Jack is an exceptionally gifted young man in his talents as an artist, which is a true passion enough for him that he is willing to work for almost no money simply to finish the cathedral according to his own and his “stepfather’s” vision. His emotions often drive him into swift and impulsive action, from his desire to help Tom Builder find work so he can be around his baby causing him to burn down the cathedral to his at times reckless defense of the woman he loves (he will often come to blows on her behalf, and his quick temper causes Bishop Waleran to know how to frame him for his stepbrother’s “murder”). A fearless boy and a sculptor, he has an uncanny ability to learn as he goes, to get a feel for the stone, and absorb himself in his task, to the extent that he makes dozens of different gargoyles with which to decorate the finished church (Prior Philip is exasperated by this when stones are few and money is less, because it is such a “waste” – beauty instead of productivity). It’s important for him to learn more about his father, and where he comes from, so when evicted from Kingsbury, he goes to France in an attempt to learn more about his family. Though compassionate and kind, willing to make compromises, and do things fairly according to his conscience, Jack can become brutally blunt at times, such as when his “mistress” accuses him of not spending enough time with his family; he retaliates by saying she is only his mistress because she chose to marry another man, despite his objections, and that she has only herself to blame for being “the merchant mistress of a penniless man.”

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Jack is happiest when absorbed in his work, where he can block out the outside world and ignore all unpleasantness. He doesn’t like to fight, but won’t back down from one, either. He reacts according to what he thinks the situation needs, and isn’t always repentant of his actions—such as when he burns down Philip’s church just so a man he admires can find work. He waffles between being pleasant, sweet, good-natured, and even stubborn, and being aggressive, answering problems with his fists, and asserting himself through pure anger. Jack is mild-mannered and accepting enough to agree to become a novice, just so he can stay near the cathedral, despite not sharing their beliefs, but loses his temper at Alfred so completely, the two of them break out into a brawl that causes destruction on the half-completed scaffolding.