it was inconsistent in some places but overall it was pretty good

PLL 7x19 Farewell My Lovely - Thoughts

- Brilliant episode from start to finish.

- Got it right! Mona killed Charlotte. I loved the entire scene with Charlotte and Mona. It was really intense because I actually was not sure if Mona would back out, like Charlotte was provoking. I loved the whole reveal. I will admit though - during the 8 month hiatus between 7A and 7B, I saw some pretty damn intricate theories as to why Charlotte was killed. I think the motive they went for was pretty generic, and absolutely safe. We can’t find a single plot hole with this. “You never did get better, I want to protect the girls from you so I can prove my worthiness, I want to prove I am stronger than you” is so simple, it’s almost bland. But, it does work. And as I’ve always said with this show, I’m no longer looking to be shocked. I’m looking for logic. And there is logic, so I can’t and won’t complain. On balance, I did like this reveal.

- I understand red herrings, I really do. This is a mystery show, and every single one of them needs red herrings to survive. But seriously - this baffles me. What. are. the. odds. that. Melissa’s. suitcase. handle. broke. AND. that’s. the. size/shape. of. the. object. that. crushed. Charlotte’s. skull. The odds of that are 0.01%. There has to be more to Melissa’s story. I liked and I have accepted that Mona killed Charlotte, but Melissa’s story can’t be explained as a coincidence like that. I get red herrings, but this one is just so damn corny. 

- The “he’s coming for you” scene was pathetic. I despise the way that played out. I find it hard to believe that a nightmare was always the original plan. I feel so mislead. I really wanted there to be a “him” coming after Ali. I guess they lead us down that path in 610 because they had just revealed ChArlotte and they didn’t want us to think that the story is over. They wanted us to keep watching for the time jump, and to know that there is another villain. So I can see why they lead us down a false path. I get it. But I hate this feeling anyway. It was a good scene, but what it represented… not too happy. (Side note: laughing that they spelt Varjak wrong… c’mon writers, lift your game.)

- Another anticlimactic moment was that the mystery location on the board game was Aunt Carol’s house. Yawn. 

- I thought Caleb could’ve played it smarter when he sat down with Mona at the 2 Crows Diner. Rather than asking her “who are you going to meet?” he should’ve just said “I’m here. It’s me” and pretend that he is the one she is meeting. And then see where the conversation goes. He could’ve got answers out of her then and there.

- I really really really enjoyed the girls’ fresh new attitude this episode. “Leave it alone, or else our graves will get dug” is the approach they’ve needed for a while. I’m so glad we got a glimpse of that before the show ends.

- Literally zero romance in this episode, which suits my personal preferences. So I loved it in that regard.

- I thought this episode was filled with nice light humour. “To whom?”, Aria talking to Dunhill’s body and taking an answer in terms of the body ‘moving’, Ezra saying he can do anything with his Masters in literature, etc.

- Mary Drake, oh my god. Forget all my theories where I proposed this is Jessica, and Mary is really dead. That can’t happen now. This is truly Mary. I love her so much. Giving her the Lost Woods was a nice gesture. She said it was to pay for lawyers, but then she goes and saves Spencer anyways by confessing to Archer’s murder? I thought that was a bit inconsistent. Unless she thought of confessing after she gave Spencer the Lost Woods? Whatever the case is, I loved her gesture and when she told Spencer that she owes her a lifetime. We actually got to see her repay that and I love it. And I also loved how Spencer felt sympathy towards her and didn’t see it as “good, you owed me”.

- So Ali found out who killed her own mother just like that? They brushed over that really quickly. I guess Ali never showed any emotion to her mother’s killer because at the same time, whilst Ali may hate Mary, Mary did just take the bullet to save Ali (and the others). So maybe that’s why the writers waited for Ali to find out now in 719 rather than 714 when Spencer found out, because now Ali might not be as angry about it.

- AD knows the girls killed Archer. AD knows Mary is covering up. So why is AD ending the game when he/she knows that the incorrect person is being arrested? Is Mary AD? AD isn’t a very good death-avenger so to speak. AD has the videos of the girls burying Archer, why not release them? Why not free Mary? Why is AD accepting this nonsense of Mary taking the blame!?

- So the puzzle pieces ended up meaning nothing? Other than signalling game over, the actual contents of the pieces meant nothing. Anticlimactic at its finest.

- I enjoyed seeing Mona revert to her prior nerdy-self. I thought that was actually sad. I loved her line about warning Hanna not to get involved. She knew it was coming. And I can see why Janel said 719 is her favourite Mona episode to date. She got to play so many sides to Mona in just one episode.

- Tanner’s line about the girls not being criminals was a really good way for the show to end its constant negative relationship between the girls and the Rosewood police. I liked how Tanner didn’t admit to believing that Mary killed Archer. Either it’s because she still thinks the girls did it and that Mary is simply covering for the girls, or, she just doesn’t think Mary had it in her to be a murderer. Either explanation is interesting, and I like that element of never knowing.

- We are NOT getting answers in the finale. The writers spoke to us through Tanner when they made Tanner say that the DA likes simple answers, rather than theories for loose ends which no one can prove. That’s literally us, the PLL fandom. They’re telling us we aren’t getting answers to our loose ends.

- I loved the final scene. It reaaallllly hit me that the show is ending when the lights on the board game went off. And then the music rolled in and that’s when I got a bit teary eyed, especially when the camera panned across the board. I loved that sense of the girls having won and finally being able to move on with their lives.

- I think AD is off to go kill Mona, since she killed Charlotte. But I really liked that final scene with AD driving off into the sunset. It came across like “my work here is done, I know who killed Charlotte”. (How does AD know Mona did it? Microphones or some shit. Somehow AD heard Mona’s story time.)

- I pressed start on the episode, and within what felt like 10 minutes, it was finished. It went so damn quick. I think that means I enjoyed it so much, or that they tried to cram too much into one episode. Can confirm now that I’ve spent longer on this post, than watching the actual episode!

-  I did get Twincer vibes throughout this episode!!! When I do a re-watch I’ll come back and post them. I never take notes whilst I’m watching, it ruins the experience. But I do remember one thing. Mona was sitting in the diner waiting to meet someone, and then lo and behold Spencer rocks up at the diner. Spencer, out of all people? Was that Twincer, going to meet Mona? Why didn’t the writers make Emily show up? Why Spencer? It could’ve been Twincer. And Lucy’s comment “A is a lot closer than you think, you guys” has me thinking that the place-swapping between Twincer and Spencer is happening this frequently. If Haleb mention them being married, Spencer may react like “what, since when?” and Caleb will say “I already told you” — “no you didn’t? When?”

- Normally at the end of these posts I do a reaction to next week’s promo too, but I have a feeling I’ll have more than usual to say for the finale’s promo so I’ll do that in a separate post, this is already long enough!

- Overall, for a non finale episode it’s clearly a 10/10. You cannot compare an episode of this quality to episode 619 for example where the most action we got was Alison falling down the stairs. (I still laugh about that.) So, 7B is a massive step up. A couple things annoyed me this week, but taking them for what they are, and the overall pace and raw emotion, it was PLL at its best. Which is good to say for another week, because 7B has been killing it recently. 


Savior Ink

Every artist has their signature and hers, it’s cover-ups. Sometimes it’s to mask a now unwanted tat but her favorite is to cover a scar, or as she likes to explain to her clients, honor it. She gets a rush at taking something unwanted and turning into something to cherish.“ 

(Modern AU / Rated T / 3200 words / AO3

The heels of her boots are loud against the poured concrete floor of the hallway, the last quiet spot before reaching the constant swarm beyond the double swinging doors. Ten years in and she still quickens her pace to enter the one place she’s ever felt it in her heart to call home. The buzzing hits her like a lover’s embrace, melting the tension from her shoulders brought on by a restless night’s sleep.

Ruby’s client’s tongue is trapped between her red tipped fingers, slightly swollen from the shiny new  barbell piercing she’s securing with a sultry wink. Emma can practically feel the pheromones pulsing around the pair as the beautiful asian owner of said tongue blushes furiously as Ruby’s thumb brushes against her bottom lip. It doesn’t take a genius to know that Ruby will be offering to show this new client how to really make use of that piercing, with hands and tongue on demonstration devoid of any clothes.

Emma catches Belle’s eye from behind the counter and they share a knowing smile, both of them used to Ruby’s sexual adventures thanks to her love for giving the entire shop a very detailed play by play.

“Hey Ems, there’s coffee on your station.”

Ah, salvation. Belle is seriously the best, keeping this pack of lady tattoo artists organized and as drama free as possible, considering they’ve all gotten on the same damn cycle.

“What would I do without you?”

Belle just waves her off and goes back to adding to the schedule of appointments on the computer. There’s already three people waiting on the sunken leather couch in the front corner and Emma starts the process of getting her station set up for the day. Other than the appointment with Anton later on tonight to finally finish the intricate beanstalk tattoo on his back, she’s free for the rest of the day for walk-ins.

“I call dibs on stubbled and broody in the armchair, darling. He’s just this side of smarmy and I need the eye candy to help me wake up.”


Emma doesn’t even look up from her prep as Crue slinks by on wispy limbs towards her prey. Here’s hoping the guy wants a dog tattoo, cause that’s just about the only thing that woman is good at.

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anonymous asked:

In the interview in wich grrm talks about the unkiss , he says it is to prepare the stage for a more important memory gap what was he refering to ?

The relevant quotes: 

“Well, not every inconsistency is a mistake, actually. Some are quite intentional. File this one under “unreliable narrator” and feel free to ponder its meaning…” (The Citadel, So Spake Martin, Sansa’s memory)

“The Lion’s Paw / Lion’s Tooth business, on the other hand, is intentional. A small touch of the unreliable narrator. I was trying to establish that the memories of my viewpoint characters are not infallible. Sansa is simply remembering it wrong. A very minor thing (you are the only one to catch it to date), but it was meant to set the stage for a much more important lapse in memory. You will see, in A STORM OF SWORDS and later volumes, that Sansa remembers the Hound kissing her the night he came to her bedroom… but if you look at the scene, he never does. That will eventually mean something, but just now it’s a subtle touch, something most of the readers may not even pick up on. (The Citadel, So Spake Martin, SF, Targaryens, Valyria, Sansa, Martells, and more)

Note that George has Sansa mixed up with Arya in the second quote, because it’s Arya, and not Sansa, who misemembers the name of Joffrey’s sword. So George, too, is an unreliable narrator!

All joking aside, it’s clear that with the Unkiss and with other instances (such as Sansa not remembering correctly the events of the Trident), Martin is trying to establish Sansa as a particularly unreliable narrator: her mind tends to rewrite reality to make it fit into familiar patterns, the ones she learned from the songs, where knights steal kisses from their ladies rather than threatening them with a dagger, pretty princes generally tend to be good and villains are always easy to identify. And if there’s something that deeply unsettles her, and that she isn’t ready to deal with yet, it gets swept under the rug… until either she is ready, or reality hits her like a ton of bricks (which happened with Joffrey and Cersei). 

Keep reading

anonymous asked:

How confident are you that J/B will actually happen? I have to say, I'm feeling a bit nervous right now, after more of the leaks get confirmed and Nikolaj talks so much about Jaime being monogamous and so openly about how he is pro-JB. It makes me fear he's being so open because he knows now it's not going to happen and there's no spoiling at saying that. :(

I understand how you can interpret the interviews that way, but I’m 100% confident that Jaime and Brienne are happening. Remember, Nikolaj and Gwen know the fates of Jaime and Brienne, and since season 3 they have been throwing “love,” “in love,” “confused,” “feelings” and amping it up every promo season. Nikolaj even use the term soulmates, bless.

If Nikolaj and Gwen know that they have to play this pairing as a slow burn romance between two stubborn as fuck characters, their comments in the interviews aren’t going to be disappointed and bitterness. Their comments are going to be setup so the audience knows how to interpret their scenes, and for Nikolaj, an inability to keep chill. Also, if you notice, during each promo season their comments are almost identical in every interview, indicating that this is something that has been rehearsed and possibly fed to them by the showrunners.

Considering how Nik and Gwen were paired together now, of all times, for video interviews and pretty much every single promo for this season, and Nik completely unleashing his shipper soul, I’d bet money that the showrunners realized how the Brienne and You Know Who thing got out of hand. I wouldn’t be surprised if they got a little concerned that the Jaime and Brienne story wouldn’t land with the viewers, so up the promos! Remind people that this story is still a thing because they’re probably coming back to that relationship again this season.  

Now for what’s seen in the show…

Nobody really knows why they are dragging out twincest and keeping Jaime around in KL, but imo the only reason why Jaime is still with Cersei is because the writers think it will increase the shock factor when he ends up with Brienne.

Jaime is definitely headed North by the end of the season, and that’s just always been my guess for his arc. Tywin had three conversations about him needing to leave the KG, be his heir and lead his House, then he was actually removed from the KG, and then Littlefinger in S6 made a comment “the Lannister’s have never brought their army this far North” and Jon said the same thing to Sansa in the first episode of season 7. Without a doubt, Jaime Lannister is going North, which means he’s away from Cersei. Unless Brienne fucks off to Tarth and doesn’t fight in the war (which I highly doubt), he will be in the same place as Brienne, and they will go through another life or death situation and… well, you can fill in the rest ;)

Some would argue that the writers setup plotlines and then drop them, but Jaime and Brienne are different because they are an endgame plot. How Jaime’s character development is handled is a whole other topic that people can debate about, but it in no way affects whether or not Jaime and Brienne will end up together. In other words, Point A and point B are determined, but how the writers get to point B is entirely up to them, and if you see it as messy and inconsistent or totally logical and consistent then that’s your opinion. In the end, Jaime and Brienne will end up together, regardless of the journeys that led them there.

If Jaime and Brienne were meant to remain friends, or end up as an dropped story, they wouldn’t have continued building it up in season 5 and season 6. I’m not even going to bring up the setup for season 2-4 because it would take an eternity.


- The Memory

They finally introduced some sort of adaptation of Brienne’s horrible childhood. What was the topic of this memory? Romantic love. This isn’t some memory of why she admired Renly, it was why she fell in love with him. Why? Because prior to mentioning Renly, she talks all dreamily about how the boys said they wanted to marry her and take her to their castles. By including this scene, they are establishing three things:

  1. Yes, Brienne is interested in men.
  2. Yes, Brienne was in love with Renly (why people doubt this I just…..??? I mean it’s been stated many times she was in love with him butmovingon)
  3. Yes, Brienne has a romantic side and therefore is a legit candidate for a love plotline. It wouldn’t be broughten up in the narrative if it wasn’t essential to her arc.

Brienne was introduced to us on a romantic storyline (Renly). The first couple of conversations with Jaime and Brienne were about honor/loyalty and her love life. Oh look, what theme has been playing out and getting resolved for Brienne in S4, S5, S6, and S7 when she was off finding the Stark girls and the moments she spoke with Jaime? Honor and loyalty. What other factor was there in the background, popping up randomly, like her childhood story to Pod in season 5? Love life. And what happened in S6 that the showrunners allowed through the edits? The Ship That Shall Not Be Named. In other words, Love life.  

People think Brienne’s story is to be this great warrior whose purpose is to just help “the good guys” out with a sword and that’s the only lens they see her through. They don’t see that being a strong fighter is just an aspect of who she is and has a small role in her overall arc. It complements her narrative, but it’s not the focus of it. The focus is questioning honor and blind loyalty, and finding reciprocated love for the physical “Beast.” The two go hand in hand (this applies to Jaime as well…slowly and eventually. Their arcs match.) 

- Tarth

They wouldn’t have gone out of their way to film Jaime drooling over Tarth. If you think about it, they had to spend money creating the set, doing the effects, and hiring a bunch of extras to stand around, all so that Jaime could stare and smile at this freakin island that is the residence of some woman he just respects…



-The tent scene. 

I assume they were directed to act that scene as suppressed and confused romantic desire since a) Nikolaj called the sword his heart and b) the writers and the director said their relationship was “complicated” and that Jaime has “undercurrents that he’s uncomfortable feeling.”

Nevermind that they felt it important enough to speak about this specific scene and their feelings in an Inside the Episode segment, when there were dozens of other scenes to choose from. Jaime and Brienne are friends guys gaaaawd.

- The wave goodbye.

Yeah. Again. Same point as in the Tarth scene, but minus the extras.

If they had no intentions to get Jaime and Brienne together by the end of this series, they could have omitted the tent scene, or at least altered the tent scene so that there was not round three of extra long eye fucking…. for just friends.

So no worries anon. They will get together, whether it’s brief or for the long term. If there is one thing I am obnoxiously confident about it is that by the end of this series it will be known by even the delusional fans that these two fools are in love.

anonymous asked:

Two questions. 1. Do you think Jonsa will happen because of the original outline of Jonrya? 2. Do you think the show will address succession more? I have so many questions about that. If Jon and Dany fall heirless, who's up? Will people support Gendry? Will they support Sansa as Jon's heir to the throne? Bran? Who gets winterfell? Casterly rock? THE VALE??? DORNE? Sorry feel free to pass this one up. I'm really into the "not so minor, but still minutiae" at the end of the day. Your meta rocks.

I loved this ask because it sounds exactly like the inside of my head whenever I watch GOT. Seriously, WHAT ABOUT THE VALE? I know, anon. I know.

1. The original outline of Jonrya is a piece of external evidence that I think helps to strengthen what is already a very solid textual reading. I didn’t go over specific details and citations much in my Jonsa post because it’s already been covered very well elsewhere on this site - there’s a classic older post called ‘A Time For Wolves’ that lays all the book evidence out really well, if you’re interested. ( I think that might have been the first Jonsa meta I ever read? Anyway, it’s very good, and I didn’t see much point in just copying what it had already done.

Personally, I first became convinced of Jonsa after looking into the historical parallels between ASOIAF and the Wars of the Roses that Martin based much of the plot around. The Lannisters, Starks, and Targaryens are clearly based on the real-world Lancasters, Yorks, and Tudors (/Plantagenets). And the English dynastic struggle was finally resolved when Henry Tudor won the war and married the oldest daughter of the House of York, Elizabeth (who had two mysteriously vanished/probably murdered little brothers). They were also so closely related he had to get a special dispensation from the pope to marry - you see where I’m going with this? The parallels are far from exact, of course, but they’re also extremely suggestive.

2. I think on a thematic level, succession is very important to GOT. You could argue that the overall arc of the show has been to explore the ‘changing of the guard’ from the older generation to the younger one rising (and sometimes failing) to take their place - the Lannisters going from Tywin to his children, the Starks from Ned and Cat to their children, and so on.

But when it comes to the specific details of succession - well, I honestly don’t know how many we’ll get. GOT has been very inconsistent in its depiction of Westerosi politics and customs in this regard; remember when all of Dorne was totally okay with the bastard lover of Oberyn - not even his wife, just his lover - murdering their lord and their lord’s heir and taking over the Kingdom? Because I do. (That was a terrible subplot and D&D should feel terrible. ‘Oh no the hysterical brown women are on a murderous power trip, run’ - ugh, that was offensive on so many levels.)

I don’t want to be that person who’s all ‘oh, just read the books, they’re so much better,’ because I actually think the show did improve on certain aspects of the story (like, the number of extraneous side characters in the last two books is somewhere in the billions now, and it kind of drives me crazy how badly Martin could use an editor with some of this stuff). But when it comes to details like succession, the books are definitely much clearer about how it works and who’s up next. And since at this point I think the books and the show have just diverged too far when it comes to aspects like the rulers of Dorne or the Vale for us to be able to assume there will be any future convergence, it makes predictions about the show a lot harder. Like, a lot of these problems don’t exist yet in the books, and may never exist, because of things like Arianne Martell (Doran Martell’s daughter) or Harold Hardying (next-up heir to the Vale if Robin Arryn dies) still being characters.

So as far as the show goes, I suspect we may never get an answer when it comes to things like succession in Dorne and the Vale - D&D have got into the meat of the central plot now, and don’t seem like they plan to let anything distract them from it. Maybe Arianne Martell will pop up at the last minute from whatever cave she’s been hiding in all this time to take the lordship of Dorne for her own - or maybe it will never be mentioned again. Hard to say.

Let’s see, on to your other questions. When it comes to specific plot details, the narrative analyses I’m more comfortable doing are less helpful, and you kind of just have to go with the in-universe logic at play. But I think Sansa definitely has the rank and political chops to inherit the throne for the Kingdom in the North, if that was what you meant - though I don’t see her ending up on the Iron Throne without a marriage putting her there first. After GOT 7x03, I think it’s pretty clear that we’re not getting Bran as either Lord of Winterfell or King in the North - he seems to have put himself out of the running, so after Jon it has to be either Sansa or Arya, and I have trouble seeing Arya as any kind of politician. Right now, Winterfell is Sansa’s - even with Jon as KitN, Winterfell itself is still the birthright of the trueborn Starks, and if Bran passes on it then it goes to her as the eldest daughter. If she winds up marrying again - either another lord or the king of the Seven Kingdoms - it would probably be with the plan that her second son will inherit Winterfell and take on the name Stark (with her first son being heir to her husband’s lands).

I don’t know that that will actually happen - I’m still sort of musing over my own theories for the ending in store for Winterfell itself, right now - but in-universe, it would be the obvious solution. Theoretically, Arya could also take over stewardship of Winterfell if Sansa left to, say, become queen, and Arya’s children could then inherit it - but Arya doing anything even vaguely ladylike with her life just seems so unlikely at this point that I’m not sure it’s even worth mentioning as a possibility.

Gendry is still a bastard, so he has no claim to either the Stormlands or the Iron Throne unless someone has somehow managed to legitimize him without us noticing - which I wouldn’t entirely put past this show. Jon Snow did manage to get elected KitN while being a bastard, but the entire Seven Kingdoms is a whole different kettle of fish from a bunch of exhausted, guilt-tripping Northern lords. I have trouble seeing how any House besides maybe Dorne and maybe Baratheon would accept Gendry as king. He could probably pick up a few others if he was somehow legitimized, but even then, it’s a longshot. That being said, he is a cool dark horse candidate - it would be a really awesome twist for Gendry to wind up the king after all this Jon and Dany buildup, so maybe the narrative could find a way.

Jaime and Cersei seem pretty likely to die without leaving any heirs, so Casterly Rock will go to Tyrion if he survives. If Tyrion also dies, then it goes to their Lannister cousins - House Lannister is actually a pretty massive House, and there’s like a hundred second cousins hanging out in the Westerlands city of Lannisport waiting to inherit. At the moment I’m still fifty-fifty on Tyrion living or not, and starting to lean towards ‘not’ - but we’ll see.

Proposed: Thedas is not a ‘medieval’ setting

I don’t know about you, but when I was first considering the overall state of Thedas, mostly for worldbuilding purposes, I was semi-consciously thinking of it as a fairly typical pseudo-medieval-Europe.  And that’s natural enough, because in Origins, Ferelden really did look like that.  Thatching, half-timbering, nobles in fortified castles, a fairly monolithic church around which much of society was built.

The further you go into the franchise, though, the more problems you encounter with this.  Kirkwall as a city doesn’t give off a particularly medieval vibe, nor does its government.  You have sailing ships that are more advanced than Europe saw in the middle ages, you have the Qunari with their mind-altering drugs and poison gases and explosives, you have a popular novelist.  A popular novelist requires printing presses, paper manufacture, relatively widespread literacy, and fairly complex shipping systems to exist.  The first European novels were published after the medieval period.  Come Inquisition, we have the almost Baroque Orlesians, broadsheet newspapers, and a lot of things most people probably didn’t notice, like cast iron cookstoves and Bianca Davri’s steam-powered thresher.

Here’s the thing.  Okay here’s a lot of things.  I once had pages of notes trying to work this out, and I’ve tried a dozen times to make a post about it, but it’s too much.  I give up being organized.  So here’s some of the things:

  • Ferelden is a poor backwater.  I know, I’m a rabid Fereldan too, but to the rest of Thedas, it is canonically the arse end of nowhere.  It is no more a good example of the overall technological state of Thedas than the hills of my Appalachian home (where people lived without power or indoor plumbing well into the 20th century) in the 19th century were a good indication of the state of things in 19th century Boston, even though they were only a few days’ ride apart.
  • Thedas’ history and development is in no way like the real world.  It’s a place where the world faces a potentially fatal apocalypse ever few hundred years.  Again, the first game is pretty misleading in this regard, because we neatly wrapped up that Blight in, supposedly, a year, without it ever escaping the borders of one country.  The First Blight lasted over a hundred years and ranged across all of Thedas.  Far and away the shortest Blight besides the fifth still lasted 12 years and destroyed entire kingdoms.  That’s five huge periods of world war and cultural destruction.
  • Magic.  I mean, obviously.  Now, the tangible existence of magic and demons in the Dragon Age arguably has a lot to do with the strength of the Chantry, which has set itself up as a protector from these evils, thus providing an excellent excuse to accumulate military power and suppress dissent.  It doesn’t really effect everyday life much for anyone but mages in the Dragon Age–most people have never seen a mage, and only the wealthy can afford enchanted items.  But of the five empires Thedas has seen, only two (dwarves and Qunari) put any emphasis on technology, and the earliest two (Elvhenan and Tevinter) relied very heavily on magic, and thus presumably had very little incentive to develop technology.
  • The Qunari deliberately suppress at least some technological innovations in the south.  Remember your friendly neighborhood dwarf who liked to blow shit up from Awakening?  His name is Dworkin Glavonak.  You meet his cousin Temmerin in DA2 during the Finding Nathaniel questline, and he tells you that Dworkin’s been driven into hiding by the Qunari. (video)  Certainly sheds new light on why no one outside of dwarves seems to have explosives or gunpowder in the south.  Orzammar dwarves may be the exception here because a) they use lyrium in their explosives, thus making them self-limiting due to the restricted access to lyrium, and b) since Orzammar is a closed society and you cannot come in from the outside, the Qun could not easily place spies in Orzammar society anyway.

So let’s look again, not starting from Origins but look back from Inquisition.  And this time when we look, we find a world that

  • has steam technology, albeit very new–steam-powered threshers were invented around the 1850′s
  • has cast iron stoves such as were not invented in our world until the 1850′s
  • has a canonical reason for lacking gunpowder–which, in turn, completely changes the nature of warfare (or more accurately, doesn’t change it, since it’s guns and cannons that put an end to armor and swords and siege weapons)
  • clearly has printing presses, even if we don’t see them, because there are popular, cheaply printed novels and broadsheet publications and banned book lists

And it’s not quite all from later games, either.  Branka was made a paragon for the invention of ‘smokeless coal’–which isn’t actually a thing in itself but rather a process which removes the impurities from the coal so that it then burns cleaner.  Which, as far as I can ascertain, is a process that was developed during, you guessed it, the 1800′s.

Now, I’m not trying to excuse all the inconsistencies in technology or claim that the devs did a good job of following through on all the implications of things they stuck into Thedas.  Frankly, I think it’s a weak point in their worldbuilding.  BUT it’s really going to keep not making any sense if you try to insist that the setting is more-or-less-medieval-Europe.  In fact, I think it’s futile to try to match Thedas up to any period of real-world development, partly because Thedas’ history is just too wildly different, and partly because a lot of the worldbuilding is done by sticking a bunch of cultures into a blender and picking out what they like.  But if you start thinking about it as a place where technology has continued to develop in places to something roughly congruent to the western world in the 1850′s, but with none of the socioeconomic conditions that created the Industrial Revolution, you might be a bit closer.

anonymous asked:

I know we're all are on tony defend squad but wdy think about Steve? I know in the mcu he's a shit but in other universes? And about Chris Evans? You don't have to answer ofc but I just wanted ur insight on this, I like the stuff u post :)





From a lot of what I post, you would probably think I dislike Steve. Honestly, right now I’m going through EXTREME STARKQUILL/GUARDIANS FUCKING OFF INTO SPACE WITH TONY/ BITTER TONY moods, and so…

There’s a lot of shade being thrown in Steve’s direction.

But listen. Okay. I LOVE STEVE. I DO. I mean MCU Steve is, in my opinion, a very wobbly character, who could have been done so much more in-depth and meaningfully than what we got.

 Like, for starters, his relationship with Tony is just. What. Where are the sly sex jokes and secret passwords @? All we got was Steve being a bit of a prick to him as soon as he laid eyes on the guy, and then a continuation of that, manifesting itself through judgment and lack of trust. which is completely OOC for the Steve we know and love.

Secondly, the whole Civil War argument was just turned into Saving Bucky Barnes, The Saga- which is totally not what happened in the comics at all, and made everything he did and said so shallow, because we knew he was just fighting for his bestie. 

But yeah I mean aside from occasional moments (CATWS I thought did a pretty good job overall with him), I… I gotta say MCU Steve Is Not For Me. 


BURIED SOMEWHERE. UNDERNEATH THE BITTERNESS AND ANGER THAT RESIDES FROM CIVIL WAR, HE IS SUCH A GOOD BOY. i think it’s just… it’s very difficult to really place a specific set of characteristics for him, purely because of that fact that every writer does him differently. Some (hey Nick) write him like utter shit and make me want to burn out my retinas- some write him in what I consider to be perfectly in character (hey AA writers). 

I mean AA Steve is my dad. End of. He’s number one. You don’t get better than AA Steve. 

(Plus he and Tony are just. married. so that sweetens the deal a lot)

But like I said, it’s all about personal preference. Some are gonna be reading this like ???? Steve was perfectly in character in CW wdym???? and some are gonna be relating a lot. But for me, the Steve I know and love is the guy who believes in his team- the guy who is sly and dry-witted and unconditionally selfless. 

And who fuckin treats Tony like he deserves. But whatever.

so like i said- AA Steve is the winner for me, purely because he’s very consistent and pretty much ticks off everything I just listed a few seconds ago. Comic Steve- when not a nazi- is, as far as i gathered, a pretty cool dude? Although I don’t read comics with him, he seems to have his head screwed on straight. MCU Steve is Very Much Average And Inconsistent, plus he highkey mistreated Tony, which is a Large Offence for me, not to mention OOC.


may 10th, 2017 // #vivs1.5k

yikesss the banner lmao thank you all so much for getting me to 1.5k followers!! i kinda wanted to do something for 1.25k but i never got around to doing it so here’s a big celebration!!

keep in mind ive been in a v bad place mentally and are in the middle of exams and still have gymnastics so this will probably happen slowly!


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sonic forces review

EDIT: added day after thoughts under read more

Hey nyall! Time to review forces!

First, a broad, spoiler free, review. Under the cut will be a more in depth review containing spoilers for both, the main game AND episode shadow.

Please note that this is from the perspective of someone with adhd. I can’t tell how some of the things that peeved me would affect neurotypicals.

General info:

There is an easy and a hard mode. (hard mode is just normal mode “for ppl who played sonic before”) It took me 7 hours and 44 minutes to complete the entire game including episode shadow. Granted, I took quite a few breaks for breathers and shitpostingly liveblogging me playing the game on a discord server + I think I’m just bad at the game.

There are over 30 levels to play, of which a few did repeat and you just play with a different character, but it was still fun!

The hub map got increasingly confusing and hard to navigate and i really hate it now that i completed it because there’s too much happening at once on the screen.

Game play:

There was a Classic Sonic, Modern Sonic and Custom Character type game play.

I personally do not enjoy Classic Sonic game play but it was very well playable once I remembered I could use the arrow key pad instead of the left joystick.

Modern Sonic was often too fast in platforming sections and the absence of drift made sharp curves in 3D areas hard to handle, mainly when you activated boost (as the game intends you to). But it was very fun and refreshing to be able to boost again.

The Custom Character could use different wispons to do progress in the game. This is probably what has the most replay factor, as you can go back to levels using different wispons to clear new paths that you were previously unable to go through. The wispon use can be kinda sloppy at times, but once you get used to it it can be very fun.

The tag team game play was sloppy. It was never clear which character you are playing as right now (until later I realized you are playing both at the very same time ? I think? i am still confused).


The lighting in the cutscenes and levels often comes short and can even ruin the atmosphere at times. A lack of detail in some scenes undermines this. 

The characters are not as expressive as they could be, but there are some iconic expressions to spot throughout the game.

Sometimes camera angles shift weirdly or zoom out too much (some times the character even blends in with the stage and you don’t see it at all anymore when you are in movement) and you lose track of your character and most probably fall off the stage or get hurt. Sometimes there is also a little too much going on in the background.

On the contrary, the game had also tried to pull quite a few visually stunning shots and lighting in both levels and cutscenes.

It is overall still better than previous games because it has more heart and life in it and I hold it dear.

Overall feelings about the game:

The game had mostly been very fun! There was a lot of variety between stages and the wispons gave the gameplay a very fresh kick.

Some stages were frustrating because the character was too fast/very hardly visible for the platforming and I ended up dying a lot in the same spot. 

Not to say too much about the story, but Classic Sonic was pure fanservice and was not important to the plot whatsoever and the game would’ve done very well without him.

Character development was pretty absent.

The pacing of the game in general was very sloppy and almost even uncomfortably fast (rushed) and bland.

Most of the levels were very short to a point where you’d expect there to be multiple acts of it because you refuse to accept that this was already the end of it.

The story had some strong points, though, and the music was absolutely phenomenal, like always, BUT the music was not as recognizable as it was in previous games. I played the final boss only a very few hours ago and i cannot remember the tune to it at all.

The game had a lot of potential but it was executed rather sloppily than exceptionally.

All in all this game gets a 7/10 for effort from me.

because im very generous and i still had fun and was hyped and enjoyed it despite all the annoying parts. I mean i am also 06fucker69

Longer and more in depth review including spoilers under the cut

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Let’s be honest about Season 13...

This has been one of the worst THE WORST season of Grey’s Anatomy. This has been why I have barely been posting in this blog about it at all. I’ve been forgetting to watch this entire season, which I have never done with Grey’s Anatomy. I’m always eager to watch a new episode every Thursday, but Season 13 has dropped in quality so much that I’ve had to force myself to watch it. And it was a chore.

I’m sorry, Shonda. I love you and I will always love Grey’s Anatomy and will watch, but this season has been so disjointed and messy and a general waste of 24 episodes. I genuinely only enjoyed 5 episodes out of the 24 this season which is…bad. The season finale was great (but then again this show is always great with season finales).

I just wanted more focus and tension that didn’t feel artificial, because this season felt like a strange rip-off of Grey’s Anatomy not the actual show. There seems to be a fatigue going on in the writers’ room or something, because there was a lot of storyline repetition and barely felt drama. (I saw that there were a lot of new writers for the show. Is that the reason for the drop in quality?)

There could have been so much more with the entire Alex/Jo situation but that storyline alone was poorly handled and Jo was barely in this season. I don’t remember much of that storyline at all other than the fact that I found it grating. Justin Chambers deserves better storylines honestly. Do something with his family. That would be so much more interesting than what he was given this season.

The Owen/Amelia stuff was forced as well and did not go anywhere really until Meghan showed up. And it really could have gone in some interesting places just regarding Amelia’s trauma of pregnancy.

The Meredith and Riggs stuff got better as the season went along, and it felt more heartfelt and emotionally provoking. The parallels and complexities that were slowly added to their budding relationship were pretty well done for the most part and I wish the season gave them more time than some of the other crap this season was filled with.

However, the whole thing with Maggie was trash–it totally ruined her character for me. She became so grating too–and childish for no real reason. (I will say, the episode Ellen Pompeo directed about Maggie processing her mother’s death was great).This is an adult show, is it not? I couldn’t tell this season. It felt like watching bad episodes of Degrassi too often. Sometimes I felt embarrassed to watch, which I’ve never felt with Grey’s Anatomy before. And now it seems like the show is trying to pair Jackson with Maggie together maybe…they don’t really have any chemistry as far as I can see, but…sure, I guess. (Y’all still know I secretly want Alex and Maggie to happen!)

The Minnick stuff should have been more interesting than it was and there is no excuse because this show did a whole season (Season 9, one of my favorites) in which there was an uprising within the hospital regarding management and doctors taking sides. They could have made this whole situation more compelling. And the Minnick and Arizona relationship–trash. I feel nothing for their relationship and Arizona seemed to be out of character this entire season. (Callie needs to come back). Bailey was good this season, although I did not like the whole artificial drama between her and Webber–it did not feel earned. Webber deserves better storylines than this petty stuff.

The Jackson and April stuff was mildly interesting. But thee Japril episode from Season 12 was so much better. I wish they allowed more story for Stephanie up to the finale and her departure, but they gave her a good exit that did not involve death. Also, the medical cases were just not very memorable at all either.  

Overall, this season suffered from inconsistency in plot and character development. I don’t see myself rewatching this season except for those five episodes I liked (Episodes 8, 10, 18, 23, and 24).

All I know is that Season 14 has to be the great comeback, because I was expecting so much more after the brilliance that was Season 12.

How I Met Your Mother: Ted Mosby [INFJ]


Introverted Intuition (Ni): Ted tells his entire story of how he met his wife to his kids…from the VERY beginning. The reason for this is because he sees his whole life not as a bunch of little stories, but a whole interconnected web forming one big story. Everything he tells has some kind of symbolic significance, and he often stops to analyze why something might’ve happened to him and how it contributed to the big picture. He’ll often stop to analyze what might’ve happened if he had, say, gone right instead of left. He tells his story objectively, and from different perspectives, rather than reliving it and its emotions (which is what Si does), and he always has to draw meaning from those experiences (which is what Ni does when recalling and analyzing the past). Ted has also said multiple times that he overthinks and lives too much in the future. He once said that he looks forward to and thinks about old age a lot, when he will have already achieved his personal life vision. He has trouble seeing that part of life is the journey you are on as you reach that future you envision for yourself. Speaking of that future, Ted has a pretty solid vision of his future, and is transfixed on it. (He is very tunnel-visioned. He’s quick to shut down other opportunities that don’t fall into that line of sight.) He must find “the one,” have two kids, live in New York, keep his current friends, and have designed a building and be a successful architect. His resistance to change that sometimes erupts is not because he’s afraid, but because he feels he has already reached the best vision for himself. He won’t move apartments because the apartment he has is already what he wants, etc. It’s also good to note Ted’s obsession with “the universe.” He sees everything as part of a grand scheme, but he still believes he controls his own destiny. Overall, he finds comfort in the future because it’s something that is certain for him. No matter how bad things get, he’s able to be comforted by what will be.

Extroverted Feeling (Fe): Ted can appeal to others, and he expresses his emotions freely (anyone who has seen the show knows Ted is a very sensitive and romantic guy). Since a young age he had been very emotional and idealistic. Overall Ted is a very compassionate and selfless person, though when his personal vision is being disrupted, he places the blame primarily on other people and the universe before he uses his Ti-reasoning. Once he thinks things over, he’s often quick to admit he was wrong and makes up for his selfishness.

Introverted Thinking (Ti): As stated above, after the initial Fe-blaming, his Ti kicks in and he can reevaluate something objectively. Ted is an intelligent and thoughtful guy, and constantly falls back on his tertiary Ti. It rarely causes problems as it most often keeps him in check. It keeps him well-grounded despite his feeling nature.

Extroverted Sensing (Se): On the bright side of Ted’s inferior Se is his creativity and appreciation for the finer things in life. He feels right at home with other “pretentious” people who can discuss art and wine for hours. He expresses his creativity through his architecture designs. On the downside, when Ted’s life isn’t going his way, he falls into the grip and will act impulsively. He quits his job, buys a car, buys a house, etc., all as random, self-indulgent and self-destructive behaviors in response to a loss of Ni-vision. When the future becomes bleak, he becomes paranoid about his own abilities and his environment. For example, he becomes too afraid to make progress with his architecture firm because he’s worried he won’t be able to handle all the details (his “what if I forget the books?” analogy is an inf-Se fear…lack of faith in yourself to handle the physical world and its details). Additionally, Ted says he was never good at sports. In the show, Ted deals with a lot of negative events, and his reaction often goes: Blaming the outer world before reevaluating himself and his emotions internally and seeing where he went wrong (Fe/Ti) and/or being impulsive and self-destructive due to stress before quickly moving on, because in his head it is already fifty years into the future when all of this will not matter anymore (Ni/Se).

Note: I think people who type him as ISFJ look too much at one function at a time and at individual behaviors, which can be inconsistent to personality since behavior is situational (there are times where certain things he does seem like Si). When you look at Ted as a whole, and how his functions work together, you can see he’s a Ni/Se user. He also does not fear the future and see it as uncertain, which is an inferior Ne trait. Any worries he has are usually based on distrust in his environment or of his own physicality, which is inferior Se. 

Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days

- Ok, since this a movie of sorts, I’m just putting this all in one post so it’s going to be pretty damn big.

- The mass has ended, Go in peace.

- I’m sorry but just because he’s effectively 255 days old doesn’t mean he’s an absolute moron, I think he can gather why the sunset is red.

- Ok, so maybe Nobodies can’t do math, I believe a group called Organization XIII needs to have 13 members, at least to stick with a theme, having a 14th just ruins the aesthetic.

- Oh yeah, Gothic Bob Ross is creepy, I can just imagine him undressing Roxas with that look.

- Screw the Organization, do it for the horde.

- Because of his voice, I now imagine Roxas as a Canadian.

- Maybe it’s because he’s the Ultimate Lucky Nobody.

- Damn it Roxas, must you question everything, just follow along, do what you’re told and be a good little cog in the machine.

- So all this so far takes place during the final parts of the first game?

- Oh great, it’s evil Kairi.

- Some of this dialogue is a little painful to listen to.

- It’s the Great Kingdom Hearts, Roxas Brown.

- There seem to be a few inconsistancies going on, I mean in one scene, Xion goes from being hooded to being unhooded in the span of seconds and, I don’t know, it just doesn’t look like a natural edit.

- Are we sure Gothic Bob Ross isn’t some kind of cult leader?

- Roxas: Master of comebacks (I guess this is the one thing he shares with Sora, he’s crap with comebacks).

- Roxas, surprising people like that is a very good way to get punched in the face.

- Yeah, he’s a complete dork.

- Yeah, that’s a bullshit philosophy.

- I find the most interesting scenes are with Firelord Chandler and Bishie Goth.

- I’m starting to wonder if maybe there was a thing between those two and there was a bad break up or something.

- Oh yeah, there was definitely something going on between Firelord Chandler and Bishie Goth.

- Can’t be a Kingdom Hearts game without some mind fuck.

- So they’ve just been involved in a Uriah Gambit andyet they’re still able to go to Twilight Town and act like nothing happened.

- Something nifty? What is Firelord Chandler from the 50s?

- Wait, who was that, he looked like Roxas but different, different clothes and considering how Xion works, it’s someone who’s connected to Gothic Dick Roman (Yeah, I’m changing that name because of his VA). That’s not the same person from that Birth By Sleep ending is it?

- And there’s your oscar-winning performance.

- Well that’s just plain fucking creepy.

- Did they just cut out an entire battle

- Young girl has existential crisis, convinces friend to help with assisted suicide.

- Well overall, that was a depressing story.

Planning a Story

Writing Behind the Scenes is a weekly Q&A feature about writing. Submit your writing questions as an ask to get your own question answered.

QUESTION: I would be interested to hear how different writers plan & outline for their fics. E.g. How do you start? Is there a template or chart you use? Steps you take? Story elements or structural components you always make sure to include?

***We are focusing more on the planning for this question. Outlining will be addressed in a future question.***

@clpolk usually i begin with a google document in a folder for the project. The google doc is almost always called “everything i know about the story” and then I spend a week or two filling it with everything, and then I try to organize it. It’s basically my scratchpad/dump file for everything i’m thinking, and then after about ten days, I get the urge to organize it, and see what I have and if it is enough to make an entire story “go.”

@rosemoonweaver Typically, I’m a fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants kind of writer. I might have a general idea of where I’m going and what I want to do in a work but I rarely actually plan too much of anything. Generally though, when I’m working on an AU with a lot of moving parts I’ll write down what I know about the characters, how the world works, and what some of the issues in the story will be. I usually don’t have to do that, but if I’m really having trouble starting I’ll start by asking myself questions. In a recent fic I was working on, I started by asking myself why my two lead characters weren’t already in a relationship and what I knew about the characters allowed me to work from there.

@jupiterjames I’m pretty haphazard myself. I get an idea, and just see where it takes me. Sometimes I make a general chapter outline where I make a bullet list of points I want to hit in it. Usually, it doesn’t work, though, and I end up bumping them around or striking some of them. I’ve rarely had a story that I’ve been able to map out from start to finish beforehand. And that’s because I often find that the characters and plot tend to stray and “do their own thing” after a time, and exploring the unexpected turns gets me where I want to go in the end.

@ltleflrt I don’t really outline, but I do have a process.  Once I have an idea, I create a folder for the fic (I use Google Drive).  I give it a generic name based on the trope or AU since Titles Are Hard.  Then I create two documents inside; one named Notes, and one named Ch 01.  The notes file is basically where I jot down the general idea, and any key points I’d like to try and fit into the story.  Then I spend a couple hours flailing over my excitement about the idea with my bestie/alpha reader.  Usually those conversations give me more ideas which get plugged into the notes file.  I always put my newest ideas at the top of the notes file instead of the bottom.  If there are any pictures/posts that are inspiring for me, I’ll also put them in the notes file.  I may even make a playlist if the idea was inspired by music.  Basically I gather all my inspiration in one place so I can bury myself in it whenever necessary.  

@unforth-ninawaters Since tellthenight has asked us to focus on planning for this one…I tend to start planning stories in my head. I’ll have the initial idea - a setting I want to explore, or a kind of erotica I want to write, a even a single image that springs to mind and leaves me wondering…what’s behind that image? This all usually happens while I’m lying in bed trying to sleep. I’ll take that initial idea and I’ll poke at it and start thinking…who are my characters in this setting? Or how did they get into that kink? What brought these people to this moment in their life? I tend to focus on a combination of telling the kinds of stories I enjoy while also avoiding “obvious” answers and common tropes. Generally by the time I start writing I have a pretty good idea of a starting point and the first few scenes following, and a more vague idea of what comes after that. I am a “pantser” for the rest, and often once I start writing a lot of other elements get introduced as I try to figure out how to make the elements I started with make sense. More complex world building like organized charts are more of a pre-second draft project for me, and not something I usually do for fanfiction (but I do for my original fiction) - that’s the point when I read in detail for inconsistencies and things that make no sense. There are always some, that’s the downside of the “flying by the seat of my pants and not really planning” approach. :)

@tryslora I’m a plantser (vaguely planning seat of the pants kind of person). I rely heavily on Scrivener for how I do my pre-story planning (or during story planning) but it can be done anywhere. When I was planning for my YA novel, I started with the characters because they were going to be the focus of the story. I went out and got pictures for every single one and pinned them to my virtual cork board. Then I started making notes on each character. No matter the story, I really am calmed by timelines and numbers–I want to know everyone’s birthday, what grade they’re in, when they met.

I have a brain like a sieve, so I will always get documents opened for notes, and when I’m in the planning stages, I fill them up with little scribbles. Dates. Important events. Locations. I also add in motivations, or snippets of dialog that occur to me that help me nail down character voices. During the planning stages, what I really want to know is the WHY of the story. Why are the characters here? Why are they interacting (or not interacting)? Why do the like or dislike each other? What do they want? What will they do to get it? I want to figure out what the heart of the story is, because that’s what I’ll need to know in order to later on figure out the HOW.

@tellthenight I really identify with tryslora’s “plantser” situation. I plan out what I need to know in order to move forward with the story, but leave enough holes to fill in as I go. Another term I’ve heard is “discovery writer”. As I put pen to paper  I learn more about the characters and the story I want to tell.

 I’m very tactile, so I usually put things on paper or index cards while I’m figuring out the story. I usually have a certain scene, trope or starting premise, so the next step is to add characters.

I make a character cards for all the characters with somewhat significant roles. The stuff I have to know: 1. Why is the character the way they are? 2. What is the character’s emotional arc? 3. Why are they in this story? I try to note any past history that plays a particular role in the story. If a character’s mother died when they were young, that early trauma might end up playing a role in the story.

After I know those things I start figuring out how the characters clash or work together, looking for emotional situations I can exploit, trying to figure out what the crisis will be in the relationship. Then I start thinking about how these things best apply to the overall story. I get a general idea of how the relationships of the characters can influence the premise/trope/etc. And then I start working on figuring out the ending. I have to know if I’m leading toward a happy ending or not, if someone dies, if there’s a bitter betrayal, etc. I don’t have to know the exact ending before I can start outlining, but I do need to know what kind of ending I’m building toward.

anonymous asked:

What do you think of the New52? I haven't read much of it, but i hear so many who hate on it. What do you think?

I have been making an effort to be positive in my blog. To only focus on things I like and celebrating these things, rather than tearing down things I dislike. I hope to continue this trend. Which is why I was going to ignore this question. But I have a few thoughts on the New52 that I would like to share. I will try to keep this as balanced and objective as possible.

I think overall the New52 is pretty bad, but came from a good place and has a few successes. Beyond any knee-jerk, nostalgia goggled, nerd rage over changes I consider “ruinous,” it isn’t very good. But first:

The Defense. Based on where the DCUniverse and comics in general were prior to the launch of the New52, I have said before and repeat again: A reboot was in order. In some form, the DCU needed some bandaids. Superman just finished the really long, very intricate New Krypton crossover and was currently in JMS’s incredibly boring “humanizing” Grounded storyline that was so bad not even he stuck around to finish it. Wonder Woman had her entire history radically changed by JMS in his Odyssey story nonsense. The egregiously terrible JL: Cry For Justice and Rise of Arsenal happened. The Justice League of America was full of C-List characters. Etc. And from what I understand, sales across the board were pretty low.

So the idea of kind of getting back to basics in a few series, and wiping away some awful stories, and kind of getting the entire universe on the same page seems like a good idea. And reboots, if nothing else, grab attention and make sales.

And in that regard, the New52 was certainly successful. At first. I don’t remember where I read it, and I don’t care to look up any actual numbers now, but the New52 skyrocketed sales for not only DC, but across the board for all comics.

All of the titles were starting fresh at #1, giving new and old readers a great jumping on point. We had the Justice League looking like the iconic Justice League again. And things seemed exciting. 

The problem was their plan wasn’t sustainable.

The Problems. Even from the get-go, the New52 relaunch was half-hazard and inconsistent. Batman and Green Lantern went relatively untouched, with their stories remaining basically in tact. Meanwhile, some characters were getting a new coat of paint and some were being thrown out and rewritten from the bottom up. And that is a really rough way to start your reboot that tried to build a consistency across their product line.

Beyond inconsistency in portrayals and how hard the reboots were, there was the drastic inconsistencies in quality. Some titles were great from the get go, with solid creative teams and solid, clear directions. Others were terrible. As we stand now, 47 of the 52 titles launched in 2011 have been cancelled. This shows not only a failure in creating a product that anyone wants to buy, but also shows the company’s lack of faith in their properties. But that’s something I’ll get to later.

Though things seem to have finally cooled off after a year or so of turmoil, the creative teams at DC were pretty visibly unhappy. We heard a lot of horror stories of creators walking off titles and being very vocal about the status of the heavy hand of editorial at DC. While some creators seemed to be getting free reign to tell the stories they wanted to tell (which shone through in the quality of their work), others were pigeon-held into telling stories that editorial wanted them to tell.

Which leads to another problem, the PR. I don’t know who is running the PR department at DC Comics, but they have done a terrible job. Between the Sex-Doll-Starfire outrage, Harley Quinn sexy-suicide scandal, the ban on Batwoman’s marriage and all marriage of any superhero, the death of Damian Wayne (more on that in a sec), a lot of the creator-editorial issues, and plenty of others, DC has gained a really abysmal reputation. 

Why. What is the source of all these problems? If you ask me (and you have), the problem that DC has, and what I see as their biggest problem is that they're a corporation first and make comics second. And yes, I realize that DC is a business and their job is to sell comics and to make money. I recognize that, and to a degree, I can appreciate it. But when your product is a comic book, a work of art, a story, and something that comes from a creative place, you can’t let the art suffer for the sake of the sale. And that’s what DC does. Constantly.

It’s pretty obvious to me, as someone who watches the industry pretty closely, that DC doesn't care about making good comics. DC cares about selling comics. And the victims are not only us the fans, who don’t get quality work, but will eventually be DC, when their sales continue to drop.

The example of this mentality is pretty obviously illustrated by a lot of things. Most notably, the Death of Damian Wayne. A few days prior to the release of the issue of Damian’s death, DC went out of their way to exploit the hell out of the death of Robin. They deliberately spoiled the ending to one of their stories in advance, undermining the emotional and storytelling impact of Damian’s death as a character. And this says it all. They don't care if you like or even read the story. They only care if you buy it.

Character deaths sell. This is a reality. This is why it happens all the time in public ways. DC went to extreme lengths to get people’s attention (which I can understand) on this title. But instead of selling the book as a story, they're selling it at pure shock value. Pandering to the casual fan to get them to pick up that issue. And even then, a casual fan may not understand that characters and stories return and continue after a character death. Those sales are probably a one time thing. 

But the fault cannot be entirely laid on DC’s shoulders. A huge problem with their business model is they’re relying only on the collector and ignoring the reader. Far be it from me to tell someone how to live their lives, but the Comics Collector is the nemesis of all fans everywhere, including themselves and they’re probably not even aware of it. The collector mentality is easily the worst thing to come of the 90’s. The notion is that somehow getting everything with a Bat on it, or getting every event-tie in or variant cover is going to be some day very valuable. It’s also a false notion. The problem is DC is making their comics as collectibles and not as stories. How many variant covers do we see a month? How many standalone Forever Evil or Futures End tie-ins? How many events have we seen? How many Batman titles a month? And how many of those things are even readable? This exact collector-business-model is what drove Marvel to bankruptcy in the 90’s.  And why DC’s sales are continually dropping.

Another obvious problem with DC’s New52 is the homogony. Even from the start, DC’s New52 seemed targeted at one demographic. The adult white male that they knew was their strongest audience. I don’t know exactly how many of those #1s featured murders and/or sex, but I know it was a lot of them. The New 52 did nothing to expand the target audience to try to gain new fans or readers. And by targeting such a singular demographic, you’re alienating a lot of others. Most importantly, children. With so few (if any) books actually kid friendly, they’re cutting themselves off at the knee, without fostering a future audience.

DC has thrown all their eggs in one basket. And that basket is Bat-shaped. DC is making it increasingly clear that they really only care about Batman. They seem to believe he’s the only thing that will sell, and seem to just put out titles featuring other characters to retain the rights to them. As of November, DC will be putting out 14 in-continuity Bat/Gotham-themed titles (one of them a weekly series), and that’s not even counting the guest appearances or the Justice League. Even in mass media, it’s Batman all the time. And as a guy that really likes Batman and his mythos. I’m exhausted by it. It’s overwhelming. And that singular “Only Batman Sells" mentality comes at the expense of the fans again and will eventually bite DC in the ass when fans get tired of so much Batman, or only Batman at the expense of other characters.

Personally. I think that the New52 is a failure both critically, financially, and creatively. For me personally, my greatest disappointment with it is that I just don’t care anymore. DC has seemingly gone out of its way to make me less and less interested in anything it’s doing. I have almost completely given up on them until something radically changes. There are titles out there that I think are good, and will continue to collect in trade (Batman and Aquaman) but beyond those two titles, I just don’t care. Superman dating Wonder Woman? Don’t want it. Scott Lobdell writing Superman? Don’t want it. Superman turned into Doomsday? Don’t want it. 


Despite my overall apathy and all that naysaying I just did, I still do hold out hope. And even now, I do have high hopes for Johns’ new Superman story, I have hopes for the new Batgirl creative team, and I will definitely be reading Grant Morrison’s Multiversity.

If you should check out the New52? I wouldn’t. Very few titles are worth it. Quick hits that may be worth your time: Snyder/Capullo’s Batman, Johns/Reis’ Aquaman, Snyder/Paquette’s Swamp Thing, Buccaletto/Manapul’s Flash, Lemiere/Pugh’s Animal Man, and maybe Azarello/Chiang’s Wonder Woman. But there’s tons of great stories from before the New52 that you can hunt down.

Date #1 with POT “The Debater”

I’ve let this float around in my head for a week. I know it will be long. I also know that writing clarifies my thoughts and I end up seeing how I internally must really feel about someone or a situation. How much should one put up with for money? How much is acting and how much is allowing someone to lessen your dignity, though you’re aware of it? Who is using who? If you’re torn, which side is being pulled tighter?

When I first made my account on SA forever ago, only really lurking and browsing, not planning to meet anyone, this guy was very interested. Good grammar, very wealthy, looking for similar things. But I ignored everyone and gathered as much info as I could from afar. Plus, I still lacked the confidence to meet people, put myself out there and get what I wanted.

But after a lot of text tagging. A lot. We finally chatted on the phone and set up a date. Expensive restaurant, always a good sign and confirmed my intuition that he’s loaded. LOADED.

I show up, early as always and looking fierce, projecting confidence and ready to take on whatever happens…with the aid of inhibition lowering alcohol. Mind you, I don’t know what he looks like, never asked but I enjoyed the conversation and his pursuing of me that I figured what the hell. If I had asked and he refused, that’d have been a red flag. But I really could care less for a first meeting and personality can go far with me. In he comes and yes ladies, he’s very unattractive. Overweight, bad double (triple?) chin, bald (can sometimes be lovely like Bruce Willis but not this time), one lazy-ish eye. The good? Deep voice, tall. Now, I know myself very well after the shit I’ve grown through and the woman I’ve become in the past years of self-discovery. One of my strengths is body language, knowing when and what to say and hiding how I really feel in my face. And reading others. I can read you like a book from your words and actions. I’ll piece these things together and draw accurate conclusions weeks before they reveal themselves. I was super genuine and kind. I could tell he was initially overcompensating because he was a touch self-conscious about his looks. Now don’t you think for one second that means he was shy. He was the other direction, flamboyant and boisterous and a bit all over the place. We are walked over to our table and I’ll tell you my first turn off, though it’s not necessarily a warning sign but it did stand out: he didn’t pull out my seat for me or take off my jacket. He just sat down quite quickly (perhaps nervously?) and opened the drink menu. This stood out mostly in contrast to “Southern Gent” because he has done this for me in all three of our dates, and he always says I look beautiful when he greets me.

Alright. Date time. Here we go. So he dives into talking about his HUGE champagne and wine collection. He has a cellar with thousands of bottles of champagne. I can tell he’s being honest. And he orders a bottle of champagne for us. I can’t remember why I felt this way but I recall he could have treated the waiter a touch nicer. How people treat wait staff is always a huge indicator of who they are. We dive into convo. And by “we” I mean “him”. Smile and nod. Giggle and agree. Or, if you’re me, try to interject occasionally with wit, questions or confronting an opinion of his. Things I learn rather quickly in the beginning of our three hour date which all confirmed themselves throughout.

EGO: This man has a huge ego. Many wealthy men do. So the question becomes, is it inflated on the first date because he’s trying to impress me or is this something that won’t go away or lessen to a manageable extent? I ain’t stroking that thing. There’s bound to be internal eye rolling at many comments but how much are you willing to put up with? This is just an overall vibe I get from him. I don’t think it will lessen if we continue.

Smart: He’s very intelligent, though he doesn’t always go about it in the right way. He can see logical inconsistencies in others but I doubt he’d recognize them in himself. He had a way of lessening my opinions and shutting them down when I’d speak up loud enough to be heard. He even called someone I made it clear that I idolized a “loon”. What the fuck, get some manners.

Misogyny, women as property and meat: Oh man, where to start with this one? More details later. Little hints of it throughout dinner. How he spoke of his submissive wife and how he can sleep around but she can’t. How he commented on my breast size ON THE FIRST DATE. After saying I’m extremely gorgeous and even prettier than my pictures, he guessed I was a 34 D unless I was wearing a “really good push up bra”. And after I was being “feisty” with my opinion on something that differed from his and he probably had no comeback he commented that I’ll be “over his knee in no time”. Now, I’m VERY submissive sexually. Not into vanilla sex and this would be hot to hear from someone I knew and trusted but on a first meeting it made me gag inside. There were also many other comments here and there on monogamy and past relationships that gave me insider views on how he views women in and outside the bedroom.

Really though. I’m not even exaggerating when I say that he asked maybe one or two questions of me. He just talks and I have to speak up with questions or my own thoughts and stories. He will shut me down instead of inquiring further about me. Pretty sure I could have just sat and been a pretty face the whole time but curiosity always demands I speak up. He didn’t seem used to this and commented he was “intrigued” and that I seem to really “observe the world”. It was as if all he’s used to is pushovers and being the boss of everyone. Doesn’t quite know how to respect other’s (or maybe just women’s?) opinions. There a better way to disagree with someone than he knows how to. I felt the desire to put him into his place almost constantly. Had to bite my tongue.

Filthy rich:
Business owner. He makes 3 million a year. I verified this. He has a lot of money to blow. Talks of houses he owns and his cars and adventures. Expensive taste. He has a townhouse downtown he hinted we would be meeting at.

Daddy issues:
If you shift your tone or body language when you talk about a certain subject, or avoid it in some way when I inquire further, I can learn a lot about you. And this is what happened when he said that he doesn’t have a relationship with his real father. Now Freud was on to a few things, more than modern psychology may acknowledge or care to recognize. This bothers him more than he would outwardly admit. I just know it from how this came up and how he handled it.

Lingerie and Champagne (and allowance!):
His vices. He loves Agent Provocateur and Prada. Owns too much champagne. I’d be dressed well, go shopping and I’d be drinking well and go home with 1,000$ each intimate meeting, 2-4 times a month.


***Midway in our date a bartender walked directly to me with strong eye contact while putting on her jacket to leave and said, “I had to let you know. You are a very, very intelligent woman.” She clearly had been listening to me arguing with his opinions and him belittling me a bit. My mind is a touch foggy from the champagne and wine at this point but he manages to turn this compliment aimed at me towards him. NO LIE. He did and I was in shock. I forget how he worded it but file this one under ego, misogyny and self-centered.

***He said he could “turn me into a lady”. I said, I already am a lady and he said no I wasn’t because when my fork fell off the table I said “fuck”. *Eye roll* Really? A word disqualifies me from being HIS IDEA of a lady.

***Here we go. The end of the night. He walks me to my car and tries to kiss me. I turn my head and say, very clearly, “I do not kiss on first dates. I don’t break this rule.” HE TRIES AGAIN. And I turn my head again. He giggles and says OK. Then he smacks/grabs my butt real quickly and says we are bound to have fun and he gives me 100$.

***I ate Cedar salmon and wine sauce potatoes and split a bottle of wine and bottle of champagne. He didn’t ask if I wanted dessert which actually made me mad cause shitttttt I wanted something made of chocolate. I was gonna speak up but it looked like they were closing and the waitstaff was probably wanting to leave anyways.

So there you have it. Wow, I guess my true feelings came out in writing. We definitely had an interesting dynamic and I know he’s attached and the caveman in him wants to cage me since I’m “different” to him. Here’s the torn part. I’m aware of his downfalls and how he really feels superior to women at his core, but how much would I be willing to put up with for money and spoiling? Do I hold my nose? I can tell I’d be having the type of dirty, painful, degrading, powerplay sex I like and can be drunk during it and get plenty of money and gifts. And I haven’t met with enough men to know the extent of these issues within the SD pool. Southern Gent is a rarity, very submissive and the opposite end of the spectrum as “The Debater” is. The ball is in my court and I just don’t know what I’m willing to put up with. The offer is here and the search is no fun. Do I settle? Is it settling? Is it just the pitfalls of the job? He’s not dangerous in an outright way and I’d love to milk him for all he’s worth but I wonder if the grass is greener somewhere else, with someone not as rich perhaps but who respects me more. I just don’t know. I’m teetering back and forth depending on my mood. I may meet up with him one more time to teeter further one way or the other, but I’m even debating that. He’s already asked to grab drinks one night and I just stare at the text unsure how to respond. I know the decision is up to me but any opinions or musing you all have on these questions, lessons you’ve learned or this story are always fun to read.


I needed time to get my rage under control again (because hm yeah I have some issues with the msf) but I won’t clog up your dash … 

                  Follow me under the cut if you care to hear me ramble a lot

                                     also beware of possible spoilers

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Sun in Gemini / Astrology 101

When I think of Gemini, I remember what it felt like to be a kid and anxiously count down the days until the school year was over. Of course, it wasn’t a tormenting anxiety, it was more of a restlessness, a vital need to explore the world beyond the structure of class times and seeing the same people and having to follow the same rules every day. There was so much to look forward to. The days were bright and colorful and I awaited with much excitement the freedom to fly away into the endless potential for fun which was summertime.

The end of spring is still one of my favorite times of the year. For many, school is out, or about to be out, and summer vacation is right around the corner. Plans to visit new places and people, start on various kinds of projects, and do new, fun and exciting things of all kinds are being made, loosely that is—you never know when a better idea might pop up. The world is vast and abound with rich experiences and the purpose of life is to get a taste of each and every one of them.

The Gemini mentality is just that. Life is too interesting to get caught up in any one thing too seriously for too long. This is why Geminis are generally very intelligent. They are eternally curious about everything and often know at least a bit about any particular thing. It’s a childlike sign, since it is only the third one. It represents the psychological stage of human development where children start to think. They start to ask questions like “why” and “how”, and there is a fascination with nearly everything since life is still so fresh and unexplored.

As an air sign, the Geminian characteristics are all mental. People who are strongly influenced by Gemini are always thinking. Gemini’s ruling planet is Mercury, which symbolizes the mental plane, communication, and speed. Add those three elements into the Gemini recipe and you will get a fast thinker.

Geminis have a constant chatter inside their heads that is incredibly perceptive about the world around them, not missing any detail, similar to the sponge-like quality of a child’s mind. This is why they are known as the biggest talkers of the zodiac. Their constant brain chatter needs to go somewhere, but they’re also quite entertaining with how they communicate. They are gifted at language and can articulate concepts with wit, wordplay, and a dash of their broad imagination. So even though they love to talk (the more introverted ones tend to make great writers), they are rarely ever boring to listen to or have a conversation with, and due to their extensive knowledge, they’ll usually teach you something you never knew before. Overall, they are lighthearted and have a good sense of humor. Remember, this sign is more like a child than a professor. They just want to have fun in the end.

The darkside of Gemini is typified as two things: their superficiality and their two-facedness. Can they be superficial or two-faced? Totally. But these characteristics are usually ascribed to them from a misunderstanding of the essential nature of the Gemini archetype.

Its two main symbols are the butterfly and the twins. The butterfly just wants to roam free, never staying at a single flower for too long. As I mentioned before, the world is just too damn big and interesting to take anything too seriously. It’s a much better idea then, from that perspective, to take something seriously for a bit and then move on to the next thing. Why would a butterfly stay at a single flower when there are literally millions of flowers and they are all so diverse and beautiful. This mentality applies to everything.

Another thing about Gemini is its inherent duality. In Greek Mythology there is a story about a set of twins, Pollux and Castor, who made a peculiar deal with Zues when one of them died. While one twin stayed in heaven and enjoyed a life of divinity, the other twin had to be on earth and deal with the reality of mortality. After a while they would switch places. The mortal twin would go up to heaven and the divine twin would come back down to be a human, and during this exchange, they would meet again, albeit briefly, and share what they had experienced. But they could never both be in the same place at the same time. In a metaphorical sense, this cycle of perfection and immortality and imperfection and mortality is a reality to Geminis. Its manifestation produces a personality type that is emotionally and mentally inconsistent. They will hold a certain perception one day, and then just as strongly hold a seemingly contradicting one the next day. It may make them seem fickle, but they certainly are not liars. If they say something or do something in one moment, they really mean it, no matter how differently they may think or feel later on. Gemini is a mutable sign, and is therefore not committed to any one kind of perception. To try to control the changeability of Gemini is to trap the butterfly that just wants to be free by all means.

Several lessons can be learned during the Sun in Gemini transit, one of them being learning itself. This is a perfect time to learn about anything that sparks one’s curiosity. We may not want to delve too deeply into any certain topic, but instead dabble with various hobbies, or read more articles and magazines rather than books or volumes. The world’s conversations are tinted with a sort of childhood wonder. We may find ourselves Googling just about any random topic: How do slugs reproduce? Who invented money? If God created Satan why is Satan evil? Why do we dream?

But perhaps the most important lesson during Gemini season is learning how to balance our inner polarities. We often look at the world as if things may only be viewed through either a spiritual and intuitive lens or a rational and realistic lens, seeing both as mutually exclusive. The truth is that they are both real and valuable, just as a Gemini native will fully believe both kinds of perceptions, although rarely ever at the same time. The key here is to integrate one’s inner divine nature and one’s mortal human body, one’s feminine energies and one’s masculine energies. This is ultimately the alchemical purpose of the Gemini Sun and Moon.

This is my favorite sign for various reasons. When I’m around a Gemini I feel comfortable being myself because I get a kind of, “You’re weird. I like you,” reaction from them, and if you’re someone like me who indulges in some pretty crazy ideas you’ll find that Geminis will always keep an open mind to them. The weirder you are, the more they like you. It’s the child in them that is simply fascinated by the funniness of life itself. I love them because they are Childhood Awe and Wonder, a precious vision many of us have forgotten. I love them because they always remind me.

Why arguments over whether or not Hannibal is OOC are missing the point

Like everyone else, I’ve seen a lot of posts go by after “Hassun” that have complained that Hannibal was out of character, or that the show is somehow getting something wrong by its emphasis on the relationship between Hannibal and Will. Several people have responded to that allegation really powerfully, and I’m thankful for this or I would have felt compelled to write an argument myself, and heaven knows I have too much stuff backlogged to write about as it is. 

But I got to noticing that the whole argument hasn’t really been acknowledging something that really should be a part of the discussion.

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anonymous asked:

I would have liked this episode more if it didn't left you feeling like Ruffnut/Tuffnut are so much better people than Astrid. This episode takes no regard for Astrid's character. She is written extremely one dimensional. At this point of her life Astrid was supposed to be less serious and enjoy life but instead she has regressed into the 15 year old super serious Astrid.

From this.

It’s totally fine for you to feel unappealed by the episode. We’re not required to like all episodes, and if Astrid felt off to you, I can understand feeling a little upset. If you’re interested in my perspective why I think “Edge of Disaster” is actually a worthy, well-written canonical addition to expand Astrid’s character and analyze her personality in better depth, I’m going to discuss my own personal perspective below. This is why I have no issue with “Edge of Disaster” and Astrid’s characterization here.

We interact with different people in different ways in different contexts

One criticism you bring up is that Astrid at this point in her life is supposed to be less serious and enjoy life. The greatest canonical evidence that Astrid goes from a more rigid to less serious character is the Hiccstrid scene at the start of HTTYD 2. At the start of HTTYD 2, Astrid is pretty goofy and teasing around Hiccup.

I’d bring up the caveat that the HTTYD 2 Hiccstrid scene cannot be indicative of Astrid’s entire personality in all instances. In HTTYD, we saw Astrid’s personality mostly from how she interacts with Hiccup. At this point, in her competitive mindset, fifteen-year-old Astrid was “super serious Astrid,” as you so wonderfully described her. In HTTYD 2, we also see Astrid from how she interacts with Hiccup. Now that she loves Hiccup and has developed a deep romantic relationship with him, she’s more relaxed and cheerful.

Neither HTTYD nor HTTYD 2 depict how Astrid interacts with other people, though. We have seen Astrid be less serious around Hiccup as she grows older. Have we seen Astrid be less serious around the twins?

Not really as much.

We humans all interact with different people in different ways. Around my close friends, I have a devious sense of humor, use my fair share of swear words, and broil in sarcasm. Around my boss and coworkers at my university, I am refined, serious, proper, evenly-spoken, and slow to output words. This isn’t me being inconsistent with my personality; it’s me being myself, my true self, in two very different circumstances around two different sets of people.

The television series is the primary medium by which we see Astrid interact with the twins. That interaction, and that development of how she interacts with them, is on a semi-separate plane than how she interacts with her soon-to-be-boyfriend. We people develop with an overall characterization, yes, but our relationships have their own unique developments, too. It’s even consistent for me to become a friendlier person over time with people in general… and yet get increasingly meaner to one person I hate in particular.

Within the shows, we see that Astrid typically tolerates the twins, but that they can get under her skin sometimes. She is a bit more lighthearted in RTTE with everyone, I would say, and I’d agree she’s probably learned to love life a bit more by and large. Still, she’s the same human being, and if someone is rattling her skin, and it’s someone who has rattled her skin for years… she’s more likely to be terse and tough with them.

The fact is she hasn’t ever had a good relationship with the twins, meaning that she isn’t going to joke with them like we see her joke with Hiccup in HTTYD 2. This means there’s good motivation for Astrid being more serious because she’s around people with whom she’s less comfortable by and large.

What we actually get here is an expansion of Astrid’s character: we learn how she develops in her interactions not just with Hiccup, but with others like the Thorstons. It’s just like seeing your boss at the grocery store with their family: they’re probably going to act a bit differently, a bit surprisingly differently, than how you see them at work with their employees.

RTTE S2 depicts Astrid in her strengths and weaknesses - everything

Character expansion is best done when we see characters at their best and at their worst, when we see them lighthearted and happy, when we see them depressed and despaired, when we see them frustrated and angry. To see them in all these facets is to understand them more, and for the characters to shine more realistically as real human beings.

If you look at RTTE S2 as a whole, you’ll see that Astrid’s character is being depicted in many respects. We see many of her strengths. We see Astrid successfully (though still seriously, mind) develop a new team of dragon riders for Berk in “Astrid’s Team.” We see Astrid bond with Stormfly in an early-morning flight. We see Astrid fight Dagur, put an axe to his throat, and punch him in the face (which is also in “Edge of Disaster” - the episode we’re talking about!). We see Astrid fight off dragon hunters with a broom. We see Astrid defend off a lot of enemies in “Edge of Disaster Part 2″ before they implement Tuffnut’s plan. We see Astrid treat Gustav with kindness and respect. We see Astrid comfort Hiccup when he frets he has made a horrible mistake. All of these are positive strengths to Astrid’s character that are depicted in RTTE S2.

Just as many times, we see Astrid in weakness. We see Astrid feel vulnerable and emotionally down after her parents’ home is destroyed. We see Astrid try to fight that off by being overly critical about her new team of riders. We see Astrid make mistakes in battle. We see Astrid lie to Hiccup. We see Astrid get upset at the twins. All of these are negative weaknesses to Astrid’s character that are depicted in RTTE S2. 

Throughout Riders of Berk, Defenders of Berk, and Race to the Edge, Astrid has been portrayed overall in a pretty positive light. We’ve seen her be the athletic gymnast and gifted warrior. We’ve seen her be Hiccup’s confidante and emotional support. But the truth of the matter is that we haven’t seen as many weaknesses in Astrid’s character as we have some of the others by this point in the television series. The one exception to that is in “Heather Report Part 1,” but even then, Astrid was right in her assessment of Heather.

“Edge of Disaster” is one of the only episodes ever to deal with Astrid in a moment of making a serious oversight. It’s one of the first, and even throughout the rest of RTTE S2, we watch some pretty positive Astrid moments. The fact that this one episode shows Astrid making a mistake builds realism rather than reduces her to one dimension. It shows that Astrid - just like anyone else - is fallible. What is usually her greatest strength can sometimes prove to be a weakness. 

Other characters have episodes where they’re in opposition to another good guy. “Defiant One” is a perfect example. Snotlout is a good guy, but he pits himself against Hiccup in this episode. But this doesn’t turn Snotlout into a one-dimensional personality just because he and Hiccup had a bad fight and Snotlout refused to listen to his cousin in this moment. Something like this happens again in “Cast Out”. Fishlegs even has moments where he goes against the rest of the team in “Shock in Awe.” Astrid is in opposition to the twins here, a decent parallel to other episodes where other characters have their moments of weakness and opposition.

Yes, Astrid is opposing Ruffnut and Tuffnut, and this causes a huge mistake on her part. Yes, it was short-sighted of her. Yes, Astrid is a bit of the “bad guy” to Ruffnut and Tuffnut. But she’s not at all antagonistic in “Astrid’s Team.” She’s not antagonistic in “Night of the Hunters Part 2.” She’s not antagonistic by and large, and she’s depicted throughout RTTE as someone who is hardcore, more serious-minded than the twins, and full of strengths and weaknesses.

Astrid is heroic in many other episodes. Making her clash against another good character in one episode doesn’t negate all the good she has done throughout the rest of RTTE S2, but in fact amplifies and demonstrates a broader and more nuanced scope of her character.

Astrid’s frustration is understandable in the context of this episode

Astrid is in an extremely high pressure situation. Dragon’s Edge is being invaded. It’s enough to make someone more tense. She does act a bit more extreme and serious here than in other episodes of the timeline… but then, she’s in a pretty serious context!

Hiccup becomes more snappish and chews out Snotlout in “Defiant One” because they’re in a deep, dangerous, pressurized circumstance when Snotlout isn’t pulling his weight. Astrid becomes more grating against the twins in “Edge of Disaster” for the exact same reason. Given the context of the danger of the episode, it makes sense for her to be a little more on edge.

This isn’t the first time Astrid has done this, either. There’s her competitive streak in HTTYD. There’s “Heather Report Part 1″ where she becomes snappish at Hiccup. And while RTTE takes place three years later after those incidences, it’s still not the time of HTTYD 2, and there’s plenty of room for growth between now and the second movie. Not to mention HTTYD 2 isn’t a time where Astrid is in a snappish mood… so there’s no inconsistency to what is shown here.

Imagine you’re paired with someone who gets under your nerves in a high-pressure group project. Even if you have become a friendlier, more relaxed person by and large, you still might be more inclined to be close-minded and angry around this person in this unpleasant situation. The right context can breed worse animosity.

Astrid is three-dimensional in “Edge of Disaster”

In this episode, we see Astrid being stiff, serious, and angry. We see Astrid hold up rage and then release it. We see Astrid being snide and sarcastic. We see Astrid jump quick to conclusions and cut people off. We see Astrid on the verge of crying and emotionally hurt. We see Astrid nervous and afraid. We see Astrid accepting and appreciative. We see Astrid smiling and smirking. We see Astrid cheering and celebrating. We see Astrid criticizing and apologizing. Astrid is thrown into a round of many complex but comprehensible emotions, many reactions, all based upon the context of what is going around her. Astrid is shown to be a human being who goes through a variety of emotional reactions, a rather three-dimensional individual who has understandable feelings for every moment. It’s tied up into the complicated mass of who she is.

“Edge of Disaster” is about the merits of BOTH sides of the argument

The entire episode is about balance. It’s not saying Astrid is fully right. It’s not saying Tuffnut and Ruffnut are fully right. We audiences don’t leave the episode saying, “Ruffnut and Tuffnut’s slacker personality is totally correct 100% of the time,” nor do we leave the episode saying, “Astrid’s discipline is totally the worst thing ever.” We understand there needs to be balance. Furthermore, the way the situation gets solved is when Astrid and Tuffnut work together and use all their resources to defeat an enemy. It takes both Astrid’s weaponry and Tuffnut’s trickery to scare off all the invaders. When Hiccup asks them how they held off the dragon hunters, Astrid responds, “It’s called teamwork.”

Teamwork - both of them using their combined skills.

Tuffnut is shown being appreciative of what Astrid can do in “Edge of Disaster Part 2.” At the start of this episode, Tuffnut shoots two of Astrid’s weapons. The first one is the enormous crossbow on top of the roof. The second is a flaming catapult. Notice that one shot each from these two weapons sinks both dragon hunter ships. Tuffnut is so amazed at what Astrid’s work has done that he starts dancing on the spot. The point of the matter is that Astrid’s defenses do an AMAZING amount of damage. The dragon hunters are furious about the fact they lost both their ships so quickly. Astrid’s tactics legitimately help their dire situation improve.

We also are shown of the twins doing serious breaches of responsibility that aren’t ever excused as being “right.” The scareships were never presented in the story as anything except avoiding work - not a good thing. Ruffnut and Tuffnut aren’t shown as the people with all the right answers, either.

It is true that the merits of the Thorstons are emphasized a more in this episode, and Astrid’s snipness and close-mindedness shown to a great degree. As you say, Astrid doesn’t seem to be given a chance. In the end of the episode, Astrid apologizes to the twins for how she treated them; we don’t see an apology in turn from them.

From a writing perspective, though, I can see why Astrid’s error is keenly emphasized. We as audience members don’t need to be convinced Astrid is a worthy fighter. We’ve seen her prove her weight on the team time and time again. However, throughout the series, we haven’t seen the twins be the heroes or the merits of the time. It’s more novel to write an episode by which we as audience members can see the importance of Ruffnut and Tuffnut… rather than get emphasized yet again that Astrid is a competent woman.

“Edge of Disaster” is about showing us new, novel things about the characters, and showing the balance that needs to be reached between usually-successful-Astrid with usually-lazy-Thorstons. The episode comes in with the assumption we understand Astrid’s dedication doesn’t need to be proved meritorious and the twins’ laziness doesn’t need to be proved unhelpful. “Edge of Disaster” shows us that Astrid’s dedication and rigidness - usually great strengths - can sometimes be a weakness. It shows us that the twins’ ridiculousness - often a weakness - can sometimes be a strength. That’s important to realize. It’s important to realize Astrid, who we still know is a very competent fighter, can be liable to error, and it’s important to see the twins as good team contributors.

The result is we understand the balance. Astrid apologizes because she is the one here who was most dogged about upsetting the balance of perspectives, and was the one who first blew up and shouted at the others. It’s not that Astrid’s warrior-driven dedication is an antagonistic energy against the twins.

“Edge of Disaster” builds the dimensionality of the twins

The way “Edge of Disaster” is written brings out the twins’ emotions and three-dimensionality to a level we’ve never seen them exhibit before. The twins have been somewhat two-dimensional in the past, but here, we learn an intricate amount about how they handle stress, how they handle pressure, how they handle rivalry, how they care about each other, how they care about the other dragon riders, how they are lazy, but how they are also creative and important.

Ruffnut especially has been a character on the sidelines. She is the personality who is probably seen the least. “Edge of Disaster” is an episode that brings her to the forefront and makes characters we typically dismiss as comedic relief… the heroes.

It’s hugely important to see the two women on the dragon team - Astrid and Ruffnut - directly interact after all this time. It’s important to get the female representation of both of them. It’s important to demonstrate the twins as more than muttonheads. It’s important to show Astrid as something more than Hiccup’s kickbutt girlfriend.

It’s fine if you don’t like “Edge of Disaster.” That’s totally fine. No worries! But these are the reasons I personally appreciate this episode hoards.

Shamelessly Underwhelming

So…Season 5. Huh.


I toyed with many different words to describe this seasonand since Garbage sounded a little too harsh, I went with underwhelming. They tried so hard to be interesting and invest us in these stories but I was bored. And since everything was pointless anyway (i.e. no follow through or consequences) there really wasn’t a reason to be invested in anything. Of course that didn’t stop me from stanning for Ian Gallagher all season, but hey, I wasn’t invested in anything else.

I said last night that I was trying to write this, but I literally could not be even remotely constructive with my criticism so I had to stop. This is my second attempt. We’ll see how it goes.

Spoilers for the finale under the cut. Trigger Warnings: Mentions of rape. 

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