My favourite extracts from the original Maleficent script draft. The mother of all madiaval fanfiction :)
i feel like the scripts for the film must have undergone a lot of changes in the treatment of stefan and diaval, the two main male characters in the film, and their respective relationships with maleficent - the consequent being that a lot of their character stuff feels abrupt and unexplained. which is okay, in a sense, because this is very much maleficent’s movie and, compared to maleficent, even aurora isn’t so much a real life person as a catalyst (partially wrought by maleficent herself, through her curse which said that aurora would charm everyone who ever met her - which is one of the more problematic parts of the movie that hardly anybody seems to pick up on).
still, i can’t help but be enchanted by the prickly arrogance and underlying decency of diaval, and his interspecies friendship with both maleficent and aurora. he’s the kind of friend and sidekick that women so rarely get in fiction, or not when played by a man. (the female example that comes to mind is gabrielle in xena.) rarer still is a female character getting a male sidekick who is not written explicitly as a romantic partner. like, you can read it as you wish, but i find a lot of the charm about diaval is that he is a genuinely nice guy, and not a “nice guy” - who is a proud and rather vain sort of bird, but also has no qualms about serving two powerful and high-born women, devoting and risking his life for them. maleficent transform him into a “human” shape for the convenience of having a servant who was in her debt, and i suspect because she was lonely and needed somebody to talk to, and what she got was a wild animal who nevertheless displays all the principles of chivalry that she stopped believing man to be capable of, and there is something quite beautiful about that.