Homosexual lovers or very close friends. I'm using the word "or" because it has seemed like people see them only one way or the other. The homosexual lovers side has seemed to completely shoot down the close friends view, as in "How can you not see that they're obviously homosexual lovers! You homophobic, you!" and "It's not you guys personally - it's just your view I can not see." And they never loud and clear say if they see them as only lovers or possibly both. But since they say they can't see our view - and just think about the arguments I'm taking in to this article - it has seemed as if they don't see them as anything else but lovers. That's why this article is bias, and merely trying to explain why it is very easy to come to the close friends conclusion by the content of the book, without even a thought to sex and still not be a homophobic/sexaphobic.
While I see and acknowledge and highly appreciate that Anne Rice speaks for gay liberation and all that important stuff, with The Vampire Chronicles, and she of course has her own view and whatever it is, is what Lestat and Nicolas are meant to be but the bottom line is; in the way she describes this relationship in the narrating of the book, she has given the reader the possibility to see it in either way and somehow the story in itself also made close friendship seem more likely.
I know Anne has made it official in her words outside the books, that Lestat is a bi-sexual. But for the male sex liking side of that orientation, I don’t see Nicolas being the one to make that practically a fact in the books, but I think it’s for one David Talbot in "The Tale of the Body Thief".
I wish to make loud and clear that I think Lestat and Nicki’s relationship could be seen either way. They can be seen as homosexual lovers and they can be seen as very close friends. And that in my eyes, the story itself supports the close friends view. Or, I guess, rather it supports the importance of love and bond as it is instead of sex and romance, while sex and romance is always the possibility. But as sex and romance isn't described, it must be the love and bond that matters and so it's easier to come to the close friends conclusion.
In order for there to be a real base for a homo erotic vision, there should be even the slightest sign of sexual interaction or thought or so on between two male characters. And I mean, described in a situation and way it could not be taken otherwise. But Lestat and Nicki situations always leave a possibility for non-homosexual view. Always.
Now, let’s see how could I ever think like this, m'kay?
They are two young men of the 18th century, who both have a passion for arts, which was thought of as a godlees thing back then. Lestat had a passion for theatre and Nicolas for music; for violin particulary. Nicki’s father threatened to cut off the boy’s hands if he didn’t stop playing the violin. Lestat got a severe beating for running off with a travelling theatre. They are both being extremely judged and punished for something that makes them happy, and they also both have trounled relationships with their fathers / whole family. They are both impossible in other people’s eyes.
They are like night and day in personalities. Lestat is the light, Nicki is the darkness. Lestat is the dreamer, Nicki is the ”realistic”. Lestat believes in himself, Nicolas doesn’t believe in himself. Lestat is happy about how they both have managed to make it good in Paris but Nicolas said he hates Lestat for not letting them fall. They succeed in hurting each others feelings but clearly they forgave each other almost immediately. They’re so very different but that seems to be one thing that keeps them together because it’s a challenge and they see in each others something they either need around or want to help the other to overcone, while those things they have in common, makes them feel very close and connected to each other.
So they are unhappy, misunderstood and as far as I understood, the only friends each other had. Lestat was never described to have a friend before Nicki and I don’t recall Nicki being mentioned to have one before Lestat either.
I believe we now have a good enough picture of why they would’ve ended up in a very close and strong relationship as it is but we don’t have yet any base for the nature of the relationship. Now, I’m gonna refer to few arguments I’ve received, in order that they could not posisbly be anything else but homosexual lovers. Because those arguments fall apart and I wish to point out why.
So, if I understood correctly, there supposedly is no other reason to get drunk alone together in an inn room except to be lovers. I believe I just pointed out earlier in this article that they were miserable with their lives and felt like no one understood them except each other – which would lead to them getting drunk and yes, alone together because, why bother with more company as the rest would never understand anyway.
They get drunk like that countless of times and only once it’s described that they kiss. On the lips. And it’s just said they kiss on the lips. The kiss is not described at all. Was it a quick, light kiss or a passionate smootche? We do not know! It’s left up to the reader. And remember, they’re drunk. That is a significant element. Have you never been really, really ridiculously drunk and done something you would not do when sober, or seen someone else do something like that? Have you not known of people even ending up having sex even with complete strangers when they’re drunk yet it doesn’t mean they have any kind of interest in that person really? Now, a kiss on the lips...? It’s called being drunk!
So I agree, getting drunk alone together and kisisng on the lips could be taken as a lovers but sure as hell seeing to all the backgrounds of these guys and facts of how drunken people generally behave, it can
be seen in a completely different light without even making any efforts to.
But there is so much more to the whole kissing arguments - so keep reading.
There’s a moment - a night time moment - where Lestat tells us Nicki kissed him and then Nicki said "Let’s go to bed." This time either, we aren’t told what kind of a kiss it was and this time not even where he kissed him. It’s once again left up to the reader. So, we have here; A night time, a totally undescribed kiss and the words "Let’s go to bed." Of course I see how a human mind could imagine that as a passionate kiss and suggestion to go to the bed to have sex. Now if the time of the day was a daytime when normally people do not sleep, I’d be more likely to raise my hand in favor of passion and sex. But it was a night time. So please, open your mind for a while. It was a night time and the kiss wasn’t even described, and also Nicki’s words support a good night kiss as well. Anne did not even describe in any way what they went to do in the bed. It could’ve been sex, it could’ve been just to sleep. They are never, at any point, in anyway loud and clear hinted to have sex. If Anne wanted us to think they had sex, she would’ve said they had sex. But no, she left it up to the reader, like, completely.
Then I was told that it should be obvious that that kiss was with tongue and passion because they’re both french and you know, the "french kiss"...? Yes, I know the "french kiss" but no, I don’t think it makes anything obvious. As pointed out there was all the elements to see it as just a quick, light good night kiss and them going to sleep, no matter where the characters are from. But ok, let us look into them being french. I think someone’s forgetting that France – even Paris where these two were living at the moment – while it is spoken of as the country and city of lovers – also has one of the richest cultures in the world. Especially in the kissing matters. The "french kiss" so
is not their only kissing way or sexual passion the only reason why they’d kiss. For Heaven’s sake! For the most basic example - a kiss in the french culture is literally
a part of saying a friendly "Hello!" even to people they barely know! You know, the light kisses on both cheeks when meeeting a person? And I’ve been there, in France, in Paris, I’ve seen and done that. French obviously
use a kiss as a sign of affection and friendship, of love and caring as it is. They know a kiss is
basically that, and they value it as that. French is the culture that keeps alive all that a kiss can and is meant to be.
So, how about that Lestat and Nicki are two grown male humans sharing a bed, yet not everyone see them as homosexual lovers and so everyone who doesn’t, must be a homophobic. No, I don’t think so. Very close friends may share a bed. And as already pointed out, Anne never ever describes what they do in that bed. And I believe I’ve already in the beginning-ish analysed why they would be very close in relationship and how the nature of it wasn’t labeled even in the first place. Have you never shared a bed with your best friend who is of the same sex as you? Especially if there is
just one bed. And even if there was two beds, there is something you should take notice of and it is as follows:
I believe Lestat on his behalf – would most likely very much enjoy physical closeness with someone who cares about him, with someone who loves him, in fact, he would yearn
for it - without it having anything to do with romance or sex. Why? Because he had no friends before Nicki, his father and brothers constanly physically and emotionally severely abused him, and his mother was never the mother she should’ve been, especially in such a situation. According to Lestat, Gabrielle never put her arms around anyone. And at one point, Lestat even hesitates to touch her hand. And he told us that he was in the impression his mother hates being called a mother. Need I say more? Well, I’ll say it anyway; I think Lestat is basically, generally speaking, a childlike young man in constant need of love and attention in all levels. He wants to be loved, to be noticed. To get and be allowed to show love and physical affection seems to be important to him. It barely ever has that
much to do with romance or sexuality. I think his relationship with Akasha is one exception. With her he seems to love and act out of passion, in the heat of the moment, while desperately crying out for Marius (his father-figure) to help him, to save him before it would be too late as his heart was already hers.
So, Lestat and Nicolas sharing a bed might be because there is just one bed and they are very close to each others in their relationship, so why make the other sleep on the floor for nothing, and even if there was 10 beds, there is Lestat's need for physical closeness caused by his family life, which need a close friend would feel natural to help with and any of this really doesn't have to have anything to do with sex nor romance.
Let’s move on! Lestat refers to Nicki with words "My love." How about that, indeed! I think people are forgetting and what I believe Anne is trying to say with his vampire characters is, that love is not basically romance. Love in it’s purest and deepest exsistance is just love with all it’s possible natures. As it is by now analysed there are gazillion deeply psychological reasons why Lestat would just simply love
Nicolas without any neseccary nature in that loving. Heck, even Marius, once in his entire exsistance, in Blood and Gold
, regards Lestat with the words "my lover" (amongst other definitions), when he talks to someone about how extremely painful it was to him to lose Lestat. And they sure as hell do not have a romantic relationship. (Hence, my fan site and even Anne herself has by now confirmed that they have a father-son relationship and could never be called lovers), so why would Marius call Lestat his lover? Because Lestat loves him and he loves Lestat. And very deeply and unconditionally indeed they do love each other and are extremely close to each other. The books are screaming that. And Lestat didn’t even say "my lover" but "my love" and even if he had. Love, people. Love. Not romance. Love in it’s purest exsistance
is what’s the point.
And in my view, Lestat and Nicki are just very close friends. The other option honestly never even crossed my mind as I read the book for the first time. 'Cause the very close friendship fits my image of the depths of Lestat's psychological needs (into which I already went in this article earlier) and the whole story before and after he met Nicolas, a whole lot better than homosexual lovers. Sex and romance just seem so much an outsider elements to all that, whereas close friendship serves Lestat and the story perfectly. I'll talk on that more later.
"Right Before My Eyes"?
I was told Anne Rice asked Sir Elton John to write a song about Lestat and Nicolas and that "obviously the lyrics are about (homosexual) lovers!"
In my opinion - still just a possibility
... if not looked at/into the story. First off; Yeah, Sir Elton John is a homosexual but all that has to mean is that he wrote songs to the Lestat musical because The VC are supporting homosexuality on some levels.
We have to remember Lestat and Nicki were very
close and very
dear to each other - especially Nicolas to Lestat. Lestat became so depressed after Nicolas commited suicide that eventually he went underground, and if I recall correctly, not planning to ever resurrect. But then Marius came to him like a dawn through the night (a dawn that would heal, not kill, hehe.) In the beginning Nicki wanted Lestat to turn him into a vampire but Lestat resisted until gaeve in.
The song EJ wrote - to me it's obviously Lestat's inner battle with the desire, doubt and dreams about giving Nicki the Dark Gift because he didn't want to give up Nicki but knew Nicki doesn't belong into that world. Knew that it would very potentially turn to bad. The song is so the Dark Gift moment between two persons deeply loving and needing each others just as simply as that. It doesn't label the love to any nature. And there certainly isn't any sex involved. Hence, the metaphoras; the "desire" (as in a desire to do something) and "savage kiss" (the bite that would change Nicki's life like the lyrics say) and "taking" (turning into a vampire) and "a stolen soul no longer blessed with innocence" (the soul would be damned), not to mention the parts that are not metaphoras to anything. So this doesn't have to have anything to do with sex or romance any more than anything in the book.
Right Before My Eyes
I believe seeing to Lestat's sanity and psychological well-being... I feel that at that point of his life, a close friend would serve it much better than someone to romantically love and have sex with, and that's why I automatically withotut any other thoughts, imagined them close friends. And seeing to how he was kidnapped away from Nicolas in Magnus's cruelty... I believe what Magnus did would've fucked Lestat up much worse and for a longer time if he hadn't had something more fullfilling in Nicolas than some romantic sex buddy. In short; in my mind the love and bond seemed to be what matters and while sex might naturally be one part of it, it's not a significant part. Thus it never even crossed my mind.
And in the light of this as Nicolas is
a crucial person in Lestat's feelings for Louis (plus the way L&L relationship is described which also leaves possibilities open)... It's just as easy to come to the conclusion L&L too, are just close friends.
I'm not saying sex(uality) and romantic love weren't part of Lestat and his story all the way - of course they were, he's just a man, I'm just saying I don't see Nicki and Louis (and the very least Marius) having to do with those parts. Those three persons I always saw fullfilling Lestat's need for friends and family ties and for love as love.
EDIT: Some days after writing this article, I e-mailed Anne Rice, and I asked her about this relationship, teling and shortly analysing why, some of us see them as just very close friends and some fans get really angry at us for not seeing that they're homosexual lovers. I asked; what should we think, are we looking at the relationship from a completely wrong point of view, where have we gone wrong? And did she mean the relationship to be open for interpretation because that's what we think but they don't?
"I'm sorry this question of relationships is proving so unpleasant for people. Yes, I did imagine that Lestat and Nicholas were lovers as well as friends. But please keep in mind that for me this does not limit a relationship to any one thing. A major theme of the chronicles is that strong people transcend gender distinctions, and that relationships of all sorts have a depth that is worth exploring. ---- I do not think it is essential to imagine Nicholas and Lestat as lovers; and it's also important to remember that in those days, one could be executed for a "homosexual" relationship, so it was covert. Also the larger bond of love between the two is what mattered, not any question of sex."
It has turned out that to see lovers in them we should've read Anne's other books too. Well, can you really blame us, seeing to what this article rewviews and to that not everyone could possibly have happened to read her other books? Plus, since Anne says it isn't even essenntial to imagine them as lovers and that it's the larger bond of love that mattered, not any question of sex - I believe we shouldn't be thought of as homophobic/sexaphobic. We just didn't know enough, but we saw what is in the book to see, and we just pay attention to what's essential to the story we are reading.