meta ring

So we’ve got a small but powerful token,

originally belonging to a powerful being, but taken by a flawed hero who didn’t know what he was getting in for,

and who is defeated, losing the item into the water.

This token comes into the keeping of an eccentric mortal for many years, giving them long life and vitality,

until they pass it on to a younger relative, and their health immediately begins to deteriorate.

The adorable, dark-haired, doe-eyed new bearer,

carrying the token on a necklace,

sets out to find someone else to take it,

but ultimately must take ownership of the quest themselves.

Along the way, they encounter endless dangers and obstacles,

finally facing their greatest challenge yet at a volcano,

and return the token to its source.

Featuring super idyllic, completely culturally stagnated hometowns,

raptors of unusual size,

Dramatic Tower Is Dramatic,

and tiny boats sailing into the sunset.

tl;dr - Moana is Lord of the Rings without the actual evil.

The Rings in YoI ep 10

So it has been brought to my attention by the wonderful @wolfsflei that Yuuri only actually buys 1 ring at the shop in Barcelona. If we check the price of the ring on his receipt, not only does it say 1 ring (”Wedding Ring” might I add) but the price (if we also add + tax) roughly matches up to the price tags we can see of the rings in the glass cases.

So by this knowledge we can extrapolate that they did not get both rings here.

Let me drill the message home with some images.

Yuuri did not know this was coming. Victor had this ring prepared in advance and what surprised him was that Yuuri actually beat him to the punch. They were both honestly thinking of surprising each other with a proposal. I feel like this revelation just makes this scene a million times more meaningful because it shows that they were both thinking of the same thing without even the need for a discussion – that all they both want to just move forward with their lives together.

it’s common knowledge that the names of the three elven rings match the fates of the three Silmarils, but think about the ring-bearers, too —

  • elrond is obvious; he had the ring of air, but he didn’t have his father, who was sailing through the sky with a silmaril on his brow
  • galadriel and maglor were the last of the grandchildren of finwë left in middle-earth; she bore the ring of water and longed to go back across the sea all that time, while his fate was to wander the shoreline after he flung his silmaril into the sea
  • gandalf, wearing the ring of fire, fell into the deepest parts of moria battling a demon made of flame; maedhros threw himself and his silmaril into a fiery chasm

and i wonder if the wise and knowledgeable ring-bearers could’ve noticed this, and if gandalf’s death would’ve, in a way, completed the last of the parallels

and i wonder, then, if a part of him knew, or perhaps thought he knew, that at some point he would have to die.

Fandom’s lost innocence

Every few months I feel sad about the loss of fannish culture as I’ve known it in the past. Every few months I make an effort to be more active on Livejournal/Dreamwidth/Tumblr, and every few months without fail that effort gets lost again in what just feels wrong somehow.

I’ve been wondering for years now what’s happened. And I think it’s that fandom, as a whole, has changed drastically.

We’ve lost our sense of wonder.

There’s so little pure excitement and joy about new things, it seems as if we’ve forgotten how to simply be happy and enjoy something. Everything gets taken apart and studied under a microscope of proper representation, privilege and artistic merit. And when it’s found wanting, which inevitably happens to almost all things, it’s torn apart with a viciousness that no friendly group will gather for fear of being included.

We’ve gone from celebrating each bit of progress in opening up mainstream culture to complaining that each step taken is not yet enough, and this creates a feedback loop of criticism and negativity. You’re only supposed to enjoy the perfect gems, while all other offerings must be discarded because they’re flawed in some way.

Take Buffy the Vampire Slayer as an example. I remember watching this when it first aired, and I remember the sheer amazement of having Willow in a homosexual, loving relationship. Sure there was criticism, but in plenty of fannish circles, Joss Whedon got praised to the high heavens for including this and for portraying Willow and Tara as no different than their hetero and/or demon-loving counterparts.

Today I think he’d get torn apart for sending Willow back to Oz at the end (bi-erasure) (brain-fart on my part, of course she later was in a relationship with Kennedy, not wolfie), for killing off Tara (of course the lesbian had to die), for appropriating artifacts of various cultures, for turning Willow evil only after she’d entered a same sex relationship, for so many other reasons. Don’t get me wrong, there was plenty of criticism for this at the time, but we didn’t focus on the bad things so much that we overlooked the massive progress it meant to have two complex female characters in love in a mainstream tv series, and have it drawn just like a “regular” relationship. Today, I fear, the joy over this progress would get lost. It would be seen as a step forward but flawed, and thus not worth anything.

I’ve seen this happening in the Hobbit fandom in the past few years, and in the overall reception of the movie trilogy. Is it perfect? Dear god, no. Is it as good as the LotR movie trilogy was? Absolutely not. The trilogy has flaws, it has bloat, and it has moments that really shouldn’t have been included. But the criticism sometimes feels deliberately hostile and harsh because the movies aren’t perfect. There are plenty of wonderful moments in there, plenty of characters who’ve been given depth they never had in the book.

We got considerably more female representation than before with the Hobbit, in what I think really was the only way to do it without gender-bending an existing character (which would never have flown with the studio or large parts of the book-based fanbase). And yet Tauriel as a character gets massive amounts of backlash. She’s considered the “token female character”, she’s a Mary Sue, she’s too privileged, she’s only there as a love interest… the list can go on for ages. A lot more people find redeeming points with the Necromancer than with Tauriel.

There was a similar reaction to Arwen’s role in the LotR movies, back in the day. At the time, the backlash came from the mostly male gatekeeper fans who considered her not pure enough and not enough of a canon warrior to be allowed to play a bigger role. With Tauriel, Peter Jackson pushed past that and ignored the purist complaints to make the trilogy a less “bloke-ish movie” (to paraphrase from Martin Freeman). He essentially delivered on what we might have wished for in LotR, and in my opinion did fairly well given the studio constraints and their demands for her to be a love interest or scrapped. And yet he gets derision and negativity without acknowledgment that it’s a step forward again to have a new female character with considerable screentime in a movie where the canon material doesn’t make room for her.

I just wish we could go back to praising progress without demanding perfection at the same time. There will never be perfection, so all this attitude achieves is that it leaves a bad taste in your mouth when you watch/read/hear something you like. Let yourself enjoy something, see the good bits without the flaws. See the growth and progress. Hold the content creators accountable for steadily improving, but don’t just tear them apart for not getting it completely right when they’re already pushing the boundaries. They’ll push again next time and gain a little more ground, and it’s in that way that growth happens for us to enjoy.

And that joy and wonder is what I wish we’d all get back.

So I’m just laying this out here now:

1) Here are great posts for the One Ring Theory. 

2) Yes, I subscribe to it…

3) I’m also not letting go of gold-medal ring because…

Non-italicized: Things Viktor is saying out loud.

BUT THEN

Italicized: Thoughts.

Thoughts.

As in.

Viktor doesn’t tell Yuuri he melted down a gold medal for an engagement ring because… (well, honestly, that would seriously trip Yuuri up if he were to think that Viktor might not think he’ll win a gold medal at the grand prix…)

The Layers of Meanings Behind the Rings

VictuuriWeek 2017 – Day 7 – Victor Prompt – Promises

So for VictuuriWeek day 7, I’d like to talk about the rings and all the various promises they hold. This post is written as a complimentary piece to @lazuliblade‘s amazing meta here (2 metas for 2 rings) so please make sure to read that one as well! In this analysis, we’ll be looking at the various tie-ins the series has to the various layers of meaning represented by the rings.

I’ll be going in the order of how they’re mentioned in Laz’s post so please enjoy!

Keep reading

people talking about how lord of the rings and tolkien are not dark and edgy texts, that they are about the power of hope and goodness and light, and like, yes, true, but, but!!! 

one of the cool things about tolkien is the way he has this constant tension between an ethos of decline and despair and an ethos of hope, the way that he seemingly cannot escape the pull of the catastrophic turn even as he yearns toward eucatastrophe, the way that darkness and sorrow and hope and light are inextricably intertwined, two sides of the same coin

sorrow is inevitable but that does not mean hope is futile, there is good in the world but the world tends toward destruction

I could talk about this literally forever

an orc no more

It’s funny the way you can know a book so well that you practically have every line memorized, and yet not really think about what it means until something jogs you.

It seems to me that a lot of people have a tendency to view Tolkein’s work, Lord of the Rings particularly, through the lens of the inspired works that came after it rather than for itself. There’s a lot of things that most people don’t seem to get about what Tolkein was trying to do with this story. Primary among this is that guys, Tolkein was hella pacifist.

Here’s what I was thinking about today:

Towards the end of Sam and Frodo’s journey through Mordor (I won’t blame you if you don’t remember this part; it was awfully difficult to read, and deliberately so) Sam is trying to convince Frodo to put on an orc disguise, consisting of black-painted chainmail and an orc short-sword, to better sneak around orc-controlled country. Frodo protests, saying basically that he just hasn’t got the stamina to carry all that extra weight around; they agree that at this point, speed is more important than subterfuge, and ditch all the equipment down the nearest crack in the ground. Frodo has a line here, something to the effect of: “There; I’ll be an orc no more.”

But this line isn’t just about a disguise.

The thing about orcs in Lord of the Rings is that they are not and were never meant to be a race unto themselves, the way many later fantasy worlds have them as a race. Rather, they are Elves and Men that the Dark Lord has corrupted; and in the segments where we see the orcs up close (during Merry and Pippin’s captivity,) we see what form that corruption takes. An orc is not a creature, the way a giant spider or a warg is a creature; an orc is a person who has become so degraded by destruction and desensitized to violence that it is all they know. It’s very important to know, I think, that Tolkein based the dialogue of the orcs off of his own experience as a soldier in the trenches.

Frodo, throughout the books to this point, has never exactly been a great warrior; that was never the point of his character. He always preferred to hide or run from confrontations rather than fight, which is wise given that he’s smaller and weaker than just about anybody else. I don’t believe he ever succeeds in killing  anything, but he does on a few occasions try;  he fights the Wraith King on Weathertop, and he stabs the troll in the foot in the battle in Moria.

But this scene marks the last time in the books that Frodo even attempts  to use violence. Even when Gollum attacks him for the Ring a few pages later, after  Frodo pushes him off he doesn’t take the opportunity to kill him, instead just warning him off trying again. In the Scouring of the Shire epilogue, while Merry and Pippin are leading an army of hobbits Frodo doesn’t even have a weapon. His only role in the battle is, basically, talking the angry Hobbits down from massacring their prisoners. (The others even call him out on this; Merry says something to the effect of ‘You won’t cleanse the Shire by being stern and sad, Frodo.’)

From this scene until the end of the book, even until the end of his life, Frodo carries no weapon and makes no move of violence on any other living being. He’s not just throwing away a shitty orc disguise; he is forswearing violence and death. He will no longer be a slave to hate and destruction. He’ll be an orc no more.

I get really annoyed by macho fantasy novels written by men because they try so hard to be tolkien reboots and some are even labeled “for fans of lord of the rings” and its just like, friends, tolkien taught u better than this. he gave us some of the least macho male heroes ever. and y’all wanna smear his legacy with boring ass failed aragorn archetypes? 

consider:

-the true heroes of lotr are frodo and sam

-frodo is not macho at all, frodo is not like your typical masculine hero. he is unassuming and rather demure and never angry and very calm and steady like a river. frodo shoulders his burden with no complaints. frodo admits when he needs help. frodo has zero physical prowess. yet he is considered the best choice for the quest. and his quest doesnt include any rigorous physical training or magical abilities that prove him worthy. he is worthy because of the pure nature of his hobbit heart and his morality.

-sam. sam is such a soft lovely male character. he is just trying to support and love and care for his friend. they have such an honest bond. Sam isn’t even called upon to be in the quest, he basically tags along and ends up saving the day. Lil ol samwise gamgee, the hobbit gardener, is responsible for saving middle earth. not aragorn. not borimir. not any of the more masculine characters. and why is that??? bc tolkien is fucking explicit about the fact that men are morally corrupt and easily swayed by the ring. hobbits aren’t as easily corrupted and are better heores for this quest because of it. their softness/gentle nature makes them better heroes.

-merry and pippin- also brilliant and not very masculine and lovable and help save middle earth

-boromir: the most macho character but also the biggest fuck up

-aragorn- now. so this is the one y’all male fantasy writers have been trying to recreate for years. well. you all fail. Aragorn’s character, while i guess more traditionally masculine than the hobbits’ also avoids the pitfalls of machoness in that he is all about responsibility and honor and duty. i mean yes he is basically the best warrior ever but he is also a. born to be that way and b. not a dick about it.

so fantasy writers, if u want to follow in tolkiens footsteps, please give me a cast of nuanced and well written and sensitive men who avoid the macho stereotypes.

Friendly reminder to anybody saying otherwise…

Killian Jones did not lie to Emma. He wasn’t given the opportunity to lie in the first place. She never once questioned what had him nervous. She never once asked ‘what’s wrong, what are you keeping from me?’ She assumed it was about the ring, which yes that was one thing he was hiding, but not what he was trying to tell her in that moment. 

He didn’t tell her, yes. But that wasn’t a lie. He actually had every intention of telling her what he’d done. He wanted to tell her. She (inadvertently) put him in a place where it suddenly became impossible for him to do it. 

That’s not a lie. It’s secret keeping, sure. But until Emma (or someone else) asks him what he’s really hiding and he doesn’t reveal what he did, Killian can’t be called a liar.

  • manypalimpsests: Eowyn is always REALLY DISAPPOINTED when storytellers in Gondor leave out the horses' lineages. She's like BUT THEY TOLD THE KING'S LINEAGES. WHAT ABOUT THE HERO HORSE'S?
  • guinevak: What, she says, are these just jay random horses or what?
  • manypalimpsests: Are they first generation from the wild? Did I miss a ballad? I could have missed the prologue where the king tames the horse. DAMMIT. THAT'S ALWAYS THE BEST PART.
Explaining the Dead Marshes

To explain the Dead Marshes, we need to examine Sauron’s role as a necromancer more in-depth. “Necromancer” is one of his more noteworthy titles, but the full implications are very rarely explored.

Laws and Customs Among the Eldar (in the History of Middle Earth, vol. 10) has some insight on this:

“Some were enslaved by the Dark Lord and do his work still, though he himself is gone. They will not speak truth or wisdom. To call on them is folly. To attempt to master them and to make them servants of one own’s will is wickedness. Such practices are of Morgoth; and the necromancers are of the host of Sauron his servant.

It’s apparently quite possible for Sauron to enslave spirits. Death is not necessarily a release from suffering so long as one is within his realm of influence. Moreover, there’s mention of a counter-summons which competes with Mandos’ summons:

“It was less frequent, however, in ancient days, while Morgoth was in Arda, or his servant Sauron after him; for then the fea unbodied would flee in terror of the Shadow to any refuge - unless it were already committed to the Darkness and passed then into its dominion. In like manner even of the Eldar some who had become corrupted refused the summons, and then had little power to resist the counter-summons of Morgoth.

Already weakened spirits presumably have a harder time resisting it.

My theory is that Sauron has some way of desecrating a location so that it traps spirits there, bound to the earth as their bodies decay around them, so that he can pluck them out at his leisure whenever he has a use for them. Sauron has demonstrated similar abilities with the Rings. This is just another form of that. Why would he, though?

“Some say that the Houseless desire bodies, though they are not willing to seek them lawfully by submission to the judgement of Mandos. The wicked among them will take bodies, if they can, unlawfully. The peril of communing with them is, therefore, not only the peril of being deluded by fantasies or lies: there is peril also of destruction. For one of the hungry Houseless, if it is admitted to the friendship of the Living, may seek to eject the fea from its body; and in the contest for mastery the body may be gravely injured, even if it he not wrested from its rightful habitant. Or the Houseless may plead for shelter, and if it is admitted, then it will seek to enslave its host and use both his will and his body for its own purposes. It is said that Sauron did these things, and taught his followers how to achieve them.

If Sauron can enslave a spirit to an object or a place, could he enslave one to a body that doesn’t fit it? Oftentimes vampires and werewolves are explained away as other fallen Maiar, but they’re only referred to as “evil spirits”. The idea that elves (or humans, or both, depending on the version) can be twisted into other forms is already present in the canon, with orcs.

The benefits are pretty clear. Sauron gets a nearly inexhaustible supply of troops, recycling his old ones and gaining new ones so long as his enemies are dying in the right places. It also demoralizes his enemies and discourages direct attacks.

Thus: The Dead Marshes. Most of those who ever died on a battlefield within Morgoth’s or Sauron’s territory (and weren’t carried away by an Eagle) are probably still there. (I’m so sorry, Fingon!)

(x)

lost without my blogger/your love

“I’d be lost without my blogger” (TGG)
vs
‘I am lost without your love” (TFP)

It almost seems like they’re trying to say that Sherlock is lost without John in two different yet very similar ways.  

Inspired by X

One of the most surprising things I’ve learned in my re-read of LotR is that Tolkien’s insistence on taking a Watsonian stance on his own story world means that he’s even translated the characters’ own names from the Middle-Earth languages

Sam and his father Ham were actually Banazir and Ranagud, which Tolkien then translated into old English (!) to come up with Samwise and Hamfast

Frodo was quite possibly Froda, because hobbit names swap the English tendency to end female names with “a” and male names with “o”

Merry is Kalimac, shortened to Kali (Westron for “jolly, gay”) and then reverse-engineered into Meriadoc

Also, I don’t know what people who don’t like the LotR battle scenes are on about, one particularly dramatic moment is heralded by a crowing rooster

So we picked up reading LotR again a couple weeks ago and forged through Book Four, and I have had another Revelation.

We got to the part where Frodo and Sam are using the Phial to repel Shelob, and we stopped for a bit, so that my mom, since she knows the Silmarillion now, could think out loud and confirm some stuff – mostly, you know – the Phial -> Earendil’s star -> light of the Silmaril (tales never really end, etc.). So she had a moment. I pointed out for extra effect that the light of the Silmarils was direct from the Two Trees, the original and untainted symbol of goodness and light in Arda, and so one – and then I had to stop, and have a moment.

Because who destroyed the Two Trees?

Ungoliant. Ungoliant did. And then she went away and bred and had Shelob, or Shelob’s ancestors, among others. And the light of the Two Trees that she’d destroyed lived on only in the Silmarils, until Earendil’s was the last, and unreachable, mounted on Vingilot in the heavens. And that remnant of the light of the Trees came down and fell on Galadriel’s mirror and she bottled it and gave it to Frodo and he carried it all the way to Torech Ungol where he used it to repel Ungoliant’s scion.

Like, is that not mind-blowing and moving and I don’t know, EVERYTHING? I want to be articulate about it, but I’ve been struck speechless by wonder, and I’m also trying really hard not to blow the whole thing, because I’m a total child and despite the wonder I’m having to fight really hard not to make a really immature joke about UNGOLIANT VS. TELPERION: ROUND TWO or something.

Tolkien Character Criticism

The most common complaints I hear against The Lord of the Rings are about the characters. People say that in the books they have no real personalities, or that they’re just black and white; blandly good and blandly evil. These are really odd criticisms though. They’re odd because they’re so untrue.

The characters do have distinct personalities. And they don’t act like one dimensional stereotypes either, but like people. Can you really read the books without noticing Pippin’s clever curiosity, or Sam’s humble love, or Gimli’s proud honour (and intense loyalty), Gandalf’s quick temper, Éomer’s violent emotions, and on and on. To go into detail of each personality would take a dozen metas. And hardly anyone in the story is all good or all bad. Saruman and Wormtongue used to loyal to the good guys. The Southrons are hinted at having been deceived or coerced into fighting. The Dunlendings were explicitly lied to (and not entirely in the wrong in their grudge against Rohan). All the orcs we meet, though certainly nasty, still act like people and have believable motivations. Even Sauron was once good. And as for the good guys, do I really need to remind anyone of Denethor? He never at any point gave in to Sauron, but he wasn’t exactly good at the end either. What about Boromir or Sméagol? The Rohirrim, though unambiguously opposed to Sauron’s evil, are actually pretty racist, and the story does not justify it. Their treatment of the Dunlendings and the Woses is not okay, and not meant to be. Faramir provides us with criticism of Gondor and their increasing love of war for war’s sake (and that’s not even getting into their colonization). Gimli, Legolas, and Aragon each in their turn become stubborn and recalcitrant (though not all over the same thing) and nearly cause fights with their allies. Sam — possibly the most selfless character in the story — is unreasonably suspicious and distrusting of every new person he meets (unless they’re an elf), and that trait, in a very real sense, costs Sméagol his redemption.

Having said all that the curiosity remains. If these criticisms aren’t true, why do we feel like they are? I think I might know what’s going on. I’ve recently been reading a lot about medieval literature and discovered how very, very much they loved allegories. They even loved works that weren’t that good, just for being allegories. Because that’s the kind of story people of that age were crazy for. Our own age is crazy over something else: we want character stories. That is, we want stories that focus in on the personalities, flaws, emotions, and development of the characters. And we tend to forget that this isn’t the only kind of story, nor the only kind of good story. But it is the kind of story we have a very strong love of. Lord of the Rings has characters with actual personalities and flaws, but those aren’t the focus of the story. They’re there, but we see them more at a distance, when we’re crazy about seeing them close up. But LOTR couldn’t be the story that it is if it was making those kind of close ups. It’s definitely good, and it’s particular goodness depends on it being told the way it is. We can see that it’s good, but then we also criticize it for not providing the one thing we’re nearly always looking for. If this makes sense?

A questionable chance at escape

While in The Old Forest Sam is the one unaffected by the malevolent influence as the rest have succumbed, in Fog On the Barrow-downs it seems to be Frodo’s turn. Only, in his case the reasons might be more sinister than simple good hobbitish sense.

It is a bit curious, is it not, that while Frodo is the first to be lured in by the wights, going unwittingly through the gate of standing stones (please note the not-so-subtle underworld imagery), he is also the first and only one to come to his senses without help, and in time to even consider escape.

Another difference: Frodo gets to keep his own clothing, while the others are garbed in white grave-cloth. One could argue that this is because he was caught last, but that doesn’t really hold water. The wight had an entire night to effect the wardrobe change. Yet it left Frodo unspoiled, content to merely lay him out with hands on his chest and a sword at his side.

Imagine, now, that the wight was… discouraged to do any more. After all, what is a barrow-wight to begin with? A malevolent shade sent from Angmar. And the one who once was Witch-king in Angmar is, at the time of the telling, known as the Lord of the Nazgûl, another shade at Sauron’s beck and call. So the wight’s power is but a shadow of a shadow, moreso when compared to the trinket Frodo carries in his pocket.

I say the Ring kept the wight from discovering it, for it had no interest to fall into undead hands tied to one place alone, and I say it woke up Frodo and put into his head the notion of using the Ring to escape at the cost of abandoning his friends, simply because the thing wanted out of the barrow, and Frodo was the only pair of legs available to carry it. Only: Frodo would not.

This is not the first time Frodo denies the Ring, but in a way it’s pivotal. If Frodo had given in to the dread logic of necessity as presented by the Ring, it would have broken something in him: call it backbone, moral or spirit. And I don’t think he could have resisted the Ring as well afterwards, or as long.

terrifiesthem  asked:

what all do you think frank carries around with him besides guns/knives/etc? like mementos?

this has been in my inbox for so long lol i’m sorry, but i’ve been thinking so much on this. and i’ll be honest i don’t know, but i know i want him to. 

frank’s life now as the punisher is one of necessity - meaning he only does things that are required. he eats to live, not lives to eat. he sleeps because he has to etc etc. 

so i wonder if he would want to carry things with him that he doesn’t actually need as a weapon. but that brings me too my point, what he if carries things with him that he needs, to keep him going? 

we saw frank blow up his house, but we don’t know what all (if he did) he took from his home. was he still wearing his dog tags? does he have his wedding ring? did he destroy ALL of his families mementos? like in the punisher war zone movie, frank had a box of his families things. so i’m wondering if netflix frank has something similar. maybe he carries his wedding ring with him, on the chain the dog tags are on. 

maybe feeling the dog tags and the ring press into his skin are a reminder of why he’s doing what he’s doing. frank has to live for NOW to avenge his family and punish those responsible and others doing terrible things. but it’s the past that made him who he is. now while he doesn’t NEED a wedding ring or a toy in his pocket, what if those little reminders keep him going for them? his family? and just like in punisher war zone, frank comforted the little girl by showing her some of lisa’s old toys. so what if, that little dinosaur toy that frank might have in his pocket is something to make an upset little girl smile? 

the first time i saw the scene of frank blowing up his house i remember getting tears in my eyes because i knew, that was it. frank is dead, the punisher has come. but i still think there are parts of frank still inside and maybe just maybe he’s got something small to remind him his war is not over. 

(x)