You know, it is entirely possible that in this scene, Steve feels the hammer shift…and stops straining. Maybe he knows that yes, he is worthy of Mjolnir, but doesn’t pick it up…
Because he doesn’t want or need the power the hammer can give him. He doesn’t want to rule Asgard. Being Captain America is enough.
Or because he knows that if he picks the hammer up, his friends will never see him the same way again. Steve has always been Captain America, the protector of the weak, the voice for those who can’t speak and the leader who sees his soldiers as friends. If he could wield Mjolnir he would be known as more than that. So much more. He would be able to bring down all the wrath of Asgard if he picked it up. But more importantly, his friends would look on him in awe, rather than as besties. They could never make conversation with him in the same way. Thor has always had the hammer, always been godly and noble, but if Steve, and only Steve, could pick up the hammer then they might resent him, might think that he’s better than them, Thor most of all. It would have started the Civil War earlier.
At heart Steve has always wanted peace, which was why he enlisted in the war. He wants to be with people who trust him and support him, and at the end of the day all he really needs is some time to kick back and have a chat with his friends and relax after a long day of being Captain America.
Things he’ll never have if everyone knew he could hold Thor’s hammer.
Okay so it’s 100% logical to say that Sirius would take Remus’ last name if they got married bc he hated his family and everything they stood for and would also just be generally proud to carry the Lupin name
But I’ve always imagined that Remus would take Sirius’ last name and let me tell you why
Sirius and Regulus are the last two to carry the Black family name, so basically the entire future legacy of the Black family is all on the two of them completely
So wouldn’t it just be great if Sirius “tainted” that line by marrying Remus and making him a Black? Like imagine how angry the purebloods would be if a poor half-blood werewolf carried the “noble and most ancient” Black family name.
And then wouldn’t it be great if Sirius and Remus adopted children without any regard for blood-status or anything else and then those children also went on to carry the Black family name? And then those children would then have children who would then have children etc.
Wouldn’t it just be great if Sirius single-handedly ruined centuries-long work of keeping the bloodline “clean” and made the Black family name something to be proud of?
(And also tbh do yall really think Remus would want to continue to be Werewolf McWerewolf for the rest of his life if he could help it?)
Andreil meet when they get dragged into a bar fight and somehow end up in jail together 😇
When it comes to fight or flight, Neil has spent almost all of his life picking the latter. Except on an exy court, but even there, if he can get away from someone without getting hit, that is definitely the option he’s going with.
Which is why when he finds himself getting dragged away from a brawl, cuffed, tossed in the back of a police car, and driven to jail, it feels a little bit surreal.
He doesn’t even drink. He was at the club in the first place because Matt turned twenty-six at midnight and wanted to celebrate at a night out with all his friends. Most of them were drunk. Neil was not.
So he doesn’t have that as an excuse.
Still: his causes were noble, even if his actions weren’t. And his personal moral philosophy has always been strictly on the side of “ends justify the means,” especially if the ends are keeping his drunk best friend from getting robbed on the floor of a nightclub by a couple of guys twice Neil’s size.
Matt is pretty good in a fight most of the time, but drunk and concussed, he’s not much help. Neil took on all three of the guys on his own anyway—his job being, after all, at least partially just fighting people—and was about to lose very badly when a stranger joined in.
Neil didn’t expect the stranger to be on his side. The stranger was.
And now they’re in the back of a cop car together.
In my setting, there are people with fire magic who can heat up metal till it's red hot and basically fry people wearing armor. Would it be believable to have metal armor not have become a thing? Or would people have just found ways to eliminate the fire mages?
It would depend on a few things. How effective is the ability? How common
are the mages? What kind of precautions could negate this ability? What else can you do with this?
We’ve talked about how you build armor around the threats you’re most likely
to encounter while using it. If this is an extremely common ability, and one
that can affect entire groups of enemies at once, then, yes, it would seriously
affect the role of metal in combat. Though, it might not mean abandoning metals
So, let’s pick apart those questions and talk about what the mean for your
setting, and your question.
The biggest question is about how well the abilities work. Both the speed of
the ability, and its scale will directly affect how the ability needs to be dealt
with, if it does at all. If it’s on a large scale, torching an entire army at
once, for example, then the casting time (or the speed that the spell heats
metal) only matters if it’s long enough to find and kill the caster.
If the scale is small, one or two people, then the biggest threat would
(probably) be during combat. In that context, we’re back to kill the mage. This
is especially true if the mage needs to be in direct contact to make it work.
Even if they can simply zap whomever they see, they’d be limited to an area
denial role. That is to say, they could prevent hostile forces from rushing
corridors or streets that they’re watching. This also assumes there’s little to
no strain on the mage. If casting this is a strenuous action, and they’re
limited to a couple of zaps, it’s entirely possible they wouldn’t affect
warfare much at all.
If fire mages are exceedingly rare, either because it takes years of
dedicated training, because most people simply don’t have the ability, or
because mages suffer serious attrition during training, that means even large
scale burns won’t affect much.
Think about it this way, if there are five people on your world who can
instantly charbroil an enemy army in their own gear, that’s simply a threat to
be carefully tracked, and neutralized, before you start a battle.
As you add more (and the abilities become more common) it becomes harder to
keep track of enemy mages until you get to the point where it’s functionally
impossible to track them individually. Depending on your setting, that number
could actually get pretty high before you reach that point.
Also, with larger numbers, the smaller scale versions of the ability would
have more of a chance to affect how warfare works. If you’re able to field one
or two mages in your average army, and their primary role is as snipers, that’s
not going to affect how people fight, for the most part. (Though, it could,
seriously, alter how nobles behaved on the battlefield, or even if they’re
present at all.) But, if you can field entire squads of pyromantic infantry,
then those small, “reach out and torch someone,” abilities become a lot more
threatening. At that point, eliminating them before the fight is basically
impossible, so your setting would need ways to deal with them in the moment.
The hard part about introducing magic to a setting is establishing its
rules. To an extent, you need to build an entire set of metaphyics for why
magic works the way it does, before you start getting into specific abilities.
In the absence of that, you have a setting where people will (or, should) work
to counter the threats they face, and magic becomes the convenient answer for
all of life’s problems.
With fantasy, this isn’t automatically a problem, but it is something you
need to keep in mind, when you’re building your world. Look for systems to limit
how your magic works, and what it can do. Or, be ready for a setting that is
very difficult to work with, because the answer can always be, “magic.”
People are creative. When faced with the prospect of being cooked to death
by an enemy mage, the immediate solution is to find a way to prevent that, or preemptively
return the favor. This could be as simple as booby-trapping your soldiers (or
their gear) with spells that will redirect pryomantic magic back at the caster,
or enchanting their gear with some kind of thermal negation effect, so when the
pyromancers try to flash fry them, all they manage to do is give their foes
flaming weapons and armor.
This could also lead to armies making extensive use of divination, allowing them
to better track enemy mages. Which in turn would lead to mages looking for ways
to create decoys, moving around forces that don’t exist, in an effort to
confuse anyone scrying for them.
It could also result in the creation and enhancement of other materials that
are magically immune to pyromancy, or made from something the pyromancers can’t
affect. Such as impossibly durable resins, or unmelting, super-hard ice plates.
It’s also worth realizing that these kinds of powers would radically change
the way metallurgy developed as a technology. When you have mages that can replicate
forge technology that wouldn’t “naturally” exist for centuries. There’s a lot
of potential for changing the way it evolves. You could very easily see much
higher quality steels than the real world ever produced in its analogous era,
and potentially even alloys that simply aren’t possible in the real world. I’m
not sure what 12th century battlefields would have looked like with space age
alloys, but it’s not outside the range of possibility for your setting.
Especially if your pyromancers can participate in the refinement process as
well. This also leads to the potential that they may have materials that are
centuries ahead of their technology, (because magic allows them to work with
the mater directly).
When you’re creating a world, and you come up with an idea, usually, the
best thing to do after that is sit there, and see if you can find all the ways
people would react to it. An ability like being able to instantly heat metal to
forging temperatures would be dangerous in combat, but it would also have many other potential applications.
Hoping the ask box is still open! Could you do DAI companions and advisors reacting to the news that the inquisitors spouse and child were killed in the conclave even though the inquisitor acts so calm and collected? Bonus for romanced
Cassandra Pentaghast - When she finds out she apologizes immediately for her behavior. She had lost the divine, but they had lost so much more. The Inquisitor just gives her an icy brush off, telling her she is forgiven, and that they had other things to worry about now. After that, she tries her best to be their friend, not pushing the subject ever again, but letting it be known she’s there to talk whenever they need it. (Romanced) She’s a lot more hesitant going in. She does not want to be a rebound, or used. But she knows for a fact she loves him, so one day, she brings it up. As the Inquisitor slowly starts to open up about it, she would be there to comfort him during the more emotional parts, glad he is no longer internalizing their pain.
Solas - He finds out much later, and feels he doesn’t have a right to say anything on the matter to them, not when he knows it’s his fault. They are not close, practically strangers, though perhaps if they seemed upset he would offer condolences. But the strange thing was that they didn’t seem upset at all. If the subject was brought up, it was dismissed immediately. He doesn’t say much to them even after becoming friends, but in the fade, where they do not, can not hide their pain, he wards off demons who would take advantage. (Romanced) When approaching the subject, it is in the fade, somewhere scenic and peaceful. He tells her she does not have to say anything if she is not comfortable yet. He comforts her through it. Though, he did not do this entirely for her benefit. He may be doing it to punish himself, to remind him how much he has taken from the woman he loves and how much he’s going to take after.
Varric - He finds out later, and as soon as he sees them, he offers his condolences and asks if they need anything. Their lack of misery…is a bit off putting. Losing his brother had hurt, and losing Bianca hurt even more. Losing a child seemed devastating. He’d keep an eye on them, suspicious, and the slightest bit uncomfortable, but he would treat them mostly the same. Once they began getting closer, he would cautiously ask questions. Not about how they felt, no, more so about their life with their now dead spouse and children. If they opened up, he would eventually get to the other questions, and comfort them if they wanted it. A nice cup of ale and a shoulder to cry on helped Hawke through the loss of their mother, and he would offer the same to the Inquisitor.
Vivienne - She heard through the grapevine. Upon meeting the Inquisitor, she would offer her condolences, at this point saying it out of political reasons and not actual care. But seeing how impassive they are about it, she would drop it. That was an angle that wasn’t going to work. Once they get closer, she does start to genuinely worry. She knows the dangers of internalizing one’s emotions better than anyone in the Inquisition. Though she does not act until after the death of Bastien. Especially if they try to comfort her. She lets them know she’s willing to talk, but does not push the matter. And if they open up, they will be shocked to find the Enchanter does enjoy hugs, from those she trusts.
Iron Bull - He’s Ben-Hassrath. It’s his job to know these things. But he doesn’t bother the Inquisitor about it. But it’s odd, not seeing them outwardly upset. He isn’t sure on the idea of monogamy and having children, but if he lost someone close, he’d definitely be affected. But sometimes it was easier to keep all that shit inside. Otherwise it got messy. He understood. If they become friends, he does ask them about it over drinks. If they open up, he orders more drinks. If they don’t, he orders more drinks and lets them know he won’t pick at scabs again. Though, if the Inquisitor sacrificed the chargers, he’ll be the slightest bit irritated with them. (Romanced) Talking was hard. It was hard, and it hurt, and emotions were icky and suffocating. They internalized it, ignored it, and let it weigh on them. He was there to make the weight lighter. Each knot, each smack, every bite, every hickey was one step closer to them unwinding. And when they finally reached subspace, he would be there to comfort them, wipe their tears, provide the best aftercare and hold them until they fell asleep.
Sera - She probably doesn’t find out at all at the beginning. She probably overhears some nobles whispering about it when they get to Skyhold. She is the tiniest bit upset. Why wouldn’t they tell her? And she confronts them about it, only receiving the cold shoulder. Later, she realizes how insensitive she was and does her best to apologize. She doesn’t ever bring it up again, but she can be seen watching them sometimes, a frown on her lips. (Romanced) After everything she’s told her, she’d feel vulnerable. Why did she have to hear about this from someone else and not her? She’d approach her about it, but a lot gentler. If the Inquisitor opened up to her about it, she wouldn’t be able to give much advice, but she would be there for them.
Blackwall - Blackwall keeps to himself, so he doesn’t catch many rumors, but when he hears some of the blacksmiths at Haven talking about the Inquisitors dead family, he does get alarmed. He offers them his condolences immediately, and isn’t bothered when he is rebuffed. He knows what it’s like. He knows telling people things is hard, and it hurts, and it’s just not worth it at times. If their friendship deepens, he does make sure their not feeling bad, but he never presses them to talk. (Romanced) He wouldn’t say anything until the whole Thom situation was brought up. He’d ask them about it, late at night, if they couldn’t sleep, and if they open up he simply listens. Nothing he will say will bring back the first man she loved, or the child she lost, and he could never replace that, but he would do his best to make her happy.
Cole -(Trevelyan) “Small, screaming, wet and irritated. An addition to the family, a future addition to the templars, but for now mine, no one elses, they are so beautiful when they smile. Warm, safe, gone. Fire, brimstone, Maker why, nobody, no body, can’t bury them, lost forever. It hurts. Do not hide it. They loved you too. They do not want you to be sad.” (Lavellan) “Another child, another addition the the legacy, pure dalish blood, pure eyes, pure face, pure heart, pure lethalin, my baby. Ma vhenan, ma vhenan, no, no! Ma da’len, ma vhenan, Dareth shiral. You feel alone. Surrounded by shem, strangers. No clan to fall back on. I’m sorry I am not them. I want to help You are not alone.” (Adaar) “So small, so soft, fits in my palm, callouses tickling their cheeks. Little nubs, curled hair, lovely limbs, ten toes, two eyes, button nose. Living on the road is not easy but this makes everything fine. Little one, little love. Lost. Gone, gone, gone, vanish in the wind, like smoke. Why them, why them? I want to help. Let me help.” (Cadash) “Crime is no life for a child, no, this is stupid, I’m so stupid, how could I do this? Criminal, just like their parents, and the first thing they’ve stolen is our hearts. So small, soft, innocent, pure. Gone. I deserve this. A carta agent could never be happy. I’m sorry. They loved you. They did not think you were bad. You were trying to provide. And now you are here, doing good. I want to help.”
Dorian Pavus - He never got a chance to find out at Haven because things were so hectic, but in Skyhold he does hear it uttered by a few nobles. He is shocked, at first, because he hadn’t noticed anything wrong with them at all. They seemed perfectly fine! He isn’t the most tactful person, so he decides not to comment on it. Though, once their friendship deepens and the debacle with his father his over with, he does cautiously approach the subject. If he is not rebuffed, he tries his best to comfort them, though he does direct them towards someone who could help them better. (Romanced) He would not be sure how to approach the subject at all, but would end up mentioning it at some point. He’d be heartbroken to hear how much emotions his Amatus buried inside, and he would be there for him.
Leliana - She knew only minutes later after their unconscious body was delivered. When Cassandra snapped and shouted, Leliana made sure to pull her back. During the course of Haven, she would keep an eye on them, not saying a word. In Skyhold, she would not say anything. Even if they got close. Though, one day she does summon the Inquisitor and say that her scouts have found what she believes to be their spouse’s and child’s remains. A proper burial would be set up, and she would silently comfort the Inquisitor in ways only she could.
Cullen Rutherford - Makers breath. He heard from Leliana as soon as they returned to Haven. He wouldn’t be sure how to approach the subject, or if he even wanted to approach it. It was none of his business. If he and the Inquisitor got closer, he would ask a few questions, but upon being brushed off he would shut up and never mentioned it again. (Romanced) One night in bed, holding her close, he asks, and after a while, she answers. He gently rubs away the tears and kisses her softly, listening. He can’t replace what’s been lost but he will make sure she will never lose anything else.
Josephine Montilyet - When she hears, she’s instantly shocked at how much they have lost. When they enter her makeshift office in Haven, she holds their hands and tells them she is sorry for their loss and if they need ANYTHING, come to her. She doesn’t expect the discomfort in their face and the dismissive ‘Okay’. But after that, she watches her words and her actions. Once they become friends, she does try again, and if she gets a better reception she makes sure to get them all that they need. (Romanced) She can’t imagine losing her own family. Even the thought was painful. She couldn’t imagine how they felt, and she made sure to always be conscious of the topic. Eventually, I think the Inquisitor would come to her first, seeing how earnest and caring she is. She is there for them.
Arthur finds out that Merlin has slept with every knight at the round table
“A prompt of my own making (I promise I’m working on the requests I have, this just wouldn’t get out of my head)
(This is just a snippet of conversation that takes place shortly after Merlin and Arthur start sleeping together)
“Wait… you’ve slept with Merlin?”
Leon smirked, sharing a conspiratorial glance with Merlin. He was slightly offended at Arthur’s incredulous tone. “Well, you don’t have to sound so surprised. I can have my own fun, you know.”
“I’m not saying- I’m just-”
“What are we chatting about, lads?” Gwaine chose that moment to stroll into the weapons room, Percival, Elyan, and Lancelot following closely behind.
Leon grinned. “Oh, just Merlin. And his exploits.” The rest of them broke out laughing. Gwaine clapped a hand on Leon and Merlin’s shoulders.
“Men, I expect to be included when I am the subject of conversation!” Merlin blushed and shook his head.
“You too?” Arthur stood up, shocked. Gwaine beamed.
“Oh, Prince Arthur. Merlin here’s quite a catch. Can’t help it if you’re the last knight to realize.”
“I’m sorry, do you mean to say that… all of you have slept with Merlin?”
The knights shared a glance. Their laughs were barely contained as Arthur stared at Merlin, then looked around at the knights in the room. His eyes stopped on Percival’s hulking figure, picturing it intertwined with Merlin’s slim one. “Percival?” He swiveled back to look at Merlin.
Percival answered for him, Arthur’s reasoning being clear. “Only once. Merlin was too much for me. Couldn’t take the heat.” He winked.
Elyan laughed. “Gwen walked in on us making out once. She blushed every time she looked at me for a week.”
Merlin nodded. “She sat me down and started asking about my intentions with her brother, before I told her we were just having a bit of fun.”
Arthur opened and closed his mouth a few times, like a fish out of water, before looked up at the last knight with furrowed eyebrows.
“Even Lancelot? The noble?”
Lancelot bowed his head, a satisfied smile playing on his face.
Merlin bumped Arthur’s shoulder with a grin. “The most selfless of them all.”
This is our introduction to the Quinx, half ghouls in everything but name and appetite. Despite being essentially half ghouls, they lack the menace that has surrounded the introduction of half ghouls in the past. Kaneki has a gentle personality to be sure, but even within the first few chapters before any of his major trauma set in he was still doing things like this.
If it was possible to have a wedding in Da:I with any of the romanable characters, what do you think the wedding would be like?
Cassandra: There are fairy tales that end less perfectly than the day of Cassandra’s wedding, and ironically enough it’s not all her doing. The wedding is in the evening, and when she approaches the aisle she finds everything festooned in hundreds of flowers, yards of ribbon, and the entire area illuminated by candle. It is a subtle recreation of their first night together, the night they decided that yes, perhaps they could make it work. She is crying even before she makes it to the altar, and to the man she loves standing there.
And then she takes a moment to threaten every guest in attendance into forgetting they saw anything.
Solas: In the Fade. There aren’t any guests. They leave the cake out for the giant spiders.
Sera: In front of friggin’ everyone. Sera wears a dress of plaidweave and crimson silk. Blackwall walks her down the aisle, Dorian is her bridesman. She and her Inqy marry in Skyhold, and after the kiss and the I Do’s the guests fling small provided pies at each other. Then they retire to the tavern for drinking, singing, and the start of the rest of their lives.
Blackwall: A traditional marriage might happen in the Chantry, but they are far from traditional. Instead they say their vows on the shore of Lake Lucien, on the exact moment their eyes first met. It’s a simple ceremony, only their friends and family, with ribbons and flowers on the docks and the tables. A small feast to follow, with drinking and laughter and all the things that built their relationship into everything he never thought he’d have.
Dorian: It’s a quiet affair, only his Amatus and the Chantry mother. There are no flowers, no fanfare. Only the murmured vows, the exchange of rings. For the first time in his life Dorian doesn’t want flashy or gaudy. Nothing that takes the attention off of this moment, when everything he never thought he’d be allowed to have is here. When the rings are exchanged and they are declared husbands he sheds a few tears, and then they go to join their friends in the nearest tavern for a wild and wonderful reception.
Iron Bull: They skip the pleasantries and have the ceremony in the Herald’s Rest. This is where they spent most of their time, where their relationship was built. Both wear their dragon’s tooth, both write their own vows. Krem officiates. It’s beautiful.
No one remembers much after that, but it was certainly a hell of a party that followed.
Josephine: The Montiliyet wedding is the event of the century in Val Royeaux, and Josie is so busy planning that she has little time to be nervous. There are caterers to vet and table to arrange and someone must make sure all the guests are seated properly. Every major noble house sends someone in attendance, and it threatens to be a political nightmare, but the moment that Josephine sees the love of her life waiting at the altar all that escapes, and the music and flowers and logistics are forgotten as she reaches for her future with both hands.
Cullen: On the docks of the lake at Honnleath, with their friends and family around them and the mabari at their feet, Cullen Stanton Rutherford accepts the most important commission of his life: husband. The decorations are exceedingly Ferelden -which means plain yet pretty- but the food is pletniul and the company delightful, and even if it was all awful he cares only for the beautiful woman who has just taken his name. Nothing else matters.
I've had a lot of instances lately where I've felt a pull towards Freyja, but I don't know a lot about her. Could you share a little bit about her to help with my research??
Sæll (eða sæl) vinur, (Hello friend,)
Unfortunately, Freyja seems to be quite allusive in our sources, especially in the Prose Edda. Her brother Freyr gets far more direct attention in them. In the sources that I am most familiar with, here is where she appears in them (from a database post I am currently working on):
That list, of course, has not yet been completed, but it should still serve you and others rather well. I will provide some information directly in this post, though, because some of these texts are less easily accessible. I will also share the bits that contain the most helpful information contained in those texts.
THE PROSE EDDA: (1.)
Snorri Sturluson does not give us a lot of detail about Freyja, but he does provide a basis for us to work with. Honestly, the Prose Edda is a bit of a condensed snapshot of Norse mythology – a slice of time and a slice of place. Without spending too long on source-related debates, here is some of the most satisfying bits of information from that text:
Freyja is the daughter of Njord, and the sister of Freyr.
Freyja, along with Freyr, is “beautiful in appearance and mighty.”
Freyja is “the most glorious of the Asynjur (goddesses).”
Her dwelling is called Folkvangar.
Whenever she rides to battle, she takes half of the slain. The other half goes to Odin. (This is pretty big).
Her hall is called Sessrumnir, and it is “large and beautiful.”
She travels in a chariot drawn by two cats.
In terms of prayer, she is the most approachable goddess.
She is “very fond of long songs” and it is “good to pray to her concerning love affairs.”
She is married to Od.
She has a daughter named Hnoss, who is also beautiful.
Od went off to travel, and Freyja weeps because he is gone, and “her tears are red gold.”
Freyja has many names because of her travels in search for Od: Mardoll, Horn, Gefn, and Syr.
Freyja owns Bringsing’s necklace.
Freyja was once almost married off to a giant.
Freyja can apparently grant people a “falcon shape.” She does this for Loki when he must go retrieve Idunn.
Freyja is bold. She was the only one who was brave enough to serve drinks to a giant named Hrungnir.
Later Snorri includes more of her names: Thrungva and Skjalf. He also mentions a second daughter named Gersemi.
THE POETIC EDDA: (2.)
The reference in the Seeress’s Prophecy is a bit vague, but worth bringing up. I have not spent a considerable amount of time carefully contemplating the verse, but it clearly has an important role in Freyja’s story. I believe most internet it as how Freyja was given as a hostage to end the war between the Æsir and Vanir, but since I am not confident enough to say that as ‘fact’, I’ll just give you the stanza itself:
“Then all the Powers went to the thrones of fate, the sacrosanct gods, and considered this: which people had trouble the air with treachery, or given Od’s girl to the giant race.”
Other information regarding Freyja in the Poetic Edda:
“Folkvang is the ninth, and there Fryja fixes allocation of seats in the hall; half the slain she chooses every day, and half Odin owns.” (Grim., 14)
Loki calls Freyja a witch, suggesting that she dabbles with magic. The Vanir, in general, have connections with magic.
Loki suggests that Freyja and her brother Freyr had an affair.
The “falcon shape” she can grant is also referred to as a “feather-shirt.” She loans this to Loki so he can help Thor retrieve Mjolnir. It allows the bearer to fly.
Freyja is often the object of undesired marriages, often with giants. Yet, she is also often independent and bold enough to object them.
Freyja plays a pretty central role in the Song of Hyndla, but the information about her is not very direct. It would be best to read this poem in its entirety before drawing any conclusions about Freyja from it.
This is another work by Snorri Sturluson, but it is treated much differently than the Gylfaginning. From a down-to-Earth perspective, Snorri retells the tale of the gods in an earthly sense. Here are some of the portions about Freyja in Ynglinga saga:
“Njord’s daughter was Freyja. She was a sacrificial priestess. She
was the first to teach the Æsir black magic, which was customary among the
There is also this:
“Freyja kept up the sacrifices, for she
was the only one of the gods left alive, and she became the best known,
so that all noble women came to be called by her name, just as now the name
frúvur (‘ladies’) is used. Similarly everyone was called freyja (‘mistress’)
of what she possessed, and húsfreyja (‘mistress of a household’) if she is in
charge of a dwelling. Freyja was rather fickle. Her husband was called Od.
Her daughters were called Hnoss and Gersimi. They were very beautiful.
The most precious treasures are called by their names.”
These are sagas about legendary heroes and kings, and a great deal of mythological material gets tied up within them. There are likely others, but I do not have copies of all of them, so I am limited to knowing only of references made in my own small collection. I would share the reference for Freyja that appears in Bosi and Herraud, but it is not very satisfying. All that is said is that there was a toast to Freyja on a wedding night, but little more. Again, there are likely a few other Fornaldarsögur that contain information about Freyja, but they are not my specialty. In time I will hunt down more.
These sagas are a bit different from the Fornaldarsögur. They are much ore realistically toned, in that there is much less supernatural activity taking place. They are still good sources for information, though! Even in terms of mythology. There is a decent amount of information preserved in these texts about rituals and practices associated with certain figures, such as Freyja. Of course, there are problems with the sources that need to be addressed before taking certain bits of information too far, but that is not a concern until you really start to dig and contemplate the text.
In Egil’s Saga, a woman named Thorgerd says this: “I have had no evening meal, nor shall I do so until I go to join Freyja.”
This is interesting because it suggests that a woman, at least, can choose to go to Freyja after death. Given further context, there may be a way that she suspects she might be able to make this happen, but regardless there seems to be an acceptance that Freyja has privilege over dead, and not just the half she gets that are slain in battle. Food for thought.
The information in The Saga of the People of Fljotsdal is even less fulfilling, at least when looking to learn more about Freyja herself. If you are interested in the attitudes of Icelanders in regards to conversion, then more information awaits you in the saga.
In the end, there really is not much else to be found regarding Freyja. Most of what we know comes from the Eddas, but there is information scattered around elsewhere. I have not even included archaeological materials and runestone in this situation, but that is because I am a medieval literature kind of guy. Despite the lack of information, I hope what I have shared with you turns out to be helpful in some way or another. Surly something will be of interest to you.
Otherwise, I hope for the best in your endeavors. Freyja is a rewarding subject.
Með vinsemd og virðingu, (With friendliness and respect,) Fjörn
1. Snorri Sturluson, Edda, translated by Anthony Faulkes. (repr., 1987; London: J.M. Dent, 1995). Online version. All specific references are contained above, at the beginning of this post.
2. Carolyne Larrington trans., The Poetic Edda. (repr., 1996; Oxfrod: Oxford University Press, 2014). All specific references are contained above, at the beginning of this post.
More whining from nerds against the idea of fat elves.
I’ve gotten a bunch of hate and stupidity in my asks because of this post. These are the asks I wanted to answer and address, either because there’s something worth talking about…or they’re so stupid I can’t get them out of my head.
I made a gif to explain.
Why do I draw fat characters?
Mostly just because I want to.
Partly because overweight and plus-sized characters aren’t well represented in fantasy art, regardless of the gaze, other than with villains. And don’t get me wrong, fat villains are totally cool, but it sucks that fat and villainy are often synonymous in fantasy/RPG art.
Partly because there’s something aestetically interesting about plus sized characters in an industry (the fantasy TRPG industry) that gets by almost exclusively with “idealized” thin and muscular bodies. I crave diversity.
Almost everything in D&D and fantasy is unrealistic. That’s why it’s fantasy. Elves aren’t real, magic doesn’t exist, adventuring itself doesn’t make sense in a mash-up culture of European feudalism and North American frontier culture.
If fat adventurers somehow break your immersion in a fantasy world, you have a weak-ass basic imagination.
“Why draw Rose as fat?”
Storywise, Rose is fat because she’s a half-elf dilettante. The half-elf part of her means her halfling heritage plays a big part in her body type and her appetite; she’s short and fat. As a dilettante she’s rich enough to want for nothing, but she also doesn’t have the obligations of a proper elven noble. So she parties a lot. She drinks, she eats a lot, she attends balls, lounges in salons and solars. That kind of life catches up with you, and Rose and her peers aren’t especially bothered by it.
There’s also a design aspect to her size and figure. Most elves in media, women and men, are slender and waifish. It’s a tired silhouette that leads to a lot of very samey character designs. You’ve seen one blonde or ginger wood elf in leather amour, you’ve seen them all. It’s boring! So, Rose has a design and silhouette that sets her apart visually from almost every other elf.
We’re at a point now where there’s so much “generic fantasy” art out there that when you buy a new RPG, there’s no excuse for the art to be boring or uninteresting. And I feel like character body types have a role to play in that.
“Why play Rose as fat?”
I don’t play D&D or other TRPGs to play physically idealized wish fulfillment/self-insert characters. If that’s your thing, cool. It’s not mine.
I play and depict Rose the way I do because I think the combination of her physical and emotional traits are interesting and can lead to some novel stories and encounters. I also think that her physicality (both short and fat) as an ‘elf’ is fun to play with because it plays against type, and that’s both valuable at the table and amusing in of itself.
Finally, obese does not equal ugly. These two things are not synonymous and do not have to be synonymous.
That…just might be the stupidest and most hateful thing I’ve ever been told.
I’m serious. My face scrunches up every time I read it. It’s both bafflingly ignorant and close-minded, but also hilariously dumb.
There was not enough wine in
the world to ready Benvolio for what he was about to do.
God knows, he had done his
best to fortify himself for the task at hand, having finished off several
glasses of his uncle’s best Rhenish between all the feasting and the dancing –
and, for his pains, was now feeling more than a trifle light-headed – but he
could not yet bring himself to rise from his chair and make his way upstairs,
where his all-too unwilling bride waited.
The ceremony had taken place
that morning in Capulet’s cathedral, as his uncle had wished, for the remaining
structural work had miraculously – and mysteriously – been completed before the
arrival of autumn. All of Veronan society had turned out for the occasion,
dressed their most colorful silks, velvets, and brocades, making the interior
of the basilica resemble nothing less than a great casket of jewels. His bride,
for her part, had made her way towards the altar dressed in a gown of deep
cerulean blue, and Benvolio couldn’t help but notice the bodice, cut square and
delectably low across her chest – before he had the good sense to shift his
As the assembled nobles stood
watching, the two of them had knelt, their hands joined together by the bishop,
followed by an exchange of vows in Latin. There was a brief mass, and those
gathered took communion, beginning with the newly-married couple, both of them
dutifully parting their lips to receive the body of their Lord. It had been
difficult for Benvolio not to think back to the last wedding he had attended –
a secret one, with only two witnesses, the ceremony performed by a humble friar
– and draw altogether unfavorable comparisons. For all the misfortunes it had
brought, his cousin’s marriage had at least been born out of love, not
politics, and there had been no mistaking the joy and passion in the eyes of
Romeo and his Capulet bride as they had uttered their vows in that candle-lit chapel.
Benvolio’s new wife would not even look at him – although he could hardly blame
her, given his rather cowardly lack of resistance to the news of their
betrothal. And if her heart secretly belonged to another, as he had come to
suspect, gazing upon his face would no doubt bring her only pain.
At the celebratory feast that
evening, they had proved a somber pair as they sat together at the high table,
sharing from the same plate and goblet, but saying almost nothing to each
other. She drank but a half-glass of wine and ate very little, and part of him
wondered if she planned to escape this marriage simply by refusing to eat,
intent on wasting away from lack of sustenance. As the revelries proceeded into
the night, Benvolio found himself reaching for the wine time and again,
refilling the glass from the silver flagon that sat nestled among the platters
of food. The warm evening air was heavy with torch-smoke, thick with the sounds
of the drum and pipe as they sung out over the voices in the crowded courtyard,
and Benvolio had slowly felt his head begin to spin with it.
In that haze, his eyes had
found occasion to seek her out, drawn to her as to a lodestone, although he did
not dare to let them linger long. For even in her silent indignation, his wife
truly was beautiful – no man could deny it. In the warmth of the torchlight her
skin shimmered with rich tones of gold and umber, pulling attention to the
winged jut of her collarbones and the length of her neck. She had been endowed
with wide, dark eyes, made more expressive by her frequent displays of wit, and
a pair of full and rounded lips that seemed to have been formed for no other
purpose than to be kissed. He remembered how she had once spoken of her desire
to enter a convent – but by Saint Peter, what a waste that would have been.
Yet in the end it mattered
not what he thought of her neck or her eyes or even the fullness of her lips,
for she did not want him and had only consented to marry him by means of great
persuasion from her uncle and the prince. And as Benvolio stared into his
half-empty glass, he had realized he could not bear to have her think of him
the same way, as yet another man who sought to break her will upon his own.
By and by, the night had
grown late, the torches burning low within their sconces, and the time had come
for the bride to take her leave and excuse herself from the assembled company.
She had risen to her feet amid the ribald cheers and customary encomiums to her
beauty and virtue, and just as quickly departed – all without a single glance
in Benvolio’s direction. A pair of serving women had been directed to escort
her upstairs to his chambers and there she was to make herself ready for bed.
Benvolio waited as long as he
possibly could to follow, and he might have waited a while longer, had not his
uncle come and clasped a strong hand around his shoulder.
“Go, Benvolio, and make a
Montague of her,” he urged, nodding his head towards the stairs, “or at least
put one in her.”
Benvolio’s face burned bright
with shame – for they should all have been ashamed, having cruelly used this
young maid as a pawn in their dealings – but his uncle mistook it for
excitement and laughed lustily, quickly pulling Benvolio out of his chair and
pushing him in the direction of his chamber.
His feet were like lead upon
the stairs, a sharp contrast with his dizzy head, and a hopeful part of
him latched onto the possibility that she had simply gone to sleep rather than await
Alas, fortune did not favor
him, for as he quietly opened the door he could see that a single candle had
been left burning and his new bride was sitting up in bed, very much awake. She
was clad in a nightgown of fine ivory linen, her unbound hair falling in loose
curls over her shoulders. A pair of dark eyes instantly turned towards him, her
hands stiff as she clutched the bedclothes tightly against her chest. He had
not imagined that he could possibly feel more abashed, but the way she was staring
at him, with equal parts defiance and fear written into her gaze, made his
heart twist forcefully against his ribs. Had
she imagined that he would straightaway attempt to claim his marital rights,
he wondered, even in the face of her unwillingness?
One look at her was all it took for him to know.
“Fear not, lady,” he muttered
with a sigh, “I will not impose myself upon you.”
His words seemed to put her
at ease, but only slightly, her wary eyes still fixed upon him as he stepped into
“And what of tomorrow night,
and the nights that follow?” she asked. “Will you say the same?”
“I will say it every night
you do ask it of me,” he answered quietly, “for I am not the unrepentant blackguard
you imagine every Montague must be.” Benvolio rubbed his hand along his
forehead, a sudden weariness overtaking him. “But for tonight, put out thy
candle and let us have peace. I will rest elsewhere…” – he nodded towards the
long wooden bench set flush against the opposite wall – “…and leave you to your
He did not wait to see her
reaction, but made his way over to his makeshift bower and swiftly stripped
himself down to his shirt and hose. It was not until he had laid down upon the
bench, using his wadded-up doublet as a cushion for his head, that he realized
she had not blown out the candle. Let her
keep the light, he thought as he closed his eyes, if it brings her some comfort.
He had almost surrendered to
the weight of sleep when he heard her shifting upon the mattress.
“I wonder, my lord,” she murmured,
“if you had decided… to impose yourself, what might you have
Benvolio’s eyes snapped open,
uncertain that he had heard her true. He glanced over and saw that she had
turned onto her side to face him, propping herself up upon an elbow. Something
had shifted in her expression, for while she still held herself guardedly, she
no longer looked quite so apprehensive, and her eyes glinted with a spark of
curiosity. Still, in the thick fog of his mind he could not be sure she knew
exactly what it was she was asking.
“What might I have done, when
I came into the room?” he stammered.
She nodded, her gaze wide enough
that he could see the light of the candle reflected there. Time seemed to slow
for a moment, in the stillness of his half-darkened chamber, and all Benvolio
could feel was the rough pounding of his heart within his chest. He did not entirely
understand why she had thought to ask such a thing, but he would give her an
answer – a truthful one.
“Well… to begin, I would have
come to sit by your side, lady. For ‘tis all very dependent on proximity.”
“Of course,” she said, her
features softening ever so slightly. “And then?”
The corner of his mouth
tugged upward in a wry smile, the first time it had done so all day. “Perhaps I
would have kissed you,” he said, with a shrug of his shoulders. “Gently at
first, and then with greater urgency.”
With her gaze still caught on
his, she bit against the fullness of her bottom lip, perhaps in innocence, or perhaps
to tease him – and with a tightening sensation in his belly, Benvolio realized
he did not care in the slightest which it was.
“Is that all?” she asked.
He exhaled roughly, his
breath half-mixed with laughter. “Oh, my Rosaline, had you no nursemaid to tell
you of such things?” He paused and pursed his lips, taking her coy silence as
his cue to continue with his answer. “No, ‘tis merely the beginning. For then I
might have taken you into my arms and held you close, until naught remained to
Her lips parted a little, her
chest rising and falling with each breath. “And what of our clothes?”
would fain have us unclothed,” Benvolio replied, and her dark eyes widened, as
if scandalized at the thought. “As husband and wife, there should be no secrets
between us.” He swallowed hard, allowing his mind to momentarily cloud with
visions of his new bride, her bare skin velvet-smooth and flush with yearning.
Perhaps it was only the presence of such distracting thoughts that could
explain the liberties he took in speaking to her so brazenly.
I would wish to see you, my lady – all of you – as you laid back and pulled me
down with my weight upon you. For then there would be nothing left but for me
to possess you fully, our bodies joined together in the most intimate of ways.”
He fell silent, knowing not
what else to say as he gazed at her, recumbent upon his bed, the wild tendrils
of her hair spilling onto the sheets, her eyes shining with something that
could only be desire. His breath came heavy, caught in his throat, his hunger for
her coiling and nestling deep within his groin. Benvolio found himself filled
with the compulsion to rise to his feet and make his way over to where she lay,
so he might in fact begin to enact that sequence of events he had just
described to her. Before he could do anything, though, she tilted her head, her
gaze leveling him with cool appraisal.
“Perhaps it is fortunate,
then, that you were compelled to restrain yourself,” she said, her eyebrows raised
into uniform arches. “For now, armed with such knowledge, I feel wholly
prepared to resist any advances should they be attempted.” She gave him one
final shrewd glance before she put her lips up to the candle’s flame.
“Good night, my lord,” she whispered, and with a
single breath plunged the room into darkness.
For a moment, Benvolio could only
lay back upon the bench, fully awash in bewilderment and frustration, listening
to the rustle of the bed linens as she settled herself down for sleep. But as
he recalled the words that had just passed between them, he finally came to the
realization that she had provoked him deliberately, drawing his mind towards
thoughts of carnal pleasures all the while knowing she would allow him no
satisfaction of them. But her response to his words had been clear enough – she
could not have feigned such desire, could she? Jesu, what sort of bold little minx had he married?
And then he couldn’t help but
smile, and shake his head, knowing that he had all the remaining days – and nights
– of his life to figure it out.
[my Still Star-Crossed ficlets are on AO3 – read them here]
Inquisition companions react to the Inquisitor having luxurious hair, and i mean RIDICULOUSLY luxurious hair. It's like their hair is from a L'Oréal commercial all the time, even when it's raining, it's that ridiculous.
Cassandra: It takes her some time to see it, and so it’s not until they have been camped for several days in the Storm Coast that she begins to notice. No matter what they go through, what they crawl through, the Inquisitors hear is flawless. And Cassandra is not a vain person, not exactly, but…well, even the most down to earth person can feel the prick of jealousy when placed against perfection. When she finds out that it just naturally does that she’s a little miffed but otherwise just accepts it.
Solas: It’s a curiosity and no mistake, but once the mage realizes it is biology rather that some enchantment that keeps their hair in that state he loses all interest. It’s not as though they have any tips to help him alone after all.
Vivienne: Her reactions are similar to Solas’s, but rather than losing interest she encourages them to flaunt it at ‘an appropriate level, darling. Nobility will envy you for what they cannot have, and you ought to make the most of your gift.”
Sera: Hair is hair, and only nobs or prissy nobles care about it. Except…except Inqy’s hair is perfect all the time, like all the time, and it’s starting to bother the Red Jenny. She suspects magic until they find out it just grows like that, and then she suspects a prank. Finally Sera spends two weeks straight trying to startle them or find them with even a single hair out o place before giving up in a huff.
That is not normal.
Blackwall: It’s quite obvious to anyone with eyes that the resident Warden cares little for the appearance of his hair or beard, but the state of both is exacerbated when he is next to the Herald and their flawless coiffure. If he is a regular in the Inquisition party he may well start upping his grooming practices, but if not than he simply ignores it and goes about his business. There are bigger things to worry about.
Varric: This shit is golden. A hero character saving the world with flawless hair? Nothing says stereotypical character more than that, and nothing sells more than a stereotypical character doing the unexpected. This is going to make him a mint.
Dorian: It takes less than a single day of trudging through the twisted red lyrium future and then the attack on Haven for Tevinter’s most fashionable pariah to notice something odd about the Herald. But once it clicks he can never unsee it. The mage spends long hours perfecting his own carefully groomed appearance, and yet he has seen Orlesian nobles spend hours in salons and not look as good as the herald doing rolling out of their bedroll. It haunts him day and night as he hunts for the answer, finally culminating in him storming their quarters while the Inquisitor bathes and demanding to know the truth. When he finds out it simply happens he is heart broken, and slinks away to spend all his days in despair.
Iron Bull: The Qun doesn’t care about the herald’s particular style, and so there was nothing in the reports about the phenomenon. If it’s almost any color under the sun he gives it no more than a raised eyebrow and a good way to tease the ‘Vint. But if it’s red he can’t keep his eyes off of it, and will eventually give in to the urge to touch it– with the Herald’s full permission.
Cole: “Tie it back, push it away, its just hair. They always look but I don’t know how to tell them looking doesn’t make it work. Seeing your hair makes them happy. And sad, and jealous and sometimes they smile. I tried to thank it, but your hair won’t talk to me– it’s afraid of my hat.”
Gay people used to have their own bookstores and cafes but what happened was capitalism. Do you go to a local coffeeshop or do you get Starbucks? Do you buy your books from Amazon or Barnes&Noble instead of looking for a small business? This is why all those places disappeared. Most LGBT centers have gay choirs, though, they're just not skewed young to the queer community.
GOOD POINT ANON! There are few Gay Bookstores left, A LOT have gone out of business in the last few years. They all sell books, movies, gay flags, etc. and almost all of them are now combined with something else to survive: bookstore + coffee shop, bookstore + sex shop, bookstore + art shop, gay books + feminist/women’s books. Almost of all them have free dating nights, parties, book readings, book signings and other events where you can meet lesbian and gay people. Follow them on FB, IG and Twitter to keep up with their events. If you can’t actually go to any of these stores, please support them by ordering something from them online. We need to keep our places open!
so that whole miranda+window post is a heartbreak in a cup bUT when i read your tag about miranda and thomas gossiping about their affairs i just smiled so big please elaborate on that if you want to because that's the cutest idea omg
OH BOY DO I EVER WANT TO - but first things first, I cannot take credit for the idea! I believe I first accepted this image into my heart ‘n soul after reading this tremendously nsfw and most excellent fic by azarias. (basic plot is that Miranda tells Thomas all about her, ah, encounter with James in the carriage and they both get off it’s amazing would highly recommend)
just. this is my ideal dynamic for them. married best friends checkin’ out guys together. like just imagine: they’re at some Society Gathering, and Thomas pulls Miranda aside and points out some young noble with sharp brown eyes who looks very good in that blue coat and tells her like “Miranda he and I just had a wonderfully lively conversation about de Cervantes and he’s an avid fencer with arms to prove it you should definitely seduce him”. Or Miranda pulls him aside to whisper that she’s heard that lord so-and-so of such-and-such over there shares his inclinations so perhaps they ought to have a chat?
picture Thomas waiting up for Miranda after some tryst, like he’s sitting there reading, then he looks up when he hears her come in, and he smiles and puts his book down and asks “so how was it?” and she grins and grins and runs over and plops down next to him and gushes about how romantic he was, Thomas, and oh, his hands, or she mentions how nervous he was, because wouldn’t her husband notice her absence? and they both laugh and laugh and Thomas kisses her forehead. similarly, imagine Thomas coming home late after some Very Innocent Meeting with lord so-and-so of such-and-such, and Miranda asks “So, was I right?” all eager, and Thomas just grins coyly, so she gasps and says “I was, wasn’t I? Tell me everything.” so he laughs and tells her all about how it took him so bloody long to get the hint (”I brought up The Symposium three times, Miranda”) but once he did –
and James. James. oh my god when James enters the picture. they would both be so excited. the second they’re alone after James leaves that first time Miranda would just be like “so, we’re keeping him, right?” “I certainly hope so.” and they’d Appreciate his hair and his uniform and his everything. (“Miranda I made him laugh today” “oh my god go on”) and listen. we know Thomas knew they slept together. there is no way she did not hook her best friend up with those details. (”When he kissed me, I expected he’d be shy, but then he used his teeth” “Oh my god” “I thought I would die - and he’s covered from head to toe in those freckles” “Oh my god” ) and oh god when Thomas began to properly fall in love with/pine for James, Miranda would Be There. like whatever the 1700s equivalent of arriving on the scene with ben & jerry’s in hand is. she’d have his back. and ahhhhhhhhh once Thomas and James got together, Thomas would be so happy and Miranda would be so happy for him because they’re best friends and this is what they do and neither of them would trade it for the world.
@thearcanagame an official character info sheet thingy, now with art done by my favourite artist in the world; @fenrijs (the artist formerly known as yoosweetie)
Name: Minerva Calrassi
Favourite food: Cheese croissant
Favourite drink: Red wine
Favourite “flower”: Venus fly trap
Familiar: Calcifer (fruit bat)
Planned romantic interests: Julian, Portia, Lucio
A former noble from a far away country, Minerva oozes self confidence and haughtiness. And while she would be the first to admit that she is a jerk, she is also capable of selfless kindness to those that she loves. Usually sporting a sly smile and all black clothing, she spends most of her time improving her magical capabilities and looking for interesting people to get to know.
Most either know her as the asshole woman who laughed at the embarrassing event she caught them doing, or as the beautiful, flirty woman who entrances with witty speech and wicked humour. Though you must gain exceptional trust from her for her to share her past. As much as she would deny it, Minerva is not invincible.
She was raised in a minor noble family that expected too much of her too quickly. A cruel mother that believed she wasn’t being cruel, who only saw Minerva as an embarrassment, along with a father that simply did nothing at all. Eventually she broke away from them and embraced the world outside that castle, and found she was much more than what she was taught she had to be. She ran away at the age of sixteen, and she stopped being that sickly child she hated so much.
boy is she ready to mingle with the characters in the game tho you have no idea
I’ve been replaying Dark Souls 1 and it’s really impressive how it has such a significantly different tone than the following two games. A better tone and atmosphere, in my opinion. Dark Souls 1 is really the only game that nails the feeling of a ‘slowly dying world’. Not dramatic. Not as a result of some catastrophe. The natural, quiet death of an entire world. Even though Dark Souls 3 was, in theory supposed to be about this, it isn’t really.
Part of this is simply the color palette. Dark Souls 1 features many, many 'cool’ colored areas. Lower Undead Burg. Bligh Town. The Depths. Darkroot. New Londo. Blacks and blues and dark regreens and dark browns and greys. Compare to Dark Souls 2, which is essentially a cartoon and Dark Souls 3, which has a much warmer palette with an aggressive sun and lots of lights and flame everywhere. This sells the more quiet, melancholy atmosphere.
Another is the fact that DaS1 simply has less enemies than 2 or 3. They’re often stronger and placed in more annoying positions, but both DaS2 and Das3 threw MANY enemies at you. DaS1 has relatively fewer enemies by comparison except for the firey shit under Blight Town, which makes sense because the bed of chaos creating new demons is one of the few things that should still be happening. But the general lower amount of enemies makes everything feel dead and quiet. Enemies being able to wander around in DaS3 also made areas feel more alive. Even Anor Londo is eerily quiet other than the handful of gargoyles.
Area design also plays a part. In Dark Souls 3, there are constant signs of strife. Almost every area you visit has sentries wandering the area, or the signs of some massive battle having either played out or being ready to be played out. There are corpses and fires everywhere. Piles of destroyed weapons. Most destruction in the game seems to have been actively caused, rather than as a result of time alone. Dark Souls 1 is the result of time and rot.
But the biggest thing that really sells the bleak, inevitable tone of DaS1 is the NPCs. In DaS2, basically no NPC will ever die unless the player kills them. In DaS3 SOME NPC quests end in death, but it’s almost always caused by the player. The player can easily prevent every single death. And nobody ever leaves Firelink unless the player prompts them. In DaS1, NPCs didn’t teleport to firelink. You’d just find them there when you got back. And most would leave of their own will, whenever they wanted. Unlike DaS2 and DaS3, all the NPCs felt like their own people with their own agendas, not just merchants for the PC’s convenience (indeed, the only really clever bits with NPCs in DaS3 was the Siegmeyer/Greirat/Patches interactions.)
In DaS1, almost everyone dies. And generally these are not noble, cool deaths. Solaire dies, confused and brainwashed, killed by the player outside Lost Isalith. Siegmeyer is killed by his daughter after going hollow himself. Laurentius, if told where to get Chaos Pyromancies, is crushed by the realization of his own inadequacies and hollows. Big Hat Logan realizes he isn’t as smart as he thinks he is, goes mad, and hollows. Griggs goes hollow and dies. Even the Crestfallen Warrior goes hollow and must be put down. In DaS3, very few NPCs go hollow, and except for Anri, none really have a clear reason for doing so. In DaS1, every NPC that goes hollow and attacks the player has a REASON FOR DOING SO.
And again, almost every NPC in DaS1 eats it. It sells the tone much better than DaS2 or DaS3, where you basically bring a hub-area to life full of NPCs.
DaS1 has a really calm, melancholy atmosphere, and replaying it after DaS3 shows just how much they’ve failed to recapture that, even when deliberately trying.
«She fancied Gehrman, unaware of his curious "mania", but was left heartbroken when Gehrman couldn't, or wouldn't, reveal his feeling towards her.» WTF, fextralife?!
Thank you fextralife! ~♡ No okay let’s be serious for a second and put aside my fangirl heart that craves for the damn romance and let’s look at the facts, shall we?
Let’s begin with the Hair Ornament and how the Doll reacts to it.
The item is described as “ordinary” and does look as such. This is not something fit for a woman of noble lineage like Maria is, is the sort of gift that a middle-class Yharnamite would give his fiancee. In fact, I would say that the Red Jewelled Brooch that Gascoigne gave to his wife looks way fancier and in line with what a Cainhurst noble would wear than the plain, ordinary hair ornament.
Giving little tokens of affection before the marriage was a no-no for Victorian lovebirds unless the couple openly expressed the intention to get married and both families agreed to the arrangement.
In Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen, Marianne Dashwood’s spontaneous behaviour is considered unorthodox and her (only rumoured!) clandestine engagement with John Willoughby is heavily frowned upon. One of her biggest ‘sins’ was to have sent John a bunch of letters and locks of her hair that the young man respectfully gives back to her before marrying another woman.
So, if we take for granted that Yharnam’s courtship customs are similar to those of the 19th century’s I think it’s safe to assume that if an unmarried man gave something as cute and personal as a hairpin to an unmarried woman he was clearly saying “hey babe I like you. But I haven’t the slightest idea of what I’m doing and I should’ve finish that “how to pick up fair maidens” book before doing anything on my own” :P
Of course, we can’t take Victorian society and expect Yharnam’s to be exactly the same because of all the obvious differences such as the clearly more prominent role of women in society, (Amelia is the highest authority of the Church, many hunters are women, Viola, though traditionally married, takes instant action to help her husband etc) but I still think it to be a good lens through which seeing the game’s world and it surely gives some extra credit to Gehrman’s conscious decision to hide his feelings from Maria.
Now, on the subject of Plain Doll, if we gave her the Hairpin she says this:
What… what is this? I-I can’t remember, not a thing, only… I feel… A yearning… something I’ve never felt before… What’s happening to me? Ahh… Tell me hunter, could this be joy? Ahh…
And as she speaks, they even took the time to actually animate her so that she would wipe her tears and gave us the Tear Stone:
Now, the dialogue itself is enough for me to say that Maria had feelings for Gehrman because there’s _no way_ that mere admiration and/or respect for the guy would make her surrogate, who only shares a few, blurred memories with her, cry tears of joy. But hey, we could say that since Plain Doll was “made” to love her creator her perception could be warped by what Gehrman wants her to feel towards him. So, let’s read what the lore has to say about this ;) let’s turn the Tear Stone into a Blood Gem!
Created from a shining silver doll
tear, this blood gem is a quiet but unfaltering friend that continually
restores HP, the life essence of a hunter. Perhaps the doll’s creator
had wished for just such a friend, albeit in vain
BOOM! “Albeit in vain”… and here it is why I think Gehrman doesn’t talk to/doesn’t care about and is openly dismissive of the Doll. She is not the woman he used to know but a pale imitation. She doesn’t have Maria’s memories, she is nothing like the hunter that fought by his side, the strong and kind woman he secretly fell in love with. Before Moon Presence brought the Doll to life, Gehrman poured love and care into her creation that most likely happened after Maria’s passing. All item descriptions related to the Doll include this bit:
“A deep love for the doll can be surmised by the fine craftsmanship of this article, and the care with which it was kept.“ It borderlines on mania, and exudes a slight warmth.”
Which once again, reinforce my idea that my boi Gehrman cared for Maria not _just_ because she was hot. He doesn’t dress her up in revealing clothes nor does he keep her hunter attire while retaining elements of it such as the brooch and her boots. Maria killed herself after renouncing her life as a hunter, her conscience forever stained by what she and her teacher had done to the inhabitants of Fishing Hamlet. Dressing the doll in her hunter set would have been an even greater insult to her memory. Gehrman’s decision to dress her up in the seemly clothes of a respectable woman of the time is actually pretty tasteful if you ask me. May look strange and “unnecessary cute” to us modern-day players but that’s how women used to dress. Take a look at this picture of Mia Wasikowska’s in this movie adaptation of Jane Eyre. The reason why I pick this movie is its director, Cary Fukunaga who also directed the first season of the award-winning HBO series True Detective. (a show inspired by R.W Chambers and Lovecraft’s nihilism & cosmic dread.) This too is a pretty dark and spooky rendition of Charlotte Brontë’s classic.
But no more talking about Gehrman, let’s get back to Maria:
Among the first hunters, all students of Gehrman, was the lady hunter Maria. This was her hunter’s [cap/garb/gloves/trousers], crafted in Cainhurst. Maria is distantly related to the undead queen, but had great admiration for Gehrman, unaware of his curious mania. [Maria’s Hunter Set]
This description tells us a lot of things, but most of them are irrelevant to the subject of this analysis. I could go on for hours pointing out the similarities of her set to the Knight’s and other Cainhurst fashion but let’s not do that. What matters here is that Maria, despite being of noble blood, had no social prejudice towards her mentor (and I would assume, any of her fellow hunters.) and, just like Gwyn’s firstborn, “had respect only for arms and nothing else” :P
I wouldn’t say that the reason why she was heartbroken was the fact that Gehrman never revealed his feelings to her (as mentioned in the ask) but that she idolized him and the cause of the Byrgenwerth Hunters as a whole and couldn’t bear the guilt once the college’s research pushed their actions too far. Like Ludwig who had an unshakable faith in the ways of the Healing Church, Maria had faith in and was possibly in love with Gehrman and couldn’t believe that the man she admired so deeply would blindly obey Byrgenwerth’s orders.
“Go and kill those fishmen who did nothing wrong and aren’t bothering anyone. Oh, and be sure to rip that umbilical cord from the body of thad Great One that washed ashore.”
“Yep.” No question asked.
THAT’s why Maria felt betrayed. It hasn’t anything to do with Gehrman’s “mania”. In my headcanons Gehrman’s total obedience to Willem is motivated but there’s no solid proof in canon so let’s just say that Gehrman was an idiot who never questioned the orders from above :/
And now, let’s get to the final, FUNDAMENTAL point of this analysis: did Maria love Gehrman back?
Yes she did. Why else would anyone want to take a look at any picture one last time before killing themselves? To remember what they lost or could’ve had if things were different.
Why am I 100% sure that Gehrman is in that picture? Because in canon we don’t know the name of any other member of the Old Hunters. It’s just the two of them: Gehrman and Maria, the only ones with faces and backstory in a crowd of faceless, bloodthirsty mannequins.