fearless and determined

Horizon Zero Dawn and Cultural appropriation: A very different view.

For the first time EVER, I’m sitting on the other side of a discussion about appropriating native culture.  Why?  Well, let me lay the framework.

First off, I’m not a guy who “knows a Native American” or has a “Native friend”  I am a 100% Anishinabe (Ojibway) dude who lives on reserve and has fought racism, stereotypes, pan-Indianism, and cultural appropriation fiercely for as long as I can remember. I’ve been the victim of horrendous racial violence as a child, adolescent, and adult, and I’m also a gamer.

I am the first to point out anything that smacks of any of the above and after I saw the Dia Lacina essay on “Horizon: Zero Dawn” being culturally insensitive and appropriating Native culture, I felt for the first time in a situation like this that I had to say something in rebuttal.

Lacina takes issue with the use of the words Tribal, Primitive, Braves, and Savage being used in the game (fyi they’re used to describe predominantly white people in game and they’re White words we didn’t use to describe ourselves thus I claim no ownership of, nor want to, anymore than I want to be a redskin, Indian or Wahoo)  

It seems (IMO) that most of her beef comes from an apparent belief that numerous aspects of generic tribal culture that appear in the game (making clothing from skins, hunting with spears and bows, living in a Matriarchal society, etc) are the sole domain of the Native American and just to be safe and cleverly keep her POV less subject to scrutiny, she applies it even more broadly to indigenous people world wide (I will just refer to us in particular as NA cuz I’m lazy and I also don’t refer to myself as a Native American) and basically that anything that is remotely “tribal” shouldn’t be used in gaming without our or someone else’s permission.

 In fairness, I don’t know if she’s actually played the game but as someone who is currently in the midst of doing exactly that, I can tell you that I have a pretty good idea of what stuff triggered her being upset and why, and while I absolutely respect her right to get offended by whatever she likes, and she makes excellent points about some other games, I am going to point out that there are flaws with this logic.

First of all, the basics: HZD is set in a post-post-apocalyptic future where people are living in tribal groups in a very destroyed world.  Machines exist but as hybrid animal/dinosaur type creatures and technology is pretty much non-existent in day to day human life.  

The heroine of the story is a red haired, white girl named Aloy who lives as an outcast with her adopted father, Rost.  Without giving a lot away, they are fiercely shunned by the local tribe for something Rost did and also the fact that Aloy is motherless.  

Impressively and rightly, though somewhat dismissively remarked upon by Lacina, is the way women and especially women of color are portrayed so positively in-game as this particular tribe is a total Matriarchy run by elders of various ethnicity.  African, Asian, White, and a variety of undefined people of color are common everywhere in the game.  (The leader of one band of warriors is a very fierce, commanding, intelligently portrayed black woman with a powerful presence.)  It reflects a fairly global society from a “skin color” perspective without any horrible accents or broken speech.

They worship an “All-Mother” goddess and their culture is (at least how I saw a lot of it) fairly heavy on European i.e. Celtic, Germanic, Scandinavian, etc type symbolism and the rest is filled in with mostly generic tribal-ish stuff that you could find in countless cultures around the world.

 I really didn’t get a “Native American” vibe off the game.  Of course, I don’t automatically presume to claim sole ownership of things like tribal life, hunting with bows and spears, and worshiping spirits of various elements solely for my own.  Random fact: Because there are over 500 distinct First Nations in N. America, we, believe it or not, didn’t all ride horses, live in tipis, use bows and arrows, tobacco and sage, and worship Eagles and Wolves.  Why? Well…use your brain.  Tobacco and Sage don’t grow EVERYWHERE, horses came over with the Europeans (and if you saw where I live you couldn’t have and cant for the most part get a horse through the bush if you tried) Eagles and Wolves don’t live EVERYWHERE….get the point?  Anyways….

If you examine Rost, he like most of the men has a braided beard and other seemingly Viking/Middle Ages inspired features, is white, speaks clear, unbroken English, and is a loving, protective and very positive role model for the girl.   Aloy for her part, is also fairly Viking-esque (to the point of looking incredibly like Lagaertha from the show Vikings but with red hair) also Egrit from GoT, and is no damsel in distress who needs men to save her. NOWHERE in the game have I encountered any Tipis, wigwams, Sweatlodges, or Non-White people speaking in stereotypical “Me smoke-um peace pipe, He go dat-a way” fashion.

The  opening cinematic is very touching (and long) as we see the orphaned Aloy as a baby in Rost’s care being carried around in a bundle on his back (which pretty much every culture did in one form or another at some point in time) and him ultimately taking her to the spot where a child of the tribe receives it’s name.

I really liked this idea as it isn’t often portrayed in a lot of mediums outside of stereotypical “Dances With Wolves” bullshit. Also, naming ceremonies are not the sole domain of NA people and what occurs bears zero resemblance to any NA ceremony I know of.  (It was actually a little Lion King at one point lol) But it’s a powerful moment in the beginning with much more that occurs during it but I won’t spoil that either.

Aloy herself is a pretty complex character.  She’s extremely independent, defiant, and questions pretty much everything about why things are the way they are and wants to do something about it.  You actually begin playing her as a 6 year old which is pretty unique and even then she’s tough and fearless and determined to explore her world.  

She is in no way hyper-sexualized (I’m looking your way Overwatch) Her clothing and everyone else’s, is utilitarian and appropriate for the environments she lives in, and so far, I have not encountered anything with her or any other character that made me go “WTF?”and trust me, my radar for that shit is HIGHLY SENSITIVE.  This isn’t Avatar, people.  It’s not John Smith. It’s not The Great Wall or Pocahontas.  This isn’t white dude shows up and saves the helpless non-white people while helpless native woman falls in love with him stuff.  It’s a fictitious future where we maniacs blew it up, damn us all to hell!

But here’s the more annoying thing for me as an actual Anishinabe.  I don’t need people speaking for me or getting offended on my behalf.  I am very capable of doing that myself. I am also in no way writing this claiming to be speaking for any other NA people or persons. It’s based on my observations from actually playing HZD and examining the various fictional “cultural” elements in the game.

If you see a skin tied inside a hoop and automatically assume it’s a dreamcatcher” ripping off “our culture” (FYI Dreamcatchers are a 20th century thing whose popularity was a result of pan-Indianism that exploded in the 70s.) or if you see feathers on a spear or as part of a costume (nowhere is anyone wearing a single eagle feather in the back of a beaded headband or a Dakota looking headdress either) and automatically presume it to be ripping off NA culture, you’re REEEEEEEEEEALY reaching.  If you think caring for the environment, obeying matriarchs, worshipping elemental spirits, or making your own clothes is solely the property of NA culture, see previous statement.

By all means get offended.  Get offended by Chief Wahoo.  Get offended by the Washington Redskins.  Get offended that thousands of Native women have been murdered or gone missing and nothing’s been done about it.  Get offended by Johnny Depp or Robert Beltran playing Native people instead of actual Native people getting those roles.  Get offended by shit like Adam Sandler’s “Ridiculous 6” where a native woman is called a “hot piece of red prairie meat” or Depp’s “Lone Ranger” movie.

Get offended that my family was destroyed by the Residential Schools and that the 60s scoop took babies away from their families and people, that forced sterilizations took place and mass graves of dead Native children exist at former Residential School sites.

Don’t just jump on the I’m offended bandwagon because you saw some feathers or skins or spears or bows in a game and immediately grew indignant and wanted to claim them as OUR culture.  They’re not.  They’re almost globally universal in numerous cultures at various points in time.  Get offended, as she rightly mentioned, when the game Overwatch sexualizes the shit out of almost every female character and takes West Coast tribal art and makes a costume out of it.  

THAT is appropriation.  White people holding powwows in Europe (powwows are also pretty much not traditional and are extremely pan-Indian, not to mention full of us appropriating each other’s Native cultures ie. Dakotas wearing Jingle Dresses, Ojibway wearing Dakota regalia, etc) is appropriation.

This game……I’m just not seeing it the same way.  And I’m nobody.  I have no ties to Guerilla or anybody other than myself and my community.

Some steps need to be taken alone. It’s the only way to figure out where you need to go and who you need to be.


Not sure why I did them backwards but you get the idea. The tan bra and black leggings was a year ago (Sep 7, 2016) and the black bra and black leggings was yesterday (Sep 7, 2017).

These pictures were taken a year apart and the difference to me is indescribable! But if we are talking about pounds there is exactly 76lbs difference to be exact (just in the pics above). 🤗 All together I’ve lost 153.6lbs.

So much has changed in my life since then and for the better. I have grew courage; where I thought I had none. I learned to love again; when I thought I never would. And I have gained more patience; when I never thought that would be possible!

I am thankful for this journey I have been going through and will continue to go through until I reach my goal. I am literally so close I can almost see the numbers on the scale!! ❤️

I hope everybody else is doing well out there in the Tumblr world! Remember there is never an easy way to lose weight. You must give it your all and never give up!!! 💪🏼

Tarot and The Signs


0 The Fool - innocence, new beginnings, free spirit - Sagittarius
I The Magician - willpower, desire, creation, manifestation - Capricorn
II The High Priestess - intuition, unconscious, inner voice - Cancer
III The Empress - motherhood, fertility, nature - Taurus
IV The Emperor - authority, structure, control, fatherhood - Aries
V The Hierophant - tradition, conformity, morality and ethics - Taurus
VI The Lovers - partnership, union, duality, choice - Gemini
VII The Chariot - direction, control, willpower - Cancer
VIII Strength - bravery, compassion, focus, inner strength - Leo
IX The Hermit - contemplation, search for truth, inner guidance - Virgo
X The Wheel of Fortune - change, cycles, inevitable fate - Pisces
XI Justice - cause and effect, clarity, truth - Libra
XII The Hanged Man - sacrifice, release, martyrdom - Virgo
XIII Death - end of a cycle, beginnings, change, metamorphosis - Scorpio
XIV Temperance - the middle path, patience, finding meaning - Sagittarius
XV The Devil - excess, materialism, playfulness - Capricorn
XVI The Tower - sudden upheaval, pride, disaster - Aries
XVII The Star - hope, faith, rejuvenation - Aquarius
XVIII The Moon - subconscious, illusion, intuition - Pisces
XIX The Sun - joy, success, celebration, positivity - Leo
XX Judgement - reflection, reckoning, inner voice - Scorpio
XXI The World - fulfillment, harmony, completion - Libra


Suit of Cups - the Suit of Water

Page of Cups - delightful surprise, inner child, intuition - Pisces
Knight of Cups - messenger, romance, adventure - Scorpio
Queen of Cups - compassion, calm, comfort - Cancer
King of Cups - compassion, control, balance - Scorpio
Ace of Cups - new love, overwhelming feelings, creativity - Cancer
II of Cups - unity, partnership, two become one - Cancer
III of Cups - friendship, community, partnership - Pisces
IV of Cups - apathy, contemplation, disconnectedness - Scorpio
V of Cups - loss, grief, disappointment - Scorpio
VI of Cups - nostalgia, happy memories, reunion - Cancer
VII of Cups - choices, fantasy, illusion - Pisces
VIII of Cups - walking away, disillusionment, leaving behind - Scorpio
IX of Cups - comfort, emotional stability, luxury - Cancer
X of Cups - happiness, fulfillment, celebration - Pisces

Suit of Pentacles - the Suit of Earth

Page of Pentacles dreams, desire, new opportunity Taurus
Knight of Pentacles - efficiency, hard work, routine Capricorn 
Queen of Pentacles - practicality, amenities, financial security - Virgo
King of Pentacles - abundance, power, security - Capricorn
Ace of Pentacles
- opportunity, prosperity, new venture - Virgo
II of Pentacles - balance, priorities, adapting to change - Virgo
III of Pentacles - teamwork, collaboration, building - Taurus
IV of Pentacles - conservation, security, frugality - Taurus
V of Pentacles - need, poverty, insecurity - Capricorn
VI of Pentacles - charity, generosity, sharingTaurus
VII of Pentacles - hard work, perseverance, diligenceCapricorn
VIII of Pentacles - education, apprenticeship, achievementCapricorn
IX of Pentacles - fruit of labor, independence, rewardsVirgo
X of Pentacles - legacy, inheritance, culminationCapricorn

Suit of Swords - the Suit of Air

Page of Swords - curiosity, restlessness, mental energy - Aquarius
Knight of Swords
- action, speed, ambition - Libra
Queen of Swords
- complexity, perspective, clear mindedness - Gemini
King of Swords
- intellectual, power, truth - Aquarius
Ace of Swords
- victory, sharp mind, raw strength - Gemini
II of Swords
- difficult choices, indecision, stalemate - Libra
III of Swords
- heartbreak, grief, suffering - Gemini
IV of Swords
- rest, restoration, contemplation - Aquarius
V of Swords
- unbridled ambition, win at all costs, sneakiness - Gemini
VI of Swords
- transition, leaving behind, moving on - Aquarius
VII of Swords
- deception, trickery, turning a blind eye - Gemini
VIII of Swords
- imprisonment, powerlessness, self-victimization - Libra
IX of Swords
- anxiety, hopelessness, nightmares - Libra
X of Swords
- betrayal, defeat, backstabbing - Gemini

Suit of Wands - the Suit of Fire

Page of Wands - exploration, excitement, freedom - Sagittarius
Knight of Wands
- action, adventure, fearlessness - Sagittarius
Queen of Wands - courage, determination, joy - Aries
King of Wands - big picture, leader, overcoming challenges - Leo
Ace of Wands - creation, willpower, inspiration, desire - Leo
II of Wands - planning, making plans, discovery - Aries
III of Wands - looking ahead, expansion, rapid growth - Sagittarius
IV of Wands - community, home, celebration - Aries
V of Wands - competition, conflict, rivalry - Leo
VI of Wands - victory, success, public reward - Aries
VII of Wands - perseverance, defensive, maintaining control - Leo
VIII of Wands - rapid action, movement, quick decisions - Sagittarius
IX of Wands - resilience, pushing forward, last stretch - Aries
X of Wands - accomplishment, responsibility, burden - Leo

Cable Girls: Las Chicas del Cable

First impression about Cable Girls after binge watching:

I love how 4 women so diverse can be so amazingly strong in such different ways. How they show us the different ways men could have total control over women’s life, and how those characters face this oppression, each her own way, is well written while still realistic with the time period it’s written in. 

- Lidia/Alba’s character complexity is amazing. Her monologues fit so well with what’s going on and the actress is amazing. Her love drama makes me yawn sometimes though. 

- Carlota is probably my favorite. She’s so brave, determined, fearless, relentless. She is aware of her flaws and tries to be better. When she faces a situation she’s never contemplated (you know what I’m talking about) sit shows that she’s frustrated with herself for not being good enough. Her ideals are so rooted and her actions show so much passion. How she stands up against her dad and anyone who betrays her or messes up with her is wonderful to watch. 

- Marga is the most ADORKABLE person I can think of. Her puns and sentences make me soft and laugh at the same time. She’s so naïve but so determined to be better and independent at the same time. I just want to adopt her. 

- Ángeles is probably the hardest character to see on screen. Her growth process is heartbreaking to watch, and it feels a little bit rushed sometimes. But it seems they get to keep her on character while still showing how she changes her heart and mindset, and her strength is unique and different. 

About Sara. I love the job the actress does. She shows so much emotion in her actions, for instance, those huge heart eyes the character has for Carlota. It’s a character you don’t expect to surprise you in the first episode but it does. *spoiler alert* The relationship with Carlota and Miguel is surprising but it doesn’t feel forced. I liked they introduced polyamory in such a casual but powerful way, showing . About the last scene of this character… *Spoiler alert* [Sidenote: Sara’s transness is an assumption that everyone I’ve talked with about the series agrees on. That’s the interpretation I made of it and they way I’m addressing it]. I have such mixed feelings about it. I love the way they introduce the concept, it’s not explicit or complicated, it’s just hinted with Miguel’s shirt and a subtle but direct sentence of Alba in the background. The sentence though… my activist self just can’t digest it. *Spoiler alert* “Not being in the right body” it transmits trans people’s bodies aren’t right, which is a concept that most of the society has nowadays (I was going to say “had”, but in 1928 most people didn’t even register trans people’s existence). Their bodies are their business and whatever they want them to be. The perpetuation of this idea it’s heartbreaking. I’m guessing the reason it’s the same old “that’s how people understand it” and “it was 1928″ and “it would not have been obvious without that sentence”, but that’s just how transphobia is perpetuated. Anyway, I’m willing to see the development of the character next season and how they treat them. 

Elisa (Aka. Alice in wonderland) introduces us to how high class people with mental illnesses were treated back then. How they tried to cover up everything for what people might think, telling her about “her nerves”… I hope we get to see more of what being mentally ill implied in the 20ies, specially as a woman. 

I also love the adorkableness of Pablo, but love that he’s not perfect and really screws up (Her unsufferable girlfriend, come on). And Marglo is just <3. I liked they showed an open minded man like Miguel, although his free mind felt forced. I get what they wanted to do but it didn’t feel too on character tbh. We didn’t have much information about what went though his mind, about how he saw Carlota, what he thought about her and Sara more developed…  The effort is well appreciated though. They could have cut off some of the boring speeches of francisco and given him some more scenes to deepen on that matter.  

Francisco and Carlos (Aka. Tweddledee and Tweedledum) have too many scenes for what little they really do. Francisco is so boring. Period. Carlos is a more evolving character, who shows a development throughout the series. The best part of those 2 is the relationship they have between them, how they behave as really good friends and as brothers, *spoiler alert* even in the end when Francisco burns the new Will of Carlos’ father (Aka. the caterpillar).  

I also liked the number of aged women they show us: Carmen (aka. Queen of hearts), Victoria and Doña Lola, Mario’s mum. They all were great in their own way, had their strong suits. 

About Mario. I just can’t. It makes me anxious. I know it’s necessary and real and I love they did what they did. But it’s so hard to watch. In general, the sexism shown it’s drowning. Which is the purpose of the series. The hopelessness I felt with Ángeles and the no-divorce and Sara in jail was suffocating. 

The absence of POC was pretty obvious too. It might not be that far from reality from 1928 Spain, but that’s no excuse. I hope they get some time and interest next season to introduce the state of other races in that era. 

The show made a pretty good job with the topics it wanted to address, introducing complex and strong characters mixed with light humor and intricate storylines, addressing different forms of sexist opression, and keeping the mystery. It misses some intersectionalism, specially more education about LGTB stuff and some introduction to POC on those times. I hope we don’t find ourselves with another danish girl.

BOLD all that applies to your muse! Feel free to add more!

Eyes: Blue | Green | Brown | Hazel | Black| Grey | Other
Hair: Blonde | Brown | Black | Red | Ginger | Grey/White | Multi-color | Other
Body Type: Skinny | Slender | Slim | Built | Curvy | Athletic | Muscular
Skin: Pale | Light | Fair | Freckled | Tan | Olive | Medium | Dark | Discolored

Gender: Male | Female | Trans | Cis | No Gender | Other
Sexuality: Heterosexual | Homosexual | Bisexual | Pansexual | Asexual | Demisexual | Other
Species: Human | Undead/Vampire | Shapeshifter (Weres) | Demon | Angel | Witch/Wizard/Sorcerer | Incubus/Succubus | Other

Education: High School | College | University | Higher Education
Living Situation: Lives alone | Lives with parents/guardian | Lives with significant other | Lives with a friend | Drifter | Homeless
Parents/Guardian: Mom | Dad | Adoptive | Foster | Grandparents | Family friend
Relationship: Single | Crushing | Dating | Engaged | Married | Separated | It’s complicated

I’ve been: In Love | Hurt | Sick | Abused
I have a(n): Learning Disorder | Personality Disorder | Mental Disorder | Anxiety Disorder | Eating Disorder | Substance-related Disorder
Things I’ve done before: Drank alcohol | Smoked | Done drugs | Stolen | Self harmed | Starved myself | Had sex | Had a threesome | Gotten into a fist fight | Gone to the hospital | Gone to jail | Used a fake ID | Gone to a rave | Killed someone

Positive Traits: Affectionate | Adventurous | Athletic | Brave | Careful | Charming | Confident | Creative | Determined | Fearless | Generous | Honest | Humorous | Intelligent | Loyal | Modest | Patient | Selfless
Negative Traits: Aggressive | Bossy | Cynical | Envious | Fearful | Greedy | Gullible | Jealous | Impatient | Impulsive | Insecure | Irresponsible | Possessive | Sarcastic | Self-conscious | Selfish | Unstable

Everything that happens is from now on. | R.M.

Words: 5114
Warnings: genderbend or female archie, love triangle, childhood, angst


“Just for the record,” she breathes near his ear, five foot on tippy toes as he grips her arm closer. 

“This is a one-off thing, never to be spoken about again.“

"Obviously. I know your shit about Wednesday Addams,” he curls his lips mockingly.

Keep reading

From all of the quotes I have come across on the internet this one has to be my absolute favorite. I believe we all have breaking points, we all process situations differently and are all affected differently based on a ripple of events and cause and effects through out our lives. Many times, we think we have reached our breaking points, but we push forward. We still fight. Forever expanding our threshold of strength. We all have fight in us. It’s human nature. But it’s only when we have the strength and courage to let things go, that we are truly free. The irony of life, how somehow everything you have done, fought for and accomplished are those exact things that you need to let go of in order to grow in life. To reach a level that is meant for you. Society is taught to think from the moment we are born. We are a product of every interaction, thought and feeling absorbed through our senses. I digress. One of the biggest challenges most people face are other people. Belonging, is also human nature. Fitting in, impressing our friends at any level, binds us to an idea. It restricts you as a person. A lot of people spend their life in fear of truly becoming who they really are, because of the fear of letting go of who they have become. Have the confidence to become the person you were born to be, the person you want to be, and the person you struggle with being. Until you lose all of the attachments you have bonded yourself to, you won’t really become.

if we’re talking parallels and role reversals, i think another reason why eva/sana just makes, so much sense, is because they both would showcase that so, so well, from season 1 to season 4.

in season 1, you had eva, and she was the one going through a, for the lack of better words, “identity crisis”, based on friendships going wrong. she was facing loneliness, isolation, feelings of exclusion. every relationship was going wrong. whether it be with her past friends, her mother, with jonas, with isak … until she found the girl squad, and found a place in there. 

and we see how eva saw sana in season 1, as a strong, determined, fearless girl, so sure in her opinions and strategic with her thoughts. so confident in herself. so composed and collected. and with sana telling eva that she found eva “the prettiest, (present) here”, eva all of a sudden fixed her posture, she sat up straight, she allowed herself to feel the effects of those words. she glances sideways at noora, who’s seen as this epitome of beauty, and then glances down at herself, and then back at sana, and has this air of confidence about her, in that one small moment. she lets herself feel that. she lets herself feel beautiful and wanted and pretty, by a girl who she views as so sure of her opinion. that, if sana’s saying this, then it … must hold some weight to it, that she saw me, from them all, she saw me.

and i think it’d be a beautiful parallel, a complete role reversal, for eva to be sana’s sana. we’ve seen eva and, she’s noticed sana. whether it be in episode 1 with the pizza, or episode 3, with them both wearing almost the same colour, as opposed to everyone else in the bus meeting wearing white, they both wore black/grey, or whether it be in episode 5, where eva sees sana feel confused and left out, and straight away feels guilty. we’ve seen eva, see sana.

there’s a reason why the pepsi max girls said, that “noora is so pretty”, but that sana couldn’t compare. because once upon a time, eva felt that way too. and whilst eva and sana’s struggles aren’t the same, hence why eva didn’t wear black like sana did in the bus meeting, but was wearing grey, grey is atleast more closer to black, than it is to white.

and it’d be beautiful to see eva, a girl who’s become so sure, happy, carefree and one with herself, to help sana, to be there for sana. to reassure sana, to encourage sana. to listen to sana. to have eva say her own version of “she’s the prettiest, here” to sana, just like how sana did with eva in season 1. because this time, it’s sana. it’s sana who’s so unsettled and unsure and walking on shaky ground, perhaps something eva isn’t used to seeing at all, which is why it resonates with her so much, because, lord, she knows how isolating and painful it can get.

and that’d bring it all, full circle.

Queen for Seven Days | Seven Day Queen | 7일의 왕비

Does Yeok Truly Love Chae Gyung, or is He Just Using Her to Gain the Crown?

Is it bothering you as much as it is bothering me? I want to trust and believe Yeok, I want to believe in love, I want him to be the hero. And yet,  something is bugging me. How much do I believe in him and how much is it just me ‘wanting’ to believe in him? I can’t seem to shake this strange feeling that … I don’t totally trust him. 

But why?

EP10 starts with me already reaching for the tissues. Yeok tries to charm Chae Gyung, but she’s not having it. We can see a slight hint of longing in her eyes, but mostly she doesn’t trust him because of all his recent lies and behavior. And then there’s also that prophesy thing.

It would be a whole lot easier all around, and better for everyone if she just rejects him and moves on with her life. She tells him that after today she will never see him again.

But …

Chae Gyung breaks into tears and Yeok has tears in his eyes as well. She says nothing but turns and goes back into the gate of her home, leaving him behind.

We all know from glimpses of his struggle over the past few years and that he is speaking from his heart. It truly was the thought of her that kept him going. She doesn’t know that fact for certain yet, but we do, and she wants to believe it. She has a lot of reflecting to do.

Later at the pawn shop, Yeok and the gang discuss their ongoing plans of royal sabotage and eventual coup of the throne. Yeok also mentions that his brother the King has given consent for him to marry Chae Gyung.

The guys are WAY more excited about this news than any talk of politics!

I love the twist here … the guys react like typical girlfriends at the news of marriage, but Myung Hye steps in as the level headed voice of reason.

A lot, if not most, female viewers seem to really dislike Myung Hye. But I like her and I’ll tell you why. First of all, she’s badass. She’s fearless and determined and willing to take anything on as much as the men. She fights like the men, too. She’s also very focused and always looking at the big picture. I suspect women don’t like her because they think she is jealous and possessive of Yeok. I’ve seen a lot of comments from people saying that “She doesn’t own him.”  I don’t believe she feels that way at all. She’s just trying to keep him on track and not get distracted by his own feelings.

She was there for Yeok and helped him when he needed it. She fell in love along the way. Who can blame her? But she can see beyond that. She is focused on what they have all been planning all these years - revolution and making Yeok their king. I see her strength as she has to watch Yeok not only expressing his love for Chae Gyung, but having to stand beside him and watch him marry another woman. She can’t just leave because she believes in and has a role in the new government. So she has to just bear it. She is also clearly very intelligent.

This is why I like her. In truth, I have been in her shoes a lot more often than I have been in Chae Gyung’s shoes. I can relate to her as a woman. I wish more viewers would see her as the strong character she is.

In response to Myung Hye’s concern, Yeok counters …

Here marks the beginning of my doubt about him. What’s this? Is he just courting her as part of the whole plan? Is it all just an act?

Major buzzkill. The guys’ reaction is … well look at them. Serious bummer.

But Seo No has a different reaction. He just looks at Yeok like, “Dude.” Remember this picture. I’ll come back to it later. This scene right here is the whole enchilada to resolving my inner conflict about Yeok.

After a wonderful day of merriment and laughter that is beyond rewarding after all these painful episodes, Yeok walks Chae Gyung home. They exchange some adorable words of, “You go in first”…..”No you leave first” … much like when they were kids. They share a laugh and Yeok looks at her like this …

And like this …

Dude, you’re killing me. He moves in closer and gently takes the ring from around her neck and puts it on his finger once again.

And now a pause to admire these beautiful hands. 

He’s already confident in her love. He knows it and he reminds her. Yes, love is established, but is it enough? After everything they’ve been through, all her doubts, can she believe him?

What she’s asking him is, “Can I trust you?” … “Are you truly a man of your word?”   He whispers …

So from now on, as she decides to trust him, if he betrays her trust, it’s all on him. And then there’s that other thing …

With tears in her eyes, she says to him, “I will ask you one last time…are you not afraid of my prophesy, my destiny, or me?”  It’s the “or me” that really gets to me. She’s not just asking him if he’s worried about the prophesy, but is he sure about her. Is she really the woman that he, a Prince who can marry anyone he wants, the one that he wants to spend his life with?

She is on the verge of tears. He sees her anguish, but he has none. He is calm and resigned. With all his confidence he can calm her fears.

Oh Yeok, you romantic!

He gives her a lot of long, loving, confident looks throughout this entire conversation. He doesn’t flinch or take his eyes off her once. He’s not afraid. When he says this, he almost has a hint of a smile. He recognizes the irony, or the futility of any fear or doubt. If they are doomed one way or the other, he’d rather be doomed with her than without her. Also, he clearly doesn’t believe in this prophesy stuff at all and there’s almost this tone of, “You silly girl - don’t worry - I’ll take care of you” in a most loving way.

She starts crying. I start crying. It’s ok. Yeok will wipe away all those tears.

Chae Gyung lets go of all her doubts, all her fears and puts her faith in him. And then he gazes at her like this and I’m on my third tissue …

Then she finds a twig and hands it to him. She puts up her hair and he helps her hold it with the twig - the hairstyle and symbol of a married woman. The gesture and the stick are a sign and token of his commitment to her.

After it’s set, she turns around and looks at him in the sweetest and most loving way. I swear to you, if I were a guy I’d be completely in love with her in this moment. Even as a woman, I’m a little bit in love with her right here. She couldn’t be more beautiful and genuinely happy. She is relieved, beaming with love and pride in him, deciding to leave all the fears, the pain and the waiting behind. This dream is really happening and she’s all in now.

And we get more lovey-dovey looks from them, both welling with tears, and I’m destroyed.

Ok. That’s it. I’m convinced. He truly loves her. There is no doubt.

But then …

Later that evening, the Prince and the King have a little chat over some friendly recreational archery time. I’m going to just skip right over how damn sexy this scene is with the these two hot guys and the bows and arrows and the fire…

So the King asks Yeok why he “really” wants to marry Chae Gyung. Now this strikes me oddly right off the bat. Why does he suspect anything but love? He knows they were childhood sweethearts. Yeok tells him his reason is Chae Gyung herself - he loves her. His brother isn’t buying it.

Yeok then starts telling his brother little details about her. He begins, “Chae Gyung is a very violent woman …”

Yeok goes on telling his brother about his various recent encounters with her, how she was flirting with him in a variety of ways when she had no idea who he really was.

At this point I am not very happy at all with Yeok. Why is he talking about her this way? Of course, conversations between two men about women can often go like this, but not our Yeok!  Doesn’t he have more respect for her than this?

What IS this?? Why does he go on about her like this? I thought he was honorable!

Then it occurs to me that he’s baiting the King. I don’t like that he’s doing it this way, but I get it. He knows the King has affection for her. But what is his goal here? To gloat over winning her love instead of him? To make him jealous because he’s going to have a wildcat in his bed?

Or is there another reason?

This SERIOUSLY pisses off the King and he responds by shifting his focus like a laser and shooting his arrow right into the one Yeok just shot, splitting it in two.

Yeok has to know his brother enough that his words would enrage him. But still, I wonder … why? I don’t think it’s just to gloat. That doesn’t sound like our Yeok to me. He’s up to something. The King leaves and they each reflect on their own thoughts. The King says, “Tonight I shot your target…next time it will be your heart.”  Ooo! Seething with hate is he.

This is all rather dark and enhanced by the rather symbolic flickering of fire all about them.

Whatever Yeok is up to, I don’t like it one bit that he spoke about Chae Gyung this way. And now I really begin to wonder … is THIS who he really is? Is he always scheming and plotting? Was all that charm and romance just part of his plan to win Chae Gyung over so that he can use her to get her father’s support in his plan to take the throne? 

Or … is he just putting on an act with the King? Does he really love Chae Gyung and at the same time trying to play his strategies, like a game of chess, moving closer until he is finally the King? Could his objective here be to enrage his brother so much that he starts acting crazy again and his people doubt him? These are all possibilities.

After this scene I found myself with some serious doubts about Yeok. This is an entirely different side of him. I started to think about a lot of things. Like what happened to his anger at her when he found out she was close to the King? All of a sudden, he reclaims his title as Prince and he’s sweet as a lamb to her? Is he over it so easily?

He seems to have more than a few sides to him. One is the side that he shows Chae Gyung. Another is the side he shows his friends in secret. Still another is the side he shows to his brother. A far more guarded and calculated side. So who is he? Is he really the hero that I think he is? Or is that me just hoping? Is it all part of a con just so he can become King?

In my heart of hearts, I believe in Yeok. I believe that he truly loves her and that he wants her to be his queen and the rest is just circumstantial. I don’t believe he would put her through all of that merely for personal gain. But there’s still that little 3% of me that has my doubts.

While wrestling with all of this, I am brought back to this scene.

Look at Seo No. The expression on his face. This was right after Yeok said that he would get Chae Gyung on his side. That is a look of concern, of skepticism. Upon hearing this, Seo No is looking at him like, “I can’t believe you just said that. Dude, I KNOW you. I know you don’t mean that the way it sounds.”  Nobody knows Yeok better than Seo No.

Seo No knows whether Yeok truly loves Chae Gyung or not. His look says, “I know you love her and if you hurt her I will kick your ass!”

Yup. This is why I am convinced that Yeok’s love is true.

Orphan Black Characters for the Zodiac Signs // All
  • Aries: Helena // Fearless, emotional, determined, always fights to protect the weak, childlike but a serial killer
  • Taurus: Delphine // Ends up falling in love unintentionally, determined, strong minded, wants to save Cosima at all costs
  • Gemini: Aldous Leekie // A speaker, provocative, incredibly smart, progressive, has a flair with words
  • Cancer: Alison Hendrix // Suburban mom of 2, loves her family to death, surprisingly tough, firm and determined
  • Leo: Shay // Honest, outgoing, caring, big heart, opens up to Cosima, wants to give her love, straightforward
  • Virgo: Paul Dierden // Initially cold and calculating, turns out to be soft and understanding, wants to help everyone
  • Libra: Felix // An artist. Sarcastic, kind, good at giving advice, impressionable, peaceful, the voice of reason
  • Scorpio: Siobhan Sadler, "Mrs. S" // Tough, protective, manipulator, loves punk rock, kills whoever she has to
  • Sagittarius: Cal, Kira's father // An outdoors man, doesn't really care about money, loves freedom, intelligent
  • Capricorn: Rachel Duncan // Focused, hides her feelings, does what she has to, successful, professional
  • Aquarius: Cosima // Very friendly, humorous, eccentric, genius, a scientist, curious, talks really fast
  • Pisces: Sarah Manning // *mentioned. Caring, has a chameleon personality and a big heart, feels lost all the time
Velocity (Excerpt Below!)

The Fast and the Furious meets The Hunger Games in acclaimed author Chris Wooding’s blistering vision of the future.

Buckle up for a fast-paced, high-octane thrill ride!

Cassica and Shiara are best friends. They couldn’t be more different, but their differences work to their advantage – especially when they’re drag racing. Cassica is fearless and determined, making her the perfect driver for daring, photo-finish victories. Shiara is intelligent and creative, able to build cars out of scrap and formulate daring strategies from the passenger’s seat.

Now they’ve set their sights on the Widowmaker – the biggest, most anticipated, and most dangerous race of the year. The winners get a pass to a life of luxury and fame. The losers, more often than not, die in fiery explosions. And even if Cassica and Shiara survive the deadly three-day challenge … their friendship might be roadkill.

This breathless reimagining of extreme sports is perfect for fans of Mad Max: Fury Road and NASCAR.

Start reading:

Velocity (Excerpt) by I Read YA on Scribd


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