Wednesday, November 4, 2015

In Defense of Raoul || Part one || AVM Blog Party

I'm linking up with The Very Musical Blog Party.

(You can find the rules here.)

And this one is technically Day Three's challenge: Chose a Character to Defend/Discuss.

I'm going to defend Raoul, and discuss the Phantom, because I break rules.

And here I go!

People are always saying that Raoul was boring and wimpy and controlling. They say that the            
Phantom was just misunderstood and sad, and Christine should have chosen him over Raoul.            

WRONG! Raoul was cool!

Let's take a look at it, shall we?

Phantom VS. Raoul*

*Using the musical as reference, and not the movie. And excluding Love Never Dies, because Love Never Dies is not canon, and it sucked. (Also, I don't refer to the Phantom as Erik, because in the musical, we never find out his name, mkay?)

The Phantom and Raoul are polar opposites.

The Phantom was controlling, manipulative, and guys... he murdered people. Lots of people! #warningsign

Raoul, by contrast, was steady and encouraging, and just all 'round, nicer.

Christine is in her early twenties in the musical. Raoul can't be that much older than her, because they were best friends as kids. The Phantom is like thirty-five.Warning bells right there, ladies and gentlemen..

Okay, so Christine's dad told her that when died, he would send the Angel of Music to her.  He passed away when Christine was about ten years old, and Madame Giry took her in at the Opera House. This is when the Phantom first encountered her, and became obsessed with her voice.

By creepily lurking in her walls, he found out about about this "angel of music", and thought "Aha! Idea!" and decided to become Christine's angel. Talk about about sneaking up on someone when they're vulnerable! She was so young, and she'd just lost her father, and he used her emotional state to his advantage. (I don't think he meant to, it just happened. BUT STILL.)

Sure, he taught her to sing, but he did it from the inside of a wall, and she never even saw him until after she sang Think of Me, and he takes her  to his underground lair. (By the way, the entrance to his underground lair is behind the mirror in her dressing room. Uh oh! Stranger danger, stranger danger!)

It never really says in the musical how long the Phantom and Christine knew each other, I'm guessing it was a while, since he got her to trust him. He hid in the opera house, he was the Opera Ghost. He spied on her, he basically brainwashed her into believing that he was the angel of music that her father had promised to send her when he got to heaven. That sounds like the healthy foundation on which good relationships are formed! Not.

There you go. That is the Phantom and Christine's backstory.

Raoul and Christine were childhood friends, they met before her father died, and from the lyrics of Little Lotte, they were really close. He obviously knew her well enough, that he was able to use the nickname Little Lotte.  He apparently liked her way back then too, because he ran into the cold, cold water to rescue the scarf that her dad got her. (Rawr, Mr. Vicomte sir, such bravery.)


When they were reunited after Christine's fist solo performance, it's plain to see that the spark that was between them when they were kids was still there. They reminisce about having picnics in the attic, and telling each other stories, and he makes her happy.

Then Raoul wants to take her for dinner, and the only reason Christine says no is because she is afraid that the "Angel of Music" would get angry.

And that is their backstory. It seems a lot healthier, doesn't it? Doesn't it!? (Everybody say it with me now: YEAAAAH.)

Right, so let's compare and contrast the Phantom and Raoul. (Mwuahaha, I love doing that.)

The Phantom is creepy! Besides the fact that he totally stalks Christine, he's just overall kind of insane. He's sympathetically insane but he's still soooooo bonkers. I mean like worthy-to-be-locked-up-in-an-asylum-for-years bonkers.

I'm sure he did love Christine. I won't argue that. But the kind of love he had for her seemed to be more the kind you'd have for property. He acted like he owned her, and he wanted her to serve him. (Probably because he never learned or understood what love was... which is really depressing, when you think about it....) But still, the way he talks to Christine is alarming.

You have come here, for one purpose, and one alone:
Since the moment I first heard you sing, 
I have needed you with me. 
To serve me, 
to sing, for my music.... 
                        (Music of the Night)

He scared her. The first clue to this was when Raoul wants to take her out for dinner.

Raoul: And now, we go to supper.
Christine: No, Raoul, the Angel of Music is very strict.
Raoul:  Well I shan't keep you up late! You must change, 
and I must get my hat. Two minutes-- Little Lotte.
And after he leaves to get his hat, she says to herself: Things have changed, Raoul.

It's not that she didn't want to go to dinner with him, it's that she was afraid to make this so called "Angel of Music" have a spazz attack.

It's only after the Phantom feels threatened by Raoul that he shows himself to Christine. He pretty much pulls her down into his lair, and you can tell that she's a bit nervous to go down alone with him. She's kind of pulling back the whole journey, but he's like "No no no, come! I have candy! And music!"

Sing once again with me, our strange duet.
My power over you, grows stronger yet. 
And though you turn from me to glance behind. 
The Phantom of the Opera is there, inside your mind.
                                           (Title Song.)
Mmm. "my power over you grows stronger yet," and "the Phantom of the Opera is there inside your mind," seem like maybe she's not going into his lair with her full faculties about her. Hypnotism!

And then he's like "Oh rad, I have the best idea. I'll show her the life sized doll I made to look just like her. She'll love that. And oh yeah, I'll put the doll in a wedding dress, that will really make Christine's night."

He had the doll in a wedding dress. Guys. GUYS. Weird, guys!

Okay so then after she faints, she wakes up, still in his lair, and she's confused and hazy on the details of how she got down there, because whenever she and the Phantom are alone, he kind of puts her in a trance. All she remembers is that there was a boat, and a man, and the man was wearing a mask.

She sees the Phantom across the room, and in a moment of curiosity, takes off his mask.

*cue thunder and screaming and earthquakes* (not really, but close)

He flips out on her, and curses her to hell, because she saw his face and that's not okay with him.

You little prying pandora!
You little demon! Is this what you wanted to see?
Curse you! You little lying Delilah! You little viper!
Now you cannot ever be free!
                                                       (I Remember There Was Mist/Stranger Than You Dreamt it)

Then he gets really quiet and starts singing to her about what it's like to be him.

Fear can turn to love, you'll learn to see, 
to find the man behind the monster.

It is so sad how messed up he is.  

The Phantom calms down when she hands him back his mask and returns Christine to the theater.... like he switches from Evil!Phantom to Calm!Phantom, like some sort of undrugged Jekyll and Hyde.

Meanwhile, Raoul can't find Christine, and he's worried that something happened to her, because she ditched him and clean forgot about their dinner date, and he heard a man's voice in her dressing room. On top of that he gets this weird note from someone he doesn't know.

Do not fear for Miss Daae, 
the Angel of Music has her under his wing.
Make no attempt to see her again. 

Needless to say he's not happy about that. And then Madame Giry brings another message from Opera Ghost, which is addressed to pretty much everyone in charge.

Christine Daae has returned to you, and I am anxious her career should progress. 
In the new production of "Il Muto," you will therefore cast Carlotta as the pageboy. 
And put Miss Daae in the role of Countess.

Raoul think this note is arrogant and frightening since this so-called Opera Ghost is ordering Christine to sing the lead, and he's threatening disastrous consequences if she doesn't.

Raoul was new at the Opera House, so I don't think he realized how serious the Phantom was, he just thought he was a crazy person, who had a fixation on Christine. So to keep Christine out of harm's way, and to stand up to  this Opera Ghost, he decides to keep Christine in the chorus.

Christine spoke of an Angel.
Is this her Angel of Music? Angel or madman?
Orders, warnings, lunatic demands!
Surely, for her sake, I must see these demands are rejected.
                                                       (Prima Donna)

Everything Raoul does is to protect Christine.

The managers of the Opera Populaire decide to leave Carlotta as the lead, making the Phantom do nasty things: Carlotta's voice going all wonky, and Buquet getting hung. (The Phantom literally killed Buquet because he had been talking about his face. He's like, "No, my face, you can't talk about it. Keep it secret... keep it safe.)

After Buquet's body falls onto the stage, the first thing Raoul does is find Christine to get her safe.

Raoul: Christine, come with me--
Christine: No, to the roof! We'll be safe there.
                                                                (Poor Fool, He Makes Me Laugh)

Christine's terrified, and takes Raoul to the roof because that's as far away from the basement-- AKA the Phantom's lair-- as she can get.

And right there on the roof Christine has a meltdown.

"Don't take me back there, he'll kill me!
His eyes will find me there, those eyes that burn...
And if he has to kill a thousand men,
The Phantom of the Opera will kill and kill again!
Who is this man? Who hunts to kill?
I can't escape from him, I never will...
                                (Why Have You Brought Me Here)

Honestly, he probably thought she was a little crazy, I mean, she's going off about the Phantom of the Opera being inside her mind....

And in this labyrinth, where night is blind, 
the Phantom of the Opera is there, inside my mind!
                                              (Why Have You Brought Me Here.)

Raoul calms her down, he's very gentle, he's very kind.

And then he hears the Phantom whisper Christine's name too, and I think that's when he realizes that the Phantom of Opera is real. I don't think he believed that he was a ghost, but he realized that the someone terrorizing the opera house was very real.

But at that moment, he doesn't really care, because Christine is crying, and he wants to make her feel safe.

Every single thing that Raoul says is the opposite of what the phantom says. Okay, so for example, "Music of the Night" is the Phantom's love song, and "All I Ask of You" is Raoul's, right? So think about the difference in what they say to Christine. (I won't do the whole songs, just bits and pieces.)

Music of the Night                                                                    All I Ask of You

Nighttime sharpens, heightens each sensation                                       No more talk of darkness
Darkness stirs, and wakes imagination                                               Forget these wide eyed fears

Turn your face away from the garish light of day                                    Let me be your shelter,  
Turn your thoughts away from cold,                                                                 Let me be you light
     unfeeling light.                                                                                  You're safe, no one will find you

Let your soul take you where you want to be                                         Let me be your freedom
Only then, can you belong to me.                                                        Let daylight dry your tears
                                                                                                          I'm here, with you, beside you
                                                                                                          To guard you, and to guide you.

It doesn't seem weird to anyone else that the Phantom always says things like, 'You belong to me," and "serve me"?

Whenever Christine talks about the Phantom, there's always a part of the song where she says that he scares her, or she's afraid.

Every. Time.

When Christine accepts Raoul's proposal, she's not holding back, she's not even a little bit afraid, she's excited and happy, and you can tell how much she wants to get away from the darkness that is in the Phantom.

All I want is freedom, 
a world with no more night.
And you, always beside me
to hold me, and to hide me.
                         (All I Ask of You.)  


Guess who was creepin' on them the whole time they were having a moment? *cue thunder and screaming and earthquakes* Oh yeah, it was the Phantom. I'm not going to say it wasn't sad that he found out that way that she didn't love him. I mean, the way he says I gave you my music, is like he gave her everything and she betrayed him.

She's the one person he opened up to and she basically went "NOPE!" That is so sad. And that, ladies and gentlemen is what makes him human, and relatable, but it's also the turning point for him. I'm pretty sure that denial and betrayal was what sent him into a tail spin.

I gave you my music, made your song take wing....
And now, how you've repaid me: denied me and betrayed me!
He was bound to love you, when he heard you sing...
Christine.... Christine.... 
                        (All I Ask of You Reprise)

That's sad. I mean, that is really sad. But then again, the Phantom doesn't love Christine so much as he loves her voice. "He was bound to love you when he heard you sing." Yeah, her voice is lovely, but Raoul loves her for more than that, whereas the Phantom loves her voice and her music. Christine is more than just vocal chords, mkay?
Our poor abandoned Phantom promptly throws caution to the wind, and goes on a full-on Rage Rampage. 

You will curse the day you did not do
                                            (All I Ask of You Reprise)
He literally throws a tantrum and destroys the giant chandelier that lights up the stage of the opera house. He's a freaking child!

*Thunder and screaming and earthquakes*

*Phantom overture plays*

And that's where I'm going to break, because it seems like a good place to break.
I'll post the second part tonight or tomorrow.

What did you think so far?
Am I winning you over?



  1. *standing ovation* I agree entirely.

  2. I don't know... I still don't like Raoul. He's not as bad as the Phantom, but he's still demanding and kind of brushes of Christine's concerns. But you're making a great point for the Phantom's creepiness. Ugh.

    1. *blinks at you* haha I touch on the demanding bit in the next post, I think.... lol it's not like you have to agree, I've just had the urge to defend him for a while so . :)

      PHANTOM IS CREEPY! lol thank you!

  3. I like this. Especially the *Thunder and screaming and earthquakes* And I could probably come up with more to say about it BUT I AM TOOOO TIRED MAN

    1. Awwww yasss thank you! (Haha, I did the Thunder and screaming and earthquakes as a joke the first time, and then I liked it and had to continue. lol.)


  4. Do they really call him Erik in LND? I did not know that. I mean, yeah, that's his name in the book, but c'mon y'all - HE'S THE PHANTOM! He don't do names! (If he did, let's all remember Parker's inimitable quote: "Eric with a C, nice and friendly. Erik with a K - EVIL." Let us see, how do we spell the Phantom's name? *Insert The Scream*)

    Yay, Raoul! He is the bestest protector in the whole wide world. He is awesome sauce and awesome sausage! He is what true and unconditional love is all about. *Rah, Raoul, Rah, Raoul, Rah, Rah, Rah!*

    1. Yes, and it bothers me . lol.... OMG HE ACTUALLY IS ERIK WITH A K. *Scream face back*

      Yeah he is, and I want to love him and squeeze him and call him George. :)

  5. I LOVE THIS SO MUCH! This makes me happy on so many levels.

    What?! People think Rauol is controlling? They do know who Rauol is and who the Phantom is, right? Because I think they're a little mixed up.

    YOU MENTIONED THE OPPOSITES IN THEIR LYRICS!! *dances* That's one of the things I notice every single time I watch it.

    Oh, though I do watch the movie. I've never seen the musical or youtube pieces of it. It would be so stupendous if I could see it live one day! That would be amazing!

    Okay, back to topic. I always wonder why people never seem to take into consideration that Christine is SCARED of the Phantom. She basically has a panic attack on the roof. Not because she's some silly little girl hiding from her "boyfriend." She is legitimately scared for good reasons. Her "boyfriend" just killed someone, hello! If you're scared of someone like that, then it's probably not healthy to be around them.

    Also, when you mentioned the Phantom's lyrics "Fear can turn into love, you'll see"-- um, NO. It makes me think of this Bible verse. I can't remember where it is. But it says something to the effect of perfect love drives out all fear.

    I did not know that the Phantom had a made a giant doll of Christine. I've only seen the movie and it wasn't very clear about that. Or maybe I'm just dense. I didn't understand what was happening exactly at that part in the movie. It's always confused me. So yeah. I'm glad you cleared that up. X'D But again, that is. . . weird. And not in a good. Another warning sign, that the Phantom is not right in the head. Yes, he needs help. And he doesn't understand what real love is. But romantic love is not going to fix him. It'll only make him worse. He needs real help.

    Also, I did not understand that Rauol was trying to protect Christine by not having her take the lead role when the Phantom demanded it of her. Again, in the movie that always confused me. It seemed more like Rauol and the Phantom were having this whole macho power struggle or something. "It's my opera house!" "No, it's mine and I make the decisions." I didn't understand why they would let Carlotta sing when Christine was much better. It never even occurred to me that Rauol was trying to protect her. Maybe the movie is vague. . . or again maybe I'm just dense. But it makes waaaay more sense now!

    Awesome post!

    1. AWWW it made me happy that it made you happy XD

      THAT'S WHAT I THOUGHT when I found out about people saying Raoul is controlling... like... no.

      Yeah, I've always known that they were opposites, but the last dose of obsession made it like... shout at me. haha. :)

      The movie is actually pretty okay. I think people who watch it first prefer it over the musical, but people who know the musical get irritated with it. (It's not as bad as phans make it out to be lol.) BUT the 25 anniversary is on netflix, if you want to watch it... it's good. It has some problems, but overall it's good. I WANT TO SEE IT LIVE IN NEW YORK SO BADLY.

      okay. People tend to ignore the Scared Christine aspect of the show. Because the Phantom is more charismatic than Raoul. HER ANGEL OF MUSIC IS WEIRD AND MURDERS PEOPLE.


      Yeah, in the musical, he shows her this giant doll in a wedding dress, and she faints, because... weird. lol. So yeah... I love that you're pointing out warning signs too. it just.... makes me giggly. :) AND REAL HELP like what they have *now*.They didnt have the kind of mental help then that could have helped him, and it's sad, but there you go.

      Hehe, well I think they might have changed some of the lyrics in the movie, but I don't listen to that version enough to be sure. (I know they lowered the key, because I can hit Carlotta's notes in the movie, and I can't in the musical.) But no, the only reason Raoul didn't want Christine to sing was because it was weird that this random "opera ghost" was like "sing!" Carlotta's role is actually way harder than Christine's, vocally, because her notes are all over the scale, and she's just... golden. BUT CHRISTINE'S VOICE IS SIMPLER. SO YES.

      HAHAH I'm glad I cleared some of that up for you.

      Thanks. :)

  6. Excellent post! I love Raoul defenses; there just aren't enough of them. And (switching tracks for a moment) I'm another fan/Phan who sticks to call him "The Phantom" only because his name is never mentioned in the musical. It's nice to know I'm not the only one. :-)
    Christine was 10 when her father died? Wow, I didn't know that. It explains why she so readily believed the voice behind the mirror was who he claimed to be. But I agree with you that the Phantom didn't meant to take advantage of Christine; he just wanted her to trust him so he could train her voice. That said, I love the Phantom/Jekyll & Hyde comparison!
    I noticed that Raoul would rather be remembered as the little boy who rescued her scarf than announced as the Vicomte de Chagny. That's just plain sweet!

    1. Aw thank you! Haha, I love Raoul defenses too, and this has been a while stewing, because... I know some people who hate Raoul and it just bugs me, because... no, Raoul is awesome and he shouldn't be hated.
      LOL! That's awesome *fist bump for calling him Phantom." I dunno. I think it was a mistake to tell people his name, because it took away from the mystery.

      Yeah, Christine was pretty young, and it does make more sense to have her that young, because if she was like 17, and believing in the angel of music, that would have been weird lol. Poor Phantom didn't mean to be a creep. (Oooh you noticed the Jekyll and Hyde comparison. You're awesome.)

      Ohmygoodness, you pointed out something that I didn't notice with Raoul! THAT'S EPIC AND I LOVE IT.

    2. Bella was the one who introduced me to Jekyll and Hyde (the concept album, of course!) I have it on my Christmas wish list, and if I don't get it as a gift, I may buy it myself. :-)
      Believe me, I've thought a LOT about Raoul and his actions and motives. New stuff comes to mind all the time; there's a lot more to his character than people give him credit for.
      I love your PotO fanart--I've pinned some of it (hope you don't mind), giving you credit, of course. The Raoul/Christine hug-and-spin drawing is probably my favorite!

    3. hahaha, the concept album is the only acceptable version of Jekyll and Hyde, because ANTHONY WARLOW. (That's a good plan lol.(

      GOOD FOR YOU! I AM HAPPY! People don't think about his character because they love the Phantom and therefore ignore Raoul and IT BUGS me. lol.

      Awwwwww thank you so much! That makes me very happy. (Also, pinning is always okay, because it makes me feel professional and giggly.) The Raoul/Christine hug is one of my favorites too!!!!!! :)

  7. I agree with everything and I’d love to see you throw in LND into this discussion just because I was watching it last night and I think it rasures all you wrote.

    1. I listened to LND once when it first came out and hated it, so I seriously doubt I'd ever listen to it again, even to bring it into this discussion lol. I feel like LND is Andrew Loyd Webber's fanfiction of Gaston Leroux's book, and is therefore not worth mentioning :D


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