a question of upbringing

They met at a dog park.

Which is weird in and of itself because a) Dean hates driving dogs in his baby; b) it’s not even his dog; and c) He’s still pissed at Sam for skipping out on him and their dad only to come back with a dog sized golden retriever he named Bones of all things. Jesus, Sam, you’d think you’re have a little more imagination considering you hid from one of the best damn trackers for two weeks only to name a dog after something we see every day. 

Dean sighed to himself. All that and he still has somehow found himself on pooch duty in some dog park in the middle of Illinois of all things. 

“He is limping.” Dean turned to the sound of a gruff voice coming from right behind in. 

“Yeah well, he’s old.” His comeback was coming out before he got a good look at the guy he was talking to. 

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Rebirth of the “Son”: the art of Kylo Ren’s redemption

Many would say that The Force Awakens has a rather ambiguous conclusion, leaving the future of its main characters and storyline very open for debate. However, by analyzing the text — or in this case, the film — we can discover potentially eye-opening clues about the future of the Trilogy, particularly in regards to one plot-point: Kylo Ren’s redemption arc.

This meta will focus on deconstructing The Force Awakens by analyzing characterization (behaviour and dialogue) and foreshadowing and symbolism found in The Force Awakens. It will not discuss how he will be redeemed in detail, just the myriad of suggestions that we were left with.


Part 1: Characterization

This first part will deal mainly with deconstructing Kylo Ren’s characterization in the simplest possible manner. I will be analyzing his behaviour and dialogue in the context of the entire movie. Why? Because we must acknowledge every scene and every action in order to give reason to even one.

But first, let’s get a starting definition. Most people would know what “characterization” is, even if they don’t know it by name. The basic deconstruction of characterization is taught in high schools around the world. I’m sure we can all remember reading Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet or Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men as a class and discussing the characters in an academic setting.

A quick refresher:

Characterization is the concept of creating characters for a narrative. […] Characters are presented by means of description, through their actions, speech, thoughts and interactions with other characters.

Characterization is broken down two separate sections: direct characterization and indirect characterization.

Direct characterization involves the author telling us what a character is like. This is generally done through descriptions, or by the characters themselves. Imagine a character saying or thinking that they “like the beach”. This would be an example of direct characterization.

Indirect characterization must be inferred by the audience by interpreting a character’s dialogue, mannerisms, thoughts, actions and interactions with other characters. Imagine a character walking barefoot along a beach, staring wistfully at the water. We can easily infer that this character “likes the beach” without having the character actually make any kind of statement.

This first section of the meta will deconstruct Kylo Ren’s direct and indirect characterization.


1.1: THE “LAST” SKYWALKER

We must first start by summarizing Kylo Ren’s background.

“Apparently the awakening was not just for Rey, but Kylo as well. Adam Driver spoke about Kylo and his motivations. Driver said that the character was mainly motivated by the feelings of abandonment from his family.”

“Abrams also added some backstory saying that Han couldn’t stay in one place and that Leia couldn’t stop fighting. His nature as a rogue and her nature as a freedom fighter clashed. Against that backdrop, Snoke targeted Kylo because of his powers and potential. The implication was that in the absence of solid parenting, Kylo Ren emerged.”

— “Secrets of the Force Awakens” Documentary

As we all know, Kylo Ren—once Ben Solo—is the fallen son of Han Solo and Leia Organa. He was seduced to the Dark Side by Supreme Leader Snoke after he was sent to train with his uncle Luke Skywalker. Snoke viewed the young Ben Solo as the perfect focal point of the Light and Dark Sides of the Force. He was being twisted and manipulated from the shadows since childhood, but it appears as though he managed to stave off complete seduction until he was a young adult, at which point something happened. He gave in to Snoke, turned to the Dark Side and left his family in ruins.

However, he was never able to completely extinguish the Light from which he was born.

It would not be unfair to suggest that Kylo Ren is currently the most important character in the Star Wars universe. He has a direct blood relation to almost every previous main character, his betrayal tore apart the Original Trilogy heroes, and he connects every player in the Sequel Trilogy together: the fallen son to Han and Leia, the ex-apprentice and nephew to Luke, the pawn to Snoke, the Knight of Ren, the anti-villain to Rey’s hero, the man who killed Han and left Finn in a coma, and whom Rey scarred with his grandfather’s saber when she almost crossed the threshold to the Dark Side. Rey went from defeating Ren with his legacy saber to hugging Ren’s mother to boarding Ren’s legacy ship to finding Ren’s uncle, who exiled himself because of Ren. It all comes back to one character: Ben Solo.

You must remember who Kylo Ren is and what franchise we’re dealing with in order to even hope to make accurate predictions. Star Wars is first and foremost an optimistic, idealistic coming-of-age fantasy directed toward children. It presents core messages of family, love, friendship, redemption and hope.


1.2 COSTUME AND MANNERISMS

Kylo Ren’s garbs in The Force Awakens serve the purpose of imparting vital indirect characterization. He is swamped in black clothing that covers even his face, hands and neck, leaving not even an inch of skin showing. This immediately conveys to the audience that he has something to “hide”, despite the fact that we eventually discover that he is an average human man. He could even be described as shameful, unprepared to place himself in a position of vulnerability, quite literally playing dress-up in his grandfather’s attire.

Kylo’s garments also plainly echo the real-life historic Knights Templar, which certainly begs a few questions about Ren’s upbringing with and indoctrination by Snoke. Alas, this is not the meta for that discussion, but I will leave you with this quote referring to the vows knights had to make in order to be accepted into the order, two of which I find particularly telling with regards to my own personal interpretation of the character.

“Full members of the order took the standard monastic vows of poverty, chastity and obedience.”

Like his fellow character trinity members Rey and Finn, Kylo portrays many qualities that can be attributed to children, particularly young children. He is incapable of controlling his emotions, presenting a seemingly collected demeanor only in the film’s introductory sequence. He doesn’t seem to have a firm grasp on complex human emotion, perhaps because he was never given a proper outlet to explore his more innate feelings, or because Snoke simply did not allow it. He has violent tantrums, his fists are always balled and his eyes always seem to shimmer with tears. He trusts inanimate objects more than real people, he has an obsession with relics, he watches Rey sleep, crouched on the ground, head tilted. There is an air of submission in him, as out-of-place as it may appear.

This is one of the major reasons Kylo often comes across as “weak”. He is an evocative male character, brimming with emotion that seems completely unable to tame. He is not really a man, a child or a monster, he is all three.


1.3: JAKKU VILLAGE

In the film’s opening scene, we are introduced to Poe Dameron and Lor San Tekka. Poe is a Resistance pilot who is retrieving a piece of a map rumored to lead to the missing Luke Skywalker. The mission, however, does not go as planned. Poe is captured by the First Order and Lor San Tekka is murdered by Kylo Ren.

LOR SAN TEKKA
The First Order rose from the dark side… you did not.

KYLO REN
I’ll show you the dark side.

LOR SAN TEKKA
You may try, but you cannot deny the truth that is your family.

Suddenly Kylo Ren raises his LIGHTSABER – IGNITES IT – PERPENDICULAR SMALLER BLADES AT THE HILT, A UNIQUE BUZZ – YELLOW/RED ENERGY, SPITTING SPARKS AND SMOKE –

KYLO REN
You’re so right.

And as he RIPS IT DOWN ACROSS SAN TEKKA!

Above we have the sequence from the final script. Kylo Ren’s response appears to be quite collected, but… why did he kill Tekka? Surely Tekka had seen the map? His mind was ripe for reading; he even could have been a valuable war-prisoner. Kylo Ren had yet to be made aware of Poe’s existence, let alone the fact that BB-8 had been given charge of the drive containing the map. Yet he killed him. Why?

Because this was a man from his past who reprimanded him about his origins, his family. There is even a small smirk visible on Tekka’s face as he converses with Ren, as he chastises him for “denying the truth that is his family.”

These are things we later come to realize bring Ren to a conflicted place, heightening the pull to the Light within him. Although his response to Tekka was swift and cold, the rage behind the action was not fueled by indifference. Hate and love are not opposites, they are two sides of the same coin, and it’s quite clear that Ren is far from indifferent when it comes to his family. This was a personal murder, not a war crime.

The movie illustrates that Kylo Ren only kills when the situation becomes genuinely personal. He leaves Poe alive after interrogating him despite having already retrieved the necessary information. He lets Lieutenant Mitaka live as well, and on Takodana he immediately goes for Rey and BB-8 without engaging in battle with anybody. This is vital indirect characterization. We are meant to infer that, while Kylo has likely killed many innocent people, we as an audience don’t see him kill impersonally. Anything beyond that is speculation.

The first sequence of the film creates an image for the audience. It would be called a character defining moment, and it’s used to great effect. Kylo seems similar to Darth Vader, perhaps with an added youthful edge. This image is quickly torn down as we witness Kylo unraveling. He goes from murdering potentially important war criminals to desperately following his “personal interests” to praying to an inanimate object. Kylo unravels like a ball of string, shedding physical and metaphorical layers until he is left a beaten, scarred, patricidal wreck at the film’s conclusion.


1.4: COMPASSION

Immediately after murdering Tekka, Poe makes himself known when he tries to shoot Kylo Ren. Kylo stops the blaster-bolt and the two men share a brief interaction that ends with Kylo ordering the Storm Troopers to take Poe on-board. Kylo gives the Troopers permission to annihilate the village — probably one of his darkest and most unforgivable acts. While Tekka’s murder was personal and driven by secret longing, this was something very different.

Yet this scene is followed by Kylo Ren’s first clearly bizarre decision.

Kylo Ren heads back toward his ship. But then he STOPS. Feels something. TURNS AND LOOKS AT OUR STORMTROOPER for a LONG MOMENT. Our Trooper can barely meet his gaze; knows he’s doomed.

Kylo Ren then heads off – passes the FROZEN BLAST, which, after a beat, GOES FREE AND SLAMS INTO A NEARBY STRUCTURE, scaring the hell out of our Stormtrooper.

As Kylo is preparing to depart on his ship, he seems to sense something. A Trooper is disobeying him, refusing to shoot down the villagers. Ren locks gazes with him, seeming prepared to kill him… but then he walks away.

This single moment serves as the inception of the entire adventure. The Trooper breaks Poe free, and together they crash on the desert planet Jakku, where BB-8 has already encountered a mysterious scavenger named Rey.

Ren should have destroyed the Trooper, but he didn’t. Perhaps it could be argued that he just didn’t care about an underling’s actions, but it doesn’t take long for us to learn this:

Kylo researched the Trooper’s title. He knew the Trooper was showing strange “signs”, he knew the Trooper by name, yet he kept the information to himself. Why? Why did Kylo Ren let the Trooper go?

Because he felt compassion for him.

This might seem like a leap to some, but it’s the only thing that makes sense to me, given Kylo’s apparent inner-turmoil about the situation. Kylo also felt something for Rey—as will be discussed below. We know he dislikes the Trooper program (he thinks as much in the novelization, and he subtly tries ot tell Hux that they should be using Clones in the film). We know he hates Hux as well. It only makes sense to take into consideration that Kylo may have consciously allowed FN-2187 to go free simply because he saw himself in the rogue Trooper.

The young women and men who become Storm Troopers in the Sequel Trilogy are stolen from their families as children and brainwashed into serving as killing machines. The process should be ringing a bell in your mind, because it’s remarkably similar to what happened to Kylo Ren.

With this in mind, it should be easy to infer that Kylo may have felt compassion for Finn, and walked away as a result. The single moment haunts Kylo, and we can imagine that he may have battled with himself mentally about whether or not to inform Hux or Phasma about their rogue Trooper. Obviously a side of Ren he would rather deny emerged victorious, because Finn managed to escape, and Ren doesn’t forget it.

The next time Kylo mentions Finn, he uses the term “traitor”. He does this one more time before the end of the film, after he has murdered his father. He screams the word at Finn, who is cradling an unconscious Rey. This is an incredible example of indirect characterization mixed with direct characterization. Kylo Ren isn’t just labeling Finn an “traitor”, he’s using the term to describe himself, hating himself for going through with the ultimate act of betrayal. He punishes Finn in the forest of Starkiller Base, using him as an outlet for his frustration and masochism. He beats his own wounds physically and metaphorically.

“You have compassion for her.” (The Force Awakens novelization)

— Snoke

It is made far more obvious in the film that Kylo Ren feels some kind of attachment to the heroine, Rey. I have discussed this at great length in a separate analysis, but I’ll allude to it here simply for brevity’s sake.

Kylo Ren sees himself in Rey, just as he saw himself in Finn. When he reads her mind, he finds that he relates to her loneliness, her fear and her desperation. Ren’s sentiments of compassion lead him to place himself in a position of vulnerability two times while in Rey’s presence, and both instances are considered iconic in The Force Awakens.

First, he removes his helmet for her in the interrogation sequence. Second, he offers to “show her the ways of the Force” in their final battle. This reminds Rey that she too is capable of channeling the Force, allowing her to defeat him. These are two of Ren’s biggest mistakes, and the implication is they were born out of compassion.


1.5: PERSONAL INTERESTS

GENERAL HUX
Careful, Ren. That your “personal interests” not interfere with orders from Leader Snoke.

While it is difficult to say what Kylo’s motivations are right now, it’s quite clear that he isn’t Snoke’s loyal puppet. He goes against his orders multiple times. In fact, I would have trouble thinking of a single moment in which Ren does follow Snoke’s plans without fail. He seems to react upon instinct more than anything, doing whatever he sees fit, but there is an underlying idea—as presented by Hux in the above excerpt—that Kylo has “personal interests” in finding Luke that go completely against Snoke and the First Order. This line basically foreshadows Ren’s entire developmental (or unraveling) arc in The Force Awakens. 

GENERAL HUX
Supreme Leader Snoke was explicit. Capture the droid if we can, but destroy it if we must.

Obviously Snoke isn’t particularly invested in finding Luke (he just doesn’t wnt the Resistance to find Luke), but Kylo certainly is. There is no way to know just what he wants from him. We’ll have to wait until Episode VIII for that information.

KYLO REN
Forgive me. I feel it again. The pull to the light. Supreme Leader senses it. Show me again, the power of the darkness, and I will let nothing stand in our way. Show me, Grandfather, and I will finish what you started.

This is perhaps Ren’s most obvious “personal interest”. The sequence poses so many questions that have been deconstructed in separate analyses that I won’t waste too much time on it, but the implication here is that Kylo shares certain sentiments with this mask alone. It is his guardian, his relic. It is the only thing in the world he genuinely trusts, and he feels a connection to it, and a shame for not living up to its “expectations”.

Then there is one of the big questions to come out of this film: what did Darth Vader start? I have my own theories that don’t necessarily belong in this meta, but I’ll leave it at this: writers don’t emphasize an ambiguous theme in a villainous character only to reveal an equally villainous motivation. Chances are whatever “Vader started” will lead into the inevitability of Kylo’s redemption.

KYLO REN
What girl?

KYLO REN
The girl I’ve heard so much about

GENERAL HUX
Ren believed it was no longer valuable to us. That the girl was all we needed. As a result, the droid has most likely been returned to the hands of the enemy. They may have the map already.

Throughout the Third Act of the film, Kylo Ren finds a brand new “personal interest” in Rey. Ren appears to become attracted to and infatuated with Rey as he is in some way seduced by the Light she embodies. You don’t need to look far to see that he treats her differently than he treats any other character.

When he sets foot on Takodana and hears that the girl and droid have fled into the woods, he immediately follows them. When he finds Rey he decides to take her second-hand version of the map and not bother looking for the droid itself, allowing it to fall into the hands of the Resistance. In the interrogation, he removes his mask when she expresses fear, gets way too close to her and fishes through her personal thoughts before even attempting to search for the map. In their final battle, he offers himself to her as a teacher. This characterization is some of Ren’s most unexplainable… and it only makes sense if you accept that he also appears to be attracted to her in some fashion.

“The Supreme Leader believes Ren to be the ideal embodiment of the Force, a focal point of both Light and Dark Side ability.”

— The Force Awakens Visual Dictionary

It is interesting to note that Snoke actually encourages Ren to maintain control over both the Light and Dark sides of the Force that naturally coexist within him, but Ren is completely dismissive of this notion. When he feels a pull to the Light, he expresses to Darth Vader’s helmet that it must “show him the power of the Darkness”. He also insinuates that the battling Forces he commands “tear him apart”, and actually cause him pain of some kind. He wants nothing to do with accepting the Light, which appears to manifest as unwanted link to the life he left behind.

Once more, we can see that Ren is going against Snoke’s desires.

What exactly are all these “personal interests” used to push in the context of the narrative? To create a clear distinction between Kylo Ren and the First Order, to separate him a little from the evilest aspects of the Order. He is his own character, not an extension of Snoke. He places his “personal interests” above Snoke and the First Order on every occasion. That demands a certain level of attention in itself.


1.6: SIBLING RIVALRY

The Force Awakens introduces us to General Hux, an important official in the First Order. Ren and Hux share a bitter relationship that seems to echo a sibling-rivalry, with Hux seeming to constantly interfere with Ren’s more paternal connection to Supreme Leader Snoke.

Hux and Ren are given multiple scenes together, and it becomes quite clear that the character exists as a direct contrast to Ren. We are meant to compare their reactions as they are faced with similar orders.

KYLO REN
How capable are your soldiers, General?

GENERAL HUX
I won’t have you question my methods.

KYLO REN
They’re obviously skilled at committing high treason. Perhaps Leader Snoke should consider using a clone army.

In the above sequence, the film spells out that Ren has nothing to do with the First Order’s indoctrination of child-soldiers. Ren is specifically Snoke’s foot-soldier and a Knight of Ren, not Hux’s partner (as has been discussed, Ren hates the Trooper program). Ren and Hux barely tolerate each other. When you consider the fact that Hux is a twisted, genocidal, power-hungry, sadistic maniac absorbed with self-importance and lacking even a single redeeming quality, it should be obvious that Hux serves the purpose of humanizing Ren, of making him look “better” by comparison.

Hux watches, his eyes WILD WITH POWER AND EVIL.

TIGHT ON KYLO REN as he watches the Starkiller firing.

Hux’s Nazi speech is also entirely his own. Ren isn’t even present on Starkiller Base when the weapon is fired at the Hosnian System. He is watching it from afar, fists clenched. We are given a description of Hux’s eyes, but we cannot know what Ren’s might look like at this exact same moment. He is leaning over the window, watching the weapon fire. It is meant to make us question what Ren really thinks of all this.  

Hux repeatedly rebukes Ren for going against Snoke. He seems to have an innate desire to embarrass Ren in front of his Master. Hux is also fully aware of Ren’s wavering conviction, which makes him all the more dangerous as an antagonist.

SNOKE
Good. Then we will crush them once and for all. Prepare the weapon.

Kylo Ren is stunned by the moment – that isn’t what he meant at all

KYLO REN
Supreme Leader. I can get the map from the girl. I just need your guidance.

Above we have perhaps the most telling comparison. Hux and Snoke decide to destroy the Illeenium System—where Leia Organa, Kylo Ren’s mother, happens to be. Ren is completely against the order, and even tries to offer up another solution, but he is shot down as Hux walks away, giving him a snide glower.


1.7: LIES AND TRUTHS

Despite being the main antagonist of The Force Awakens, Kylo Ren is a surprisingly truthful character. He only lies once in the entire film, and it is clear at this exact moment that Ren is an absolutely abysmal liar. He and Snoke are discussing the droid, which has fallen into the hands of Ren’s father through a series of odd coincidences. Ren reacts to the news in the following manner:

Kylo Ren reacts with subtle, but real, surprise.

KYLO REN
He means nothing to me.

This scene is closely followed by the famous “pull to the Light” sequence in which Ren reveals that Snoke was fully capable of sensing his deceit. Han Solo does not mean nothing to Kylo Ren.

KYLO REN
You’re my guest.

REY
Where are the others?

KYLO REN
You mean the murderers, traitors and thieves you call friends? You’ll be relieved to hear that I have no idea.

Kylo Ren stops, considers her… then reaches up, unlatches and REMOVES HIS MASK. Rey reacts, stunned. It takes a moment before she regains her own mask of defiance.

When Rey wakes up in the interrogation scene, Kylo doesn’t bother lying to her even once. He could have told Rey her friends were dead, but instead he expresses the truth: he has no idea where they are. He also removes his mask when she reveals her (understandable) mistrust. He is very honest with her.

KYLO REN
… You’re so lonely… so afraid to leave… At night, desperate to sleep… you imagine an ocean. I see it – I see the island… And Han Solo. You feel like he’s the father you never had. He would’ve disappointed you.

He’s also open about what he sees in her head, even going so far as to “warn” her that Han Solo would have disappointed her if he really was her father.

KYLO REN
I’m being torn apart. I want to be free of this pain. I know what I have to do, but I don’t know if I have the strength to do it. Will you help me?

Perhaps the most controversial example can be found in Kylo Ren’s conversation with Han Solo on the catwalk. As an audience, we should have been able to infer that Kylo Ren never bothers to lie, opting instead for the truth.

This indirect characterization gives us all we need to know to understand that Kylo is in no way attempting to manipulate his father. He goes through with Snoke’s orders for a “personal” reason, in order to be “free of [his] pain.” He truly could not have kill his father on his own, and genuinely expresses to Han that he needs his help. The scene is heartbreaking on many levels, particularly when you realize that Han resting his hand on his son’s cheek is likely the first true human contact Ren has felt in years.


1.8: THE FATHER AND THE SON

Adam Driver said it himself, Kylo Ren is mainly motivated by what he considers to be feelings of abandonment from his family. His sentiments about his family are complex to say the least, with Ren mentioning them several times throughout the film. As always, Ren reveals far more of himself than he intends to.

“He means nothing to me.”

As we have already discussed, this was proven to be an outright (and pathetic) attempt at a lie.

“Han Solo. […] He would have disappointed you.”

Han Solo disappointed Ren.

“Your son is gone. He was weak and foolish, like his father. So I destroyed him.”

Ren considered his father to be weak and foolish for “something”. Is this the same “something” that caused him to harbour so much disappointment in his family? We can only speculate right now, so I’ll leave it at that.

We must also notice that Ren only starts to cry when Han expresses that “we [Han and Leia] miss him”. Ren’s feelings about his mother are perhaps even more difficult to comprehend than those about his father.

Always remember that Han Solo died as any father should, loving his son, forgiving him, and hping that he can someday find his way home.

An extra layer of intricacy can be found between Snoke and Ren. There is clearly a dependence of some kind between them, perhaps because Snoke was there for Ren when Han and Leia weren’t, using his loneliness to manipulate him. The notion is quite tragic, but we simply don’t know enough about the topic yet.


Part 2: Symbolism, Metaphor and Foreshadowing

Now that we have a clear understanding of the most important facets of Kylo Ren’s characterization, this second part of the meta will focus on the artistic devices in The Force Awakens, particularly the use of symbolism, metaphor and foreshadowing that directly pertain to Kylo’s redemption arc.

Once more, a quick refresher on some important terms.

Symbolism is the practice of using an object or word to represent an abstract idea. An action, person, place, word of object can all have symbolic meaning.

Foreshadowing is a literary technique through which an author hints at what is to come.

A metaphor is a figure of speech that identifies something as being the same as some unrelated thing for rhetorical effect that, usually, provides clarity; thus, the implied conceptual relationship rhetorically highlights the similarities between two ideas.


2.1: THE HELMET AND THE SABER

It was revealed in an interview with Adam Driver that Kylo Ren’s lightsaber and helmet are meant to be a metaphor for his character, that he is “unfinished” and “unpolished” and appears as though he might crack at any moment. It can thus be assumed that, in order to develop, Kylo will eventually have to become “finished”, “polished” and “in control”.

Interestingly, some people use this as evidence supporting the notion that Kylo will never be redeemed, that he will become eviler and eviler until he kills Luke and Leia. Hilarious, I know.  

We must realize that treading further along the path of Darkness would not lead to Ren being “finished” or “whole”. He is the focal point of the Light and Dark, and until he accepts both sides of his being he can never be whole, he can never mature naturally or discover his true purpose. That is the true metaphor behind the saber.


2.1: THERE IS “SOMEONE” WHO STILL COULD

We PUSH IN ON REY as RAIN BEGINS – and DAY TURNS TO NIGHT – and she LOOKS UP – we TILT UP –

To see we’re LOOKING UP AT A WARRIOR as he is STABBED BY A FIERY LIGHTSABER! He screams and falls to the ground – we FOLLOW HIM, revealing Rey again, now in a nighttime battlefield. She gets to her feet, frightened by what she sees. We PIVOT AROUND HER to REVEAL KYLO REN, and the six other KNIGHTS OF REN, who flank him!

Come back around to Rey, soaking now, as the RAIN STOPS and SUNLIGHT illuminates her – she turns to look – we PIVOT – and see…

A little girl. Rey as a child. She is sobbing, hysterical. Unkar Plutt’s meaty hand holds her thin arm. She is on Jakku, watching a starship fly into the sky, abandoning her.

YOUNG GIRL
No, come back!

Rey discovers that she has some kind of connection with Anakin’s lightsaber as she touches it and is thrust into a terrifying Force Back. She sees past, present and future, and is pursued by the only individual who seems to acknowledge her presence in the dream sequence: Kylo Ren. He is the focus of her vision more than anything, which is quite interesting when you remember that the saber (according to Ren) belonged to him at one point. Does Rey feel bonded with the Skywalker saber, or with Ren himself? Only time will tell.

Maz Kanata’s speech to Rey directly following the Force Back is one of the turning points of the film. Maz insinuates that Rey’s family is never returning, and that the belonging she seeks is ahead, not behind.

Dear child. I see your eyes. You already know the truth. Whomever you’re waiting for on Jakku, they’re never coming back. But… there’s someone who still could.

There is someone who still could come back. Rey immediately assumes Maz is referring to Luke, but what if she’s actually insinuating that Kylo Ren can still [come back to the Light]? It would make for a brilliant example of foreshadowing in the long-run.

The end of the Force Back scene is also edited in such a way that it appears as though the little girl is speaking directly to Ren. We hear her say “come back” before the child is revealed, and right after we see Ren approaching Rey on the rainy battlefield.

This notion opens up the possibility that the belonging Rey seeks may lie in the focus of her Force Back, in the true owner of the saber: in Kylo Ren. And who is she about to meet in the forest? Who is directly ahead of her?


2.2: THE LIGHT AS SEDUCTION

“I feel it again, the pull to the Light.”

— Kylo Ren

Kylo Ren is quite the tortured soul indeed. He does everything in his power to quiet the call of the Light—which he literally refers to as a seduction—but no matter what he finds that he “feels it again”.  It seems simple enough. Ren is a Dark-affiliated Force-Sensitive who is in great inner-turmoil as a result of the longing for the Light he can’t seem to shake. However small, it is his greatest foil, his most significant element of characterization.

So what is this pull to the Light? Ren makes it quite obvious that whatever connection he maintains to his family incites it. The mere mention of Han Solo causes him to confess his sins to his grandfather’s helmet. It is a pull to his family, to his old life.

But how exactly does Ren’s “pull to the Light” ultimately manifest itself? What is most representative of the Light in The Force Awakens—or more specifically, who?

Rey.  

Many fans have recognized that Kylo Ren develops an unusual fixation on the heroine after first encountering her in the forest of Takodana. Some have postulated that he has an interest in her power, while others say that he is genuinely attracted to her in some fashion, be that physically, mentally or through the Force that flows between them.

I’m much more inclined to believe the second interpretation, because it takes into account Kylo Ren’s characterization and his context in the narrative. He feels genuine compassion for her, he cannot help but bond with her loneliness and her fear. These are not hallmarks of an individual enamoured by power, but rather, by something far more human. That is why combining the themes of Force-related seduction with romantic and sexual seduction are paramount to comprehending Ren’s role in the future of this Trilogy.

Rey is a symbol in herself. She represents everything Kylo Ren has denied himself. She is a beautiful young woman who is highly connected to the Light side of the Force, and he quite literally cannot help but be willingly seduced by her Light.

“By the grace of your training, I will not be seduced.”

— Kylo Ren to Snoke

This is classic foreshadowing and irony in the vein of Vader’s famous “There is no conflict” or even Leia’s “I would sooner kiss a Wookie”. When a character expresses that he won’t be seduced in this manner in the first Episode of a Trilogy and proceeds to become completely fixated on a woman who happens to represent the Light by which he expresses he “will not be seduced” they might as well be spelling out that they will be seduced. In a manner of speaking, methinks Kylo doth protest too much.

We must also remember that this film concluded with Ren being rescued by Hux in order to “complete his training”. By the grace of Snoke’s training indeed.

“There was too much Vader in him.”

— Han Solo

Too much Vader… but too much of “what” exactly? This is left open to interpretation. Vader was a Sith Lord, but he was also Anakin Skywalker, the man who gave his own life to save his only son, the Jedi who fell to the Dark Side because the Emperor manipulated his undying love for his wife. Just as Anakin was prepared to do anything for Padme, Ren may ultimately be willing to go to great lengths for Rey, regardless of whether or not his sentiments are ever outwardly reciprocated.

This definitely ties into the fact that Rey and Ren’s themes are essentially Across the Stars in reverse.

Rey is under a spotlight, practically emanating light. Her light is extending toward the crouched figure of Ren, who is watching her submissively. Ren can’t seem to take his eyes off the glowing young woman.


2.3: THE SUN AND THE SON

Although the new superweapon received a great deal of criticism from fans for being “just another lame Death Star”, Starkiller Base happens to be one of the most effective and blatant symbols in the entire movie. From absorbing a “sun’s” light as power to transforming into a “reborn sun” at the film’s conclusion, the metaphor created is both telling and very artistic.

“It uses the power of the sun. As the weapon is charged, the sun is drained until it disappears.”

— Finn about Starkiller Base

“Snoke is using you for your power.”

— Han about Ben Solo

The comparison here is just begging to be made. Starkiller Base manipulates the “light” of a sun as a weapon. In English, the words “sun” and “son” happen to be the same. This is a pun that has been used throughout English literature and even biblical texts to describe the “prodigal son”. Ren is of course the “son” (to Han and Leia), the fallen legacy who wants nothing more than to subdue the light within himself.

“I am too much I’ the sun.”

— Hamlet

The “sun” and the “son” is a powerful symbol that cannot be used lightly, but it only becomes more obvious as the film progresses:

And just then, the LAST BEAM OF SUNLIGHT streaming through the open hatch VANISHES.

Han actually smiles – and reaches out for the dark weapon – but with the light now gone, KYLO REN’S EYES FILL WITH DARKNESS.

At this moment, Kylo Ren murdered his father. Starkiller Base sucked the life from a sun, casting a shadow across the planetary weapon, and across Kylo Ren. The sun’s death heralded Ren’s darkest act. As hope was lost, so too were Ben and Han Solo. The sun, the son and father fell together.

Kylo Ren is somehow WEAKENED by this wicked act. Himself horrified. His SHOCK is broken only when –

We must also take into account Ren’s reaction to killing his father. If this sounds like someone who has gone Full Dark to you… I think you missed the point of the movie.

Something amazing happens at the end of the film:

The X-wings ROAR OFF, skyward as the MUSIC SOARS, the PLANET IMPLODES – THE SUNLIGHT IT CONTAINS BURSTS FORTH, and as we get further and further distance from what was Starkiller Base, we witness the REBIRTH OF A SUN. Light restored to a corner of the galaxy.

This is about as descriptive as any script is going to get. We witnessed the “rebirth of a sun”. Rebirth of a sun… or rebirth of a “son”?

Poe and the rest of the pilots destroyed the oscillator that was containing the sun’s trapped energy and light. This happened in unison with Rey defeating Kylo in the snowy wood. In a story that surrounds the concept of Light and Dark as two sides of a coin and that involved a sun dying to symbolize the loss of hope as a character violently murdered his own father, having that same sun be “reborn” in a flurry of light is very telling. Kylo Ren was filled with darkness as the sun fell, but after being defeated by Rey (interesting how Rey’s name is also a pun on a sun “ray”) he was “reborn” along with the new sun, his father’s eternal resting place.


And if all that symbolism doesn’t drive it home for you, take a look at this Easter Egg from The Force Awakens soundtrack. Two themes are connected by a horn solo, the moment we hear Kylo Ren’s theme for the very first time in “Attack on Jakku Village” and the exact moment the sun is reborn in “Farewell and the Trip”. The same solo can be heard in both songs, referencing the theme of the reborn sun (or in this case, the reborn “son”).

Go to 4:18

The first version is more ominous, as it is combined with Kylo’s dissonant theme.

Go to 0:46

The second is hopeful and triumphant, and even melds with the Force Theme. The solos are exactly the same, however. This hard-evidence proves to me beyond a shadow of a doubt that the writers intended to have Starkiller Base’s rebirth as a “sun” represent Kylo’s own metaphorical rebirth.


2.4: THE BATTLE FOR A SOUL

Kylo’s final fight with Finn and Rey is perhaps one of the most artistically significant moments in the entire Star Wars franchise. From pursuing the duo into the icy forest to being branded by Rey, Ren is quick to reveal the results of his physical, mental and emotional unraveling as he engages Finn and Rey in battle. If a viewer has failed to comprehend Ren until this point, Ren’s behavior will go completely over their head.

Finn, Rey and Ren contrast each other beautifully. They were all children who were separated physically from their parents, and who dealt with the emotional trauma of abandonment in different ways. Finn was brainwashed, but maintained a high level of humanity; Rey dreamed every day of her family returning; Ren gave in to the Darkness that was tugging at him. Acknowledging the fact that they are all foils of each other gives their battle so much more emotional impact. They are fighting themselves as much as they are fighting each other, lost souls who may ultimately need each other to find their way home.

“It’s just us now. Han Solo can’t save you.”

The fight begins with this line. Strangely enough, it appears as though he is speaking only to Rey (translations corroborate this). However, it should be clear based on Ren’s prior characterization that he isn’t just stating that “Han Solo can’t save Rey”. In reality, he’s acknowledging the tragic fact that Han Solo can no longer save him.

“That lightsaber, it belongs to me.”

Ren doesn’t acknowledge Finn until after he has knocked Rey out after she attempted to shoot him. Finn takes up the Skywalker saber in order to protect Rey, running at his ex-superior—the man who allowed him to disobey direct orders—with a lion’s heart.

TRAITOR!”

Why would Ren call Finn a traitor once again. Why would any character who just murdered his own father title someone else a traitor? Because Ren isn’t reprimanding Finn; he’s reprimanding himself, punishing himself physically and metaphorically. We already know that Ren saw himself in Finn, and he still does. He beats his own wounds during their fight, filled with self-hate and rage. Ren is grieving in his own way, his emotions causing him to lose all sense of self. He burns Finn, and finally slashes him up the spine, putting him temporarily out-of-commission just as Rey wakes up.

“You need a teacher. I can show you the ways of the Force.”

Rey and Ren’s battle is—as Harrison Ford once said—fantastic visual storytelling. There is so much occurring on-screen that it becomes almost overwhelming to take in.

It begins with Rey catching the Skywalker saber. All the tension leaves Ren’s body as he gazes at her with his old saber in her hands. It should be clear that he does not view this girl the same way he views Finn. While he was furious and masochistic in Finn’s presence, there is something very different in his countenance with Rey.

He is enamored by her Light, totally and utterly fixated. His expression is one of complete awe, and he maintains it throughout the fight.

He chases her through the wood, battling her as he attempts to disarm her. They are perfect opposites, moving in unison, dancing while in the midst of an epic clash. There is certainly a beauty to it, with the red and blue sabers seeming to create a shade of mauve just as Starkiller Base begins to fall apart. A crack appears in the planet, spewing fire just as they cross sabers.

As they attempt to stave each other off above the abyss, they seem to share a moment. It is at this point that Ren offers himself to her, declaring that “she needs a teacher” and that “he can show her the ways of the Force.” It is interesting to note that Ren doesn’t use the terms “Dark Side/Darkness” (as he did throughout the film). Of course he isn’t offering to teach her about the Light, but we are meant to question his behavior. He isn’t fully trained himself, yet he wants to teach her, to run away with her, to be with her?

Rey takes the opportunity to channel the Force for the first time, and suddenly she gains the upper-hand. She starts to chase him, stabbing at his clothes and body. She is as brutal against him as he was against Finn, and when they grasp arms and balance each other’s sabers, there is an undeniable example of symbolism. Rey is burying the dark saber in the snow, and he looks fully prepared to have it extinguished, to be rid of it once and for all.

She overcomes him physically, mentally and emotionally, leaving him scarred on the forest floor. Rey almost taps into the Dark Side, and has to stop herself from killing him, from wiping out the representation of the Darkness that took away her father-figure and first true friend.

Ren’s scar is an interesting shape, curved just like the Yin and Yang symbol. The scar is a threefold symbol of Rey’s connection to Ren, to the moment she almost crossed the threshold to the Dark Side, and to Ren’s duality. He no longer has to wear a mask to be a “monster”.

Ren is left beaten, but the symbolism of the reborn sun tells us that the Light within him has not been extinguished. There is still a chance for Ben Solo, as his mother rightfully expressed to her husband before he performed the ultimate sacrifice.

LEIA
There’s still light in him. I know it
.

Leia is not about to give up on her son. When Han died, she reacted to Ren’s suffering more than anything (the cut happens just as Ren seems to realize what he has done). I suspect neither Luke nor his sister would be willing to abandon their living link to Han… their true legacy: Ben Solo.


CONCLUSION

Episode VII ends with Rey handing “Luke’s” lightsaber back to its rightful owner… but we must remember that this saber may very well have also belonged to Ben Solo. Again, I have to wonder if Rey’s connection really extends to the Skyalkers at all, or simply to Kylo Ren? Only time can tell.

Well… I guess that’s all I have to say on this subject for now. I’ll conclude this meta by making it clear that there is zero foreshadowing pointing toward this story taking any other direction. If the writers are competent and made use of all these classic literary techniques in good faith, then we can be assured that Kylo Ren will be receiving quite the redemption arc in future Episodes.

If not, I’ll be keeping my money.


EDITS: To add pictures/fix spelling mistakes.

Question for the

‘Draco was the result of his upbringing and has no ethical responsibility for his own values and choices’ people: 

At what age does that change? When do you start holding Draco culpable for the bigoted things he says and does? Yes, he’s a little Lucius parrot at eleven, but what about when he gloats over Buckbeak’s execution at age thirteen? How about when he’s fourteen and taunts Harry about Voldemort’s return after Harry’s just been tortured and traumatised in the graveyard? When he sucks up to Umbridge and abuses his power on the Inquisitorial Squad at fifteen? When he looks “hungry” as Harry’s about to be tortured? Continues to call Hermione a Mudblood to her face? When he immobilises Harry and stomps on his nose at sixteen? When he uses an Unforgivable on Harry?  

At what age does Draco gain culpability for his own choices and actions? If your answer is “never”, then how can you even like him as a character when he’s nothing but an empty shell echoing his father’s beliefs?

I ask his as someone who loves Draco as a character, loves his character arc, and was thrilled by his redemption in Cursed Child. I’m just super twitchy at seeing people write off all the nasty choices Draco made during the books. 

For Richer, For Poorer

Anon Request: Hi! I just came across a fic search for when james takes lily to his vault and thought that you might write this. 

“Shit.”

Lily Evans frowned at her less-than-eloquent boyfriend as he dug through his pockets looking for something. The woman in front of them in the line at the ice cream shop also frowned greatly at them. Lily smiled at the woman before shooting James another glance; he was running his hands up and down his robes as if searching for something on his person.

“What’s wrong with you?” she couldn’t help laughing at his ridiculous face as he dug his fingers deep into his pockets.

James pulled out the empty insides of his pockets, “I forgot my money!” he exclaimed.

Lily rolled her eyes and reached for her purse, “Then I’ll pay.”

“No!” James exclaimed, yanking her from the line and she groaned as they passed two women holding nice looking ice cream cones. 

Lily stomped her feet repeatedly, trying to get James to stop pulling her by the arm. It didn’t work. He was such a boy. He couldn’t go shopping on his own, he couldn’t let his girlfriend pay for a bit of ice cream, and he couldn’t hear her annoyance as they left the ice cream shop.

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In this shadow work challenge, we will be exploring our past and delving into some of the core experiences that have helped create and reinforce our shadows. Please keep in mind that shadow work is a highly individual process and there is simply no way I could ever devise any sort of curriculum that yields impeccable results for everyone. It is up to you to give this challenge true substance. This is not a set of step-by-step instructions or specified exercises, but a collection of interrelated subjects that form a generic basis for shadow work that you will [hopefully] be able to build off of. 

The prompts included were designed to be responded to in one (or all) of the following ways: journaling, creative expression, or tarot reading. I recommend journaling and/or creative expression as the basis with tarot as a supplement, but it can serve as a stand alone tarot evaluation as well (which is why I created this Tree of Life Spread). Whatever works for you, go for it! This challenge is only meant to get your mind reeling, and as you will see it’s pretty cut and dry, so I encourage you to use it as you please– get creative and allow it to evolve as you go. 

If you feel comfortable doing so, please share your work and tag “january shadow work challenge”. I for one would love to see it, and I’m sure those who are trying to get their foot in the door with shadow work would appreciate some reference material. In any case, I thank all for participating and as always I welcome public or private feedback! 

(P.S. I did not get to work on/edit this as thoroughly as I would have liked, so please forgive me for any errors or sloppy writing in general! Also, feel free to shoot me an ask if you have any questions. Best Wishes and Happy New Year!)

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anonymous asked:

So it seem's like Leia's answered the "What Went Wrong with Anakin" question for herself with "maybe some sort of horrible congenital madness that nobody caught until it was too late." Is this primarily something she reverse-engineered from Ben having Force-related problems, or had she and Luke uncovered something to corroborate that? Does Luke buy into it? Does Vader? i am so curious about how people in this universe explain Vader.

“how do people in the universe understand the unstoppable killing machine that holds their lives in his grim metal grasp” is my SHIT bless you friend

I think Leia has the same kind of understanding of Vader that most people have when confronted with how monstrous people can be– I think she assumes there’s just something Wrong with him, some innate streak of cruelty or a greed so overwhelming that makes him totally uninhibited in his quest for power. 

And to be sure, that’s not an awful analysis– when it comes to questions of Why Are You Like this, sometimes we have answers (upbringing, material conditions, the nebulous and deeply fraught questions about the brain) and sometimes we just don’t. 

Vader speculation is probably the wildest thing– as far as nearly everyone in the Galaxy knows, he just appeared one day out of nowhere and began an immediate reign of terror. Given how little they know, it wouldn’t be out of the question for them to assume he was a droid or like an evil spirit. But, post-ROTJ, Vade has a children and a past– a former identity. People are confronted with the question of what the actual fuck happened to Anakin Skywalker. 

Leia is, perhaps most importantly and fundamentally, someone who worked closely with bourgeois politicians. Given that experience, its easy for her to imagine Anakin succumbing to greed and outright lust for power, I think, without even the slippery slope of compromise and equivocation that turns bright-eyed idealists keen for moderate reform into the crooked wheelers and dealers who cling to their office and its molding trappings of power for their own sake rather than to accomplish anything. 

(I lived in DC for five years) (2016 them democrats i tell ya)

So I think its very easy for Leia to believe any number of half-composed theories about Vader (half-composed only because I just can’t imagine she wants to spend time actually thinking about her connection to him, which is so tenuous yet composes half of her being, in a way)– that he was always cruel and sadistic at heart, or that he shrugged off his humanity and became a monster– but these assumptions have to be confronted and begin to wither under scrutiny if there is Something Wrong With Ben. 

Her baby! Her only son!  

Ben should be the catalyst the forces Leia to really wrestle with her inheritance– unwanted and blood-drenched as it is– as an heir to Vader. She knows Ben, she raised him, and if he struggles she’ll know better than anyone that he’s not a bad seed – and I think that opens up a new space for her, where she can consider some kind of Extenuating Circumstances in Vader’s life— if only for the sake of her son.  

That’s honestly what I wanted, if not from the movies then from tie-in material– some kind of acknowledgement that Leia can’t just put the Vader issue to rest, not when her son is seemingly his legacy. Ben’s struggles, whatever they are (HONESTLY VERY TIRED OF THIS CANON HOLE) have to bring her back to her birth father and she has to be able to finally lay him to rest before she can help her son– and also, perhaps, help herself heal from their brief but violent encounters. 

Why I believe it’s unlikely that Chuuya has been abused in the past

Now, this theory is from a psychological standpoint. I find it even more unlikely that Asagiri-sensei-or any author, really- would write a story with psychology in mind. However, I’m going to throw this out there anyways. Make of it what you will. Just please, please be respectful.

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4kidztv  asked:

OK I'll take the bait -- how fucked up is Kavinsky REALLY? I'm expecting at least an 5 on the Richter scale of heartbreak.

Okay, I’ll take the bait back, because I’m young and crotchety.

Note, spoilers for Dream Thieves will abound.

SPOILERS

SPOILERS

SPOILERS

SPOILING THINGS

Readers can interpret the events of the book in all sorts of ways, obviously, but here are things that happen canonically in The Dream Thieves:

  • Kavinsky drugs his mother without her knowledge
  • Kavinsky pursues Ronan with multiple text messages and gifts that indicate he has observed Ronan closely — i.e., copies of bracelets Ronan always wears and Ronan’s driver’s license
  • Kavinsky generally calls Ronan either gay or a girl
  • Kavinsky is seen once with a girl, who he calls “bitch”
  • Kavinsky has at least one dead companion who he dreamed a perfectly obedient replacement for — it is heavily implied that Kavinsky was somehow responsible for the guy’s death.
  • Kavinsky claims to have killed his own father (but this is debatable, as Kavinsky clearly is a liar)
  • Kavinsky tries to get Ronan to give up his friends
  • Kavinsky touches Ronan’s head, taps Ronan’s teeth with a pen, leaves stuff at Ronan’s home when he knows he won’t be there
  • Kavinsky gives Ronan a drug that renders Ronan immobile and barely conscious and then, while Ronan is helpless — and only then — sensually touches Ronan’s body (Ronan tells himself this might be a dream)
  • Ronan tells Kavinsky that they will never be an item, but Kavinsky keeps texting him
  • Kavinsky tells Ronan that consent is overrated (which echoes him continuously stepping into Ronan’s space without permission)
  • Kavinsky ultimately grows frustrated that Ronan will not give in, kidnaps Ronan’s brother, drugs him, and stuffs him in the trunk of a car to provoke a reaction from Ronan.

Here are other things that are canonical:

  • Kavinsky is a scary, terrible predator
  • Kavinsky has a very logical backstory that leads him to this place
  • Kavinsky chooses to be led to this place

Here are other, other things, also canonical:

  • Kavinsky can pull things from his dreams, has an absent (possibly dead) father, and an absent (largely useless) mother
  • Ronan can pull things from his dreams, has an absent (definitely dead) father, and an absent (largely useless) mother

I very much enjoyed writing Kavinsky — as a character, he challenged and delighted me. And I really wanted him to challenge and delight readers. One of the main ideas I’m exploring as I write the Raven Cycle is the question: how much are you a product of your upbringing? And can you overcome the terrible parts of it to become something better? All of the characters engage with these questions, which I find fiendishly interesting in real life. Kavinsky and Ronan both get the same set of circumstances and handle them in very different ways. It’s a choice.

So do I like Kavinsky? Out of all the characters I have ever written, he is one of my favorites.* Top four, probably. Or five, since four is an ugly number. But he’s a terrible person, more terrible because he chose it every. step. of. the. way. A logical backstory is not justification for trampling over consent, for kidnapping, for harassment.

Otherwise Adam would be justified in hitting Blue when he was angry, because he was hit by his father.

Kavinsky’s scale on the Richter scale of heartbreak? I’ll give him a solid 9, where 10 = absolutely zero evidence of desire to change.

These are all of my thoughts on Kavinsky. Your mileage may vary.

*ETA: I mean, people: I painted my car like his.

Where does the whole “Parker does not like touching” thing come from though? I am not taking into account Sophie’s words in The Maltese Falcon Job because this is Sophie talking.


What bothers me with such a reading of the character is that if you thread her development in the show, Parker does what exactly? Overcome her issues with touching? Not liking being touched is not an issue, it’s a personal mileage. It doesn’t need to be fixed or overcome.

It may be a defective reading of the show on my part, but from what I remember, very early on, Parker has no problem having her forehead felt by Sophie, or pushing Hardison, or being touched by Nate, or poking Eliot, or taking Josie’s head, or generally sitting very close to her team members. None of them are really touchy-feely in the first place; they are strangers, they are criminals and, most of all, professionals. Leverage Inc. is no Club Med in the beginning. Leverage is a slow-burn when it comes to ALL the relationships. It would be odd for them to be all over each over by episode 4.

What I do get from her –and especially because of and after The 12-Step Job- is that she never considered touching as a way of expressing affection and love. And it figures, the way she was brought up. As a consequence she does not see the point of touching people without a purpose and she does not consider it a danger either –like other people on this team. She knows she is fast enough to avoid being harmed or touched by whoever would want to approach her without her wanting it -cue, fork stabbing. She is a very physical person; the way objects and people interact on a physical level with her is paramount to her – instant pudding, licking donuts to test them, poking Sophie to ensure she’s alive: Parker often needs to touch and feel to experience. She just does not equate, at first, wrapping your arms around someone with “I care about you”.

This is also why Parker did not hug Hardison in The Grave Danger Job; by season 4, Parker is much more comfortable with touching as a way of expressing deep affection and the implication of such a hug at that moment would have been too much for her. Hardison loves people and pours out his love in his hugs, his devotion in hands at the small of the back, his affection in awkward or mastered high-fives, but he is also the most careful of boundaries in the group. And Parker knows it when she flees from Hardison’s touch in the cemetery. Because Parker is afraid to care about people. Touching is not an issue, caring is and it hurts so much.

But you know who is very obviously uncomfortable with touching and being touched? Eliot, Nate and Sophie. Eliot who knows just how fragile bodies are. Nate who is wary of how powerful a message of love touching can be. And Sophie who uses touching as a weapon.

Yet, she delivers the astonished “Parker, touching?”. Do the math.

anonymous asked:

You and buckmebxrnes seem like genuinely great and level headed people and I love your blogs! I like how you don't bash anyone or you're able to just be respectful I dunno it quite a difference from the usual people that's on tumblr. And for trans Steve post I actually loved it so much haha mostly because it's just Steve/chris Evans (I guess you can say) and didn't mind that he had a vagina, I think when it more normalized people won't see it as 'ew' or whatever cause it just genitals Im ramblin

Thank you so much! 

tbh I’m the least confrontational person ever until someone has proven themselves to just be a complete garbage person. Saying one ignorant thing or having some questionable beliefs that are likely a product of upbringing don’t qualify for that in my book, especially if they’re questioning and open about it. Until they purposely hurt someone, refuse to listen to other people’s feelings, or otherwise DO something unforgivable I usually try to give people the benefit of the doubt. I know I’ve said problematic things in the past (we all have), but I learned when I listened. I can tell you I wouldn’t have wanted to listen if I got yelled at and told that I was horrible. I probably would’ve gotten defensive and butthurt and sought out people with similar opinions as myself to soothe my ego.

and no worries I ramble all the time xD

@buckmebxrnes

7

Malevolent: “The Prince shall indeed grow in grace and beauty, beloved by all who know him. But… before the sun sets on his 16th birthday, he shall prick his finger, on the spindle of a spinning wheel… and die.”

~*~

Jadira: “Yes. Only one may enter. I must find this one. This diamond in the rough.”

~*~

Ursul: “Come in. Come in, my child. We mustn’t lurk in doorways. It’s rude. One might question your upbringing.”

(( Heeeeeey guys! :D Here’s the first of my Genderbent Disney Villain series. You guys asked for it over and over and over. ;) hehe. So here they are! <3 ))

Blast From The Past: Part 5

Pairing: Reader x Bucky
Word Count: 2K
Warnings: None? Maybe some angst, a little Sad!Bucky

A/N: FINALLY some real reader x Bucky interaction.
I’m not great at writing from another characters POV, but I hope it’s not too bad. I’m trying to set up their past relationship (in Hydra), hope it come across right/not clunky.

Feedback is always appreciated. Let me know if you want to be added to the tags list.

E/C: Eye Colour 

This part is in Bucky’s POV

Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4

Bucky jolted awake from another nightmare. They’ve started to worsen again, since being re-introduced to you. Bucky stared up at his ceiling and the incident between you two played out in his mind again, making him cringe. He felt terrible about hurting you. He wanted to apologise, but you didn’t want anything to do with him; you probably hated him, he did almost kill you.

Bucky sighed and rolled out of bed; he was too awake now and didn’t have a chance at getting back to sleep any time soon. Pondering what he could do at 3am that wouldn’t wake anyone else up, he decided to make himself a cup of tea and headed out of his room. The room door next to his, your room, was slightly a jar. He considered knocking and finally talking to you; but figured you’d be asleep.


Bucky headed straight for the kettle, but a figure in this peripheral vision stopped him in his tracks. You were sitting on the couch, leaning against one of the end arm rests. The lamp behind your head was illuminating the notebook that you were furiously scribbling in. You hadn’t noticed that he’d entered the living area. You looked exhausted, but just the sight of you made Bucky’s chest tighten.

Suddenly he found himself walking towards you. It wasn’t until he was a few feet away that you noticed him, making you jump.

“Oh, sorry,” he says, giving you an apologetic look, “I didn’t mean to scare you,” Bucky’s shocked when you give him a smile. He had half expected you to get up and walk away without saying a word.

You set down your pen and place your notebook on your legs, “it’s okay. I didn’t even hear you come in. I guess I was really concentrating on this,” you motion to your notebook.

Bucky looks down at it, and notices that you had been scribbling the same 6 numbers repeatedly, all over the page. His brow furrows in confusion, trying to put a meaning to the numbers.

You follow his line of sight, noticing that he’s staring at your notebook, “when I remember something, I write it down,” you explain. Bucky smiles at you, feeling relieved,

“I have one too,” Bucky nods to your notebook, “it’s nice to know that I’m not the only one that finds comfort in writing memories down… I was going to make myself a cup of tea, would you like one?” he asks, moving back towards the kitchen.

You nod, “1 sugar, and milk, please,” you smile at him before returning your attention to your notebook and continue tracing over the numbers, darkening the ink.

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Watching the accountant - in which Ben Affleck plays a “high-functioning” (his own self described words in the movie) autistic man who cooks and uncooks books for bad guys - and I recognize myself in several of his symptoms. He has a unique and questionable upbringing, but his own coping mechanisms and stimming work for him.

Thing is, I found it like. With watching it with other people… “what’s wrong with him?” was something I heard.

Nothing is wrong with him. Just because he’s not every other action movie hero doesn’t mean he’s not one. Jfc.

Asa Butterfield’s interview for “Boys by Girls”

Do you cry?

Yes, when the time calls for it, like when I die in a vídeo game. No, that was a joke, I want to clarify that, haha. I don’t know what makes me cry, sad shit. I’d say I’m definitely in touch with my emotions and quite emotionally connected, but I think that growing up as a guy you tend to supress certain emotions for whatever reason. Whether it is to impress people or to show that you’re a tough guy, which a lot of people put on. Although I do cry a lot less than I used too, I used to be such a wimp when I was a kid. Like when you lose your favourite lego brick, that’s devastating. That will bring tears to your eyes.

Who is Asa?

I think that’s na interesting question, because I had quite a diferente upbringing. I’ve had to be more mature and have proper conversations with adults since I was thirteen years old. There is definitely that parto f me which is confident and good at talking to people. There is also a part of me, that is quite a quiet person. I’m very content in not saying much and just enjoying whatever situation I’m in; playing vídeo games and hanging out with my mates, which are two very opposing sides. The first impression I give people is that I am quite talkative and a sort of funny guy, but in reality I’m totally not. I”m a lot more boring, placid and easy going. I’m very contente going with the flow and chillaxing.

You have played such a variety of roles; from Ender Wiggin leading the fight against na alien racen in “Ender’s Game”, angsty teenager in “Tem Thousand Saints” and a math progidy in “X+Y”. You seem to make good choices.

Whenver I’m picking a role I look for characters that are going to be challenging or diferente to what I have done before, otherwise you’re not really pushing youself as an actor. For “Ender’s Game”, conveying his understanding of the situation they were in, being so ahead of his peers, was a challenge. I loved working with Gavin Hood, the diretor, to figure out the best way to represent that. Then “X+Y” was probably the most challenging role. Firstly it was a person who was on the autistic spectrum, which was something I didn’t know much about before the film, so it was na educational experience for me. Everyone on the spectrum are slightly diferente, so I had to figure out how to portray my character, Nathan- how he would speak and observe the world. For him it was all about mathematical patterns and colour. It was quite demanding physically, because I had to totally change myself in the way I walked. When you take on a role, even if it is subtle change you adopt, you have to start stripping back all the things you would naturally do. You need to get rid of all that, so it’s just a blank slate in which you can start to create this new character and the way he speaks and Works. It was a really interesting experience.

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acting like atheists are somehow ‘more oppressed’ or ‘deeper in the closet’ than lgbtq+ and queer folks is shit but like i hate that it’s hard to talk about the difficulties that come from being an atheist in a religious family. 

my parents have used religion to manipulate me for years. i’ve been forced to reaffirm ‘my’ faith for them on more than one occasion. my childhood gender questioning was made significantly worse because of my religious upbringing. my fears of their reaction to my identity and orientation were entirely related to the religious discourse they’ve been forcing on me for years. 

my parents’ religious views fucked me up significantly, and it sucks that obnoxiously rude, scene-causing Straight white boys are the face of ‘atheist oppression’/’the atheist closet’ because sometimes i want to talk about my experiences related to this and some Straight starts acting like they get it.

The Serpent and The Lion

(gif credit to the creators)

Part 1 - New Horizons

Master List

Pairing: Dean x Reader
Word Count: 1,718
Warnings: none
A/N: It’s finally here! The first part of my Harry Potter AU!! I am so freaking excited for this you guys, I really hope you like it. Anyway, feedback is super cool :)

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Apparently J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis went to see Snow White together when it came out and they HATED it, particularly the portrayal of the seven dwarves. In a letter, Lewis said he didn’t like the way their faces looked or their choice of music, and even called Disney a boob and questioned his upbringing. Tolkien said it nauseated him and later used Disney’s name as an insult; an illustrator drew a picture Tolkien deemed too Disnified in a letter to his publisher.

Feeding the Flames (ZnT Week Day 4; Drabble)

Fandom: Zankyou no Terror 

Characters/Pairing: Nine, Twelve; hella Nine/Twelve 

Rating/Warnings: General; None

Word Count: 952 

AO3 Link: Coming Soon 

Summary:

Written for ZnT Week Day 4: Magnesium (Twelve’s Day) 

Magnesium- atomic number twelve; gives off a blinding white light when burned in the presence of oxygen.

~~~

Twelve was more than bright- he was blinding.

From the very moment that I had seen him, I knew that he was special. There was something about him that could never be snuffed out, a glint of life even in the bleakest of circumstances.

I so desperately wanted to protect that light; I so desperately wanted it for myself.

“Nine?”

I started, surprised when he spoke. I wondered how long I had been staring at him, and looked away before he could catch the embarrassed slant of my mouth. “What?”

I glanced up out of the corner of my eye; he was smiling sheepishly and soothingly. “You were staring at me again.”

“You should be used to that by now,” I muttered, and heard him make a curious sound that was part sigh and part chuckle.  

“Nine…” His voice itself seemed to glow, and for a second I thought that I was the one with synesthesia, what with the way my vision flickered with stars when he said my name. I heard him rise, and spared another glance up before averting my eyes and lifting my chin, pointedly looking away as he moved my computer and sat in its place atop my lap. “Look at me.”

“Why should I?” I managed, holding my voice steady despite the way my heart was palpitating; I was sure that that couldn’t be healthy. “I won’t get any work done if you keep begging for attention.”

“You weren’t getting any work done while you were staring at me, either,” Twelve replied, taking ahold of my chin. I forced my eyes shut as he turned my head, trying to get me to meet his gaze. “And I never have to ask for your attention, let alone beg for it.”

“You’re an intolerable flit,” I retorted, but my resolve- what little there had been –was quickly fading.

And then his lips were on mine. 

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The Little Mermaid Sentence Meme
  • "I haven't seen this in years, this is wonderful!"
  • "In my day, we had fantastic feasts, when I lived in the palace."
  • "This will be the finest concert I have ever conducted."
  • "You can just stay here and watch for sharks."
  • "You could have been seen by one of those barbarians! By one of those humans!"
  • "Do you think I would want to see my youngest daughter snared by some fish eaters hook?"
  • "I'm sixteen years old. I'm not a child anymore."
  • "The child is in love with a human. And not just any human. A prince!"
  • "I set certain rules and I expect those rules to be obeyed."
  • "Contact between the human world and the mer world is strictly forbidden. You know that! Everyone knows that!"
  • "Come in, come in. We mustn't walk in doorways. Its rude. One might question your upbringing."
  • "Well, angelfish, the solution to your problem is simple."
  • "That's what I do. Its what I live for, to help unfortunate merfolk, like yourself, poor souls with no one else to turn to."
  • "What I want from you is your voice."
  • "Leave no shell unturned, no coral unexplored, and let no one in the kingdom sleep until she's safe at home."
  • "Now I am ruler of all the ocean! The waves ovey my every whim!"
  • "I'll see him wriggle like a worm on a hook!"
  • "Will you get your head out of the clouds and back into the water where it belongs?"
  • "You're not getting cold fins now, are you?"
  • "The human world is a mess. Life under the sea is better than anything they got up there."
  • "It looks just like him. It even has his eyes."
  • "Life's full of tough choices, isn't it?"
  • "Teenagers. They think they know everything. You give them an inch, they swim all over you."
  • "Don't be such a guppy."
  • "The prince is marrying the sea witch in disguise!"
  • "You are hopeless, child. You know that. Completely helpless."
  • "Gee, you must have really been through something."
  • "When I find the right girl, I'll know. Without a doubt, it'll just-bam- hit me. Like lightning."
  • "Far better than any dream girl is one of flesh and blood. One warm, and caring, and right before your eyes."
  • "So much for true love!"
  • "Why don't you go tell my father? You're good at that."
  • "Somebody should find that poor animal and put it out of its misery."
  • "I lost her once, I'm not going to lose her again."