So I watched Mad Max twice this week and I have something to say.
You know all those posts about how Max is Furiosa and the wives’ golden retriever? Yes, those. I must respectfully object.
Max is not a dog.
Max is a cat.
Like, blatantly so, he shows up in your back yard all pissed off, messes around with your stuff and stares resentfully at you once he gets inside. And then, slowly but surely, he comes in closer and by the end of it he is that animal that won’t leave your bed when you are sick.
He’s also the animal that will fuck off into the wilderness again when he’s feeling overwhelmed and it’s pretty even odds as to whether he’ll show up again in a week or six months.
You want to know who the golden retriever is?
Nux. Nux is one hundred per cent, pedigree certificate framed over his little bed, golden retriever.
And here is why.
Nux is brought up in a cult, a violent one, and he is slavishly loyal to that cult. He fights the other War Boys sometimes (who are other breeds of dog, for the most part), but he’s driven by loyalty, and once he establishes a social order between himself and other individuals (Slit), he stops fighting. He loves Immortan Joe at the beginning, so much that he is willing to believe his shit and die for the man.
Of course, when he fails his master and is rejected, he goes into a deep depression, and hides under something. You know what Max does when he finds himself being treated badly? He runs like fuck and tries to murder everyone that gets him in a corner. Like a cat.
And this is the most telling bit, when Nux is shown a lick of kindness, for the first time in a long time, he blooms. Capable tells him he’s worthwhile, and he allows himself to be gentle again. He curls up next to her, he kisses her on the cheek to say thank you, he willingly runs for long distances in front of the War Rig even though his lungs are clearly shite. He does everything he can to prove to Capable, and Capable’s people, that he is a Good Boy.
Then at the end of it, when he can’t follow Capable anymore, he does everything he can to keep her safe. He gives up a life he was just starting to feel good about, for someone who showed him love for all of a day.
“We are fire and we are iron, we are earth and we are air; Light is in our hearts and in our heads; it burns and we burn with it; we are stars, we are the sun, we are the Children of the Traveler and we cannot, will not stop; we will wash our foes away with our fury, we will carve our future out of flame, and where the blaze has passed only we remain; for we are the knives and we are the wielders, and the universe is ours to remake in the image of our choosing and we will remake it in fire.”
- Cryptarch Records // Firsthand Account of the “Gunslinger’s Trance” // Anonymous
Can we just take a moment and appreciate the Golden Queen? Sarah J. Maas, bless her soul, gave us this seemingly bitchy, snotty, I’m-too-good-for-everyone character, all because of her appearance? Like, sure, she says and does stuff that make her seem totally evil, but we mainly assume she’s evil because Maas described her as beautiful.
It makes us assume that the Golden Queen falls under the typical YA trope that if someone, usually a female, has an unpleasant personality, and she’s described as gorgeous, she’s inherently evil. Maas writes her like this, setting up that trope that makes the readers believe she’s somewhat of an antagonist, all because of her beauty, and completely TURNS THAT AROUND.
The Golden Queen isn’t nasty because of her obsession with her beauty, she’s nasty because she has to act like that, make the other queens believe she’s on their side. We all thought that the elderly queen was the good one, because she wasn’t beautiful, but old and wise. We all thought that if anyone were to betray them, Rhys and the Inner Circle, it would be the Golden Queen.
Sarah J. Maas is the QUEEN of breaking out of typical YA tropes, of breaking stereotypes within her writing. And she set up the Golden Queen’s character in the best way possible.
The sun at 4:53pm still hits all
of LA with a golden fury that
casts long shadows on warm
Freeway Canvas. And seeing this, doing
simple math, I know for you in New York
the street lamps are on and Saturday
night is night indeed.