Okay, holy smokes. I just read chapter 47 and how shocking!
Claude is suddenly acting all cold like he was in the book, and I wonder if it’s because he lost a good amount of magic or because of some curse that has been hinted to earlier. It might be a while before we find out completely, but–in the meantime–let’s look at the imagery of the chapter and discuss. Two pivotal points I want to narrow in are when Claude’s amnesia begins sinking in for Athanasia (1) and when he spits up blood (2):
This is such an interesting stance to show Athanasia in, and when we look at her from other angles and throughout the chapter, it shows even more.
At the chapter’s start, Athanasia is touching her father. She holds his hand, when he lets go, she touches his arm to try and settle him, all of these are comforting moves not just for him but for herself. When he pushes her away verbally and disregards her horribly, she closes in on herself, hands hanging at her side. She is not reaching out to anyone for comfort–neither Felix nor Lilly– at this moment. To me, it shows how isolated Athanasia really is from the rest of the characters.
I don’t mean isolated in the sense that she doesn’t have someone to talk to or that she doesn’t have people around her (obviously she does), but look at her compared to a character like Ariadna, from Daughter of the Emporer. Ariadna sees her caretaker/wetnurse-of-sorts/maid as a mother figure–but Athanasia doesn’t have that kind of relationship with Lilly. Ariadna depends on her bodyguard greatly and treats him almost like a member of her family, but, again, Athanasia doesn’t. Why? Well, I think it is because Athanasia can’t depend on them like Ariadna can with those around her. What I mean by that is Ariadna doesn’t fear that those around her will be taken away, its why the moment her father locks up her caretaker/wetnurse-of-sorts/maid and threats to kill her, Ariadna can’t cope. Arguably, Ariadna never really had that fear before since her father only really killed people Ariadna seemed to have an issue with or who was not involved in Ariadna’s direct life.
Athanasia however, could lose anyone around her at any time except, perhaps, Lucas because Lucas was there of his own volition while Lilly and Felix are there only because Claude allows or assigns them there. Lilly may want to be with Athanasia, but if Claude orders it, Lilly could easily be removed as he has done with other maids that Athanasia liked. Felix too is there only because Claude ordered him to watch her and, based on Claude’s words, it was only going to be temporary. It is no wonder then that the closest person to Athanasia, besides her father, is that of Lucas. Reiterating this idea of isolation in her chapter, Lilly is shown abandoning Athanasia to call for a medic in the chapter just before Athanasia collapses and later shows her standing, telling Athanasia that Blackie/Raven is dead, while Athanasia sits alone on a couch in the emerald palace. Felix is no longer there, and we find him with the Emporer at the end of the chapter trying to remind Claude of the great act of love he showed to his daughter 10 days prior.
This is such a reflective moment of Athanasia’s first unstable magical attack with a vastly different context. Claude reaches out for her like she did verbally for her dad the first time it happened to her. Except where she was seeking comfort and help, he is seeking to attack or reclaim his magic from inside her. The look on his face when it happened to her was shock, and her expression is also one of shock. However, his faded into panic and desperate anger to save her while her expression fades instead into one of helpless fear.
It is a powerful moment. I can hardly wait for the next chapter to come out!