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The Four Main Sides, alongside Thomas.

A Side is the manifestation of a particular aspect of a personality. They are figments of their human, or whole's imagination. These Sides are invisible to other people, and only the video audience and the 'whole' can see them, as evidenced in Can LYING Be Good??. Thomas Sanders' Sides are the core point of the series' deep lore.

There is an important difference between the Sides and actual DID (Dissociative Identity Disorder) or OSDD - since the Sides are aspects of a single personality. Thomas has made this very clear since he does not want to create discourse; however, he has said his series might help people with DID. This also highlights the more inhuman parts of the Sides, showing they are not a 'complete' person on their own.

Characteristics

Physical

Sides have the same body - the one of their person. Their appearance will be similar to each other and to the whole, although with a lot of differences depending on what that Side represents. As such, they will also share several things that are inexplicably connected to the whole, such as their sexual orientation.

Although the Sides appear deceptively like their whole sometimes, it should be remembered that the Sides are, in fact, since they are manifestations of an abstract concept, not human and their interactions should not be treated as such. Sides appear to be metaphysical entities, and concepts as birthdays, likes/dislikes and the like are metaphorical in a certain sense since they are not human. See the Manual of Style on how to handle this when writing articles.

Non-physical

All Sides fulfill a necessary 'job' in embodying a certain aspect of their whole's personality. None of them can be missed permanently as they are all responsible for their whole's wellbeing and survival. As such, none of the Sides can actively work against their whole or harm them, even in the case of Dark Sides. Their whole has sway over their Sides in a limited fashion, but is not absolute. The whole cannot dictate a Side to do something that is inherently against its nature, for example. The current Dark Sides Remus and Janus have shown to been capable of bypassing this ability - Janus by hiding certain things from Thomas through forcing the other Sides to keep silent even if it would go against their nature, and Remus being seemingly unbound from any of these rules at all. In turn, Sides are passively and actively able to influence their whole; this is considered to be central to their entire existence as it is tied to it. Janus managed to stay hidden and to hide the existence of Remus from Thomas through influencing the other Sides, who are aware of their existence. Despite their presence, Thomas did not notice this because he was made unaware of it through Janus' doing.

It is common for Sides not to represent a single thing. For example, Patton is not only Thomas' morality but also his courtesy, emotions and niceness.

List of Sides

Abilities

Because the Sides are not physical or human, they possess a number of magical abilities.

Abilities all main Sides possess

Influence Thomas - The ability to influence Thomas' behaviour. This is their first and foremost power, because they are a part of Thomas. It is also an innate power, since it is linked to their existence, which means all Sides possess this power to some extent. This has a passive, as well as an active way of work. An example of an active way is Roman reminding Thomas they are able to shapeshift in Making Some Changes!, (exact moment here) and a passive example is Virgil's duck out in the Accepting Anxiety arc out making Thomas more mellow, relaxed and forgetful. In terms of Remus, it's heavily implied that if Thomas would continue to try and repress his intrusive thoughts, he'd become "corrupted" and end up like Jeffrey Dahmer.

In a more literal, direct sense, Roman and Logan are able to manipulate Thomas' arms, even when Thomas is in the Mind Palace with them. It is stated that this is because of them representing the left and the right brain.

Shapeshift - The ability to transform into something or someone else. This power has two forms: transforming into something previously inanimate (such as puppets, but not possessing it - wholly transforming into it) and transforming into something animate entirely. From the latter, only human transformations have been shown as it is unlikely that they could transform into animals, which makes it resemble how shapeshifting is set in the Infernal Devices books without an item needed. It is also akin to spirit channelling, since their clothes remain the same - however, the person shifted into is alive. Both versions will be explored in this part.

  • All four main Sides are able to shapeshift into something previously inanimate, as is seen in Learning New Things About Ourselves. Their new form as puppets is essentially the same, except in puppet form. They maintain their own voice and subsequent awareness, as Virgil says he can finally move [his] arms again after changing back.
  • All four main Sides are able to shapeshift into someone else entirely, as is seen in Making Some Changes!. This change extends to their voice and physical appearance, but their clothes remain the same - though this does not stop the person whose likeness is shifted into from altering these features manually (when Patton shapeshifts into Valerie, he wears pigtails and when Logan shapeshifts into her, he has his hair parted to the right - possibly signifying a high ponytail). From that moment on, the Side will try to behave to their perception of the person they shifted into. This behaviour is limited, however, since they still keep talking to each other with the correct pronouns. And since they behave like their perception of the given person, they may sometimes behave quite differently from the person they're supposed to be in question. It has been shown this can even happen without a Side's own volition, and every Side possesses this ability, but they generally access this ability voluntary.
    • It should be noted that when Roman shapeshifts into Joan, his clothes also change each time (although Joan manually changes them a number of times in the theatre). If this is because Roman is a more powerful 'medium' or if it depends on another factor is yet unknown. It is confirmed that Janus also assumed Patton's form this way in Can LYING Be Good??. An important thing to note is that Janus is able to bypass the clothing continuity, which may be a result of his nature as a Dark Side, or that he changed them manually - which would explain the old, imperfect accessories he wears while impersonating the others - but such a thing can be neither confirmed nor disproven.

Summoning - The ability to summon any item, bypassing its inanimate or animate whereabouts. Also called conjuring. This ability knows three versions:

  • Of the first version, summoning inanimate and animate items, is unknown if all Sides have this power. Because mainly Roman and Patton have been seen doing this, it is unknown if Logan, Virgil, and Janus also have this power, but seeing their nature as Sides, they presumably do. It is also unknown if they can, similarly to what they did to Valerie in Alone on VALENTINE'S DAY!, control the summoned (eventual animate) item.
  • The ability to summon living people was demonstrated when Roman summoned Valerie in Alone on VALENTINE'S DAY!. These people are simulacra of the real thing, as they are actually under full control of the Sides, in movement as well as mental. In particular, Remus has used a warped simulacrum of Nico to talk through him. When this simulacrum was destroyed, it vanished in black and green smoke. It is unknown if other Sides can do this as well, as it should be noted that this was the first simulacrum that looked noticeably different from the real person it was based on. However, this simulacrum has shown that they can turn against their 'creator', at least for a moment, as it stabbed Remus earlier on multiple times while wearing a cloak and a mask. It is unknown if this is the result of a different Side controlling the simulacrum.
  • The ability to call Sides in order them to appear has been demonstrated by Thomas, just by using his voice. This call can be ignored, as is demonstrated ACCEPTING ANXIETY, Part 1/2: Excepting Anxiety! and it has also been demonstrated that a call is not needed for a Side to appear. The Sides are also able to summon each other, but can also use physical movement, which cannot be ignored. (demonstrated in Why Do We Get Out of Bed in the Morning?)

Teleportation - The Sides and Thomas use teleportation by 'sinking down' and 'rising up' in order to appear. That is, excepting Virgil, Janus and Remus, who do not use the sink down/rise up version and simply appear. They also can teleport on screen, which is shown by a fade-out effect.

Stretch out into other Side's "territory" - Originally demonstrated by Roman in Why Do We Get Out of Bed in the Morning?, this ability consists of being able to move into another Side's camera frame and break the fourth wall. It was also used by Patton, Virgil, and Logan in Learning New Things About Ourselves and is often described by Thomas as gross. Janus has shown to be likely far more proficient in this ability, as when in the courthouse, he stretches his limbs farther distances than the other Sides usually do with less struggle.

Resilience and possible Regeneration - As shown in Dealing with INTRUSIVE THOUGHTS, the Sides have superhuman resilience, as Roman eventually is shown to have survived a forceful blow to the head with a morning star. It's unknown how consistent this power is as Roman and Logan both receive significant head injuries, but Logan is largely unaffected while Roman is unconscious for quite some time. Remus is capable of regenerating from several stab wounds, under which one was dealt to the eye. While needing an eyepatch for a bit, the eye had fully regenerated not long after. It is unknown if the other Sides can also regenerate like this, but seeing their nature as Sides, they presumably can and may have been part of surviving the aforementioned blows to the head.

Powers unique to Dark Sides

Limb Creation - The ability to create additional limbs. Janus has shown to be able to do this while stretching his limbs, as shown during the beginning of the court case in Selfishness v. Selflessness. In Remus' introduction song, his portrayal of Janus has six arms. Like Janus, Remus has shown the ability to be able to create additional limbs. Unlike Janus, Remus proved he could do it without stretching his limbs.

Powers unique to certain Sides

Virgil

Darkness/smoke manipulation - Virgil has shown to be able to summon some kind of nebulous substance in EMBARRASSING PHASES: The Nightmare Instead of Christmas! (exact moment here) that coats an entire room in darkness.

Tempest tongue - When Virgil or at least three other Sides are inflicted with extreme anxiety, Virgil's voice warps into numerous deep and threatening voices. When activated by Virgil's stress, this ability can force Thomas to act on a panic response, as seen in MOVING ON, Part 2/2: Dealing With a Breakup. He has demonstrated the ability to activate the power willingly on at least one occasion, in EMBARRASSING PHASES: The Nightmare Instead of Christmas!

Janus

Physic/movement control (Side-specific) - The control of the movements or body of other Sides. Janus possesses this ability and uses it to make them shut up (which is part of the reason why the Dark Sides managed to stay suppressed). Unlike the other abilities, it is unknown if all Sides can do this or if this ability is unique to Janus himself.

Remus

Broadway force - The ability to force others to participate in song and dance. During Remus' musical introduction, Thomas and the other sides were forced to participate. Virgil addresses this by saying You need to stop [Remus] from singing.

Duplication - The ability to duplicate oneself. Though it's highly possible the other sides have this ability as well within their ability to summon, Remus is the only side so far who are shown to be able to create clones of himself, which he can interact with.

Size manipulation - The ability to manipulate one's own size. During the beginning of his musical introduction, Remus interacts with each of the Sides while several times their size. Further proof of the ability being real and that it's not just an illusion during his musical sequence, is that while within Thomas' home, he also appeared as a giant to flick Roman.

Perception Distortion - In addition to the influence all Sides have over Thomas, Remus has been shown to be very proficient in distorting Thomas' perception in such a way that the illusion is easily perceived as real.

Dark Sides

The term Dark Sides was coined by Roman in Can LYING Be Good?? to described yet unseen Sanders Sides who Janus had consciously hidden away from Thomas. Next to nothing is known about them, except that Janus and Remus are not the only ones - at a con, it has been confirmed that there is at least one other Dark Side. Whether they meant Virgil with this or not has not been confirmed nor disproven.

Although the assumption that the Dark Sides might be evil is easily made, it is still only a term Roman used to describe these unseen Sides. The term 'Light Sides' is used by fans as an antithesis to describe Logan, Roman, Patton, and Virgil to oppose them, but the term is not officially coined. Instead, the term 'core sides' has been used by Thomas on his twitter when announcing new merchandise.

Gallery

The Sides in their standard outfits

The Sides shapeshifting

Roman

Virgil

Patton

Logan

Janus

Remus

Trivia

  • The Dark Sides can be identified with the Jungian concept of the Shadow.
  • Since it is known that the Sides are imaginary and not real, it is possible that the Sides may be an effect of maladaptive daydreaming or lucid dreaming, mainly because Joan has asked Thomas in Can Lying be Good?? if he did that thing 'when [he] stand[s] in [his] room and talks to [him]self for 20 minutes' and it was said that he was sitting on the couch with his eyes closed when he entered the Mind Palace in Selfishness v. Selflessness.
  • All Dark Sides, with the exception of the purified Virgil and Prosecutor Janus, do not wear their sigil visibly on their clothing.


Sidesv · d · e
Sides
Roman Sanders Virgil Sanders Patton Sanders Logan Sanders
Creativity Anxiety Morality Logic
Dark Sides
Remus Sanders Janus Sanders ??????
Intrusive Thoughts Deceit ??????
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