I wasn’t going to make this post before the finale aired, but given the ridiculous discussion that’s been arising in some places there are some points I really want to make.
I love all 3 characters so there’ll be no bashing here (because as we all sane and logical fans know there’s no need to bash character A in order to praise character B).
Under read more because of spoilers.
I find it funny that some people are so keen on pointing out how Duke’s the one ~respecting~ Audrey and her choices while Nathan is being a jerk (I see a pattern here but I’m not going to comment on it so people can call me a biased bitch *ahem*), but they’re forgetting a very crucial detail: Audrey’s choice. Those people keep pulling at one character, pushing at another, saying Duke knows what’s best for her, Nathan knows what’s best for her, but what about what Audrey thinks? She’s not definied by either men, they may complement her in different ways, their relationship with her may push her into making certain choices, but who she is isn’t defined by them.
We can’t deny that her love for Nathan has pushed Audrey’s story into a certain path more than once, that it has brought very serious and very real consequences carried on over decades, but even if her relationship with Nathan, past or future, has helped shape who she is or what she chooses or what she does, it still doesn’t define who (or what) she is.
I have said this before to one of my friends, but I see Duke as the noble king, destined (or cursed) to carry the burden of an entire kingdom on his shoulder, the crown he wears a very heavy weight on all of his choices. He considers the fate of his town every time and when he respects and accepts Audrey’s choice to go into the barn he isn’t simply doing it because he loves her enough to let her go, but because he’s accepting her choice as the greater good.
And… it’s a very nice contrast to Nathan. I love both of them. I love both of them. I accept and respect (even though sometimes I may not agree, but still understand) their choices, but it’s Nathan who sees right through Audrey. Duke may be in love with her, but we can’t deny that Nathan knows her better (and in turn Audrey knows him better than anyone else). "You’re in love with her too. So how can you let her go? LOOK AT HER." and that’s the absolute turning point, the opposing directions of Duke and Nathan’s love for Audrey, because Duke’s so focused on respecting her choice to the point of letting her disappear, Nathan’s focused on what this choice is doing to her, and he sees (as we all do) that it’s tearing her apart. She doesn’t want to go, to leave them, to leave the life she could have with Nathan. And he sees it, sees the lie in the “choice”.
And that is not her choice to make, we all know that. She doesn’t have a choice because she doesn’t have options, it’s as simple as that. She goes in because she can’t not. So maybe people should stop focusing so much on what Nathan does, or what Duke does, and start to focus on Audrey.