masters of the sea

[Revised 2/17] Books for Witches, Diviners and Spellcasters

Hi, everyone. A while back (a long time ago, actually), I started an annotated bibliography on books about witchcraft and magick, and I’ve updated it once (last November). 

Since then, I’d been keeping a list of things I need to add to it, but didn’t get around to actually reworking and updating the list a second time until today. Largely because I can’t really go outside much today because of the smog. But anyways, here it is. I’ve also included divination-related books in this version, whereas previously they were separate.

I hope you find something on here that suits your fancy! Happy reading! Also, yes, I do want to do more book reviews on this blog, so if you’d like a longer review of one of the books listed below, let me know and I can write one.

For Absolute Beginners

Encyclopedia of Witchcraft, by Judika Illes. Even better than the Weiser Field Guide to Witches - this book is huge and chock-full of information. It’ll explain in easy-to-understand language how the concept has developed throughout time, why witches do what they do, and different types of witches.

The Weiser Field Guide to Witches, by Judika Illes. This gives an excellent look at the historical lore concerning witches, from the perspective of a witch herself. It’s kind of tongue-in-cheek, but it does have some information that won’t be found elsewhere.

The Modern Guide to Witchcraft, by Skye Alexander. Great book for those who’re really absolute beginners and are wondering what witchcraft is all about. Skye takes a very postmodern, utilitarian, and unfailingly honest approach, and it’s geared towards those of almost any belief system.

Grimoire for the Apprentice Wizard, by Oberon Zell-Ravenheart. Attractively packaged and readible for almost all ages, this is a great (mostly) non-denominational look at the foundations of magical practice. It’s extremely detailed. Some of it only applies to Zell’s own tradition, but it’s quite useful, anyways.

Basic Techniques

Protection and Reversal Magick, by Jason Miller. This gets a little woo-woo at times, but he gives good advice on how to avoid serious problems that can come up as you begin to practice. Take with a grain of salt, though - some of this has the potential to make you feel paranoid.

City Magick, by Christopher Penczak. If you’re at all interested in tech witchery, or just want to practice magick within an urban setting, do check this out. It is by far the best look at the subject I’ve seen, and his discussion of urban tutelary spirits is worth the price alone.

Power Spellcraft for Life, by Arin Murphy-Hiscock. Nicely done, quite secular book providing basic beginner information regarding writing original spells and workings. It does fall prey to the trap of just listing correspondences with little information at times, but also contains a great deal of detail about ritual timing, raising power, and other topics essential for the beginner.

Sorcerer’s Secrets, by Jason Miller. This is a decent volume that describes a lot of techniques you don’t usually see in books, such as gesture and gaze-based magick. Be warned that Miller writes extensively about manipulative techniques, but it’s useful theory regardless of how you put it into practice.

Witch’s Bag of Tricks, by Melanie Marquis. This is not recommended for beginners, because the whole point of this book is to help existing practitioners refine and improve their already-established techniques. It’s got some novel ideas in it, and I like the author’s approach to symbolism in spellcasting.

Direct Magick (Energy Work)

The Un-Spell Book, by Mya Om. This non-denominational guide to working with magical forces is filled with useful exercises that go beyond the author’s previous work. I recommend reading this after reading Energy Essentials.

Instant Magick, by Christopher Penczak. Excellent beginner’s guide for those who don’t have access to a lot of fancy tools or prefer to work without them. This book won’t instantly teach you magick, but it will help even a seasoned practitioner find quicker, less-complicated ways of achieving results.

Energy Essentials for Witches and Spellcasters, by Mya Om. Though I balk at the use of the term “energy” to describe magical forces, this book is worth a look. It’s a bit like a workbook, with various exercises. Expect a lot of pseudoscience, though, and there are many religious references, but the techniques are solid.

Hedgewitchery and Astral Travel

Ecstatic Witchcraft, by Gede Parma. This is actually probably my favorite book on this subject, even though hedgeriding is only a part of what the book discusses. The only bad thing I can really say about this book is that it’s really not recommended for beginners, and it’s helpful to have the basics of visualization already mastered (for example) before doing the exercises Parma recommends.

By Land, Sky and Sea, by Gede Parma. This book goes into even greater details regarding different ways of conceptualizing the cosmology of hedgeriding, and I find it a very refreshing book that appreciatively draws from a number of different perspectives while grounding itself, so to speak, with the overarching metaphor of land, sky, and sea as the three worlds.

The Temple of Shamanic Witchcraft, by Christopher Penczak. Penczak is usually a pretty mixed bag, and this book is no exception. It gives a lot of good practical information and a very in-depth exploration of the three worlds (a useful concept), but it’s primarily framed by Wicca, so it might not resonate with those of other faiths and particularly those who aren’t pagan at all.

Ascension Magick, by Christopher Penczak. There’s a chapter or two in this that address alternate ways of conceptualizing the architecture of reality, and it’s pretty helpful for a hedgerider. Beyond that, this book is mostly about ceremonial magick, but it’s a (mostly) good book. Certain parts (such as the bit about UFOs) are a little off, in my opinion.

The Shamanic Witch, by Gail Wood. This book is really best suited for someone who practices Wicca and, besides the background info and cosmological descriptions, is really only useful in the context of that tradition. If you’re Wiccan or willing to pick around a lot of Wiccan-talk, though, this is a good foundation.

Witches, Werewolves and Fairies, by Claude Lecouteux. It can be hard to find scholarly works on these phenomena that are affordable, but here’s one I personally enjoyed. It details many accounts of journeying experienced by both pagans and Christians in earlier times, and gives a good description of the concept of the astral double, the architecture of the soul, and other topics throughout history.

Betwixt and Between, by Storm Faerywolf. This book is mostly a guide to the Feri tradition of witchcraft, but while I myself don’t practice that, those who do seem to know a lot about hedgeriding! The book has several chapters on the subject and is highly recommended for this reason.

The Psychic Energy Codex, by Michelle Belanger. A lot of people have strong opinions about this author, but this is book actually provides a lot of good information about so-called “energy work” which can be a step in the right direction for those wanting to ride the hedge.

Psychic Dreamwalking, by Michelle Belanger. In this book, Belanger discusses, essentially, how to use your non-waking life as a vehicle to for journeying, and while I myself don’t usually dreamwalk, much of what she says applies to hedgeriding in other states, too.

Hedge Riding and Hedge Witchcraft, by Harmonia Saille. I only mention these two in order to say that they’re best avoided. Saille tries to give a comprehensive look at the phenomenon, but it’s poorly-written and overly New Age. The negative reviews of them on Amazon really cover the problems with these book in more detail than I ever could.

Magical Writing, Words, and Symbols

Dictionary of Ancient Magic Words and Spells, by Claude Lecouteux. Mostly a historical text, this book isn’t exactly practical or terribly useful. It is, nevertheless, incredibly interesting. It’s a bit difficult to navigate, but worth a glance.

Composing Magick, by Elizabeth Barrette. A very general, but well-done, look at writing in a magical context. Some of the ritual templates are slightly specific to religious witchcraft traditions, but most information is widely applicable.

Crafting Magick with Pen and Ink, by Susan Pesnecker. Focuses both on the physical act of writing as a magical act, and the mental state associated with it. Highly recommended

The Modern Witchcraft Grimoire, by Skye Alexander. This book is for those who want to create their own grimoire. It gives fairly good advice for doing so, as well as providing hints and tricks for spellcasting and useful correspondences.

General Concepts

Planetary Magick, by Melita Denning and Osborne Phillips. If you want to work with the planets at all, particularly in a highly ritualized context, I recommend this book. It’s large, comprehensive and gives a good foundation beyond what you find in general astrology books.

Practical Planetary Magick, by Sorita d’Este and David Rankine. Shorter than I would have liked, but a useful reference to have on your shelf, with excellent tables and appendices in the back. The meditations are also quite useful.

Practical Elemental Magick, by Sorita d’Este and David Rankine. Should be read alongside the other book by this pair. Comprehensive guide to working with the elements in a ritualized fashion. Not as accessible to newbies as Lipp’s book, but good for seasoned practitioners.

The Way of Four, by Deborah Lipp. Though mostly geared towards Wiccans, I found this author’s in-depth treatment of the four elements highly fascinating. I will note that it’s probably best to get the print version of this book, as it contains exercises and quizzes.

Ingredients and Correspondences

The Herbal Alchemist’s Handbook, by Karen Harrison. I cannot praise this book enough for its concise and well-formulated approach to astrology, herbs, and magick as a whole.

The Weiser Concise Guide to Herbal Magick, by Judith Hawkins-Tillirson. This is excellent for anyone who’s interested in any kind of magick. Yes, the focus is generally herbs, but there’s a lot to be learned here about Kabbalah and other correspondence systems, as well.

Mixing Essential Oils for Magic, by Sandra Kynes. Fills a very difficult gap in published knowledge regarding the use of essential oils by discussing, in great detail, how scents interact with each other and how to create a formula that’s not only palatable, but evocative.

Dunwich’s Guide to Gemstone Sorcery, by Gerina Dunwich. Given the New Age fascination with all things shiny, it was quite a chore to sort through the myriad crystal books to find something with good information. While far from perfect and not exactly devoid of fluff, this book does give a level of detail about the lore surrounding gemstones not seen in many other texts.

Real Alchemy, by Robert Allen Bartlett. Excellent book, lots of history and detail. There’s a strong focus on tradition within the text, yet the author is quite accommodating of his audience and describes alternate methods that work better in a modern context.

Spagyrics, by Manfred M. Junius. With a highly-developed academic tone and attention to detail, this book is a meaty look at traditional alchemy. I recommend this more for intermediate practitioners due to the sheer density of information.

Spellbooks

The Goodly Spellbook, by Dixie Deerman and Steve Rasmussen. The title sounds horribly fluffy, but this is a hidden gem. It explains obscure concepts like alternative alphabets and potential uses of musical notes, as well as plant lore and other bits and pieces. Definitely worth checking out. It’s way more than just “a book of spells.”

Encyclopedia of 5,000 Spells, by Judika Illes. The title sounds trite to some, but it delivers. This book has spells from almost every culture and spiritual philosophy, as well as a very detailed formulary. I read it when I’m bored sometimes, too, just because I always learn some tidbit from it.

Book of Spells, by Nicola Pulford. In most editions, this book is absolutely gorgeous and describes spellcasting traditions from a variety of perspectives and traditions. Recommended for those who already understand the basics, as this book jumps straight into spellcasting and gives only a small amount of information about how things work.

Ceremonial Magick

Modern Magick, by Donald Michael Kraig. I received this as a gift several years ago. It is essentially a workbook meant to be completed slowly, step by step, and while the format will not appeal to everyone, it’s a good easy-to-read introduction to ceremonial magick.

Familiar Spirits, by Donald Tyson. Though geared towards ceremonialists, any practitioner can likely learn a thing or two from Tyson’s interesting stroll through the whys and wherefores of spirit work and thoughtform creation. This is by far the best book I’ve seen on the topic of familiar spirits.

Secrets of High Magick, by Francis Melville. The most recent edition of this (the one I own) is lavishly-illustrated and full of rudimentary, yet useful information. He stresses the basics of ceremonial practice, and his writing style is very accessible. Highly recommended for absolute beginners.

My Life With The Spirits, by Lon Milo DuQuette. This is a memoir of a ceremonial magician, but it gives a good look at the magickal mindset in a highly developed form from someone who’s experienced quite a lot. I have major issues with DuQuette’s approach to Qabalah, but his memoirs are worth a read.

Chaos Magick

Liber Null and Psychonaut, by Peter Carroll. Classic book of chaos magick. I consider it required reading for almost anyone interested in the occult. Even if you have no love for chaos magick, do give it a read, just to understand how influential Carroll is, and why.

Hands-On Chaos Magic, by Andrieh Vitimus. Knowing some of the people involved in the creation of this book, I’m a bit biased towards it. That said, even if I didn’t know them, I would still recommend it. It’s especially interesting to read alongside Liber Null and Psychonautin order to see how the chaos “current” has developed over the years.

Pop Culture Magic 2.0 by Taylor Ellwood. There aren’t a lot of books on using pop culture symbolism in magick, but this one is nearly perfect. The author writes in a highly erudite, literate fashion, while still being accessible to newbies. Many useful resources cited, as well, so prepare to branch off a bit while reading it.

History-Related

Triumph of the Moon, by Ronald Hutton. An inside no-holds-barred look at the history of Wicca and Modern paganism. Highly recommended. This is sort of the book that fluffbunnies don’t want you to read.

Book of Lies: The Disinformation Guide to Magick and the Occult, by Richard Metzger. Lots of facts and history of magick in the context of Postmodernity. This is different from the Crowley text of the same name, which I wouldn’t recommend unless you want to focus on his tradition.

The Place of Enchantment, by Alex Owen. This is a purely historical text that documents the occult revival within the context of Modernity. I remember it being very good, but please realize I haven’t really picked it up much since graduating, and it might just have served my mindset at the time.

Tarot

The Book of Thoth, by Aleister Crowley. Make sure you actually own (or have access to pictures of) the Thoth deck before you dive into this. By far one of the best books on Tarot ever published. The prose is often dense and purple, but in this one book, Crowley teaches so much about Tarot and it’s connection to the Western Mystery Tradition. I can’t really say much more - it must be experienced.

The Pictorial Key to the Tarot, by Arthur Edward Waite. I recommend this book because it is a classic and was introductory for many older readers. It will teach you to read and gives insight into the methodology behind the Waite-Smith deck specifically, particularly his use of what are essentially parables and why he does this. Do not expect too much esoteric information, but read it anyways.

Seventy-Eight Degrees of Wisdom, by Rachel Pollack. This is the epitome of a good modern Tarot book and is really one of the first ones I’d recommend for someone looking for an accessible book on Tarot in a modern context. Very dense in information and history, yet altogether worth it. You’ll want highlighters nearby for this one!

Tarot for a New Generation, by Janina Renée. This is essentially a book for children and teenagers, but I do recommend it for them, specifically, because it is well-written, easy to understand, and helpful to absolute beginners.

Secrets of the Waite-Smith Tarot, by Marcus Katz and Tali Goodwin. This book focuses just on the history, symbolism, and creative process of the Waite-Smith deck. It gives you an inside line on just what Pixie Smith was thinking when painting specific scenes, and is a great look at her life’s work, as well.

The Tarot: History, Symbolism, and Divination, by Robert M. Place. This book will not teach you to read Tarot, but does give an actual, accurate portrait of the history of the phenomena, which is incredibly important and useful. Know your history.

Understanding Aleister Crowley’s Thoth Tarot, by Lon Milo DuQuette. I hesitate to recommend DuQuette due to issues I have with his approach to Qabalah, but many people ask me for a beginner book for the Thoth Tarot specifically, and this is the closest I’ve come to finding one. I recommend reading this alongside, and not instead of, Crowley’s Book of Thoth.

The Back in Time Tarot, by Janet Boyer. This is more for the intermediate reader, and the entire book details a single, extremely useful technique for familiarizing yourself with the cards, namely by framing past events in terms of how they might appear in a spread.

Lenormand

The Essential Lenormand, by Rana George. This was not the first Lenormand book I picked up, but it was the most influential and intense. Ms. George writes in a personable, touching fashion and brings the concepts of the system home by relating them to life experiences in a way rarely seen. She is one of those authors I literally go all “fangirl” over.

Learning Lenormand, by Marcus Katz and Tali Goodwin. This is one of the better beginner books on Lenormand. I’m not going to lie - it isn’t as good as Rana George’s, but it definitely is worth reading if you’re completely new to the system. It’s very accessible, where some of the books I’ll be listing later in this can seem intimidating, or so I’ve been told.

Lenormand: Thirty-Six Cards, by Andy Boroveshengra. This book is intense, but in a different way than Ms. George’s. Expect to be inundated with information and techniques. Another one of those where you really need to take notes or highlight while reading, and read it multiple times.

Secrets of the Lenormand Oracle, by Sylvie Steinbach. This book is organized in a novel and useful fashion by topic, and gives specific techniques for readings on love, money, spirituality, and other topics. Highly recommended, and I tend to use it as a reference book nowadays, looking things up as needed.

The Complete Lenormand Oracle Handbook, by Caitlyn Matthews. Not for the beginner, nor the faint at heart, this one details a lot of what, to me, seem to be more advanced approaches and techniques. I use this book a lot, and I think anyone else will enjoy it, too. Good information on the connection between Lenormand and traditional playing cards, too.

Cartomancy with Lenormand and the Tarot, by Patrick Dunn. This is more of a special topic book, and best read after you’ve got some familiarity with both Tarot and Lenormand. It’s all about using them in tandem and the synergy between them.

Astrology

The Luminaries, by Liz Greene. I could really recommend anything by this author, but she’s written so much, and this book is a particularly important one. It focuses entirely on the Sun and Moon in astrology, and gives a good look at why the luminaries need to have a special place in your understanding.

The Weiser Concise Guide to Practical Astrology, by Priscilla Costello. This is focused, as you might expect, on actual interpretation of charts and less on theory, but it gives a good background on that, too. Was quite helpful in my attempts to interpret @xepsurah‘s unusual natal chart.

The Complete Book of Astrology, by Kris Brandt Riske. Very beginner, and very light on intellect, heavy on intuition. A great introduction, but I would not suggest it as the only book you read if you’re really interested in the subject.

Tasseography

Tea Leaf Reading for Beginners, by Caroline Dow. There are only a few books within Llewellyn’s immensely popular “For Beginners” series that I would recommend, and this is one of them. The symbol glossary (which makes up the bulk of the book) is the most useful part.

Tea Cup Reading, by Sasha Fenton. This book goes into some detail (quite a bit, actually) about the history of tea and coffee, and, better yet, how to prepare them in the traditional fashion! A lot of traditional lore is described, as well.

Scrying, etc.

Scrying for Beginners, by Donald Tyson. This is really a surprise find, as I don’t usually expect much from this series, by Tyson knows his history and goes far beyond simple exercises for scrying. He is a bit biased towards mirror and crystal-gazing techniques, but does discuss other methods.

Psychic Development for Beginners, by William Hewitt. Readable, and offers some very practical developmental exercises for those wishing to hone extrasensory abilities. Be prepared to sort through a lot of woo, though.

Ratings of Ash by Gens

Gens 1 and 2

The original hero! We first meet this guy at the very start of his journey. Though it was a rough start, he overcame a lot of obstacles, and learned a lot from them! He and Pikachu became best buddies, and we saw how passionate he is for Pokemon and Pokemon battles! 10/10

Gen 3

Look at this fashionable boy! He’s ready to take on the Hoenn region! Along with his friends, new and old, he explores a brand new region, with brand new Pokemon! He’s a more experienced trainer, and even became an aura master, and the king of the sea! 10/10

Gen 4

Our favorite boy again! This time in the Sinnoh region! And what a good boy he was! He became friends with lots of new Pokemon, and got even stronger! He took a poor Chimchar abused by his rival, and turned into the battling machine known as Infernape! He matured as a trainer, and look at that Pikachu, taking out a Latios in the semifinals of the Sinnoh league! WOW! 10/10

Gen 5

Aww! What a sweet little boy! How cute! He and Pikachu are still best buddies! He’s carefree and prefers taking chances! He doesn’t let anything get in his way! Though he was a little on the shaky side, that’s ok! It’s a whole new region with so many new friends to make! Everyone makes a few mistakes here and there, but he is still a good boy! 10/10

Gen 6

WOWZA! Look at this boy! Looks like he got a bit older! Look how strong he is! He came off the plane to Kalos with his head held high and a huge smile on his face! He raised some amazingly strong Pokemon, and can even fuse with one of them! WHAT! SO COOL! He supports his Kalosian friends no matter what, and he even got himself a girlfriend! He made it all the way to the finals of the Kalos League, then took down the evil Team Flare! What a strong boy! So proud! 10/10

Gen 7

AWW!!!! LOOK AT THIS LITTLE CINNAMON ROLL! He looks a bit different, but that’s ok, being different isn’t bad! He’s in the paradise that is the Alola region, making lots of new friends at school! And look at how responsible he is, going back to school after traveling for so long! He’s such a pure boy, we must protect him! 10/10

inspired by this post here by pkmncenters :)

A colony of Masters! 

top row:

bottom row:

IMAGINE: illyrian Nesta.

When they teach her to fly, Cassian’s wings are still hurt. He can’t fly so he helps her learn to get off the ground by holding both her hands because he “says” it will keep her from getting too high too fast (and her wings are too new and weak to carry his weight). But Nesta knows that the hand holding thing is more about him wanting an excuse to hold her hands. But she’s secretly fine with it and mildly terrified about getting caught in a strong current and getting swept away.

Cassian suggests putting a leash on Nesta just in case she goes too high and gets caught in a strong current. She ardently refused. (And secretly he knows he could use his siphons to grab her if something went wrong.)

Once she’s mastered getting off the ground they go out to sea. Cassian stands on the prow of a ship and Nesta practices going higher. When she falls it’s fine because of the water and she doesn’t go that high. But Cassian barks orders at her from the ground like, “BANK LEFT. NO—LEFT. NESTA. LEFT! YOUR OTHER LEFT.”

Nesta: (crashes to the water, climbs up into the boat) “The next time the winds change you should yell that first.”

Then one day she gets descent at flying and Cassian is yelling orders at her. She’s practicing falling drills where she has to catch herself. Her wings are stronger and more muscled so she’s pretty good at it. And Cassian tells her to bail out of the fall really late and she gets hit by a wave and it pisses her off. So she gets air born again and flies over to Cassian on the boat, picks him up, and dumps him into the ocean. He laughs the whole time. And when he and Nesta are on the boat again he jokes that if she wants to hold him in her arms so badly when he’s soaking wet she should just ask.

Aquarius Dances 

Originally posted by we-are-all-one-tribe

Saturn’s ring encircles Aquarius like a glowstick, illuminating the cherished mind and spiritual saviour. Between two mermaids she hovers in the clouds, guarding the ocean she mastered as the sea goat, watching the sea mother of Pisces teach her the way of dream. Aquarius is an adventurer, a wanderer, the mind knows no boundaries, its curiosity and intuition gliding between cerebral playgrounds and elevating social experiences. Aquarians lift people, they are light on their feet, pulled by the winds of thought, dangling between the stars they reside with at night. The earth child frolics through a turquoise sea and rainbow jungle, singing telepathic love to every plant, animal, and spirit. Saturn wisdom emanates from her like she is the earth mother, as she exhales into the air she breathes, love, light, and elevation. Aquarians can be brilliant, they can write books and end wars, they can teach, nurse, psychoanalyse, or save. They can nurture growth, whisper to nature, and feel the blessing of cosmic love surrounding them at all times. Twirling daisies from clouds, laughing peace and utopia, Aquarius rides the lagoon into paradise.

-C.

10

Hiddlesweek Day 5 : Role I’d like to see him in

  • Christophe Moreau in 20 Million Leagues Over the Sea

More than fifty years after Captain Nemo sank into a watery grave - Two decades after the last Martian Invader fell to pestilence - Earth is ready to avenge her orphaned children. The starship Thunder Child’s Fury is the child of Nemo’s ingenuity and Martian cunning. Christophe Moreau, her commander, has trained for this mission since childhood. He has mastered the sea. Can he tame the wilderness of space?

a (growing) List of Water Deities

A water deity is a deity in mythology associated with water or various bodies of water. Water deities are common in mythology and were usually more important among civilizations in which the sea or ocean, or a great river was more important. Another important focus of worship of water deities were springs or holy wells.

As a form of animal worship, whales and snakes (hence dragons) have been regarded as godly deities throughout the world (other animals are such as turtles, fish, crabs, and sharks). In Asian lore, whales and dragons sometimes have connections. Serpents are also common as a symbol or as serpentine deities, sharing many similarities with dragons.

As stated above, this is a GROWING list of water deities that I will be adding to periodically as research and time permits.  I advise that if you become interested in any deities, you check to make sure that their culture is not a closed one.  **AKA: Don’t appropriate.

If you would like to see the list, click below!

Keep reading

The most beautiful woman in the world, thought Quentyn. My bride-to-be, if the gods are good. Sometimes at night he lay awake imagining her face and form, and wondering why such a woman would ever want to marry him, of all the princes in the world.

“The silver queen is gone,” the ketch’s master told him. “She flew away upon her dragon, beyond the Dothraki sea.”

“Where is this Dothraki sea?” he demanded. “I will sail the Iron Fleet across it and find the queen wherever she may be.”

The fisherman laughed aloud. “That would be a sight worth seeing. The Dothraki sea is made of grass, fool.”

Quentyn Martell and Victarion Greyjoy are the Tragedy and Comedy masks of the Meereenese Knot. Their quests are identical, but the tones are oppositional, which allows them to illuminate one another. They’re clearly meant to be compared: the Dornish and Ironborn plots in AFFC (mirrored in so many ways throughout) culminate in the revelation of Quent and Vic’s quests for Dany. Not only that, GRRM links them via chapter titles: “The Iron Suitor” and “The Spurned Suitor,” only four chapters apart. That their roles are so similar speaks not only to Dany’s increasing centrality to all narratives but how in every narrative, some characters end up cogs in the machine. Quentyn and Victarion are tonally opposing meditations on what it’s like to be a redshirt. Both are puppets; both are doomed; both will die powerless, far from home, knowing only their failure in the final moments. But their perspectives on this mutual doom and the events along the way are entirely different, which allows GRRM to make a different set of points and elicit a different set of emotions. 

When Quentyn loses people along the way (his companions), it’s brutally personal and convinces him that if he fails, they died for nothing. When Victarion loses people along the way (his ships), he just sits there glaring at the horizon and winging about the inconvenience like a child missing his toys. When Quentyn gets involved with a dangerous badass with his own agenda (the Tattered Prince), it’s desperately sad–it reflects the death of his innocence, as well as the horrific parts of questing that the songs don’t warn you about. When Victarion gets involved with a dangerous badass with his own agenda (Moqorro), it’s bizarrely funny–it reflects his ignorance and short-sightedness, as well as his inability to understand when he’s being manipulated. Quent’s alienation from his surroundings is rendered mournfully: what I wouldn’t give to smell the sweet air of home again! Vic’s alienation from his surroundings is rendered sardonically: the ocean is the wrong color, dagnabbit! Quent’s perspective on the family member who sent him on his quest (Doran) is tragic; the kid dies trying to make Dad proud. Victarion’s perspective on the family member who sent him on his quest (Euron) is comedic; the Iron Captain honestly thinks he’s going to pull one over on the Crow’s Eye, what a joke! The same basic story, when told in a different fashion, produces very different results: wretched piteous tears on one hand, sputtering WTF laughter on the other. Even redshirts have range. 

Bunch of Misfits
  • The Masters in Fallen London: Powerful and otherworldly. Ominous. Terrifying. Even when they attempt to be friendly they unnerve and disturb everyone around them. Practically immortal compared to humans.
  • The Masters Compared to their Species: Losers and criminals. Pathetic and incompetent. Probably bullied nonstop. Basically got kicked out of space for being absolute fools.
  • The Bazaar: Yes. These are the ones I want to help me.