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How Do I Still Somehow Ship Them on ‘The Great’?!

Elle Fanning as Catherine the Great in Hulu's The Great. She sits pensively.

Hulu’s The Great, from season 1, has told us the “occasionally true” story of Catherine the Great (Elle Fanning) and her rule of Russia. Catherine was German, brought to Russia to marry Peter (Nicholas Hoult), and she had grand ideas about love and marriage and what their relationship would be.

The reality is that she was met with a violent Russia and a loveless relationship. In season 1, Peter gave Catherine a lover named Leo (Sebastian de Sousa), and for the rest of that first season, she seemed happy, excited to find love with Leo in the midst of her attempts to overthrow Peter.

The problem is that Catherine’s takeover of Russia has made Peter love her in a way that he can’t quite express. And through their fighting, the chaos, and the attempted murder and coups, at the center of it is Peter actually falling in love with Catherine and not knowing what to do with those feelings. Peter went from only finding his joy in sleeping with his best friend’s wife to longing for Catherine to accept him into her heart, and it’s been a long journey for us to get here.

And while I was someone who, in season 1, went from loving Peter to loving Leo, I’m now fully team Catherine/Peter, and it’s a lot to try to unpack when you look at everything that has happened to them throughout the first two seasons of the show. But maybe that’s also why they’re meant to be with each other. Even if it did take a lot of violence for us to get to Catherine and Peter being together in one way or another.

Violence makes the heart grow fonder?

Catherine and Peter on The Great.
(Christian Black/Hulu)

From the start of The Great, violence has been Peter’s favorite thing. He’d rather stab someone or shoot at them than talk about his feelings, but when Catherine started her coup against him, he had to adjust his way of thinking. As a prisoner in her castle, he saw what a life without endless violence could be like, and it was then that he realized that he actually loved her. Whatever it is, it makes me as a viewer go, “Oh no,” because suddenly, I love this couple that is definitely one that shouldn’t be together.

Peter slept with Catherine’s mother (played by Gillian Anderson), and she fell out a window and died during it. Catherine really should not be with Peter, and yet here I am, hoping that they figure their stuff out, because really, even if they shouldn’t be together, they deserve each other. And if they weren’t together, they’d just be trying to kill each other. So I hope that season 3 brings us their love and relationship in full force because what has the last two seasons been leading towards if not that?

(featured image: Parisa Taghizadeh/Hulu)

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Rachel Leishman (She/Her) is an Assistant Editor at the Mary Sue. A writer her whole life but professionally starting back in 2016 who loves all things movies, TV, and classic rock. Resident Spider-Man expert, official Leslie Knope, actually Yelena Belova. Wanda Maximoff has never done anything wrong in her life. Star Wars makes her very happy. New York writer with a passion for all things nerdy. Yes, she has a Pedro Pascal podcast. And also a Harrison Ford one.