Digging Deeper: Spice and Wolf's Chloe

Topic started by John_Martone on July 13, 2009. Last post by jmrwacko 3 years, 11 months ago.
Post by John_Martone (2,992 posts) See mini bio Level 10

 
 
Show: Spice and Wolf
Subject: Chloe, the aspiring merchant

What do we know about Chloe:
- She is the daughter of the town’s leader.
- She aspires to either leave the town, or bring it into modern age.
- She holds little reverence for the old religions.
- Laurence has given her an interest in being a merchant, as well as several lessons on the matter.
- She seems to have a thing for Laurence.

The question is not “if” she is interested in Laurence, that much is obvious. Moreso, the question is “why?"

How Chloe sees Laurence:
- He is a traveler, so he is worldly.
- His trade helps bolster the small town’s economy.
- His work with the town is more for the benefit of the town, proving he is kind.
- He has ambition.
 
 
In one, wonderful sequence Chloe pleads with Laurence to consider a partnership between the two. In an act coyly dancing around the obvious truth, she tries to entice Laurence logically, “showing” him that she isn’t the child he once knew.

“If you make light of me, you’ll get in trouble someday.”
Then its over. We don’t see her Chloe for quite awhile after that. Later in the series, Horo is caught by the church, and being wolf god she doesn’t quite fit in with Christian teachings. Chloe is on hand, having engaged in business with the church out of self-interest and gratitude for helping her town. There is something intrinsically awe inspiring in the conflict between these two. Horo has watched over Chloe’s people for countless years, yet Chloe stands against her. The church provided the tools and techniques that made Horo’s influence unnecessary, and thus Chloe lashes out at her. This isn't a harem conflict over “Who get’s to be Laurence’s girl,” this is the bittersweet fruit that her rash youth creates.
 
 
In fact, it isn’t till later that she is fully aware of Laurence’s involvement with Horo. We knew it was coming, and given the richness of their interaction, each moment was filled with anticipation. In testament to Laurence’s lessons, Chloe barely loses her outward composure, and broaches his involvement logically.

Where we see something truly magnificent is in his refusal of her. Chloe has been taught to be cool, be calm, and to be rational, yet the Laurence before her is nothing like that. In her mind, everything about this Laurence is wrong, and you see the knife twist as she has shaped herself into something he “should” want. She “should” be the one he is willing to be irrational for. Hurt, she offers him one final chance... and then tells her troops to kill them both.
 
 
Of course it doesn’t work out that way, but whoa... delicious. Of course she brooded softly the next episode. Just because she maintained a cool exterior doesn’t mean that so much of her world fractured, it doesn’t mean that she didn’t command his death.

Extra notes: One final note of interest. Chloe is an entirely original character to the Anime. This one surprised me, since her involvement is so subtle, so masterful, that many of my strong attachments to characters came out of her involvement. I know season 2 has begun, and there will likely be more of her, but I wanted to ensure I got this in before the new episodes do something to sully this inspired woman..

Post by Chris (6 posts) See mini bio Level 7
I feel much the same about Chloe. It's a shame that they didn't end up bringing her back in some fashion in season 2, and even more that the manga adaption didn't use Chloe over the weaker Yarei character that originated in the novels. 
 
Chloe was a decided improvement over the source material in the role she plays and it's sad to see that improvement under utilized. She is one of my favorite side characters in any anime.
Post by jmrwacko (11 posts) See mini bio Level 5
@Chris said:
" I feel much the same about Chloe. It's a shame that they didn't end up bringing her back in some fashion in season 2, and even more that the manga adaption didn't use Chloe over the weaker Yarei character that originated in the novels.   Chloe was a decided improvement over the source material in the role she plays and it's sad to see that improvement under utilized. She is one of my favorite side characters in any anime. "
Wasn't Lawrence in love with Chloe before he met Horo, or am I just reading the first episode wrong? In any case, she was underutilized, considering how often this series is on the mark in regards to utilizing the emotions of its protagonists.
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