as you all can see i live on tvtropes most of the time

The Romance Arc (Destiel)

So, I know we always say it, but the other day I was finally fed up enough - or weird enough - to decide I’d make a list. And, guys, this is going to be a long-ass post, so if you haven’t got time, here is the tl;dr version: if we look at the love tropes most commonly used to build an onscreen relationship, Dean and Cas score an eye-watering 61/91 - that’s a 67% total.

Now, to put that in perspective - in order to build a romance arc, you’ve got five obligatory stages (meeting each other, falling in love, becoming a couple, a period of conflict, a resolution) and each of these stages will include at least one common trope, more or less hidden according to the kind of media and the author’s intent and sophistication. tvtropes lists a total of 91 tropes, but no love story will ever use them all. That would be ridiculous - either a parody or complete insanity. Think of a story where our lovers were destined to be together and also promised to each other as children and also the reincarnation of past lovers; where they meet by spilling coffee on each other and then she goes on to lose her handkerchief and he picks it up and runs after her to give it back but - whoa - now she’s been attacked by pirates and the hero wants to save her but his king is ordering him not to and oh no, what will he do? That sounds like overkill, right? And it totally is: a story with too many tropes is a ridiculous, unrealistic, unwatchable mess. To give you a better idea of what I mean, if look at those 91 tropes tvtropes lists as possible steps to build a romance arc, Dirty Dancing, one of the most romantic movies ever made, only scores 19 points; 10 Things I Hate about You, another big favourite of mine and an absolute ALL the love, ALL the feels story, scores 16 points. And Jane the Virgin, an actual soap-opera parody on the CW complete with sudden rain and snow to highlight special kisses, scores even lower: 13 points.

Meanwhile, normal friendships between men like Sam and Frodo’s in the Lord of the Rings trilogy or Ted and Marshall’s in How I Met Your Mother score a grand total of zero points - so, yes, it’s perfectly possible to write a non-romantic male friendship even when that friendship is a dramatic I’ll walk with you to the very edge of the Earth and then carry you up the slopes of a dangerous volcano and finally die with you sort of thing. Because, funnily enough, you can be friends with somebody and be ready to die for them without actually having a sexual interest in them. 

(Johnlock scores 29 points.)

(Wincest, 4.)

Something you could be wondering at this point is, why tropes though? Why are tropes a thing, and why does it matter how many tropes Supernatural chooses to use between Dean and Cas? And, look, I’m sure someone else could say it better, but essentially tropes are the bones of a story. Every single story you see out there, from the Odyssey to Torchwood/Gossip Girl crossovers to coffeshop AUs is built out of the same building blocks. There are, like, seven possible plots and about two dozen kinds of characters and maybe two hundred common tropes - and that’s it. Try tagging any classic novel with AO3 tags and you’ll see what I mean. 

[This story is Jules Verne’s fanfiction of an Edgar Allan Poe novel, and, yeah.]

Now, since it’s only possible to build a story in a limited number of ways, the problem all authors face is to find an original way to make it work. Some will use tropes religiously, either because they can’t think of anything different or because they hope a tried-and-tested formula will appeal to readers (see every romance novel under the sun; also most thrillers). Others will make fun of tradition by throwing the tropes back in your face (one of my favourite takes of this is Diana Wynne Jones’ Howl’s Moving Castle). And others will manage to bullshit you so thoroughly and completely you won’t notice the tropes are there until it’s too late - those are the stories where you’re truly surprised and shocked by events and you sit up in bed like a fool gasping out loud and you only stop reading because you need to tell someone asap, You won’t believe what just happened. A good example of this is the ending of the first season of Game of Thrones - we were all so convinced Ned Stark was the hero, filming people who hadn’t read the books as they watched him die became something of a hobby; and many became convinced George RR Martin was this all-powerful deity without any rules (not true: he’s a good writer, however, and he managed to convince most of us Ned was the hero when in reality he was the ‘Dumbledore’ figure - and therefore his death makes perfect sense).

And if we’re talking about Destiel - as I explained in the very first meta I wrote for this fandom (though at the time I hadn’t even realized I was part of a fandom, and didn’t know what a meta even was), I didn’t start to ‘ship’ Dean and Cas out of nefarious reasons, or tedium, or a desire to write smutty fanfiction. In fact, I still don’t consider myself a shipper in any way. I am not particularly interested in romance, and I never go out of my way to see who may be suited for whom. And I’m not saying there’s anything wrong in doing that - just that it’s something I don’t do. If I started to see Destiel and to write about it, it’s because to me (and, apparently, to a lot of other people), it was clear that there was something there; that that was how the story was built. And if I started to look at it more closely, it was simply because my expectations as a viewer were disappointed, and the relationship of trust between author and reader was - for me - crumbling into nothingness. 

And, look, I won’t lie: I was angry and upset by the implications - that there was something wrong with me - that I was trying to force a sexual relationship on two friends just because. That, as a woman, I couldn’t enjoy a story without making it all about the romance. No, I am a huge book nerd, and I like writing stories, and I mostly analyse stuff for a living and I also sort of have eyes? - so, to me, it was clear I was being lied to, and at that moment, I was left in an uncomfortably ambiguous position which will sound familiar to many of you - I was furious at the show, but at the same time I was still in love with the characters (so very much in love). This was a frustrating feeling which presented me with two equally unappealing options - to keep watching and not expect anything, or to walk away. In the end, I tried a third way, which I suspect many of you have chosen as well: I was too invested in these characters to abandon them, but I also wanted this story to be an honest story, so I started complementing it with ‘viewing supports’. I started to read (and write) fanfiction. I looked for fanvideos, fanart and gifs. And, most of all, I fell into the habit of reading (and writing) metas after every episode to make sure what I was seeing was actually there. Because, well, for me - that’s why I write metas about Supernatural when I don’t write metas of other shows I enjoy much more: because most of the time Supernatural is more focused on not telling a story than it is in telling one, which means what we are left with what is a half story where our characters have their own secret life offscreen and many lines of dialogue could mean anything. Ironically enough, Supernatural has become like its hero and POV character, Dean Winchester: a con and a liar and a charmer who tries to be liked by everyone. 

(And let’s not forget the swings both ways thing).

As for the other question - are we crazy? - I’m hoping this post will help clearing things up: no, we are not crazy. The reason we see a romance unfolding is because the relationship between Dean and Cas is written to fit a romance arc - and does fit a romance arc by 67%.

[Longer analysis under the cut.]

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Writing Bisexual Characters

Queer identities are gaining more and more ground in written and visual media. While this is splendid, portrayals often seem limited to gay people. Bisexuality is, in many ways, still an “invisible” queer identity. Way too often, I hear people who don’t know what it is, doubt its existence, or just plain don’t consider it when telling a story.

 

Introduction

About the author: I am a bisexual woman in my mid-twenties who has studied gender and queer theory non-professionally for a few years. I’m by no means an expert on anything, but I do have an interest in seeing my sexuality represented well.

Let me start with a disclaimer: There is no one way to be bisexual. This doesn’t describe everyone by a longshot. The best way of learning is to go out there, listen, ask and listen some more. This article is just a starting point for knowledge and questions.

With that in mind, let’s start!

 

Frequently Asked Questions

What is bisexuality?

Being bisexual means you are able to be sexually, romantically and/or emotionally attracted to more than one gender. Some people make a distinction between being attracted to both genders (bisexual) or being attracted to all genders (pansexual), but for most intents and purposes, bisexual is the term you want.

For some bisexuals, gender is a factor in the attraction, some are genderblind, some fluctuate between genders, some have a preference, etc. Point is, there are many different ways to be bisexual. The one thing they all have in common is the sexual attraction to more than one gender.

 

Isn’t it just a phase?

While it’s true that some gay people identify as bi before coming fully out, and that some straight people identify temporarily as bi, bisexuality is a completely legitimate orientation. Bi adults tend to stay bi.

Part of the “phase” idea comes from the fact that most bisexuals indeed settle down with a person of a specific gender. This doesn’t make them non-bisexual though. It just means that their perfect match happened to be male/female/whatever.

 

How and when does a bisexual person know that they are bi?

That differs a lot. Some have known all their lives, some figure it out through experimenting, some only realize when BAM they’re in love with someone unexpected. Personally, up until my early twenties I just figured everyone was a little gay until I realized that hey, maybe it’s just me.

 

How do bisexuals choose?

The same way as everyone else. We meet someone fantastic, and we decide that we want a relationship with them.

 

Aren’t you just greedy?

No, no and also no. Bisexuals are not attracted to everyone. We can be attracted to anyone regardless of gender, but we still have taste and standards. The specific standards depend on the bi individual, just like libido, faithfulness, etc. - all things that have nothing to do with the orientation and everything to do with the individual.

 

Writing a Bisexual Character

The top 6 most important things to remember while writing a bisexual character are as follows:

  1. “Bisexual” is not a personality trait, nor does it say anything distinctive about the character apart from their shipping potential. Sexuality informs personality, sure, but just like you can’t base a character around their hair color, you can’t base a character solely around their sexuality. Flesh ‘em out.

  2. Bisexual people face discrimination from both straight and gay communities. Bi girls are seen as flaky teases or “drunken straight girls”. Bi guys are seen as equally flaky, unable to settle down, or as gays in denial. All bi people are seen as more promiscuous and less trustworthy. Many people will avoid serious relationships with bi people because of this.

  3. Since bisexuals are regarded as more sexual, bi characters (especially female) can skirt the line of Mr./Ms. Fanservice. It’s not fair, but know that a same-sex couple kissing will often be seen as shocking and/or pandering.

  4. Most (Western) bisexuals live happy, well-adjusted lives at peace with our sexuality. The media has a tendency to depict queer characters in a very dramatic and traumatised light, and there is some truth to this (e.g. the suicide rate among bisexual teens is higher than for both straight and gay teens), but the angst is currently overexposed in media. The angsty queer story needs some spotlight, but it isn’t groundbreaking or edgy anymore.

  5. Related to this, be careful about killing off one half of a same-sex couple. It has been done. A LOT. I’m not saying it can’t be done well, but it leaves me a bad taste in the mouth to see just how many storytellers don’t believe I deserve a happy ending.

  6. If your bisexual character is the only non-monosexual person in the story, be prepared for extra scrutiny and criticism (as this character will stand as ambassador for your view on bisexual people). Avoid this by having a broader selection of LGBT+ characters.

 

How to Out a Bisexual Character

It can be tricky to out bisexual characters, especially if they’re uncoupled by the time of writing. Here are some easy ways:

  • Casual outing. Mention same-sex partners/exes in passing. “Yeah, my ex always did so-and-so. S/he was crazy!”. Date stories are also good fuel here. This is the most casual way of coming out.

  • Sexy outing. Let the character join in on “that person is so hot!” conversations, or have them hit on someone of the same gender. This type of outing may be at little ambiguous, at least to the other characters, and it emphasizes the sexual aspect of the identity. But it can be a fun way.

  • Explicit outing. Let the character explicitly and directly out themselves. This may be in response to some bigoted speech (“whoa dude, you know it’s me you’re talking about, right?”), during a relevant conversation point (“Actually, since I’m bi, I know so-and-so”), or it might be a bigger gesture (“Since you’re my friend, you deserve to know”). There are lots of reasons one might bring it up.

  • Forced/accidental outing. Someone else outs the character. This might be an enemy throwing it in your character’s face, a friend who slips up and mentions it, someone who comes across old love letters, etc. Depending on setting and other characters, this can be quite the drama fuel.

In real life, most bi people are acutely aware of how we mention our dating lives. We have made active decisions about whether we’re out or not, and who we’re out to. Very few bi people are careless about this.

That said, please out your bi character to, if no one else, then at least to the reader. Representation only matters if it is, you know… represented.

 

Tropes and Caricatures To Avoid

There are lots of weird and harmful tropes and stereotypes regarding bisexuals. Namely:

  1. The sex fiend. Yes, some people like sex a lot, and sometimes those sex lovers are bisexual. But there’s nothing inherently promiscuous about bisexuality, and the world doesn’t need any more sex-crazed bi characters.

  2. The straight-then-gay. A person who has genuinely enjoyed sexual relations with the opposite gender, then starts dating someone of the same gender, is probably bi. Don’t erase their identity, and the genuineness of their previous relationships, by proclaiming them suddenly gay. Or vice versa.

  3. Crushing on the straight person. While this can make a compelling story, and it certainly happens in real life, it has been done to death. It also tends to cast queer love as inherently more tragic than straight love. Maybe not avoid outright, but certainly tread with caution.

  4. Too Good For This World. While it is a nice gesture, killing off your queer character to make a point about the world’s cruelty has been done. To death, if you’ll pardon the pun.

  5. The Tease. Especially common with female characters. It’s a bisexual person, often very sexy, but her orientation is never stated outright. It’s played with, alluded to, flirted with, but she never crosses the line of plausible deniability. Almost always overlaps with the sex fiend or Ms. Fanservice. Just… just don’t.

 

Conclusion

The most important part is: It’s not hard! As long as you build an interesting, three-dimensional person not relying on stereotypes (the way all characters should be written), you can’t mess it up. And the world sorely needs good bi characters, so you will be doing both the queer and the writing community a solid by including us.

Also: Please remember that there are as many ways to be bisexual as there are bisexuals on this planet. Sexuality is fluid, and complex, and just a small part of one’s identity.

If you’re interested in reading more, here are some good starting points:

I will also be delighted to answer questions through my own blog or this post’s notes.

 

Now go forth, and write great bisexual characters!

Juvia Lockser pt 2 (or, we can’t argue that Gruvia isn’t unhealthy at this point)

Gruvia is hands down the most controversial semi-canon pairing in Fairy Tail, and given the nature of the ship it’s fairly easy to see why.There’s really no problem with liking Gruvia in its current form, and there’s equally no problem with disliking Gruvia either. In my personal opinion, the problem starts becoming evident when the argument is made that Gruvia in its current form is healthy, or normal, or even the ideal romantic situation. This is simply not true. Given the nature of this essay, I’d like to state that while this isn’t intended to be anti-Juvia, it is anti-Gruvia and technically anti-the way Gruvia’s written and Juvia’s role in it, so anyone not wishing to read such content is advised to step away. Since this is part of my Juvia series, I’ll be focusing on why Gruvia is unhealthy for Juvia, and I may retread to focus on why it’s unhealthy for Gray later…

In addition: I’d like to thank everyone that liked, reblogged, messaged and followed me following the first part of this series. I love all of you, and I really hope this essay meets your standards! Given that the next part might take a while, I’m also open to suggestion as to what my next topic should be! 

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Top 50 Villain Songs

We all know it’s just fact that villains invariably get the best song in every musical. It’s a pretty rare occurrence for a villain to get a bad song. To cut right to the chase, this is a list celebrating the best villain songs. Now, I’m going by the TVTropes definition here: “ The Villain Song is an over-the-top, gloating cackle about their Evil Plan, philosophy of life, or why they do what they do.” It’s also important to note that not all villain songs are actually sung by the villain; in fact, a few of the entries here are sung from the villain’s point of view but not by the actual villains.

 All the songs are linked, with videos when applicable. 5 songs near the bottom of this list (or the top, whichever way you want to look) have the videos right here in the list itself. Without further ado, let’s check out the best songs from the worst people:

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Androcentrism, Belle, Rumpelstiltskin, and the Enchanted Forest

This is something that I’ve been batting around in my head since I saw the promo yesterday and now it’s ready to come out.  A lot of people I noticed were upset that Belle didn’t take a more active role in defeating Zelena, but I wasn’t.  I mean, don’t get me wrong, I wanted Belle to kill her.  More than that, though, I just wanted her to die because I wanted to be rid of her (probably much like Rumpelstiltskin).  But why did we expect and desire Belle to be the one to do the deed?  The answer, I think, has to do with androcentrism in the fans (myself included) but also presented in the show.

To begin, let’s discuss what androcentrism is.  According to Wikipedia

Androcentrism (Greekandro-, “man, male”) is the practice, conscious or otherwise, of placing male human beings or the masculine point of view at the center of one’s view of the world and its culture and history.

Once I started thinking of the show in terms of an androcentric perspective, I realized that it explains a lot about Belle and Rumpelstiltskin and the way that the other characters (and in some ways, the fandom itself) react to them.

Once Upon a Time is a highly androcentric show, although it is female driven.  This can be seen in a few instances, (eg. the sexual aggression present in the villains, the emphasis on physical acts of bravery as the only sort of bravery in the Charmings and Rumpelstiltskin’s backstory, and the frequent battles and confrontations against the Big Bad each season).

Meanwhile, Belle (and Rumpelstiltskin, but we’re going to get to him in a bit) is a far more gynocentric character.  This is probably self-explanatory, but gynocentrism is the practice of putting traditionally female perspectives at the center of the story.  For all her bravery and desire for adventure, Belle is a character with a highly feminine perspective.  Her big heroic moment is going with Rumple, saving her people not with a sword but with sacrifice.  Even during her time fighting the Yaoguai she defeats him using her mind (knowing what language he’s writing in, thinking to use the fairy dust, tricking him into getting wet) and not by any act of physical strength.  This carries into season 3, when the fandom is disappointed that she’s left behind to guard Storybrooke rather than go off into the dangers to face Pan and when her heroic moments involve doing research and insisting she won’t be bullied by Zelena.  These are all heroic things, although they are far less valued by the show and the characters within it than things the more androcentric characters do.

This lack of value and understanding, however, does not diminish the character or the acts themselves.  We can call this Sansa Stark Syndrome in reference to the Game of Thrones character.  She’s survived in arguably the most dangerous place for her in the world based solely on her ability to play the game of politics as it applies to women in her time period and yet a large segment of the fandom dislikes her in comparison to her tomboyish sister Arya who passes herself off as a boy and survives by behaving in a more masculine fashion via sword fighting and being good at shooting bows.  Sansa behaves like a girl, and the fandom punishes her for it.

Belle is not punished as severely as Sansa, not by a long shot, but the characters can be compared in that both survive and flourish by behaving as women in their society do and not by acting as men.  Belle even calls attention to this when she tells Rumple it’s not easy for women to show the world what they can do, because the Enchanted Forest (as in the real world and the world of GoT) values acts of physical bravery over Belle’s more subtle ability to fight things by understanding them rather than conquering them.

This androcentrism also plays out via the way the characters behave around Rumpelstiltskin, whose initial sin that sets the rest of the world against him is that he chooses home and family over wartime heroics.  For this he is labelled a coward time and time again.  He returns home to Milah and his son by injuring himself, he refuses to fight Hook and leave his son orphaned, he captures the power of the Dark One to protect his son.  Rumpelstiltskin is a Papa Wolf (the male analogue to a Mama Bear).  He will do literally anything to protect his family, this is summed up by TVTropes thusly:

Rumpelstiltskin of Once Upon a Time, especially before he gets his powers: a friendless cripple whose wife ran out on him years ago, his son is the only thing he’s got left, and if you threaten that son, he will happily burn down his duke’s palace, kill an evil wizard to usurp his powers, and then merrily kill every soldier he gets his hands on. He’s also shown displaying Papa Wolf-ish tendencies towards other people’s children — he speaks of wanting to protect all the children who’ve been conscripted to war, not just his son, and is visibly angered by Cinderella’s casual offer to sell her other child.

There is a reason that the term people are most familiar with is Mama Bear, because protection of children is seen as a traditionally feminine trait, and Rumpel’s choice of family is what sets his reputation as a coward in motion – a reputation he still lives under to this day.  It’s no coincidence that his big moment of heroism involved killing himself and Pan to save his son and Belle, or that Zelena still identifies him as a coward after that.

This, I think, is the reason so many Rumbelle fans are becoming frustrated with the presentation of the characters and their relationship on the show.  They are an underused couple, because their personalities – their very essence as characters – run contrary to the central theme of the show.  This is not a bad thing, though.  They present the feminine archetype in a heroic fashion, even in the face of disrespect from the more masculine aspects of their society.  So, do I wish they had more screentime?  Yes.  But I still wouldn’t change their story arcs in exchange for that, because this is important to see regardless of how often it’s on screen – it is important to see the feminine treated as heroic, and to see characters embodying those traits who are not weak.

Weekly Round-Up

February 2nd, 2014 — February 8th, 2014

The Weekly Round-Up is a collection of questions from our inbox which can be answered in one hundred words or fewer. These posts are intended to keep your dashboard clutter-free while we address a few of the anonymous questions we receive each week. If you don’t want to see these at all (understandable) then blacklist the tag “writeworld weekly roundup”. 


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TV Tropes - Pstandard Psychic Pstance
- - Whenever someone uses their psychic powers, they put a hand up to their head (most traditionally with the middle and fore fingers on the brow and thumb on the cheek or mandibular joint, and the other fingers folded). If they’re doing something really hard, it takes both hands on their temples.

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I decided since I see a lot of people in the RP community struggle with alignment, that I would work on a post to help describe the different types. I also decided to include a few charts to help understand alignment. I did not make these charts but they are ones I have gone by for years now.

The top one is by far the best and MOST accurate in explaining the alignments in brief.

The second is for those more familiar with the FF series since most of my followers are from the FF community and can more easily relate.  

The last chart is an example of Alignment abuse which basically means people choose the alignment but play it lazily or in such a way that it gets super cookie cutter and the character has no life or personality whatsoever. Or it gives them an excuse to be jerks anyway.

Let’s go over the different types of alignments still though. I have been playing D&D for almost 5 years now so I think I can soundly describe this with a little research to make sure I am as accurate as possible. :D I’ve been wanting to do this for a while now. People often don’t understand how alignments work and think an OCs personality is a complete reflection of that muns. This is not true. Believe it or not a character can be of their own personality type! Yes indeed! Let’s have a look! 


Lawful Good:

A lot of people misunderstand lawful good. While we usually see this as the night in shining armor or some one that follows the law to a T that is not necessarily true. 

A Lawful good character is known for upholding their duty, being loyal, and fighting with honor as well as showing strong compassion for others. They appose evil, speak the truth, are loyal, and will speak out to injustice.

They do have a moral code in which they stand by.They fight for the greater good and want laws to protect the weak and punish the wicked. The lawful good character will, however, question the utility of a law that does not take into consideration all circumstances of a situation provided it coincides with their moral code. That being said they will still uphold the laws in other towns and places as long as the law is just and fair.

HOWEVER, that being said, doesn’t mean they are going to stop every “bad” action they see. For example: There is a man robbing the town vault to help get gold to buy his starving orphans food. He means no harm. A lawful good character depending on his moral code might help in the en-devour. Now, you might say that is a chaotic good action but the problem is, not every Lawful good character has the same rules or moral code.

You may believe in fighting for the greater good and helping those in need, but you might also only uphold certain laws or moral codes. You can still be lawful good and not believe in all laws. It’s a fine line I know, but you still believe in some form of order to help the weak and punish the wicked.

Also on a side note Lawful good does not always mean lawful nice! Keep that in mind. You can be a complete butt face or mean (not evil) and still be lawful good!

Neutral Good:

A neutral good character will act benevolently to all those around them in need without regard for or against lawful precepts such as rules or tradition. They have no problem cooperating with the law but also feels no obligation towards them either. They have no trouble bending the rules within reason if it means they can save a life or do the right things. While they do have a moral code they do not follow it as closely as a Lawful Good character would. 

Chaotic Good: 

This is by far the most common alignment to play. Chaotic good characters will generally fight for the greater good of the people and the freedoms of themselves AND others. They really covet freedom. They have no problem doing so even if it means brushing past the law officials in the process. While they are known to break the law they are not bad people and mean well in their actions. However, their ways of doing so are usually frowned upon by society and highly unorganized.

Lawful Neutral: 

If you know who Judge Dread is, he  is by far the best example of a lawful Neutral character.

 A Lawful Neutral character thinks like this “I AM the law. You will follow MY LAW  or you will be reprimanded.” In this case the lawful neutral character follows a PERSONAL code. They uphold THEIR beliefs in honor, rules, and tradition. A lawful neutral character will always follow orders no matter what. It is not their place to question. They will judge you without mercy if you break THEIR laws. They don’t care if you stole a single apple from the the fruit stand to feed your starving daughter. You will be reprimanded without mercy.

They do not care whether their laws are fair or just. They are only interested in expanding their laws in such a way to deal with problems in society without compassion or moral judgement. They do not care whether or not the spirit of the law is upheld.


True Neutral: 

It’s exactly as it sounds. A Neutral character feels neither strongly towards any alignment. They often seek balance within themselves. They want to live their life on their own terms whether it means upholding the laws of society or breaking the laws of society. Creating chaos or creating peace. Sometimes they just separate themselves from society all together. It just depends. They can see some value in laws where others will not. They believe highly in free will and self choice. They prefer to do what benefits them personally and care little to help others unless it benefits them in the process.

Chaotic Neutral: 

A chaotic neutral character, while not one to continuously break the law, also feels there are no value to law. They prefer to follow their own heart and are only concerned about their personal wants and needs.Following the law would only hinder their ability to do whatever they want and need to do to live their life the way they want to.

They will commonly resist anyone that intrudes on their own personal rights and freedoms and definitely do not get along with people who try and bring order to the alignment of the chaotic neutral lifestyle. They do not believe in rules or traditions. They do not much care about the fight of good and evil. Only their personal freedoms. Only when Good or evil threaten that lifestyle do they get involved. 

Lawful Evil: 

I’m sure we all know who Darth Vader is. He is a shining example of Lawful Evil. I like TVtropes description of his lawful evil tendencies.: 

“Bringing order to the galaxy. Even if we have to to force choke the shit out of it”

I will go a little in depth since there is also some confusion on how to play this alignment as well. You can play Lawful evil quite a few ways.

A lawful evil character will take what they want and uphold their law and their personal code no matter who it hurts in the process.  They care about tradition, loyalty, and order. They do NOT care about freedom, dignity, or life. While they do play by the rules, they do so without mercy or compassion.  They are most commonly seen as dictators.

They prefer to be the leader in a hierarchy but are also not against serving within it either. A Lawful evil character cares not about your actions but rather where you come from, what you are, who you worship, and your social status.

 A lawful evil character can create order, put a house over every persons head, and provide necessities for every being he rules upon. However, he does so with an iron first.  Should you try and speak out you will probably be killed or worse.This is hands down a dictator type.

A lawful evil character may have a strong personal code of honor. In such a character their personal code keeps them from going as far as the dictator. While they still enforce their law at all costs, they will do it less heinously. You can always count on them to keep their promises. Due to this code of honor It is often that this type will conflict with the dictator type.

A lawful evil character may just despise freedom because they can. They often abuse the law in order to achieve their goal. This does not make them chaotic though as they still uphold their law and use it as a tool of oppression and suffering. They are not the type to keep their word and usually lie through their teeth.

Finally, a lawful evil character may just be a follower and yes man. While they would like to be the head honcho at times, they do not hold the drive, intelligence, or will to do so. So, instead they follow their orders to a T without question no matter the costs.They are loyal to their higher up and will mostly likely “go down with the ship and captain” should their leader fall or be killed.

Neutral Evil:

Ah, Neutral evil. Also known as your backstabbers. They have NO problem whatsoever turning on their so called “allies” at any given time. They are incredibly selfish, egotistical, very devout to their cause, and usually use pawns to achieve their goal. Like lawful evil they have no trouble with harming those that get in their way. However they tend to avoid it if it holds no gain for their self benefit. Otherwise its seen as a waste of their time.

They are evil for the sole sake of doing evil things and spreading evil. They are usually associated with mercenaries who change sides at a moments notice to do what benefits them at the time. They are also associated with assassins. They honor no law and kill their target without question, but they do so without killing everything along the way all willy nilly.

Chaotic Evil: 

“Some people just want to watch the world burn” comes to mind. Heath Ledgers portrayal of The Joker is a great example of this.

Chaotic evil characters are more often than not…well…chaotic! However they don’t have to be all chaotic though. This alignment usually cares most about it’s self interests and freedoms. They are most loyal to themselves and revel in their ability to execute their acts of evil through their personal freedoms. 

They will sometimes side with other bad guys of different alignments. They want to watch the world burn at all costs in the most heinous, grotesque ways. They hate to take orders, but If taking orders form some one else means they can blow something up and create chaos they will do so begrudgingly.

While they are all about evil, they tend to be more on the freedom side of things. Because of this fact it is not uncommon for them to team up with chaotic good alignments if their personal freedom is at stake.

That common belief of freedom of the people is also why on many occasions that a chaotic good character can fall into the realm of chaotic evil without even realizing it. It’s a nasty spiral.

Anyway, that’s just how I understand them based on personal experience and research. I hope this helps. Feel free to message me if you see any conflicting issues and we can talk privately. Thanks!

Thinking about vessels...

There were a couple things in Cas’s storyline in Captives that caught my attention - mostly because they raised a lot of questions in my mind.

To start out with - his bookend shots weren’t as obviously laden with symbolism as the Winchesters’, but looked at in the same light it’s just as meaningful. In his last scene, he’s in the same location as the first scene - but he’s moved to a different place within that location and not moved back. He’s also gone from observing the proceedings at the graveside to participating in them, even if displaced in time by a few days. The Reluctant Warrior (I will not link to tvtropes, because I love you all, but look it up if you’ve got some time to waste) has decided it’s time to pick up his sword. “I don’t want to fight, but I will if I have to” seems like the perfect ethical statement for someone who’s realized that life is precious and needs to be preserved, including the corollary about not throwing your own life away for no good cause. Violence minimization, rather than absolute non-violence.

So I wonder, now: were the Penitents more total pacifists, with an ethic of total non-violence? Eliah said “We don’t make war” - did that extend to not fighting back? (They really reminded me of the werewolves from Sharp Teeth, who also wanted to live humbly among the humans - who lived with a constant, small pain to remind themselves of the fragility of life, and infliction of pain on oneself is a very medieval form of penance - and I recognized a lot of parallels between Reverend Jim Myers and Cas at that time, too.) And what else was Rebecca teaching?

Wasn’t it strange that an angel’s vessel even had a funeral? I’d always figured they ended up John and Jane Does on some coroner’s slab somewhere, unless there was someone involved in actively covering up the death from mortal law enforcement. So was Darlene Foster just lucky enough to get identified and the body sent home? Or had Rebecca, like Abner, been living as part of her vessel’s family?

And then: I can’t see “Old Cas”, who hadn’t yet died and learned that life was to be protected, even considering that an angel might have been there to mourn the vessel. But he thought to ask it of Eliah, and it came out as an accusation… And he was there, watching Darlene’s husband and daughter mourn; did he spare a thought for Amelia and Claire Novak? For other mortal families torn apart as the angels fight each other?

I wish we could have seen Cas’s face when Bartholomew so casually mentioned taking the humans from Boyle Ministries as vessels, “at least the ones who didn’t go pop” - he had his back to the camera. But I think we can take it as a given that Bart was a dark mirror for Cas. If Bart was casual about that, Cas was somewhere between troubled and horrified, even if he didn’t display it. (and Bart’s “no peace without bloodshed” echoed Joy Myers’s “There can be no peace as long as there are humans”. Was Joy wrong? Was Bart wrong? There are so many callbacks between this episode and Sharp Teeth I almost got whiplash; there were a bunch hidden in the Winchesters’ storyline, too.)

And then, at the end, back at the graveyard, Cas is verbally addressing Rebecca with his apology - but most of the time he’s speaking, he’s looking down. Down at the grave. Down at the picture of Darlene Foster still propped up on the tombstone. And Cas tends to say at least as much with his eyes as he says with his mouth.

Adding it all up, I think Cas has realized that attempting to “live humbly among the humans” results in humans and angels both getting needlessly killed - and that the humans getting killed is just as bad as the angels. He encouraged Hael to try to enjoy her time on earth, but by now it’s been hammered home pretty hard that the angels just aren’t going to go for that… so he’s got to get them home. He’s got to be Angel Moses, leading them back to the Promised Land… (Which doesn’t mean Cas will be gone - Moses didn’t enter the Promised Land himself, and things were turned over to his lieutenant. Very fitting for Cas to open the way to heaven, but stay behind on earth… and he misses PB&J, just sayin’.) And if the Winchesters would, I dunno, call him and tell him about the spirits all being stuck in the Veil, that just makes it that much more urgent…

(Which then leads me to ask: is Jimmy still in Cas’s head somewhere? My thought is that no, he couldn’t be, not after Metatron made Cas mortal, one human per head, right? On the other hand I would have thought no, he couldn’t be, after Raphael detonated him and Chuck was picking molars out of his hair, but it was said that Jimmy was the source of Cas’s craving for raw meat in Famine’s presence months after that. It makes Cas’s position easier if he’s got sole custody of his vessel, but what a twist if he finds he has to relinquish it or find some other alternative…)