Louis is a highly active and opportunistic man, who wastes no time in bringing Marie Antoinette to court, instilling her in her own set of apartments, and attempting to convince his grandson to ‘do his duty’ with his wife and provide France with heirs. He cannot understand why Louis seems disinterested in the physical side of the marriage, because Louis sees it as ‘something that you should enjoy.’ Indeed, he spends a great deal of time indulging himself with his mistress when he’s not attending matters of state, throwing and attending banquets, arranging lavish celebrations, or off hunting and riding with his court. Though he uses his tert Fe to be incredibly charming and put other people at ease, Louis is also a shrewd tactician, who makes decisions with his mind rather than his emotions. He marries his grandsons off to create dynastic alliances, he doesn’t care how they feel about it, and he expects them to ‘get on with things.’ He’s very good at putting others at ease, but also gives Marie the creeps when he makes romantic advances toward her, spends time in her bedchamber before breakfast, and doesn’t conceal the fact that she arouses him. As time goes on, he talks more and more about leaving a ‘legacy’ and wanting to create something for ‘the future of France.’ Once aware of his own mortality, he turns his mind to the future he desires for his mistress, and tries to provide for her prior to his death, to ensure she is well-protected and still accepted at court (he dies before he can marry her).

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Louis is very concerned about appearances, and also quite charming; he immediately puts Marie at ease once she arrives in France by being generous and supportive toward her, but their relationship wears thin later when she refuses to adhere to court protocols and does not want to acknowledge his mistress in public. Louis at first asks her politely and tries to be delicate about it, but then when she slights Madam du Barry, he becomes angry, has her snatched up into his carriage, and tells her off, before he hurls her out into the dirt—reminding her that he is the king of France and will be obeyed. He refers to himself as ‘France,’ implying that he is the center of his own universe and recognizes his own self-importance. Appearances are everything to him, and he becomes angriest over matters which reflect poorly on his court, embarrass him, or make him appear to be weak (he even chastises his daughters, after Marie laughs at their slurping of food and lack of etiquette). He wields his 2 wing in being likable and accommodating, but a lot of that is just to put a nice face on his ruthless ambitions. And yet, Louis does seem to want to help Marie as much as he can—and that slips over into invasive and creepy territory, as he becomes more and more aroused by her and starts seeing her as someone to bed, rather than as his grandson’s wife. Even after Louis almost dies after collapsing at court, he puts on a strong face and pretends nothing is wrong (the mask comes off when he’s alone, and we can see how exhausted he is).

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