all of the tragic romance

Ezra Fitz, Lolita parallels, and a hero complex

I just wrote this up in response to an ask, but I wasn’t sure when, or if, I ever wrote this up before, so i decided to give it it’s own post.

 Ezra Fitz has a “type”, and that type was influenced by his first love, whom he lost at a young age.

This is one of the Lolita parallels. Humbert was locked in a fantasy of his “Nymphet” because his first love passed away at the same approximate age, and he’s been trying to replace her. (Let’s pretend for 2 seconds that’s not the worst bullshit ever.)

Ezra’s home is littered with book and his classroom littered with lessons, all dealing with the subject of a tragic romance. Ezra Fitz is obsessed with doomed love stories because he lived one.

I think Ezra may have suffered a terrible loss at a young age, and he couldn’t save her. Like it was an accident or something and he failed to keep her out of danger. So now, as ‘A’ or ‘A.D’ or Ezra, he keeps creating the same (similar) circumstances over and over again until he gets it right. Until he really feels like he’s the hero.

He’s got a hell of a hero complex. But it also helps that a lot of the things he sets up make for pretty good books.

I think he’s responsible for the dollhouse, and he’s responsible for Nicole’s disappearance, and a few of the other dangers the girls have faced. That’s why so many of their big events feel so staged. Because they were intended to make the girls feel like they were in danger, while they never were. Thus making the girls view him as a savior when he inevitably shows up to save the day.

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anonymous asked:

Hi. I've always wondered if Greta was really a lesbian? It may be a strange question but I'm very curious about her and it would be nice if you could answer that. I know that nobody today can safely say what really happened but it would be great if you told me what you think about that. Thanks in advance! :)

Hey, anon!  This isn’t a strange question at all. :) And you’re right, nobody today can ever really know what happened; Garbo herself was so secretive, anyone involved is long since dead, and Garbo’s surviving family is so uncomfortable/ dismissive and refuses to answer any questions about her sexuality.  But there are plenty of anecdotes that (in my mind) show that she was probably some shade of queer; here’s a handful:

-She refused to get married or agree to a studio-arranged marriage for the sake of publicity.

-She had a long-running relationship with Mercedes de Acosta; de Acosta and friends of both confirmed the nature of their relationship, and their letters to one another do the same (in a roundabout way; even in her personal writing, Garbo *was* rather guarded*).

-Other probable relationships (& flings) include Lilyan Tashman & Tallulah Bankhead, & Louise Brooks (Tallulah and Louise both claimed to have slept with Garbo; Garbo never talked about any of this, of course). There’s also some debate about whether or not she and Marlene Dietrich met in Berlin and had an ill-fated affair there before either starred in American films (this is one of the central points in “The Girls: Sappho Goes to Hollywood,” which is absolutely fantastic and contains a lot of info on Garbo’s sexuality.)

-Biographer Barry Paris wrote in his book that, from what he found, it seems like Garbo was “technically bisexual, predominantly lesbian, and increasingly asexual as the years went by.”

- Presentation/fashion isn’t inherently linked to sexuality, but Garbo did prefer tailored suits, slacks and a more “masculine” look. She also often played around with gender/pronouns— for example, she often referred to herself as a “bachelor” & would say things like “when I was a little boy…”

-The most heartbreaking, in my mind— Garbo’s letters to her friend Mimi Pollack. They all read like a tragic, Garbo-esque romance…. and to some (myself included) it seems like she never really got over the one-sided crush on her friend.  Amusingly, when Mimi wrote Garbo to tell of the birth of her child in 1930, Garbo replied:

“Incredibly proud to be a father"

And (the one I find most heart-wrenching) from one of Garbo’s letters earlier that same year, a response to Mimi telling her she was pregnant:

“We cannot help our nature, as God has created it. But I have always thought you and I belonged together.”

These are just some of the anecdotes I can remember offhand; there’s a lot of info out there, and while it is near impossible to confirm anything… I do think, yes, given what we know, that Garbo was probably sapphic/queer.

(If you want to know more, get your hand on a copy of “The Girls: Sappho Goes to Hollywood,” quite a bit of which is devoted to Garbo.  Kate Swenson’s biography [Greta Garbo: A Life Apart] is a long read, but contains quite a bit on Garbo’s sexuality, too.  Barry Paris’s bio of Garbo wasn’t quite as good, but also had a bit on her sexuality, too.  Also, if you haven’t already, watch Queen Christina; her performance in that movie… it’s kind of revealing/the most queer performance we have, and it’s perfect. *sigh*)

Luna is a mirror.

In my more fanciful moments, I truly believe this. In Princess Celestia you see power, you see glory, you see knowledge and law. You are helpless not to be awed by it. And in Princess Luna, you see yourself. And you are just as helpless against the truth of what you see.

“Hey, uh, Rarity? Are you in there?”

“What? Oh, yes. What is it, Twilight?”

“I asked how your Canterlot shop was doing lately.”

My eyes are on Luna again, and I force myself to respond before Twilight fades out of view and I forget what she asked me once again.

I chuckle. “I’d love to talk business, darling, but I’m afraid I’ve had a little too much wine. I don’t have much of a head for numbers right now.”

“You’ve had two sips from that glass.”

“Yes, well, I’m a notorious lightweight.”

“That is the least true thing I’ve ever… and Pinkie is naked in the punch bowl. Excuse me.”

“Of course. Please thank her for removing her dress this time.”

In the distance, I hear Pinkie shout, “I’m the secret ingredient!” And I’m sure I hear more than a few cheers along with it. It seems we’re having our usual effect on important state events. I don’t think Twilight would have it any other way, really.

…Goodness, where was I? Ah, yes. Luna.

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“Wolfs and dogs are natural enemies, but when the destiny grabbed his arms on it, this story fulfilled all the clichés of a beautiful and tragic romance..”

How would I start the book about Sandor Clegane and Sansa Stark.

@starryoak and I just had a blast coming up with a story line in which Captain Underpants (not Mr. Krupp), after hearing George and Harold gush so much about Nurse Offstill, and then being nursed back to health by her after an accident several times, develops feelings for her that he wasn’t supposed to. Here are the best parts. 

*Nurse Offstill is woken up in the middle of the night by something tapping on her apartment window. She thinks it’s a bird but when she steps out onto her balcony to check, Captain Underpants is floating there. With a bouquet.*

CU: Health Related Citizen! I came to… uh.. um… *blush* Give you these flowers! In thanks for your faithful service to me and my sidekicks many times! When I asked my sidekicks what girls like, they said flowers. Well, George said flowers. Harold said he didn’t know. So I went with flowers! Thank you for saving me from malicious plant life and other hazards many times over! 
*George and Harold thought he was referring to Edith when he asked them about girls and what they like* 
Offstill: *yawning* Krupp, that’s very sweet of you, but I can’t accept these. 
CU: Why not? 
Offstill: Newsflash. You have a girlfriend. 
CU: *blinks innocently* I do? 
Offstill: Yes. Edith Anthrope. Remember her? 
CU: Is she as nice and as beautiful as you? Does she help save children as well as you do? I must have heard of her from my sidekicks, surely. If my sidekicks trust someone, I trust them!
Offstill: She is very, VERY nice, and gorgeous. As for saving children, well…she’s not a nurse, but she…feeds them? *doesn’t want to bring up how most of the kids at the school hate Edith’s cooking*
CU: Oh! I must ask my sidekicks about her! I clearly must have slipped up! Do you know if she likes flowers? I believe George may not have been properly informed, since you’re a girl and you didn’t like the flowers…. What DO girls like?
Offstill: I know Edith loves music. Go serenade her or something. But not, like, right now. Do it tomorrow evening. She’ll love it.
CU: That sounds great! And now I know her name! That’s the best start to friendships!…. TRA-LA-LA! *grinning* And I LOVE singing! I have my own theme song and everything! Wanna hear it? My sidekicks came up with it!
Offstill: Maybe some other time. It’s two in the morning and my neighbours won’t appreciate it. 
CU: I’ll come back later, then! When do your neighbours appreciate singing most? 
Offstill: They actually don’t appreciate it at all. Listen, next time I have to come to George and Harold’s treehouse to cure you, you can sing it to me then.
CU: That sounds like a wonderful plan!
Offstill: *tired of this now* Great. Fabulous. See you then. 
*CU leaves and Nurse Offstill goes back to bed muttering about how weird her life has become* 

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the thing that cracks me up the most about HOO is that the war with the giants was meant to be 1000x worse than the Titan War. everyone was pissing themselves that Gaea was waking up, and Olympus closed doors, and Hera was captured, and everyone was soooooo afraaaaaid to go to Rome and Greece. But like????? Nobody actually died?? (nobody important at least) Jason and his friends had a jolly good time, Hazel came back from the dead once already and that Thanatos unchained thing was damn convenient to avoid real casualties… like tbh nothing was really that scary until Tartarus? There were no Sirens, no hiding on Luke’s boat, no Typhon and blowing up a volcano, no Manhattan fucking asleep and an army actually fighting amongst civilians, no insanity from the Labyrinth??

Like I can’t even count how many people died in PJO? Zoe, Daedalus, Castor, Luke, Silena, Charles, Lee Fletcher, Michael Yew, Pan, Bianca, so many more. Clarisse learnt to soften up, Rodriguez went insane, Ethan fucking carved his own eye out for his mom, Rachel went almost crazy with the visions and crashed a damn helicopter, so many campers died in the last two books. And then HOO comes along promising 1000x the horror and the sadness and everybody gets a damn happy ending? It took the 7 on a warship to cross the Aegean, and Reyna makes it on a pegasus (okay badass but sounds fake okay). A lot of Huntresses died in the last one (Phoebe RIP) but like that’s a copout death tbh we all didn’t think too much about Phoebe. It was all forced romances and tragic backstories but there was no fleshing out the characters. We saw Luke’s motivations, where were Octavian’s? We felt actual sadness and horror every single time with Percy, but in HOO it wasn’t that poignant? After a certain point in the series, somewhere around Mark of Athena, it was clear Rick wasn’t really gonna hurt anybody, he wasn’t really gonna do anything big like he did in PJO. It was just monsters after monsters and some light ~drama~ between the 7 + Nico. There was no fleshing out of the human character at all. Let’s not even forget all the OOC shit that happened like Annabeth held on to the memory of Luke for 5 years and still thinks fondly of him she ain’t the person to just get up and forget about Percy’s dark side like she will definitely work at it. And Percy….. okay Percy. First of all, he hated Hercules why would he be upset he didn’t get to meet him like he sacrificed his coat for Zoe?? Second of all this entire rivalry thing is all good and all but like this boy is obviously traumatized from Tartarus and stuff and we didn’t even got a POV???? NOTHING TO EVEN TELL US HOW EXACTLY HE’S COPING AND FEELING ABOUT IT? And Rick has the audacity to say that Percy is upset he’s not involved in saving the world much like pls look at the boy look at him and tell me he just doesn’t wanna go home and hug his mom and never fucking fight again. Rick got it right in TOA with Percy in the wrong place at the wrong time, but BOO was just….. bad.

Rick basically had a trope. He would give an unspeakable backstory to our new characters, something they would NEVER tell anyone bc oh how the lord will judge them (rolls eyes) and then when their friends find out, oh look, nothing happens. Then there’s an unspeakable villain that they must defeat, and they’re all shivering and quaking in their boots, there’s some fainting and fighting, but nobody is really hurt. And then everyone’s gonna find a love interest somehow, ignore all the trauma and the pain, forget that they spent some time in Purgatory or that they were teenagers on a warboat fighting monsters day and night for months, and stay alive! Obviously only 1 pep talk will make Annabeth ignore Percy’s dark side, and obviously some pizza fixed the boy right up ofc. Rick didn’t even have the decency to kill Leo off and let him stay dead, ofc he paired him up with that chick on that island that conveniently falls in love with him. And Magnus Chase is written brilliantly and differently, but Trials of Apollo is starting to show similar tropes with the exception that it’s Apollo’s narration and he’s a god so that’s different. In the end, the final war was so…. lame? We had Hades emerge from the grounds turning the tide. We had Poseidon ride in forgoing his battle with Oceanus to win the war with Typhon. We had a heartbreaking final scene with Luke. It was so beautiful, so sad, so poignant, like Harry Potter but shorter. HOO was so poorly written, except for obscure mythology, new characters and shock factors that weren’t so shocking. Rick basically gave us a series that was just a bunch of fan service, what we didn’t even ask for in the first place, and whole bunch of hot air in a super grand balloon with a smiley face on it, instead of a warship marked with death.

anyway TL;DR HOO was meant to be more tragic and more beautifully written and better and bigger than PJO and it just fell so damn short it’s fucking hilarious. Basically the 1st person narrative is a whole lot better to write tbh it would have been better if he just wrote it that way would have left a lot more space and time to actual plot and development. i loved the new characters and the diversity and backstories, but BOO was soooooo bad it basically ruined the whole series for me


i will always love you {multiship}

I decided to make this vid because I keep seeing that commercial for that movie The Hitman’s Bodyguard, like the site I’m on just loves playing that commercial so “I Will Always Love You” got stuck in my head and I went, you know what would be amazing? If I tore myself up and made a vid of all of my favourite tragic romances or of all of my OTPs I thought deserved better. So! Enjoy.

Peter Parker has been through his fair share of relationships. We all know how his life Gwen Stacy met its tragic end, and he has romanced quite a few spider-girlfriends. No Spidey relationship is more iconic than his with Mary Jane Watson. MJ and Peter were meant to be together, or so we all thought. Sadly, Peter destroys his own marriage, slowly and painfully.

We can’t fault him too much for it, though, and neither can Mary Jane. He ruined their marriage by doing what he did best: being a hero. Peter struck a deal with the devil, literally. He traded his happiness for Aunt May’s life, and lost his connection to his wife in the process. MJ understood, of course, but that had to sting a little, and their relationship never recovered from the slow, internal destruction.


Yay for more CBR bullshit spin!

How exactly is making one deal on one day killing your marriage slowly?

As for MJ understanding…no. She argued against it in OMD until Peter emotionally manipulated her into it by putting the burden on her.

As for their relationship never recovering WTF was all the build up between Spider Island and Dying Wish exactly?

And also fuck no Peter didn’t destroy his marriage by being a hero.

He destroyed it by being an OOC selfish moron.

the main characters of svtfoe watching Titanic

(inspired by a conversation with @lawchan89— it was too good not to post)

Star: gushes over the romance, and Leo DiCaprio, cries her eyes out during all the sad parts.

Marco: gets a little sappy during the romance, argues “there was totally room for two people on that piece of furniture!” … while tearing up at the tragedy.

Janna: gags at the romance, is the worst kind of person and laughs ‘til her sides hurt when all the tragic stuff happens.

Tom: starts sniffling the second romance starts, denies he’s crying, but he’s bawling the second the boat hits the iceberg and he only gets worse. he goes through three boxes of tissues.


Jackie Lynn: is the toughest of them all, and just tears up a little during the tragedy. otherwise, finds it kinda boring.

Pony Head: makes lewd comments and bad commentary thru the whole thing.

Glossaryck: too annoyed at the fact that they turned a tragic event into a sappy blockbuster movie that’s way too long. seriously. three hours.

Kelly: falls asleep ten minutes in.

tag urself i’m marco & kelly

Of course, this is still a rollicking adventure tale and no adventure is complete without a love story. And, yes, these books have one — the longest, most tortured one in Marvel history, in fact. We’re talking about Steve and Bucky, without smirking or innuendo or raised eyebrows. Platonic though the relationship may be, from the meet cute to the tragic separation, their bond has all the elements of a classic romance. These two men love each other — as any pair of friends who faced exclusion, combat, inhumanity, and death would. Their bond stretches across half of the twentieth century. The loss of it gnaws at Steve throughout modern day, and it slices his heart in half when the Winter Soldier rears his tormented, homicidal head. Just as Jeph and Tim’’s earlier Daredevil: Yellow, Spider-Man: Blue, and Hulk:  Gray all dealt with the major love interests in, the heroes’ lives, so too does Captain America: White. Steve and Bucky are each other’s soulmate, if you will, because no one on Earth understands what either of them has been through as well as the other does. These books deal deftly with the strengths and weaknesses that relationship engenders. As the Red Skull himself says to Bucky, “The Captain has a…‘soft spot’ for you. A spot I intend to put a bullet into this very evening.” Soldiers fight for their country. They fight for themselves. They fight for each other. And sometimes they die for these things, too. The ones who don’t, carry the memory of the ones who did for the rest of their days.  Steve Rogers is no different.
—  Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely (writers of Captain America movies + Avengers Infinity War) about Steve and Bucky in Captain America: White [x]

I… I am so worried for mikayuu after all the theories i read so far…

Ons isn’t getting a happy ending after all huh…. I cannot believe they’ll seriously do this to us wow…

Rip mikayuu, rip all the shippers and rip the rest of the fandom///

ladysonagi-deactivated20160404  asked:

NOW, how about Miraculous Ladybug, Hunger Games AU? e u e"

Holy HECK I have been thinking about a Hunger Games AU for a while. I am super sorry that this took so long. I’ve been trying to write this properly, but this has been sitting in my inbox for so long, so I’m just going to throw my outline at you okay

  • Okay so it is the 52rd Annual Hunger Games
  • Marinette is fifteen years old when she’s chosen as District 8’s female representative. Her male cohort is a fourteen year old named Nathanaël, who is absolutely terrified of the games. He cries on the way to the Capitol
  • Just to establish, Nathanaël’s had a crush on Marinette for ages, but he never said anything because he is a weenie
  • The only other two districts that technically matter here are District 1 and District 11
  • From District 1 is Chloé Bourgeois and Adrien Agreste. Longtime “sweethearts” and a shoo-in to win the games
  • I put that in quotation marks because Adrien’s kind of keeping up appearances because Chloé’s father is the most powerful man in District 1. A boy’s gotta marry rich, you know? Adrien was picked for the Games, and then Chloé volunteered to go with him, spouting out how tragic their romance is and all that crap. She’s also very into the idea of living in honor and glory should she win the games
  • Chloé hangs onto Adrien basically the entire time and gives them names like the golden duo bc of their hair and how they’re in love and oh, how tragic that their love must come to an end like this and- yeah you get it
  • Adrien isn’t really all happy to go to the games, and he’s even less happy that his father is encouraging him to go into the death games and die
  • From District 11 is Alya and Nino: two kids who’ve grown up together and make a better team than most
  • They decided that if one of them got chosen for the Games, they both would go, because they’re too close to let the other go die without them. It’s a pact they’ve had for a while. So guess what happened this year?
  • So during the whole “Presentation of the Tributes” thing, Marinette is dressed as a Ladybug, because Marinette came to the Capitol with a small ladybug pin, and her designer was completely inspired. Nathanaël got the ladybug treatment too, but more muted, putting the focus almost completely on Marinette
  • During the games and stuff, Marinette was called the Ladybug, because of her incredible luck and her tendency to favor red
  • Meanwhile, both Adrien and Chloé got kitty-fied. Chloé was presented as a white cat, and Adrien as a black cat. The designers both really liked cats and wanted to present cats as a luxury item? But yeah coupled with Adrien’s natural speed and agility he was branded the Black Cat of District 1
  • During training, Nathanaël doesn’t do very well because he’s kind of wimpy, but he’s got good finesse and can probably handle himself around sharp without dying
  • Marinette’s defines herself pretty easily. She’s graceful as hell and dodges projectiles like she’s been doing it her whole life. Not only that, but she has astounding upper body strength. Adrien notices her during training and he kind of falls in love a little bit. Both Chloé and Nathanaël notice that, and neither are happy about it. Chloé less so
  • Adrien approaches her and tries to form an alliance with her right off the bat, but Marinette is hesitant, mostly because she thinks that he’s really cute but doesn’t want to get involved with anyone before her inevitable death
  • Instead, Marinette form an alliance with Alya and Nino. Marinette gets along especially well with Alya, and teases her lightly about her crush on Nino
  • Alya is very good with projectiles, like slingshots and frisbee-style weapons, and they train by Alya trying to hit her and Marinette dodging. Nino is better with a sword/throwing knives. He also does some training with Marinette
  • And then they get thrown into the games
  • Nathanaël dies during the bloodbath, and Marinette carries the guilt of his death with her through the rest of the game, because she abandoned him
  • Marinette has a lot of fans in the Capitol. She becomes the sweetheart of the Hunger Games with her cute face and her upbeat attitude. (But it is all an act he is vicious absolutely v i c i o u s.) Early on, one of her sponsors gives her a metal yo-yo. Marinette uses it as a grappling hook, a projectile, and a blunt object
  • Marinette does her best to keep her two allies alive, but Chloé, still bitter about Adrien giving Marinette attention, kills Nino via a bludgeon to the head while he was sleeping
  • Alya wakes up to find her best friend in the entire world dead, and before Marinette can stop her, Alya plunges a knife into her chest and bleeds out on top of Nino
  • Marinette is distraught and panicked after the death of both of her friends, so she runs. She runs straight into the arms of one Adrien Agreste.
  • She leaps back into a defensive stance, and Adrien can see that she is ready to kill him. But he can also see that she is wavering. Her eyes (normally bright as the sky) are red and watery, and her usually strong posture is slack, like she’s ready to fall over and admit defeat. He drops his weapon and just holds her while she cries
  • He offers to form an alliance with her again, and he leaves his Career Alliance to cement it
  • Adrien and Marinette are off on their own, and boy howdy are they powerful
  • Together, they shine brighter. They move as one unit, and when a tribute or arena event attack them, they fight back full force. They are beautiful together, and everyone in the Capitol loves them, and (not so subtlety) try to push them together romantically
  • Now Chloé is just steaming. She is so upset about Adrien leaving her for Marinette, so she attempts to kill Marinette. Unfortunately for her, Marinette is not a defenseless Nino, and decapitates Chloé with her own sword
  • There are only a few people left, and Marinette and Adrien seem unstoppable
  • Unfortunately, the only other alliance in the game ambushes them. Marinette and Adrien fight hard, but when an arrow goes flying for Marinette’s chest, Adrien jumps in the way and the arrow lodges itself firmly in his heart. He falls, and Marinette snaps. She goes crazy with revenge and wipes out all but one of the other tributes - the boy who killed Adrien. He escapes, leaving Marinette cradling Adrien’s head in her lap. She sobs over him, and just before Adrien dies, he places a soft kiss on Marinette’s lips,, and mumbles out a single “Je t'aime”
  • It’s down to two tributes now: Marinette, and the boy who killed Adrien. She thinks that his name is Kim. And Marinette has two choices now. She can either die, or she can kill Kim and live. In the end when Kim comes to find her, she makes her choice
  • She’s on her knees with Kim grabbing her by the hair. He’s holding an arrow in his hand, poised to her throat. Her eyes are closed and she’s crying, but there’s a smile on her face
  • “Thank you,” she says, right before Kim skewers her throat with the arrow
  • Marinette falls
  • The cannon sounds



This manga is amazing. Its dark, creative, has fantasy, enough romance and beautifully tragic. All three brothers loved the poison princess in a different way, and it changed them in ways unknown to them. It was a great read, kept me intrigued and I loved the graphics. It came with a bittersweet end which made me left thinking “d'aww but what if,” haha xD soooo~~ I highly recommend it! ^_^

Oh and of course, all credits for the pictures go towards the respectful parties and amazing artists :)

anonymous asked:

Wait cherik was canon?

It’s like…99% canon. The writers and director and cast of XMFC have all in multiple interviews used the phrase “tragic romance” and similar terms to talk about Charles and Erik, and in comics-land, it’s very repeatedly clear that they’re each other’s only real constant counterpart (check all the x-men comics stuff I have tagged on this blog for specific examples)–they both have other relationships, obviously, sometimes very meaningful ones, but they come back to each other, go on vacations with each other, rescue each other…

What keeps it from being 100% canon is, of course, the fact that no one’s ever explicitly undeniably said ‘yes, they are in a relationship with romantic/sexual elements’ outright.  Which…honestly is kind of ridiculous, because if either of them was a woman, they’d’ve been dating for DECADES. 

I have nothing against Moira as a character, but Charles clearly did not have any romantic interest in her, nor she in him (other than casual flirting, but Charles flirts with EVERYONE: it’s part of the persona he’s constructed, and impersonal) in XMFC (and I say this as someone with a PhD that involves the analysis of narrative) and trying to make it happen in XMA is just…no, okay, narratively you haven’t earned it, and it’s also ignoring the spirit of XMFC and everything the cast and crew have said about the relationships and the heart of the prequels being Charles and Erik (whether or not you read it romantically, it’s about mutual love and the pain of that love).

Super Paper Mario and the smashing of masculine tropes

At the intersection of the post I just reblogged and Super Paper Mario Day (this time, its seventh anniversary) being tomorrow, I just thought of SPM in a way I ’d never really considered and found a whole new way to appreciate it.

It really is a refreshingly female game. Now, of course I’m not saying that people of other genders wouldn’t like it (I know many guys who do!) or that all females would, or that females are defined by these sorts of things, or anything like that. But when you think of that tiresome stereotype of “gamer machismo” - you know, first-person shooter war games, objectified or damsel-in-distress women and power fantasies of muscular white guys with a slight stubble, perhaps in high-tech space armor - SPM is really the opposite of all that.

The plot-driving McGuffins of the game are hearts. Magical hearts that contain the power of love itself. Your constant companion is a rainbow butterfly.  The oft-kidnapped princess Peach is the second playable character you get besides Mario himself, with a feisty personality and more agency than she’s had in the vast majority of the wide library of Mario adventures. The storyline centers around a tragic romance.

Perhaps most striking of all, the game contains a direct parody of the isolated, defensive geek or “gamer dude” who, we can hope, is becoming a dying breed. Much has been said recently about females in spaces that are traditionally perceived as being male-dominated, such as the realms of “geek culture”; comics, video games, role-playing, and so on. Not only are women trying to break in and make the space more friendly and welcoming for themselves or for anyone who doesn’t fit a particular “nerd” stereotype, but it’s coming to light how diverse the scene has really been all along.

Nonetheless, bring this up on the internet and it isn’t hard to find people who will complain that female geeks are nowadays being petulant, demanding that industries and storytelling cater to them, and trying to push males out of a safe space of escapism and fantasy-fulfillment that they had enjoyed for so long. Some would even claim that female gamers have even been impostors all along! The link at the beginning of this post is one example.

In Super Paper Mario, we are given a metaphor of this concept in the character of Francis, a nerd who keeps himself holed up in a giant fortress filled with comic books, anime DVDs, video game consoles, and robotic cat maids. Francis’s hobbies include trolling forums, occasionally breaking off friendships over a fandom argument, and bashing games he’s never played.

Taking photos of butterflies is another particular interest of his, and to this end he kidnaps the butterfly fairy (technically a Pixl… but close enough) Tippi, fascinated by her beauty. Ignoring her pleas, and seemingly not to pay mind to the fact that she talks at all, he keeps her captive, hoping to use her to gain praise and popularity on the internet. Only when Tippi is freed by her friends Mario, Peach and Bowser is Francis filled with remorse at losing his “friend.”

Francis has a particular room in his fortress that is off limits to everyone except for himself and women, on the off chance that one ever found herself there. Although he enjoys the female characters in the games and anime he consumes, when Peach arrives to save Tippi, he is shocked to find an actual “babe” in his most secret of spaces.

What follows is a dating sim parody in an attempt to win the Princess’s heart. Although the player can choose various options for Peach, going along with Francis’s romancing will eventually result in her angrily breaking the fourth wall, asking who could possibly try to set her up with the creep. In the end, Peach destroys the sim from the inside!

In my experience, Francis’s chapter (and particularly the dating sim) is the most memorable part of the game for many people, and even those who didn’t like SPM overall tend to admit the humor and wit of this particular arc.

I believe that the game overall, and this chapter in particular, provide a satisfying release for those who are sick of the exclusivity and elitism of “geek” or “gamer” culture dominated by specific fantasies of masculinity. It’s also satisfying to see Peach, the traditional damsel in distress, assert her will even over that of the player.

While many mainstream games center on hyper-masculine concepts of power resulting in the ability to dominate, kill and destroy others, Super Paper Mario focuses on the power of love and friendship to heal and restore. It’s a story that’s unafraid to be exactly what it wants to be, with an overall plot refreshingly free from a woman who needs to be rescued (in fact, in a very real sense, there are two male characters who need to be rescued, in different ways). As a young woman, I found this game meshed with me extremely well and I found its messages quite inspiring, but I’ve only just realized how much it specifically meant to me as a girl who has been, for all of her life, a gamer.


{12 Days of SnK}

Day 9:Favorite ship- MOTHER FUCKING RIVETRA.

I could sit here for hours just telling you how much I fucking love this ship. I don’t care if she’s dead. I think I love tragic romances and star crossed lovers and all that sappy jazz.  It’s the kind of romance that makes me laugh AND cry.

I think I love this ship for more personal reasons. It’s because of this ship that I’ve made so many rad friends. I’m so glad to know them and I’m glad we can share a commonality because of these two dorks.