I know it’s not Studio Ghibli, I just wanted to share a few of the photos that I took during my trip to Japan. I didn’t take as many as I would have liked due to what happened while I was there, so there won’t be many of these posts. It was pretty foggy and cloudy when I took this, so this was the best that I could capture.
They tell the story around campfires. In great halls. In kitchens. And in taverns. In the skies, on the desert plains, and in the howling mountains. They tell the stories to little girls and little boys. They tell the stories to future kings and queens. They tell the story of a ragtag band of misfits, mercenaries, thieves, and assassins. Of royal born and street urchins who fought side by side. They tell the story of the Queen who was promised.
They tell the legend of a mystical queen who could burn the world with her flames. Who had scars on her back and hands from her time as a slave. Who lived a double life as an assassin but came back for her people. Who banished the dark queen and brought back the light.
They tell the story of a long-awaited king who had powers the likes of which had not been seen for over a decade. Who defeated his predecessor and saved his subjects. Who was just and merciful and who had a penchant for knowledge. Who had once worn a collar around his neck and who had a phantom haunt him from the moment it came off.
They tell the story of a rejected lord who was once a guard. Who was the most loyal friend a man could ask for. Who believed in right and wrong. Who went on the run but stayed to help the people. Who went to the south unable to walk and returned with an army.
They tell the story of a warrior prince who was the fiercest in all the lands. Who once was the lackey of the dark queen but was the first to leave her side. Who had ice and wind running through his veins. And who wore the story of his shame for all the world to see.
They tell the story of a deadly queen who drank the blood of men. Who was spared by her enemy and waged war against her family. Who guided her people to peace and into a new age. And who united two races who wared for over a century.
They tell the stories of the women. Beauties and fighters. One who could change her skin like some put on a different outfit. One who always aimed her arrow straight and true. One who was saved by a queen in an alleyway and in turn saved another and then another and then another. One who was a beacon for her people from the moment she was born until the moment her life was snuffed out. One who ended the suffering of many and who saved thousands. One who trecked across the continent to find her lost queen and never gave up hope. And one who gave her life for a better world.
They tell the stories of the men. Legends and tall tales. Men who were the fiercest warriors in all the lands. Who once served the dark queen but left her for a brighter flame. A man who let the world think the worst of him, but always stood by his family. A man who rode the skies like some men walk the earth. A man who gave his life and heart for a woman he never indeed knew. But loved none the less.
They tell the stories of these men and women. These kings and queens. These gods and goddesses. They whisper them as the candlesticks melt into nothing. They chant them as rain stomps on the roofs. They murmur them on days when the winds are so loud they rattle the worlds. They recount them on nights when the snow is so thick you can’t even see your hand in front of you. They recite these stories on the killing fields bathed in blood. They quote these stories in books and by word of mouth to anyone who will listen. They hiss these stories in lands whose names have been forgotten. They proclaim these stories to their children and their children and their children. They remember the stories of Aelin Ashryver Galathynius and the sacrifices she made until night descends upon the realms.
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I keep seeing posts about Yrene possibly healing Elide’s ankle and I’m just…
Not as excited by this idea?
I feel like we went through this with Chaol, the idea that someone has to be fixed (something TOD does deal with). But I think it’s so important to showcase how people with disabilities don’t need “fixing”. People with disabilities are just as capable of courage, of being heroes.
Elide is such a perfect example. She isn’t strong in a traditional sense, like Aelin and Manon. She doesn’t have these extraordinary powers. She is small, illiterate, and disabled.
But she is every inch as powerful– claimed and desired by three powerhouses, capable of fighting against the horrors of Morath and the cruelty of her uncle. She is rattling the stars with her gifts, her mind and her kindness. Her ability to hope when it’s hopeless.
To me, Elide is so realistic. She is all these good things but she’s also so insecure, so bothered by what she considers her “shortcomings”. She wonders what a crippled, illiterate girl can do for a queen.
When she states these fears to Lorcan, tells him of her inability to read, he replies with, “You’ve seemed to managed admirably without it.” (Or something close, I don’t have the book open in front of me).
I think that’s so important. She doesn’t need to be “fixed”. She needs to find it in herself to accept all that she is, just as Aelin and Chaol and others have or are currently. She doesn’t need to be magically “cured” and made better. She’s perfectly imperfect as she is.
Would I like it if maybe Yrene found a way to help her manage the pain? Absolutely. But Elide doesn’t need to have a perfectly formed, working ankle to be integral to the story.
I want Elide to accept herself, to be able to see how important she truly is to so many people, exactly how she is.
Just my opinion. We shall see.