Ok hold on everyone, things gonna get deep here. This might easily be the DEEPEST thing I’ve ever written for hetalia. So much research went into this. Mind this is all just personal headcanons:
The events of birth and death of nations are shrouded in mystery. Some of them have been around so long that no one can tell where they once came from. The younger ones some of whom definitely weren’t around before seemed to have just appeared. No one had exactly seen them be born. Often these thing happen gradual. Their infancy being more theoretical, when some people gain the idea of a country. By the time they become articulated enough to actually be noticed they’re already grown into children. The same goes for their passing. How they gradually become thinner and absent and by the time they truly fade away, the last breathing of their name is uttered with a sigh of ‘remember those days’.
Yet, if we want to make a nation. If we want to destroy one. There is no better place to look than to the Germans. If we want to come to understand what their existence means. Sometimes the exceptions would help one explain the rule. And the biggest exception is Prussia. For he existed by deliberate action. Long before he was a nation, when he was just the Teutonic knights order occupying land, his spirit was already there. Persisting to exist fueled by nothing but blinding ambition. It was this ambition that granted him life. It was this ambition that enabled him to become a nation. It was this ambition that caused him to desire nothing more than power and land. It was this ambition that brought him down. The same self-fulfilling prophecy that fills the minds of young ambitious countries. At some point the words leave their lips and you’ll know it can only go wrong. “I’ll be the new Rome But more than that! I’ll be better! I won’t fall.” Oh and how they all fell.
Now the year is 1806 and Francis is ruled by Napoleon and in the rooms of his palace you can hear him sing softly “The new Rome, the new Rome.”
The Holy Roman Empire at this time is having trouble even remembering who he is. All the small states within him argue and when he needs to react he is slow. Slugish. Having to fight himself before he can fight any one else. He is an easy prey for France.
Prussia sees the youngest, yet oldest of the Germanics fall at the battle of Austerlitz and he fears. He can feel Frances gaze upon him and he remembers the times when he was no one. He remembers being weak. For years he had tried to pull the Germanies together. To unify them under his rule but it hadn’t been easy. But now, with France getting this close to him he is driven by fear. Next to ambition, fear isn’t a great motivator either. Like a cornered animal he does what seemed the logical step. He attacks. Oh, and his victory is glorious. Still, he remembers. He remembers Rome, but even more so he remembers Byzantium.
Rome grown to large threatened to collapse under his own weight. So he made a new nation. Cutting of his right hand, allowing to grow from his flesh a mirror image to rule with him. Byzantium. They were once the same land, but at the separation it was clear that Byzantium was more than just a shadow marionette of Rome. No matter how he had come from the others own flesh, when Rome died. Byzantium lived on for a couple of centuries without the one who claimed ownership of him. To create a nation. To create life. Would that make him finally know what it was like to be a father? Would that make him know what it’s like to be Rome? Would that make him know what it’s like to be God? He doesn’t want to split of his own lands but… There is a dead boy. His emperor Wiliam I encourages him. He is still drunk on the euphoria of his military victory.
So on the 18th January 1871 in Versailles in the hall of mirrors something sinister happened. Yet it was marvelous it was as glorious as an immaculate conception still… The next day Prussia proudly presented his younger brother to the world. The world held their breath. Oh and Prussia was so proud. He was radiant. His brother in the west, he in the east. He had done what only Rome had done before him. Rome in the West, Byzantium in the east.
His ambition further grew. Wasn’t he just like Rome? Wasn’t he just like God? That he could make a boy out of dust and dirt and a dead boy’s bones?
He and his brother could create a new empire. The third empire. The third Reich. The war came and Europe watched Prussia softly murmur to himself. “Just like Rome. Just like Rome.” While his brother said nothing and obeyed.
They were like Rome. Like Rome and his creation Byzantium. Yet Prussia hadn’t realized that even if his lands lay in the east, that in this analogy he had played Rome. So he fell like Rome. It was his brother who like Byzantium remained. Who still remains.
Still sometimes I look in those stern blue eyes and wonder who is looking back to me. If the ghosts of voices of hundreds of German kingdoms keep him awake at night. If his brother became one of the voices as Germany took his land for his own. If he remembers who he was. Are you young? Are you our old friend? What are you made of?
So all the countries watch Europe’s Frankenstein and hold their breath. Because they remember the last anomaly. Who’s ambition to be more than a knights order made him different. And everything we do not fully understand, we silently fear.