Thanks obisgirl, but I think maybe the compliment is undeserved. ^_^;; Myril brings up a lot of good points, several of which I don’t have a good answer for (but I’ll do my best because hot diggity do I like pulling these sorts of things apart). I’ll do my best to keep it relevant to the thread and as much about OUAT Belle as possible.
I think one of the great things about the show is that it doesn’t deal entirely in absolutes of black/white *or* shades of grey. While the show definitely adheres to some core, unbreakable truths- many of the rules are bendable and open to interpretation. This is fantastic! I love that there are people who disagree with my interpretation of characters and who adore characters I loathe. When I first started poking into the fandom and saw the huge amount of support within the fandom for Regina I was surprised and then overjoyed. I really dislike Regina, but the show is varied enough that other people found her relatable. HOW COOL.
So I just want to go ahead and say that I think this is really relevant to our disagreement about Belle and her feelings and actions. (And that this is totally okay and awesome and I’m happy to disagree with you on some things.) But I also agree with you about a lot.
First of all, I want to go ahead and say that I don’t think the show is painting the story of Belle/Rumple as an ideal romantic relationship. I mean, that’s really the whole driving point of the show, isn’t it? That fairy tales have their dark sides: true love doesn’t always work out, “happily ever after” may not last as long as one would hope, innocents suffer, and everyone’s journey is a difficult one. The only thing that makes FTL different than our world is the existence of those few, shining absolute concepts (true love’s kiss etc) that are usually tied to magic.
So back to Belle and her feelings. I think perhaps people may fall in to two camps of thought about this. If you think that she went with this stranger, got locked up, and eventually decided that there must be good in him somewhere despite evidence to the contrary- yes, that is extremely problematic. However, I think the other possibility is that her “sense about people” (or however she phrased it in Lacey) was “active” from the moment she laid eyes on Rumplestiltskin, and she chose to go with him because at no point did she believe she ever had anything to fear from him. If that’s the case, then it’s more the story of her initial impression of him persevering throughout their time together (and then eventually strengthening) and that’s a different series of events all together.
It wasn’t until recently that I had even thought about Belle and Hook’s interactions- so thank you to everyone in the forums here that brought that up. I’ll try not to repeat too much of what I’ve said elsewhere but maybe to tackle their interaction from a different direction. To be frank, we don’t know a lot about Hook. I mean, we know that he’s a pirate, he seemed to be relatively loved by his crew, and he did love Milah. Other than that- much of his character is a mystery. We have no idea what his actions in Neverland might have been and it’s really difficult to judge him the same way we judge Rumplestiltskin (of whom we have so much backstory). So it does really seem unfair for Belle to react to him with so much venom when she witnessed Rumplestiltskin do so much worse.
That is- unless we go ahead and assume that there is something to the whole “people sense” ability she has. (And I admit, this is dubious. Even Emma’s much toted “lie detector” skills seemed only so-so.) She didn’t have to get to know Hook because she was able to sense right away that at his core- he was evil. It’s got little to do with his actual actions- after all, someone can do good things but still have a dark heart. I imagine that in the next few episodes we’re going to see exactly what Hook is capable of.
I think it’s also worth stating that I think Belle has responded not to the Dark One side of Rumple, but to his old self. That’s the “good” that she sees in him. While Rumple as the Dark One was certainly a bad guy- I wonder (just for grins) what kind of villainy Hook would have gotten up to under the same curse. (And it’s important to remember that there *is* still a curse on Rumplestiltskin. It’s one that he chose, and one that he leans on, but it is a curse.) Even at his most powerful (say in the Robin Hood sequence of events) Rumple still had “standards” of behavior. Perhaps the “rotten core” that Belle remarked on in Hook means that without limits- he could have been a much worse villain.
This is all speculation of course, but it’s fun speculation.
Just to touch lightly on the female heroism thing-
I absolutely agree, there’s a lack of females fighting their foes with, err… I don’t know how to put this, so I’ll just say “traditionally male” methods (swords, punching, flame throwers, ninja skills…) but I also think that’s just not what B&B is *about*. I mean, it’s okay for there to be a story about having empathy and understanding. Those are tools as well, and it’s okay to embrace them. I honestly really liked the Magwai story because it showed two women using different strengths- Mulan as a traditional warrior, and Belle realizing she should just do what she was good at- understanding things and disecting puzzles.
I didn’t mean to imply that all or even most fairy tales are about damsels in distress, I just meant that most of the ones that are heavily marketed are. If you asked 100 people off the street to name ten fairy tales, you’re going to get a lot more “Cinderella” and “Snow White” before you get “The Robber Bridegroom” or “Bremen’s Town Musicians”. In a lot of people’s minds fairy tales are equated with princesses. Admittedly, this has heaps to do with Disney. Disney fairy tales are the definitive version in so many people’s minds, just because that’s what they see the most of- but this is actually another reason I’m so glad OUAT is playing in that universe. It helps to develop so many characters (Snow White is a great example) but showing that they weren’t just princesses in far away towers.
But um, yep! Sorry for continuing to derail the thread.I’ll try to be good, I promise. ^_^;;
"Nothing is easier than to denounce the evildoer; nothing is more difficult than to understand him."