my favourite character also had the less amount of screen time

The Jungle Book Review

Note: Considering how old and well known this story is, I figured putting out a spoiler warning is pretty useless. Nevertheless, I don’t go into detail about plot points specific to this particular adaptation, so this review is spoiler free!

“Now this is the law of the jungle, as old and as true as the sky,
And the wolf that shall keep it may prosper, but the wolf that shall break it must die. As the creeper that girdles the tree trunk, the law runneth forward and back; For the strength of the pack is the wolf, and the strength of the wolf is the pack” -
The Law of the Jungle, by Rudyard Kipling

Rudyard Kipling’s original 1894 magnum opus is truly one of Literature’s greatest works. Drawing upon his experiences growing up and working in Colonial India, Kipling created a vivid series of stories about the Indian Jungle that enraptured generations of readers. A masterful wordsmith, he created a Jungle that was both terrifyingly dangerous and intoxicatingly inviting. He populated this world with anthropomorphic animals in order to teach children lessons in respect and morality, with memorable characters like Bagheera, Baloo, Shere Khan, Raksha, Kaa and of course, Mowgli, the Man-Cub. Like many, I fondly remember having it read to me as a child, and to this day it’s one of my all-time favourite books. 

And also like many, I loved Disney’s animated 1967 take on the original story. It was an almost completely different beast from the original story, but it was a wonderful movie that, while lacking much of a plot, was nevertheless charming with it’s humour and its songs, and holds a special place in the hearts of millions of children and those like me who are children at heart. 

And now here we are, almost half a century on from Disney’s initial animated effort, and once again, after some slightly less than memorable live action remakes in the 90s, the Mouse House has unleashed upon the world yet another. But this one delivers. Guys, this one meets the hype. It’s freaking phenomenal. 

With game-changing, spectacular, photorealistic CGI and an impeccably picked cast, Jon Favreau delivers a marvelous adaptation of The Jungle Book for this generation - one that pays homage to it’s animated predecessor, draws thematic inspiration from its source material, all the while creating a compelling narrative of it’s own accord - which could very well be the definitive adaptation of Kipling’s timeless tale. 

There were numerous ways they could’ve screwed this one up. This film is the latest in a long line of live action remakes that Disney is recently producing of it’s animated classics. Some have been better than others. Maleficent, for example, despite a stellar performance from Angelina Jolie, was so obsessed with putting a contemporary spin on a well-known antagonist, and rewriting events in order to make the titular villain more sympathetic, that it was utterly devoid of the original Sleeping Beauty’s charm. The outrageous amount of CGI didn’t help matters either, and it ended up looking like a fake mess. Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland remake, meanwhile had issues with a meandering plot. Last year’s Cinderella, however, was a breath of fresh air. In deciding to make a faithful adaptation of the animated classic, Kenneth Branagh’s movie was received well by both critics and audiences.  

It’s thus that adapting the Jungle Book posed a tricky situation for Jon Favreau, and screenwriter Justin Marks. Had this movie been overly faithful to the 1967 animation, modern audiences would probably scoff at it. However nostalgically people remember talking animals singing about the Bare Necessities of life, a whimsical, live action musical with a lack of threat probably wouldn’t cut it. Too faithful to Kipling’s original text, and it would be considered too “dark and gritty” (as is all the rage today in Hollywood) for the typical Disney demographic. It would also probably lose the trademark Disney charm that people so fondly remember the original with. So what did they do? They combined the best of both worlds, of course, to great success. While setting a new bar for the standards of CGI in movies today. 

As charming as the 1967 version was, it had a very basic plot and lacked a good deal of narrative heft. As befitting the works of Walt Disney, it was very child-friendly, which it ought to have been. But as a result, stakes were significantly lowered. Shere Khan ran away from fire after being distracted by those Beatles vultures. Again, very cute and child friendly - which isn’t to say Favreau’s version isn’t for kids, because it certainly is. Show this to any child and I bet they’d be totally enraptured by what’s unfolding on-screen. But Justin Marks, using themes from Kipling’s novels, lends a great deal of gravitas to the screenplay, and gives more depth to characters like Shere Khan and make them genuinely evil. There’s nothing particularly horrifying, but certain sequences may have especially young children, under 10 perhaps, holding their parents hands. It’s totally fine though - using more “mature” themes allows the audience to feel a real sense of danger, as well as a more clear, concise, and centralized journey for Mowgli to undertake from the start of the film to the end, especially in comparison to the animated movie. The wolf mantra heard repetitively throughout the movie is taken from one of Kipling’s original poems from the books, and allows to solidify the movie’s messages of the strength in both individuality as well as companionship. 

Marks’ screenplay at different times changes the tonality of the movie from a humorous comedy, heartfelt emotional drama, to a thrilling revenge story, with the lush jungle as a backdrop. But remarkably, just like Kipling’s original story, these shifts in tonality don’t seem jarring at all. Scenes and sequences move smoothly from one to the other, and even the songs (the film includes “The Bare Necessities” and “I Wan’na be Like You” from the original - it would be sacrilegious if they didn’t).  which some people found to feel a little odd from the rest of the movie - I thought were spontaneous and added beautifully to the film. 

The CGI in this movie, truly, is breathtaking, and arguably the best in any movie I’ve ever seen. It’s ridiculous to believe that every tree, every leaf, every drop of water, every strand of hair on the animals’ body, was created on a computer. “Location shooting” wasn’t the vast Jungles of India. It was a studio in LA. It’s clear to see how painstaking the process must have been to the animators, but their hard work definitely paid off. I don’t think we’ve seen such a leap in CGI technology since Avatar in 2009 or Life of Pi in 2012. At times it definitely felt like I was watching a nature documentary, as opposed to a fictional fantasy story. There are even some shots where water would splash upon the camera lens, adding a great depth of depth and immersion to the cinematic experience. 

The cast was, as I previously mentioned, was impeccably picked. Ben Kingsley is wonderful as the stern but loving fatherly Bagheera, complete with his RP accent. Bill Murray is just perfect as the laid back and easy-going Baloo. There’s not many people who could’ve held a candle to Phil Harris and his original version of the “Bare Necessities”, but Murray rendition is just as brilliant. His role as Baloo is probably his best work in ages. Likewise is Christopher Walken’s King Louie, now a Gigantopithecus ape, since Louis Prima’s orangutan wasn’t native to India. And his cover of “I Wan’na Be Like You” is just perfect. His voice and accent fit the song so well. Lupita Nyong’o brings a warmth and motherly love to Raksha, and the seductive, dulcet tones of Scarlett Johansson’s Kaa really give you chills. As for the antagonist, the great Shere Khan, Idris Elba brings a menacing East London-accented gravitas to the iconic tiger. He’s a genuinely terrifying villain, and his interplay with Mowgli and delivery of lines has to be commended. There’s absolutely nothing to complain about the voice talent on display here. 

Which brings us to basically our only human character in the film, Neel Sethi’s Mowgli. This kid is just brilliant. He portrays Mowgli with just the right amount of naivete, enthusiasm, humor, heart, bravery, and cuteness. We watch or read the Jungle Book through the eyes of a child, and Neel is the perfect audience surrogate, reacting like we would with a child’s amazement and wonder at the extraordinary events happening around him. On the rare occasions that his delivery of lines may slip up, or his eyes are looking in another direction it’s important to keep in mind that he was a) only 10 years old during filming, and b) a kid with hardly any acting experience acting not along with other humans, but literally nothing but green screen and boxes and tennis balls. It’s extraordinary how he managed to carry the whole film by himself, and you can’t help but think that if they cast the wrong kid, the entire movie would’ve probably fallen flat on it’s face. There are seasoned adult actors who act in front of a green screen and come off as utterly wooden and lifeless. Neel knocked it out of the park. An incredibly talented young man, who I’m sure has great things ahead for him. 

I was initially hesitant about the idea of a live action remake of the Jungle Book, but safe to say I was more than satisfied with this film. It’s one of those rare movies that I can seriously find no serious fault with. If anything, I only wish we could see those Beatles tribute band Vultures in live action. Apparently Favreau even planned for Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr to appear as cameos, but sadly the scheduling didn’t work out. 

But the movie as a whole was spectacular - fantastic voice talent, brilliant photorealistic CGI, and a heartfelt, emotional narrative at it’s core. It’s a wonderful story for families, and is just 2 hours full of pure escapism. A massive well done to all the cast and crew. 

Rating: 5/5

All thoughts turn now to Andy Serkis and WB’s completely separate adaptation, Jungle Book, now since delayed from next October to October 2018. Set to be closer to the spirit of Kipling’s novel even more than this one, it’s hard not to get excited with talent such as Serkis, Christian Bale, Cate Blanchett, and Benedict Cumberbatch behind it. There’s also a sequel planned for this one, with the same creative talent returning, so it’s all the more reason to get excited, especially with the wealth of Kipling’s original stories left to adapt. But those are still a long way away, and for now, we can rest content with what I believe to be the most definitive adaptation of Kipling’s text. A masterpiece.  

In the older seasons of the show, Cartman had an equal amount of screen time as the other three main boys, and it’s actually quite common for people who are long time fans of any show to complain when the show takes a different direction to what they are used to.

Kyle was my favourite from the beginning, and in the earlier seasons he had a decent amount of screen time in every episode. No more or less than any other character. Now we get several episodes in a row in which he barely gets any lines, if any at all. And this can also be said for Stan and especially Kenny. Meanwhile Cartman gets episodes that center around him. After nothing but Cartman or Randy, it gets boring and repetitive. You can’t have a good show that only heavily focuses on two characters. Besides the show is SOUTH PARK. It’s about the TOWN.

When I hear people say things like “cartman IS the show” or “why do you watch it if you hate cartman” it completely cheapens the other characters, implies that they haven’t had any kind of impact on the show and are unimportant. Like honestly it’s almost insulting.

Really if you think that Cartman or Randy are the only thing that makes the show what it is and nothing else is important, maybe YOU need to ask yourself why you are watching the show.

10

American Horror Story: Freak Show Review

Everyone has a curiosity for the abnormal. As a species, we thrive on seeing oddities and exploring uncharted territory, discovering new things and being exposed to the unexplained. And us as humans are the source of that wonder, presenting some very interesting, and sometimes disturbing, results. So for the newest season of American Horror Story, what better than a combination of two immensely unsettling topics: the circus and human deformities. Enter the freak show, the newest subject of Ryan Murphy’s anthology horror series. But after the disappointment of Coven, can this newest addition redeem the series? In simple terms, most definitely.

American Horror Story: Freak Show takes place in Jupiter, Florida, set in 1952. Elsa Mars, played by Jessica Lange, is the owner of the last remaining freak show in the country. The business has dried up, and the public’s opinion towards freaks is less than positive. Struggling to survive, the freaks are delighted when two new members are brought to the show: Bette and Dot, twins with separate brains and sets of organs that share a single body. Excited at the prospect of new business, Elsa pampers the twins and tries to win over Dot, the more cynical and mistrusting of the two. But alas, tragedy quickly strikes the freak show. Now, against all odds the freaks must band together in the hardest of times as new enemies threaten their way of life, and more importantly, their survival. The plot is very solid, and opens up the door for all types of horrors, just like every season of the series. Throughout the season though, Freak Show holds its own the strongest since Asylum. From start to finish, an unfathomable amount of things happen, but it never feels cluttered or too fast paced. The story moves along at a perfect pace, although some stories can drag out a bit. Once resolved though, everything becomes fine and it doesn’t detract from the rest of the season.

American Horror Story has always excelled with its characters, and Freak Show is possibly the best example yet. Jessica Lange returns in graceful form for her final performance on the series as Elsa Mars, the leader and maternal figure to all the freaks. Out of all of her roles, Elsa is by far my favourite character that Lange has played. Maybe it’s because I relate with her desire to make it in show business, but there’s something entrancing about her. Lange always steals her scenes, but it feels even more amplified in Elsa, because her whole character is literally a show stealer. Elsa is an attention-seeking, over-dramatic manipulator, and what a character for Lange’s final role in the series.

Sarah Paulson plays a dual role as Bette and Dot, the conjoined twins. Considering Paulson’s talent, it should come as no surprise that she absolutely owns her roles, but Bette and Dot are definitely Paulson’s best characters out of all the seasons. The way the twin’s mentalities are explored is very intriguing, which gives Paulson gets a lot of room to expand her characters to their full potential. Evan Peters also does a fantastic job as Jimmy, the lobster boy. However, through Freak Show’s progression, I felt like Jimmy was the main character with the least progression. His character is practically identical from episode one to the finale, which is mainly where I felt the story could drag.

Newcomer to the series Finn Wittrock makes an absolutely mesmerizing performance as Dandy Mott, a spoiler mother’s boy who is completely deranged. Wittrock joins the ranks of Anthony Perkins, Christian Bale, and Michael C. Hall as a lovable psycho. Dandy is by far the most interesting character in all of Freak Show, and Wittrock put’s Lange’s scene stealing to shame. Any time he’s on screen, Wittrock owns the whole room and is impossible to turn away from. If he doesn’t come back for another season of the series, it will be a devastating loss, and Wittrock deserves tons more work.

My personal favourite addition from Coven, Emma Roberts, also returns as Maggie Esmerelda. She gives a good performance, but I feel her character was terribly underused, despite having some excellent moments. Michael Chiklis as Dell was probably my least favourite of the leads aside from Frances Conroy, who I’ve never seen to be very strong through all four seasons. Angela Bassett rides a very fine line for me between likable and cliché. On one hand, she has some very good scenes as her character develops, but then she also falls into the sassy black woman stereotype, which I’ve never found enduring. Denis O’Hare is absolutely revolting as Stanley, a detestable con man who works with Maggie. Despite me completely loathing his character, I can’t deny O’Hare plays him perfectly. Despite the character never growing, he’s exactly what the show needs him to be from beginning to end. Kathy Bates was as interesting to me as she was in Coven, which is very little. Despite her credit from Misery, I feel her talent is highly underused in the series. Finally, the supporting cast is full of excellent actors. From excellent guest roles for Neil Patrick Harris and Wes Bentley, to every performance from the actors as the variousfreaks. The supporting cast is used to full potential, which really helps build the wondrous world of the freak show.

The series has also always had great production value, but Freak Show blows all the other series away with the massive single set of the freak show, from the expanding camp ground to the glamorous tents. Every home, every car, every detail feels lifted straight out of the 1950’s which just adds to the already engrossing world Freak Show puts on display. Additionally, the music this season is particularly memorable, with Jessica Lange performing several anachronistic songs from David Bowie and Evan Peters doing a great cover of Nirvana’s “Come As You Are”. Even the atmospheric score is memorable, with many musical queues becoming running motifs that are instantly recognizable and exciting to hear time and time again, without fault.

The writing for Freak Show could go both ways, from very predictable and bland one episode, to completely shocking and exciting the next. Dialogue is fairly solid throughout, but characters could often go through development loops that felt very tedious. Regardless, the finale is absolutely spectacular. Not only for a season finale, but I feel like it could have acted as a series finale. Jessica Lange is sent off in spectacular and tear-worthy fashion, with all characters receiving satisfying ends to their long journeys. As far as finales go in American Horror Story, Freak Show’s was by far the best.

In the end, American Horror Story: Freak Show was the best season since Asylum, with Freak Show surpassing it in many regards. The story is very engaging, the acting is superb from many, despite some lacking performances. The writing was good throughout, regardless of some off episodes and lacking character development. And the production value sets a new standard for all following seasons to live up to. Despite the negatives, Freak Show may be the best season yet, and after such a high note, I’m very excited to see where Ryan Murphy takes the series next year.

*None of these gifs are mine*

uchisuke  asked:

Hey Audric! Haven't spoken to you in awhile ^_^ You may have answered something like this already (and if you have then you can just ignore me), but what do you think Kishi could've done better (or more of) that would've made the manga better? I want to know your thoughts :)

Whenever someone asks this, the first thing that always comes to my mind is that I feel that Kishi should have focused less on Naruto and Sasuke. It was almost as if the sheer amount of focus that was placed on those two essentially siphoned much needed and deserved attention away from other characters. They became God-tier ninjas and completely left their peers in the dust, gaining power up after power up, and some of them were just completely unnecessary. That’s one of the reasons why the Sasuke Retrieval arc was my favourite arc in the manga, because it was the final time when Naruto and Sasuke were shown as being on par with their peers, and they all had their moments in the spotlight.

Through his continuous power ups of Naruto and Sasuke, Kishi gave Naruto the Jesus no jutsu, allowing him to negate Gai’s inevitable death due to the use of the 8th gate, and also enabling him to restore Kakashi’s eye. Therefore, through one power up out of nowhere, Naruto surpassed Sakura in the field of healing, something which she had trained tirelessly for years in order to reach the level she had attained. Naruto eclipsed her in an instant. I just couldn’t accept that. While needlessly trying to make Naruto seem even more like a god, Kishi took a shit on so much of Sakura’s hard work. I’m sure he didn’t intend to do so, but it was careless. There was no need to give Naruto yet another ability out of nowhere. Why not give that power up to Sakura, you know, your main heroine who’s actually an expert in medical jutsu?


Another thing I feel as though he could have done differently was not make Naruto some super special “Child of Prophecy”. The story started off depicting him as a common nobody who prevails against the odds through hard work and perseverance. But then, you found out that:

  • His father was the 4th Hokage.
  • His mother was the previous Jinchuuriki for Kurama.
  • He was the “Child of Prophecy” according to the Toad Sages.
  • He was the reincarnation of Ashura.

And was therefore anything but just a common loser; Naruto’s heritage screamed elite, which I feel went against what he was originally being depicted as. And quite honestly, that was annoying. The common, untalented ninja who succeeded through hard work was one of the things that made a character like Lee so likeable, and Naruto was like that too, until Pt.2 changed that.


Now this next point kinda links with the first one. Because Naruto and Sasuke got so much attention, other characters didn’t get the attention they deserved, and one character in particular who got shafted really disappointed me:

When Anko was first introduced, she was instantly my favourite female character. She seemed like a really interesting, badass character with a troubled history, kind of like a toned down, female version of Sasuke. I felt as though she could have been that lone wolf, take no shit type of kunoichi, especially since she also had the Curse Seal. If Kishi had chosen to expand on that, we potentially could have had a story line where maybe Anko and Sasuke bonded over their Curse Seal troubles. Seeing as how they not only had similarities in personality, but they also had links with Orochmaru, it would have been really cool to see Anko acting as maybe a protective, big sister figure to Sasuke. The potential was definitely there.

This is why it was all the more disappointing when she was kind of just forgotten about. Anko wasn’t a character like for example Samui, who I’m sure the majority of fans remember for her chest alone. Anko had a lot of depth to her; she was literally a blank canvas full of possibilities due to her character and ties with very dynamic individuals (with my favourite possibility being stated above). But Kishi instead decided to throw the canvas away instead of allowing it to fulfill its vast potential.

Anko was never even shown activating the Curse Seal in the story. She even shared the same Seal as Sasuke, yet another similarity between them. Think about how cool it could’ve been to see her looking out for Sasuke and tutoring him in how to suppress the seal? (Or use/control it, depending on which Angle Kishi may have decided to go with).

It was stated that only 1 in 10 people survive the Seal adapting to your body. So why not show why Anko was part of that special 10%? Too much emphasis was placed on Naruto and Sasuke in the story. A lot of the excess spotlight could have been given to those characters who were deserving of more attention, and Anko was definitely one of them. Unfortunately, due to her severe lack of screen time, her position as my favourite female was usurped by Temari, Konan and Sakura respectively, but Anko always held my number 4 spot, solely for what could have been.


Ok so I went on a major Anko rant there, my apologies Olivia, lol. But you asking me this just reminded me of a few very irritating gripes I had with the story, not least of which was how much I loved Anko, and how disappointing it was to see such a potentially great character get shafted.

Scope Dogg’s Mecha Showcase: The King of Braves: GaoGaiGar

This is part of a series of reviews I plan on doing on various mecha franchises. The only rule is that I’m not touching the three franchises I think are the most well known (Gurren Lagann, Evangelion, Gundam) in an effort to spread the love towards some series that I feel fly somewhat under the radar for non-mecha fans. Any spoilers will only be very minor and will typically only concern the very beginning of the story.

Why you should watch it, in brief:

A bombast and flamboyant love letter to courage and bravery, featuring crazy visuals and grandiose action. A thrill ride that almost anyone can enjoy.

The setting:

Humanity is under threat from the Zonderians, a bizarre and malevolent faction of extraterrestrials who use an insidious material called Zonder Metal to transform humans dissatisfied with their lot in life into rampaging engines of destruction. Opposing them is the Gutsy Geoid Guard (Or 3G for short.) Their main assets are a mysterious mechanoid lion from space known as Galeon, and Guy Shishio, who became a cyborg following an near-fatal accident in space. Guy, Galeon, and 3G’s vehicular GaoMachines can fuse together in times of great need to become the ultra-powerful fighting mechanoid, GaoGaiGar. However, there is also the mystery of a young boy called Mamoru, who exhibits the strange and mysterious power to purify zonderized humans and restore them to normal. The origin of Mamoru’s power, of Galeon and the other pieces of strange alien technology that 3G relies upon, and of their alien adversaries slowly becomes clear as 3G battles to save the Earth from the Zonderian menace.

Why you should watch it, in full:

Before I go into the full review, I’d just like to issue a brief warning. My recommendation is to avoid watching GaoGaiGar if you suffer from epilepsy in any way. This is a great series, but Electric Soldier Porygon had yet to give out the memo regards what happens when you have a lot of flashing strobe lights and bright flashing colours in your animation. It eventually tails off, but in the first half and particular the earliest episodes there were scenes that left me with thumping headaches if I kept my eyes glued to the screen for too long - and I don’t even suffer from epilepsy. If you do, maybe it’s best that you steer clear, or at least take all necessary precautions. You have been warned.

When I was growing up, one of my favourite forms of media was the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers. I liked more or less everything about it, but I especially enjoyed the sequences near the end of each episode where the monster of the week would grow to an enormous size, forcing the rangers to break out their giant robot to take it down. I could watch the Megazord’s combination and transformation sequence dozens of times and never get tired of it.

If little me had known about GaoGaiGar, my mind would probably have been blown. More after the break.

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anonymous asked:

Why do you think people hate Stalia and Draeden so much? I'm not a fan of them either but just wondering why they get so much hate

Well first off, I’m not condoning any of the hate the characters receive (and even moreso the actresses, hate directed to them is unacceptable in my book, they’re just doing their job). Sadly, I think that a lot of the time, female characters - new female characters in particular - receive a disproportional amount of hate. But I don’t want to address that, it’s a rant for another day.

When it comes to Stalia and Draeden in particular, I think it’s pretty straight forward. People tend to complain that fans react negatively to Stalia and Draeden primarily due to shipping, but I don’t think that’s entirely it. I think it’s a bit more complex, and something very specific about Stalia and Draeden that people react negatively to. As viewers, we follow characters on their journeys very closely. We watch them struggle and develop, we learn and see things about them that other characters, even their close friends/family, never witness. That’s why shipping between well established characters in the canon is much more common than shipping between a well established character x a newbie. I doubt very much that Lydia/Derek would get half the flak Stalia has received, and that’s because we as viewers share a bond with both characters. When Stalia was introduced, it was during Stiles’ most vulnerable moment. I won’t go into the Eichen House basement scene here, because it’s been discussed enough - it’s not a comfortable scene, and I don’t think it was ever meant to be. When the show started off in s4, Stalia kicked off immediately - we didn’t have much chance to get to know Malia as a character separately, or the build up to she and Stiles, so our relationship with the pairing is very much one-sided, because we have a stronger understanding of Stiles. With Draeden, we have a similar deal - Braeden enters Derek’s life and point blank tells him she knows him. I think a lot of viewers react negatively to that, because we’ve sat through Derek’s character development and all the wank he’s been through, watched him forge painfully slow relationships with other characters. So when a new character whom we know so little about (and therefore have less of an attachment to), implies they know this main character better than anyone, I think it’s pretty natural that the reaction tends to be confusion, irritation and jealousy - both on the viewer’s behalf and on the behalf of all the other characters who we’ve watched Derek develop tentative relationships with. It feels a little like being told, “You will like this thing, because person X knows person Y better than anyone. No you don’t know why, just go with it. Enjoy it.”

I think the very different reaction to Scira is most telling. Let’s not forget Scallison was (and probably still is) a fan favourite. I think it comes close after Sterek on ao3. So why didn’t it receive the amount of hate Stalia and Draeden got? I honestly believe it’s due to the way Kira was introduced - we saw moments of her home life, her individuality, her adorable quirks and awkwardness, her growing crush on Scott, and crucially we got a chance to sympathise with her.  Similarly, Parrish/Lydia seem to be heading towards something next season - Parrish has been around since 3a, had a fair bit of screen time and we know him as a separate entity from Lydia. That’s how you sail a ship in canon, get the viewers to know and empathise with both parties. But I also believe the writers are well aware of that. I haven’t an issue with Draeden or Stalia, because I think they were/are important for plot as it currently stands. But I don’t think either were designed to be loved in the same way Scallison, Stydia, Marrish, Sterek or Scira are.