The Buccaneers is one of those hit-or-miss shows considering it’s a modern take on a historical piece of literature—an unfinished one at that. As much as we like to complain about historical accuracy, what really works for The Buccaneers is how perfectly it fits in today’s world. Everything about it is modern except for the period it is set in. I suppose what draws me to this show is the characters rather than anything else. Obviously, period dramas work because of their lavish costumes and the fantastical elements, i.e., the love stories we’re all so drawn to. But once you strip away all the finery, it’s just a poignant tale about young women trying to find their place in this terrifying world. Maybe that says something about me; however, it’s something that might keep you interested too. Amidst the five leading ladies of the show, season 1 focuses mainly on the peppy, innocent, and very young Nan St. George. Nan is delectable and immediately alluring. She’s essentially a rainbow personified, so my only wish is for her to have the very world she dreams about. Simple enough? Bzzz. Wrong.
Absolutely not. As if being the illegitimate daughter of a man who has just come into a lot of money wasn’t enough, she had to be sucked into a love triangle between two of the most eligible bachelors in England while still trying to understand herself (first-world problem, amirite?). When Nan first meets Guy, he embodies everything she would look for in a partner. Not only is he dashingly handsome, he’s like a male reflection of Nan. While Nan isn’t really looking for a partner at the beginning of the series, she’s only there to lurk around her friends and observe; keep them safe if you will (self-proclaimed). But with the ease with which she befriends Guy, it’s only too obvious that they’re meant to be together. Deep down, she probably already understood that if she did have to look for a partner, he’d have to be her closest friend. From their first meeting, she’s her most honest self, climbing down windows to save her best friend’s earring.
Interestingly, with Theo, it’s quite a similar situation; Nan just does whatever she wishes, leaving behind all sense of duty and shame. Of course, in both of these encounters, she doesn’t really know who she’s interacting with. After learning about Theo’s ducal background, Nan immediately goes into caution mode. This is where things differ between Theo and Guy. She believes she can be completely honest with Guy, whereas she has to hide the truth from Theo. There’s no denying that Theo’s love for Nan is just as deep as Guy’s. But it could also be her free-spirited nature, something that he personally wishes to possess, that makes him so drawn to her. Theo is quite the kindhearted man, shockingly so, considering his societal power, but as the show progresses, it seems he becomes a little bit desperate to make Nan his, not because he thinks she loves him too but because he doesn’t want Guy to have her (Tsk tsk, green is a terrible look on him).
Both men aren’t without their vices. Guy has financial problems that lead him to seek out a marriage of convenience. When he meets Nan, though, that all changes, although it would be quite convenient, all the same. It’s when Nan tells him about her “problem” that he becomes afraid and takes a step back. It doesn’t matter if it’s just for a bit; it’s a defining moment in their little friendship. On the other hand, Theo’s social status allows him to react more unconditionally. Honestly, they’re both equally undeserving of Nan because one of them is focused solely on his passion for her when he realizes she belongs to someone else, and the other is mostly focused on his envy rather than Nan herself. She is, at the end of the day, most free on her own.
Why Is Guy The Better Man?
Well, this is quite a debatable topic, but mostly it’s because Guy and Nan are equals. He’s always asking her what she would rather do, not telling her what she should be grateful for, something that Theo manages to do very quickly after Nan agrees to marry him (this chameleon, though). I suppose he finally realizes he’s in a position of power, and he can use that as an advantage to possess Nan (a common misjudgement for his kind) in comparison to a broke and purposeless Guy. If you’re one who considers life an adventure, then Guy will most certainly be the answer for you. I’d think if Jinny had to choose, she’d have picked Theo because, in the traditional sense of marriage, he’d be an impeccable husband. But of course, this isn’t Jinny’s choice; it’s Nan’s, and she would always choose the adventure of a lifetime. The picture Theo showed Nan at the start of their courtship was that of a lifestyle of peace, but as time progresses, the serene light blue turns to a darker one of duty and logic.
Maybe it was a sign from the beginning that Nan would end up with Theo because she’s always wearing blue, a color that can easily be associated with them. A color representing the ocean where they first met, where everything was washed away in those few moments of interaction. Of course, if Nan hadn’t shown signs of having love for Guy, Theo would be his old self, but now his mind has been tainted by the outside world. All we can hope for is for Theo to keep Nan happy after everything they’ve all been through. As the Duchess of Tintagel, Nan is like a wild sparrow being caged out of the blue. It’s for Theo to decide if she can be set free or not.