Raoul/Christine

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Pairing
Pairing: Christine Daaé/Raoul de Chagny
Alternative name(s): Raoul/Christine, Christine/Raoul, R/C, C/R, RC, CR, Raoulstine, Raoul de Chagny/Christine Daaé
Gender category: F/M, Het
Fandom: Phantom of the Opera
Canonical?: Yes
Prevalence: the second most popular ship in the fandom, still way less popular than Erik/Christine
Archives: Rescue Raoul (Raoul-centric community on Fanfiction.net, mostly R/C fics), Raoul de Chagny/Christine Daaé tag on AO3
Other:
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Raoul/Christine is the pairing of the characters from Phantom of the Opera, opera singer Christine Daaé and her childhood friend turned love interest, Raoul de Chagny.

Popularity

At the current moment (in 2021) Raoul/Christine is the second most popular pairing in POTO fandom after Erik/Christine; nevertheless, the popularity of E/C has always been significantly higher. The degree of it varied depending on the period: while R/C and Raoul's character used to be unpopular and even intensely disliked in the early decades of POTO fandom, to the point that Erik/OFC was probably a more popular pairing, in the later decades, especially from the 2010s on, the popularity of the pairing has increased while the dislike of it has lessened.

R/C vs. E/C

There are tensions between R/C and E/C shippers that sometimes intensify to the point of ship war. R/C shippers often see Erik/Christine pairing as too dark, abusive, unequal and prone to idealization of Erik, while E/C shippers see Raoul/Christine as bland, "too vanilla" and devoid of interesting conflict; there are also some frustrations from R/Cers because of lesser popularity of their ship in the fandom and from E/Cers because of Raoul/Christine being "endgame" in canon. Nevertheless, there are fans who like both pairings.

Fanfiction

Fics that have Raoul/Christine as the main or only pairing tend to be on the fluffy side, sometimes as a deliberate contrast to Erik/Christine, which has led to some complains about the pairing being "boring". On the other hand, a lot of R/C stories do have a lot of conflict and angst. Such stories often show the couple dealing with problems created in their lives and/or their relationship by the events of Phantom of the Opera, or with later challenges presented by the marriage/adult life.

There are also R/C fics set in the Love Never Dies canon, which also tend to be darker, though they usually are AUs where the couple salvages their relationship.

R/C post-canon fics usually portray them as a married couple, often with kids. They may be about the early years of their marriage or encompass their whole lives.

Interestingly, while in Erik/Christine fics where Christine marries Raoul they usually lead lives of rich aristocrats, in Raoul/Christine fics they often lead much "simpler" lives, either because Raoul's parents disinherit him for marrying below his station or because the couple has to hide from Erik, and have to deal with such problems as poverty and PTSD. Many of such stories make use of the ending of the book, where they leave for the Northern Europe.

There is very little smut written for this pairing, less than for some less popular pairings like Erik/Raoul and Erik/Christine/Raoul. R/C smut fics are usually first time fics and often take place on their wedding night.

As a Side Pairing

Raoul/Christine appears as a side pairing more often than the main one, most often in Erik/Christine stories, but also in stories where the main pairing doesn't include either of them (most common in Erik/OFC and Pharoga fics) or with other main pairings that include either of them (like Erik/Raoul or Christine/Meg). The way the R/C relationship is portrayed in such stories often differs depending on the main pairing. It is usually shown in negative light in E/C stories. Sometimes it's because of general incompatibility or because Christine is in love in Erik, sometimes it's because some fault of Raoul; more extreme of such fics veer into Raoul bashing. Pharoga stories with R/C side pairing tend to portray the relationship in a more positive manner, while Erik/OFC stories can be either. Erik/Raoul fics more often than not portray Christine and R/C relationship in a positive or neutral manner, and may even give R/C (and E/C) pairing an important role.

Raoul/Christine pairing is also usually a big part of poly fics, especially Erik/Raoul/Christine. Such fics often present Raoul and Christine already in established relationship from the beginning before the third side is added.

Tropes Associated with R/C Fanfiction

Fanart

Other Sources