And this. So much this. I want to preface this as a non-hate meta. I do not hate Neal. I think he was a victim of his circumstances for a lot of it, but what he did to Emma was history repeating itself. His father abandoned him to weakness. He did the same to Emma. He didn’t learn from his father’s mistakes he repeated them. Even after Emma came back into his life. He made excuses, pushed the issue aside, and made patronizing jokes out of it. Why? The exact reason why he abandoned her. The same reason his father abandoned him. Cowardice. It’s the one major flaw of the Stiltskin men.
Seriously it’s a thing. Pan gave up his son due to cowardice of growing older and accepting responsibility of being a father. Rumple lost his wife and child emotionally abandoning Milah to the point where she fled and abandoning Bae by letting him fall through the portal alone.
Rumple started out brave as a boy. Willing to go off on an adventure to the unknown with his father without knowing what was in store for them. Neal was brave once too, willing to join the ogre wars if he was called up. Willingly challenging a pirate under the belief that Killian killed his mother. They let their experiences shape them into men who run. I hope, ardently hope this doesn’t continue with Henry, though he may have more Charming in him than Neal.
But look at this gif set. Look at the parallels. It’s not about Emma choosing Hook over Neal as the tenth gifs would have you believe. There was never really that choice to make. She was hurt by what Neal did to her. She never actually got the chance to come to terms with it or really deal with him and get closure until right before he died. This was to show the difference between two men. Both vying for her love. I won’t question that Neal loved her. For him it was real. And he never did stop loving her but he let his fear rule him into thinking moving on and staying hidden was the best course of action. Neal as much as he was a good character and interesting and great for giving Emma drama and causing her plot to move forward, he didn’t really understand her. He didn’t believe in her. He always questioned her capabilities as seen in his gifs 5, 7 and 8. He didn’t believe in her superpower. He believed she was just a jealous ex girlfriend when she was suspicious of Tamara. He didn’t think she was capable of getting the watches for him. He did not have faith in her, that you can see clearly.
But look at Killian’s gifs 5, 7, and 8. He’s showing faith in her. He believes in her superpower, he’s seen it work. He trusts her gut instincts and challenges her to trust hers as well. Killian has faith in here where Neal did not.
A lot of metas focus on both Neal and Killian’s 6th gif. The “I could move on” statement from Neal in comparison to Killian’s inability to be unfaithful to a woman whom he thought he’d never see again. That’s important and beautiful to show that while Neal had Emma and could emotionally let her go so long as he knew “she was okay” versus Killian. Killian, who knew he’d never see her, hold her or kiss her again in that missing year but couldn’t bring himself to move on and find comfort in a bar wench and who only had a sliver of hope from a nearly whispered “Good” when he vowed to never forget her for even a single day.
Other’s have focused on the 1st , 2nd, 4th and 9th gifs for Neal and Killian where Neal replies he’d never have gone near her had he known her destiny. And where her prison reminder of him was a key to the bug with the keychain he stole for her and not him there, in person ready to take her away from it all. Yet Killian tells her adamantly that had he remembered her in his past he’d have gone after her. The course of his life would have forever changed because she became a part of it. And then, when she’s jailed once more, in the past with a death sentence to be carried out the next day, who is it who teams up with her future father and her future mother’s best friend? Killian. He was going into that dungeon to save her life to risk everything to be sure that she would get back to Storybrooke, her home. A place that Neal had to be coerced with wanting to get to know his son, and his father dying of dreamshade to get him to set foot in. Because before that he didn’t even care the curse had been broken. Killian braved a world he doesn’t understand or know to find her in NYC just to bring her home to stop Zelena from erasing her existence.
The third gifs show the most important difference. Emma’s ability to trust evolves because of Killian. She wore her Swan necklace because she swore not to trust again. Yet Killian’s actions throughout S3 showed her he was worthy of her trust. Even when he hid the kiss curse from her he wasn’t attempting to deceive her. He was trying to protect her. An act though in hindsight might be misplaced, was well intentioned and he more than made up for it by fighting at her side against Zelena.
This shows the dichotomy in the two men. Bae as a boy was brave and true. As a man he followed cowardice to the grave. His own cowardice led him to make the decision that cost him his life. Yes, his final act was heroic to accept his fate with bravery that he hadn’t shown since he was a boy in Neverland. But his heroism was too little too late. Killian however has always embodied bravery. He’s strategic and a survivor yes, but he willingly accepts death if it means that its his time. When he and Rumple faced off he was ready to die to protect Milah. In Neverland he only gave Bae to the lost boys when Bae told him that he would not stay on the JR. Had Bae even indicated interest in staying Killian would have fought them off. Killian openly rebelled against a believed to be corrupt king. He openly defied Regina when he aligned with Cora. And then defied Cora to align with Emma only to realign with Cora facing her wrath and accepting it. He faced Zelena, drawing his sword when she turned into herself from her Ariel disguise.
This shows that Killian is the antithesis to the Stiltskin men. Brave, cunning, but willing to sacrifice for those he loves. With the exception of Rumple’s last act before “death”, young Bae’s naive bravery and Neal’s last act before death the Stiltskin men have a horrendous track record with cowardice. This is why Milah fell in love with Killian. This is also one of the many reasons why Emma is falling in love with Killian.
Killian was for Milah what Rumple refused be. A brave soul willing to face any adventure at her side.
Killian is for Emma what Neal refused be. A supportive and faithful person that she can trust with her heart.
I can’t even handle this right now I’m so happy
These tweets from @OfRedAndBlue are very important.
well he really should have worn more protective clothing if he didn’t want that to happen
sounds to me like he was asking for it
Are we really sure he was actually shot and decapitated? Idk, sounds like something he would’ve made up. Guys make false decapitation accusations all the time, you know.
If he didn’t want to be decapitated, he shouldn’t have worn a shirt that showed off his neck
I mean, not all woman decapitate people. I’m not like that.