Headcanon of the week: Margaret Gervin was born into the Rouse family and is more powerful than anyone lets on

So, Margaret is Ana and Nat’s mom. We don’t actually see much of her directly in the books, but there are a few things we know from what we have seen:

  • The Gervins are known for being particularly misogynistic, and often both underestimate and overlook the women in it.

  • Margaret married into the family, and the people deemed most suitable for that are members of other crown families.

  • Ana and Nat seem to have been trained from a young age at shaping public opinion and acting in general. After the defense final we see Nat “rehearsing” for a speech and series of facial expressions and emotive elements she came up with on the spot. That isn’t something most 11 year-olds can do.

  • Edward, Malcolm, Randolph, and Alec all show no signs of any similar training. In fact, they seem particularly incompetent at it.

  • Edward doesn’t seem particularly competent at any of his dealings really. Nobody thinks for a moment that he’s going to notice when “his” plans are spontaneously stopped or approved or notice when someone has forged his signature. What he does directly involve himself in seems to be primarily based in bribes and his own indulgence. He seems to uncritically accept newspaper reports about Sebastien helping take down an aberrant and to think his wife is weak. Damien directly thinks that he’s both incredibly stupid, and blind to the reality around him… Yet the family remains able to display extravagance without issue.

  • Meanwhile, Margaret is able to set an appointment with him for Oliver without consulting him at all.

  • Oliver even goes into the party looking to meet with, “Lord Gervin or his wife,” which seems a bit odd considering that the Gervins are literally known for disregarding women.

  • Margaret sees Oliver as a good potential future husband for Ana. She brings up the idea to Oliver directly and when he doesn’t rebuff it or show any seems to indicate viewing women as equals, she then arranges to advance his interests. Then, later, she is said to be delighted by Ana doing direct business with Oliver, and may have even arranged for this to be one of the contracts she took over.

  • Oliver repeatedly reacts with incredulity at the notion that the crown families might find him to be a suitable match. This suggests that there might be more to this than she lets on.

To me, all of this indicates her having a sort of subtle power-behind-the-thrown situation within her family, manipulating things quietly.
I think that while she does genuinely see Oliver and Ana as a good personality match, but that she either:

  1. has spotted that Oliver is more than he lets on, either suspecting directly that he is Lord Stag, or suspecting that he has more ambition than people think. She wants Ana to be able to use his power, connections, and fronts for her own purposes.

or 2. deliberately wants to match Ana up with someone who goes into the relationship with less relative power than her, while supporting her. She wants to leave a legacy that undoes the traditional stance of the Gervins family by setting up a situation where the Lady of the house has all the power.

I’m not so sure of which, but I definitely think that there is a lot more to Ana’s vain mother than most seem to think.


Well, we know Ana gets her Machiavellian instincts from somewhere, and it’s clearly not her dad.

I got the impression that Oliver discounts his suitability as a husband for a Crown family because he’s a foreigner, not because he’s Lord Stag. And, I hope, because he’s ~10 years older than Ana, and feels creepy about her being so young.

If Rhett wasn’t clearly such a womanizer, he would seem like the perfect husband for Ana. Damien is too naive for her. I’m honestly kind of hoping that in book 5 or 6, Margaret tries to arrange things between Ana and Sebastien - just so we can see Sebastien go “Oh spirits no!” :smile:


I thought Oliver didn’t want a partner and children because a) he’s a null and b) he’s a criminal trying to take over the world. I don’t think he cares a bit about age if he’s actually interested in the person… but I might be wrong. He’s a good 15 years older than S, and possibly close to 20 years older than Ana.

I have to ditto this. I’m hoping for the most awkward, horrifying scenario at the Gervin party: where the Gervins try to marry her off to someone, and S makes a scene with her rudeness. Ana doesn’t need a husband, haha!

I think this is the most likely of the two scenarios. She wants a man who doesn’t want to control her daughter, someone who is sweet, charming, and kind of useless: exactly the persona Oliver created for himself. Oliver shares Ana’s love of horses and doesn’t share any of the Gervin attitudes about subjugating women. It’s just a bonus that he’s filthy rich and already does business with the family.

She wants Ana to produce an heir and settle down. Somehow, I don’t think she’s going to get what she wants.


Isn’t Ana gay… ? plus she’s donating gold to some research about making it possible for same sex couples to have children so that will take care of the heir problem when S and Ana get together :pray:


I mean… she already has a solution readily available :stuck_out_tongue:
(although that pauses a lot of questions like is her DNA the same or changed when switching bodies ? What if she gets pregnant herself ?)

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Ana gives some definite gay vibes, and I’m here for it. You know how in historical texts and photos they would say and obvious couple were just “good friends” or “roommates?” Ana is definitely going to take over the Gervin Family and her relatives are going to insist she and her girlfriend are just “close friends” up until they get married.

I’m all for a future Lenore where your biological sex, gender, or sexual preference doesn’t matter, and everyone and their relationships are treated with respect. (I’d be down for that today, on planet earth, too.)