The Phantom being handsome is intentional.He's in the circus as a freak because he was genuinely bad-looking enough at the time for that to work—barely (and the fact that he was so starved/scrawny was necessary for it to work). As he grew, his face got better, but he was so conditioned to believe otherwise that everyone else believed it. When Christine takes off his mask, he yells at her while...covering his face, so she believes it. When he's on stage, no one could see his face at all since he was facing sideways—they gasped at the dramatic reveal and assumed that the person who had kidnapped their beautiful young star must have been ugly, since that's how it works.
The Phantom is Meg's father.Not quite sure about the timeline matching up, but come on! There's some sort of subtext between Madame Giry and the Phantom- there has to be some reason she puts up with his murdering psychopathic ways- and I don't believe Meg's father is ever mentioned.
The Phantom really is a phantom, and he may not even realize it.Specifically, he's a Noble Demon who's honestly trying to be an angel — an Angel of Music! But he fell back to his evil tendencies when he became desperate for Christine. But when he received just a bit of her compassion, just a bit of her love at the end, he felt restored, enough to be willing to let her and Raoul go. He even appears to vanish at the end, like a ghost finally put at peace!
Andrew Lloyd Webber is either the Phantom himself or Gustave.Just think about it for a moment. The Phantom (and, it is implied, Gustave) is a musical genius and has a passion for darkness. Andrew Lloyd Webber is most definately a musical genius. As for the darkness:
The Phantom turns up years later as Sander Cohen
Love Never Dies is a Stealth Parody of bad fanfiction.Several aspects of the musical—the shaky chronology, the Phantom and Christine drifting into Mary Sue territory, the extraordinary Character Derailment (especially for Raoul), the Phantom and Christine conceiving a child under extremely improbable circumstances, Meg being attracted to the Phantom, enormous amounts of Wangst all around—appear so often in Phantom fanfiction as to be cliches. Since there's no way a bunch of renowned, respected artists would present, in all seriousness, a story that could have been written by a fifteen-year-old under the alias of "The Future Mrs. Gerard Butler," they must have intended it as a satire....right?
The original novel was the narrator's attempt Gone Horribly Right to make amends to the Phantom, whom he canonically saw as a Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds.Since the Phantom was separated from the woman he loved, the narrator intentionally portrayed him in a light that made him sympathetic and irresistable to legions of fangirls the world over for decades (which will no doubt turn to centuries).
The real reason the Phantom let Christine go...
Erik is a DhampyrWorking off of novel continuity here- he's born looking like a corpse (as traditional vampires did), he never knew his real father, and his childlike psychopathy is very much like Dracula's childlike psychopathy. Also, he manages to treat his prospective wife like total crap and have it romanticized, which seems par the course for most vampires.