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DwarfWeek - Day three: Dwarven languages

“The Dwarven language was created by Aulë, and was called Khuzdul. It was a strange language to Elves and Men, and few non-Dwarves learned it, because it was difficult, and the Dwarves kept it secret, preferring to communicate in the languages of their neighbors. Only one Khuzdul phrase was well known to outsiders: the ancient battle cry, going back to at least the First Age: “Baruk Khazâd! Khazâd ai-mênu!”, which means “Axes of the Dwarves! The Dwarves are upon you!”. The Dwarves taught Khuzdul carefully to their children, as a learned language, not a cradle-tongue, and thus the language changed very little over the ages, unlike those of other races. The Dwarves also devised a secret language of gestures to communicate between themselves in silence, the iglishmêk.“ 

"The Dwarves used Angerthas, a runic writing system based on Cirth. There were different variations of Angerthas, which varied by each Dwarven clan; the Dwarves of Khazad-dum had their own variation and introduced a number of unsystematic changes in the system. The Dwarves of Erebor also used a further modification of the system, which was known as Angerthas Erebor. Some examples of Angerthas were seen in notable Dwarven texts, including the Book of Mazarbul, Thror’s Map, as well as other objects such as the Key to the hidden door, the key which was given to Thorin Oakenshield.”

Let’s talk about Yuuri’s and Viktor’s decisions to continue skating competitively, shall we?


Prepare for a gigantic MEGA rant just like last time when I wrote meta on Viktor after episode 10. I just have no chill because I felt the need to address it on a large scale to get lots of things cleared up. If you read to the end you’re the real mvp. So, here goes. 

It seems like this has riled up and disappointed some people, so I want to take a look at it and share my interpretation of what went through the character’s heads. I’ve seen various metas discussing it, and while I’m generally open minded and interested in various interpretations some have made me upset. Why? Because some have even suggested that their decisions were based on manipulation and emotional force directed towards each other, and it made me sad to see, for Yuuri’s and Viktor’s relationship is more beautiful than ever at this point. The narrative has built towards this conclusion from the very start. It wasn’t a last minute addition or something we couldn’t see coming. It makes perfect sense.


Let’s jump to the most integral piece of dialogue we have.


This is incredibly important, because what does it show? That despite their conflict in the hotel they were able to treat it like the mature adults they are and decide to face their future individually. I repeat that once again. Individually. Yes, Viktor and Yuuri might be in love, but they are still their own persons with their own goals and desires and they acknowledge this. Their decisions are to be made on their own will, and not to be forced or persuaded by the other. They want to face the future together, that’s obvious, but they are not about to bend themselves and compromise that future either. It’s their lives. Their choice. So they decide to reflect over it alone, and then share what they came up with. Their future is theirs and if they come up with conflicting decisions, then so be it. They both need to do what’s right and rings true to themselves


But let’s head back to the hotel, because didn’t Viktor say this?


Yeah, he does. Does that mean he was forcing Yuuri to do another season, or that he forced himself to compete for another season to manipulate Yuuri into continuing? No. For me, it does not. This is all the result of a huge misunderstanding built slowly over the course of the whole season. What misunderstanding? Well, it’s voiced rather clearly: Yuuri always planned to retire after the GPF, and Viktor had no clue. Remember this?


This scene is so sweet, and so heartbreaking. It’s so important that we even get a flashback to it later in the episode. Yuuri always planned to retire once the GPF was over, in an anxious ridden, “unselfish” (read: selfish) desire to “free” Viktor from his duties as coach. What do Viktor say in response? Basically, “I want to stay with you forever”. And Yuuri’s heart breaks because well, he loves Viktor so much and would like to stay with him forever too, but he can’t. Why? Because Yuuri thinks he’s a liability and a bother not worthy of Viktor’s time and career. It’s not true, of course, and we leave this scene with a Yuuri struggling to let go off Viktor and an overjoyed Viktor because he sees no obvious end in sight, at this point.


Which brings us back to the hotel again.


You might say that hey, doesn’t Viktor react negatively to the fact that Yuuri made an individual choice? Yeah, he does. But the reason for that was that there was literally no communication between them about this. He feels betrayed. All these months, all his love, all his passion for Yuuri, is seemingly swept out the door as if it was nothing. He loves Yuuri and wants to stay with Yuuri because Yuuri was both the door to the future and the person waiting behind it, and Viktor is not ready to be cast aside. Important to note is that Yuuri do this out of love for Viktor, because he believes it’s the right thing to do and Viktor’s happiness is his first priority. It ends up not working out the way he wants, because due to their miscommunication his will to ensure Viktor’s happiness ends up with Viktor crying. This is the last stepping stone to them becoming fully equal, which has been an important aspect in the show all the time. In the end they find a satisfying conclusion, that sacrificing yourself for your partner is not a good thing, and that they can seek happiness individually but also side by side as long as you trust your partner to make their own choice. But first, they need to have this argument.


Of course he’s mad! I’d be furious as well. But what I like about this scene is how maturely he handles his anger. There’s no over the top drama, he doesn’t scream his lungs out or smash things. He cries and slaps away Yuuri’s hand, which is entirely justified since he has a right to protect his personal space. Also take note that Yuuri touches his hair, which he has expressed concern about earlier, and that Yuuri also reveal both his eyes. It’s very intimate, and not weird at all for Viktor to force his hand away. Yuuri initially wears a look of shock on his face at this response, because Viktor has always encouraged and invited Yuuri into that personal space before. Not now, however. Yuuri is taken aback in return by Viktor’s rejection and negative response to his decision.


Oh, Yuuri. Did Viktor ever actually say this? No, he alluded that he would like to stay forever with you. I wish you’d never retire. Seeing Yuuri give up (because that’s what it is, in my eyes, supported by Yurio’s monologue) upsets him, and of course he wants to skate with Yuuri again as well. It’s the charming Katsuki Yuuri, right? Viktor wants to face him as well. On the ice, as equals. Just as Yuuri desired for the past 12 years. He had no idea Yuuri was retiring so soon, and had most likely already planned to skate with him next season at this point, or at least considered it (remember the smile in ep 8). Viktor has probably desired this more and more as Yuuri’s love slowly brought his passion for skating back. We can gradually see Viktor get more and more into what happens on the ice over the course of the season, only to peak in episode 11 when all the excitement rushes back to him through Yuuri’s skate. His life was void until Yuuri stepped into it and filled it with light, and now that light is pushing away the darkness that made everything in Viktor’s life dull and meaningless. That includes skating. Yuuri made it possible for Viktor to love skating again, and remember all the thrills it used to give him. I believe that at the start of the series Viktor has no burning desire to return to the competitive scene, but he has major character development over the course of the series, thanks to Yuuri, and this reflects in the choice he ultimately makes. He’s a changed person in the end, on to start a new chapter in his life, with Yuuri and newfound inspiration.


But still, they decide to think it over individually. They’re still upset, because now there’s a wall between them that didn’t exist before. Yuuri breaks down this wall rather excellently, but note that before his free skate, he is still very much determined to retire. Take a note of his use of “their”.


This is an important line as well, and after this things start becoming very interesting. Please head under the read more, and if you’re on the app you have my sincere apologies.

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