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Cross Fandom Meta Conversations - Killing Dad: what does patricide mean for Regina and Killian.

@mryddinwilt and I were talking about how useful it was for people trying to understand how the Dark One worked for Emma and Hook to listen to what Dearies had been thinking about the Dark One for the last five years.  It struck me that a similar conversation can be had between Evil Regal meta writers and Hooker meta writers.  

Both Regina and Killian have killed their own fathers.  What does that crime mean for them and can thinking about the other help inform our understanding of both characters?

Regina killed her father in the second episode of the series, and it was one of the first things we learned about her backstory.  It was an action so alien and strange that even Lana when talking about it sometimes shivers and points out how warped that action was.  But we learned in 5.11 that it is a crime that she shares with Killian Jones.  So what does it mean to both characters that among their other crimes they carry this very personal burden of having murdered their own fathers to further their revenge schemes.

Although we saw Henry Sr.’s murder first, it is Brennan Jones’ murder that occurred chronologically first.  Regina sends him to face his father as a test of his resolve before she will send him off to kill her mother with the knowledge that Cora will exploit any weakness he might have.  From the point of view of the Evil Queen love is weakness and him being able to eliminate his father showed her that he had no love for Cora to exploit.  We don’t know what happened to young Liam Jones II after his father’s death.  My question for Hook meta writers is why did he kill him, what do you think the memory of that act means to him?  Did he try and forget what he had done?  Did he think it was worth it to get a chance at his revenge, and most interestingly after he moved on from that revenge quest how did he view that particular crime?

Regina’s murder of Henry Sr. was something that is both about her own revenge plot but also had a few other psychological layers.  She needed his heart to cast the Dark Curse, but she had tried to find another way around it by using Rocinate, her beloved horse’s heart.  She was not a stupid woman, even in her madness and I rather doubt she didn’t know it required a human sacrifice before Rumple told her.  But we also know that for the Dark Curse to work you must actually love the person involved.  There was a theory that I think despite the third casting of the Dark Curse I think is still beloved in Evil Regal fandom that Regina’s resilient heart is part of the key to the curse casting.  That Rumple needed someone who was both dark enough to cast the curse but still retained a heart powerful enough to still love deeply while in that darkness.

There are actually a lot of meta theories about Regina’s view of her father.  She loved him deeply and clearly adored him at least when she was younger. 

But he was weak (and likely abused by Cora as well) and could never protect Regina.  That no matter her love for him she was always angry at him for failing to do what he should have for her.  He never stopped Cora, standing by as Regina was magically abused, saying nothing as she was sold into a marriage against her will (only shaking his head no), and even suggesting that her desperate desire to get out of the madness before the wedding was “cold feet”.

He is treated like a valet even before Regina is in power, but under Leopold’s court.  The view within ER fandom is that was an insult to Regina by that court.  A queen’s father should have been a position of honor and respect, yet Regina was treated as little more than a pretty decoration in court, the queen of nothing, and the disrespect to her was displayed through treating her father like a servant.

Of course he continues to be a servant, treated badly and abused by his daughter in her madness as the Evil Queen serving her wine and brushing her hair.

A classic weak and abused man who was unloved by his father, abused by his wife and later his daughter his entire life.  Yet there are moments that suggest Henry wasn’t quite the innocent.  He actively helped in the plot to murder Leopold, lying to Sydney about the purpose of the vipers.  And it’s difficult to watch the scene at the wedding in 4.20 without thinking that he knew saying this to Regina would set her off.

The choice is either, for some reason, he intended to set her off or he wasn’t that smart a man.  I find it difficult to think someone who had been around both Cora and Regina wouldn’t recognize the result of using these words.

But there is also a running theme within Evil Regal fandom that Regina resented Henry not just for not protecting her when she was a child but for not standing up to her as she slipped into the darkness.  He appears to have only attempted to get her to express remorse when she was facing execution and he does this so that he can avoid feeling like a failure as a father.

Snow says Regina’s rant at the execution post was so that she wouldn’t show weakness but I’ve often felt it was provoked by resenting that her father wanted absolution for his own failures.  That he only cared about her repentance so that he could free his own conscience.  This idea picked up even more weight last year when Regina said this to Emma.

The idea that verbal apologies were meaningless because they were about the person apologizing rather than for the victim.  There is a fairly popular headcanon that Henry often apologized to Regina as a child for not protecting her and that it never changed anything in her life.  He would apologize but the next time he’d still do nothing.  So at the execution post he wanted her to say what was needed to be spared only so that he could feel better about himself and she refused to give the man who failed her so much that.

And you can also see this with the actual murder scene.  He has done little her entire life to help her, which even she knew was stopping her, but he doesn’t try to do so until his own life is in danger.  

Regina is a character that carries around massive amounts of self loathing, something that I think she shares with Hook even in their villain periods.  He talks about trying to escape the darkness at the bow of his ship.  She spends large amounts of time alone in thought in her castle.  Both I think wondering how they became the people they were.  It is my feeling that what drives her to finally kill him is not just her need for revenge but her punishing him for his part in who she became.

What do you think drove Hook to finally kill his father?  Was it about revenge or did he just say it was about revenge?  

There is also the question of how they both view the murders now.  We know that during the curse she visited her father’s grave often.  Save Henry we have her thanking him for leading her to her happiness but that isn’t a sentiment we’ve seen from redeeming Regina.  She has mentioned the crime only once (and once indirectly) since her Heel-Face Turn.  Both in A Curious Thing where the mechanics of the curse are discussed building up to the Second Curse.

First we have this exchange between Regina and Emma where Emma doesn’t appear to understand the either that one really does have to love deeply to cast the curse.  Regina looks pained at the idea and one has to think it’s the idea that no one in the room understands the cost of destroying the person she loved the most.

Ironically the only direct reference also comes from a member of the Charming family underestimating the cost of the curse.

It is my belief that Regina, on her path to redemption has built a mental wall around this particular crime.  Not that she has forgotten it but that while she can face the horrors she has inflicted on hundreds or thousands of others, strangers and not, the one she has yet to really face is this one.

The one crime of her past that she can never be absolved of because your father’s blood never comes off your hands.  How do you think the same kind of crime weighs on Killian?  And do you think that as their pasts come back to face them in the underworld that either will be able to come to peace with killing their fathers?

Note:  This is an open dialogue between Hook and Regina fandoms.  Please do not add anti- comments to this post or make this conversation about ships.