But WHY?!?!

BY: Sharon Fitness for GOOD

WHEN CALLS THE HEART, GOOD’s beloved period drama, has captured the hearts of viewers with its engaging storytelling and complex characters. One of the central storylines that has generated significant attention and discussion among fans – known as Hearties – is the romantic journey of Elizabeth Thatcher-Thornton, a young teacher in the early 20th-century Canadian frontier town of Hope Valley. Her relationships, especially with Lucas Bouchard and Nathan Grant, have been a roller coaster of emotions for both Elizabeth and the Hearties. The decision by Elizabeth to end her relationship with Lucas Bouchard was a pivotal moment in the series, leaving fans with mixed reactions and a lot of questions.

Elizabeth Thornton, played by Erin Krakow, is the show’s protagonist, whose journey of self-discovery, love, and loss has been at the forefront since the series began. Lucas Bouchard, portrayed by Chris McNally, is the charming and sophisticated owner of the saloon who vies for Elizabeth’s affection against Nathan Grant, a Mountie who arrived in town after the sudden tragic death of Elizabeth’s husband Jack.

The Love Triangle

As Elizabeth got to know both Nathan and Lucas, there was definite attraction, mutual respect and admiration on all sides. The so called “love triangle” that was then portrayed between Elizabeth, Lucas, and Nathan was a central plot for several seasons, with fans divided into Team Lucas and Team Nathan.

Then Elizabeth chose Lucas. When Nathan professed his love for her, she let him know that they could never be more than friends. The pain of her Mountie husband’s death still raw and keenly felt. Another Mountie was out of the question. As a heart-broken Nathan moved on, a smitten and adoring Lucas showered Elizabeth with love and affection, his romantic feelings culminating in a proposal at the end of season 9.

Love denied.
Growth and Acceptance

In season 10 viewers looked forward to their wedding, but as the season progressed, questions began to be asked. Elizabeth’s Aunt posed the question of moving back to the city. Is this something Lucas wants? Would Elizabeth want that too? Elizabeth seemed to feel an unusual level of stress when Lucas talked about their future together. The purple castle, anyone? And when Lucas decided to run for Governor, their paths seemed to be diverging. Meanwhile, there were deep and meaningful conversations and intimate moments between Nathan and Elizabeth. She also had several significant and impactful visits to the graveside of her husband, Jack, that brought acceptance and clarity.

Elizabeth was ultimately growing to understand more of who she is as a person, what she wants for herself and for her son. In the seasons penultimate episode, Elizabeth and Lucas had a very difficult conversation, but there was acceptance on both sides that their time together was at an end.

But Why?!

If we unpack the reasons behind Elizabeth’s decision to break off her relationship with Lucas a bit more deeply we can see that they speak to her personal growth and the show’s broader themes of love, duty, and self-discovery.

Were they starting to look down different paths?
Emotional Connection and Compatibility

One of the main reasons Elizabeth and Lucas relationship ended was their emotional connection and compatibility. Comparing her connection with Lucas and Nathan, while Lucas provided excitement, sophistication, and support for Elizabeth’s writing, there was a sense that their connection lacked the depth and understanding she found with Nathan. Elizabeth’s relationship with Nathan, is built on shared values, mutual respect, and a deeper understanding of each other’s past and aspirations, and this ultimately felt more genuine to her.

Divergent destinies…
The Burden of Choice

Elizabeth’s decision was also influenced by the burden of choice itself. Being torn between two men she cared deeply about was emotionally taxing. The show depicted her struggle with this choice, highlighting her desire to be true to herself and her heart. Choosing Nathan was not just about the man himself but also about Elizabeth making a choice that felt right to her core, reflecting her own growth and the lessons she had learned about love and life in Hope Valley.

The Show’s Themes and Fan Expectations

The narrative decision to have Elizabeth break off her relationship with Lucas and ultimately choose Nathan can also be seen as aligning with the show’s overarching themes of community, resilience, and true love overcoming obstacles. We can’t help but wonder though whether the decision could have been influenced by fan expectations and reactions, as there was such an outcry of disappointment and despair at the end of season 8 when it was revealed that Elizabeth was choosing Lucas over Nathan. ‘She belongs with the Mountie!’ was the cry. Is this the correction so many fans dreamed of?

She knew at this moment, right?

Elizabeth’s decision to end her relationship with Lucas in favor of Nathan was a defining moment in WHEN CALLS THE HEART. It reflected her journey towards understanding her own heart and making a choice that aligned with her deepest values and desires. This storyline, like many others in the series, offers viewers a window into the complexities of love, the importance of being true to oneself, and the never-ending quest for happiness and fulfilment. As WHEN CALLS THE HEART continues to unfold, fans eagerly await to see how Elizabeth’s choice will impact her future and the community of Hope Valley.

Watch When Calls the Heart season 9 on Wednesday nights at 7:30pm or When Calls the Heart season 10 on Monday mornings at 9:30am AEDT on GOOD. or stream from the free GOOD app.

When Calls the Heart season 11 will premiere on April 12 at 7:30pm AEST.

About the Author: Sharon Fitness is a staff writer for GOOD. She’s a movie buff, TV fan, foodie and dog lover.

Images: When Calls the Heart promotional content from GOOD.