wild shieldmaiden

Dudes. Prior to becoming one of the founders of Hogwarts, Helga Hufflepuff was a Viking shieldmaiden and seidr (ancient Norse witch); until she met up with the other three founders, where she would teach her craft and the knowledge given to her by Odin and Fraya.

But think about it. She is at once a kind, compassionate, empathetic, welcoming woman. A healer and caregiver, great host to all her guests. A seer, medium and spinner. And a fierce warrior worthy of the Valkyries and Odin himself, braving the whale roads on raiding parties. She was the truest of Hufflepuffs.

Tagged by the wonderful @queen-anime to do the “Top 10 ships (you’ll go down with to the bitter end)” *thanks lovely!!*

THESE ARE IN NO ORDER BECAUSE I CANNOT BE EXPECTED TO CHOOSE BETWEEN MY PRECIOUS DARLINGS. (also I can’t add all my darlings or I may have forgotten to add some as this is off the top of my head. Also please forgive any spelling mistakes etc as its currently five in the morning…. Oops…)

1. Edward Elric x Winry Rockbell (Full Metal Alchemist: Brotherhood)

How do I even begin to explain how much I love this relationship and how it develops throughout FMA:B? Winry and Ed were one of my first anime otp’s and I am in awe of their slowly progressing relationship. From childhood friends, to lovers followed to a family, Ed and Winry have always been close, regardless of their romantic feelings, which only began to emerge as the two matured. I love their relationship because it’s not simply founded on love. Winry and Ed care for eachother as people, and have always looked after one another (as well as Al).The fact that these two got a fairytale like ending melts my heart.

2. Bilbo Baggins x Thorin Oakenshield (The Hobbit)

Okay. Please just hear me out and let me explain if you’re confused. (also sorry I wrote so much, but I feel this ship needs to be explained more clearly than the others)

Although it hasn’t been confirmed (or denied) and the film plays far more on the possibility of a romantic relationship between the two than Tolkien’s perspective in the book, Bilbo and Thorin’s relationship (whether romantic or platonic) melts my heart and brings me to tears. It’s safe to say that Thorin and Bilbo have a very rocky relationship, however throughout the three films Bilbo and Thorin’s faith and loyalty to one another always shines through, despite Thorin’s growing dragon sickness (which aided by Bilbo and the others he overcomes) and the imminent danger their situation has landed them in. This is one of the most heartbreaking facts as when Thorin is on his deathbed, having over come dragon sickness, he apologises to Bilbo for leading him “into such peril” and asks for his forgiveness. Once forgiven, he then smiles, telling Bilbo to “go back to your books, and your armchair, plant your trees, watch them grow. If more people valued home above gold, the world would be a merrier place” and “farewell, Master burglar.” Bilbo replies with an immediate refusal of “You’re going to live” indicating his unwillingness to let Thorin go. GOD THAT SCENE KILLS ME. 

Another thing to think about is the length to which Bilbo goes for Thorin and the drastic change in Thorin’s perception of Bilbo throughout the films (in Thorin’s eyes, Bilbo starts out as the least significant, least useful member of the company. But by the third film (after his epiphany) Thorin sees Bilbo as one of the most important figures in his life.) Basically the little ray of sunshine melts the king’s cold heart. But it seems the world is against them (cruel cruel world) as whatever their relationship might have bloomed into (again whether platonic or romantic) is cut short by tragedy.
(side note: I was watching LotR: fellowhsip of the ring earlier and I noticed at the beginning that Frodo says “Bilbo’s been a bit odd lately… He’s taken to locking himself in his study. He spends hours and hours pouring over old maps when he thinks I’m not looking.” Now this could be due to the fact that he’s writing his book about his time with the Dwarves of Erebor, but that in itself indicates a need to relive his time with the dwarves (particuarly with their King, Thorin?) just something to think *and cry* about.)

3. Natsu Dragneel x Lucy Heartfilia (Fairy Tail)

Where oh where do I begin? 

Although Natsu and Lucy haven’t confessed any romantic feelings towards one another (yet), there’s still so much I admire and love about their relationship. As with Winry and Ed, these two have known eachother for a long time. Not as long as Winry and Ed obviously, but their relationship retains the same slow progression of growing feelings combined with fierce loyalty and unconditional love. Even without them expressing their feelings directly to one another (which will happen oneday, pls Mashima) anyone can see the bond between them is more than mere friendship. They may be lovers oneday, but they are also (in my opinion) soulmates. Bound to and by one another by the events and courses of their lives. I think that in itself is beautiful about their relationship.

4. The Tenth Doctor x Rose Tyler (Doctor Who)

I mean, who doesn’t ship this? Let’s be honest. I have nothing more to add other than Ten is my favourite Doctor and I just can’t deal with the cute, adorableness of them. They were also my first hardcore ship so I love them both to pieces.

4. Faramir x Éowyn (Lord of the Rings)

Okay so granted that this couples’ relationship is more developed in the book, but I view the film version of the pair as a glimpse into what the couple truly stand for/mean to each other. Both Faramir and Eowyn are strong, wonderful characters and the fact that they overcome rejection and loneliness and find love and comfort in each other, even with the imminent threat of Sauron, makes me so happy. They deserve to be happy, right? 

In summary, just read this quote from Return of The King (book) and if you don’t love them, you have no soul:

“ ‘No longer do I desire to be a queen,’ she said.

Then Faramir laughed merrily. 'That is well,’ he said; 'for I am not a king. Yet I will wed with the White Lady of Rohan, if it be her will. And if she will, then let us cross the River and in happier days let us dwell in fair Ithilien and there make a garden. All things will grow with joy there, if the White Lady comes.’

'Then must I leave my own people, man of Gondor?’ she said. 'And would you have you proud folk say to you: “There goes a lord who tamed a wild shieldmaiden of the North! Was there no woman of the race of Numenor to choose?” ’

'I would,’ said Faramir. And he took her in his arms and kissed her under the sunlit sky, and he cared not that they stood high upon the walls in the sight of many. And many indeed saw them and the light that shone about them as they came down from the walls and went hand in hand to the Houses of Healing.

And to the Warden of the Houses Faramir said: 'Here is the Lady Eowyn of Rohan, and now she is healed.’ “

6. Mary Stuart “Queen of Scots” x Francis II (Reign)

So this ship is thoroughly breaking my heart. Although they both have their faults and their relationship is on and off, they always come back to one another. Some people might say this is a bad thing, as their relationship isn’t stable, and you’re right in the sense that it isn’t. But the point of their relationship being portrayed this way, shows how truly and deeply they love one another. Despite all their flaws, all the barriers pushing them apart and all the mistakes they’ve made. Their love is magnetic, they’re two magnets being drawn together despite all odds.

7. Arthur Pendragon x Guinevere (Merlin)

GUINEVERE AND ARTHUR. OH MY GOSH. I’ll start off by saying that I just adore the progression of their relationship as a couple in parallel with their individual transformations throughout the five series. 

Just like any good couple, they’re always looking out for one another, and share many loving, beautiful moments. But for me, it’s Gwen’s behavior towards Arthur which makes me love this relationship so much. Arthur starts series one as an arrogant, self indulgent prince, thinking of Gwen as nothing more than a servant (he doesn’t think much of anyone besides himself really). However, when she speaks her mind to him about his behaviour etc he suddenly sees a whole new side to her and a whole new side to himself and his actions. He begins to listen to her more and his faith in her guidance grows and grows. In turn, she begins to see the changes in him and a glimpse of the great king that he will become. They begin to love each other’s personalities before falling in love with each other romantically. Also, the most heart wrenchingly beautiful thing about Gwen’s outspoken remarks is that through her, Arthur becomes a better man, and in turn, a better King. She shapes what he will become, as much as Merlin does in my opinion. I just love them both so much.

8. Pocahontas x John Smith (Disney’s Pocahontas)

This film is beautiful and everything about their relationship is beautiful. The way their love bridges the gap between their two cultures, the way through her, he sees everthing in a completely new light. Even though the ending isn’t “happy” per say, it has a power in it which other films just don’t have. The amount they sacrifice, not just for each other, but for what’s right and what they’ve learnt through one another: The fact that Smith takes the blame for killing Kocoum, the fact that Pocahontas is willing to risk her own life to save him and then in turn he risks his life for her father. The entire thing is a masterpiece and I will always be in awe of how beautiful it is.

(also can we please appreciate the soundtrack because it’s amazing. Oh and the sequel NEVER happened, okay?)

9. Katniss Everdeen x Peeta Mellark (The Hunger Games)

Unconditional. Unrivaled love. I want a relationship like this (without the hunger games and the uprising and the hijacking obviously.) Peeta is my favourite character in THG and you might be like well what’s so great about him? He’s just a softie who likes Katniss. Well you’re right in one aspect. He loves Katniss. He loves her to such an extent that he is able to overcome being hijacked and learns to love her all over again. That’s how much he loves her. Wouldn’t you like someone to love you like that? I also love how the progression of Katniss’ feelings towards Peeta are polar opposite. While Peeta’s feelings are clear from the start, it takes time for Katniss to realise the true extent of her love for the boy with the bread. 

The way their relationship blooms and then is stolen away is beautifully tragic but in the end, their love overcomes the horror of the games and the past they’ve both endured. They’re love is “real.”

10. Howl x Sophie (Howl’s Moving Castle)

I literally can’t even. These two are just darlings and I will forever love them and this film. The idea that through loving each other they learn to love themselves and learn who they really are, makes me so happy. I love this concept and it’ the reason why ‘HMC’ is my favourite Ghibli movie.

Thank you for reading my ramblings, (if you have any opinions on my ships or want to fangirl with me over them then please go ahead ^-^)

I’m going to tag these lovelies (if you don’t want to do it, obviously you don’t have to)

@geekygirl666 @oh-my-mavis @erzuh @angaebi @arourajean @the-dancing-squirrel @sophiethedragonslayer @fairy-hoe-tail @v-juvia @sakura-petal91 @draagneelsn @ultears-ass 

anonymous asked:

I was thinking about how women are portrayed in Tolkien's work and I suddenly realised how poorly they were written. I also realised even ones like Eowyn and Galadriel fall into this trap too. Galadriel is incredicbly powerful but she is considered unfemine for desiring power. Eowyn is said to have been a wild shieldmaiden who was tamed, Luthien was "a mere maiden" & more an object of affection and Aredhel's tragic ending is considered a consequence of disobeying her male relative.Your thoughts?

Hmmm… I have to respectfully disagree with you (at least with these specific examples.) Here’s my reasoning:

Galadriel: Okay, I’m actually stumped on this one. While researching the misogyny post I published earlier today, I found several comments in other articles about Galadriel being portrayed as, or described as, unfeminine because of her desire for power. But I haven’t been able to find any source that shows Tolkien saying anything like that. The closest thing I could find was that her mother-name Nerwen meant “man-maiden.” Also, there’s a mention in The Unfinshed Tales that she was “a match for both the loremasters and the athletes of the Eldar in the days of their youth” - and, by the way, Tolkien already says in “Laws and Customs Among the Eldar” that elvish women were generally just as physically strong as elvish men anyway. But she’s also described dozens of times as incredibly beautiful, so the way I see it, the only people who view her physical strength and desire for power as unfeminine are the fans themselves. (But, seriously, if you’ve seen Tolkien say something about this that I’ve missed, please let me know!)

Eowyn: I think this is just a plain difference of interpretation. I’ve never read Eowyn’s story that way, and I’ve not found anything in Tolkien’s writings about Eowyn to support the idea that she needed to be “tamed.” What we see with Eowyn is a woman who knew what she wanted (even though it wasn’t what was expected of most women), and went for it. Then, after achieving her goals, she allowed herself to want other things. I’ve actually written a lot about Eowyn, so for a more detailed discussion check out these posts: x, x, x, x.

Luthien: I see this quote used all the time when it comes time to discuss gender issues. But, for some reason, it’s never presented in context. The letter it comes from (#131) is a summary of The Silmarillion. When he gets to Beren and Luthien’s tale, he says this:

Here we meet, among other things, the first example of the motive (to become dominant in Hobbits) that the great policies of world history, ‘the wheels of the world’, are often turned not by the Lords and Governors, even gods, but by the seemingly unknown and weak – owing to the secret life in creation, and the pan unknowable to all wisdom but One, that resides in the intrusions of the Children of God into the Drama. It is Beren the outlawed mortal who succeeds (with the help of Lúthien, a mere maiden even if an elf of royalty) where all the armies and warriors have failed: he penetrates the stronghold of the Enemy and wrests one of the Silmarilli from the Iron Crown. 

Yes, Tolkien describes Luthien as “a mere maiden”, but it’s because he’s emphasizing both her and Beren’s “underdog status” in their quest, as a complement to the hobbits in The Hobbit and LotR. (Though I still think the description that she helps Beren is a little off, since anyone who’s read the story knows that’s it’s really more the other way around, lol.) And, aside from this single comment, there’s nothing else to imply that Tolkien thought Luthien was anything other than completely awesome.

Aredhel: Aredhel’s story is a huge problem, I’ll give you that. But I don’t think this, the idea that she’s being punished for disobeying Turgon, is that problem. Not only is her story never framed in that light by Tolkien himself, but Aredhel doesn’t even really disobey Turgon - she has permission to leave Gondolin, but while he wants her to go to Fingon (his brother, whom he trusted to keep secret the location of Gondolin), she headed east towards Feanor’s sons (whom he didn’t trust nearly as much.) My problems with Aredhel come later, and are solely concerned with her seriously messed up relationship with Eol (which I talk about more in this post, and this one too.)

Anyway, these are my thoughts.  Keep the discussion going if you’ve got something to add, I’d love to hear it. :)

SOURCES: Basically everything.

It gives me immense satisfaction that after four years...

Ragnar still recognizes Lagertha from a distance.

I like to think it was so easy for him to spot her because in his mind over the past four years, this is how he always imagines her.

Not in furs with her hair constrained and proper, or wearing elegant earrings and rich dresses, but in armor and chainmail, her hair wild, a shieldmaiden ready for battle.