Your canon material for study: 'That Naughty Flashback Scene'
Ready, steady, GO!
I'm inclined to believe he really did love her.
First, I honestly doubt Klaus would mess around sexually with a woman he knew a close friend also was crazy for, unless he *honestly* and profoundly wanted her himself.
Second, I tend to see Klaus as just plain honorable in his romances on a more fundamental level: if Lu had been truly footloose and fancy free, with no other complications, and they both were clear on the sex-only aspect of the relationship, then, yes, I can believe it was "just sex." But the very fact that Bill is also involved, and maybe Aaronev, just turns it into a rather nasty game -- abuse of them, if not outright using of Lu.
Third, I read his reactions in canon as being about love, not just lust, pride, or him using Lu. Going by the sad, sentimental viewing of the locket that precedes the Naughty Flashback Scene, to the first frame in which, IMHO, Phil drew him as actually hurt, not just surprised, I read the Fs as walking us into a true heart-ache memory for Klaus, not just an angry one...and not just over Bill's tragedy, which I would expect them to portray differently.
Klaus' first arguments in response to Lu's announcement are that he and Lu are better suited to each other: they are a better couple. He doesn't argue in defense of Bill until Lu's made it clear that there's more philosophical reasoning in her choice than love. His final argument to her is his passion, rather than his dismay over Bill.
Add in the fact that he appears to be a loyal husband now, that integrity does matter to him, and it seems to me very unlikely he was just using Lu as a hot bed-mate: that would be a betrayal of himself, and of Bill, as well as of Lu.
The Secret Blueprints, which aren't canon but are at least an indication of a lot of what the Foglios were offering as the reliable set-up, says that Bill, Klaus and Lu were in a "tense love triangle." Again, if Klaus had been merely messing around with the woman Bill honestly loved, it would be tense, but not really a love triangle.
I find it more disturbing to my understanding of Klaus as an honorable, sensible, decent man to think he'd bed Lu under those circumstances without honestly loving her, or sincerely wooing her, than I find the idea that as a young man he fell in love with a Matahari...especially when Lu's original nature is still unclear, and when Klaus' sense of her acting skills is very high. He could easily have loved in good faith, either because she wasn't the monster we've seen since, or because she -- like Zola -- was just plain good at gulling people, including a younger, less wary Klaus.
I'd rather believe he loved, lost, and learned from it, than think he was just playing a spicy game of lust with the woman his friend adored... even if SHE was that cold, I don't want to believe *he* was. Better a young and loving fool than a young and cynical game player.
Final point, more structural -- but I think reasonably compelling. There's plenty of reason to think that Gil/Agatha/Tarvek is set up to echo Klaus/Lucretia/Bill more than superficially. The core problem faced is supposed to mirror back and forth. At this point it's become clear that in some sense, on some level, both boys do love Agatha, and Agatha on some level loves both boys. For Klaus to not-love Lu, but just be taking what she's giving away for free...while risking hurting Bill into the bargain... pretty much demolishes the mirror.
That can still happen: it can be one of the expected flips the Foglios have planned for us. But at present I'm simply inclined to think that Bill and Klaus both loved Lucretia -- and Aaronev's a bit more of a question.
For what it's worth, in the present Aaronev seems quite obsessed with Lucrezia. "I will prove that I am still worthy to lead the order! And I will see [b]her[/b] again!" (Emphasis in original.) Whether he felt that way at the time is unclear, but it seems possible at least, and Lucrezia does express (somewhat patronizing) affection for Tarvek before she learns that he's not Aaronev.
(Nod) I agree he seemed quite fixated in the present. I have three points that keep me from being at all sure what his original interest was.
He cites his position with the Knights first, and seeing her only second. Oh -- and the lack of indication why he wanted to see her. "I've been waiting to tell her just what I think of her for twenty years," seems possible still.
Vrin's conviction he wasn't loyal to Lucretia/The Goddess, but merely wanted to make use of her.
Last,and for me both creepiest and disturbing, is that Lu was using mind control. We had known about the wasps, and we'd known about the downloading technology of the Summoning Engines. But there are those three tubes down in the Lair. I find it beyond believable that she had tubes and wasn't using them... especially when she is able to comment on the comparative advantages between wasps and mind control tubes. We also know just from her comments that the tubes work just fine on Sparks: she's planning on using them on Gil and Tarvek. Zola is at least expressing a similar type of willingness to tamper when, in her frenzy, she announces she's going to have Tarvek brain-drilled to love her. I am... uneasy... that some of Lu's suitors were unwilling. Klaus seems like the least likely to have been meddled with...if only because he remains "so over her!" Aaronev, with his entirely out-of=proportion behavior, seems the most likely. And, with the novelization coming out, and signs that Bill was going mad after The Fall of the Castle, seems at least possible.
I do think Aaronev looks like a good victim of mind control. He would have to be incredibly, utterly insane with love otherwise. It's one thing to ally with the Mongfish. But he appears to have then specifically handed control of his ancestral orders to Lu, he allowed his own offspring to be meddled with, and he remained blindingly obsessed with her 20 years after her disappearance. I have plenty of other theories -- some which may play well with mind control, some of which may prove to exclude the possibility. But mind control continues to look plausible.
The point about Lu using mind control triggers the English teacher in the back of my head-- if this triangle echoes that of the last generation, and they're not going for pure cycle, then they're probably setting up a compare/contrast with the modern being an improvement.
It looks like Lu/Ag might be Love Woman, with the older corrupted by power. (Think kinda like the Mother version-- Archtypical Terrible Mother controls and destroys her children or feeds on them, the good one supports and gives but lets go; Clytemnestra vs Virgin Mary.)
Gil pretty much HAS to be this generation's version of Barry, I'll call them the Idealist, but where Barry is blind, Gil has more savvy.
I think that would put Tarv as the Realist (for lack of a better term), and if we can figure him out, we'll be able to figure out Klaus. My gut says that Klaus's flaw is being bitter, over-generalizing in an effort to be realistic. (The flip side of idealistic.)
Depending on how deep they end up going, I may end up having to get a spare copy of all the books and have my kids write English papers on them....
What stalkingheron said.
But I must add that I think there was a definite element of "villain love" going on with K & L, while B's love for her is a slightly different kind of animal. (What we might call "hero love". Chaste, pure, wild intimacy held off until after marriage, endless obstacles, that sort of thing. While K&L's would say, "Hey, there's an unused pressure chamber over here! Let's test it!")
I don't know if LOVE in the grand romance sense is the right word. But I don't think he viewed her as "casual fun time." It depends on what Klaus's goals were in relation to Bill's and Lucrezia (did he view himself as a better partner for her just in basic personal terms, or because he thought their end goals were more compatible and therefore they'd work out better in the long run?) And given Lucrezia's family seems well-connected Spark-wise, he might view her as a very good match.
I am also wondering if the 'hurt' was a little less about him thinking Lucrezia was 'the one' than thinking "Am I always going to come up on the short end compared to the Heterodyne Boys?" He is, at this point, only a Baron (which is a realtively minor title in most systems), and even years later in the Heterodyne stories, he's portrayed more as the sidekick than the hero. We can also surmise he didn't always think Bill and Barry's way of dealing with things is the right one--the famous, trope-naming "I did it my way and it worked" speech implies this. And, to cap it all off, as the naughty flashback makes pretty clear, he's either a construct or had one HECK of a repair/revivification job done on him. So he is already somewhat in the position of playing second fiddle to the Heterodynes, particularly handsome-hero Bill, he isn't always quite in line with their philosophy for dealing with crises, and he's not quite human--now the girl he thinks is a pretty darn ideal match is also saying "Nope, Bill wins again?" He might be less hurt in the 'oh no my love' sense than in the 'am I ALWAYS going to come in second?'
On March 31st, 2011 04:28 am (UTC), (Anonymous) replied:
The Construct patchwork troubled me too -- but the last thing this Erste Baron acts like is a construct. Der Baron, he ects like pipplez, not conztruktz. So I figure him for something replicant -- like a replacement. Original brain and ego, but over time and wear and damage, he's ended up replaced bit by bit until physically but not mentally, he's like a construct.
I realize there are references to a love triangle (I think). I don't think it was casual. I think he genuinely liked her. I get the impression that he was astonished that she'd agreed to marry Bill and possibly that Bill had asked in the first place.
Still, when a woman tells a man she means to marry his best friend, a response that boils down to "What are you planning? I won't let you hurt him!" somehow just does not quite strike me as the reaction of a man deeply in love. At least, not with the woman.
Except I don't read that sequences as "boiling down" to that. It lands there as part of a continuing arc that begins with hurt, and lands at planning only as an assessment of why Lu would be better matched with Bill. Bill only comes up in *Klaus'* argument as a direct response to Lu's answer...and rather than staying with the topic, when she wants to know how he's going to stop her his answer is to provide her with one of the better kisses in the comic. A kiss he honestly thinks is enough to talk a stubborn, independent, kick-ass woman out of marrying one man who adores her, and staying with Klaus.
That in and of itself indicates that there was more in that kiss than just "good times, great orgasms." The only real trump to "He loves me, and is going to marry me," is pretty much, "I love you more -- and you love me more." To me it looks like that's what Klaus offers, with the whole "plan/Bill" thing being only a fraction of a larger discussion. (wry grin) Klaus seemed quite sure is was a completely convincing argument...and even Lu found it compelling. Just...just that if it was compelling, there was all the more reason for the drugged wine.
On April 6th, 2011 01:33 pm (UTC), (Anonymous) replied:
Ah. You make an interesting point. Actually, I'm tempted to think that Klaus already knew that Lucrezia didn't share the level of his feelings. It might be that while he had genuine love for her, also on the side he felt like he had to protect Bill and keep her away from him.
Knowledge of human nature suggests that Klaus probably didn't know--at that time-- exactly why he couldn't resist Lu. He probably was somewhat in love, especially attracted to the dark streak, somewhat (shamefacedly) triumphing over the Heterodynes (esp. if Bill and Lucrezia didn't get it on until AFTER marriage), and subconciously, to some extent trying to protect Bill by taking that grenade.
Real people are complicated like that.
Fortunately, I think Klaus got a better handle on his emotions later on.