The Empress season 1 – who is Emperor Franz Joseph?

September 29, 2022
M.N. Miller 0
Characters, Netflix, Streaming Service
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This article, “who is Emperor Franz Joseph,” contains spoilers regarding the Netflix series The Empress season 1.

The Empress is a new period drama based on the life of Duchess Elisabeth Amalie Eugenie in Bavaria, who later became Austria’s Empress. They are married to Franz Joseph I, Emperor of Austria, King of Hungary, and several other states of the Habsburg Empire. (What a resume, right?). He is a principal character in the new German streaming series. Played by Philip Froissant (Black Island), he plays the 18-year-old emperor as conflicted. He is multilayered, wanting to help the citizens of the Austrian Empire with a thriving economy. He has that kind heart even though forces are planning to assassinate him.

So, that begs the question:

Who is Emperor Franz Joseph in The Empress season 1?

Franz Joseph I, Emperor of Austria, King of Hungary, and several other states of the Habsburg Empire.

What does Franz Joseph do?

Franz was made the emperor at an incredibly early age when his uncle was run out of the palace, and his father hid in the countryside by his mother, Sophia. She claims only God chooses the emperor, but she plays the man upstairs. She expects her son to be almost a puppet for her, but he refuses to go to war. That includes a weakening Ottoman Empire or honoring the allegiance with Russia, which is at war with France. He wants to take the few dollars the kingdom has and invest in a railway through the country and into Vienna to improve the economy, which will help his citizens who are starving.

He must pick a bride for political reasons, even though he sleeps with countess Louise. Franz is supposed to marry Helene, but he chooses his sister Elisabeth instead. Why? Because she is different from anyone he has ever met before. She is fiercely independent and shares the same values of empathy and forgiveness he wants to bestow upon his empire, even though, in flashbacks, the rebellion attempted to murder him with a stabbing to his neck, which he survived.

Franz listens to his wife, and instead of starting a war, he invites the Russian Tsar’s son for a small hunting gathering. Even though the Tsar cannot shoot and is saved by Elisabeth’s accurate shot, he accuses the emperor of giving him a defective gun. They leave, at war, with Franz telling the Tsar he is sending 250,000 troops to the border states. He refuses to engage the Russians but says the intimidation will make them retreat, and they do! This helps Franz eventually, who was losing his cabinet and dissolved an attempted coup by his brother, Maxi. Unfortunately, Fanz blamed his wife for what happened with the Russian Tsar, causing a rift in their relationship.

Franz is frustrated that Sisi runs to his brother when they fight. Maxi longs for her and tells her that when Franz is gone, he will keep her. When she runs to her husband to tell him the plot and that she is pregnant. Yet, he is angry that Maxi told him Elisabeth “indicated” she would be his wife. They fight, and his wife chooses to return to Bavaria and have the marriage annulled. However, his loyal servant Theo hands him the lock of Sisi’s hair, telling him he doesn’t want his emperor to be unhappy.

The last time we see Franz, he runs on foot to meet the carriage carrying his wife back to Bavaria at the gates.

Additional reading for The Empress (2022) season 1

Who died in The Empress season 1

The review for The Empress season 1

You can watch this series on Netflix.

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