I’ve been rereading the webcomic in preparation for new chapters coming soon (I hope) and I have begun to wonder about how Claude view’s Athanasia in relation to her bloodline. Let me explain:
Athanasia’s grandfather was “a tyrant obsessed with riches” while Claude is more attuned to leisure and pleasure than his predecessor. Athanasia, as we know, is obsessed with gold (for her run-away fund), but no one else knows that. Lillian thinks she just likes how the gold sparkles, but I think that Claude might see it, partially, as Athanasia inheriting some qualities of his own bloodline. While Claude isn’t obsessed with riches, he also doesn’t seem to find much distaste with Athanasia enjoying them–even going so far as to gift her keys to the royal family’s treasuries and to tease her about it when they’re on the boat.
Athanasia looks very much like her mother, particularly in the face and hair color/curls, but if you look carefully at her you can see her father there too (chapter 27). Not just the eye’s either–her hairline, the front portion with straight bangs for much of the series (minus the debutant ball where she was dressed to look very much like her mother), is very much like Claude’s own hair. Her eyelashes in many chapters are darker very much like Claude’s, unlike her mother’s distinct blonde ones. Still, there is no doubt she is her mother’s daughter as Claude curses Diana’s memory by calling Athanasia Diana’s copy (also, in chapter 29, Athay’s reflection in Claude’s eyes looks like a call to Diana before we see Athy herself). Though he admits in chapter 30 that she is not as much like Diana as he originally thought.
This aside, Athy has been influenced, it seems, by Claude and his personality as she grows into a young adult. Out of necessity, she acts cheerful and abundantly talkative with Claude, but on her own, she is rather headstrong and even quiet. Claude claims her boldness must come from Diana, but Claude himself is bold in many ways. Like Athy, neither character likes to give away exactly what they wish for or are thinking–Claude is especially closed off, but Athy has been too by hiding what she knows, how she feels, etc. Both think about Diana in their own ways, and neither mentions it to the other despite how therapeutic it could be for both of them. Neither, as we can see, tell each other they love the other, the closest confession of affection between them coming from Athy at the debutante ball. Still, a bigger indicator, I think, of Claude’s influence over Athy’s personality comes in the style of dress that we see over the course of the work. When meetings are scheduled ahead of time, Athanasia is dressed up (breakfasts, afternoon tea, etc.) but on the visits that seem less planned (random visits, Felix mentioning Claude’s wish to see Athanasia later in the day, etc.), Athy appears in comfortable clothing clearly meant for play and leisure much like her father is dressed when he’s meeting with her. However, at planned events, such as the debutant ball, we see Claude dressed in a manner befitting his station.
My conclusion is, much to Claude’s assessment later in the work, that Athanasia is probably not as alike to her mother as he thought. Instead, she is like her father and, possibly, grandfather in terms of personality and taste.
Anyway, just more food for thought.