shiro is vld's damsel in distress and keith is his knight in shining armor
Ok so I know I joke about Keith saving Shiro like a princess, but actually, this is honestly how their dynamic is portrayed?? Keith is always shown as the first one at Shiro’s side when he’s in danger, always running to his rescue. If he has to choose between the mission and Shiro, he’ll take Shiro every time. But now, let’s talk about this idea he’s a knight for a minute. Because it’s very much a purposefully drawn comparison. In the comics, when the paladins are all likened to pieces on a chessboard, Keith is delegated to this role. The narrative literally refers to him as a knight by name.
The imagery of Keith’s bayard also serves to reinforce this. Instead of a more sci-fi weapon like a laser gun or some advanced alien tech, Keith’s weapon of choice is a classic sword. Nothing evokes the image of a knight more than a sword and shield (which the paladin suit has). Keith’s belief system also feeds into this archetype. Time and again, he’s singled out as the most dedicated to the mission. He is a paladin first and foremost. When Pidge wants to leave to find her family, Keith is the one who lashes out and lectures her about how they need to defend the universe and make sacrifices for the greater good. When Allura is captured, Keith again notes that their duty as paladins must come first. Keith leaves the castle when he believes his presence will do more harm than good. And the paladin guidebook even lists his most important value as honor–a clear reference to knightly chivalry.
Keith’s initial role in Voltron is also a clear indicator of his character. If the head of Voltron is a leader whose men will follow without question, if they’re like a “King,” then as Voltron’s “right-hand man” Keith is a loyal knight. And just like any good knight, Keith will call out rulers for failing to serve the people and treating their subjects unjustly. The way Keith reacts so strongly to Lubos is a good example of this. Again, nobility and honor are distinctly important to him.
Another trope with a knight and damsel you often see in fantasy is that, like a typical knight, the protagonist highly values chivalry and champions a noble cause. But ultimately, that means learning to sacrifice their own selfish desires for the sake of the greater good. So their love interest is often seen as a distraction from the hero’s quest. They can’t afford to indulge in their feelings because the mission must come first. And often times, this culminates in a decision where the knight must choose to sacrifice the person they care about most–a representation of their own desires–because their duty demands it.
And in his trial, who is it that’s sent to tempt the hero and divert him from his quest, who is it that Keith longs for most, the person he “desperately wants to see”? Who is the one person that Keith can afford to be selfish for, the one who he’ll throw away everything–including his obligations as a paladin–just to be with?
And we know that this is an archetype VLD is very much aware of and acknowledges in their narrative. After all, heroes who fail to give up their own wants and needs, chasing after their love and abandoning their duty–they’re often cast down, vilified, characterized as foolish and selfish and bringing about disaster for their arrogance. And Zarkon is the literal embodiment of this character. He’s a glimpse at what Keith’s future could look like if he continues down the same path and chooses Shiro over the universe. Just like how Zarkon chose his love over everything else.
So when I mention all the sheith and zaggar parallels, I really do believe it’s wholly intentional. Especially given all the foreshadow that Keith will eventually reach the same crossroads where he’ll have to decide whether or not to sacrifice Shiro for the sake of the universe. But being that Keith doesn’t believe in things being so “black and white” and also the trope that a successor will surpass their predecessor, I believe Keith will figure out an alternative answer that will allow for both Shiro and the the others he defends to stay safe.
Now, as for Shiro’s role as a “princess,” the notion is pretty interesting. Obviously, it’s a clear subversion of gender. But there’s never any shame or weakness to it. Quite the contrary, actually. Shiro is established as the strongest and most formidable member of Team Voltron. He’s their brave leader, their fearless protector, their unshakable rock. But he is so often idolized, seen as impossibly perfect and infallible, and this inevitably takes its toll. The fact that he allows himself to be vulnerable with Keith, to let Keith help him and take care of him, is never shown as a point of pathetic inability or weakness.
Rather, Voltron portrays it as okay to admit that you aren’t strong enough, that you’re not okay, that asking for help is perfectly alright and there’s nothing wrong with admitting you can’t shoulder the weight of the world on your own. Shiro asking Keith to come save him is important because he never asks the others for help. He puts up a facade and tries to keep everything together in front of them. And when Keith says things like Shiro really changed his life, you can infer that, before this, Shiro was probably always the one taking care of him. So Keith always being the first to defend Shiro in turn reads as You were always the one protecting me, now let me stand by your side and protect you.
This concept of sheith’s dynamic resembling a knight and princess is also established immediately. Their very first scene together is Keith saving Shiro, and it really feels like knight rescuing their lost love. Right away you associate these two characters with one another, see just how intimately familiar they are with each other. Keith fights fiercely on Shiro’s behalf but softens up when he looks at him, leans it closer and tenderly reaches out to him. And I’ve talked about this a lot before, but the way Keith mourns Shiro is distinctly reminescent of someone grieving a lover.
The way he’s inconsollible and claims to be the only one who really cares about Shiro, the way he searches relentlessly and needs to be told time and again that it’s time to move on, the way his voice breaks when Black accepts him and he pleads, “Please, no.” Keith really loves Shiro. And his devotion to him, including leading Voltron in honor of his last wish as well as vowing to never give up on him,Keith’s desperation to be with him, this notion that he’d be all alone without him--yes, he loves Shiro. But it’s a love that’s passionate and intense and possessive and desperate in a way that platonic or familial love just isn’t.
I think Kuron’s rescue and recovery in season 3 is also very remenescent of this whole damsel in distress theme. For one thing, Keith is established as Shiro’s sole rescuer, and the “reunion” scene is an intimate moment between just the two of them. Kuron’s hero is here to save him, and they can both finally be at ease. The start of the next episode is very interesting because it just seems like business as usual. The paladins are all off on a mission, but Kuron is nowhere to be seen. He’s taken out of the action. Instead, this is the first time we get to see Allura use her bayard. And she makes for a fearsome opponent. It’s a distinct reversal of how you’d usually see a knight go off on their quest while the princess waits back at the castle for their safe return. Here, Kuron takes on that position. And the way we see Keith dutifully caring for him at his bedside afterwards reinforces this idea. And it’s okay for Kuron to rest and take as much times as he needs. It’s okay because Keith will still lead in the meantime and he’ll always be there to check in on Kuron and help him through his recovery.
Of course, there’s more than one way to save someone, and I think it’s important to make that distinction with Shiro and Keith’s relationship. Because it’s not Keith carrying all of Shiro’s weight for him and taking care of everything. It’s about Keith really supporting Shiro and reaffirming that he is a good and worthy paladin–“You mean, your bayard.” It’s the way that Shiro has already given himself up for dead but Keith looks him in the eye and tells him that he’ll be alright, that he can make it. It’s the fact that Shiro struggles with his trauma and still believes that he’s a monster, that he’s undeserving of the title “paladin” and that there’s no way he can stand against the empire and survive. Keith asserts time and again that Shiro is their leader, that Shiro is strong and kind and loving, that Shiro isn’t broken, that he deserves to live. It’s that Keith gives him hope, and Shiro is able to stand by his side and push forward because of it.
Ultimately, I think the best way to describe this dynamic is by just quoting what Josh said at wondercon about his favorite scene: “Shiro is in really bad shape and he’s waiting to pretty much get rescued by Keith. I love this clip because you really see the weak side of Shiro, you really see Keith’s determination to find him. And it was just really exciting for me to watch it. Because it really looks dire, and it really looks like he’s not gonna make it in time. And then–a hero comes through and saves the day with the lion.” Keith is really Shiro’s hero. And just like he’s promised, he’ll always be there to save Shiro–as many times as it takes.
I don’t know what suddenly happened again but there’s a
shitton of hate for Victuuri/Viktuuri(/etc) in the tags lately. People are
welcome to feel however they want for a particular ship, but I just wanted to
give my two cents by tackling the common complaints I’ve seen. I’ll start from
the beginning so I’ll be addressing basically all the arguments against this
ship I’ve seen so far.
I’ve tried to maintain some sort of order for these, but honestly I just winged it at some point. A lot of these arguments are also heavily
character-based, so keep in mind that I’ll be deconstructing several scenes as
well as character motivations as I go. (As a note, this
assumes you’ve seen the whole show. Also, I’m only using canon evidence from
the show itself.)
This is like an informal follow-up to my super old post but also not really.
No I’m not avoiding work why would you say that.
WARNING: This is a massive post/wall of text. Grab popcorn.
A/N: Prepare yourself. It’s quite a ride. This is my first time doing angst so feedback is definitely appreciated. Enjoy!
After what feels like forever, the plane finally
touches down in his home city of Toronto. Shawn lets out a deep, strangled
sigh, rubbing his eyes. He’s exhausted from the extended time that he’s been
away from home, but he honestly wishes he was still on the road for just a
little while longer. He knows he should be excited; he should be happy even.
Today is the day he will finally see her after months of being apart, but when
she comes to mind, his stomach turns and he’s disgusted with himself. All he
can think about is what he did. He shakes away the thought in his head and
pulls his carry-on over his shoulder as he makes his way to his designated
baggage carousel to collect his belongings. It takes him 15 minutes to find all
his bags before he continues down the long hall towards the revolving exit
doors. Geoff is outside the airport for him. His plane was early, but he didn’t
want to bother her to take off work and have to come get him. He isn’t ready to
see her just yet anyways. He just needs a little more time to think. He walks
out the doors and props up his suitcase. While waiting for his friend to show,
his eyes wonder upward, gazing at the black sky, contemplating what the hell he
should do when he gets home. He can’t hide it forever; his guilt will eat him
Could you clearly explain what the term neoliberalism actually means? Because it is used so often to describe such a variety of things but always in a vague manner
Neoliberalism, as I and others talk about it, is a broad ideology that really started becoming popular in political, economic, and governmental circles in the 1970’s and reached its peak in global popularity in the 1980’s. It describes the political paradigm we are in right now, the political conditions of modern society. As the name suggests, it calls for a revitalization of the classical liberal view of economic policy. Concretely, this means free trade, low taxes, deregulation, privatization, and balanced budgets.
This post is going to shortly explain the neoliberal story as it took place in America. I only mention the experiences in other nations at the end for brevity, relevance to my followers and I, and because I don’t understand them as well as I understand America’s.
Neoliberalism emerged as a reaction to the Keynesian welfare state politics that had become popular in the West. In the 1970’s, the American economy was experiencing a phenomenon called “stagflation”- simultaneous stagnation and inflation- that the old-school Keynesians who had been the dominant group in American economics had believed to be impossible for any extended period of time. In the intellectual gap their failure left, economists like Milton Friedman made the case not only for a different approach to monetary policy in order to solve stagflation, but also for the idea that many forms of governmental involvement in the economy being harmful. Others, like James Buchanan, made the case to the economics profession that government bureaucrats acted in selfish self-interest, not the public interest, and thus that policy prescriptions should be much more cautious in calling for governmental solutions to economic issues.
At the same time, businesses began to be more aggressive in asserting their interests in politics. This development was prompted in part by soon-to-be Supreme Court Justice Lewis F. Powell, Jr. writing a memo to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in 1971 arguing that “the American economic system is under attack” from progressive critics of big business, and that the business community should fight back. A number of conservative and libertarian think tanks and advocacy organizations were created and expanded in order to make the intellectual case for “freer” capitalism, including the Heritage Foundation (1973), the Cato Institute (1974), and the American Enterprise Institute (founded in 1938 but became influential during the 1970′s).
Take all of these trends, throw in increased public skepticism of government after Vietnam and Watergate, and you have a recipe for fundamental political change.
Between the economic disarray, the public distrust, and both intellectual and financial support for an alternative to post-war welfare statism, a new ideology became dominant in the political sphere. This ideology was encapsulated by Ronald Reagan, who summed it up perfectly with his famous quote: “in this current crisis, government is not the solution to the problem; government is the problem.”
That’s is standard conservative fare today, but we forget how radical both that message and Reagan himself were at the time. I’ve noted before that, even at the time of his election, Reagan was seen by some as too far right to win. The last (elected) Republican president before him, Nixon, created the EPA, OSHA, and a number of other progressive programs. He also called for healthcare reform even stronger than Obamacare, and an expansion of welfare, the latter of which was the inspiration for the Earned Income Tax Credit, passed shortly after he left office. Parts of Nixon’s economic agenda (but not many other parts of his agenda, I should note) were noticeably left-wing, so much so that one journalist at the time noted that he left the Democrats having to resort to “metooism.”
But Nixon was simply responding to political pressures from the left, the same pressures that had forced LBJ’s hand with civil rights legislation and the war on poverty. In the late 1970’s, those pressures began to be outweighed by increasing pressure from businesses in the direction of neoliberalism. This started under Jimmy Carter, who oversaw the cautious deregulation of airlines and the trucking industry. However, it was Reagan who truly delivered the neoliberal agenda in America and institutionalized it into government.
The Reagan era also saw the start of the growth in importance of campaign donations. Republicans had not only a strong base of think tanks to provide them with a network of intellectual support, they also had far more donations from the corporate interests they were serving. Congressional Republicans beat their Democratic counterparts in campaign expenditures in every election year from 1976-1992.
Traditionally, Democrats had relied on unions as a critical source of both campaign donations and organizational support. With union strength declining (thanks, in part, to attacks by the Reagan administration), the Democrats were being totally outgunned. Recognizing that the game has changed, a number of Democrats (including one Bill Clinton) joined together in the Democratic Leadership Council with the stated goal of dragging the Democratic Party to the right and boosting campaign contributions. They succeeded. When Clinton eventually won the presidency, he cemented neoliberalism as the law of the land by making it clear that the Democrats would not challenge the fundamental new doctrine of limited government involvement in many parts of the economy, and as a result made the Democrats competitive again. (Read Jacob S. Hacker and Paul Pierson’s “Winner-Take-All Politics” and Thomas Ferguson and Joel Roger’s “Right Turn” for more on this issue).
Instead of challenging the entirety of Reagan’s assertion of government as problem, Clinton espoused a “third way” ideology: in his second inauguration, Clinton said that “Government is not the problem, and Government is not the solution. We—the American people—we are the solution.” Though he made concessions to left-liberal voters with things like mild tax hikes on the wealthy, the Children’s Health Insurance Program, and the Family Medical Leave Act, he continued the neoliberal march of rolling back progressive achievements through the deregulation of Wall Street, conservative reform of welfare, NAFTA, and gutting public housing.
Clinton himself was aware of the way that American politics was moving to the right, and he was sometimes frustrated with it. Allegedly, he once entered a meeting in the Oval Office complaining:
Where are all the Democrats? I hope you’re all aware we’re all Eisenhower Republicans. We’re Eisenhower Republicans here, and we are fighting the Reagan Republicans. We stand for lower deficits and free trade and the bond market. Isn’t that great?
But he didn’t really do anything to slow the process. Most of the Democratic Party accepts their role doing nothing more than,
to borrow a phrase from Roberto Unger, “to put a softer face on the agenda of their conservative opponents.” They’re there to make things a bit better for the little guy here and there, but never to fundamentally shake up the political-economic system in any way. This is why people will refer to many Democrats as neoliberals even when they don’t literally advocate for a “free market.”
As a result, the Republicans continued to push further right under the leadership of Newt Gingrich. The Democrats started to dig their heels in and push back a little for the first time during the later part of the George W. Bush administration as his (and the wars’) approval ratings sank, and they now seem to have stabilized more or less. An increasingly loud progressive wing of the party continues to push for the type of reforms that would have been center-left in the 1960’s, but the party establishment is now fine just holding on to ideological territory to the right of where it was several decades ago.
With the establishment of both parties accepting neoliberal ideology, it achieved status as what Antonio Gramsci called “cultural hegemony”: because the most powerful class of America accepted it as fact, it was instilled into the American consciousness as “common sense” that can’t be seriously challenged. Ex.) “You want to raise taxes to pay for universal healthcare? That’s ridiculous, everyone knows taxes need to be cut, even the Democrats want tax cuts for the middle class!,” “Everyone agrees there’s too much regulation today,” etc.
But things are changing. What we’re seeing now in this election is the collapse of neoliberalism’s hegemony. Republican elites took neoliberalism being their root organizing principle for granted while running campaigns utilizing dog whistle racism (that’s a whole post in itself), never realizing that they were attracting a base of voters who hated immigrants a lot more than regulation. The Republicans have drifted so far to the right that unabashed nationalists like Trump can now take the lead of the party, even though he’s running on racist xenophobia and protectionism that are in conflict with neoliberal ideals. The Tea Party was the first hiccup, and Trump is the new one. The GOP’s electoral strategy is coming back to haunt them.
Even during their neoliberalization, the Democrats always had a left-wing occupied by social democrats who wanted to continue the progress that was abandoned in the late 70’s. They were empowered by both opposition to the Iraq War late in the Bush era and the subsequent economic crash that occurred as a result of neoliberal deregulation of the finance sector. Obama ran as a semi-progressive but governed as a standard Democrat who wanted no fundamental changes (Obamacare instead of single-payer, Dodd-Frank instead of reshaping the finance system, etc.), leaving progressive disappointment and frustration to rise to the surface again once a primary was held to determine who would be the Democratic candidate after Obama. Thus, the Bernie phenomenon.
I think that the collapse of neoliberalism is embedded in the formula of neoliberalism itself, very similar to Marxist views about how capitalism creates its own life-threatening crises (which, I should clarify, I don’t believe). Neoliberal globalization results in devastating deindustrialization in blue collar parts of America, leaving a class of people unemployed and feeling totally forgotten by their government, especially since government aid to the poor is often seen as shameful in a hyperindividualist neoliberal environment. This prompts an inevitable political reaction. The center-left (ex. Clinton) and center-right (ex. Jeb Bush) sing the praises of neoliberal globalization, the left (ex. Sanders) vigorously attacks the “neoliberal” part, and the far-right vigorously attacks the “globalization” part (ex. Trump). If you can’t tell, my position on the left leaves me disliking neoliberalism and believing that the far-right’s disdain for all forms of globalization is a distraction and misidentification of the root issue, using foreigners and people of color as scapegoats.
A number of other industrialized countries have underwent neoliberalization on roughly the same time frame and are now experiencing similar backlashes: The U.K., neoliberalized under Thatcher, now has UKIP, Jeremy Corbyn, and social democratic Scottish nationalists. France has the National Front. Germany has the AfD and Pegida. New Zealand has New Zealand First. Sweden has the Sweden Democrats. Spain has Podemos. Neoliberalism was pushed on much of Latin America through the “Washington Consensus” doctrine of the U.S. government and international finance organizations like the IMF, leading to a revitalization of Latin American left-populism in many countries.
There are exceptions of course: Australia, weirdly enough, doesn’t have as much far-right or far-left activity as the other nations, as far as I’m aware. Mexican politics don’t have very strong far-right and far-left forces either right now, though the Zapatista movement was undoubtably the type of response I’m talking about. Russian politics are odd enough that it’s kinda hard to determine whether what’s going on there is the result of their neoliberal shock therapy after the fall of the USSR or not.
Regardless, the only countries where neoliberalism has had serious economic success are nations with authoritarian political systems that can suppress dissent: neoliberalism was forced upon the people of Chile under the brutal rule of Pinochet, and China underwent large scale economic liberalization under the brutal rule of Deng. For all of the other problems that may have occurred, both resulted in astonishing economic growth. Regardless, these experiences seem to directly conflict with the classical liberal argument of a strong correlation between a laissez-faire economy and political democracy, at least at all points on the curve.
This post is already way too long, and I’ve probably tried to cover too much, but the concept of neoliberalism is so important to understanding our modern world that I feel like all of this is important to cover.
Katsuki Yuuri is a 20-year-old dance student at an arts college. He dreams of one day gracing the world stage with his unique dance style. However, he usually holds himself up in his room watching Youtube videos of his favorite dancer, Viktor Nikiforov. When Yuuri gets the opportunity of a lifetime he’s not sure how to respond. Follow Yuuri on his journey towards becoming a more confident dancer and winning Viktor’s heart.
Summary: Yuri refused to let anyone call his videos “pointless”. He spent too much of his time on them and he wasn’t about to let some asshole question him.orYuri runs a fashion channel, Otabek makes covers, and they both meet in the middle.
Summary: Seasons come and go, mostly in the same fashion of obsessions and numerous phases. Nearly all of the greater bit of the population go through these small trifles and continue on with life without a second thought- but not Victor Nikiforov. He has an undying interest in a smaller YouTuber by the name of Katsuki Yuuri, and what makes it even worse, is the fact that he has no idea whatsoever as to why. He doesn’t even want anyone to find out about his seeming obsession, and still, he’s still watching his YouTube videos at four in the morning when he can’t sleep. Better yet- he can’t stop watching the younger male’s videos with great integrity and character being discovered within himself. Viktor can’t find himself becoming bored with whatever is drawing him to the other YouTuber, and he’s even becoming concerned for his own mentality at the same time. Of course, there’s no real harm, as he would never be able to meet the YouTuber in real life- that is, until he stumbles upon him at PlayList Live, and fangirls like a complete imbecile in front of thousands of his subscribers.Also, the fic in which all of the characters are absolute dorks, and Viktor is too gay and sassy to function.
Summary: After Phichit posts a video of Yuuri watching Viktor Nikiforov’s latest video, one thing leads to another and suddenly Viktor’s flying to Detroit to do a collaboration with Yuuri.Viktor, of course, is excited to get to know and befriend the beautiful vlogger he saw online and quickly became infatuated with. Yuuri’s freaking out because THE Viktor Nikiforov - one of the most successful YouTubers in the world - is talking to him and he has no idea what he’s doing (of course, he’s secretly just as excited as Viktor himself)aka the YouTube AU where Yuuri’s a cinnamon roll and Viktor loves him for it
Summary: Victor Nikiforov is the most decorated chef in the world.Yuuri is a YouTuber who happens to cook his recipes.There’s only so much Victor can resist when there’s a cute, Japanese boy complimenting him and correcting him and saying he’d be an amazing teacher.What else is he supposed to do but teach him?
Summary: Yuuri and friends(?) volunteer as staff at a convention. Yuuri tries his best to keep himself together, but that hasn’t exactly gone well for him before. It’s one thing being manager; managing this department in particular is another challenge entirely.“I’m not sure how I survive it every year to be completely honest.”
Summary: Yuuri is a hot dancer and a dedicated fasionista. He doesn’t care what the haters have to say on the matter, he knows it and his subscribers know it. Shockingly, Victor Nikiforov seems to think so as well. And when Victor’s attention is focused on Yuuri, life begins to take an interesting twist.Has Victor always been so extra?
Yuuri Katsuki is pushed into creating a YouTube channel by his best friend and roommate, Phichit. Through his channel Yuuri is able to gain a following and the attention of one of his favorite YouTubers.
Music AU in which Yuuri is a somewhat known musician who due to family issues had to leave music and focus in his studies but never quite left music and started a YouTube channel that got even more popular the moment Viktor Nikiforov, a reknown musician, watched one of Yuuri’s renditions of his songs.
“I have a feeling that Mr Evil Hamster’s main goal was for me to announce my status quo to the world in guise of having to play an acoustic love song. Anyway, let’s get this over with. This one’s for you baby.”
Musician au where famous YouTube singer Victor is practically in love with a famous singer/lyricist named Lilith (who has never revealed his true identity to the public). Victor feels compelled to go to Lilith’s first show of his world tour (even though he’s never met him) and on the flight there, he sits next to this guy named Yuuri, completely oblivious to the fact that Yuuri is his idol, Lilith.
The excuse was; the last available flight from Kazakhstan to Moscow was three days before the main show, the 2017 Spring Fashion Week, the next flight was a day after the closing of the season. Someone must have played a joke and somehow misrouted all the planes for the Kazakhstan-Moscow route. Then of course, given that it was crowded for the Moscow Fashion week, all hotels were booked and Yuri was one of the higher staffs under Viktor that doesn’t have any partners nor family members staying with him. So as courtesy for the imported DJ, Yuri was tasked to host the man who will bring the music to Viktor’s schemes. Otabek Altin.
Phichit is a YouTuber and Yuuri has been harbouring a crush on Viktor for way too long. After Yuuri’s poor performance at the Grand Prix Final and the depression that followed him afterwards, Phichit decides it is time to bring them together.
Based on a prompt by Lorienleylines: “an au where Phichit, Guang Hong, and Leo are all college students, Phichit is a semi-famous youtuber, and he invites Guang Hong and Leo to join him on his channel to answer submitted questions about polyamory. (Established relationship pls)”
Summary: After a devastating defeat at a big cooking competition, Yuuri Katsuki is distraught but his friends come up with a way for him to continue cooking without that much pressure. And it’s just a great way to have run and share their interests with others. They start a YouTube channel called: Show Some Pinterest!They find pins on Pinterest to try, like recipes, DIY crafts, and workout plans.Yuuri loves it. He loves the comfort of working with his friends, he loves that he still gets to cook. Sure, he’s a but upset that he utterly failed at his favorite competition, not to mention, failed in front of his idol chef. But he tries to put that all behind him.But how can he do that when said idol tracks him down in Detroit and wants to coach him so he can redeem himself at the very competition he failed at?
Katsuki Yuuri works at a coffee shop. Unfortunately, it is a coffee shop that happens to be his idol’s favorite. He regularly sees the vlogger he has posters of, which he’s not sure if that’s good or bad. Yuuri also has a not safe for work blog that he updates, with a rather sweet, odd anon. It’s also an issue that he fantasizes that this anon is his idol. He’d never really date a guy like Yuuri, right?
Summary: Katsuki Yuuri wouldn’t call himself an internet sensation, no matter how many people followed them for their skating videos and Phichit’s prank vines. Despite the number of people who would recognize him and ask for a selfie on the street, his life is plain.On the other hand, Viktor Nikiforov is an internet sensation, but he needs inspiration.He finds it when Mila shows him a video from the channel Shall We Skate.
Yuri Plisetsky is quick to become addicted to something, whether that “something” be breaking a world record held by his Japanese rival or learning about biology and the scientific world. The young 16 year-old is the secret face of the youtube channel “Как сделать”, or “How to Make”. This channel features a variety of videos from anti-aging potions to the creation of the Homunculus, one of Yuri’s greatest achievements (other than earning gold at the Grand Prix Final the year previous). He is very proud of this fascinating discovery and made it by entering a random donor’s sperm into the yolk of an egg. After this step, he covered the egg and left it to incubate for many weeks. Over time, he has created two successful organisms and in this story attempts to make one more. This time, though, he is too impatient and the outcome is a bit… annoying. (P.S. idk russian so pretend he’s talking in russian!!!!!)
Why “The Ricklantis Mixup” Should be Awarded (SPOILERS)
So for those followers of my blog about entertainment (with a primary focus on animation) may have read before, I made an article about Season 3 of Rick and Morty. The article highlighted some issues the viewing public had at the time (when the latest episode was Pickle Rick), and was all about me giving my take on why people may have been disillusioned with the way the series was going. In it I proclaimed it was possible that the show was running out of ways to surprise us as an audience: that it’s gone so far in establishing it’s own sense of charm and storytelling that audience members aren’t reacting as much as they did when the show first launched and that the show was losing it’s core ability to surprise us. Allow me to refute my statements.
I was VERY wrong.
Because holy SHIT was “The Ricklantis Mixup” a good episode. Before anyone points it out, I know the news of this episode dropping is long past and there’s been another decent episode to come out since then (and another episode dropping tomorrow no less), but I don’t care. This episode is a storytelling masterpiece that deserves to be talked about more. Not only is it hilarious, not only is it shocking, not only is it everything we love about any Rick and Morty episode, but it manages to accomplish in 20 minutes what some television programming fails to accomplish in entire seasons. It truly is groundbreaking in multiple areas and sits with me in a way no Rick and Morty episode has ever done before or since. That includes my all time favorite episode “The Rick’s Must be Crazy”. So let’s break down why this episode is just so amazing into 3 different sections: Worldbuilding, Voice performance and storytelling from multiple perspectives.
When developing a narrative in a fictionalized world, an important but often overlooked aspect is making your setting believable and interesting. The location in which all the events take place is a character onto itself, and is enriched by the architecture featured, the societal system inhabiting it (if any), and of course the world’s inhabitants. Batman wouldn’t be as interesting without Gotham city, it’s villains and it’s cops. Another point about worldbuilding is that often times in order to do some substantial development you have to step away from your main characters for a time. Let the audience know what’s going on in the universe besides the misadventures of Rick and Morty. This episode does precisely that (but not without a classic misleading teaser from the writing staff). We’re treated to finding out what ever happened to the now disbanded council of Rick’s and the Morty’s left without Rick’s in an episode that is a “Tales of Springfield’ kind of narrative where we just follow the everyday lives of Ricks and Mortys just trying to cope in a new society they’ve created complete with an economy, a democracy, a justice system and prejudice. We get to see what life on the Citadel is like from multiple perspectives from Morty’s living in the Ghetto to Rick’s coping with middle class jobs that undermine their intelligence … and a Morty running for president. Not only are we treated to multiple perspectives but we’re also given a mesh of different genres, including a buddy cop homage, a political drama and a buddy road trip adventure following a group of runaway Mortys. In just 20 minutes they manage to establish a convincing and compelling world that eerily mirrors our own in spite of only featuring two kinds of people in it. The irony is this Citadel world is more like city life than the actual stand in city that the Smith family live in. What’s cool about each of these stories going on is that while they seem disjointed and unrelated, they all prove to contribute to a larger overarching conspiracy, leading to the biggest plot twist the show was ever given us. It gets especially grim in the last minute when in just a few flashes we learn how all the characters we got attached to lives changed and they don’t even completely understand why. All along the way we get sprinkles of commentary about prejudice, morality, the meaning of life, what it truly means to be happy, whether or not we can escape being cogs in the machine known as society, and so much more delivered in that signature “Rick and Morty” way where the answer is hilariously pessimistic. It’s the last thing I would have expected from an episode titled ‘The Ricklantis Mixup’ but God am I glad I got it. It makes the universe of Rick and Morty infinitely more fresh and immersive than it would have been had they never gone this route.
2. Voice Performance
So let’s talk about the voice acting for a second. This episode is comprised entirely, ENTIRELY, of different versions of Ricks and different versions of Mortys, with the only exceptions being a quick voice clip of a young Beth and a narrator for the “Simple Rick’s” commercial. That means JUSTIN ROILAND IS 98% OF THE DIALOGUE IN THIS EPISODE. That alone should earn him an Emmy for outstanding character voice-over performance. I can’t imagine how his voice must have felt after pulling off an episode like this. What’s interesting about this is that while you’d think listening to the same two voices for twenty minutes would get incredibly annoying and would make your ears hurt, especially since this guy is most noted for playing comically annoying characters like Lemongrab, surprisingly this episode never suffers from that problem (in my opinion). I think what contributes to this is the fact that despite everyone having the same voice their personalities and overall characters are JUST distinct enough to let us know who is supposed to be who, even if we aren’t watching the visuals. Plus each character is just so engaging that it makes the voices easy to look past. Not to mention all the different accents and speech patterns Justin put on to make this episode work. The overall execution of this episode through dialogue and visual storytelling is excellent, but of course a major contributor is just how natural every character feels. For one man to be single handedly responsibly for pulling that off is no small feat.
3. Storytelling from Multiple Perspectives
So as mentioned before, this episode’s story is told from several different perspectives within the citadel. This further compliments the world built for us because we get to hear different opinions on how it is, and we get to see how different kinds of people cope with their situations. Following each and every character around in this story is a blast, and it involves some genuinely heartfelt moments that immediately creates sympathy within the audience. This show has an uncanny knack for that. We get to visit different locations, see Ricks and Mortys in different occupations, and every nook and cranny of this episode is a distinct parallel to how things are in the real world. Every character also gets their own unique conflict. The Morty cop is so deeply troubled and disillusioned by the abuse done to him by Ricks that in order to survive he got hard and ruthless, not even sympathizing for other Mortys. The Rick cop shows initial implications of prejudice towards Mortys but is revealed to be a by-the-books golden boy officer who learns that everything he was taught will only increase his likelihood of getting killed. We see a Rick assembly line worker struggling with finding his own happiness because he knows his potential is far greater than just assembling packaged processed desserts. We see a group of schoolboy Mortys run away from their prescribed destiny on the small smidgen of hope that they can change their lives for the better. And of course underneath it all is a harebrained scheme from a certain evil Morty to take hold of the citadel … and winning. This episode goes above and beyond in creating a believable world with a slew of likable characters, and tells a story in a very progressive and interesting way where everything neatly ties together in the end for, once again, the best plot twist this show ever threw at us.
Man oh man, WHAT an amazing episode. It goes in a completely unexpected direction, creates a much more interesting world than we could have ever thought, gives us a whole lineup of lovable characters and executes the most mindblowing ending we’ve seen in a long time, performed entirely by one man … all in 20 minutes or less. Try to pitch this kind of episode to any other board room and the board would call you insane, but the Rick and Morty team pulled it off. I really hope the time comes when this episode is majorly recognized as some of the best and most effective entertainment tv has seen in the long time.
Could you write one where Draco thinks he's getting pudgy in his old(er) age and thinks Harry won't love him anymore if he's pudgy?
Harry is turning 30, Draco wanted to wear the nicest robes he owns to take him out to a nice dinner. It had been quite the struggle to get Harry to agree to something so formal. Only the fact that they were now “in their thirties” got Harry to agree, or at least that’s the reason Harry gave.
Unfortunately, the nicest robes Draco owned didn’t fit him anymore. Neither did the next set. He tried to modify them with the few spells he knew, but it quickly became obvious that making clothes for skinny people bigger didn’t make clothes that looked nice of fuller figures.
He new that a lot of this was just age, and naturally filling out. His chest, his shoulders, hell even his face seemed to have broadened. Draco knew his legs were thicker, and he blamed countless staircases in Hogwarts for this. However, his years as a professor and his only exercise being flying did nothing for what bothered him most. Draco had a pudgy tummy. He stood in front of the full length mirror almost in tears.
“And here I thought only girls cried at their reflections,” Draco muttered to himself, “Guess I’m going muggle.” Draco started dressing in his third, or fifth, outfit of the night. The muggle clothes were newer which meant they fit better, but Draco still didn’t feel much like himself in Muggle formal wear.
Draco didn’t hear Harry come in, and only noticed him seconds before he stepped up behind Draco, pulling him into his arms.
“Hey sexy,” Harry whispered against his neck.
Draco froze. Harry’s hands were on his stomach.
“What’s wrong?” Harry asked.
“I know you didn’t want to go out. I shouldn’t have pushed it. We don’t have to go,” Draco said.
“I asked ‘what’s wrong?’“ Harry said.
Draco pulled away from Harry. He felt ill at the feeling of Harry’s hands clinging to his squishy middle.
He turned to look at Harry. Harry was still sex on legs. He too had broadened and strengthened in the past decade but still looked like a someone who regularly made the cover of Witch Weekly. He was named Sexiest Wizard Under 40 only last week. How could Draco compete with that? How could Draco deserve that? And now he was stuck. He could look at Harry, or he could turn back to the mirror and look at himself. Both options made his chest tighten.
Harry looked around to see clothes thrown all around the room.
“My clothes don’t fit me,” Draco said weakly.
“Buy more,” Harry said.
A tear fell from Draco’s eye and he hoped Harry hadn’t noticed.
“You’ve been the same size since we got together,” Draco said. He knew making this about Harry wasn’t going to make him feel better but it was impossible to stop himself.
“I’ve gone up a few sizes,” Harry said, trying to pull Draco into a hug.
Draco didn’t move, “Only because you’ve grown into the body of a Greek god.”
“And you think you haven’t?” Harry said.
“Stop. I know what I look like, I know I’m chubby. You don’t have to lie to me to make me feel better because I know you’re only saying that. And now I’m standing here ruining your birthday dinner because I can’t stand the idea of being seen…at all. The idea of eating in front of strangers is making me physically ill. And you know people have always been looking for reasons I don’t deserve you. You could have someone much more fit than me,” Draco said.
“Fine. You’re right. You’re not skinny like you were when you were sixteen. You don’t look the way you did when I first wanted you. That just means you don’t have a boy’s body anymore. You’ve got a man’s body. I wanted you then, I want you know. I don’t want that boy anymore, because I’ve outgrown that.”
Draco took a shaky breath and finally allowed Harry to pull him into a tight embrace.
“If you hate it so much, I’ll support you trying to lose weight. If you want to learn to accept your body as it is, I’ll support that, too. Either way, you’re beautiful and you are mine,” Harry said. “If the restaurant thing is too much right now, I guess it would be a good time to tell you that I got a few presents today, one was a portkey and several tickets to Broadway shows. You are the one who insisted on something fancy. How about it?”
Harry handed Draco the tickets.
“Harry, these shows are all at the same time. Which one can we see?” He asked, grateful for the change of subject.
Harry pulled a time turner out of his pocket, “As many as you want.”
“You’re not doing this because I’m a crying mess are you? It’s still your birthday,” Draco said.
“Fine, I’ll chose shows you’re not going to like,” Harry said.
For the first time in hours Draco smiled.
“Do me a favor though,” Harry said.
“Don’t mention the time turner. I kinda, uh, borrowed it without asking.”
This last week at the borzoi nationals, I realized just how far I’ve come in the last four years, how much I’ve learned and how much I still have to learn!
I have a lot of half-baked ideas. I’m looking for people from all breeds to pitch in and see if we can make / build something awesome.
The Problems: Dog sports are aging out. All you have to do is attend any event and see that the ratio of young to older people is *heavily* towards older people.
Us young people have grown up in an era where “Adopt Don’t Shop” is practically a moral imperative. Those of us who actively choose to move towards purebred dogs face a lot of stigma from our peers.
Very few of us have solid connections into the dog world. So we turn to google to find breeders. Unfortunately, the mediocre and worse breeders are the ones who tend to have the best websites with the best SEO. Combine with the fact that even if you do locate a quality breeder, most will not take a chance in any form on a newbie, and you get newbies who get suboptimal specimens who enter the breed or performance ring(s) with NO idea of how to handle their dogs and no resources for improvement and get burned out quickly.
The Dog World Establishment is pretty damn cliquey. If you get a dog from a disreputable or not well liked breeder, odds are good you’re not going to be welcomed into any fold with very open arms.
Learning dog conformation IS HARD AF. There are A LOT OF PIECES and finding someone who is not kennel blind enough to be able to be less biased and more straight forward about what makes a good / bad dog or not AND who is able to analyze, break down and communicate effectively to someone who has NO foundation or baseline for understanding this stuff is at this point pure luck.
Learning handling skills is HARD AF. And again. Unless you find someone WILLING to help you in the first place who also has the skills to analyze, break down and communicate to you small pieces of what you need to work on at a time, you’re up shit creek.
Learning how to effectively train a WORKING quality dog is a whole new experience from the pets you’ve had before who are fine just laying on the couch and easy enough to teach basic domestics. When you get a dog that’s smart, devious and has a temperament designed for having a job of some kind, everything escalates. And if you don’t know where to go for that kind of serious training (read: not petco level training), puppyhood can be super challenging.
We need a network of people who are available to mentor and help newbies. Regional, or better yet, state lists of GOOD obedience and handling classes perfect for people who are new. Lists of TALENTED mentors by breed who can teach from the ground up what makes a good dog, how to read breed standards and how to identify good breeders.
I think ideally, you should work with someone who ISN’T in the breed you’re shooting for, but has experience in that group. I was lucky enough to find an experienced sighthound owner who has been an incredible, analytical mentor who has helped me to understand, see and feel the mechanics of a functional dog in all breeds, sighthounds specifically and we’ve learned borzoi together. In shadowing her search for a silken breeder, I’ve learned so much about what I should have done and am doing for my next borzoi breeder. We need to identify people like those in any and all breeds that are willing to work with enthusiastic greenies like I was. Or else all this knowledge and expertise dies out. And WHAT A WASTE that would be!
I don’t know how to go about this or where to begin. I’m also terrible at effective tagging.
But I think this is a start. IF YOU ARE A PROSPECTIVE DOG WORLD NOVICE IN THE SEATTLE AREA, please know that I’m available to you. I will hook you up with the school and trainer I assist and teach at and with. Don’t be discouraged. This world is a hard nut to crack. The good news is us younger folks are pretty sick, by and large, of The Establishment in any arena and just want to learn and contribute. I think we can stand to change the culture of the dog world for the better. There’s a lot to learn and it’s SO REWARDING. I would hate to see this world die away and out.
Let’s get a conversation going on how to make this shit better.
In the past 6 months i’ve gone from thinking there is no way Robert is the father of Rebecca’s baby, to resigned to the fact he is but hating it and now i’m back at the baby isn’t Rob’s + the ONS never happened.
I’ve done the one thing i was trying so hard not to do and that is get my hopes up of an ending to this storyline that i’d love/accept. I can’t ignore what my gut told me back in April and what it is telling me now.
I’m not trying to convince anyone or get anyone’s hopes up so they can be dashed later. I just wanted to articulate the main reasons i’m on board team Theory™ (copyright Theory queen @itwasjustmisplaced). Something may happen next week or in 3 weeks that makes me change my mind again but for now these are the signs i’ve seen.
This became a bit of an essay so read after the break.
Hello, I still get the occasional ask on the subject of whether Light was ever sexually intimate with Misa and/or Kiyomi or not, so I figured I’d go ahead and bring this post back online for perusal.
Anonymous asked: Since when did Light canonically sleep with Misa or Kiyomi?
Hey anon, sorry for not getting back to you sooner! This is a great question and I’ll try to be as thorough about it as possible ^_^
So first things first. Death Note was originally serialized in Shonen Jump, which is why it was never made explicit that Light does sleep with either Misa or Kiyomi. However, the implications that he does are scattered throughout second arc and make it pretty clear that this is definitely something that happens — even if it’s never stated outright.
So let’s start with Misa, because it’s definitely clearer with Misa
What about their first time waking up together after their wedding? With Inigo, Gerome, Lon'qu, Frederick, Gaius, and Priam?
Hi! //I finished my last college class! Supposed to walk next week for graduation but I”m mostly free, other than resting~ I made a writing twitter to use cause I like interacting XD it’s kinda lonely just posting and running off. I’ll cross post links to all my works on there and will do requests on there too via curious cat, since I wanna establish my writing in the twitter community too!.
This one is very very long, but I hope you guys enjoy!
Inigo: His palms slide over your arms to soak in the reality that yes, you really are married to him, Gods, to come from the hell that he’s lived in by the skin of his teeth, to finding you and falling in love deeper than he’d ever had dared–to find that you somehow reciprocate that love even amongst all the other people he was sure would make much more excellent, less broken suitors than him would catch your eye. And yet, amidst all the teasing and ribbing, you admit that you just as ardently return his feelings. That your smile is for him, just for him. Your eyes wander only to him, and no one else. Gods, what blessings did he earn in his past life to have you in his happy ending.
I am so overwhelmed by how many of my Game of
Thrones ships are close to becoming canon. Let’s analyze each of them because I had a shit day at work (not helped whenever I
thought of Jon calling D@ny “my queen”) and I need to feel good about
The best ships are not ones you choose, but
the ones that choose you. And Jonsa chose the hell out of me. I didn’t want to
ship it. But by the Battle of the Bastards, I could no longer lie to myself.
Everyone told me it was never going to happen. And in the beginning, I believed
them. I started out my Jonsa journey thinking that, in all likelihood, this ship would never see the light of canon. I made my peace
with that. I was prepared to enjoy shipping Jonsa as much as I could, for as
long as I could, until Jonerys (ugh) ultimately happened. But I don’t feel that
way anymore. I’m too far gone. I have read too many metas, both pro Jonsa and
anti Jonerys. Pro Sansa and anti Daenerys. I now legitimately believe that
Jonsa will be endgame with pages worth of evidence to back up this belief. Most
of it is taken from the amazing metas that are written about Jonsa every single
day. I won’t re-hash all of it out here because if you like Jonsa, you’ve read
it all already. And if you don’t like Jonsa, you don’t care anyway.
Let me just say this- Jonsa will happen in season 8.
The fact that Jon and D@ny are so close atm, only further convinces me of this.
With an entire season left, there is plenty of time for Jon and D@ny to fall
out, especially since they still don’t really know each other. Let’s think
about the person that Jon Snow cares about the most (apart from his family).
The person he trusts more than anyone, the one he’s been friends with the
longest, the one he took care of and who took care of him in return. In short,
the person who Jon is most loyal to. Samwell Tarly. And whose family was it
that D@ny bathed in dragon fire two episodes ago? Sam’s? Wow, how utterly coincidental
that they could have introduced anyone to be sacrificed to D@ny’s wrath, but
they chose the family of Jon’s best friend. Suspicious. Sam and Jon WILL be
having words about this next season. And don’t even get me started on how hard
Sansa has been working to keep the North intact until Jon returns. By bending the
knee, Jon has alienated the most important people in his life. This will cause
a great strain on Jon’s personal and political life in season 8 that will get him
to see the error of his ways where the Dragon Queen is concerned.
I would also like to point out that last night Jorah
mentioned Jon’s future children. The scene then immediately switched to
Winterfell and Sansa. It would’ve been easy to just transition into D@ny and
Tyrion’s conversation about Jon being a hero. Particularly since they also
discussed D@ny’s succession. If they had done that, I might have been worried.
But they chose to change direction AND make it clear that D@ny cannot give Jon
any children. By their directing choices this episode, the show has told me
exactly who they plan to be the mother of Jon’s children.
Rhaegar and Lyanna
Generally speaking, season five sucked ass. It had
two saving graces:
Hardhome- need I say more?
Since season 5 was my first season in the fandom, it
was when I first became aware of R+L=J. I fell head over heels in love with this theory that to me
was basically canon since the first time I heard it. I became obsessed
with the idea of Lyanna and Rhaegar being in love and running away together. I’m
a sucker for believing things are a certain way only to have everything you
think you know get turned on its head. I love stories where the villains turn
out to be heroes and vice versa, like Wicked
and Once Upon a Time. Hearing from Robert about how terrible Rhaegar
was, only to learn from Ser Barristan how Rhaegar would play music on the streets of
Flea’s Bottom and give the money to orphanages or other minstrels is like crack
However, R+L=J technically only states that Lyanna
and Rhaegar are Jon’s parents. Whether or not you think Rhaegar raped her, or
they were genuinely in love is up to you. There is evidence and points to be
made on both sides. Rhaegar Targaryen is a fascinating character because while
his actions are crucial for the plot, we know very little about who he was
as a person. Was he the kind of person that would kidnap and rape a young girl?
Not according to Barristan Selmy, who probably knew him best. But would
Barristan be biased after serving the Targaryens for so many years? It’s a fun
debate and one that I have certainly enjoyed engaging in over the last few
years. In a way, I’ll miss it. In my heart, I always chose to believe that Lyanna and Rhaegar were in
love, but there has never been concrete evidence to support this.
Until now. According to the leaks, we are going to
have the honor of seeing Lyanna and Rhaegar’s wedding on our screens and we
will finally get an answer to the question as old as time: Were the Dragon
Prince and the She-Wolf of Winterfell in love? Will their wedding resemble
Sansa’s or Robb’s? Will Lyanna be forced into marriage or will she be there of
her own volition? I desperately hope it’s the latter, but we’ll have to wait
until Sunday to know for sure. But after years of asking myself these
questions, to have only six more days until I will get a definitive answer is
thrilling and I’m shaking just thinking about it.
Jaime and Brienne
It’s the greatest road trip of all-time! It’s the
gender-flipped Beauty and the Beast! It’s Jaime and Brienne! I’ve loved them
since season three, but held little hope of it actually happening with Jaime
being so in love with his sister (ugh). I had high hopes for Jaime at the end
of season six with that look he was giving Mad Queen Cersei. So far, he has
done nothing but disappoint me. However, if there’s anyone who can make him see
the error of his ways, it ain’t Olenna. It’s Brienne. The woman who he gave his
hear- I mean his sword to. The one who singlehandedly turned him into a
character I actually cared about. The one who makes him go back to the best
version of himself. The one who tells it to him straight, while giving him
heart-eyes. I feel like, if only Brienne could come to King’s Landing and tell
Jaime exactly what he’s doing wrong and how she expects so much more from him,
then he might actually permanently switch sides. But that’s not gonna happen.
Talk about a ship that’s been in
hibernation. I was starting to think Gendry would never stop rowing! Gendry
boat memes aside, I love the way they’re setting up Gendry’s future in this
show now that he’s back. Immediately aligning himself with Jon Snow in an honest
way, despite the risks and knowing it’s the opposite of what Dadvos told him to
do. Kind of like Gendry wants something from Jon in the future so he knows he has
to kiss his ass now. Like, oh I don’t know, marry the sister that Jon isn’t in
love with. At first, I was very puzzled on why Gendry didn’t mention Arya when
he first met Jon. Surely it would be a way to get Jon to trust him. But now I
think it makes more sense for Gendry to prove himself to Jon first before
playing the Arya card. He has to establish a rapport and a- dare I say it?-
bromance. This will make Jon’s answer when Gendry asks for Arya’s hand a done
deal. I thought it was so cute last night when Gendry protested against going
back to Eastwatch by telling Jon “I won’t leave you.” They’re spending time
building Jon and Gendry’s relationship, along with the work they’re also doing
with the relationship between their ladies (whether or not this is positive or negative
relationship work is for another post). Regardless, the fact that Jonsa is
endgame and Gendarya is more than possible makes me very excited for the future
I, by no means,
expect all of these relationships to unfold the way I want them to. I would
count my blessings if two of these ships become canon. This is Game of Thrones after all. But the fact
that all four of these ships are so close to potential canonicity AT THE SAME
TIME gives me more hope for the future of this show than I have felt in a very,
very long time.
Game of Thrones - The Wolf and The Dragon - Speculation and Theories
Okay!!! Speculation time! There were a number of things that struck
me about this episode, like there were things that the makers of the
show were clearly trying to establish.
1st with regard to Jon and his title:
Let’s start with Jon, I think this episode did an amazing job of
telling us that while Jon is a good commander, he is not a good king. He
wants to do the right thing but lacks the skills to execute them. He
only had to make a non-committal statement and he refused to do
that. Till then, no one knew that he had bent the knee, you can see the
shock on Davos and Brienne’s faces, even Davos did not see this coming.
Moreover, he did not need to bend his knee, by then Dany was
already on board and supportive of his cause, the fact that he chose to
do so regardless is another bad decision and one that will not end well.
Saying that the Northern Lords will not be happy with his decision is
the understatement of the century. He was chosen to lead the North and
the lords can just as easily choose someone else.
actually like her this season. The acting has certainly improved and the
layers of her personality are more apparent. She is a problematic
character, in that there are times when she genuinely cares and wants to
improve the social conditions, but there is a more ruthless side to her
side as well and she doesn’t listen to reason once she makes up her
mind. I actually like her better like this. I don’t know whether she’ll
eventually become a villain though that will be lame and simplistic.
Jon and Dany:
This episode also tried to sell us the JonxDany ship and frankly I
don’t buy it. I don’t have a problem with the ship per se, just that
it’s so shoddily executed. The Jon and Sansa scenes had more chemistry
than all the the JonxDany scenes put together. The scene of them making
love, should have been a climactic moment and yet it was overshadowed by
the reveal of Jon’s parentage and his true name, not to mention Tyrion
standing outside their door, looking less than pleased. Their sex scene
just ended up being so pedestrian and random. There was no foreplay, no
build-up, we literally saw them in the middle of the act and cut while
they were still in the middle. Sex scenes usually stay long enough to
establish climax, both for the scene since it’s usually a gradual
build-up and for the characters, here it was glaringly absent. The scene
just feels wrong on so many levels.
Also, we know that it’s
only a matter of time before the Aegon Targeryen reveal is made public. I
think that when Jon finds out, he’s going to choose to tell Dany and
Northern Lords, that’s what the honourable aspect of his personality
will demand of him. He won’t be able to continue to stay with Dany once
he finds out his true lineage and she won’t trust him once she finds out
that he has a stronger claim to the throne. It won’t matter to her that
he doesn’t want to rule because ultimately it’s not important. She’s
smart, she knows that there are people who support her because they
believe that she’s the last Targeryen, when they suddenly find
themselves with a choice, one who is male, well, the world of Westeros
is a patriachal one…. There will be those who will push him to take
the throne, sidelining Dany completely. Add to that, he can ride the
dragons just as she does which again, will make her vulnerable. She
already stated that the Dragons are her children and without them she
would be ordinary and Dany doesn’t want to be ordinary. She’s fought
tooth and nail and worked hard to get where she is and I wouldn’t blame
her for being pissed off that suddenly this guy shows up and has a
stronger claim to the throne that she’s been fighting for her whole
life. I don’t see the unsullied and the Dothraki supporting Jon, their
allegiance is to Dany and her alone, but the other players, who knows.
So basically, the ‘Jon is Aegon Targeyren’ reveal will be the death
knell for the JonxDany ship.
What’s with Tyrion, Jorah and Dany’s prophecy:
Tyrion’s interactions post Dragonpit were curious to say the least. We
saw in episode 6 that Dany disregarded his advice and flew up North to
save Jon and his crew and lost a dragon in the process. He also saw her
agree with Jon in how to proceed North over Jorah’s suggestion, which
would probably be safer. From the close-up of Jorah’s face, we know that
he is far from pleased. We also saw Tyrion outside Dany’s room while
Jon and Dany are having sex. Tyrion has a very casual attitude about sex
and for him to have such a serious look on his face is worrisome. From
his conversation with Cersie, we know that he hoped that Jon would bend
his knee but I don’t think he’s happy with the fact they jumped into
Add to that, we also know that Jorah loves Dany and he never
stopped loving her. He’s known her the longest and probably knows her
best among all her current advisers. And again, he’s unhappy that Jon,
who just showed up, is suddenly so important to her. The prophecy about
Dany says that she will be betrayed for love and people are assuming
that Jon will betray her but what if it’s not him but Jorah. Jorah who
loves and has loved her for a very long time. Her time with Daario did
not bother him because he was absent for most of it and then she left
him behind. I think on some level Jorah knew that Daario was never a
serious competitor but it’s not the same with Jon. Jon is young, he’s
powerful and he’s in his prime, all the things that Jorah is not. He
sees the way Dany looks at him and while he may not express it, it
doesn’t make him happy. He’ll betray her because he loves her and not to
her enemies but imagine that he finds out about Jon’s lineage and
before Jon can tell Dany, he tells her instead. It’s one thing for Dany
to hear it from Jon, it’s completely different to hear it coming from
someone else. I’m not saying that this will happen, it’s merely an
example of the kind of betrayal that Jorah would commit. Because,
ultimately he still loves Dany and he wouldn’t want her to come to any
I’m going to add Tyrion to this mix just on the basis
of what I saw this episode. I think both Jorah and Tyrion are concerned
about the important that Jon suddenly has in Dany’s life and that his
actions, while honourable have the potential to be problematic.
Sansa and Arya:
Littlefinger finally played the wrong sisters against each other and
paid for it with his life. Having watched the episode, I am not entirely
convinced that the sisters were putting on a show for LF’s benefit. I
think there was genuine antagonism on both side till Bran sat them down
and spoke to them, that obviously happened off camera but it’s not hard
to guess that because of what he said in the Great Hall. He’s the one
who tells Sansa and Arya about all the ways that he’s fucked with their
family and that finally leads to both of them putting aside their
differences and uniting. I think we also got to see Sansa as Queen in
the North with Arya acting as her hand. Season 8 will out Jon’s
parentage and place him not as a Stark but the true-born son of Rhaegar
which completely changes the power dynamic in the North. Jon will no
longer be the King in the North, Bran is the three-eyed raven and Arya
has no interest in ruling, which leaves Sansa. The scenes establishing
her as a good ruler were no accident, neither was the scene where Lord
Glover and Royce both said that they made a mistake is choosing Jon and
they should have chosen her instead. In Jon’s absence, she stepped up in
a big way and is the only one who can keep the North united under House
Stark while still helping Jon with his quest against the WW. There was a
reason when Arya and Sansa repeated Ned’s words there was no mention on
Jon, and this is telling when Arya brought him up so many times in
their previous encounters. Winterfell is House Stark’s seat of power,
there must always be a Stark in Winterfell and Jon, now Aegon is not a
Stark at all.
Just as Tyrion pushed Dany to control some of
her more impulsive decisions, Arya will do the same for Sansa. Sansa
wants to protect Winterfell, her family and herself and that may
sometimes cloud her judgement, it’s at those times that Arya’s position
as the Hand will be important, she can speak frankly to her sister, in a
way that no one else can, not even Brienne.
What does this mean
for Jon and Sansa, honestly, I’m not sure. They could get married, a
political alliance between House Targeryen and House Stark, to cement
the relationship between the North and the South, but if Jon is meant to
rule the Iron Throne, then there is a problem because I don’t see Sansa
leaving Winterfell. Arya has no desire to be Lady of Winterfell and
while Sansa might want to be QitN, she has no desire to rule the Seven
Kingdoms. of course, this could be a moot point if the IT no longer
exists at the end of the show and there are various theories that
support this. Also, judging by Jon’s reaction to the city in this
episode, he wasn’t too impressed by what he saw of the crowded, cramped
living conditions. He grew up in the North, he’s used to the wide-open
landscapes. Plus, he’s also a bit too attached to his fur coat, to the
extent where he even wore in Dragonpit and it was clearly hot there. I
don’t think he’ll want to move South. So a Jon and Sansa political
wedding is still a possibility and certainly more plausible than the Jon
and Dany could-be-relationship.
Brienne and Jamie: So
Jaime finally stood up to Cersie and saw that she has lost her mind and
so blind that she can’t see she is dooming both her city and her unborn
child to death. He leaves her and makes his way North. Season 8 will see
Brienne and Jaime get together. He will also share the news that
Cersie’s promise of her armies marching North to fight alongside Dany’s
and Jon’s was a lie. Brienne always brings out the best in him, the man
he could be and he finally has the chance to let that side of him rise
to the fore. I don’t see him join Dany’s camp because he did see her
burn his soldiers alive, but the Lady of Winterfell? Now that is
possible. Especially since Brienne is still oath-bound to serve Sansa.
But, where does this leave poor Tormund?
This just struck me, with
Jaime leaving for the North and possibly joining Sansa’s camp, does it
add more weight to the theory that ultimately it’s Sansa who will
dethrone Cersie? She was indirectly responsible for Joffrey’s death and
now she has Jaime on her side as well, she has “stolen” the one man who
always stood by her side. I’ve always believed that the final showdown
must be between Sansa and Cersie. LF was one of her abusers, Cersie was
the other and just as it was Sansa sentencing LF, it needs to be Sansa
who eventually bests Cersie at her own game. Sansa learned from both LF
and Cersie and who better to beat her than the the ‘little dove’ that
everyone underestimated? They have history while Dany and Cersie do not
and it just makes more sense.
P.S. - on a completely unrelated note, I am happy that Sophie Turner dyed her hair red, that wig was atrocious in certain scenes
Hello! I really enjoy reading your thoughts on Tokyo Ghoul, and I was wondering if you have any thoughts on where Mutsuki's character arc might be heading? (Besides Kaneki and Touka, Mutsuki's probably my favourite character, but I'm preparing myself for a lot of pain while still hoping for some redemption.)
Aw thanks anon! I have many thoughts on Mutsuki; maybe too many
thoughts on Mutsuki, so do you mind if I go overboard and extend this question
into a mega Mutsuki analysis post? I figure now’s as good a time as any.
on Mutsuki’s internal monologues here, here and most definitively here, I
think it’s clear that Mutsuki considers herself to be a woman and merely
masquerades as a man due to her fear of male sexual attention stemming from her
childhood trauma. Thus I will be addressing her with ‘she’ and ‘her’ pronouns
accordingly. Discussion below about ‘gender confusion’ and the like is entirely unrelated to transgender issues, and solely applies to these characters’ individual psyches.)
As soon as we see Mutsuki, we are instantly reminded of Kaneki - specifically Kaneki as he was at the start of the series, the persona we call Kuroneki. She has the same wide, innocent eyes and a similarly prim and proper haircut, with her head stuck in a book. And of course, if you were left with any doubts, the eyepatch vanquishes them immediately. As we get to know her better, we find out she is polite and kind but meek and easily frightened, without a great deal of faith in her own abilities. It’s not exactly subtle paralleling, but then, it’s not meant to be.
Because while in :re, Kaneki is slipping out of the mould of his tragedy, there needs to be someone to take up the mantle of the tragic hero. The gift of a sequel series spared Kaneki from his death at the end of the original, but the author must maintain a balance - tragedy must have its tribute, and here is a person as ideally suited to the role as Kaneki once was.
In fact, Kaneki in his amnesiac ignorance ends up symbolically helping Mutsuki down the path he once walked. In the Christmas chapter - the same chapter where Kaneki’s own self-discovery takes a new turn with the gift of his mask - Kaneki offers Mutsuki a new eyepatch, without having a real reason other than instinct. He feels as though Mutsuki ought to have a new eyepatch because he subconsciously remembers how he changed in the past.
Mutsuki is pushed along little by little towards her ultimate revelation on Rushima Island throughout her time in the Quinx Squad, with snippets of the truth slowly revealing themselves to her. This evolution is sped along by several encounters with various characters representing different aspects of herself - the true self that she has been suppressing. Kaneki was the first, but the second of her doppelgangers was Torso.
Even before his torture irrevocably changed her, the two were already alike in their abusive backgrounds and, most importantly, their mental confusion between love and violence. Seeing one’s doppelganger is traditionally a harbinger of death, and in Tokyo Ghoul, an encounter with your doppelganger escalates your character’s tragic arc, often to that very final point. It is Torso who first begins to unravel the relative security she had felt living as a man, together with the web of lies Mutsuki had spun around herself to protect her. We learn more about Mutsuki as her own safeguards are torn down around her, much like with Kaneki before her. Our initial assumption that Mutsuki is transgender is disproved when we get deep inside Mutsuki’s head and it becomes clear that she considers herself to be a woman.
It establishes that Mutsuki is comfortable with living a lie in order to protect herself - and if she’s willing and able to hide her gender from the rest of society, who’s to say she’s not hiding something from herself? But already, ever since Torso lands that first crucial blow against the safeguard of her false gender, she finds it quickly crumbling as she is compelled into situations like the Auction that require her to dress (and therefore be treated) as female, and it isn’t long before Urie finds out her gender and eventually Saiko too. Because it’s not just Torso that finds out, it’s also the reader. And once the reader knows, the author can begin gradually undermining her defences to fit her into the tragedy she was written for.
I’ll be talking a little more about Torso later, but for now I’d like to get to Mutsuki’s third doppelganger: Juuzou Suzuya.
The two bond very quickly out of an unspoken connection to each other. Indeed, they share much in common: their sadistic tendencies, their reliance on gentle paternal figures to make up for their lack of a real childhood, and
the ambiguity of their genders stemming from their sexual abuse as children. The latter connection in particular is highlighted by the inclusion of Big Madam (also of confused gender) in the arc, reminding us of Suzuya’s past and making us suspect similar activity in Mutsuki’s, and by the two of them dressing up as women for the Auction. While Suzuya believes them both to be pretending to be women - both to be lying - the truth is that Mutsuki is actually being honest, suggesting a misunderstanding in Suzuya’s connection with Mutsuki.
Although they’ve never discussed their pasts to each other in any great detail, Suzuya senses their similarity, and tries to help Mutsuki along by training her in the same lethal artwork that allowed him to cope and find purpose in this brutal world - until Mutsuki eventually even joins Suzuya’s squad. But again, Suzuya misunderstands how they are similar and how they differ. Suzuya’s trauma left him numb to feelings of empathy and love, and so he used his bladework, and the strength it gives him, as a distraction from that hole. Mutsuki is still connected to those feelings, only in a very twisted way. She instead starts filling that hole with knives, mingling violence hopelessly with her notion of love. There’s no better proof of that fundamental difference between the two than their individual reactions to Uta’s masks.
When Suzuya finally learnt how to love, he learnt to do it in a healthy way, and so he couldn’t bring his knives against the image of Shinohara because violence and love are completely disconnected for him - when he killed Big Madam, it was not out of personal desire for revenge (a reaction to the spurned love he should have been given by his maternal figure), but merely out of duty. Love can never involve violence, and violence can never involve love - those two sides of his personality are entirely cut off from each other. Mutsuki, on the other hand…
…sees the two as the same, having gone down the second of two opposing paths stemming from similar trauma. And so Suzuya’s attempt to aid Mutsuki only escalated her tragedy, just like Kaneki’s gift of the eyepatch, and even Torso’s warped attempts at love.
The last of Mutsuki’s parallels are solely antagonising figures. In the midst of the Auction, three of Mutsuki’s parallels intersect due to their mutual interest in her.
Mutsuki catches Nutcracker’s attention at the nightclub and she is quick to take advantage of her. She embodies the sexual abuse that made Mutsuki who she is today - only in reverse - and where Mutsuki covers up her sexuality, Nuts flaunts it. But like Mutsuki, Nutcracker just wants to be loved, and ends up expressing that desire in violent ways.
But as soon as Mutsuki escapes from Nutcracker, she runs straight into another of her parallels. Karren is another female character who masquerades as male, and whose actions, good and evil, are motivated out of a powerful desire for love. But she quickly finds herself battling for control over Mutsuki with Torso - yet another of Mutsuki’s parallels.
After the Auction Operation forced her to confront her femininity by dressing up like a girl, she spent the rest of it wandering through a maze of her own mind, running into a grand total of three of her alternate selves all seeking to control her in this space alone. The effect? Mutsuki begins remembering the thoughts that she had locked up, presenting them to the reader for the first time:
But with these memories unlocked, a certain gruesome aspect of Mutsuki’s behaviour does as well, as we learn later on at Rushima.
Being attacked on all sides by agents of her inner psyche externalised, she is slowly pushed to a very dangerous point that requires a very dangerous spark to fully ignite.
Ken Kaneki underwent his transformation as Aogiri started to gain power. Tooru Mutsuki underwent hers towards the end of it. The Rushima arc serves as an excellent parallel to the original series’ Aogiri arc, as Mutsuki finds herself trapped in the tragic hero’s role that was once Kaneki’s. But where once there was Yamori, now there is Torso. Mutsuki is trapped by Aogiri, all alone, in the hands of a mad torturer. Her hair becomes pale and dishevelled as Kaneki’s once did, and she remembers something vital about her family that kicks her transformation into motion. She adopts the nervous habit of her torturer, accepts her sadistic urges, and gives her torturer a taste of his own medicine.
And right afterwards, she goes on a battle spree, far more confident in her kagune and far more ruthless in its use. Mutsuki’s ability to suppress large parts of her memories lines up with the entire conundrum of Haise’s existence.
Urie functions as the Touka to Mutsuki’s Kaneki; someone initially cold to Mutsuki who warms up to her and becomes the most determined to save her when she’s captured. But even then, at the start of their heartwarming, but sadly doomed, relationship, Mutsuki only thinks to show love towards Urie after being wounded by him. As @linkspooky points out, she is completely accustomed to abuse by male figures at this point. For Mutsuki, love and pain are one and the same.
But where does all this lead? With all these parallels set up, where can we see Mutsuki’s journey finally taking her?
Nutcracker is dead. Karren is dead. Torso is dead. If the original manga is taken as a separate entity, in that world, Kaneki is dead. Is there hope in the precedent set by Suzuya? While I do think Suzuya will survive the series, I’ve already established the great point of difference between the two, and I think it will be what keeps Suzuya alive. You’re right to prepare yourself, anon. I don’t think Mutsuki has much hope of surviving this series.
Will she be redeemed? I think, before the hypothetical raid on :re that I believe will be happening soon (especially since Mutsuki has considered it as Kaneki’s possible hiding place), a confrontation with Urie may lead her to question her actions, but it won’t be enough to stop her. As she hunts for Kaneki in :re, she will find her efforts will come down to nought as members of the CCG begin defecting and her way is blocked by enemies. Her single last thread of hope will lead her to a God of Death, and as his scythe takes her eyes out she will deeply regret ever coming to this place, but all too tragically, all too late.
We’ve been given reason to doubt Suzuya’s loyalty to the CCG for some time now. He asserts his obedience too boldly for me to trust him completely. If he does defect, he would be ideal to fill Arima’s shoes and have Mutsuki meet the tragic fate that originally was meant to be Kaneki’s, especially since they already have the mentor/student relationship Kaneki and Arima would go on to have. To have these two, so similar and yet so different, fight each other to the end would be a fitting end for Mutsuki’s arc. Urie’s attempts at reason, like Touka’s before him, won’t be quite enough to stop her.
I’m sure Suzuya would try not to kill Mutsuki…but I’m not sure it will be that easy.
The Isak + Even fan fics that I’m currently reading Part Two: (This could be a recommendation list I guess, but it’s more of a list of fics that I’m currently reading, so the ones that I’ve already read aren’t there. The list is also in random order. Here’s part one.)
This version of Isak’s story starts after the break in season 2, a few days after Isak moves into Eskild’s basement. Even never left Elvebakken. I’m better at writing stories than blurbs. Go read my story.
There’s a school camping trip at the beginning of Isak’s second year. He’s not sure why he agrees to go, especially when he remembers how difficult it is for him to sleep anywhere that isn’t his own bed.
It turns out he’s not the only insomniac on the trip.
“What the fuck,” Even murmurs, and Isak almost wants to mock him, but he refrains. He’s not 16 anymore. “Everything okay, Isak?” “Peachy.” Isak doesn’t look at him. “Go find someone else to talk to.” Miss him with that shit. “Wow, what the fuck. Get off your high horse.” Even sounds irritated, too. Good. Isak just snorts. “When you’ll take off that stick from your ass,” he hisses, and then goes up to Mikha. He doesn’t need to make a scene in front of everyone.
[Or, the one in which Even and Isak can’t stand each other, but they still end up together eventually.]
Isak thinks Even is pretentious and impractical. Even thinks Isak is arrogant and uptight. They’re not each other’s biggest fans, even if they do happen to have spectacular sex on a very, very drunken night. And Isak doesn’t mean to do it again, but he does, anyway, so now they’re establishing ground rules and deciding that maybe they can keep doing this, no strings attached, no commitments, no feelings, and, most importantly, no need to stop disliking each other.
Isak Valtersen’s family owns a business empire. When his father decides to release a memoir called A year in the life of the Valtersens, Even Bech Næsheim is the photographer who gets hired to follow them around for a year.
This is the story of how Isak and Even fell in love, during that year.
Isak is angry. He’s fucking pissed, and he’s suddenly seeing red, because his ex fucking took his heart and stomped on it until it was left in pieces, and he doesn’t get to do this to Isak after all the shit he’s pulled.
So, before the guy can answer, Isak smiles curtly and says, “He’s my boyfriend.”
Or: A Fake dating!AU where Isak goes grocery shopping and meets an attractive stranger in a jean jacket who ends up leaving as his fake boyfriend.
Isak is a senior in college, studying at a university in America. He lives in an apartment on campus with three other guys and works part-time in the student center to help with his tuition. As much as he’s enjoyed the whole college experience, he’s ready to graduate and head back to Oslo, to his city, his family, and his boyfriend
.But then, during the first week of his last semester, he steps off the elevator onto his floor and sees a guy sitting in the empty hallway. Isak walks over to see if he needs help with something, and finds out three very important things: his name is Even, he just moved into the building but already got locked out, and he is fucking gorgeous.
“Did you hear about the new guy?” Jonas asked, motioning over to the other side of the cafeteria. Isak looked up and became rather breathless at the sight of the tall, blonde, and totally gorgeous boy wearing sunglasses. Wait. Sunglasses? Inside? “Must suck to be the new transfer and blind. I hope someone is helping him find all his classes.”
“You’re in love with him,” Isak says. “And he doesn’t know.”He thinks about denying it, to shrug it off like he has so many times before, but in the end, he’s too tired to lie and the fact is, he doesn’t want to.“I’m in love with him,” Even says, slumping back into the sofa. “And he doesn’t know.”
Even moves into a new flat, gains new friends and tries not to have his heart broken. He nails the first two.
Isak had always felt something more. And he knew Chris was probably doing it on purpose. He was teasing Isak – teasing him with the possibility that maybe, someday, they might be more than this, whatever this was. And Isak had fallen for it, hook line and sinker, because it had been one year and whilst Chris continued to fuck anyone he liked, Isak only ever had eyes for Chris.
As you may or may not know, I was recently accused of hating lesbians. Seeing as how I ship Johnrose pretty feverishly, I get this a lot. As in, every time I fucking post something on the tag. So I decided to pull up one of my old essays on the matter. I posted this some months ago on Omegaupdate under the name ‘Salty.’ Enjoy.
Long post incoming.
I think the main reason I dislike Rosemary is for what it did to the characters in terms of progression; or, in this case, the lack thereof. Homestuck post-A5 always suffered from a certain kind of stagnation, wherein neither the characters nor the author really knew what to do next. John, Jade, and Davesprite stagnated on the Prospit battleship; the Trolls, Rose, and Dave stagnated on the meteor. Both of these derived from a lack of initiative to use this time in any constructive manner, i.e, not deal with the literal garbage fire of issues that they all had looming over them. Sure, they talked about Lord English and Bec Noir… kinda. Sure, they had a few confrontations with each other… kinda, and all those confrontations had to do with romantic entanglements which I can guarantee most of the fandom didn’t particularly care for. They didn’t even really have an antagonist–Gamzee never fit that role well, and was hardly utilized in such a way that made him anything more than another forgotten character, like most of the other trolls.
Not only were these conflicts uninteresting, however, but they never went anywhere. Like the characters themselves, they stagnated, and any hope we had for them to be resolved was washed away in the actual shitstorm that was the Retcon. Everyone got a happy ending off-screen where nothing was solved; ‘show-don’t-tell’ is a good rule of thumb for a reason, even if Hussie was so fixated on ‘subverting’ typical tropes like an A+ pretentious asshat too big for his britches. Which, along with stagnation, is a good way to describe A6 and beyond: too big for its britches. It tried too do much and stretched our characters too thin. Instead of being about four kids playing a game and being assholes on the internet, it became a teenage soap opera designed to pander to it’s most vocal demographic. And that killed the comic.
Now, you may be asking 'but Salty, what does this have to do with why you dislike Rosemary so much? You’re just talking about the problems with the comic itself, not the relationship!’
Well, like almost everything in Homestuck, these all correlate pretty close together.
To simplify, we’ll start at the beginning: I think Rose Lalonde is the best character pre-A6. She had a level of depth and nuance to her personality that inevitably made her the most interesting character. We actually gave a shit about that happened to Rose. I mean, we gave a shit about all the kids at that time, but especially Rose. Her Grimdarkness? Coming to terms with the fact that her Mother wasn’t the monster she thought she was, and that she hadn’t had nearly enough time with her? Just watching the way she grew as a person? Act 5 and before, she’s honestly the reason I think the comic was so successful, or at the very least a large contributor. Her character helped tie the others together, especially Dave and John.
Then we get to Act 6, and Rosemary becomes canon.
All that development? Thrown out the window. Rose becomes a drunk, and it never gets resolved; Rose admits she was a terrible daughter, has tremendous guilt over the death of her mother, but who cares? Time to make her the comic relief! Her powers are never truly utilized again,nor her connection with the Horrorterrors: her personal growth is stagnated, her intellect and, quite frankly, most of her defining personality traits are cast haphazardly by the wayside. Her entire personality begins quite rapidly to revolve around two things: drinking and… Kanaya.
Kanaya, her badass, chainsaw wielding GF, who has her own character slowly “develop” into a full-on Mary Sue. Kanaya, the troll she had the most contact with, but they were never shown to have anything more than an established friendship between them. Hell, their trope was originally supposed to be one of moirailship.
Rosemary suffered, albeit in a far lesser sense, what Davekat suffers from: it came out of nowhere, and then never went anywhere after. Sure, they were friends, and sure, Kanaya admired her, but what about Vriska? What about John? What about her other friends, and the game she just lost her mind to? What about all this buildup to these other relationships that never went anywhere, and seemingly got dropped off the face of the paradox space? Are we to believe that Rose and Kanaya are really so callous as to forget the others even existed, going about their day-to-day in a sick mockery of 'second best?’ I wanted to see those story arcs come to something.
I wanted to see John and Rose bond over losing a parent.
I wanted to see Kanaya finally help Vriska turn her life around, and Vriska help Kanaya become less meddlesome.
These are problems that were never solved because of Rosemary.
Hussie wanted so desperately to appease his 'fans’ that he forgot about plot-lines; character arcs; relationships; story. He made Rose gay not because he wanted to make her gay, but because he backed into a corner and gave into the mouth-frothing rabidness of his following. He didn’t know what to do with her. This would be the first time Hussie changed his script, but would not be the last. This is the first step, as I see it, into the downfall of the comic; it’s maddening descent into stagnation and Hussie’s continued reluctance to finish the story the way he wanted, to the point where he handed the comic over to 'funny twitter man’ Cohen because he just couldn’t deal with it anymore.
Honestly, I can hardly blame him.
Do I have a problem with Rose, or any other Homestuck character for that matter, being gay? Of course I don’t. In fact, I would have loved it! I crave positive homosexual representation in the media. But for the love of god, what I didn’t want was forced, stagnated homosexuality just for the sake of having it. As a bisexual myself, I honestly found it insulting – are we really that easily pandered to, that easily placated? Is our community so obsessed with this backwards idea of 'representation’ that we don’t even care for it to be portrayed in a decent manner? Are we so desperate and shallow that we’ll scramble towards the most lackluster, half-assed content and call it genius just because it has two people of the same gender kissing? Others might – fuck, I know others will and have – but frankly, I like to think I have higher standards than the bottom of the barrel. No artist, no writer should ever have to jeopardize the integrity of their story in order to appease the arbitrary wills of some vocal group of fans who, frankly, don’t know jack-all aboutromance.
Their story is their own; people read them because of what they wrote, not because of what others wanted, which is a lesson that Hussie seemed to unlearn post-A5 – hell, maybe even post-Problem Sleuth.
I honestly attribute this to the massive decline in Homestuck readers overall. This kind of pandering, along with the stagnation that followed, and, of course, the frequent pauses, turned off at least 75% of the readers by the end of the comic, and that estimate is generous at best. A7 didn’t even reach one million views. 2011 through 2013, you couldn’t even go on the internet without seeing something Homestuck related pop up out of nowhere. /hsg/ got banned on 4chan, something that hadn’t happened since the rise of /mlp/. Tumblr was constantly pumping out new content that stretch as far and wide as Homestuck itself. The subreddit was at an all-time high. Homestuck and it’s huge fan projects dominated the internet like no other piece of media had done before.
And then people couldn’t deal with it anymore, so they left. The fanfic writers, the artists, the theorists… almost all gone, with only a handful of good content creators still around to fill an ever-growing hole.