「カストロプ動乱」 (Kasutoropu douran)
“The Castrop Rebellion”
If you’ve thought there’s been a little too much lazy historian and not enough golden locks these past few weeks, never fear, LotGH has got you covered. After letting Yang revel in fruits of genius strategy done right at Iserlohn, it’s back to Reinhardt this week and all the fun which accompanies political manoeuvring and fatalistic foreshadowing. It may have lacked the immediate satisfaction of planet-killing superlaser to the face (rip in atoms dear Seeckt), but with the Imperial court intrigue kicking into gear, we won’t be lacking for fun.
In terms of importance the Castrop rebellion is a lot like the battle of Astarte in the sense its impact lies more in its visualizations and foreshadowing than plot relevance. Maximilian’s little play with power provides the latest example showing how utterly stagnant and decadent the Empire has become, with nobility willing to use and abuse for no better reason than they simply can. Care for the people, an implicit understanding of noblesse oblige? Lost somewhere in the ages past. If anything Castrop is the foil to Reinhardt’s quiet movements, as the golden boy’s appointment of common folk and low ranked nobles to positions of authority runs counter to a system where those of high birth hold all the power and monopolistically trade it among themselves. The nature of the Empire’s structure is in part why you see the types of response by government officials to Reinhardt’s changes. The kid turns down a lucrative spot as a chief of staff—i.e. head of military? Obviously because he’s angling for something more and can help himself in that regard by placing a few well-placed individuals in his debt—a serious thing in any honour-based aristocracy. Doesn’t help for these guys either than Reinhardt’s confidant Kircheis did the “impossible” by putting down a rebellion with twice his number. When it comes to politics there’s nothing worse than owing a favour to someone with a winning streak.
Of course the more perceptive of Imperial authority are not wrong about Reinhardt’s intentions, but that’s only half the picture. As Kircheis poignantly displayed in his battle debut it’s not about just about overthrowing the Goldenbaums, but doing away with their entire manner of leadership. Under any other circumstance those men under Maximilian would have been exiled, enslaved, and/or slaughtered for simply being part of a rebellion, yet Reinhardt (through Kircheis) acknowledged their innocence and treated them accordingly. This is an incredibly powerful display because nothing instills loyalty more than a leader who respects the lives of his men. Reinhardt may be young and overly ambitious, but his style of leadership and trust in his subordinates ensures no one will abandon him when the going gets tough—especially with no one else doing the same. Oberstein for example is case in point, for while he has hitched himself to Reinhardt’s wagon for personal reasons, he also greatly respects what the kid is possible of and the heights he can reach with a little help. With ambition comes opportunity, and Oberstein is just the first of several who will see Reinhardt as the path to a more prosperous and lively future. Just ask Reuenthal (smirk).
As the Kaiser himself personally mused upon, nothing, including states and governments, ever lasts forever, and it’s just a matter of time until even his dynasty falls to the winds of change. Wishing for it to happen under his watch might be just a little fatalistic, but hey, if you’re going to go out, why not make it glorious and bombastic, if just for the entertainment? Somehow I think Friedrich IV won’t be too disappointed with what’s coming soon.