iNow that everyone has been revived after getting ‘good’ slaughtered by victuuri in ep.10, do you have some time to talk about Otabek Altin? The precious cinnamon roll and Yurio’s new friend?
Let’s get to know this Dark Horse.
So he’s 18, he was the first to qualify for GPF, won last season’s bronze and represents Kazakhstan.
Many of you might not even be aware of the existence of this country, so in brief: Kazakhstan is a post USSR country in the centre of Eurasia, right between Russia, China, Middle East and Europe continent.
So, why would Kubo-sensei even include someone from there?
The answer is Kazakhstan’s real life figure skating hero - Denis Ten.
Denis Ten is:
the first skater to represent KZ in international championships
currently 23 years old
is from Kazakhstan but of a Korean origin
Olympic bronze medalist, World silver and bronze medalist, 4 Continents gold medalist, Asia Winter Sports gold medalist
cinnamon roll like you wouldn’t believe how sweet
Otabek is definitely inspired by Denis, and therefore I will take his perspective to judge his background.
The thing about sport athletes in Kazakhstan is that they’re ALWAYS self-made. Neither education system nor sports practice is well-developped here yet. Which is understandable since the country is still young (25 years of Independance, yay) and confused in many aspects. That’s not fine but we manage. That however does not change the fact that Kazakh sport education is a complete bullshit when compared to Europe, USA, Asia or Russia (with the exception of boxing and martial arts, probably).
Therefore if you are from KZ and want a world champion for a kid, these are the steps you need to take:
1. Sign them up for sports club early. No team sports, only individual. Team sports have no future here yet.
2. Once they start to show a talent, interest and/or competitive spirit send them to Russia. Russia has better coaches, facilities and programme. Russia is close, cheap and easy to travel to, and not emotionally stressing for the kid, since it’s the same environment there.
3. Once they come of an age to participate in a competition SEND THEM AS FAR AS YOUR BUDGET ALLOWS YOU. USA and Canada for figure skating. USA, Europe and Australia for swimming and tennis. Why? Because it’s one thing to train in your rivals’ adobe, all of them
young talented and ambitious, being coached by their coach, at the same time as them, and completely other thing to be enrolled in a kind of sports boarding school where the coach is from some France and other students are from all over the world, struggling to get better same as you. Goverment does not provide any stable scholarships for this, btw. It’s all up to parents to find, choose and pay for. If you happen to have a kind, well-educated and persistant coach in KZ, they might win you some bonuses in a harsh battle against bureaucracy, but it will not be enough to cover for all or even half of it.
LAST YEAR!!!! You hear me?? He was 17, and already a bronze medalist when he returned to his hometown!!
That means that all the time before he spent overseas. Can you imagine that?? A 13-16 year old Otabek in another hemisphere from his home. That’s like half an equator, one ocean and 11-14 timezones away.
a l l b y h i m s e l f
struggling with language barrier (think he had time to perfect his English before? not likely), with harsh training and obligatory schoolwork - all on top of taking care of himself all by himself.
Can you imagine Otabek coming back on one of those days to an epmty room in a dorm and messages from his family. Calls might be very hard to time up with such time diference. His mom inquiring how he has been, if he eats properly and does his laundry in time, scheduling for skype calls, updating him on his relatives and friends, giving advice on treating colds and stomach ache, and all those other things that most of the boys his age get for granted.
My heart aches over thinking how lonely he must’ve felt.
And, he probably wouldn’t be able to tell them, if anything would not go well. Because there would be nothing they could do from over there, it would only cause them to worry more. Even more than they already would have been.
So there was only one way for him: to suck it up, train hard, suceed and make them proud.
He is not trying to prove himself to himself as Yuuri, nor does he need to prove himself over others like Yurio. He doesn’t want it for fame like JJ, he wants it for his family, his people and his country. That’s any Kazakh’s default mission in life - make your parents proud. Especially after he had returned home with a medal and proved himself to be capable of competing at the same level as Victor fucking Nikiforov and Christophe Jeacometti!!!!!! Him! A Kazakh boy of 17 years!! Kubo-sensei does not joke around when calling him a hero, because he is one! A hero and a history-maker, same as Phichit.
We haven’t seen his coach or team yet, but I have a feeling that it would be the same situation as Denis’s. Meaning, he doesn’t have one.
Denis Ten often travels (or used to travel) to the competitions by himself. There is no staff assigned to help him out. He is used to do trivial things like filling paper forms, booking time for practice, booking hotels, turning in audio tracks for the performance, etc. There have been numerous times when they had either messed up the music at the start of his performance or even played the wrong hymn during the awards ceremony. In his interview, Denis admitted to being totally lost at what to do at those time. There’s also no one to defend/protect him when something comes up, since there’s no one from KZ who has a weight in figure skating world.
I have a distinctive feeling Otabek will be the same.
I mean, how the hell would he be comfortable enough to rent a bike and ride all over Bar-freaking-celona, with no fear to get lost/in trouble, if he wasn’t used to this kind of responsibilities? Again, he’s 18.
At the same time Yurio is like:
Therefore his friendship with Yurio is truly a blessing. They do have a lot in common, they’re practically from the same background: the lifestyle in KZ and Russia does not really differ. It’s the same culture, the same language (KZ is bilinguial: both Kazakh and Russian are widely spoken), a really similar mindset, educational system, environment, custom etc. They’re both outsiders in the current lineup, striving to make a name for themselves. It’s almost the same as 5 years ago in that camp when both Otabek and Yurio were new to the rink in Saint-Petersburg. That’s what Otabek referring to, I think, when he says Yurio had eyes of a soldier. In that environment they’d be both treated the same, you know. Otabek as a no one from nowhere and Yurio as a that guy from Moscow. Not even sure what’d have been worse.
Also there’s a post going around about bad realtion between Russians and Kazakhs, stressing that Kazakh is an inferior race to Russians - PLEASEPLEASEPLEASE DO NOT BELIEVE IT THAT IS NOT TRUE!!!!!!!
Our nations have always been close, we have a long and complicated history but the friendship between two countries and people is very strong.
There are some issues in terms of racism on both sides but it is very rare/obscure case and is usually triggered by something.
Therefore I ask you to support Otabek Altin and his friendship with Yurochka! Please do adopt him! Please do dote on him! He really deserves and needs that!
and if you have some more feels to spare, please take a look at Denis Ten too :3
The nephilim and Team Free Will: future and determinism
This is a post that started out as an analysis of the scenes where Kelly’s and Cas’ eyes glow golden with the power of the nephilim, and ended up a long longer than I planned. My argument is that the nephilim is the new agent of determinism in the show, and somehow I accidentally ended up drawing the conclusion of romantic Destiel. I never do it on purpose but it always happens. (It’s not a post about Destiel. It’s a post about free will and destiny. Go figure.)
Please read this, it took hours to write and I should be writing my thesis instead.
The starting point of my reflection is: is the nephilim exercising a form of mind control over Kelly and Cas? My answer is yes and no. I mean - in the substance, it’s something like that. But I think it comes from a different place than ‘mind control’, and has larger implications in the context of the show.
A quartet of Once Upon a Time cast members are in negotiations to continue with the ABC fairy-tale drama should the show be renewed for a seventh season.
According to sources, original series stars Jennifer Morrison, Lana Parrilla, and Robert Carlyle, along with Colin O’Donoghue, who joined the show in season 2, are all negotiating to extend their contracts. There’s no word on what that means for fellow originals Ginnifer Goodwin and Josh Dallas, but that doesn’t necessarily mean their returns are off the table. ABC declined to comment.
The news comes as Once Upon a Time‘s future is uncertain. ABC has not yet renewed the show for season 7, though OUAT bosses Adam Horowitz and Edward Kitsis have previously said they don’t see season 6 as the end.
However, OUAT does seem poised for a big shift. At the Television Critics Association’s press tour in January, ABC Chief Channing Dungey expanded on her earlier comments about the future of Once, explaining that the OUAT bosses are looking at the potential seventh season as a springboard in a new direction, “which doesn’t necessarily mean that we’re not bringing cast back,” she said. “It’s just, how do you kind of hit the reset button in a way that gives you an opportunity to expand the stories that we’re telling?” While Dungey stopped short of revealing whether any actors would exit, she did note, “Whenever there’s change, there’s always a transition.”
For her part, Morrison seemed optimistic about sticking with the show back in January. “I have a really fierce loyalty to the show,” Morrison said. “I am fiercely protective of the character. I feel like so many amazing things have come to my life because of it. It’s really made my life better in so many ways. I don’t have any interest in abandoning something that is such a special part of my life, but I also know I don’t have it in me to do it forever, so it’s more about a life decision, and I don’t even know how to make that life decision until I know what ABC even wants.”
Earlier this week, Once Upon a Time added two new actors — The Walking Deadalum Andrew J. West and Jane the Virgin star Alison Fernandez, who will both appear in the season 6 finale, with the potential for more episodes should the show get renewed. Check out our theory on that here.
I wanted to post this first, because it was a very sweet, comforting moment that happened after the coverage cut away to replays. I believe he was giving her a few words of comfort, and I caught Tessa in a blink. ;) The end result is probably my favourite of the photos I took this weekend.
Once Upon a Waste of Time - An open Letter to Adam Horowitz and Eddy Kitsis.
Dear Adam and Eddy,
After watching #OnceUponaTime #OUAT & had a chance to process it there are a number of things I’m really not happy or comfortable with and I would really like them addressed.
Why did you deem it perfectly acceptable to use the term “nut house” in the show? Please don’t ever use that term again. It’s stigmatising mental illness & there’s enough of that in the world already. It only endorses name calling being okay to use against those who suffer with mental illnesses.
The Q&A was talking of hope and belief. But when it comes to the marginalised oppressed groups it was pitiful in representation. In fact, the number of POC and LGBTQ characters you had on your show were extremely disproportionate to the real world. Most of your POC characters ended up with terrible fates. Such as Merlin, Stanham (Tin man), Marian, I don’t even remember what happened to Rapunzel… yikes! Only one POC couple Aladdin and Jasmine represented POC with a happy ending. I don’t even recall seeing any others present for happy endings. That’s how disproportionate it was with POC representation.
The one f/f queer pairing you had, which was written by two of your MALE employees in your writing team and therefore had no feminine perspective, was rushed together without development and made it into some stereotype of lesbians meet and fall in love in a day and move in together. That was eye rolling enough, but to top it off, they only got one episode out of six years of your show, and were not even even present for the happy endings moment. Seemingly nobody thought to invite them to the wedding, which even if the actresses couldn’t make, would have taken a moment to write in saying Ruby and Dorothy couldn’t make it, but send their love and congratulations. We didn’t even see them in Oz when Zelena took everyone back to her Emerald City castle.
I hate to break it to you guys but treating a f/f ship differently to that of the heterosexual pairings you have on the show, is not equality. It’s merely ticking a box to say yep we covered LGBTQ, and it is in that inequality that gave it the “I’m not homophobic… but” feel to it. The bottom line is that there shouldn’t be inequality. Even the disproportionate numbers of LGBTQ and POC characters to heterosexual and white characters ratio comes across as sexuality and racial inequality.
Regina being a middle aged Latina woman only got apples and dwarfs showing her acceptance which she has been getting for 4 seasons now. She’s happy with herself, I get that, but why did the Latina queen only ever get heartbreak in love and not even get a romantic love in her life for her happy ending? Are Latina’s destined to be without a lover? Or is it just middle aged women destined to be alone if they haven’t found a lover by a certain point? I understand she would have been grieving Robin, but there wasn’t even a hint of hope that she could be with someone in the future. Not a start of anything. Zelena being older than Regina didn’t have one either. So all the middle aged female fans who are currently alone right now, who watched the show for a bit of hope that maybe they would find love one day, didn’t get that hope as they weren’t validated.
I understand happiness doesn’t always involve having a lover in your life but to the marginalised oppressed groups Latinas, middle aged women, and LGBTQ, you didn’t deliver any substantial hope for them to believe that they too could find happiness because you did not represent them. Didn’t even represent anyone in the trans community at all. So all those people who watched with the hope of a “Modern Fairytale” didn’t take away with them a message of hope and belief as they weren’t accurately represented. They just took home the message that everyone else deserved a happy ending but them.
And the final thing I’m really annoyed with, is that you had the greatest love story with SwanQueen. Every single message on the show about what love is, they demonstrated. SwanQueen in my opinion, was the greatest love story never told.
Six years and one kinda uncomfortable looking hug is unrealistic for best friends, especially with the way the actors were directed to play them, and with all the queer-baiting subtext. But to add insult to injury you have the same initial situation of a kid looking for and finding their parent, and have openly stated that Henry and his daughter’s mother who he will meet again will have an epic love story… so basically it’s pretty much SwanQueen but the heterosexual version of it. The SwanQueen story was so good, but just not heteronormative to tell on TV. I want to know, WHY? And please don’t use the excuse “family show” anymore because the sexual content of this show, albeit no sex was actually taking place in it, does not make this family viewing. Nor does violence and murder either.
I’d like some answers around this and not to be ignored or blocked because you don’t like me putting you in front of a mirror to examine yourselves. There was even a time you baited Swen in an obvious way by tweeting a script tease of a SwanQueen scene which you had cut from the show!
Adam, you have stalked Swen accounts and there are multiple cases where there is evidence of you doing that. I want to know why you used us for viewership if your heteronormative love story was something you were so certain of being successful?
You had a little over 12 million viewers at the start of your show. And the latest figures were around 2.8 million if I’m not mistaken. How do you deem this as success? You used Swen to keep you afloat for another season didn’t you? You could at the very least have the decency to be honest and admit that.
You’ve lost a viewer in me, not just with Once Upon a Time, but with all future shows you decide to create, and I’m sure I’m not the only one who has made this decision. Once Upon a Time was sold as a “Modern Fairytale” but that was false advertising really. The only thing modern about it was the characters had cell phones and spoke of Hamilton tickets, oh and Snow White held a sword for the first time… 🤦🏼♀️ Big whoop! Nothing modern here or even groundbreaking. Same old story of predominantly white, cis gendered, heterosexual couples getting their happy endings and leaving everyone else lacking them. If that’s your idea of a “modern fairytale”, then I’m sure all your future endeavours as writers will be just as same old, same old.
The characterization of Aphrodite in the Saint Seiya Universe
This is a translation of a post originally submitted on May 23, 2015, in Brazilian Portuguese.
Thank you so much, Arukas. You’re the best!! ♥ ♥ ♥
After his recent spectacular participation in Soul of Gold, I found myself thinking about how the character was dealt with in the various works he was present, and I decided to draw a parallel between them, because I see that many people don’t realize (or understand) the always present essence of the character.
Initially, Aphrodite was created by Masami Kurumada as a warrior who is fearless, proud, and very concerned about peace on Earth. After seeing in Saga the strength required to keep that peace, he decided not to follow Athena – until then a weak and unknown girl to the Gold Saints. He does not hesitate before an enemy threat and since then he proves himself a powerful opponent at direct and indirect battle, being able to knock Pegasus Seiya unconscious without laying a single finger on him. Moreover, Aphrodite shows an enormous inflexibility in the face of Shun’s arguments, not giving in at any moment nor hesitating about his ideals of justice. He would die for what he believed to be right and made it clear since his first appearance in the series.
“Strength is justice, and the winner is the absolute sovereign”.*
“Peace has been among us thanks to Pope Ares”.*
Remember that even in the encyclopedia his concern for peace is exalted.
The second work he appeared in was Episode G, in a less prominent role, but that followed the same line of fighting as the one seen before. Aphrodite faces and easily defeats a Giga, while protecting and healing Aiolia, showing the same distinguished, imposing and proud posture that we saw in front of Andromeda Shun, in the virtual future of this saga. And once again he shows himself as extremely inflexible before the enemy, having a goal ahead of him and nothing is capable of divert him from his path until he achieves it.
“My side is and always will be the same. I will always be on the side of the most beautiful justice, for beauty is the only absolute justice, incapable of betraying us”.*
(Notice that, in this saga, he uses euphemisms to talk about strength. And here we can also see an extension of his techniques with roses, in which he is able to create huge vines and control them freely).
Later he is inserted in the chronology through Saintia Sho. Here we get to know more about his personality rather than his strength. We’re given a great and enlightening dialogue between him and Saori Kido, in which all his position is explained and justified. Once more, the reason of his actions is thesearch for peace and for protection of those who are weaker.
“One needs to win to protect”.*
“As a Saint who protects the Earth, to swear loyalty to an unreliable stranger would be the same as betraying the people of this world…And this is something I cannot do at all”.*
Aphrodite was aware the Earth was at risk of being invaded by other divine entities, such as Hades and Poseidon, and in the face of an unexperienced and weak girl, he preferred to follow Saga until she proved being able to defend those who needed protection. She understands that attitude herself, and admits it is reasonable to expect that from someone at his position.
His participation in the Legend of Sanctuary movie doesn’t take a minute, but we can see in his lines that he was at Athena’s side this time. He believed she was in the Sanctuary and went after the Pope to take her to a safe place.
(This is the only film in the series that I will mention, since the others don’t make any sense to be analyzed and used as any kind of foundation for the characters).
At last, we have Aphrodite resurrecting along with his comrades in the current Soul of Gold saga. Insightful, intelligent and distinguished, noble: that’s how he was shown so far. His first thought upon arriving at unknown territory, unaware of why he was revived, was to investigate the enemy directly in order to know the reasons for them to be there and for all the adverse situations the Gold Saints were facing. In this saga, he displays a skill unknown up to then: Aphrodite can communicate with plants, and by using such skill, he gets to the God Warrior Fafner. His posture was the same he had in all his serious combats so far: Inflexible and determined to reach his goal. Aphrodite extracted from Fafner all the information he needed, and immediately passed them on to Mu. There was no hesitation, fear or doubt when confronted by all the adversities he met: he had a goal and would achieve it by any means.
In this scene, he shows again his concern about the well-being of people above everything else, telling Fafner that he could not forgive him for the suffering he caused to Asgard’s inhabitants. Before being imprisoned, we see that – somehow – he passed through Andreas, released Helena and got her out of the place, sacrificing himself in the process.
After minimally analyzing each of his participations, I can conclude that Aphrodite is and always has been characterized in the same way. In some sagas there were euphemisms in his words, while in others he was more brutal and even violent, but in the end, he always had the same characteristics when fighting seriously: Strong, fearless, imposing and extremely focused on his goal. The fact that he prizes for peace and the common good is also present in all Saint Seiya works, and is even highlighted in all of them, either with words or attitudes of his. This is Pisces Aphrodite, created and worked on through several works, but whose essence was maintained in all of them: the tireless search for peace and justice.
*translator’s note: Unfortunately I couldn’t find the episode nor the scans in English so those are translations of the lines as seen in the Brazilian dub/version.
Aphrodite: I am Trying to Break Your Heart // Wilco | Take Me to Church // Hozier | This Girl // Punch Brothers | Landmine // Pearl and the Beard | The Ballad of Mona Lisa // Panic! at the Disco | Last Night on Earth // Green Day | If I Die Young // The Band Perry | Out Tonight // Cast of Rent | Rhiannon // Fleetwood Mac
Apollo: Heavy Metal Drummer // Wilco | Libertango // Astor Piazzola | Devil’s Head Down // Pearl and the Beard | Heretics // Andrew Bird | Romeo & Juliet // Dire Straits | Satin Summer Nights // Paul Simon ft. cast of Songs from the Capeman | Ukulele Anthem // Amanda Palmer | Casimir Pulaski Day // Sufjan Stevens
Ares: String Quartet (op. 27), Mvt IV: Finale // Edvard Grieg | Black Skinhead // Kanye West | Babe Ruthless // Angel Haze | Yet // Pearl and the Beard | String Quartet no. 11 // Dmitri Shostakovich | Holiday // Green Day | Let’s Kill Tonight // Panic! at the Disco | So What // P!nk | Crown // Run the Jewels | New Year’s Day // U2
Artemis: Wolf // First Aid Kit | Either Way // Wilco | Hummingbird // WIlco | Battle Cry // Angel Haze | Yellow Flicker Beat // Lorde | Magnets // Lorde | Tiger Mountain Peasant Song // Fleet Foxes | Blue Ridge Mountains // Fleet Foxes | Furr // Blitzen Trapper | Wolverine // Sufjan Stevens | When I Was a Boy // Dar Williams | Blackberry Blossom // Michelle Shocked
Athena: Academia // Sia | Space Oddity // David Bowie | Dark Matter // Andrew Bird | Bravado // Lorde | Last of the American Girls/She’s a Rebel // Green Day ft. Cast of American Idiot | Plasticities // Andrew Bird | Imitosis // Andrew Bird
Demeter: Adagio for Strings // Samuel Barber | Loved and Alive // Jim and the Povalos | Iowa // Pearl and the Beard | The Circle Game // Joni Mitchell | Landslide // Fleetwood Mac | Woodstock // Joni Mitchell | Proserpina // Martha Wainwright
Dionysos: Chandelier // Sia | Gasoline // Halsey | GDFR // Flo Rida, Sage the Gemini | St. Jimmy // Green Day ft. Cast of American Idiot | Fiery Crash // Andrew Bird | Teeth // Lady Gaga | Sin Wagon // Dixie Chicks | German Sparkle Party // The Something Experience
Haides: You // Pearl and the Beard | Golden // Fall Out Boy | Boulevard of Broken Dreams // Green Day | Hell is Chrome // Wilco | John Wayne Gacy, Jr // Sufjan Stevens | Live and Die // The Avett Brothers | One // U2
Hephaistos: Sim Sala Bim // Fleet Foxes | The Once and Future Carpenter // The Avett Brothers | Take ‘em Away // Old Crow Medicine Show | Radioactive // Imagine Dragons | Gwyn, Lord of Cinder // Dark Souls soundtrack
Hera: Prodigal Daughter // Pearl and the Beard | Rumour Has It // Adele | Single Ladies // Beyonce | Heirloom // Sufjan Stevens | Don’t You Worry Child // Swedish House Mafia | You’re Aging Well // Dar Williams | St. Judy’s Comet // Paul Simon | Hide and Seek // Imogen Heap
Hermes: Lie, Cheat, Steal // Run the Jewels | Travesty // invoke | Twin Skeleton’s // Fall Out Boy | Bitch, Look At Me Now (Two Weeks) // Childish Gambino | Wing$ // Macklemore | Jesus of Suburbia mix // Green Day ft. Cast of American Idiot | Fiery Crash // Andrew Bird | Irrational Anthem // Plain White T’s | Long Way Around // Dixie Chicks | Smooth Criminal // Michael Jackson | Poker Face // Lady Gaga | Chicago // Sufjan Stevens
Hestia: Miss Missing You // Fall Out Boy | Home // Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes | Our House // Crosby, Stills, Nash, & Young | Fatima // K’naan | Round Here // Counting Crows | Angel of Montgomery // Bonnie Raitt | Baby Blue // Bob Dylan | Welfare Music // The Bottle Rockets | When I’m Gone // Phil Ochs
Nemesis: Goodbye Earl // Dixie Chicks | Two Black Cadillacs // Carrie Underwood | Better Than Revenge // Taylor Swift | Not Ready to Make Nice // Dixie Chicks
Persephone: Keep You On My Side // CHVRCHES | Good Death // Pearl and the Beard | Death Valley // Fall Out Boy | Just One Yesterday // Fall Out Boy | River // Pearl and the Beard | 21 Guns // Green Day | Uma Thurman // Fall Out Boy | Die Die Die // The Avett Brothers | The Cave // Mumford and Sons | Walk On // U2
Poseidon: Swimming // Pearl and the Beard | Hurricane // Panic! at the Disco | Armchairs // Andrew Bird | Swimming // Florence + the Machine | Lusitania // Andrew Bird ft. Annie Clark | What the Water Gave Me // Florence + the Machine | Never Let Me Go // Florence + the Machine | Northern Downpour // Panic! at the Disco
Zeus: Panthers // Wilco | Weather Systems // Andrew Bird | Beautiful Day // U2 | Rain King // Counting Crows | American Girls // Counting Crows | Deja Vu // Crosby, Stills, Nash, & Young
thank you all very much for the support/love you have shown me over my time here. it’s very sad to be leaving because this blog has given me the most amazing network of friends. i’ve seriously met some of the greatest people because of this, and i’m glad to have had this opportunity.
but sadly, people sent me some very…negative things last night. a handful were very very ugly and i wish not to elaborate so that it doesn’t upset anyone. it was too much to just brush off, and it really upset me. and i don’t like seeing the negative asks as much as anyone else. it upsets my friends, which upsets me more than the asks themselves. i’m also just not into osomatsu-san anymore! ;^P
but most of my experience has been a great one, so thank you! i’m just a little too tired (physically and mentally) and i don’t think i can deal with rude asks atm.
maybe we’ll see each other in the future! maybe i’ll come back one day, who knows? but for now, i am leaving. goodbye, everyone! thank you for being nice to me and jyushi! :^D
Why do you rip into Arthur so often and so harshly compared to everyone else?
I know I talk about Arthur a lot. A LOT. And some of it is pretty damn harsh, mostly because of my frustration with his back and forth development stasis. And yeah, I can and do talk about Merlin and Morgana and Gwen a lot, too, but Arthur gets the brunt of it for a few reasons.
1. The whole show is about him. It’s called “Merlin,” yeah, but…everything Merlin does is “for him.” Not for himself, not for Gwen or Morgana. Arthur. So even when it’s not about Arthur, it’s still kinda about Arthur. Even in the prophecy about him and Merlin, “the Once and Future King” is given priority. Merlin’s just there to make him king, and Morgana and Gwen’s entire existences revolve around Arthur after a certain point. Gwen’s reduced to her romance with Arthur while Morgana is reduced to her hatred for Arthur.
2. The whole point of the prophecy and the show itself is literally Arthur’s character development.Specifically his character development. Even more specifically, how he’s going to become a great king, when he’ll be ready to rule, what makes him so wonderfully amazing that there are prophecies about him, what he thinks about magic, when/if he’s going to accept magic, how that bully in ep1 could possibly become the wise and just Once and Future King.
It’s a damn vital part of the show, and it doesn’t happen.
3.I’m especially not okay with people thinking what he accomplished in canon was “good enough” or worthy of his prophetic status, because throughout it all, nothing changed for magic users. That’s ~just one thing~ or whatever, but it’s also the Big Thing that multiple episodes were dedicated to exploring and pushing at, but nothing ever came of it. Not legally, not in public opinion, regardless of whatever slight pardon Arthur might have given the Druids.
The Arthur we saw in glimpses throughout the series, in the most powerful scenes in the show, who showed real compassion and open-mindedness and wisdom–that’s the Arthur I believe could have brought magic back to Camelot in peace, could have figured out on his own that Merlin’s secrets were darker than he might have imagined when he still didn’t quite see servants of people worthy of respect or consideration, could have confronted his insecurities and the shadow cast by his father for good, could have faced his privilege as a wealthy, sheltered noble and seen through the eyes of his people.
I’m not okay with so many people accepting, worshiping, and defending canon Arthur when their tactics often involve trying to shift the focus and the blame to other characters to avoid talking about any of Arthur’s real flaws instead of just the funny/quirky/acceptable ones.
His insecurities, his brashness, his outward display of arrogance, his awkwardness, his inability to display/communicate emotion clearly, his easily-trusting nature: “acceptable.”
His privilege of wealth and status, his constant physical and emotional abuse of Merlin, his complicity in his father’s cruelty, his extreme prejudice against a persecuted minority group, his hypocrisy: “WELL MORGANA’S A BITCH SO THEY ALL DESERVED IT”
4. I’m really really passionate about Arthur as a character???He deserved so much more development, oh my god. WHAT A GREAT SETUP. WHAT A GREAT MESS OF FLAWS AND MISTAKES. what an amazing person we see when he CONFRONTS his flaws and mistakes and strives for change holy shit
He’s complicated and conflicted in a million ways, and the writers dumbed him down because they literally never wanted anything to change.
Every time he reached that point in the series, the point where he was right at the edge of making a real difference…..They hit the reset button and dragged him back to Square One: Magic Is Inherently Evil.
Arthur is change. Courage. The person who isn’t afraid to step forward and fight for their beliefs—or the person who is afraid, but fights all the same. Because turning away from people he has the power to help would be unthinkable.
He cannot think of his pride while people are suffering.
I’ve seen many excellent reviews about this episode already, so let’s jump right in, shall we? Dean is a mess, and Cas doesn’t understand what’s wrong.
When we first learned Mary was back, I had an absurd surge of optimism because, yeah, so I expected things would get even more complicated on the coming out front with one parent back in the game, but I had hoped Mary’s presence would unburden Dean, so to say, allowing him to finally be a brother to Sam, and not a parent. But, well: no such luck. Mary being unwilling or unable to ‘properly’ parent her adult children, Dean is even more of a mess; and, of course, he can’t take it out on Mary (because he knows what’s happening is not her fault) and he can’t take it out on Sam (he did in the past, and, Jesus, the guilt) and he can’t even take it out on himself (that’d be his first instinct, wouldn’t it - look at that flask Dean was carrying around in Celebrating the Life of Asa Fox), because now it’s not the time to lose control, not in front of his mother, not when Lucifer’s still out of the Cage and Sam needs him. And so, well, Dean takes it out on Cas. Cas who represents, more than anything ever could, the tragic irony that is Dean’s life - because Dean can never tell him that he loves him, can he, because Cas looks like a man, and Dean is not like that, and also because Cas wouldn’t understand (just look at him) and even if he did, what then? You think there’d be any kind of happy ending? 'What show have you been watching?’ Hunters are burned, and the sooner, the better. We know Dean never expected to get out, and he never expected to survive this long, and we know he’d convinced himself he didn’t mind - blast of glory, and all that bullshit. But now - now he’s got something he cares about. Not just his brother, who, Dean knows, and it both hurts and makes it better, would be perfectly fine without him, because Sam is a great kid and always was; and not even his mother, who doesn’t need him, anyway, and is going through the same stupid thing Dean is (she’s not suicidal, not exactly, but she knows she’s here on borrowed time, doesn’t she? and Sam doesn’t get it); no, the problem is Cas, and the problem has been Cas for some time. After all, that’s definitely who Dean was talking about two years ago, when he told some priest he wasn’t ready to die. And it was true, completely honest, what he’d said: Dean isn’t ready to die, and Cas is a very big part of the reason, and that’s why Dean resents him so much. And the more Cas proves he could, in fact, fit into Dean’s life - look at him with his stupid badge, getting in and out of morgues without raising suspicion - the more Dean resents him. And Cas, of course, doesn’t get it, which makes Dean resent him even more. Because Cas could read his thoughts, or his soul, or whatever the fuck, and this last episode reminded us of that; and, no doubt, Dean did wonder, many times, if that would be, in fact, easier: why should he agonize over the right words and the right moment, when Cas can simply - see those feelings inside him? But Cas is not like that, of course, and he wouldn’t look inside Dean without permission (or, even worse, Cas has looked inside him, deliberately or by accident, and he’s seen those things inside Dean, and - Jesus - either he didn’t understand what he was seeing, or he didn’t care at all).
(Please excuse me while I breathe into a paper bag for a bit.)
So, yeah - all in all, I’m not surprised Dean’s being so distant. He tried opening up to Cas and Cas took a step back (fucking again). Dean told him he was afraid and insecure and had no clue what to say to his mother, and Cas almost hung the phone on him (“Don’t make things needlessly complicated, as you humans tend to do.” - emphasis mine). Because Cas is not human, and of course he doesn’t get it. And, even worse, Cas walked away. Dean told him outright he was part of their family - that he was a brother to them - and yet Cas got the hell out of Dodge the first fucking chance he got, precisely because he didn’t consider himself part of the family. And since then, Cas has been putting himself in mortal danger, over and over again, because he doesn’t get it, the stupid bastard, that his life matters - that Dean can’t -
(And it shouldn’t matter, all in all, that Cas is working with Crowley, and Dean’s surely ashamed of the stupid jealousy he’s feeling, especially because Crowley can see right through him, as fucking usual, but Dean can’t help it - look at the limey bastard, doing these things that Dean was supposed to do with Cas - working a case - interrogating suspects - and, no doubt, kicking back in some bar late in the evening, drinking and talking and laughing and what if - what if -
“Buddy boy, you’ve got what they call sex appeal.”
- because Crowley, yeah, the only reason he’s doing this is to annoy Dean - he can teleport and has no problem whatsoever torturing information out of anyone - he doesn’t care about those fake badges, and what they represent - a life where Dean can be someone real, can be respected and liked and trusted for who he is - no, all he cares about is himself. I mean, look at how protective Dean is towards those badges - “You should be proud of them,” he says, over and over, and Sam just rolls his eyes at him - and look at Crowley’s reaction when Dean takes one off him - “Armani!”.
And another thing: we know Crowley’s basically in love with Dean, and that they do share some kind of kinship, but when all’s said and done, Crowley is much more similar to Sam 'the end justifies the means’ Winchester, which is perhaps why they hate each other so much. And, well - if this show wasn’t so annoyingly hellbent into keeping the focus on Dean without actually telling us Dean’s story, this uneasy truce between Sam and Crowley would be the stuff of dreams. They are both such complex and interesting characters, and yet we still know so little about them.)
Shiro is a huge movie buff and he’s really into “old-fashioned” movies from our era. His favorite one is Treasure Planet and it’s what got him his start in wanting to explore the stars! It’s a HUGE pain having to rig up a system that’s compatible with ancient DVDs (heck, maybe they use holographic projectors to make you think you’re in the movie in the future, who knows), but it’s worth it once he gets to show all of his childhood classics to his friends!
Despite his tendency not to pick up on social cues, make no mistake, Keith is absolutely whip smart and he has a good head for numbers and figuring out patterns. He’s an undisputed champion at sudoku and he teaches the other Paladins how to play chess; sometimes they have tournaments and the one person Keith can never manage to beat is Allura. (It was Shiro that originally taught him, part of his “patience yields focus” mantra that Keith takes to heart.)
As a kid, Pidge was forever picking up stray animals and bringing them home with them, there wasn’t even a, “Can we please keep him?” spiel with puppydog eyes, they just treated it like absolute fact that this cat or dog or weird lizard they found on the side of the road was now a part of the family. It’s how they found their current family dog; Pidge named her Marie Curie, but Archimedes the neighbor’s cat (actually named Fluffy) will never be forgotten.
Growing up with a lot of siblings, Lance is fantastic with kids. He’s the ideal big brother, always enthusiastic and genuinely interested in what you’re doing, never making you feel dumb just for being a kid and the fact that he’s older. Because he’s so tall and spindly, he doesn’t make for a very good jungle gym, but that doesn’t stop the kids from trying to climb all over him anyway until it turns into a toddler dog pile.
Part of being a good engineer for high-tech spacecrafts means having a steady hand and an eye for detail. To keep his skills sharp, Hunk often sketches out blueprints for new designs or improvements on current Garrison ships. He’s best with machinery and architecture, but on occasion he does like a change of pace and sits the rest of Team Voltron down for some portraits. They stick all his drawings on the closest thing the Castle of Lions has to a fridge for everyone to admire.
A complete and utter terror even as a young child, Allura was the absolute crown jewel of the royal family and the Paladins of old. She would ask for rides in every lion just to see if anything felt different between them, steal the Paladin helmets and pretend she had her own pink lion, and sit in on every team bonding exercise to see just how every Paladin worked in sync. All of them absolutely adored her and treated her like she was their own, sneaking her sweets and letting her touch their all-important bayards.
Coran and Alfor served in Altea’s military together, Alfor because it was expected of royalty to have a good grasp on his planet’s martial law, and Coran because he genuinely believed in making a difference. His silly exterior, while not entirely an act, is at times exaggerated and maintained mostly for the benefit of Allura and the new Paladins to give them a little levity and help them feel that not everything is so dire and bleak. He sees it as his mission to keep the team together, mentally and emotionally, and doesn’t mind being the butt of the joke to keep it that way.