The protagonists in Equitan are characterised by a lack of understanding over how their agency will affect others, and what actions others will take in response. None of the characters can escape that they are part of an assemblage, with only partial power over their fate, and their denial of this fact is what destroys them.
This is clear in the title character’s behaviour, as he consistently disregards the consequences of his actions, or deliberately creates ridiculous ones he knows to be incorrect: “he certainly can’t hold her all by himself”. This is different from acknowledging what real reactions you may provoke through use of your agency, but deciding to accept these potentially negative consequences, because the reward is worth it. The king never examines the situation for actual outcomes; instead, he willingly allows his desires to lead him down a path, without properly checking whether the end point could be fatal. In contrast, the woman whom he pursues considers the matter carefully, asking for “some time to think”, and thus respects the different actants involved. However, she is persuaded by Equitan’s words, rather than his true sentiments, which leads her to falsely believe that he thinks their love is worth risking their lives for. In reality, he’s a coward who considers damaging effects only when they occur, as shown by his illogical, panic-stricken decision to dive into boiling water, rather than protect his lover. The seneschal is the only one of the love triangle who takes into account others’ potential reactions to his agency, which is reflected in his deep-set loyalty to his king.
In an assemblage, each actant must consider how their agency will affect others, and how, in turn, these reactions will affect them, before they use their thing-power. There is always a risk in enacting one’s agency, but Equitan shows that this risk is greatly increased when those involved fail to acknowledge how their agency might influence others.