Is Jasper In Love With Eleanor On 'The Royals'?

by Sara Steinfeld

No character on E!'s The Royals has intrigued me as much as Jasper. His role in the wildly troubling rape plot with Princess Eleanor coupled with the fact that we know next to nothing about him is quickly making him one of the show's most complex characters. There's just one question I can't get off of my mind: Is Jasper actually in love with Eleanor? And if that's the case, did Jasper also lie about drugging the princess? Or is his blackmail plot just that — a blackmail plot?

Let's review: At first glance, Jasper just seems like a pretty meek guy, nervous about his first day as the Princess' security detail. By the end of the episode, not only do we find out that he's actually American, but he's also claimed to have drugged the Princess' drinks, taken advantage of her, and filmed the entire thing. Since then, he's been blackmailing her with this alleged video (which we still haven't seen for ourselves, mind you) for sex, and has basically been Eleanor's personal pest. And that was all in the pilot alone. Interestingly enough, he's also proven that he's essentially Eleanor's match in every way — as the show's creator, Mark Schwahn has said, "they're both so good at being bad."

Things have changed since that very first episode, though. In the second episode, Jasper knocked out an Olympic swimmer that Eleanor had set her romantic sights on, and in the third episode, he comforted her after she had been undermined by her mother once again. These hardly seem like the actions of a man who simply wants to take someone down or use them for sex. On top of all of that, we're just as in the dark as Eleanor about his true identity — he claims to be a grifter from Las Vegas, but is he really?

I'm sure those answers will come along in due time, but for now, let's take a step back. What if Jasper never actually drugged Eleanor on that first night? And, in that vein, what if he didn't actually take a video of the two of them having sex. In fact, what if they didn't even have sex at all, and he was lying to maintain some kind of relationship with her. This obviously isn't exactly a better alternative, since sexual manipulation is NEVER okay, but it would change things entirely.

Jasper's recent spell of kindness, along with the Queen's ability to decipher from his accent alone that he might be hiding something, makes me look at him in a whole new way. Not that I have much experience in blackmail situations, but I can't imagine choosing to comfort someone is part of the program.

So here's my theory: I think Jasper IS actually in love with Eleanor (yes, I know, I'm officially a Jeleanor 'shipper; don't hate me, y'all). I don't think that he drugged her, and I don't think he has a sex tape. I think that whatever he's doing is an extremely misguided attempt to take a stab at a relationship with Eleanor. After all, as a royal, she's expected to ultimately marry royalty — a security guard hardly seems the appropriate type. Why he feels the need to lie and how he got hired as a bodyguard in the palace to begin with is still a mystery, but I think that his intentions, however murky, are relatively pure.

But maybe that's just the 'shipper in me.

Images: Screengrab/E! Entertainment; queenhelenas, eleanjasp/Tumblr