because that is a lot of who dawn is and what she is about

“hello,” the dark lord said, “i need a library card.”

“everyone needs a library card,” the librarian said brightly, sliding a form across the desk. “fill this out.”

the dark lord produced her own elaborately plumed quill from the depths of her robes and scrawled her name in handwriting that was completely illegible but seemed to whisper the secrets of the dark from the blinding white page. “yes, but i need mine in order to take over the tri-kingdom area.”

the librarian’s polite smile barely faltered. “funny, the last dark lord to try that didn’t bother with a card.”

“yes, and do you see that fool currently ruling our kingdom? no. of course not. utterly ridiculous, to attempt to take over any size country without a library card, much less an intermediate-sized one like this.” she accepted the thin plastic card with a gracious flourish of her gloved hand.

the librarian, adding the new card’s number to the database, privately agreed, but chose not to say anything.


the librarian balanced the pile of pulled books under one elbow and held the list of call numbers in their hand for easy consultation. “intermediate spell casting for grades three and four,” they murmured, running fingers along the peeling spines until they found it. “willing to bet that’s sorrel’s request.”

they fit the large, paperbound book under their elbow and moved on, checking the list again. “magical creatures encyclopedia, L through M. that’s jackaby trying to finish the entire set by midsummer.” they would get that one last to carry it around the shortest amount of time.

“next — the complete guide to raising the dead.” they paused in front of the row of shelves with the right call numbers. they could guess the requester of that one too, but knew better than to say it out loud.


the return slot thunked loudly as it swung open and closed, having swallowed the returned books with a wet gulp.

“good morning,” the dark lord said pleasantly as she looked up from sliding her books in — or as pleasantly as “good morning” could sound when it was uttered by a voice that sounded like gravel being chewed to pieces by the jaws of a large monster.

“it is, very,” the librarian said crisply, conjuring a clean handkerchief for the still-slobbering return slot.

the mouth just visible under the dark lord’s enormous cloak hood curved into a scythe’s blade smile, but she said nothing else.

“did you enjoy your books?” the librarian asked, since she wasn’t moving and there were no other people waiting (most likely because of the dark lord standing there).

the hood nodded up and down. “extremely. especially the taped lecture by doctor dramidius ardorius of the dark arts institute.”

“well, we have many more taped lectures. i especially recommend the one on the healing powers of tea.” they tilted their head in a now get out sign. the poor steam-powered self-checkout contraption would get overheated if people were too scared to check out at the front desk.

they didn’t really expect the dark lord to take the recommendation seriously, but the next day they noticed the cloaked, hooded specter glide out the door with the taped lecture on magic-infused herbal teas tucked between a CD of dark chants and a step-by-step art book on drawing occult symbols.


“you give good recommendations,” the dark lord said with a shrug when the librarian raised their eyes from the front desk’s computer to the shadows of her hood.

the librarian wasn’t sure what to say. “you seem to take up quite a lot of my time.”

“i’m only a simple library patron,” the dark lord replied in a saintly voice that resembled a dragon coughing up a partially digested house. “do you enjoy mermaid song?”

“yes. you can find the library’s collection in the CD section over there.” they looked pointedly back down at the computer.

“i hear there’s a concert on the shore tomorrow evening.”

“perhaps we’ll get a recording of it.”


the dark lord continued taking out books on various unsavory topics. the librarian continued suggesting books on healing, positive thinking, and community service. the dark lord seemed more amused with each visit. her smile was almost charming, once you got past the long, sharp teeth.


the librarian was trying to go about their usual morning ritual of pulling books that had been requested the night before, but the dark lord wouldn’t stop making faces at them from behind gaps in the shelves. she seemed to find it hilarious. the librarian hadn’t decided yet if they were amused or annoyed.

“ooh, look at this,” the dark lord said, pulling a sturdy but beaten up board book featuring a werewolf mid-transformation on the cover from the shelf. “this was my favorite when i was just a little menace.”

“somehow i’m not surprised.”

the dark lord tucked the book into the ridiculous basket made of a large skull that floated alongside her. “didn’t you have a favorite picture book when you were little?”

“Barker the Sentient Book End,” the librarian said promptly. “i screamed for it every night until someone read it to me, long after i’d already memorized each page.”

the dark lord cooed, sounding like a cross between an owl and something eating an owl. “adorable. i knew you had a little monster in you somewhere.”

the librarian crossly debated denying being a monster at all or pointing out they had actual kraken blood in them.


they should have guessed how close the dark lord was from how good her mood was, but it wasn’t until they arrived at work on monday that the librarian heard the news.

“the newest dark lord managed to overthrow the faeyrie monarchy last night. something about combining traditional herbal spells with a newfangled mental magic based on the power of willful thinking… or something. the news reporter mentioned the use of mermaid song in a mild kind of mind control, i think? i wasn’t listening. the good news is, our budget stays in place.”

the librarian contemplated hurling the can of bookmarks across the room, but concluded that it would be both unprofessional and unsatisfying. they settled for aggressively stamping returned, only slightly saliva-covered books with red ink.


the phone clicked loudly. “public library, how can i help you?”

“by taking my offer,” the dark lord said, slightly hesitant voice like a rock slide that wasn’t sure it was ready to slide. “the royal library in the capital needs a new head librarian.”

“why’s that?” the librarian spun in their new swivel chair, tangling the phone cord while they were at it, thinking they wouldn’t want to leave so soon after getting it.

there was a cough like the ocean spitting out a new island. “erm, hmm, last one got… eaten. tragic. these things happen when you’re very, very small, you know.”

“so i’ve heard.” the librarian stretched the phone cord and watched it bounce back. “well, i’m happy where i am.”

“well.” her voice was more disappointed than they’d expected. “it’s a very nice library, you know. large selection of mermaid song in the CD section.”

“the royal library is part of our system. i can request any materials from there that i want to be delivered here.”

a pause. the dark lord had not considered this. “well, maybe i’ll take the royal library out of the system.”

“you wouldn’t dare disrupt the workings of our very intricate library system set up at the dawn of time.”

“maybe i would!”

“no.”

“fine. i wouldn’t.”

the librarian swiveled some more, wrapping the cord around with them until it ran out of give and spun them in the other direction. “would you like to grab a coffee sometime?”

“yes,” the dark lord said, voice too surprised to resemble anything in particular. “i can travel down meet you tomorrow morning.”

“don’t you have things to do?”

they could sense the shrug from the other end of the line. “i’ll move the capital to your town. i can do that, you know. i’m the supreme ruler of the tri-kingdom area.”

“yes,” the librarian agreed, un-spinning to return the phone to its cradle. “just don’t forget who gave you the library card.”

100 Harry Potter Prompts: Part 1

This list is #$@&%*! amazing, amigos! Thanks for all the submissions. Here is part 1:

  1. Parseltongues aren’t the only ones who can talk to certain animals; There are a number of hereditary abilities that allow wizards to understand and communicate with other species. You are a young wizard who can understand birds, and it is driving you CRAZY.
  2. 10 years later, on the day of the battle of Hogwarts. George is standing in front of the mirror, looking himself in the eyes, wishing that his reflection was someone else.
  3. Harry Potter prompt: The Basilisk from the Chamber of Secrets is back! …but now it’s the size of a thread snake.
  4. A muggle angered by the fact that there are only 10 dragons in this world and 7 of them are European, sets off to find more dragons.
  5. Your entire family is full of Hufflepuffs, so during your sorting you begged the Sorting Hat to place you there. Now you’re older and definitely a Slytherin and you need to hide it.
  6. Weasley’s Wizard Wheezes has an adult section in the back.
  7. after Ron picks up the wrong hairs for a polyjuice potion Hermione is making, the two find themselves in each other’s bodies.
  8. You are the new heir of Slytherin, capable of opening the Chamber of Secrets and talking to snakes. On your first visit you find the monster dead. Not that you care, you never hated muggles anyway. Instead you start giving guided tours, charging a couple of Sickles for each tour, trying your best not to make the teachers notice.
  9. You’re a muggle born sorted into Slytherin of all places. The other students warn you that the Bloody Baron hates muggles, but to your surprise, the ghost has somewhat of a different view on muggleborns like you…
  10. Harry DOES get sorted into Slytherin when he asks not to be and becomes best friends with Draco as well.
  11. No one knew Voldemort was the last line of defence against them. Now he’s gone, and they are coming.
  12. Many years after the Dark Lord Voldemort was killed, a new dark lord has come. He’s part of the ministry and the new candidate for minister of magic..
  13. When Harry Potter dies in his first year at Hogwarts, Hermoine Granger takes on the duty of defeating the dark lord and succeeds in her task in the second year. The wizarding world is safe once again. Describe how she managed this.
  14. Write about Hermiones struggles and success as Minister of Magic.
  15. The dementors may suck the souls out of their victims with their kiss, but what happens to the soul after that?
  16. As a young gifted wizard, Sirius Black once found the Mirror of Erised; but what did he see as he glanced upon its glass?
  17. Hagrid comes every year to celebrate Harry’s birthday
  18. Harry never got a letter. He goes through his day to day life as a muggle, never noticing obnoxiously weird things around him. Write a day in the life of harry the muggle
  19. You’re invited to Tom riddle’s 6th birthday party
  20. Magical patronuses are extremely rare. It’s said that only the pure or the purely evil can conjure them. You’re a Slytherin trying to prove what they say about Slytherins is wrong. In Defence against dark arts, you just found out your patronus is a Hungarian horntail.
  21. “Don’t worry, Potter,” said the Dark Lord, “killing will get easier. And as my right hand man, you’ll need to get used to it.”
  22. Au where Snape is the chosen one and Harry is the Potions master
  23. In second year, Draco writes in the diary of Tom Riddle instead, and gets some pretty sound advice.
  24. “You went to school for seven years and THIS is what you use your skills on? Just- Just tell us why THIS branch of Animagi…?”
  25. Harry’s a girl, and has to deal with all the Voldemort shit when she has cramps so she’s extra pissed off.
  26. The Nimbus 3000 just came out, you are one galleon short but you desperately want it, how will you get your hands on the new broom?
  27. You somehow stumble into Filch’s office and grab the nearest artifact before you escape.
  28. Both Harry and Neville are the ‘chosen ones’. Only together are they able to defeat the Dark Lord. Unfortunately, everyone thinks only Harry is the ‘chosen one’. Follow Neville and co. as they discover the truth.
  29. Divination has a new muggle-born teacher, who seems more intent on teaching useful life lessons than magic.
  30. “You’re a wizard, Hermione.”
  31. “How many times have I told you to leave your dragons in Romania?!”
  32. “You’re a wizard, Harry.” “No shit!”
  33. All the Harry Potter character have switch roles, so that the heroes are now the villains. Who’s who and what happens?
  34. Mcgonagall, after noticing Harry’s letter is being ignored, goes to the Dursleys to check on the young wizard.
  35. Harry wonders what the fuck kinda school this is when Dumbledore says “ The third floor corridor is out of bounds for anyone that doesn’t want to die a most painful death.”
  36. Hermione Granger is one of those kids who is in classes meant for those a few years older than her, she is a genius.
  37. You are a muggle, yet direct magic doesn’t affect you, you wander into Hogwarts, you are not harmed by the shriek of mandrake plants, a basilisk cannot petrify you, magical devices break at your touch. you are a magic null.
  38. You thought you’d made a simple mistake in potions. As you sit outside the headmaster’s office, straining to hear the grave conversation from behind the door, it dawns on you that your error couldn’t have been as simple as it seemed.
  39. Harry goes on a journey of self-love by hiking around an Arby’s parking lot at 2am.
  40. The series is entirely the same but Voldemort and Snape have swapped noses .
  41. A day in the life of Dobby.
  42. Lucius is sacrificed by Voldemort and dies in the Wizarding War leaving pregnant Narcissa disillusioned and scared. She seeks help from Dumbledore and becomes a double agent.
  43. “Hmm, courage… yes… plenty of intelligence too! Very loyal… but crafty… hmm. Tricky, very tricky. I’m sorry, but you don’t seem to belong in any specific house. Better be… HOGWARTS!!!”
  44. Harry and Ron/Hermione and Ginny become the canon ships.
  45. Hermione and Ron visit America for a family vacation. Write about their adventures.
  46. Sassy harry calling Snape and Dumbledore out on their bullshit   24/7.
  47. Ravenclaws have a chamber of secrets, but it’s just a library of infinite knowledge too nerdy to touch.
  48. Post-apocalyptic Draco and Harry, where Draco needs the help of Harry in order for both of them to survive.
  49. You thought you were a muggle-born witch/wizard and then you find one of your long before ancestors in the portraits of the school’s corridors.
  50. You can do magic without a wand. You are the second most wanted after Voldemort.
  51. Disco balls and disco and lgbt folks at Hogwarts
  52. A student is accepted into Hogwarts only to find out it was a mistake and they don’t actually have any magical abilities. Tell their story of trying to make it through Hogwarts after all these years.
  53. Remus Lupin adopts Harry.  He never lived with the Dursleys. Tell us his happy Wizarding Childhood.
  54. You’re a historian writing a critical paper on The Battle Of Hogwarts. You believe the existing discourse has ignored the significance of one woman: Mrs Norris. Write a paper discussing her much-maligned role in the Battle of Hogwarts.
  55. A story about the lonely, never-useful life of Snape’s shampoo bottle.
  56. Rumour has it the new Defense against the Dark Arts teacher has already arrived and is hiding. Whoever finds them gets 500 points for their house.
  57. write the wizarding sex ed pamphlet that gets handed out to fifth years.
  58. everything’s the same except every character is a lizard.
  59. Describe the three trials in the next Triwizard Tournament.
  60. “Nobody knew about the fifth Hogwarts founder, and the secret they hid in the castle… until now”
  61. Minerva McGonagall is quite puzzled by Dumbledore’s recent hires for Defense Against the Dark Arts, and would like to have a serious talk with him about it.
  62. You decide to try flying on a broom just for shits and giggles. It works, and now you need help. A lot of help.
  63. The previous magical protection of the prime minister has been retired. You have taken their place.
  64. The Wizarding World decided it’s time to explore space.
  65. Doleres Umbridge is now the head teacher of Hogwarts and president Snow form panel is the minister for magic. They have reinvented the triwizard tournament to have aspects of the hunger games. Tell the story of this year’s tributes.
  66. “When I wished to be part of the world of Harry Potter, I was hoping for an acceptance letter to Hogwarts, not for the bridge I was crossing to be demolished by death eaters on my way home from work!”
  67. You are a squib from a long line of witches and wizards who has never made any contact with the Muggle world. Today is your first day of high school.
  68. Hermione blinked. “You’re right, Ron. I’ve been doing it wrong all this time.”
  69. Through a series of events, you land yourself in the world of Harry Potter. The catch? You’ve never read a word from the books and have absolutely no clue what’s going on.
  70. The entire series but everyone is emo as hell.
  71. You are Harry Potter’s less famous twin sibling. All you want is a quiet wizarding school life.
  72. Write the science behind magic.
  73. You are in the infamous library where no books have titles. Somehow, you pick up Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. You want to help in any way you can.
  74. “The wand chooses the wizard” except this time three have chosen the same master. And they’re attempting to duel each other.
  75. Re-write one of the quidditch chapters from the perspective of the snitch.
  76. Harry being raised by Sirius and Remus because they actually caught Wormtail
  77. Dumbledore reads My Immortal and thinks it’s really good.
  78. “The Death Eaters stole this from the Muggles. What is it, Hermione?” “Ron, I…I think it’s a Nuke.”  "WICKED! Dad’s gonna love this!“
  79. Draco and Ron get in a wizard’s fight; Harry has to reveal his love for Draco by protecting him.
  80. While looking through Filch’s files of rescinded objects, you find something extremely dangerous. Just as you put it in your pocket for later investigation, you get caught by Peeves the poltergeist.
  81. A deaf Ravenclaw, a disabled Slytherin, a mute Gryffindor, and a black trans Hufflepuff help together to cope with each other’s’ problems.
  82. You’ve just received a Howler in front of the whole school. What does it say and how does the school react?
  83. A very derpy Dementor who doesn’t even try and suck souls, but just wants to be friends with everyone and gets sad easily so everyone has to cheer it up.
  84. As it turns out, Neville is the strongest wizard of all.
  85. Write a love story about Dumbledore and Grindelwald.
  86. Your boggart and your reflection in the Mirror of Erised show the same thing.
  87. Who maintains the enchanted ceiling at Hogwarts? How did they get the job and what’s their life like?
  88. Finally, Hogwarts gets its Wi-Fi hotspot.
  89. After a traumatising first year at Hogwarts, Ginny Weasley has to learn to deal with the long-term psychological effects of having been possessed by a dark wizard.
  90. Someone didn’t focus enough when trying to apparate somewhere and somehow wound up on Mars.
  91. You show someone the Mirror of Erised for the first time. You ask what they see, and they just look at you strangely. “What? Did you forget how mirrors work? I just see us.”
  92. A story written from the perspective of a student who died in the battle of Hogwarts, and is now a ghost there.
  93. Hogwarts wants to open a school in another part of the world.
  94. It’s been a hundred years, or so, and you’re still stuck in this dusty, shabby place. As a wand, it would be nice if you could finally choose the perfect wizard to wield you.
  95. You hide pictures of Voldemort in most  unusual places to freak other students out
  96. AU where all spells are imaginary. They’re basically running around with sticks yelling nonsense.
  97. The DA learned their most important lesson from Hermione - always bring a gun to a wand fight.
  98. Write about the day the magical world discovered internet (and proceeded to make their own WizNet)
  99. Harry Potter where Harry’s dad survived but is left emotionally destroyed by Voldemort’s attack.
  100. Harry Potter lowers his wand at himself. He swore he would rid the world of Horcruxes. He was about to make good on that promise.

 Let’s make a new list right away. Do you have a prompt for us?

Public School Is A Goddamn Disater, Part 2: The Lovecraftian Madness of Machismo

Part 1 here, AKA: the Mantisocalypse (you don;t have to read it to understand this one, but you should anyway)

Content Warnings: Mental Illness, Attempted Murder, Sexual Content, Stalking, Abuse, Animal Abuse Mention, Emetophobia, US Public Education, Military Industrial Complex.  I’ve been told this is my most disturbing story, even if it’s hilarious, so mind your health.  All the names in this story have been changed to protect the innocent and Not-So-Innocent.

This is the story of Recruiting Sergeant Scott VS. The Lacrosse Jocks VS. Yours truly.

To understand this story, you must understand the dystopian hellscape that is US Public High School- I went to the NICE high school in town, with the AP curriculum and new building, where the the kids were generally too obsessed with getting into the ivy league to do anything worse than occasionally smoke on the roof.  Not even weed, just regular cigs.  During their off-periods, so they’d have time to febreeze their clothes and arrive to their next class early.  You know, the most boring fucking kids ever.

AND STILL, we were subjected to the various scourges of US public ed, namely-

-on-campus police officers and regular “what to do in case of a columbine event” drill.  We had Officer Munoz, who was a wonderful Latina Woman with the good sense to focus her efforts on getting kids away from abusive parents rather than persecuting brown kids, but we were VERY lucky on that front.  Still, having someone walking around with a gun and technically the authority to kill you, and having to hide in the science cabinets three times a year fucks you up.  Remember Officer Munoz though, She is Important.

- A weird, cult-like, frankly masturbatory attitude regarding athletic achievement.  The arts and sciences were stuck doing bake sales for supplies while the gym got re-done two years after the school opened.  This was tempered in an odd way at my school in that literally all the sports teams unequivocally sucked, with the exception of 

1.Marching Band, which went to nationals twice in the first two years the school was open 

2.Knowledge Bowl, where kevin and I took the team to 3rd in state in our first year, and only lost because Kevin had an asthma attack so we decided to let the other teams fight over the ‘lesser’ medals 

3.Lacrosse, which didn’t actually didn’t GO anywhere, but was a “real” sport and beat our ‘rival’ school, so the team got to be Big Men On Campus, and get away with all kinds of nonsense like eating in class when everyone else was forbidden or skipping tests for ‘practice’.  The three worst offenders were Dustin, Jack and “Rattlesnake Pete”, all of whom were budding neo-nazis and thus signed up for German.  With our Jewish teacher.  Remember them too.

-On-campus military recruiters.  As in, people who are legally allowed to exaggerate, manipulate and actually lie to minors to convince them to join the armed forces.  Ours was Sergeant Scott, and as much of a skeevy rat as he was I honestly felt bad for him, because remember, academic magnet high school so he had three kinds of kids to work with:

  • Kids who made the physical standards for the armed forces and were all about honoring their country via physical labor, but were dumb as shit and couldn’t pass the written exam.
  • Kids who could pass the written exam and were totally ready to bully some people in the third world, but couldn’t do a pull up if you covered the gym floor in cobras.
  • Kids who passed the physical and mental portions but were uniformly rabidly anti-military industrial complex, to the point where 35 of them crammed into his cubicle in the office he shared with Officer Munoz and Janitor Wendy, so they could hold a sit-in protest of the Iraq war and chant “Impeach Bush” and “War is Murder” at him  Someone chucked red paint on him, because they’re furious immature teenagers.  It was his first day.

Poor bastard.  Remember Him as well.

Keep reading

Horizon Zero Dawn and Cultural appropriation: A very different view.

For the first time EVER, I’m sitting on the other side of a discussion about appropriating native culture.  Why?  Well, let me lay the framework.

First off, I’m not a guy who “knows a Native American” or has a “Native friend”  I am a 100% Anishinabe (Ojibway) dude who lives on reserve and has fought racism, stereotypes, pan-Indianism, and cultural appropriation fiercely for as long as I can remember. I’ve been the victim of horrendous racial violence as a child, adolescent, and adult, and I’m also a gamer.

I am the first to point out anything that smacks of any of the above and after I saw the Dia Lacina essay on “Horizon: Zero Dawn” being culturally insensitive and appropriating Native culture, I felt for the first time in a situation like this that I had to say something in rebuttal.

Lacina takes issue with the use of the words Tribal, Primitive, Braves, and Savage being used in the game (fyi they’re used to describe predominantly white people in game and they’re White words we didn’t use to describe ourselves thus I claim no ownership of, nor want to, anymore than I want to be a redskin, Indian or Wahoo)  

It seems (IMO) that most of her beef comes from an apparent belief that numerous aspects of generic tribal culture that appear in the game (making clothing from skins, hunting with spears and bows, living in a Matriarchal society, etc) are the sole domain of the Native American and just to be safe and cleverly keep her POV less subject to scrutiny, she applies it even more broadly to indigenous people world wide (I will just refer to us in particular as NA cuz I’m lazy and I also don’t refer to myself as a Native American) and basically that anything that is remotely “tribal” shouldn’t be used in gaming without our or someone else’s permission.

 In fairness, I don’t know if she’s actually played the game but as someone who is currently in the midst of doing exactly that, I can tell you that I have a pretty good idea of what stuff triggered her being upset and why, and while I absolutely respect her right to get offended by whatever she likes, and she makes excellent points about some other games, I am going to point out that there are flaws with this logic.

First of all, the basics: HZD is set in a post-post-apocalyptic future where people are living in tribal groups in a very destroyed world.  Machines exist but as hybrid animal/dinosaur type creatures and technology is pretty much non-existent in day to day human life.  

The heroine of the story is a red haired, white girl named Aloy who lives as an outcast with her adopted father, Rost.  Without giving a lot away, they are fiercely shunned by the local tribe for something Rost did and also the fact that Aloy is motherless.  

Impressively and rightly, though somewhat dismissively remarked upon by Lacina, is the way women and especially women of color are portrayed so positively in-game as this particular tribe is a total Matriarchy run by elders of various ethnicity.  African, Asian, White, and a variety of undefined people of color are common everywhere in the game.  (The leader of one band of warriors is a very fierce, commanding, intelligently portrayed black woman with a powerful presence.)  It reflects a fairly global society from a “skin color” perspective without any horrible accents or broken speech.

They worship an “All-Mother” goddess and their culture is (at least how I saw a lot of it) fairly heavy on European i.e. Celtic, Germanic, Scandinavian, etc type symbolism and the rest is filled in with mostly generic tribal-ish stuff that you could find in countless cultures around the world.

 I really didn’t get a “Native American” vibe off the game.  Of course, I don’t automatically presume to claim sole ownership of things like tribal life, hunting with bows and spears, and worshiping spirits of various elements solely for my own.  Random fact: Because there are over 500 distinct First Nations in N. America, we, believe it or not, didn’t all ride horses, live in tipis, use bows and arrows, tobacco and sage, and worship Eagles and Wolves.  Why? Well…use your brain.  Tobacco and Sage don’t grow EVERYWHERE, horses came over with the Europeans (and if you saw where I live you couldn’t have and cant for the most part get a horse through the bush if you tried) Eagles and Wolves don’t live EVERYWHERE….get the point?  Anyways….

If you examine Rost, he like most of the men has a braided beard and other seemingly Viking/Middle Ages inspired features, is white, speaks clear, unbroken English, and is a loving, protective and very positive role model for the girl.   Aloy for her part, is also fairly Viking-esque (to the point of looking incredibly like Lagaertha from the show Vikings but with red hair) also Egrit from GoT, and is no damsel in distress who needs men to save her. NOWHERE in the game have I encountered any Tipis, wigwams, Sweatlodges, or Non-White people speaking in stereotypical “Me smoke-um peace pipe, He go dat-a way” fashion.

The  opening cinematic is very touching (and long) as we see the orphaned Aloy as a baby in Rost’s care being carried around in a bundle on his back (which pretty much every culture did in one form or another at some point in time) and him ultimately taking her to the spot where a child of the tribe receives it’s name.

I really liked this idea as it isn’t often portrayed in a lot of mediums outside of stereotypical “Dances With Wolves” bullshit. Also, naming ceremonies are not the sole domain of NA people and what occurs bears zero resemblance to any NA ceremony I know of.  (It was actually a little Lion King at one point lol) But it’s a powerful moment in the beginning with much more that occurs during it but I won’t spoil that either.

Aloy herself is a pretty complex character.  She’s extremely independent, defiant, and questions pretty much everything about why things are the way they are and wants to do something about it.  You actually begin playing her as a 6 year old which is pretty unique and even then she’s tough and fearless and determined to explore her world.  

She is in no way hyper-sexualized (I’m looking your way Overwatch) Her clothing and everyone else’s, is utilitarian and appropriate for the environments she lives in, and so far, I have not encountered anything with her or any other character that made me go “WTF?”and trust me, my radar for that shit is HIGHLY SENSITIVE.  This isn’t Avatar, people.  It’s not John Smith. It’s not The Great Wall or Pocahontas.  This isn’t white dude shows up and saves the helpless non-white people while helpless native woman falls in love with him stuff.  It’s a fictitious future where we maniacs blew it up, damn us all to hell!

But here’s the more annoying thing for me as an actual Anishinabe.  I don’t need people speaking for me or getting offended on my behalf.  I am very capable of doing that myself. I am also in no way writing this claiming to be speaking for any other NA people or persons. It’s based on my observations from actually playing HZD and examining the various fictional “cultural” elements in the game.

If you see a skin tied inside a hoop and automatically assume it’s a dreamcatcher” ripping off “our culture” (FYI Dreamcatchers are a 20th century thing whose popularity was a result of pan-Indianism that exploded in the 70s.) or if you see feathers on a spear or as part of a costume (nowhere is anyone wearing a single eagle feather in the back of a beaded headband or a Dakota looking headdress either) and automatically presume it to be ripping off NA culture, you’re REEEEEEEEEEALY reaching.  If you think caring for the environment, obeying matriarchs, worshipping elemental spirits, or making your own clothes is solely the property of NA culture, see previous statement.

By all means get offended.  Get offended by Chief Wahoo.  Get offended by the Washington Redskins.  Get offended that thousands of Native women have been murdered or gone missing and nothing’s been done about it.  Get offended by Johnny Depp or Robert Beltran playing Native people instead of actual Native people getting those roles.  Get offended by shit like Adam Sandler’s “Ridiculous 6” where a native woman is called a “hot piece of red prairie meat” or Depp’s “Lone Ranger” movie.

Get offended that my family was destroyed by the Residential Schools and that the 60s scoop took babies away from their families and people, that forced sterilizations took place and mass graves of dead Native children exist at former Residential School sites.

Don’t just jump on the I’m offended bandwagon because you saw some feathers or skins or spears or bows in a game and immediately grew indignant and wanted to claim them as OUR culture.  They’re not.  They’re almost globally universal in numerous cultures at various points in time.  Get offended, as she rightly mentioned, when the game Overwatch sexualizes the shit out of almost every female character and takes West Coast tribal art and makes a costume out of it.  

THAT is appropriation.  White people holding powwows in Europe (powwows are also pretty much not traditional and are extremely pan-Indian, not to mention full of us appropriating each other’s Native cultures ie. Dakotas wearing Jingle Dresses, Ojibway wearing Dakota regalia, etc) is appropriation.

This game……I’m just not seeing it the same way.  And I’m nobody.  I have no ties to Guerilla or anybody other than myself and my community.

Not Your Average Zutara Fic Rec

So I’ve gone through a LOT of Zutara fanfiction, probably too much if I’m being honest, and finding good fics can be really hard. When looking up fic rec lists I’ve noticed that a lot of the lists are just the same select fanfictions recommended over and over (We get it, everyone and their mother loves ‘His Majesty Prefers Blue’ and ‘Stormbenders’ [I never finished HMPB, sue me]). 

So this list is for all of you who are in my shoes and can’t seem to find anything besides the same ten or fifteen stories recommended and are desperate for something new. Everything listed is complete! (If I listed the incompletes/abandoned stories I’d have a lot more chaptered stories listed… RIP ‘The Confrontational Approach’…) 

I have a lot of bookmarked stories that I have yet to read and am in the middle of (Almost caught up on @firelordandlady ‘s ‘Say Anything’!), so I’ll try to update this when I finish something I think deserves a recommendation. 

Chaptered

In the Same Candlelight by Like a Dove

In a world where there is no war, Zuko and Katara spend their summers together. Growing up is messy, embarrassing, and at times sad, but they think it might be okay because they have each other. Edited summary.

I know. I KNOW. I LITERALLY JUST SAID I WASN’T GOING TO RECOMMEND FANFICS THAT ARE ON EVERYONE’S LIST. But I NEED to mention this one. I spent so long not interested in this fic. I don’t like drastic AU’s, or modern AU’s. My taste is strictly canon divergence, so I didn’t think I would like this. I WAS SO WRONG. Trust me, if you are like me and don’t like big AU’s, read this anyway. I promise, you won’t be disappointed. Characterization is still so spot on, even with such a different take. Aang is precious. There is nothing but fluff, fluff, and fluff. It will melt you. You will probably die and your spirit will rise up smiling and beaming out rainbows and sunshine. That’s what happened to me. 

Lilacs and Lily Pads by sadladybug

A tale of clumsy courtship and calamitous court weddings, featuring awkward family encounters, floral mishaps, cultural complications, and good old fashioned fluff and conflict. Takes place in the five years following war’s end. For Zutara Week 2016. A prequel to Bones.

Clothe Me in Seasons, Dress Me in Snow is a very commonly recommended Zutara fic (And for good reason, I shed many tears reading it). But this two-shot (A companion to Bones, a smut one shot) by the same author is really underrated and beautifully written. It follows Zuko and Katara as they try to plan their wedding, as well as shows two scenes from before they got engaged that solidified the relationship to be one they knew would last. Just really well done overall and very very sweet. 

EDIT: I talked with the author and apparently it isn’t finished?? But they are apparently working on the next chapters so yay!! And each chapter is independent so it doesn’t feel unfinished.  

The Slow Path by Tazainian Devil

Eight years after the fall of Ozai, Aang returns to the friends he left behind - Taang, Zutara, Sukka

This is technically a Taang fic, and if I’m being honest I kind of just skimmed through the non-zutara chapters, but the Zutara storyline was good enough that I think it’s definitely worth the read. And the overall plot has a great premise. Be warned, it has a sequel that was never finished. 

Another Word For Alchemy by FanPanda13

Five years have passed since the Avatar defeated Fire Lord Ozai, and the members of the Gaang have all gone in their own direction. But when Aang invites them all to a Peace Summit at the North Pole and tells them of his new project, for which he will need their support, the group comes together again for adventure, fun and romance. AU. Zutara. COMPLETE.

So this fic is crazy for me. At first, it started as just really good natured fluff. The writing wasn’t anything fantastic (Although I loved how it broke the 4th wall and didn’t take itself seriously), and there were some definite OOC moments. But I had so much FUN with it. The plot (while definitely not the focus as everyone is more concerned about when Zuko and Katara will get together) was interesting, and there were some really sweet moments. It was also HILARIOUS and I had multiple moments where I genuinely laughed out loud. But then about five chapters before the end, the quality SKY ROCKETED. As the plot and mystery come together, the characters all come together in a moment that truly feels like it came from the show. Even the writing quality increases by a lot and I was genuinely shocked and impressed. Definitely recommend. 

Kyoshi Hold ‘Em by cupid-painted-blind

When a blizzard shuts down the fourth annual Peace Summit, the group has to find some way to pass the time. /Zutara, Taang, Jet/Mai, Jet/Everyone, Sukka

If you’re looking for a good crack fic, look no further. It’s post war and utter nonsense. Jet is alive for some reason??? No one questions it and he’s shipped with pretty much everyone. It’s funny, it’s decently written, there are drinking and sexy time shenanigans, and overall just lighthearted. Also, it does a great job of being a crack fic without crossing the line and becoming unfunny and just a trash fic. A lot struggle to find the balance and resort to going over the top and ridiculous, but this one does a really good job. 

Come With Me by Steamboat Ghost

Coauthored by fuzzytomato. Troubled over his newly restored honor, Zuko finds solace in the familiar guise of the Blue Spirit. In a chance meeting with the Painted Lady, a friendship is forged as the two heroes seek to help the Fire Nation’s neglected.

I’ll admit it: I’ve never gotten into Blutara fanfictions. I only read the first couple chapters of HMPB and dropped it after the tree scene. I don’t know, it felt really OOC for me and I may go back and read it again just because EVERYONE raves about it, but IDK. I’ve never been a huge Blutara fan because while I love the concept, I’d much rather see the Painted Lady and the Blue Spirit come together as equals. Most fics present Zuko behind his mask to Katara, and it feels imbalanced. There aren’t a lot of stories where we see their alter persona’s come together even though that’s the entire point of the parallel between the two. Insert this fic. I only wish there was a sequel dealing with Zuko in the Gaang after these events. Hey, a girl can dream. 

A Zutara Story Anastasia by LastSunset

Katara, the only suviving waterbender of the Southern Water Tribe, joins two con men, Zuko and Iroh, while a fearful admiral chases for her death. A Zutara Story. Based on the movie Anastasia.

So this isn’t so much a retelling of Anastasia but with Katara and Zuko as it is a fanfic version of the movie but with the characters names and world changed. It takes a lot of lines from the movie. But WHO CARES? It’s Anastasia and Zutara!!! What more do you need??? 

Oneshot

this burden you bear by cowlicklesschick

Word travels, and war stories will be told round campfires and on freighter ships until every person in the world knows what Master Katara did for the new Fire Lord. She fights the burning in her throat at the thought of people knowing why she had to heal him in the first place. Post-war Zutara.

This is an angst-with-a-happy-ending, which I say is the absolute BEST type of angst. Katara deals with the guilt of what Zuko did for her as the Fire Nation celebrates what she did to save his life during the Agni Kai. The two come together beautifully while struggling to see the feelings they both share. Really well written and like I said, it has a happy ending, which we all need. 

The Best of Me by Laririn-Shadow

The night before his eighteenth birthday Zuko wraps a bandage around his left wrist. He has a country to run and no time for frivolous things. It will make everything easier if he waits. Zutara Soulmates AU

Soulmate AU’s usually aren’t my thing (With the glaring exception of one Until Dawn Soulmate AU, but that’s besides the point), but I really enjoyed this oneshot. It isn’t sweeping or insanely romantic and the reveal isn’t “OMG I’VE LOVED YOU THIS WHOLE TIME” But it’s a subtle love that grows, which I really like.  

my salvation, he’s not anything by sarsaparillia

Let’s run away and start another war. — Zuko/Katara.

¯\_(ツ)_/¯ What can I say? I love the ‘Let’s run away together, consequences be damned’ trope. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

The Time is Ripe by Casa Circe

ZUTARA WEEK 2012 Day Seven: Seasons. There are many stages that a heart goes through before it can finally be ready for the love it was meant to have. The road is often a rocky one but eventually, it leads you home.

A oneshot for the Zutara Week 2012 prompt ‘Seasons’. Not too much to say about it. Short, sweet, and well written. What more do you need? 

Serendipity by Boriqua-chan

Iroh goes hunting for tea leaves and finds something…interesting. /Zutara week, day 1/

Secret relationships! Fluff! Happiness! And all from Uncle Iroh’s perspective!! Everything I love in one great oneshot! 

Too Close for Comfort also by Casa Circe

ZUTARA WEEK 2010 Day Three: Pain. After watching “The Ember Island Players”, no one is in the mood for teasing. But a little slip of the tongue leads to the painful realization that the play was more accurate than they were willing to admit.

There are two Zutara plots/tropes that I am a complete and utter SLUT for. The first is the ‘Let’s talk about that EIP show’ trope. This is one of my favorites. 

The Color of Truth is Red by Mrs. Pettyfer

Written for Zutara Week prompt “awkward.” Zuko and Katara discuss the Ember Island Players.

Another post EIP oneshot

Enlightenment by Blade Quill

Choices are made on the day of Zuko’s coronation, and sometimes, enlightenment is just the simple truth at hand. Zutara. AU of the final moments of the Book 3 Finale

The OTHER plot/trope I’m a slut for is finale rewrites. LET ME SEE THEM COME TOGETHER AFTER HE TAKES LIGHTNING FOR HER. Ugh, I love it. 

Framework by profoundlycan

What if in “Sozin’s Comet” Katara had come into the room instead of Mai? Zuko/Katara. Prequel to Schema.

 Another finale rewrite! Let’s just get Mai out of the picture here… 

Lightning Shocks the Heart by drunkzutarafeels

Why do our hearts remain dormant until a climactic moment makes time stand still?

And here’s yet another finale rewrite. There is a really popular Zutara gifset that someone animated of the Agni Kai ‘Thank you’ scene, but Katara kisses Zuko after she hugs him. This is the fanfiction equivalent of that gif set. 

Sunrise by lewilder

The days go on and on, and even if she feels more comfort from the moon, Katara learns to cherish the promise of each new sunrise. Zutara AU, largely finale-centric. Oneshot.

LAST FINALE AU I PROMISE. Really sweet, starts right after The Southern Raiders and goes past canon. 

all the ghosts we cannot kill (we learn to love) by raisindeatre

Zuko and Katara; the moments we didn’t see. Or: Maybe we are all somebody’s ghost. And maybe sometimes we can be more than that.

“…My quarrel has only ever been with you, Zuko,” she says, his name sharp on her tongue. “This has only ever been about me and you.”

“You’re wrong,” he rasps, his voice rough in the late afternoon sunlight that falls around them, tangles them in golden nets. “This has only ever been about me and the Avatar. Not you and me. What we hold between us has nothing to do with it.”

This is a really beautiful one-shot that follows a battered, war torn and hardened Zuko and Katara through the scenes we DIDN’T see throughout the entire show. A Zutara must-read.

Drabble Collection/Series

And Other Fairly Stupid Tales by Advocaat

A collection of humorous and crack-tastic oneshots corresponding to the days of Zutara Month

Really great Zutara Month themed drabbles, and it contains the only body swapping plot that I’ve read and really enjoyed. Also the chapters ‘Potential’ and ‘Festival’ are some of my all time favorites. 

Zuko Was No Coward by hootowl

Zuko was many things, but a coward he was not. A collection of Zutara100 prompts. Title may change.

Definitely some heartbreakers and angsty drabbles in here, but all well written and thoroughly enjoyable. If you read ANYTHING from this list, read chapter two of this drabble collection. I MELTED when I read it. It’s perfection. Aunt Wu’s prediction has always been a plotline I’ve loved in Zutara fanfiction, and this one just does it PERFECTLY. 

Zutara Week 2012 by ichilover3

A collection of oneshots inspired by the prompts for Zutara Week

Not much more to say. The first, third, and fourth prompts are my favorite from this series. 

Zutara Week 2015 by bianca_anna

It started at a tea shop and ended with forever. My entries for Zutara Week 2015. I hope you enjoy them.

Oh my GOODNESS. So they’re Zutara Week prompts, but all set in the same universe. The Zutara!Family depicted in these drabbles has become my headcanon. I’ve seen many a Zutara family, but this one is by far my FAVORITE. This is now my official family for them. I want the very last chapter fully animated because it’s so good and epic and I want more of this families adventures. 

Things Everyone Should Know About Min Yoongi

Or just reasons to love him. (From the POV of a Yoongi stan)

  • loves music
  • LYRICAL GENIUS
  • raps faster than the speed of light. hella control over his voice
  • plays the piano
  • amazing on stage; in his element
  • his mixtape saved hiphop. saved lives. saved the world goddamn Yoongi
  • AGUSTD - Intro: Dt sugA (ft. DJ Friz)                                                                        - AgustD                                                                                                      - give it to me                                                                                              -skit                                                                                                            -724148                                                                                                      -140503 at dawn                                                                                        -The Last                                                                                                    -Tony Montana (ft. Yankie)                                                                          -Interlude ; Dream, Reality                                                                          -so far away (ft. Suran) 
  • he produced the entire thing. it didn’t feel like individual tracks on an album. it felt very complete, in a way i’ve never seen before.
  • released this masterpiece to the world for free; on soundcloud, on a google drive, on mediafire, on spotify…
  • He had no problematic lyrics on his mixtape. He doesn’t imitate or glorify modern American hiphop. There are no meaningless lyrics, no misogyny, no materialism or racial slurs. Instead, he talks about himself and builds on that.
  • worked on his mixtape in between his schedule. sometimes while on the plane, sometimes while working on other music for BTS.
  • Has a polar bear protection bracelet. Really likes polar bears.
  • was the happiest person in the world when he met Kumamon it was all too adorable
  • Very socially aware. Wants to use his fame to shift people’s attention to global problems.
  • When he and Taehyung got sick and were rushed to the hospital, they ended up having to cancel the concert in Kobe. During his vacation time, he went to the stadium they were supposed to perform in by himself and wrote a post about it in the fancafe. He sat in the seats of the stadium and forced himself to imagine the fans’ emotions on the day that was supposed to be the concert. He wrote  a long apology. He felt so guilty it kept him awake every night since the incident. He didn’t know what else to do. He promised never to let the fans down again and to work harder. 
  • works from from 12 am - 6 am on music. even after a full day of training or concert preparation or filming. only to sleep for 2 or 3 hours or not at all to start the next day. sleeps whenever he gets the chance. gives the day’s events his full energy regardless. 
  • when BTS had to pack for their backpacking trip through Europe, he was the one that remembered to pack medicine and first aid supplies. he cleaned up before leaving the hotel room. helped cook. was in charge of their budget. 
  • wrote/composed/produced some of BTS’s best songs:                              -Tomorrow                                                                                                  -Nevermind                                                                                                -Intro (HYYH pt. 1)                                                                                      -Dead Leaves                                                                                            -Fun Boyz                                                                                                  -Just One Day                                                                                            -Let Me Know                                                                                              -Paldogangsan (with Hoseok & Namjoon)                                                  -Cypher pt 1, 2, & 3 (with Hoseok & Namjoon)
  • participates in the making of almost every BTS song
  • he looks gorgeous in every hair colour he’s literally so beautiful
  • once said he would sue Bighit if his hair started falling out lmao
  • his smile that shows his gums
  • laughs in 10 different ways
  • his voice sounds beautiful in Whalien52 aka one of my favourite songs
  • in the song “Move” he dedicated his section to his mom, who was sick after she gave birth to him
  • in “If I ruled the world” he dreams, if he could have anything, it would be to buy a house for his family
  • danced around his studio in the early hours of the morning when “Nevermind” was approved to be the intro of HYYH pt.2
  • really likes lamb skewers. Wants to open a lamb skewer restaurant with Jungkook
  • his only goal is to make music that gives people emotions (comfort). the root of his passion, goes back to when he started making music at the age of 13.
  • his dream was to perform at Olympic Gymnastics Arena. At the end of the concert, he looked for his parents and brother in the crowd. When he saw them, he smiled and got on the floor to do a deep bow, the kind where your forehead touches the ground. This is when he sobbed for the first time at a concert.
  • at fansigns, fans get to write them a question. “What’s more important? Face or body?” is asked a lot, not just to BTS but all Kpop groups. Yoongi is the only one that writes a third option, “Personality” and circles it and writes that it is the most important. He does this every time the question comes up.
  • When given the question, “What type of girl?” or “What type of style do you like in a girl?” He circles all of them.
  • his ideal type is someone who likes music and someone he can communicate with. there are never any other specifications.
  • when asked for the ideal weight in a girl, he writes a ridiculous number
  • when asked what age difference he would date, he wrote “81 years” lol
  • tells everyone to eat well and take care of themselves. loves his fans more than anything.
  • extremely open-minded person
  • when he and Namjoon were being disrespected by Bfree during an interview, he stayed calm and handled the situation well. Then proceeded to drAG THE HELL OUT OF HIM IN CYPHER PT. 2
  • the “S” in Suga stands for “Savage”
  • literally sarcastic all the time
  • “If we’re talking about regrets you should think of some of your past selcas” - to Jimin
  • relatable
  • king of “I meant to do that”
  • the time he and Hoseok reacted to a “Try not to laugh challenge” of their own members and Yoongi laughed so hard he choked
  • his existence is pretty much art in itself
  • the thing he does when his members are doing something embarrassing and he just curls up and covers his face
  • “Min Suga. Genius. Those two words should be enough. *shrugs*”
  • “I want to reincarnate and be a rock in my next lifetime”
  • “I’m Father Louis Williams Suga Adams the Third”
  • “I’m good at doing ugly stuff”
  • “I was destined to be taller, but there were some errors in my development.”
  • “I’d like to introduce you to my lover…this neckpillow"
  • “I’ve always wanted to nap in a different country”
  • on his first birthday after he debuted, he spent his own money to make small gifts for his fans and hand-wrote over 300 notes for the fans that were going to come to see him on his birthday. he spent a long time because he wanted to make each note different. at the event, he got embarrassed because “it’s not much but I hope you all like it”. he learned that instead of 300, 350 came and he made 50 more to send to them. 
  • the next year, he made packages again but this time with transportation cards so the fans could use them when they came to see them. hand-written letters again, signed polaroids and ordered special envelopes. 
  • gave Jimin his credit card to charge the passes with, and when Jimin jokingly said he’s going to spend his money on snacks, Yoongi unhesitatingly said “Okay”
  • he did something again this year, but just didn’t vlog about it.
  • took pictures of Jungkook at his graduation like he was a proud parent 
  • the time when he and Hoseok lost a game and didn’t get dinner. Jimin brought them a crab from their table, and Yoongi let Hoseok have it. “Seeing my dongsaeng eat makes me feel full." 
  • Bangtan love him. They say Yoongi takes care of them well, especially his dongsaengs. He’s the one that silently takes care of them all.
  • The time Yoongi took Jimin out to eat sushi, and while Jimin was tying his shoes, Yoongi paid and told him they could go. "Of course, I’m the hyung." 
  • says his members are his closest friends. says Bighit is like a family
  • when Hoseok was celebrating New Years alone in the dorms, Yoongi left his family and showed up with chicken just so Hoseok wouldn’t have to spend new years by himself
  • Maschine mk2 review what a nerd
  • that time he tried to install a music editing software and ranted for 10 years on the fancafe because technology is problematic 
  • that one time Yoongi got really passionate about coffee and said he needed 309 people to help him "catch” coffee
  • does reviews and gives insight on all of BTS’s albums
  • the time he sang his heart out with Hoseok for “I was able to eat well” and sounded terrible 
  • the time they had a high note challenge and Yoongi sang so “high” that no noise came out
  • so extra. all the time.
  • “the director said it would only take 5 minutes. It’s been exactly 4 minutes and 58 seconds" 
  • that time he had to introduce himself and pulled confetti out of his pocket and threw it over himself 
  • but also unamused
  • he is a paradox
  • “I want to go baaaaaaaack”
  • easily put in his place by Jin, his hyung. But also ignores all of his jokes.
  • cannot dance for his life (literally flailing in DOPE) but is a really good dancer (FIRE ????)
  • he just works hard
  • unhesitatingly kicked Jimin in the balls when he started dancing over his legs while he was trying to sleep. didn’t even wake up.
  • that time Taehyung was really nervous on stage and kept stuttering and messing up his words. the members laughed and poked fun at him, but Yoongi shushed them and the audience and told Taehyung to breathe and relax and start again. This time Taehyung didn’t stutter
  • literally a deadass person at the awards show until Namjoon was up next to perform and Yoongi couldn’t stop being hyped and looking for him
  • makes fun of his members all the time but always makes sure they’re comfortable
  • witty but never crude
  • says he’s not always the best at expressing himself verbally, but wants everyone to know he is always thankful
  • kindest, bravest, strongest person to ever grace this earth. blesses the lives of everyone he touches

There are certain things I didn’t include in there, because they are a part of his mixtape and I think that speaks for itself. 

To Min Yoongi, thank you. 

Homestuck Meta Theory

Alright, so I know there’s a lot of people disappointed with the ending, again, I sound like a broken record by this point. And don’t get me wrong- While I love the ending, I would still love to see more of the characters and the story! I just feel it’s a good end as it is. I’ve made a lot of theories about what the End means and everything about Act 7, but all of the things I said, about the Jujus, about becoming freed from Paradox Space, it made me think about the rest of the story, and I believe it has made my entire idea of what Homestuck is change.

So the big question here is, what IS Homestuck? Most people, including me, when talking to someone who knows nothing about it, will speak about the story, the 4 Kids playing SBURB, and the subsequent destruction of Earth. And then mention its huge amount of references towards programming languages, popular culture, storytelling in itself, and it’s self-referential nature. But this Ending has got me thinking that maybe the reason why so many people have been disappointed in the End is because they got Hussie’s intentions wrong.

We tend to reference how the humor and the nature of Homestuck’s narrative is a little extra onto the story, and while it is true the story itself and the characters have drawn a big part of the Fandom, I thought… What if the important part of the Narrative isn’t the Story, but the Meta elements.

As soon as I made connection, everything about the ending began to fall into place. I have commented before that I feel Act 7 is like being shown the Good Ending of a video game without seeing its Neutral Route. 

The Kids have Earth, and Juju Vriska uses manages to flip the ending so that instead of being trapped by Paradox Space’s rules…

They manage to ‘End’ the game properly and get their Happy Ever After.

All while Caliborn is shown getting his power of Immortality, and while we’re left ambiguous about what happens to Vriska and Lord English and everyone in the Dream Bubbles…

Another thing people have complained about is the Character Arcs.

They say how ‘different’ the timeline is. What was the point of Rose’s alcoholism if then Vriska just swats the drink away and it never had any relevance anymore? Terezi’s relationship with Gamzee never happened. Dave and Karkat got together? The Game Over Timeline is bad, everyone agrees that people dying is never good, but they also claim that suddenly having all that Character Development changed made them unable to relate to some characters anymore.

And of course there’s always the mention of how Vriska, even though she’s an abusive 8itch, ended up being somewhat of a heroine, or at the very least not seemingly getting too punished…

That’s where the Narrative itself told us there was something off.

DAVE: rose we dont have fuckin “arcs” we are just human beings

Many have mentioned it, about how not having a closure to certain character arcs referenced this portion, the notion that the characters didn’t have an arc. The same way she then references Jade breaking Endgame ships and such. Rose’s power is Light, and her information source comes from the same place as SBURB and Skaia. It’s a game. Of course she’d have the notion that all of them have to fit certain predisposed stereotypes or their stories have to follow a certain pattern- Rose is looking at their lives since SBURB started as it has been. A Story.

But Dave is having none of it. Dave is beyond the thought that all they do has to follow a set pattern, and claims they don’t have character arcs. This might sound like a clever device by Hussie so he didn’t have to explore more of each of these character’s lives and he could close the comic leaving some loose ends but, there’s more.

Hussie? As an entity? Exists within the story. This would be all fun and dandy if it were a couple of stupid references and memes. And that’s what many people think! Most of his appearances in canon have been a joke, really. But…

Hussie joked about his influence on the comic, when his bot-self was about to mess up with the Kids in the Yellow Yard, but eventually didn’t do it. And yet? His fight with Vriska. His interactions with Caliborn. Everything pictured above? Hussie is a physical entity that follows the same rules as everyone else in Paradox Space and can influence the story. But he’s not a self-insert. He IS the Author. He is the one who wrote every of these characters and continued the story. He’s not another character, he’s himself, in the Homestuck Universe.

And then it began to dawn on me, that perhaps the Meta aspect of Homestuck was a bit more than Fourth-Wall Breaking fun and references to real life stuff. Of course, this train of thought led me to another main plot device that has never exactly been explained to its full extent. Jujus.

There’s the Sucker…

The Crowbar…

The House Juju…

A lollipop that could change character’s personalities, making them immediately make up for aaaall of their mistakes without a care in the world, start alchemizing new weapons, and end up exactly where they needed to be.

A crowbar that can break other of these mysterious devices, and more importantly, has been shown to be able to interact with the Website itself, which seems to be its own physical entity as well!

A house that gave John the ability to change the story, and that ended up being used against the Big Bad of the entire comic.

A puppet that trapped the Souls of various characters and became the gateway for the Big Bad of the comic to become who he is.

A mysterious pair of rings that oh so conveniently appear and disappear on characters, and leave you wondering what they really do, but clearly shown to at least be able to revive someone who, by no other means in the story, would have been able to get back to the world of the living.

Jujus are mysterious, when you look at them from the perspective of the characters. They have no beginning, no end, they just appear at some point and do a loop through time, ending up exactly where they appeared first. They are powerful artifacts able to change reality itself, with no explained origin… But we are no characters. We have seen what these things do on the comic through its entire lengths.

Jujus are plot devices meant to alter the Meta of the comic. They are not things that make sense in a true physical reality. They are artifacts that alter the rules of the plot. Because that’s what the plot is. A story. Because Homestuck is not real, and it acknowledges this.

Or at least… It was supposed to acknowledge this. Many have also claimed that the last updates were so disappointing, compared to Cascade, as Cascade managed to solve so many plot points, but this last one felt empty of everything. Plot. Character Development. That’s where Jujus and Hussie come in.

Hussie dies, in his own comic, a comic that acknowledges him as the actual AUTHOR of the events taking place. And later, we see…

Caliborn, the young version of Lord English, acknowledging Hussie’s death, as he takes the rest of Act 6 and makes it his. Through the use of the Command Prompt, through his own drawings, he begins to write his own story.

[S] Cascade had so many plot points resolved, and these last updates didn’t. Because that is the point. Ever since Act 5 ended and Act 6 started, Hussie has begun to lose control of the story. He was killed by Lord English, the big bad, who also took control of the narrative. Vriska acknowledges a narrator speaking, and forces the narrative to shift back to her opening the Juju chest out of frustration. The command prompts, John’s retcons- At this point, Hussie is no longer in control of his characters.

The Game Over timeline was bad, but it felt like it had more Character Development. That is because it was a not-retconned Timeline. The characters had struggles, the plot moved on forward, some people was possessed, it was all prime material for a conflict and a resolution afterwards! But Aranea’s intervention made it a Doomed Timeline. A Bad End. We all know how Doomed Timelines work, so everything that happens there would have been totally irrelevant. But John didn’t want to accept that. Roxy was still alive, and sad. And Terezi wanted him to fix things up. So instead of acknowledging he was in a Doomed Timeline, like Roxy did? Roxy, who saw her mother-daughter die in her arms, and claimed there might be nothing left for them. And meanwhile, John just managed to get his powers ready, zapped back in time and solved everything.

New problems arose in the new Timeline, sure, but not as many. And a lot of the character arcs were suddenly shoved back. Rose no longer struggles with alcoholism, Karkat doesn’t chase after Terezi, and becomes Matesprits with Dave after mellowing down. Gamzee, one of the biggest dangers, is shoved back by Vriska until he’s barely relevant anymore.

And all of this might just be me trying to find an explanation to the sudden loose ends not being tied. But I think, all of this, was meant to express more than Hussie rolling the story back or changing the story to fit other things. No.

We go back to Dave’s words. We’re real people, we don’t have arcs. We are real people. In a comic, where the author is a character, and that always acknowledges it’s a comic? Dave saying they’re real people is big. It was taken as a joke, because they are characters, come on! Right? … Right?

Well of course they are. But that’s the thing. Up until Act 6, all of the various characters were nothing more than that. And even during the Game Over Timeline, they were nothing more than that. But Hussie’s death, the ghosts, no longer relevant, trying to fight back against Lord English? Caliborn’s acknowledgement of a story and trying to take control of it? And finally, John’s powers.

The House Juju gave John something more important than being able to change the Timeline.

The ability to make Selfcest canon.

Wait no- That wasn’t it.

The ability to alter the plot to his own whims.

John’s zapping doesn’t follow the rules of Paradox Space. It allows him to change the timeline as he wishes and it still be the Alpha. Not only that, but he can also warp out of the story itself, sending people and things to the background of the website.

It’s when Vriska starts to try and find this Juju that everything about the narrative begins to shift gears. John now can change the plot. Which means he is not adhering to the rules that bound them all anymore. He can go back, bring people who were dead back to life, save his friends, and aid them get a better ending.

And in this new timeline he’s changed? Everyone seems a bit different. They have gone through different things, and are as confused as anyone else about what is going on. This is the moment where these characters stop being characters.

This isn’t a story about Four Kids playing a Game, getting involved in Shenanigans and trying to live a happy ever after as villains try to plot on destroying them and reality. Homestuck is the tale of the characters from a webcomic, becoming self-aware, and escaping the grasp of the author and the narrative.

I don’t know if this is what Hussie intended, and if it is, at what point he planned to start leading the story this way. I might just be crazy and be reading too much into this? But as I see it? It closes every single loophole in this story.

Doomed Timelines are meant to be nothing. They are meant to fade, and not be relevant anymore. But the ghosts are having none of this. They WANT to be relevant in this story again. They create an army, and head off to defeat the biggest threat in the entire comic.

Caliborn knows reality itself isn’t as it seems, and tries to make his own story within it. He strives to become almighty, and then begins to destroy and rend reality itself so he can make way for his own rule.

Vriska knows she’s in a story, having interacted with the very Author and the command prompt! But she is not trying to change the story- All the opposite. Vriska follows the rules of the story, closes loopholes from what she has seen, but tries to be the one who causes everything. She wants to be in the spotlight of this tale. She creates Bec Noir just because she had seen it in her screen. And knowing this is a story, she goes off of her way to find methods to defeat each of these villains, at any cost. Because in a story, once she defeats these big, powerful foes, she’ll be a heroine, and everyone will regard her so highly, she’ll be over everyone else. Just like she wants.

John? I don’t think he knows he’s in a story. But he has the power to alter it. And after he begins to mess with the timeline, the rules of Paradox Space begin to shatter around him and his friends. Time loops, Rules, Plot, why would they care about how a story goes, if it’s not a story, it’s their lives. They just want to be happy and get away from this cycle of destruction and death.

I’d even go as far as to say God Tier Calliope knows this. If her Land and her Earth were anything like Caliborn’s, she might also been in contact with the command prompt. Perhaps the fact her entire mission was a self-sacrifice to collapse the Green Sun represented how she, too, saw Paradox Space as what it was- A construct that kept these characters trapped as that. Characters. And the only way to escape its grasp was the erase its very existence, using Lord English’s destruction to tear a hole through the comic, and destroy it.

In this way, everything that happens towards the ending makes perfect sense. There are hundreds, thousands, who knows how many timelines, in which every plot hole will be closed. But we’re not following these. It would be easy to cause, say, the Condesce to wake up. Because of her immortality curse given by Lord English. Or the Draconian Dignitary get to the Frog Lily Pad. Something happens, interrupts the kids from entering to the new Session, and bam! Suddenly more plot! Their entrance to the Universe is blocked. Terezi worries about Vriska, so they begin to plot a way to help her defeat Lord English. The black hole in the Session that likely leads to Caliborn’s land becomes relevant, and they all have a trip to beat up Caliborn. Something happens to Calliope, her ring has ended up in Caliborn’s hands as well, he traps the kids, the Alphas beat him up, all loops are closed, we have a bittersweet, predictable ending. And this has happened. In many timelines before. Over, and over. Perhaps the one we’re following isn’t even the Alpha, for that very reason.

But it doesn’t matter. I talked about how the Jujus were a way to alter the plot, and let’s go back to this, and look at my theory about the Kids Souls being Trapped for all eternity in this Juju. The moment Caliborn uses this Juju, he kickstarts the entirety of the rules of Paradox Space. These kids we follow through the story, are trapped in a plot, with rules dictated by narrative that they HAVE to adhere too.

Then the ghosts decide that this is bullshit, and that they, even after death, want to still be relevant. Instigated by Vriska and Meenah, and aided by Aranea’s mind control, they manage to find a way they can alter the plot once again, a Juju. John touches this Juju, and suddenly he gains the power to alter this plot as well, and begins his and his friend’s journey to escape the clutches of Paradox Space and the comic itself.

John was trapped in the house all along. So of course, shoving his arm through it? He managed to grasp at the other side. He got a taste of what it was to be free. And he gained the power of changing the plot as a result.

Then, Vriska becomes alive again. She’s relevant, and bashes down on her ghost self. Ghost self that had at one point tried to make herself relevant, even though since she’s dead she shouldn’t be. This way, Vriska proves that, while she acknowledges the story as a story, and wants to be always present and in the middle, she never sees it as something she has to escape. She has no character development, because now, in this timeline that John has changed, she’s free to do whatever she wants, she’s her own person without a character arc, but doesn’t find the need to become said person. She doesn’t want to change, she wants to keep following the plot, and take down the big bad.

So Vriska takes the house Juju from her alternate self, goes against Lord English, beats up the Author of the comic itself as a last Fuck You, and then uses the Juju towards him. And this is when Alive Vriska makes her big mistake. By following this plot, this story, the Juju house crashes behind her…

She’s on Lord English’s side of the house. Because both of them know the comic is just that, a story. He knows about the narrative, and the author. So he kills the author, and becomes the big evil that must be defeated. Meanwhile, Vriska knows about the narrative, and the author, so she beats up the author and tries to become the heroine.

Caliborn and Vriska could very well strive to break free of Paradox Space in other ways, but instead they do what they do best- Be themselves, and fuck shit up in the process. And it’s this mentality that in the end, as the House Juju appears, tells us that both of them have been doomed. Doomed to be trapped in this Collapsing Paradox Space there’s no escape from.

Except there is an escape.

Because the door opens. It opens for the Kids and Trolls on the lily pad. And it opens for the Ghost Army and everyone else in the Bubbles. These are people that have been living aside from the story for a long time. The ones that are alive in the Session have had John change everything and the events happening after make them question Paradox Space itself. And the dead ones or the ones just stuck in the Furthest Ring? They fear being forgotten. They fear being erased by the collapsing Paradox Space, and had faced Lord English to try and become relevant once more.

Of course Condy’s curse didn’t wake her up. Of course DD didn’t appear. The moment the Juju appears, the story is done. There is no more plot. Because it’s not a story. The ones wanting to follow the plot are now seeing it crumble, seeing everything end. And the ones that wanted to become relevant against Paradox Space- Why would they need to even follow the rules? They are trying to escape them.

The Plot Holes are part of the plot in itself. John and everyone else didn’t need to fill it up. Because they are not part of the story anymore. We didn’t see their character arcs close. Because they are not characters anymore. They are not characters anymore. They don’t need to show us they have grown- Or maybe they haven’t even grown. They are always growing, learning. But now, they have escaped this evil Universe that trapped them and forced into cruel and crueler situations. They have escaped to a peaceful realm. They don’t need to keep following the story. They are happy and free to live their lives however they want.

They are finally happy.

away from the sun

soulmate au 

pairing: taehyung | reader
genre: fluff and soft angst
word count: 20.409
warnings: none
author’s note: this story involved a whole lot of research involving many topics (read on if you want to find out hehe). I tried to represent them in the best way I could, but there are probably a few inaccuracies, so I apologize in advance for that. anyway, this is just another long plot with a bit of cheese on the side. please enjoy :) 


Once every five years, when the June solstice arrives and graces the sky with the midnight sun, a comet dashes by.

It is more than just a blinking light that moves at an unhinged speed. According to what you’ve heard, it looks like it stills in the middle of the vastness of space, and its tail flickers and shimmies in long tendrils of vibrant colors full of meaning — a subtle force that speaks to the humans who look up to the stars and set their eyes on the glowing meteorite, unique but just as intense for every single gaze. It speaks of soulmates and fate, of heavy truths and indelible bonds.

Each person sees a different pool of colors. You’ve heard more than a thousand stories, of people who saw the colors of the fireplace and others who were seized by the soothing hues of woodland during dawn. You’ve read about colors that go from the red blush of a beach beneath the sunset to the ivory traces of a wintry hill covered in thick snow. The colors do not give them the name of their soulmates, but once they find their other half, they will see those rich tones reflected in their lover’s eyes.

Keep reading

Teen Wolf Preference - Fake Dating

DEREK HALE

Derek couldn’t believe you had convinced him into doing this.

“You want me to what?” he’d asked, not sure if he’d heard you correctly.  

“I just need you to pretend to be my boyfriend for this event since… I kinda already told everyone that you’re my boyfriend and you were coming. There’ll be free food and alcohol and you won’t even have to talk to many people!”

This had naturally intrigued Derek but there had been something that he couldn’t help but ask you.

“Really? You picked me for your big fake boyfriend plan? You know I don’t… get along well with people around here. Why not Parrish?”

Derek could see Parrish pulling up now at the event in his police uniform. Parrish wasn’t a bad guy but Derek couldn’t help but clench his fists at the sight of him. He wasn’t one to get jealous easily but this guy just put his teeth on edge.

“Shit! Parrish! Why didn’t I think of that?” you’d said angrily, shaking your head, “well, it’s too late. Will you just please go with me, Derek? It’s just one night. We can fake break up the next day.”

Derek had then thought for a moment, making sure to avoid your eye. You had a particular pleading look that you often gave him that made it hard for him to ever say no to you. But he couldn’t resist and looked at you, and it was then that he decided that he was going to be a part of your fake dating charade and he was going to be the best fake date there ever was.

“You came!”

Derek was pulled out of his trance, turning to see you hurrying towards him with a grin on your face.

“I said I would, didn’t I?”

You shook your head, “I just wasn’t sure. Wow, you look really good, you should wear suits more often.”

“I always look good,” he offered his hand, smiling a little as you took it. Your hand was so tiny compared to his. “You don’t look too bad either.”

That was an understatement. Derek always thought you looked gorgeous but right now, he was so blown away by how beautiful you looked that he had to remind himself to breathe.

Gee, thanks. We’re running a bit behind – I’d planned to have at least 2 drinks by now.”

The event was in full swing and Derek felt like he was in high school again. First of all, the event was being held in the school’s hall as the community one was under construction and second of all, he found himself watching protectively over you as he heard several greasy men comment on how good you looked.

“I was wondering when the two of you were going to get together,” Jordan Parrish congratulated the two of you, avoiding Derek’s intimidating stare, “all (Y/N) ever talked about was ‘how hot Derek is’.”

Your eyes widened, taking a rather large sip of your drink as you elbowed Jordan ‘playfully’.

“I did not!”

All throughout the night people had approached you and Derek and gave similar comments (minus the snarky one Jordan gave), saying that they’d seen the two of you out on dates and were wondering when you were going to call it official. In all honesty, neither you or Derek had considered your outings to be dates but now that he was thinking back on it, he wondered if he should start considering them as just that.

Derek proceeded to smile as Jordan winced from the hit you gave him, “well, it was a surprise to me actually. I had always thought the two of you were going to get together.”

“Nah, (Y/N) has only ever had eyes for you!” Jordan glanced at your now nearly empty glass, “want a refill?”

“God, yes please. I’m gonna be needing something heavier at this rate.”

“Completely agree with you.” and with a wink, Jordan disappeared back through the crowd towards the bar and Derek shifted his focus back to you.

“I feel a bit stupid for being jealous of him now,” he admitted, smelling the embarrassment on you which only caused his smile to widen more. Derek honestly couldn’t remember smiling this much since he was a teenager and it turned out a lot of people at the event were being a lot kinder to him because of it.

“Yeah, well, I picked you as my fake boyfriend for a reason. It’s believable and everyone seems to already think it was happening.”

You wished Jordan would hurry up with that drink.

Derek could hear your heart racing and you glanced up at him, something seeming to occur to you as a surprised expression dawned on your face.

“Holy shit – you don’t actually like me, do you?”

He leaned closer to you, his grin seeming rather wolfish now.

“By the sounds of it,” he pointed to your heart, “you feel the same way.”

Derek was now the one taken aback as very quickly, you closed the gap between the two of you and pressed a hard kiss against his lips.

“Stupid werewolf powers.” Was all you said as a low growl came from the back of Derek’s throat, Jordan now walking up from behind you with drinks in his hand. Derek wanted to desperately kiss you just a little longer but as his eyes met briefly with yours, he knew the whole dating charade was going to become a lot more realistic and there was going to be endless amount of time to kiss you.


ISAAC LAHEY

“Sorry man. You probably won’t have a lot to contribute to the conversation considering you’ve never had a girlfriend,” Stiles teased for what felt like the millionth time as he and Isaac stood by the lockers waiting for the rest of the group to arrive.

Stiles had just asked him for advice for an upcoming date but then took it back quickly saying he probably would just ask Scott about it in the car. A low growl escaped Isaac’s lips as he tried to remind himself that Stiles just wasn’t worth it as the idiot seemed to get off on annoying him. And unfortunately, it was working and sometimes Isaac was just a bit impulsive.

“Well, not one that you know of.”

Stiles’s eyebrow quirked up and a Grinch like smile came across his face, wondering if he was hearing this right.

“A girlfriend in fourth grade doesn’t count,” he reminded and Isaac’s hands balled into fists.

“I’m not supposed to talk about it.” Because it isn’t real, Isaac thought.

Stiles nodded, “oh, yeah right, sure, sure.”

The tone in his voice was enough for Isaac to glance around and see you and Lydia walking in the opposite direction of where he was standing. You and Isaac weren’t close but you got along like a house on fire, regularly working together on pack ‘missions’ or sometimes you just studied together in the library. He’d been asked several times if he was interested in you, all those times he just shrugged as an answer but if anyone was to believe he was dating someone, you would be a good candidate.

“(Y/N),” Isaac said, “(Y/N) and I have been dating.”

Stiles looked as if he’d just discovered gold.

“(Y/N)? You want me to believe that? She’s way out of your league!” and then he was shouting, “(Y/N)! Are you and Isaac dating?”

Lydia and you stopped your walking, Lydia raising her eyebrows at you as you turned around slowly. Everyone in the hallway seemed to go quiet, interested in this little bit of gossip and you met with Isaac’s horrified eyes.

“Uh, yes?” was all you said before continuing on your way, Lydia beginning to smack you excitedly at discovering this information as Stiles turning back to Isaac.

“I can’t believe you weren’t just fucking with me. You should invite her to come bowling with all of us tomorrow night – Lydia will be there so she won’t feel so weird. I seriously can’t believe you landed a girlfriend like that, fuck.”

Isaac couldn’t believe that he’d landed a fake girlfriend like that either.

That night, Isaac found himself climbing into your bedroom and nearly scaring you half to death.

“What the shit?” you hissed, pausing the show you were watching, “first you say we’re dating and now you’re climbing through my window? Did I miss something?”

He smiled sheepishly, brushing off a few sticks that got caught in his sweater while trying to climb up through your window.

“Uh, I know normal people just text but I thought I should just ask you in person. I didn’t really think this through –,”

You cut him off, “yeah, I can see that.”

“But, fuck this is stupid. Stiles was being a dick and I kind of just said you were my girlfriend so he’d leave me alone. I didn’t think he’d actually, uh, ask you about it but do… you wanna go bowling with the group of us tomorrow?”

You’d always had a crush on Isaac. He was one of the first guys to ever really notice you and see you for more than just your looks and you wanted to throw one of your pillows at him and demand he take you out on a proper date because you genuinely liked him. But even though he freaked you out a bit by abruptly climbing through your window at that time of night, you couldn’t resist him.

“Fine. But before you leave, I already answered a bunch of our relationship questions to Lydia so you’ll have to learn them. And you’re paying for my shoes and games for bowling. Oh, and when we fake break up, it’ll be a mutual break up and it can’t be weird.”

You weren’t particularly eager to be out bowling with the group. You got along well with everyone and they were being overly nice to you ever since they found out you and Isaac were ‘dating’. A few times Stiles had said to you ‘really, Isaac?’ but other than that, no one really questioned it. The people in the group who were wolves didn’t even suspect that the two of you were faking the whole ordeal because they could hear how fast your heart rates were when you were around one another, which made everything much easier.

“Lydia said she invited you to come earlier in the week but you said no.” Isaac said, his arm wrapped around you rather lazily as you watched Scott get up for his first go. It felt rather natural for the two of you to be like this, having small touches here and there and sneaking each other little glances. It was comfortable and you had to remind yourself that this was all supposed to be a charade.

“Uh, did I forget to mention that I can’t bowl?”

“You know you’re up next, right?”

You nodded, “yeah, that’s why I’m just a bit nervous.”

Scott got a strike, grinning as he turned to the group who were all rolling their eyes at the unfairness of him having werewolf abilities which were a rather big help in the situation. You wished you had the abilities because you had no idea what you were about to do.

“C’mon,” Isaac helped you to your feet, picking up your ball for you and beginning to walk towards your lane.

“Seriously? What are you doing?”

He handed you the ball, smiling a little and back at the seats the two of you were already earning a few ‘awes’.

“I’ll help you, it’s the least I can do,” he handed you the ball and you held it in the hand you were most comfortable with as he began to help line you up correctly, “aren’t we just relationship goals?”

You laughed rather nervously and Isaac stood behind you, his back pressed against yours and you did your best to concentrate on your bowling but it was proving to be difficult.

“Just move sort of like… this,” he murmured into your ear and as he showed you the throwing movement the second time around, you released the ball and it went flying down the middle of the lane, hitting all the pins except one.

“Oh my god,” a grin came across your face as you turned around to Isaac who couldn’t quite believe it either, “oh my god!”

You flung your arms around his neck, kissing him excitedly and Isaac nearly fell backwards at the sudden action. Eagerly though, he kissed you back, enjoying the feeling and hoping that you’d do this every time you did well in the game.

“How come you don’t do that when I do well?” Scott asked Kira from their seats and she nudged him playfully.

Realising that you had to bowl once more and everyone was watching the two of you with stupid grins on their faces, you shyly pulled away and began to walk back to get another ball. Triumphantly, Isaac walked back to the group who might as well have been clapping for him and Lydia patted his arm.

“It’s about time the two of you got together. (Y/N) always talked about how much she liked you but you just ‘didn’t like her back’. I swear if you break her heart I’ll break you.” She smiled sweetly and Isaac, who had to admit was a little intimidated, smiled back as you successfully knocked down your final pin.

“Not planning on it, Lydia.”


LIAM DUNBAR

“I think I left my lacrosse jersey at your place,” you were startled by your ex-boyfriend who was now standing beside your locker, an annoyed look on his face as if it were you fault that he’d misplaced his belongings.

“You never took any of your lacrosse gear to my house.” You told him coolly, shutting your locker which you weren’t actually done looking in and attempting to walk away from him. To your annoyance, he followed.

“Well, if you see it then tell me,” he said and you rolled your eyes. The two of you had been broken up for 3 months, you were certain you would have come across it by now. “How’re you going anyway? Any new guys in your life?”

The last bit he said with an amused tone, causing you to clutch your bag just a bit tighter. You knew if you said no that he’d proceed to tell you the long list of girls that were in his life now – some of which were in his life while the two of you were dating.

“Yeah, believe it or not I actually have a boyfriend.”

You saw a group of guys up ahead being rather rowdy and spotted Liam Dunbar, the guy you were planning to find just earlier because he’d promised you his research notes from one of your classes.

“Oh, really? Do I know them?”

You knew you should’ve just made up a name of some guy that went to another school but because you just happened to be looking at Liam, you couldn’t help it.

“Liam.”

Your ex looked surprised, “Dunbar? Seriously?”

At that moment, Liam looked up, having been listening in on your conversation and he was just as confused too. You couldn’t believe you picked someone so obvious – and someone that was on the same team as your ex as well. You weren’t going to get away with this.

“Um… yeah?”

Liam sensed your embarrassment and excused himself from the group of friends he was talking to. It was well known that he hated your ex and any opportunity to annoy him was valuable.

“Hey babe!” he said cheerfully as he approached you, trying not to laugh at how red you went as he placed a kiss on your cheek, “everything alright here?”

Your ex, to your relief, stepped away, “everything’s fine, man. (Y/N), if you see the jersey let me know.”

When your ex was safely out of sight, you turned to Liam who had a smug smile on his face.

“How – why?” you stammered, not really sure how you’d just managed that.

“I hate that guy,” he said, “don’t worry, I won’t tell anyone we’re not really dating. We make a cute couple anyway, even if it’s fake.”

“What? Liam, you don’t have to do this. I was just being stupid.”

He shook his head, “he’s just told about 5 people that we’re dating. It’ll be fun! We can get back at that guy all while doing our assignments. It’s a win-win situation.”

And so the fake relationship began. To your surprise, you greatly benefited from the situation. Creepy guys stopped bothering you, if you ever needed to get warm Liam was perfectly fine with you just walking into his arms while he talked with some friends and you ended up making more friends of your own. Some of the seniors he hung around became protective of you and Lydia Martin, of all people, started casually talking to you and giving you advice whenever you needed it. You often forgot that you weren’t really dating because whenever you were around Liam, your heart raced and you got butterflies as if you were actually hanging out with someone you had feelings for. It wasn’t until you sometimes saw your ex around the school who made snide and rude comments about the two of you that you remembered what was going on.

“You’re all sweaty,” you laughed as you and Mason went onto the field after one of the lacrosse games to congratulate Liam. He had a large grin on his face, pulling off his lacrosse helmet and Mason gave him a high five.

“Usually after sports people get sweaty. Weird, isn’t it?” Mason said as you gave Liam a short congratulatory hug, “poor Devenford Prep though… I should probably go and see if Brett’s alright…”

“Yeah, I’m sure you’re really concerned about his feelings,” Liam said sarcastically as Mason ignored him, walking over to the opposite (and losing) team.

“So, how does it feel to win against your old school?”

“Quite amazing, actually,” he paused, “he’s watching again. Doesn’t he have anything better to do?”

You shrugged, knowing exactly who Liam was talking about, “maybe we should give him a show.”

You had been joking – kind of. And Liam knew that but he couldn’t resist. He dropped his helmet, cupping your face and kissing you passionately. You no longer cared about how sweaty he was as you kissed him back, a part of you relieved that you were finally getting to do this.

You pulled away slightly, smiling like an idiot and Liam began to lean in again.

“He’s not even watching anymore,” you told him and he shook his head.

“I just really like kissing you.”

And then you kissed him again.

SCOTT MCCALL

“This is just relationship…ist,” you said angrily as you and Scott sat in the library working on an assignment together. Scott raised an eyebrow, half listening as he was actually working while you were flicking through a free Beacon Hills magazine that you could always find lying around the town in random places.

“I have no idea what you’re going on about.”

You put the magazine down in front of him so he had to actually look away from what he was doing, pointing to the ad on the page.

“Couples get a 50% discount at the Canary. Couples are the ones that can actually afford to be there, single people should be the ones getting the discount.”

Scott pushed the magazine back towards you, amused by your reaction.

“What’s so good about the restaurant, anyway?” he asked and you looked at him in disbelief.

“How – how could you ask that? The food is the best food I’ve ever eaten. It makes you want to cry rainbows it’s so good.”

He snorted, “if you let me do my work I’ll be your fake boyfriend and go with you.”

“You know the way to my heart, McCall.”

You told maybe one person that you and Scott were going for the discounted food and the word got out like Chinese whispers. Soon, everyone ignored the fact you were just going to a restaurant together and were talking about how the two of you were now dating. Both of you, even with Scott’s werewolf senses, were oblivious to the rumours and were sitting at lunch together when Stiles was the first person to sit down with the both of you.

“I can’t believe you two,” he said, you having your mouth full with your lunch but raising an eyebrow at him, “you’re dating and you didn’t even tell me.”

You nearly choked on your food.

“Where’d you hear that?” Scott asked casually, not denying the claim.

“From fucking Lindsay of all people! She wanted to know how long it’d be going on – how come everyone knew before your best friend?!”

You looked at Scott and to your surprise, he shrugged.

“We were going to keep it a secret.”

That was when the rest of the group sat down at the table.

“So it’s true then?” Lydia asked, looking between you and Scott and he took your hand, giving it a small squeeze.

“Yes, we’re dating,” and then he looked at you, “and we’re going to get a discount at the Canary. I want to cry rainbows.”

You knocked at Scott’s front door on Saturday night, ready for your fake date. The two of you had found the whole fake dating thing to be rather amusing, promising each other to keep it up until after the restaurant date and then saying that you would break up afterwards because you realised you were just ‘better off as friends’.

As Scott didn’t have a car you said you’d drop by his place after he was done practicing lacrosse with Stiles and Liam that day. Usually you didn’t mind just going on the back of his motorbike to places but tonight you actually got dressed up a little bit and you couldn’t risk having helmet hair or your makeup getting smudged.

“(Y/N)!” Melissa grinned as she opened the door, “come on in. Scott got home later than expected and he’s nearly ready. God, I’m so glad he finally got the guts to ask you out. He’s always gushing about his feelings for you and how he just doesn’t know what to do about it. He adores you, really.”

“Really, mum?” Scott said, knowing he was too late in defusing the embarrassing situation as he came walking quickly down the stairs.

“I’m your mother, it’s my job to embarrass you,” Melissa teased, “I guess that’s my cue to leave the two of you alone. Have fun – be safe!”

You only managed to yell a goodbye because Scott was pushing you out of the door, eager to get out of the situation.

“Don’t,” he warned, knowing you were ready to mention what had just happened, “you look amazing, by the way.”

“It’s not often I dress up like this so you better appreciate it. So should the discounted food, which I’m highly looking forward to.”

The Canary was filled with couples of all ages and you and Scott fit right in as plates of food were being placed in front of you.

“Are we going to be able to eat this all?” you asked.

“(Y/N), I’m a guy who also happens to be a werewolf. I could finish all of this on my own.”

He had a fair point.

The two of you were complimented several times by waiters for being such a cute couple, you both accepting these compliments graciously but with bright red faces. Ever since Melissa made the comment earlier about the two of you, you couldn’t help but wonder if she was joking because you’d always thought it was just you that liked him.

“What is it?” Scott asked, noticing your wondering expression. You gave a small shrug, feeling awfully shy which you weren’t usually like around him.

“Do you really gush about having feelings for me?”

This time, he was the shy one. Scott poked at his food, his cheeks reddening which they had been on and off throughout the night.

“I wouldn’t say I gushed about it,” he finally admitted, “but I do talk about liking you a bit.”

STILES STILINSKI

Saturday night had been a blur. The last memory you had was agreeing to do shots with Stiles and the next day you woke up safely tucked in bed (thanks to Scott) just before you launched yourself to the toilet to begin your day of being hungover. You felt like shit. And even on Monday morning as you walked into school you had a faint throbbing in your head and you were drinking more water when Stiles arrived.

“I’m never drinking alcohol again,” was the first thing you said to him, noticing he looked a similar way to you.

“Tell me about it,” he agreed, “but we say that all the time.”

You leaned against his side, waiting for the others to arrive when you got your first ‘congratulations’ from someone. Neither of you were sure what the person was congratulating you on but you thanked them anyway. Then it happened again when a girl from your English class walked past, lifting her hand to high five you.

“I heard about Saturday! It’s about time you two got together!” she said excitedly before walking into school.

“Do you have any idea what’s going on?” you asked, confused as to what you just witnessed as Stiles shook his head.

“I spent yesterday in the toilet. I didn’t even turn my phone on because the brightness made me sick.”

You waited a little longer and then Stiles suddenly perked up.

“Dude, there’s Theo. I saw him at the party on Saturday with that guy – I think he’s trying to get him to join his weird ass pack,” Stiles tried to tell you quietly, hoping that Theo was listening in.

“Or he could be into guys?”

“Well, you two were certainly a sight for sore eyes,” Kira suddenly said, appearing beside the two of you and making you jump. When she noticed the confused, she elaborated. “On Saturday, I mean. I didn’t know that getting the two of you together meant getting you drunk and having you confess your love to one another but man, it worked. That was gross.”

You and Stiles nearly had a heart attack. Quickly, you stepped away from one another, sharing a confused stare just as the bell went. Kira looked between the two of you but didn’t say anything, leaving you two alone as she entered the school on her own. Rather than say anything, you and Stiles went your separate ways.

During second period, your phone buzzed in your pocket. You glanced at the message from Stiles which simply read to meet him at your spot. Your teacher was reluctant to let you leave but when you did, you nearly sprinted to the spot under the third floor corridor staircase where Stiles was waiting clearly agitated. It seems you weren’t the only one having people come up to you and congratulate you on officially dating Stiles and that many people saw your proclamation of love which neither of you can remember.

“Do you remember?” you began but Stiles suddenly pulled you to him, putting a hand over your mouth. You were confused, only to hear Theo’s voice echoing the corridor and you got the idea. You tried to listen in with him but Theo stopped talking and soon you heard footsteps coming towards where the two of you were hiding.

Stiles swiftly kissed you, causing you to freeze up. You weren’t sure whether to pull away or to kiss him back, only to understand what he was doing when Theo finally stopped in front of the two of you.

“Whoa, Theo!” Stiles pulled away, “can’t a couple just have a few moments of peace?”

Theo’s eyebrows furrowed, “so the rumours are true.”

“The rumours? Didn’t you see us at the party?” Stiles wrapped his arm around you and you smiled sheepishly. Your teacher was gonna be pissed at how late you were going to be.

“Must’ve left by then.”

“With your guy friend?” you blurted out and Stiles tried to stifle a laugh. Theo decided it was best to ignore you – which it was – and began to walk back to class that he was obviously avoiding as well.

You looked at Stiles with a questioning expression but he shook his head, “we’ll talk about this later.”

You never talked about it later but you had a silent agreement to continue the fake dating. Both of you watched one too many movies and had the idea that if you did the couple getting caught making out when you were actually searching into something you shouldn’t be then it was a win-win deal. You were just too nosy.

“We’re basically detectives,” Stiles said, the two of you hidden in a corner of a club watching a group of suspected chimeras. The two of you had been awfully touchy the past few days, both of you trying to convince yourselves it was all just a charade but it wasn’t. If you were able to convince your friends that you were dating, the people you were closest to, then it wasn’t really fake.

“Do you wanna go home and watch Star Wars?” you yelled over the music and Stiles leaned his forehead against yours.

“You are perfect for me.” He said, grabbing your and leading you out of the club. Your heart was racing and even when you got to the car, Stiles continued to hold your hand on the drive back to his place.


“For our detective work, right?” you said jokingly to him when he pulled into the driveway, Stiles walking quickly around to your side of the car to open the door for you.

Stiles leaned in and kissed you, “this has never been about the detective work.”

THEO RAEKEN

“Leave me alone,” you said for the third time to a guy that hadn’t stopped trying to chat you up during the last big lacrosse game. You looked around, trying to find someone you knew to go to for help but the crowds of people all looked the same.

“Why? You got a boyfriend?”

“Why should that matter? Leave me alone.”

You tried to remember how to throw a punch – you even considered making a scene by yelling loudly for the creep to get away from you. But your rescuer stepped out of the shadows, wrapping their arm around you and you nearly punched them in the face until you saw who it was.

“This guy bothering you, babe?” Theo Raeken said sternly and the guy put his hands in the air.

“Hey! No problem here, Raeken!”

“Really?” Theo stepped towards him, “because you better not be bothering my girlfriend.”

Despite how scared you were, your heart was filling with butterflies for all the wrong reasons. You had Theo in a few of your classes and god, you found him insanely attractive. He was always sweet towards you and now you were never going to be able to thank him enough.

“I’m not! I was just leaving, I swear!”

You’d never seen someone move so quickly.

When he disappeared into the crowd, Theo turned to you and gave you the most charming smile. You knew about his powers and was fully aware that he could probably smell your lust and nervousness.

“Don’t mention it,” he winked before disappearing as well and you couldn’t help but smile like an idiot.

The next week you were sitting in the library on your own when Theo sat down beside you again, putting his arm around you. Your heart got caught in your throat as you glanced up at him, Theo seeming very comfortable and casual with the situation.

“Didn’t you hear?” he said with an amused tone, “everyone thinks we’re actually dating. I want to make sure they continue to think that so those guys will leave you alone.”

“What guys?”

“Over there. They’ve been saying some disgusting things about you and either I beat the shit out of them or they just get too freaked out to do anything in the first place,” he paused, “you’re cute when you’re nervous.”

You ignored him, “so, what? You’re fake dating me now?”

“Do you mind? I think it’d be fun.”

Theo took your answer as a yes when you blushed and look hastily away.

The next few weeks went past in a blur. It all started out as a bit of fun and eventually you were comfortable enough with Theo to get a bit into it as well. He never did anything beyond holding your hand or wrapping his arms around you but soon you were beginning to realise you wanted more – and so did Theo. He tried to convince himself that he was just doing this as a nice gesture because he’d thought you were vulnerable but he came to realise that you were stronger than even he was. You impressed him and Theo found himself lying in bed at night wishing you were there and he got excited whenever he knew you were nearby.

It was another big lacrosse game and Theo was finishing up some personal business when he saw a guy attempting to take the seat that Theo had originally be sitting in and chat you up. He clenched his teeth, storming towards you and his heart jumped when you made eye contact and you smiled at him.

“Hey babe,” Theo said, leaning down to where you were sitting, cupping your cheek and kissing you hard on the lips. You froze up but kissed him back, the guy that had been attempting to hit on you moving far away as possible.

“Get a room!” someone yelled and Theo moved away, brushing his thumb against your cheek.

“You have no idea how long I’ve wanted to do that.”

I wonder why each little bird has a someone to sing to

i got a few requests for a companion piece to the gifts of beauty and song, my retold sleeping beauty fairytale, so here you go

so maleficent is the good fairy here, right, and the three fairies are the bad ones, so like fae do they each appear to be what they’re not. and aurora, given fae gifts and raised by fae, is nearly fae herself. maleficent knows that only an elf could hope to sway a fae heart, because elves are impervious to their glamour. maleficent kidnaps the young prince philip, and brings him to the elven realm. she tries to bargain a prince for a prince, but the king is unswayed. a human prince, he declared, is only worth an elvish servant, so that’s what she gets.

maleficent takes the servant and puts him in philip’s place, gives him that name, and watches as the servant elf is made a prince among mortals, watches as he eventually captures aurora’s heart, and saves her from her living death. watches as the elf servant turned prince becomes a king, as the almost-fae princess aurora becomes queen, and their two kingdoms become one and they rule the land of men together.

this, of course, begs the question – what happens to our dear human philip?

he is not the first child that has been bargained away to the elves, and elf queen thalia settles the young boy on her hip and raises an eyebrow at her husband, waiting. the child awakens by degrees, until he’s clutching her neck and blinking at the gathered elves. thalia is only grateful that he hasn’t started screaming, like so many of his kind do.

normally the children that are bargained to them are put to work in the castle, where they’re safe, where their clumsiness and their ignorance and their mistakes will be glossed over, where she and the king will ensure they will be politely ignored rather than harassed. they’ve lost a servant boy, and so she’s sure a servant boy is what this young human is meant to become.

except a woman of the court steps forward, and she’s old, old enough that it shows, that her curly hair has gone silver and wrinkles are etched deep in her face. lady ember is older than the forests they reside in, is older than her grandmother, than her great grandmother. everyone’s lost track of her exact age, but she’s the oldest elf in village. thalia likes her – she and lady ember have skin of the same dark shade. thalia hopes that if she is to live long enough, she and lady ember would look alike.

“i would like the child,” she says, eyes like amber, and for the moment she appears younger than she ever has. there’s something eager in her, and it brings a life to her that thalia hasn’t seen in a long time.

thalia looks to her husband, and king celedor gives a minuscule twitch to his lip which is an equivalent to a shrug. she sets the young human on the ground, and ember holds out a single hand. the child looks behind him, then in front him, and takes cautious steps forward. he steps until he can take her hand, his own looking small and pale in hers. “it’s been a long time since i was able raise a child,” ember says, “i would like to do so again. will you come home with me?”

and thalia understands. elf children take many hundreds of year to mature, and ember would not risk dying on a child before it could take care of itself. but humans are candles that burn at both ends – hot, and fast. within a decade or two the child in front of them will be able to survive on his own, will not need lady ember to coddle him for centuries.

he nods, and finally opens his mouth to say, “i am philip.”

“hello philip,” lady ember smiles, “i am lady ember of the mother tree. now you are lord philip of the ember tree.”

they are elves. they don’t do something as gauche as gasp, but the sentiment comes out just the same. celedor’s mouth drops open a millimeter and thalia’s right index finger twitches. raise a human child like a beloved pet they could all understand – but to adopt one, to truly adopt one that she’d just met and didn’t know and bequeath to him the estate and title the noble name of the mother tree?

lady ember leads her new son away, and the gathered elves can do nothing but stare.

~

prince elion – eli, to everyone who doesn’t want the prince of the elves nursing a personal grudge against them – comes home in the dead of night, when he can slip past the guards and the fawning people on the street and sneak into the royal quarters.

“mother,” he greets as he enters the library. his father sleeps early, but his mother doesn’t go to bed until nearly dawn. he kneels by her side, and she runs a hand through his hair, tugging the leather tie off when it gets in her way. his mass of dark curly hair tumbles around his head, and as he shakes it out leaves other debris fall out. thalia sighs, but doesn’t remark on it.

“your hunt went well?” she asks, although she knows the answer. eli is one of the best hunters in the kingdom, and his hunting parties – comprised of the strongest and best among the noble families – are notoriously profitable.

he grins, teeth extra white against his skin, “of course, mother. did anything interesting happen while i was away?”

“the faerie maleficent came and bargained away a human prince,” she says, “she wanted you in return. your father gave her a servant boy instead.”

eli laughs, too loud and boisterous, in a way he would never allow himself to laugh around his father or his subjects.

~

philip thinks perhaps he should be screaming, or crying, or causing some sort of fuss about this new life and this old woman who insists she’s his mother now. but he’s never had a mother before, and this new place is beautiful. they live in palace carved out of an enormous tree – the mother tree that their name comes from – and philip is given a lot more freedom as an elf lordling than he was as a prince.

he hopes the boy who took his place is nice to his father, and doesn’t mind long evenings with only the servants for company. being a prince can be very lonely. he knows from experience.

ember gives him rooms and toys, but warns him that he has a lot of work ahead of him. as a human, he’s at a severe disadvantage here at the elf court. elves are faster than humans, stronger and smarter and wiser. “it sounds to me,” philip says, “that maybe they’re just older. if i had hundreds of years, I could be all those things too.” ember’s eyes crinkle at the corners when she smiles, and he returns it.

philip knows hard work. he was set to rule a whole nation, was set to lead whole armies. he knows training and learning and patience. learning to become an elf lord seems like it will be a lot easier than being a human king.

lady ember and her servants are harsh, but fair. in their home, in the mother tree, he is a pampered lord. out of it, however – he acquires many scars from training, from falling and failing. ember and her staff run him ragged into the ground, because he must be able to keep up with elves.

they have hundreds and hundreds of years to practice, to become strong and smart and fast. philip doesn’t have that long, so his mother forces him to do more, train harder, learn faster than would be expected of any elf.

so he learns. the first time he beats his trainer at an archery competition, he feels a swell of pride like nothing he’s felt before. as he inches his way to the level of his teachers, and then surpasses them, the feeling stays.

they’ve always been kind to him. but as his skill grows, they come to respect him, and that’s far more valuable.

~

eli hears of the human that lady ember of the mother tree took as her own – of course he does, it’s all anyone can talk about. but he doesn’t actually get a chance to see the boy, because lady ember keeps him safe on her lands, in her tree that none of them dare trespass on. so he assumes, like many, that she keeps him coddled and safe, away from those who would seek him harm, away from a world that would seek him harm.

then, two decades from when she gave young philip her name, lady ember finds him at court. she tilts her head, and he bows. he may be higher in rank, but he was raised to respect his elders, and lady ember is certainly that. “prince eli,” she says, “your next hunt is coming up, isn’t it?”

“yes, my lady,” he answers, wondering if she has a request. he doesn’t mind tracking down a certain type of meat or pelt for her – he likes the challenge, and likes lady ember.

she smiles at him, and for some reason he feels as if he’s staring into the jaws of a dragon. “excellent. might my son join you? he grows bored of hunting on his own.”

the last thing in the world eli wants to do is keep an eye on a bumbling, spoiled human. but this human is also the lord of the mother tree, and he can think of no response that wouldn’t bring his mother’s wrath down on his head. “of course, lady ember.”

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“Lost and found” - 13 thoughts on symbolism

So, I rewatched the first episode of season 13 and found fascinating symbolism. Some of this has already been talked about, but I think I found a couple of new symbols/imagery, too. Let’s start!

(Screenshots are all mine, please like or reblog if you want to save or use.)

1. Title card:

Many of you have already pointed out the reversed cross, which imo stands for Lucifer. The eye of the nephilim is the central piece here and it severely reminds me of the sun. The outline looks as if there are little sunflares. So the call sign sort of unites Lucifer, Jack and the sun=hope (and of course other meanings concerning the whole sun symbolism going on since forever on the show).

2. Dawn:

When Sam and Dean walk out of the house the sun has just come up over the mountain tops, illuminating the whole scenery and thereby providing hope. They could have shot this scene on a rainy day, to emphasise the desperate situation the brothers are in right now, but no: the sun is shining, not everything is lost. I also like the single ray of sunlight in the first picture. There’s hope, but the boys don’t see it yet.

Fun note: You can see a crew member’s reflection in one of the windows :-)

3. Jack and the rift:

I noticed an orange line on Jack’s chest, which seems to have the exact shape as the rift that led into apocalypse world. Maybe the key to thiat world (and the key to find Mary) can still be found within Jack. At least there appears to be some kind of connection.

4. Reflections during the car ride:

Not only are our boys reflecting about what just happened, you can notice reflections of the sun on Baby or in the camera during this scene. The reflection in the picture above struck me as special, because it’s when Sam asks Dean: “What about Cass?” and at that exact moment the sun’s reflection appears across and in front of Dean in rainbow colours (or mostly purple and blue as can be seen in the screenshot). Well, if that ain’t symbolic… or the luckiest coincidence ever ;-)

5. Sam the anchor:

During the whole scene in the fast food restaurant you can see the anchors from the label in the window (either directly or reflected) above Sam’s shoulders. Imo this means that Sam is everyone’s anchor this season. He’s Dean’s anchor during his grief, someone Dean can rely on and he’s also Jack’s anchor to this world, teaching him and having faith in him. I hope this kind of symbolism will come up in some future episodes, too!

6. Jack is light:

In this scene Jack is highlighted several times by the light coming from the two lamps and the barred window in the cell. I think this illustrates that Jack isn’t per se evil and can bring light into the darkness. Actually just like Lucifer “light bringer” (translation from Latin) was supposed to do at the beginning of time. In contrast to his father, I think Jack could actually achieve bringing the light to our world and humanity.

7. Jack’s t-shirt:

The shirt was the sheriff’s choice and she accidentally picked the right one (yeah, accidents don’t happen accidentally ;-) ). I was able to decipher the writing: “Don’t mess with the bull or you get the horns”. Meaning: Don’t mess with Jack, he can’t control his powers yet and you will regret being at the recieving end of those powers…

8. Light and shadow:

Jack is sitting on a bench completely illuminated by light. He represents the sun, light, hope and positivity. The boys in contrast are sitting in shadow. They don’t see the light yet, they are still in a dark place because of all the recent losses they had to suffer. There is also a distance between them and Jack that has yet to be crossed in order for light to come to the brothers.

9. The prayer:

In the prayer scene Dean walks behind the restaurant seeking privacy. The sun is clearly up in the sky, higlighting almost everything, but not Dean. The world has light and hope again (Lucifer is currently gone), but there’s no such thing for Dean after losing Cass, his mother and even Crowley.

And another interesting reflection of light appears: when Dean prays to get everyone back (especially Cass) we see a rainbow coloured reflection appearing next to him… ;-)

10. The picture in Kelly’s bedrom:

In this picture we can see a ship (standing for Destiel or the brothers or Team Free Will is open to interpretation) on a stormy sea. But there’s also light: some sunrays are breaking through the dark clouds, promising better weather after the storm. Apparently another hint that there’s still hope, even though it doesn’t really look like that for the Winchesters right now.

11. Cass’s deathbed:

Again the sun is shining brightly outside, but the inside of the house, especially the room with Cass’s corpse is dark in comparison. Imo this stands for Dean giving up any hope of seeing Cass again, there’s no silver lining for him to see.

12. The funeral:

This is literally the darkest hour for the Winchesters. They have to burn the bodies, one of them is Cass’s. It’s also sad for Jack, who has to watch his mother and chosen father burn on the funeral pyre. The day comes to a close, the sun goes down and darkness surrounds them all. Is there no hope now that they burn the bodies? No hope that Cass could return? Well, there’s always a new dawn the next day.

I also really liked the shot of Dean’s lighter, the flame has a halo which also reminded me of the sun.

13. Apocalypse world:

Isn’t that the curch from 8x23 “Sacrifice”?!!! Nice parallel. I also noticed that in this world, where Sam and Dean were never born, there is no sunshine. The sky is clouded and you can hear lightning strike all the time. There never was any hope for that world. But maybe Mary can bring some light into it, or even Sam and Dean, who knows?

Okay, that was a long post! Lots and lots of light/sun symbolism! Please share your own thoughts and ideas! :-)

Why and How the Daenerys/Stark Alliance Could Fall.

I think I got it!


So Jon and Daenerys are traveling to Winterfell. They had the boat scene. They’re going to fight the White Walkers together! They think Cersei Lannister has called a truce and that she will support their cause. Even IF Jon learns that he has the superior claim to Daenerys, he doesn’t want to be King. He believes Daenerys is with their cause. The Northern lords will see her for what she truly is. So where could this all go wrong? 

There were multiple confusing/frustrating plot points that seem like bad writing. If my theory is correct, it actually could be a pretty spectacular confluence of many story lines. Here’s my lame attempt at explaining it all:


STEP #1: WHY DID JAIME STAY WITH CERSEI SO LONG?

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Women In Young Adult Literature

This Wednesday we’re celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women on International Women’s Day. I’d like to use that as an opportunity to talk about a few of my favorite female characters in Young Adult books. Careful if you haven’t read these books because of possible spoilers.

Cather Avery (Fangirl)

Cather Avery and her twin sister Wren are starting college and Wren has announced she wants to discover college on her own, leaving an introvert Cath hiding out in her dorm, writing fan fiction. I really liked that Fangirl was about Cath as a character at first and everything else second. Cath is shy and introvert but she’s also sure of who she is and isn’t ashamed of that.

Madeline Whittier (Everything Everything)

Madeline has a rare illness which prevents her from leaving her house, but Maddy is a happy teenage girl. She reads a lot, takes classes online, has a friend in the form of her nurse. Despite the fact that she was missing out on so much in her life, she keeps being optimistic. It is impossible not to like her. Of course, she was also moody and curious. This curiosity eventually leads her to uncover a secret that will change everything for her.

Glory O’Brien (Glory O’Brien’s History of the Future)

One evening Glory and her best friend mix up beer with the remains of a bat (that is as weird as it sounds). Next thing they know they can see people’s pasts and futures. Glory becomes obsessed with the second civil war and decided to write down every piece of information she gathers from seeing people’s futures. I loved how Glory handled seeing the future. She questioned everything in her past and present; her future, the strange hippie community across the street and especially her mother’s suicide and what I means for her.

Rose Hathaway (Vampire Academy-series)

Rose Hathaway is a Dhampir and thus fated to guard a Moroi. She’s determined to protect her best friend Lissa, a royal Moroi. Rose is sarcastic and insubordinate but she is fiercely loyal to Lissa. Over the course of the series Rose loves and loses Dimitri. The loss of him puts her friendship with Lissa and even her life at stake.

Mara Dyer (Mara Dyer trilogy and upcoming Shaw Confessions)

She has to power to kill people with a thought, but is she a villain? Throughout this trilogy, Mara tries to figure out what is happening with her. She means no harm, but around her people start dying under strange circumstances. She tries to understand her powers and is put in dangerous situations because of it. To get herself out of these situations she must use her power and questions who she is when she does.

Gwendolyn Shepard (Ruby Red)

Kerstin Gier gives us curious and funny heroines. These characteristics often put them in complicated situations. Take Gwendolyn, (Gwyneth in the US/UK editions) for example. She can travel through time but it isn’t nearly as fun as it sounds. She always taught her cousin would inherit the time travel gene, she isn’t ready to fulfill tasks that would take her across time. Yet, Gwendolyn uncovers the truth and stands her ground while taking on an ancient organization.

Shahrzad Al-Khayzuran (The Wrath and the Dawn)

She marries the Caliph, not to love him and be his bride, but to kill him. Khalid has had countless wives and has killed every one of them, including her best friend. But when Shahrzad finds out her husband is cursed she takes it upon herself to save him and their people. Shahrzad can come across as spoiled, but she also doesn’t take shit from anyone and doesn’t like to be told what to do.

Inej Ghafa & Nina Zenik (Six Of Crows)

Inej can climb the most impossible buildings. She grew up with loving parents but was separated from them and sold to a brothel. Her time there still causes her anxiety. Nina was a member of the second army in the Ravkan war. She’s a heartrender. Nina loves her power, she loves food and she loves Matthias, who is supposed to be her enemy, and she knows he loves her too. Nina is determined to show him Grisha aren’t evil like he has been told, to not only accept her but her kind as well. Inej and Nina are just as much a part of The Dregs as the boys and just as important for their mission.

Kestrel Trajan (The Winner’s trilogy)

As the general’s daughter Kestrel knows politics very well. She has always had a privileged life. When Valorians and Herrani’s go to war, Kestrel is put in a difficult position. Her people are in the wrong, but they are her people. Arin isn’t one of them. He’s her slave, the boy she’s in love with. She has to help his people. Kestrel is often put before terrible options but they are her only options and what do you choose when the outcome is bound to be horrible either way?

Verity (Code name Verity)

“Kiss me, Hardy. Kiss me, quick!” Well, if this book didn’t destroy me. Verity is captured by Nazi’s and tortured until she agrees to write down everything she knows - everything. The first half of the book is her confession, the second half is told from her best friend’s POV. Maddie and Verity are major friendship goals. Their story was so inspiring and completely heartbreaking at the same time.

Bianca (The DUFF)

The Designated Ugly Fat Friend is what Robbie calls Bianca, explaining that it isn’t a bad thing, but it’s a fact. Bianca tries to not let this bother her, but it does. She is the DUFF. Despite the fact that he hates Robbie the two of them start a friends-with-benefits relation, except for the “friends” part because they hate each other. The book discusses many others topics, such as friendship, neglect, alcoholism and divorce. Bianca uses the words ‘slut’ and ‘whore’ a lot throughout the book. In the end, she comes to a nice conclusion about these labels and ultimately it’s a good message. I would also recommend Kody’s other YA novels.

Linh Cinder (Cinder)

So far I’ve only read the first book in the Lunar Chronicles series, but it was enough to see that Cinder is bad-ass. She’s funny and sassy and the best mechanic in New Beijing. Instead of going to the Prince’ ball she’d rather use that opportunity to elope from her evil guardian. Things don’t go as planned when it’s discovered that Cinder is a Lunar, that she has powers, and that if the Lunar queen finds out, she will take Cinder to Luna and most likely kill her.

No Strings (VII)

Author: kpopfanfictrash

Pairing: You / Jimin

Rating: 18+ (smut)

Word Count: 4,956

Summary: It started off as such a simple question. How to know if you’re bad in bed? Of course when you asked, you didn’t imagine Jimin would actually answer.

Originally posted by mayfifolle

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How a black anime director deals with cultural appropriation

LeSean Thomas is one of the most unique anime creators working today. Born in the South Bronx projects, his talent for storyboarding propelled him to success in America (Black Dynamite, The Boondocks), South Korea (Legend of Korra), and Japan (Cannon Busters). Now, he is collaborating with anime streaming service Crunchyroll on an independent anime project, Children of Ether

At Anime Boston, LeSean Thomas gave the floor to attendees for a Q&A session. Here’s what he had to say. 

Q: Did you have to learn Japanese to make anime?

A: I only know English, bad English, and a little Korean I picked up living in Seoul. I don’t know Japanese. I’m working with Satelight on Cannon Busters, which has a lot of English speaking staff. This is not a traditional Japanese studio. At another studio, I may have needed to commission a translator.

Q: Can you tell us about Children of Ether?

A: It’s a mix between Escape From New York and The Warriors. It takes place in a dystopian city that’s falling apart. After Rhonda Vega, the daughter of an important person accidentally kills somebody with a mysterious power inside her, aether, she starts to uncover the truth.

Rhonda Vega is Afro-Latina. I gave her that name so she sounds racially ambiguous.

Q: You’ve said before that only a creator can bring out representation by creating POC characters. Do you intentionally create characters of color?

A: I didn’t start drawing black characters until I was 20. It took a while before I reached that point in my career where I wanted to see myself in the media I was creating. It didn’t really dawn on me that all I was drawing were white characters before then. I’m sure white creators feel the same way—it’s not something they think about. Then I realized, “Why don’t I see myself?” I drew white comic book characters because I just thought that’s the way it is.

I didn’t want to think about race at first, I just wanted to draw fun sh*t. But in the racially complex political climate in America… you can’t be a creator in this world without an awareness of what’s going on around you. Everyone creates characters as a reflection of themselves, whether they admit it or not. Nobody wants to talk about race, but it’s unavoidable.

Q: Do you have advice for a white creator worried about cultural appropriation?

A: This sh*t was never talked about three years ago. I don’t know if it’s because Trump’s in office and people are angry. Look man, the idea behind that is that you should do what you think it cool. Somebody is always going to have a problem with things you make. I sometimes get comments from black friends who think my characters aren’t black enough. And as a person of color, I have colleagues in the industry who create characters who are not their ethnicity, and they don’t check in with me like, “Yo, LeSean is this safe?”

If it comes from an honest place, you should be OK with putting it out there.

Q: How do you create stories for animation?

A: A character must always want something, even if it’s just a glass of water. There must be somebody trying to prevent them from getting it. And always start in the middle of things.

(Some answers have been shortened for readability. Lead image via Children of Ether.)

—Lauren, AB Staff Blogger

Highlights from the Tower of Dawn event

So I saw SJM tonight (didn’t get to meet her in person and have my book personalized, but it was still really fun!). Here are some highlights (forgive the typos, I’m tired and typing this on my phone).


One of the questions was “Who would win in a fight between Maeve and Rhys?” and SJM said she couldn’t say because of spoilers, and the whole room went NUTS. People were all like “what does THAT mean?!”

WE ARE GETTING THE WALL SCENE IN THE ACOTAR NOVELLA GUYS! She said needed a couple glasses of wine to write it and it was very “satisfying,” and then she goes “so yeah that’s coming”…and grinned and laughed and then goes “there’s a baby in this room! I hate myself sometimes.” (There was literally a baby in the front row 😂) Also the novella is really more the size of a normal novel and will bridge the gap between acowar and spinoffs.

She Commented on a girl’s shirt she saw at another events that said on the front “ it’s all about the wingspan” and had picture of wings with a ruler on the back. SJM said the girl was like 16 and she asked her if her mother knew what that shirt meant and the girl said no 😂😂

Nox is coming back, Editor had her cut him from eos, but she doesn’t get everyone’s obsession with him since he was only in tog for like two seconds lol but he does come back in “a more awesome way” in the last book

Each new spin off will focus on different romantic pairing with a overarching theme

Thinks it’s funny people think she based Rhys off her husband ; she says he’s definitely NOT (everybody laughed) other than he’s tall dark and handsome, and she wishes rhys were real

Words to describe ToD: steamy, hot in the literal and figurative sense because chaol is shirtless and sweaty (so like literally hot because it’s the middle of summer) but also muscles, and twisty in that there are lots of things revealed that have ramifications for everyone

She talked about her grandmother who survived the Holocaust when asked if there were real life badass women who inspired her heroines. Says she wrote Yrene with her gma in mind

Talked about her dad’s heart attack and thanked everyone so much for the comments and support

That’s all I can remember at the moment. She is honestly so sweet and funny, you guys! I wasn’t really looking forward to ToD but after her talk I am.

Mixup

Pairing: Dean x Reader

Warnings: Swearing, talk of periods

Word Count: 1,913

Prompt: After a witch spews it’s spells on Dean and the reader, the reader wishes for something to happen to Dean, and Dean turns into a whiny bitch about it.

Special thanks to @lipstickandwhiskey for betaing.

It was nearly blinding when the purplish-grey dust flew around you and Dean. Before it could all clear out, and the two of you could actually see, Sam had nailed the witch. One bullet, directly through the back of her head, and you were fine. She collapsed into a heap on the ground, and that was that.

Sam’s nose scrunched up as he approached the two of you. “What the hell did she douse you guys with?”

“Some of her freak weirdo witch juice,” Dean grumbled, practically gagging at the stench that was coming from the dust. “I need to shower, like now.”

“Good thing we’re not far from the motel,” you chimed in. “So what do we do with Bellatrix over there?”

Dean scoffed, “really? Out of all the iconic witches, you pick the one from Harry Potter?”

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Ok but can we talk about the poor person who took Jack’s Valentine’s order???

Like obviously this was done with a lot of notice. You don’t get a sea of roses a week before Valentine’s Day, you gotta plan this shit a month in advance at least.

So imagine it, the store opened like half an hour ago, Carl the new guy, is a little sleepy still getting used to having to show up at the crack of dawn to receive deliveries, and answers the phone.

He takes the order and the customer details, and aw that’s sweet, this guy is already thinking of Valentine’s Day. That’s commitment right there.

He doesn’t think too much about it, till Lisa is putting the order into their system and she tracks him down.

“Hey Carl, I know you had the early shift and it’s your first week, so I’m going to let this one pass, but you realise you put the order as 12 dozen roses right? That’s 144 roses my friend.”

“Oh shit, yeah that doesn’t sound right,” Carl laughs because it not only doesn’t sound right, it sounds ridiculous. “He probably said 2 dozen or something like that and I fucked up, thanks for catching that.”

Carl is very relieved because that kind of fuck up would probably have been his job.

“No worries, on my first day I almost mixed two big orders and sent a funeral arrangement to a wedding!”

She tells him a few more stories before they go back to work, and then calls the customer who put the order to get the correct number of roses.

“Hello Mr. Zimmermann? I’m calling in regard to the order you placed this morning with The Green Room, I just wanted to confirm some of the details of the order before putting it on the system?”

Lisa reads back the address, the time and date, name of the person who would receive the flowers and then hesitates for just a moment.

“The order says 12 dozen roses, which would make it 144 roses, but I’m sure that’s a mix up,” she says hoping the guy has a sense of humour and won’t make it into a thing.

“Yeah it must be, I didn’t order 144,” Mr. Zimmermann says with a steady voice, so he isn’t laughing but he prolly won’t be an asshole about it, “I ordered 150.”

“Pardon me?” Lisa asked wondering if this was the start of a bad joke or if indeed this was a prank order, she sceptically asks again, “so you want 150 roses to be delivered before 7am on Valentine’s Day?”

“Yes,” the guy replies still sounding serious.

“Right,” definitely a prank, “as it is a big order, we won’t be able to process it until we first take payment.”

“That’s fine, do you need my credit card details again?”

Lisa plays along, she confirms the credit card details and she hangs up wishing the ‘costumer’ a good day.

She then calls the manager and explains the situation, because she isn’t going to be the fool who puts that order in without clearing it with her boss.

“Oh,” her boss says when she looks at the name in the order, “go ahead and place it, but first call our distributor to make sure they can put the 150 roses on top of our Valentine’s order and then get a delivery slot booked now. If the costumer calls again or we need to talk to them let me know and I’ll deal with it.”

Lisa waits until she’s on her way home to google Jack Zimmermann which she feels shows a lot of restraint on her part.

“Damn,” she whispers when she gets a look at those gorgeous cheek bones. “What a lucky bitch,” she adds with respect.

She wonders if it would be creepy to try and google Larissa Duan, just out of curiosity but then decides that yeah it probably would be and let’s the matter drop.

(Later Jack will realise this is where the rumours about him dating Lardo start…)

Notes from SJM Nashville Event

Sorry these are so late, but here are notes from the Nashville event Tuesday night. Its kind of a jumbled mess, I typed as she spoke. ACOTAR at end.


Tower of Dawn is a parallel novel, completely line up with EOS
Planned for this to be Yrene’s return
Action, Romance, Shirtless scenes
Little Raunchy
Yrene is one of her favorite characters shes written
Yrene is calm, strong, self confident, determined to do good in world.
Sets up final book
“People who spoil things are the devil”
Ch. 3 find out Yrene is the one attempting to heal Chaol
One of the best healers in the Torre Cesme
Has a hatred for the empire
Not happy has to heal Chaol, because empire killed her mother
Has a stubborn streak
Sarah tried best to get right and be respectful of disabilities
Watched videos on how to get around with a wheelchair, take a bath, get on couch etc.
As realistic as she could in a fantasy setting
Chatted with people about experience in wheelchairs
Explore Chaol’s emotional baggage, he is reluctant to talk about feelings, goes on a journey

Hardest thing about going on tour is leaving her dog.
Her dog is a drama queen and runs her life

Wrote first draft of ToD in 5 days, eventually became 180000 words

Major shit happens that will impact final book, must read it.
Wrote book on drugs for illness that made her super focused.

Story about healing and finding life again, wrote it when she needed to go through that journey as well.
Her emotion was at that of Heir of Fire.

Calls pages bible pages, says she could go for a 500,000 word book for final ToG (not started on it yet)

Love (or Lust) at first sight when met husband
Hardest question to ask Sarah is Spike or Angel

As much as she plans ahead, her characters take their own journeys, doesn’t force her characters on their own course
They usually end up where she wants them
Feels like magic to her, like this is happening in an alternate universe and she is just channeling it.

Acotar-Tog not part of her plans (“for now”)
Sarah would make a better assassin than queen according to herself, other way around according to her husband.
She makes her husband trap insects and release them, won’t let husband even kill gnats
Love animals more than human beings
Played soccer for 10 years, founder of varsity swim (worst in league)
“When in doubt ladies just whine, dump extra curriculars and whine your way through it.”
All these names are a joke, regrets Chaol’s name.
One regret, dog dies in Throne of Glass
Abraxos is inspired by 2 things, Ferdinand childrens book and her cousin’s dog Buddy which they saved from side of road and had been a bait dog to teach dogs how to fight. Tribute to Buddy
Chapter about Abraxos would be him sniffing flowers, would chase bumblebees, think of Manon’s hair. (“The Wyvern and the Bee”)

Bad advice motivated her, teacher ranted about fantasy books weren’t real books Philip Pullman was a hack etc.
Had a public livejournal that everyone read, she found out from a drunk girl
Wrote in journal “I hope my teacher is crushed to death by a box of fantasy books.”
A lot of people are going to tell you you cant do it, dont listen to them. If writing is what you love do it. It’s a long journey to get published, you have to bust your ass. Turn off the internet turn off your phone and write. The only person that will keep you from getting published is you.


Dad had heart attack over the summer, better now, he almost died, 5% survival rate, lost a month and half time of last ToG book writing.

Was scared dad wouldn’t see the end of ToG series. Dad said he wouldn’t recommend Tower of Dawn to people who have recently had a heart attack. Will have time now to not rush last ToG with new fall date.

Acotar Spinoff
First of spinoff projects
Novella meant to be read by everyone
Structure of new books is different romantic pairing in each book with new and old characters
Promise will not be as long as Tower of Dawn, around 60,000 words
Full of Smut
Overarching plot to spinoff books
No set date for first full Acotar spinoff novel, but has 300 pages of first book written
2019 or 2020 for first full novel
Novella takes place during Feyre’s birthday, cozy vibe and dark emotions, narrated by both.