no nO NONONONO OH MY GOD
I just realized 🥄 drew him sitting on a comfortable, normal-looking chair. He didn’t sit on anything similar to the thick seats he got custom-made for Athanasia, nor something fancy like his throne.
Meaning, during the reference pose they did for the painter, Claude ordered someone (likely Felix) to bring the least fancy chair into the room.
He also didn’t wear a formal uniform, like in Athy’s debutante. There’s no coat, nor a crown in sight. He didn’t even have any badges of his achievements on his clothes.
It’s unusual for something so important such as their first family portrait, especially since they’re the only two (alive and known) who represents Obelia’s royalty. You’d think they’d want others to know of their glory and power. But, instead…
Claude wanted normalcy for their family portrait.
He wanted future generations to see a vulnerable side to him where he wasn’t scary or intimidating, like how history books portrayed him to be.
He wanted everyone to know he could comfortably be his self with Athanasia.
Here, there is no power play. He didn’t have Athanasia sitting. He wasn’t towering over her. He wanted to avoid a situation where, if he wore his badges of honour, others would compare Athanasia’s achievements to himself. In no way did he want to portray Athanasia as inferior. He did not want others to believe he wanted Athanasia to prove herself for the throne. After all, to him, everything he has is already hers. And symbolicaly, Claude treated Athanasia as his equal. You might miss it, but if you look at where Athanasia is standing by her feet, she isn’t actually standing behind the chair, but next to it. She was standing sideways, so her feet was between the chair’s legs. He also showed he trusted her in the way Athanasia had her hands on his shoulder.
There are no pretenses; Just contentness.
Do you ever think about how Claude was secretly happy about Athanasia’s favour, asking him for a painting of them together? But what he didn’t know was that Athanasia had it done because she was secretly afraid to lose him now that Jennette appeared in their lives? That, after everything, Athanasia had it made so she could say, deep in her heart, that there was a time they were happy as a family and Claude loved her.
Do you ever think about him checking on the painting & seeing himself smile? Like, he APPROVED IT. He approved it knowing this was going to be in the royal family’s wall for generations. He didn’t have anything changed in the painting after making sure it was the best for his daughter. It only mattered that Athanasia saw the painting and liked it.
Do you ever think about how, based on his reaction after he had amnesia, he hardly—if ever—had his portrait painted? The only one we ever saw was his painting in the Book of Conquest, when he was crowned emperor. That was it!! He never had one made until Athanasia requested it!
Do you ever think about how he placed preservation spells on Athanasia’s drawings when she was a kid, so he probably had one stronger placed on their commisioned family portrait?
This was their first family portrait. He was okay having others know he loved and favoured Athy. 😭
He was happy!
And when he gets his amnesia cured, he has to live his life knowing he missed on his daughter’s growth. TWICE! He never saw her first steps, never heard her first word, never comforted her from when she first fell and scraped her knee, never saw her realize she had magic like her dad, never was the first one to teach her how to handle her magic, never went with her on her first outing outside the palace, etc.
But, in a way, he has to live his life knowing he was the first person to ever hurt her…
And you know what hurts? He had this all in mind, but when he got his amnesia, he did what he tried to avoid: humiliating his only beloved daughter; showed he didn’t trust her, and tried to intimidate her. It just so happened he did it on HIS birthday. He did it even after Felix showed him the painting. What a jinx of a foreshadowing, lmao.
STOOOOP STOOOP NOIRRKDJSJZ STOOOOOOP FFSnzjsbs
this hurts THIS HURTS NO PLEASE AHHHHHHH
PAIN PAIN PAIN PAIN PAIN PAIN PAIN–