Claire Underwood

Claire Underwood

    House of Cards
Photo Credit: Everett Collection

Character Analysis

(Avoiding Spoilers)

Living... in a contemporary Washington D.C. apartment with her husband, Frank. She enjoys living at the center of American politics and the benefits this entails for her and her husband's work.

Profession... Director of the non-profit Clean Water Initiative, an organization that supplies water filters and similar devices to impoverished countries. Claire is incredibly passionate about the Initiative. With Frank’s help, Claire does a great deal of scheming to gain ground for her non-profit while simultaneously promoting Frank's political career.

Interests... power. Whether this is through the success of the Clean Water Initiative or via Frank in the political world, Claire's desire for influence comes at any cost.

Relationship Status... married to Frank, a Congressman and the Democratic Majority Whip. They are extremely close, tell each other everything and are constantly collaborating – some might say “conspiring” – to achieve individual and collective success. However, with a majority of the effort in the relationship going towards political gain, there isn’t much time for romance. As Claire once said to her husband, “I love you, Francis. We should say that more often to each other.”

Challenge... not losing sight of her own objectives while still helping her husband succeed. Frank and Claire generally work beautifully as a team, but Frank sometimes get so caught up in his own scheming that he pushes his personal agenda ahead of their collective one. As she puts it after having to make yet another sacrifice for her husband's benefit, "I can't keep having my work take these hits on behalf of yours." Claire generally trusts that this is for some "greater good" for both of them, but sometimes struggles to find the perfect balance between her, his, and “their” various endgames.

Personality... soft-spoken and elegant but also extremely power-hungry and devious. She knows exactly what she wants and will do whatever it takes to reach it. She appears very gentle and caring but is as manipulative as her politician husband. Even if her overall intentions are typically good, she has been known to compromise herself (or others) to get the result she desires.


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