As the play opens, Raina's mother tells her that Sergius has just proven himself a heroic calvary officer in battle. This leads Raina to say,
Only think, mother, I doubted him: I wondered whether all his heroic qualities and his soldiership might not prove mere imagination when he went into a real battle. I had an uneasy fear that he might cut a poor figure there beside all those clever Russian officers.
Raina has been questioning whether her love of Sergius and the idea of him as a heroic figure are merely fantasies derived from reading literature and going to operas. Now, it seems that the romantic hero is a reality.
In Act II, Raina continues to hero worship Sergius as a romantic ideal come to life:
How I have envied you, Sergius! You have been out in the world, on the field of battle, able to prove yourself there worthy of any woman in the world; whilst I have had to sit at home inactive,—dreaming—useless—doing nothing that could give me the right to call myself worthy of any man.
Yet an opposite dynamic is set up when Captain Bluntschli appears in Raina's room through the window as war deserter who carries chocolates rather than bullets. He never appears in a romantic guise, but immediately and unabashedly faces her with the blunt realities of war. He tells how the experienced soldiers reign in their horses so they won't be first into battle and depicts Sergius's dashing charge in a ridiculous light.
In the first two acts, the sparks begin almost immediately to fly between Bluntschli and Raina because they are completely real with each other from the start. Neither one has to maintain a role or keep up a romantic image from a storybook. Whether she wants to admit it or not, Raina is taken with Bluntschli's honesty and irreverence.
While Raina and Sergius are both uncomfortable playing the pre-scripted roles of dashing hero and his lady, Raina and Bluntschli can fall into an easy intimacy. Sergius can only find that ease with Raina's servant, Louka. Though it will take a bit longer for them to admit it to each other, in reality Raina and Sergius are not meant for one another. Bluntshli and Raina are, as all the clues in the first two acts suggest.