so if there’s one single trope i’m always down to fight it’s the animal bride (folklore motif 402??) which a lot of you are probably familiar with as the selkie - the fisherman either falls in love, steals her skin to trap her on land/gain power over her, or they fall in love and THEN he steals her skin to keep her from leaving, and either way she spends a lot of time gazing sadly out to sea and then she or her child finds the skin and never returns again. and that’s awful on a whole lot of levels - it’s not love, it’s control.
BUT. but the thing is. you how selkies/seal women was a pretty common variation of this? another really popular one was swans.
i just want you to think about that for a moment. swans. like…I get it, they’re pretty, graceful birds, certainly it’s easy to imagine them magically becoming pretty graceful ladies? but have you ever fought a swan. swans are awful. swans are the devil’s geese. imagine seeing a pretty magic lady and being absolutely enchanted by her, and stealing her magic feather cloak, and then you go up and say ‘hey i’m in love with you, let me make you my queen, it will be great, we’ll be so happy’ and she just looks at you for a moment and…
you know i was going to say maybe she just shouts for her sisters and suddenly you’rerealizing you’ve made a terrible terrible mistake bc you’re surrounded by big fucking birds who are all hissing. but honestly if this swan lady is as aggressively down to brawl as any other generally unhappy swan, then she’d straight up fuck you up on her own. she’d just deck you roundhouse, honestly. you don’t fuck with swans. why does this trope exist
why do so many people hate miranda lawson? is it because she’s beautiful? smart? capable? because she knows it and isn’t ashamed of it, all while thinking she didn’t really earn any of it? is it because she was loyal to cerberus and thought she was helping humanity until she realized she was wrong, at which point she immediately sided with shepard? is it because she’s an abuse survivor? is it because she doesn’t apologize for being a victim? is it because she loves her sister enough to save her from the same abuse despite the potential consequences? is it because she wears a tight jumpsuit? why do you really hate miranda lawson
He’s not only incredibly empathetic, he’s perceptive. From their first meeting, he’s able to pick up the way Steve shuts down at the mention of being frozen, recognize that Steve has PTSD and reach out to him sympathetically without blinking an eye. He’s willing to take Steve and Natasha in when everyone else is trying to kill them with no questions asked, because he knows they couldn’t have gotten to that place without a good reason. He is able to make Steve laugh, smile, trust him and accept his offers of help, something Steve is doing with no one else, because he figures out the right things to say.
So when Brock Rumlow is telling him that with Hydra, order comes from pain, that Hydra doesn’t take prisoners and Sam tells him to shut the hell up, IT’S INCREDIBLY IMPORTANT. Rumlow is doing a cliche villain monologue, trying to justify his actions and explain his objectives, and Sam SHUTS HIM DOWN. Sam, the perceptive, empathetic character WILL NOT LET HIM JUSTIFY OR EXPLAIN WHY IT’S OKAY FOR HYDRA TO DO THESE THINGS.
That should tell you everything you need to know about whether any sympathy should be extended to Hydra or members there-of in this universe. Sam did not and would not. And Sam, like Steve, is an everyman character, idealized. Sam is all of us, if we were the best we could be. By having Sam say that line, the narrative is indicating none of us should give these characters a chance to explain themselves, because no explanation will make their actions excusable.