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Dueling Fairytales; Or, Why Lucifer won’t take a Queen.

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One of the most popular fan theories is that Chloe will become the Queen of Hell. The appeal is strong on the surface as it does several things;

- It codifies Lucifer and Chloe’s relationship into a formalized, wedded partnership as King and Queen.

- It answers the question “What will happen to Lucifer and Chloe when she eventually dies?”

- It elevates Chloe to a seemingly exalted position, which is coded as a reward.

The trouble with this theory is that if Chloe became the Queen of Hell, that would undermine the major themes of the narrative. To emphasize my point, let me pose a question.

Is the story telling us that Chloe needs to become worthy of Lucifer or that Lucifer needs to become worthy of Chloe?

Actually, let’s flesh this question out a bit more.

Does Chloe need to go through trials that test her commitment to kindness in the face of abuse to be elevated to a higher status in order to receive Lucifer as her reward? Or does Lucifer need to learn restraint, a higher degree of empathy and to be on the receiving end of kindness in order to grow up so that he can learn, not only to give and receive love, but the responsibility that comes with a duty of care?

If these sound like two completely different stories, you’re absolutely right. The first one is Cinderella, the second is Beauty and the Beast. And in regards to the question of the Queen of Hell, they’re both relevant because these two tales are dueling in Season Four with the introduction of Eve.

The Cinderella Story

Cinderella; a girl who has no control over her life, serving a cruel family that takes advantage of her and erases her identity in service of the family’s needs, but whose kindness, compassion and empathy in the face of grief win her friends that help her escape her prison and find freedom.

Fits Eve to a tee, doesn’t it? She’s highly empathic, makes friends at the drop of a hat, even with people who are inclined to dislike her - i.e. Ella and Chloe. She’s kind, but not stupid. She only needs one look at a situation with all the actors in the room before she can pick out what’s going on between Lucifer and Chloe.

What makes Eve’s story highly compelling is watching her abuse her virtues attempting to fulfill the themes of her own story, which ultimately causes her to fail.

The central theme of Cinderella’s story is her commitment to kindness in the face of her family’s abuse. The one thing the Cinderella cannot be, if she is to succeed, is selfish; to allow it would be to invite that poison into her own psyche. That isn’t to say that the Cinderella is doomed to be a doormat either. She rebels by going to the ball (or in Eve’s case, to Earth). However, there is a difference between standing up for yourself, acknowledging your own needs to be valid and worthy of consideration versus prioritizing your needs over the needs of others, irregardless of what they feel.

Which is exactly what Eve does. Her pursuit of Lucifer is highly selfish.

Lucifer is telling Eve “no” in multiple ways, including verbal at the end of 4x04. He doesn’t desire a relationship with her, he’s trying to work through something very painful and he’s not in a good place right now. He is in love with someone else and Eve knows it.

Unfortunately, what Lucifer wants is irrelevant. Eve wants him and she intends to have him because Lucifer is her second chance - Adam couldn’t love her because he was remained in love with Lilith, but this time will be different. This time Eve thinks she can win. So she pushes him into showing her his Devil face and pours balm on the wound inflicted by Chloe when she kisses it.

What Lucifer misses in that moment is that Eve’s easy acceptance of him as the Devil is a giant red flag in and of itself.

The Virtuous Daughter

The Beauty; the member of her materialistic family who prizes practicality, hard work, and making the best of any situation in the face of ruin. The one who will sacrifice herself without hesitation to protect the ones she loves, who puts her needs last.

Chloe is a homicide detective instead of the virtuous, youngest daughter, but the Beauty is often characterized by her devotion to duty - filial duty in particular. Sure enough, who is Chloe emulating? Her beloved father, the cop killed in the line of duty.

Beauty and the Beast is a more interactive tale between the lovers than Cinderella. It is through cohabitation with the Beast and learning about each other that the Beast learns to put others’ needs above his own, rising above his former self absorption while the Beauty learns to accept the goodness within the Beast, not only for his attempts to do better, but for who he is as the Beast.

This is literally the story of Season 4 - of Chloe coming to terms with Lucifer being the Devil and reconciling the fact that she is in love someone she’s been told is the personification of evil.  It takes her the entire season to fall in love with the Devil as opposed to the Lost Prince (echoing the earliest written versions), who she’s been in love with since Season 2, and it comes in stages.

- 4x02, the ax scene when she realizes that Lucifer’s love for her is genuine, soothing her fear that, once again, like with Pierce, she’s been used as a pawn in a game she had no idea was being played.

- 4x05, when she throws herself between Lucifer and the anticipated explosion. The moment they both realize Chloe would sacrifice herself to protect the Devil. 

- 4x07, when Lucifer chooses justice over punishment and brings Tiernan into the station, sacrificing his own need for vengeance and proving to Chloe that the Devil is a good man. Chloe is still bifurcating Lucifer, but she acknowledges that he is both angel and Devil in that critical scene on the balcony. 

- 4x09, the traditional recognition of the Beast and the Prince as the same person, when Chloe realizes that his Devil form is a manifestation of Lucifer’s declared self-hatred.

Chloe’s love is not a redemptive object the way Eve wants her love for Lucifer to be. The transformation from Beast to man requires Lucifer to understand and forgive himself - Chloe can’t do it for him. Chloe’s acceptance can serve as a guide on that path, but Lucifer must do the work himself. He clings blindly to the idea that Chloe’s acceptance will either save or condemn him in a single moment - and when he attempts to force the issue he’s unable to accept Chloe’s “I don’t know” as an answer. 

The Prince Of Darkness

Lucifer ends up caught in the middle of these two stories as each of them casts him in a very different role.  The show frames Lucifer’s struggle between these two opposing visions of who he is as good and evil, but there’s something to be said for the idea that Lucifer would simply like to know which story he’s in, thank you very much!

Is he Eve’s Prince? A static, perfect figure that she will receive as a reward - her vehicle of escape and self-actualization?

Or is he Chloe’s Lost Prince? A man, trapped in a form not his own, battling his own worst impulses in order to regain the original identity he has lost?

And, in a twist, each woman assigns qualities of the other tale to their version of Lucifer - Eve’s Prince is a bestial version - Lucifer as he was in the Beginning. Primal, impulsive and living entirely in the moment with no care for the consequences of his actions. Chloe’s Lost Prince, however, is more of a tragic figure; sundered from himself, split into two - Prince and Beast.

The Beast is a protagonist of his own tale, but both as the Beast and as the Prince he is an object of rescue, which is not something Lucifer needs or wants from Chloe. Lucifer has no desire to be saved - it’s a concept that we’ve watched him actively reject before, when Amenadiel suggests that the return of his wings means he’s been forgiven. Chloe’s role in the tale is to learn to accept the Beast, letting go of the Lost Prince. 

As the Cinderella’s Prince, he’s simply an object, not a man. Lucifer’s role as Eve’s Prince is a vehicle to elevate her to an exalted position that will remove her from the prison she’s lived in most of her life to a place where she will be loved.

It’s only after Lucifer rejects both Eve and Chloe’s objectified visions of him that he’s able to look at himself and get to the core of what has been torturing him since, arguably, the beginning of time. He is neither Prince - instead he is a man in nearly unspeakable pain as he sits in Linda’s office, knuckles white as he finally identifies and articulates the problem - his self hatred.

The King and Queen of Hell

Both Cinderella and the Beauty share the traditional raising of status, but in Lucifer’s case it’s worth asking - is becoming the Queen of Hell a good thing?

I would argue that question actually has nothing to do with either Chloe or Eve and everything to do with Lucifer himself and why he became the King of Hell.

Both Cinderella’s prince and the Beast’s royal status are their original identity. But in Lucifer’s case, becoming the King of Hell is the curse from his Father. However you interpret God’s motive for punishing his son, the bottom line is that Hell is somewhere that Lucifer hates. It is not, nor has it ever been, home to him. It’s not a place that he is proud of, nor does he relish the work he does there. He has enough pride to do the job to the best of his ability, but we know he’s delegated out as much as he could, even if Lucifer’s hands are far from clean.

In short, Hell is nowhere that Lucifer wants to be. He certainly doesn’t want anyone that he actually cares about to be there either.

Eve, however, needs Lucifer to be the King of Hell. The first half of 4x07 is, from Eve’s perspective, the high point of their relationship. Lucifer is the most intimate he’s ever been with Eve when they’re lying in bed after punishing Julian.

Of course Eve wants that back - enough that she’s willing to listen to Kinley when he tells her that, if she wants Lucifer to love her, she needs to convince him to go back to Hell. As much as Eve recognizes that Lucifer doesn’t want to rule Hell, it’s where he could “be a King again,” which is exactly how he was acting when he was closest to Eve. And, of course, ruling Hell would be different “with a Queen by his side.”

So she, once again, succumbs to selfishness - and is called on it by Chloe in the wake of it’s consequences. “How could you be so selfish?! Naive!”

Eve had already lost Lucifer, but her attempt to force her ascension to become Lucifer’s Queen only crystallizes that they’re not right for each other, as she’s faced with losing Lucifer’s friendship and respect. He would have to be the one to elevate her to that exalted position and he’d already told her “I don’t like who I am with you!” rejecting the role of Prince to Eve’s Cinderella.

Lucifer’s desire to be his own man, aligns much more closely with Chloe’s desires. Chloe has no need for pomp and circumstance. She’s always been the practical member of this partnership - sensible shoes, boring sedans, Costco runs and reading a bedtime story to Trixie. There is room in her life for desire, but Lucifer’s presence is enough to fulfill that.

In fact, in the moment when Chloe tells Lucifer she loves him and begs him not to leave, she is finally asking for something for herself. The Beauty has learned to allow herself a healthy dose of desire rather than a complete devotion to duty while Lucifer, as the Beast, has learned the value of love, empathy and a duty of care. Chloe and Lucifer have transformed each other into better, more complete versions of themselves.

Presumably, if Hell can be faced and fought in Season 5 and Lucifer released from the burden of the throne, then having the “curse” lifted might allow him to leave the Devil in the past and simply be Lucifer Morningstar, the identity he’s fought for since the pilot.

But, of course, if that happens, then Lucifer will no longer be the King of Hell. Therefore, he has no need for a Queen.

And They All Lived Happily Ever After? 

The time for despair has passed - neither Lucifer nor Chloe can afford it. Instead, they (and we) are awaiting the reversal; the change in the status quo that will give them the opportunity to challenge Lucifer’s fate. If they are successful, then there may in fact be a new Queen of Hell, if Lilith comes into play.

But if she appears, she will likely not be Lucifer’s Queen, but a new ruler come to usurp the throne.

Long live the Queen.