Salvador Dali ~ “The Temptation of St Anthony”, 1946

In 1946, Dali was invited to participate in a painting competition organized by a movie-producing firm called the Loew Lewin Company. The winner of the eleven person competition would have his or her painting worked into an upcoming feature film. After a few days of work in a New York studio, Dali submitted The “Temptation of Saint Anthony” as his entry. It was the first and only time Salvador Dali participated in an art contest. He lost to Max Ernst, a German artist and innovator of the Dada movement.

anonymous said:

I don't have a really good memory, but I know that the masks Uta and co. are holding in ch. 143 were seen earlier in the story, so would it be okay if you explained their significance?

What I remember most prominently is that just before Kaneki blacks out towards the end of his fight with Arima, he remembers seeing a figure after Rize was crushed — he sees someone wearing a clown’s mask, laughing.

That person was responsible for Rize’s collapse. That person is the one Itori hinted towards when she told Kaneki that Rize may have been set up. And as we find out in the last chapter, that person laughing was part of a group of ghouls called Pierrot.

The clown that night when Rize attacked Kaneki was Souta, specifically (as a side note, he was a member of the Ghoul Restaurant, which Itori so very much wanted to know about, won’t you please try to find out from Tsukiyama, Kaneki? Hmmm, hmmm, she just wanted to place Kaneki in a dangerous situation. There’s no way she didn’t already know plenty about the restaurant).

Uta, Itori, Souta, Roma, and Nico were the clowns around every corner in this story. They wanted a fun tragedy, so they got one. Uta was there through Anteiku. Itori provided information. Souta was at the Restaurant and responsible for the fallen beams. Roma worked in Anteiku. Nico showed up at Aogiri. That covers every central part of Kaneki’s story. They’ve been laughing in the background the whole time. 

anonymous said:

what relation do you think "helter skelter" will have with thursdays episode?

You bring up an important question, anon. While it’s hard to know for certain what the significance of “HELTER SKELTER” is going to be until the episode is actually aired (whether it will be specifically mentioned like MY FAIR LADY or have symbolic significance), I will do my best to analyze it from the information that we have.

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Just some more analysis of Tokyo Ghoul

Tarot Card Symbolism:

Lots of people have already pointed out the symbolism of the numbers through out tokyo ghoul is relation to their tarot cards but I just needed to vent some ideas about it even though people have probably already said stuff about it. I just think the symbolism through out this manga is absolutely amazing. Today I was researching the significance of tarot card #12 The Hanged Man


The Hanged man is a card representing a cross roads in decision making, where the person reflects on events and comes to their own understanding and makes a choice. The Hanged man spends nine days in reflection under the tree, not eating or even moving, hanging upside down. As he is hanging upside down his perception is different to that of others. Coins fall from his pockets but he does not see it as money but merely as bits of metal and does not care. The card can also refer to that of a traitor and during the medieval period people were often hung upside down for being a traitor. The Hanged man also signifies when a person is vulnerable, sensitive and introverted.

So I’m just gonna go through and explain the relevance of each of these points in relation to Kaneki.

Nine Days of Reflection:

From the timeline of the manga it is shown to us that Kaneki spends nine days in Yamori’s torture chamber, breaking out on the tenth


This point in the manga referring to ten days ago is from the same point that Kaneki has killed Yamori and the CCG has turned up for the raid on Aogiri Tree. The symbolism here is obvious in that Kaneki, in his nine days of torture, is looking at the world from another perspective, a cruel one. During this time he reflects on his past and comes to the understanding that this whole time he has been weak just like his mother was. he then also ‘accepts the ghoul within him’. At this point the number 12 shows up


Upside-down perception:

This is the real starting point for Kaneki becoming ‘The Hanged Man’. He has seen the truth of his life through his own reflection and come to the understanding that he must become strong and be willing to sacrifice his humanity to protect those he loves and cares about. However, as Kaneki is seeing the world through a warped view (upside down), this view is essentially wrong. Another element of the Hanged Man is that what is right to him is wrong to others. We can see from this point on that Kaneki, having lost his sanity and stable perspective, makes many bad decisions and looses his way e.g. Sacrificing his humanity completely, trying to protect those he loves through sacrificing himself etc.

Coins falling:

Here once again, this is quite obvious. The Hanged Man sees the coins for what they ultimately are, just bits of metal. Kaneki, through his torture is exposed to the cruel reality of the world and doesn’t seek any kind of material gain after this point onwards. He doesn’t even indulge in things he loves such as reading anymore. Like the Hanged Man, he only seeks knowledge and understanding from this point, his quest to discover Dr Kanou and why he did what he did to Kaneki.

The Traitor:

This doesn’t come across as clearly as the rest of the elements but one can interpret that Kaneki feels he is a traitor of himself form this point. He is no longer human and his levels of self-loathing reach astronomical heights. Kaneki, even in his insanity, grasps the fact that he is “so fucked up”. Touka also brings to his attention the fact that he not fighting to protect those he loves but merely to protect himself from the loneliness he fears. Here Kaneki believes his actions to be selfish and listens to Touka, returning to Anteiku in a form of repentance for his traitorous actions towards himself. He believes he has betrayed himself in that he has been lying to himself for a very long time, and not only about his actions after his torture but through out his whole life. 

Vulnerable, sensitive, introverted:

Kaneki has always been quite introverted, only having one close friend and preferring to spend his time quietly reading books then going out. His vulnerability and sensitivity is heightened at the beginning of the raid on Anteiku arc.


Once again the fateful number 12 rears it’s ugly head. Kaneki is at his most vulnerable and unstable through out this arc, as he reaches his end. Obviously this is foreshadowing of the level of vulnerability, so great that before Arima he is unable to defeat him and is murdered. His sensitivity is also partly the cause of his downfall here as if he were to leave events to their own devices, as really he had no essential place in this fight and merely fought to perform a final act of protecting those of Anteiku, he would have survived. 

So basically that it just some of my in-depth analysis of the significance of The Hanged Man through out Tokyo Ghoul. I just really wanted to write about this because I absolutely love when writers go to this much effort with symbolism and it just really enriches all the mechanics behind the story and brings it to life. I love this manga, as tragic as it might be, and I think Ishida Sui is a fantastic author and artist.

ᴛɪᴍᴇʟɪɴᴇ ᴏғ ᴇᴠᴀɴɢᴇʟɪᴏɴ: ᴡᴇᴇᴋ ʙʏ ᴡᴇᴇᴋ ʙʀᴇᴀᴋᴅᴏᴡɴ

You may or may not know that Neon Genesis Evangelion takes place between July 6th, 2015 to January 1st, 2016. Here’s an exhaustive breakdown of the exact dates of events, using the times provided by the show and per character dialogue. Some noteworthy finds:

  • Kaworu met Shinji on Christmas Eve, and died on Christmas Day.
  • The median amount of time between angel attacks is 11 days.
  • Toji lost his left leg on Halloween.
  • Kaji died a day before Misato’s 30th birthday.
  • Shinji is “birthed” from Unit-01 a day after Asuka’s 14th birthday.
  • The first half of End of Evangelion takes place on Toji’s 15th birthday, one day after Kaworu’s death.
  • And more!

The general skeleton for the first few months was graciously compiled here. Note that in Japan, schools are in session (half-days) on Saturdays. 

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anonymous said:

Hi, I just saw your post about Kaneki being only 19, and then thought of the tarot card theories from eyepatch-centipede. He started being 18, and aged to 19 in-series, it could be a change between the two cards, The Moon (18) to The Sun (19). The Moon seems to reflect a lot of negative meanings and uncertainty, which is Kaneki for a lot TG, but we end up with The Sun as one of the final cards shown. What do you think of this interpretation? That Kaneki was able to "reach" 19?

The main reason I take issue with interpreting his age with those cards like is that he turned nineteen while being tortured by Yamori. He turned nineteen as his hair became white, as a centipede tore apart the inside of his ear, as he grieved his childhood. 

While Kaneki was uncertain when he still had black hair, he was also hopeful that he could find his own meaning and continue learning. He still trusted people and depended on them, at least somewhat. Him changing as he did was a death more than anything. That more human part of him died, replaced by a ghoul. In a way, he never reached nineteen.



Nine, Twelve and Five are slowly dying as a result of the experiments decaying their brains. 



The symptoms for a intercranial aneurysm include a sudden and unusually severe headachedouble vision and a loss of consciousnesses among other symptoms.


Five, Nine and Twelve have all mentioned that they’re running out of time and coupled with the recent clarification of one of the men who worked in the organisation telling Shibazaki that he’s surprised that they’re still alive, but won’t be for much longer, we can assume the worst. 



Twelve is most likely asymptomatic meaning he feels no symptoms at all even though the problem is present. Hence his lack of hurry to diffuse all the bombs, he was probably and has been aware and acceptive of his death for some time. He just wanted to comfort Lisa in their final moments. In addition, Twelve is carefully monitoring Nine in order to make sure that he’s fine and tells him to not lie about his condition.


Salvador Dali ~ “The Stillness of Time”, 1975

Also known as “La Noblesse du Temps, Persistance de la memoire”, Dali infused this masterpiece with elements he depicted during his own lifelong obsession with sex and the fleeting passage of time. With the bravura of an Old Master draftsman, Dalí delineates with great flourish the figures flanking the melting timepiece.

Sensuously rendered, Venus stands at the left holding a mirror, an attribute for vanity and lust.  She is self-absorbed and seemingly unaware that she is entangled in Vulcan’s net. At the right sits an angel, a divine messenger of life and death, in contemplation before the keeper of time in our waking state. In the dream state, however, the watch or clock is no longer relevant; our reality has morphed the distortion of time and memories become obfuscated. <source>

Fireproof Analysis

I was going to hold off on doing a full-out analysis post for Fireproof until the album drops, but then I thought, fuck it. I have things to say now. (A lot of them are technical and I never know who’s reading or how much to explain, so if you want anything clarified, let me know and I’ll try.)

And actually I find I have a lot to say, so this post is rather long. Hop in, let’s go.

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Fireproof Lyrical Analysis

So, I showed Fireproof to one of my friends who really likes music, but isn’t a fan of One Direction. She told me she liked it and thought it was great musically, but she was confused because the lyrics to the chorus seemed like a different song than the lyrics to the verses.

This puzzled me, because the song seemed cohesive to me, so during my drive home listening to Fireproof on repeat, as I will likely do until we get the next song, I listened really closely to the lyrics and tried to find out how it worked. Warning: the results are even more painful than it may have seemed before, unless you’re smarter than me and already had this figured out.

There are two different speakers in the song. The first one takes verses 1 and 2 and the first chorus. The second takes verse 3 and the second chorus. The verses are the situations, and the chorus? The reason.

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Sailor Venus: The Leader

Although this often comes as a surprise to people who haven’t read the manga, Sailor Venus is technically the leader of the Inner Senshi, not Sailor Moon. And Sailor Mars is her second-in-command (a concept that’s heavily expanded on in PGSM and, to a lesser extent, the anime). Venus’ leadership is mentioned numerous times in the manga:




Basically, Venus is the true leader because Sailor Moon was never really supposed to exist in the first place. She’s the Princess, yes, but Princesses are meant to be protected; warrior princesses were/are a fairly radical concept because, for the most part, royalty is sheltered and kept out of harm’s way. Princess Serenity was not a warrior in past, nor was she ever meant to be a warrior in the present or the future. In the manga, Luna admits that she had only trained Usagi as a Sailor Soldier in order to protect and hide her from the enemy.


Anyway, during the Silver Millennium, before Sailor Moon existed, Venus lead the Guardian Senshi in the effort to protect Princess Serenity. In the few flashbacks we see to the Silver Millennium, Venus was almost always at Princess Serenity’s side, protecting her and instructing the other Senshi on what to do.

After they were reborn, Minako was the first to awaken; after all, as the leader, it’s her responsibility to take care of the others and have the experience necessary to deal with any threat. Because of this, she awoke a full year before the rest of the Inners (at age 13) and trained as Sailor V. After she had enough experience, she regained her memories of her past life and became Sailor Venus; soon after, she and Artemis began to watch over the other girls.

Meanwhile, the reborn Princess, Usagi Tsukino, became Sailor Moon assumed the leadership role. Later on, Venus herself (as the most experienced Senshi) continues to act as a leader by forming strategies and taking charge whenever Sailor Moon is missing, incapacitated, or otherwise incapable of being the leader herself. This is especially evident in the first and second arcs, where Sailor Moon was still very inexperienced. As time went on, Sailor Moon matured and became a much more capable leader, although she still relies on Venus occasionally. 

A huge symbol of Venus’ leadership is the Holy Sword. She wielded it during the Silver Millennium, using it to protect the Princess; she even killed Beryl with it.


Countless years later, when the Senshi visit the ruins of the Moon, they come across the Holy Sword, stuck inside a pedestal. Mercury and Mars try to pull it out but fail; even Jupiter’s Herculean strength doesn’t make it budge.


However, when Venus tries, the sword is freed with no resistance whatsoever.


This directly mirrors the myth of King Arthur and the Sword in the Stone; After the King of England died, his advisor, Merlin the sorcerer, enchanted his sword and placed it in a stone, announcing that only the King’s true heir would be able to remove it. Many tried to remove the stone, but they all failed. It was only when Arthur, the King’s illegitimate son, took hold of the sword did it finally remove itself from the stone, signifying that he was the rightful heir to the throne. Likewise, the Holy Sword is only freed when Venus, the true leader of the Senshi, tries to remove it.



in the history of point and click adventure games, Monkey Island has been held up again and again as a classic, a must play, still good, still enjoyable 24 years after release - even if you’re playing it with the original graphics and the original interface. people, including me, really love Monkey Island.

so you kind of have to ask “why?”

i recently went back and played through the original The Secret Of Monkey Island, start to finish, did it in one night. it’s not a long game. if you know what you’re doing, you can beat it in 3-5 hours. maybe less. it’s not some grand escapade with hundreds of worlds, thousands of characters, over 60 hours of gameplay, and on and on and on. it’s not a particularly big game, or even with the amount of verbs you can use or items you can find, a complex game. again, if you’ve got a general idea of what you’re doing, you can close it out pretty fast.

the gameplay itself is nothing astounding - it’s fairly clean, efficient, and understandable. you know exactly what interactive tools you have at your hands and a pretty good idea of how to apply them to the world around you, and if all else fails, it’s very easy, if tedious, to try everything on everything until you hit the right solution. at most, it’s functional, and it doesn’t impede your progress. so while it does still be able to claim of being a very easy to understand interface, point and click adventure gameplay has never been so much about, well, amazing, thrill-a-minute gameplay. its more a means to an end, conveying other things.

and the plot? well, the plot itself is nothing amazing or groundbreaking. boiled down, it’s pretty much “some nerdy dweeb named guybrush wants to be a pirate, but in the course of becoming one, must go and stop the ghost pirate lechuck after he kidnaps governor elaine marley”.

so why’s it still so good?

the two immediate answers that come to mind are “characters” and “comedy”, and how that all contributes to the overall atmosphere. so examining them, how they’re constructed and executed, is the most important when it comes to dissecting this game, and how they’re so deeply intertwined with each other.

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Rene Magritte ~ "The Lovers", 1928

The origin of these disturbing images has been attributed to various sources in Magritte’s imagination. Like many of his Surrealist associates, Magritte was fascinated by ‘Fantomas’, the shadowy hero of the thriller series which first appeared in novel form in 1913, and shortly after in films made by Louis Feuillade. The identity of ‘Fantomas’ is never revealed; he appears in the films disguised with a cloth or stocking over his head. Another source for the shrouded heads in Magritte’s paintings has been suggested in the memory of his mother’s apparent suicide. In 1912, when Magritte was only thirteen years of age, his mother was found drowned in the river Sambre; when her body was recovered from the river, her nightdress was supposedly wrapped around her head. <source>

This is a page showing the Adoration of the Magi much the same way it is in thousands of medieval illuminated manuscripts, but it was actually made in the United States, by a landscape artist named Charles Caryl Coleman, in the late 1800s.

I think it’s interesting to compare them to see the obvious influence through the centuries, and wonder why it was made.




How Calling Out Faults Improves Hiccup and Astrid's Relationship


I have seen many a happy How to Train Your Dragon fan remark that Hiccup and Astrid demonstrate a very healthy relationship, particularly within the second movie.  People are absolutely right about that.  Hiccup and Astrid’s relationship extends far beyond mere hormonal romantic inclination, but includes other important facets such as the ability to tease with one another naturally, trust one another in difficult situations, confide in one another, support each other through hardships, and yet remain individuals not clingingly dependent on one another.  There is a wonderful depth to their interactions that screams out in many wonderful ways.

One important facet of their relationship that I do think has been underemphasized, though, is that Hiccup and Astrid have the ability to question each other’s actions.  You see it not only in Riders and Defenders of Berk, but also within both movies.  It is definitely part of their relationship.  Though it might mean unpleasant discussions, I find this actually to be another overall healthy element of Hiccstrid.  The best of friendships butt heads, and one cannot successfully continue a bond with another person without learning how to maturely settle disagreements.  Sometimes it means accepting the other’s plan even though they find it questionable.  Other times it means shutting the other down from what they know to be a poor decision.  Essentially, calling into question each other’s actions allows Hiccup and Astrid to keep one another on track and be the better person. 

It demonstrates trust, for they trust to speak their own mind even in unpleasant situations.

It demonstrates respect to one another, for they want the other to act in a commendable manner, and they respect each other enough to typically listen to the other’s commentary.

It demonstrates a full understanding of one another, for a relationship of any sort which only recognizes someone’s positive character traits creates a dangerous blind-side to that person’s true faults and deeper personality.

And it demonstrates true care, for if you really cherish about those around you, you do not want them to make questionable, potentially harmful decisions.

Essentially, Hiccup and Astrid know when to step back and let the other proceed through with a plan they might initially question (certainly not understand), and they know when to step in and point out the problems in the other person’s actions.

I will examine the television series and two movies for these four possible scenarios of questioning the other’s judgment: Astrid letting Hiccup take the lead for a plan she questions, Hiccup letting Astrid take the lead for a plan he questions, Astrid questioning Hiccup for his actions, and Hiccup questioning Astrid for hers.

Gracious Loser, Lousy Winner: Astrid Corrects Hiccup


There are multiple instances in which Astrid calls out Hiccup’s actions - “Heather Report Part 1”, “How to Train Your Dragon Academy”, “Live and Let Fly”, and “Thawfest”, just to name a few.  Oftentimes she criticizes Hiccup’s tendency to act behind Stoick’s back.  in other scenarios, Astrid questions whether or not Hiccup has fully thought through situations, or if he actually has a blindspot which could cause him particular troubles later.  And, in the instance of “Thawfest”, Astrid calls Hiccup out for being an utter asshole.

While I really wish Astrid had been displayed acting competitively - it is definitely in her nature, after all - I feel like there still are some important relevant character dynamics displayed in “Thawfest.”  The episode focuses on tensions between the cousins, who quite canonically are not the most peaceable of relatives.  Hiccup, so accustomed to receiving scorn from his peers, relishes the fact he has the opportunity to finally best Snotlout at something, and thus courses through the games gloating, bragging, and insulting.

Astrid may be a competition-oriented personality, abrasive and affrontive when someone threatens to best her, but even in HTTYD 1 when she fights to prove her and her own family’s honor in Dragon Training, she never falls so low as to directly insult and antagonize her opponents. Yeah, sure, she shouts out “expletives” angrily when Hiccup “knocked out” the Gronckle before she could approach it, and several times points her axe threatening right in Hiccup’s face demanding answers to questions - but Astrid never has planned to “rattle cages.”  She lashes out against Hiccup because she is angry - maybe at him, maybe at herself, maybe at both of them - that she is not first in Dragon Training class.  Even here, when she herself loses her head in the midst of competition, Astrid is not malevolently provoking Hiccup.

So if someone so competitive and aggressive as Astrid points out for Hiccup’s poor treatment of Snotlout in “Thawfest,” she definitely has a major point.  She might be hypocritical in that she herself has become caught up in the competition, but she nevertheless has the complete and utter right to call out Hiccup’s own failings.

Throughout the episode, Astrid makes several remarks to Hiccup regarding his questionable actions.  She handles the situation well, first simply asking Hiccup what he is doing, remarking, “Why are you letting yourself get so caught up in this?”  The interesting thing is, at first she dos not outright shut Hiccup down, saying he has a point that he could quieting down Snotlout’s bragging.  However, once she realizes Hiccup is treating Snotlout just as poorly as his cousin is treating him in turn, she breaches the topic again.  And when Hiccup’s justification is less excusable - “He started it… when we were five”… she does not let Hiccup get away with his actions.  After first trying to bring up the topic more gently, finally she speaks out, “You know what I always liked about you, Hiccup?  You were always a gracious loser.  Who knew you’d be such a lousy winner?”

It is true Hiccup does not immediately react positively to Astrid’s criticisms.  However, their relationship is strong enough to take a hit like this, and Hiccup does consider what Astrid has to say.  He does not dismiss her even though the comment stings. 

The conversation where Astrid approaches Hiccup about his attitude is not pleasant.  However, she realizes it is necessary.  And she cares enough about Hiccup that she does not let him get away with such a poor competitive spirit.  In the end, the two of them return to good terms, with Astrid proudly supporting the fact Hiccup chooses to throw the race and let Snotlout win.  Hiccup makes the right decision because Astrid calls him out on it.  Relationships need these difficult situations, and ultimately Hiccup and Astrid are mature enough to express their thoughts, listen to one another, and solve the problem appropriately.

Animosity Without the Dragon Root: Hiccup Corrects Astrid


Again, there are multiple instances where Hiccup tells Astrid to back down; you see similar behavior in “Fright of Passage” and “Heather Report Part 1.”  On multiple occasions, Hiccup blocks Astrid from aggressively attacking one of the other teenagers, and in “Cast Out Part 1” he even physically restrains her while she screams at Snotlout.  Hiccup even acts as an intermediary in “A Tale of Two Dragons”.

However, even as Hiccup strives to make Astrid and Snotlout work with each other on friendly terms in that last-mentioned episode, Astrid listens to Hiccup. She comes to his house at night expecting him to help straighten situations.  Hiccup corrects her, and while Astrid balks at his suggestions to have her work together with Snotlout or even ride on Hookfang for a day, she follows through with his ideas – and in the end benefits.  The tensions close between her and Snotlout, and everyone in the Dragon Training Academy can rest easier. 

Thus, through both instances of Astrid correcting Hiccup or Hiccup correcting Astrid, we see the two of them try to work together to spot-check each other’s weaknesses.  Through that, they can bring one another to be a better person.  I am not saying that they handle situations perfectly, nor that these conversations are all that pleasant to experience, but I am saying it is incredibly important and very admirable that these two have learned to handle one another’s criticisms.  It certainly allows each of them to grow, and it demonstrates that their relationship is a lot more than the friendly, fluffy side.  They are a team, and they are there for each other even in the unpleasant cases.

 Doing “Something Crazy”: Astrid Trusts Hiccup’s Lead


The movies display fine examples of Astrid trusting Hiccup’s lead, even when she does not know exactly Hiccup’s plans or even questions if they should be followed through.  In the Cove, the night before Hiccup must enter the Kill Ring to kill a dragon before all of Berk, Astrid first calls into question Hiccup’s decision to hide the dragon’s nest from his father, exclaiming, “Hiccup, we just discovered the Dragons’ Nest. The thing we’ve been after since Vikings first sailed here. And you want to keep it a secret? To protect your pet dragon? Are you serious?”

She has a major point here.  Hiccup now knows the information that could save Berk from further dragon attacks, revolutionizing the lifestyle of the Vikings.  However, as soon as Hiccup, with great conviction, announces he shall indeed keep silent, Astrid respectfully asks him what they should do.  And even when he tells her he has no plan yet, she continues to support him, and even at the gate of the Kill Ring only tells him, “Just make sure nothing goes wrong.”

And if you need one more great example, turn to the scene in How to Train Your Dragon 2 when Astrid and Hiccup land on Eret’s boat.  Astrid stares, positively incredulous, mouth dropping, when Hiccup announces their surrender.  She again calls him into question to make sure he is not insane - “How is this a plan?” - but when he assures her he knows what he is doing, Astrid does not balk again.  In fact, even though she does not know Hiccup’s precise intentions, she steps on board with Hiccup.  She supports him.  She defends him.  Backs him up!  Outright tells Eret, “He can be quite persuasive.”

While at times Astrid knows to tell Hiccup to change his course of actions, she also completely understands the times to simply let him continue – even if she thinks it is crazy or potentially dangerous.

“We’ll Be Waiting”: Hiccup Trusts Astrid’s Lead


If you think Astrid is all about supporting Hiccup and not the other way around, let me point you to several episodes like “Fright of Passage” and “Heather Report Part 2.”  In the latter, Hiccup is clearly very nervous about Astrid disguising herself as Heather and walking intentionally into Alvin’s clutches.  Everyone knows how incredibly dangerous the task at hand is.  However, while Hiccup expresses concern and the desire to shadow Astrid to ascertain her safety, he still leaves everything to her.  “Just get the Book and get out of there.  We’ll be waiting,” he says.  He has full confidence that Astrid, somehow, will manage to complete this incredibly difficult task  - even if he cannot predict what her exact course of action will be.

Furthermore, when events diverge from their initially conceived plan, Hiccup still does not doubt Astrid.  Fishlegs frets that Astrid already is an hour late rendezvousing with the group, and begins to assume the worse - that Alvin unconvered her disguise.  Although Fishlegs’ worries constitute a very potential threat, Hiccup, although a little nervous, responds, “Guys.  She’ll be here.  It’s Astrid.”

Then, when Astrid shows up with strangers, and everyone asks who those people are, Hiccup simply focuses on the relevant details - Astrid gives him the pre-planned signal, so they should follow through with the rest of their plan.  Whatever reason Astrid has for bringing along two other people, Hiccup believes she has a reason, and so he goes along with it, even though he’s in the dark about the details.  When he asks who they are, it is simply for information, not for doubting Astrid at all.  He trusts Astrid’s lead. 

And it doesn’t even end there.

Where their trust really becomes incredible is when Alvin threatens Astrid’s life, hanging her over the edge of a steep precipice.  Hiccup is prepared to take any measure to save Astrid, telling Toothless, “Do it, bud,” which could even mean outright killing Alvin.  However, as soon as Astrid shouts, “Hiccup, don’t shoot!” …he stops.  He trusts Astrid’s judgment so much that he stops his rescue opportunity immediately. Even though he could easily question the intelligence of her choice, which very well could lead to her death, Hiccup knows Astrid’s strengths and listens to her.  Note this is before he sees the Monstrous Nightmare that saves Astrid.  Hiccup has no idea of knowing how Astrid could manage to save herself, yet he lets her, and through this she not only gets free from Alvin, but is able to grab the Book of Dragons as well.

Concluding Remarks


Relationships are about trust.  Trust means knowing when to follow another’s lead, and trust can also mean knowing you can call another person out for questionable actions without losing the other person’s support.  Hiccup and Astrid healthily balance both sides to this coin. They treat each other as equal partners, recognizing that each individual has their strengths and weaknesses. If they see their partner acting upon a character flaw, they know to correct it - and the other knows to listen.  And if they see their partner acting in a situation calling upon their strength, they will back the other up, even if they cannot comprehend precisely what the other intends.  

For both Hiccup and Astrid have their strengths and weaknesses which makes their dynamic as a couple so complementary.  Astrid is the warrior, Hiccup the plan-maker, Astrid the fighter, Hiccup the peacemaker, Astrid the bold, Hiccup the reserved.  Each of these traits are incredibly important.  Both Hiccup and Astrid have a healthy view accounting for both positive and negative traits of the other, and Hiccup and Astrid let the other develop those to their full potential.  They can judge when the person is making a smart choice they do not understand and distinguish that from other poor decisions.

Yet again, this relationship is strong.  It is deep.  It is complex.  It is more than cuddles and kisses.  It is about recognizing and accepting all aspects of the other.

Putting down people for critically engaging with things they’re watching and using their skills to think about the narrative structures, possible impacts and overarching ideas that are being set up (all of which takes a lot of time and energy) is a really shitty thing to do. We should be encouraging people to critically interact with texts and use what they enjoy to sharpen their tools of analysis rather than downgrading it to something that’s not worthwhile.

MakoHaru Analysis Time: "Maybe I was jealous of Rin."

In the wake of the fandom apocalypse that was Free! ES Episode 11, I wanted to do a post on that other MakoHaru episode this season, Episode 6: the one where Makoto races Haru in the 200m freestyle at prefecturals.

In retrospect, I think it is quite possible (maybe even likely) that the events of this episode marked the turning point for Makoto, in terms of finding his future. By racing Haru seriously for the first time, and losing, Makoto came to a new understanding of the role that swimming plays in his life.

Let’s take it from their childhood. Warning: screencap-heavy, long post.



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