Nan In ‘The Buccaneers’ Season 1, Explained: Why Guy And Not Theo? 

While The Buccaneers is about a group of American girls moving base to England to find husbands, it’s primarily about Nan St. George, the boldest of the lot. Just as in other classic literary works, there are many reasons to love each of the girls whose lives we get to see unravel in the first season of the series; however, there is a special highlight on Nan, so much so that you could say she’s our Jo March. In many ways, Nan’s disposition and world view are very similar to those of Jo in Little Women. She manages to be the most selfish and yet the most giving of the lot, a combination very fiercely displayed in Greta Gerwig’s version of the beloved character. I suppose you could say there’s nothing to really dislike about Nan; it makes full sense why two of England’s most eligible bachelors would fall for her in the blink of an eye, or perhaps it’s just another case of not like other girls. Both Nan and Joe stand out in their particular worlds because of the fervor with which they fight for their independence.  


I suppose there isn’t really anything new to the character as such. She’s delightful, yet delightfully naive. She’s got the world looking at her, but she’s focused on the little things. She’s beautiful and loves to get her hands dirty, but most importantly, she will never keep her mouth shut. I reckon these are the flawed characteristics that a lot of girls relate to in today’s day, where on the surface it seems everything has changed for the better; however, underneath, it’s all just the same. In Netflix’s Bridgerton, too, this is the more “popular” kind of woman, the bold and outspoken Kate, or Queen Charlotte. Not to say that the Daphnes don’t get the same amount of love; it’s just that her feelings aren’t as tangible. Earlier, one would call such characters “tomboys,” but I’d say they’re merely women. What separates Nan from her girls is that, even though she’s one of the younger ones, she stands tall and takes charge. From the start, when anything goes wrong, it is Nan who is ready to pick up the pieces and fix things. 

Spoilers Ahead


Why Guy And Not Theo? 

Yeah, of course, this is the easy question. There’s passion in Nan’s love for Guy, whereas, with Theo, it’s a love of similarities. It’s rather harsh on Nan to have two perfectly good suitors drop into her life like atom bombs within days of each other. There isn’t really a choice there; the difference is miles apart, yet Nan is left wondering for most of the series. Yes, Theo can keep her happy, he cares for her, she can grow to love him, etc., but it’s Guy she’s going to be thinking about through it all. Nan and Theo’s relationship is like porcelain: precious yet inherently fragile, the small brush of a finger, and it’s shattered for good, always scarred if pieced together again. On the other hand, with Guy, Nan has no worries; there’s a sense of stability between them, even with all the turmoil that is their feelings for each other. So even if, on the surface, Theo is the ideal man; he is a Duke after all, and Guy is the broke man with nothing to offer but his passion, there’s only one way to look at this.

Why Does Nan Choose To Make Such A Big Sacrifice? 

The first thought that comes to mind is the fact that Nan finally gets to make a decision, not just for herself but for the people she loves. As the series progresses, we learn more heartbreaking news about Nan. She’s an illegitimate daughter, her sister doesn’t quite care for her (this is a story to discuss another time), and her father is unbothered about the situation he has created (ugh, rich and powerful men). She’s always left soaking wet in the rain, but now she has the chance to open up a large umbrella, weathering the storm with both her sister and her mother (the non-biological one).


In the last episode of the series, Jinny tells Nan that she’s happy she has Theo to look after her. Nan replies that she doesn’t need looking after, to which Jinny says that everyone does once in a while. This dialogue is a perfect representation of the push and pull of the relationship between these two sisters. And at the same time, it defines Nan’s characteristics of wanting to be independent and look after herself as well as those she cares for. What’s interesting is that even with the gag order from the Duchess, Nan chooses to marry Theo, giving up her most important asset, her powerful words, because she knows the power of her marriage will allow her to do the thing she’s most passionate about – protect her family. Incidentally, this is the same family that’s been lying to her her whole life, but, you know, it’s all good now.

Of course, at this point, we can’t imagine Nan will ever be happy with Theo, especially with what went down in the last episode of the series, but maybe she might give him an actual chance. Like all sought-after female characters, Nan chooses others over herself, displaying a sense of sincerity and dedication. You could say she’s turned out quite the opposite of what she’d ever hoped for. However, there’s still a lot left unanswered at the end of season 1. This means that Nan can go back to being her upbeat self with Guy in no time. Although Nan isn’t quite marrying an unromantic old German man, there’s something poetic in the way her life parallels that of Jo’s even in marriage. Now, all we can do is wait and see if that marriage is going to actually turn out happy or simply a marriage of convenience (just for Nan).


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Ruchika Bhat
Ruchika Bhat
Ruchika, or "Ru," is a fashion designer and stylist by day and a serial binge-watcher by night. She dabbles in writing when she has the chance and loves to entertain herself with reading, K-pop dancing, and the occasional hangout with friends.

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