kings and nobility

“They were clearly devoted to each other, even though, at times Felix’s behavior must have sorely tried Irina’s patience. He never abandoned his taste for handsome men, and Irina’s acceptance of her husband’s sexuality surprised many of their friends. But She knew that in his own way Felix loved her and that she could provide him with the understanding, loyalty, and friendship he would never find elsewhere. Throughout the turbulent years of their exile, they managed to maintain their optimism, humor and mutual respect for each other’s needs.” Greg King, The Man Who Killed Rasputin 

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Chapter 13: Holding Aces [ AO3 ] | [ ]

“Well, from where I sit - which is on the throne of Diagon,” Pansy clarified haughtily, leaning towards Hermione, “I’d say the view is rather the same as it always is. With or without your presence,” she added, casting a vacant glance over the Great Hall. “Astoundingly, we persist.”

“Yes,” Hermione agreed sweetly, nodding. “Court is full of snakes, much as it always is. Be careful of what’s underfoot, Majesty,” she warned, catching the motion of Rabastan and Draco conversing with their heads bent. “You know how your serpents love to strike without warning.”

Pansy raised her glass again, the sound of a dry laugh escaping into the bell of the goblet.

“Well, some people are born with power in their blood,” Pansy permitted lazily, replacing the glass on the table, “venomous or otherwise. Others are forced to make do with nothing,” she mused, her gaze flicking to Hermione’s, “so I wonder which creature is to be pitied?”

Hermione, immune to the now much-tired slight against her birth, let her gaze wander in time to see Draco nod, inclining his head conspiratorially, just as Rabastan murmured something in response.

“Pity any creature at my mercy,” Hermione advised under her breath.

Draconic Drinks and Spirits

Lots of people love booze. Lots of people also make booze. Theres many items that we have on FR that your dragons could use to brew up something you can mix and match with other drinks. Taverns have to get their booze from somewhere so this here is a list of items we have currently (as of August 30th 2017) that could be used to create a nice brew, which unlike Baldwin, should give your dragons exactly what they want. I’m no expert on this stuff so most of this is comparing fr items to real world alcohol ingredients and a little bit of imagination. (if you’re skeptical about the gulls, feel free to look up ‘seagull wine’)

Treasure Plant: Liqueur. golden brown liquid gives drinker a happy feeling.

Crimson Rootvine: basically a potato beer or vodka that has a red tint

Lace Lantana: Fruit of plant used for wine. popular in daiquiris. flowers used to garnish.

Royal Lantana: Same as lace lantana. reserved for use for kings and queens and other nobility. growers and brewers are hand picked by the nobility themselves. This is considered a great honor.

Tradewinds Gull and Murkbottom Gull: Iceflight is horrid. Instructions are simple, put a gull in a bottle of water and let it ferment. very few dragons aquire a taste for it and is generally homebrewed. Generally considered inhumane

Potash Peach: a favourite for wines in fire flight. known for its sweet taste and firey afterkick.

Charged Duneberry: Not for the faint of heart. Lightning is famous for its Duneberry Liqueur which is cyan in colour and gives off a slight glow.

Seaberry: Used for wine in the sea of a thousand currents. Its creation is a well kept secret by many water flight clans. Most barrels are made of palm trees. One particular clan uses driftwood for the barrels. how its kept in there is another secret entirely.

Winter’s Delight: Ice Flight is known for its ice and dessert wines. Winter’s delight ice wine is said to be the finest, generally reserved for the well off and wealthy. adored by courtesans and royalty alike.

Tundra cactus: One of Ice flight’s sources of vodka.

Blackberry: Shadowflight makes a wine from blackberries, combining it with brandy and diced fruit makes for a lovely sangria.

Crisp Leaf Amaranth: Arcane, Plague, and Water clans all have varying methods of Brewing Ale from this plant.

Sandhills Amaranth: Nature uses the seeds and stems for their brew, Shadow uses the leaves and stems for theirs. Both have a different taste depending on what else the beer is brewed with.

Amaranth: Earth is the only one to brew beer from this form of the plant. Ice and Lightning prefer to consume it as grain.

Red Delicious Apple: Nature flight loves a good sweet apple cider.

Sour green Apple: Windflight is usually known for sweeter spirits, which is why its such a surprise to have such a sour liquer. Its popular to give newly adult dragons this, tricking them into believing its a sweet drink.

Honeycrisp: Iceflight uses this to make a rather strong applejack. Other clans use it for a nice cider.

Granny Smith Apple: Light Flight makes a lovely dessert wine from these apples. It has a golden colour to it and is an excellent gift to roll into any social gathering tagged “to the fairest.”

Green Plantain: Wind uses these to make a beer that is strangely served warm. Its opaque, dense, and generally made in large quantities.

Plantain: Used with Red bananas and combined with maize flower to make a beer. Its generally considered a summer beverage.

Herbal Plantain: Used moreso in herbal teas, the leaves of this plant are used to add ‘health benefits’ to the banana beers. Its yet to be proven if they actually do anything.

Broadleaf Plantain: Due to its hardy nature, beginner homebrewers tend to experiment with this plant in anything from liqueurs to gin. Some results are better than others.

Greater Plantain: Due to its great taste, its used rather in flavouring rather than in the creation of its own drink.

Sugary Prickleaf: This plant can be used as an alternative to sugarcane for making molasses. and molasses means you can make rum! Pirate dragons rejoice!

Gradish: its roots have the perfect sugars to be made into a rum like drink, vodka or even spirits with enough alcohol in them that it could kill you! endless possibilities!

Acorn: Not a common thought for a drink, but shadow and nature make a good liquor from these tiny things.

Blood Acorn: Lairs on the borders between shadow and plague make a liquer from these acorns. It has a slight red tinge to it.

Stonecorn: It takes a skilled eye to tell the difference between a pebble and a stonecorn. However it takes an even more skilled hand to brew these suckers into a fine liquer. Its said to go down really smooth if made right.

Sunkernel: It takes large quantities of these to actually make a batch of liquer. Its more golden in colour.

Hainu’s Eye: These and woodland acorns are soaked in gin or brandy to produce a flavour many nature and plant eating dragons enjoys.

Fire Flower: Not used to create its own beverage but is mixed in with cinnamon and grassland grains for Dreadram fire whiskey. generally served with a spade tail in or wrapped around the glass.

Honeycomb fragment: The honey is used in meads in every flight. Its also used to make vodkas or a strong spirit named Horilka.

Miniature Potash Peach: Used in similar ways as a full grown potash peach, Though the result is usually as sour as the mini fruit itself.

Stonewatch Flatblade: apart of the Aguave family, The Harpies of the roost have been known to create tiquila with it.

stonewatch scrub: Same use as the flatblade, though this is the more common plant to be cultivated for such a use.

Cinnamon: not used to make its own drink, however it is used to flavour things. The result is generally spicy.

Strawberry: Most commonly used in nature and wind to make liquers or wine. 

Engineered Superberry: The berry of choice for lightning flight berry related wines. the result is always blue.

Sour Strawberry: Used to make… sour berry liquers and spirits. what a surprise.

Maiden’s blush: mix with caution due to the slight toxicity. Its incredibly challenging to create a spirit out of this flower so the result is generally very rare and affordable to only the rich and thrill seeking boozewyms.

Hallowed Ivy: Often mixed with Treasure Plant to enhance the positive spirits given with this spirit.

Watermelon: Waterflight has ingeniously figured out a way to make a fine brandy with these melons.

Sugarmelon: Though its more commonly used for flavourings to infuse liqueurs with, there is a variant of the melon brandy using this melon.

Lume Daffodil: can sometimes be used in combination with peppermint to make creme de menthe.

Strangler seeds: though a nuisance to put in someone elses garden, these seed could be put to much better use in a liqueuer. generally a brandy liqueuer similar in taste to a mire chesnut brandy liqueuer, but much cheaper.

Blooming pods: Similar usage to strangler seeds, however the taste has more bite to it.

Luminous almonds: Used to make a sweet amaretto thats popular in light flight.

High-Voltage Almonds: the amaretto made with these almonds has quite the kick to it. Non lightning dragons consuming this beware.

Irridated Pear, Wasteland Pear, Prickly pear: All used to make vodka. No change in taste depending on where it originates.

Blue Honeycomb: Same usage as a normal honeycomb but due to the challenging nature of brewing anything from this quickly solidifying honey, its generally considered a drink for those of high status and or wealth. Breweries will reuse off batches honey for hard candies. Not for hatchlings.

Spearmint: used for mint schnapps. Peppermint is generally considered better.

Peppermint: Used in Peppermint Schnapps and Creme de menthe. Generally the most popular drink made from this is putting the schnappes or creme de menthe into a nice cup of hot cocoa.

Cindermint: Used in its own Cindermint Schnapps and Creme de Cindermenthe. Also used in other 'spicy’ drinks to add a little extra kick. A favourite of Fire flight.

Golden Pepper,Blacktongue Pepper: a lair in fire flight uses them to create a vodka so spicy they claim its the hottest drink in all of Sornieth. Their advertising even suggests not to buy it.

Butcher’s Fig: Used in a Fig spirit. has a red tinge to it. still stains the maw red if enough is consumed.

Fig: Used in fig liqueuers.

Sunbeam Fig: used in spirits and liqueuers. Almost entirely cultivated in light flight. due to the challenge of obtaining the fruit its considered rare and expensive. a favourite among Light flight royalty.

Patio Rose, Heart Rose, Blue Rose, Pale Pink Rose: All used for rose water that some dragons think is a good idea to mix with alcohol. It probably just waters it down.

Now go forth and have those drunkard dragons and brewers get creative!

au idea: if the Ackermans never rebelled

the Ackermans served the royal family directly for almost 2000 years. imagine if the Ackermans were still in power, Levi would’ve been a lord, almost a prince, the heir to a legendary warrior bloodline. this lord instead of serving the current monarch like he’s supposed to he chooses a commoner, a soldier who’s the son of a teacher, as his liege.

Court the King Thorin x reader

Court the King Thorin x reader

Disclaimer: I do not own any characters

Summary: There is a ball thrown for Thorin so that he may choose a lady to court but reader does not feel she is worthy.

A/N: I don’t normally write for the hobbit but I’m feeling some Thorin love today and this is what happened.

Warnings:jealousy maybe a little angst

The halls of Erebor were beautiful bringing back cherished memories of your childhood here before Smaug descended upon your home. It would take years to repair all of the damage caused by the dragon but in the months since the battle of the five armies your people had made excellent progress in clearing the debris and starting the rebuilding process. It seemed Thorin was always busy these days trying to restore the kingdom to its former glory. Tonight however a ball was planned. It was of popular opinion that the young king should be courting someone or at least trying to find someone to court and make his queen. You could tell Thorin did not like this idea but since the battle the two of you had barely spoken he was always busy with one thing or another. In truth you had fallen for the king under the mountain while on the road with him and the company but being a warrior dwarf you were hardly suitable for the king. He was deserving of someone of noble blood with a beauty that would put even the stars to shame. Ladies had been arriving for days from all the dwarven kingdoms to try and win the favor of your beloved Thorin. Tonight you knew the Ballroom would be full of gorgeous gowns with even more gorgeous women inside them and melodious music. Every woman would be trying to woo Thorin into courting them so they could be queen.

“Y/N will you be going to the ball tonight?” Fili asked coming to stand by your side in the dining hall.

“Why would I? The ball is to find the king a queen is it not? I am not qualified for that so it is better I stay away.”

“Oh please you’re plenty qualified. Besides even if you are not interested in trying your hand at going after uncle there will be ale and merriment you must come. It will not be the same without you.”He pleaded for awhile longer before finally soliciting an agreement from you.

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Achaemenid Phiale Mesomphalos, 5th Century BC

A large silver phiale mesomphalos with remains of erased inscription around the inside of the rim, intersecting bulbous petals to the base, and to the centre a central boss.

Phiale Mesamphalos were the most popular form of drinking vessels and were produced in a number of materials, from clay through to silver and gold. They were used in banquets held by the nobility, but were also used to pour libations at religious festivals. They were a common gift from the king to the nobility which helped cement alliances among the different tribes of the Empire. They were also used as diplomatic gifts to visiting dignitaries and they were extremely popular in the kingdom of Macedonia where they were used for purely religious purposes. The central boss to the underside allowed the person using it to secure the fingers so that it did not slip whilst drinking from it.

History Fact 9/100 - The Madness of King George

It is to be noted, before we cover the extent of his illness, that King George was a diligent and respected monarch. He had a calming effect on scores of politicians, and provided much needed continuity, ruling for 60 years.

It is widely known that King George lapsed into madness. However, the cause of this madness is often debated. Was it a mental illness? Did the King suffer from porphyria? Was he poisoned?

The evidence suggests mental illness. When the King wrote letters during his episodes of illness, he often wrote long, rambling sentences and repeated himself. This is a symptom of bipolar disorder and mania. So are his convulsions, which he suffered regularly, and the extended speeches which caused his to foam at the mouth.

We cannot rule out the poisoning theory either. The kings doctors could very well have been treating him with arsenic, therefor worsening the condition.
However, it is most likely that the majority of the symptoms stemmed from his bipolar disorder.


Epic Moments in Villain History (Maleficent’s Curse): 

Maleficent: Well, quite the glittering assemblage, King Stefan: royalty, nobility, the gentry, and…ehehehe, how quaint: even the rabble. I really felt quite distressed at not received an invitation.

Merryweather: You weren’t wanted!

Maleficent: NOT WHA…hehehe…Oh dear, what an awkward situation.  I had hoped it was merely due to some oversight.  Well, in that event, I’d best be on my way…

The Queen: And you’re not offended, your excellency?

Maleficent: Why no, your majesty.  And to show I bear no ill-will, I too shall bestow a gift on the child. Listen well, all of you! The princess shall indeed grow in grace and beauty; beloved by all who know her.  But, before the sun sets on her sixteenth birthday: she shall prick her finger on the spindle of a spinning wheel and die!

The Queen: Oh no!

King Stefan: Seize that creature!

Maleficent: Stand back, you fools!

-”Sleeping Beauty”

Ferelden Politics And Society

All folk belong to a social class, and each class has its own rights and responsibilities. However, in Ferelden, unlike nearly all other countries in Thedas, members of the nobility are not considered to be intrinsically better or afforded more rights than any other class; they just have different ones. It is true that nobles are generally treated with deference, but this is often due more to the (correct) assumption of martial ability than social status. Nobles from other lands frequently find Ferelden commoners to be phenomenally insolent in comparison to the fawning treatment that they are used to.

Ferelden Nobility tend to dress more practically then their foreign counterparts, that does not always mean they have a sense of restraint however. Really guys? Really?

The primary purpose of the nobility of Ferelden is to fight for their people against all threats— human, darkspawn, or otherwise. While nearly all Fereldans boast some level of martial ability, nobles are expected to excel at warfare—it is, literally, their “job.” The nobles of Ferelden do not own the land. They likely have some small holdings, with more powerful or influential lords controlling progressively greater keeps or fortresses, but it is the freeholders that actually own the farms, the crops they produce, and the profits that come from selling their goods. In Ferelden this matters a great deal, because it is the commoners who are actually the patrons of the nobility. Each freehold chooses which bann or arl it gives allegiance to and the decision is renewed each year. A group of freeholders dissatisfied with the protection they are getting from their local bann can remove their patronage and give it to another bann— though likely one within a fairly short riding distance.

Alistair is a possible king of Ferelden. He would look badass here but for the fact that he doesn't use two handed weapons.

At the top of the noble structure sits the King of Ferelden, whose court is in the capital city, Denerim. The King is entrusted with advancing the interests of all the people of Ferelden in both war and trade. While the King can suggest new laws for the land, the “King’s Law” is in fact generally dictated by precedent and voted on by the Landsmeet, a legislative body made up of all the nobles of Ferelden that meets once a season within Denerim to deliberate on issues and bring grievances before the King. Not all of the nobility can regularly make the trip to Denerim, so many send a proxy, either a younger family member or a trusted commoner, to vote in their place.

The Bryce and Eleanor Cousland ruled Highever at the outset of the 5th blight. It would be a shame if anything HAPPENED to them! 

Directly beneath the King are the teyrn, warlords of such power and influence that they have multiple banns, and arls, sworn directly to them. There are two Teyrnirs in Ferelden at present, Highever and Gwaren.

A Ferelden Bann. 

Beneath the teyrn are the arls, powerful banns who control critical fortifications or regions of land along the borders of Ferelden. Banns make up the bulk of Ferelden’s nobility. There are a great many banns with widely varying levels of power throughout the kingdom. When the banns speak with one voice, they are the greatest power in Ferelden, but this is rare, for they’re a quarrelsome lot. Trivial feuds, which occasionally give rise to petty wars, are far from unknown among the bann.

Ser Cauthrien is/was a Ferelden knight of commoner birth

The least of the nobility is the Fereldan knight, a heavy infantry soldier sworn to serve a greater noble. The prestige of a given knight is greatly influenced by whom he is sworn to serve. They have no particular code of conduct, valuing fighting skills and leadership abilities before all else. While some knights do control land, it is never very significant, as anything more would mean they would be regarded as a bann. In Ferelden, commoner soldiers of exceptional fighting skill have a very real chance of being knighted and joining the ranks of the nobility. Fereldans are proud of this “social mobility,” which is rare in Thedas.

Don’t mess with the Crafters

Because Ferelden’s social system developed directly from the Alamarri tribes, it carries their barbarian values within it. A hunter is certainly a valued member of his tribe, but there are many other hunters. A man who can craft a fine weapon, on the other hand, has a rare skill and is thus more respected. The craftsmen of the Alamarri tribes, the woodworkers, the smiths, the builders, and so forth, organized themselves over the years into semi-formal groups known as “crafthouses” that shared knowledge and trade secrets with one another. They truly became a power unto themselves, though, when they made their members swear to put crafthouse before tribe.

While the crafthouses have no formal political power, only a fool ignores them as they have total power over their particular craft in Ferelden.

Once upon a time the Chantry had pretty robes.

The majority of Fereldans believe in the Maker’s Chantry, following the words of the Prophetess Andraste. Those who do not believe generally hold their tongues. However, while priests of the Chantry are honored in Ferelden, they do not have the political influence that they enjoy in the Empire of Orlais and other nations. Fereldan priests are considered part of the crafting class and are expected to focus their attentions on spiritual matters. The Chantry has been trying to increase its political influence for a long time, but they have not been very successful. That the Revered Mother Bronarch, Grand Cleric of Ferelden, put the Orlesian usurper Meghren on the throne did not help their cause.

Don’t mess with the freemen either… in fact just don’t mess with Ferelden. Are you listening Orlais!?

Beneath the crafters are the freemen, who make up the bulk of the common classes. Scholars split the freemen into “High Freemen”—freeholders, soldiers, innkeepers, and other employed persons; and “Low Freemen”—criminals, prostitutes, elves, and other riffraff.

Freemen are exactly that in Ferelden—they have the right to go where they will, live where they choose, and earn such a living as they may. There are no serfs in Ferelden; all are paid in coin or barter for their work.

Most fereldens are Freeholders and  typically live on freeholds, farms that may have been worked for generations by one or more families. Freeholds are highly social and communal with everyone pitching in to help their neighbors. Freehold governance varies wildly, but generally involves a council made up of representatives from each family that decide on what to plant, what to build, which bann to support, and so forth.

A circle mage, apparently they also got a fashion downgrade.

The Fereldans, as a people, tend to be highly superstitious and extremely distrustful of magic. It is no accident that the Circle Tower of Ferelden is/was situated on a remote island far from the more populous cities. Long ago it was in Denerim, but an angry mob burned it down. Magic use outside of a restrictive set of rules is/was forbidden.

Mages are/were required to join the Circle of Magi. Those who do not are/wer called apostates and hunted down by Chantry templars.

An Apostate. Note the sneaking around and friendly “I’m not an insane bloodythirsy villan” look.

Apostates who practice forbidden blood magic are known as maleficar and they are feared above all.

Gee I wonder Why? 

To guard against the use of proscribed magic and demonic possession, templars are/were stationed in every Circle tower. The Chantry admits that mages can be useful against foes like darkspawn, but their trust of mages only goes so far.

Dwarfs like beards. Except for hipster dwarves. They wear theirs on their chests.

The Fereldans don’t know a great deal about their dwarven neighbors in Orzammar, other than that they’re a stout folk whose troubles are many and whose craftsmanship is exquisite. Neither, in fact, do the dwarves living in Ferelden. Long estranged from their kin, the bulk of Ferelden’s dwarves belong to a dwarf caste known as the “Surfacers” and they are regarded with barely concealed contempt by their kind, though this apparently doesn’t prevent Orzammar dwarves from doing business with them. Long years ago, Fereldan crafters regarded merchants with distaste, as they profited from goods they had no hand in creating. When dwarves first started selling their wares within Ferelden’s cities, the locals thought they were the crafters of the goods in question, and the dwarves saw no need to educate them otherwise. The dwarves eventually offered to move the merchandise of the various crafthouses for them, which was agreed to, so long as they didn’t undercut human goods with their own. This accord grew over the years into the creation of the Trader’s Crafthouse, which now handles the selling of goods throughout Ferelden and beyond, even as far as Orlais and the Free Marches.

Note the pointed ears.

Old stories relate that there was once an elven empire in the north, but the Tevinter Imperium destroyed it long ago and enslaved its people. The words of the Prophetess were instrumental in convincing the elves to rebel against the Tevinter and after the fall of the Imperium, the elves were granted a country of their own south of Orlais called the Dales, in return for their help. For several centuries, all was well, until the elves were found to have accepted Andraste’s words, but not her faith. The Chantry called for an Exalted March against the people of the Dales for daring to adhere to their old gods. The Dales were sacked and their people scattered, now a nation without a home. The elves that still cling to their old beliefs are known as the Dalish elves, an insular people who travel the wilds in massive wagons drawn by huge white stags and have as little truck with humans as possible.

But they do know how to party.

The rest of the elves now live in human settlements, but inevitably apart in an area sectioned off for their use called an “alienage.” Some alienages are walled off, but this is as much for the safety of the elven families as it is to protect humans from the “thieving knife-ears.”

bad things happen to elves who try to move out of the alienage 

Elves are a graceful people with fair features. They are usually servants or laborers in Ferelden. While their lot is not easy, they are paid for their work and have rights, which is seldom the case elsewhere. Many Fereldan elves hold that they have far better lives than their people in other countries, as they would rather be poor freemen than rich slaves.


Since the days of the Alamarri when wolves fought alongside warriors, canines have been highly regarded in Ferelden. In modern times, dogs have taken the place of wolves. Many communities allow dogs to roam freely, and “own” them collectively. Breeding is an ancient tradition and a wide variety of dogs exist. One of the most famous breeds in Ferelden and beyond is the “mabari”—a huge, mastiff-like war hound of incredible intelligence, capable of responding to complex orders.

Extracted, edited, and compiled from the Dragon Age Table Top RPG by bloodypenofferelden (a few of the pictures from the wiki) More to come!

Mademoiselle Rosalie Duthé (1792). Henri-Pierre Danloux (French, 1753-1809). Oil on canvas. Staatliche Kunsthalle Karlsruhe.

Duthé, here with a painting and books, was a celebrated French courtesan. A companion of French kings and European nobility, she has been called “the first officially recorded dumb blonde.” Duthé was an often requested subject for portraits. Danloux was Duthé’s favorite artist, and he recorded some of his sessions with her in his diary.

sanctuaryforascrivener  asked:

I... You did your thesis on Terry Pratchett? I never considered that to even be an option, oh my gods. Like it is not an exaggeration to say that this changed my life. Like, borderline religious revelation. I could go back to academia and /talk about Terry Pratchett./ Professionally. Oh my gods. I need to sit down. I need to buy the rest of his books and get started. There's so much to talk about. Oh my gods.

*gently pats your hand and offers you some tea*

Yes, you can. it was unheard of when I was at uni, and even now anything that has to do with comedy or elves tends to get sneered at by old professors wearing tweed (hilarious when you think about who Tolkien was) but you can most definitely devote your study to Discworld and Pratchett if you like. I would also recommend Diana Wynne Jones who I also wanted to work on—comparing her female based narrative to Pratchett’s witches and how women’s rage was not only accepted but seen as empowering, which was largely unheard of in fantasy at the time because angry women were usually just seen as vengeful harpies “wronged by a man”. Sadly that chapter had to be removed because it was too much of a tangent but ohhh gods I was bursting to talk about it.

My thesis hinged on the idea of fantasy in reality, and how the fantasy genre is just the continuation of mythology we used to use justify our reality (lightning is gods fighting, people drown in that river because of kelpies so don’t go near that river or horse shaped demons will eat you), ergo reality shapes fantasy as the things that we need in order to not be shitty humans, such as truth, justice and the knowledge that the sun will still come up in the morning no matter how awful the night. Campfire parables if you will, the things we tell ourselves when winter comes and there’s wolves howling at your door so you tell the children stories about spring because it’s that or freeze to death in despair.

Lord of the Rings wasn’t about glorious battles or the rightful place of Kings and honor or the nobility of elves as intellectual paradigms as I’ve seen so many academic papers talk about.

It was about the horrors of war, and how the actions of those in power will have ramifications for centuries to come—no matter how pretty or noble they are. It was about how not doing the right thing at the beginning, means your children will need to suffer to fix it. It was about the endurance of friendship and love despite the odds, it was about hope, and the pure basic need to believe in a better world, because why else do we do anything. Aragon and Frodo aren’t the heroes, Samwise is. He’s not naive as some people think. His character is not stupid. He knows what will happen if they fail. So that’s why he keeps going. And that’s why Samwise is the hero, the friend who carries you when you can no longer crawl. He’s the one who always truly believes there is some hope in this world, even as fire and ash burns around him. If not hope for him, then hope for others and that by facing what he does, they will not have to.

It’s why I get particularly irked when people praise dark and nitty gritty fantasy as being more “real” and somehow more acceptable and noteworthy, because you know, god knows we don’t have enough shitty things to deal with in real life as it is. Forgive me if I want my dragons to be capable of burning down an entire city but also falling in love and flying off to somewhere quiet where some prick in shiny armor can’t try to stick their underbelly with his sword just because that’s what Heroes™ do.

Pratchett wrote stories for the common man, he wrote about alcoholics being heroes and how just because they became heroes didn’t mean they stopped being human. Sam Vimes became on par with being legendary, but he still went to AA meetings every Thursday. Tiffany Aching—one of the most powerful witches of her time—still clips the toe nails of old men too sick to do it themselves because someone has to. Rincewind keeps getting picked up by fate and hurled towards destiny, and despite being a coward and chronically awful at intentional magic, is still able to save the day, usually out of sheer desperation and a well aimed blow with a sock filled with rocks. Because sometimes that’s all you have.

Desperation, a sense of duty and the need to believe in something better. Which is practically the basis of all religion.

Sorry, rambling again. But yes, yes you can do the thing. And I really hope you do <3

please remember that capheus repeatedly decides to try to fuck up gangsters with his bare hands and drives a bus with VAN DAMN painted on it in giant flaming letters and barrel rolls a car through san francisco in the middle of a police chase while giggling excitedly. i always see posts talking about how tender and hopeful and compassionate capheus is which is TRUE he is all of those things absolutely, but that’s half of his personality, and the other half is just him yelling FIGHT ME

Well hi there, and thank you for the compliment. I’m a little less calm than I look, honestly, but at least with questions on tumblr I can take my time to answer them. It definitely helps me get my thoughts together.

And I do have a very long answer for you, and it comes in several parts. Bear with me. 

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…Tom and Huck represent two viable models of the American character. They exist side by side in every American and every American action. America is, and always has been, undecided about whether it will be the United States of Tom or the United States of Huck. The United States of Tom looks at misery and says: Hey, I didn’t do it. It looks at inequity and says: All my life I have busted my butt to get where I am, so don’t come crying to me. Tom likes kings, codified nobility, unquestioned privilege. Huck likes people, fair play, spreading the truck around. Whereas Tom knows, Huck wonders. Whereas Huck hopes, Tom presumes. Whereas Huck cares, Tom denies. These two parts of the American Psyche have been at war since the beginning of the nation, and come to think of it, these two parts of the World Psyche have been at war since the beginning of the world, and the hope of the nation and the world is to embrace the Huck part and send the Tom part back up the river, where it belongs.
—  George Saunders, “The United States of Huck”

unpopular opininion: I really love Rain Wild chronicles and I think the setting is by far the most interesting and challenging in Hobb’s books. They are dark, they’re depressing, they have really good insight on issues like class, gender and sexuality (although not everything was carried out as well as I had hoped but the attempt was in itself quite amazing.) They are not the ones that I love most but they’re the ones I find most ambituos, interesting and analytical.

I mean I could a few hundred thousand words about Fitz and Beloved but like, Rain Wild chronicles are the books that really make me respect Hobb as a fantasy author cause in a world of male dominated fantasy about kings and nobility they’re some brave ass books, a story about (mostly) lower class people, girls and women, explicitly homosexual folks and dragons that are not mighty and cool.