Keladry of Mindelan

The Protector of the Small quartet were some of my favorite books as a kid, and I finally read them again for the first time in a couple of years, and I’m glad I did because it was just what I needed right now. 

In any case, it’s been a decade since I first picked the series up, and Kel is still my hero.

spacehelmetforacow replied to your post:Wow Kel gets raped in Fallen and in LKV And…

less fics where kel gets raped (SERIOUSLY. WHY IS THAT A THING) more fics where kel has romances w/ ladies. get w/ the program fandom

YES PLEASE

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Alanna, Beka, Okha, Shinkokami, Thayet, Alianne, Kel, Daine and Dovasary (click on their names for larger views).

Warriors, scholars, mages, performers, spies, rulers.

I started this project with the idea of using the Disney Princess aesthetic as an irony to highlight how awesome Tamora Pierce’s heroes are. Halfway through I realised I wasn’t exactly sure WHAT I was saying anymore. Disney’s great. Tamora Pierce is great.

Though obviously constrained somewhat by the Disney aesthetic, I tried to have the dresses also reflect their wearers character a little: for more details on my choices about age and costumes etc, see their individual posts.

As for the hordes of awesome Tortallverse women I HAVEN’T depicted, they’re going to have to wait for another time. Getting nine of these done was work enough. (P.S I love Emelan-verse just as much as Tortall-verse in case there’s any doubt).

Enjoy! it took me rather longer than I’d care to admit…

talk to me about keladry of mindelan

talk to me about how when she was put on probation because she was a girl, she stood tall, refused to let her anger show, and did her best to see the best of the situation

talk to me about how when she was ten years old she schooled her fifteen year old best friend on the fact that he wasn’t standing up against the bullies in the years above

talk to me about how when she found out that her lance was weighted, she just went “this’ll be good for later on” and kept it, rather than being angry about it

talk to me about how she got over her crippling fear of heights to save her servant and friend

talk to me about how she did her best to form healthy relationships with the people around her

talk to me about keladry of mindelan

Yesterday at the renaissance faire, there was a woman jousting.

She was about my age, and unlike me (wonderfully petite, though stocky, at 5 ft tall), she was a giant. They introduced her as a woman, they didn’t bother with some storyline of her hiding herself. And she was beautiful. She rode three times, and each time she ATTACKED on the hit - she never held back for a second. She fell on her last pass, but it didn’t matter. Ever since I can remember, my dream was always to be the knight, not the princess. That dream was intensified by Tamora Pierce’s Protector of the Small series. That dream was kind of dashed by my lack of height, but also by the fact that I’d only ever heard of a couple of women ever jousting, and it had only been in a theatrical, not competitive setting. I’d certainly never seen one do it. GUYS. Yesterday my dream came true, at least in a way. I was too shy to go talk to her afterwards, and part of me regrets that. But by the Gods I hope she knows the impact she had on so many girls in the audience. I CRIED. Openly wept as I watched her joust. Ten-year-old me’s dream was alive again. Goddess bless, Lady Knight.

(and the best part? She rode in green, just like Kel did under Raoul)

Reason #4 I wish I had read Tamora Pierce as a child

Recognition that a woman doesn’t need to be ‘like a man’ to be strong, and ‘feminine’ qualities don’t indicate weakness.

When I finished The Song of the Lioness for the first time and moved on to the Immortals Quartet, I was confused.  Why…why isn’t Daine stabbing anyone and learning combat? 

But I realized, a little further in, that I had missed a couple crucial points.  First, Alanna realizes she does not have to choose between being a warrior and being a woman.  Although it does happen that her skills and strengths lie within what the people of Tortall (and our society) would define as a masculine domain, that doesn’t mean she wants to be ‘masculine’. 

Neither Alanna nor Kel feel that their sex or gender is anything to be ashamed of.  Alanna only hides her sex out of necessity, and can we talk about Kel wearing a dress to dinner every night of page training?

Second, Daine is amazingly powerful, and the fact that her power doesn’t lie in a traditionally ‘male’ area doesn’t lessen it any way.  She doesn’t need to be swinging a sword, succeeding in a male dominated field, to be strong, resilient, and amazing (see also: Sansa Stark).

Beka nerds out over maps, and Kel is good at math, and neither of those things make them ‘masculine’.  This is because these qualities do not exist in relation to or despite their sex or gender.

It’s also not necessary that a woman be an obvious powerhouse sort of person in order to deserve to be taken seriously.  Varice likes pretty clothes, makeup, baking, and party planning.  That doesn’t mean she has any less worth as a person than the main heroines of Tortall.  And as Daine says to her, “You needn’t explain yourself to me.”  If Varice wants to use her Gift to make bitchin’ cakes, that’s her goddamn business, and she doesn’t need to defend that choice to anyone.  And who doesn’t like cake? Probably Ozorne ‘cause he’s the worst.  Don’t be Ozorne.

And I point this out as someone who was smug and disdainful about Varice until, well, about that scene.

It’s just Tamora Pierce, helping me realize I still have things to learn and it’s important to keep an eye out for one’s own biases.

It’s just Tamora Pierce, reminding us that the idea that one’s strength, talents, or abilities are limited or defined by one’s sex or gender expression in any way is, well, a silly social construct. 

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Alanna the Lioness and squire Keladry. (Not from any particular scene since I haven’t read the PotS quartet in years now. If the details are off, my hazy memory is probably the reason.) Mostly an excuse to play with gothic architectural elements, really. 

[unbroken version for full effect]