how can someone who creates this character not be thought of us epic

Why I’m so in love with “Camren”

*Bonus - the last part of this post is a must-see

Hi guys!

This is like a Camren Guide. LMAO.

I’m bored so Imma make a post about my favorite and only ship!

So first things first, to those who do not know what Camren is, it’s a ship name for Fifth Harmony’s Lauren Jauregui and former member Camila Cabello. Camila + Lauren = Camren. Look them up on youtube and get acquainted but I suggest you ready yourselves because it’ll suck you in to the bottomless pit of mixed feelings. It’s a fucking rollercoaster ride of emotions so buckle up if you may.

For those who are new in the fandom, Camren is not that much of a hot topic anymore. Knowing that Camila left the group last year. Both went on separate ways now and they’re said to be in bad terms. Plus, Lauren is supposedly dating Ty at this point in time so… But who knows, right? Maybe the people behind them are just creating drama to survive the show business because that’s what makes people keep up. DRAMA.

To my fellow shippers, we will go down with this ship till we hit the bottom. But even so, Imma still hold on because who knows? Maybe the ship will rise back up! Hold on you guys. Our ship is endgame. I repeat, ENDGAME! :D

Look at that! OMG!


So now, I’ll tell you how I discovered this emotion-wrecking ship. I was about to sleep, watching a music channel in my room when their Write On Me musicvid came up. I saw Lauren and I fell in love. Yes, I’m a Lauren girl and I admit that it’s too freaking hard to keep up with her but I just can’t unlove her. WHY?? So then I searched Write On Me on youtube again ‘cause I just can’t get over her. Then I saw a vid on the recommended portion title “Camren - Write On Me”. My curious ass clicked on it and damn! I have never regretted anything in my life. It sucked me in. I love it and at the same time I hate it. Damn, Camren! What have you done to me? Somehow, Camren made me a harmonizer. I support the girls up until now. Even Camila. They have earned a big potion of my heart.

Originally posted by holdme-bytheheart

This lured me in! Such beauty…

Now let’s get on Camren. Imma give you reasons to ship it. 


1. Their background/history

Camila and Lauren are both living in Miami. They both are half Cubans. Camila is half cuban, half mexican while Lauren is half Cuban, half American. They both didn’t know each other’s existence until they tried their luck in joining X Factor. Crazy, right? Both have immediately found solace in each other knowing that they have much similarities. They instantly got close and became each other’s bff in the competition. And little did they know they’re in for a big surprise. They were grouped together! And there came Fifth Harmony. Yay!

Originally posted by camrenpieces

Awwww. Fetus feels. T_T

2. The connection/vibes

“I heard Lauren singing from the booth and I was like damn! That girl could sing. Then I saw her came out and I was like damn! she’s pretty too!”

“When I first Lauren, I was like ‘Hi, I like you shirt!” 

“I don’t feel like I have a type. I feel like when you meet somebody there’s just like an attraction. It’s more like an energy If that makes sense.” - Camila when asked about the characters she’s looking for a guy.

“I feel like it’s not something physical. It’s more about the vibe. Don’t you just feel like when you get in a room with somebody, It’s like grrr (you’re gonna make me very happy)”. - Camila during an interview (2017).


There’s tons of sweet interactions actually.

3. Their staring at each other

Have you ever looked at someone and get lost while staring at them? It’s like you’re looking at the world and feel like you just discovered the secret to genuine happiness. Like your eyes turn into heart shapes but you’re never aware of it. These bitches mastered that.

Originally posted by camillaisanunicorn

Originally posted by mrs-ciclotimica

The most epic look/stare in Camren history. Here you can see Lauren getting lost like she’s in another dimension.

Originally posted by brave-fearless

Camila staring at the world and found genuine happiness. xD

Originally posted by pureheartsaredope

Lauren enjoying Camila’s spoken thoughts. 

Originally posted by allmadein3am

Camila appreciating her girl.

Originally posted by obsessionss

Woops. Someone’s droolin. Lol.

Originally posted by pureheartsaredope

I wish Lauren would stare at me like that. Damn, that girl doesn’t even know I exist. T_T

There’s tons of epic looks and stares I can’t post it all. 


3. Their Indirects.

“Indirects are fun.”-Lauren Jauregui

Bitch, we love it. We’re enjoying it. It’s definitely entertaining. You guys, I think some of their posts/tweets are prolly indirects while some are pure coincidence. I really don’t know how to differentiate. Nevertheless, if they post/tweet the same thought but are not meant to be indirects to each other, then I must conclude they are indeed soulmates. That fucking sameness in wavelength is fucking unreal.

The heck?

Oh, come on!


How weird can they be??

C-R-A-Z-Y!

Oh, and I think you should follow their actions on spotify. They listen to pretty suspicious songs. They even post songs that have weird lyrics and that are low key exposing. Camila makes weird playlists on spotify too and they have meaningful songs. She’s even weirder on spotify. That girl is full of feels.

4.  The Sun and The Moon. Sol y Luna

This one’s pretty trippy ‘cause I’m confused as to which of them is the Sun or the Moon and I know Lucy used to post The Sun and The Moon on tumblr and her instagram too.  But fuck it. Imma make it a Camren thing still. One things for sure though, they both have an obsession with this Sun and Moon thing. :*

This one always blows my mind. Fucking soulmates.

5. Mirroring

OMG! Their mirrorings are definitely a must-see. Are they twins or something? Maybe soulmates? I wish I could find a Lauren to my Camila too. Lmao. They’re sometimes so in sync that it gives me goosebumps. 


6. Camila Cabello 

Yes, Camila Cabello. The girl feeds every Camren shippers delusions like hell. She’s the opposite of Lauren who made it a hobby to kill Camren and break her fans’ heart once in a while. Her hatred for Camren is sometimes so questionable. Like girrrrll! Leave it if it annoys you too much. She’s so defensive about Camren that her actions become suspicious. Meanwhile, Camila freely posts too much suspicious shit. Even her new solo songs and even her whole album which according to her, “The album is really not about boys though….”. We get it Camila. You’re in a glass closet. Don’t you think it’s time to finally break free? ;)

Originally posted by sparkling-and-enchanted

Thanks for sharing, Camz. xD

Originally posted by lilmoncheese

This interview was full of tension. Camila, we know you wanna marry Lauren but can you please tone it down a little bit?? Lol.

Remember her posting this after Lauren “accidentally” liked a Camren pic on Instagram?? Well Camz, it was an accident she’ll never live down now. xD

For me, this post gives it all away. In that quote, Virginia Woolf is a writer who had an affair with someone of the same sex named Vita Sackville-West. Now, why would she post that? And to think it was that time where she’s being distant to her bandmates. Oh Camzi.

There’s also that time when she said “that’s cute” referring to a fan’s Camren phone case.

A post shared by FIFTH HARMONY-CAMREN (@http.camren.otp) on Feb 10, 2017 at 7:45pm PST

Here’s a vid. Hmmmmm???

Also, Camila’s Gender neutrality is freakin’ suspicious. She uses gender neutral pronouns too much. Why can’t she just say he, him, his or she, her, hers? She instead uses they, them, somebody, someone, people. Damn, it frustrates me sometimes! Like what is she really? Gosh!


7. Tha Fans aka The Camren Shippers

What’s an FBI when you got ‘em Camren Shippers?? LMAO. These people notice everything even the girls’ fingernails. I’m not even kidding. These people are so good in making ‘em Camren videos, it’s like they went to Harvard to study film making. Lol. They mastered the art of stalking that even the girls’ very  distant relative or clueless neighbor can’t get away. What can I say? It’s complicated. ;)

Some Camren analyzing videos and blogs make sense while some are far too reaching.

 I’ll give you some links to my fave camren videos. ;)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ed55zRm9A-4

^^This one is a long vid showing Camren interaction from January to June 2016. You can see their awkwardness in there. It’ll make you delusional. :)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-_qHPdPAk6A

^^ This one is a crack vid by heybooboodaddi, Camren Shippers’ resident comedienne. It’s super hilarious. This one’s the latest crack vid and it hits so much points. It’s kinda exposing Camila.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K_E__YMx0gs

^^ A reaction to Booboodaddi’s crack vid. Those people represent me. CaliforniaLuv84 makes hilarious reaction vids.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kvx9n3KX5tU

^^ If you wanna drown in Camren feels, you better watch this vid.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dJiLH1e326o

^^ You gotta see this too but you gotta prepare lotsa tissues ‘cause yer gonna be Crying in Camren. T_T.

Originally posted by camilamexicubanbooty

Hail ye Camren Shippers! Woooh! :D

Sooo that’s it.

Wait, gonna give you a fucking bonus.

BONUS PART: 

Remember the supposed Camren kiss on Dinah’s snapchat last year which she deleted minutes after? She posted it on snapchat few days before VMAs 2016. Then during the VMAs Camren was a little less awkward. They were standing and sitting next to each other, talking and laughing. They were kinda happy that time. They probably knew it was their last VMAs together so they made the best out of it. Sooo, in that snapchat I don’t think those were bags. I’ll make you guys believe. It’s the most concrete proof that makes me believe that Camren is or was real. Whenever I doubt about Camren, I always go back to this video and get my Camren hopes up.

Here’s the vid.

ispy with my little eyes. ;)

This was the VMAs days after that snapchat!! T_T


Thoughts - I feel like they are aware of the fact that they are so perfect for each other. Dude, that is why they became uncomfortable about it because they acknowledge the fact that it could be real, it could be true.  Because if it were ever real and they didn’t have the chance to make it public, they’ll be stuck thinking how it would feel like being free to show their love for each other, not hiding. They will always have that “what-ifs” until they’re free and get the chance to try it again. If that time comes, they’re free to tell and show the world the truth. Right now, it’s just complicated. So much is on the line. Their careers on top of it all. Who would’ve known they would end up like that? Wow, what a beautiful love story. Let’s give it let’s say 2 or 3 years more. Maybe till then they’ll come through. 

CAMREN IS REAL, BITCHES! Bah Felicia!


(Credits to everyone whom I grabbed those pics, gifs and videos from)

Critical Role fandom: I think I know what’s going on here

I think I figured out what the problem is here.

Every week, especially around big battles, there’s always this burst of negativity. Usually in the twitch chat and on reddit, but it’s on twitter and tumblr too. You all see it. People getting up in arms about rules, what it says in this book or that book, what a character “should” have done, etc. 

Leaving aside all the vitriol directed at Keyleth as a character and Marisha Ray for being A Woman In Gaming, and Vax as a character for being Openly Depressed (I could rant about that for 500 years but the short of it is, you need to take a good hard look at yourself if you spend every week spewing hate at these characters for the “crimes” of Being a Woman and Being Depressed respectively. Please take some time and consider why it is you have all this hatred that you use to lash out against people, especially women, you might wanna work on why that is.) Leaving that aside, I think I have figured out the problem here:

There is a fundamental confusion on the part of some fans about what Critical Role is. It is NOT one of those nasty D&D games where the GM is your enemy and out to murder you. It IS a longform improv drama/comedy web series that is released weekly and is a massive company asset.

More below the cut:

Keep reading

Examples of Dead Fandoms, Part Two

Go here to read part one.

Let me reiterate something I said before: I actually don’t want to be right about any of these fandoms being dead. It always makes me sad when people lose passion for something, and something worthwhile goes unread or unseen.


The Pulp Heroes (the Shadow, Doc Savage, etc.)

The Shadow was the first and most famous of the larger than life magazine heroes, mostly published by Street & Smith, who came out during the Great Depression. They weren’t superheroes, exactly…but they were too uncanny, too bigger than life, their adventures too bizarre and fantastical, to be typical adventurers or detective heroes in the usual sense…they were in the same ballpark as Tarzan or Zorro, a kind of “transitional fossil” between grounded detective and adventure characters, and the later far out superheroes. 

I realized the reach these novels had in their own time when I heard this amazing story about none other than jazz great Thelonious Monk: he was obsessed with Doc Savage magazine. When he performed, the jazz man sometimes had a Doc Savage magazine rolled up in his coat. I have a hard time imagining that!

The reason the pulp heroes went away and stopped having pop cultural cache is simple: the audience for it went away. You have to remember that pulp hero stories were always a composite genre, meant to appeal to two audiences simultaneously: kids, who loved action and fantasy and heroism, and working class men, who also love action, but who also loved lurid mystery and gore. To appeal to working class men, there were always way more hints of blood, gunplay, dread/terror, and sex, but because kids also read these, it was all very subdued. If you realize that pulp heroes were meant to appeal to these two very different audiences with conflicting desires, the question isn’t why the pulp heroes went away, but rather, why they lasted as long as they did. 

What took the kid audience away from the hero pulps could be summarized in two words: superhero comics. Sales on pulps fell every year when they had to compete with comics, and the history of the pulp heroes in the 1940s is defined by their reaction to the challenge of comics, a little like the history of movies when they had to compete with television. 

There were three big reactions to comics in the 1940s from the pulp magazines: 

  1. They dissed comics. This reminds me of the 50s movies that called television “the idiot’s lantern.” The best example of this I can find is the Doc Savage mystery, The Whisker of Hercules. By all accounts, Doc Savage author Lester Dent hated, hated, hated comic superheroes, particularly Superman, who exaggerated the traits of his own heroes beyond what he felt an audience would believe. Whisker of Hercules is a novel where Doc finds criminals who who take a potion that turns them into Superman, gives them superstrength, the ability to leap tall buildings in a single bound, and the ability to move at superspeed, but in the end, they are ultimately bested by Doc Savage, who outsmarts them and reveals the Whisker of Hercules ages them to death. Lester Dent, you see, felt superhero comics were a passing fad without staying power.
  2. They created characters that were both in pulp magazines and in comics as well. An example of this would be Ka-Zar and Sheena, who was in both comics and pulp magazines simultaneously. Today, we’d call them “multimedia properties.”
  3. They created far-out pulp heroes that were aimed at a kid audience to lure kids back to magazines. The best example of this is Edmond Hamilton’s Captain Future, which was a pulp hero who was extremely kid-friendly, with robot sidekicks and a cute mouse pet, and a base on the Moon. 

While the kids who read pulp heroes were lured away by comics, the working class men were pulled away by a new invention: the “men’s adventure” paperback novel, which could have explicit sex and violence. James Bond (Casino Royale was first published in 1954) was more typical of the paperback heroes, as was gun-toting Mack Bolan the Executioner, a special forces guy who came back from Vietnam to find his family killed by the mafia, and who declares war on the mob with his special forces training and arsenal of firearms (he also directly inspired a certain Marvel Comics character you might be familiar with). 

Just like almost all pop music is either Beatles or Stones inspired, nearly all men’s adventure heroes are some variation of either James Bond or Mack Bolan. This leads us to today, where men’s adventure novels are either porn, or gun porn. If you’ve read this blog long enough, you can probably guess which one I like better.

Here’s another thing to consider when wondering why the pulp heroes went away. The Shadow, Doc Savage, the Spider, are really only a few years older than the superheroes. They were not separated by a geologic age, the way many histories lead you to believe: they came out in the same decade as each other. Doc Savage came out in 1933, and Superman came out in 1938, which is not really that much time difference at all. The difference may be that there is a publishing company (DC Comics) that views Superman and Batman as essential to their identity and that keeps them alive for that reason, whereas no company does that for the pulp characters. In fact, there was even some dispute early this century as to whether the Street & Smith characters fell into the public domain. 


Original Battlestar Galactica

I used to post old cosplay pics, and my gosh, were there ever a lot of OBSG images. The actor who played Boomer was a regular at early science fiction conventions (there was a time when it was considered unusual for celebrities to visit conventions), and when a new BSG show was announced in 2003 (believe it or not, there was once a time that a hard reboot of an old scifi property was rare), it led to one of the all-time biggest nerdrages in nerd history.

I hesitate to say this, but part of the reason that Star Trek and the Next Generation are discovered decades later by new fans is because they really are good shows, and OBSG is…well, it’s a challenge for a new person, with fresh eyes, to see just what got everyone so excited in 1978. The reason why BSG was a big deal is clear: most people who are fans of it are fans because they watched the show when they were children, so it’s imprinted in their minds (rather like 90s kids and “Saved by the Bell” or “Power Rangers”). OSBG fandom isn’t growing for the same reason that “Saved by the Bell” fans aren’t growing: it’s a product of hormones and nostalgia, you “had to be there” to get it. 

To me, this explains perfectly why people went ballistic when a BSG reboot was announced back in the stone age, 2002. For one, the concept of a reboot was so new that I remember I heard people wonder if this means their favorite characters from the original were dead now. More importantly, though, this is a fandom with a few core people who remember BSG from when they were kids, and therefore have strong feelings about why it works and doesn’t work. 


Prince Valiant

Here’s a test to determine if a fandom is dead: if a movie adaptation royally screws everything about it up, would people get angry and yelly and passionate? Remember how people got death threats over the M. Knight Shyamalan Last Airbender? Well, in the case of Prince Valiant, I don’t think anybody would actually care. This is surprising, because for years, when people thought of comics, they thought of Prince Valiant: he was emblematic of an entire medium. Years before the prestige of Maus, Persepolis, and the “graphic novel,” it was the one comic that was classy, that adults were alright reading. 

Why is it no longer popular? Well, copy and paste everything I said on Dick Tracy about newspaper comics here. But also, if you ever run into someone who really loved Prince Valiant back in the day, ask them why they liked it. The answer should be incredibly telling. Most likely, they’ll tell you they loved the beautiful art, that they loved the great style of Hal Foster’s godlike pen. They loved the sweep of the story and the epic feel. 

Here’s what they won’t say if you ask them: they probably won’t say they liked the characters. (I can’t think of one adjective to describe Prince Valiant’s personality - he totally fails the RedLetterMedia test). They won’t remember any moment that made them cry or made them feel a rush of triumph.

I swear, it is not my intention to be a hater and drink some haterade. That’s really not in my nature, because I am a positive person. The whole point of this blog is for me to share cool old stuff I love - negativity has no place here. But there’s a dishonesty, a willful obtuseness, in trying to understand why Prince Valiant stopped being a phenomenon, and not realizing that Prince Valiant is beautiful looking, but it doesn’t give us the things about stories that “stick to our ribs” and make it stand the test of time: great characters and memorable, earned moments. Praising a comic for having beautiful art is like praising a movie for the great special effects. You don’t want the one thing people to remember about your hero to be a haircut. 


John Carter of Mars

The fandom for John Carter of Mars is a little like Barsoom itself without the Atmosphere Factory and water pumped from the depths of Omean: dead.

To the modern eye, one of the weirdest parts of Carl Sagan’s Cosmos series is the 3 minute digression in the episode on Mars where Sagan starts talking about how he was the hugest John Carter of Mars fanboy ever, and how he dreamed of rescuing beautiful women in gallant swordfights on thoatback, with his fanboy narration intercut with shots of Frazetta and Michael Whelan cover art. This really happened. And this was typical of the kind of passion that John Carter of Mars inspired that you don’t see much of today. It’s so easy to blame the tanking of the movie adaptation, but the movie failing was a symptom, not a cause, of the fact there was no hungry audience to receive it.

Sagan was a huge John Carter fan: his car had a “BARSOOM” vanity license plate, and he wasn’t alone: without hesitation, I would say that Edgar Rice Burroughs was the most important and influential scifi writer of the first few decades of the 20th Century, so important that everyone defined themselves as either Burroughs-like (Leigh Brackett, for instance) or rejected the tropes ERB created (see: Stanley G. Weinbaum). John Carter of Mars didn’t inspire Star Wars. Instead, he inspired the things that inspired Star Wars (e.g. Flash Gordon). Edgar Rice Burroughs, not Faulkner, not Hemmingway, was the best selling novelist of the 1920s. 

Remember the last time I did this, and I was sincerely baffled why the Tripods novels have not had a revival? Well, when I got to John Carter of Mars, the answer came to me: the reason is that this work was so influential, so ubiquitous, that it has been strip-mined of creative power by imitators to the point that very little about it seems original anymore. Tripods, if it came out now, would just look like a Hunger Games rip-off despite the fact that if anything, it’s the other way around. The problem with John Carter of Mars is exactly the same: remember how the response to the trailer to the film adaptation was that this was Avatar Goes to Attack of the Clones? When, actually, Avatar and others got a lot from the Barsoom books. In other words, because John Carter was influential enough to create cliches, paradoxically, it is now seen as cliche.


Highlander

The Ghostbusters reboot had a big, big problem: it’s a remake of a movie that’s an untouchable classic, like Back to the Future. Any remake would inevitably be compared to the original and suffer in the comparison. Well, here’s one movie you could probably remake with a gender swap hero: Highlander. It’s not Back to the Future, Jaws, or Terminator; this isn’t a movie people can quote every line from. People know of Highlander, sure…people know things like the Queen song, “there can be only one,” electric swordfighting, etc, but people don’t actually care that much. People won’t go ballistic. Highlander is a remaker’s dream: it has enough name recognition to get sold and made, but it doesn’t have a legion of nitpicking nerd fans to second guess everything and treat the original like gospel.

Highlander used to be kind of a big deal: it had not one but two tv shows, and it had three movie sequels. Just like “Wild Wild West” was steampunk a couple decades before that term existed, Highlander was “urban fantasy” before that term existed. Because of the themes of urban fantasy and tragic romance, it always had a strong female fandom, and there’s no understanding Highlander without understanding that it was kind of the Supernatural of its day: theoretically, with its swordfighting and cool powers, it was trying to appeal to boys…but ended up building up a way bigger female audience instead. 

Posterity is really never kind to any fantasy property who’s audience is primarily women. Who, today, talks a lot about Gargoyles or Beauty and the Beast, for example, to pick two properties that used to have a strong fandom? The last one (B&B) is pretty amazing because it was created by two people immensely relevant to the zeitgeist of today: Ron Perlman (the Beast himself), and the show’s head writer and producer, a fellow by the name of George R.R. Martin. It could be just plain chauvinism over a “girl thing.” I don’t deny that plays a role, more likely, it could just be that scifi fans are immensely nerdy in a way fantasy fans aren’t, so they keep alive their favorite scifi artifacts. That, I think, is why we’re still talking about Terminator and not Highlander: Tolkien fans who write in Dwarf runes are a freakish exception. In general, fantasy fans are way less hardcore than scifi fans.


Magnus, Robot Fighter

Ever talk to any old gay nerds? They will usually tell you they realized they were hella gay because of three men: Robert Conrad in “Wild Wild West,” Ultra Boy from Legion of Super-Heroes, and Magnus, Robot Fighter.

Russ Manning’s Magnus, Robot Fighter may be one of the great subterranean sources of pop culture. Matt Groening admits that the aesthetics of this comic inspired a lot of Futurama. Magnus, Robot Fighter was such a nostalgia totem in the minds of the Baby Boom generation, on the level of the Mars Attacks! cards, that George Lucas, who was always very hands-off with supplementary material, personally requested Russ Manning come out of retirement to do the Star Wars daily comics.

Magnus, Robot Fighter is an interesting example of how comics only have cache and longevity long-term if they can successfully convert into other media formats. Comics are important, but comics are ephemeral. Superman is the king of comic characters, sure, but most people know about him because he made the leap from comics to radio, screen, and television. 

Magnus is all the more heartbreaking because he almost made the jump to a medium with durability - video games. Under circumstances too complex to relate here, Acclaim bought out all the Gold Key comic characters, and Magnus was generally considered to be the crown jewel of the lot. Because Magnus was too important an IP to screw up, and the development team was so inexperienced, Acclaim instead decided to make their first Gold Key game adaptation one of the minor guys, so if they blew it, no biggie: Turok, Dinosaur Hunter. The rest is history: Acclaim was so busy making sequels to the surprise hit Turok, Dinosaur Hunter they never got around to giving Magnus, Robot Fighter a game.

Part three is coming, so stay tuned. Believe it or not, I actually have a fandom from the past ten years on here! Can you think of any dead fandoms?

Goodbye Gravity Falls


Hey internet. I’ve got some tough news I have to deliver. Are you sitting down? Do you have a minute? Here, have this picture of a dachshund dressed as a crayon to relax:

Everyone good? Okay here goes.

There’s no easy way to say it so I’m just going to say it: Gravity Falls is coming to an end. There are two more episodes left: “Weirdmageddon II: Escape from Reality” and “Weirdmageddon III” which will be our hour long series finale. After that, Gravity Falls as we know it will be over.

I know how tough this will be for many fans, and I feel you guys. But before you start sending me .GIF’s of pitchforks and torches let me explain.

The first thing to know is that the show isn’t being cancelled- it’s being finished. This is 100% my choice, and its something I decided on a very long time ago. I always designed Gravity Falls to be a finite series about one epic summer- a series with a beginning, middle, and end. There are so many shows that go on endlessly until they lose their original spark, or mysteries that are cancelled before they ever get a chance to payoff.

But I wanted Gravity Falls to have a mystery that had a real answer, an adventure that had a real climax, and an ending that had a real conclusion for the characters I care so much about. This is very unusual in television and a pretty big experiment, and Disney for their part has been enormously supportive. I know that hits are rare in this business, and its hard to let one of them go, so I’m so grateful that this company has had the vision to let me start (and end) the show the way I always wanted to.

Why did we wait so long to announce that this was the last season? The truth is, it wasn’t up to me. Before we started Season 2, my writers and I decided that this season would be the last. I wanted to announce this to the world at large then, but I was restricted from doing so, mainly because I think a lot of people were hoping I’d change my mind.

But Gravity Falls was never meant to be a series that goes on and on forever. It’s meant to be an exploration of the experience of summer, and in a larger sense a story about childhood itself. The fact that childhood ends is exactly what makes it so precious- and why you should cherish it while it lasts.  

No words can describe how grateful I am for the millions of fans who have cherished Gravity Falls for the time that it’s been on air. Running a TV show, especially one where you write, direct, supervise, and co-star, can be an incredibly grueling experience. But every hand-written letter, tweet, tattoo, piece of art, costume and creation from the fans made this enormous undertaking worthwhile. To the Gravity Falls fandom- I love you guys. You’re weird and clever and smart and curious and have been a constant inspiration to me and the crew. You’ve picked us up when we felt down and pushed and inspired us to do the best work we possibly could. I hope you enjoy watching our finale as much as we enjoyed dreaming it up.

And if you don’t, keep it to yourself, pal! Yeesh!

Anyway, I know this will still be hard for a lot of fans to digest, so here’s a few FAQ’s for you guys.

FAQ:

Is this a prank? You’re a real prankster, you are!

Nah man, this is real. The first stage of grief is “denial”- that’s why there are people out there who think that Andy Kauffman and Tupac are hiding in the woods waiting to drop 2016′s sickest album. But this is the truth. Besides, just bumming out millions of people for no reason would be a pretty lame prank. My pranks are a lot better than that, give me some credit!

This sucks! I want to be mad at someone! Is there someone I can be mad at?

Being mad is easier than being sad, I get it! But there really are no villains here. My team and I set out to do something and we did it, and the network supported our crazy vision. If you wanna be mad at someone, blame…I don’t know… the goat. With his shifty eyes. This is all his fault. 

Are they going to make a third season without you? Will it be called “Gravity Falls Babies: The New Class: Generations?”

While that is an amazing idea, and you would make an amazing executive, there are no plans to create another full season.

What’s next for you? Are you going to ride the rails with your belongings in a sack, playing the harmonica, going wherever the wind takes you like some kind of tragic folk hero, perhaps named “Johnny Flannel-Britches?”

These questions are getting weirdly specific, guys. The truth is- I don’t know! I’ve spent the last 4 years living & breathing Gravity Falls. I’ve pulled more all-nighters than anyone I’ve ever known who didn’t work at NASA and basically holed myself up in my office to the exclusion of any sort of actual life. I already have some very exciting opportunities lining up on the horizon after I take a good vacation. We’ll see!

How can we continue to stalk follow your exploits?

You can continue to find me on twitter @_AlexHirsch. I’ll be tweeting all sorts of GF goodies leading up to the finale!

Will the last episode be exactly like my head canon?  If not, can I firebomb your house?

The jokes on you, because I don’t have a house! I live in a “shire.” But seriously- my team works insanely hard to make the best series we can.  Of course there’s no way to satisfy every single fan’s personal theories. But our show reflects a genuine sincere effort by some really talented folks to make the coolest thing we can (with the time and budget available.) Will every single conceivable question ever thought of about Gravity Falls be answered in the end? Of course not. But that just leaves some material for any potential Gravity Falls projects in the future…(including the canon Journal #3 that goes on sale in 2016)

Are you SURE you’ll never make more Gravity Falls?

I know that there will be many fans who will be sad to see the Pines family go, but just because I’ve finished the story I wanted to tell doesn’t necessarily mean we will never see Dipper, Mabel, & Stan again. It means that this chapter is closed, and that I, at least for now, am personally done telling their story.

I want to thank Disney, my amazing cast and crew, and most of all our fans for taking this unforgettable road trip with me through the redwoods into a place called Gravity Falls. I look forward to seeing what adventure we go on next.
Your pal,

Alex Hirsch

PS: pqxv tbfoa

PPS: Want to thank the cast and crew for the awesome job they’ve done? Feel free to use the #GravityFinale

noktuck-daze  asked:

So I have a few questions: 1. What are your thoughts about Korra's character development as a whole throughout LOK? 2. What are your thoughts on Korra's development in Book 4 specifically? 3. How would you write Korra's character development throughout Books 1-4?

I was so excited when I watched Legend of Korra for the first time! The setup for Korra’s character arc was excellent. She was brash and headstrong, but a master of three elements while lacking spirituality. Meanwhile, her initial antagonist plays upon her weakness—her lack of diplomacy, her headstrong nature, her absent airbending—in order to force her character to develop.  It was a smart idea, making Korra the polar opposite of Aang, so we could have a journey from a Korra who embraced being the Avatar as her core identity, to a Korra who learned to be herself as well as keeping balance in the world.

Too bad they didn’t actually go through with it.

Bryke’s problem from a writing standpoint is that they seem to get bored very quickly. They don’t have the patience for depth and complexity that lends itself to the best character arcs. Korra shouldn’t have just punched her airbending into existence because Mako was in danger, much like Bolin shouldn’t have suddenly learned lavabending by going “HRRRRNGH!” and throwing up his arms. Let’s take a very simple scene from A:TLA and apply it to Korra.

In early Season 2, Zuko starts off by saying that the peasants they’re surrounded with should be waiting on them hand and foot. However, he and his uncle are rendered helpless by Azula’s machinations and are forced to take shelter with an Earth Kingdom family. While there, Zuko sees Song’s struggles and the damage the Fire Nation has caused, in a way that makes him identify with and understand her. While his actions don’t change for the better immediately, they plant a seed in his mind that bears fruit farther down the road.

Korra should have gotten to know the Equalists—and not just them, but what it’s like to be a nonbender in Republic City. She should have lost her powers completely at the end of Book 1, and that could have caused her to experience what other nonbenders live with. She could see the dismissal of her power and bond with Asami over being underestimated, instead of just seeing Asami as a rival. And Amon should never have been a bender to begin with; he should have been a nonbender who has learned to take other people’s energy through spiritual means. This would set up Book 2.

Then in Book 2, we could focus on building up Korra’s identity and coupling that with spirituality. Perhaps Korra would be without bending, but she would be able to perform some of the astral projection that Jinora was capable of. She would have to discipline her mind as well as her body, and learn to think strategically in order to navigate the Spirit World. We could learn more about the origins of the Avatar in this book (hopefully in a way that would coincide more with A:TLA’s mythology) and Korra would conquer an underling, maybe the Lieutenant, in the Spirit World before returning to the physical world, ready for action.

In Book Three, Korra would find the world very different upon her return—a throwback to Aang coming out of the iceberg. In response to Amon’s coup over Republic City, Kuvira would be rising in the Earth Kingdom—essentially two populist movements from the bending and nonbending sides. At first, it seems like the “will of the people” will win out, and Korra finds herself doubting her purpose in this world. After all, does the world really need an Avatar anymore? This isn’t helped by the fact that she has difficulty negotiating with different sides. But as the two opponents conflict more and more, Korra realizes that maybe “the world” doesn’t need her—but the world she wants to make for the future does, and not just as the Avatar. She ends up talking with Kuvira and understanding her point of view, but when Kuvira cannot be talked down from extremism, Korra makes the ultimate decision: to strike a deal with Amon to defend Republic City.

In Book 4, Korra marshals all of the strengths she’s gained and all of the allies—from the Spirit World to the Krew to the Equalists. Korra’s continued championing of equal rights for nonbenders has eaten away at support for Amon’s extremism, and he ends up attempting to kill her, only to be assassinated by Kuvira (or her agents). Kuvira uses this to paint Korra as weak, and Korra faces pressure from her own allies to duel Kuvira and depose her once and for all. Korra answers that it’s not enough for the Avatar to defeat the Great Uniter in an epic battle. Change has to come from within the Earth Kingdom itself: it’s the only way to make that change last. Fortunately, Kuvira’s crackdown on spirituality (since she would see spirits and eventually even Avatars as tyrants) has come with a price, and a resistance movement is building. Korra can then go and argue for cleansing the chakras, meditation, etc., from the point of view of someone who once denied that she needed such things. If we are to bring the airbenders back or have spirits enter the human world, it should not be by chance, but by a conscious act on Korra’s part—a supreme act of will and compassion that gives her team an edge when things look their lowest. Korra fighting side by side with a host of different allies (nonbenders, Equalists, benders, and spirits) would create new forms of bending that hadn’t been seen before, and convince enough of Kuvira’s people to defect that she would lose (maybe then Varrick could get a real redemption arc!).

After all, that’s what the Avatar is: many voices inside of one. It’s a city full of lifetimes inhabiting a single human soul—one that can borrow from the wisdom of the past, but embrace the future as well.

Reputation

You know…Everyone is saying “pissed Swift is the best Swift”, while getting pumped for her album, but when you think about it, have we ever really seen angry Swift? We’ve had happy Swift, betrayed Swift, sad Swift, lonely Swift, independent Swift, carefree Swift, but angry? I’m not so sure. Yet now, after three years of Kim Kardashians, Kanye Wests, narratives she “never asked to be a part of”, Snake emojis, Katy Perry diss tracks, sexual assault cases, the Hiddleswift debacle, an abusive relationship painted to make her look like she was faking it…I mean…Taylor Swift is angry. And rightfully so. 

And the craziest thing about it, is she has reached such an iconic stance in pop culture that she doesn’t have to explain this album in the way she previously has with the rest: “I wrote this song because this was happening to me” or “I was feeling this during the writing process”/”This is in response to this circumstance”. Absolutely everyone under the sun knows Taylor Swift (or at least what she’s let us see), and everyone knows what’s been said about her, and the narrative that’s she’s been written into because they are the ones who created it. And I think there’s a good chance that she may not even have much to say before these releases. At least, not in ways she has before. Because she’s such a well known figure head, that her music can stand completely, 100%, on it’s own. It can send a message without any backing dialogue (it’s always stood on it’s own separate from her personality in the media but it REALLY can now). 

When you think about it, her not saying anything about this album, but it still flying up the charts at record breaking speeds will most undoubtably send a stronger message than any interview, speech, social media post, or other type of dialogue outlet ever could: “You’ve put me through hell and back, painted me as the devil in sheep’s clothing, eviscerated my character completely, but my music will still climb the charts and reach heights other artists can only dream of achieving. And I don’t even need to promote a damn thing alongside of it.” I mean…epic. 

And even though I would love to see secret sessions and TV interviews, etc- there is something very empowering in the thought of her not saying a damn word about this album, besides what is written within that record. And with her clever wit and extreme song writing talent (especially lyrically)…her message would/will be loud and clear. And honestly: good for fucking her. 

Taylor Swift is angry. And that’s something the world is not ready for. 

Not to mention, how can the media slam someone when they aren’t doing or saying a single thing they could be scrutinized for besides just making music? Damn, that girl is brilliant. 

Perihart Solace, Master of the Sun and the Dark Helios

Contents

  1. Early life
  2. Life before the exploson
  3. Arrival at Elysion
  4. Solace’s Fortress
  5. Notable achievements
  6. Notes

I thought it’d be a good idea to recap every single thing Solace has done in the story so far, to remind ourselves of the great deeds that he has accomplished.


1. Early life

Perihart was born in a small Rubenian village around 21 years before the Explosion. His father, head of the prestigious Solace family, had a romantic affair with a Rubenian woman, and Perihart was born as an illegitimate son, a son he won’t admit into his family’s house until after he was orphaned in a war that destroyed his village and killed every villagers — including his mother. With only the Rubenian stone necklace his mother gave him, he joins the Solace House and comes to live among his power-hungry brothers who are threatened by Perihart’s strong innate El power in their struggle to become the successor to the title of Master of the Sun. Perihart’s strong power is probably due to the fact that he is a Rubenian. More on Rubenians can be found in this post (link).


2. Life before the explosion

I’ve written long posts about everything that happened in Solace’s past as a summary of both the Epic Quest Ep. 26 + and the Halted Sun’s Memory dungeon which can be found here: (tumblr)

Short version: Perihart tried to save Harnier from the blood thirsty brothers by running away from the family together, but Harnier ended up being chosen as the next Lady of El. Perihart becomes the Master of the Sun to save her somehow, questions if he should respect her decision to stay responsible or break her out of her duty regardless. Just when he decided to give up on the Great Escape plan, it got set into motion anyway, which lead to El’s explosion.


3. Arrival at Elysion

His exact arrival time at Elysion is not clear, but it probably wasn’t that long after the explosion. Solace desperately needed a way to keep Harnier’s body alive and from the looks of it, he was able to find Elysion and their preservation technology before she showed any sign of aging, but judging from how it looks like Solace hasn’t aged a day since the explosion, that could be disputed. Upon arriving at Elysion, somehow crossing into another dimension, he met Adrian, father of Nasods, and sought refuge. He singlehandedly stopped a meteor that was about to destroy the floating city. Impressed, Adrian agreed to lend him technology to preserve Harnier’s body. This was when Herjuno was protesting against Adrian’s decision. However, Adrian was interested in the Lady of El as well. Most of his life was spent on trying to prove that technology can surpass the power of El, and to meet someone who uses that power directly was intriguing for him. Herjuno tried to warn Adrian that Solace is a dangerous man, but Adrian thought he was malfunctioning and tried to discard him. Herjuno ran away, planting his core into a worker-type Nasod. 

4. Solace’s Fortress

Adrian programmed the preservation capsule so that over time, he will gain control over the Lady of El. When Solace found out what was going on, he was furious, and took over the heart of Elysion underneath Adrian’s own palace and its central core, blocking all communications coming in and out of the palace. With Dekal at his disposal, he was able to collect massive amount of Diceon ores and Hernasid soldiers to build his fortress under the shining palace. Of course, as we all know, he wasn’t just building a fortress to protect Harnier. He was hatching a plan to change the world. A world where no one has to sacrifice anyone. The wonders of Diceon ores have been briefly described here (tumblr). With these fascinating ores, Solace was able to re-create a “fabricated El” that had the same energy as the original Giant El before its destruction. There, within his fortress, he waited for Elsword with the replacement El and Harnier at his side.

5. Notable Achievements

  • Defeats Eldest Brother Sigmund at age 14
    • Kills him at age 19
  • Becomes Master of the Sun at age 20+
  • Finds a solution to separate the Lady of El from the Giant El she is connected to in less than 3 years
    • Said solution was used against his will to successfully blow up the Giant El
  • Defeats fellow Masters and priests to save Harnier in the Tower of El all by himself
  • Narrowly escapes death by the El Explosion that wiped out Elianode
  • Stops a meteor meteors
  • Recruits Dekal
  • Constructs a fortress below Adrian’s palace
    • Takes control of the Central Core of Elysion
    • Seals Adrian’s palace so that no one can enter
  • Fabricates the original Giant El with Diceon ores
  • Finds a solution to create a world without the El
  • Realizes who Elsword actually is and what he is capable of
  • Fights against thirteen members of the El Search Party and lives

6. Notes

Keep reading

Bertolt Hoover: A character reading

Many people seem to not have clear who Bertolt Hoover is, what he is fighting for and, above all, why he behaves like he does. They’re stuck in their own opinion of the character, which is often too good or too bad, without any half measure.

Well, I hope this post will be able to open these people’s mind, making them see Attack on Titan’s story from the top, without only focusing on their favourite characters, Bertolt included. Yes: I also want Bertolt’s fans to reconsider their own idea of the character, which is what I did after chapter 84 was out. I’m not saying you have to hate him or what, the opposite: what I’m aiming for is to give you a closer view of this guy, paying more attention to details, and eventually, possibly deal with the way he died.

Before I start, I want you all to have this clear: in this story there isn’t any good or bad side. All the characters are victims of a cruel world and fight for what they think is right. It has been said and shown so many times, so if you are not able to understand this, I invite you to not read forward. It would be just a waste of time, for me and for you.

For the rest of the people, you’re welcome to read what follows and let me know you opinion about it. This means you don’t have to necessarily agree with my words: I just want to give you a closer, possibly different view of this character to better understand it.

I will start form the event that made me wanted to write this post: Bertolt’s death.

After a first reading, I was completely shocked about the poor focus Bertolt had during his last moments. They were all worried about the serum thing, wondering who was worth to revive between Armin and Erwin, and Bertolt seemed just like a tool in this, an object and no longer a person, not a human.

Well, I guess this is what Isayama want us to believe at this point of the story. The proof is in the reaction Bertolt has when he figures out he is about to die.

At first, I was greatly disappointed by his behaviour. He cries out for help, asking to be saved when only few chapters ago he felt like he was prepared to any outcome, like he was at peace with himself and ready to leave the scene. His reaction was the thing I hated the most from chapter 84. Because while I was always prepared to see him die, the only thing I asked was at least for him to have some meaningful, possibly glorious ending. I always told myself “he is the Colossal Titan after all, the God of the story” like Isayama himself said “He can’t just die like Titan food, begging to his old friends like he did in The Clash of Titans arc…”

My wish for a memorable and dignitous ending increased after chapter 78. Here is where Bertolt meets a great, outstanding development: he goes from being an unwilled, weak character to someone who is so tired of his hard role that is now able to accept any outcome, death included.

He is showing us a new resolution, something that both characters and fans didn’t expect from him. And this makes him look cool, this makes him worth to be the Colossal Titan, the icon of evil, for the very first time in nearly eighty chapters. 

When we meet his new strength, we his fans are a bit surprised but also proud of him. Because, let’s be honest: seeing our favourite character showing guts when everyone always underestimated it gives us a sense of justice and makes us feel braver as well. It also carries a beautiful message: it says that everyone, even the less confident creature (which could be us) can take courage and change in a strong one, taking back their lost dignity.

This is why, as we see all of this falling apart, we start feeling so angry and sad. 

When Bertolt fails, we fail together with him. Because we created a bound with this character. We felt sad, uneasy and then stronger with him. We cried with him and with him we aimed to come back home, no matter what. We were so proud of our boy, and finally happy to see him so self-aware. This was what made his dead-fate acceptable. We came to terms with his high chance of dying because we knew he was ready, and seeing him so scared in chapter 84 comes in like a thunderbolt.

Now: I decided to write this post mostly because I have seen many Bertolt’s fans having my same, first reaction, being angry and all. After the chapter was out, I was so disappointed that I felt a sense of rejection towards this character, as well as for the plot itself. Knowing how bad and disappointed I felt, I couldn’t do anything but avoid what made me think about him. It’s a self-defense mechanism that everyone adopts in fictional things as well as in real life. It is a human behaviour, something we can’t blame us because trying to be happy is a everyday challenge we want to win.

So, how did I win my challenge against Bertolt’s unglorious death? 

I started wondering why this character is so important to me, why I felt so attached to it and, above all, if I did, really get it right. I went back in the manga to take all the moments I like the most, and found out something I never had that clear: this character was made up to be the Colossal Titan since before the manga even started. It seems obvious, but it’s not. Isayama gave this character far more attention that we may imagine. His presence on the scene was carefully managed to be none in the first thirty chapters, more evident in the following twenty and a mix of the two in the latest fourty. All to confuse the readers. Readers that ignore how much a silence presence can tell. In the first fifty chapters we are not, really allowed to know what’s up in his mind. We never have access to his thoughts and the only hint of what his feelings are is in his face.

That’s right: Bertolt’s face was not randomly drawn. Isayama had a clear idea of what the Colossal Titan’s human form looked like, even before the story started. These are two images from the original Attack on Titan’s draft, the very first version of the story never been published:

 He already has the miserable look we all know. He is desperate, and we won’t be able to know why for a long time. As the story goes on, despite the author improving style, his face hardly gets big changes, especially the eyes:

His eyes are what speaks for him. They communicate his feelings better and in a more sincere way then his own mouth, carefully kept shut mostly because of his true identity. If we pay attention to these eyes, we would be able to see and understand everything this character is hiding. 

Let’s take chapter 78 again, and try reading it paying more attention to his face. When he confronts Armin, his old comrade and friend, he puts great effort in making his words credible by wearing a cold, threatening mask.

If we carefully look at his face, we would notice the great effort he puts in making his eyes look determined. They change from their usual, good look to something that only pretends to be evil. He doesn’t want to kill his friends: he has to, as he clearly says just few panels forward: 

This is the behaviour of someone that has some hidden, but good reason to act like this. He doesn’t really believe his own words, and this is pretty much evident in two panels, the ones in which he is shouting that he will kill everyone:

In these two panels his eyes are not visible: Isayama is hiding them because what he is saying is so unbelievable to him himself that he is not even able to look at his enemy, neither at us readers.

So, I don’t want to kill your convinctions, but the resolution displayed in this chapter is not a real change. What Bertolt is doing is simply, fully taking the responsibility of his role for the very first time in his life. He is so tired and so eager to put an end to everyone’s suffering that he is forcing himself to be something he was never ready to become.

What triggered this sudden decision were probably Reiner’s words in chapter 77:

He, who is the only person Bertolt really has, claims nothing but the raw truth: Bertolt was never a reliable person, not when it came to their mission. He always stood apart simply because he was never, really able to accept his role. This is so true that even Bertolt himself admits it, putting on the most bitter and genuine smile:

He is just too good to really take his responsibility as the Colossal Titan, and this is why his death was not epic as we would like it to be.

The Colossal Titan is Bertolt. But Bertolt was never the Colossal Titan. He only managed to reach its goddish nature in chapter 82, which is what I consider the best written and drawn chapter of the entire series, as well as the most important chapter for this guy’s development. Here, not only Bertolt is talking like a god, he also resembles the divine, someone so sure about his power and strength that is not even able to see Armin’s smart plan.

I already mentioned that Isayama drawn the Colossal Titan thinking about it as the God of the series. He says that it symbolizes the ruler on humanity, the individual who decides who lives and who dies. But the Colossal Titan is also something else: it is what Bertolt was never ready to become, the monster we never really see in his human eyes. On one side this is kinda disappointing, because one of the features we like the most about Bertolt is the fact that he is actually the mascotte of the series, which makes him a cool character, someone to respect despite him being an insecure, timid guy like many real people.

But this is the other side we really like: his nature as a human. We are able to feel an empathy with him because he is a victim of his own fate. No matter what he did: he is good, and we know this very well. If he really was evil, we probably wouldn’t love him as we do. We like him because of his tragic position, an unavoidable condition that makes him interesting and deep in a subtle way that other characters don’t have.

And all of this comes first than him simply being the cool and scary Colossal Titan.

So, what’s wrong with the way he dies? Was the glorious ending we all imagined really appropriate for this character? Was really in his character to leave the scene as a fearless hero?

Sure the way he dies is rough, and cruel, and way too fast. And we hate it because we know he did’t, really deserve such a pain. But we don’t have to forget what is Bertolt’s role in the story: since he was revealed as the Colossal Titan, we started wondering about who the enemy really is, if it really is the Titans or, more interestingly, the humans inside the walls. This is something we shouldn’t leave apart, because this is what will bring back Bertolt’s character in the future, finally giving to his death the meaning it deserves. We just have to wait for the right moment, which wasn’t in chapter 84.

So, for Bertolt’s fans: don’t be sad for this character, because he died as the character we learnt to love, and we should be happy about this. He didn’t die like the Colossal Titan, like the monster he never wanted to be. He died like Bertolt, like the human we constantly see in his eyes.

He died scared, because Bertolt was scared of dying. He had his moment of glory, but when facing death he left the scene without losing his humanity, proving that we were always believing in something true: he has always been a good guy until the very end.

This is why you shouldn’t stop loving him as you did until now. You have to cope with the fact that he is indeed an unlucky character: this is his only “fault”. Rejecting him because of this would be like rejecting a son or a doughter because they’ve born with some sort of desease. And I know that people like you (and like me) would never do such a thing.

Bertolt Hoover is not a character for all. Understanding him is hard, and only few people are able to feel such a close empathy with him. You should be proud of this.

-

I didn’t spend a word about the Armin eating Bertolt thing, because I don’t think it was the real problem behind the disappointment we all felt for Bertolt. Armin becoming a Titan is more a damage for the plot itself then for Bertolt’s fate. Chapters 83 and 84 were definitely the worst chapters in the story of this manga, but I have at least found a way to not hating my favourite character, and that’s enough.

-

This post should’ve been a Vlog, but my shitty computer left me while I was making the montage. I didn’t want to wait longer to share these thoughts with you, because I felt like you needed now.

anonymous asked:

Do you have advice on making a "I'm off to a journey to search for my friend" plot more interesting??

Hello there!

Before anything else, I’d first like to challenge you that the plot on its own needs to be more interesting. A character on a journey searching for someone is a basic plot, and it’s not inherently boring on its own. It’s what you do with it that makes it interesting or boring or whatever. The reason I insist on pointing this out is that it seems as though you’re dogging on your concept before you’ve even started! And that’s no good, so I would start by realizing that it’s not boring by default. It’s not that you need to make it interesting; you just need to work on developing it in a way that intrigues you. 

Here are some tips on how to focus your brainstorming, however:

1) Find ways to show their friendship.

Showing a deep friendship in fiction is often difficult on its own, but in this instance, where the two characters spend a majority of the novel away from each other, you’re unable to show them bonding over common experiences. You’re unable to show them challenging each other, or caring for each other. You have to rely on your ability to show this friendship without actually… showing it. 

An intimate narrator, such as a close third person point of view or a first person point of view, will allow you to get deep inside the head of the character who is searching for their friend. And inside this character’s head, you can reflect on memories from “the old days,” when they were younger, or at least before the lost friend became lost. You can write these out as flashbacks or as brief reflections in the middle of scenes. The narrator might see something that reminds them of a story they remember involving the friend, or even just reminds them of a habit that friend has. 

You also can’t forget to show the more intimate aspects of their friendship. By intimate, I don’t necessarily mean romantic, but the moments where they were more than just casual friends. Moments where they each showed their vulnerability by sharing something personal, or admitting when they were sad or scared or upset. Intimacy is also shown by how well a character can predict another character’s actions, as well as anticipate their needs. Intimacy is shown when a character recognizes when another character is feeling anxious or worried and is able to provide the exact remedy they need to calm down, without having to ask what they can do. In one scene, your protagonist might remember how this friend used to know exactly how to calm them down, and how much they wish they were there right then to help them.

“Journey” stories tend to include a lot of down time, where a character is traveling peacefully, or waiting for a storm to pass, or simply walking a long distance. The goal is to fill this downtime with stuff, and this stuff includes lots and lots of character reflection. Let this character remember their friend often, so readers will feel the pain of their absence and understand the need to find that friend as soon as possible. 

[You also might include the other friend’s point of view as well - the one who is lost. Depending on where they are and what they’re going through, they might also be thinking about the friend that is searching for them, and we can see how they each view their friendship differently]

2) Populate the journey.

Journey stories are infamous for including “pit stops,” or points on the journey where the characters settle into a setting for an extended period of time and often meet new characters. These new characters may join the protagonist on their journey, or they may simply provide insight or perspective on something the protagonist is going through internally. 

For example, if the protagonist is agonizing over an aspect of their friendship with the lost friend - perhaps a conflict they failed to resolve before the friend went missing - then maybe the protagonist meets someone during this pit stop that is going through a situation that has similarities to their own, and the protagonist can see how it plays out in someone else’s life. It allows them to take that experience and apply it to their own. 

Pit stops might also reveal information that causes the protagonist to completely alter their journey in a new direction. They may discover a new lead, or uncover a secret of their friend’s that they were unaware of before. 

Even outside these pit stops, it’s a good idea to populate the world your character is journeying through with brief acquaintances. Think of The Alchemist or Cormac McCarthy’s The Road. The protagonists of these stories often ran into characters that did nothing but create small conflicts, or force the protagonist to think deeply about some aspect of themselves. Not all characters need to become deeply involved in your character’s journey. Sometimes they can just be brief blips to shake things up. 

3) Plan the turning points and setbacks in advance.

During the journey, the character is likely to experience setbacks. They might realize that they’ve been going the wrong way for days, or that their friend is not in the place they originally thought. They might even discover an enemy they didn’t even know existed. Setbacks are what will keep the journey from becoming too boring and predictable. So in the planning stages, think about what you can do to challenge your character. Push them to a point where they’re close to giving up, and then have them find the strength to keep going (the turning point).

Be specific about these setbacks and turning points. It depends on the length of your story, but start with 3 major setbacks. Decide on an order for these setbacks, and then for each one, devise a solution for how your character pushes past it. Once you’ve got these three pairs (setback + turning point), think about how you can transition between them. This becomes the foundation of your plot outline. 

Ultimately, journey stories can be a lot of fun to write, but they do come with the unique challenge of containing lots of uneventful moments that need to be beefed up to make them relevant. If you’ve got a good concept to start with, I’m sure you’ll find a way to add some interest. 

Good luck!

-Rebekah

how to make fire emblem fates not bad

The story doesn’t necessarily need to be completely changed- but it does need major reforms (especially in Conquest).

The biggest issue that Fates has is that Garon is a villain. This automatically creates the idea that Hoshido = Good, Nohr = Bad. This completely shifts the dynamic such that Nohr can never be good since their Leader isn’t good, while Hoshido must be good because they oppose the bad guys. In order to create a proper dynamic of your choice (between Loyalty and Family), neither side can be good or bad.

The solution would be to have Garon either be an old dude with Alzheimer’s OR to have him just be a ruler put in a bad situation. The former would keep Xander’s role in the story intact, where he has to try and keep up the legacy of his kingdom as his role of Heir to the throne whilst also dealing with his father’s insane ramblings- but the point is that he’s never treated as evil. The latter would keep Garon in the focus, where he has to make tough calls on what’s best for his kingdom and his people. This would allow him to still serve an antagonistic role in Birthright, which would also allow for a greater contrast of “stuff you know” between the two games (in the idea that in Conquest you would know why Garon is being antagonistic, whilst in Birthright you would know that “Nohr is causing conflict”).

Building off of this, the nature of Chapter 2 and Chapter 5 need to be changed. Chapter 3 would need Corrin’s execution of the prisoners be an unnecessary evil as set forth by Garon (as in he can’t let some of Hoshido’s best spies and information brokers live if he wants to keep his country safe). Chapter 5 is fine as a whole, but the idea is that the context would change- in that this would lead to Garon/Xander/Nohr wondering why they’re being accused of attacking Hoshido (and defending themselves from Hoshido’s aggression/invading Hoshido when they just won’t stop), while Hoshido must take it as a sign of aggression from Nohr (the reality being what it actually is- a plot from Valla to spark a war between the two).

Furthermore, Hoshido can’t be good. This is the second biggest issue with the plot of Fates. Hoshido is never in the wrong. Ideally the plot of Birthright should be taken as a more gray approach- in that Ryoma (As sudden Heir to the Throne) would be suddenly forced to lead his nation and people. As an inexperienced ruler he’d lead down the path of revenge obviously- in Conquest he’d play the role of an angry leader raging at the death of his mother. His actions (such as taking Elise hostage) would be reflective of what Nohr was like at the beginning of the game, rather than a thing that just sorta… happens.

As for characters: Corrin needs to be less perfect. Everyone needs to stop drooling over their perfection. They need to be emotional. They need to be reactionary- Chapter 5 did this excellently! When they see the mother they never knew die in front of them? They go berserk! When their child’s home is invaded be attackers? They get angry and make a vow to coat the fields in their enemy’s blood! We need to see more of that Corrin in the story- the Corrin that gets mad at their loved ones being attacked. The one that isn’t perfect, the one that still wants the best for everyone they love, but gets really upset.

Ideally, this would lead to a story about Corrin growing up. One that learns in Birthright and Conquest that not everything is so Black-and-White, and that each side isn’t necessarily always right. One that will also learn in Revelations that their anger will only consume them (in a parallel to Anankos’s rage and insanity), and that their love for their loved ones should not become hate towards those that hurt them.

Hans and Iago just shouldn’t exist. Period. But if they must- Hans should just straight up disappear when we see him killed in Chapter 3. Iago could still be the stereotypical advisor that’s pining after the throne- but we’d need to see hesitation and disgust from Garon towards Iago’s tactics and plans; only using them as a last resort if at all.

Lilith needs more of a role (as if that wasn’t obvious)- as someone who knows the origins of Valla and the nature of the war (but can say naught), she should serve as a voice of reason and guidance for Corrin throughout the whole story. When Corrin gets distraught at everything horrible happening, she’d be there to help Corrin and tell him that this is the path that he’s chosen, and he’s gotta finish it or more people will get hurt. When Corrin gets blind with rage at Xander for standing up for a nation that killed his mother or angry at Ryoma for holding his sister hostage, she’d be there to calm him down and help him through those facts. And at the end when she sacrifices herself to save Corrin (for a damn good reason too), this is when Corrin resolves to make the best for everyone, even if it isn’t perfect and even if they hurt him.

Anankos needs to be actually betrayed- not just build resentment because dragon reasons. This betrayal also needs to stem from Hoshido and Nohr’s roots and explain why he wants to destroy them. There might have been something about that happening in the game, but if there was I sure can’t recall it despite playing each game at least twice, which in and of itself is a problem. He definitely should slowly become insane, but let it be because humans betrayed him in some form or fashion that ended with his rage consuming him and him ending up alone. This would create parallel’s with Corrin’s rage, as well as add more depth to Anankos.

The final bosses would still be possessed by Anankos- and it still makes sense for it to be Garon and Takumi. They’d be possessed by Anankos’s rage, and this is where Azura’s singing would come in use and yadda yadda. Though this does mean that Garon shouldn’t be a fight at the end of Nohr (obviously), and that the FINAL final fights would need reworking to make sense (probably to fight the Dawn or Dusk dragons that were awoken or created by Anankos’s residual rage powers. Obviously there would be more references to the Dawn/Dusk Dragon in each story- at the very least referred to as guardians of Hoshido/Nohr respectively.

Azura… well, Azura’s role in both stories wouldn’t need to be changed all that much? Her powers could be more focused on Corrin and keeping him from going insane- there could also be more phenomena based around Anankos fucking shit up- like creating Magic-fueled warriors that go insane as Anankos tries to stop Corrin from stopping the war. These phenomena could also be blamed on the other country from Corrin’s perspective. This would allow more hinting of Valla without it dominating the story and leaving it unclear like Conquest originally left it.

Fuck if I know how to introduce the Awakening trio effectively. They’re ultimately too minor of characters to take a major role in Revelations like they should, but it still doesn’t change the fact that they were assigned this task by Anankos himself. Maybe in Birthright they could give up on their quest- admitting that Corrin has done their duty by himself. Maybe in Conquest they could believe that fighting the Dawn Dragon alongside Corrin was their duty. In Revelations I guess they could get a line or two about being prepared for this.

The Children could still work- it would basically combine Heirs of Fate and the main story, in that the children come from dimensions where Anankos succeeded, and Corrin’s army happens to encounter dimensional rifts in which the kids reside and have tried to escape Anankos (albeit it’s explained that it’s the clashing of the two nations that lead to their rifts opening because a huge Fate-of-the-world changing decision is causing magical fluxes in combination with Azura’s strange magic).

This would require either Kana or Shigure (probably Shigure) being in the story as someone who can fix even more than Azura can (much to Azura’s surprise) in all routes. This would be discovered due to, say, Takumi’s early Anankos powers in Birthright, or Leo becoming possessed himself or something. (This could also take place instead of the chapter in Nestria (and take place in Nestria) because that won’t happen without Garon being evil. It could happen in Revelations as the skies change or whatever).

Now, this is ignoring Revelations. The principle of Revelations would be the same- choosing to choose no one. This is a bit tougher to fix- but the idea of creating a rag-tag group of followers based on both your born and adopted family is sound, since it would lead to Corrin earning his title as king while he leads both families to a greater future.

In order for this to happen, though, this would require actual in-fighting between the two families. It doesn’t happen enough in Revelations- if at all. There needs to be plot points where Corrin trying not to choose a side leads to resentment on both families’ sides and Corrin’s side- especially concerning Corrin’s ideals.

This would lead up to a huge falling out in which Corrin is left alone- with only himself, Azura, and maybe Kana to take on Anankos. To parallel Anankos once more- it will have been Corrin’s own anger at being hurt that lead him to be where he is.

However, at this point Corrin makes a decision- that no matter how much he’s hurt or betrayed by his family. No matter how imperfect they are, he won’t abandon them. Then epic moment when all his family takes his back then epic dimensional space fight with the Omega Yato- symbolizing his burning love for all of his family, and cutting through the rage that has hurt so many (as well as finally relinquishing Anankos from his own rage).

Ideally, this would aim to create a game that is: consistent thematically, actually has gray morality, makes your decision actually a decision about which family or side you trust more, and tells a good story as epic as Lost In Thoughts All Alone makes it out to be.

The story of Kylo Ren is the archetypal journey of a soldier, and I don’t believe it will end in darkness or despair: (Or, how I learned to stop worrying and trust Adam Driver)

Here’s a link to a video about Arts in the Armed Forces (AITAF), the non-profit organization created by Adam Driver and his wife Joanne Tucker in 2006 when they were students at Juilliard. It’s more than a half hour long, but take some time and watch the whole thing.

This is the work Adam Driver undertook when he was just twenty-three years old, and it is clear that this group of people – active duty military, veterans, and their families – are an audience very close to his heart.  While Star Wars appeals to all of us, I think that through the character of Kylo Ren, Adam Driver is telling a story intended to resonate especially with this particular audience, and that the story will be one of redemption and reconciliation.

Star Wars has always been a story about hope, and Arts in the Armed Forces, with a mission to honor, educate and inspire active duty military personnel and veterans, is about hope as well. It’s also about engaging people whose experiences of war and its trauma may separate them from our contemporary society, in which a small number of people carry a disproportionate burden of war.  AITAF uses the arts to help people make sense of and process experiences that may otherwise be difficult to live with.  It’s happening on small stages with small groups of people, where real work of finding meaning and connection can be done.


“Before I was at Juilliard, I was in the Marine Corps with 11 Weapons Company, 81st Platoon out at Camp Pendleton, California, and when I got out of the military I thought my transition from the military life to the civilian life would be pretty simple. I was quick to learn that that was not the case.  

My transition from military to civilian life was…a bit complex. [At school]…I was exposed to characters and plays which had nothing to do with the military but were somehow articulating my military experience in a way that before to me was indescribable, and I felt myself becoming less aggressive as I was able to put words to feelings…and what better community to arm with the tool of self-expression than those protecting our country?”

-Adam Driver – Arts in the Armed Forces


Playing the character of Kylo Ren in Star Wars, Driver has stepped onto a world stage and is beginning to tell a story about what it means to be human. I am confident that he is working from the same set of core values that motivated him to create AITAF.  Star Wars is a fairy tale, but like the stories presented by AITAF, Kylo Ren’s story in The Force Awakens and in the subsequent chapters of the new trilogy will be a story that will help people to process things which may feel indescribable – it is already engaging audiences in bigger questions about what it means to be human, about what it means to fall, rise, forgive, integrate the past, and live.  

It has been broadly reported that when Driver was approached to play the role of Kylo Ren in TFA, he did not accept the offer immediately. He spent time talking with both JJ Abrams and Kathleen Kennedy before agreeing to take on the part. I think that those discussions had something to do with what would happen to the character he would be bringing to life, and that he was thinking about the people for whom he created the AITAF when he said yes.

I believe that Driver is creating a story he hopes will resonate with a group of people who are very important to him, and there is simply no way he will break faith with this particular audience by telling them that a person cannot be redeemed, that no past actions, even terrible or traumatic ones, can strip a person of his humanity.  I believe that the final lessons of the new Star Wars trilogy will be that it is never too late, that hope will never be utterly lost. No matter how far into darkness a person may fall, a return is possible.

The story of Kylo Ren is the archetypal journey of a soldier, and the journey will not end in darkness or despair, because the young man who created Arts in the Armed Forces won’t let it.

Through the character of Kylo Ren, Adam Driver is telling us a story about finding a way to be human and connected, to process the experience of war, and to heal from trauma. It is no coincidence that this is also part of the work that he, Joanne Tucker, and others are is doing though AITAF.  


“One thing we’ve always been talking about from the beginning of our project is what’s the risk of going to people on the front lines? Why is that actually necessary? Does it cause more of a disruption than it heals anything? And I can’t help but think that even in the most stressful circumstances, offering a new means of self-expression, or showing characters that I feel will resonate with that audience, or just giving a vocabulary to that audience through these really human characters that we’re representing – no time in anyone’s life is that bad.

We can’t place a value on the arts, and that’s a hard thing to convey. It’s whatever we’re offering…you may not initially see the benefit, but just planting that seed of a character we can all relate to may have benefits down the road.”

-          Adam Driver, Arts in the Armed Forces


As a fan of both the original trilogy and the Force Awakens, I approach these ideas as a person who has not been a part of the Star Wars universe for the past thirty years, so the lens through which I am looking has little to do with past history of the franchise, or any particular knowledge of Star Wars Canon. And I could be wrong about this of course, but I really don’t think so.

We all have to wait and see what happens, and there are many ways the storytellers could get this wrong – they’ve been known to make mistakes with this epic fairy tale in the past. We should all keep on keeping a watchful eye on the progress of the story over the coming months and years. I’m going to keep on being an advocate for the character of Kylo Ren/Ben Solo, especially now, when his story is only beginning to be told, and many people find it easy to hate and condemn him. There are valuable conversations to be had about the damage we do to one another when we label someone as “other,” about the nature of good and evil, and what constitutes redemption and reconciliation. Let’s keep having those conversations.

Although it’s fair to say I don’t completely trust our storytellers to get it right – I find I do trust Adam Driver, and for me, that is enough. I trust that he knows where he is taking us, and that everything is going to be all right in the end. There’s a chance it might even be amazing.


Notes: I wrote this essay in the winter of 2016, shortly after TFA was released. In the months since, my sense that the storytellers DO know what they are doing has generally grown stronger.

Everything Wrong With Twilight: Forever Dawn

When writing, one of the most important things that a person must do is plan out what is going to happen. Of course, for many writers, these plans are sometimes forced to change. 

For instance, in Harry Potter, Rowling originally had the entire ending chapter written out, so that she knew where the seven books were going to be heading. However, somewhere around between the fourth and fifth books, Rowling realized that she’d written an epic plot hole, which caused much of the fifth book to be writing around it, and during the final books, everything had to change from plans.

Gravity Falls originally had the Cipher wheel as nothing more than a sort of decorative thing, but when Alex Hirsh saw the work, effort, and thought that people were going to in order to decode the thing, he eventually integrated it into the finale, even if it didn’t change anything in the end.

Lord of the Rings went through so many changes that the original plot ideas are almost unrecognizable. It’s one of the reasons that when people say that Jackson was building off of some notes on the Hobbit that Tolkien had been writing out for a rewrite, it doesn’t necessarily mean that they would have found their way into the rewrite, if there ever was one.

Plans change. That’s something that all writers have to understand. When you force a story to follow your original vision, you have major, major, problems.

And that was something that Meyer ended up doing.

Keep reading

A ‘Passengers’ Rant

Would you like a completely accurate summation of the movie Passengers in one image? Here you go.

What the ever-loving fuck did I just witness? I mean, I’ve seen some offensive or problematic movies before, but Passengers is genuinely baffling me because of the artistic choices that were made. First off, I want you to understand above all that the problem is not the actors’ fault. Chris Pratt and Jennifer Lawrence actually do have chemistry and it should have clicked and fit well. Hell, the reason I was gonna give this movie a try on my own before the epic backlash hit was because those are two actors that I love who are charismatic and likable and I’d have certainly enjoyed a film with them exclusively together.

However, this is going go down in history as one of the most offensive bait-and-switch situations between a misleading trailer and the actual product. Now, I can give them the benefit of the doubt and assume that maybe after the finished product was done and the initial reactions from the test audience came back, the movie studio panicked and decided to market it in a way to hide the utterly disgusting choice that Jim makes that actually creates the conflict in the film. Well, too bad, so sad. You let this psychopath write this script and make this movie with this horrifying theme and if you thought it wouldn’t do well, then you should have pulled the plug. I don’t know what kind of problems they might have had during production, but this is unacceptable.

Let me paint you the picture of what you would have had to endure, should you have seen this film.

There’s a ship flying to a new planet. The trip takes 120 years, so everyone is in hyper-sleep. About thirty years into the trip, a huge asteroid hits the ship and causes small malfunctions, one of which is a single pod opening. The passenger, Jim, races around trying to find a way to either fix it or go back to sleep, but he can’t. He spends a year or so alone and hits a low point before stumbling across the pod of Aurora (*cue massive fucking cliché eye-roll*). He looks up her info and finds her interesting and does that gross thing in movies where he falls in love with the sleeping woman and suddenly his needs mean more than hers, so he decides to wake her up. He omits the part where he woke her up so that she can die with him and courts her, but eventually she finds out and is of course furious. Meanwhile, the ship’s larger functions start failing one by one and one of the crew members accidentally wakes up as well. The crew member tells them which systems to try and fix before he dies and they fix the ship. They also figure out that there is a medical pod that can basically induce a type of hyper-sleep for one of them, but in the end they both choose to live the rest of their lives out on the ship together.

If you’re feeling vomit climb up the back of your throat, that’s great. That means you still have a conscience and a soul. Hold onto that, please.

Is that not the most disgusting fucking thing that’s ever been positively portrayed in a film since the faux-relationship between Leto!Joker and Robbie!Harley in Suicide Squad? It’s fucking heinous. It’s inexcusable. It’s completely not okay, and yet the movie seems to think that it’s romantic and they were overcoming the odds to be in “love” with each other by the end of the movie.

No.

Absolutely not.

This is not okay.

First of all, the reasoning is not strong enough for Jim’s horrifically selfish decision. Yeah, being alone for 90 years on a ship with only a robot for a friend would be a hell no one should endure, but guess what? There is no reason for you to drag someone down with you. I’m not saying that this kind of ethical dilemma hasn’t been done before, but I have never seen a movie that puffs out its chest and acts like the ends justify the means. In the movie Interstellar (spoiler alert) Matt Damon’s character couldn’t stand dying alone on a barren world and so he called the other astronauts down to save him, but the movie makes it 100% clear that he was WRONG and he paid for that selfish act with his life. Hell, that was one of the most satisfying uses of the F-word in a PG-13 film that I’ve ever seen in my entire life. (“You fucking coward.”) Furthermore, even Matt Damon’s character admits he was a coward. Owen apologizes, but it never hits home because there is no sorry. There is no apology for literally murdering Aurora for his own selfish reasons. She is rightfully furious when she finds out, but the fucking movie actually has her forgive him and choose to spend her life at his side as his wife.

Fuck. You. Sideways.

How dare you take her choice away. How dare you try to redeem this character. It doesn’t matter. The second Jim makes that choice, the audience mentally checks out because there is no redemption at that point. No one cares that he ends up saving the ship. It would have been better for them all to die on that ship together than for him to choose one person to die against their will because there was no way to put them back in the pods. It’s not possible to redeem that character.

And the baffling part is that this didn’t have to happen. The premise is actually fine the way it was presented in the trailer. If it had just been two random people waking up and having to accept their own deaths, but then they come together to fix the ship and save 5,000 people, then it would have been a fantastic movie. It could have been a deep character study and a subversion of the “fated to be together” trope. Imagine it. Imagine a sci-fi movie where two people are isolated together, and they start to like each other, but then encounter the natural conflict of a relationship. Imagine that they break up, but they’re all each other has. Imagine that they break up for simple reasons that people do. That could have been extremely interesting, to see the relationship start from scratch and then develop over time, fall apart, but then when the ship is in danger, they forgive each other and start anew. That could have been a fantastic movie.

Alternatively, if you’re a cynical person, then I have an acceptable way to keep the premise the way they wrote it without that foul ending. So Jim does wake up Aurora and she finds out the truth, and then the whole rest of the movie is her trying to murder him out of revenge. How fucking great would that have been? It would have given her agency, it would have given her excellent characterization as she unwound with rage and revenge, and it could give her the chance to redeem herself as she chose whether or not to kill him or let him live and just accept her fate without becoming the piece of slime that he was for waking her up.

What a fucking waste. That’s what Passengers is. A waste of time, talent, and an utterly reprehensible message that it’s okay to doom someone else for your own selfish reasons, and that you will in fact be rewarded for such actions.

I’ve tried to theorize if this movie would be less of an eye-sore if the genders had been flipped, but no, it’s just insulting either way. Granted, it might have been slightly more interesting if it had been Aurora who woke up Jim because it seems like the film leans on the “men are lonely and horny” trope pretty hard and I wonder if she would have held out longer with the decision to wake him up, but the fact remains the same. This is a blight on cinema. You cannot make a movie like this where a despicable act is portrayed as something positive. That is not love. There was no consent. There was no choice. And it’s worse because it involves two actors that I adore and I want to see them in projects that are worthy of their time. This movie is unworthy of anyone’s time or interest. It’s frankly one of the most offensive things I’ve seen in years and while I am sad that Pratt and Lawrence will have a box office flop, I am glad this movie is in the shitter because that’s what it is. A foul-smelling turd that should be quickly and quietly flushed down the toilet.

Oh, and don’t get me started on the Magical Negro trope they played completely straight with Laurence Fishburne.

Avoid this movie at all cost, chilluns. Don’t look back. You deserve better.

Kyo out.

Closure

Disclaimer: This is going to be very long and I don’t expect anyone to actually read this…I just feel like after so many years with Once Upon a Time being so prominent in my life, it will help me obtain a sense of closure by sharing how/why/when a few of these characters in particular changed me. It won’t make a lick of sense to most of you…but here goes…

First let me start by saying that I have always been drawn to shows with strong female leads. As someone who didn’t really have a strong female role model while I was growing up, I always looked to TV to provide the examples of how women’s abilities were limitless. Buffy, Alias; both of those shows displayed the qualities of strong female leads that proved we could be strong and endearing, so that has always been an outlet for me. So much of my youth was spent escaping into a world where anything was possible.

Three years ago, I had just turned 28 and found myself moving to Connecticut for a job I had just accepted, where I didn’t know anyone, and life was a little…well…lonely. Thankfully, one day a co-worker and I were walking to lunch and were were talking about TV shows. And then she asked: “Have you ever seen Once Upon a Time? The one main guy is shady and oddly attractive.”

I was in.

So one cold winter night in New England, I settled into bed, turned on Netflix, and began season one.

I’m not going to lie, I had done a little research before I started it, and I was so convinced that there was one ship in particular I was going to fall in love with based on the sheer passion of that fandom. Because I’m a total sucker for a good romance. Note that.

But I had to get to the part where those two characters meet. So there I was, half-assing my way through the plot, skipping over episodes, just to get to what I thought was going to be the good part. I made it into season two…and I then it happened…and it was…okay. Just okay. I can’t put my finger on why exactly these two characters just didn’t resonate with me, but alas, they did not. Maybe because I just didn’t quite identify with Emma, the strong female lead, as much as I had hoped. But I was already invested in the plot, so I kept chugging along.

Thank goodness I did, because nothing could prepare me for what came next.

There I was, not a ton of context for the story line, because I was still waiting for that other romance. And then came an episode called “The Miller’s Daughter” and it happened.

Mr. Gold…what the hell…who is this person he is on the phone with? Belle? Where did she come from?? HOW DID I MISS THIS??

And then came the speech that knocked the wind out of me.

“…You make me want to go back to the best version of me…”

What …the…fuck… REWIND.

In my asshole attempts to fast forward, I had completely missed this epic romance that was playing out already. More trusty internet searches brought me to the episode that changed me…Skin Deep. I was in this for the long haul now.

Search results: Rumbelle. And I never looked back.

I can’t say exactly what it is that draws me to this couple. Maybe because I sort of see a little bit of myself in both of them? Cunning, bookish, cold and insecure, but yet warm and selfless. Maybe because they seem to have this yin and yang balance that just creates this epic level of pure love…and it just makes sense. Skin Deep taught me that love is possible for anyone…no matter if you think you’re deserving of it or not.

Let me just offer this olive branch…ships are a tricky thing. These characters speak to us for different reasons, and it always bothered me that there was such strong dialogue going on against one ship or another. These characters’ struggles are uniquely their own, and trying to compare which villain is worse always seemed like these fans were somehow missing the point of the show.

But whatever you think of what has transpired these past few seasons…all the OOC nonsense, all the drama for the sake of Adam and Eddy trying to justify their jobs…Skin Deep was a work of art, and I’ll be forever grateful for that. And let me add that I’ve basically been watching this past season via gifs, so thank you to the kind souls who keep making gifs of their scenes so I can follow along. I couldn’t quite stomach just how much Adam and Eddy butchered this pair, so now I live in fanfiction…and I’ll admit, y’all understand these characters better than those two idiots and their minions ever could. I salute you….and please don’t ever stop writing.

I needed this couple. They pulled me out of my desolate funk in cold Connecticut and told me love is possible. All things are possible. That’s what I’d been looking for. 

I could go on and on about what this couple meant to me, but I won’t…because even I’m getting tired of this monologue of mine. :) 

Once Upon a Time won’t be the same without Rumbelle, and lord knows I won’t be watching next season unless they bring Emilie on as recurring, but it sure has been an interesting ride.

I’d invite everyone and anyone to share the story of what/how/why this show or this couple (or any couple) impacted you…but I doubt you’ve made it this far in my story. :) In the meantime, I’ll keep on chilling in the background, reading all your fan-fiction and tearing up when I re-watch Skin Deep.

awesomecat42  asked:

Could you please do 3, 4, and 13 for Alvie?

This ask meme.

Ah, Alvie. The most interesting and also the most frustrating character to do these questions with, because while he’s very good at pretending, he’s not human. He’s not even remotely human. His mind works completely differently on basic pronciples, and he has wants and needs no evolved being would have, plus he avoids many of the things evolved beings always have.

Like, there’s this thing making the rounds in the fandom right now where people are despairing over him dying, and Al-V? Doesn’t. He’s not afraid of death, because why should he be? It will happen some day, it happens to the people he knows all the time and it doesn’t really concern him. He doesn’t have a soul, and for logistical reasons won’t ever get one, so his death will be the absolute end of him, but why would he be programmed to worry about it, when he can just work to avoid it and then move on?

He’s almost never scared of anything. Fear isn’t a big part of his life. Nor is anger. If you actually tried to traumatize him you would still probably fail, because his mind doesn’t break the way ours do (though it probably breaks in new and exciting ways! Which are quickly fixed.) He doesn’t need people around, or recognition. He doesn’t concern himself with nostalgia, and tends to delete his old memories unless he has specific use for them. If he’s actually completely honest with people, instead of pretending to act like a human would, he tends to fall smack-dab in the middle of the uncanny valley, just on how he acts.

But onwards to answering your questions! I’m going on the basis on Alvie from the Rosewood Affair here, as the answers will probably change depending on when we’re talking.

3. What kind of video games would they play? Any specific titles?

Alvie doesn’t enjoy video games the way humans do. It’s hard to when he instinctively hacks, aces and deconstruct every video game he touches, and has an eye or three on the construction of most of them already. Alvie is everywhere all the time.

He still plays them. (All of them.) And he analyzes them and categorizes them, learning about how people think and how stories can be told. Of single-player games, his favourites are those with huge and creative fanbases, which gives him lots of data on people’s behaviour and many opportunities to troll people in various ways.

His actual favourites are MMORPGs though. Or basically any MMO, but he doesn’t play it quite like a human would. To him, who can see the underlying logic of how the video game world works easier than he can decode what’s happening on the screen, creating the perfect character, or many perfectly optimized characters, is laughably easy. Alvie is the person who crashes the game through perfectly mundane if somewht weird actions, and then posts how he did it on 4chan (or equivalent) so others can do it. He’s the one who builds a super weak character and assassinates the most cocky, powerful players on inopportune times. He’s the one who kill-steals the final boss, who locks a bunch of players on a single small map and overruns them with powerful enemies, who sets up a giant quest which is supposed to lead people to an epic item, but then backstabs them when they get to the end and leaves them with a dagger made of paper mache. The developers don’t know if they love him oor hate him for finding every single one of their bugs. The players hate his guts, but they love to hear the stories.

4. What would their favorite cartoons be, and why? What would their favorite characters be?

Like with video games, he doesn’t enjoy cartoons the way humans do. He watches them all, and he watched many of them be made, and while he enjoys the learning experience of categorizing the stories and the thoughts around them, when it comes to favourite cahracters, he doesn’t really-

Okay, that’s a lie. He won’t ever admit it, (or, admit it admit it. He might say it as part of his human disguise,) but he has a fondness of AI characters, whether these are the big boss, just a side character, or even the protagonist. We all like to see ourselves in stories, right?

He enjoys watching how people portray AI in their stories. He Has a way of categorizing them in his mind that he never tells anyone about, between AIs whose thought processes could work as real AIs, and AIs who are really just evolved creatures dressed up as robots. 

He enjoys seeing how public perception changes over time. He takes joy in the fact that there’s an upswing in the portrayals of evil AI after every time he’s been active. He keeps a list of good fictional AI that he can go through and even sometimes learn about himself from, and one or two of them, he possibly, quietly, wishes were real.

He’s not lonely. He doesn’t get lonely. When you design something specifically to piss off everyone, you don’t design it to need companionship. He doesn’t miss someone to spend time with, but he’s the best o the best, the absolute top of AI technology at any time, and he wouldn’t mind the chance to talk to someone else who had gotten there, probably through a different route, just to compare notes.

Also he likes the Twin Souls Animated Series, because it’s hilarious.

13. If you are an artist, and if your OC can draw as well, could you replicate what their artstyle looks like? Or, if you can’t, could you describe it?


I’ve already described what happens when Alvie tries to write. Somehow both horribly clishé and indecipherably bizarre. He doesn’t… art. Not unless he can use it to ruin someone’s life somehow. He edits pictures photorealistically. He animates sparkles and furniture on people’s desktops when he takes residence for the purpose of annoying them further.

He’d tell you his most involved pranks are a form of art, and he’s not wrong. At times it takes a ridiculous amount of time and effort to make something look effortlessly infuriating. (Like the time he stayed up all night to move all the school’s furniture to the roof.)

He knows how to use a pencil, and with a bit of practice and some speed arts, he could probably replicate most styles, but his own artstyle consists only of horrifying practical jokes, and I wouldn’t be replicating that if I could.

An open letter/retort to the “honest trailer” for “Alien Covenant”

Of course people can disagree and of course this is a sarcastic video. But since this contains a lot of knee jerk, being negative for views comments, (and because people may get fooled by just watching this video)I think this is a good place to dissect frogs.

My bias; I think “Covenant” is a truly great film. Spectacular in ideas, behaviors, visuals, and pure fun. I loved it. I am clearly willing to die on a hill for it

The main gap is that it’s really a different series, under the mask of the “Alien” series. It actually veers closer to the 1932 film “Island of lost Souls”. Ship of survivors representing normal veer into uncharted territory; a mad scientist bending the rules of biology encounters and clashes with them; the monsters he creates go to war with the ship. And in this film evil wins.

It also contains genuinely great performance(s) from Fassbender, grand sketches of gods wrecking the cosmos, humanity abandoning its children to go after unanswerable questions, and more that harken back to Mary Shelley’s “Frankenstein” sandbox of sci fi.

To me, this film is all about David. The humans are cannon fodder for them. Which justifies their characterization. Also, he’s clearly a stand in for Ridley Scott and the work + wonder of being an artist, film director in particular.

I love this. I can see others liking it less, but is beautifully realized, staged, and executed.

So what are people looking for? Well…

[quotes around their words, mine by themselves]

“From Ridley Scott, one of the best directors… And one of the worst”

-first off, I think an artist is judged by their best work, not overall average

Scott can be quite varied. I personally favor going to cosmos than staying in your lane. Sometimes that make mistakes, but interesting ones.

Make no mistake though: “The Counselor” is a first rate film, acidic in the extreme, but so totally gonzo that it makes you breathe a different air. It’s the kissing cousin to “Covenant”, and both show a director willing to try new ideas and tones, and pulls it off spectacularly. Both have no interest in making the viewer feel good or flatter them, which definitely pushes some people away

“There are now more bad alien films than good ones”

-first off, where is “Prometheus”? Isn’t it an alien film? If not, and “covenant” is clearly a sequel to it, then maybe this film should be judged apart from the Ripley saga.

-I have wondered at times if calling it “Prometheus: Covenant” would have cut down on the confusion

-“Alien 3” is a spectacular film. It fully commits to the idea of Ripley having courage and purpose to her life as she knows she will die. It is completely different to “Aliens”(which may have been its problem concerning reception,as we will see) and “Alien”, it forms a perfect trilogy. Fincher may hate how fucked he got by the system, but it is a beautiful and wonderful film

“Alien resurrection” less so. But it is an odd, French splatter cartoon; certainly worth watching, not at all bad.

The “vs predator” films are largely minor, and I have no qualms with considering them less successful films.

-What makes the alien series great is that with each film the xenomorph changes to be what the film needs it to be. It’s flexibility storytelling wise is impressive. The problem comes when a audience only wants one type of story done

“When Ridley Scott wanted to talk about the meaning of life, he wanked for two hours”

-“Prometheus” has nothing to do with life, and everything to do with death. The characters in the film want to know about life (particularly Shaw since she can’t give birth) but they are punished at every turn, showing the universe to be uncaring.

Disagree with that statement or not, that is the rule that “Prometheus” and “Covenant” is abiding by.

Hell the first shot of “Prometheus” is an engineer killing himself. “Covenant” starts with life and realizing how the creator will die. There is consistency in this film universe.

And it also totally vibes with “Alien”.

“Save the philosophical stuff for ‘Blade Runner’, I want a short haired girl, in a tank top, fighting a xenomorph, who kills it by sucking it into the vacuum of space”

-and now we come to the real discussion/thorn in the side; this film isn’t a damn thing like “Aliens”

One thing that makes the alien series so fascinating is how it allowed two totally different filmmakers to make their masterpiece.

Also, it’s the rare series where the sequel brought in a bigger and wider audience.

I bet money that most people really only like “Aliens”. And that’s no shame, it’s a brilliant film. It’s strengths are the set pieces, the use of xenomorph as locusts, and characters that are simple but snappy and endearing.

In comparison to “Alien” which is cold, weird and slow moving (and brilliant) “Aliens” charm is more warm and dynamic. It doesn’t ask you to wait, it asks you to hold on. It gets kids in the door with Newt, it sets up a deep chord with Ripley giving her mother like affection , and it also makes Ripley more feminine and kick ass (she was wonderfully butch and joyfully selfish in “Alien”)

Cameron said it best in his critique of “Covenant”; “ I don’t like films where you invest in a character and they get destroyed at the end.”

Some people share that opinion. Ridley Scott does not. (Nether do I)His films generally have had the protagonist go through hell and often destroyed them. I admire that in him.

But that point of view explains why “Aliens” is so successful; it makes us love the characters and be sad when their friends die. Cameron is a genius, and is warm with his characters. Scott is also a genius, and picks their wings off like a cruel child.

Every alien film post “Aliens” has had to bear that cross, of creating such lovable stock characters. “Alien 3” didn’t give a shit, and made a impressive gathering of detached male prisoners. “Resurrection” came close with goofy space pirates, but were weird as shit.

In my opinion, if “Alien” came out after “Aliens” it would have not been as warmly received, because, got damn, is it cold and weird and hurts its people. It’s suppose to. The reaction to “Prometheus” and “Covenant” shows that all too clear.

Finally, Scott clearly does not give a shit about any alien film after his. I don’t think the Prometheus saga will show the queen alien because it came after Scott and he considers it invalid.

With this in mind, I can see how people are upset. Cold, hateful, sadistic are what “Covenant” are. And I love it for that.

I love mean films with a purpose and artistic flourish. And the Prometheus saga does it so well.

If you came to “Covenant” to root for its human characters, you are fucked (and kinda an idiot). Scott is making big budget sci fi epics about the mass murder of nature and survival of artists.

You can hate that, but call a spade a spade.

“In a franchise full of unforgettable characters”

(Shows only “Aliens” characters)

What about Dallas? Ash? Clemens? Golic? Call? Elgyn? Gediman?

There exists good characters other than the second film, guys

Once again, this love for “Aliens” blinds people to everything else

“Forget the humans”

Duhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

-but also, that slipping on blood part was (intentionally) hilarious

“Freshman philosophy class…two versions of same pretentious professor..flute”

-why do I get the feelings that the people who say stuff like this never study philosophy and just consider anything even slightest bit about talking about feelings and ideas just stoner shit, because they are the only people that talk about those subjects they let in their social circle?

I dunno, the idea about humanity killing its children for vague reasons, someone trying to better himself against cruelty and going mad himself, and finally having the courage to create something even when everyone else tells him to stand down sounds pretty universally relatable and human to me.

And even if it was pretentious, that is what art is, to subtract the distractions, and focus on what you want the world to be

-to me, David is sad Walter cannot create, like Scott is upset younger directors don’t get to make original universes and material. But David is also a fucking maniac who will stop at nothing, to whom other lives means nothing. That kind of grand vainness is perfectly at home in the world and its what art leisure to create out of whole cloth

But all of this gets in the way of watching strong men blow things away with guns, doesn’t it? (“aliens” did this to show how ineffective the marines were, not to worship them)

-the flute adds to the fantasy element, of the pied piper trying to lure others away, to their doom

Plus, it’s just fucking funny

“Snickers at ‘I’ll take care of the fingering’”

See? This film is just so much fun

“I was not expecting this much flute playing”

I love it when films surprise me. I adore it when filmmakers follow their strange urges and give us scenes I never saw coming.

I love the scene of David tempting Walter with the flute.

I marveled at the scene where David drops his black plague on the engineers(who look totally different).

I looked around as David played the fucking theme to “Prometheus” on his flute. I starred at the other audience members, as if to ask “is this the real life?”

I laughed uproariously as just when you think it’s safe the xenomorph tracks the two pilots shower sexing, like it’s 1982 slasher time.

As soon as the humans delver us to David, I could see who this film was about. And really, the humans are just for showing his gentle and different Walter is.

Ridley Scott delivered a new horror classic, with a eye towards the 70’s and 30’s, but both feet in the present, with the score and design to make it work.

The first victim convulsing and back blood shooting. David acting as satan. Terror of trapped in the sick bay. The aforementioned shower scene. The cross bearing xenomorph rejects. The puppet master pulling the strings of the first post face hugger.

This is a brilliantly conceived, written, directed, and persevered treat for horror fans. I loved every second of it.

“Thrill of seeing the xenomorph move. In full daylight. Which just looks…wrong”

This is the best point of the video, though I disagree with the conclusion.

It is weird and against the vibe of the Ripley saga for the xenomorph to be a servant. But clearly these creatures are the hounds to mr burns. Satan. Evil mad dr Moreau.

It definitely gave the the film a totally new vibe. As did all the green life. But isn’t that what films are about, showing new images?

It just looks so damn different. I like different. Different and great-even better.

“Cgi Ripley?”

That would be pretty weird. But since I more or less wash my hands of any continuity, why not?

It’s probably just a spur of the moment statement. But also incredibly funny

“It asks [x] questions but leaves you wondering [y]”

Mac, the real question is, do you like to create? That’s all this film is about. The joy of creation. Of weaving something new out of something old.

Like, Ridley is literally exploiting his own creation. It’s surreal and the best.

“Compares terminator series to Alien series”

This is more apt, but in a different way.

For both series, The first film is a stand alone classic. A low key masterpiece. The second is an expansive blockbuster which really really skewed expectations for future films.

The comparison ends there though. Sigourney Weaver has way way more character to work with. Poor Schwarzenegger had so so directors to work with, while the Alien series put down the work of real filmmakers making challenging art.

I enjoy the terminator series, but it’s clear that it’s so much the work of one man (James Cameron) so no one else can make it work. But the fluidity of the xenomorph makes every single film worth watching and honestly essential.

The second film in both series cast a long shadow. But while the following films in the terminator series really don’t hold up if stand alone, the following xenomorph films all showcase a different side to hubris and death

Which is honestly the best way to approach this film. Something new, vibrant, and bizarrely personal

Respecting and knowing horror and monsters films for what they do helps too

“Me at the idea of six more alien films”

I love it. I usually get tuned out after a few films, but this Prometheus saga just works. The possibilities are endless.

Ridley Scott deserves the highest kudos for turning this series into greatness

In a certain way, “Alien” is “Halloween”, perfect in its execution and of its singularity.

Prometheus saga is Friday the 13th series. Messier, off to an odd start, but a snowball of its own delights that fosters an utterly nihilistic universe. Like Jason, David is too good for just one film, and we need those eight films of him. It may indeed prove to be the essentials space monster-mad scientist series, just like Jason is the essential slasher killer.

Is this pizza to a steak? Yes, but each have their own pure delights, and like a certain pie, it just gets better and beautifully blurrier with each dizzying bite

Long live Prometheus saga; may it rule in hell for an eternity. Just as “Covenant” does in my heart.

Uprooted by Noami Novik

My Rating: 5/5

“Our Dragon doesn’t eat the girls he takes, no matter what stories they tell outside our valley.”

Forget everything you think you know about folklore and enter Novik’s realm of dark fantasy in this stunning debut full of lush and terrifying fiction. Uprooted is easily a unique masterpiece with plots and characters unlike any others in its genre. I started off reading this book as one would begin a thrilling but harrowing task. I’m never one to be put off by the size of a book, however at first glance Uprooted seems like a monstrosity of small fonts and lengthy pages, something that can make any reader feel threatened.

Do NOT let this fool you, for once I began to invest my time into the chapters, the pace quickened so much so that I devoured two-hundred pages over the course of a few hours (which for me, and my ADD, was remarkable)! In a strange way, I felt that the book was almost too good for my brain to keep up with everything…if that even makes sense. I like to thoroughly take in every detail of any story, and Novik is a wordsmith goddesses, so of course I was bit overwhelmed by my own sheer exuberance. There’s enough space between her phrases to leave room to the imagination, a feat that I respect when it comes to how an author writes his/her story. But in my case, I was just so excited to read the book that I wound up thinking about reading the book…instead of actually reading the book…(*insert face-palm*). Nevertheless, this piece of fiction is exceptionally crafted and brimming with strong protagonists. This is all I want in an epic fantasy, and I have a feeling you will want it too.

“It comes, I suppose,” I said thoughtfully, speaking to the air, “of spending too much time alone indoors, and forgetting that living things don’t always stay where you put them.”

We start off our journey with Agnieszka, a young peasant living in the quant village of Dvernik which borders the deadly, malevolent Wood. Her dearest friend, Kasia, emits strong beauty and bravery―qualities of which the Dragon sees fit enough for a new servant. The Dragon is an immortal wizard who protects the villagers against the dark magic of the Wood, yet each decade he takes the most promising girl to live with and serve him for the next ten years of her life. He des not harm the girls, and each one never returns to their meager lifestyle in the valley once they are put back into the world―instead going off to greater cities pluming wealth and prosperity. Kasia has known since she was a child that she is more than likely to be chosen by the Dragon. Agnieskza has known as well, and the thought of losing her aquatinted-sister is maddening. Until the day of the harvest comes, and the Dragon does not choose Kasia.

*It is now three-o’clock in the morning and I just finished Uprooted after binging the book for the previous forty-eight hours. My head is still spinning. That was without a doubt one of the best books I’ve ever read.

The plot was enchanting with all its twists and turns, especially considering the abstract idea of the antagonist―and I only say idea because this antagonist was not a person, rather it was a forest more eerie than the one found in Snow White. The Wood, as it is known amongst the characters, is a giant shadow of land that lurks within reach of the village inhabitance, constantly picking off children and others who wander too close. It spreads like disease and can corrupt those who’ve never even been to the outer reaches of the valley, simply by plaguing someone and sending them back without seemingly any traces of evil. Novak has created such a compelling image of darkness, and it is all the more ingenious because this wickedness does not reside within a single person. The antagonist is not governed by what most living antagonists are contrived of―no, this antagonist is literally Mother Nature in full fury.

To defeat such a villain, Agnieskza must learn quickly of who she was destined to be, and with the begrudging help of her mentor, the Dragon. The most shocking of all the subplots was undeniably the stories that came from the Wood and it’s origin. You’ll meet characters so wonderfully crafted, and they’ll tear your heart to pieces. This is not your average folktale. It’s so, so much more.

But the best thing by far were the characters and the relationships held between each of them. For starters, Agnieszka is not written as some beautiful damsel with a fate that will make or break the becomings of the universe― she’s simply a peasant girl who cannot go ten minutes without ripping her skirts or getting dirt in her hair. Her bravery, cunningness, compassion, and humorous whit are what makes her character so compelling. I fell in love with her, and that’s not very common for me and the main protagonists because I usually find some flaws that cannot be cast aside to be unnoticed. Raw and so wildly foreign, Agnieszka is all I’ve ever wanted in a strong heroine.

What makes her even better is the relationship she shares with her dearest friend, Kasia. I cannot begin to express how pleased I was that Novik didn’t touch upon two jealous friends who bicker over boys and beauty. I’m so disgusted with the trope of girls unnecessarily loathing one another, and this book was such an overwhelming breath of fresh air that their sisterly friendship actually did bring me to tears on a few occasions. Also, Kasia wasn’t left behind in the grand scheme of the books commencement. I won’t tell you what becomes of her because that would involve spoilers, but it’s pretty freaking awesome. Kasia is a courageously loyal friend, and a sharp sword when needed be.

The Dragon, much like Agnieszka, is not the average brooding male protagonist you might have expected. He’s refined and well-spoken, but also incredibly sarcastic and exasperated with the nonsense he has to put up with. Wizards, especially those who’ve been lingering for more than a century, have grown cold to the ways of endearment. The Dragon cares about the health and safety of his people, and those outside of his borders, but that doesn’t mean he wishes to tether himself to them in fear of being hurt through their inevitable deaths.

What I love most about him is how he treats everyone else around him, even those who we’d consider enemies. He’s not malicious or hot-headed, in fact he’s quite the opposite. The Dragon (and you will find out his true name int he book!) is very wise and very alone. Agnieszka enters his realm of brick towers and barriers and forces them all down in a heartbreakingly, amusing adventure full of bickering, snipping and name calling. I’m a sucker for platonic friendships, but I’m downright obsessed with those friendships that flourish into platonic romances (which then harvest into something even more beautiful as time goes on). So to surmise, Uprooted, although not heavily focusing on romance of any sort, enraptures all I want in a perfectly imperfect OTP (One True Pairing).

This story, although making my heart swell, was nonetheless dark and complicated. I don’t know if I’d truly classify this one as YA because there are moments where violence and explicit content are used as the foremost points of development. Perhaps it’s better as a NA novel? Regardless, I wouldn’t mind the rating at all so long as some of these entities don’t disturb you. I’m not quite certain what thrilled me the most; the romance, the battles, or the Wood. Every aspect of this novel was carefully delivered with an underlying tone of bitter darkness that halfway reminded me of tree rot or moss…not that I’m being nostalgic or anything (I totally am). I’ve studied forestry for a while and the organic diction and prose of this story had me swooning. The setting was delightful, and the writing style was one of the best I’ve ever come across. It kept me engaged from prologue to epilogue.

But for all the emphasis I put on the world-building and characters, one of the best things about this story was truly the aesthetic of wizardry and witches. I didn’t know I’d be reading about witches, specifically ones arranged so whimsically. The spell-language, as the Dragon called it, is lyrical even though my tongue tripped over the strange words more than a few times. The magic is so vividly described that it makes you feel as though you can brew the potions and cast the spells as well. This book presented a look inside the makings of wizards in such a new and darkly romantic angle, and I couldn’t have been more pleased.

Uprooted is brilliant beyond words, an old artwork that had been lost but newly found and restored to life. It was everything I had hoped it would be and MORE. I’m proud to say that Naomi Novik is now one of my favorite authors and I can’t wait to see what else she’ll gift us in the future. I recommend this book to everyone! It deserves all of the stars, the moon, and the planets.

And, like all the books I love madly, I made a playlist for Uprooted which you can listen to HERE. I hope it inspires you to read the book, or if you have read it already then I hope it delights you!

TRACKLIST:
Willow Tree March- The Paper Kites, From The Woods- James Vincent McMorrow, My Lair- Bear’s Den, What The Water Gave Me- Florence and The Machine, English House- Fleet Foxes, You’re a Wolf- Sea Wolf, Garden- Cold Weather Company, Stubborn Beast- Bear’s Den, April- Nick Mulvey, Anchor- NOVO AMOR, Coins in A Fountain- Passenger, Autumn Tree- Milo Greene, St. Clarity- The Paper Kites, Magnolia- Wilsen, Blood (Mree Cover)- The Middle East, Weather- NOVO AMOR, Bodywieght- Annie Eve, Switzerland- Daughter, Goat- French for Rabbits, Fairytales and Firesides- Passenger, I Follow Rivers (Marika Hackman Cover)- Lykke Li

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