A Tale of Two Brothers

Team Tristan or Team Alfred?

I’m talking about the Ludlow brothers from Legends of the Fall.


I was 19 years old when this movie came out and then, much like now, I could just not grasp why everyone was swooning over Tristan (Brad Pitt) and not Alfred (Aidan Quinn). For beginners, Alfred was much better looking: tall, dark hair, smart, and rocking those waistcoats, not to mention those icy blue eyes.


Tristan was a perpetual boy with greasy long hair who chaotically flitted from one fancy to the next *yawn* What did Susanna see in him? His wildness, maybe? Unconventional ideals that she found freeing? I’m not sure. I saw him as someone who just wanted to catch her, much like that elusive wild horse that he kept trying to tame. Tristan would get bored once the chase was over, moving on to greener pastures.


Alfred would nurture, he would continue to be fascinated by Susanna’s inner beauty, he would stick around during the tough times. Alfred had depth, Alfred had inner struggles.


Tristan seemed to float around with few cares, until something truly tragic happened and it sent him into a tailspin; he wasn’t equipped emotionally for something of that magnitude. Tristan would not have had a clue on how to deal with Susanna’s depression.

In relation to their father, it was the classic story of the prodigal son; a concept I had a difficult time with until I had my own children. Tristan was more like the father, while Alfred was a bit of a mystery to him. As someone who was often a mystery to my own parents, I felt an affinity with Alfred.

As an adult, I can understand more why so many were captivated with Tristan. but I’d still pick Alfred, hands down.



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