horse driver

Who are the Knights of Ren? It’s tricky.

@gwendy85 and @msheadbanging were discussing the Knights of Ren and came across an interesting quote from Adam Driver that I want to take a closer look at.

Here’s the quote:

Interviewer: “So, who are the Knights of Ren?”

Driver: “It was a group that existed before him, that he was a part of. Their place within everything is maybe more of a satellite group than I would say … This is really tricky.”

The quote was offered as evidence “debunking” the idea that the Knights may be Luke’s other students (presumably because Driver’s words can be interpreted to mean the Knights were a pre-existing group). 

I think it’s useful to look at the larger context in which Driver said this. The article is by Meredith Woerner from the LA Times, and was published on December 21, 2015, right after the film was released. Here’s a little more of the transcript, with the Knights question in the middle:

Interviewer: Where does Kylo Ren stand in the hierarchy of the Empire?
Driver: That’s difficult to say. I think it fluctuates.

Interviewer: So who are the Knights of Ren?
Driver: It was a group that existed before him, that he was a part of. Their place within everything is maybe more of a satellite group than I would say … This is really tricky.

Interviewer: Is that why everything that you have is a bit broken down?
Driver: No, there’s definitely a history that you see in the costume of things in the past right away. They’re kind of like visible scars, on his outfit. In part to intimidate but also because he’s carrying along this history of people.

Who is Driver talking about? He’s talking about his character Kylo Ren, not Ben Solo. In the question immediately before, he says Kylo’s name, in answer to the question about his fluctuating position in the Empire/First Order. 

Read Driver’s words again, substituting the character’s name in place of the pronoun:

It was a group that existed before Kylo Ren, that he was a part of.

The two parts of Driver’s sentence don’t even make sense, unless he is saying that the Knights are a group that Kylo Ren was a part of…before he was Kylo Ren.  I think this is in fact what he is saying, and that he came perilously close to saying too much.

Driver continues, “Their [the Knights’] place within everything is maybe more of a satellite group than I would say … This is really tricky.”

I wish I had video of this interview. It would be great to have the inflection, pauses, and emphases that would offer more data for hair-splitting analysis, but even so, you can sense how Driver trails off when he realizes he’s saying too much. I think he might have finished that sentence along the lines of, “their [the knights’] place within everything is maybe more of a satellite group than I would say part of the hierarchy of the Empire/FO.” 

Would that have told us much more? Sort of. The implication is that the Knights are not part of the regular military structure of the First Order.  They are a satellite group. A group Kylo Ren was part of, a group that existed before Kylo Ren did.  

As both Driver and @msheadbanging note, it’s tricky! The interviewer had no way of knowing she was asking a question that sits at the very heart of JJ Abrams’ Big TFA Mystery Box; the truth about Ben Solo’s fall, and by extension his mysterious companions, the Knights of whom he is Master. Over the past five months I’ve watched hours of Driver in interviews (I used to have a different life), and my impression is that he doesn’t lie well, or perhaps at all, when trying to answer people’s questions. He started to answer the question here, realized he couldn’t, and stopped. “…this is really tricky.” 

The interviewer takes pity and asks a different question, which Driver is able to jump onto and the conversation goes back onto safe ground. 

That we, the obsessed, read this quote as a reference to a group that existed in the deeper past, before Ben Solo’s fall, is probably a reflection of a curious phenomenon of the fandom - we have spent a lot of time with Ben Solo over the past five months. To us, he’s pretty real, with hundreds of thousands of words written and gigabytes of digital paint spilled, but honestly, Ben Solo is barely a construct in TFA. We still know virtually nothing about him, and while Driver does know his character’s back story, he is not in a position to say anything at all about it to us at this time. Driver is talking just about Kylo Ren in this interview, trying to answer a question about things locked in a mystery box, and it results in a paradox statement right away, because the answer concerns Ben Solo

So, tl:dr: This tricky Adam Driver quote does not debunk the theory that the Knights are Luke’s other students at all. Quite the contrary. 

Νύκτα θεῶν γενέτειραν ἀείσομαι ἠδὲ καὶ ἀνδρῶν.
Νὺξ γένεσις πάντων, ἣν καὶ Κύπριν καλέσωμεν
κλῦθι, μάκαιρα θεά, κυαναυγής, ἀστεροφεγγής,
ἡσυχίῃι χαίρουσα καὶ ἠρεμίῃι πολυύπνωι,
εὐφροσύνη, τερπνή, φιλοπάννυχε, μῆτερ ὀνείρων,
ληθομέριμν’ ἀγαθή τε πόνων ἀνάπαυσιν ἔχουσα,
ὑπνοδότειρα, φίλη πάντων, ἐλάσιππε, νυχαυγής,
ἡμιτελής, χθονία ἠδ’ οὐρανία πάλιν αὐτή,
ἐγκυκλία, παίκτειρα διώγμασιν ἠεροφοίτοις,
ἣ φάος ἐκπέμπεις ὑπὸ νέρτερα καὶ πάλι φεύγεις
εἰς Ἀίδην δεινὴ γὰρ ἀνάγκη πάντα κρατύνει.
νῦν δε, μάκαιρα, (καλ)ῶ, πολυόλβιε, πᾶσι ποθεινή,
εὐάντητε, κλύουσα ἱκετηρίδα φωνὴν
ἔλθοις εὐμενέουσα, φόβους δ’ ἀπόπεμπε νυχαυγεῖς.
Of Night, mother of gods and men, I sing;
o Night, originator of all, whom we also call Cypris,*
hear me, blessed goddess, dark-gleaming, blazing with stars,
rejoicing in stillness and slumberous repose,
merry and delightful, friend of night-long fests, mother of dreams,
gentle bringer of forgetfulness from cares and surcease from suffering,
o sleep-giver, friend of all, driver of horses, glittering in darkness,
half complete, chthonic and sublime in turn,
circling, playful in sky-wandering chases,
you who send the light beneath infernal realms and flee back
to Hades, for mighty Necessity rules over all;
but now, o blessed one, I call you; greatly fortunate, longed for by all,
gracious, hearing the suppliant’s voice,
may you come, kindly, and banish fears which gleam in the dark.

Orphic Hymn to Nyx (3)

*Philopannyx (she who loves the whole night) was a cult title of Aphrodite.

Notable Homeric Epithets


  • Men: shining // high-hearted
  • Woman: ox-eyed // white-armed
  • Sea: loud-roaring // grey // wine-colored


  • Trojans: breakers of horses
  • Achaeans: bronze-armored // glancing-eyed // with hollow ships


  • Achilles: swift-footed // lion-hearted // breaking through men // best of the Achaeans 
  • Aeneas: counselor of the Trojans // loyal
  • Agamemnon: lord marshal // brilliant // horse-tamer
  • Ajax: swift // gigantic // the mighty
  • Aphrodite: laughter-loving // goddess of love
  • Apollo: Phoebus // the Bright // with unshorn hair // ever-young // destroyer of mice // distant deadly Archer // rouser of armies // god of the silver bow
  • Ares: curse of men // sacker of cities // of the glinting helmet // man-slaughtering 
  • Athena: Pallas // grey-eyed // whose shield is thunder // hope of soldiers // tireless one
  • Artemis: the archer-goddess // of the golden distaff 
  • Calypso: softly-braided nymph // goddess most divinely made // cunning goddess
  • Cronus: devious-devising // crooked-counseling
  • Demeter: fair-haired
  • Diomedes: master of the war cry // great spearman
  • Eos (Dawn): with her rose-red fingers // rosy-fingered
  • Hector: shepherd of the people // of the shining helm // breaker of horses
  • Hera: ox-eyed
  • Hephaestus: the famous craftsman // of the strong arms
  • Hermes: messenger of the gods // conductor of men // giant-killer // the strong one // keen-eyed emissary 
  • Iris: wind-footed 
  • Menelaus: flaming-haired // spear-famed // war-like
  • Nestor: sweet spoken // Gerenian charioteer 
  • Odysseus: man of many turns // man of many resources // great-hearted // sacker of cities // loved of Zeus // master mariner // great glory of the Achaeans // mastermind // hotheaded // the great teller of tales // man of pain // man of exploits // that kingly man // cunning // the great tactician // the hero // wise
  • Penelope: circumspect // discreet 
  • Patroclus: horseman 
  • Paris: Alexandros
  • Poseidon: Earth-shaker // earth-carrying
  • Telemachus: poised // thoughtful
  • Thetis: silver-footed
  • Thersites: of the endless speech 
  • Tydeus: driver of horses
  • Zeus: mighty // wide-seeing // delighting in thunder // of the dazzling bolt // loud-thundering // cloud-gatherer // father of gods and men // who marshals the thunderheads 

Pearl Hart, née Taylor, (c.1871 – after 1928) was a Canadian-born outlaw of the American Old West. She committed one of the last recorded stagecoach robberies in the United States; her crime gained notoriety primarily because of her gender. Many details of Hart’s life are uncertain with available reports being varied and often contradictory.

Hart was born as Pearl Taylor in the Canadian village of Lindsay, Ontario. Her parents were both religious and affluent, providing their daughter with the best available education. At the age of 16, she was enrolled in a boarding school when she became enamored with a young man, named Hart, who has been variously described as a rake, drunkard, and/or gambler. (Different sources list Hart’s given name as Brett, Frank, or William.) The two of them eloped, but Hart soon discovered that her new husband was abusive and left him to return to her mother.

Hart reconciled with and left her husband several times. During their time together they had two children, a boy and a girl, whom Hart sent to her mother who was then living in Ohio. In 1893, the couple attended The Chicago World’s Fair where he worked for a time as a midway barker. She in turn developed a fascination with the cowboy lifestyle while watching Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show. At the end of the Fair, Hart left her husband again bound on a train for Trinidad, Colorado, possibly in the company of a piano player named Dan Bandman.

Hart described this period of her life thus, “I was only twenty-two years old. I was good-looking, desperate, discouraged, and ready for anything that might come. I do not care to dwell on this period of my life. It is sufficient to say that I went from one city to another until some time later I arrived in Phoenix”. During this time Hart worked as a cook and singer, possibly supplementing her income as a demimondaine. There are also reports she developed a fondness for cigars, liquor, and morphine during this time.

A story of this period claims that while in Phoenix, Arizona, Hart ran into her husband. He convinced her to come back to him and move to Tucson. Once the money she had saved ran out, he returned to his abusive ways. The story continues by saying that when the Spanish–American War began he volunteered for military service. Hart then shocked observers by declaring that she hoped he would be killed by the Spanish. A variation of this story has Bandman instead of her husband leaving Hart for war.

By early 1898, Hart was in Mammoth, Arizona. Some reports indicate she was working as a cook in a boardinghouse. Others indicate she was operating a tent brothel near the local mine, even employing a second lady for a time. While doing well for a time, her financial outlook took a downturn after the mine closed. About this time Hart attested to receiving a message asking her to return home to her seriously ill mother.

Looking to raise money, Hart and an acquaintance, Joe Boot (whose name is probably an alias), worked an old mining claim he owned. After finding no gold in the claim the pair decided to rob the Globe to Florence, Arizona stagecoach.

The robbery occurred on May 30, 1899 at a watering point near Cane Springs Canyon, about 30 miles southeast of Globe. Hart had cut her hair short and took the highly eccentric act, for a Victorian Era woman, of dressing in men’s clothing. Hart was armed with a .38 revolver while Boot had a Colt .45. One of the last routes in the territory, the run had not been robbed in several years and thus the coach did not have a shotgun messenger. The pair stopped the coach and Boot held a gun on the robbery victims while Hart took $431.20 and two firearms from the passengers. After returning $1 to each passenger, she then took the driver’s revolver. After the robbers had galloped away on their horses, the driver unhitched one of the horses and headed back to town to alert the sheriff.

Reports of the next few days vary. According to Hart, the pair took a circuitous route designed to lose anyone who followed, while making their future plans. Others claim the pair became lost and wandered in circles. Either way, a posse led by Sheriff Truman of Pinal County caught up with the pair on June 5, 1899. Finding both of them asleep, Sheriff Truman reported that Boot surrendered quietly while Hart fought to avoid capture.

Following their arrest, Boot was held in Florence, Arizona, while Hart was moved to Tucson, the jail lacking any facilities for a lady. The novelty of a female stagecoach robber quickly spawned a media frenzy and national reporters soon joined the local press clamoring to interview and photograph Hart. One article in Cosmopolitan said Hart was “just the opposite of what would be expected of a woman stage robber,” though, “when angry or determined, hard lines show about her eyes and mouth." Locals also became fascinated with her, one local fan giving her a bobcat cub to keep as a pet.

The room Hart was held in was not a normal jail cell, but made of lath and plaster. Taking advantage of the relatively weak building material, and possibly with the aid of an assistant, Hart escaped on October 12, 1899, leaving an 18-inch (46 cm) hole in the wall. She was recaptured two weeks later near Deming, New Mexico.

Hart and Boot came to trial for robbing the stagecoach passengers in October 1899. During the trial, Hart made an impassioned plea to the jury, claiming she needed the money to be able to go to her ailing mother. Judge Fletcher M. Doan was shocked and angered by the jury’s not guilty finding and scolded the members for failure to perform their duties. Immediately following the acquittal, the pair were rearrested on the charge of tampering with U.S. mails. The pair were convicted during their second trial, Boot receiving a sentence of thirty years and Hart a sentence of five years.

Both Hart and Boot were sent to Yuma Territorial Prison to serve their sentences. Boot became a prison trusty, driving supply wagons to prison chain gangs working outside the walls. One day while driving a wagon he escaped and was never seen again. At the time of his escape, Boot had completed less than two years of his sentence. 

The attention Hart had received in jail continued once she was imprisoned. The warden, who enjoyed the attention she attracted, provided her with an oversize 8 by 10 feet (2.4 by 3.0 m) mountain-side cell that included a small yard and allowed her to entertain reporters and other guests as well as pose for photographs. Hart in turn used her position as the only female at an all-male facility to her advantage, playing admiring guards and prison trusties off of each other in an effort to improve her situation.

Hart’s release from prison came in the form of a December 1902 pardon from Governor Alexander Brodie. The reason for this pardon, given on the condition she leave the territory, is unclear. At the time, Hart claimed she was needed in Kansas City to play the lead in a play, written by her sister, about her life of crime. A later rumor emerged in 1964, following the death of all potentially involved parties, alleging Hart was pardoned because she had become pregnant in a manner which would embarrass the prison. There is no evidence Hart ever had a third child so this rumor, if true, may indicate a successful ploy upon Hart’s behalf. Upon release from prison, Hart was provided with a train ticket to Kansas City, Missouri.

After leaving prison, Hart largely disappeared from public view. She had a short lived show where she reenacted her crime and then spoke about the horrors of Yuma Territorial Prison. Following this she worked, under an alias, as part of Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show. In 1904, Hart was running a cigar store in Kansas City where she was arrested for receiving stolen property. She was acquitted of the charge.

Accounts of Hart’s later life are sketchy and contradictory. One common story has her returning to the jail in Tucson 25 years after her imprisonment to visit the jail cell that once held her. Likewise, a census taker in 1940 claimed to have discovered Hart living in Arizona under a different name. Folklore from Gila County claims that Hart returned to Globe and lived there peacefully until her death on December 30, 1955. Competing claims place her death as late as 1960.

Large Daemons (Golden Compass)

I wonder how people with larger Daemons get around in everyday life. Anyone want to consider the possibilities with me? I’m talking things horse sized and above. I imagine some aspects of life (walking through a university with many rooms, for example,) might be hard. What /is/ the distance limit a daemon can be from it’s owner? 

I imagine some people could become drivers for horse carts and such if their daemons were horses. Or could they? would a horse daemon pull a cart? would the crush of people make it too risky for an accidental brush against someone?

Once, when my sister Julia was a baby, he and my mother were travelling in Italy; there were no railroads in those days, so they drove in an old-fashioned travelling-carriage. One day they stopped at the door of an inn and my father went in for a moment to make some inquiries. No sooner was he out of sight than the driver slipped in at the side door to get a glass of wine; and the next moment the horses, finding themselves free, ran away, with my mother, the nurse and baby, in the carriage.
My father, hearing the sound of wheels, came out, caught sight of the driver’s guilty face peering round the corner in affright, and at once saw what had happened. He ran along the road in the direction in which the horses were headed; and presently, rounding a corner of the mountain which the road skirted, he saw a country wagon coming towards him, drawn by a stout horse, with a stout driver half-asleep on the seat. My father ran up, stopped the horse, unhitched him in the twinkling of an eye, leaped on his back, and was off like a flash, before the man got his eyes fairly open. He galloped on at full speed till he overtook the lumbering carriage-horses, which were easily stopped. No one was hurt; he turned the horses back, and soon came to where the wagoner still sat on his seat with his mouth wide open. My father paid him well for the use of the horse, and he probably regretted that there were no more mad Americans to steal a ride and pay for it.
—  Two Noble Lives by Laura E. Richards

Early 1900s AU where Muse A is a horse carriage driver. Every night, they pick up Muse B from their homes or parties. Muse B talks to the driver through the window constantly about their extravagant life, about people they meet and people they dislike. Muse A empathises and eventually starts to fall for Muse B despite their social class differences. One winter night, Muse B does not leave their home after calling for Muse A’s carriage to wait for them. Muse A waits and waits, catching sickness in the cold. When Muse B calls for Muse A the next day, the service informs them that Muse A has fallen ill. Concerned, Muse B visits Muse A at their home, soon discovering them bed-ridden. Compelled by their bond, Muse B cares for Muse A, and in the process begins to fall for them as well.

“How wasted were we?” — Europe, after

6 Historic Events You Didn’t Realize Everyone Was Drunk For

#5. The Congress of Vienna Was a Drunken, Horny Mess

The Vienna Congress gathered Europe’s richest, most powerful boozehounds and sex fiends together in one place, and then it granted them all diplomatic immunity. … Over the following weeks of drunken debauchery, Prussian and Russian delegates including Tsar Alexander had several regular drunken run-ins with the police. One British delegate, Robert Stewart, became notorious for antics like riding under the influence through Vienna on his flower-adorned horse and fighting carriage drivers, one of whom cracked Stewart in the face with a whip during an altercation. Stewart also turned every inn he stayed at into what locals aptly described as a “fucking-shop.”

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Chapter One: Leah

Three things of note happened in the year I was sixteen: Wizard Winterdene came back to live at Winterdene Hall, my father took on Michael Kelly as an apprentice, and old Mother Whittle was hanged for witchcraft. I have hesitated over where to begin my history, but ultimately I think it best to deal with these events in the order in which they occurred, and hence make clear to you, Reader, the path which led to my downfall.

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