The more I watch of the Tangled tv series, the more I just freaking love how HEALTHY Eugene and Rapunzel’s relationship is. They’re so open and honest with each other, none of that sneaking around/walking on tiptoes around each other garbage found in so many fictional relationships. They’re actually a fantastic example of what a couple ought to be like to the the young viewers and it just plain makes me happy.
Boy had all of movie history to support taking that failed proposal and making it an awkward pity party about him, and instead he first was like “It’s okay, we’re just not at the same place yet, we still love each other” and then followed it up with an apology and a promise to stick with her until he understands her life struggles. THIS IS LOVE.
Rapunzel doesn't seem to put as much effort into her relationship as much as Eugene does. I think he's the one who carries the most weight between them. Do you see this too?
I see exactly what you’re talking about, but I don’t necessarily agree that he carries more weight. In Rapunzel’s defense, she is distracted by the whole world. Eugene has done it all, seen it all, lived it all, but he’s never been in love before. Rapunzel fell in love at the exact same time as she began to get a glimmer of what the world has to offer. Look at how excited she gets by something as simple as running through tall grass.
This is why Eugene is content to watch the Challenge of the Brave and Rapunzel wants to participate in it. This is why he’s ready to settle down and she’s not.
Rapunzel was Raised to Not Show Physical Affection
We’ve all seen that Gothel makes Rapunzel come to her for hugs, but today I realized it goes deeper than that. Gothel doesn’t want Rapunzel showing physical affection unless she has been given specific permission. Opening her arms is that unspoken permission.
For example, towards the beginning, when she’s reminding Gothel that it’s her birthday tomorrow, she grabs her arm in exuberance. Gothel is put out and then pries Rapunzel’s hands off her arm, all the while pretending she doesn’t remember (or care) that her birthday - something Rapunzel is extremely excited about - is fast approaching.
She also uses Rapunzel’s need for physical affection, deliberately taunting and “teaching” her with it by pretending to offer it, then taking it away immediately.
The first bazzilionty times I saw this movie, I always assumed Rapunzel was relieved to see Gothel towards the end of Mother Knows Best just because she was scared.
But now I realize it’s not only because she’s scared, but because Gothel is now giving Rapunzel permission to seek the creature comfort of physical contact that she so desperately needs after the gamut of fear she’s run.
Eugene, on the other hand, starts showing physical affection as soon as he starts feeling any affection for Rapunzel at all. He uses it as a comfort. Yet Rapunzel keeps her hands to herself.
It continues when he gives her the little flag, touching the small of her back in an affectionate way. But her hands (and attention) are full at this moment.
In fact, the first time she realizes she’s touching him, and he’s touching her, and there’s affection and enjoyment buzzing between them, she’s the first to pull away.
She’s alarmed at first, then apologetic and sheepish. Sorry I was touching you, Eugene. And he politely takes a step back, tuned in to her discomfort and giving her a little more space.
But that is why the moment on the boat is so important, and why Rapunzel has the reaction she does.
In taking Rapunzel’s hand, out of the blue (as far as she can tell), it’s sending her a clear message that he feels the same about her that she does about him, and that physical affection is both alright and wanted. That he will seek out her attention in a way Gothel never has. And from this moment on, she touches him often, holding hands for the rest of the song, brushing his hair from his face as he lay dying, and never letting go of his head, even after he’d died in her arms. Not to mention kissing him when he lives again, holding hands on the balcony while they wait for her parents and end-of-movie smooching.
Eugene is telling this as a bedtime story to their kids.
Like, all I could imagine is this adorable little brown haired kid with green eyes sitting in bed watching as he makes this really dramatic face, and begins
“This is the story of how I died!”
and they look a little scared, so he quickly goes
“Don’t worry, this is actually a very fun story and the truth is, it isn’t even mine. This is the story of a girl named Rapunzel and it starts with the sun.”
And they both look at Rapunzel real quick because, hey, Mom’s in the story, great!
And by the end they’re both teasing each other and making sappy faces and the kid’s giggling and half asleep and
“There you go, kiddo. That’s the story of how we met. Sweet dreams, sunshine. Tomorrow night we’re gonna tell you the story of how your Aunt Elsa froze her entire fucking country because of her emotional issues.”
In TBEA Rapunzel's father calls Eugene "son" under his breath (but audible!!) during that part where Eugene is looking for Rapunzel and bumps into him, telling him about how the proposal didn't go down as he'd expected. I was very surprised by that - the King doesn't exactly seem like he's thrilled with Eugene's presence in general but what do you think that says about their relationship??