Helena Cassadine

By Katrina Rasbold
written in August 2003

Helena and Stef.  What poetry in motion!  What talent!  What intensity!  THIS is the GH I have known and loved for so long.  What a WEIRD and complex dynamic between the two of them.  Was there ONE second when Helena had a stir of feelings for her son?  I think so! What about her assertion from the days before his “death” that he was a frail, crying baby who never loved her?  As rational beings and, for some of us, as mommies, perhaps we can’t imagine a woman who would make a sickly infant responsible for generating feelings of love within her and then emotionally punish the baby when those feelings don’t emerge.  But think of it as Helena, a woman who is not like us.  Her husband, who she adores, is a flagrant philanderer who has a string of affairs, including a bee-yootiful and talented mistress.   She has one son who is a total joy and fills her life in a loving way.  She dotes on him and invests all the love a loveless woman can devote into Stavros, the light of her life.  She tries to deal with Mikkos not returning her fidelity and adoration and distracts herself from the pain with little Stavros.  An unexpected pregnancy and difficult labor are more than she can handle, not to mention a sickly child who cries incessantly and is unable to return to her any degree of positive feelings.  For a homicidal maniac, this would not add up to a positive maternal-child bonding moment.  Trying to put normal, maternal feelings of attachment into Helena under those circumstances is like trying to instill the joy to be alive into a fencepost.  It ain’t going to happen.  As time goes on, Stavros continues to captivate her and uses her love and devotion to the highest advantage.  Stefan is reticent, quiet and tends to fade into the walls.  Stavros quickly learns how easy it is to blame his indiscretions on Stefan and Helena is quick to believe her son who can do no wrong.  Stefan is repeatedly punished for sins he never committed, his only one being having been born to the wrong mother.  Seeing Stefan as the “problem child” after having been a fussy infant only serves to distance Helena further from her youngest son and endears Stavros, the Good Son, to her even more.  Stefan continues to quietly accept the punishment, believing somehow that if he does, Helena and Stavros will love him for it.  This insanity continues until, some years later, Luke Spencer comes on the scene.  Luke manages to cause the death of her beloved Mikkos and later, (to her mind) her precious son, Stavros, leaving her with a son that she can’t stand and barely knows. 

To make matters worse, Stefan continues his lifelong spree of “bad” behavior by cuckolding Sweet Stavros in a heated affair with his wife.  Helena could, of course, justify the kidnapping of Laura because it involved taking something precious from the hated Luke Spencer and giving that treasure to Stavros.  Now, Stefan had befouled her.  Learning that little Nikolas was the product of Stavros and not Stefan and knowing that Luke Spencer would, no doubt, eventually be out for blood, Helena needed to ensure that the offspring of her favorite child would be safe.  It was actually quite good planning on her part to intercept the paternity test and erroneously convince Stefan that he was actually Nikolas’ father.  This would keep Nikolas safe in the event of her death or Stavros’.  Once Laura escaped (Helena would no doubt blame Stefan for this), Luke Spencer was even more deeply hated because of Stavros’ death.  Even though it was not entirely by his hand that Stavros died, there was only the word of Luke and Laura to go by, so Helena would be convinced it was direct homicide. Luke had killed both Mikkos and Stavros (in Helena’s mind) and from Stefan the only person to have truly loved him.  That scores two sworn enemies for Luke Spencer. 

By killing Stefan, Helena was effectively killing off a part of her life that no longer had anything to offer her.  Stavros and Mikkos were both gone.  If Stefan was out of the way, surely she could recreate those wonderful feelings of love with Nikolas, who would come to love her in time.  Since he has so much of his father in him, there would be little doubt that she could win his love.  By getting rid of Alexis, her world would be perfect.  Self-preservation takes on a whole new meaning to homicidal maniacs.  

Now that Stefan has risen from the watery grave to which she sent him, not only is she dealing with the betrayal of a trusted servant (believe me, she knows Andreas did it and he may well meet the business end of an ice pick yet), but also is once again facing the prospect of a prison cell for crimes real and imagined.  Stefan will now be even more precious to Nikolas and her plan of having Nikolas committed (then, no doubt, “rescuing” him at a later date after a period of programming him to love Gramma – after all, it worked so well on Lucky) is now effectively thwarted.  Stefan holds all the cards and that is not a position of safety for Helena by any means.  

Don’t count Her Highness down for the count just yet.  She’s as creative as she is dangerous and there’s little doubt that this cat will land soundly on her feet.