do the thing win the points!

The Amazing Race: Stranger Things Edition

The final three teams:


Steve and Dustin: duo that works well together, but they always argue over directions and who will do the next challenge.

Nancy and Jonathan: they somehow keep doing really well on all the challenges and ending up in second place each episode even though they seem more interested in sightseeing and being overly affectionate with each other.

Hopper and El: they keep winning. No one knows how… but they keep winning, but at some point it looked like El moved something without touching it.

Me: *messages @from-armin-to-z* So, how about a Reibert Pacific Rim AU?
Allison: :O!!!

I actually thought about this months ago and it’s been sitting in my drafts for a long time, so here it is, my SNK Pacific Rim AU. It’s definitely focused a lot on Reibert, but there are also headcanons for the other characters as well.

Under the cut due to manga spoilers~

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anonymous asked:

I think I read somewhere that they had Evgenia skate on painkillers through NHK and if she doesn’t do the GPF that they might put all their Olympic hopes and bets on Alina. I really hope that’s not the case but I can’t see why someone would let her skate through all that pain only to make it worse :(

Well they were already pushing Alina (69 pcs straight out of juniors is a sign of that) but a clean Zhenya would still win over Zagi at this point. Doing GPF with a fracture would just make things worse: first for her health, because she needs to heal or she will risk making things worse. Going to GPF and keep skating on a fractured foot won’t do anything for her momentum, she doesn’t need it. She has created a margin between her and the others with her consistency in the last two years, and a clean Evgenia would still beat a clean Alina, GPF or not.

From her interview, it seems like she kept skating in spite of her injury because she isn’t sure Russian athletes will be allowed to compete at the Olympics and because she doesn’t know what will happen in the future. At this point I hope they will make her rest, it would be madness to take such risks.

guys, we need to talk about eowyn

So I get really narky when people pull the whole ‘oh Eowyn’s storyline came to such a sucky ending; she was really cool going around killing orcs and Witch-Kings and then she got shoved into a traditional girly role by marrying Faramir and becoming a healer’ thing, because no. No-no-no-no-no. Not only does that stray dangerously into the territory of ‘women only have worth if they’re doing traditionally blokey things’, but that misses almost the entire point of Lord of the Rings.

Tolkien was in the trenches in the first world war, right? He got all that ‘for death and glory’ shit shoved down his throat, that was the whole point about the war, it was when so many people came to see how awful and misleading all the propaganda about winning glory through violence and death was. And Tolkien’s work completely shows that: it’s why the hobbits, who’ve never craved power or battle the way men do, are the heroes of the book; it’s why strong men like Aragorn and Faramir are shown to be lovers of peace rather than war. It’s why the quote - but I do not love the bright sword for its sharpness, nor the arrow for its swiftness, nor the warrior for his glory; I love only that which they defend – is so poignant and beautiful, when seen in the context of all Tolkien had gone through. He’d seen all but one of his closest friends die in an utterly pointless war; the prevalent message in his books is ‘if you’re going to have that many people die, let it be for something worth dying for.’ (Like defending your home from the lord of all darkness, for example.)

And Eowyn might be a fantastic female character, but she’s also got so much development to go through, and she’s by no means perfect. I find it really interesting that when Eowyn talks to Aragorn about wanting to go off and fight she never really actually mentions protecting her people, but speaks about wanting to ‘face peril and battle’, and to do ‘great deeds’. And it’s not that Eowyn doesn’t want to protect her people, because of course she does, but she’s also got such a driving motivation within her to do glorious and fell deeds simply for the sake of valour and renown. It’s one of her defining features, having an attitude that got so many young men killed in the war and which, obviously, Tolkien would have been very wary of.

(Also, I think, there’s so much in Eowyn that wants to prove herself to be more than ‘a mere woman’; because twice in that conversation she asserts that she’s no mere ‘dry-nurse’ or ‘serving-woman’, but a member of the house of Eorl and therefore capable of greater things. There’s almost this slight sense of Eowyn considering herself more than ‘just’ a domesticated woman that I sometimes get from her in the books? Which is very sad - the idea of Eowyn having less regard for others of her sex who do mind the house or raise the children - and why I so love that ‘I am no man’ moment in RotK. Eowyn’s no longer hiding herself, or dismissing fellow women as the weaker sex, but acknowledging and embracing the fact that women in all their forms can fuck you up.)

And then we reach the Houses of Healing, and Eowyn yearning for death in battle just like her Uncle Theoden, and basically buying into that whole world war one ethos that Tolkien would have considered so poisonous. Which is why her friendship and courtship with Faramir is so fricking beautiful. Remember that quote I wrote earlier? That’s from Faramir. He’s not backing down from conflict, he’s in no way less of a ‘real man’ than anyone else; he’s just saying there needs to be more to the fight than simply having a fight. There needs to be a reason; something worth fighting for. Eowyn recognises that Faramir is a good man in every sense of the word: he’s strong and valiant, but he doesn’t fight simply to prove himself or for the sake of winning glory, he fights for other people. And Faramir gently challenges Eowyn on her idolisation of battle-glory and encourages her not to scorn gentleness or peace, and he’s so freaking good for her.

(Seriously. Can we just stop for a moment and think about how wonderful Eowyn and Faramir are for each other: Faramir encouraging Eowyn to turn towards life and healing and openness while never denying her strength or courage, and Eowyn giving Faramir the validation and security he never got after so many years of an awful relationship with his father? I honestly don’t know why I don’t get all giddy about these two more often, because they make the very best otp.)

And the result of the departure of the Shadow and her friendship with Faramir is Eowyn’s decision that ‘I will be a shieldmaiden no longer, nor vie with the great Riders, nor take joy only in the songs of slaying. I will be a healer, and love all things that grow and are not barren.’

I think that last bit is so important because I’m certain that Tolkien doesn’t mean for Eowyn to immediately pack up her sword and shield and become a good girl sitting at home with her knitting and waiting for the men to return home after the fight – after all, she’s going to be the wife of the Steward of Gondor and there’s a lot of mess to clean up after the War of the Ring. Eowyn’s probably still going to find herself defending hearth and home from time to time. But the important thing is that she’s no longer defining herself simply by the doing of valiant deeds; she’ll no longer compare herself to the great warriors of her house and feel lacking simply because she hasn’t killed as many men. Most importantly, she’s not going to take joy only in the songs of the slaying, in destruction and death. Tolkien was all about healers symbolising life and rebirth, and Eowyn’s decision to become one – to aid in the preservation of life rather than the taking of it – is so beautiful. I don’t think Tolkien ever wrote Eowyn’s ending to make her reclaim her ‘lost femininity’; I think it’s a lovely way of adding to the ever-present theme in Lord of the Rings of hope and frailty and healing and friendship over glory and battle and strife.

How to Make Your Villain Domestic but Still Evil

It’s the oxymoron that attracts us. Billowing black cape, terrifying worldviews, a willingness to make the streets run red with blood – and you know what would be hilarious? Them trying and failing to make morning pancakes. You know what would really hit us in the feels? Watching them show tenderness around a special someone.

Having a villain with a domestic side is lassoing a black hole, and it’s a tantalizing thing to watch. However, anyone who’s indulged in these daydreams with their own villains has probably encountered one very specific issue: it makes them less evil. They lose their edge.

For example, look at Crowley from CW’s Supernatural. This was a guy to be feared at one point; arriving out of nowhere at unexpected times, always playing both sides of the conflict, and you could be certain he would skin anyone necessary to get what he wanted – usually without getting a single drop of blood on his impeccable suit.

Flash forward to recent seasons, and we’ve seen Crowley cry and whimper more times than Dean has died –which is saying something. At first, it was fascinating to discover this powerful character actually had a tender side; and now, when Crowley makes a threat, we’re about as afraid as when any low-level demon makes one. This is because his evil was too compromised. He let himself go.

How can we avoid this mistake with our villains? The answer isn’t making them crush puppies and hate butterflies at every turn; it’s in balancing their core scariness with their softer side – giving them complexity, giving us a bit of “aww,” and making their eventual whiplash back into ‘terrifying’ all the more wonderful.

For this, we’re going to use Epic of Lilith by Ivars Ozols as an example. This book centers on arguably the original female villain – Lilith, the first woman of the Garden of Eden, who got on the “good guys’” bad side by refusing to submit to someone who was clearly her equal. There won’t be any spoilers below, but if you give the book a read (it’s an easy page turner), the points will be driven home stronger.

Plus it’s a book with a great female villain who isn’t objectified (don’t let the cover fool you, seriously) and prose that isn’t full of sexual over- or undertones. Talk about a win, eh?

Here we go.    

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my what a guy, gaston!

okay so i know i already did one of these for beauty and the beast (for fuck’s sake shana write about some new fairytales why are you like this) but i listened to sam tsui’s cover of a tale as old as time and OH BOY, OH MY HONEY OH MY DARLING

okay, so in the very early stages of the original beauty and the beast, gaston was an aristocrat. that eventually got scrapped, but oh what if it didn’t

so say gaston is the son of someone very high up in the royalty chain, someone who’s parents are important enough that he spends an awful lot of time at the castle? and our prince adam isn’t really down with this whole ~being a prince~ thing, he’s a brat, like so many other kids are brats (but these kids don’t get turned into beasts by random witches, like i’m sorry but i’ll never not think that beast didn’t get the short end of the stick there) and so he spends the least about of time possible parading about with a crown on his head. he likes going outside, like riding his horses and playing in the woods, and all sorts of other things that make his parents shake their heads and despair at the inability to have another child, because their son is a small disaster.

and here comes gaston, who’s older and more long suffering. gaston in naturally dramatic, okay, he likes being flashy and fun and loud, all the things the son of a noble shouldn’t be. so by the point he meets adam he’s listened to his parents, folded himself up nice and tight into this quiet boy who just doesn’t want any trouble. adam loves trouble. if he can’t find it, he invents it.

so he grabs onto gaston like glue, and gaston is irritated, but he’s the prince, he can’t say anything or his parents will kill him. so he lets adam keep dragging him out horseback riding and hunting and rock climbing and all sorts of things little noble boys aren’t supposed to do. they spare, and no matter that gaston is bigger and older he never wins, adam always ends up pinning him to the ground with his arm to his throat and he’d more irritated about it if the prince didn’t look so delighted every time he won. adam loves all the animals that he’s not interested in eating, and gaston tries to point out that it’s a little weird how thrilled adam is to take down a deer when two minute later he’s trying to entice a wolf to come closer so he can pet it, and also holy shit adam that’s a wolf what’s wrong with you

adam loves his staff, the people who do their best to reign in this little terror but don’t try that hard, because the thing about bratty kids is that they’re rarely brats all the time, as an adult you swing between wanting to strangle them and finding them so adorable and charming your chest hurts. so mrs. potts indulges him, likes the way he’s only ever really patient while he’s playing with her son chip when he’s snuck into the kitchen to beg her for some extra cookies. lumiere and cogsworth are his tutors and spend more time arguing with each other than teaching him, and he’s delighted by that.

and so adam is this loud, exuberant little prince who slowly but surely picks at gaston’s barrier until gaston almost feels like himself again, and adam doesn’t do what his parents did. adam doesn’t make fun of him for how much he cares about his hair, about how he hates dirt under his fingernails. as long as gaston keeps following him into dangerous situations, adam doesn’t care about much of anything, and gaston loves him for it.

and gaston’s on the cusp of teenagerhood when he realizes he loves adam, the prince, this is awful and he immediately has a panic attack over it, he’s to be lord and adam is to be king, it will never work, oh, and adam probably doesn’t like boys, and – oh my god, all those schoolyard taunts about him being gay we’re right this is a nightmare.

he’d freak out about this properly and probably go charging to the castle to confess his love in true embarrassing 12 year old fashion – except his parents set him down, pale, and say, “they’re gone, they’re all gone, the king and queen were found dead and the prince is gone and now a monster lives in the castle.” and of course gaston takes this to the most logical conclusion – a beast broke into the castle, killed the love of his young life, and now he’s claimed the castle for his own.

this is gaston’s defining moment okay, this is the point where he snaps and never goes back. he rebels against his parents, refuses to fit himself back into the mold of the perfect son, tries to live his life like adam would have wanted him to. that means being exactly who he is and damn the consequences. he focuses on his hair and his clothes and his looks, he pursues hunting because it reminds him of adam, because so much of their friendship took place in the woods, covered in mud and laughing. he pursues hunting because, one day, when he’s the very best he’s going to go the castle and kill the beast that killed adam. and his parents are furious about all of this and they disown him in favor of his young siblings and he just. doesn’t give a shit.

so he moves to the town, and everyone loves him, of course they love him. he’s loud and arrogant, but – he’s not cruel. he’s beautiful and brings in more pelts and meat than any other hunter and gaston doesn’t miss the days of being a young lordling in the slightest. but girls keep throwing themselves at him and he doesn’t know how to keep refusing either outing himself or hurting their feelings, so he goes to belle. belle, who is every inch as pretty he is. belle, who is smart and quiet and kind in a reserved sort of way. if there’s anyone who won’t judge him, it’s her.

so he goes to her, and tells her the truth – that he only likes men, that he’s not interested in advertising the fact, and asks her to pretend to be his lady. and belle, kind sweet belle, agrees. she does it out of sense of duty to help those in need, because nothing she knows of gaston says she will enjoy this. but she’s proven wrong, because gaston was raised to be a lord of course he’s educated, just because he doesn’t really care about any of that stuff doesn’t mean he doesn’t know it. and belle can speak with him like she can no other, because gaston has more formal education than anyone else in this village. and to their surprise, gaston and belle become friends, become the closest of friends, and gaston hasn’t known this closeness since adam, although it’s different because he loves belle but he’s not in love with belle.

and one day belle and her father are out traveling and sudden snowstorm forces them into the castle. belle knows there’s some sort of monster that supposedly lives there, but it’s either the castle for refuge or dying of cold outside, so into the castle they go. and instead of a hideous monster there’s adam, the beast. he’s rude and gruff and calls them twelve kinds of idiots for getting caught in a snowstorm in the first place. he offers them a room before sulking back into his study, watching the last petal threaten to the fall from the rose.

the castle is so excited to have guests, to have a young girl that may be their saving grace, and beast doesn’t know how to tell them that he likes girls well enough, but the only person he’s ever loved is a prickly, stuffy little boy who used to wring his hands together whenever they went looking for wolves. the storm doesn’t abate, and belle and her father stay. beast likes belle, likes how much she loves his library and the courteous way she speaks to all his staff even tho they’re all furniture, and he wishes he could love her, she is a woman that deserves to be loved. but he can’t.

back in the village, gaston has had it. the beast took adam from him, and he wont allow that thing to take belle. he rallies the villagers and goes marching to the castle, determined to save belle and her father, determined to kill the thing that killed adam.

so they storm the castle and he and the beast fight. belle and her father rush forward to stop the rest of the angry village men, and belle is screaming at gaston to stop, that things aren’t as they seem. but he’s mad with bloodlust, with revenge, and he’s about to take the beast’s head off with his axe when the beast lunges and pushes him to the ground, pinning him with an arm to his throat. and the muscle memory is so sudden and visceral that gaston freezes and stares at the snarling beast and whispers, “adam?”

and the beast blinks, and pulls back a little, and goes …… “gaston!?”

literally everyone is so confused, but they only get more confused when gaston throws himself at the beast and there’s a rush of magic as the last petal falls and the spell is broken. gaston sees beast for who he really is, loves him wholly and completely in the way only children can, and the curse is broken.

so gaston goes from having the beast in his arms to having a man, and he kisses him, outing himself in front of the whole village and not caring in the slightest. “i’ve missed you,” adam says, reaching out a hand to cup gaston’s cheek.

his staff are people again, and the cloud of darkness that had fallen over the castle is lifted. the old and irritable third cousin twice removed who’d been running the country is more than happy to hand it back over to adam, so happy in fact that he doesn’t question anything about this incredibly weird situation.

gaston and adam were children with a children’s love, but as adam gets his castle and kingdom up and running again, gaston is there. and their love deepens, and strengthens, and becomes something much more real and true than it ever was before. and gaston knows he can’t keep this, that adam will need to take a queen and gaston won’t be able to be with him after that.

except no one told adam that, because he goes to belle who just, never left the castle because she likes it and it likes her and her two favorite people are here. and also they’ll pry her from that library over her dead body. “hey,” adam says, “so, i’m kind of the king now.”

“i noticed,” belle answers, and doesn’t look up from her book.

adam considers closing it, but also considers that he likes his hands attached to his wrists. “want to get married? we’ll need to produce an heir or two, but beyond that you’ll get all the books you want and a whole country to boss around.” one of the things adam had quickly learned was that belle loved bossing people around.

belle doesn’t look up from her book. he hadn’t honestly expected her too. “okay. I’m dating plumette. im going to keep doing that.”

“nice,” he says, because plumette is a lot prettier now that she isn’t a feather duster.

so adam find gaston and tells him that he’s marrying belle, and gaston’s whole heart breaks but it makes sense, adam and belle make sense together, and he wishes he could make himself hate either of them but he can’t because he loves them both. but then adam is talking about how belle will have the rooms next to theirs, and gaston should probably stop paying rent for his house in the village, he lives in a literal palace, come on now.

and gaston figures out that adam is planning to stay with him, that belle is his wife and queen in name only and and gaston will continue to be the one in his heart and in his bed. adam is talking about how they all really need to sit down and do something about the redistribution of tax revenue, and they should probably do it before the wedding because otherwise their subjects will only show up to throw fruit at them. gaston cuts him off by pressing his king and love of his life against the wall and kissing him breathless.

cogsworth and lumiere walk by and pause mid-argument to wolf whistle at them before continuing on their way. gaston and adam end up having to hold each other up as they laugh so hard they can’t breath.

and everyone lives happily ever after.


read more of my retold fairytales here

8

Cheryl loved Jason. What was she meant to do at his funeral, not cry? And yeah Jason was on the football team but Cheryl was at every game too doing as much to help the Bull Dogs win as he did. Also she has a 4.0 grade point average. If there’s one thing I’ve learned being in Cheryl’s class it’s don’t underestimate her. And don’t bet against her.

3

I AM NEVER GOING TO BE OVER THIS.

I am never going to be over Loki literally being the most decadent king he can, that he’s literally watching theatre in his bathrobe while eating grapes and drinking wine.  A play about himself, cast in the best possible light, just after we’ve seen the giant statue of him in the main thoroughfare.

I love it because it deliberately evokes thoughts of decadent, uncaring, selfish kings who laze around all day instead of actually tending to their kingdoms and neighbors, actually being leaders.  That this is backed up with Thor basically calling bullshit on the whole “leaving our neighbors their freedom” when they’re getting slaughtered (which we know happens when you take Asgard out of the picture, because that’s exactly what was happening at the beginning of TDW).

But it’s also contrasted against the themes of colonialism and how incredibly complicated a thing that is, the answer in these movies isn’t just to withdraw and keep to their own borders (as they were forced to do when the Bifrost was destroyed or when Loki wasn’t interested in paying attention to them) and contrasted against how nobody really seems to hate Loki anymore, if they ever did, even after the shit he pulled in the first movie.  The reaction to the reveal is a gasp of surprise and then an OH FOR FUCK’S SAKE, LOKI.

I love it because it’s hilarious but also because it’s so purely Loki–he’s stable for awhile, but it all would have crashed out from under him, because Loki didn’t want to lead, he wanted to be adored.  He wanted the glory with none of the real sacrifice or hard work or boring parts.  The whole point of this scene is that Loki is not satisfied with what he thought he wanted, he’s not happy with having Odin’s position, he never expresses any real kind of regret at losing the kingship. He’s bored with it, that’s why he’s out there watching theatre instead of actually doing king things, that’s why he’s (briefly) more suited to Sakaar, where it’s all about backstabbing and outmaneuvering each other.

It’s even why he’s not ultimately satisfied with that, either.

He only ever wanted the throne to be seen, to be Thor’s equal in the eyes of Asgard.  He only ever wanted the throne to win, to prove a point.  Once he had it, it was boring and not what he actually wanted at all.  He doesn’t mourn the loss of it, by the end of the movie he knows he wasn’t suited to it and it wasn’t suited to him.  He can be something better now, something more.

He’s never going to be Thor, but he doesn’t have to be.  Thor is meant to be king, he will take to it in a way that Loki never would have, will bear up under it in a way that Loki never could.  There’s no jealousy in Loki when Thor is crowned king of the last of their people, when he takes the interim throne, because Loki was bored by it, he knows his own path better now.

I’m sure he’ll miss being able to direct his own fanfic plays (YOU KNOW HE WAS INVOLVED, “I didn’t do it for him.” wouldn’t have come from anyone but Loki), but there’s no reason he can’t tell it at the next Asgardian feast, because Loki doesn’t have to be king to have Asgard appreciate him (in a way that he understands, because Asgard never hated him, not the way he feared they did), doesn’t have to hide who he is or what he’s like, he can be on the right path for himself now.

He’ll probably still lounge around their ship and eat grapes while telling stories, though, because THAT IS 100% LOKI.

and here i bring you yet another kara/lena au that nobody asked for but that i’m sharing with y’all anyways because what else do i have to do with my life at 12:00 am.

  • james wins two tickets for the upcoming lakers game in national city but comes to find out that he can’t go because he has another important thing to do that night (i don’t know what thing exactly but the point is he can’t go), so he’s left with two tickets for the lakers and he’s not sure who to give them to, so of course he goes to kara: “i know you don’t like basketball, but seeing it live is such a different experience, you’ll enjoy it!”
  • problem is that kara doesn’t know who to ask to go with her, alex has a date night, winn is not going anywhere near a basketball stadium (highschool trauma), j’onn says he has no time for games. lena is one of her first options, but main reason she doesn’t want to ask her is fear of rejection. she’s a ceo! she probably has no interest in spending a friday night with her.
  • alex tells her she’s being ridiculous, lena’s her friend and she’ll enjoy spending time with her regardless of the activity, she pratically drives kara to l-corp so she can ask lena to go with her.
  • lena knows nothing about basketball, for a second she actually confuses it with beisball, but kara looks so cute and how can she say not to that face? so she agrees and kara pulls her into the biggest hug.
  • because lena has never, ever gone to a basketball game she shows up to kara’s apartment with a tight dress and high heels, her makeup on point as always and a big ass valentino black bag, meanwhile kara’s wearing jeans and a sweatshirt, maybe even a snapback if you want the complete Gay™ look.
  • lena is so confused the entire time, she watches as the players pass the ball to each other and hears the crowd roar when they make a triple. kara is no better, but she at least knows the basics because james explained them to her prior, so she gets into it after the first ten minutes, she claps with the audience, screams in chorus with the other people. she asks lena if she’s having fun, if she wants to leave but lena says no and kara probably buys her popcorn or something, popcorn that by the way kara ends up eating. 
  • halftime rolls in and lena takes the opportunity to answer all the messages that are unread on her phone, “i’m so sorry i swear i’ll only take a minute,” kara smiles and tells her to go ahead. 
  • lena is answering to one of her business partners when she hears kara choke on the popcorn and everyone around them whistling and clapping, so she turns to see what is wrong to find kara looking at the enormous screen in the middle of the stadium with a pink blush on her cheeks and wide eyes. the camera is focusing both of them with a heart around their silhouettes and “kiss cam!” written on pink letters just above their heads. 
  • everyone in the stadium starts cheering for them, “kiss! kiss! kiss!” over and over again, the damn camera doesn’t seem to find anybody else as interesting and though kara wants to laugh and write an enormous sign that reads that hey, they’re just friends! she catches the way lena’s heartbeat speeds up and how her breathing becomes uneven and okay, maybe a little kiss won’t hurt, after all they’ve become close after the recent events and what’s wrong with maybe platonically kissing your friend on the lips? a little peck and that’s it. 
  • however, once they turn around to look at each other kara notices just how green lena’s eyes are and how pale her skin looks and also how her red lips part to meet hers and when they finally kiss the screaming and whistling, all the noise around them disappears and kara can only focus on how soft lena’s is and how her lipstick tastes like strawberry and oh, god, when she feels her tongue caressing her bottom lip kara is sure she’s going to pass out. 
  • they’re both a little breathless when they break apart, a young lady sitting next to them gives kara a high five and then the second half of the game starts but kara can’t focus on anything anymore because she still tastes lena on her tongue and she realizes that shit, she wants to kiss her again. and again. and again. 
  • the lakers win by three points and lena’s driver is already waiting for them outside the stadium when the game ends, but the crowd is huge and she fears she’ll lose lena in the sea of people so she interwines their fingers together and walks them towards the exit ignoring the warmness that goes through her entire body at the feeling of lena’s hand against her own.
  • the car ride is kind of awkward, neither of them speak, they’re on each side of the car struggling on how to break the silence. lena sometimes catches kara looking and her and viceversa until it’s too much and kara blurts out: “i really liked it, the game. and also kissing you” and lena laughs before sheepishly nodding and saying “me too. i mean i liked kissing you, i didn’t understand the game at all.”
  • they make out until they get to kara’s apartmet. (。♥‿♥。)
  • before kara falls asleep she receives a message from lena that says “thank you, i had a great time.” with maybe a smiley face and two hearts and kara hides her face on her pillow.
  • the next morning when she wakes up and goes to work, everyone’s looking at her and whispering behind her back and kara’s afraid she might have a mustard stain on her white cardigan (it wouldn’t be the first time that happened). and then james sees her and before she can even say hello and ask what the hell is going on with everyone, he motions to the screens where a video of her and lena kissing is projecting, the entire internet has gone wild about it. the video that was originally uploaded to youtube has for title “lena luthor kisses cute stranger @ bball game.” kara wants to die on the spot.
Barn Mates - One Year On

Barn Mates was first aired exactly a year ago today… and what a monumental episode it was for both Lapis and Peridot!

For those of us who were already shipping Lapidot, it was a dream come true – and for some of those who weren’t, it opened their eyes to a whole new (and now completely canonically viable) ship.

I’ve written about this episode a few times in the past, but it feels fitting to look back on it again today; for day one of Lapidot Anniversary Week!

So, without further ado…

The episode opens with Peridot wistfully speaking into her tape recorder about sharing her new home with Lapis.  Only a couple of episodes prior to this point, Peridot had made the decision to stay at the barn by herself whilst the other Crystal Gems returned to the temple. The fact that she now so enthusiastically wants to share her home with Lapis (as opposed to going back with the other Gems or staying by herself in the barn) just shows that she already has some level of admiration for Lapis.

Peridot says:

“Why don’t we watch the sun come up and figure out what we’re going to do with all this time, eh Lazuli?”

Watching the sun rise with someone is an old romantic tradition/cliché, so the fact that Peridot specifically mentions wanting to do this with Lapis certainly speaks some volumes.   And it also transpires…

…that this line was foreshadowing a scene that came later in the show – in Room For Ruby, not only are they watching the sun rise together (just as Peridot wanted to do), they’ve actually been sat together all night stargazing prior to this point, which is another activity that has obvious romantic connotations.

After Peridot has finished speaking into the tape recorder in Barn Mates, Lapis expresses her desire to live in the barn all on her own. Steven suggests that the barn be split down the middle, with each of the two Gems having their own “side”, which leads to a very interesting shot of the pair of them:

Notice how they’re effectively framing a picture that’s behind them.   This picture is of the barn’s previous owners – Greg’s aunt and uncle, who Greg described back in Space Race as follows:

“My aunt and uncle had a great love for aviation, and each other.  They cherished the years they spent together, and they held on to every belonging they ever owned.”

It’s interesting, then, that a picture of a happy couple has been placed directly in-between Lapis and Peridot in this shot.  This becomes something of a trend as the show progresses, with the picture being placed in-shot with Peridot and Lapis on occasion in a fair few other episodes, such as these:

This could well be foreshadowing a romantic relationship between Lapis and Peridot.  The fact that Greg mentions “aviation” is also something interesting to think about, considering that Lapis can fly and Peridot was the pilot of the Hand Ship back in Jailbreak.

Lapis isn’t keen on the idea of splitting the barn, telling Steven that Peridot is the problem:

“I can’t stand the thought of looking at her everyday!”

This statement is now somewhat ironic because, in the episodes since Barn Mates, Lapis almost always has her eyes on Peridot – and gives her some extremely suggestive looks, too!

Peridot and Steven both try to assure Lapis that Peridot has changed, but she doesn’t want to hear it. Steven thinks it’s “sweet” that Peridot wants Lapis to see how much she’s changed since their last encounter, and he helps her to make an apology card which has a very interesting picture drawn on the front of it:

Steven may well have the intent of getting Peridot and Lapis to be friends, but he’s drawn them looking like an actual couple here; they’re even holding hands.

Eventually, after some persuasion from Steven, Lapis joins them – and a beaming Peridot hands over the card.  This still fails to win-over an unimpressed Lapis, much to Peridot’s disdain.

“It took me over an hour to compose [the message in the card], and I was the most sincere as per Steven’s instructions!”

The fact that Peridot put so much time into her apology message gives us an indication of how highly Peridot thinks of Lapis – and how much she wants to make her feel better. She then spends some time deliberating what she could give to Lapis as a gift (upon Steven’s suggestion), and they come up with an idea…

“H-2-Oh my GOSH!” … “It’s a gift for you!  You know, ‘cause water’s your thing.”

Peridot’s mannerisms and tone of voice here are very flirtatious.  However, given Lapis’ previous traumatic experience of being trapped on the bottom of the ocean, this is another idea that falls completely flat.

And what does Peridot do?

“A pool?!  What a cloddy idea!  Of course she wouldn’t like that!”

She actually blames herself for the mistake.  This is very uncharacteristic of Peridot, who normally has a very lofty opinion of herself and her intellectual capacity – which, again, shows how highly she must think of Lapis.  She even uses the word “cloddy” to describe her own idea; with “clod” being an insult that she usually only ever levels at other people when she’s at her most angry.

She then decides to make a very grand gesture…

…and offers her most prized possession – the tape recorder – to Lapis as a gift.

She’s very flirtatious in doing so here, as well.  With a wink and a smile, she tells Lapis:

“See, the ribbon is even blue.  I got yo’ number!”

Peridot has offended all of the other Gems at some point in the past, but she’s never been seen to perform as grand a gesture as this one in order to win them over. 

Peridot is, in a lot of ways, incredibly materialistic - she has been shown on more than one occasion to hold her very few possessions really closely to her.  By Peridot’s standards, handing the tape recorder over is essentially the biggest thing she could do for someone, which is a very clear indication of her feelings towards Lapis.

This gesture is completely lost on Lapis, however, who proceeds to crush the tape recorder in her hand.

Usually in these situations, Peridot would be distraught that one of her possessions had been destroyed (see, for example, Peridot on her knees begging Amethyst not to throw away her beloved tablet in Too Short To Ride).  However, this time, she actually seems to be upset by the fact that she’s managed to upset Lapis once again, exclaiming:

“What, were you trapped in a tape recorder too?!”

Peridot is exasperated by this point, and gives a very heartfelt speech which, I believe, really gets to the root of one of the key reasons why a relationship between Lapis and Peridot just makes perfect sense:

“Look, I get it, you know?  You’re confused!  You can never go back to Homeworld.  This place doesn’t exactly feel like home yet.  You’re alone, no one could possibly know what that feels like!  Oh wait, I do!  We’re the same, except…  you don’t have to be alone.”

She and Lapis are going through the exact same thing at basically the same time; namely, being stranded on earth with no way of returning to Homeworld.  There’s literally no-one else who they could bond with over this, except for each other – it’s a common ground that they share with each other and only each other.  It’s logical and sensible storytelling, therefore, to have these two characters stick together and share the experience with each other.  It puts them on equal ground, gives them both an acute understanding of each other, and enables them to both support one another as they adjust to life on earth.

At this point in Barn Mates, however, Lapis still isn’t having any of it.  Peridot, clearly at her wits end, asks what Lapis wants from her.  Lapis angrily tells Peridot that she wants her to leave… and that’s exactly what Peridot does.  She wants Lapis to be happy so much that she’s even willing to give up her home so that Lapis can live there instead.

As she walks away, Steven reprimands Lapis for treating Peridot so badly.  As he’s talking, Lapis folds her arms and shifts on the spot, her gaze meeting the crushed tape recorder on the floor.  Everything about her body language in this scene exudes guilt.  

Peridot comes screaming back towards them moments later, however – being pursued by a Roaming Eye that she’s convinced is after her.    

The trio flee from the ship, but eventually come face-to-face with it, which causes Peridot to cower behind Steven in fear.

However…

…Lapis steps forward, and glances back at a wide-eyed Peridot.

This scene is very important because it’s the first time we ever get to see that Lapis does actually care about Peridot, despite the pair of them getting off to a very turbulent start.  She steps up to defend the helpless Peridot from the Roaming Eye, and makes sure to specifically ask Peridot if she’s ok after the threat has been neutralised – proving that she didn’t only have Steven’s interests at heart when she took out the Roaming Eye.

What happens next needs no introduction…

Originally posted by geekylaugifs

Peridot has still, to this day, never looked at anyone else with such love.  The way that her hands are clasped to her chest makes it the typical “cartoon character looking at their love interest” pose.  That smile on her face is literally the biggest one that she’s ever given.  And Lapis’ deep blush, that she actually turns her head away from Peridot in an attempt to hide, is also a reaction from her that’s unique to this scene – and very much implies that the apparent feeling of attraction is mutual.  There appears to be some symbolism behind the sun coming out as Peridot smiles, too.  This could well be an indication that Lapis is warming up to Peridot and seeing her in a new light.  It also has a somewhat poetic quality to it, with the storm clouds (both literal and metaphorical) dissipating at this very moment.  

Originally posted by giffing-amethyst

Steven picks up on what’s going on, giggling to himself as he looks at Lapis.  It’s also very interesting that Peridot’s loving look is still lingering even after the camera angle has changed – this is no fleeting “micro expression”, it’s a very prolonged and deliberate look…

…which was the first of very, very many that the pair of them have since gone on to give each other (the above images being a small handful of examples).

All in all, Barn Mates was the start of a very beautiful relationship between these two Gems, which has well and truly endured throughout the past twelve months – and has gotten ever stronger with each episode that they’ve appeared in together.

seriously though, I’ve noticed that bigots like T////ERFs, M///RAs and anti f///eminists always use the same tactic whenever you call them out on your bullshit.

“explain it to me then!”

“I’m genuinely interested!”

“I need sources and for you to explain your views exactly!!!”

spoiler alert: even if you DO this homework for them, there is no winning in this argument. sources will be ignored. they will tell you why your views are bullshit anyways. 

either way, it’s a trap. if you refuse to argue with them, because why the fuck would I spend my own time explaining trans-ness to someone with how evil trans people are all over their blog, they will take that as a victory. They will take an unwillingness to talk to a fuckin brick wall as conceding.

it’s like that old phrase with pigeons and chess…. you can try to play chess against a pigeon and win, but they’ll still knock over the pieces, shit all over the board and strut around like they’ve won anyways.

THIS IS NOT TO SAY that you shouldn’t ever educate people. if someone genuinely doesn’t understand trans-ness, feminism, etc, educating people is always a great thing to do. it won’t always change people’s minds, but sometimes it does.

HOWEVER, my point with this is that it is important to recognize a genuine misunderstanding and openness to other sides of the debate vs. when someone already has their minds made up and just wants to tell you how wrong you are. Like, if someone is asking for sources on why feminism is really necessary but their blog is covered with posts talking about all of those “femin*zi lying wh*res,” it’s proooooooobably a safe bet that they’re not worth trying to talk to.

save your time and energy for the people that are open to actual debates, friends.

The Road To Good Grades

[Warning - A Very Lengthy Post]

A fellow student of mine wrote this when for my batch when we entered high school, and I thought I should share it with you ❤️ it’s been edited to make it more universal to you guys :D

Intro: Having the Courage to Study.
When we fail academically, we tend to point to two causes: stupidity and laziness. It’s so easy to say that we’re not smart enough, or that we just don’t want to try because it doesn’t really matter. But there’s another factor involved: fear. So many students have the strategy of not studying or not studying properly for an exam. Why? Because if you put low effort into something, then you should expect a low result. So many of us are afraid of trying and failing that we don’t even try. “What if my best isn’t good enough?” We’re afraid of giving our best because once we know our limits, we feel that much weaker. But life in school isn’t about not trying, it’s about accepting those limits and breaking them.To survive and ultimately thrive, you must have the courage to reach your full potential.That courage, that vigor, that strive to be better is what will keep you alive, not just in school but in the real world.

Guide:
- Sleep and Eat well.
We often lose sleep or skip meals in order to survive the rigors of life.But keep in mind, those choices in the rest and nourishment you receive have consequences. Having the energy to focus throughout the day is vital. Nobody wants to be tired, nobody can afford to be sick.

- Pay Attention in Class.
There’s a difference between passive hearing and active listening. Letting the teacher’s words wash over you like a warm shower is NOT the same as paying attention. Teachers are human beings, capable of expressing emotion and emphasis in their words and actions. There’s a reason why you learn from them rather than from a book or the internet. Catching what they’re trying to say is a skill that takes effort to learn.

**The skill of listening is one of the most important ones to develop because a teacher’s words are your last resort in an examination. If a quiz catches you by surprise, your memory of the class is the difference between A+ and an F.

- Take USABLE Notes.
Normally, humans are not capable of memorizing lessons entirely in their head.That’s what notes are for. Keep in mind that notes should be USABLE, they are not things that you make for the sake of looking or feeling productive. Each person has a specific style of learning and their notes should reflect that. Notes that are too long/elaborate, too short/simple, unreadable, or illogical are detrimental. Good notes should be aids in studying, not justification for carrying notebooks.

**Tips:
- Save time by using abbreviations or acronyms.
- Rearrange/reconstruct words or phrases for convenience.
ex. Famous Authors of America –> Impt. American Authors.
- Avoid copying verbatim unless necessary (quotes).
- Write down examples, esp. in science/math related subjects.
- If notes are incomplete, supplement them via reliable sources or your teacher.

- Practice.
There is more to studying than reading/note-taking. Practice is essential. This is especially true for Math-related subjects. Reading your notes before a Math exam is not really going to help you understand the problem or protect you from careless mistakes. The only way to improve in the subject is by doing the exercises and learning from both your success and failure. Memorizing definitions isn’t as important as using them. Being able to analyze, compare, and contrast is vital to survival.

- Review a Little Bit, Regularly.
Slow and steady wins the race. Students tend to read a ton of material before an exam. However, the human mind requires time in order to fully grasp ideas and concepts. Taking 10-20 minutes to read your notes after school daily can help in memorizing lessons, understanding themes, and recalling important points. Taking every subject’s lessons day by day will prevent you from being overwhelmed.

**Tip:
- When reading through your notes, picture yourself in the classroom with your classmates and teacher. The human mind is like a web, connected by images and sounds. Doing so can help you recall things written on the board or things mentioned by the teacher.

- Learn to Plan and Cram.
Working for the long-term and rushing for the short-term are two opposing ends of the spectrum. But if you don’t master both, you will suffocate in requirements.Time and energy are limited resources and the best scholars know how to get the most out of them. You can’t expect to be able to plan assignments weeks or days in advance the same way you can’t expect to make “academic excellence” in 30 minutes or less like a pizza delivery service.

**Tips:
- Periodic Exams, Long Tests, and Projects REQUIRE planning and coordination.
- Teachers can take up to 5 minutes setting up. Exploit the time.
- Lunchbreak, and the 20 minute breaks are the normal “"cram periods”“.


- Don’t Think of Difficulty.
“Easy” and “Hard” are relative terms. They mean different things to different people and ultimately, they should mean nothing to you. Feeling scared of a “tough” exam is harmful, as is feeling smug about an “easy” one. Study well so you can approach every test with confidence. Remember: it’s just as possible to perfect a difficult test as it is to fail an easy one.

- Don’t Compare Yourself to Others.
The world has approx. 7 billion people. There are always going to be people who are better than you at a given skill, the same way that there will always be people who are worse. Don’t consider them. Your life is your battle, and you’re going to have to fight it for yourself. Being discouraged by your friends’ high scores is as illogical as being encouraged by their low scores. There’s no reason to be proud of 1/10, even if it’s the highest score in the whole class.

- Don’t Blame Teachers.
Not all of your teachers are going to be fair or good at their jobs, whether you like it or not. Regardless, you can’t control your teacher’s incompetence or harshness but you can control the effort you put into their class. Read in advance, find other of info sources, and predict their requirements. The odds may be against you, but as a student you’re expected to beat them.

- Consult.
There’s no shame in asking for help. If you have difficulty in a subject, it always helps to consult with a teacher. Not only does it help in resolving any misconceptions/mistakes, it shows that you’re willing to take the time and effort to do well. To most teachers, that spirit is just as important as the final grade. Note: if a teacher knows that you have difficulty in their subject, they’ll probably take note of it in class which may be to your benefit.

- Find Your Own Strategy/Work Smart.
No single study strategy works universally. Everyone has their own specific style of learning and it’s up to you to find yours. If skimming through readings works for you then go ahead. If you’re the kind that needs to take notes, fine. It’s all about working both hard and smart, giving the most energy but finding the most effective way of using it. Humans are creative creatures. You might find that the best solution is one that no one has thought of before.

- Be Liable.
You need to be proactive in academics. Many students have the tendency to be caught off guard by a surprise quiz. They’ll often argue with the teacher, using the retort “Ma'am, you didn’t announce it!” as an excuse. Shaking off responsibility through ignorance is suicidal in this school. If you’re willing to take the risk of coming to class unprepared for the sake of being lazy, go ahead. Just be prepared for the consequences of your actions.

- Keep Moving Forward.
You’re human. Humans make mistakes. Learn from your errors but leave them where they belong; in the past. Everyone wants to get an A+ but you’ll never go that far with the weight of your failure hanging over your shoulder.

Conclusion: Don’t Take Academics too Seriously.
It seems counter-intuitive to end this guide with a statement like “Don’t Take Academics Too Seriously” but it’s something that everyone should remember. No matter no hard you try, you will fail at something. You’ll reach an obstacle that will knock you down to the ground and it will hurt like hell. You need to have something to fall back; friends, family, a hobby, an interest, etc. You don’t want to graduate and realize that you’re only good at earning numbers in a system.You could graduate this high school with the highest average in history but it won’t matter to anyone if you don’t know how you got it. Life is just like math, it’s not all
about the final answer. Your solution is just as important.

**Ultimately, your success as a scholar isn’t measured by a number on a piece of paper but in the difference you make in people’s lives. We’re not going to carry facts and theorems with us, but an attitude of trying to give our best no matter what the cost. That’s the most important lesson you can ever learn in school, but you’re not going to learn it from one subject or teacher. You’re going to live it everyday through every requirement and every grade receive.

TEAMWORK MAKES THE DREAM WORK: BANGTAN COMEBACK GUIDE

As always I would like to emphasize again that we all try our best in helping out. So don’t worry if you’re not able to do most of what’s written here. What’s important is you try to do your best given the available time you have and funds/resources! ^_^ Here are a list of things we can do to help bangtan every comeback.

1. DIGITAL STREAMING/POINTS

Only Korean Music Apps counts towards winning in Music Shows. And this criteria often takes up half of the points to win so it’s very important. MELON is the main important app but there’s also GENIE, NAVER.. etc… 

MELON APP - you have to purchase a streaming pass to be able to stream the album/songs to make it count. iOS users can buy their own pass. Android users you need to ask help from iOS users to use your account and buy the pass for you. I bought mine from here. [HOW TO: MELON APP]

NAVER APP - !!!THEY GIVE OUT FREE STREAMING PASS!!! Yes free! You just have to sign up and follow instructions to get it. [HOW TO: NAVER APP]

2. BUYING THE PHYSICAL ALBUM

It only counts if you buy from stores/online shops that counts the purchase in Gaon or Hanteo charts, otherwise your purchase won’t count. We always get good results on this so it really helps bangtan for music show wins as well. So if you can please do consider buying the albums! [LIST HERE]

3. SPOTIFY & iTUNES PURCHASES 

Streaming and buying the album from here counts for Billboard charts so they’re important too. Please do consider purchasing from here as well and streaming on spotify to help bangtan with their Billboard ranking.

4. YOUTUBE MV VIEWS

This is to make sure that every time you view the MV, it counts. The result of the views counts towards helping bangtan win in Music Shows. Not only that, we always try to get a lot of views for the first 24 hours. Please do not reupload the video on other sites, stop others from doing it as well, make sure the views only goes to the main one on bighit’s channel. [HOW TO: YOUTUBE MV]

5. MUSIC SHOWS

Each music shows have different criteria. But most really have more points for digital streaming. Will post more info if there’s some voting to be done preshow. [LIST OF MUSIC SHOWS AND INFO]

Please feel free to send me an ask or chat msg for any questions!! I reply faster if you’re off anon. Thanks again ARMYs for always doing your best in helping Bangtan~ Let’s also enjoy and have fun this comeback!!!! 

The other thing I want to talk about with regards to Homecoming is…bare with me…Peter is objectively not a good Superhero ™ yet.

He does not win a single fight he’s in. He can’t figure out his super suit. Donald Glover gives the perfect reaction to Peter’s skills on the job.

Like, Peter was clearly supposed to, at some point, get training if he was going to engage in the higher levels of combat the suit functions were clearly meant for. Right now his primary skill set is legitimately stopping bike robberies and webbing up criminals.

Because Peter is a non-combat trained teenager. He is legitimately not ready for the big stage. Like, I’m sure there are people whining and moaning about Tony holding him back, and Peter was in that boat for a while too, but Peter is objectively in over his head again and again.

But you know what Peter had going for him? Incredibly personal fortitude and the absolute need to do the right thing.

Peter’s greatest, most pure win (in the sense of it’s absolutely a victory in the classic superhero way) is when there is no explicit enemy, when he is giving everything he has to save people. It’s not a fight, it’s a rescue mission, and Peter gives it his all and then some and succeeds with aplomb.

Peter does not kill anyone. He’s actively offended by having the option to do so. He makes deliberate choices not to kill people. And, at the very end, he could have let his enemy’s hubris kill him and therefore “win” the fight. After all, he’d essentially just gotten the crap kicked out of him. Peter had clearly lost to the Vulute by that point. Instead, Peter saves him. That’s such a pure, beautiful goodness that I want my superheroes to have.

(Forever bitter that they cut Tony trying to save Obadiah from IM1, but this isn’t the post for parallels. Just know…I totally consider them there).

And Peter…god, that scene. Things get rough, and Peter reaches into himself and finds something incredible. He does not give up. He overcomes.

This is a movie about a pretty mediocre teenage superhero in all of those combat-related ways, except we as an audience go on a journey to realize that while, yes, those skills are critical to being a superhero, they’re not what makes a superhero at all.

Tony, the futurist, looks at Peter like he’s the future, and it’s not hard to see why. With time and training, Peter easily has the potential to be the best out of all of them, combined, a hundred times over.

And I love that so much.

“I hope I deserve it”

Is what Dany days as Jon “verbally” bends the knee. But why exactly?

Dany is a proud woman, and when she’s not, she puts up a facade of being proud. Her neverending list of titles prove it, but it’s not like it’s not right for her to be or that there’s no reason to be - in the contrary, she both needs it and deserves it. She did endure all that she explained to Jon and she did achieve all that her titles means. The fact that so many - me included, at times - don’t like it, is because it’s a tad repetitive, but it’s completely true, and because it’s often put in comparison with Jon who, on the other hand, is extremely humile, and for whose honour Davos himself had to step in - because he doesn’t care. He came to Dragonstone for a diplomatic purpose and that’s what he’d doing, being the honourable, severe son of his adoptive father Ned Stark. All that he did, he did for others, never for himself, fully knowing he’d gain but hatred but for it. And if he doesn’t bend the knee all the times Dany asks him is because he and his men and women in the north have now different matters to take care of, much less “trivial” than a war in the south. Let alone “brag”, he doesn’t even state what he’s done exactly. David has to, in his place. And that’s when he says

“He took a knife in the heart for his people…!”

But Jon sends him a stare and stops him. Why? Because it’s already difficult to believe in dead armies and White Walkers, let alone resurrections.

But Dany is still a tad curious. This man is the North is a ruler of about her age, humile, mysterious. He’s here for a very specific purpose and doesn’t seem to be afraid of her, nor of her dragons. If she wants to kill him, so be it, he’s come simply to serve his people. And that’s how she starting to see him as very similar to her, unengaged in day-to-day personal matters. Because Dany too, for as proud as she is, wants to serve the people.

So she asks Tyrion about it, and he doesn’t give the matter importance. She then asks Jon in person, but they are interrupted.

Then he leaves for the mission beyond the wall. She can see again just how much of a leader. Just like she took Drogon and met the Lannister army in open field personally, so he wouldn’t let his men do something so stupid dangerous without taking part in it himself. He’s again honourable, severe, uninterested. When she arrives to save them, he’s about the take her hand and get away

Originally posted by lydialoves-stiles

But he doesn’t. He lets the other go first while fighting off the wights. Selfless to a fault, so much that he almost loses his life for it, but he manages to return. And she sees his scars. At this point I guess she asks Davos for clarifications and this time, he gives them to her, explanaining that the King in The North did take a knife in the heart for his people.

At this point, to her, he’s the most honourable leader she’s ever met. He’s nothing like the lords and ladies she’s fighting, not even like her now deceased allies. He’s merciful and self-sacrifical. And after weeks spent together she should understand better the situation in the North and what exactly it implied for him to do what he did.

That’s where the “I hope I deserve it” lies. He’s a man she admires, not one of those sheep she either has the win over or threaten. What he did for his people, the kind of things he did, is what she’s like to do when she sits on the iron throne.


Originally posted by paola-owo

Jon, at the same time, understood her better. What she did, at the cost of one of her children, to save them, is in the same way something he has profound respect for. The North doesn’t like southern rulers because they are not understood by them, it’s two completely different worlds. But this one dared to go north as see with her own two eyes what it is. Jon respects her now. He never had much love for power anyway, he doesn’t want it: if he didn’t bend the knee it’s because of his people most and foremost.

Whether you ship them or not, I think this relationship is beautiful because in this season we slowly see two people come together from opposite sides, backgrounds, experiences, even geographic places, united only by the so hard to find willingness to always put others before themselves. That they love each other is a consequence of this, because they both see this beauty of character in each other, which is indeed firstly in themselves.


Originally posted by paola-owo

SKAM S04E03 Clip 5 - I Judge No One

SANA: That’s why I think we should be ambitious, and a clear goal should be to try to win at least one of the bus prizes at Tryvann* in May 2018.

GIRL 1: It’s pretty easy to say you want to win prizes, everyone wants that, but now that you’re bus boss, do you have any plans on how to do that?

SANA: To start, I’ve had a look at your budget, and it needs to be re-allocated. For example, there’s no point in trying to compete in lighting and sound rigging, cause then we’re going to lose. But what we can be competitive in is concept. So the first thing I’m going to do is move a lot of our resources from the lighting and sound category to the concept category.

INGRID: I’m sorry, but it’s pretty hard to win the year’s best concept.

SANA: Yes, but if you do an analysis of the buses that have won the last three years, you can see some obvious commonalities. The League 2014: a boy’s bus from Bærum with Pokeball-bar and Pokemon decorations. Montana 2015: a boy’s bus from Oslo-West that used three versions of Montana - Tony Montana, Hannah Montana and the state Montana. And then we have Landslaget** 2016, inspired by football spirit and nationalism. Do you see what those buses have in common?

GIRL: Boy’s buses…

SANA: All the concepts suck and we can do better. In the first round, I’m going to call in all the bus bosses to a meeting where we plan what we’re going to do the next half year with some clear goals. Any more questions? Yes?

GIRL TWO: Well, so … the russ period is all about partying and drinking, and then I have to ask, since you’re Muslim, what do you think of drinking?

SANA: I judge no one.

Keep reading

Davai! (Or why Otayuri actually wins the world)


(Tweets by @Aki_the_Geek)

I’ve been thinking a lot about this comment of Kubo-sensei’s. It’s just the most adorable thing I have read in a while. I am not the biggest Otayuri fan, but only mostly because they’re seriously too young for me at this point. I do like their tandem, however, and I am enjoying the attention they are getting recently with the official photos and everything.

This comment, though, just paints such a cute picture for me: Otabek as a god of victory, like a mystical butterfly who ignores and flits past everyone else but chooses to rest on one particular mortal’s shoulder and bless him with strength and victory.

Listen, this is what is great about what Kubo-sensei said. Yuuri Katsuki has the gold rings that connect him to Viktor as his lucky charm - we know this. BUT! Yuri Plisetsky’s lucky charm, on the other hand, is Otabek Altin.

Yuri’s a great character. He is an angry teenager, but also a talented one who has big dreams and the actual skills to achieve those dreams. From the very beginning, we know this. It was even a point he has above Yuuri Katsuki.

He aims to win and does not see what others might consider obstacles. So what if it will be his first Grand Prix? He’s awesome. He won the juniors series. He can win as a senior, too.

Yuri, however, is also very immature. He is pretty poor at expressing himself and seems to shortcut through having to process most personal encounters and interactions by just being angry all the time. Affection for others embarrasses him, which is why he gets so high-strung around Viktor and Yuuri.

(I can’t really blame the kid, though. Those two just have no chill. They’re embarrassing.)

Interestingly though, Yuri seemed to calm down after Otabek came in the picture. It’s a complete 180. Yuri still had that passion, but somehow it became more tempered, less angry and more focused - so much so that the moment Otabek came in, Yuri broke a world record and then proceeded to win his first Grand Prix Final.

I am not saying that it is Otabek’s doing, like an actual god of victory. That would be ridiculous, and it’s more an expression than anything else. The timing is just pretty neat, and isn’t that how people develop lucky charms in the first place? You happen to have them right at the moment of a great win. It is also not as if Otabek was completely useless. He did provide a friend to Yuri, who thus far had been going on without someone he can actually call a friend. Everyone around him were either older than him, a competitor, a mentor or a teacher. I think Otabek calmed Yuri down by reminding him that he can just be himself… well, a cool version of himself anyway. Yuri actually sort of acted his age with Otabek around. For instance, this?

I thought Yuri was kind of cool-guy-posing here - you know, acting chill, even looks kind of smug. Lol, this reminded me so much of my younger brother when he was about Yuri’s age. He was such a useless brat at home and was pissed off at everything and nothing 99% of the time, but the moment his friends came over or one of them called him on the phone, he sort of became this cool version of himself - wittier, sharper, less fidgety. Lmao, his voice even became deeper. Smh at these boys…

What I also love about Otabek’s character is that he reminds us of Yuri’s name. Names are a big deal, okay, and I thought that Yuri being Yurio was kind of like him being a secondary character to Yuuri Katsuki - Yuuri #2, if you will. Ever since episode 2, Yuri is Yurio, and for every episode hence, he is Yurio. It was actually a bit of a shock to me when Otabek yelled this out in episode 11:

I was literally, “Oh yeah, that’s Yurio’s name.” I know Yakov and Lilia call Yurio by his name, but somehow it was when Otabek was calling him by this did Yurio become Yuri to me again. My theory is that it is Otabek’s manner, this I-know-you-call-him-Yurio-and-I-don’t-care-because-his-name-is-Yuri attitude he has going, that is somehow more convincing than anyone else. It is as if no one else matters in his world than Yuri Plisetsky. It is ridiculous to call him by anything other than his name because to Otabek, Yuri is Yuri #1. He probably calls Yuuri “the other Yuri”, “the Japanese Yuri” or just plain “Katsuki”.

So yeah, Otabek enters Yuri’s life and now Yuri has that source of affirmation that is outside family, who is a peer and even a close contemporary. He is no longer fighting alone. Yuri’s a strong guy, but he is still a kid, and at that age people can be quite vulnerable. No 15-year-old is so self-sufficient and self-confident that they can stand on their own at all times - at least not to my knowledge. That is why I love this friendship and why I love that Otabek came along. I think his coming triggered something that Yuri has long been building throughout the series but has yet to stabilize - his strength, his growth, his maturity as a skater as well as a person.

And actually, Yuri did win in the end. I think the series did not celebrate Yuri’s win enough and admittedly, even I was on such a high during those last weeks of the show that I could not be happy for him all that much. Episode 11? I couldn’t get over Yuri’s world record; I did not want to see Viktor dethroned. By episode 12, I still couldn’t look Yuri in the face. I was bitter about his world record and I was bitter about Yuuri Katsuki not winning the Grand Prix.

BUT, it’s time to face it: Yuri Plisetsky is amazing. He won the GPF on his senior debut. He beat a world record. His coach is obviously grooming him to be the next Viktor Nikiforov, and actually, the series has been hinting at it before hitting us on the face with it in episode 11 - Yuuri Katsuki is not the next Viktor Nikiforov, but Yuri Plisetsky is. What is more amazing is that he might even surpass Viktor, especially with Yuuri Katsuki as his main rival. Viktor never really had that one rival to push him up further than he thinks he can. We are told that his wins had wide margins from his other competitors. Viktor only had himself to beat each and every time. Yuri, on the other hand, won by a hair’s width and he knows it. He is even more driven now. He will push himself harder than Viktor ever had pushed himself, and that just might tip the scale a little bit more to future Yuri’s favor.

As for Otabek? Nah, he actually does not need to do anything. He is a lucky charm; he just needs to exist. With him around, Yuri is stable, and that’s all that this talented monster skater needs really.

Lol, look at this guy just watching his favorite so proudly:

“I’m not really needed here, but fuck if I’m not staying put to watch and join the cheering.”

Otayuri actually has a lot more going for them, future-wise. They are young, they are talented, and where Viktor and Yuuri are still struggling and see-sawing between victories and losses, Otayuri actually kept a steady climb. We already know and mentioned Yuri’s wins, but Otabek was also actually that steady character from the very beginning who skated well without question and was even the first to qualify for the GPF.

So, yes. In case you are asking, Otayuri is, in fact, the real power couple of the show.

Lmao, TL;DR - Otayuri just trumped Viktuuri and ultimately even stole their gold. The secondary OTP lowkey just beat the main OTP and I, albeit a hardcore Viktuuri shipper and just an Otayuri bystander at best, still find that really hilarious.

A little note on the 5th DVD cover

I noticed some people saying that JJ shouldn’t be on this cover, and that it should instead be Otabek.

Quick disclaimer : I’m not trying to drag Otabek down (I actually really like him) nor to play a “who’s better”game. I just want to point out some things.

I think people tend to overrate Otabek’s impact in the anime. Not only did he arrive pretty late, but his impact was really local. He helped Yuri achieve his growth toward Agape. That’s it. And even then, he’s not responsible for the full growth of Yuri. It was an accumulation of events, and his friendship with Otabek was the last piece that helped him reach it.

I’m sure he’s going to get more development and to be shown as a more fleshed-out and impactful in the next-season, but it’s not the case yet. His only impact is on Yuri. He’s not a trial for others skaters, as most are just only discovering him (the “dark horse” of the GPF).

On the contrary to JJ.

Like it or not, JJ is a key character in the series that you can’t erase so easily.

Right from his introduction, he’s shown as “the skater with the most momentum”, and right from ep 9 we see Yuri modifying his jumps in order to beat him. In the last episodes, his presence put a pressure on at least Yuuri and Yuri, who both change their programs and jumps compositions in order to beat him (we don’t see for the other skaters, but it’s not impossible his presence put extra pressure on them too).

He did play a role in Yuri’s personal growth too. Yuri is just starting out his senior debuts, and as we see in the first episodes, he’s sure he’s going to win and don’t doubt of himself for one instant. He’s a sore looser and is used to win, and that’s a part of him that’s pretty immature. In order to grow, he needs to face some defeats, and having JJ beat him several times is a needed reminder in order to grow up. It also lead him to push his limits, to connect with people in order to perfect Agape, and lead him to beat a world’s record in a really elegant way. It doesn’t matter if JJ ended up self-destructing at the end, because his impact on Yuri starts since the beginning of the GP. (More on this here)

But he also impacted Yuuri. Not only did JJ’s high scores push Yuuri to change his program and attempt a quad flip AGAIN (despite not mastering it the first time) in order to have a chance to beat JJ, but JJ’s character as a whole was important, both for Yuuri and for us as spectators. One of the main difference between Yuuri and JJ seems to be the self-confidence (not even mentioning their engagements happening in the same time and their promise of a marriage upon winning gold). But it also resides in their recognition of the love that surround them. It’s clearly said in the series: for a long time, Yuuri didn’t realize how much love and support was around him, and it’s one of the main points of the anime. Yuuri discovering and accepting that love and using it to go farther. 
JJ does realize and accept it. He’s using it to go further. His self-love comes from the love people around him give to him, and he’s using it to go further. He’s only 19 and he’s doing a lot of things, outside of skating (when Yuuri sticks to skating and self-destruct even here). Because he feels secure in the love his relatives and fans have for him. And even when he does fail, he’s still supported and cared for. 
But it’s not just JJ. Yuuri too is supported and cared for when he fails, we see it from the beginning, with Minako welcoming him cheerfully at the airport. But Yuuri doesn’t realize it.

And then we have Yuuri watching JJ fails because of the pressure, and dragging a parallel with himself. He can see JJ -an overly talented young skater that everyone was expecting to win the GPF and who already won two gold medals in a row during his qualifying events- succumb to pressure and fail. Just like him. I strongly believe it helped him step back and re-think how he’s seeing himself, even more that it happens at a time of his life where he’s already growing slowly from his anxiety and self-hatred.

It’s not a coincidence if this shot :

is taking place just at the end of JJ’s FP where he managed to pull himself back up. We see Yuuri quickly tying up his skates and looking determined. Sure, he’s thinking of retiring. But remembers he planned on retiring after winning gold at the finale. Meaning that here, he’s confident about winning a gold medal. 
Something he couldn’t really consider last year when he blew up his performance. What we see happening with JJ in one program is what happened with Yuuri all along the anime, and they put this shot at this exact moment to underline how they are at the same point at this moment.

JJ wasn’t mean to be an antagonist, as I see it said a lot. He was here to participate to some character’s growth, and to show how everyone will recover at their own pace, and how support and love drastically help in the process (as well as accepting that love) and in loving yourself. This event helps Yuuri finalize the process we saw through the series that lead him to now be confident in his ability to win the gold medal and accept his relatives’ love.

tl;dn : JJ IS an important character, whether you like it or not. Otabek, even if full of potential, only had a minor impact in the series.

LETS TALK ABOUT OCS

Ask meme to get you to talk about your OCs to your followers!!

Section 1 - About:

  1. Briefly Describe your OC: Appearance, personality, role in a story, etc..
  2. Briefly describe their backstory/childhood
  3. Describe their family life and friends.
  4. What is the world they come from like?
  5. Are they original or exist in a certain fandom?
  6. Are they an introvert or extrovert?
  7. Greatest fear?
  8. What’s their sense of humor like?
  9. Favorite pieces of fiction or genres they enjoy?
  10. Favorite music genres?
  11. Describe their vision of a perfect spouse, if applicable.
  12. Largest regret?
  13. Something your OC would say?
  14. Whats their morality like?
  15. Would they live in a city, rural area, or suburb?
  16. Which actor would you like to portray your OC? (Or a voice actor)
  17. Sexuality? Gender Identity?
  18. What inspired you to make this character?

Section 2 - If…

  1. If they existed in another decade, what would they wear? (Asker can choose what decade) (Bonus points if you draw them!)
  2. If they were in a RPG, what would be their class?
  3. If they received a large amount of money no strings attached, what would they use it for?
  4. If they competed on a competitive TV show, how would they approach to winning? (the “mean” one, the one who makes friends, the one who’s there for fun)
  5. If they could change one thing about their past, what would it be?
  6. If you met them, what would they do?
  7. If your character exists in another series’ world, what would they be doing/look like?
  8. Ask your own!

Section 3 - Other:

  1. What other OCs would they get along with?
  2. What’s their singing voice like?
  3. Take a personality test as the character. Post results.
  4. What would be their fighting style in a fighting game like Mortal Kombat, Super Smash Brothers, or Street Fighter?
  5. What are some mannerisms/quirks?
  6. Describe their favorite meal.
  7. What do they do when they’re bored?
  8. How do they express love/affection for someone?
  9. Most embarrassing thing that could/has happened to them?
  10. Make a portrait sketch of them!