third-form

Voltron Meta: Lion Switching as a Plot Device

Since it seems increasingly likely that we will get Lion Switching in season 3 (i.e. Keith piloting Black, Lance piloting Red, and Allura piloting Blue, as they did in Old Voltron) I thought I’d take a moment to address how this might work.

I’ve previously stated that I’m against any permanent Lion Switching, and I stand by that. I don’t think it would work narratively, for a number of reasons - not least of which is the fact that it would require Shiro to be permanently removed from the role of Black Paladin and either written into a diminished role or written out of the show entirely. I don’t think either of these choices fit with what the show has done with his character, and they would be disappointing steps to take in light of how important Shiro is as good representation of a traumatised, mentally ill character. @radioactivesupersonic has a great meta {here} about why it doesn’t make sense to kill off Shiro, and many of the same points apply to the question of removing Shiro as Black Paladin and replacing him with someone else (even if he doesn’t actually die, and instead takes on a lesser role).

To my mind it doesn’t make sense to spend two seasons building up Shiro’s bond with the Black Lion, even going so far as to have Shiro battle Zarkon in Voltron’s infinite void for control of the Lion… and then just get rid of Shiro and put another Paladin in his place. It negates much of the bonding he has done with Black, and renders his storyline a dead end. It’s narratively more satisfying to see Shiro’s connection with the Black Lion play out across the course of the show than it is to see another Paladin in the Black Lion on a permanent basis.

[this seems like a lot of trouble to go to just to get replaced is all i’m saying]

That said, I’m not averse to the idea of a temporary Lion Switch because I think it opens up some opportunities for interesting storytelling, and that’s what I want to get into below.

Keep reading

anonymous asked:

hi! I'm a follower of the asatro and I identify as genderqueer. I wondered if you know anything about a third gender/transgender/intersex in old norse/asatro/norse paganism or the like? I'm desperately trying to find something I can relate to and thought I'd ask you. thanks!

Velkomin(n), vinur minn,
(Welcome, my friend,)

There are several examples in Norse mythology in which gender boundaries are disregarded; the gods were often quite fluid about their genders, both literally and ‘socially’ (assuming the gods had their own social norms to live by). It all depended on the situation, really. Loki is arguably the most famous for this. In fact, Odin’s steed, Sleipnir, was Loki’s child — but he wasn’t the father, he was the mother. To summarize that story briefly (before directly quoting the relevant part), there was a builder from Giantland who came, and Loki made a deal with him that the gods did not like. To make things right, he had to make the builder forfeit the payment for succeeding in his task. And so it goes:

“And the same evening, when the builder drove out for stone with his stallion Svadilfæri, there ran out of a certain wood a mare up to the stallion and neighed at it (such a flirt). And when the stallion realized what kind of horse it was, it went frantic and tore apart the tackle and ran towards the mare, and she went away to the wood and the builder after them, trying to catch the stallion, and these horses ran around all night and the building work was held up for that night. […] But Loki had had such dealings with Svadilfæri (Snorri is being polite — they had sex) that somewhat later he (Loki) gave birth to a foal. It was grey and had eight legs, and this is the best horse among gods and men.”(1)

Yet, it is not just Loki who disregards gender boundaries. Odin himself disregards them, but more so in the sense of socially constructed gender expectations (at least from my knowledge and experience). There is a form of magic known as seiðr, but it was regarded as a feminine practice. So much so that any man practicing it was charged with ergi (another similar term is argr), which was usually considered a very serious insult (for a man). More on that another time, perhaps (this post has already gotten very long, so a separate ask about the attitudes of ‘actual’ society may be more wise than cramming it all here). Even in the realm of the gods, though, this term still weighed against men who took part in feminine activities. Odin, regarded as a male figure, was no exception to this. This is mentioned in Ynglinga saga, from Heimskringla:

“Óðinn knew, and practised himself, the art which is accompanied by greatest power, called seiðr, and from it he could predict the fates of men and things that had not yet happened, and also cause men death or disaster or disease, and also take wit or strength from some and give it to others. But this magic, when it is practised, is accompanied by such great perversion that it was not considered without shame for a man to perform it, and the skill was taught to the goddesses.”(2)


I actually stumbled upon an article about Valkyries and Shield-maidens as a third gender while looking for resources to answer your question with. Here are a few excerpts from it, though please do bear with me, for I am going to include quite a bit of direct quotes (I think that you, and others, will find them to be very fascinating). Besides, I cannot be sure how many of you have access to these academic articles, let alone have the resources to locate them, so I want to make sure I can give you all a good taste of the work:

“Most scholarship on valkyries and shield-maidens categorizes them as women, as kinds of warrior women who are connected to other, rare warrior women, such as the maiden king (meykongr) and to other women who, in exceptional circumstances, take up arms to fight (Andersson 1980; Damico 1984; Jesch [1991] 2010; Larrington 1992b; Præstergaard Andersen 2002; Quinn 2006, 2007). These discussions of valkyries and shield-maidens tend to insert them into a binary of masculine and feminine, wherein they sit somewhat uneasily in the feminine category. Yet, as other scholarship on Old Norse gender and sex has shown, the situation for all persons, not just valkyries, is much more complicated. The boundaries between masculine and feminine are not always rigid, at least insofar as women can take on masculine characteristics and receive approval, even if that approval was limited. Valkyries and shield-maidens, like the strong women of the sagas, are met with admiration, though not as paragons of femininity. As this article argues, these figures are best understood as a third gender—a hybrid of masculine and feminine characteristics that were dominant during the time period explored.”(3)

“In eddic poetry, shield-maidens are similarly denizens of battle. Whereas valkyries seem divine or, at the very least, semi-divine, the shield-maidens are human and have human parents and human lineages. However, they also have supernatural abilities, such as being able to ride over the sea and through the air. These beings take a special interest in human men—the heroes of the narrative—for whom, like the valkyries, they intercede in battle, but only to protect their heroes and aid them. Shield-maidens engage in sexual relationships with their heroes and most marry them; after that, they cease to be shield-maidens and become only feminine. The description here derives from the scant information available in the sources; there are not many examples of shield-maidens in the literature. One example is Sváva, who, like the other shield-maidens of the heroic poems of the Edda, is armored and carries weapons. Her helmet dominates the description of her as she rides among an accompanying troop of shield-maidens: “a white maiden under a helmet” (Helgakviða Hjǫrvarðssonar [hereafter HHv], stanza 28, in Neckel 1983). Another example is Sigrún, a major character in two Helgi poems. Also described as helmeted, she and her band carry spears and wear blood-spattered byrnies, which are a sort of mail coat (Helgakviða Hundingsbana [hereafter HH] 1, stanza 15, in Neckel 1983). Valkyries and shield-maidens are similar in that both wear armor and carry weapons, act in battle to determine the fate of men, and are unmarried women. Shield- maidens are different in that they marry human men, which results in a change of status.”(4)

Valkyries and Shield-maidens as feminine:

“Aside from this linguistic categorization as female, valkyries and shield- maidens have a number of other attributes that are part of medieval Icelandic culture’s hegemonic constructions of femininity. Perhaps one of the most ‘traditional’ feminine activities of the valkyrie is her work in Valhǫll, serving men drinks. At the same time that Snorri describes the valkyries’ functions in battle, he writes that they “serve drink and look after the tableware and drinking vessels” (30). An example of this work is found in Snorra Edda, in which the goddess Freyja is the only one who dares to bring a drink to the giant Hrungnir, whom no other is brave enough to serve (Edda: Skáldskaparmál, in Faulkes 1998, 20). Human women similarly serve drinks to the men in the hall. As the keeper of food-stores and the manager of the household, women of the highest rank in Iceland were closely associated with food and its distribution. By serving men, they enacted that association and their subordinate position to the men they served. By depicting valkyries in this feminine role, the texts are able to have their cake and eat it too—the warrior woman is domesticated in Odin’s ‘beer-hall.’”(5)

Valkyries and Shield-maidens as masculine:

“At the same time, valkyries and shield-maidens embody masculinity: they wear men’s clothing and act in ways understood by medieval Icelandic culture to be masculine. It is significant that they clothe themselves as men not simply by wearing “the pants,” but by putting on the garb and carrying the tools that mark the most admired sort of man—the warrior. The helmets and other armor together are common elements in their appearance and important aspects of the valkyrie’s masculinity. Sigrún and her troop’s blood-spattered byrnies (noted above) are quite striking. The byrnie (or brynie) also figures importantly in the story of Brynhild, who was the most famous of all of these warrior women. The word itself is one part of her compound name: Brynie-hild (brynie-battle).

This armor-wearing valkyrie is not simply named for armor, but her armor becomes part of her. […] In sum, the removal of the byrnie is the removal of one of the valkyrie’s most important masculine attributes. In the version in Vǫlsunga saga, the removal of the mail coat marks the end of her time in the third gender. As that story progresses, and a different version of the same narrative in Snorra Edda, Brynhild soon ceases to be a valkyrie and enters the feminine gender.”(6)

And a bit of her conclusion:

“The myths and legendary sagas of medieval Iceland that are retold and recorded offer up both the possibility of the third gender, in the form of the unmarried valkyrie, and the stories of the effects of marriage on members of that gender. In the stories of Brynhild, Sváva, and Sigrún, one gets a sense of the life of any married woman of the time, though, more accurately, their stories most closely represent the life of a woman with few family members or other relationships. These myths and sagas have also provided a reservoir of depictions that have fed later cultural products up to the present day. With the exception of Wagner’s Brünnhilde—the unmarried warrior woman—the valkyries of the third gender are most influential. Though often altered through the modern retellings of Norse myth, the contemporary valkyrie is still recognizable as such.”(7)

Was this how contemporary society (Norse society) understood the valkyries and shield-maidens? Perhaps not. We must take care to not impose our hopes and experiences onto the past. Yet, it seems likely that they at least understood such concepts — at least that of homosexuality and the difficulty for humans to remain in their socially constructed gender-box for behavior. Such people have always existed; it is not some modern invention nor a fashionable modern trend. The Norse did have terms that denoted a failure to comply with their gender’s expectations, after all, such as ergi and argr.


Now, there is far more than that to explore in mythology, but I do believe that I have shared enough examples to show you that there are most definitely things that you can relate to. I would also like to recommend a few other knowledgable people who could help guide you even further on your quest (for I am far from an expert on these matters). You may already know of them, but here are my suggestions (of which there are plenty of others, by the way): @edderkopper​ (as well as @lokeanwelcomingcommittee​), @answersfromvanaheim​, @hyacinth-halcyon, and even @theasatrucommunity or the many who are listed with @valkyriesquad. Again, there are many others who can lend a hand and share information with you. They will likely stumble upon this post (or so I can hope), so be on the look out for any helpful reblogs and replies.

Regardless, there is much more that I could still ramble on about, but this post is already long enough (perhaps too long for some to bother reading). I had a lot that I wanted to say about ergi/argr, and the attitudes of gender-bending in Old Norse society (law codes, family sagas, etc. — non-mythological sources), but that would be best for a separate ask (because it would also be a fairly long post — could you imagine the length of this post with both of those discussions?! My oh my). If you would like to hear more about that (or if anyone else reading this would like to), please send me an ask about it, and I will happily respond. It may take me a bit to get around to answering it (I still have 11 other questions to answer), but I never refuse a guest to my hall, especially when they seek knowledge!

I hope my words have helped, friend.

Með vinsemd og virðingu,
(With friendliness and respect,)
Fjörn


ENDNOTES:
1. Snorri Sturluson, Edda, translated by Anthony Faulkes (repr., 1987; London: Everyman, 1995), 36. [Online Edition (Free)]
2. Snorri Sturluson, Ynglinga saga, from Heimskringla, Volume I: the Beginnings to Óláfr Tryggvason (Second Edition), translated by Alison Finaly and Anthony Faulkes (London: Viking Society for Northern Research — University College London, 2016), 11.
3. Kathleen M. Self, “The Valkyrie’s Gender: Old Norse Shield-Maidens and Valkyries as a Third Gender,” Feminist Formations, Volume 26, Issue 1, Spring 2014, 144.
4. Ibid., 148.
5. Ibid., 150.
6. Ibid., 152.
7. Ibid., 167.


NOTE: Here is a read you may be interested in. It is about homosexuality in the Viking Age, but it still has some relatable elements. The source seems credible enough, so I do recommend it if you are interested: Gunnora Hallakarva:
The Vikings and Homosexuality.


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Scenario

Okay so, that episode Starscream tries to join the Autobots? What if he wasn’t such a clod and didn’t reveal that he killed Cliffjumper? What if he actually got in and started working for the Autobots?

Of course, at first, Starscream would only join Bots because he wanted to use them to get rid of Megatron and become the leader of the Cons, because of course he would. But then he would start to realize something, little by little. 

He notices that even though the base in dirty and food is scarce, he feels much more relaxed here than he ever was on Nemesis. There is none of that looming feeling of Megatron beating you senseless, drones disrespecting you, Knock Out and Breakdown laughing at you or Arachnid humiliating you. He is free to do and be whatever he wants to be, as long as he doesn’t piss off the Bots, and that actually seems harder than he first thought. Sure, at first they are all on their toes about Stars, but after few weeks, they treat him like he was part of their team.

Stars goes to missions with Bumblebee, and learns that it was Megatron who stole his voice, and feels sympathy over him, for he too has been hurt by Megatron in the past. He hangs out with Bulkhead and learns that he isn’t just a “dumb big guy” he always though he was, and that Bulk is actually one of the first to accept him and support him. He helps Ratchet out and goes back to his scientific roots before the was and when Ratchet learns that Star used to be a scientist, they start having long debates and conversations about different formulas and eventually Stars helps Ratch make the perfect formula for synthetic energon. Arcee is not as easy, but once Star cracks few jokes about Arachnid, she warms up to her. The two joke around and grow quite close. Eventually he is even let to meet the kids and grows to find them, annoying at first, but later quite entertaining. Miko gets him into music, Raf wants to learn about Cybetronian science, and Ratchet isn’t a very talkative person so Stars makes a great teacher, and Jack is a great listener and supporter, even when Stars in denying his sorrow and inner pain.

But it’s Optimus that finally seals the deal. The two are on a mission together, and Starscream screws up, majorly. It’s nothing deadly or too dangerous, but it still causes him to panic because Megatron has beaten him for less. He gets on his knees and begs for Optimus’ forgiveness, sure that the Prime will beat him otherwise. But instead, Optimus stares at him, confused and even shocked, when he realizes why Stars is acting like this. Instead of hurting Stars, he embraces him and tells him that he is not angry and that it wasn’t Starscream’s fault. Stars doesn’t believe what just happened. Optimus, a PRIME just forgave him for his mistakes, and… comforted him. Starscream starts to re-think his choices and plans for using the Bots. For the first time in centuries, he has found someone he can truly respect and want to call his leader. He has found people who care of him and love him despite their bad past together. He has found something he thought long lost… a family.

So now, he accepts the fact that he indeed is an Autobot now. He keeps his aerial-form, he loves flying too much to give it up, but gets another, third form for himself. A motorbike. A TWO-WHEELER. Everyone know’s his hate of land-vehicles and two-wheeler’s especially so this is a special moment for everyone. Starscream asks for Ratchet to replace his Decepticon-symbol with an Autobot-one. He starts to work full time on taking down Cons. He gets better weapons and learns new fighting techniques. Just so that he can be useful for the bots, just so that he can make Optimus proud. 

Under the sharp and cold Con the Bots find a fun-loving, strong, smart and even caring Cybetronian, who just wants his home back. He no longer cares about leadership, now that he has a leader he truly supports and cares about. And who also cares of him. 

One time on the battlefield, one drone refuses to attack Starscream. It’s Steve. He begs to join “Lord” Starscream and serve him again like he did before. Stars takes a look at Optimus (who smiles and nods) and then helps the drone to his feet. “Please, call me Screamy. All my friends do.” And Steve joins the Bots.

Wheeljack and Fowler are bit harder, seeing how Starscream did keep them prisoner and tortured them. But both see how he has changed and understand that war is a serious thing and people on different sides sometimes need to do horrible things for their own side’s benefits, and eventually forgive him.

And the Smokescreen happens. Oh dear, does Smokescreen happen. Starscream is so exited to have someone new to join he hasn’t met before. He is no longer the youngest bot! Smokescreen is all confused like “YOU’RE Starscream!? No! That can’t be! You’re supposed to be evil and shit????” but soon they before great friends. Starscream finds amusing how formal Smokes is especially around Optimus, for he knows that the Prime is a kind and caring soul and not a military officer. Ultra Magnus and Stars never truly get along, but they too learn to tolerate each other.

But then, something happens that changes his happiness back to pain. Because of course.

Arcee happens to make a joke about their and Cliffjumper’s past, and Stars remembered. He really did kill part of Team Prime. He had been PROUD of that fact before, but now… Arcee tells him how she felt about him and how she misses him every day, only making Stars feel more bad than before. Stars starts to isolate himself from the others. He can’t bear to look at them or be with them. He killed their friend after all. It was long time ago, but that didn’t make it any better. Stars is in pain and cries every night.

Eventually he comes out of his room, asks for everyone’s attention. He has to do this. He can’t keep it in. Everyone gathers around, worried of their friend. Stars looks at them. “I don’t deserve this” he thinks. The Bots are asking him what is wrong. Stars tells that he has to come clean, for he can no longer live with the guilt. With tears in his eyes and crack in his voice (more than usual) he says it…

“I killed Cliffjumper.”


There is a silence. No-one says anything. Starscream closes her optics and waits. He knows, he just KNOWS he will be killed for that. But he doesn’t care. He is ready. More ready than ever. He is willing to take the punishment. 

But it never comes. Arcee walks to him, the boys telling her, panicking, to “not do it”, thinking that she will hurt him. But she doesn’t. She takes Stars’ servos in her own and looks at him in the optics and asks…

“Did you kill him quickly?” 

Stars tells exactly what happened, what Cliff said to trigger him and cause him to do it. He tells that Cliff died rather quickly even if not painless. Arcee, instead of being angry, hugs Starscream, for everyone’s surprise. She thanks Stars for telling the truth and being honest with her. Now she can finally put Cliff to rest in her mind. Sure, she will always miss Cliff and wish he wasn’t dead, but she can’t hate the “new Starscream” for the “old” ones mistakes. 

Everyone joins in the hug and tell Stars that they forgive him. He was a con back then, his job was to kill bots! He wasn’t himself back then! He was pressured by Megatron! He was not a monster for killing in a war!

Starscream can only cry. Whether it’s tears of pain or happiness, only he knows.


The war is over. Megatron and Unicron are defeated. The well of Allsparks is working again. Kock Out has joined the Bots. 

Starscream helps with the rebuilding of Cybetron. He is more quiet than before. He hasn’t forgiven himself for his actions, and he just lost Optimus, the leader he was ready to die for. But he is still happy to be alive to see the war end and promises to protect his new home with all he has.

Then Bumblebee comes to him and asks if Stars would like to become the new leader of Voss.

Whether he says yes or no… well. I let everyone make their own conclusions.

anonymous asked:

Dark Brett show us the forbidden ideologies

Hyper-forbidden ideologies:

Forbidden ideologies:

Ideologies just normally banned:

anonymous asked:

i felt excluded from the video like hello boys you're flirting is visible to us

is there any better example of blatantly visible flirting than the bomb disposal gaming videos ? they bant so much under pressure n mess with each other when they’re getting stressed and its always the most intense form of third wheeling ive ever experienced

things i think about more than i should: what if Kravitz has a third form aside from handsome man and dude skeleton and that third form is a giant skeletal monster whose maw, like, drips shadows and whose eye sockets burn bright red and he uses this form for chasing/fighting crafty necromancers or powerful undead demigods

basically what if taako had the ultimate monster boyfriend, really

Chinnamasta Jayanti.

May 8-9 2017 marks the special day dedicated to Goddess Chinnamasta, She is the sixth or third of the Mahavidya forms of the Divine Mother, as a Vidya She represents sacrifice. Another name of Chinnamasta is Prachanda Chandika. Chandika is a famous name of Devi, it’s often translated as ‘fierce’, Prachanda Chandika could mean the fiercest of the fierce, and Her image certainly suggests this. In his famous translation of Chandi Path, Swami Satyananda (of Devi Mandir, Napa, California) interprets the name Chandika as ‘She who tears apart thought’, this to me is a better understanding of the name, and in the case of Chinnamasta we see this literally as She goes the extra mile and tears off Her own head.

Her popular story tells how Parvati goes to bathe in the river accompanied by two friends, suddenly the urge for union with Lord Shiva overcomes Her and She turns a dark colour, simultaneously Her friends complain that they are hungry. The urge for union and the call of Her friends become overwhelming for Parvati and She severs Her own head, three streams of blood surge from Her neck, feeding both Her and the two attendants. This is a strange story that has been given volumes of explanation, but it highlights several important lessons.

The connection with the rise of Kundalini Shakti is obvious in the image and story of Chinnamasta. The three streams of blood represent the Ida, Pingala and Sushumna, pathways or channels of prana and Kundalini in the system. The rise in the body of spiritual energy cutting through the various knots of ignorance until the body can’t take it anymore, the head blows off, the urge to unite Shiva with Shakti accomplished. The feeding of the two attendants reminds me very much of the motto of Sri Ramakrishna Mission given by Swami Vivekananda-‘For one’s own salvation, and for the good of the world’, striving for divinity within ourselves but also seeing divinity in humanity. The sacrifice here is our heads, not in the literal sense but certainly Chinnamasta will take the mind, She is the most mind blowing form of the Divine Mother.

Miraculous Chain Fanfic

I realize that I wasn’t too specific when I last gave the link to sign up. I was just like “Here, have a link.” 

The Miraculous Chain Fanfic is going to be a group of 20-30 authors each writing a chapter to combine into one story. It may not be a masterpiece, but I believe it’s a fun way to come together and make a fun story with amazing fic authors. 

To sign up, all you need to have is a tumblr url/username (so I can know who to tag/message when I post the results of the people chosen). I’ll also need a sample of your writing so that I can see your style and see if it is good and unique! (From what I’ve read, they have been good!). Those two things are required. The third question on the form is NOT required, but it’s just a space to put some ideas for what the story is going to be about (which will be decided when I have all the people together). 

I want to use AO3 for the fic, and I think I might have figured out how (by adding everyone’s ao3 into the “add co-creators” bar, I believe that might work. If I’m wrong, and you know how, please message me!). I’m also trying to think of a way everyone could communicate together. I’m thinking the app GroupMe might work best (it’s free). There’s also Discord, but I haven’t really figured out how to use that yet.

If you have any questions please send them to this ask or message me!
Please reblog, sign up, and tag your favorite authors that you’d want to see participate! 

The link to sign up is HERE.

If you sign up/reblog/tag, thank you! It is very much appreciated and I hope you enjoy the process and final outcome!

Love, Jamie ( @give-it-agreste )