While I’ve grown fond of the portrayal of France as being lighthearted and fun-loving, this particular one is played a tad bit differently, which I’ll explain here.
The French are inclined to philosophy, and thus, so is Francis. In addition to that, he’s more inclined to a sort of depressed nostalgia—he’s also likelier to be kind to a human than a nation.
This is, obviously, in the works and will probably be updated at some point. The headcanon tag should be up and running soon; think of this as a general overview of personality and tendencies until this blog is organised enough to put up another similar page.
Updated headcanon as of the first of December:
- Francis, while not necessarily the melancholy type, is very much the sort of person to fall easily into very drastic mood swings. And as easy as it is to put him in a bad mood, it’s twice as easy to put him in a good one. He doesn’t enjoy being unhappy, or find pleasure in lingering in depression.
- He loves cooking, but he’s not perfect at it. He’s very good, yes, because he’s certainly had a lot of time to practice, but he likes to experiment and that doesn’t always work out well. He enjoys cooking for other people more than himself. And even further than that, he enjoys cooking with people.
- This France is a romantic, but more in the sense of a hopeless romantic, more enamoured by fiction than by reality. He loves watching happy couples be happy couples, but is not inclined to be part of a happy couple himself. He prefers to have a large group of very close friends than just a lover.
- That said, this is a sexual character. But in the modern day, he’s largely given up brief sexual encounters in favour of staying at home, working, and pursuing his own interests.
Updated headcanon as of the seventeenth of January:
- France is not especially confrontational, unless first provoked. And even then, he is likely to keep any fighting limited to that of a verbal sort. He prefers to stay away from physical violence, out of personal choice—it does get tiring after a while, and given the politically tumultuous tendencies of Europe in the past, he’d much rather keep to snarking back and forth. If necessary, he is capable of holding his own, he just prefers that battles remain of wit alone.
- This may be slightly triggery, as it does involve rape culture.
This France is very much opposed to rape culture, and to the idea of sexual assault in general. He finds it genuinely disgusting that, in the modern age, having come as far as humans have, such behaviour would persist. I’m to understand that larger French cities, Paris especially in the articles I’ve read, have rather high numbers for sexual assault, harassment, etc. And as a byproduct of his attitude towards the subject, he is equally opposed to rape culture and objectifying portrayal of women in the media. It is something of a remnant from times gone by, when women were treated differently—part of it is habit, but all the same, he is of the opinion that women should be respected and therefore not subjected to absolutely any nonconsensual sexual activity. The implication that he is a rapist will make him incredibly angry.
Updated headcanon as of the twenty-first of January:
- He’s a casual smoker and a social drinker. The former was a habit he picked up around WWII, or shortly after, and the latter being a long standing habit. He doesn’t drink much when he’s alone—he’d much rather prefer to be with a group, making merry, than to be drinking alone. It makes him melancholy.
- He likes debate, and argumentation, but only in certain contexts. If it’s just friendly riling up, he’s all for it—he’s got a sense of humour, and teasing is like a hobby to him. He’s always up for a quick philosophy debate (or a long one, as such discussions tend to become) and he’s always willing to debate a policy or an event in the past, within certain limits. If it’s something he feels strongly about, he’d debate it to the end of the earth and back.
- He has a lot of thoughts about God, and the existence thereof. He used to think about it a lot—contemplate, really, all the damn time. He’s read philosopher’s thoughts on the matter, was a Roman Catholic for years, and some of those beliefs have stuck. It’s still something he thinks about, just not nearly as often. He’s somewhat accepted the fact that he’s never going to find a conclusion he’s entirely happy with.
Updated headcanons as of the twenty-first of March:
- Francis is generous—be it money, a meal, an evening, a loaned ear, what have you. At some level, he very much enjoys making people happy with small things—he’d go out of his way to hold a door open or leave flowers on an otherwise under appreciated secretary’s desk, just because he can. Such things are typically done on a whim.
- On the subject of money: My personal headcanon has always been that nations are reimbursed for business expenses when it comes to meetings and such, but other than that they pay for everything out of pocket. That said, they don’t have menial jobs unless they want to—for the most parts, nations are in the official employ of their government, unless circumstance or choice dictates otherwise. Given that the government of France is currently no worse than most of Europe, Francis does work for his government. He’s cynical about it at best—for the most part, he feels that nations are becoming more and more irrelevant in that manner, like the elderly being shut away in nursing homes when no one wants to deal with them. Given things to read and look over and approve or disapprove, all with the knowledge that their opinion will have little actual bearing on the results. It doesn’t bother Francis as much as it might have once.
- In regards to the above, nations are paid for this, or Francis is at least, as per my headcanon. It’s no astronomical sum, but it’s enough to live comfortably even in Paris. At a personal level, Francis prefers to spend less on housing in favour of the above-mentioned generosity, and smaller necessities.
Updated headcanons as of the eleventh of June:
- Regarding Jeanne d’Arc: This may have been a touchy subject in centuries past, but hardly anymore. It should be noted that while, yes, Jeanne was burned for relaps of heresy by the English church, it was only the lack of interest from the governing bodies of France that allowed it to escalate to that point. At the time, such sentences for blasphemers, heretics and those accused of similar crimes would have been fairly standard—it should be noted that a ransom for Jeanne was offered, and the king she helped ascend to the throne forsook her. With that historical context, France hardly blames anyone in particular, and doesn’t carry some great grudge for it. Both sides of the 100 Years’ War gave as good as they got, and while France (as a person) likely would have been conflicted, it wasn’t such an emotional trauma as to carry into the here and now. All the nations would have had their national heroes die at some point or another; the situation was just as much the fault of France as it was any other country’s.
- A quick-on-his-feet thinker, Francis is nearly habitual in a tendency to snark at someone—rarely is there any true malice or dislike in it, but it’s something that’s gotten him into hot water in the recent past. It is, to him, more a matter of gaining the measure of a person than antagonising them.
Updated headcanons as of the thirteenth of June:
- France’s mobile phone is hyper-organised. Everyone is arranged in a “LastName, FirstName - Country” format and his emergency contacts are asterisked for easy access. He’s this way with everything that comes in an electronic format—email contacts, proposals and paperwork kept on his laptop, any and all internet bookmarks, etc. He isn’t nearly so neat with his hard copy paperwork, though; it’s not unusual to find his desk strewn with things stapled, paperclipped and taped together, overdue, outdated, and otherwise useless by this point. He’s all for digitalising records and whatnot.
- (It’s only in the past few years that the clutter has gotten this bad—France discovers the simplicity of a neatly ordered computer and all else goes to hell.)
- However! France can deal with mobile phones and computer applications. He’s not terribly brilliant with much else, including the internet. And GPS. And Marianne’s BluRay player, which is quite possibly possessed.
- And all that said, he still has a strong preference towards the handwritten when it comes to personal correspondence—though it lacks in convenience now, there is little more suited for personal contacts than stationary and a fountain pen. Calling it old fashioned is justified. He’s still something of an old fashioned soul.
- He’s lanky, but he does have muscle. Not any sort of naturally-buff I-go-to-the-gym-four-times-a-week muscle, but the sort that comes about from heavy lifting or walking a lot. He’s tall, and he has excellent posture—too many years of carrying himself perfectly straight, with squared shoulders and head held high. He still walks like that usually, almost aristocratically.
- That said, he slouches an awful lot around his flat. He only sits up straight in a chair or on the couch if someone else is there. Otherwise he’s inclined to sprawling and throwing limbs out everywhere. It’s how he sleeps, too, splayed out all over the bed. If his posture becomes slack near another person, it’s probably because he’s comfortable around them.
- He takes care of his appearance, but not excessively so. He doesn’t see any point at all in appearing unkempt, exception being when one is alone, and at home. He puts up many a front around others, and his appearance is one of them.
- He always ties his hair back if he’s working.
- He doesn’t own a lot of clothes, but those that he does have are all finely made and kept in very good working condition.
Two more things:
- Unless stated or strongly implied otherwise, I will assume that characters are communicating through the internet. This is very much Francis’ blog, or at least I hope to keep it as such.
- I’m a student of French, but by no means an expert. My French is both poor and limited, so I will refrain from using it most of the time. If I mess something up, please tell me and I’ll fix it.