Okay are you guys ready for this I’m gonna do some in depth analysis of Gaston’s character and what I think about him, introducing my own headcanons, so this isn’t 10/10 the only reading of Gaston’s character of course. I want to believe in a Gaston redemption arc, so if you hate Gaston (and rightfully so!) you might not be super interested or agree with much of what I’m gonna say. (well, maybe this post you’ll agree with, it’s pretty much all Gaston bashing lol)
Midway through writing this I realized I have SO much more to say than I realized so I’m actually going to make three separate posts.
- Gaston and how/why he’s a villain
- Gaston and Lefou’s Relationship
- Gaston and The Beast: Why Gaston should get a redemption arc
This one is:
Gaston and how/why he’s a villain
Gaston headcanons include, he isn’t narcissistic as much as he is simply confident. He’s headstrong, in it for his own purposes and gains, and is sort of an anti-hero. By no means is he the “good guy” of anything. I just think he’s a really interesting and complex character, a lot of fun to analyse, watch, and write about!
Alright so I’m going to break this up into Pre-movie, movie (three parts in this one)
So for this part, I’m going to be referencing Luke Evan’s comments on Gaston’s backstory! So Luke Evan’s said that Gaston is ex-army captain, and saved the village from some Portuguese mauraders, which is why everyone respects him so much, and Lefou fought alongside with him which explains his loyalty.
So! Gaston is a pretty okay dude so far, right? Saved the town from some bad guys. I like to think there are three turning points in Gaston’s character, sort of like three 60 degree turns until he goes 180.
- 1. He sees Belle.
Gaston is obsessed with Belle for one reason: her beauty. To him, nothing else matters. Up until this point he was working in military standards, helping further society in that way, contributing to the town as he may, and he was as likable as anyone else in the town. He’s not a bad guy right now. (This is starkly contrast with the 1991 version where Gaston is just an awful dude all the way around and has zero redeemable qualities.)
But suddenly, he sees a girl, and his goals change from contributing to society to taking her as his wife.
- 2. Belle refuses him
Gaston has likely never encountered this, not being able to have what he wants. Everywhere he goes, he’s glorified, and now when he finally wants a girl to like him, she doesn’t? This is where he starts to go sour.
You can see he wasn’t already a bad person because he doesn’t immediately get upset when she says no. He just goes, “Busy?” and then goes whoops oh well I’ll try again. This doesn’t exactly scream “villain” imo.
The thing that does start to hint villain is when he approaches her again, and again, is turned down. This time he grabs her dress and tries to follow her into her home- this is creepy just gotta say.
And after this, everything he does is centered around her and his obsession with taking her- this isn’t good guys, like this is creepy and bad and just not okay. You shouldn’t want a girl to the point where you want to own her. That’s what Gaston wants. That’s why he’s bad.
- 3. Maurice refuses him
And finally the serious turning point is Maurice refusing him. He tells Gaston he will never marry Belle, and this is important because in the time period, you couldn’t marry a girl without her father’s say-so. It’s not just a silly “oh well father doesn’t want it but i’ll do it anyway” nah son it just can’t be done
At this point, Gaston doesn’t know how to deal with rejection (having never been rejected to such an extent before) he relapses to the last thing he does remember dealing with: war.
Now Gaston is pretty delusional at this point, they’ve been traveling through the forest probably for days, Maurice has been ranting about the castle and magic and all this stuff Gaston doesn’t give a shit about- he’s already short-tempered. And on top of it all, Maurice poses a threat to the one thing he wants: possession of Belle. And so, he seeks to eliminate the threat.
Even Lefou notices it at this point (and we’ll talk about that in the next post I make) and tries to talk Gaston out of it. This is when Gaston sets himself apart from everyone else. It’s the final point in his character arc where he’s full-out villain.
And the rest just goes downhill from there.
From there he betrays his dearest and oldest friend, turns the entire village against someone that isn’t a threat, and tries to commit murder and for what? A blind grasp for a woman that explicitly doesn’t want him. This is why he’s a villain, he doesn’t listen to what other people have to say, doesn’t value their opinions, has no sense of loyalty, and acts impulsively for his own wants and desires.
But as I’ll talk about in a different post, I think he can learn to be better.
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