'Pretty Little Liars' Charles Theory: Jason Has Been Big A The Whole Time & The Books Even Hint At It

There's nothing Pretty Little Liars' A could do that would surprise me. He's locked the liars in ovens, gotten the girls arrested for a murder he staged, and made Mona wear a heinous wig for weeks. The one thing that might actually be surprising about A is his real identity. We know that A's real name is Charles, and that he's a relation of the DiLaurentis family — and likely Jason's twin. But while many fans are convinced that Jason's brother is behind the A game, it might not be so simple. There's evidence to suggest that Jason could have been Charles this entire time and if so Pretty Little Liars is even darker than expected — and a character we know well may be a little crazier than we ever thought possible.

The idea that the person we know as Jason could be Big A isn't a new one. (Warning: spoilers for the Pretty Little Liars book series ahead!) In the series of novels, it's actually Alison DiLaurentis who has a twin named Courtney, who was hidden from the world in a mental hospital for years. Just before Alison befriends Spencer, Hanna, Emily, and Aria, Courtney switches places with Ali against Ali's will — but because Courtney is the "crazy one" who insists that she's Ali all the time anyway, no one believes her story about the switch. That drives Ali mad, and it eventually leads her to taking on the role of A. The same story line could theoretically go down on the TV show with Charles swapped in for Ali, but I'm not so sure that's how it'll play out. More likely, I think there's only one person left alive — just with two distinct personalities.

We don't yet have a confirmation that Charles is Jason's twin, but it's likely that the boys are identical twins, especially considering all of the mirror and twin imagery that Pretty Little Liars includes in the story. Charles was clearly sent away from his family, likely because he was mentally ill, and likely to Radley, where his mother (a board member) could keep an eye on him without the rest of the world knowing. If Charles was a violent child sent away at a young age, he could have gone even more mad as time went on, especially seeing the life he could have led in Jason's. What if, one day, Charles had the opportunity to kill Jason and took it?

Charles impersonating Jason would make sense, but I'm not so sure that's what Charles is doing. If Charles could live a happy life impersonating his brother, why would he go about torturing the girls and Ali? Clearly he's unhinged — which is why I think that while Charles did murder Jason, he didn't necessarily impersonate him. Instead, when he killed his brother, his already fragile psyche completely fractured. Now, Charles must act as two people: The vengeful "Charles" who still feels trapped and hidden away from the world, and his brother, Jason, who gets to lead a more normal life.

It would explain a lot about Jason — or should I say "Jason." Jason, a recovering substance abuser, blamed his drug and alcohol use for his "blackouts," which stopped him from remembering important details of the night Ali disappeared. But what if during these blackouts, he actually BECAME Charles — aka the person he really was? The "Charles" side of his personality could have came out and attacked Ali, while the "Jason" side had no idea it happened. It would also explain Jason's seemingly random disappearances on the show — when he isn't in Rosewood, Jason could behave as A/Charles.

Jason's always been a sketchy character, and he might be a very, very sick one as well. Only time will tell...

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