and how it must be for both of them having another version of themselves out there

What we really need is an adaptation of the original 1740 The Beauty and the Beast

So were you aware that the The Beauty and the Beast story we all know is a heavily abridged and rewritten version of a much longer novella by Gabrielle-Suzanne Barbot de Villeneuve?  And that a lot of the plot holes existing in the current versions exist because the 1756 rewrite cut out the second half of the novella, which consisted entirely of the elaborate backstory that explains all the weird shit that happened before?  And that the elaborate backstory is presented in a way that’s kind of boring because the novel had only just been invented in 1740 and no one knew how they worked yet, but contains a bazillion awesome ideas that beg for a modern retelling?  And that you are probably not aware that the modern world needs this story like air but the modern world absolutely needs this story like air?  Allow me to explain:

The totally awesome elaborate backstory that explains Beauty and the Beast

  • Once upon a time there was a king, a queen, and their only son
  • But while the prince was still in his infancy, in a neat reversal of how these fairy tales usually go, the king tragically died, leaving his wife to act as Regent until their son reaches maturity
  • Unfortunately, the rulers of all the lands surrounding them go, “Hmm, the kingdom is ruled by a woman now, it must be weak, time for an invasion!”
  • And the Queen goes, “Well, if I let some general fight all these battles for me, he’ll totally amass enough fame and power to make a bid for the throne; if I want to protect my son’s crown, I have no choice but to take up arms and lead the troops myself!
  • (Btw, I want to stress that this woman is not Eowyn or Boudica and nothing in the way her story is presented suggests that she had any interest martial exploits before or in any way came to enjoy them during these battles.  This is a perfectly ordinary court lady who would much rather be embroidering altar covers for the royal chapel and playing with her child until necessity made her go, “Oh no, this sucks, I guess I have to become a Warrior Queen now” and she just happened to kick ass at it anyway.)
  • And the Queen totally kicked ass, but the whole “twice as good for half the credit” thing meant that no matter how many battles she won, potential enemies refused to take her and her army seriously until she had defeated them so no sooner would she fend off one invasion than another one would pop up on a different border.
  • So she spent the majority of her young son’s life away from the castle leading armies, but it was OK because she left him in the care of her two best friends, who just happen to be fairies!  This was an awesome idea because a) fairies have magic, and therefore are like the best people to protect the prince from any threats and b) fairies consider themselves to be so above humanity that the lowest fairy outranks the highest mortal, so they’d have no interest in taking a human throne.  Good thing they were both good fairies instead of one good and one evil one!
  • (Spoiler:  they were not both good fairies.)
  • So the two fairies basically take turns raising the prince until he’s old enough to rule.  And on the eve of his twenty-first birthday, the evil older one comes into the prince’s bedroom.
  • “So listen, kid.  You’re about to become king, your mother’s on her way home from the war to see you crowned, and I have a third piece of good news for you!  You see, I’ve actually been spending so much time here lately because Fairyland’s become a bit too hot to hold me for reasons totally not related to me being secretly evil.  And if I have to hang in the human world, I might as well reside in the upper echelons of it, so even though as a powerful fairy I completely eclipse your puny human status in a staggeringly unimaginable way, since you’re about to be king and since my premonition that I should stick this whole guardianship thing out because you would be hot one day has totally proved accurate (go me), I will graciously lower myself to allowing you to marry me.  Please feel free to grovel at my feet in gratitude.  (Btw, we can totally start the wedding night now, we’ll tell your mother about it when she arrives tomorrow.)”

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{PART 29} I Won’t Stop You // Jeon Jungkook, Vampire!AU

Originally posted by jengkook

Pairing: Jungkook x Reader

Genre: Vampire!AU, Fantasy, Angst, Smut

Summary; After a much needed rest, you wake up to find that your world - as a Vampire, is still filled with the same love from Jungkook as it was when you were human. Decisions must be made - but you know that you’ll never have to walk alone.

“Without her, his mind became an empty vessel; filled with crippling emptiness and sorrow. But with her, his days would be forever filled with endless love and possibilities. For that; was the power of her love.

I update this series every Tuesday evening, 9pm-10pm (UK Time) 

{Part 1} //{Part 28} {Part 29} {Final Chapter: Part 30}

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The 1 Element Your Flawed Character MUST HAVE

If you’re a reader, you’ve probably experienced this before: you pick up a book, it seems pretty interesting, you nonchalantly decide to read it – “whatever, might be good” – and then … 

A paperback explodes life as you know it.  

Encountering a book like this can give life sudden clarity, it can change the way you look at the world, it can help you overcome something and grow, it can give you new purpose, it can inspire you to change your life, it can transform your future. By the time you’ve finished that book, it has become a part of your life – and will probably remain that way forever. (*Holds up my battered copy of Narnia as evidence*)

This magical experience is pretty much the ultimate goal for a reader. But if you’re a reader AND a writer, the fulfilling moment is inevitably marred by one depressing thought:  

“I’ll never write anything that good.”  

To which I say:

I beg to differ, little discouraging voice. With dedication and persistence, anyone can write a story that will be deeply meaningful to a reader. 

The trick? It needs to be deeply meaningful to the writer first. 

If a writer is going to give a reader a life-altering piece of knowledge, that means the writer already has that knowledge to give. We have all experienced things worthy of a story. We are all characters, journeying through arc after arc, becoming better or worse. From living these stories, we learn and see things more clearly, just as protagonists do. Which means we have something to say, something to write about, something to give. 

But to do so, we have to shoot for art.

The word art seems terribly vague, unattainable, and intimidating. But I don’t think it has to be. By “art” I’m going by the definitions given in two of my favorites quotes about writing (writing is art, so these apply): 

“Art is born when the temporary touches the eternal.” – G K  Chesterton

and

“…It is an art. It is the best of all possible art, a finite picture of the infinite.” – N D Wilson  

Both quotes state the same thing, in different ways. Art is about depicting and communicating something true, something universal, something everlasting about life and humanity, through something tangibly created. A definition which sounds an awful lot like the definition of metaphor: “a thing regarded as representative or symbolic of something else, especially something abstract.” Which sounds a lot like storytelling, because story IS metaphor. It’s life, condensed and magnified, all of its components there for a specific reason – to represent and convey some deeper meaning. So storytelling is naturally suited to being art. Which is good news for writers.

But it can also mean trouble. Storytelling is proven to be one of the most powerful teaching methods there is; a story actually has the power to get into someone’s head and heart and change everything, because to a reader’s mind the events on the page are actually happening. They’re living another life, a life that seeks to prove whatever the author wants to say. So writers have a responsibility to make sure the meaning of their story is true, morally and logically. 

BUT HOW DOES THIS ALL RELATE TO THE MAIN CHARACTER?!

Your main character is flawed, both in ways that only hurt themselves, and in ways that hurt others. These flaws are causing them to ruin their own lives. If they don’t awaken to this unwelcome truth about themselves, they will be lost. What happens to them over the course of the story, as they go after their singular goal, is going to apply pressure to these flaws until someone new – and most of the time, better – is made. The journey will teach them something, and that knowledge will enable them to overcome their weaknesses and forge a better life. 

And I bet you can guess what that story will teach them. That thing that is deeply meaningful for you, so meaningful you want to share it with readers? Yup, that’s what your main character is going to learn.

It’s going to be the SOLUTION to their inner problems. When it comes to characters, the meaning can be wrestled into three parts, adding up into one concise sentence. 

1) To achieve *a better state of being*

2) One must *moral and mental requirement*

3) Or else *the inner stakes*

To see how this works, let’s look at a fairy tale, the most straightforward example of this concept: 

Let’s see Cinderella (the live-action 2015 version). 

The meaning of the movie is summed up in this scene, and the story seeks to prove it throughout: 

“Have courage and be kind… It has power, more than you know. And magic.”

The story revolves around this notion, and everything seeks to represent it and prove it, in true Fairy Tale fashion.  

So in one line, that Ella’s arc proves: To achieve victory over abusers, one must hold onto their courage, kindness, and goodness no matter what – or else succumb and turn into someone like them. 

Exemplified in her last words to her stepmother, that truly defeat her forevermore:

So! Constructing these sentences can help give our flawed characters a destination to motor towards. Which makes writing their arcs much easier. And maybe we can construct a character arc and story that will become one of those magical reading experiences for a reader. And then, maybe one day, we’ll get letters from our reader, telling us exactly what our stories gave them and how it has saved their life in some small way (or maybe not so small way.) 

If finding a book like this is ultimate goal of a reader, I think getting a letter like that is the ultimate goal for a writer. 

Well, there’s my motivation. Time to go figure out what the heck I want my book to say. 

Novel Length | Stony Fic Recs

Long chaptered fics with delicious slow burn and world building. 

Last updated 4/2/2017.

Fics over 50k words.

Just before the events of Iron Man, a baby is left on Tony’s doorstep. He wants nothing to do with it at first, but his time in Afghanistan changes his mind and Tony vows to become a better man for his son’s sake.

Six years ago, without the Avengers Initiative there to save the day, scientist Dr. Eric Selvig sacrificed himself to save the world, the almighty demi-god Thor was lost to a terrible storm, and vigilante Iron Man – spotted with a nuclear weapon trying to take advantage of the situation – was forever labelled an enemy of SHIELD.

This is a comic book office AU, where Steve is defrosted a year too late, Thor has forgotten who he is, and no one knows Tony is Iron Man.

Also includes: office pranks, inappropriate post-it notes, and superheroes who like pina coladas and getting caught in the rain

Steven Rogers never wanted to be king, but he knows his duty, and he does it well. Lord Tony Stark, the king’s appointed consort, does his duty as well, even though he’d enjoy his duty more if it actually involved sleeping with the king. As it doesn’t, he’s just resigned. The war that made Steve king and cost him nearly everything may be over, but a meeting of old enemies might stir up some ghosts none of them are prepared for.

Steve Rogers has plenty of friends. He just doesn’t know two of them are the same man.

That’s just how Tony Stark/Iron Man likes it. Until he comes to regret it.

And Tony realizes that working out who the Winter Soldier used to be and who he is now are two entirely different things.

Soulmates have their first words to each other written on their wrists. This should make it easy. For Steve and Tony, it is anything but. Steve’s problem is that the future he has awoken into is nothing he was ever expecting: he has a soulmate now. Who might be a robot. And if his soulmate is Iron Man, how can he be so attracted to Tony Stark? It should be impossible. Tony’s problem is that he is Iron Man, his soulmate is a man whom he in no way deserves, and he is going to fight everything in his heart and do his best to make sure Steve never, ever finds out the whole truth.

A visit from a Reed Richards from a parallel world convinces Tony and Steve that they must do whatever they can to prevent their world from falling into Civil War. They can save the world…but at what cost to themselves?

After a tragic accident, Steve is given a chance to go back in time and deliver a warning to Tony in the hope of avoiding their fate. Something’s gone wrong, though, because this is not his world he’s ended up in. And that is definitely not his Tony who’s planning to delete his own brain.

Sometimes your second chance isn’t at all what you were expecting.

Where Steve doesn’t quite die, ends up stranded in the multiverse and would quite like to know how the hell so many versions of himself ended up sleeping with Tony Stark. Well, that’s going to make things a tad awkward when he gets home.

Age of Ultron-based, but not entirely canon compliant. Written for the 2013 Cap-Iron Man Reverse Big Bang. Ultron has attacked, obliterating most of the world’s superheroes and resistance in a matter of hours. The remaining heroes band together and share what strength they have to get through it, to survive, and defeat Ultron once and for all. Steve Rogers grieves in the wake of the disaster and the heroes’ defeat, and no one knows if he will be able to provide the leadership they need–but Tony Stark isn’t about to let him slip away that easily.

When Tony and Steve’s son from the future, Jake Jensen, arrives at Avenger’s Tower, the two of them are forced to confront some hard truths: Tony that he might not actually become a horrible father, and Steve that he might not be able to set aside his discomfort with sharing a child with another man. When they both get a second chance at a first try at fatherhood, it’s up to the two of them to learn from their own future’s past.

Tony Stark spent his childhood making weapons, filling the hole his father left in the world when he succumbed to alcohol, grief, and his own demons. At the age of fifteen, he ran away from home, and made it as far as MIT before all of his responsibilities caught up to him. Now seventeen, he just wants to finish his degree and escape from everything connected to the Stark name.

Steve Rogers crashed into the icy North Atlantic in the 1940’s, sacrificing himself to save the world. He never expected to wake up, and now that he has, he’s not sure he’s glad. The US Army has other plans for him, but for now, Steve is slowly learning to live life in the 21st century, and taking classes at Boston College. He’s beginning to suspect that there is no escape.

Boston College is on the T’s Green Line. MIT is on the Red. The two lines meet at the Park Street Station, and so will Steve and Tony.

Tony goes to see Wanda, and suddenly Steve is alive and there are Skrulls! Or maybe Tony is just going crazy. Nothing happens in this fic, until the very end. Seriously. There’s a lot of talking, mostly at inopportune moments, Tony’s views on the acceptable gifts to give people are slightly different from everyone else’s and he spends more time than would seem necessary being (half-)naked. What else is new?

When Captain Steve Rogers wakes from an injury-induced coma, a lot has changed in the battle against the Kaiju. There are new Jaegers with new pilots, new advances in the study of the beasts, even new rules in the Shatterdome. It’s starting to seem like they’re finally ready to defeat the monsters once and for all, but first Steve must learn to get along with his new team of pilots. Especially the troublesome Tony Stark, who’s proving to be harder to deal with than the Kaiju problem itself.

A story of recovery. In a world without superheroes, Tony Stark, the disinherited son of a billionaire, goes to Afghanistan as an embedded media star, only to be held hostage for months until he’s rescued. During his recovery, his therapist Doctor Bruce Banner prescribes an unusual treatment; volunteer work at a rehab center. He meets an eclectic assembled group including a vet who thinks he’s Thor, a physical therapist who might be a spy, and an all American hero, Steve Rogers. It is Steve Rogers, the soldier in a coma, who captures his interest and, eventually, his heart.

Fics over 100k words

A series rewriting MCU verse, beginning with an alternate version of Iron Man 2, in which, instead of Natasha, Steve got assigned to help Tony while the genius was slowly dying of Palladium poisoning. Continues there in unfolding Steve’s and Tony’s journey through acceptance, trust, and eventually love.

Steve takes things like personal responsibility and respect seriously. Tony’s got people he pays to take care of that kind of thing, and anyway, he’s pretty sure that he’s going to die of some exotic disease in his workshop, because Dummy’s still a little spotty about what is ‘clean’ enough to put on an open wound. The rest of the Avengers are in this for personal gain, except for Clint, he just enjoys being a dick.And some things shouldn’t be a chore.

Tony Stark is Iron Man.

Before that, he was an man with bigger heart than brain. Before that, he was an asshole with a bigger mouth than sense. And before that, he was was a scared little boy. Not that it matters. Stark’s always have had iron in their backbone.

Tony has been held by Stane since his escape from Afghani terrorists, marked dead in the eyes of the world while Stane is free to use his mind, inventions, and company as he sees fit. Tony feels there’s nothing he can do and has resigned himself to death to save those he loves. That would be when JARVIS lets Captain America stumble into his old lab.

Steve has been wandering Avengers Mansion in the steps of a ghost, seeing empty spaces, and recurring oddities that mean nothing to anyone but him. He doesn’t know who left them, or why the ghost lingers. It isn’t even until he enters a dusty lab that things start to fall into place as he meets Anthony, a computer program named for its creator Anthony Stark.

There were days when the realization that he was someone’s father made Steve’s head hurt, but mostly he was grateful that he could trust his instincts, because apparently Peter was what had been missing from his life. Yes, he still had lingering, unresolved issues from his time in the Army, and sure, he had what Bucky annoyingly referred to as a criminally untapped ass, and no life outside of work and Peter, but Steve was okay with how his life had turned out because of trusting his instincts.

Unfortunately, those same instincts had straight up betrayed him by going absolutely haywire upon being exposed to Tony Stark.

Tony is a King with a surprising number of people out to kill him. Steve and the rest of the Avengers are fighting for Pierce’s rebellion and end up with Tony as their prisoner. Oops.

Basically one of those bodice-ripping romance novels I don’t read (ahem) but with far more gay.

A story of revolution.Captain Steve Rogers is just trying to pay off his debt to SHIELD, carting cargo from the Rim worlds to the Inner Belts in his bucket of bolts ship, the Howling Commando. He keeps a low profile and makes sure his crew is safe and happy. But the universe has a different plan for the once highly decorated Captain of the Honor Guard. The universe drops a Courtesan by the name of Tony Stark into his life. The Captain doesn’t like it, but Bucky convinces him that providing transport to the most elusive Courtesan in the Guild could be their ticket to freedom. His crew from the engineer with anger management issues to the pilot who may be a beautiful but deadly assassin wants him to take the commission. What ends up being a simple commission puts his crew in jeopardy and could change all of humanity, because the Courtesan is not really just a pretty face and the Captain of the Honor Guard can fall in love far too easily with a man of conviction - and Tony Stark is a man of conviction.

  • Newborn series by Ilerre | M | 109k | infidelity, body modification, read all warnings

It all started when they stopped trusting each other.

“Billionaire, genius, engineer, philanthropist, submissive.  Yeah, submissive.  Any questions?”

OR

Yet another BDSM-AU.  

So Jarvis is the one who pulls her up onto her feet, presses a tool into one hand and a book into the other and tells her to create. Tells her that if the numbers and the shapes and images in her mind hurt so bad then she should build them, should give them form so that they can finally leave her alone.

Jarvis is the one who finally teaches her how to breathe.

Or

Toni Stark grows up with the tale of Icarus swirling in the back of her mind. Instead of taking it as a precautionary tale about hubris and overreaching she decides it’s more about the limitations of wax.

Years later when she builds herself wings of her own she makes sure to build them out of better material.

He’s The Captain?

This was not good. This was so not good.

There were theories of course, of what The Captain would look like. Most followed the typical Hollywoodesque belief that he was some version of the Godfather, sitting in a dark room with a cigar, commanding his forces with a flick of his wrist. There were even some that even thought that The Captain was not one person, but a whole network of people with eyes and ears everywhere.

The blonde Adonis in front of him was definitely not what Tony was expecting.

Of course, in the end it didn’t matter.

There was a reason no one knew what The Captain looked like.

Because anyone who saw his face never lived to tell the tale.

  • Sins of Omission by Kiyaar | E | 155k - WIP | dark, torture, skrulls (be warned: this hasn’t been updated since 2013)

A Post-Civil War, Pre-Secret Invasion AU where Steve is dead, Tony’s a mess, and everything sucks.

In which Tony deals poorly with Steve’s death, falls off the wagon, sees ghosts, and misses a lot.

Oh, and the Skrulls are about to invade.

When an experiment goes awry, Tony thinks he may have found an answer to his problems and Steve faces something he’s been avoiding for a very long time.

Two men. Two worlds. Life during wartime. 

When Tony was a prince and Steve was his manservant, they were young and reckless and hopelessly in love. But an attack on Tony’s life convinces Steve that he can’t protect Tony, so he leaves in the dead of night to train until he can. Ten years later, Steve returns to the kingdom a strong and able knight, but his king is both furious and broken-hearted. 

Tony is no stranger to paternity claims from his female conquests, there’s a system in place for them. But when one of the tests actually comes back positive, he makes a rash decision to not tell anyone about it, not even Pepper Potts. All Mary Parker wants is for Tony to spend a little time with their son. Tony has a lot to think about in his life now, how he wants to run his company, how his life is going to change with the arc reactor, and what he’s going to do about his son, Peter. Then, the Avengers Initiative pops up, and in waltzes his childhood hero, and enemy, Captain America.

The adventures of Tony as a mutant; how he learned to accept himself and his subsequent growth into his own. Hijinks ensue.


Life Begets Life: Arrow 5x23 Review (Lian Yu)

“Lian Yu” a summary:

I love the journey we take on stories.  I particularly love the journey we take with television. There’s really no medium like this. The experience is over in a couple hours with a movie.  We can control how quickly we read a book (even if we have to wait for additional sequels). But television? Television is a week to week story that spans years. Or at least it is if you watch live from start to finish. Television can be a long and arduous journey. Full of ups and downs. Great episodes and horribly bad ones.  We walk the road with the characters in real time. It’s a serious time investment and the hope is the story eventually connects. That the threads the writers weave come together in the end and we can see the full picture.  "Lian Yu" is one of those rare storytelling gifts that repays all the many years of patience.  

We started this journey with Oliver Queen five years ago. We have walked each step with him. We’ve rejoiced with Oliver in his moments of triumph. 

We’ve grieved with him. 

We threw things at him with every maddening step backward.

Step by step, we’ve watched Oliver come back to life. 

It hurt and he fought it for a long time, but slowly Oliver began to learn how to live again. Instead of shutting himself off, he chose to build a life filled with purpose

honor 

teamwork

friendship

family 

and love. 

He’s clawed his way out of the dark and into the light that was always there, deep inside.  

It was all leading somewhere. A destination, a choice, Oliver had to make. No matter how far Oliver has come there is always a piece of him that remains on the island… and on the boat.  Oliver had to return to Lian Yu, one last time, so he could finally let it go. So he could finally come home.

A hero’s story is fraught with triumph and tragedy. There is both in “Lian Yu.” The great tragedy is once Oliver decides who he is, and is ready for all that entails, he’s faced with an impossible choice and loses what he’s spent years building.

Or did he? Adrian Chase is the master chess player. He was always ten moves ahead, even in the final moments, but perhaps there was a move Chase couldn’t foresee. One Oliver set in motion years ago, in a moment where he clung to the light and held to Diggle and Felicity’s faith in him. A moment where Oliver kept a promise.

Let’s dig in…

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anonymous asked:

can't wait to hear you thoughts on dream daddy leela <333

hihihihi ifjsodifsdf well you’ve probably heard wayyy more of my thoughts on this vid than u bargained for but here’s one last post of things i loved in particular. as i said in so many previous ask responses, i found dnp’s demeanor in this to be so lovely and natural and enthusiastic. they were perhaps less outwardly energetic but to me that just felt like a product of their being reasonably immersed and into the game itself and all the reading that comes with it. i loved so many bits and to make it a little easier i decided to break them up by person. i also did this bc of the volume of people who were concerned about phil being ‘off’ or seeming disinterested or irritated or any number of negative things. i just kind of wanted to make a point of the fact that so many of my fav moments were actually little things from phil as opposed to dan. also i should say ,, shout out to this game itself bc i’m genuinely loving watching it unfold. i’ve not seen any part of the game before so i had no idea what to expect. i wasn’t prepared for how uplifting the concept would be and how interesting all the characters are and i’m genuinely so excited for the next episode not jst bc it’s dan and phil content and i want to watch them play, but bc i just simply want to know what happens next!!!!!!!! so with that being said here are some of my fav moments of the vid, just a small selection of the reasons why i really adored the video overall <3

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Go Go ‘Power Rangers’ (2017 Review)

Is this good? Is this bad? Will my inner-child allow me to judge this appropriately?

“Power Rangers” is a reboot of the classic 1990s action-packed children’s show “Mighty Morphin Power Rangers,” which in turn is based on the Japanese tokusatsu “Super Sentai Series.” It’s directed by Dean Israelite and stars a cast of young actors, as well as Bryan Cranston, Bill Hader and Elizabeth Banks. The film is set in the small, fictional town of Angel Grove, where local high school students Jason Scott, Kimberly Hart and Billy Cranston (Dacre Montgomery, Naomi Scott and RJ Cyler, respectively) are all caught up in detention. Through a series of shenanigans, they come across Trini and Zack (Becky G and Ludi Lin, respectively) as they all discover an ancient, otherworldly construct. It’s there where they meet Zordon (Cranston) and his robot assistant Alpha 5 (voiced by Hader), and attain the responsibility of becoming a powerful team known as the Power Rangers, and to stop the destruction of an ancient, powerful witch known as Rita Repulsa (Banks). 

This is the absolute perfect “what if” movie. The answer to “what if they remade ‘Power Rangers’ for adults” question. This is the film we asked for, albeit cautiously. We really owe it to franchises such as the “Transformers” series, because without them, this film would be seen as an impossible reach.

Being a millennial, I was very much a child when “Power Rangers” had its long television run, and I stayed true through each incarnation, from “Mighty Morphin” to “Lightspeed Rescue,” and considered myself a retired fan after “Dino Thunder” (I was already in middle school at the time). So yes, shameful as it is, I know my shit. As you can see, I want this to be good. But was it?

Yes. Surprisingly, it was pretty good. It’s not shockingly “I thought this was going to be shit but it ended up being amazingly amazing” good. It’s just good.

Here’s one thing that the film does better than the TV show: the acting. In a great departure from the “Saved by the Bell” mood that the 90s actors gave us, we now have grounded, realistic, rebellious teenagers. These new actors fit the “teenagers with attitude” description way better than the 90s actors ever did. You have Montgomery as Jason, playing the rebel who ends up having to deal with the most responsibility. Scott plays Kimberly, the girl who does a good job of not just being the obligatory female casting, or the fighting damsel-in-distress, unlike the original. The dialogue between these two is usually filled with charm, whether its casual banter or a proclamation of their contempt for Angel Grove. 

But they do something different with the rest of the cast, which helps to modernize them. Cyler as Billy provides the humor and keeps the grittiness from ever getting lower and lower. Of the five teenagers, he is the one with the most charisma But he also serves to represent autistic teens everywhere. Yes, unlike the television counterpart, they made the Blue Ranger autistic, which is a pretty bold and commendable step for something based off a children’s property.

To keep the ball rolling, they then make Becky G’s Trini represent lesbians and confused, oppressed teenagers everywhere. Okay, this film had me at shedding light on autism, but encouraging more LGBT representation? Hats off to you, Lionsgate and Saban. Despite this, I found Becky G’s performance to be slightly annoying until about halfway through the movie, when they developed her much more, and gave her a more integral role in the plot. 

While I praised the rest of the cast, I’d have to drop the axe on Ludi Lin as Zack, the Black Ranger.  Compared to all these convincing performances, Lin’s is absolutely haphazard. The way he is introduced is to set up how much of a cocky outsider he is, so naturally he’s by himself. He then starts speaking to himself, which is one of my absolute biggest pet peeves in a movie. I despise movie moments where normal-functioning people start speaking or quipping to themselves, the only sensible reason being that the writers assume the audience is too dumb to know what the character is thinking. I get it if a character has schizophrenia or another mental illness, or if the words are limited to comedic inner-banter, but not in this case. He’s someone with decent social-competence and no reason to quarrel with himself, other than provide exposition to the audience.

But like Trini, I did find him to be much less annoying when he opened up. They gave him a pretty touching backstory with his own troubles, and they make his motivations really apparent. And just to keep the ball rolling, he’s also the most foreign one of the group, being bilingual, unlike the original black ranger. Now that I think about it, many of the Power Ranger series’ casts don’t feature any overtly foreign characters, apart from maybe of an alien race. 

That is precisely why this casting works. Whether or not you find these characters annoying, you can’t doubt that they’re there for a good reason, and you might even warm up to them as the movie progresses. They also help to introduce bouts of political correctness, but they aren’t preachy or condescending about it (which is really the only good way to go about political correctness). They represent people of various colors, mental states and social capabilities, showing (but not telling) that everyone is capable of extraordinary things as long as they have camaraderie.

I can’t say much about Cranston as Zordon. It’s a great homage, seeing as how Cranston has actually been a part of “Power Rangers” since the original television show, where he voiced many of the villains they face. I do love his voice-work here, and while it took some getting used to, I ended up really liking how they presented him. Rather than a chubby, floating head in a tube, they made him manifest into a wall, kind of like one of those pinpression toys. Not to mention they could have easily made him a one-dimensional character. But they went above and beyond to give him his own arc, his own set of feelings and doubts, and a world of lore behind him.

If you thought Alpha 5 was annoying in the television show, then you can rest your worries because Bill Hader fixed him up good. The original’s voice was so high-pitched and screechy; basically in typical 90s fashion (or how the 90s thought Aliens would sound like). This time, he just kind of does the same thing he did as Fear from “Inside Out,” except less screaming. His design had me slightly worried but I got used to it.

Now, Elizabeth Banks as Rita Repulsa has me split down the middle. On the one hand, I do like that at least ONE person in this entire film is trying to recall the absurdity and campiness of the original series. At the same time, I found her to be over-the-top, and incredibly outlandish compared to the rest of the grounded cast. She is guilty of overacting here, which is both a blessing and a curse. The prosthetics on her are amazing though, from both start to finish. She starts out as an outright horror character, which is something I didn’t expect to see even in the gritty version of a children’s property. 

If you kept up with me for this long, you know that a recurring theme here is that this film takes several risks that are rather uncharacteristic of a children’s property. Sure, there are hints of silliness to try and match the youthful appeal of the original, but they also throw in more mature bits of humor, about things such as drug tests and jacking off a cow (no joke). Me personally, I welcome these jokes. If anything, this is much more of a film for the adults who grew up watching “Power Rangers,” rather than children. The maturity really shines through in the form of character development and chemistry.

I must say that if you are bringing a child to watch this, keep in mind there will be mild swearing, and several mature jokes.

A common criticism (ad nauseam, pretty much) is that this film is a forced collision between two different movies. Two thirds of the movie is essentially the origin story, which focuses mainly on character development. At the same time, this is the section that appeals to the audience the most, whether you’re fans of the original or not. No one comes into anything titled “Power Rangers” and expects to feel for the characters. But through one particular scene where all the characters develop a kinship, we develop a peculiar attachment to each of them. It was at this moment that I’m glad these people are the ones I’m spending five more movies with (Yup, that’s right).

But when it sticks to the original, it definitely sticks, and that’s where the last third of the movie comes in. If you’re looking for cool looking suits fighting monsters with martial arts and gymnastics, you will get it. If you’re looking for giant robot dinosaurs battling another giant monster, you will get it. And MOST OF ALL, if you want to, at least once, hear the iconic theme song, you will get it. In all it’s pure, epic goodness.

But this is where I have to defend my appreciation for this movie, because many people will come in accusing me of being “blinded by nostalgia.” Despite having these borrowed features from the original show, there is really nothing nostalgic about it. The action here is far better than most of the show’s episodes. There is no silliness to be had apart from what would be silly by realistic standards (as opposed to having two obligatory bully characters).

Even some elements taken from the show are vastly different. Case in point: Rita, who in this film is actually getting shit done by herself rather than sitting up in some moon tower yelling at everyone.

Even the formula of the show is broken up here. Back then, everything was so fast-paced to where every time a new series was brought in, the new team of Power Rangers would unrealistically form intimate familial connection and extraordinary abilities within 20 minutes. This film actually shows you that the Power Rangers had to train for this, both physically and mentally. They didn’t just have these abilities bestowed upon them as a result of the plot rushing it together. You see them work for it, which is something I really appreciated about it.

I had to bring that up because many of the people who didn’t like this film will be quick to see reactions like mine and guilt me for “nostalgia.” But that “tone difference” that they’re faulting this for is the reason why you can’t pin nostalgia on this. All that means is that everything I liked about this film has been on its own merits, maybe (at most) perpetuated by quick little homages to the original. 

I suppose before I wrap this up I should mention one more thing. Not really a problem, but more like something I wish happened: I wish they played the theme song more. It was wonderful hearing the iconic theme song, perfectly borrowed from the 1995 film, and at the height of its “Power Ranger-ness.” But I felt that if they really were gonna throw it in there, they should have totally owned it and at least left it playing for a bit longer. If not that, then at least make an instrumental cover to play in the background during the climax, rather than GODDAMN KANYE.

This is a film that has fans and critics alike split down the middle, but it’s pretty clear that everyone who hates it is hating it for the same two reasons: (1) It has a massive tone-clash towards the end, and (2) It caters way too much toward product promotion for Krispy Kreme donuts. I do agree with the latter, make no mistake. But when I hear people complain about this tone-clash, it reminds me of people who complained about the “slow parts” of every other superhero film, whether it’s “Captain America: Civil War,” or “Batman v Superman.” Apart from being a “Power Rangers” movie, this is also an origin story film. And for something as ridiculous as “Power Rangers,” it definitely requires a slow initiation process. To get us going on a six-movie deal, the creators will have to help casual viewers acclimate to the premise, because chances are the naysayers are the ones who skipped out on this franchise as children, and therefore missed their window of opportunity. Ironic how a movie based on a children’s property requires a mature level of patience from the audience.

As I said before, if you came into this wanting to see colored suits, martial arts, explosions and giant robots, you will get it. If you’re dragged into this film but appreciate elements like character development and chemistry, you will get that too. As someone who enjoys both, I actually would go so far as to say I loved this movie. I don’t care if I’m alone on this, but I can comfortably say that I loved the “Power Rangers” movie.

Romanogers Fic Recommends

Will update the list here: bunnydiot.tumblr.com/Romaongersfics

Hey there! I made this because I want to share these awesome gems and gifted writers. Stay awesome and will always be happy reading your works! :)

*These are all my preference or my liking so interest may vary ;)

COMPLETE MULTI-CHAPTERS

  • Natasha’s Diary by MarthaDanielle (9/9)
    Captain America isn’t afraid of anyone. Except Natasha, with reason. All the Avengers have a respect for her out of fear. What happens when Steve stumbles upon something he wasn’t supposed to?

IN-PROGRESS MULTI-CHAPTERS

  • The Domestic Life of Mr. and Mrs. Rogers by Spanglecap
    Being an Avenger is pretty incredible. Being in love through it all? Even more so. These are snapshots of Steve and Natasha as they build a life and a family together and fall more and more for each other every day.
  • Training Montage by liquidCaliban
    Steve wants to try a little new age management where the Avengers have to spend a day training like their teammates. Natasha is already over that noise, but she’s got something up her sleeve of death.
  • Can’t Pretend by ultrona
    Steve and Nat start their history during “Captain America: The Winter Soldier”.

ONE-SHOTS

  • Sam Assumed by LiquidCaliban
    Sam makes his first visit to Avengers’ Tower, where he discovers that things are not always as they seem, but only before he realized they weren’t. Seemingly. And Tony will never learn to knock.
  • Amnesiac by LiquidCaliban
    Steve wakes up one morning with no memory of the past eight years, which is awkward because he has a wife and son. Fortunately, he has the Avengers to get him through some Asgardian-induced amnesia.

NC-17 ONE-SHOTS

  • Benefits by 401 (1/1) (NC-17)
    Steve and Natasha are just friends. Most of the time.

AUs - No superpowers, No super-secret boyband Avengers team (just them as normal humans/ Nat and Steve are OOC on some) (HIGHLY RECOMMENDED)

ONE SHOTS

  • Runaways by bornatexasgirl (1/1)
    Steve’s a dreamer, a drifter, never staying in one place for too long. Natalia’s a small town good girl, who wants nothing more to escape the life she has, where everything is planned and nothing is her own. He thinks she’s crazy for wanting a guy like him. She thinks he needs her. Turns out, they’re both right.

(NC-17) One Shots

  • I’m On Fire by myloveiamthespeedofthesound (1/1) (NC-17)
    Steve is a photographer, Natasha is his subject for the day. He’s got a big boy crush, and maybe she might like him a little bit too, but Steve’s an idiot and the likelihood of him figuring that one out is
    about as likely as pigs flying.
  • After the Encore by beezyland (1/1) (NC-17)
    Guitar strings aren’t all he’s stroking.

COMPLETE MULTI-CHAPTERS (Worth the read. I swear!)

  • Making Use of The Weekend by Phoebe_Snow (7/7)
    AU. Natasha gets more than she bargains for when a cute little dog named Bucky ruins her tomato garden and his handsome owner, Steve, walks into her life.
  • It Could Happen To You by Phoebe_Snow (4/4)
    Natasha keeps running into Steve at the most embarrassing times. It’s really a shame because he seems like a sweet guy, but he must think she’s a total moron after all of the awkward and inappropriate moments they’ve shared.
  • Stay by thegraytigress (23/23)
    On the surface, he’s a disabled war vet and she’s his new neighbor. On the surface, they’re both okay, surviving, working, living. But beneath his apathy, he’s broken, bleeding, and drowning in his pain and loneliness. Underneath her smiles, she’s lost, terrified, and trying to find a new start. Maybe it’s fate that she moves in and he finds her. And maybe falling in love is their chance to heal.
  • Just A Blast From The Past by InNeedOfInspirationn(13/13)
    Natasha watches Steve die and decides to use a time travel device from Asgard to go back in 1942 and prevent Bucky from turning into the Winter Soldier. Forbidden to meddle with the past because it could affect the future, she changes her appearance and introduces herself under a false identity. But as they grow close, Natasha finds it harder and harder to resist the charm of Steve from 1942.
  • A Hundred Worlds by InitialA (23/23)
    And I’d choose you; in a hundred lifetimes, in a hundred worlds, in any version of reality, I’d find you and I’d choose you.”
  • At First Glance by mocking words (3/3)
    ‘our flats are opposite each other and your kitchen window faces my kitchen so we always see each other making coffee at 3am’ AU?
  • We Never Go Out of Style by mylifeisloki (8/8)
    Inspired by ‘Style’, by Taylor Swift. Steve is a bad boy who can’t be tied down, but Natasha’s not like anyone he’s ever seen before. Together, they go through life, love, and loss- not necessarily in that order.
  • Two Halves of a Soul by xo_stardust720
    It was strange how quickly his world had changed in a span of a few hours. He’d gone from sleeping peacefully in bed, to fighting a fire, to finding his soulmate.
  • Pot Meet Kettle (7/7) by heyfrenchfreudiana
    When Natasha Romanoff asked Steve Rogers for help in Statistics, he almost said ‘no’. He thought about all of the things he would rather do and he how he would honestly rather have gone to the dentist than “help” a girl who he figured was about as deep as the puddles outside his dorm room after a rain.

COMPLETE NC-17 Multi-Chapters

  • The Nature of a Flower by mylifeisloki (22/22) (NC-17)
    The king has decided that Prince Steve is to take a wife. The young Princess Natasha of a far off land comes to his kingdom for their wedding. As they get to know one another, they realize that propriety and what is expected might not always be the best thing to do. Once they come to that realization, they might just leave themselves open to real love.
  • Sea Glass by heyfrenchfreudiana (23/23) (NC-17)
    So if we imagine that Steve/Natasha would happen in one way or another (alternate universe), suppose they meet cute outside their therapist’s office (who so happens to be Bruce).
  • Bullet Holes and Thunder Clouds by Jodygoroar (4/4) (NC-17)
    Steve Rogers is a NYC firefighter captain who got injured on the job now he has to go to physical therapy, turns out his therapist is Natasha Romanoff. Soulmate mark AU, this is going to be smutty. Many other Marvel characters are mentioned. Blame it all on a single Soviet bullet.
  • The Boss’ Daughter by mylifeisloki (33/33) (NC-17)
    Natasha is the young heiress to Tony Stark’s fortune, but she’s been kept on a tight leash for most of her youth. Now, when she’s about to come out into the public eye, might not be the best time for a handsome stranger to show up. Poor Steve doesn’t even see it coming.
  • Always the Bridesmaid by mylifeisloki (8/8) (NC-17)
    Attending Pepper’s wedding as the maid of honor is something of a terrible privilege. Natasha’s biding her time until it’s over- that is, until she catches sight of a handsome groomsman. All of a sudden, there might just be something at the reception that Natasha isn’t at all prepared for.

IN-PROGRESS MULTI-CHAPTERS (a.k.a desperately needs to be updated)

  • Steve’s Anatomy by mylifeisloki
    Successful cardiac surgeon Natasha finds herself at odds with a sweet nurse in the maternity ward who has managed to charm nurses and mothers alike. As time goes on, she tries to find a flaw and comes up empty– but can Steve really be as wholesome and perfect as he seems? And more importantly, is it possible that Nurse Charming is actually the perfect match for someone as emotionally challenged as Natasha happens to be?
  • Help Wanted by HerMajestyEffy
    In other words Natasha is a kidnap victim and the only person she managed to dial for help is Steve,a complete stranger.
  • Crossfire by mocking_words
    Romanogers AU where Natasha works for Bucky before Steve steps into the picture
  • Time After Time by beezyland
    A collection of AU oneshots I’d like to turn into full-length stories, but never will.
  • I’m Sitting on Top of the World by AnastasiaPhoenixRose12
    Welcome to Los Angeles 1926, the peak of the Roaring Twenties!
    Wealthy adopted brothers, Bucky Barnes and Steve Rogers, return home to the Stark Manor after graduating from boarding school. They, and their hoard of friends, have three months of absolute freedom before beginning their freshmen year of college. In an era dominated by the Jazz Age, Prohibition, flappers, speakeasies, automobiles, cinema, radio, gangster crime, and sexual liberation, it only gets better for Bucky and Steve when they entangle themselves in illicit affairs with the two newest foreign housemaids: Wanda Maximoff and Natasha Romanoff.
  • Two Hearts Set on Fire by xo_stardust720
    In a world where the first words your soulmate says to you are tattooed on your skin, Natasha has spent her entire life wondering where her other half was.She never thought her soulmate would turn out to be the homeless man that she saw every morning at the train station on her way to school. But love was unpredictable like that, she supposed.
  • 6 AM Sharp by CaptainArwenPond221B
    Natasha Romanoff works at her friend Clint’s coffee shop, where he offered her a fresh start a few years back. She doesn’t want to trust her heart to anyone, not anymore, so when a scrawny little guy comes in asking for black coffee with a perfect smile on his face, she’s determined not to let herself love him. Steve Rogers is a poor artist with a shitty job at SHIELD Design Co. who might have a crush on the red-headed barista who talks to him every morning before work… But nobody cares about somebody like him, so he decides never to let himself love her.. And if we’re honest, Bucky and Clint just like messing with their best friends. A lot.

IN-PROGRESS NC-17 MULTI-CHAPTERS

  • Torched by Phoebe_Snow (NC-17)
    When a terrible fire destroys Natasha’s apartment, she’s left with nowhere to go. That is, until Steve, her handsome landlord, lets her move in with him until she can get her feet back up under her.
  • Bound & Restricted by oceanicspirit (NC-17)
    They were lovers of two families hated one another. She was the daughter of the leader of the Russian Mafia, and he was the son of the leader of the Irish Mafia. Will their story end the same like the two famous star crossed lovers - Romeo and Juliet.
  • Hate doesn’t even describe it by elcapitan_rogers (NC-17)
    Steve hated Natasha. Natasha hated Steve. Everything was fine until their parents decided to fuck shit up for them…
  • Our Time in the Dark by LeoTheAvengingLioness333 (NC-17)
    When Steve first met Natasha he certainly hadn’t expected her to join the team. He had been on a mission. And she had tried to kill him. But he’s always been one to give people a second chance, tried to see the best in them even when they couldn’t. And somewhere along those lines, they went from begrudged teammates to friends and finally-with the realization hitting him like a brick-to something completely and wonderfully more. Getting frozen for almost 70 years complicates things a little though. And what’s more complicated is waking up and finding out that the girl he loved in the 40s is just as alive as he is.

I don’t believe I’ve said this before, not once in my life, but this is a really great set of STAR WARS fics that really gave me a lot of feelings and just made me feel all fizzy and happy inside. This fandom is so talented, there’s so much that takes the potential of these characters, the things that were or could have been, and does brilliant things with them. Whether diverging from canon or exploring it further, the authors of this fandom are absolutely incredible and I want to share more of that.

Tano and Kenobi by FireflyFish, obi-wan & ahsoka & hondo & sifo-dyas & qui-gon & mace & cast, time travel, 93.7k wip
   Master Skywalker always said “The Force works in mysterious ways” and Ahsoka Tano has to admit, getting thrown backwards in time by about forty years was very mysterious.
Broken by lilyconrad, obi-wan/anakin & ahsoka & rex & appo & cast, NSFW, sith!obi-wan, dark themes, 33.5k wip
   The Twins are unstoppable enforcers of the Emperor’s will, the sun and moon that hang in the black void of his rule. It is said they are not the same age and that under their hoods they do not look alike, but they fight as one entity, silent and terrible as an eclipse in a spring sky.
Equinox by lilyconrad, obi-wan/anakin, NSFW, sith!obi-wan, 22.2k wip
   During the Clone Wars, Obi-Wan and Anakin crash on a remote planet and take shelter in the ruins of a grand estate only to find they are not alone.
The Nature of Fire by Phosphorescent, anakin/padme & cast, 3.3k wip
   “One Jedi, then,” Padmé offered to the others. At least let me speak the truth to my love. At least. Please, she pleaded with them silently. “There is one Jedi—one whom I truly know all of us can trust absolutely …” Her voice trailed off into appalled silence when she realized that she wasn’t talking about Anakin.
Trial and Error by aradian_nights, vader & luke & bail, 10k
   Prince Luke Organa accompanies his father to the senate and finds himself unexpectedly drawing some negative attention.
Layers of Dust by aradian_nights, obi-wan & leia & owen & cast, 10.3k
   Leia Skywalker gets herself into trouble. Again. At least Old Ben Kenobi was around this time.
For Love of a Queen by aradian_nights, luke & bail & vader & pooja & ryoo & cast, 35k
   Luke Organa’s simple diplomatic visit to Naboo is quickly soured when he is forced to confront Darth Vader… again.
Deep Doubt by aradian_nights, obi-wan & leia & owen & beru & cast, 19.1k
   Leia Skywalker’s general disdain for the rules leads her to visiting Ben Kenobi more often than not. In her mind, becoming his apprentice is less of an if and more of a when. And she is growing impatient.
Bad Actors With Bad Habits (Some Sad Singers, They Just Play Tragic) by citizenjess (givehimonemore), obi-wan/anakin, dark themes, read the warnings!, 5.9k
   Tired of his Padawan’s poor behavior, Obi-Wan sets out to teach him an unorthodox lesson.
Attachments by Shadow Padawan, obi-wan/anakin & cast, fluff, 1.1k
   It had been attachment that had almost turned Anakin to the Dark Side. But it had been attachment that had forced Obi-Wan to go against the Council…
It’s Not a Rule if You Don’t Try and Break It by avarand, obi-wan/anakin & ahsoka/barriss & mace/depa & cast, NSFW, a/b/o, 15k
   The Jedi Temple takes matching its Alpha Sentinels and Omega Guides very seriously. All Omega Guides must register with the Republic and the Temple. Anakin refuses, but gets caught anyway. But if he meets enough candidates and still says no, they gotta let him go. Problem is, there’s this posh Alpha Jedi with auburn hair.
Staggering Is For Those With Nothing To Live Up To by shiningjedi, mace & ponds & cast, 3.3k wip
   Ponds has fought side-by-side with his general for over two years, so if Windu thinks that he can’t tell when something’s off, then, with all due respect, he’s made a serious error of judgement.
Three People Who Knew But Never Told by LurkingCrow, luke & mon & pooja & kix & cast, 5.2k
   A brief look at a few characters who might have guessed the secret of Luke’s parentage, but canonically either never did or never said so.
It’s the Greatest Thing You’d Ever Imagine by WinterSky101, obi-wan/anakin/padme & bail, empress!padme, 2.1k
   Padmé is crowned Empress of the Galaxy.
Hello Again verse part 1 / part 2 by delicatefury, obi-wan & anakin & cast, 2.3k wip
   When Anakin Skywalker is born, Obi-Wan Kenobi is flooded with dreams-memories-visions of a life already lived.

full details + recs under the cut!

Keep reading

Bumbleby and the Evolution of “Beauty and the Beast”

I’m just going to go ahead and get these disclaimers out of the way: 

  • Yes, I know that Yang Xiao Long is primarily inspired by the fairy tale of Goldilocks. 
  • Yes, I know that Rooster Teeth isn’t out to recreate every single fairy tale or myth or historical figure’s story that inspires the individual characters of RWBY
  • And yes, RWBY is a show that is about far more than just romance or any one relationship. 

Is everyone good on that? Yes? Awesome, then let’s get this show on the road!

Keep reading

Wirt's Inferno/Dante's Unknown: Allusions to the Divine Comedy in Over the Garden Wall

Introduction

I must stress that the parallels I draw between Over the Garden Wall and Dante’s Inferno are rather broad as they study the overall themes of the latter in comparison to the occurrences in the former. In my defense, the work that chartered what many consider to be the definitive version of Hell, while undoubtedly a monumental and well-constructed masterpiece of literature, contains several understandable prejudices of the author that are not reflected in the cartoon proper. The primordial spirit of the circles however, the fundamental vices that make the Divine Comedy resonate even centuries later, are incorporated into the narrative as are the broad strokes of Dante’s strange journey through the afterlife.

The Travelers

Wirt

Wirt, like Dante, is a poet and shares several traits with the Italian soldier and occasional politician. One of the most obvious of these besides his enjoyment of prose is his infatuation with a girl he finds to be truly exceptional, Sara. Like Dante, he seems content to appreciate her from afar and like Dante’s Beatrice, Sara inspires Wirt to create art in his poetry and clarinet mixtape. However, this distance he places between him and her is shown to be a source of great unhappiness, and while he does go on a fantastic adventure in the vein of “courtly love” (a concept Dante lionized) that inexplicably gives him an opportunity to tell her his feelings, it’s made clear that just talking with her would’ve saved him a lot of trouble.

Pride is another quality that Wirt and Dante share. Despite his lack of self-esteem, Wirt tries to, with mixed success, lord over the one person he is confident and cruel enough to impose upon: Greg, who he believes to be an immature imbecile. I must call to your attention that a surefire way to be sent to the Inferno is to be in denial of your own wrongdoings. Wirt is the principle reason that he and Greg wound up in the Unknown, but his insistence that he is guiltless and that Greg is at fault is strongly implied to be the major obstacle preventing them from leaving it.

Then there are the realms themselves. Though one of the most popular visions of the Judeo-Christian underworld, Dante’s Inferno was a very personal invention and reflected a multitude of the author’s own interests and beliefs. Similarly, it’s heavily implied in the ninth chapter that the Unknown was constructed out of Wirt’s (and some of Greg’s) experiences and hobbies. Both poets likewise find themselves frequently bemused in their quests, despite the strange lands they are stranded in containing a multitude of things they are familiar with.

On a bittersweet note, Wirt has one immense difference that sets him apart from Dante: Wirt actually succeeded in returning home while Dante spent his later years exiled from his beloved Florence, lamenting his separation from his birthplace.

Beatrice

While the creative talents behind the program have confirmed that Beatrice was named after Dante’s muse and guide in Paradiso, the Beatrice of Over the Garden Wall spends most of the story being the antithesis of her namesake; discouraging what she considers to be frivolous flights of fancy and spending half of the miniseries leading the brothers to ruination rather than salvation. After undergoing a personal journey of her own, her behavior becomes more in line with Dante’s lost love, saving Wirt and even accompanying him during the last part of his eerie pilgrimage.

Greg

Wirt’s Virgil. While more spontaneous and prone to distraction, Greg is something of a poet himself, composing several uplifting songs over the course of the chapters in contrast to his brother’s defeatist lamentations. These improvised tunes being beloved by others and Wirt’s eloquent moanings being ignored (by Greg) or mocked (by Wirt himself) allude to how Virgil and Dante’s poems were regarded during the Divine Comedy respectively. Greg may not have a working knowledge of the Unknown, but his courage and curiosity place him in a better position to engage and resolve the trials the pair face, making him an unorthodox guide to his older and craven sibling. As it was with Virgil, Greg is incapacitated during the final leg of the journey, and Wirt must solve the mystery of the Unknown without him.

The Entrance: Abandon all hope, ye who enter here 

Dante’s quest begins in a forest. In Wirt and Greg’s case, that’s true in more ways than one. As our Narrator kindly reminds us, the Unknown can be entered by those “who travel through the wood”.  This applies to the part of the Unknown they find themselves in initially and the near death experience they shared after almost drowning in a wooded area.

Echoing Dante’s opening plight, Wirt and Greg are pursued by a savage monster. Though Greg’s quick thinking saves their lives, mirroring Virgil’s rescue of Dante from the three beasts chasing him, the altercation destroys the safe haven of the mill, forcing the two of them to travel deeper into the Unknown. Before they go, the Woodsman warns them that the surrounding woods are the home of the Beast, “the death of hope”. However, defying the famous epithet that marks the entrance to the Inferno, he later clarifies that losing hope is about the last thing you want to do in the Unknown as it puts you squarely in the Beast’s clutches.

The First Level: Limbo

Pottsfield is not Limbo itself as the Unknown fits that description better, but it embodies the dilemma that is usually presented to characters that realize they are in Limbo: stay here and be at peace or struggle further in the hopes that you will return home. The passive Wirt is momentarily seduced to choose the first option by how simple and quiet “life” there is and him changing his mind is done more out of being disturbed by the town’s macabre disposition than any real strength of will on his part. Fittingly, as is the fate of those that move past this relatively idyllic portion of hades for deeper zones, this arguably puts him in even greater danger.

Note: The town gets its namesake from a “Potter’s Field”, a type of gravesite for unknown corpses. Conversely, the denizens of Pottsfield all seem to have names, perhaps having regained the identities “lost” during their burial.

The Second Level: Lust

Miss Langtree’s fixation over Jimmy Brown’s supposed infidelity renders her unable to teach. This subsequently renders the sacrifices of her father to keep the school open moot, who in turn accuses Jimmy Brown of “gallivanting”. The two of them are not necessarily bad people, but much like Wirt, they’re too busy moaning about their troubles to fix them. This is made more evident by how Jimmy wasn’t up to any sort of debauchery and was merely working hard to consummate his love for Miss Langtree in the proper fashion. Therefore lust in practice is not the debilitating force here, but the obsession over it.

The Third Level: Gluttony

The patrons and staff of the tavern are people of purpose. Each has their role, their profession, and thus an identity to call their own. All are welcome, even thieves and killers. There is however, one major exception: The Beast. Despite having a “job” of his own and a great singing voice, he is feared and reviled all the same. The innkeeper implies that this is due in part to how the beast lies to get what he wants, in contrast to an “honest” scoundrel like the Highwayman.  

There is also the fact that, unbeknownst to those who fear him, the Beast doesn’t actually “work with his hands” and instead tricks people into acting as his proxies. The metamorphosis into an Edelwood tree, might not even be his own doing. It could just be something that happens to those that fall to despair in the Unknown, a quirk of the land that he exploits so he can keep his lantern fed and even that might be a cruel indulgence. He is not a tradesman, foul or not, he is a parasite. To summarize, the Beast and his lantern are entities of excess as they do not truly earn what they so gratuitously consume.

Note: Something else worth mentioning is how Greg keeps bringing food to his and Wirt’s table to satiate his hunger, but no one, not even his Frog, is ever shown eating any of it.

The Fourth Level: Greed

Quincy Endicott is dead. The tombstone in the Eternal Garden cemetery all but proves that. Thus his and Marguerrite Grey’s fear of one another is simultaneously justified and absurd. Fair enough, but the core theme of this episode doesn’t lie in a Sixth Sense-esque twist, but in the insatiable sinkhole of greed. Quincy is rather frank (while stepping on franks) that his entire life was/has been dedicated to the accumulation of money. He is also quick to tell us that these riches have gone into making his home bigger and in turn, more hollow. Consequently, the tea tycoon is made to feel small and alone in his own house, unable to derive joy from making money as he confesses to despising the beverage he peddles: Indeed, he all but states that he’s done reprehensible things to amass his fortune. He has no one to talk to apart from his peacocks as his estate is devoid of any staff; only opulent furniture keeps him company indoors. The mansion itself is apparently turning on him as well, coming into the possession of new rooms and wings that he can’t recall commissioning that make him feel more lost and confused than ever. There is a glimmer of beauty and hope in this increasingly alien environment when he chances upon a portrait of a beautiful woman, and then things get even worse for him until his “nephews” bail him out. 

The punishment of this circle for those who lived their lives with avarice in their hearts is an eternal jousting match where they are put on one of two sides and “joust” with one another using massive weights. This is expressed in how despite living in the same building, Quincy and Marguerrite have spent an undefined amount of time barely missing one another; locked in a frustrated and chaste dance with no end in sight. For as far as the two of them are concerned, to confront one another directly only has two awful outcomes: the ghost is real, making their love unfeasible or there is no ghost, which would mean that the two of them have gone mad. A line shared by the star-crossed aristocrats when they recognize one another’s names proves that this is all an immense allusion to their situation before they died. They had never met, nor knew what the other looked like. What they did know was that the opposite party was their “business competitor”, a reprehensible entity that dared to get in the way of them gaining a monopoly on tea, a scoundrel that hampered the accumulation of personal wealth. How could they have known that the cure for their loneliness lay in the arms of their respective rivals? And so it was that these two nobles would spend their hereafters haunted by the specter of the love and happiness they deprived themselves of during their mortal existences; architects of a gilded mausoleum. Thankfully, Wirt and Greg help overturn this bedlam and a happy conclusion is reached for Endicott and Grey, who manage to put aside the past animosity that kept them apart while they still had pulses.

Fred is also a creature of greed, a literal horse thief who despite his lack of hands has apparently stolen a great many things before meeting our protagonists. Once he is confronted by the possibility that his kleptomania might get him killed, he swears that he will cease his wrongful purloining and get an honest job. True to his word, he elects to stay behind with Quincy and Grey as “an official tea horse.” In a moment that is up for debate and interpretation, the epilogue has a scene where Marguerrite is staring at a portrait of Quincy and Fred. If this was painted before she and Quincy properly met, mirroring how Quincy fell in love with her image in the painting, then Fred might very well have been Endicott’s steed when they were both alive, adding a sense of irony to the horse unwittingly trying to steal from his former master.

The Fifth Level: Anger and Sorrow

While this circle is primarily associated with Anger, the sullen are punished here as well. They are cursed to eternally drown in the waters of the River Styx, where there is no hope of salvation or joy with the frogs sinking into the mud acting as a visual representation of this. Though the brothers begin the episode with much optimism and mirth, the discovery that their entire quest was a farce causes Wirt’s spirits to sink, dragged down by the betrayal of someone he considered to be his friend. Wirt, as we are soon to find out, doesn’t have many friends. Worse, he is without a guide, and he and Greg are rendered more lost than ever before with no clear goal to work towards.

Anger is expressed in the simple, but understated act of Wirt stealing Adelaide’s scissors, despite having no real use for them himself past cutting the strings, in order to punish Beatrice for deceiving him and Greg.

Note: I would be remiss not to mention the various references to the afterlife in the voyage itself that others have noted in the past. The ferry is Charon’s boat of course, and the two cents acting as the two coins that the morbid boatman usually accepts as his fare. The frogs hibernating in the mud could also be called them taking a “dirt nap”, a colloquialism for being dead and buried.

The Sixth Level: Heresy

Witches and evil spirits are the obvious embodiments of the circle’s theme of heresy, but this episode also has the power of doctrine as a central theme. After all, what is a heretical action without a coda to rebel against? The bell’s hold over Lorna and the Evil Spirit represents the power of instruction. Rules and laws have the capacity to oppress and protect, to enslave or liberate. Auntie Whispers feared Lorna leaving her once she was cured and used the bell to forcefully keep her niece at her side by restraining the spirit, but not exorcising it. Greg had the gumption to use the bell against Lorna, but was too callow to understand how to use it properly. Ultimately it is Wirt, the one usually wracked with indecision and uncertainty that realizes what must be done and does what Whispers was too selfish (and Greg too ignorant) to do.

The Beast is shown to use a doctrine of his own to manipulate the Woodsman. Simple rules: keep the lantern lit and your daughter “lives”. When the Woodsman wonders if there is “a better way”, the Beast is adamant that his word is law and his methods absolute. He is lying of course, but by himself, how can the Woodsman hope to see past the only options presented to him?

The Seventh Level: Violence

A small scale war is waged between the People of Cloud City and the frightfully destructive North Wind. The elemental eventually comes into direct conflict with Greg and the climax of the episode is a battle on two fronts as the blustering bruiser attempts to trounce Greg in his sleep and freeze him outside of it. The boy triumphs with his usual mixture of audaciousness and creativity; of course you can beat a raging storm by stuffing it into a bottle!

Prominent features of this level of the Inferno include a treacherous river located in the outer ring (as represented by the one Wirt and Greg travel on during the chapter’s start, and the one Wirt falls into at its end) and a terrible storm in the inner ring (The North Wind). The middle is what’s most  interesting to people that are familiar with both the Divine Comedy and Over the Garden Wall as it is filled with grotesque trees made from the bodies of those that committed suicide, individuals that gave up on living and surrendered to self-destruction. Wirt is rescued from this terrible (and self-inflicted) transformation by Greg’s sacrifice, but the connection remains rather poignant as it helps build on the idea that the Unknown is a place between life and death.

The Eighth Level: Fraud

Halloween is a day of the dead and a day of disguise. It is a night of imposters and make-believe. What better time to play out the themes of fraud than this? Paradoxically, it is also where a great many truths are revealed alongside a showcase of the many lies that Wirt has invented to exonerate himself from his own cowardice. Among the things we learn is that Wirt and Greg are two American children from the late 20th century, the Garden Wall that the show’s title alludes to was that of a cemetery (named “Eternal Garden”), and that Jason Funderberker isn’t the stud Wirt whines about him being.

Perhaps the greatest display of this episode’s themes lies in Greg and Wirt’s apparel. Greg explains that he wears a tea kettle on his head because he’s pretending to be an elephant. It’s a simple and abstract costume, but one with purpose. Then there’s Wirt’s more elaborate ensemble. When asked what he’s dressed as, Wirt can’t answer the question. He has no idea. The montage of him assembling its components might’ve given him a burst of confidence, but it is ousted as having been utterly nonsensical. That is not to say that Wirt is not masquerading as something. It’s just that he’s disguised as someone who’s wearing a costume: a charlatan’s charlatan.

Counterfeiters and hypocrites rate high (or low, depending on how you look at it) on this plane, and Wirt’s a little bit of both. He wants someone to lead the way and be brave for him, but resents Greg’s aid. His carelessness is what loses him the tape in the first place, which he blames Greg for. Wirt also mistakes his brother’s initiative for recklessness and kneecaps whatever progress Greg’s actions might’ve netted him. Finally, he creates an obtuse narrative that frames Greg and his stepfather as saboteurs due to their insistence that he join marching band. Had he listened, the act might’ve brought him closer to Sara, who he considers lost to him now due to the imagined sabotage. Through reflection, Wirt realizes this and against his usual cowardice, heads out into a brutal blizzard in hopes of saving the brother he disowned and practically drowned. 

The Ninth Level: Treachery

As with any circle, this one closes where it began. It is a chapter of resolution, but also of return. The final act of the production is set in the woods surrounding the Old Grist Mill, the primary location of the first chapter’s happenings now repaired. It is winter, and even those who only have a broad knowledge of Dante’s Inferno know that while the upper levels of that dismal pit may be rife with fire and brimstone, the very bottom is deathly cold.

The Beast is decked out in satanic narrative and visual trappings from across the centuries: the horns, the name, the association with darkness and witchcraft, the predilection for making deals with the desperate and the gullible, and a monstrous reputation that’s justified by the evil he masterminds and commits. He fools his victims into committing worthless and futile acts that serve no higher purpose outside of his personal benefit. Above all else, he is treacherous, a trait that is made distinct from fraud by how it is a betrayal of a more intimate sort. In insincere defiance of his fearsome reputation, he tries to pass himself off as helpful and altruistic; telling the Woodsman, Greg, and Wirt that he’ll help them out if they perform some simple, but essentially idiotic tasks for an indefinite (read: forever) amount of time. Fittingly, it’s Wirt, whose character arc has him learning to stop being a pushover and take responsibility for himself, who sees through the passive-aggressive charade and puts the villain into a corner.

We are given a brief flash of the Beast’s actual appearance, a horrific mass of flesh made up of dozens of anguished faces. His many mouths were a conscious design choice by the creative team to incite feelings of trypophobia (a fear of holes) in viewers with that brief glance, but they’re also symbolic of the circular nature of the Beast. A shadow cannot exist without light; his existence depends on keeping the lantern lit, but he can’t carry it around himself because doing so would reveal to all those he approached that the infamous Beast is nothing more than an abomination built from weakness, a wretch. The Devil of Dante’s Inferno was a fiend with multiple mouths that was comparatively imprisoned by his own wickedness. Over the Garden Wall is rife with characters that are trapped or feel they are trapped (Wirt, Greg, Jimmy Brown, the Langtrees, Quincy, Lorna, etc.), so it’s only fitting that the show’s antagonist is in an inescapable predicament of his own.

The ending of the first part of the Divine Comedy has Dante and Virgil escape Hell by climbing deeper into the earth using Satan’s body. In time, they pass right through the center of the planet and come out the other end. By going down, they eventually came right back up elsewhere. Such is the case with our protagonists as the Beast’s vanquishing facilitates a great many escapes and returns. Wirt returns to consciousness in the water and saves both himself and Greg from drowning; Beatrice, after unintentionally proving her nobility to Wirt, returns to her family with the scissors that will cure them all; the Woodsman reluctantly returns home and to his joy, discovers he was grossly deceived; we get an epilogue of sorts that shows us the secondary characters in states mirroring the ones they were in during the prologue, but mostly altered for the better; and the program ends as it began with the piano playing frog, who reveals (as hinted in the sixth chapter) that he was the narrator all along and might’ve made the whole thing up.

anonymous asked:

Hello love! In light of all the hate I’ve seen towards Karamel, why do you ship them? You are one of the few blogs I know who do love Kara and Mon-el together. For me, their chemistry is undeniable, of course, but with her other relationships (especially with James), I didn’t hate them: I just didn’t care. I was apathetic. With Mon-el, I care, oh boy do I care XD. From the moment they started to interact, you could see that it was something special. Hugs and love!

Hey, love!!!  I feel the exact the same way. I thought (and still think) that Kara and James were kind of cute but, in my humble opinion, they were missing that spark. And it wasn’t solely due to lack of chemistry but also because the writing in Season 1 was not the best in regard to their romance. 

But let’s talk about why I ship Karamel because there are so many reasons and I have so many feelings about them, at least 5, sometimes as many as 7 (yes queen Carrie reference). So let’s start:

1. They’re similar enough that they can understand and relate to one another but different enough that they can complement each other and learn from the relationship. Kara and Mon-El are, in fact very different in some aspects and very similar in others. But these are the best relationships. It means you are in sync about the most important issues but at the same time you can bring something new to the table because people evolve by not only sharing the same principles but also by being confronted with different points of view and personalities. Concerning their similarities, Kara and Mon-El are both refugees on Earth. They both know what it is like to lose your home and everything you’ve ever known. That’s a huge part of their identity and something that really strengthens their bond. Being an alien always conjured up feelings of loneliness and even anger in Kara. The fact that they both shared that experience creates a very deep connection between them and a sense of understanding that is hard for others to grasp. I feel like those moments when Kara and Mon-El are reminiscing about their home worlds are really underrated because they must be so special for Kara who has been on Earth for years with no one to share her memories with. Moreover, they’re also similar in the sense that they’re both compassionate and kind people who want to make the world a better place so their ideals pretty much coincide, which is the most important thing in a relationship. Yes, Mon-El is still working on that but that’s who he really is, in spite of the ingrained ideals from Daxam that he is slowly overcoming. And no. Mon-El didn’t magically turn into this kind and compassionate person because of Kara. He has always been that person, he just needed someone to motivate him to become the best version of himself. She didn’t change him, she inspired him. Which leads us to their differences and how they are actually beneficial to their relationship since they allow Kara and Mon-El to challenge each other. Mon-El has become inspired to be more selfless and courageous while Kara is learning to loosen up a little and be more tolerant. So their different personalities really complement each other, even though they do clash at times but, hey, fighting is healthy in a relationship and completely normal and leads people to evolve. 

2. The fact that they’re both superpowered. I’ve talked about this before. This is actually a big deal. They don’t have to hold back their strength around each other. They can hold each other as tightly as they want to after a hard day, they don’t need to hold back their passion and they can allow themselves to be a little more vulnerable because when they’re together they don’t need to be so painfully aware of the fact that they are powerful aliens in a different planet. As I’ve said before, sometimes being so powerful can become tiring and even lonely. And this is specially true to Kara. It’s important for her to just take a break from all the responsibility of being so powerful, of being Supergirl. Let her hold someone as tightly as she did when she was on Krypton and make her feel like she has come home and forget the fact that if she were to hold someone else like that she could snap them in half. 

3. They’re hilarious. No couple makes me laugh like those two. From their bickering, to their frequent and adorable awkwardness around each other, to Kara’s frustration with Mon-El’s cluelessness…

4. There’s something really innocent and cute about their relationship. Yes. They made out on a couch and were going hard BUT at the same time they’re both completely new to being in a relationship and they’re just figuring it out and it’s so cute to see them going through that process together. They’re just so bubbly and happy and smiley. Our space puppies… And that creates balance in their relationship since they’re both inexperienced and neither of them has the upper hand. And they just fit so well together, you know? I don’t want to use the word “childish” when referring to them but they’re both a little naive, they both have bubbly personalities and enjoy laughing and playing around. Once again, our space puppies. 

5. Mon-El contributed to Kara’s arc (I know! Unpopular opinion!!). I’ve also talked about this before. Dealing with Mon-El allowed Kara to acknowledge her own preconceived ideas and prejudices and work on them. She was able to acknowledge and overcome that becoming more tolerant in the process. It also allowed her to explore her frustration for not having been able to help her cousin like she was supposed to and come to terms with that. Also, her arc this season has been about her learning to stand her ground as Kara Danvers and not just as Supergirl. Confessing her feelings for Mon-El and allowing herself to be vulnerable helped her do that. 

6. Chris and Melissa’s chemistry. They just kill me. The intense eye contact, the passionate kissing, the natural interactions between them, the way their eyes wander from eyes to lips to whatever lmao I love them. 

anonymous asked:

I hear the term "weights" often in heathen circles. I know little more than that they are land-spirits. I would like to learn more about them and how they were honored and their place in old nordic practices. I thought you might be willing to share some of what you know, or some resources you recommend I explore? If it's not a hassle.

Sæll (eða sæl) vinur,
(Hello friend,)

No question is ever a hassle, my friend. I am more than happy to share my knowledge regarding vættir (nature spirits). Not all vættir are land sprits, though, for those are often referred to as landvættir. Still, vættir of the land seem to be the most common and most often interacted with, so I will focus our discussion on them specifically. To be honest, they are a particularly favorite subject of mine! I wrote a lot, so I am structuring this answer as an essay, which I hope you do not mind. It should help to organize the content!


On Landvættir: An Exploration of Primary Source Examples and Suggestions for Further Reading.

It is not surprising that we know fairly little about them, because they are quite elusive in our surviving texts. This is mainly because they are not always referred to directly being ‘landvættir’, but rather are referred to indirectly. The landvættir, from what I know of them, do not even appear in our eddic sources, but perhaps indirectly and vaguely, if they do. I also do suppose some people align the landvættir with the álfar (elves), which is reasonable. If this is done, they do appear in eddic material, in a way. Yet, even so, they still remain quite vague even in those sources. In the end, references to the landvættir seem to mostly be hidden gems scattered throughout other materials, such as Landnámabók (Book of Settlements) and the Íslendingasögur (Sagas of the Icelanders).

What are ‘Vættir’?

It is good to begin with solid footing, so let’s begin with a bit of an introduction to what a vættr (weight, or nature sprint) is:

“There were various kinds of nature spirits that the Icelanders (and other Scandinavians) believed in, and sometimes gave sacrifices to. There are early references to elves (álfar) in mainland Scandinavia. Like their modern-day equivalents, the “hidden people” (and expression used in both Norway and Iceland), these would have been of human size. Even close to nature were the guardian spirits of the land, or landvættir which inhabited the landscape. The welfare of the inhabitants of the country depended on their welfare and support, as can be seen in Egil’s Saga, ch. 58, when Egil raises a scorn-pole (níð) facing the guardian spirits of Norway. According to Ulfljot’s Law, people approaching Iceland by sea had to remove the dragon-heads from the prows of their ships to avoid frightening the guardian spirits.”(1.)

From that, we can gather a few things: that there are many more types of vættir than just those who inhabit the land (although those will be the ones I mostly focus on in this discussion), that there is a long, evolving tradition surrounding them that lasts even into current times, and that they held considerable influence over the lands they inhabited, and even over the people who lived in those lands.

The Landvættir Today (Iceland):

Speaking of modern-day representations, the landvættir live on in Iceland’s coat of arms (a dragon, a bird, a bull, and a mountain giant):

Their story is told in Snorri Sturluson’s Heimskringla, or more precisely in The Saga of Olaf Tryggvason contained therein:

“King Haraldr (as in Bluetooth, the son of Gorm) told a man skilled in magic to go in changed shape to Iceland and  find out what he could tell the king. He went in the form of a whale. And when he came to the land, he went westwards round the north of the country. He saw that all the mountains and hills were full of land-spirits (landvættir), some large and some small. And when he came opposite Vápnafjǫrðr, then he went into the fjord and was going to go ashore. Then there went down along the valley a great dragon, and with it many snakes, toads and vipers, and spat poison on him. And he swam away and westwards along the coast, right up to Eyjafjǫrðr. He went in along that fjord. There a bird went against him, so large that its wings reached out to the mountains on both sides, and a multitude of other birds both large and small. He went away from there and westwards round the coast and so south to Breiðifjǫrðr and made to go into that fjord. There a huge bull went against him and waded out into the sea and began to bellow horribly. A multitude of land-spirits came with it. He went away from there and southwards round Reykjanes and tried to go up onto Víkarsskeið. There a mountain giant came against him with an iron staff in his hand, and his head rose higher than the mountains, and many other giants with him. From there he went eastwards along the whole length of the coast.”(2.)

Thus, these landvættir have a long history, stetting far back into at least the medieval period. From this example, we can tell that they were very powerful. Not only that, though, but that the land was “full of landvættir.” Yet, this example shows their menacing power to outsiders, but what about those living among them? For this, we shall turn to the Landnámabók.

Examples from Landnámabók:

Iceland seems to have provided us with the unique opportunity of gaining some minor insights into how native settlers treated the landvættir. Below are three examples of three different settlers interacting with these spirits:

Bjorn Gnupsson (Hafr-Bjorn):

“One night Bjorn dreamed that a cliff-giant came and offered him partnership, and that he accepted the offer. Afterwards a strange billy-goat came to join his herd of goats, and his livestock began to multiply so fast that soon he was a wealthy man. After that he was called Hafr-Bjorn (Goat-Bjorn). People with second sight could see that all the guardian spirits of the land accompanied him when he attended the Althing, and Thorstein and Thord (his brothers) when they went out fishing.”(3.)

In this example, Hafr-Bjorn befriends a landvættr that is referred to as a cliff-giant, or, in some other versions I believe, as a cliff or rock-dweller. He was actually offered this friendship from the landvættr itself in a dream, which demonstrates a possible method for communication with a landvættr. Furthermore, this example reveals the benefits to such a relationship, which was usually prosperity in land-related activities, such as the raising of livestock and fishing. Hafr-Bjorn and his brothers must have treated these spirits with great respect to have earned their friendship, and the benefits of such relations are clearly worthwhile. Also, this example shows us that seeing the landvættir required a special skill, or “second sight,” so not everyone could nor can see these spirits.

Olvir Eysteinsson:

“Olvir Eysteinsson took possession of land east of Grims River where no one had dared to settle for fear of land-spirits, since Hjorleif was killed there.” (4.)

Hjorleif was a blot-brother of Ingolf’s, the alleged first settler of Iceland.(5.) He was killed by a another man’s (Dufthak) slaves while looking for a bear in the woods.(6.) Yet, it was also mentioned earlier that he “would never sacrifice to the gods.”(7.) Regardless, his death laid a bad omen across that land, which is felt even when, many years later, a settler named Olvir comes along (as told above). This example, although short, demonstrates even the native fear of the power that the landvættir held, and that if their land was disrespected, it would likely not result in peaceful times for the settlers living there.

Thorstein Red-Nose (son of Hrolf Red-Beard):

“Thorstein Red-Nose was a great sacrificer. He used to make sacrifices to the waterfall and all the left-overs had to be thrown into it. He could see clearly into the future. Thorstein had all his sheep counted and they numbered 2400; after that they all jumped over the wall of the fold. Thorstein had so many sheep because each autumn he could see which of the sheep were doomed to die, and he had those slaughtered. That’s why he always had so many. The last autumn of his life, he said at the sheep-fold, ‘Now you can slaughter any of the sheep you life. Either I’m doomed to die or the sheep are doomed, or all of us are.’ The night he died, all the sheep got swept into the waterfall by a gale.”(8.)

This example is fascinating, because we kind of must piece things together to truly get the depth behind it. Thorstein was sacrificing the a landvættr that lived in a waterfall. It seems that this landvættr granted him this ability of foresight to enhance his skill in maintaining his sheep. I find this to be the case because, at the end of this example, the sheep are ‘returned’ to the waterfall once Thorstein passes away, therefore connecting the sheep to the waterfall through Thorstein. Once he was gone, the connection was broken and the landvættr took what was rightfully its.

All of these examples serve to demonstrate the various aspects of the landvættir that you asked about. They were honored much like the gods themselves were, it seems, although suitable information to ‘prove’ this is still to be desired. They either came to you in a dream, like one did with Hafr-Bjorn, or they would be won over through generous sacrifice, as was seen with Thorstein. They were respected and given appreciation to keep them in good spirits. After all, when angered or ignored, they could cause fear, as seen with the case of Olvir, or even destructive and threatening, as seen in the Saga of Olaf Tryggvason.

Examples from Icelandic Sagas and Tales:

If Landnámabók was not quite satisfying enough, there are still a few examples to be explored from Egil’s Saga and The Tale of Thorvald the Far-Travelled. For those reading this that are already well-read, it may seem odd for me to be leaving out Bard’s Saga. That example deals with vættir-related subject matter intensively, and I would rather recommend that as a full reading than except it as an example on this post, so I will return to Bard momentarily.

Egil’s Saga, chapter 58:

“He (Egil) took a hazel pole in his hand and went to the edge of a rock facing inland. Then he took a horse’s head and put it on the end of the pole.

Afterwards he made an invocation, saying, ‘Here I set up this scorn-pole (nið) and turn its scorn upon King Eirik and Queen Gunnhild’ - then turned the horse’s head to face land - ‘and I turn its scorn upon the nature spirits (vættir) that inhabit this land, sending them all astray so that none of them shall find its resting-place by chance or design until they have driven King Eirik and Gunnhild from this land.’

Then he drove the pole into a cleft in the rock and left it to stand there. He turned the head towards the land and carved the whole invocation in runes on the pole.”(9.)

In this example, we can see that people can actually ‘control’ the wrath of vættir, and they can even turn this wrath onto others, if they are skilled enough. Yet, in the case of Egil, he was wronged, and so he had right on his side (see footnote 9 for detail). Perhaps, then, vættir have a sense of justice even. Nonetheless, I suppose this is a sort of ritual, in which one would target their enemies with strong words, runes, and insulting imagery. Yet, it does hint that the vættir did play a social function as well. This was already indicated by the landvættir, who often protect the land and the people who dwell there, if they have a good relationship with them, of course. Thus, vættir can either protect people or attack them, depending on their relationship with the user and his or her skill.

Thorvald the Far-Travelled, chapter 3:

In this example, the ‘theme’ of a vættr is used very strategically by the author, so we must take caution in how we read this source. In the quote below, Thorvald talks with his father, Kodran, about converting to Christianity. Kodran responds (at first) by telling Thorvald that he has a ‘prophet’ who lives in some nearby stone, and that this prophet helps him in many ways. The author treats this prophet as a demon, although it seems that this figure is being built upon the tradition of the vættir.

“ ‘But I have another prophet of my own, who is very beneficial to me. He tells me many things which have not yet come to be. He takes care of my cattle, and reminds me what I should do and what I should avoid. That is why I have great faith in him and have worshipped him for a long time, but you are your prophet (a bishop named Fridrek) and your religion disparage him a great deal, and he dissuades me from making any agreements with you, and especially from taking your faith.’

‘Where does your prophet live?’ asked Thorvald.

‘He lives here, close by my farm,’ said Kodran, ‘in a large and imposing stone.’

Thorvald asked how long he had been living there.

Kodran said he had lived there for a long time.”(10.)

A few things should sound familiar by now. This is a landvættr, for he dwells within a stone. It also seems that we can conclude that landvættir are prophetic, because both here and with Thorstein Red-Nose in Landnámabók. The landvættir also tend to earthly things, such as livestock and farms, as we have seen with Hafr-Bjorn (goats), Thorstein Red-Nose (sheep), and now here with Kodran (cattle). The ‘prophet’ is also very old, which would not be surprising for a landvættr. Thus, it is not unreasonable to notice the connection here with landvættir, even though this tale never explicitly uses the term, which brings back a point made earlier that references to landvættir are like hidden gems scattered throughout our sources.

Recommendations for Further Reading:

It may be troublesome to randomly read sagas and tales with the hopes of stumbling upon one of these gems. Of course, I have already named a few that touch on the topic, but they are generally centered around other ideas and motives. If you want the short-cut method (other than just reading this post), I highly recommend you take a look into this source:

H.R. Ellis Davis, Myths and Symbols in Pagan Europe: Early Scandinavian and Celtic Religions(Syracuse University Press, 1989). 

This book would be the best way to learn about the material from a reliable place, and without scavenging the primary source material for information. Google has an eBook version that contains a preview, if you would like to check that out before purchasing. For the most direct information on landvættir, I recommend special attention be given to pages 102 through 133. In fact, I tried to make use of the examples discussed in her book as well, so that, if you choose to read it, things should be more familiar to you already. The whole book seems to be quite the gem, though, so you may be interested in that text for other purposes as well.

Regarding primary sources, you can investigate any of the sources I covered in this post by looking at the relevant footnotes. I will say, though, that I have mostly pulled what is relevant from the sources that you would have easy access to. For example, I would hate to recommend Egil’s Saga just for you to only have that portion of chapter 58 to read about regarding landvættir.

As I mentioned briefly before, I do highly recommend a complete reading of Bard’s Saga, although it may be difficult to acquire the text. I have done research on what English translations are available for all the Icelandic sagas and tales (you can see that information on this post), and, in this endeavor, I found that Bard’s Saga seems to only be reasonably accessible (in English) via this book: 

Ralph O’Connor, Icelandic Histories & Romances. (Tempus, 2004).

If you have trouble, don’t hesitate to let me know, because I would be more than happy to try to help you find a way to read that saga.

Conclusion:

So, in the end, what have we learned?

  • Vættir are nature spirits, and people often sacrificed to them. Many of these vættir were called landvættir, but only those who lived in features of the land, such as waterfalls or large stones.
  • Landvættir (at least) can be in the form of animals, so they do not always take a human form.
  • Vættir could be friendly, but they could also be spiteful when angered, ignored, or disrespected.
  • Some landvættir protected entire regions or countries, whereas others protected local farmsteads. Sometimes they did not protect for the sake of humanity, but for themselves, and so if you are not on friendly terms with them, they will likely cause you great trouble.
  • Many people gave offerings to the landvættir to build a stronger relationship with them and the land. These offerings were not always material, but could also be offerings of respect and recognition, because some landvættir became friendly with people without the need for a formal sacrifice. Sometimes they would come to people in dreams, but only if they wished to.
  • A landvættr could offer a friend many gifts, but mostly prosperity in regards to the raising of livestock, in farming, and even in advice. Another frequent gift they would offer would be the gift of prophecy or foresight.
  • The vættir could be ‘manipulated’ in such a way to incite trouble for a foe, although this seems to require careful skill, for the user would not wish to disrespect the vættir him- or herself, lest they wish to incur their wrath. Yet, this could also be due to good relations.
  • Not everyone could see vættir, for this required a special ability referred to as “second-sight.”
  • Despite not holding a prominent place in Eddic material, other sources suggest that the vættir placed a very central and regional role within the confines of Norse heathenism, and even beyond. Many of the practices told above would ahem been a part of daily life, and can best be summed up as a deep respect, and sometimes fear, of the power of nature.
  • The tradition surrounding the vættir has lived on for quite a long time, existing likely even before Iceland was settled. The vættir still live on today in folklore and in national images such as Iceland’s coat of arms.

Seems like we have learned quite a bit! Of course, this is perhaps only just the surface of the complexity that surrounds the vættir, but it is still quite rich and rewarding. Besides, I have only discussed examples from Iceland. Nonetheless, I do hope that you and others benefit from this post, despite its possibly daunting length. Feel free to reach out to me in the future if the need arises. I am always happy to discuss these things!

Með vinsemd og virðingu,
(With friendliness and respect,)
Fjörn


FOOTNOTES:

1. Viðar Hreinsson, Reference Section: Glossary, in The Complete Sagas of Icelanders: Including 49 Tales, Vol. V, edited by Viðar Hreinsson, Robert Cook, Terry Gunnell, Keneva Kunz, and Bernard Scudder, (Reykjavík: Leifur Eiríksson Publishing, 1997), 413.

Fig.1. Coat of Arms of Iceland, Wikimedia Commons.

2. Snorri Struluson, The Saga of Olaf Tryggvason, in Heimskringla, Vol. I, translated by Alison Finlay and Anthony Faulkes. (Viking Society for Northern Research: University College London, 2016), 168. (Chapter 33)

3. Hermann Pálsson and Paul Edwards trans., The Book of Settlements: Landnámabók. (repr., 1972; Manitoba: University of Manitoba Press, 2012), 125. (Chapter 329, Sturlubók)

4. Ibid., 126. (Chapter 330, Sturlubók)

5. Ari Thorgilsson, The Book of the Icelanders: Íslendingabók, translated by Siân Grønlie. (Viking Society for Northern Research: University College London, 2006), 4.

“It is said with accuracy that a Norwegian called Ingólfr travelled from there [Norway] to Iceland for the first time when Haraldr the Fine-Haired was sixteen years old, and a second time a few years later; he settled in the south in Reykjarvík.”

6. Pálsson trans., The Book of Settlements, 20. (Chapter 8, Sturlubók)

7. Ibid., 19. (Chapter 7, Sturlubók)

8. Ibid., 134. (Chapter 329, Sturlubók)

9. Bernard Scudder trans., Egil’s Saga, in The Complete Sagas of Icelanders: Including 49 Tales, Vol. I, edited by Viðar Hreinsson, Robert Cook, Terry Gunnell, Keneva Kunz, and Bernard Scudder, (Reykjavík: Leifur Eiríksson Publishing, 1997), 114. (Chapter 58) I recommend referring to the Penguin edition (page 119), due to the expense of the version I have used in writing this post.

I actually stubbled upon another bit of information, a poem this time, contained earlier in this chapter (Verse 29, page 110. Penguin: page 114). This actually explains why Egil did not incur the wrath of the landvættir, because he had right on his side. Think of it as a treat for actually reading these footnotes:

“Land spirit, the law-breaker        – (‘land spirit’ appears here as ‘landalfr’).
has forced me to travel 
far and wide; his bride deceives
the man who slew his brothers.
Grim-tempered Gunnhild must pay
for driving me from this land.
In my youth, I was quick to conquer
hesitation and avenge treachery.”

10. John Porter trans., The Tale of Thorvald the Far-Travelled, in The Complete Sagas of Icelanders: Including 49 Tales, vol. V, edited by Viðar Hreinsson, Robert Cook, Terry Gunnell, Keneva Kunz, and Bernard Scudder, (Reykjavík: Leifur Eiríksson Publishing, 1997), 360. (Chapter 3)

Epic Movie (Re)Watch #108 - The Road to El Dorado

(GIF originally posted by @dreamworksmoments)

Have I seen it before: Yes

Did I like it then: Yes.

Do I remember it: Yes.

Did I see it in theaters: No.

Format: DVD

1) Not only is this one of my favorite animated movies, it is one of my favorite movies period. I found it while scrolling through Cartoon Network or HBO Family or something and watched it every chance I could get. 12 year old me found it very edgy. The mild swearing, the cigars, the blasphemy, all of it was very enticing and that’s fed my love of the film since.

2) Elton John & Tim Rice, the songwriting duo behind The Lion King, re-teamed for this film and churned out a nice set of songs. But the strange thing is if you listen to the soundtrack most of the songs are recorded differently than how they appear in the film. The one exception I think is “Someday Out of the Blue” which plays during the end credits. Still, they songs add the fun and energetic flavor to the film. The opening song in particular, “El Dorado,” does a nice job of setting up the mythology we need to get the movie started in a very short amount of time.

3) If you’re a fan of voice over work, you’ll recognize Jim Cummings as Cortez.

Cummings is one of the most prolific and talented voice over artists out there. It would be impossible to list everything he’s done, but his most notable work has been as Darkwing Duck, Winnie the Pooh & Tigger too, Hondo on "Star Wars: The Clone Wars”, Razoul in Aladdin, and Ray the firefly in The Princess and the Frog. It’s fun knowing what he sounds like because not only do you hear him in Cortez, but you also pick up the random nameless characters he plays too with his different voices.

4) The heart of the film, the thing that makes it great: Miguel & Tulio.

Originally posted by roadtoeldorado

The bromance between Miguel & Tulio is what makes this film work as well as it does, it’s what makes it fun! Kenneth Branagh and Kevin Kline voice the pair respectively, and their chemistry is off the charts. It doesn’t hurt that the pair actually got to record their performances with each other, a rarity in animation (although Pixar has done it with Monsters Inc for John Goodman and Billy Crystal).

Their relationship and roles are clear from the start, they balance each other out. Tulio is mildly selfish with a great hunger for gold and an ability to think things through. Miguel’s heart is bigger than their brain, being the dreamer/softie of the group (wanting the map to El Dorado, saving Altivo the horse when he almost drowns, etc.). And they play off each other beautifully.

Originally posted by hamsturfinnur

5) 12 year old me was very fascinated with the slight profanities this film had.

Tulio [when he’s about to roll his dice]: “Come on baby, papa needs that crappy map.”

I thought crap was a real swear when I was twelve. I didn’t lose my innocence until thirteen.

6) Chekov’s Fake Fight.

Originally posted by somehow-you-will

(GIF originally posted by @somehow-you-will)

The fight comes into play later in the film too, but is a showcase mainly for the wonderful banter between Miguel & Tulio and - therefore - the excellent writing of screenwriters of Ted Elliott and Terry Rossio. These guys were my favorite screenwriters when I was twelve, and can you blame me? Their resume consisted of: Aladdin, The Mask of Zorro, Shrek, The Road to El Dorado, every Pirates of the Caribbean film, Treasure Planet, and both National Treasure films. They have a strong penchant for strong dialogue too. Consider the exchange above, and also this:

Miguel: “You fight like my sister.”

Tulio: “I’ve FOUGHT your sister! That’s a compliment!”

I love that.

7) According to IMDb:

The film shares several attributes of its namesake, the "Road” comedies made famous by Bob Hope and Bing Crosby during the 1940s (which helps explain anachronisms such as shared language, pop culture references and lack of historical accuracy).

I just thought that was a fun share.

8) God, I love the banter between these two.

[Tulio & Miguel jump into barrels of water in a chase scene but can’t escape because the barrels are being loaded onto a ship]

Tulio: “What’s happening here?”

Miguel: “We’re both in barrels. That’s the extent of my knowledge.”

9) Even the bad guys have great dialogue!

Cortes (upon discovering Miguel & Tulio on his ship): “My crew was as carefully chosen as the disciples of Christ.”

10) I’m just going to let you know now, so many of my notes here are just quotes from the film I love.

Miguel [giddily, after Cortes tell the pair they will be enslaved in Cuba for being stow aways]: “Alright! Cuba!”

11) For example, another quote:

Miguel: Yes, that’s it Altivo. Find the pry bar!

Tulio: Yes, “find the pry bar”. He doesn’t understand “pry bar”! He’s a dumb horse, there’s no way he could understand…

[Altivo drops keys into the brig]

Tulio: Well… it’s NOT a pry bar.

12) The Trail We Blaze

Originally posted by insidealosershead

Animated films are usually short so as to be not too time consuming. It can take years to make 80 minutes of animation. This film has a nice device of compacting what could be very long scenes into neat little montages with the use of a song. We still get Tulio & Miguel’s fun journey through the jungles to find El Dorado, but it’s done in three and a half minutes to a fun Elton John tune. It keep the energy, the adventure, but doesn’t waste the time of the animators or the audience.

13) Immediately Tulio and Chel have great chemistry as they play “pass the golden idol” together!

14) El Dorado.

(GIF originally posted by @dreamworksmoments)

Immediately upon entering the city the audience is filled with a sense of wonder, achieved through gorgeous animation and also Hans Zimmer’s subtle music which adds for extra bone tingling. You marvel at it with Tulio and Miguel, and you understand how it is such a mythical place.

15) Edward James Olmos does some great voice over work as Chief Tannabok.

Originally posted by roadtoeldorado

I’ve never seen “Battlestar Galactica” so I am mostly familiar with Olmos from his work in Blade Runner, Stand & Deliver, and even “Agents of SHIELD”. I think he shows off a nice amount of range with this addition to his resume. Chief Tannabok is not an angry man. He is kind, soft, gentle, patient, but also you can tell that he’s kinda sad. You don’t HEAR Olmos, you hear the chief and that makes him an excellent addition to the cast.

16) And of course our big bad, Tzekel-Kan

Originally posted by roadtoeldorado

Tzekel-Kan is the opposite of Chief Tannabok. He is angry, an overlord of sorts. He wants blood because he believes it is what’s needed. He believes people are wicked and evil just for enjoying life and being kind, and it is his righteous duty to smite them. He pisses me off way more now than he did when I was twelve.

17) This whole bit with the volcano! Miguel goes too far and says that the gods should not be questioned or else they will be forced to release their awful wrath…but Tzekel-Kan wants to see that. Only they’re not gods! So he and Tulio turn away to try and figure it out and we get this…

Originally posted by findreactions

There’s an old addage in writing: “A coincidence to get a character out of trouble is lazy.” However in this case I’m 100% okay with that because it’s just funny as hell.

18) How many of us have used this GIF?

Originally posted by idiot-eden

19) Chel.

Originally posted by specta-a

Chel is a nice way of making the duo a trio. Voiced wonderfully by Rosie Perez, she is just as crafty and cunning as Tulio (if not more so) but also understand Miguel’s sense of adventure. The pair balance each other out already, bit if Miguel acts too dreamer-y or Tulio is too gold hungry they throw each other out of whack (as this film shows). Chel helps stabilize them by film’s end and is a lot of fun to watch. Also, bonus points for being an animated female character with a body that is physically possible.

20)

Chel [on why she wants a life of adventure]: “You’ve got your reasons…and I’ve got mine. Let’s not make this personal, okay?”

WHAT ARE HER REASONS!?!? WE NEVER LEARN!!! I MUST KNOW!!!

21) So Chel needs to prove to Tulio and Miguel she’s a good con artist…

[Chel shows the pair the dice she stole from Tulio]

Tulio: “How did you get those?”

Miguel: “Where was she keeping them?”

I’m with Miguel, that’s the more important question.

22) Oh Miguel…

Originally posted by jay-robo

Originally posted by mulder-scully-gifs

23) It’s Tough to be a God.

Originally posted by borzotro

The only time this film is a traditional musical (ie: the characters themselves break into song & dance), and considering Kevin Kline’s and Kenneth Branagh’s singing here that might not be the worst thing. The interesting thing is that their version doesn’t even appear on the soundtrack. Instead we get a duet with Elton John and Randy Newman.

24) I need to remember this excuse.

Tulio [trying to convince Tzekel-Kan not to make a human sacrifice to the gods/them]: “The stars are not in position for this tribute.”

Miguel: “Like he said…”

(GIF source unknown [if this is your GIF please let me know].)

Originally posted by pantyception

25) I don’t identify totally with Miguel or totally with Tulio, but with parts of them. Like I identify with Tulio being kind of the dreamer who thinks things are possible, but this is a very me thing to say:

Tulio [after Miguel tells him he worries too much]: “No, I worry just the right amount! You can never worry too much!”

Same, Tulio. Same.

26) Remember how I said this movie was edgy to 12 year old me. Well it features a scene where Chel tries to seduce Tulio. Like, more than wanting a kiss. But like she shows off her shoulders for a back massage, they’re later found on the ground together all disheveled, it’s not even very subtle when you know what’s going on. Twelve year old me was very innocent.

27) I love their banter.

Miguel [when he and Tulio end up in a big arena to play ball for the locals]: “Well don’t blame me!”

(GIF source unknown [if this is your GIF please let me know].)

28) The ball game is a lot of fun to watch, if for no other reason then Chel on the sidelines.

Chel: “Foul! That was a foul!”

And then it’s her idea to use the armadillo as a ball replacement to cheat.

29) So earlier in the film we got this line from Miguel:

(GIF source unknown [if this is your GIF please let me know].)

And then later in the film Miguel tries to convince Chief Tannabok that the boat they are using to leave isn’t good enough (because Miguel wants to stay) when in fact it’s perfect. When Miguel admits his mistake, we got this line from the chief.

Chief: “Hey, to err is human.”

Miguel goes to get in the boat, but then he looks over his shoulder at the chief and the chief looks at him knowingly. And they don’t say anything else about it.

I love that. I love that the chief isn’t an idiot, but he knows. He knows and he knows it’s good for his people and he knows Miguel is a good guy and…I just love it!

30) I love little things like this.

[A giant stone jaguar, controlled by Tzekel-Kan, attacks the city. It grabs a warrior, ruffs him up A LOT, then lets him fall to the ground.]

Warrior [patting himself down]: “I’m okay!!!”

[Jaguar steps on warrior]

Warrior [from under Jaguar’s foot]: “I’m still okay!”

31) Remember how I talked about Chekov’s Fake Fight?

Tzekel-Kan [when he was Miguel & Tulio cornered]: “I know what you are and I know what you are not. And you are not GODS!”

Tulio [after a beat]: “Y-you’re not a god!?”

The pair then continue to have a very real argument where they say some pretty cold things to each other…

Tulio: “You’re buying your own con!”

Miguel: “At least I’m not DATING mine!”

But it has the same effect. Tzekel-Kan is distracted, enjoying their fighting, and the audience is as surprised as he is when the pair work in sync again and punch the guy out. It’s a nice way of playing the scene out.

32) Friends Never Say Goodbye. A very sad song that plays when it seems like Tulio and Miguel are going to take separate paths in life and are really mad at each other. It actually has some nice truths to it, and again is slightly different on the soundtrack. Elton John is backed up by the Backstreet Boys for the song on the album. I hope that didn’t ruin it for some of you.

Originally posted by dorawinifredread

33) The film ends with the citizens of El Dorado crashing a pillar into their gate so as to keep Cortes from finding the city, only it is falling too soon. So Chief Tannabok grabs some of the ropes and holds it back for a while. And this is probably REALLY mean of me and I apologize in advance but I just thought of this:

Originally posted by ignitetheliight

I’m so sorry.

34) According to IMDb:

A series of sequels featuring Miguel, Tulio, Chel, Altivo and even the armadillo going after other legends about gold was planned, similar to the Shrek (2001) series, but following the disappointing box-office results they were immediately canceled.

Originally posted by roadtoeldorado

While that would’ve been interesting I’m kinda glad this film just stands on its own. It’s a nice little gem that way.


I love this film, and think a lot of people out there will too. People don’t really talk about it these days except to talk about how no one talks about it. It’s a nice variation from standard Disney fare, the music is great, freaking Miguel & Tulio are just awesome, and it is just such an enjoyable/adventure filled film. I think you should all watch it now! It’s on Netflix if you have it. So go. Go follow that trail! (Too easy?)

In This Moment: Ritual Track-By-Track Album Review [With Pictures]

“Shame says that because I am flawed, I am unacceptable. Grace says that though I am flawed, I am cherished.” - Abigail Williams: The Crucible, Arthur Miller

SALVATION

All begin to gather around a huge bonfire in the dead of night, decked out to the nines in appropriate attire for the onset of a demonic religious ceremony. Witch drums build to an overpowering bone-chilling crescendo as chants bellow in the background, and you know what is about to take place. Here we have an introductory track which is very stereotypically In This Moment. They firmly believe in taking people on a journey, and it is why they always go to great pains to create a story within the music with each album. This album is no exception as they once again begin the album with a track that crescendos and builds tension and generates excitement for what is to come. The ritual begins here.

OH LORD

The concept of good and evil is explored heavily on this album, and here is where that story begins. The crux of this song is someone exploring the depths of their own psyche, fighting an internal battle with their dark and light sides. And, in a way, this person feels ashamed of being flawed, feeling as if they must be purified in some way to rid themselves of this shame. It asks the all-brooding question, “Am I Lilith or am I Eve?” which, in my opinion, is the heart of the song and is the question that is explored throughout the entire track. Who am I really? Am I the good person that I know myself to be, or am I really as evil as others think I am?

BLACK WEDDING

It’s a nice night for a black wedding. A priest and a nun come together in the wee hours of the night to confess their sins to one another. There is indiscretion afoot on both sides of the booth. This song mirrors that of a Catholic confessional, given its back and forth style of vocalizing with the one and only Rob Halford of Judas Priest. This is one of my favorite tracks on the album, simply because of the imagery attached to it. From my perspective, it’s about the whole concept of star-crossed lovers; people who initially could have been good for each other, but ultimately were destined to be ripped apart. With its whimsical piano introduction and poppy chorus, it is destined to be single material at some point. The vocal interstitial at the end of the song of the recited bible verse really fits in well with the theme of the album and helps stitch together the theme with ease.

IN THE AIR TONIGHT

I can feel it coming in the air tonight. The light voices on the wind signal what is about to happen. Here we have a very haunting and melancholic rendition of Phil Collin’s classic song, “In The Air Tonight”, which was inspired by his own wife’s infidelity and discussed events which ultimately lead to their divorce. Their rendition gives it a much more witchy vibe, foreshadowing things which have yet to take place. It injects you with this uneasy feeling that something could happen at any moment, but at the same time knowing that it was meant to happen all along. How do you take a song that’s already perfect and make it even more so? You can’t. You just have to use it to tell your own story, and I truly believe that is what they’ve done with their version.

JOAN OF ARC

The exploration of good vs evil is put center stage in this track from the get-go, with the first line being a line sampled from the 1999 film, The Messenger: The Story Of Joan of Arc. It asks the question, “Who are you to even think you can know the difference between good and evil?” Maria set out to use Joan of Arc as a metaphor for her own crucible, in which she suffers at the hands of the masses for not living up to their expectations. But she has come to terms with who she is and does not find fault in others, instead allowing them to burn her at the stake for their crimes, thus making herself a martyr for her own cause. She’s saying, go ahead and set me on fire if it makes you feel better, but it changes nothing. This one is another one of my favorites.

RIVER OF FIRE

I wanna feel you strike me down with lightning. Here we continue on with the theme explored in Joan of Arc of allowing yourself to be crucified, only here it is done in a way which is much more direct. There is a ritualistic back beat that pounds throughout the entire track, giving you the feeling that you are now in the midst of the ritual you came to experience. This song says, I want you to give me everything you got, all of your hate; pour it down on me like rain from the sky because I want to feel all of it. Let it rain, bring on a hurricane and baptize me in a river of fire because I want to drown in your wrath and fury.

WITCHING HOUR

This is the witching hour. Three witches gather around a bubbling cauldron in the middle of a dark wood. This song’s origin no doubt resides in Maria’s trip to Salem, the site of the Salem Witch Trials. It puts this story on display right from the beginning, sampling a sound byte which speaks on that very thing: “Superstition and fear drove them all to accuse their friends and family of consorting with the devil.” This song also explores her own real-life crucible of persecution even further, with her no doubt feeling vilified by those around her for the things she thinks and believes and the way she expresses herself. Even given its dark nature, this is easily one of the poppiest songs on the album in regards to production value. It utilizes a mesmerizing trap beat that casts its own spell on you throughout the entire track. This song is voodoo in the purest sense of the word and is my favorite song on the album.

TWIN FLAMES

Crawl into these flames with me. This is one of the most insanely beautiful songs on the entire album and it is one of my top favorites. This song steps away from the good and evil exploration for a quiet moment with your soulmate within the flames of the bonfire. The idea of twin flames is a very esoteric concept. The idea is that people share one-half of each other’s souls. They are pieces of one soul split into two, thus the appropriate lyric, “One flame bursting into two”, which more or less signifies the separation of these two soul halves and these people going their separate ways. The idea is explored in much of the star-crossed fashion of Black Wedding. It has this harpsichord chord progression that pulls you inside the fire’s incandescent glow.

HALF GOD HALF DEVIL

Without the darkness, there’d be no light in me. This song represents the full integration of dark and light. Maria has come to terms with everything that has happened to her, both the good and the bad and embracing all of it. It’s this knowledge of self and experience that frees her from the negative perceptions of those outside her. It also answers the question posed in Oh Lord. Am I good or am I bad? It’s both. And you cannot hope to achieve full enlightenment until you learn to bring both sides together. This is another one of my favorites because this is the moment where I can feel that she is finally comfortable in her own skin and is letting the world know that you cannot have the good without the bad.

NO ME IMPORTA

The simple truth is that I just don’t give a fuck; I don’t care. This is the continuation of that strong self-knowledge. In a way, it feels as though it’s about people who criticize her from the comfort of their keyboards, analyzing her every thought, word and move in an effort to try to “fix” her. It’s about knowing that you’re messed up, about knowing that these flaws are simply just part of who you are and there is no problem at all. There’s an undeniably catchy chord progression in this song that will leave you hooked. There are lots of starts and stops and words that just kind of run into one another. I have to admit I didn’t know what to think of this song at first because I didn’t really understand what was going on lyrically, but now that I know and get what it’s about, I’m happy to say it’s another one of my favorites.

ROOTS

There’s this sick part of me thankful for the hate. This song is the apex of the album’s theme. Part of it is learning how to transmute hatred. When you know who you are and you are grounded in your own self-belief, the words of others begin to lose effect. Where do your roots start and where do your roots end? How well do you know yourself? Do you let the perceptions of others get to you or do you use them to your own benefit? In a way, it represents our connection to ourselves and to source. It says thank you for all of the hate because it has only made me stronger. It shows that without the bad, I would not be who I am today. Because she really does need it to help strengthen her own personal resolve and evolve as a human being.

LAY YOUR GUN DOWN

Won’t you lay your gun down? This song explores the album’s underlying theme one final time, in an attempt to lay her own gun down. In an intimately flawed final moment, Maria acknowledges her own flaws and lays them bare for the world to see. All these twisted little parts of her are what make her who she is. And in coming to terms with this, she reaches her own level of self-actualization. Pull the trigger and fire away because she’s made of scar tissue. Everything that has happened to her has made her indestructible. In This Moment are known for their low-key endings, and this song mirrors that of songs like Out Of Hell from Black Widow and 11:11 from Blood. You can really feel the emotion in the last few seconds of the album and feeling a sense of gratitude for what you have just experienced. The ritual has now come to an end.

I decided to make another collection of inspirational quotes, but this time from the scientists! As before, I hope you enjoy these inspirational quotes I collected and add them to your quotes collection!

Albert Einstein

  • “Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow. The important thing is not to stop questioning.”
  • “A person who never made a mistake never tried anything new.”
  • “A man should look for what is, and not for what he thinks should be.”
  • “There are two ways to live: you can live as if nothing is a miracle; you can live as if everything is a miracle.”
  • “It is only to the individual that a soul is given.”

Marie Curie

  • “Nothing in life is to be feared, it is only to be understood. Now is the time to understand more, so that we may fear less.”
  • “I was taught that the way of progress was neither swift nor easy.”
  • “One never notices what has been done; one can only see what remains to be done.”
  • “Be less curious about people and more curious about ideas.”
  • “Life is not easy for any of us. But what of that? We must have perseverance and above all confidence in ourselves. We must believe that we are gifted for something and that this thing must be attained.”

Neil deGrasse Tyson

  • “I think the greatest of people that have ever been in society, they were never versions of someone else. They were themselves.”
  • “Passion is what gets you through the hardest times that might otherwise make strong men weak, or make you give up.”
  • “We are part of this universe; we are in this universe, but perhaps more important than both of those facts, is that the universe is in us.”

Isaac Newton

  • “We build too many walls and not enough bridges.”

Steven Hawking

  • “However difficult life may seem, there is always something you can do and succeed at.”
  • “Look up at the stars and not down at your feet. Try to make sense of what you see, and wonder about what makes the universe exist. Be curious.”

Galileo Galilei

  • “We cannot teach people anything; we can only help them discover it within themselves.”
  • “All truths are easy to understand once they are discovered; the point is to discover them.”

George Washington Carver

  • “No individual has any right to come into the world and go out of it without leaving behind him distinct and legitimate reasons for having passed through it.”
  • “There is no short cut to achievement. Life requires thorough preparation - veneer isn’t worth anything.”
  • “When you do the common things in life in an uncommon way, you will command the attention of the world.”
  • “Where there is no vision, there is no hope.”
  • “How far you go in life depends on your being tender with the young, compassionate with the aged, sympathetic with the striving and tolerant of the weak and strong. Because someday in your life you will have been all of these.”

Carl Sagan

  • “Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known.”
  • “Imagination will often carry us to worlds that never were. But without it we go nowhere.”
  • “When you make the finding yourself, even if you’re the last person on Earth to see the light, you’ll never forget it.”
A month of AUs - June 3

A/B/O verse Hanzo discovers he’s pregnant and worries about his ability to be a decent parent.

(Heads up, there may be a number of days in the A/B/O verse or variations of it, because while I CAN come up with 30 distinct AUs… I do not necessarily feel like writing a scene for all 30 of those distinct AUs)

Staring down at the stick in his hand, Hanzo feels like the air has escaped his lungs. It takes him a moment to remember how to breathe, his hand falling to the bathroom counter to keep him upright.

He thought he’d been prepared for this possibility. As soon as he’d recognized the symptoms he’d considered all avenues. Pregnancy… pregnancy was not the worst possible thing anymore. He wasn’t on the run. He wasn’t being hunted. He even had a mate. He’d lived with Overwatch for three years now, been with Jesse McCree for the past two years. Overwatch had returned to being a legal entity not long after he joined, and the protection that came with it made life almost easy.

He thought he’d be okay with the possibility of being pregnant.

He wasn’t.

He doesn’t realize he’s sobbing until a knock on the door pulls him from his thoughts.

“Darling? You okay in there?”

He’d nearly forgotten McCree was waiting in their room. For a second, Hanzo considers not saying anything. Then he looks at the window and contemplates escaping to the roof.

Eventually, he stands and opens the bathroom door.

McCree is standing there with his hand still poised to knock. He takes in Hanzo’s appearance before noticing the red tint to his eyes. “Oh, Hanners…”

Hanzo falls into his arms before he can say anything else, not crying, but refusing to look up at his husband’s face. “It’s positive. I’m-. We, are having a child.” He can feel the stutter in McCree’s chest as he inhales, and his grip around Hanzo tightens.

“You mean it, babe?”

Hanzo can’t speak. He only nods, holding back another sob now at the guilt from how excited McCree sounds. Of course he would be happy. McCree had brought up his wish for children so many times since they had begun their relationship. He had never pushed, never asked for them to settle down, but Hanzo had known anyway.

With a gentle kiss to the top of Hanzo’s head, McCree leads him over to the bed, pulling the smaller man down onto his lap, arms curled around each other.

“So what’s the plan then?”

“Hm?” Hanzo asks, still refusing to look any higher than McCree’s chest. “I suppose we will have to see Dr. Ziegler to schedule appointments. See Commander Amari about-… about my pregnancy leave.”

“We don’t have to-”

Hanzo ignores the interruption, pulling away slightly as McCree’s closeness begins to feel like it is suffocating him. “I must inform Genji, see if he can steal our tombs from Hanamura to ensure our child bonds with his dragon without incident. I will of course be unable to go. I will be unable to train as well. Commander Amari will need to find another sniper, leaving our teams vulnerable-”

McCree does the only thing he can think of to stop Hanzo’s rant before he begins to panic. He puts his hand over Hanzo’s chin and forces him to look up. “Han. It’s okay. I need you to breathe.”

He does, heart racing and head feeling faint as if he hadn’t been breathing at all this entire time. “Jesse…”

“You’re panicking, darling. Wanna tell me why?”

“No…”

“Let me rephrase that. Tell me why.”

It’s not really an order. If Hanzo did not want to discuss it, he could remain silent. But phrasing it as an order gave him an out. Gave him the opportunity to talk frankly and not feel as if he were being weak by wanting to share his fears. So he puts his hand on McCree’s shirt, playing with a button as he gathers his strength.

“I do not believe I should be a parent.”

McCree tenses at the admission. “And why’s that?”

There are so many reasons. And he lists them all. His mother and father were terrible examples. The elders were hardly the basis for a good family dynamic. He doesn’t know the first thing about children. He grew up thinking murder was a part of life. He tried to kill his own brother as adults. Oh, and that one time when he and Genji were small, when Genji came down with a flu and Hanzo thought he was faking and pushed him out into the snow.

He began his training when he was still a child, barely old enough to consider attending school. Would he be a bad parent for not wanting their child to train as diligently? Wouldn’t that just be setting them up to be hurt or killed, unable to defend themselves?

And what about school and education? Discipline? Could he stop himself from raising his hand against his child if they acted out? Should he do that? He read that it was wrong. And he was terrible with his words. What if his child grew up thinking his father hated him? What if-

“Darling, I had no idea you felt that way.”

Of course Jesse would cut him off from those thoughts just as Hanzo was beginning to have them. He was a good man.

“I did not know I would feel this way.” Hanzo admits after a long moment. “I thought I was prepared. I thought I would feel… excited? I am not sure.”

“Well, why did you think you’d be excited?”

For the first time, Hanzo placed his own hand on his stomach, considering the small group of cells that were growing there. Why had he wanted to try for a child with Jesse? “… I wanted a child with your eyes, your smile. I wanted to see a miniature version of you in my arms, with you smiling at us.”

He can feel Jesse’s smile against his hair before the other man speaks. “You know you ain’t the only one with fears, Han.”

Hanzo scoffs, but allows Jesse to continue.

“I ain’t even know who my dad was. And my ma died when I was just a kid. I don’t know the first thing about how a parent is supposed to be outside of movies and TV. Even when Fareeha was visiting the base, she was usually hanging with me and Reinhardt, not her mom. I remember Ana would keep her artwork and call her during missions, but I don’t remember much else. And you ain’t the only one with insecurities either. I have ta quit smoking right now if we’re going to do this. And recalibrate my arm so I don’t crush nothing when I get mad or distracted.”

Something in his words catches Hanzo off guard and he finally looks up at his husband. “I am not sure why I assumed you already knew all about child rearing, but I did.”

“I don’t even know how to change a diaper, honestly. Or where to buy them.” He makes a face and suddenly goes pale. “Oh my god. What do babies eat?”

“Jesse, I am sure I will be capable enough to feed our child.”

“Yeah, but what about when you’re on a mission? Do we just get formula or something?”

Hanzo falls silent.

It takes Jesse a moment to realize. “Han? Did I say something wrong?”

“No.” Hanzo assures him. “I just… I assumed that I would no longer be welcome on the team. Would I not be a liability?”

“Well, I ain’t goanna say I want you out there in danger, but that ain’t no different from when you go out on a job without me. I suppose it’ll be up to you and Mercy as to when you go on leave. And I guess I just assumed you’d be wanting to get back into things right away. I know ya don’t like being cooped up and I don’t mind staying behind sometimes. Long as you keep yourself safe.”

“It seems we have both assumed many things about each other.”

Jesse can’t hide his smile. “Seems like. So, how are ya feeling about all this now?”

Hanzo shrugs once, then gently raises his first to meet Jesse’s eyes. “I still have concerns over my ability as a parent but… perhaps, we can, as you say, figure things out on the way.”

Jesse grins. “And hey, worst case scenario, I’m sure the team would be more than happy to help us out.”

Hanzo hadn’t even considered asking their teammates for assistance, but he finds the idea warming. Their team is their family. Of course they’d help.

Hesitantly, Jesse slides his hand down to Hanzo’s belly, placing it over Hanzo’s own hand.

“So… this is really real.”

Gently, Hanzo entwines their fingers together.

“It is.”

Someone From Louden Swain Is In Love With Me And All I Got Was This Song Written About Me

Pairing: Rob Benedict x Reader

Summary: Based on this one post by @lamthetwickster AND a request from @a-vast-african-plain “Hi I was wondering if you could do a prophet!Chuck x reader where he and the reader used to date in high school, but broke up when they went to college because they didn’t want to have a long distance relationship, and then he goes to his high school reunion and sees the reader for the first time in years and they still have feelings for each other? And could it be a little smutty? Pretty please with strawberry syrup and marshmallows on top?” 

Warnings: smuuuuut, also I BLAME YALL IF I FAIL CHEMISTRY I JUST WANTED TO PUT THIS OUT THERE SO I WROTE 3.4K WORDS INSTEAD OF READING UP ABOUT AVOGADRO’S CONSTANT SO THERE 

A/N: I know it’s SUUUUPER different from the original request, but I loved this version and am a teeny bit proud of it so. ALSO IM SORRY ITS SO BAD IM RUSHING IT. 

Originally posted by kidneys-and-custard

(have a cute Rob)

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Olicity: Zephyr

Chapter 1: Taking Out The Trash

Summary: “Zephyr”
(zɛf ər), noun | A gentle, mild breeze. It does not disrupt, nor cause chaos, it merely brings a pleasant sensation on a warm summer day. (via wordsnquotes) Behind the vigilantism, they have to live. A look at our heroes as they go about the more normal moments of their lives.

Welcome to my new series, Zephyr!!
We’re going to be looking at the most domestic, normal, downright boring moments of life with Olicity. Still with me? Great, I hope so. Because I’ve realised that the moments I love writing most are the normal ones, so I’m hoping this can be fun.

The first prompt:
@aussieforgood said: You want boring, here’s boring. Taking out the trash.

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