chekhov's-gun

anonymous asked:

That anti anon who said Dany saying she can't have any children & therefore jonerys won't last is adorable. And they've clearly never been introduced to the literary concept known as the Chekhov's gun. You don't kill one of Dany's dragons, have her specifically tell Jon that she thinks she can't have any kids other than them before they make love, and NOT have her get pregnant. Personally, I always thought Dany would have 3 kids - 1 for each dragon that is going to die by the end.

When the ask itself is so good I have nothing to add.

Bravo, anon. I agree. (Still not sure on number of kids but that would make sense =] )

obsessivelollipoplalala  asked:

Hi, Steph! I was thinking about how weird it is that we never know what John's note to Sherlock in TST says and how it could be seen as evidence that s4 is fucky, but how do you think John's note could play into the fuckiness? Like we gotta find out what it says, but why withhold that info? If I'm making sense

Hahah, the note is one of many things that were introduced that could explain a tonne of the plot problems, yet they’re never talked about and / or discarded them in TFP. Something’s fucky in my humble opinion, and TFP is why I’m super suspicious about everything.

cornerbackcastiel  asked:

Hiya! I see you (and/or lizbob?) mention chekov's guns a few times recently. Do you have a post or link that talks about what those are? I feel like it might be a kinda-sorta inverted red herring but I've never heard of the phrase before.

The phrase is attributed to playwright Anton Chekhov, hence the name. It’s a very simple concept that applies to pretty much all fiction writing:

That every element in a story must be somehow RELEVANT to the narrative, otherwise it’s making a false promise to the reader/viewer and should be removed.

Most frequently it’s quoted along the lines of, “If you introduce a gun in the first act of a play, it must go off by the end of the third act.”

Chekhov himself is quoted in various ways making this same sort of comment. He equated it with making “false promises” to the reader (or to the viewer of a play). In a way it’s sort of like a red herring, but even something that’s a “red herring” has a narrative purpose. It’s one thing to DELIBERATELY mislead the audience in order to subvert expectations later in the narrative (what would a murder mystery be without that element of suspense, right?), but an element that doesn’t even have THAT narrative purpose and is otherwise just sitting there like an unfired gun that NEVER goes off… 

That’s the difference. A red herring DOES “get fired” later in the story. It HAS a purpose in the narrative, even if that purpose is to serve as a distraction.

So all red herrings are chekhov’s guns, but not all chekhov’s guns are red herrings?

To clarify, if the gun is introduced, it must go off. But it the shot might miss its target. Or maybe it was fired into the ground. Or in self-defense and not murder. Whatever the case, it has no narrative purpose unless it is fired. Even if the firing of the gun is part of the trick. If it just hangs on the wall untouched for the entire play (or novel, or tv show or movie or whatever), there’s no narrative point to even mentioning it was there in the first place.

It’s the narrative equivalent of a movie studio announcing there’s queer representation in their movie, only to learn later that they simply hadn’t declared anyone’s sexuality at all, leaving it up to the viewer’s interpretation. They deceived the audience, and I think everyone agrees that’s a bad thing to do, right?

Chekhov thought so too. 

monkeyst9  asked:

Hello! Do you know who has the dagger which was used to try to kill Bran? Either in the books or the show.

I don’t know (or care) about the show, but in the books, Ned took the dagger from Catelyn when she came to King’s Landing, and Petyr Baelish claimed Tyrion had won it from him at Joffrey’s 12th birthday tourney. (Which was not true, it was Robert that had won it.) Littlefinger took the dagger back from Ned in the throne room coup scene:

As his men died around him, Littlefinger slid Ned’s dagger from its sheath and shoved it up under his chin. His smile was apologetic. “I did warn you not to trust me, you know.”

–AGOT, Eddard XIV

The last we saw of it, he was using it to cut fruit…

Petyr cut a pomegranate in two with his dagger, offering half to Sansa. “You should try and eat, my lady.”   
“Thank you, my lord.” Pomegranate seeds were so messy; Sansa chose a pear instead, and took a small delicate bite. 

…while teaching Sansa a certain lesson:

“Tell me, Alayne—which is more dangerous, the dagger brandished by an enemy, or the hidden one pressed to your back by someone you never even see?”
“The hidden dagger.”
“There’s a clever girl.” He smiled, his thin lips bright red from the pomegranate seeds. “When the Imp sent off her guards, the queen had Ser Lancel hire sellswords for her. Lancel found her the Kettleblacks, which delighted your little lord husband, since the lads were in his pay through his man Bronn.” He chuckled. “But it was me who told Oswell to get his sons to King’s Landing when I learned that Bronn was looking for swords. Three hidden daggers, Alayne, now perfectly placed.”
“So one of the Kettleblacks put the poison in Joff’s cup?” Ser Osmund had been near the king all night, she remembered.
“Did I say that?” Lord Petyr cut the blood orange in two with his dagger and offered half to Sansa. “The lads are far too treacherous to be part of any such scheme… and Osmund has become especially unreliable since he joined the Kingsguard. That white cloak does things to a man, I find. Even a man like him.” He tilted his chin back and squeezed the blood orange, so the juice ran down into his mouth. “I love the juice but I loathe the sticky fingers,” he complained, wiping his hands. “Clean hands, Sansa. Whatever you do, make certain your hands are clean.”

–ASOS, Sansa VI

The fact that the Valyrian steel dagger, one of GRRM’s biggest Chekhov’s guns (if fired already, but then hung back on the wall) appears in this highly metaphorical and foreshadowing-filled scene with Sansa… well. I think, I hope, I believe this dagger will play a certain part in Littlefinger’s downfall. And since it’s Valyrian steel, then likely Sansa will have the dagger for defense against the Others during the upcoming War for the Dawn. Hope that helps!

Literary Device: Chekhov’s Gun

Chekhov’s gun is one of my favorite literary devices. This literary device is when the author introduces an object (it can be anything though, like a character or a phrase) that seems invaluable, but later becomes important to the story. Basically: introduce the gun in the first act, fire in the second.

When using Chekhov’s gun, you can do a few things. The first is using it as a red herring. A red herring is a clue that throws the reader off track or a false clue. This is often used in mysteries. Using Chekhov’s gun as a red herring is exactly that: introduce a seemingly pointless object, but hint it might have some significance. However, this has to be executed extremely well to work. If it’s not, your attempt will be seen as useless and an editor will delete it. The reader has to truly believe the object has some sort of significance for this device to work. Never introduce something and then never mention it again.

Or the object could be both Chekhov’s gun and a red herring. Two objects may be introduced and one may carry out as the object readers will see as important and significant. However, the second object, forgotten and completely insignificant, can make a quick comeback. The first object would be the red herring, the second object would be Chekhov’s gun, and putting them together would be a plot twist.

The second way to use Chekhov’s gun is the old fashion way of introducing an object and not explaining its significance until later. JK Rowling did this in The Order of the Phoenix when Harry and the others were cleaning out Grimmauld Place. They found a locket that no one could open and then tossed it to the side. That was one of Voldemort’s horcruxes, but no one knew it until the next book.

Chekhov’s gun is similar to foreshadowing, but not the same. Using an object to foreshadow an event and then using that object in the event is Chekhov’s gun. using Harry Potter as an example again, Dumbledore’s warning to stay away from a part of the third floor is foreshadowing because its significance was heavily implied.

Depending on who you talk to, the guidelines for Chekhov’s gun will vary. Some believe it is synonymous with foreshadowing while others do not.

anonymous asked:

please i'm so sure of this i need to say this somewhere but i don't have a big blog, HARRY IS THE CHECKHOVS GUN OF THE SERIES. mofftiss have talked about us missing something big and the average fans don't really think or care about johns backstory or his family history, but harry has been mentioned periodically since the VERY FIRST EPISODE, so she's "the other one" (mycroft knows everything so he knows what emotional stuff happened to/between the twins that made them both fucked up addicts)

UGGGGGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH NONNY YOU ARE SO RIGHT. 

GIVE US HARRY WATSON YOU MONSTERS, NOT RENT-A-VILLAIN CHURROS.

anonymous asked:

Do you know if we are going to see Gaia again? And Riley?

Riley should at least get us some wrap up with his story. Whether he has more story to tell after this bit, I don’t know. 

Gaia has to come back. That was set up. They can’t write her in that way with such a big part, and then have her disappear. That’s what’s called a “checkhov’s gun.”

Remove everything that has no relevance to the story. If you say in the first chapter that there is a rifle hanging on the wall, in the second or third chapter it absolutely must go off. If it’s not going to be fired, it shouldn’t be hanging there.—  Anton Chekhov [X]

Gaia is hanging there.

We’ll see her again.

  • interviewer: you've put a gun in all of your episodes that is labeled, quite literally, "chekhov's gun", which belongs to a character in your show named chekhov
  • me: yeah
  • interviewer: and you include a zoom-in on the gun every episode to make sure the audience can see it
  • me: i do
  • interviewer: why is that
  • me: i like reading really angry and wildly theoretical thinkpieces

victorian-detectives  asked:

whats all this about johns letter? also what letter are ppl referring to?

Hi Lovely!

At the end of T6T, Molly gives a letter to Sherlock that is apparently from John, and she tells him to not read it right then. Sherlock does end up reading it in the taxi scene that immediately follows, but we NEVER FIND OUT WHAT’S ON THE LETTER. It’s a case of Chekov’s gun (”If you say in the first chapter that there is a rifle hanging on the wall, in the second or third chapter it absolutely must go off. If it’s not going to be fired, it shouldn’t be hanging there.” x).

Essentially, it, along with many things in S4, should not have been introduced if the writers were never going to do anything with said items. They made a big deal about the letter at the end of T6T; it should have been addressed in either TLD or TFP

There are many theories as to what is on the letterbut unless it’s addressed in either a secret episode or S5E01, then they should have never introduced it as an important plot device in the first place. 

anonymous asked:

Who is Checkov ?

Anton Chekhov was a Russian author/playwright. He’s well-known for the dramatic principle we now call Chekhov’s gun, which states:

Remove everything that has no relevance to the story. If you say in the first chapter that there is a rifle hanging on the wall, in the second or third chapter it absolutely must go off. If it’s not going to be fired, it shouldn’t be hanging there.

The idea then is that everything that you draw attention to in your story is important. You’re giving something significance by mentioning it in the first place, so it needs to have a reason to be in the story. Like with John’s letter in TST, for example–Gatiss introduced it into the story, so it must be significant, but then it’s never mentioned again. So why is it there if it isn’t important? And if it is important, why is it never dealt with in some way? It breaks the principle of Chekhov’s gun.

The fishing lures in the first season of the TV series “Hannibal” are a brilliant illustration of the use of a dramatic principle known as Chekhov’s Gun. This is a bit of writing advice dispensed by Anton Chekhov, famed Russian novelist and playwright.

“Remove everything that has no relevance to the story. If you say in the first chapter that there is a rifle hanging on the wall, in the second or third chapter it absolutely must go off. If it’s not going to be fired, it shouldn’t be hanging there.”

This principle is used widely in visual media as well as the written word. When used well, it is a powerful plot device that should alter the course of the story.

In “Hannibal,” we initially learn that the protagonist, Will, likes to make his own fishing lures. No big deal, right? They are basically “hanging on the wall.” Later, antagonist Hannibal, while dog sitting for Will, takes an interest in the lures. This could be benign or diabolic. We don’t know which, not until the end of the season, when it becomes very apparent. The “gun” fires and the results are devastating.

Note: I found the Hannibal Lecter photos on as ambitious as a toaster. Be sure to read “Will’s Home and Hannibal’s Blood in 1.04”. Full of awesome insights!

anonymous asked:

First off - I love this blog! I also have a question: I am a fanfiction writer and I'm currently struggling between the advice I've seen to cut all unnecessary scenes, and feeling like things are moving to fast. I feel like I'm jumping from one important plot-advancing scene to the next, and it's making relationships (romantic and platonic) and plot arcs happen too quickly. I don't want to just add in filler scenes, or only have 'big' scenes. Do you have any advice on finding a balance? Thanks!

I’m very glad you like my blog!  Thanks for your question :)

Filler is a complicated topic, because the term means different things to different people.  Some people think of “filler” as fluff scenes, just for entertainment and no plot advancement.  Some people hear “filler” and they conjure up images of overly-descriptive opening paragraphs, philosophical character dialogue… in essence, free license to leave work unedited for the sake of pacing.  Neither of these definitions are what I consider good writing.

However, I do use filler in my stories – just not this kind of filler.  If there isn’t any falling-action in our stories, we end up with what you’re facing right now: racing plot arcs and jumpy character development.  So what makes something qualify as “good filler”?

  • It’s entertaining and engaging.  No matter what part of the story you’re writing, it should be entertaining for the reader.  Writing is art, but novels are products – and your goal isn’t to get your readers’ money.  You’re trying to get their time, in a world where time is a valuable and limited currency.  You only get so many pages, so don’t allow any of them to be boring.
  • It reveals information about characters or setting.  You only get so many pages, so don’t waste time that could be spent in development.  Even if it’s in small ways – revealing a character’s relationship with their mother, an insight into your world’s culture, a difference between two characters’ worldviews, etc. – your readers will feel secured by this new information.  They won’t have to look over what they’ve read and wonder if they missed something crucial.  Whatever scene you’re writing, teach your readers something with it.
  • It advances the plot.  Filler is a great way to subtly move subplots forward or set things in motion that you can call back later.  I’ve found that filler scenes are best for stashing your Chekhov’s Guns, or pulling out your Red Herrings.  Even smaller developments, like emotional bonding between characters or an addition of a lighthearted subplot, can provide relief from the main plot without seeming like a throwaway piece.

So when planning “relief” scenes amidst plot-heavy chapters, make sure that they have at least two of these three qualities – otherwise they’ll probably come out in revisions, and you’ll have a pacing problem all over again.

If you have any further questions, hit me up and I’ll answer presently.  Thanks for your question, nonny, and good luck!


If you need advice on general writing or fanfiction, you should maybe ask me!

anonymous asked:

Hi steph!! First of all I really love your blog even though it distracts me from leaning for my studies. :D I wanted to ask if I am the only one who thinks the scene in TLD where Lady Smallwood gives Mycroft her number doesn't really fit in this episode? I mean it happens in the last few minutes of TLD shortly before John gets shot. And then this is never mentioned again?! Like this never happened... Why do they wrote this scene??

Hi Nonny!!

Goodness gracious, please get your studies done!! Way more important than this trash blog, LOL!

Yeah, you’re totally not the only one, Nonny. It really felt like it was just… tacked on as an afterthought. 

I feel like it was added in only to show Mycroft’s list in his notebook:

And to show the name inconsistencies with Lady Smallwood’s first name (to be fair, it could just be an easter egg pointing to their very much awareness to the name mishap)  :

Which then begs the question: What was the point if they were never going to do anything about it??

Another Chekhov’s gun to add to the pile for S4.

The Harry Potter books are filled with Chekhov’s Guns, but my absolute favourite comes from the first Potions lesson in Philosopher’s Stone. Snape asks Harry what you get when you add powdered root of asphodel to an infusion of wormwood.

Asphodel is a type of lily and in Victorian flower language it means ‘My regrets follow you to the grave’. Wormwood symbolises absence or bitter sorrow.

Put them together and you get ‘I bitterly regret Lily’s death’.

whatinbenaddiction  asked:

I hate how John punched a superintendent for calling Sherlock a freak but immediately forgives Mary for putting a freaking bullet in Sherlock's stomach. We all know how devastated John was every time Sherlock was in danger. How can he forgive Mary after knowing she lied to him, put him and Sherlock, his best friend whom he cares about the most in the world, in danger, and almost kills Sherlock? I hope it's all a nightmare in Sherlock's coma after he got shot *sigh*

Hey Lovely!

Well, for one thing, I don’t believe for a second that John forgave Mary, and I don’t believe Sherlock’s in a coma (though the way S4 turned out, is literally a retcon of the events from the past 7 years, so… terrible writing), but yeah, all of S4 is very OOC, especially John’s character, who was not only sidelined in favour of Mary but also was so wildly NOT our BBC John that it was ridiculous. All the actions the characters take contradict everything previously established in this universe, which is why some of us believe that it may be a “mirror” series. I’m a bit skeptical of that myself (because why make an OOC season when they could have just made an amazing one, other than to clue the general audience into the story not making sense without Johnlock), but I can see the merits of it, I suppose. 

I think it’s MORE likely that it’s an unreliable narrator narrative; they hinted at such in T6T (with Sherlock talking to Ella, I believe that THAT is the actual TRUE beginning of the episode, and that it is Sherlock trying to come up with a cover story for John killing Mary – who survived unbeknownst to them), and something went awry in TLD (an overdose of the TD-12 drug from both of them?, and Mary-as-Eurus got close enough to John to shoot him in the face (John’s TAB is TFP, and it’s him putting together all the pieces of not only the puzzle of S4 but of his and Sherlock’s relationship together).

Bleh, anyway, that’s my insane ramblings on the matter; I’m tired and just spewing whatever comes to my head right now. I feel like a lot of the series would be explained with the two biggest “why introduce these things if they’re meaningless” items in S4: John’s Note, and the TD-12 drug. These are the two things bothering me the most about the entire series, next to the OOCness of literally every character, but especially John.

Of course, there is the possibility that a) interference was had and they were forced to do a 180˚ on the narrative in the span of 1 year, or b) they really do think that they wrote something that makes sense and that it was actually the fantastic season they kept saying it was. I guess we’ll find out if-when a secret ep comes out or S5.