Does Lestat truly love Louis as much as he says? Or is Lestat’s love based on a pattern of obsession and jealousy?
Read last week’s episode review.
References To Real-Life Places
Before I begin, I would just like to note how interesting it is that the writers chose Chalmette as the place Claudia buried the dead bodies.
Chalmette was an area devasted by Hurricane Katrina a few years back. I know Louisiana is generally flood-prone, but there’s something eerie about the fact that the writers chose to include that specific place.
Mentions of Vanderbilt University, the College of Charleston, Lincoln University in Jefferson City, and the University of Alabama were also mentioned as places Claudia visited on her own solo journey.
Books Referenced In IWTV Episode 5
Gustave Flaubert’s work was noted as being “dense” by Louis, to which Lestat remarks that Louis sounds like every pretentious student Lestat killed at Sorbonne University in France.
(I wonder what exactly happened in France to Lestat, and why he is so adamant about never going back to Europe when Louis proposes it as a possible spot for their relocation.)
Louis was reading Cheri by Colette when Claudia walks through the door and returns home.
According to a quick google search, Cheri is a novel about an affair between a much-older prostitute and a young man almost 30 years her junior. Doing the math, that would make the male protagonist about 19 years old, which is how old Claudia may have been when she left home.
But since Louis is clearly (and admittedly) very gay and Lestat has no interest in children, it may be an analogy for Lestat and Louis’ strained relationship.
Louis Searches For Claudia
I really enjoyed the fact that Louis sent telepathic messages out to Claudia for nearly a decade apologizing and wishing for her to return home.
There was a shot of Lestat on the street in a hat and Louis above on their balcony smoking a cigarette, and it dawned on me that Lestat can’t hear Louis’ thoughts! I know that had been explicitly stated a few times in the show, but if Lestat knew what Louis was doing, he most likely would have instructed Louis to stop.
Indeed, Louis’ good intentions caused another vampire to stalk Claudia for months with the intention of only assaulting her, apparently. I watched the after-credits interview with one of the showrunners who said Claudia’s assault made her (loosely paraphrasing) “become a woman” or something to that effect.
Although, I don’t quite understand why a teenager trapped in a little girl’s body being assaulted by another vampire (and a pervert at that) in the woods was necessary for her character’s growth. I honestly thought Claudia traveling alone and going to different universities while learning herself how to be around people and hunt would be enough – and a vicious assault was extremely unnecessary for her character to flourish.
Why Does Lestat Love Louis?
Lestat seems to have fallen in love with Louis at first sight.
While that is romantic given the era Lestat is from, it’s not very realistic to expect Louis to give up his entire life and devote it to Lestat on a whim. I know Lestat expressed an urge for finding an eternal lover and companion, but Lestat never gave Louis time to adjust, or even figure out his feelings.
After being invited to breakfast with his family, Lestat uses his dark gifts to warp Paul’s mind. Soon after, Paul calls Lestat the devil and commits suicide. While I still firmly believe Lestat’s influence had an impact on Paul’s choice to end his life, Lestat still didn’t stop there.
Lestat then warps Louis’ mind, refusing him a chance to mourn his brother and attend Paul’s funeral.
While Louis is afraid and runs to the church for safety, Lestat brutally murders the priests Louis had known and trusted for years. After taking away his choice to mourn his brother, killing those he knew right in front of him, and downright terrifying him – Lestat then turns Louis into a vampire.
Maybe Lestat does truly love Louis, but Lestat’s definition of love seems to rely on an almost abusive form of obsession and co-dependency, while Louis may just crave a genuine emotional connection.
Does Louis Have Any Affection Towards Lestat?
Clearly, Louis does have affection towards Lestat but has a difficult time showing it due to his former life. Louis used to be a ‘pimp’ in Storyville, and apparently always a closeted-gay man. As the oldest son Louis did his best to “keep up appearances” by seeing Ms. Lily and projecting strength.
That projection of strength and masculinity is even what first caught Lestat’s attention as he was trouncing around through New Orleans.
I think based on how Louis had lived his human life, it was very difficult for him to show Lestat the obsessive affection Lestat needed – especially when Louis’ family and former business associates were still living nearby.
Alderman Fenwick even called Louis’ home a “sodomite townhouse” so I’m sure the pressure associated with his (former) identity and the persona he took years to carefully build, crumbling – must have messed with Louis mentally.
Although, I don’t believe Louis never verbally saying “I love you” back to Lestat warranted him beating Louis to within an inch of his life and dropping him from the sky like a fallen angel rejected by their god.
Either way, I think I’m going to end this review here. Tell me your thoughts –
Do you think Lestat truly loves Louis?
Was Claudia’s assault necessary to “develop her character” in the story?
Would Louis have left with Claudia if given the chance?
I’d love to know your thoughts and opinions! Leave them in the comment section below, and Subscribe to our Newsletter for more weekly Interview with the Vampire episode reviews.
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