It is one of the world’s incontrovertible truths that the people most likely to want power are those least suited to having it. Case in point: Lafalle Fenn Lafalle. While it’s unsurprising that he and Challe were born from the fairy king’s sword, his firm belief that the king hid the sword away in hopes of birthing an heir feels a teensy bit suspicious. How did Lafalle come by that knowledge while Challe had no idea? He was awakened by a bird (of prey, how appropriate); it’s not like someone could have told him. Of course, it’s possible that there was a text of some kind that Lafalle took with him, but it feels much more like he’s busy creating the narrative that he wants to be true, finding an outlet for his hatred of humans in a way that works best for him.
We only need to look at how he’s going about things to see that he’d be an absolute nightmare of a ruler. Lusul’s reveal at the end that she voluntarily gave Lafalle one of her wings to show her fealty says more about Lafalle than almost anything else. He’s effectively enslaving his own people to solidify his power, making him no better than the humans he despises. Just look at how he’s using Challe’s wing to control him – forcing him to commit murder is hardly the act of a benevolent ruler or master. He’s even using Challe against Anne, letting her know he’s doing terrible things at Lafalle’s behest to drive them apart. That he threatens to kill her and kidnap another silver sugar artisan from the Paige Workshop is almost the least of his crimes, and it’s still horrific.
The bloody content has significantly increased since Lafalle became a character in this show, giving the story a different feel. In some ways, it’s better because this arc feels like it’s more fully tackling the whole slavery issue. (Or at least trying to.) It’s also forcing the relationship between Challe and Anne to develop because there’s a real impetus for them to think about how they feel about each other – or at least to think about admitting it more. Challe’s love for Anne is something that Lafalle can (and is trying to) weaponize, and he sees their relationship as a threat to getting Challe to become his right hand of his own volition. Mostly, though, it looks like Challe and Anne being a couple flies in the face of what Lafalle wants to believe about human/fairy relations. He’s got a point that they aren’t good, but Lafalle can’t see that Anne and Challe provide a different blueprint than he’s attached to.
Meanwhile, Keith may be shaping up to be a more critical character going forward. He hasn’t quite switched workshops, but he went charging in when he heard what was happening at the Paige Workshop says a lot – about his attachment to the workshop and Anne. Elliot’s words to him about how they’re working for Anne rather than “instead of saving” her have a real effect, and why that is will likely cause some more angst for our favorite couple. But Elliot isn’t wrong, and Anne and Challe may have to get themselves out of their situation on their own.
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