he wants to. Afterwards, on All Souls Day, Ethan realizes that the Jane from his visions was actually his mother, Lila Jane Evers, and that she loved Macon after Marian gives him the Arclight, a metaphysical prison for Incubuses. Though he is shattered, Marian confirms that Lila also loved Mitchell, Ethan's father, just as much as she loved Macon.
Sometime later, Liv and Ethan both come to the conclusion that Sarafine was trying to pull the Seventeenth Moon out of time to get Lena to claim herself. With the help of Ridley (who is stripped of her powers after an encounter with Sarafine through the journey), Link and Lucille, Ethan's Great Aunt's cat, the one who keeps disappearing, they find The Great Barrier, the place Sarafine is leading Lena to, after sometime in the Caster Tunnels. Halfway between though, Ethan learns that Lena made a deal with the Book of Moons, a powerful Caster book, for Ethan's life after Sarafine killed him. It was Ethan's life for something else in return; which unexpectedly turns out to be Macon's life. Now, Ethan understands why Lena has been acting erratically; she blames herself for her uncle's death. Before the team is about to enter the Sea Cave where Sarafine is hiding, Ethan understands the purpose of the Arclight and, with the help of Liv, is able to free Macon from it.
Once outside, Macon has Green Caster eyes, which confirms that he has switched from an Incubus to a Caster. He also explains how Lila Jane's ghost helped him once The Book of Moons took his life by capturing him inside the Arclight so that he'd be able to free again. In order to help the teenagers fight off the Incubuses and Dark Casters inside the Sea Cave, Leah Ravenwood, Macon's sister and a Succubus, goes with them. Inside the cave John is holding Lena, who has no idea where she is or what she is doing. There are also Vexes around, powerful demons of the underground, who are sent back once Amma, Arelia (Macon's Mother), Gramma (Lena's Grandmother) and Twyla (Macon's Aunt) arrive. Quickly, while the others are fighting, Ethan helps revive Lena. Lena, once awakening, then claims herself as both both Dark and Light, killing off both Twyla, a Light Caster and Larkin, a Dark Caster (also Lena's cousin). This all because on her last birthday, Lena had learned that if she were to turn Dark, all the Light Casters in her family will die and if she turned Light, all the Dark Casters in her family will die.
One night after these events, Lena sneaks into Ethan's bedroom wearing one of his oversize t-shirts and shorts and crawls into his bed with him. After holding each other, Lena tearfully begs for Ethan's forgiveness for her actions. Ethan does without hesitance, proving how much he really loves her even after everything she forced him through, and they make up kissing passionately before falling asleep together in each others arms. Soon after they reconcile, Link sneaks through Ethan's window and interrupts them. Link reveals that while the fighting was going on, he was bitten by John on his neck, who is revealed to be a hybrid, half Caster, half Incubus. Soon Ridley shows up and asks what is going on and after Lena confirms it, Link realizes he is turning into an Incubus.
In the last chapter of the book, the "after" part of it, Ridley, who has completely lost her Siren powers and is now a mortal, is shown in her room. Ridley takes the Arclight out of its hiding place and looks at it, then counts down from three and something is "decided" - which is really her decision to lock John Breed into the Arclight.
In the aftermath of Beautiful Darkness, Ethan and Lena have reunited and are stronger than ever. But Lena's Claiming soon has a monstrous effect on both the Mortal and Caster world than anyone would imagine. And in the midst of things, strange things are happening to Ethan. He is being haunted in his dreams that are keeping him up all night - and not by Lena. He is slowly changing, the foods he is known to like now disgust him and he's forgetting names, numbers and even memories; something Amma seems to know something about as she begins to act strangely as well. Lena and Ethan soon find out her claiming herself as both Light and Dark has had an effect on Gatlin and the Caster worlds which may end in destruction because now Order is in chaos.
Throughout the book, Ethan continues to slowly lose more and more of himself. He is hearing voices, and is seeing writings and images that no one else can. He is looking in mirrors and sees a whole other person looking at him; though Ethan tries to ignore these events by focusing on the chaos in Gatlin. One day, he and Link (who is adapting to his new life as an Incubus) go and see a Seer they had seen Amma with. He informs Ethan that when he died and Lena and Amma resurrected him back in Beautiful Creatures, that when a deceased person is brought back "too fast" they lose a part of themselves and are a "Fractured Soul" or their soul is "divided". This meaning that that "one half" of his soul is in the Mortal world and his "other half" in the underworld and because his soul is now divided, Ethan will continue to lose more and more of himself with each passing day. When Link asks how they can bring the two back together the Seer simply says that he and Amma "have a deal." After this, he refuses to say anything more.
Meanwhile during all of this, as Lena and Ethan and everyone struggle to figure out what needs to be done to save Gatlin, they realize that a happy ending won't be happening this time. Ethan finds that he misses Liv and wishes to amend their friendship, but is wary to do so knowing that Lena does not like her. He eventually goes to see her anyway and, after verifying that there is no romance between them, the two state they miss each others company and agree to continue being friends. Ethan then invites her to a party which Liv is clearly hesitant about, implying she knows how Lena thinks of her, which Ethan pretends not to know about, insisting she come. She then relucantly agrees, leaving Ethan a note. Naturally, Lena is upset about Ethan inviting Liv over to the party.
After some time, everyone eventually finds out a sacrifice needed to be done; the "One Who Is Two," who is narrowed down to be one of them. Lena and Ethan search desperately to figure out which one of them is the "One Who Is Two." First they suspect Lena, but the Seer who Ethan was with tells Ethan directly during a visit that Lena isn't the one who needed to die, and even revealing that after the One Who Is Two dies she will actually be the one to Bind the New Order. They then turn over to think it is John (having been kept as Ridley's personal caster) who then becomes positive it is him, and goes to see Ethan late one night to tell him and goes to the water tower to throw himself off of it where Liv is waiting for him. There Liv and John share an emotional moment, it being revealed that the two fell in love, and John throws himself over the edge. But the voice Ethan is hearing in his head tells him the price is still unpaid (thus the needed sacrifice not being John) and the Seer brings John, Liv and Ethan back to his room saving John before he could actually die.
Soon later, while Ethan goes to see the bokor again, he shows Ethan different images and visions with meanings; him being in a dried up field and touching the dried up ground and then watering it and making it better. After putting it all together, Ethan realizes what the Seer is trying to imply... Ethan himself is the "One Who Is Two." Ethan then realizes one thing; he has to die to save Gatlin and the Caster world.
He sees Lena directly afterwards and tells her he is the needed sacrifice and they spend the night in each other's arms not talking; just holding and clinging to each other in silence. Everyone is then informed the next day that Ethan is the required sacrifice and Marian and Liv sobbingly saying goodbye to Ethan the day he must die. He then goes to see Link and they spend one last day playing basketball. He asks Ethan if he's sure about his choice to go ahead with the sacrifice; Ethan simply states he didn't have a choice. Link then reminisces to Ethan about the day they met on a bus in kindergarten when Link gave Ethan a Twinkie that was on the floor of the school bus; it wasn't and he just made that part up at the time.
Ethan then sees Lena one last time to say goodbye and Kelts with her from her house and her voice comes in a jagged rhythm (saying he can't ask her to go through with this; his death) implying she was sobbing. He tells her to wait for him at Greenbrier and writes, "I will always love you. -Ethan" on her wall.
He then meets up with her and her eyes are red and puffy from crying and they talk and Lena reminisces about the first time she ever saw him and how she knew she would fall in love with him noticing how even "the sky looked different" after she started to fall for him. She then asks if he believes in love after death and he says, "Yes." Lena then pleads with Ethan not to go through with the sacrifice saying how she didn't care about the consequences if he didn't die saying how without him, "none of that mattered to her." Ethan then states they were talking about lives of the people they loved and Lena responds saying she didn't care; he can't ask her to live in a world without him. Ethan then gives her a map of all the places he dreamed of seeing in the world and in return she gives him her necklace of all her memories, including of him, to hold on for her. He then makes her promise to Bind the New Order after his death and to do her part in all of this saying that if she didn't, then everything he was going to do would be for nothing. Lena insists frantically that he just couldn't ask her to live a life without him, but Ethan insists she try and in one last attempt, she goes hysterical pleading with him not to go ahead with the sacrifice. He then simply holds her as she sobs into his chest and tells her, "It's okay." Even though he knew it wasn't. They then share one final moment together with Ethan Kelting, "Goodbye." After this, Lena cries herself to sleep.
Ethan goes to confront Amma about having known that he was going to die the entire time. She says she has a way worked out to spare him even though he knows there was nothing to do to save him. He then silently says goodbye to his dad and takes one final look at his room and belongings and reads his favorite book (Of Mice and Men) for the last time. He then goes to reach the destination of the water tower. When he gets there he drops Lena's necklace in the front seat of the car so nothing will happen to it. He then sees John Breed materialize from the shadows. Ethan asks of everyone was okay and John informs Ethan that he came because it was "harder than you think when you're up there," and that since Ethan was with him when he jumped, he should return the favor. Ethan finds it hard to believe John was "the same dirtbag who kicked his ass at the fair and tried to steal his girlfriend," and was now a "decent guy," but sees that falling in love will do that to a person.
As Ethan and John walk up to the water tower, Amma shows up unexpectedly saying she was "there the day he was born and she'll be there the day he dies" but it wasn't going to be "today." She brings a bokor hoping to have him save Ethan. The bokor tries to release his spirits, but Macon arrives on the scene and confronts Amma about her actions. But Amma says she refuses to have "her boy" be their "sacrificial lamb." The bokor tries to attack Macon, but Macon easily overpowers him and the bokor warns Macon that he should not have interfered before he leaves the scene.
Amma tries to get Ethan to leave, but he says he had no other choice but to go ahead with the sacrifice. Amma blames Macon for the outcome of things that resulted in Ethan's required death and vows never to forgive him for it. In one last attempt to save Ethan, Amma calls on the Greats to try to prevent Ethan's death but they (literally) turn their backs on her leaving Amma in despair weeping on the ground. Macon promises Ethan he will take care of Amma as she cries out and leaps for Ethan with Macon holding her back as she hysterically weeps, knowing there was nothing left to do to save Ethan.
The final chapter is of Ethan on top of the water tower. As he goes to the edge to throw himself over it, he is dragged back by his other half. The other half of him tries to stop Ethan from throwing himself over and they fight and battle. Ethan clutches the other half of him and as he looks into his eyes; he knows that they both knew they were going to die. They then roll over the edge of the water tower and fall towards the ground.
As Ethan falls through the air and hits the ground he thinks of only one thing...Lena.
After Ethan's death and the sacrifice has been given by him falling from the water tower, Ethan is searching for ways to return to the Mortal world in order to be with Lena as well as his loved ones again. However, he finds it much harder than he anticipated.
Meanwhile, in the Mortal world, Lena is making bargains of her own to resurrect Ethan and she vows to bring him back to life at any given cost; even risking the lives of her loved ones and "trusting old enemies" to bring him back to life.
Ethan is, overall, a nice and friendly guy having a kind personality who is shown popular yet feels like an outcast. Despite being popular in school, and being more than liked by several beautiful girls and accepted by everyone, he is only closest to his childhood best friend Link and his caretaker Amma, who raised him since his father is a shut in before meeting Lena. Also before meeting Lena, Ethan was a bit of a pacifist to where he would even watch someone being bullied and would be unable to say anything or willing to intervene. Despite this, Ethan is very loyal, well-meaning and totally selfless as well as very protective of his loved ones such as Lena, Link and Amma. After meeting Lena, Ethan began to evolve as a person; becoming more outgoing, standing up for her and being more open with his thoughts and voicing his opinions and speaking his mind more.
Despite his nice and friendly side, Ethan can sometimes be rash and stubborn in his decisions and choices. He is also harsh and can be cruel towards those whom he dislikes (particularly John Breed during the second and third novels), but always has the best intentions in mind always thinking and willingly putting his friends and loved ones ahead of himself without hesitation. This is greatly shown in Beautiful Chaos when he discovers he is the required sacrifice in order to save Gatlin and the caster world and doesn't hesitate to sacrifice himself in order to save Gatlin and the world from destruction along with his loved ones in it.
Ethan has also been shown to be very committed. This is more than shown during his relationship with Lena and his unmovable determination throughout the course of the series to find a way to be with her mainly due to him being a Mortal and her a Caster. Two species who are known, unable to be together physically/sexually without the Mortal getting killed by the Caster during the act of any form of sexual or even sensual intimacy between the two, therefore cutting off any chances of a future together. A fact backed up by how whenever Ethan and Lena share so much as a chaste kiss, Ethan physically loses his breath and energy and also had a heart attack that nearly killed him when he and Lena began to make out in a scene in Beautiful Creatures. Thankfully, Ethan and Lena's physical/sexual intimacy problem eventually comes to a miraculous resolve in the final book of the series Beautiful Redemption after Ethan's resurrection. How so, though, is ultimately left unknown.
Ethan is described as being tall at 6'2 and having dark/medium hair that fall into his brown eyes and a decent physical and masculine build from being on the basketball team. In the film he has medium brown hair with grey eyes, and a bulkier build.
Powers and Abilities
It is discovered in Beautiful Darkness through Marian that Ethan is a rare type of mortal called a Wayward, when seeing he could do things (such as kelting) that normal mortals cannot do unless they aren't a "regular" mortal.
A Wayward is an extremely rare type of mortal who "marks the path" or "guides" others to find the right path to take in the Caster world. They are to be the way casters are meant and destined to take. Waywards are told to never come along often, only showing up once maybe every 100+ years and even then are usually never found and are extremely hard to come across due to being so rare in the caster world. But when they do show up, it is never by accident. Waywards are told be mortals that hold "great purpose" similar to that of a caster. They are told to exist to guide Casters who hold "great meaning" and to help them on the path they are meant to take but cannot find on their own. So henceforth, Waywards are each individually connected with a specific caster in the most powerful of all ways and are meant to guide and lead them (the Caster) to their destiny, the Wayward will then find his or her own destiny afterward.
However, Waywards fates (similar to casters) are sealed and already decided and they do not have a choice in what their destiny is to be. This all meaning that Ethan exists for a reason and holds great purpose all his own in the caster and mortal world; though this purpose is to either be "Great" or "Terrible". When Ethan is confirmed to be a Wayward, he is warned to be very careful in what decisions he makes from there on out and that he has a destiny all his own, similar to Lena's case as a Caster.
There have been hints at Ethan not being a regular mortal before this discovery and further facts backing up this fact. Such as when Ethan and Link and Liv were lost in the tunnels and he knew which way to take; confusing Link and Liv as to how he was so sure of himself. But nonetheless, when they got out and found the way they were looking for, they were further confused as to how Ethan knew the way in a place they had never been to before. He also was able to walk and cross through doors and entrances which others, including Lena, could not; them being blocked and denied entrance that Ethan was freely granted. (An example being when Liv and Ethan attempted to cross through some sacred doors in Beautiful Chaos and Ethan was allowed entrance whereas Liv was denied it and forced behind while they allowed Ethan through). Or they were unable to open the door or entrance until Ethan touched it and it soon opened sometimes surprising the group (this happening at least twice, once with Liv and the second with rest of the group, in the third novel). Another case being Ethan leading and finding Macon's private study no one knew of, surprising both Marian and Liv since no one knew of it. All of this further substantiates the fact that Ethan is no regular or, in the least, a normal mortal.
- Main article: Lena and Ethan
Ethan's relationship with Lena is one of the most important plot lines of the series. In Beautiful Creatures, he and Lena meet through their dreams and officially meet in person when Ethan narrowly misses hitting Lena in the middle of a heavy rainstorm. He was also the only person, at first, to be kind to her and a friendship quickly blooms between the two. Aside from Link, Lena is Ethan's only other real friend and he even begins to share some his deepest secrets with her like his love to read anything from comics to classic novels and even his situation with his father. This is considered a huge leap since Ethan is known to greatly hate talking about his father. Lena begins to grow so close to him that she soon reveals her supernatural family heritage and how she is a Caster.
Soon though, their friendship flares into a passionate romance the two realizing they have fallen in love. After declaring his love for her, Ethan proves his love by holding her when she needs comfort and freely expressing and showing his feelings for her in front of his basketball teammates and students completely unashamed of her. Ethan has been shown to greatly love her, often putting her ahead of himself and being very protective of her; as she is shown to be towards him.
Their relationship hits a huge roadblock in Beautiful Darkness while Lena was going through her depression over Macon's short-term death, but the two manage to get past this and become stronger together. However, in Beautiful Chaos, it is soon discovered that Ethan is the must-be-sacrifice in order for the Mortal and Caster worlds to be spared from destruction after Lena's claiming causes the Order to be thrown drastically out of balance.
Lena is devastated knowing her choice to be both Light and Dark came at the cost of her true love's must-needed death and even though she begs hysterically and tearfully for Ethan not to go ahead with the sacrifice, he insists he must, thinking about the lives of their loved ones. After he gives her a map of all the places he dreamed of going in the world as a way to remember him by, she cries herself to sleep after her last few moments with Ethan. In Beautiful Redemption, it is revealed that Lena is determined to bring Ethan back to life again at any given cost; even risking the lives of her loved ones and friends to do so.
Ethan and Link have been best friends since kindergarten when meeting on a school bus and Link giving him a Twinkie that fell on the floor (though later admitting that he just made that part up at the time). Link and Ethan have a brother-like bond and relationship caring for each other like such. Link is also shown to be strongly loyal towards Ethan, sticking to his side no matter what. Link even freely accepted Lena when Ethan started to develop an attraction towards her; even sticking up for her when the whole school turned against her. When Ethan points this out to Link, he responds saying they were brothers "no matter what."
Link has also shown to confide in Ethan in personal matters, most notably when it comes to Ridley. Ethan tries to gently discourage his feelings for Ridley due to her Dark nature and how she has done nothing but played with his head and emotions, but Link reveals how he still loves her. Ethan simply listens and tries to help him the best he can despite his negative opinion towards Link's love for Ridley thinking she is no good for him having only ever messed with his emotions.
Amma has been Ethan's nanny since he was little and has always cared for him like a son. Ethan has shown to have a strong mother-son like relationship with her, deeply loving her like so.
During the course of Beautiful Darkness, Ethan began was shortly attracted to Liv when his heart was broken as a result of Lena pushing him away during the novel. It is implied she eventually fell in love with him during the course of Beautiful Darkness, but never made her feelings known although they were more than clear. Ethan is shown to develop an attraction towards her as well during his mixed emotions over his temporally severed connection with Lena. Ethan's feelings for Liv even nearly grew beyond friendship due to how well she treated him with a strong hint of romantic tension during their time together. He even compared Liv to Lena knowing how much easier it would be to have a relationship with a mortal (Liv) instead of a Caster (Lena). Also making comparisons as to how it would be normal to have a relationship with Liv such as the physical aspect (being able to "kiss as long as they want") as well as the supernatural aspect knowing how he wouldn't worry about "exploding windows" with Liv and such. He even nearly kissed Liv after catching Lena and John dancing together during the strong mix of his vicious anger and jealousy. However, just before he can actually kiss her, he pulls back. However despite his short lived attraction towards Liv, Ethan ultimately declares his love to forever be for Lena when he and Lena end up making up at the end of the novel.
In Beautiful Chaos, Ethan is shown to miss her company although strictly as a friend. She and Ethan end up resuming their friendship during the novel officially verifying that there was nothing more than friendship between them. Despite this claim though, there are hints of lingering feelings on Liv's part towards Ethan until she ultimately falls in love with John Breed in the novel and the remainder of her feelings towards Ethan totally dissolves.
Ridley first meets Ethan at the "Stop and Steal" in the first novel of the series intending to use him to go see her Uncle and family since she had been basically banned from so much as approaching the land upon the use of a Cast to keep Dark Casters out. After using her Siren powers on him, Ridley further used her powers to get information out of him about Lena. Ridley eventually gives him the nicknames "Boyfriend" and "Short Straw" (the first one to Ethan's annoyance) and initially just uses him to help her make Lena go Dark by getting information out of him when needed. Despite this, Ridley can see Lena's love for him and even threatens to make him her "slave" if he even "thought about hurting her cousin." Ethan shows a tolerance for Ridley since he knows Link's feelings for her though he is against them due to how Ridley has done but played with his Link's head and emotions. Like everyone else, Ethan sometimes tries to cool Ridley down when her temper is high and the two are shown to eventually becoming something along the line of friends or acquaintances. In the last novel Ridley actually felt sorry for Lena because Ethan wasn't there and admits "it feels weird without Short Straw here," proving that she is friends with him.
He and John were shown to have very hostile and tense relationship due to Ethan's high jealousy of John's closeness with Lena in Beautiful Darkness. Ethan is shown to be revolted by John and hating him greatly, not trusting him at all. John for some reason, though possibly because of Ethan's hatred for him, dislikes him just as much back. The two's relationship continues to be hostile since Ethan was still fuming with anger at him for his past actions in the second novel of the series. Though after John falls for Liv and sheds his cocky attitude and begins to evolve as a person and become better in personality, Ethan and him make something of amends since, in his own words, "falling in love can do that to a person." John even attends Ethan's sacrifice saying that "when you're up there" making the jump is the hardest thing to do" and comes as support for Ethan. This in which somewhat amends the two's relationship.
Marian has known Ethan since he was a baby having been good friends with his mother. She is shown to be something of an Aunt to him always helping him and guiding him in his life during his many troubles in the Caster world. She is even the one to have discovered he is a Wayward and helped give him information of Waywards in the Caster world. She, along with Liv, weep on the day he must be sacrificed.
He and Ethan first meet in Beautiful Creatures, when he wanted to ask Macon questions about the locket he and Lena found in the novel. He warmly greets Ethan and reveals how he knew of his mother, surprising him, though not revealing the true nature of his relationship with her. At first, he strongly discouraged his growing relationship with his niece, Lena, but soon grows to be fond of Ethan. This in which strengthens in Beautiful Darkness when Ethan and Liv revive him into the Mortal world once again, greeting him, "It's good to see you again, Mr. Wate."
He has shown to be quite fond of Ethan to where he has even felt personal betrayal by him (when assuming he once did). This being seen when he scanned Ethan's thoughts in Beautiful Chaos during a meeting with everyone and detected "wrong" in his mind (though this is presumed to have been Ethan's severed soul). But mistaking it and initially thinking that he had instead brought an "uninvited guest" to the group's private meeting inside his home and stands up before saying, "You of all people..." which confuses Ethan.
In Beautiful Chaos, as Ethan goes to commit his needed sacrifice in order to sustain both the Moral/Caster worlds, he promises Ethan that he will look after Amma for him. As Ethan begins to climb up the ladder, Macon stops him for a moment and, after a moment of hesitancy, simply bids him farewell saying, "So long, Mr. Wate". Possibly referring to Macon's somewhat nickname for him (always referring to him by his last name and calling him "Mr. Wate").
- "There are only two kinds of people in my town. The stupid and the stuck."
- "Dreaming about a Caster girl I would always love. Just like the other Ethan."
- "I’m a freak, you’re a freak. Your house makes rooms disappear, my house makes people disappear. Your shut-in uncle is nuts and my shut-in dad is a lunatic, so I don’t know what you think makes us different."
- "I'm the One Who Is Two."
- "This is something I have to do. If I don't - you and dad, this whole town, will be gone."
- "So you think I'm one of those Waywards? I'm a human compass or something, like Link said?"
- "I won't do anything stupid. I promise."
- " 'Good for you, Ethan.' That's what my poor mamma would've said. Ma'am."
- "We were in the stacks, and I heard a girl laughing. She sounded - I don't know - happy, I guess. I followed her here. I mean her voice. I can't really explain it."
- "You're the girl."
- "Maybe you can see it for me. I marked the routes in green. You don't have to use it. But I wish someone would. It's kind of something I was planning for awhile - my whole life, actually. They're places from my favorite books."
- "Just stay out of my room, Mr. Ravenwood. And out of my head."
- “I was lost before I found her in my dreams, and she found me that day in the rain. I knew it seemed like I was always the one trying to save Lena, but the truth was she had saved me, and I wasn't ready for her to stop now.”
- ”Yeah, that would get me out of trouble, around the same time the sun exploded and the solar system died.”
- “The right thing and the easy thing are never the same.”
- “I’m a freak, you’re a freak. Your house makes rooms disappear, my house makes people disappear. Your shut-in uncle is nuts and my shut-in dad is a lunatic, so I don’t know what you think makes us different.”
- "By the way, can you simplify 7x – 2(4x – 6)?"
- “I needed to touch her, like I needed to breathe.”
- “I can't read your mind, you idiot.”
- "Haunting places sure isn't what it's cracked up to be."
- “Butterflies in your stomach. That was such a crappy metaphor. More like killer bees.”
- “As I looked at her, my knees started to buckle, which was starting to become a familiar feeling. She was so pretty it hurt.”
- “The ways I could hurt her and hurt myself. Those two things were intertwined somehow. It's hard to explain, but when you were as closed off as I was the past few months, opening felt as wrong as stripping naked in church.”
- “The days without you bleed together until time is nothing more than another obstacle we must overcome.”
- “I never loved you any more than I do, right this second. And I'll never love you any less than I do, right this second.”
- “Funny thing is, until I met you all I wanted to do was to get as far away from here as I could. Kind of ironic, isn't it? Can't get much farther away than where I"m going, and now I'd give anything to stay.”
- “It almost felt like she was sucking it all out of me, like she sucked on that sticky red lollipop, the one she kept licking as she drove.”
- “It’s crazy how much you see when you aren’t looking”
- "Wake up, L. You can’t leave me now. Not like this. I need you more than she does."
- "Don’t try. I was pretty sure my grave would say something different."
- "The bell rang and lunch was over. Just like that, I not only had a date to the winter formal, I had a girlfriend. And not just a girlfriend, for the first time in my life, I had almost used the L word. In the middle of the cafeteria, in front of Link. Talk about hot lunch."
- “You can’t jump off a cliff when you’ve already fallen off a bigger one."
- "I was getting the hang of this being dead thing."
- It was discovered that Ethan is a Wayward; a rare type of mortal in the Caster world who has the ability to detect the "right" path in the Caster world and is the "bridge" between the Mortal and Caster worlds. He is basically known as a "human compass" to find the right way. Despite having this special ability to find the right path to take in both the Caster and the Mortal worlds, Ethan is still considered a mere mortal since he has no supernatural powers or abilities, only his single mental one.
- Ethan is the only guy Lena has ever showed a romantic interest in, stated by Macon.
- Ethan's first girlfriend is Lena Duchannes.
- Ethan's lifelong childhood dream was to escape Gatlin and to travel the world, something in which he created a map for outlined and highlighted of the travel routes to the places he had dreamt of going to. He gave this map to Lena as a token to remember him by as well as hopes of her going to those places herself one day after his death and sacrifice.
- Ethan has ornithophobia, an irrational fear of birds.
- He has died twice in the series; once in Beautiful Creatures and then a second time in Beautiful Chaos.
- Ethan is the only Wayward in the series and the only one ever mentioned.
- He is the only character to have died more than once in the series (and to be revived each time); once by murder and a second time by required sacrifice.
In the film adaptation of the first book in The Caster Chronicles series, the role of Ethan Wate was to be portrayed by Jack O'Connel, as announced on February 7, 2012. However, after scheduling conflicts, Jack O'Connel had to leave his role to Alden Ehrenreich who had then officially been casted as Ethan as announced on April 11, 2012.
It is shown that quite a few fans were upset or wary of Ehrenreich being cast as Ethan with many fans saying how they thought he was too old to play the role of a high school student and teenager, despite O'Connel only being a year younger than Enrenreich. However, other fans were shown to be content with the choice of him being cast while others said they would not give their opinion until they have officially seen him on screen in character. Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl though gave their opinions on the cast and expressed how they couldn't be happier with the choices of the cast and assured fans that they would not be disappointed with the way the film adaptation turns out.