In BBC’s Poldark, Ross and Demelza come together from two very different worlds. Here are 5 reasons why season 1 is a true romance and 5 it isn’t.
While the title of BBC’s Poldark may be in reference to a singular man, much of the attraction of the series is because of the partnership between Poldark and his wife, Demelza. The two offer a narrative of contrasting personalities which, admittedly, clash at times, but such clashes, more times than not, lead to important lessons for the other and for the audience, in turn.
Ross and Demelza come together from two very different worlds to form one of negotiation and harmony. Season 1 of the series introduces this romance in its early stages — revealing both the bumps in the road and the moments of perfection.
Perfect: They Reject Judgement
Demelza and Ross ultimately end up together because they don’t care what other people think. The whole town has been gossiping about the possibility of them having relations with one another, and not in a flattering way.
Ross is above Demelza’s station, and to be with her would be scandalous — yet the gossip doesn’t deter them.
Not Perfect: Minimal Lead-Up
The initiation of their relationship is very sudden. One minute we discover that Demelza has feelings for Ross, the next they have slept together and boom — they are married.
A little more anticipation would have been nice, as this feels more like Ross marrying Demelza in order to protect her reputation and allow her to live with him — which, granted, is honorable, but not exactly romantic.
Perfect: He Respects Her
Ross’ choice to marry Demelza signifies his true appreciation of her. If people were to find out that Ross had slept with her, they would surely judge him and it would have an impact on his social life.
Therefore, Ross could have allowed Demelza to return back to her home and it would have been convenient for him in many ways. Instead, he goes after her and entreats her to return to him, knowing full well that this will bring him challenges, but that it’s worth it for him.
Not Perfect: He Speaks Down To Her
Ross is very progressive compared to the other elitist members of his social class. He constantly tells Demelza that she shouldn’t feel ashamed for who she is, and when she tries to hide from society he encourages her to socialize.
Despite all this, however, Ross does have his moments where he assumes the role of the dominant master of the home, such as when we reprimands Demelza for chasing the servants or not acting lady-like enough for him.
Perfect: She Isn’t Afraid Of Him
It should go without saying that people shouldn’t be afraid of one another in a relationship, but in this period-drama that isn’t such an obvious thing. Demelza is of a lower social-class than Ross, meaning that it wouldn’t be unheard of for her to feel nervous around him.
She is used to being his servant, and is suddenly elevated to his wife — but even as a servant, Demelza never feared Ross, always speaking her mind. If not for this characteristic, their marriage would feel much less appropriate.
Not Perfect: She Was His Servant
The fact that their marriage occurred so suddenly wouldn’t be such a strange happening if it weren’t for the previous conditions of their relationship.
Demelza was always quite friendly with Ross, but nevertheless, she was a servant. Being suddenly moved from the role of servant to lady of the house makes for a confusing dynamic in a romance which is not ideal and takes a lot of working through.
Perfect: Ross Loves Her
Not long after they have been married, Demelza expresses to Ross’s cousin that she’s sure Ross will never say that he loves her and that she doesn’t expect him to. She, however, feels the utmost love for him.
But Ross surprises Demelza by not only professing his love but doing so in the most humble of ways. He offers himself as her servant, a beautiful gesture to someone who literally used to be his.
Not Perfect: Elizabeth
It was not long after Ross was pining for Elizabeth when he decided to marry Demelza, and it’s not made clear whether or not he still feels this way even after professing his love to Demelza.
It’s very possible that he thought it a good idea to marry her as a distraction from his lovesickness, and it leaves a dark cloud over their relationship, constantly threatening to bring misfortune.
Perfect: Demelza Makes The First Move
The inequality of their initial positions made the prospect of them having relations one riddled with red flags in the first place — but if Ross had made the first move, things would have started on even more unsure footing.
Demelza may love Ross, but he was in a position of power over her, meaning any moves he made on her would be inappropriate. Therefore, it’s a relief when Demelza is the one to approach Ross.
Not Perfect: Ross Is Tempermental
The highest moment of Demelza and Ross’ relationship comes on a day that is charmed with the magic of Christmas and was filled with a feeling of fortune.
When Ross is in a good mood, his goodwill permeates the scene. But when he isn’t, it’s difficult to know what actions he will take. The beginning structure of their relationship balances on Ross’ temperamental whims.