If every man was a piece of literature, a Novel guy would be a guy who is loaded with intriguing and compelling features, information, flexibility, inspiration, and all the wonders of a good book where every new chapter keeps you on your toes. These are the guys I like. Because they’re deep thinkers, grounded, with a strong sense of self and a humble sense of adventure. I can reread then over and over again, and never get tired of the familiarity.
Some guys are like Newspapers. They can tell you all sorts of things many of which will shock and intrigue you, but most of the things you learn from them you will find are not relevant to you and therefore, you will find them disposable and boring.
Some guys are like magazines. They have all the makings of an idealistic partner. They are flashy and attention grabbing just like ads. The facades that they put up are either superficial, and you find out that what their selling is far from anything you’d actually be proud to call your own, or the product is exactly as it describes and there is nothing deeper to read about these guys. So you stack them neatly on the shelf or the coffee table and let em collect dust until a guest brings them up for the sake of conversation: the hot topic.
Because it’s so TRAGIC. I mean, once you get past the fact that they’re twins, you see how complex their relationship is. And it’s fascinating in a I-can’t-look-away-from-this-trainwreck sort of way.
So much of Cersei’s love for Jaime comes from a very angry, very insecure place. As a woman in Westeros, her life and what she can do with it is so incredibly limited. She sees Jamie as a…vessel almost? He is her best self, the external reflection of who she wishes she could be, and also a constant reminder of her limitations as a woman. That enrages her, but also makes her cling to that relationship. And because of this, I don’t think she sees a very clear distinction between the two of them. Whenever she talks about Jaime, it’s almost always in relation to her own identity. Meanwhile, Jaime is your typical knight character turned on it’s head. He loves Cersei and wants to save her (from Robert, from herself), and he does seem to see her as her own person. Of course, as the books go on, their relationship crumbles: Jaime loses his hand, which Cersei feels as her own loss. Jaime realizes how toxic their relationship is and does not save her from the Walk of Atonement. Jaime will (I think) be the one to kill Cersei (which I hope will be an act of mercy, but who knows). Etc. etc.
All of this to say that Cersei and Jaime are gloriously fucked up and tragic, and I tend to like things that are fucked up and tragic.
The old man replied: “I saw how you lectured. You seemed to be anxious at the judgment of your listeners. You wove witty jokes into the lecture to please your listeners. You heaped up learned expressions to impress them. You were restless and hasty, as if still compelled to snatch up all knowledge. You are not in yourself.”
Illustrations from The Red Book or else Liber Novus by Carl Gustav Jung. No matter his artistic fluency, Jung never saw himself as an artist, his images are representative of a religious, of a spiritual experience in which Jung confronted his own unconscious, a source both personal and collective. In his risky and ambivalent quest Jung meets his Guardian Angel, a wise spirit named Philemon, his ‘alter ego’, a prophet coming from the past to help Jung know himself better. That’s what The Red Book is all about after all, Jung’s transcedence of his own ‘ego’ echoing gnostic beliefs, awakening ghosts of the past that are also about to emerge from the future, where a symbolic language is more important than the language of everyday mundane affairs and a secret esoteric life can re-inforce one’s connection to personal authenticity, what would Jung call “personal myth”. Vera Bousiou
(All excerpts are from Ray Bradbury’s The illustrated man. Any words from his story are italicized.)
(Y/N) lay curled up on their bed, their eyes scanning over the words in front of them as they drank in every word, an almost high coming over them as they did. The story painted such a vivid picture for them that it was hard not to read the entire book in one sitting, something they had done quite frequently but they had promised themself that they’d savor this book, take in every word and sentence until their head ached but nearly 120 pages in and that promise was flying out the window. (Y/N) was so in depth in the book that they could barely here the door creak open when it did, the soft sound of feet on their shabby carpet. In fact it wasn’t until a certain supersoldier laid beside the reading body that (Y/N) snapped out of their book trance, gasping softly.
“Bucky!” (Y/N) exclaimed, “You scared me!” Bucky gave them a sleepy little smile as he closed his eyes, humming to himself.
“Sorry doll,” He whispered, nuzzling his face against the pillow beside them. “What’re you still doing up? I thought you’d gone to bed ages ago,” (Y/N) smiles at their lover sweetly as they reach out, gently brushing some of his hair away from his eyes.
“I’m actually reading,”
“It’s called the illustrated man, it’s really good,”
“Really?” Bucky cracks an eye open to look at (Y/N), his eyes glazed over with exhaustion. (Y/N) nods, cracking a smile as they glanced at the words a few paragraphs ahead.
“It’s really good,”
“What’s it about?” Bucky asks as he shifts a little closer to (Y/N), draping an arm over their leg as he pressed a gentle kiss to their hip.
“It’s about a illustrated man, he’s covered in tattoos but every night the tattoos will shift and change. These tattoos essentially predict the future-”
“Will you-” Bucky yawns a bit, licking his lips afterwards. “Will you read some to me?” (Y/N) smiles as they nod, one hand reaching down to play with Bucky’s hair while the other kept the book upright.
“They moved away. Suddenly the floor plates were laced with bone and white skulls that screamed,” Bucky curls against (Y/N) more, resting their head on their warm thigh as they recite the words to him.
“The captain did not dare look down, and over the screaming he said ‘Is this where Perse is?’ turning in at a hatch.” Bucky shifts once again, wrapping more of himself around (Y/N). (Y/N) halts in their reading, looking down at Bucky fondly. He looked so sweet like this, all sorts of sleepy and affectionate, his face pressed against (Y/N)’s thigh to the point that it was squishing his cheeks. (Y/N) smiles a bit as they sigh, running their fingers through Bucky’s rather long hair.
“Why’d you stop?” He asks, lifting his head up just enough to look at (Y/N) sleepily.
“Sorry…you just look really cute like this,” Bucky smiles sleepily, his eyes closing once again. He hums, resting his head back against (Y/N)’s legs.
“Well thank you,” (Y/N) gives him a look over, noting the way half his body was curled against them and the other half was not. With a sly little smirk (Y/N) parts their legs, allowing Bucky’s head to fall off their lap.
“(Y/N), what are you-”
“I want you between my thighs,” Bucky looks up at (Y/N), smirking just a bit.
“Doll, I’d love to but I am way too tired to even-”
“Not like that you dork,” (Y/N) smiles, shaking their head lightly. “Like when I sit on your lap, I want you to sit on mine,” Bucky eyes them warily, his sleep deprived eyes looking them over a few times.
“So you want me to sit in between your legs?” (Y/N) smiles a bit more, nodding.
“You’re already half curled up on me, why not just sit here instead?” Bucky looks between (Y/N)’s legs only for a moment before crawling between them, resting his larger body against their chest. His back presses against (Y/N)’s chest and he curls up against them a bit, pulling their sheets over their legs to keep them warm. “You ready?” (Y/N) asks, scratching at Bucky’s head again. The man nods, yawning a bit as he does. (Y/N) smiles as they wrap their arms around his waist, holding the book out in front of them as they attempt to find where they had left off. Finding their spot, (Y/N) gives the top of his head a quick peck before continuing on with their story.
“The captain walked to a port. He smelled of menthol and iodine and green soap on his polished and manicured hands. His white teeth were dentrificed, and his ears scoured to a pinkness, as were his cheeks,” Bucky shifts a bit, turning his head to rub his nose against (Y/N)’s neck, his body nearly going slack against theirs. He inhales deeply and exhales too, his warm breath hitting (Y/N)’s neck softly.
(Y/N) could tell he was on his way out, he never did last long when (Y/N) would read to him and they were sure their warmth and arms around him wasn’t helping. With a tender smile (Y/N) continues on, resting their chin atop the brunette’s head.
“His uniform was the color of new salt, and his boots were black mirrors, shining below him. His crisp crew-cut hair smelled of sharp alcohol. Even his breath was sharp and new and clean.” Suddenly Bucky’s breath evens out, a steady in and out against (Y/N)’s neck, his nose bumped right up against (Y/N)’s pulse point; he’d fallen asleep.
(Y/N) gingerly sets their book down, settling it down on their bed as they reach over and flicks off their bedside lamp, only shifting enough to get comfortable against their headboard. With a little huff of air (Y/N) reaches down and grabs their sheets, pulling it up to Bucky’s chin to keep him warm.
“Goodnight my sweet angel,” (Y/N) whispers, pressing a kiss to Bucky’s head as they close their eyes, allowing their own exhaustion to take over. Bucky shifts once more in his sleep, this time the movement much more subtle, a simple quirk of his lip was all, a simple, sleepy, and all too adorable smile.
One thing I’m disappointed the Narnia films didn’t portray was Susan’s lack of faith in Narnia.
In the books, she spends most of the time saying things that implies that even while in Narnia, she doesn’t believe that any of it can be real. She doubts Aslan in Prince Caspian and she’s the one always reminding her siblings that they’re just children, that they’re from Finchley and have no place as monarchs in a magical world. She has a very practical mind and with practicality comes logic and common sense, all of which Narnia seems to defy in her eyes.
While the films definitely do give you a great representation of that practical Susan who thinks it best not to get involved and to do as little damage as possible, they don’t give you much implication that she ever doubted beyond the initial disbelief in Narnia early on in The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. We only really get this small conversation in Prince Caspian between Susan and Lucy by the fireplace about doubting Aslan (a scene that was in the book, actually) but it’s almost as if she entirely forgot that conversation later as she spends the rest of the film shooting Peter disapproving looks for making stupid mistakes.
It’ll definitely confuse audiences that never read the books if we ever get a Last Battle film (or if the beginning production of The Silver Chair is any indication, it’ll be a matter of when we get a Last Battle film) when Susan is suddenly not a Friend of Narnia (if the writers decide to be faithful to the books). Even with some sort of explanation, we didn’t visually see Susan’s lack of faith in the films, so once the “she’s no longer a Friend of Narnia” concersation pops up, it’ll just be a cause for confusion, especially with how Susan was portrayed. Susan in the films was rather a warrior queen and just a mother figure and really gives no indication that she would lose faith in Narnia at any point. It would actually be rather strange for someone who’s fought in battles and seemed to have so much influence over her siblings and the country to suddenly go “Oh, Narnia? What a silly game that was that we played as children.” In the books we have a gentle girl who cares for her siblings and is only roped in to the whole Narnia ordeal because she’s trying to protect her family instead of through actual faith. She’s detached and doesn’t seem to actually involve herself into the workings of the kingdom. While not participating in wars doesn’t mean that she doesn’t care for the country (as someone who’s anti-war, I would do the same as her), we do get a few hints in the way people speak about Susan as queen and they all indicate that she wasn’t as involved or as attached to Narnia as her siblings. So in the books, the loss of faith was a bit of a surprise because it wasn’t as emphasized, but, through some closer analysis, it makes sense that she would lose faith or “forget”. But in the films, it seems to come out of left field.
It’s just one of those things that I wish the creators of the films made sure to show. It really gives the films that extra depth that the books carry and, since the books are considered an allegory by most, it would have been a great portrayal of that person that struggles with their faith, whether it be as a Christian or Muslim or whatever (because honestly, Susan’s struggle with faith most can see themselves in no matter what their faith is). It’s just one of those things that the films changed/ignored from the books that were actually what made the books as great as they were.
So many swen I feel are starting to lose all faith and hope in ouat, even the ones who were startlingly swendgame positive. Of course I get it, they're starting to destroy the one thing that made this show great (swan mills family) all in favor for daddy hook and cs. I'd not be surprised if they honestly kill Regina off at this point, I mean if it's the last season what could they lose (besides dignity) ? I just wanted to ask are you still aboard the hope train ?
Hiatus fever. It’s a thing. Last thing we’ve seen was Regina and Emma holding hands in the wish realm. Emma singing one day her prince will come while Regina showed up dressed like a prince. I think all it takes to know where I stand is to scroll down my blog a little. In the last couple of months I’ve written more than a few posts.
The Guide Ruby is Emma’s wolf. Her story guides us to the truth, just like the wolves made Graham remember who he was.
Emma’s Superpower We think Emma’s superpower is failing, but there was always one exception to the rule. Emma can lie to herself. Denial.
Hook as the Animus Hook represents a part of Emma she needs to make peace with. It also fits in with what looks like Hook and Emma parenting Henry. It’s about Emma wondering if the darkest parts of herself are fit to be a parent.
The musical The musical episode fits in with @colyssa’s Women who run with the wolves meta and is a great opportunity to show us how the characters are really feeling. It might be a way to break through the denial.
One of the parts I hadn’t gotten to yet, was research. I didn’t know anything about fairy tales and I felt like I didn’t understand the show. There are several schools on the interpretation of fairy tales, but luckily Adam gave us one clue. The book Uses of Enchantment was what got him thinking about Fairy Tales in the first place, so we know that they are using the depth psychology approach.
All of the books - you can find a selection here - my more recent theories are based on can be linked back to this book. To Freud, Jung and depth psychology. The references on the show are abundant. It suddenly makes everything make sense. Every part of the show becomes relevant. There are no plot holes and the story threads aren’t dropped, the continuity is in the recurring themes like abandonment, abuse and killing fathers. With every new story we get extra elements… and while everything is relevant, Emma, Regina & Henry are more obviously than ever at the core of this story. If you don’t recognize that, you can’t begin to understand the psychology and the mythology. You can’t decipher the clues. Heteronormativity actually serves to keep the story hidden.
The thing with depth psychology is that it assumes the truth lies beneath the surface. We repress things, but here and there you can see the truth shine through. The entire show is built based on that principle. They use text to tell the main story, but then they use everything else available in audiovisual storytelling to mimic what we hide in our subconscious. The text is full of innuendo and double speak. The music tells its own story, as do the clothes, the references to known stories evoke something else, the setting, the symbolism, the props. The subtlety in the acting is amazing, because even there multiple stories are told.
They don’t try to hide it from us either, they include so much to encourage us to look beyond the surface, like Emma saying the truth is tricky and something to look for.
The actions speak louder than words line is another invite to look beyond the text.
In season one there’s even a reference to the philosopher Derrida. The man is mostly known for his theory of deconstruction. Which - simplified - means that everything that you read holds different interpretations. Meaning changes dependent on context. It’s almost an invitation to pick their story apart the way… well mostly the Swan Queen fandom has been doing from the beginning, but it needs to be applied to everything.
Then I haven’t even gotten into the fact that the Aladdin and Jasmine parallels, OperationOUT, Women who run with the wolves, the circle story structure theory and the recent talks about a different season 7…. All point to Emma & Regina’s relationship finally being taken out of subtext at the end of this season or at the beginning of the next.
So, hope? I guess you could call it that, but it’s not unsubstantiated.
See, the first time that Newt got lost in Asclepius’ hospital and ended up in Graves’ highly warded highly secret room, he could chalk it up to a strange set of coincidences. An accident, maybe. He took a few wrong turns, a couple of wrong staircases, somehow got an overly pushy snidget soft toy foisted on him by an insistent gift shop, and ended up explaining his theory of flight magic to a comatose director for… a while? He kind of lost track of the time. The charmed window had rolled over to a balmy sunset by the time the door reappeared and the snidget chivvied him out of the room, but Newt hadn’t thought it was that long.
But that’s beside the point. The first time it happened, Newt thought it was an accident. A one off at the very least - he was hardly in the habit of visiting the hospital and wandering off by himself. He wasn’t, in fact, anywhere near the hospital, and Graves wasn’t on his mind, and the door leading out of the gents on MACUSA’s third floor was not supposed to lead to a familiar room with a familiar occupant in the single bed.
The snidget - Steve, it was a stuffed toy but it was a remarkably animated stuffed toy and it deserved a name - wormed its way out of his pocket and chirrupped hopefully at him. He looked over his shoulder but without much optimism; the door he had just walked through was, indeed, gone.
“My apologies, Mr Graves,” Newt said to the sleeping figure. “I won’t be a moment, sorry for disturbing you.” He ushered the snidget away to the furthest corner and lowered his voice.
“Now, listen,” he told it as sternly as he could manage. “You can’t make a habit of kidnapping people like this. I can’t make a habit of being kidnapped like this. I got in enough trouble last time, thank you, so take me back.”
“Back, Steve. I’m not leaving my case in the Auror department by itself.”
Steve gave a low, despondent whistle and landed back on his shoulder, but at least the door rematerialised. How, exactly, it managed to drop him off halfway across the city at the Woolworth’s building Newt didn’t know, but it seemed petty to question it at this point.
He quashed the feelings of guilt about leaving Graves behind. The man had the best care MACUSA could give him, and really, Newt was a complete stranger. He shouldn’t be interfering. What he should be doing is reporting the hole in the wards to Tina or at the very least working out exactly what magic was powering Steve and how it was connected to the hospital. Somehow Newt was never very good at doing what he should, and somehow it was strangely difficult to put Graves out of his mind and focus on the various forms and legislation Tina needed him to run through.
Somehow he wasn’t surprised that walking out the door an hour later with his coat on and his case in hand did not, in fact, lead him to the apparition point.
“Hello again, Mr Graves,” he greeted with a feeling of cautious relief. He’d hoped to be able to come back, but it never did to count on such things. “I’m sorry for leaving so suddenly earlier, but I’m free for the evening if you don’t mind me staying.” He slipped his coat off and hung it on the hook that materialised from the wall and walked over to his chair by the bed without needing prompting. Steve, whizzing in lazy circles around his head, looked insufferably proud.
“I brought my notes this time,” Newt said conversationally as he opened his case. “I won’t be a moment.”
It was… nice, would be the best way to describe it. Newt had his notes, had Steve trying to make a nest out of his hair (and Newt really needed to check on Steve’s animation charms, this was getting ridiculous), Pickett sat on his shoulder and fussily untangling Steve’s work, and Graves’ sleeping form as his patient audience. He was mostly in the editing stage by this point, condensing entire notebooks of research down into a short entry for each creature he’d come across -
“ - but I was thinking, maybe, of leaving this one as a sort of quick reference encyclopedia book and writing more in depth books on each species, what do you think? Or maybe not each species but maybe the groups of them, each continent perhaps - no those books would be too big. Maybe I should just make the entries longer and stick to one book. One giant book. I could put expandable charms on each section so you could tap your wand to the creature’s name and get a whole chapter dedicated to them, how amazing would that be? A mite impractical, but maybe for special editions… “
It was nice to talk it over with Graves. It helped Newt organise his thoughts, and let’s face it, he liked talking about his creatures. He just very rarely found someone who would listen, and maybe it was a bit unfair to be taking advantage of Graves like this but… Well. It was nice.
So the first time was an accident, the second time lasted all of a minute, and the third time went long into the night before the sleepy snidget started tugging Newt towards the door. He left reluctantly, still juggling papers on lethifolds and wondering whether to include the eyewitness account he’d been given or stick to his own research.
“Oh stop fussing, I’m going, I’m going - I’ll see you tomorrow, Mr Graves, have a good night - good grief Steve calm down - “
The door closed behind him with hurried but silent force and Newt blinked owlishly at the deserted alley he found himself in. It seemed to be one of the back exits to the MACUSA building; the sunken cellar door behind him was layered with enough muggle repellents to give him a headache just standing there. He peered suspiciously at Steve. “How, exactly, are you managing this?” he asked the stuffed toy. If it even was a stuffed toy. Steve tucked himself into Newt’s pocket with Pickett and refused to answer.
He didn’t answer the fourth time, when Newt stumbled through a door in his flat and arrived in Graves’ room half dressed with a toothbrush hanging out of his mouth, or the fifth time when Newt carried a steaming mug of tea and a sandwich through to what should have been his living room. By the sixth time, Newt had started keeping his notes shrunk in his pocket rather than his case; times seven and eight he’d added an expansion charm, a thermos of tea and a portable cooking stove and regaled Graves with stories of misadventures in local cuisine as he put together a basic stew. Chili, that’s all Newt was saying. Entirely unreasonable quantities of hot chili.
“You know,” he remarked, somewhere around time ten - eleven? - that he’d set up camp in the corner of Graves’ room, “I think I spend more time here than in my actual flat. Between here and the case, I do wonder why I’m paying the rent on it.” He lent forward, chin resting on his knees and wrists loosely crossed over his ankles. Graves was - as ever - still and silent, but Newt had managed to add a few bits and pieces. Weightless charms, to reduce the risk of bedsores. Tweaks to the lighting charms on the ceiling, to better mimic the sun and the rhythm of the day. A bit of a breeze. Smells, outdoor smells - people tended to overlook smell, but it was one of the most important senses. If Graves was even a little aware of his surroundings, Newt thought he should have some better smells around than sterile hospital linen.
He could do more, if he wasn’t worried about tripping the monitoring wards. Turning artificial spaces into natural habitats was what Newt did, what he was good at, and Asclepius’ hospital was all but overflowing with ambient magic that existed to heal - Newt could have turned the cramped room into open Savannah plains if he could convince the hospital it would help Graves. He itched to, occasionally; maybe not plains, but maybe New York? Maybe Graves would prefer the feel of his city, the sounds of busy streets and the rumbling grind of daily life. Newt would like to ask him.
Steve perked up suddenly, interrupting Newt’s thoughts as he took wing and hovered by the door that melted out of the wall. And there, ultimately, was the only thing stopping Newt from moving in: the irregular check ups from Graves’ doctors and guards. Technically, Newt wasn’t supposed to be there. Even if he was eighty seven percent sure that it was the hospital itself that kept dragging him back, Newt doubted that the aurors would take kindly to his intrusion.
“I’ve got to go,” he told Graves regretfully as he moved over to the anchor stones he’d placed around the bed. A wave of his wand collected them and cancelled the atmosphere charms he’d been running, and he felt the walls sigh as Asclepius’ resettled the usual window illusions and wards into place. “We need to talk about your sentient buildings when you wake up though, because I’m starting to lean towards your hospital being possessed. In a good way - did I tell you about the Lares spirits I met? You’d like those, I think.”
He stopped for a moment, staring at Graves and wondering if Graves would, in fact, like them. Newt knew nothing about Graves. He could infer a lot from the auror’s near devotion to him - from Tina’s devotion - and from the harsh persona Grindelwald had pulled on to impersonate him, but.
Graves was pale, in a way that said he was usually tanned but had been kept away from the sun for too long. His hair was dark brown, not black, and it fanned around his head on the pillow. There were furrows etched into his forehead and the beginnings of crows feet at the edge of his eyes, and Newt pushed a stray strand of hair back and wondered if they were from anger or stress. If you worry you suffer twice, but even Newt can’t help but worry when his creatures are in danger and if what Tina said was true - well, maybe Graves worried for his aurors the same as Newt did for his creatures?
“If you’d only wake up,” he whispered, allowing his fingers to rest in Graves’ surprisingly soft hair, “I could ask.”
Steve flittered urgently at the door. Newt couldn’t hear the footsteps on the other side of the wall, but he knew better than to push his luck. He picked up his case and slipped through the door and into an innocuous back street just as the wards peeled back to allow the aurors into the room.
Uniform development exists, at most, only at the beginning; later, everything points toward the center. This insight gave me stability, and gradually my inner peace returned. I knew that in finding the mandala as an expression of the self I had attained what was for me the ultimate. Perhaps someone else knows more, but not I. Some years later (in 1927) I obtained confirmation of my ideas about the center and the self by way of a dream. I represented its essence in a mandala which I called “Window on Eternity”. Carl Gustav Jung “Memories, Dreams, Reflections”
Window on Eternity mandala by Carl Gustav Jung from the Red Book.
Summary: It’s that time of year again, and for your friend group’s annual secret Santa this time, Namjoon has you. Which means that this year, his gift has to be perfect. However, sometimes it’s not the material gifts that are the best ones.
Word Count: 6.2k+
Genre: Fluff, Smut
Warning: Smut, Painfully cheesy fluff to the point that characters call themselves out on it
Namjoon is glad that there are websites that do secret Santa drawings for you now, because if he had drawn your name while in the same room with you, there’d be no hiding how he felt about this current situation. Which was a complete mess. Hands shaking, heart racing, red in the face kind of mess.
However, now he has to deal with his roommate judging him as he flails in front of his computer screen, which now displays you name. And Min Yoongi knows how to judge.
“Calm down. You look like one of those things they put outside car dealerships.” Yoongi flicks the back of Namjoon’s head as he passes behind him, on his way to flop down on the couch.
“You don’t understand, man.” Namjoon lets out a groan before burying his face in his hands. “Like, I know I can’t tell you because it’s supposed to be secret Santa—"
“You got Y/N, I knew it the second I heard you squealing from my room.” Yoongi’s tone is flat, almost bored, as he picks up the remote and starts flipping through the channels.
“Squealing, what? I wasn’t squealing.” Namjoon’s arms cross over his chest as he lets out a huff of air.
“I mean, that was the highest I’ve ever heard your voice go.” Yoongi sighs as he shuts the TV off, unable to find anything to watch. “So, when’s the wedding? I know a ring is probably outside of the price range for a typical secret Santa but…”
Since people seemed to enjoy my short ramblings on the Danny Phantom show, I think I’ll continue playing with this and talk more about the show. So what better way to start than a conversation about Dannyboy himself.
So it’s easy to talk about how the idea of a ghost powered superhero is brilliant, especially one raised in a family of ghost hunters then having to hide his identity and cool versatile but balanced powers from his folks, because all of that is amazing. However I feel talking about the mechanics of his setup and powers while cool and satisfying does a disservice to what makes Danny shine, and that’s Danny himself. I have a lot of frustration and salt over how often this show flubs it, but Danny has never been anything other than the shows greatest selling point. I feel like as the show kept irritating fans and making mistakes the strength of Danny as a character is what made this entire mismanaged program work at all. For the sake of brevity I’m going to just talk about Danny as he exists in a semi vacuum, because his relationships with the rest of the cast are too interesting and well developed for me to go into any depth without this becoming a book. So lets talk about Danny Fenton/Phantom and how he relates to just himself… by starting a conversation about Spiderman
I say semi vacuum because to talk about Danny without talking about his influences in the comic book superhero world would leave us missing a lot of his strengths. Danny is a comedic teenage outcast superhero whose super powered life comes with consequences that affect his mundane non powered life. This is not an uncommon setup but for the most part was brought into mainstream existence by Spiderman, who acts as Danny’s primary influence in terms of conceptual design. Danny’s not the first to draw from Peter’s superhero trope trove, since Virgil Hawkins, Wally West, Terry McGinnis and dozens of others have all used this character type. This similarity doesn’t make any of them less special or valuable, but it does force us to examine how they use these similarities differently in order to see more than perhaps a shallow surface examination would yield
so yeah on a surface level these characters do appear fairly similar to anyone who really wanted to ignore all other aspects of their character in order to be snotty and pompous, so lets ignore those other important character traits for a second and get to the reason these characters might appear so similar. All of them are known for their comic interjections in the middle of crime fighting. I tend to refer to this superhero archetype as a Quipster, though I’m not the first to think up the word. But these characters are generally popular, with the idea of the clever comic dogooder striking a certain cord with people. But getting back to Danny specifically, I think what makes him work so well in this trope is that he comes without the trappings that I find often limit the other characters described. That absent limit being that Danny is almost never in control. When these other characters get quipy it’s usually as a means to mock their foe because the hero is so on top of things they have time to gloat. Spidermans foes have often brought up his that they know he’s loosing when stops making jokes and they’re often right. Danny’s humor is rarely used to communicate control over a situation, and even when it is that usually comes after 10 minutes of struggling to figure out what to do so it feels earned. A majority of Danny’s quips feel more like the Muppets acknowledging their own ineffectualness to the audience directly, than the classic Spiderman taunt. And while it sounds like this might be a trait that applies only to these characters as crime fighters, the truth is this difference is the defining element for everything in his depiction. Danny is allowed to fail, while Spiderman is allowed to be wronged.
Danny has zero control. He can’t control that his parents hate his ghost identity. He can’t control that everyone thinks he’s a dweeb. He can’t control his pants staying on his body. He can’t control his teenage impulses. He can’t control his mouth from spewing stupid things constantly. These are legitimate shortcomings that the show acknowledges not only exist but insists stay in the foreground forcing Danny to constantly be the butt of the joke. Contrast that with Spiderman who is never depicted as a joke because he has to be the misunderstood victim. Because of this Danny is made vulnerable to the audience in a way that his fellow quipsters never are, because he is always the center of his problem. This is so smart and realistic and I wish I saw it more often in media. More importantly that the vulnerability though, Danny’s failures make his situation believable. I understand why a babbling doofus who an’t keep his pants up is an outcast that everyone picks on. I don’t get why handsome charming Peter Parker is needlessly made a target for cruelty other than the narrative demands it. Danny’s believably as a character sells his situation, making it a powerful narrative asset rather than a constant nonsensical irritant for made for hamfisted morals.lacking any self awareness. The way Danny as a character is set up is one of the most intelligent bits of narrative construction that Nickelodeon has ever produced. It’s so intelligent in fact that I will never be convinced that the creator of Tuff Puppy could ever have done it on purpose.
So lets stop talking about Danny from a meta constructive angle and start talking about him as a person because he’s really superbly enjoyable. He’s kind, petty, patient, angry, filled with wonder and cynicism and is constantly clawing certainty in his mangled little life and I love him. He’s the type of conflicted disaster that can only come from a cesspool of teenage hormones and he wears it without becoming unpleasant. I have to give so much credit for this to his voice actor
David Kaufman, who manages to make all these contrasting aspects of his character seem natural, while also instilling in Danny his most important trait, his Sincerity. I believe everything Danny does and in a world were people look at Superman protecting the city and wonder “Why?”, that is a huge feat. Danny’s role as a crime fighter is never questioned by you or the show. It just makes sense. How could he be anything but a hero? Look at how happy he is doing this, he was born for it. In a world were Danny has so little control, the escapism of the super hero is an almost dangerously perfect place for him to be.
Danny is such a well made character that it’s hard to find areas to improve him that don’t boil down to giving him over to smarter writers, but since this whole examination stems from my pointing out frustrations over the missed opportunists of Danny Phantom I feel I should find something to expand on him. If there was one area I’d really want to see him improved on that didn’t require us taking him out of a vacuum for the sake of this post, I’d love to see Danny deal with a more in depth look at depression and the temptation to abandon his life as Danny Fenton to become a full time Phantom. both of these are touched upon but could easily be expanded into full arcs or at least into a meaningful conversation with someone. I’d love to know how Danny specifically deals with his depression, or what reasons he specifically sees to keep his dual life, as opposed to the generic blanket statement of I have to be strong or it’s wrong and I love my family. I’d love to see Danny as self examining and able to vocalize his doubts and fears into something more communicable and mature than the original show allowed.
I feel like that’s most of what I can say right now on Danny without introducing his personal relationships. He really is a gem of a character and the fact that this fandom is still so alive and well I think is a testament to Danny himself. There is one other element to his character I think is worth talking about but I think it deserves it’s own post somewhere down the line. That all being said I’m having a blast getting to talk about Danny, but I don’t think I can properly continue without bringing in Sam and Tucker. Till then take care of yourself and have a super day
forgotten-pumpkinpie asked: Hello!! I’m looking for a few super fluffy, cute enough to make you gag but still want more AUs that take place in a coffee shop, library, or book store!! Please and thank you :)
this project is due tomorrow and i am not even half-done yet, please, please tell me you know something about this topic which can help me???
“we’re in a library, you’re literally surrounded with information” “please???”
i don’t know the first thing about books but i really need a job, so please hire me to help out in your bookstore??
this used to be my favourite place as a kid, i stopped coming here for (x) reason but i thought i should pay another visit after (y) years and holy shit you remember me?
“what do you mean they’re closing the library down?”
yes, we’re going to go on a crazy adventure in order to save this library
you always come to this library and i really enjoy talking to you, you also have a really good interest in books which honestly just makes you more attractive
i haven’t read any of these books i just wanted an excuse to talk to the cute librarian
i can’t read
did you seriously try to steal a book? out of all things you could have stolen, you chose books?
“i’m having a bit of an existential/quarter-life crisis okay” “i can tell”
you’re always working in the library at the same time i am, we’ve never spoken in person but i can’t help but notice how cute you are and i think i’m either gonna have to make a complaint or talk to you because you’re seriously distracting me from my work
“i can’t just throw someone out because their cuteness is distracting you.” “why not???”
okay, instead of talking to you i left cute notes in the books you were using when you weren’t looking and we’ve been talking like this for months but seriously i think we need to talk to each other in person
this is the last copy of the book in the library and i really need this, so sorry but i’m going to be taking this book now
“i got here first!” “so???”
“…no don’t turn the page yet! i’m not finished!” “this is ridiculous”
did they seriously just ask to be a librarian/work here? when was the last time they read a book?
“that is the most in-depth analysis of a book i’ve ever heard, it’s like you know exactly what the author was thinking!” “see, i’m not as stupid as you thought, now am i?”
i asked your recommendation for what book i should read and you sighed deeply and said, “how could i pick just one?”
“… and that’s why i spent my entire afternoon in the bookstore.”
you always take books out and never return them and it’s really infuriating, then one day you stopped coming to the library and i haven’t seen you for years. that was until one day you came in with a trunk load of books and a sad smile, you’ve changed so much oh my god. what happened to you??? please tell me!!
(alternatively) i was sick and tired of you never returning your books so i said that either you tell me what you’re doing with all these books or i won’t lend you another book
“this…this is so much research, i can’t believe you’ve done all this by yourself! what are you going to do with it?” “well, hopefully save mankind. or at least get a nobel prize.”
we both work in the bookstore and we like to have mini competitions to see who can stack books the fastest, honestly since you joined this is the most fun i’ve had at this job.
“stop laughing at me and help me out of this stack of books before i get crushed to death!”
Person A and Person B both work at the bookstore. However, Person B doesn’t know the first thing about books and it still baffles Person A, the resident bookworm, how on earth they got this job so easily despite them having no knowledge of books whatsoever. A rivalry breaks out between them as Person A tries to overtake them and gain appreciation from their superior by showing off their book knowledge yet Person B still manages to overachieve, it eventually gets to the point when Person A is threatened to be fired if they can’t be at the same level as Person B. But just before that happens, Person B quits and explains how Person A should be the one receiving the praise and not them.
this is really embarrassing but i’m doing my reading for college but i read really slowly so i was wondering if you could read it aloud for me???
what part of “be quiet, this is a library” don’t you understand?
i don’t care if you’re one of the most charming people i’ve ever met, if you keep disrespecting library rules i’m kicking you out and that’ll be the end of it
i am on the edge of a mental breakdown right now and if you don’t get off that computer in a second i am going to kick you off it (or cry really loudly and make it super embarrassing for the both of us)
hi, tall cute person, can you get that book for me up there?
“you know there was a ladder right?” “oh..there was? oh man, i had no idea, haha. yup. definitely had no idea that was right there, right in front of me.”
you fell asleep on the desk next to me and your, to be fair extremely light, snoring is really distracting me from my work so i went to wake you up but seeing you asleep is honestly the cutest thing i’ve seen all week and i don’t have the heart to wake you up.
i’ve been in here for two hours and i’ve been pretending im doing work but really i’m just working up the nerve to go over and talk to the really friendly (and cute) librarian
turns out i was here a lot longer than i expected and now the library’s closing, shit i thought i was prepared but i’M REALLY NOT
…was what i just said even words. answer: definitely no… wait, they’re laughing?? this is going way better than i originally thought!!
i really enjoyed writing these so i hope these helped!!