infinitepryde: (Default)
[personal profile] infinitepryde
Now that the comments about more than the most superficial reading of Brave have made it out into actual news articles, I'd like to point out one more thing that the writers were really good about. Almost certainly there's been dissection of it elsewhere, but I haven't seen it yet, so I'm going to talk about it some.

When you poke at most successful reigns, you find several things someplace in the monarchy and its immediate support and advice network:

There is someone who is concerned about making certain that all the major factions are balanced against each other and not trying to kill each other. (Internal and external.)

There is someone who is concerned about making sure that everything that needs to be done gets done properly and on time.

There is someone who is concerned about making sure that the kingdom does not go bankrupt.

There is someone who is concerned about making sure that the people (and the army) do not starve.

There is someone who is amazingly charismatic and good at getting and keeping people's attention and loyalty.

There is someone who is good at settling disputes. No. Settling them. RIGHT THEN.

And there is someone who is good at getting armies together and hauling them off to kick all kinds of ass.

Usually, there are a sizable number of all of these people; however, in an animated movie, they will be reduced for obvious reasons -- usually reduced out of sight except for a couple of the roles.

In Brave, King Fergus holds two of these roles: charismatic and asskicking. Everything else, Queen Elinor handles. That kingdom effectively runs on Elinor's brain and willpower. And King Fergus knows it. (People have referred to him as "henpecked," but the guy is pretty plainly just aware of the fact that his job is to keep the kingdom safe and whole, but his wife's job and obsession is to keep the kingdom in existence in the first place -- if he bucks her on something that affects the kingdom, he's putting the entire kingdom at risk.)

Take a look at the young men Elinor thinks of as the three prospective next kings. One's wrapped up inside his head and not particularly concerned with immediate practicalities (that said, he's a lot sharper than he looks -- observe that he very quickly agrees with a method that will give him an advantage over his potential rivals without also giving Merida a reason to resent him). One's too obsessed with his own ego to be effectively practical. And one is basically Gerard of Amber ... effective, yes, a really good guy, definitely, not stupid, no, but not exactly fast in the thinking department either.

Take a look at the triplet princes. Not only is that one hell of a succession question to work out, but while they inherited Elinor's smarts, they didn't exactly get her sense of responsibility, and quite frankly given the stunts they're pulling now it's not that good a bet that any given one of them is going to live to see twenty. And besides, they're tiny. How many years passed between Merida and the boys? Good bet that Elinor gave up on expecting more kids.

So Brave sets Elinor up right: she is not picking on Merida all the time because she wants Merida to be the Picture Of Femininity.

Instead, she is trying to arm Merida with weapons that, unlike her bow, cannot be taken away from her. Because she is all too aware that she and Fergus took control of the kingdom because of Fergus' performance in a war. Merida is, so far as Elinor can predict at the beginning of Brave, going to have to install a husband as King who is going to have half the kingdom hating him for having beaten their candidate. And then she's going to have to keep him on the throne and run the kingdom around him the way Elinor does... without his having the deep respect that the other three clan heads have for Fergus.

Merida is going to have to pull it all off herself. She is going to have to juggle factions, get everything done properly and on time, keep the kingdom solvent and not starving, be the unquestioned settler of disputes, AND be the charismatic center of the kingdom -- the best she can hope for is a husband who can either make war effectively or listen to advisors who do. (Two out of three of the eldest sons count there! One might if he can get over himself.)

And Elinor has an unknown but very, very limited amount of time to get Merida ready in.

And Elinor has the problem that so many people who are teaching the jobs they're also doing have: she can see the situation so very clearly that it doesn't occur to her the person she's teaching can't see it.

I kind of want to watch the movie again just to poke at this idea a little more; certainly this was the chatter on the car ride home for a good hour, and actually dissecting the functioning of the kingdom even a little tiny bit is something that I really, really rarely get to do after watching an animated film.


infinitepryde: (Default)

May 2015

2425 2627282930

Most Popular Tags

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags
Page generated Sep. 19th, 2017 10:24 pm
Powered by Dreamwidth Studios