quaint_twilight: (reinhard)
quaint_twilight ([personal profile] quaint_twilight) wrote on February 19th, 2010 at 11:42 am
Galactic Thoughts III: Oskar von Reuenthal (& Wolfgang Mittermeyer)
I'm definitely getting obsessed with this show, oh yes. It sucks that LotGH doesn't really have a sizable fandom or even much fanfiction.

Anyway, coming to Mittermeyer and Reuenthal, the twin stars of the Lohengramm Dynasty and two of the most important admirals in Reinhard's faction, second only to Kircheis. Their friendship is one to rival the bond between Reinhard and Kircheis.



Mittermeyer was the more simple-minded of the two, very down-to-earth, passionate and all-round nice guy despite his occasional tendency to resort to rash decisions made in a fit of anger or indignation. He grew up in a loving working-class family and was happily married to his childhood sweetheart. His life could almost be considered as very fulfilling, one which he conscientiously worked towards and thus achieved. Mittermeyer is a competent character but relatively less engaging when compared to the war titans and geniuses in this series. However, being more 'ordinary' should not be seen as a discredit. In some ways, Mittermeyer was to Reuenthal what Kircheis was to Reinhard, though they were not exactly similar. Mittermeyer wasn't as heavily burdened with depressing issues but Reuenthal was his greatest tragedy as much as Mittermeyer was Reuenthal greatest happiness in a life hampered by a problematic childhood.

Reuenthal was very composed though a little unpredictable due to his quiet nature. As a strategist, he was nearly on par with Reinhard and also proved to be an able administrator when he became the governor of Heinessen. However, he also has an ambitious streak and will sometimes say things that could be misunderstood for treachery. In this regard, Mittermeier always buffered his dangerous imagination, keeping his feet on the ground. Reuenthal was an honorable soldier but pride and ambition was his folly, and the sad state of his upbringing was like a thorn in his side which only alcohol could reveal. It was something he never discussed and never overcame.

The most unfortunate aspect of Reuenthal was his impression that women couldn't be trusted as they would eventually betray those they were supposed to love. I personally think Reuenthal wasn't completely self-aware of how much he had been affected by the emotional trauma he suffered in his childhood. His heterochromatic eyes was thought to be proof of his mother's adultery, which led to the latter's suicide and subsequent denouncement by his father. As a result he grew up hated and unwanted, and internalized all of his hurt which only deepened the problem to an extent where he could no longer be free of it. Reuenthal was the classic tall, dark and handsome type and attracted many women but always coldly dumped them despite momentarily partaking in their affections for him. So did he find pleasure in treating women like dirt as vengeance against his mother or was it that he did not believe that their show of love was genuine? I can't say for sure though I'm leaning towards the latter mainly because, in the end, he took an unexpected interest in a woman who, though a little deranged, hated him and wished for his downfall. As someone with such a great amount of pride, it's strange that he would subject himself to such (IMO misplaced) hatred and contempt from another person. Perhaps only this relationship felt 'real' to him because he was hated like how his parents hated him. It's possible that despite his pride as a warrior, he had a sense of self-loathing or maybe deep in his heart, he truly blamed himself for driving his mother to suicide and destroying his father's family.

Family issues aside, Reuenthal was a warrior at heart who held onto the same values of honor and integrity as the rest of the admirals but it seemed like his allegiance and obedience were strictly reserved for those who excelled on the battlefield. One scene of note was Reuenthal's outburst of anger at Lang's presence in a meeting concerning military matters, something which was completely out of the scope of Lang's work and expertise. If he had lived long enough to see Hilda take over as Kaiserin, Reuenthal's loyalties to the Lohengramm Dynasty might have weakened and he could've tried to seize power. Oberstein probably considered this possibility and thus tried to get rid of him. In fact, I'd say even Hilda had little confidence in his allegiance.

In the end, his pride became his undoing. In small defense of Reuenthal, he never wanted to rebel against Reinhard. He was thoroughly infuriated by the attempt on Reinhard's life at Uruvasi. However, he was too proud to accept that he was again suspected for treason, this time by the Terraists and refused to face the 'shame' of having to vindicate himself. Ironically, by deciding that he would choose to rebel out of his own volition (and not as a pawn in some cultists' scheme), he played directly into the plans of the Terraists. And unfortunately for Reuenthal, Mittermeyer was not there to stop him from his foolish attempt.

"I don't give a damn if you belittle republican democracy, profit at the expense of a nation, or deceive the people. But I won't allow you to soil the Kaiser's dignity with your filthy, feces-filled mouth. I neither served nor rebelled against a Kaiser who could be insulted by the likes of you!" - Reuenthal, after shooting Trunicht

There was no doubt that Reuenthal only had the utmost love and respect for Reinhard. I strongly disagree with the opinion that he was trying to pander to Reinhard's desire for a strong opponent. Why should he want to please Reinhard in such a meaningless manner? In fact, this train of thought smacks of the old Galactic system of cajoling which both Reinhard and Reuenthal detested to the core. Reuenthal was never that insincere in his admiration. To Reuenthal, his Kaiser was the gold standard and his rebellion was more of a personal way of gauging his abilities than anything else. Next to Mittermeyer, Reinhard was probably the only other person who had a special place in his heart.

Despite Reuenthal's selfish and foolish actions, his friendship with Mittermeier was definitely a bond that no act of treason could so easily break. There was an intimate level of trust and understanding between them that allowed him the ability to make several crucial decisions in the final moments of his life. He knew how Mittermeyer would respond just as well as how his best friend knew the reasons for his rebellion. Reuenthal was a great friend to Mittermeyer and would readily given his life for his best friend just as Mittermeyer would do the same for him. Regardless of his personal stance on women, he was very considerate towards Mittermeyer's wife and never tried to forced his personal ideas on his friend. They've fought alongside for so long that the loss of this friendship would have been crushing to Reuenthal.

"There's something that a self-important man from antiquity once said, self-importantly: 'It is the utmost happiness in life to have a friend to whom one can at the time of one's death, entrust one's infant.'" - Reuenthal

Mittermeyer is the reason Reuenthal died with true happiness. He died with confidence that his son would be able to grow up in a normal family and be loved instead of going through a dysfunctional upbringing from the combination Reuenthal and the aforementioned madwoman. Although he laughed at the thought that he had become a 'good guy' just prior to death, I think Reuenthal was glad to have been granted enough time to do what was necessary especially after his senseless rebellion. In a way, Reuenthal managed to redeem himself in his last hours by fulfilling his duty as an administrator by removing a dangerous parasite in the Lohengramm government in his final act of loyalty to Reinhard and his responsibility as a parent in ensuring a family for his son. It was a bittersweet closure to his character.

"The Gale Wolf is crying." - Bayerlain

Mittermeyer was given a choice in the matter of Reuenthal's rebellion. He knew that if he allowed the Kaiser to personally answer Reuenthal's open challenge, he would have nothing but hatred for Reinhard regardless of who was right. Ultimately, Mittermeyer chose to hate himself for leading the destruction of his best friend. He had failed to stop his friend from straying down a hopeless path and perhaps took it upon himself to witness Reuenthal's defeat as self-punishment. It was his fault, his responsibility and thus his sin to bear. Being forced to fight against Reuenthal must have been hard enough, but seeing that Reuenthal had waited for him in his last moments must have broken his heart.
 
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