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Context Series / Napoleon

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3''Napoléon'' is a 2002 miniseries, starring Creator/ChristianClavier as [[UsefulNotes/NapoleonBonaparte the French emperor]]. The cast also includes Creator/JohnMalkovich as Talleyrand, Creator/IsabellaRossellini as Joséphine de Beauharnais, Creator/GerardDepardieu as Joseph Fouché and Creator/TobyStephens as [[UsefulNotes/TsarTsarAutocrats Tsar Alexander I of Russia]].
5Living in exile on Saint Helena under British supervision, Napoleon tells an English girl how he managed to ascend from a mere artillery general in the revolutionary forces of the French Republic to the Emperor of the French and near-conqueror of Europe, along with his tumultuous relationship with Joséphine de Beauharnais.
8!!''Napoléon'' provides examples of:
10* AdaptationDistillation: The miniseries is based on a four-part biography written by French historian and novelist Max Gallo. The miniseries skips or shortens some parts of Napoleon's life which are depicted in the books. The miniseries depicts the retreat of Russia in a nightmare sequence happening when Napoleon is already back in Paris. Also, not counting the FramingDevice and some childhood flashbacks, the miniseries starts with the [[ 13 Vendémiaire revolt]] (in 1795), entirely skipping Napoleon's childhood and the first half of the French Revolution (including the early years of Napoleon's military career).
11* AltarDiplomacy: Napoleon marries an Austrian princess, Marie-Louise of Habsburg, after forcing their Emperor to sue for peace. This is played for humor during their first in-person meeting when Napoleon watches a plain-looking girl exiting a horse carriage, much to his disappointment, before a much prettier-looking young woman (Marie-Louise) exits after her handmaid.
12* {{Cliffhanger}}: The first three episodes all end on a scene where Napoleon's life is directly threatened (the [[ Plot of the rue Saint-Nicaise]] in the first episode, the battle of Eylau in the second episode, and the fire of Moscow in the third episode).[[note]]Interestingly, it's not how the original books are split: the first book ends after Napoleon's coup in 1799, the second book ends after the battle of Austerlitz, and the third book ends when the campaign of Russia starts.[[/note]]
13* DeathGlare: When the Grande Armeé invades Moscow, they find the city abandoned before it is set on fire by the remaining rebels. The episode ends on Napoleon's face staring at the burning city with seething, wordless rage as victory is snatched from his grasp.
14* DefensiveFeintTrap: Napoleon wins the Battle of Austerlitz by ordering a retreat in order to lure in the enemy forces. His Marshals object that it is ''too'' obvious a strategy, which Napoleon states will be the reason it will work: they won't expect it.
15* DoomedMoralVictor: Napoleon Bonaparte, Josephine and Marie Louise are all potrayed this way.
16* DreamIntro: After Napoleon's defeat in Moscow, the next episode opens with him quietly watching his troops retreat and slowly freezing to death while being relentlessly hunted down by Cossacks. This is revealed to be a nightmare when Napoleon wakes up in Paris.
17* FramingDevice: The series is framed as Napoleon relating his life history, from the Revolutionary Wars until his defeat in 1815, to Betsy Balcombe on St. Helena.
18* FrenchJerk: Ultimatly averted. When compared to most of entertainment and pop culture, this sterotype is not imposed at all. Lampshaded when Napoleon Bonaparte tells the British girl (Betsy Balcombe) that he is not a monster.
19* GoldenAge: The Napoleonic era was the Golden Age of France.
20* GoodShepherd: Pope Pius VII.
21* MilitaryCoup: Napoleon attempts to sweet-talk the Directorate into granting him and two other consuls EmergencyAuthority, but when the body proves too unruly (and one representative [[{{Tyrannicide}} attempts to assassinate him]]), he instead uses his soldiers to disband the assembly and force them to pass power onto him.
22* NiceGirl: Josephine and Marie Louise are both examples of this trope.
23* OddFriendship: Napoleon Bonaparte's friendship with a British girl (Betsy Balcombe) during his imprisonment.
24* RaisedCatholic: Most of the main characters are French Catholics. Marie Louise is a devout Austrian Catholic.
25** Napoleon Bonaparte was raised Catholic and despite his temporary excommunication, reconciled with the Catholic Church on his deathbed in RealLife.
26* SaintlyChurch: The Catholic Church as a whole is potrayed this way, minus some bad apples.
27* TheGoodKing: Napoleon Bonaparte is this as the Emperor of the French. King Louis XVI is also hinted as not being as bad as the Jacobin propaganda imposed against him. His brother Louis XVIII, [[UpperClassTwit not so much]].
28* TheHighQueen: Josephine and Marie Louise are this as Empresses. Queen Marie Antoinette also qualifys although she is talked about and is not shown.
29* TheEmpire: France is this, ranging from Portugal to the borders of Russia at it's hight of influence.
30* TheEmperor: Napoleon Bonaparte is the emperor of the French. TruthInTelevision.
31* TheMistress: There are several subplots with Napoleon's extramarital mistresses, especially Maria Walewska.
32* ThickerThanWater: Defied. The Emperor of Austria, Napoleon's own father-in-law, declares war on him after his defeat in Russia. Napoleon does point this out, but his representative states that the wellbeing of Austria is more important to him than family.
33* ThreatBackfire: After Napoleon's humiliating defeat in Russia, France is at war with a new coalition already consisting of Britain, Russia, and Prussia. The Austrian foreign minister, Count Metternich, visits Napoleon in Paris to witness French military strength first-hand. Napoleon makes a display of showing off his new regiments and stressing his family relationship with Emperor Francis, but Metternich is unconvinced, prompting Napoleon to finally threaten to "reduce Vienna to rubble" if they join the Sixth Coalition. It clearly didn't work out and just made him seem desperate and too dangerous to remain in power from the Austrians' perspective.
34* TranslationConvention: All characters speak English on screen, even when it's clear that French is actually being used. Not just among the French nationals, but presumably also Napoleon's meetings with Metternich and Alexander I, given that for centuries French was (and to a large extent, still is) the language of diplomacy in Europe.
35* {{Tyrannicide}}: Narrowly avoided when Napoleon attempts to address the Directorate to give him and two of his political allies emergency powers, and one of the deputies attempts to stab him in the chaos. Napoleon is protected from assassination by his soldiers, and he uses the opportunity to have the Directorate dissolved and himself named First Consul.
36* WellIntentionedExtremist: The royalists are potrayed this way.
37* WithUsOrAgainstUs: When Napoleon visits Fouché, the Minister of Police, to demand his support for Napoleon's coup on 18 brumaire, he states that Fouché must decide on the spot whether he's with him or against him. He also points out that he's now Fouché's only hope, since both the royalists and republicans will want to execute him for treason and conspiracy.