The Velvet Underground and Nico, released 50 years ago tomorrow (there is actually some disagreement on the exact date), is the definitive way-ahead-of-its-time album. With a near-peerless collection of songs — nearly all written by frontman Lou Reed — and an iconic, banana-sticker cover designed by band benefactor Andy Warhol, this jarring and innovative collection was initially a cult success at best, with no hit singles and a “peak” of No. 171 on Billboard’s albums chart in December 1967. But the world eventually caught up with it, and for the past 30 years it’s had perennial placement on best-ever lists, including No. 13 on Rolling Stone’s 2012 “500 Greatest Albums of All Time” tally.
It’s the first album to truly combine a novelist’s gritty realism with equally confrontational rock music, yet it’s also a fount of soft, vulnerable songs like “Femme Fatale” and “I’ll Be Your Mirror” — songs that are all the more poignant because you can sense, somehow, that the sensitive soul who wrote them is also kind of an asshole.
Still, it was initially considered a commercial failure, selling approximately 60,000 copies in its first two years — not bad, but no More of The Monkees. This was due partially to a legally induced (more on that shortly) factory recall that removed the album from shelves just as its Warhol-driven publicity was peaking. But that certainly wasn’t the only challenge to its commercial prospects; the group’s ensuing albums met an even more dismal commercial fate, and a disillusioned Reed left the band in August, 1970. Despite his solo success, The Velvets’ catalog gradually slipped out of print over the next few years.
The Velvets gradually assumed their proper, lofty place in rock history, their oeuvre was reissued in the U.S. in 1984 (although The Velvet Underground and Nico’s cover was a single-sleeve reduction of the original gatefold with a printed banana instead of a sticker). Thus another generation of obsessives was spawned. And on and on.
Yet the most atypical obsession of those five decades may be that of veteran music publicist and longtime Velvets fan Mark Satlof, who collects original pressings of the album. He owns more than 800 of them – he’s actually not sure exactly how many – which are neatly filed on shelves in his study. They account for an estimated 1 percent of all copies manufactured in the U.S. before March 1969.
Come, Thou fount of every blessing,
Tune my heart to sing Thy grace,
Streams of mercy, never ceasing,
Call for songs of loudest praise.
While the hope of endless glory
Fills my heart with joy and love,
Teach me ever to adore Thee,
May I still Thy goodness prove.
Here I raise my Ebenezer,
Hither by Thy help I’ve come,
And I hope, by Thy good pleasure,
Safely to arrive at home.
Jesus sought me when a stranger,
Wandering from the fold of God,
He, to rescue me from danger,
Interposed His precious blood.
Oh, to grace how great a debtor
Daily I’m constrained to be,
Let that grace now like a fetter
Bind my wandering heart to Thee:
Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it,
Prone to leave the God I love.
Here’s my heart, oh, take and seal it,
Seal it for Thy courts above.
Oh, that day when freed from sinning,
I shall see Thy lovely face,
Clothed then in the blood washed linen
How I’ll sing Thy wondrous grace!
Come, my Lord, no longer tarry,
Take my ransomed soul away,
Send Thine angels soon to carry
Me to realms of endless day.
DAI How would the companions and advisors react to the inquisitor getting a mabari? (I was heartbroken there were none in the game.)
(I made it a puppy– it couldn’t be helped.)
Cassandra: After all her travels in Ferelden on her duties as a Seeker, Cassandra understands what an honor it is to have a mabari bond. The fact that the Inquisitor was deserving of one only confirms her opinion of them. And while she will never let a soul know she thinks they are the cutest thing she’s ever seen, and indulges in ruffling and the occasional snuggle when no one is looking.
Solas: Loyalty is an admirable element in any creature, and just because it comes from a dog is no reason to disdain it. Solas finds the mabari a noble creature, and approves of their choice of companion. There is perhaps less admiration if he finds them teething on one of his brushes, but he’s always gentle when he places them outside the rotunda again.
Varric: The first thing he wants to do is teach them diamondback– many an evening was spent playing with Hawke’s Mabari and there are good memories. But the puppy is far more interested in his manuscripts and boots and all other chewable things. The dwarf might even have been angry– but no one had puppy eyes quite like a puppy, and so instead he always ends up petting them and returning them to the Inquisitors quarters with empty threats to write them as a cat in his next book.
Sera: Beneath every other title or description that Sera might have, she is Ferelden at heart. And that means she immiediately falls in love with the mabari. Her respect for the Inquisitor is completely affirmed, and she tries to recruit the puppy to mayhem. If they are too young yet she finds them a red bandanna and declares her an honorary Jenny.
Blackwall: He first finds the puppy rolling around in the sawdust and wood shavings in the barn, and despite the fact that he stays there for isolation the warrior can’t help but grin. A sturdy beam is sacrificed as a tug toy, and pleasant afternoon routine is established. The dog is loyal, always abandoning the toy if the inquisitor comes by looking, and Blackwall respects both the puppy and inquisitor all the more for it.
Vivienne: She tries to avoid it. Dogs-particularly war dogs- are prone to destruction and mess, which are not things she is fond of. But the puppy is adorable and spends so long trying to struggle up the steps to investigate her that she doesn’t have the heart to banish them. If in time the Inquisitor notices that the puppy vanishes a few evenings a week, only to come back with the occasional jeweled collar and suspiciously steak colored stains on their muzzle they are smart enough not to comment.
Iron Bull: He thinks its adorable, and there is no getting around it. The mabari becomes an official member of the Chargers when they are not with the Inquisitor. All the Chargers dote on them but Bull is undoubtably the worst. As the puppy grows He helps train dog and master, and relishes in the occasional face kisses this brings.
Dorian: The Mabari were once a Tevinter breed, and before Dorian met the puppy he might have said that the Ferelden’s got the raw side of the deal. But the immediate intelligence is made clear, and that more than anything else is what opens his mind to them. If the puppy follows the Inquisitor in the library Dorian will sacrifice his lap for snuggles and and allow the puppy to clamber over his chair to look out the window.
Lelianna: The puppy reminds her immediately of Dog, and when the Inquisitor brings them back from wherever they came from the spymaster drops all her masks and swoops down to cuddle the dog to her chest. They are fast friends, and Lelianna immediately offers to find the best trainers and materials that the Inquisitor needs, all the while planning on introducing the mabari to Schmupples the 2nd.
Josephine: Apart from the puppy’s absolute adorable appearance- so fluffy!- Josephine can absolutely see the political advantages of it. Suddenly every teryn and Arl in Ferelden will want to meet the Inquisitor and their loyal mabari, and that can only make their job easier. Also the puppy sometimes falls asleep with their head on her feet, and it is the cutest thing ever.
Cullen: Someone tells him that the Inquisitor has bonded with a Mabari, and his entire world changes. The clouds part, the sun shines through, and the commander of the inquisitions forces turns into a child eager for Wintersend. He is a fount of information for the Inquisitor, and at last they ask him to watch the puppy when they have to be called away. It is one of the happiest days of his lives, and he immediately finds a basket and fills it with soft flannels and pillows as a bed. Of course the puppy spends most of their time in his lap, curling up with him in his bed at night. And the commander knows in his heart that the dog is not his- is not ultimately loyal to him and he does not have it’s heart- but the presence of the puppy is a balm nonetheless.
I felt like Cato was being extra when that guy asked him if moneylending was ok and he responded with “What about murder?”. I was like “Dude chill. You could have just responded with something about farming like you did tons of times before he asked you that question.”
The Ghost Zone, though never a welcome sight for Danny, had become a regular sight for him. A number of ghosts still didn’t like him, and at least one still wanted his head on a wall mount, but he’d made a few good friends with others, friends he wanted to keep. Having ghost friends was a good idea, especially when you were a fourteen-year-old hero who needed help fighting and studying on a regular basis.
Today he was visiting Clockwork for help studying for a test. While Danny did actually have free time today, he figured he’d ask for some extra time just in case a ghost popped up in Amity Park later. And perhaps some free test answers, though he doubted Clockwork would actually let him cheat.
Danny floated to a halt and knocked on the large wood door to the clock tower. When there was no immediate answer, Danny arched an eyebrow. “Clockwork?” It wasn’t like the time ghost to not be, well, timely. He should have known Danny was coming. So why wasn’t he answering? Was something wrong?
He’d been about to knock again when the door opened just enough for Danny to squeeze inside. Inside the vast main room, there were gears, clocks, and screens all around, but no Clockwork. Danny called his name again.
Then a whistle from high above caught Danny’s attention. Far above him, barely a foot from the cavernous ceiling, was a small railroad that looked to pass through other rooms of the tower. The whistling continued in a song-like rhythm as a little train that had obviously been styled by the ghost that had designed the clock tower made its way into the room, carrying something.
Danny flew up beside the railroad to see what it was. To his surprise, it was Clockwork in his child form, riding the little train. “Clockwork?” Danny said, completely puzzled. Why was he riding a toy train? Wouldn’t flying down have been faster? “What are you doing?”
Clockwork held out his staff. The little train paused its chugging. Then he looked over at Danny and answered with, “Growing old is mandatory. Growing up is optional.” Clockwork promptly pulled out a pair of sunglasses, put them on, and continued looking forward. The train began chugging along once more.
A short comic because I rediscovered The Magic Flute recently, and the parallels between it and the Sun and Moon plot were too good to pass up.
Plus I wanted to do something for my favourite Alola characters. Hau’s such a great guy - just this endless fount of positivity and joie de vivre. (Hell, he’s excited to lose to you!) He embodies this idea that life is an adventure, and you’re the hero who has to grow and learn in it.
Be brave, be defiant, be happy; because life is far more epic than you think it is.
BTS reaction to finding out you have a secret tattoo.
He would initially be slightly offended you would mark your beautiful skin so permanently but before you even had the chance to show him he would already have fallen in love with it. He’d lay there with your shirt pushed up and trace the marks.
“Its beautiful. Just like you.”
He couldn’t care less about you having a tattoo, in fact it kind turned him on knowing there was something on your body only he knew about and any time in the future if you were to wear something where there was a chance someone else would see it he would beg you to change.
“Thats for my eyes only.”
Namjoon would love it and every time you two were alone he would want you to be stripped down into your underwear so every time he looked at you your cute little tattoo would flash him. When you weren’t alone he would run his hand under your shirt to let his fingers graze over the spot. He would also tease you to get his name tattooed on your skin as well.
“Well whats the difference between that and my name?”
Hoseok saw your tattoo before you could tell him about it and for the next week you had to endure tattoo related jokes as he hinted to you that he knew. When he fount out you purposely showed him he felt like an idiot and made you show him and tell you why you got it.
“Careful Jagiya, if you get that on your skin it might be… permanent.”
Jimin wouldn’t say anything, instead he would just marvel at it like Jin would. He would, though, make jokes in front of people to tease you since no one else but him knew. If they boys ever caught on though he would defend you and say it isn’t true.
“I see her naked all the time, if she had a tattoo i think id know.”
Tae couldn’t keep it a secret. You would show him and he would scream in excitement as you lifted your shirt to the point where who ever was in the dorm would come running to make sure he hadn’t fallen and broken something. He’d be so shook you had been able to hide that from him that when the boys asked why he was on the floor in front of you all he could do was laugh and point at the area where the tattoo was. When the boys would ask again he’d hug your waist and yell “None of your business!” but put you down and said it anyways. “I can’t believe you have a tattoo!”
Kook would see it by accident, you were too worried he’d hate it if he knew. He’d walk in to see you fresh out of the shower and as you covered yourself and turned your back his eyes would get wide and he’d stare intently at the tattoo that kissed your shoulder. You’d cussed under your breath, too embarrassed at the fact you were caught off guard and naked that you forgot about the tattoo. He’d walk up to you and graze his fingers over it, glad that there was no scarring to go along with it. “Why didnt you tell me?” He asked sweetly. “I didnt think you’d like it.” “Jagi, I love it
💞 Hmm. What about Junkrat and Genji and Reinhardt seeing they're s/o sleeping with teddy bears? That would be cute wouldn't it? 💞
oh my god thats very cute
Junkrat wouldn’t think much of it. He’s used to Roadhog’s pachimari anyway (Roadhog tried to keep it secret but Junkrat fount out anyway). He’d be a bit jealous, though. After all, you’d cuddle the teddy bear(s) instead of him! He’d probably pull your teddy bear away during the night and replace it with himself
Genji would maybe tease you a bit, but he wouldn’t try to hurt you. You’d teasingly offer him the teddy bear and he’d say he doesn’t need it… Until you catch him one night, with the teddy bear in his arms.
Reinhardt is very happy! You’re like a teddy bear to him so now you have one too! He’d lay behind you, holding you in a spooning position while you hold your teddy bear the same way. If you’re gone on a mission, he’d probably hold the teddy bear ‘to keep it warm for you’
Do you know of any kinds of mermaids or sirens or other sea dwellers in Norse myth? (If there's two things I love, it's mermaids and Norse myth)
Off the top of my head, I cannot think of specific mermaids in Norse mythology. I can, however, recall that there is a Danish fairytale from which Disney made “The Little Mermaid,” and that is called the same thing in Danish: Den lille havfrue. You can read a translation of that for free by following the link.
Yet, there are plenty of sea-related beings and figures in Norse mythology. I am not familiar with specific creatures, like mermaids or sirens, but there are a lot of figures who may fit those roles. After all, Scandinavia has always been a place that had close connection with seafaring. I won’t be able to cover them all, but I can speak of and mention a few of these sea-related figures, at the very least.
As for my sources, you may see them below. All the page numbers listed throughout this post correspond to footnote 1.(1.)
I will start with the major figures, which are two gods that have very strong connections to the sea. There may be others, but I will just limit the discussion to those which are most prominently sea-based. The two gods that I speak of are Njörðr (Njord) and Ægir.
Njord is a Vanir, and he is mentioned by Snorri more directly (that is, not just in the Skáldskaparmál section). Here is what is said about him:
“He lives in heaven in a place called Noatun (Enclosure of Ships). He rules over the motion of wind and moderates sea and fire. It is to him one must pray for voyages and fishing. He is so rich and wealthy that he can grant wealth of lands or possessions to those who pray to him for this.” (23)
There is more about him later in this text, in a section called Skáldskaparmál, which is about poetic dictation:
“How should Njord be referred to? By calling him the god of chariots or descendant of Vanir or a Van and father of Freyr and Freyja, the giving god.”(75)
I tend to see Njord as pertaining more to the riches of the sea. In other words, he, perhaps, represents the reward that the sea offers people; control of the sea and its resources would bring great wealth.
There is more, but that mostly pertains to how he came to be included among the Æsir, or other stories that he is a part of, but not playing a central role in. Ægir on the other hand, of whom we will shortly speak, is perhaps even more associated with the ocean than Njord.
Ægir (Also called Hler or Gymir):
He is generally considered to be the god of the sea, and he is best known for his feast with the Æsir (which goes badly thanks to an eagle that was actually a giant). Him and another god, one named Bragi, talk in great length about the details of poetry. Anyway, Ægir lives on an island, according to Skáldskaparmál, which is called Hlesey. For the most part, Ægir seems to play more of an ‘asker’ role in this text, asking Bragi questions and providing an opportunity for an explanation that will help the reader learn about poetics and mythology.
Although Snorri (the author of this source I am discussing) kind of negates Ægir’s role quite a bit, once we look into the ways that the sea itself can be poetically referred to, it is obvious that he has strong connections with the sea.
Ægir is actually used as a personification for the ocean or sea at times. Note that these are where his three names come from. For example, this is from Skáldskaparmál:
“What terms for sea are there? It is called mere, ocean (ægir), engulfer (gymir), roarer (hler), main, road, depth, salt, water, swell.” (139)
To quote the poet Arnor:
“Let the court learn how the keen-spirited king of earls pursued the sea, the irresistible prince did not cease to oppose the ocean.” (139)
To quote the poet Ref:
“Gymir’s spray-cold spae-wife (Ran) often brings the twisted-rope-bear (ship) in Ægir’s (Ocean’s) jaws when the wave breaks.” (91)
Here, too, is a portion of a poem in Old Norse containing a reference to Ægir as the ocean:
Alfas began verr ægis ítr báls haai málu;
The splendid hater of the fire of the sea (he who likes to rid himself of gold, the generous prince) defend the beloved pf the enemy of the wolf (Odin’s wife Jord-earth or land); (168)
Furthermore, Ægir has nine daughters with his wife Ran. Here are their names:
Kolga (Cold One)
Ran (Ægir’s wife):
I am doing this an edit, so I shouldn’t really do too much to change the original post (since some won’t see the edits), but Ran should be considered on her own and not always associated through Ægir. After all, she is considered to be a goddess in her own right, so she ought to be given that respect.
@bewareimfrench suggested that Ran could be a suitable candidate for a mermaid, and that honestly may not be a far stretch because she is equally as associated with the ocean as Ægir is. Here is a poem of her personified:
Segl skekr of hlyn–Huglar– (hvast drífa skip) rasta, en föll–of gram–Gylli grunn (djúp) hata unna. Né Rán viðr hafhreinum háraust–skapar flaustum– (hrönn fyrir húfi þunnum heil klofnar) frið–deilu.
Sail shake above the prince on the current-maple (ship); tall ships drive keenly; the shallows near Hugl are dangerous to the waves’ horse (ship). Noisy Ran does not create peace for the sea-deer (ships); she causes conflict for cruisers, the entire wave breaks before the slender bow. (180)
I must say, though, that she is not an evil figure, even though that poem may seem a bit negative. It does show, however, that she has considerable power.
There is also Jormungandr (also called the Midgard Serpent):
Jormungandr is a giant serpent who is a child of Loki’s and the giantess Angrboda. This is said about Jormungandr:
“…[Odin] threw the serpent into that deep sea which lies round all lands, and this serpent grew so that it lies in the midst of the ocean encircling all lands and bites on its own tail.” (27)
Jormungandr is involved in a few stories, such as being magically disguised as a giant’s cat that Thor could not pick up or also Thor’s fishing trip with a giant named Hymir. Jormungandr is often used poetically to refer to both Thor (because Jormungandr is arguably Thor’s greatest foe, besides giants in general) and Loki (the father of such a creature).
There are also figures known as Sea-Kings and these are their names:
I believe that most of these names don’t refer to actual deities, but rather famous semi-historical figures (namely Vikings) that came to be used to refer to the ocean and sea. A Viking, after all, is a king of the sea, for it is the sea that guide a Viking to treasure and wealth (and perhaps Njord guides them to this as well, since it is treasure they seek).
“Atli, Frodi, Ali, Glammi, Beiti, Ati and Beimuni, Audmund, Gudmund, Atal and Gestil, Geitir, Gauti, Gylfi, Svendi.
Gæir, Eynef, Gaupi and Endil, Skekkil, Ekkil, Skefil and Solvi, Half and Hemlir, Harek and Gor, Hagbard, Haki, Hraudnir, Meiti.
Hiorolf and Hraudung, Hogni, Mysing, Hunding, Hviting, Heiti, Mævil, Hialmar, Moir, Hæmir, Mævi, Rodi, Rakni, Rer and Leifi.
Virfil, Vinnil, Vandil, Solsi, Gautrek and Hun, Giuki, Budli, Homar, Hnefi, Horvi, Sorvi. I can see no more sea-kings.”(155)
These name often appear in poetry, especially in Icelandic sagas. Here is an example from Brennu-Njáls saga, and now you will understand the reference (I have bolden their names):
The shaping gods drove ashore the ship of the keeper of bells (Thangbrand); the slayer of the son of the giantess (Thor) smashed Bison on the sea-gull’s rest (sea); no help came from Christ when the sea’s horse (ship) was crushed; I don’t think God was guarding Gylfi’s reindeer (ship) at all.
Thor drove Thangbrand’s beast (ship) of Thvinnil far from its place; he shook and shattered the ship and slammed it ashore; never will that oak (ship) of Atal’s field be up to sea-faring again; the storm, sent by him (Thor), smashed it so hard into bits. (2.)
And lastly, these are the various ways to which the sea or ocean can be referred to, poetically speaking (Kennings).
Most we have discussed in some manner, but such references give interesting insight into the figures of Norse mythology that are actually associated with the sea (I have bolded names of personified figures):
“How shall sea be referred to? By calling it Ymir’s blood, visitor to the gods (Ægir), husband of Ran (Ægir), father of Ægir’s daughters (Ægir),…, land of Ran and of Ægir’s daughters and of ships and of terms for sea-ship, of keel, steam, planks, strake, of fish, ice, sea-kings’ way and roads, no less ring of the islands, house of the sands and seaweed and skerries, land of the fighting-tackle and of sea-birds, of sailing wind.” (91)
“What terms for sea are there? It is called mere, ocean (ægir), engulfer (Gymir), roarer (Hler), main, road, depth, salt, water, swell.” (139)
“Sea, every-lying, salt, ocean (Ægir), main, wetness, swim, flat one, dead calm and bay, resounding, overhang, emptiness, brawler, rocker and mere, sucker, suck, same, swallower, maelstrom and fjord.
Sound, creek, good passage, fluid and expanse, tempest, depth, breaker, dark, flood and surf, swell sparkler, engulfer (Gymir) and flower, rumbler and unquiet, surge, fen, snatcher.
Crashing, wake, league, fishing-ground, inlet and fishing-bank, water, deep and submersion, cove, tarn and canal, storm, ditch, pool, current, stream and brook, channel, spring, fount, eddy, waterfall and firth.
Herfring (lifting), roller, white one and offing, Hronn (wave), Ran (plunderer), Kolga (cold one) and Himinglæva (heaven-bright), Drofn (comber), Unn (wave) and sweller, Dufa (dip), Bylgia (billow), shoal and bore, Bloughadda (bloody-haired). (160-1)
Of course, I have by no means have covered everything (even what I have covered is only a summary of what is actually said), but that should give you more than enough of an idea about the role of the sea, and related figures/ creatures, in Norse mythology. I hope this has been interesting! I enjoyed researching the information for you.
Vera vitur og reika langt. (Be wise and wander far.)
2. Robert Cook trans., Brennu-Njáls saga, in The Complete Sagas of Icelanders, vol. 3, edited by Viðar Hreinsson, Robert Cook, Terry Gunnell, Keneva Kunz, and Bernard Scudder. (Reykjavík: Leifur Eiríksson Publishing, 1997), 125.