Fernand doesn’t have much screen time, but what he does have, he uses to further his own agenda and it hints at even more ‘in the moment’ decisions. He notices Napoleon giving his friend a letter to deliver to someone on the mainland in secret, reads it, and then reports it to the authorities, knowing it will get Edmond killed for treason or put away for life—just so Fernand can steal his woman. He marries her instantly without wondering why her attitude has changed about him (she thinks her lover is dead, and needs to conceal her pregnancy from the public). He assumes the child is his own and raises him, while womanizing, gambling, and squandering his fortune on the side. He confesses that he has participated in “piracy, corruption, and murder,” all assuming the consequences would never catch up to him. Fernand makes a lot of purely rational decisions to get what he wants—it’s logical to betray someone and take what is theirs, to arrange to have your father killed by killing someone else’s father (“we can both help each other”), and to take part in underhanded schemes and piracy if it earns you money, which is what he wants. But he’s very poor at dealing with people and their feelings, in being respectful of others’ emotions, or in understanding them. Fernand can be charming and persuasive if he wants to be, pestering Mercedes with his desires early in the film, and later saying cruel things to her, to make up for his own hurt feelings (calling her a whore in front of their son, to provoke them both). He has little to no ability to foresee the twists and turns Edmond has laid out for him, and never once suspects the Count is his former best friend.

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Fernand suffers from an excess of envy in that he always wants what other people has, and he takes whatever method arises in front of him to take it from them, without remorse. He often has fits of temper, throwing things, storming out of rooms, and seeking to kill Edmond when he realizes the truth. Rather than be super upset when he learns that his son is actually the child of the man he threw into prison, Fernand walks out on her, and then tells her son that this is “proof that your mother was as much of a whore then as she is now.” He had his own father killed to inherit his fortune. He also doesn’t bother to maintain appearances, rushing out to handle his affairs going south in the middle of his own son’s birthday celebrations, and leaving his wife to make up stories about his absence. He is hedonistic and impulsive, and his 7 wing wants to avoid any kind of responsibility; he runs away from his problems and intends to skip out on prison if he can, but also in an 8 way, throws away his life in an attempt to kill Edmond (“I can’t stand living in a world where you have everything and I have nothing!”).

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