Tell me something, do you like flowers?
A young swordsman goes to practice his swordsmanship in an abandoned field. When he arrives at his training spot he is confronted by a young maiden who asks him a simple question: “Do you like flowers?” Wilhelm’s answer is blunt and short, he hates them. The maiden then asks Wilhelm the reason he practices the sword, and he says that the sword is all he has. During the course of the questioning Wilhelm also reveals that his sword is to protect others. The young man Wilhelm doesn’t seem interested in anything else besides his swordsmanship.
The maiden comes to Wilhelm’s training spot on seemingly a daily basis to enjoy the flowers, while Wilhelm comes to hone his skills. Eventually he becomes strong enough to pass for a knight. The maiden says that he is finally getting to live his wish of protecting others. In a mission for the knights, Wilhelm finds himself at the mercy of his enemies. He is about to be killed, when a knight comes to his rescue who single-handedly kills the group of enemies about to kill him. The young knight is astonished when he realizes the person who saves him is none other than the maiden that has been at his training in the mornings.
Exacerbated, Wilhelm confronts the maiden who is none other than the master swordsman of the Kingdom and is overwhelmed by being rescued. His frustration is written on his face, he has failed to protect himself let alone others. The pride of his swordsmanship is crushed. In the ensuing altercation, the maiden removes herself from the Wilhelm equation.
Both are reunited in the court, when at a ceremony the master swordsman is confronted by a hooded stranger. In the ensuing conflict, the master swordsman is disarmed by the hooded stranger. That hooded stranger is none other than Wilhelm. With the defeat of the master swordsman Wilhelm states her reason for holding the sword because she is the best swordsman is no longer valid. Wilhelm has seemingly eclipsed the maiden in combat. With her defeat Wilhelm is able to protect himself, the maiden and the kingdom.
After the conflict Wilhelm states that his reason for holding his sword is to protect the maiden. Released from her burden of being the master swordsman the maiden is relieved. The maiden asks again if Wilhelm likes flowers. He says this time that he doesn’t dislike them. The maiden asks if Wilhelm loves her, and Wilhelm says she should know the answer to that. In a light hearted moment the maiden says she would like him to say it out loud. Wilhelm tells the maiden he can from time to time.
The love story is sweet in comparison to the Wilhelm Subaru meets. The loss of his wife is the breaking of his promise to protect her. Wilhelm, while seemingly composed, bears a weight and responsibility to seek out vengeance against the white whale. His passion comes alive in the moments he hears where he can find the white whale. The fight with the white whale is an intimate one for him. Without Wilhelm’s aid slaying the whale would be impossible.
After the slaying of the white whale, Wilhelm is able to pursue living again. He gets his vengeance on the whale that took everything he loved. Though his wife might be gone, his dedication to the one he loves is admirable. He lives for her memory alone. He loves the flowers that his wife loved as well.
Agree? Disagree? What are your thoughts? I want to know!
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3 thoughts on “Re:Zero – Directors Cut: Wilhelm van Astrea’s Love Story”
Wilhelm’s story is my favourite in the series. I love his battle with the White Whale. You can see what it means to him and how he feels indebted to Subaru for making it happen. The whole White Whale arc is excellent and just what fantasy stories should be like, but Wilhelm’s involvement is the icing on the cake.
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Absolutely agree. Normally I’d stay more on script with Subaru but I felt like he deserved a shout out for his story. Its by far one of the most satisfying arcs for the show, leaving nothing to be desired.
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