For who could ever learn to love a Beast?



So asks the voice at the beginning of one of the greatest of the Disney films. To break the spell that holds him, the Beast needs someone to see the good within him. He needs someone who is not afraid of him, who does not judge by appearances, who is capable of taking a massive risk on him. And he finds her.

Belle learns to love the Beast.

The MCU throws up an interesting variant of the Beauty and the Beast story with Hulk and Black Widow. It is a bit different because Natasha Romanoff knows Bruce Banner in his own right, and understands that he does not mean to do the destructive things the Hulk is capable of; the Hulk is part of him, but it is not him.

So Natasha Romanoff loves Bruce Banner, but the interesting question is: does she also love the Hulk?

Of course she does. She loves them both; the genius and the monster, the Prince and the Beast.

Which brings us, inevitably, to Reylo.

A lot of the Reylo discourse revolves around whether Rey could, or should, love Kylo Ren, given all the undeniably very bad things he has done. Many people believe that in order for Rey to be with Kylo he must be ‘turned’ back to the light, transformed somehow back into Ben Solo. Once he is ‘redeemed’, this theory goes, Rey could love Ben Solo.

I would argue otherwise. I think Rey loves Kylo Ren and Ben Solo. She loves the Prince and the Beast. And it may just be her love for the Beast that, in the end, breaks the spell.

This is the parallel I love. I think for Natasha and Bruce case, Natasha CLEARLY loves Bruce for who he is (reserved yet adorkable scientist) and accept the “other guy” as “the part of his life that couldn’t be separate of” thing.

At first, she may be terrified of Bruce because she heard about The Hulk that’s really destructive and could choke the hell out everybody easily. She was afraid to triggered him and make the “other guy” come out. But then after the Helicarrier tragedy (which is Bruce turned into Hulk because he was feeling insecured and endangered) Natasha might be shaking because she witnessed “the beast” for the first time by herself, but in the end of the day she realized that Bruce are different from the Hulk. That’s why her line “We could use a little worse” after Bruce back to himself in the Battle of New York implies that she is accepting “The Hulk” as part of Bruce that even himself couldn’t do it until the end of Avengers 2.