Since the ‘shocking’ reveal that Jennifer is the Darach (it’s not shocking at all. I’m pretty sure 90% of the fandom called it), there’s been a lot of speculation regarding the sincerity of Derek and Jennifer’s relationship. Does she truly love him? Or is it all an act? Blah blah blah…
I don’t care. What I do care about is if it was sincere for Derek. Is this relationship 100% consensual, or is there some freaky druid voodoo going on?
I think I may have found my answer.
The scene gif’d above confused me at first. Why would Jennifer tell Lydia she was ‘just like her’? As far as I can tell, banshees don’t cause death; they merely predict it, their cries being a warning rather than a threat. Hell, it’s even said that banshees protect the souls of the good hearted. That’s not like Jennifer at all, as she is actually killing people. The only thing they seem to have in common is the fact that they’re supernatural beings, but Jennifer kind of knew that already because of their earlier conversation where Lydia admits she’s ‘something’. Jennifer only sees a link between them once she discovers exactly what Lydia is. So why is that?
While I was trying to find out more about banshee folklore besides the obvious (because let’s face it, there’s more to Lydia’s power than just screaming before people die), I came across this website, which states “The Bean Sidhe (Gaelic for banshee) is also said to have a sister – the Lianhan Sidhe – who would win the love of mortal men and use it to destroy them.”
Holy shit. Things just started to make a lot more sense. For starters; ‘Lianhan’ comes from the Gaelic word ‘leannan’, meaning ‘sweetheart’, ‘concubine’, and ‘favourite’. Let’s think about those for a second. Before Jennifer was revealed to be the Darach, she was very sweet - kind of awkward in an endearing way, and no one had bad word to say about her (I am obviously referring to the characters and not the fandom). The exact definition of ‘concubine’ is a little iffy (some sites say it’s a woman in a relationship with a married man, whereas others merely state that it’s a woman who “cohabits with a man to whom she is not legally married”. However, in its most basic form, it means ‘lover’. I really don’t think I have to explain that one. The word ‘favourite’ obviously refers to the folklore of the Lianhan Sidhe that says “the mortal man who longs for her, she is the one and only”. Now, I’m not suggesting that Derek’s whole life revolves around Jennifer since they met, but this would explain why Derek turned to Jennifer – the supposed human with little knowledge of the supernatural world - when he was injured and bleeding all over the place, instead of reaching out to a pack member, or Deaton who could possibly heal him. Also, the first time we see Derek since he went missing after the events of 3.07, it’s Jennifer who he seeks out. This is showing the audience that he is prioritizing Jennifer over everyone else he knows, despite his trust issues and the little time he and Jennifer have known each other, he seems to have no problem relying on her.
This theory starts making a whole lot more sense when you analyse the information we were given regarding the sacrifices in episode 3.09. It shows that when Jennifer sacrifices a group of people, she gains some sort of power from it (the ability to heal after killing healers, strength after killing warriors, et cetera). This heavily suggests she gained a form of romantic/sexual power after killing virgins, which is then reinforced when she kisses Papa Stilinski to possibly subdue him before kidnapping him. At the point of her and Derek’s first meeting, the only group to be sacrificed was the virgins (not only that, but they meet in the episode centred around the dying virgins), so she had already gained the ‘power of seduction’ by that time. The Lianhan Sidhe only focus on one man at a time, which explains why no one else was affected by her mystical amorous qualities.
Now, this next part is not my attempt at attacking the Dennifer ship, but is just me analysing the way I view their relationship.
I feel that Derek being under some sort of romantic druid hocus-pocus justifies everything I dislike about their interactions. In my opinion, Dennifer has been the most cliché (and slightly cheesy) romance on Teen Wolf since scallison in the pilot episode. With things like light shining behind Derek while he rescues Jennifer, or ‘the power of love’ (*cough*seduction*cough*) healing his wounds, I thought I was watching a Korean drama or something.
ANYWAY, all this cheesy crap paints their relationship as some sort of fairytale; everything is perfect, nothing is wrong, Jennifer is cute and smart and nice and has no flaws – basically everything is too good to be true. It’s like Jennifer’s magical druid love enchantment has painted her as the perfect princess with Derek as her knight in shining armour in their relationship, which we know is just an act (because hello, Darach, human sacrifices). This is not the portrayal of a realistic relationship, which I believe has a greater purpose than just bad writing, which I’ve heard a lot of people say. It’s almost like Derek’s wearing rose-tinted glasses when Jennifer is involved – scary, voodoo, mind controlling rose-tinted glasses of course.
With all this in mind, I’m not sure how much of Derek’s feelings towards Jennifer are real, but I am 100% certain that there is definitely a large degree of kissy wizardry occurring.
Last but not least, I would like to point out that I don’t think Jeff is double whammying us; “she’s not just a scary druid, but she’s also this other thing too! HAHA you weren’t expecting that were you? I bet you’re all thoroughly confused”, and I don’t think the portrayal of her character is supposed to be an exact copy of this legend (seriously, there are details that don’t fit, but the bigger picture is pretty accurate) but what I do think is that the nature of her come-hither magnetism, where Derek is concerned, is definitely inspired by the lore of the Lianhan Sidhe. (I also don’t think that Jennifer & Lydia are actual sisters)