Pavarotti, and Kurt, and Blaine, and Klaine.
My ask box just imploded with theories regarding Pav.
Not the twitter account. The actual bird. Most of them are all “BLAINE ONLY LIKED KURT WHEN PAVAROTTI DIED AND PAVAROTTI REPRESENTED KURT’S INDIVIDUALITY,” etc. And I have to admit, they’re great interpretations, but I don’t agree with them.
So. Uh. I’m tired and lazy, so I’m not going to make this some long-winded essay. Let’s use bullets instead. Bullets are nice.
Okay, my general point is that Pavarotti’s life as we saw it was Kurt’s molting stage and that Pavarotti’s death and its aftermath represented Kurt’s rebirth. In a nutshell. Okay, bullets.
- Pre-Pavarotti Kurt was his “birth,” and growing stage. From being bullied to discovering himself to asserting himself to all of that. Yup. Self-explanatory.
- Pavarotti’s molting was introduced in the same episode that Kurt was given Pavarotti. However, Kurt did not notice what he would later learn was molting until after encountering the way that the Warblers worked. Like, here’s the thing: Kurt struts in, thinking he’ll automatically rule the club, spouting suggestions and jokes without being acquainted with the members. He meets opposition and is given Pavarotti. Pavarotti is introduced as a canonical metaphor for Kurt’s voice. Kurt does not question this. The last solo we see him get before Blackbird was after that, where his delusions remain intact. Then he is shot down by the club and Blaine gives him that speech. It is not until at least a day after Sectionals, which is well after the initial Dalton scene, that Kurt notices that Pavarotti is not himself. He freaks out because he’s not familiar with Pav’s behavior, instantly sees it as something wrong. Then Blaine tells him that Pavarotti is molting. Really. Think about it. Kurt is upset by the fact that he’s not ruling the Warblers, and Blaine talks him down. Later, Kurt freaks out over Pavarotti’s molting, upset by it. Blaine talks him down. Yup.
- Kurt begins his molting process during SE, but is aware of it only at the very end of the episode. This, then, continues throughout the following ones. Remember during Dog Days, where, after Blaine leaves, we get this shot of Kurt being all thoughtful while looking at Pavarotti? That’s where he gets it. This is his molting. He’s not staying at Dalton forever. He’s not going to stay in the background forever. But, for a while, it’s going to be necessary for him to do so. It’s not bad. Different. But not bad. In AVGC, Kurt puts it that way for Mr. Schue. In TSSSBS, he puts it that way for Rachel and Mercedes. In SLS, more molting occurs in Kurt as a romantic character, then in Sexy as a sexual character. As the episodes progress, we see more and more of Pav. In Sexy, he’s in the background, chirping along. That’s the beginning of the end, right there. In the beginning of Original Song, emphasis is put on him, too. Pavarotti is happy, well-cared for, adjusting. Kurt puts his spin on Pavarotti’s cage. This is a direct metaphor for Kurt. Then, in the scene of Pavarotti’s death, both Kurt and Pav are happily whistling, going about a regular day. Because the storm passed, and Kurt is ready to fly. Pavarotti, however, being a metaphor for Kurt’s molting, has served his purpose and dies.
- Kurt mourns Pavarotti and is simultaneously reborn. It’s no coincidence that his first solo since Don’t Cry was also his goodbye to Pavarotti. He’s sad about Pav’s death, but this is him taking the first steps outside of the cage. The cage wasn’t Dalton. The cage was molting. Kurt’s done molting, and he’s ready to shine once again. He doesn’t even ask permission. He bursts in, makes a snide remark about Blaine, and starts his solo, no questions asked. That’s the Kurt we know and love. He’s also doing something thoroughly emotional over a bird, a testament to his character’s compassion and love and all that jazz that we love. All that jazz that Blaine loves. He’s flying, he’s allowing himself to fly, and Blaine notices. This is Kurt at his prime– a solo fueled by emotion and plot– and that’s why it’s what makes Blaine finally see what’s going on. It’s a pretty commonly-accepted theory within the Klaine ship that Blaine had it bad for Kurt all along, he just didn’t know. This is why. Kurt was molting. Blaine wasn’t “turned on,” by Kurt’s sadness (as other shippers have insisted), but moved by Kurt’s emotions at their highest.
- Once Pavarotti is dead and Kurt has entered a new stage, everything starts going right for Kurt. Blaine sees him. He sings a solo. The club is even more accepting of him. He gets his duet. He gets Blaine. He is flying.
- The aftermath of Pavarotti’s death. Klaine’s first kiss happens over Kurt decorating Pavarotti’s casket. Klaine buries Pavarotti together (note the timing of that, too! it parallels the metaphor’s timing in Special Education when Kurt is given Pavarotti.). They are embarking in this new stage of Kurt’s life together.
The last bullet brings me to another point– Pavarotti is also a great metaphor for Blaine, but in a completely different way. Pavarotti is Blaine, and both are molting, but, again, it’s different.
- Pavarotti and Blaine have been around for a while. Blaine’s molting has been longer, and he’s done with taking care of Pavarotti, and he’s learned to look out for himself. However…
- Pavarotti and Blaine are still caged. Blaine is okay with this, but it’s obvious he’s only a lesser version of himself at Dalton. Look at how he acts just around Kurt and/or Kurt’s friends, and then look at how he acts in front of the Warblers. Especially in SE. This does change– ‘ello, character development, nice to have you here– but it’s there nonetheless. Pavarotti knows nothing but the cage, and Blaine has been there long enough to feel like that’s his home.
- Pavarotti’s death is Blaine finally being able to be himself. It’s been ages in the making, most notable in SLS with his “porcelain brids,” speech but probably long before that. Maybe even long before we knew him. And Pavarotti’s death, the end of Blaine’s longer stage of molting, allows him to notice and pursue Kurt, and to let others have the spotlight, things like that.
So Pav’s burial is metaphorical for the both of them, in my opinion, and it’s both of them taking flight, and it’s both of them saying goodbye to the past. It’s both of them embarking on a new, better stage, together.
But even if you choose not to accept it as a metaphor for Blaine, so be it. It doesn’t have to be. The metaphor is still there. Klaine is still there. And RIB are still amazing for having it play out like this.