What proof do we have that Eris is abusive, other than that characters have said he is? Most held a similar opinion of Rhys, what's the difference? That we have a first person narrator who is privy to the backstory of one but not the other? I'm not trying to be aggressive but I want to know your thoughts. I thought showing was more important than telling in storytelling.
Okay then, like, what ‘proof’ have we got for literally 90% of the things in this series???? Feyre is a 19 year old human girl in a world full of immortal fae. You want an eye witness account for everything in this thing, do you?
How do I know the war happened the way they said it did? Feyre never saw it, she’s only had characters tell her about it. How do I know Rhys actually hated what he did with Amarantha and didn’t just swap sides right at the end? How do I know Rhys’ dad sucked but his mother was a good person, I’ve only heard him tell me about her, I’ve seen it. How do I know Tamlin’s brothers were awful? Never seen them either. How do I know Beron is really that awful either, I mean maybe he’s wearing a mask too and all the characters are just wrong. How do I know Mor is queer? I’ve never seen her with a girl before, I just have her word for it, maybe she lied. How do I know literally anything in this entire series because WE GET TOLD MOST THINGS NOT SHOWN THEM.
This is what happens when you have a limited first person pov. The character HAS to get told things in order to tell us things like ???? A little bit of common sense please, do you want me to like, historically fact check Prythian for everything that Feyre tells us about it???
And tbh SJM has a pretty crappy habit of doing the whole ‘telling over showing’ thing anyway. See: the entirety of the Throne of Glass series, Mor’s powers in ACOTAR (she’s awesome, really, we promise, we just haven’t actually SEEN her do anything), the assertions that Rhys and co are ~the most powerful ever~ have I actually SEEN that? Can I actually see that? No. Do I really question these things? No. Because I understand that this is the only way I can actually get some information out of this story and if I only went with what I ‘saw’ and disbelieved everything else I’d have literally nothing??
And when it comes to the whole Eris thing, like, dude, it’s not just a couple of characters who’ve said he’s abysmal it’s like, wait let me make a list:
Tamlin: “His father had her put down. Executed, in front of Lucien, as
his two eldest brothers held him and made him watch.” That would be Eris. So at best you’ve got conflicting statements here.
Lucien: “Lucien crossed his arms, leaning against the back of the
couch. “I have to agree with Cassian. Eris is a snake.” M, yes, Eris, HIS OWN BROTHER. If anyone was going to know Eris was ~not a bad person~ it’d be Lucien. Lucien who lived in that court. Who knew him. Who Eris apparently cared enough to protect/save, according to him. Eris who apparently cares so much about his mother (as we have seen Lucien does SEEN that is SEEN with our own two eyes) Why the hell would Lucien not know Eris was ‘wearing a mask’. Or maybe…Eris really does suck.
Rhys: “Eris refused to marry her. Said she’d been sullied by a
bastard-born lesser faerie, and he’d now sooner fuck a sow. […]Rhys said with
soft wrath, “Eris left her for dead in the middle of their woods.” Idgaf how he tries to spin it later, this is what happened.
Cassian: “You’re working with that prick,” Cassian cut in, whatever
catching-up now over, apparently. He moved to Mor’s side, a hand on her back.
He shook his head at Azriel and Rhys, disgust curling his lip. “You should have
spiked Eris’s fucking head to the front gates.”
Amren: “Your whole family is despicable,” Amren said to Lucien.
Mor, whose face went white with dread. […]Or at Eris, heir
to the Autumn Court, as he strolled into the room.
And I had the terrible sense that Mor had gone somewhere far,
far away as Eris set down his goblet and said, “You look well, Mor.”
The sight of him triggers actual real panic attacks and flashbacks that we can literally see from Feyre’s POV. Five hundred years after the fact and Mor is still traumatised enough by what he did to her to react like this even after all that time.
Then we have Feyre’s POV herself. Through her we’ve seen Eris laughing alongside his other brothers as Lucien was tortured and nearly killed.
“I don’t suppose your handsome brothers know, Lucien,” she
“If we did, Lady, we would be the first to tell you,” said the
tallest. He was lean, well dressed, every inch of him a court-trained bastard.
Probably the eldest, given the way even the ones who looked like born warriors
stared at him with deference and calculation—and fear.
Ah, yes, that would be Eris actively promising help to Amarantha in order to damn Feyre and continue her reign. Then there’s the way Eris hunts down Lucien and Feyre in the Winter Court, actively harms them both. So that’s like…Basically every single main character in this book who’s told you Eris sucks.
What’s the basis for believing that he doesn’t, out of interest? I mean what ‘evidence’ do you have that he is actually wearing a mask, what do you have that’s so strong it goes against the testimony of multiple characters? Oh I know! You have Eris’ word for it and that’s it. Wow. So unbiased. So convincing. Eris tells us he’s not really a bad guy and that outweighs the half a dozen people who tells us he is! That’s just. Damn. What logic. Can’t argue with that.
Also, like, I’m sorry, but Rhys’ arc was done properly, Rhys’ redemption wasn’t a retcon it was a followed-through on plan. There were hints UtM that Rhys was not as black as he was painted (He killed the Summer Court faerie outright rather than leaving him to suffer, he repeatedly came to visit Feyre in her cell when no-one else would, he was honest with Feyre about the treatment he received at Amarantha’s hands (a vulnerability on his part), he told her why he was making her dance every night as well as the steps he put in place to protect her, he sent music to her and saved her life, he saved her life and Tamlin’s with the kiss (which Feyre is aware of), he tried to save Feyre’s life while Amarantha was torturing her)
Rhys was a complex, morally grey character UtM and it’s possible to show a different side to him and a ‘mask’ because there were always hints of him wearing one. What if Ianthe told Feyre she was actually a secret agent working for Prythian but she was forced to act the way she did to keep her cover? What if Amarantha said she’d only dominated Prythian that way to save it from something worse and she too was wearing a mask and working for the greater good? What if Hybern said there was a bigger threat facing them and he had an ulterior motive to this war (and also, I mean, how do you really know Hybern is that awful, we’ve only ever had people tell us about him, maybe he’s misunderstood too!!!!) @valamerys wrote this out far better than I could in this post, read it too.
My thoughts are pretty simple, tbh: SJM decided to “”””””redeem”””””” Eris, likely to have him set-up to take over Autumn, now Lucien isn’t an option for that before what with the whole dramatic lost son of Day thing and she did a crap job of it. Like this isn’t some grand morality based character debate that’s going on here, SJM just handled this poorly. In order to make him seem not so bad she had to undo all of the canon that she’d set in place before hand and offer ‘alternative’ explanations for what happened that we’ve never heard about.
If she planned this all beforehand, if Eris was always wearing a mask why weren’t there hints of it before? Why didn’t she have Tamlin tell Feyre he got an anonymous tip-off the day he saved Lucien’s life from his brothers (which is what Eris claimed). Why wouldn’t Lucien defend him a little, say at least he cared about their mother/was sometimes kinder to him than the others? Why wouldn’t Rhys say that in the arranged marriage that petrified Mor, Eris was as unwilling as she was, that he argued against it? (Eris would have gone through with this marriage regardless of what it did to Mor if she hadn’t slept with Cassian) Why wouldn’t Eris stay quiet UtM or not show up to watch Lucien’s torture (which he does repeatedly)? Why, why, why, why, why would SJM not do something to show us that there might be more to Eris? Unless this was just a sloppy, last minute retcon to redeem a gross, abusive character who still to do this day petrifies his victim?
Like, if you consider showing to be of more importance than telling in stories….You’ve picked a mighty weird hill to die on here with Eris. Because this is literally the worst example of telling not showing in this entire series. There is no basis for anything that happens with Eris’ character in ACOWAR and the only thing we have stacked against the evidence of two and a half books is what Eris says and how he personally spins the story like ????
Idk dude, we can have a convoluted, let’s bend over backwards to redeem this guy and show he was misunderstood and has been wearing a mask so convincing it’s never ever ever cracked even once this entire time, to anyone! Even people who’ve known him for centuries….Or we go with the simpler: SJM really didn’t plan or execute this story very well at all. Which seems more reasonable?
Your name is Grog Strongjaw, and you’re still getting used to the idea of a family that supports you but doesn’t push you. You’re still not exactly used to someone supporting your ideas, and the love your found family has for you still blows your mind. You have literally defeated the man who made your past life hell. He wasn’t your family. The ones you love now are. You love the one you prank but still knows how to dish it back out. You love your other tiny friend, and the peaceful one you taught to control her rage. You love the two long-range fighters and you wish you could protect them but they’re too far away. But most of all, you love your tiny sister. If you ever hurt her, you would probably hurt yourself. You trust her with all your heart, and she’s never broken that trust, so you help her as best you can in battle. Since your childhood, you’ve learned how to control your rage and use it to your benefit. You do it for one reason: family.
Your name is Pike Trickfoot, and you would do anything for your family. You stay holy because Sarenrae wants you to, but sometimes there needs to be some vengeance for the people that hurt the people you love. You love the druid who helps you with healing your friends. You love both of the salty half-elves, both of whom you have brought back from the dead. You love your fellow gnome, especially the banter you two have. You love the only human in your little family, and you’re so proud that he is done with that little demon that had taken hold of his heart. And you especially love your goliath brother who you couldn’t be prouder of. You’ve done so much, and there’s still so much more to be done, but most of all-you’re going to protect your family.
Your name is Vex’ahila and you want to save everyone. You want to save your family most of all. You’ve gone through so much, and your mind sometimes tells you things you know aren’t true. A broken man once told you that you weren’t worth anything, that you were just a killer, an unproven ally. You know that isn’t true, and the people you love prove that to you every day. You love the biggest guy on your team, that he will fight so close but know exactly when to dodge your arrows. You love the tiny holy one, and would do anything to protect her. The other small one is absolutely hilarious and is basically the father you never had. The druid is the one you’re able to talk about certain things with, conversations no one else would get. Your boyfriend tinkers and you couldn’t be prouder than him for how far he’s come from that demon. And finally, you love your twin most of all. He was there for you when no one else was, literally traded his life for yours, and will be by your side forever. Your name is Vex’ahlia and this is your family.
Your name is Vax’ildan and you’re not exactly sure how you got here. Somehow, you’re the moral compass of this group you’re in even though you’re probably one of the angstiest people you’ve met. You traded your life for your sister, and you’re not sure if it was the worst or best decision of your life. Now, you’re a paladin for the goddess of death and you do everything in your power to keep your family from crossing into her domain because you never want to lose them because you love them. You love the absolutely hilarious gnome who has you in stitches when you’re not fighting for your life. You love the tinkerer, but if he hurts your sister he is a dead man. You love the only other one who serves a god directly, and it’s a little strange because they’re different gods, but it’s nice. You love the big guy you prank back and forth, even if the pranks are kind of stupid. Your girlfriend is amazing and can do so many cool things, but you love her because she is herself. You love your twin, who you would protect with your life. She has gotten so far and you love watching her progress. You trust these people with your life because they’re your family.
Your name is Keyleth and you couldn’t be prouder. Of yourself and your family. You have worked so hard to get to the point of completing your lifelong quest, and it’s done. Finally. The first time you tried one, you were alone. Now you have people you trust with you. You’re so proud of everyone you love. You love the small one, even if her complete trust in her god kind of worries you at times. You love the one who is always there to cheer you up, and strangely impart some wisdom if you need it. You love the one you can talk about your boyfriends with, because sometimes they’re stupid. You love the one who taught you how to control your rage. You needed that. You love your amazing boyfriend, and you love that he will always support you. Most of all, you think, you love your best friend. You thought you were the epitome of ‘opposites attract’, but it seems you have more in common than you ever thought. This family has helped you get to where you are, and you couldn’t be more proud or loving.
Your name is percival fredrickstein von musel klossowski de rolo iii, and that name comes with power you’re not exactly sure you’re fit to carry. You worry that you would be a poor leader, so you leave the actual leading to others in your group. You will put forward ideas, but typically let others talk about it if it’s only your family. When regarding nobles, however, you will take the lead because you know exactly how to speak to them in a way to protect your family because you love them so much. You love the singing one, even if he tries to fuck with you on a regular basis. You love the big guy, but it sure is fun to ‘title’ him-it makes him so happy. You love your holy friend, especially her hugs and one-liners. You love the only one who you are behind in amount of angst. You love your girlfriend, and you love being in the back with her, watching her notch and release every arrow. You love your best friend, who you couldn’t be prouder of. She’s the good influence, and you’re the bad. You are so happy that your family still stuck by your side even when there was a demon trying to take over your mind. You couldn’t love them more if you tried.
Your name is Taryon Darrington and you wish you knew what you are doing. But, you don’t. You want to prove to your family that you are capable, but that’s tiring out to be difficult. This group is amazing, and you wish you could be on their level. You can see the love they have for each other, and you can only hope to be a part of that love eventually.
Your name is Scanlan Shorthalt and you don’t really know what’s going on. You stumbled into adventuring and you don’t know if it’s for you. You love your family, but families can fight. You want to stay with them, but even though you love them, you’re not sure if they love you right back. You’ve come so far, fought so many physical monsters, but you have no idea how to fight the ones living in your mind. You can’t sing a fun tune at them to make them go away, so you left, trying to leave the demons behind. Little do you know, your family is still broken. It will always be a little broken, but you helped slowly mend it. Now the crack is widening without you there and you have no idea, so there is no way you will fix it. You came so far and accomplished so much, but apparently your mind has made you think your found family doesn’t love you. They do.
Your name is Vox Machina and you are a group of broken people making a family. It’s a broken family for sure, but you’ve seen the worst in each other and make each other better. The only problem is, there are a few giant cracks and you’ve lost your glue.
The band finishes, and the SINGER addresses the (thin) crowd. SINGER: Alright, one more for y’all before we break. Do I hear any requests? MIA: “I Ran”.
Sebastian turns. Sees Mia, looking at him with a defiant grin, enjoying her power. He thinks – then recognizes the face.
Roadkill (2x16) is still one of my favorite episodes on the show, in terms of writing. The surprise/twist ending is a difficult thing to pull off in writing; you have to balance the themes of the entire story carefully, and even then it can fall through; most of the time, the surprise only works once. Roadkill, I perpetually forget that Molly is dead. I forget to look at the episode through the Winchester’s eyes, where she’s a ghost. The twist catches me again and again, because it’s so well written. And part of that (oddly enough, for a favorite) is because the story is being told from an outsider POV. We’re being told Molly’s story, not the Winchesters.
Except we are being told the Winchester’s story. Subtext, glorious subtext…
A woman makes a knee-jerk reaction trying to save her family; her husband is forced to live without her, while she’s trapped where she died.
A man who lost his wife is consumed by grief, trying to find and kill the person that took away his life and his wife.
Sam and Dean are on a hunting trip, trying to save someone, when a man consumed with revenge stops them in their tracks (and kills the physical representation of Dean’s soul); he then continues to demand that they let him finish the hunt his way.
Mary, John, and the boys. Have I mentioned I love the writing on this episode?
The thing that I find myself unable to let go of is how… paradoxical Greely is, and with him John. Normally when John comes into the show, he’s a source of conflict. I mean, he’s the source of conflict; Mary dying may have been the starting incentive for the whole show, but John acts as the antagonist for the majority of S1 (and in case anyone decides to leap down my throat; antagonists are simply the characters that are acting at counter to the protagonists’ desires. John’s s1 actions are what stands between Sam and Standford (or finding out about Azazel), and between Dean having all of his family together. It isn’t until the last 1/3 or ¼ of s1 that Meg and Azazel become active antagonists for the boys.) His death in s2 is the antagonist of the boy’s emotional arcs.
And then perpetually after s2 is over, and his ghost is ‘laid to rest,’ he’s brought up in negative connotations. The time travel episodes are full of this dichotomy between past-John and present-John, this sense of “man what the hell happened to you?” Even up into s12, we have the subtext of Mary remembering this wonderful, sweet man, loving father, and Dean’s experience being… completely other.
As an audience, and as a fandom, we’re left with this bitter sentiment towards John. We get to see what he became, we follow Sam and Dean as their illusions about him are shattered after his death; we get to learn his greatest sins, with the death of Bill Harvelle, the existence of his other family; the implied neglect, the secrets, the final order to kill Sam if necessary…
We’re left with ghost Greely, in short. Dean, in 2x16, makes the comment that “I don’t like em (ghosts) and I sure as hell ain’t gonna apologize for em.” That’s pretty comprehensive of his attitude towards John at that moment too; while Sam is trying to be understanding of why the dead did what they did (this episode is such a microcosm for where the characters are in s2).
And that’s where the paradox is. Because… there’s plenty of material present in 2x16 to allow the audience to be sympathetic toward Greely. This ghost monster was a loving husband who wrote sweet love letters; who had a happy life. He’s as much the victim in the episode as Molly is; someone killed him, and because of that his wife ended up dead. And it’s so easy as the audience to ignore the past and focus on the present, because the present is where the danger is.
Complex characters are hard to deal with; we like to divide the world into black and white, no contrasts, no shades of grey, no inherent contradictions. This crops up in fandom so much, especially with John. Especially with meta, because we tend to look at the story through the eyes of Dean or Sam, and it’s hard to be positive through their eyes. 2x16 lets the audience step back a bit and examine everything, because there’s an outsider pov; and that’s something that’s missing from most of John’s story.
don’t ask me when i grew obsessed with them i’ve been obsessed with them separately forever but i’m obsessed with them TOGETHER but ofc the show won’t give me a SINGLE SCENE of them ALONE i always end up shipping the ships who never get anything.
I had to seriously narrow this down, because while I do definitely love all of Ash’s traveling companions for different reasons, I know the four that I identify with heart and soul, through and through, time and time again. They represent a lot of things I love so much in my own life!
Misty, Dawn, Iris and Clemont are my favorites.
So pokeani, thank you for giving me these guys even though you’re being outrageously selfish when it comes to showing me more Iris, I love them and they mean the world to me!