|Captive Prince: ALL THE FEELINGS MY GOD
||[Feb. 13th, 2015|03:31 pm]
I got book 2 of Captive Prince toward the end of last month. I’ve had limited time to read, so I’m not quite done with it yet, but I need to talk about this.
I read chapter 15 and at first it just broke my heart. Because I loved Jord/Aimeric so much, even though they’re both such secondary characters the glimpses that we’re afforded were enough for me to fall in love and argh poor Jord. This all also comes at a really unfortunate time – I’m going through kind of a rough patch so adding to that is not smart. But anyway.
I read chapter 15. Then I read spoilers and, not having the patience to read through chapter 16 and half of 17, I just skipped straight on through to the Laurent-Aimeric scene.
Christ. I got the idea from the spoilers but reading it was still hard. And here is how things stand now:
Jord. I love you so much. Favorite character right now. Absolutely. And he was so right to call Laurent out on being cruel. (And he also kinda reminds me of Jorah Mormont, whom I also love, though I disapprove of his infatuation with Daenerys.)
I read somewhere a spoiler that Jord dies before the end? If that’s true – so fucking sad. If Laurent kills him, or Damen as a service to Lauren, either under order of his own volition, I’m gonna have a hissy fit. ETA: More spollers have informed me that it's infact Aimeric who dies.
Poor Aimeric. I completely understand why he did what he did. And I feel like the only person he really betrayed was Jord. It’s hard to betray someone who doesn’t trust you to begin with and Laurent doesn’t trust anyone. Like, is it even that surprising that he was manipulated by his abuser? Aimeric isn’t like Laurent – his response to the trauma is different. But it’s still response to trauma. Laurent closes up and hates and despises and forgoes trust. And Aimeric does the opposite – he doesn’t want to hate himself, he doesn’t want to lose faith. He is far more emotional so the only way for him to cope is to give in, to believe that it was real, that he really was loved. And being the youngest son of several, IIRC, he isn’t of that much use to his father/family. And is it that surprising that his loyalty to them is also desperate? The child who is starved for love? Is it surprising that he so easily fell victim to the Regent when he wanted/needed an adult in his life who would chose him? Laurent was abused too, but he also had everything to begin with – his father loved him, his bother loved him. He was still a Prince, even if not the heir. The difference in the trauma response is also conditioned on that – Laurent knows what it looks like to be number one to someone, so he sees the betrayal from his uncle for what it is. I don’t think Aimeric has anything like that to compare with – so he clings to the hope.
And even all that aside: is it more honorable to stand by a Prince who, you believe, is bad/dangerous for your country, or to stand with your family and, given what you believe about the Prince, by your country? I don’t know. (I mean, this is just one of the many reasons why monarchies suck. If this was a democracy, just elect a knew government next time. Laurent could still be politically ruined, but no one has to die or anything. And no one is entitled to hold a certain office. …God, now I want to write a Modern!AU.) Yes, Jord gets thrown under the bus in the process, and Aimeric is wrong before him. But that’s about it.
I don’t know what happens to Aimeric. Feel free to tell me, at least I will prepared for it. I mean, obviously it’s not going to be anything good. I think I’ve said before that in these cases I prefer a clean character death, especially for characters I like. I guess it gives me closure. I’m afraid it’s going to be one of those humiliating public execution thingies. I mean, they liked that sort of crap in the middle ages. If I have to read through a full scene of that… ETA: Never mind, I know what happens now. And wow, it was probably the best outcome I could have asked for, I guess. At least it was on his own terms. My poor baby.
(As a note: Aimeric is sometimes described, through Damen’s filter, obviously, as being antagonistic. I kinda almost feel like this is the author’s attempt to make him less likeable, because I think she is smart enough to realize just how sympathetic he is. I saw some comments calling him “pathetic” for falling prey to the Regent’s manipulation and I want to slap those people. Lack of empathy much?)
Damen. Oh Damen. He’s certainly honorable, I’ll give him that. But, as I said, I skipped over about a chapter and a half – which I’ll go back to once I pick up reading again – so some info is missing here. But, seeing as Damen and Laurent were kissing (?) before Jord runs in to plead for Aimeric and the way Damen reacts to the whole confrontation and Laurent losing control…he’s made some kind of major jump between the grudging respect and admiration he had for Laurent before chapter 16 and to this…whatever it is. Desire? IDK. But suddenly he’d ver protective and I want to screen at him to set his head right. If he doesn’t get that Aimeric is just as much a victim of the Regent as Laurent, he’s an idiot. But, of course, we’ve seen how Damen filters before. It’s very, very biased towards what he likes/knows/considers right. Jury is still out on him.
Laurent. OMG. I guess by this point we’re supposed to like him.
I don’t. Not really.
I’d come to accept him, but that’s a long as way from liking him. In fact, I think Damen and I have been in tune more or less so far, but something happens during chapter 16, I guess, because suddenly I don’t see where all his desire/romantic-ness/actual loyalty comes from.
First thing first. I realize I’m being a little too hard on Laurent. He was traumatized too; he’s also the Regent’s victim and he was abused. I don’t think it’s completely fair to bitch at him for the confrontation with Aimeric. After all, Aimeric did “betray” him. But, of course, what Laurent is upset about isn’t the betrayal. I think he would have been kinda whatever if Aimeric had really done everything just out of family loyalty alone. But noooo. Laurent, I think, is kind of jealous. In a really fucked up way which isn’t really his fault because he was a kid when it happened, etc. He’s also totally projecting – all the hatred and all the “you’re stupid, he just used you” is total projection. Which, I suppose, should make me feel bad for him. But, while I feel totally disgusted with the Regent, the amount of cruelty in that whole scene makes it hard to do. Maybe if Laurent at least sometimes acted like he has feelings it would be easier. /snark The thing is thought, too, that this isn’t just “Laurent is hurt” – this isn’t even abnormal for Laurent. Cruelty, especially that which is delivered verbally – is so not beyond.
Like ok. I get it. Laurent is entitled because the system (ie: monarchy) tells him he can and should be. Laurent doesn’t trust anyone and is super closed off and in control because he had to be to survive his uncle’s intrigues. I don’t know if him being an arrogant asshole is an effect of the trauma though. Maybe to some extent, but maybe not.
Here’s the thing about Laurent. He’s not JUST completely cold and distant and does this guy even have feelings? He’s not JUST a prick. HE’S BOTH. And that’s what makes him so hard to like and almost impossible to relate to. At least for me. I’m still kind of baffled as to why he supposedly inspires such loyalty in people who serve under him. I guess you could argue that he’s loyal to those who are loyal to him. But we haven’t really seen that. It’s mostly conjecture. Has Laurent done anything ever that wasn’t in some way about himself? I think him bringing Damen the ice as the Vaskian camp was the only moment when we actually saw him do something even mildly motivated by concern for someone else.
I wanted to like him. I knew Damen/Laurent was end game so I really wanted to like both of them. I wanted to be 100 percent into the ship. The thing is…I just…I think I get him to an extent. But I don’t like him. Because I have no reason to believe he wasn’t like this before his brother died. More naïve? Yes. But naïve and a nice person isn’t the same thing.
IDK, I think I had a better rapport with Laurent before this whole fiasco. I get protective of characters I like, so I think this whole thing just helped highlight the fact that I don’t actually like Laurent. I want to like him but I’m not feeling it.
I just want to read/write Jord/Aimeric fics now :’(