“Oh, my sweet summer child,” Old Nan said quietly, “what do you know of fear? Fear is for the winter, my little lord, when the snow falls a hundred feed deep and the ice wind comes howling out of the north. Fear is for the long night, when the sun hides its face for years at a time, and little children are born and live and die all in darkness while the white walkers move through the woods.”
“You mean the Others,” Bran said querulously.
“The Others,” Old Nan agreed. “Thousands of years ago, a winter fell that was cold and hard and endless beyond all memory of man. There came a night that lasted a generation, and kings shivered and died in their castles even as the swineherds in their hovels. Women smothered their children rather than see them starve, and cried, and felt their tears freeze on their cheeks.” Her voice and her needles fell silent, and she glanced up at Bran with pale, filmy eyes and asked, “So, child. This is the sort of story you like?”
I know that she spent her childhood in exile, impoverished, living on dreams and schemes, running from one city to the next, always fearful, never safe, friendless but for a brother who was by all accounts half-mad…a brother who
sold her maidenhood to the Dothraki for the promise of an army. I know that somewhere upon the grass, her dragons hatched, and so did she. I know she is proud. How not? What else was left her but pride? I know she is strong. How not? The Dothraki despise weakness. If Daenerys had been weak, she would have perished with Viserys. I know she is fierce. Astapor, Yunkai and Meereen are proof enough of that. She has survived assassins and conspiracies and fell sorceries, grieved for a brother and a husband and a son, trod the cities of the slavers to dust beneath her dainty sandalled feet. 🔥🖤
Cover is of the oracion seis arc. Y’know, A lot of people like the Oracio Seis as characters and that’s fine but I’ve heard many say the Oracion Seis is the arc where the quality of FT had a dip for the first time. If that is accurate than this is the most fitting cover in a while…
We open on Natsu and Zeref clashing. This will be the last scene that makes a lick of sense.
Natsu’s burning magic… I don’t know how the fuck that’s possible given the fact he hasn’t eaten Atlas’s hell flames
oh but we need to get to the next layer of bull shit and that’s back with BP and Jellal
Let’s break down the stupid of this page, first why is it going to blow up? Seriously this damage is nearly the same as the damage taken in the OS arc, but the christina didn’t explode. Actually I can tell you why it’s going to explode, “we need to add a level of urgency to make the scene more engaging” But you know, your facing the king of dragons so really there’s already enough tension.
Second, Your right, HOW IS IT FLYING!? Last time it lost a wing it took 3 mages with very specific powers to make it fly!
Third, Your mission, Anna? Hahaha Your damn mission was to make sure those dragon slayers made it across the gate, the mission to beat acnologia was theirs. Fuck off…
Oh fuck off. How does the fact it doesn’t have enough magic to fly suddenly become negated when Ichiya’s at the helm?
Oh, now isn’t this sweet. I’m suppose to care about the comic relief character in a guild that has been the butt monkey of this series for years and it’s the same comic relief character who appeared in this arc being completely useless? Gag me…
First of all, are you kidding me? Seriously? OK I thought Jellal doing this WAS protecting Erza. Because when plot convenience isn’t involved, ERZA DOES FINE PROTECTING HERSELF! Also, Jellal’s going to do a bang up job protecting her with all his bones broken.
But hey there’s a reason this needed to happen, Ichiya has constantly thought as Erza being his love interest but this is here to obviously show that Ichiya cares about her happiness and gives his blessing to jellal… OH WHAT FRESH HELL! Okay, Jellal doesn’t even know Ichiya has the hots for erza nor did he exhibit any of his running joke about hitting on erza, so now your scene loses weight to it.
This is something I will get into on the post chapter follow up but now we have the prioritizing of Jerza ruining the over all narrative.
So they ram the ship into Acnologia
oh god no
NO NO NO NO NO
Oh if this crap wasn’t bad enough I have something intercut between this moment and it’s something I know everyone’s dying to see: Nakama power defeating the final villain…
I love how not even Zeref is sure of this bull crap at first as if he knows this’ll never get a good explanation. Also this power to beat White Zeref comes from Natsu’s “Wild emotions”, call me crazy but I’m pretty damn sure last chapter this power was the the strength of the guild. Guess I should now expect not even continuity from a chapter ago not to be consistent.
Y’know for the mighty clash of flames between the Dragon king and white wizard thee guild is still in good shape
Wait why should I care about semantics when I have this to cut to…
Yep, Acnologia, king of dragons, Black Dragon of the apocalypse, was just defeated by a plot convenience hole, a comic relief character who isn’t even a member of Fairy Tail, and a character who was introduced not even 10 chapters ago…
No Jenny… No one won. Well at least none of the fans of Fairy tail did…
ggggggggggggGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGAAAAAAAAAAHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!! FAIL! YOU FAIL! GAHHHHH!!!!!!
*huff* *huff* OKAY believe it or not there’s still some chapter left to go
Yeah I’m surprised that recovery magic didn’t activate a little sooner.
Wow, even Natsu has gotten tired of this crap. Oh Zeref has become black again meaning he no longer hast Fairy Heart.
Post chapter follow up: OH WHERE DO I EVEN START! Well lets start at the end, there are those who will say “Acnologia will be back, there’s still 10 chapters left”. I don’t think so. There’s no indication of that being possible and the characters who were sacrificed were two non FT characters meaning there’s no urgency for their happy ending. Hiro wrote Acnologia so strong that there was no way he could write a decent way to beat Acnologia without having a deus ex machina involved. I don’t have the faith Acnologia comes back, I don’t know what comes next week or the week after but if Acnologia does come back great but right now… I have no words.
Zeref’s defeat, if this had happened on it’s own and it was the whole point of the chapter, then honestly I wouldn’t have hated it so much. I know this is something we try not to let spoil the story and it’s that we know Natsu will win. No matter how high the deck is stacked we know he would have won. But all of this feels so undeserved. The power of all the guilds feelings in the form of a pseudo fire dragon king mode able to overcome infinite power is just horse crap. But even so I actually might have accepted it if portrayed in a wa\y that makes great white wizard look like a moron. While I give props you manged to show the arm being burned, knowing wendy is in the guild those burns will last an hour at most.
Now the sacrifice of Anna, I’ve called that since she showed up so honestly I’m not surprised. But Jellal cheats death. I can’t help but wonder the idea of sacrificing Jellal to protect the woman he loves would’ve made an excellent parallel to simon. SHowing Jellal has come full circle, that even in death not only did he ensure the woman he loved was safe for the time being but her and those close to her would be safe for years to come. But no we had to gut this to have two characters that most people don’t care about give up their lives instead of the long time supporting cast member, who’s death would’ve carried more weight, all for the sake he gets a happy ending with his shp.
This once again follows the trend in this arc of ships taking priority over the narrative. The idea of Jellal and Erza getting together for their happy ending matters more than the conclusion for the villian hyped since tenrou. I know there are many who want Jellal and Erza to be happy together and there’s nothing wrong if you do but when it comes down to it, if you have to choose between a happy end for ship or a good conclusion for your story, it shouldn’t be a question what’s the priority.
Now some people don’t care. As they predicted Jellal wasn’t going to die given Hiro’s track record. People said “lol we know jellal wasn’t going to die” well that doesn’t excuse bad writing. Just because something is consistent, doesn’t stop it from being bad.
All I can say for this chapter as whole is this chapter was disrespectful. Not just to readers but to characters. This was disrespectful to the DS, BP, Jellal, Erza, FT, Zeref, Acnologia, even Anna. This chapter feels like it spit all over the series.
Ugh before I give this a rating I want to say I was talking to a friend of mine, they said while they may disagree with me on my opinions (and sometimes sugar coating of the series) they were amazed that I had hope that the series could still end well. And I carried that hope for the longest time but now, it feels like that hope’s gone for the first time. Every time there was something ad in the series we often tired to put hope into what we believed Hiro would give the proper time and effort, and that was something to look forward to. But now there’s almost nothing left (excluding ships). I know there is still 10 chapters left and hope isn’t “dead” but now we’re so past the breaking point, I don’t even know if what happens in those next chapters can atone for this.
Hiro… I know you have a new series you want to do and I think that’s great. I think you need a clean slate, but you have to remember you’re not writing your new series now, you’re still writing fairy tail. All I ask is you try Hiro Mashima, We’ve seen what it’s like when you do and all I ask is you do it again.
The cruiser arrived on West Island the next day, and each student was separated by dorm colors. Simon, TJ and the other Reds were off to the right, the Yellows in the center and the Blues to the left. Each of them were handed their school issue color jackets and duel disks by each of their dorm headmasters and some teachers.
“Cool jackets, I guess. Still gonna keep mine on. Wish I could’ve kept my own disk though. I’ve gotten used to the old bird…” TJ lamented. Simon buttoned up his jacket and looked himself over.
“Am I a handsome devil or what~? Gonna need to cut holes in my school jeans, but otherwise I kinda like the uniforms” the boy said, tail swaying from side to side slowly.
The other kids who had sat by TJ came over to him and Simon. The boy named Jr was looking slightly miffed.
“Caramba… I thought I did way better than this. I shoulda been put in Yellow, not the sticks!” Jr crossed his arms and frowned. The taller Gardevoir girls joined his side and smiled.
“Oh come on, kid. These don’t look that bad. The skirts could be a bit longer though. I feel so… Exposed…” Lumia tried pulling her skirt lower unsuccessfully.
“We could just ask our moms to send us more modest clothes. For now we’ll have to play the hand we’ve been dealt” Dahlia looked to the three fellow Reds. The tailed one and the one in the black jacket seemed okay with their lot in the academy. But the boy with the two toned hair looked like he might snap at any moment if he didn’t get promoted immediately…
“Oh, hello! My name’s Simon”
“Oh, we know who you are, short stack. We watched your duel at the entrance exams. Your deck and skills are amazing! I’m Dahlia, and this is my friend Lumia. We also sorta slacked on our written tests, but what can you do, am I right? Heehee~”
“Bonjour, Simon” Lumia greeted rather timidly.
“And this chili pepper here is Hanzo Jr. Just call him Jr for short” Jr scoffed and put his disk on his arm.
“Strong, silent type eh?” Simon joked. Jr looked up and locked eyes with the boy and scowled “Hm?”
“Are you… Making fun of ME?”
“N-no! I just meant you look like the kinda guy who lets his deck do all the talking for him!”
“Shut up, you don’t know me! I talk plenty! In fact, how about I shut YOU up and we duel right here, right now!” Jr activated his disk and was now fully facing Simon.
“Hey, Simon. Use your other deck against him” TJ instructed.
“What? Why? Do you think my Power Warriors won’t beat him?”
“No, it’s not that. My deck, my Red-Eyes are radiating energy… He has a legendary Dragon in his possession…” TJ pulled his own dragon from his deck and held it in his hand, and closed his eyes “…I see it. Long body, dark eyes, evil spirit within…”
Jr, puzzled, stopped glaring at Simon and paid attention to TJ instead.
“You have Serpent Night Dragon, don’t you” Everyone gasped at the accusation, Jr growled and lowered his gaze to his deck.
At once, he pulled the eponymous dragon from within his deck and revealed it “I do, what of it?”
Simon then revealed his own dragon, Seiyaryu “I have its rival. So you have a similar deck to this one?”
“No! YOU have a similar deck to MINE! You unoriginal copycat! We’ll let our dragons clash then, and I’ll prove mine is superior to yours! Duel!” The match began, the two kids returned their cards to their decks and shuffled each other’s cards. At last, they drew their hands and Simon made the first move.
“Okay, I summon Masked Dragon in defense mode and set two cards. Your move” (1400/1100 level 3 fire/dragon)
“Draw! I summon Axe Dragonute in attack mode. Attack his dragon!” (2000/1200 level 4 dark/dragon)
Axe Dragonute slays Masked Dragon.
“My masked Dragon’s effect activates. When it’s destroyed, I can summon a dragon from my deck with an attack of 1500 or less. I play Harden Armed Dragon in attack mode!” (1500/800 level 4 earth/dragon)
“After it attacks, my dragon goes into defense mode. I set a card face down and end my turn”
“On your end phase, I play one of my face down cards, Call of the Haunted! This lets me revive a monster from my graveyard, and I bet you know who’s coming back~” Masked Dragon revives in attack mode.
“Draw! I activate my second face down card, Dragon’s Rage. This lets my dragons deal piercing damage to your life points! Now, I sacrifice my monsters!”
“No! Not before me!!”
“And summon my level 7 dragon, Seiyaryu!” The mighty pink dragon erupts onto the field in attack position with a piercing roar! “As a bonus to tributing Harden Armed Dragon for a level 7 or higher dragon, Seiyaryu is now protected from destruction by card effects!”
Jr angrily glared down at his face down card, the now useless Mirror Force trap, then at the pink dragon before him.
“Seiyaryu, attack Axe Dragonute! Holy Emerald Flame!” Seiyaryu breathed it’s green fire and incinerates Jr’s dragon, and deals 1300 damage to him due to the Dragon’s Rage trap.
Jr 4000 -> 2700
“On my main phase 2, I activate from my hand, Super Rejuvenation. On my end phase, I’ll be able to draw a card for each dragon I tributed or discarded this turn. I sacrificed 2, and I end my turn, so I get to draw 2 cards!” Simon drew his cards and Jr began his turn.
“Rrrg… I draw” Jr drew his card and suddenly, his frown became a devious smile “Hey Simon, congratulations on summoning your Seiyaryu before I could summon my own dragon. But now I’ll be playing my own despite having no monsters to sacrifice! I activate the spell card Ancient Rules! With it, I can special summon a level 5 or higher normal monster from my hand! Please welcome to the field, Serpent Night Dragon!!” By the magic of Jr’s spell card, Serpent Night Dragon stormed the field and shrieked at its rival counterpart. Seiyaryu bared it’s claws and fangs and the aura of the two clashed on the field!
“What’s this energy I’m feeling??” Dahlia asked, trembling in place.
“It’s the intense rivalry between the legendary dragons and their masters. Simon summoned Seiyaryu before Jr could summon Serpent Night Dragon, and that angered both of them… This duel became 10 times more interesting now. But what will Jr’s next move be?”
“That’s right. Simon’s dragon is stronger and protected from destruction by card effects. Can Jr even touch Seiyaryu?” Lumia wondered, watching the pink and blue auras clash on the field.
“This raging aura… Do you feel it, Simon? This is my anger at you getting one up on me! Yeah, your dragon is stronger, but I bet you didn’t know I could do this!” Jr took a card from his hand and revealed it “I play a permanent spell! Evil Night Haze! Once per turn, this lets me target a monster you control, force it into defense mode and it loses 1000 defense points if I have a Serpent Night Dragon on my side of the field. Now my dragon can strike yours down!”
Seiyaryu goes to defense and loses 1000 defense points.
“Serpent Night Dragon, destroy your rival and prove you are the strongest dragon! Evil Night Haze!”
The evil dragon spews a dark cloud of burning smoke and destroys Seiyaryu.
“Main phase 2, I’ll set another card face down and summon Lord of Dragons in attack mode. Your move!”
“(Serpent Night Dragon defeated Seiyaryu… I guess my dragon wasn’t the only one that got some new toys to play with! Like this card…) Jr, this duel’s been quite the challenge! You’ve pushed me against a wall, and no one’s really done that to me in a long time. Not since TJ and I last dueled in fact”
TJ smiled at that. The last time they played, TJ barely scraped a win despite having some of his strongest cards out on the field, and that was only because Simon’s Seiyaryu card was fully supported by the very next cards he was about to play.
“Unfortunately, this duel’s gonna have to end right now, and it all starts with this card!” Simon revealed the card he had just drawn: the quick spell Silver’s Cry.
The Northrop Frye Theory of A Song of Ice and Fire (or, why you can be certain this series won’t have a downer ending)
The affinity between the mythical and the abstractly literary illuminates many aspects of fiction, especially the more popular fiction which is real enough to be plausible in its incidents and yet romantic enough to be a “good story,” which means a clearly designed one. (p 139)
This quote comes from Northrop Frye’s 1957 essay “Archetypal Criticism” in his book Anatomy of Criticism: Four Essays. An influential Canadian literary critic, Fye is especially known for his work on William Blake. I’d been familiar with his theory of the four mythoi (generalized story patterns) since high school, and while reading A Song of Ice and Fire I became convinced that Martin has to be aware of it as well. Thus I decided to read the entire essay it comes from to test the idea (not an easy task; it’s 110 pages of very dense text), and that conviction has grown to the point that I want to write the man to ask him directly.
Of course, it doesn’t entirely matter if Martin has read Frye’s work, because his mythoi are archetypes. Frye’s theory of archetypes doesn’t necessitate a collective unconscious like Jung’s; rather, he’s talking about the cultural legacy Western society has inherited primarily from Hellenistic and Biblical traditions, the tropes and symbols we all recognize instinctively. It’s part of our cultural unconscious, the background noise we’ve all received since childhood.
There’s a lot in this essay that could be applicable to aSoIaF, such as how wolves and dragons are classic archetypes of evil or at least dangerous and untamed nature, or how literature versus mythology gives you more freedom to subvert archetypal meaning, but I want to focus on his idea of mythos, and how he argues that there are four major mythoi, comedy, romance, tragedy, and irony, and that they archetypally correspond to the four seasons, spring, summer, autumn, and winter.
You should already be able to guess a little of where this is going.
All in black, he was a shadow among shadows, dark of hair, long of face, grey of eye.
this happened because @dreamofspring poked me and because i have no self control.
“He has an ally,” Lady Selyse said. “R'hllor, the Lord of Light, the Heart of Fire, the God of Flame and Shadow.” (Prologue, ACOK)
one of martin’s build-ups over the course of a clash of kings through a dance with dragons is the confusion surrounding who azor ahai reborn is on the part of the players within the series. from the moment that stannis’ entourage is introduced in the begninning of a clash of kings, it’s made clear both that selyse and melisandre believe that he is indeed the lord of light reborn, but also that there’s no proof beyond melisandre’s visions that he is. when melisandre is at the wall in a dance with dragons, she is shown a different vision, one that lines up much more with what the reader knows to be true:
Yet now she could not even seem to find her king. I pray for a glimpse of Azor Ahai, and R'hllor shows me only Snow.(Melisandre, ADWD)
that jon snow is likely that great hero that she envisioned, and that he, not stannis, will be the one to save the world from whatever apocalypse the winds of winter and a dream of spring have in store is hardly a surprising turn for the reader, however shocking it may be to the red priestess. jon snow, whose narrative traces the rise of a hero, has taken vows to wear the black for the remainder of his life, and to be “the watcher on the walls…the fire that burns against the cold, the light that brings the dawn, the horn that wakes the sleepers, the shield that guards the realms of men.” he has all the makeup of a shining hero, and yet one whose very birth is shrouded in mystery, in shadows.
shadows comprise one of the strongest visual themes in a song of ice and fire. they visually encapsulate those “shades of grey” that martin so enjoys examining in his thematic and character work. the imagery conflicts itself. do the shadows represent the light or the dark? r’hllor or the old gods of the north? jon’s bastardy or the potential for him to wield intense political power? or, perhaps, it is all of this, mixed together, for lines get blurred in the shadows.