“I see you as you could become, no longer the lightning, but the storm. The storm that will swallow the world entire.”
Now more than ever, I think that the world “storm” is in the tittle of RQ4. It’s the final book and probably the last time we’ll see Mare and her lightning. She is a storm that is certainly coming (got it?). It makes sense, right? Tell me your guesses!
This is Part Two of a dual post that focuses on unpopular Red Queen opinions of mine. The first part (linked at the bottom) dealt with Cal criticism, and this portion will deal with my views on Maven Calore. I would like to warn you that this is fairly long, however, I believe that both posts are worth a read if you have time to spare.
I would like to blow the minds of approximately 90% of the fandom by creating a post that APPRECIATES Maven Calore (Fandom: MAVEN WHO?!?!? I DON’T KNOW HER). This is also intended for fellow RQ enthusiasts that appreciate his complexity and his compelling nature.
Of course, you’re likely wondering why I have decided not to list MAVEN’S flaws. You might be thinking: “He’s the antagonist, and he has done so many horrible things.”
I have no doubt that Maven is a villain and that several of his actions are horrific in nature. I do not in anyway condone the full extent of what he has done nor do I advocate them whatsoever.
Still, I have come to find that he is so reviled and and denounced that I have trouble finding posts that convey his strengths. Have you ever come across a post that actually covers the full multitude of what he has done for Norta?
He actually has various accomplishments that are either ignored or taken very lightly.
As such, in this post i will be appreciating Maven and the beneficial qualities he possesses. Maven Calore has performed a fair amount of beneficial acts, acts that are difficult to portray as malevolent. Of course, he has done committed lots of immoral atrocities, and the beneficial acts could not potentially outweigh them. However, I do hope to convey his strengths.
The first point I would like to cover is his biggest accomplishment as King of Norta. Maven managed to end a war that had been raging on for CENTURIES, a war that would probably have gone on had Cal reigned instead. He has accomplished something none of his predecessors were able to do, which is really a huge deal. The idea of such an unlikely alliance has deterred so many before him, yet he has been able to do so for the betterment of Norta. Not to mention that he hadn’t been raised to be king, and yet he is still able to achieve so much for his kingdom and handle his position so well.
Maven has constantly been devalued all of his life, not accepted by Silvers who viewed him as weak or pathetic. Even his own father looked down on him, unable to understand his qualities.Due to this, I believe Maven can better understand how it might feel to be a Red more than Cal will ever be able to. Of course, I acknowledge that Maven will never be able fully comprehend the daily struggles of a Red, since his life has entailed of living lavishly in a palace. However, he does understand what it feels like to be shadowed by someone who is perceived to be superior all your life. He has always been looked down upon, unfairly treated, and seen as inadequate when compared to his brother. He actually has been a great king politically, handling the court and his public image intelligently despite not being conceived to inherit the crown. He has been able to manipulate his father’s policies, relieving Reds of strict curfews and harsh punishments, which goes to show that he could be a beneficial king for both the Silvers and the Reds.
He has also raised the conscription age that had been lowered, sparing many unequipped children from the horror of war. He has been able to maintain the kingdom despite his constant struggle with the Scarlet Guard, raising morale with his alliance. It’s undeniable that he is tending to his duties, that he is attempting to serve his role while under constant pressure from a nation that is threatened with war and uprising. I don’t believe that Maven is excited about upholding a system that Thomas had died in vain for. Unfortunately, affluent Silvers are governed by tradition, and I imagine that he is experiencing pressure to please the Silvers while also retaining the status quo for Reds. Maintaining such a precarious balance is not easy while you’re at the very edge of a rebellion.
Another fact that should be noted about Maven is the amount of tragedy that he has undergone. As revealed in King’s Cage, his mother had controlled him when he was just an infant. I think it is fair to assume that she is behind his loathing of Cal. He mentions that he had once cared for his father and Cal as any child should, only to be raised to despise them. His upbringing is a traumatizing experience that no one should ever experience. Elara robbed him of his childhood, his love for his family, even his dreams. She
took away anything that she thought would make him vulnerable- anything that would make him susceptible to weakness. He was abused and tortured by his mother, someone who should have protected him from harm. Yet she only inflicted harm upon him. She removed pieces of him she believed were ”unnecessary”, discarded fragments she thought made him weak. In short, he had become a vessel for his mother’s ambitions. He is not his own being in entirety, he is not his own individual. Any large amount of individuality he might have had has been discarded by Elara. It is likely that he might believe it is just too late for him to pursue a different life. He was raised to strive for the crown, and without it, he might feel he has lost his purpose.
Furthermore, he lost the only beacon of hope he had in his life. He lost Thomas when he killed him. A mere incident, an accident on his part made him lose his friend AND lover. I don’t imagine Maven ever being befriended in genuine terms. Thomas was likely the only one who had been a real friend to him, the first one who did not care for titles. Thomas was probably the only one who didn’t compare him to his brother. Also, Thomas had valued him, had cared for him, and had provided actual affection, something that he’d been missing for his entire life. Maven is someone who has been deprived when it came to love, someone who is starving for acceptance. Thomas had treasured him more than his own father did, treating him with more affection than his mother would ever be able to, only to die in the hands of Maven. Can you even imagine how much guilt had consumed Maven? How he had felt, having been the reason the only person who sincerely cared about him had died? Maven could only seek his mother for any meager comfort she would provide. He could only recount the incident to his mother without judgement. His mother had thought of his distressed state as weakness, had attempted to dispose his love for Thomas, only to find that it was futile. It’s a miracle that he still even possesses a fragment that is capable of loving after such an experience.
I don’t believe Maven has ever really had the chance to be in any healthy, loving relationships, having been surrounded with his father and mother who seemingly led a loveless marriage borne out of political interests. It’s possible that Elara had blamed Maven for her shortcomings, or that Maven felt the disparity between his parents were because of him. Considering that most members of the court are engaged out of such political interests, they did not provide him much demonstration either, and so he also follows the same path. He has been betrothed three times; to Mare, Evangeline, and Iris. His involvement in any potential marriage has been due to political interests. As king, he had to be initially engaged to Evangeline, who had been formerly engaged to his brother. So I imagine that he would have been astonished to hear how Reds marry out of love when he was little. I believe his search for acceptance is the root cause of his obsession with Mare. In Red Queen, Mare comes to value him and care for him. After the events of Red Queen, Maven doesn’t want to believe that he’d broken the trust of one of the only people who’d ever cared about him, and so that’s possibly why he seeks her out and tries to win her over again.
In conclusion, the whole purpose of this post is to encourage fans to approach the series with a different viewpoint. I hope that this might encourage all of us to be more accepting towards opinions we might not typically agree with. Remember that a fandom is only fun when it is a safe place for people to provide input and feel valued.
get to know me meme: 10 favourite male characters ≡nico di angelo (the camp half blood series); Minos laughed. “You have no power over me. I am the lord of spirits! The ghost king!” “No.” Nico drew his sword. “I am.”
I want to mention that the content within this post might be offensive to you if you’re overtly fond of Cal Calore. This post is solely designated to addressing my criticism. This will be followed by a longer post discussing my viewpoint on Maven Calore.
I would like to note that being offended does not give you permission to write spiteful or insulting comments. It’s the twenty first century, please attempt to act like you’re civilized
I have been seeing a lot of posts lately that praise Cal as a character and put him up on a high pedestal. I find this a little bothersome, personally thinking of his character as a flawed one that is constantly being labeled as “perfect.” or “an angel” for no real reason that I can see. Now, I’m not usually one to reprimand individuals for their own personal opinions, typically opting to silently hate on a character and not get involved in “fandom wars”. However, the Red Queen fandom on Tumblr is just becoming particularly frustrating.
Therefore I would like to address the many flaws of Cal Calore, in an attempt to direct attention to topics that so many of his multitude of fans attempt to disregard or avoid, and I will attempt to do so in a civil way.
Before we begin this, I would like to request everyone to please stay calm and civilized when attempting to argue against my points. The purpose of this post is not to start a fandom war, just to raise awareness about Cal and the flaws of his that are not commonly addressed or are often disregarded in the fandom.
Now to begin. Firstly, CAL IS NOT AN ALLY TO THE REDS!!! Neither Maven nor Cal are allies to the Reds in particular. A point that proves this fact is when, in King’s Cage, Cameron noticed that Cal was sacrificing Reds to fight the battle relentlessly, without caring too much for their lives. Also, in several instances, he objects to combatting the Silvers who pose a threat to the Scarlet Guard. When Mare is captured, he does not seek the opportunity to ease the animosity and distrust between him and members of the Scarlet Guard, instead preferring to pointlessly worry about Mare. He does not attempt to comprehend the struggles that Reds face, nor does he make much attempts to gain Red allies or strengthen bonds with the Reds beside the friendships he has already made. He is seemingly only interested when Mare is involved. He separated himself from the Reds, opting only to find ways of rescuing Mare. Progress for the Reds in his kingdom has never been a vital part for him. What kind of king would that have made him? Probably just like his father.
Cal is not a saviour to the Reds, nor should he be perceived as such. He is seemingly loyal to the Scarlet Guard, but only when Mare is there with him. He did not join the Scarlet Guard as a choice, he joined because he lacked options. Cal is a traditionalist, and he wants to reattain the division that has existed for the sole purpose of avoiding any change.
He is also extremely indecisive, a quality that is never befitting for a king. A king must be prepared to be make quick decisions, settling on a concrete answer when lives are at stake. He does not commit to the Scarlet Guard at all, secretly hoping that he has the chance to obtain his crown, and when given the opportunity to do so he jumped on it without thinking twice. This unreliability on his loyalty has always been something that has irked me.
Another aspect that I wish to cover is his choice at the epilogue of King’s Cage. He selects the promise of his past life, the promise of the crown and the throne, over the beneficial changes that the Scarlet Guard can make to Norta. Despite being close to some Reds and observing everything he has, he still wishes to regain his promised crown. He does not have a desire for a change, not when his upbringing is concerned. I’ve heard some claim that he chooses so because he believes he can ease the division, that he can repair the system when Mare is at his side. If this is his actual reasoning, then it’s absolutely foolish. Anabel and Volo Samos, along with Larentia Viper are no champions of change. I doubt Volo Samos or Larentia have ever expressed any desires to change the current system. As such, if Cal does actually believe they will permit him to implement such a change, he is extremely naive.
In addition, I also want to acknowledge his actions in Red Queen, which are always woefully ignored. When given the opportune moment, Cal becomes involved with Mare, dancing with her and kissing her despite her engagement to his brother. He is completely aware that she is betrothed to Maven, and even that Maven has feelings for her, yet does not seem to be concerned much about this. He is also engaged to Evangeline, promised to her- believing that he will become king alongside her. This is a betrayal of his brother’s trust, although definitely not in league with Maven’s betrayal. I can’t remember Cal displaying much guilt for this, which is something that is concerning. I don’t imagine that he has ever told Maven of what occurred that night. I find it rather peculiar that he doesn’t ever seem to notice Maven’s animosity towards him, believing him to be his docile little brother until he is betrayed. Perhaps Maven is a better actor than I envision him to be, or Cal is just extremely oblivious (another bad quality for a king).
Just… Be a general Cal, it’s the only thing you’re good at.
Not to mention that Cal is seemingly keeping secrets from us, never mentioning that he was aware of the population control that was mentioned in King’s Cage. Does he truly not know or did he not wish to reveal it? Was it just convenient for him?
In conclusion, I want to reiterate the point that I do not intend to start any conflict within the fandom. The whole purpose of this post is to encourage fans to approach the series with a different viewpoint. I hope that this might encourage all of us to be more accepting towards opinions we might not typically agree with. Remember that a fandom is only fun when it is a safe place for people to provide input and feel valued.