Kennash in season 2, also a bit of Frary
I’m gonna try and make sense of the mess that’s Kennash and their other romantic relationships.
This post is full of theories and speculations, because Reign is a horrible mess that forgot how to write relationships and consistent characters.
I think this episode suggested that Kenna is interested in Renaude due to:
- him being there, his interest in her is super convenient for her and her self-esteem bruised by Kennash marriage
- she’s horny, which is frankly my favorite reason, you go girl
- he’s not Bash, he’s the opposite of Bash
- as Lola said to Kenna, this is the first time she actually has an opportunity to make a choice in her romantic life, you can practically see the lightbulb over Kenna’s head, and she decided to test out Renaude first
- Kenna thinks Bash is moving on, which could mean she would have a very little time to find someone else for herself before Bash demands an annulment or divorce, and again, Renaulde is already there and interested
Kenna doesn’t have any deep feelings for him. I’m sure she would be content in her marriage to him, if they were ever wed w
hich they won’t because he’s about to have his handsome head chopped off.
But she’s not looking for love. She’s looking for a man that has the same goals as her at the moment. Comfortable life, family, protection, and a good standing in society. She had already tried the love thing with Henry and Bash, and each time she ended in a terrible situation with broken hearth. Kenna doesn’t want love anymore, she wants acceptance, security, and judgement free life. And all of that came to her in the handsome and convenient package that’s General Renaude.
I think that it’s important to remember that Kenna is not unfaithful. She’s not cheating on her husband.
Seriously, don’t you dare to claim that Kenna is a harlot. I will come for you.
Bash made it clear that the marriage is over. He moved out. He won’t talk to her. He goes out of his way to not be in her company. The marriage only exists in legal sense to give Kenna time to find someone else.
Kenna tried to make things work with Bash. She even tried to remain close to him as a friend in 2x18 and 2x19. Bash in return intentionally let her think that he’s already moving on with someone else. The only thing keeping them together is an official document. And since Bash let Kenna think he already found someone else, Kenna might feel a bit of a pressure to find another husband, after all, what’s keeping Bash from asking for annulment or divorce when he made it clear that he wants her out of his life.
Right now, Kenna fully depends on Bash’s goodwill, and that can’t be a pleasant thing for her.
Personally, I don’t believe for a moment that Bash has moved on. He’s still very much in love with Kenna, but he’s sulking because his ego got majorly bruised and he honestly doesn’t believe that he can make Kenna happy. Also, he’s disappointed in himself, Kenna and the warld, and kinda took it out on Kenna.
Dude has got a lot of issues that are terribly handled and usually only shyly hinted at onscreen. Let’s just name few:
- being chewed and spit out by Mary with little remorse
- being a bastard that never got lands and title from his father even though kings’ bastards always had a high standings in society
- feelings of inferiority
- destroyed and then slowly repaired relationship with his brother
- his constant need to prove himself to his family
- his constant need to prove that he does not fit the usual bastard stereotypes
- basically becoming a hired assassins first for his father and then his brother
- wanting to be the hero and good guy while being forced to do horrible things
- feeling easily replaceable (Mary dropping him like a hot potato, and his own father wanting to kill him)
- never being enough
- occasionally being too damn prideful
And all of these issues formed a bond and easily destroyed Kennash relationship. The second half of season, it almost felt like Bash was sabotaging his own marriage, and I think that he subconsciously did.
In my head (because Reign never even tried to develop the connection between Bash’s conflicting feelings and Kennash marriage trouble on screen), it played out like this:
Bash wanted to protect his brother, wanted to prove himself to him and others. He also wished to have the strong bond he once shared with his brother back. That’s why he worked so hard. That’s why he had so little time for his wife. That’s why he did anything Francis needed and wanted no matter the price.
Having little time for his wife would not be that bad in itself, if it weren’t paired with Bash’s need to be seen as the good guy and hero. Kenna idolized him a little bit. She loved him a lot. He was enough in her eyes even when he had little to no riches to offer her. And he liked that. He liked how Kenna saw him. He wanted to be that guy for her, he wanted her to keep looking at him like that. And for some time, even with his new job, it worked perfectly. He did his best to protect his family and the population of France, and he was the man Kenna loved.
But then he got involved himself in the blackmail mess, and suddenly he was forced to kill innocent people, lie to his wife about his whereabouts, and let few hundreds of most likely innocent protestants be hanged/frozen to death after the attack on the castle.
He couldn’t be the hero in Kenna’s eyes anymore. He couldn’t be the good person in his own eyes anymore. He couldn’t be the person (he thought) Kenna fell in love anymore.
(But let’s be real, Kenna would accept him no matter what) At first, he tried to prevent infecting his marriage with his troubled mind and consciousness by avoiding talking about the things he has done, then by downright lying about them (Claude incest), and then he took things a step further by partly distancing himself from Kenna which led him to such mistakes like one of his the greatest hits that’s not consulting his wife about refusing the duke title and giving his mother lands before telling his wife such lands even existed.
He simply shut his wife out of his life to protect himself, her, and their marriage. Obviously, it majorly backfired on him.
In the end, it all became too much for Bash. Bash being disappointed in himself, his mother, the world, and eventually in Kenna, made him overact and almost end his marriage in spot. Somehow, his frustration with world and (his own) human nature manifested in his resentment toward Kenna’s past actions, and perhaps even Kenna herself.
Once he had a time to think about everything, and let some steam out, he was willing to work on repairing their relationship.
But, it was already time for Antoine’s turn and another set of Bash’s insecurities poked their ugly heads out. For someone with serious inferiority complex, he can be too prideful. Pair that with his previous experience of being dropped without second thought on the day of his wedding by Mary, it can be a marriage poisoning combination.
I mean, Bash didn’t even try until the very last moment. Instead of being acceptably jealous by resenting Antoine, he became distrusting of Kenna. He all but blamed Antoine’s interest on Kenna who was faithfully refusing Antoine’s attempts at seduction left and right. Part of me thinks that his resentment towards Kenna was actually manifestation of his resentment towards Mary for her treatment of him.
This time, it became too much for Kenna, and she began considering Antoine’s offer. Once Bash found out about that, his pride, disappointment in Kenna, but mostly disappointment in himself, feeling like he could never be enough for his own wife, made him end their relationship.
Again, this is how my head connected the events in s2, because Kennash trouble began right after Bash was forced to do some unseemly deeds to protect the realm. That’s how I see it when I’m feeling generous towards Bash, because just last week my headcanon was that Bash is an asshole whose soul can be purified only by fire.
He still loves her very much, and Kenna still loves him very much too, but outside circumstances simply overwhelmed them
(mostly Bash, and he could simply solve all of his marriage trouble by letting his wife in), and now they’re protecting their own hearts from any more damage.
Also, while I hate the fake nun with the passion of thousand burning suns, she gained my hatred for her comments after Bash poisoned Clarissa, not because I see her as an obstacle in Kennash. I don’t think there’s anything romantic between Bash and her, It’s possible they will sleep together, but it would be more of an attempt to balance out Kenna sleeping with Renaude than anything meaningful. Also, the description for 2x21 says that Bash will bring her to the castle, but that’s nothing to worry about. They’re about to be besieged, which means the surrounding woods will be crawling with enemy soldiers. Bash will be simply trying to keep his new friend and co-murderer safe. People always sought salvation behind the city/castle walls in times of war.
The first step to Kennash repair is gonna happen next episode, because what Kenna liked about Renaude (ambition, playing it safe) will lead him to join forces with Condé. That’s Reign’s extremely subtle way of making Kenna appreciate Bash’s blind self-sacrificially ways and bravery more. Also, it will of course serve as a punishment for Kenna. Because ambition in women is wrong and such women always must be brought down. F you Reign.
What I find interesting is that Frary and Kennash strangely mirror a little bit each other this season.
Not sure how much of it was intentional, and I’m definitely sure that I’m reading way too much into it.
- both couples began this season happy, protecting and supporting each other
- then the blackmail began and Bash and Francis distanced themselves to protect their wives, and not to loose their respect
- after the attack on castle, things escalated, for Frary very quickly, while the Kennash disaster progressed in a slower tempo
- Mary couldn’t deal with her resentment towards Francis and her PTSD which led her into Condé’s arms, while Bash couldn’t deal with the things he has done, his resentment about Kenna’s past and pushed Kenna into the arms of another man
- meanwhile Francis and Kenna desperately tried to salvage their marriages
- both couples had a moment of hope for like an episode and then it crashed and burned in a spectacular fashion
- Kenna and Mary tried to find peace in the arms of other men
- while Francis and Bash currently act superior, and on morally higher ground at the moment
- major mistakes were made by everyone, and the first was a dishonesty (they had their reasons but still) on Bash/Francis side
- as we know from 2x21 trailer, Renaude and Condé are now working together and will besiege the castle
- which will lead to Francis and Bash fighting them
- Kenna and Marry are gonna literally watch their husband battle their lovers from a balcony, super subtle there show
- very subtle
- fully expecting a Condé/Francis and Renaude/Bash fight scenes
- and speculations: at the end, Mary will seek Francis’ protection (because of Elizabeth), while Kenna will probably find out she’s pregnant and Bash will offer to remain with her not knowing who is the father (for now), so she and her child would be spared the shame of being eternally tied to traitor Renaude
- Bash and Francis will emerge from this morally superior, Frary and Kennash will be tied together out of necessity for next season
- where they will eventually repair their relationships and fall in love again
- which will be utterly infuriating and absolutely dissatisfying to anyone
- but we will stick around because the cast is too pretty to ignore
In conclusion, Kennash and Frary will be back, and Kenna and Francis should totally be friends and get a gold star for trying to salvage their marriages.
Seriously, why is there no Kenna/Francis scene other than Francis taking Kenna to the doctor in 1x07?