Ian O'Shea is one of the "misfits" living in Jeb's caves. When Wanderer/Melanie first arrive at the caves, he and his brother Kyle are two of the many who protest the alien being there. They even attempt to kill Wanderer (and therefore kill Melanie, as well), thinking she is a danger to all the humans. Though Wanderer's first impression of Ian is that he is very hostile and cruel, she begins to realize that he is extremely kind and gentle. Ian realizes that Wanderer does not seem to want to harm any of the humans and that she is especially fond of Melanie's brother Jamie, and he decides that it would be cruel to kill her. (He also begins to say "her" rather than "it" when speaking of Wanderer, and addresses her by her nickname Wanda.) He begins to do his chores alongside Wanderer, while many people refuse to. When the rest of the humans calm down and get used to Wanda, Ian and Doc still take it upon themselves to keep an eye on her, like bodyguards in case anybody still tries to harm her. Ian believes keeping Wanda in the caves is much easier while his brother is not around, as Kyle, Jared and four other men are out for weeks gathering supplies. While the men are gone, Ian, Doc, Jamie and Jeb begin asking Wanda questions about the Souls and her past lives in an attempt have her "teach" informal classes in the caves.
The men who went out on the raid return and are outraged to find everybody listening to Wanda's stories. Most people are ashamed to be caught in this situation, but Ian is among Wanda's group of friends who defend her. He goes back to being Wanda's "bodyguard", as the other men are still not used to her being around. Ian's friendship with Wanda angers his brother, though Wanda wishes she didn't cause them to fight. Instead of hiding their friendship from Kyle, Ian holds Wanda's hand throughout the caves. Ian insists that his brother is wrong, and informs Wanda of Jeb's rule that if Kyle can't live with Wanda, he can't live in the caves. However, Kyle disobeys the rules and attempts to kill Wanda once again, putting his own life in danger at the same time. Ian arrives just in time to find Wanda trying to save Kyle's life, and he helps save his brother. Wanda tries to lie about what happened, as she doesn't want to implicate Kyle and cause more tension between the brothers. Ian, however, realizes that Kyle was trying to kill Wanda and is disgusted by him. He even speaks against Kyle during a tribunal, insisting that he should not be allowed to live in the caves.
Ian takes it upon himself to keep Wanda safe and comfortable, allowing her to have his room (rather than staying in the hospital) saying he can find another place to stay. He also brings her a bag of Cheetos, which she has been craving since her first days in the cave when Jared held her captive. Melanie begins to think that Ian likes Wanda too much, though Wanda does not know what she means by it. After the tribunal, Kyle teases his brother for having "a crush on a worm." Jared also realizes Ian's feelings for Wanda and confronts him about them, insisting that the body and the girl trapped in it (Melanie) belong to him. Ian sees that Wanda has overheard his conversation with Jared, and finally tells her that he likes her. Wanda is confused about her own feelings and Melanie's angry objections, especially when Ian kisses her. He quickly becomes jealous, though, when he realizes that his kiss did not have the same effect on Wanda as Jared's kiss. However, Ian continues to protect and accompany Wanda while hoping to eventually win her over - despite Melanie's dislike for him.
When Wanda decides to give up her body to save Melanie, Ian refuses to let her go. He tells Wanda that he loves her, but is afraid that his love is unbearable for her. He tells her to be with Jared if she wants, as long as she doesn't leave. Wanda tells Ian that she loves him too, but her body (Mel's body) cannot love him. Desperate for a way to stop Wanda from leaving, Ian calls for a small tribunal to make a decision, saying it affects the whole community. The tribunal has Ian and Jared at opposite ends, fighting to keep the ones they love. Though Ian thinks they'll be able to work out a solution, Wanda realizes that she must give Melanie her body back immediately. She goes to Doc to be taken out of Melanie's body while Ian is asleep.
Wanda wakes up in a new host body and is shocked, as Doc promised to bury her true form (the "worm") next to where her friends were buried. She learns that Melanie, Jared, and Jamie went to find her a new host while Ian stayed behind because he didn't care what she looked like. He protected Wanda in her soul form, refusing to let anyone touch her or her cryotank. Wanda realizes that she is staying on Earth with Ian when she lies about her host's age - she doesn't want to experience similar frustrations that Melanie had, because she knows that Ian would be as honorable as Jared was with Mel. She does give him time, though, because she thinks that he would be confused as the body he fell in love with is still in the caves. At the same time, Ian gives Wanda her space, as she still has feelings for Jared. Ian tells Wanda that he was never confused, because he loves her and not Melanie. And Wanda assures him that Jared is her past, and that Ian is her present. He responds that he can be her future as well, if she wants, and Wanda is glad that they can really be together.
What was the most memorable thing about writing the host?
That would be Ian. My favourite characters are the ones who decide for themselves who they want to be. It's the characters who stop doing what you want that make the story feel special and out of your imagination, something that seems to exist on its own, and that's an interesting experience. With Ian in the beginning drafts, Ian was Kyle's backup guy, but the first time Ian spoke he was curious why Jeb didn't kill Wanda instantly, and his curiosity set him apart, and then he spoke with Jared and thought about what was going on because Jared refused to.
~ Everything here was written and found by the one and only J.j.! ♥