Helluin (auronlu) wrote,

The Million Gil Question: WHY Auron & Lulu?!

One of my friends has said that she simply doesn't see Auron and Lulu having a relationship. This is reasonable, since, obviously, in the game they do not.

Fandom pairings consist of speculating about things that could've happened, and didn't. Occasionally fans slip over into saying, "See? See? That proves it! It's THERE!" I have no such illusions. It's not in the game. It would just have been enjoyable, if it were.

The Problem with Wakka and Lulu

Lulu: What, me? With Wakka?
Tidus: Yeah, you two get along great!
Lulu: Getting along isn't enough. Not even close.
Tidus: Oh, sorry. My mistake.
Lulu: You'd do well to remember that. Knowing a bit about women might come in handy some day.
Tidus: Yeah, I'll remember.
Lulu: I won't be forgetting either.

So, um, Lulu... you forgot, eh?

I think Square dropped the ball by sticking Lulu with Wakka in order to get the two of them out of Yuna's hair for FFX-2. Otherwise they would've had to be main characters.

Two problems. One, Lulu isn't just denying her feelings in FFX. That speech above is quite specific; Tidus doesn't understand her if he thinks that's a possibility. Two, they are incompatible. Wakka's a sweet, ordinary, down-to-earth guy. Lulu is an uncanny, dangerous dark mage who doesn't have any patience with his romantic side. It's really not fair to Wakka to wrap him around her finger. Other fans have complained that it's a bit sick for Lulu to marry Chappu's brother, and/or she and Wakka are like brother and sister, so it's almost incestuous.

Rather than marrying Wakka, Lulu should have remained single. When is the last time we had a strong, sexy female character who didn't need anyone in order to be fulfilled? (Oh yes, Lara Croft. No wonder I love her.) But if she's not going to be single, then... there are reasons why Auron works.

Only In Our Dreams

In the game, Auron and Lulu barely talk to one another. Both are extreme loners, and Auron, in particular, is one of those characters who really isn't that likely to have romantic feelings for anyone this side of the Farplane. I can see why my friend questions how Auron and Lulu could have much in common, or be compatible, or fall in love. As for falling in love... no, not too likely. They're both focused on the mission at hand. They don't have TIME for love. Lulu's just getting over losing one lover. Auron's dead and love is about the last thing on his mind. If they were to start falling in love, it would be too little, too late, and probably hidden behind their defenses of self-reserve.

Yet I do see much compatibility between them, and enough seeds of possibility to reap a rich harvest.

Kindred Spirits

I've run across fanart depicting Auron and Lulu going to the dance together, having picnics, and engaged in sweetly normal romantic situations. These images are charming, but lose the essence of what Lulu and Auron are. Lulu IS scary. She's a black mage with the powers of destruction at her fingertips. Even were she not mourning a lost love, she would not be "normal". Auron is even more scary: a dead guy who's clinging to life for one reason only, to kill an old friend. These are not the kind of people one would expect to share an ice cream float.

That strangeness, to me, is one of the correspondences between them, never realized in the game, but which could lead to mutual understanding.

There are many common elements between them.

First of all, there's expertise and experience. They are older than the other characters, serving as counsellors or mentors; Lulu actually calls them "kids" although she merely had five years on them, not fifteen. The age difference between Auron and Lulu is a problem I do not dismiss, but it's not as disturbing as for the Aurikku fans.

The second strand of commonality is their shared experience as Guardians. Wakka had a little experience but confessed his mind was on blitzball then, and his summoner didn't get far. Lulu has been on two pilgrimages. Father Zuke, her last summoner, actually stops by to give her a warning and have a look at the new Summoner she's guarding. Obviously Lulu impressed him. Her maturity in handling those two failures is a testament to her strength. Because of them, Lulu knows the cost of pilgrimages in a way no one else except Auron can understand: she has seen her Summoner die. Auron knows what she's been through; he completely and utterly loses his cool when he watches the flashback of his former self letting Braska and Jecht go to their deaths.

Both Lulu and Auron keep the world at bay by self-isolation and a brisk manner. Lulu tends towards biting remarks. Auron is simply abrupt. They have suffered, but they are independent souls, and they find it pointless and painful to dwell on past regrets.

They are also both formidable and dangerous, and their battle skills complement one another. Lulu is swift and skilled in magic; Auron is slow, lacks aim, but can wreck incredible physical damage. The two badasses surely must admire each one's technique a bit --"that's how it's done!" as Auron would say.

There is even a visual parallel: Auron, one-eyed, Lulu, keeping half her face hidden by hair. And a mythological one: Auron, Mars Crest; Lulu, Venus Crest. Mars and Venus are lovers.

Most importantly, both of them are linked to death in several ways.

So then we get into fanfiction speculations and launching points for an AU relationship.

When MIGHT It Have Happened?

~ Auron gives away exactly what he is in Guadosalam, even if the main characters are oblivious. If Lulu had looked away from Lord Jyscal long enough to see Auron's collapse, that sharp mind of hers would have put two and two together. She obviously has a passion for knowledge, and I can't help but think Auron's secrecy would have drawn her attention, if she weren't usually focused on Yuna's welfare.

~ Lulu may be mourning Chappu, but as the game progresses she is explicitly starting to look for new options. Guadosalam is again the pivotal moment. At the very beginning of the game she gives Wakka hell for hoping he's still alive. She says it's pointless and sad to try and replace Chappu or imagine he might be out there, somewhere. Clearly she's still angry that Chappu is gone, but she has accepted it.

In the Farplane, Lulu says that seeing Chappu's ghost really brings it home to her that she needs to move on. At that point Tidus brings up Wakka as a possibility, and she scathingly dismisses his suggestion that they could be lovers: "Getting along isn't enough. Not even close." In discussing Yuna's marriage, Lulu tells Tidus that love isn't necessary; "all one needs is determination." If you choose the option to make Tidus flirt with Lulu she laughs at him, tells him that his name is FAR down on the list and says, "good luck, little boy."

I see this as a glimpse into how she thinks about relationships -- they can be sexual, romantic, or not.

Who the heck is on Lulu's "list", if not "little boys" like Tidus or Wakka, who is more like a brother than a lover? Auron is intriguing, sexy, secretive, and strikes me as someone that she might notice as an interesting prospect. The only question is whether Auron wouldn't just snort and walk the other way.

Playing At Life

My entire story hinges on one key exchange:

"I find myself faced with an intriguing challenge. You burn with such fire that you remain in Spira, refusing to be sent. My heart is cold, and rests with Chappu on the Farplane. Do you suppose that one of us could, just for a time, make the other feel like one of the living?"

"I doubt it," he muttered. "But I should not mind being proved wrong."

Then we get into myth.

I'm thinking of the myth of Orpheus and Eurydice. Orpheus goes down into the underworld to try and bring his lost lover back to life. Tangent to this story, there's a lot on Apollonian logic/practicality vs. Dionysian craziness/destruction/wildness.

That colors slightly what I'm doing: both Auron and Lulu are highly-controlled agents of destruction, Apollo with a hint of Dionysos.

If you were to fold the Orpheus myth into a double spiral, you'd get the following:

Auron is on his way into the Farplane -- the Underworld. Lulu is on her way out of it. She has been dead inside, although she's alive. He's alive inside, although she's dead. It's time for Lulu to start living again. It's time for Auron to stop "playing at being alive", as he puts it. Both could be psychopomps to the other, meeting at the halfway point: a meeting defined by mutual understanding and punctuated (in this AU) by the release of sex, an intimate act that can temporarily suspend reality and reduce one to the basic pulse of life -- and death.

Finally, there's the Arwen/Aragorn myth. Why DOES Arwen have to shrivel up and die of grief because Aragorn's dead? What if, instead, she went on as a gracious lady who remembered and honored Aragorn's memory, but had her own identity too, and can exist without him?

This will not be the first time I have challenged the assumption that to lose a lover is the end of one's life.

It's the old debate: It is better to have loved and lost, than not to have loved at all.


I created this Auron/Lulu fanvid in 2008.
It expresses visually the ideas I tried to explore in this essay.

Tags: c2: auron/lulu, stuff: game discussion


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