Eugene changes so much during the movie that I thought it might be a good idea to kind of show how his way of thinking changed. And, of course, I incorporated a lot from the song "I See the Light" (which happens to be my favorite song in the movie and . . . probably ever).
Disclaimer: I own nothing except a ridiculous amount of "Tangled" still pictures from the Internet. 168, to be precise. Many are of the gorgeous Eugene. Mmmmmm . . . .
"And at last I see the light
And it's like the fog has lifted
And at last I see the light
And it's like the sky is new
And it's warm and real and bright
And the world has somehow shifted
All at once
Everything is different
Now that I see you."
Flynn Rider was a self-centered, egotistical thief. It was as simple as that. Even Flynn himself knew he was conceited, but, being so vain, he didn't care in the slightest.
After all, he boasted to himself, when you've got looks as good as mine, of course it's going to go to your head a bit. It's not at all unusual.
Flynn Rider only cared about himself—no one else mattered to him. Not the Stabbington Brothers, nor any other of his temporary accomplices for his various thefts. He was the center of his own universe.
But that all changed when he took a frying pan to the head.
From that moment on, Flynn Rider began to lose his hold, disappearing behind the man Flynn once was—Eugene Fitzherbert. Eugene was not the same as his other persona. He was not as selfish—though he was still quite charming when he put his mind to it—or self-centered, and he didn't steal. He didn't even take a second look when he saw a jewel in a nobleman's hand, whereas Flynn would have been instantly thinking of ways to steal it for himself.
The reason for the chance in characters and heart was simple. Rapunzel.
Ever since she had knocked him out—multiple times, actually—with her iron frying pan, she had begun to change him. Of course, she had no idea about what she had done, and, for a while, Flynn himself assumed that she had jostled something in his brain when the frying pan struck, but, after a while, neither of them could continue to avoid the truth.
Flynn was no longer Flynn. He was Eugene again, and Eugene had fallen in love for the first time.
Just because he was Eugene, though, doesn't mean he immediately succumbed to his feelings as soon as he realized the beginnings of his infatuation. No, he fought them as hard as he could, telling himself that Flynn Rider didn't fall in love. (This was before he realized he was no longer Flynn Rider, but after the change had begun) But when they arrived in the kingdom and Rapunzel was glowing as brightly as her hair had the night before—not literally, of course—he felt his hold on his feelings loosen.
As she dragged him around, fascinated by any and everything they encountered, he felt his mask soften and knew that Flynn Rider was slipping away and Eugene Fitzherbert was returning to the surface.
But it was out in the boats where he first had to acknowledge it to himself.
Her skin glowed faintly in the moonlight, but it was nothing compared to the way the lights from the lanterns danced off her skin and the smile she wore. She glowed brighter than anything else he had ever seen before, and her joy was infectious, filling him as well.
He took out from the two lanterns he had purchased from where he had hidden them and showed them to her. She beamed and smiled at him, speaking quickly after snatching something from behind her.
"I've got something for you, too. I should have given it to you before, but I was just scared. And the thing is . . . I'm not scared anymore. You know what I mean?"
He gently pushed it out of the way, the old and ratty object no longer mattering to him. All he cared about was her—not the crown, not his satchel.
She beamed at him and his mind raced, remembering all the years he had spent trying to make himself as rich as his fictional mentor, Flynnigan Rider, had been. It was as if he was seeing the world through a whole new light. Before he saw things as what he could get away with stealing and what he could not. Now he saw everything the way they were supposed to be seen and felt the wonder and awe that Rapunzel did at seeing it.
But now that she was here, starlight glinting off her golden hair and a beam on her face as she pointed out some of the lanterns to him that she particularly liked, he knew. Before, he had just gone where he had to in order to hide from the law. He'd never had a particular destination—all he wanted was to avoid capture. But now . . . he knew where he was meant to be. Wherever Rapunzel was, he would follow.
When he was with her, he was where he was meant to go.
It was like the fog had lifted from his eyes and he could suddenly see. The sky was new, the world was warm and real and bright instead of just a place in which you had to survive any way you could. The focal point of his universe had shifted from himself to the girl sitting next to him.
Everything he had known for years had changed because of the girl in front of him, but he wouldn't have traded it for anything.
And at last I see the light . . . .