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you know its funny ive seen a lot of posts comparing ‘kill the moon’ and ‘thin ice’ with regards to how the doctor lets companions make decisions, but what I haven’t seen is anything comparing one or both of those two to “the beast below” where the doctor doesn’t even give amy or liz 10 the choice. he gets mad at amy for trying to keep it from him, and then takes it upon himself to make the decision for them. if amy hadn’t stopped him and freed the star whale, he would have made the 100% wrong decision.

I feel like then he learns something, and thats eventually leads to his actions in kill the moon, which is a pretty similar scenario. hes like ‘okay well i fucked this up last time, and should have let my human companion make the choice. lets not do this again, ill let them decide’ but instead of just allowing clara to make the decision, he basically forces her to make a decision she was not fully ready to make. and in trying not to interfere, he steps too far back and leaves her without guidance or emotional support. 

Then later on in thin ice, the doctor and his companion, now bill, are once again stuck with a decision between risking humanities safety, and condemning an innocent alien life. He still calls upon bill to make the final decision, but he stays with her, and although the decision is hers, asks her to consider what humanity is worth if it relies on the suffering of an innocent creature.

I think at this point he still hasnt quite gotten the balance figured out (esp since this was only bills second trip out) but he’s making progress in trying to figure out how to allow humanity to make its own decisions, while also providing support and guidance without being overbearing or making the decision for them.
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I don’t know if brit milah counts as a “holy object”, but if it does, then arguably it makes the entire body into a holy object, and thus nobody who has had a brit milah could ever be turned into a vampire because no vampire could touch him.  On the other hand, if it doesn’t affect the entire body but only the relevant part, then … well, then theoretically anybody who has had a brit milah could still ward off vampires by …

… you know what, I was happier before I started along this line of thought.  JUST WAVE A MEZUZAH AT THE VAMPIRE, IT’S PROBABLY SAFER FOR EVERYBODY INVOLVED
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7x19 | 7x22

This. Is why I hate it when people give Buffy shit. I’ve heard so many times that she’s whiny and plays the power card over her friends. Not true. She didn’t choose to be named the “chosen one.” What she did choose was to put others before herself, even when she didn’t want to. She chose to lead when no one else could and she chose to share her power with her friends when she could have ostracized herself or them. She chose to celebrate the powers OF her friends too rather than feeling jealous. And she chose to respect the wishes of her friends when they mistakenly asked her to step aside, even when she knew better, because it was what they wanted. Even then, she selfishly advised the person her friends tried to replace her with when she was her most vulnerable and feeling cast aside. Flawed she may be, she’s still a hero.
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 “They are requesting a call sign.”

“It’s, um…Rogue. Rogue One.”







Bodhi Fuckin Rook. Let me talk about Bodhi Rook for a second.

Riz Ahmed’s first acting role was as a guy imprisoned at Guantanamo Bay. One of the Tipton Three, who tried to sue Rumsfeld for torture and religious abuses but who failed because the torture hadn’t technically been prohibited and Rumsfeld was technically immune from prosecution.

So we take a guy with a very specific set of imagery associated with him and we put him stumbling and terrified in the desert with a bag covering his head. Heck, put him through interrogation techniques invasive enough that people tend to go crazy from them.

Take this guy, this guy whose skin is brown and whose family live in a war-torn city full of suicide attacks against tank-driven peacekeeping patrols.

Make him clever and brave and beautiful. Make the audience cheer when his plans go right. Make his intel pivotal to everything, and then do it again. 

Remember those jokes in Kevin Smith and Mike Myers movies about evil henchmen with regular families, about contract workers on the Death Star, about whether they deserved to die just for having worries about paychecks and taking a job? 

Those jokes are all about Bodhi Fucking Rook, an intergalactic long-haul trucker, and they aren’t jokes anymore because his answer is that you don’t stay some anonymous jerk just keeping his head down and acting like the machine he’s in isn’t his responsibility. You find something pure and strong in yourself, that inch of integrity Alan Moore told us about once, the thing that’s worth more than your life.

Luke Skywalker resonated with the audience because he was a fresh-faced farm boy setting off on the hero’s journey, and that gets us on a primal gut level.

Bodhi Rook isn’t an ancient archetype like Luke is. Bodhi Rook is a modern achetype. Bodhi Rook is the human face that we all hope looks back in the mirror at us when we ask ourselves if we’re willing to compromise our humanity – are we willing to ignore Guantanamo and Manus, turn a blind eye to Rumsfeld and Dutton and Morrison? Is it okay to take a job installing air conditioning on the Death Star when you know that it’s the Death Star, because someone’s gotta do it and you need the cash?

We all hope that when the question comes, we answer the way Bodhi Rook did.
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yknow if romeo had just Cried on juliets corpse for a couple hours instead of drinking poison Right Then they would have been Fine

The moral of the story is: always take time to cry for a few hours before making important decisions.

So I’m more or less being facetious here, but this is actually a thing.

Hamlet is genre savvy. Hamlet knows how Tragedies work, and he’s not going to rush in and get stabby without making absolutely certain he’s got all the facts.

Except once he thinks he has all the facts – once he’s certain that it really is the ghost of his father and Claudius really did kill him, he rushes in and stabs the wrong guy, which starts a domino line of deaths and gets Laertes embroiled in his own revenge tragedy and ultimately results in the deaths of nearly every character other than Horatio.

That’s the irony and the tragedy of the story. Hamlet knows his tropes and actively tries to avoid them, and the tropes get him anyway. It’s inevitable, the tropes are hungry.

I want a sticker that says the tropes are hungry so I can put it on my laptop

i met a scholar once who said that tragedies aren’t about a silly “flaw” or anything, it’s about having a hero who’s just in the wrong goddamn story

if hamlet swapped places with othello he wouldn’t be duped by any of iago’s shit, he’d sit down & have a good think & actually examine the facts before taking action. meanwhile in denmark, othello would have killed claudius before act 2 could even start. but instead nope, they’re both in situations where their greatest strengths are totally useless and now we’ve got all these bodies to bury.

The tropes are hungry and the hero is in the wrong goddamn story.

I love this post.

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The Germans in Wonder Woman are not Nazis.

I just saw a troubling comment on a gifset of Antiope and her badass three-arrow stunt shot at the three german soldiers on the beach. I love that moment as much as anyone. However, this comment referred to her ‘killing Nazis’. And those men were not Nazis. 

Wonder Woman is set in WW1. Hitler would not come to power for over a decade after WW1 ended. Fascism had not yet become a political force in Europe. In fact, Germany’s treatment as a defeated aggressor instead of as an equal party in the armistice negotiations - and later the Treaty of Versailles - despite the Allies’ equal culpability for the war, directly contributed to the rise of fascism and nationalism in Germany.

Stop calling the German soldiers in Wonder Woman Nazis. One of the greatest tragedies of WW1 is that the soldiers on both sides of the trenches were hungry, young, sick, poor men, who had no stake in the war. This article talks about the experiences (at least early in the war) of both sides on the Western front meeting on no man’s land and finding little difference between one another. 

There’s a lot to love about Wonder Woman, and I very much enjoyed it. I also loved the points in the movie when the violence done by Americans and British - such as when Diana speaks to Chief about the death of his people - were addressed as well, but they were brief. The presentation of Germans As The Bad Guys - especially since Aries’ influence was inconsistent as a plot point - has led to people mistakenly reading it as a movie about Nazis, when the Nazis did not exist in 1918. A WW1 setting does not sustain a narrative of one side being ‘heroic’ and the other ‘villainous’, especially if one takes into account the atrocities both sides had committed during the quarter century leading up to the armistice. It troubles me that this movie allows WW1 German soldiers to be read as Nazis. 

Please stop referring to Nazis in the context of Wonder Woman.


This is important

I think this lends to an underlying point that Aries was trying to cause chaos on all sides apparently including the audience

As Steve points out in the movie, World War I isnothing like World War II… the whole thing was just a big mess…there was no one country that was on the “right” side, just callous people in power all over the world sending kids off to get massacred and not caring about the damage it was doing and the lives it was destroying

It’s worth noting that Steve’s side isn’t really shown to be any more “Right” or heroic than the Germans are…while Ludendorf and Dr Poison are cetrainly villains as well, when we meet them the people in charge on Steve’s side they’re a bunch of clueless, cruel, self important, sexist old men who don’t care about the troops on their own side which is pretty much 100% accurate to what World War I was like…the people giving the orders back then were all basically General Melchett from Blackadder Goes Fourth except even less rational…hell the only person who showed ANY compassion among those in power on Steve’s side turns out to be the GOD OF WAR and only be doing it to further his own evil plans 

Diana doesn’t side with any country in the conflict either…she works with Steve and the team he puts together because they’re good people not because they’re not German…

What I also found fascinating is that the God of War is literally the dude who put together the armistice.  The one that lead directly (with a combination of other factors) to the rise of Hitler and Nazism. He outright tells Diana in the climax that the armistice has been put together to deliberately provoke continuous war in an attempt to get humanity to destroy itself, which … if you factor in the Cold War and the US battles against communism and foreign terrorism, is basically what we got. 

The villain in Wonder Woman isn’t the Germans, Diana only assumes that Aries is posing as a German because her entry into the war is through Steve, an American soldier working with the British. The villain is really very literally war itself, and with the framing device we see very clearly that this is a battle that will never end. 

We see the soldiers hugging each other, no matter their affiliation, at the end of the war. They were relieved. They were soldiers stuck in a war of no one.
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Like, yes, yes, they are supposed to serve the same narrative purpose, but they are not? the same? thing?? and it actually matters enormously to the logic of the situation for the characters.

Quick and dirty summary of Registration (based entirely on stuff I know by osmosis and from Wikipedia, so comics readers bear with me and feel free to clarify in reblogs): the whole point of the Registration act was that for the most part no one knew who the superhumans were, because secret identities are a thing in the comics. Steve himself was an exception, because historical record and whatnot, and his principled stand against registering was especially on behalf of people like Wanda, who in the comics is a mutant, born with her abilities and unable to give them up the way Tony could give up the suit or Sam could give up his wings. 

So the choice of registering or not was a meaningful one: it meant voluntarily putting yourself down on the list of people who would now be monitored as superhumans. But in the MCU, the cat is out of the bag for EVERYONE. Nobody has a secret identity–not Natasha, not Clint (whose decision to actively hide his family… doesn’t seem entirely unreasonable when you think about his abrupt transition from secret agent to One of the Six Most Famous People on Earth, like, maybe he just doesn’t want paparazzi bugging his kids), not Sam, not BUCKY, who is casually identified by full name as the Winter Soldier. 

So they couldn’t DO registration and have it mean anything: everybody already knows who the superhumans are in the MCU, and everybody knows where to find them. So instead the MCU Avengers are presented with the Sokovia Accords and told to … sign them?


What does that even MEAN?

Keep reading
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Realizing this guy

is going to help raise this guy

Alright, assholes.

I don’t usually defend Tony Stark. But this “Something went wrong” bullshit really rubbed me the wrong way. Wanna know why? Because the “Something that went wrong” was Howard Stark. The man that Tony idolised, and the man that abused him. And don’t give me that crap that in the MCU universe, Howard didn’t neglect or hurt Tony — he did. It’s very evident in the tie-in MCU comics.

But in both universes, Tony was raised by Edwin Jarvis. In 616, he has a father — Howard — who is constantly aggravated with his son, both as a result of his own drinking and because of what he feels Tony should be.

While Jarvis might be sensitive, thoughtful, intelligent and occupy roles that aren’t traditionally occupied considered “masculine” (which is bullshit in itself) if Tony ever displays anything remotely indicative of  a “softer side” he is ridiculed, called a sissy, told that Stark men are “made of Iron” and abused by his father: 

In the MCU, things aren’t depicted of being much better: 

And in the MCU Jarvis, often, tried to soften the blow of Howard’s words an actions. But don’t think for a second that Tony didn’t internalise all of that. That he didn’t think that Howard Stark was the man he was supposed to be, and the man he wanted to be most like. 

Of course, generally speaking — when Tony is the most like Howard — like at the Stark Expo, or during the senate hearings — it’s almost 100% preformative. That’s not who he is, or who he ever was, it’s who he thinks people want him to be, because it’s who his father wanted him to be.

I would go so far as to say that a lot of Tony’s womanizing ways, his alcoholism, his struggles with self-identity and importance all stem from the fact that he is often torn between being the man that he assumed his father wanted to be, and who he actually is.  

If you look at Tony when he’s alone, or when he’s with the people he cares about the most, what you see is the caring, compassionate person who Jarvis raised, and that he is a lot more capable and a lot more loving than his father ever was. And it took him a long time to be okay with that, and with showing other people that that was who he really was

So yes… Just a reminder, Jarvis helped raised this man:

  Don’t confuse the armour….

with the man who wears it.


always reblog the best takedown ever.

I know I reblogged this before, but it deserves ANOTHER reblog.

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I was wondering what the CERN guy meant by ‘we’re saving the world’ on my first rewatch of Extremis today, but on this second rewatch, I think I understand.

It means they were the ones to send it to the White House, probably with the message to pass it on. To pass it on and on until everyone has seen it, until everyone knows whats going on, know that everything they know is fake and that the real reality is threatened.

And by everyone knowing this and everyone dying it will send a message to the Monks: that humanity will not go silent into that good night and that if their own simulations can and will rise up in defiance, even if death is their only means of doing so, what hope do they have of conquering the real world?

That’s how the people of CERN hope to save the world.
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I keep coming back to the “You don’t have to be real to be the Doctor” line from Extremis, because it is just so damn good, especially if you take it out of the context of the episode, and look at the casting of Pearl Mackie, and Bill being made explicitly gay. I think if it had been in any other season, it wouldn’t have been nearly as poignant. Yes, it still would’ve been sort of an uplifting “the Doctor doesn’t have to be a real person to do good” type of message. Which is nice, and true: there’s lots of stories of people for who the show is a source of inspiration and happiness. 

But take into account the recent push for better representation on the show, and then think about all the people who say that it’s SJW nonsense, that it’s pandering, that it doesn’t matter who the main character is because they’re fictional. They don’t affect people, because they’re not real.

Except we know that’s bullshit, of course. When Pearl Mackie was cast people were really happy, and when Bill was revealed to be gay, people (including me) were ecstatic. I’ve seen lots of people who said they were watching the show again just for her. There are so many people who identify with her, for who seeing someone like themselves as a main character is so important. 

Bill is a fictional character, yes, but she doesn’t have to be real to matter.
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Because I apparently have some inner fount of Martha Jones meta that wells over periodically.

- On Martha hate: the vast, vast majority of this seems to come from people who not only got their introduction to the show with Rose’s seasons, but weren’t… familiar with the way the show works, the revolving door of companions, and the way the Doctor and the TARDIS are the only true constants.  It’s a perception shift: Rusty billed the series so hard as The Doctor And Rose Show, probably trying to get as broad an audience as possible, dispel the old stereotypes of DW being fanboy fodder with disposable eye-candy companions, and grab female viewers who weren’t necessarily sci-fi fans already.  And so he gives us Rose, an everywoman character who knows and cares about sci-fi shit about as much as the audience Rusty’s trying to reach, but who is totally in love with all the aspects of the show that transcend genre–and he reassures us that she is integral to the fabric of the show.  She’s not going to get sidelined so the boys can play.  She is just as central as the Doctor himself.

Which is great for getting the show re-established, but then Billie Piper leaves.  And I can easily see how, if s1 and s2 are all you’ve got to go on, this is tantamount to trapping the Doctor in a parallel universe and letting Jack Harkness step in as the main character, or grinding to a halt halfway through Romeo & Juliet and replacing Juliet with some girl we’ve never heard of.  It’s the same principle that drives hatred of Mary Sues in fandom: “I don’t care what this new character is like, I’m in this fandom to read about the further adventures of the characters I love, not to watch your OC skip in and steal the show from them and warp the fabric of the fictional universe so everything revolves around her.“  It’s the exact same “damned if you do, damned if you don’t” fault-finding that produces ludicrous “is your OFC a Mary Sue?” checklists and causes Rose stans to excoriate Martha for all the ways she’s similar to Rose (“you’re just trying to replace her, but you’re not as good at it!”), then criticize the ways she’s different from Rose as character flaws.  The only difference is that in fanfic, no offense, we are all here bonding over an existing fictional universe and not over your OCs, but Martha hate is caused by a skewed perception of how that fictional universe itself is constructed.

Full disclosure: it took me a while to warm up to Rose.  Partly because I was always one of those sci-fi geeks that RTD specifically wasn’t aiming for with Rose, because he guessed (rightly) that we’d all be latching onto the Doctor instead.  And you know, that’s cool and the Doctor is awesome, but it annoyed the piss out of me that the female lead was there to be the pathologically non-genre-savvy ~emotional core~ of the show, which usually translated into the person making me yell advice at the screen as the writers tossed her the Idiot Ball yet again.  I did warm up to her, and will even confess to crying like a baby the first time I saw Doomsday, but the instant Martha walked onto the screen I was bouncing and punching the air in glee, because she articulated all the things I’d been yelling at the screen all this time.  It was a huge relief to discover that Rose was the emotional core of the show because she was Rose, not because that’s the only thing the writers knew how to do with the female lead.

- Anyway!  On to my girl Martha.  One of the accusations frequently leveled against her by the haters is that she’s “clingy” or “dependent."  For the longest time I thought this was utterly bonkers and they couldn’t be watching the same episodes as I was, but I think there… could be some kernel of truth in there?  In the sense that the haters are taking legitimate character development and casting it in the most negative possible light.

Here’s the thing: Martha relies on external validation and guidance.  This is not necessarily a bad thing!  It’s a double-edged sword, like Rose’s reliance on gut instinct and snap judgements.  Martha is fiercely analytical, and if she feels like she doesn’t have enough information to assess a situation, she’ll go after that information like the dickens but she’ll also be at a bit of a loss until she obtains it.  And if she thinks there might be a higher authority or someone more knowledgeable than she is, she won’t necessarily defer to them, but she will seek out information and advice.  Martha needs to feel like she knows what she’s doing.

Think I’m pulling this out my ass?  Smith and Jones.  Yeah, she’s endlessly speculating, trying to figure out what’s going on, questioning the Doctor, but the most telling moment is when he goes "Martha, when I say now, push the button!” and she says “Which button?” and immediately runs for the instruction manual.  Would Rose have immediately gone for the biggest most prominent button?  Probably.  Would it have been the wrong one?  Quite possibly, given that this was basically how the writers kickstarted half the plots in s1–but this is not a companion pissing contest, it’s an illustration of how differently Rose and Martha react to things.  Rose might’ve gone for the wrong button, Martha might not have found the correct instructions in time–double-edged swords all ‘round.

Shakespeare Code.  Martha gets her first chance to time travel, and spends the first ten minutes grilling the Doctor on how time travel works and what the rules are and how she can operate safely without causing a fuckton of paradoxes.  Ten is flippant to the point of rudeness even though these are all valid, intelligent questions, because he’s used to traveling with someone who trusts herself to wing it and trusts him to warn her if she’s about to fuck something up.  And here we have prior examples of how Rose approaches this stuff: Father’s Day.  In an analytical light Rose did something incredibly dumb, but what matters to the Doctor isn’t that it was smart or dumb, it’s that she acted on instinct and did something incredibly human.  One of the other accusations leveled against Martha is that she’s a “stuck-up bitch” or a “know-it-all” or “thinks she’s better than everyone else,” and while I have yet to see any TV canon that supports this, I do see where the defensiveness comes from.  If you judge Rose by the things Martha values or the standards Martha sets for herself, Rose comes off pretty poorly.  On the flip side, if you judge Martha by the things that made Rose awesome, Martha starts looking insecure (because she has to analyze before she can act, because she looks to the Doctor for knowledge and validation) and overly willing to go along with the Doctor’s views instead of stubbornly wandering off and looking at things from her own perspective.

I could go on. “Blimey, did you have to pass a test to fly this thing?” “Yes, and I failed!” The mere fact that he thought to leave video-recorded instructions for Martha in 1913, and her frustration when she encountered problems way beyond the scope of the video.  But we’re not talking blind deference to authority or lack of initiative here–if Martha knows she’s the most competent person in the room, she will totally step into a leadership role, going right back to the scene where she tells everyone to shut the fuck up and calm down when her hospital ends up on the moon.

And she analyzes.  She puts pieces together.  Once she has a sense of what’s going on, she and Ten can pull off brilliant two-prong plans: he can just wink and pass her the psychic paper and let the Daleks take him prisoner, and she will figure out they’re off to the Empire State Building and bluff her way in to investigate what the Daleks are using it for.  She can lure the Lazarus monster up into the belltower to put it in a position where Ten can get at it, in symmetric payback for that one time she figured out he was using himself as bait to get the plasmavore in a position for Martha to bring smackdown.  As the series goes on, he starts abusing the privilege somewhat, and Martha ends up on her own for long periods–not executing half of a two-prong plan, but doing all the work while he’s incapacitated.

And that right there is Martha’s character arc.  She starts out needy, yes, and desperate for the Doctor’s validation.  Because she needs to feel competent, she needs to understand things in order to deal with them, and she’s just been tossed into a whole wide unknown universe where her only guide–her only external source of knowledge and context–is a moody overgrown teenager who keeps weighing her in comparison to his ex and finding her wanting.  What she learns over the course of the season is that even if she doesn’t know the rules of time travel or the customs of the time period she’s in, she is good.  She can figure shit out on the ground and come up with a plan, and she doesn’t need 900 years of experience to be a brilliant fucking badass.  The Doctor’s validation?  It’s nice when he gives it, but she doesn’t need it, and if he wants to be an ungrateful ass that’s his problem.

And yeah, her crush is fuelled by desire for validation more than anything else.  It also only happened in the first place because Ten spent half a season being Mr. Mixed Signals Alien Tease and Martha, true to form, didn’t reject the possibility of a romantic entanglement until she had enough evidence to be sure he wasn’t interested.  By then it was waaaaay too late to nip it in the bud.  I don’t like the unrequited-crush subplot and I think it distracts from what’s really going on with Martha, but it develops for reasons that are consistent with her character, and she sure as hell deals with it like a mature motherfucking adult.
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6) Tolkien’s hero was average, and needed help, and failed.

This is the place where most fantasy authors, who love to simultaneously call themselves Tolkien’s heirs and blame him for a lot of what’s wrong with modern fantasy, err the worst. It’s hard to look at Frodo and see him as someone extra-special. The hints in the books that a higher power did choose him are so quiet as to be unnoticeable. And he wouldn’t have made it as far as he did without his companions. And he doesn’t keep from falling into temptation.

A lot of modern fantasy heroes are completely opposite from this. They start out extraordinary, and they stay that way. Other characters are there to train them, or be shallow antagonists and love interests and worshippers, not actually help them. And they don’t fail. (Damn it, I want to see more corrupted fantasy heroes.) It’s not fair to blame Tolkien for the disease that fantasy writers have inflicted on themselves. […]

Fantasy could use more ordinary people who are afraid and don’t know what the hell they’re doing, but volunteer for the Quest anyway.

It’s misinterpretation of Tolkien that’s the problem, not Tolkien himself.


“Tolkien Cliches,” Limyaael

(via mithtransdir)

The whole point of The Lord Of The Rings… like, the WHOLE POINT… is that it is ultimately the hobbits who save the world. The small, vulnerable, ordinary people who aren’t great warriors or heroes.

Specifically, Sam. Sam saves the world. All of it. The ultimate success of the great quest is 100% due to a fat little gardener who likes to cook and never wanted to go on an adventure but who did it because he wasn’t going to let his beloved Frodo go off alone. Frodo is the only one truly able to handle the ring long enough to get it into Mordor - and it nearly kills him and permanently emotionally damages him - but Sam is the one who takes care of Frodo that whole time. Who makes him eat. Who finds him water. Who watches over him while he sleeps.

Sam is the one who fights off Shelob.

Sam is the one who takes the Ring when he thinks Frodo is dead.

Sam is the one who strolls into Orc Central and saves Frodo by sheer determination and killing any orc who crosses him. (SAM THE GARDENER GOES AND KILLS AN ACTUAL ORC TO GET FRODO SOME CLOTHES LET’S JUST THINK ABOUT THAT). And then Sam just takes off the Ring and gives it back which is supposed to be freaking impossible and he barely even hesitates.

Sam literally carries Frodo on the last leg of the journey. On his back. He’s half-starved, dying slowly of dehydration, but he carries Frodo up the goddamn mountain and Gollum may get credit for accidentally destroying the ring but Sam was the one who got them all there.

Sam saved the world.

And let’s not forget Pippin and Merry, who get damselled out of the story (the orcs have carried them off! We must make a Heroic Run To Save Them!) and then rescue themselves, recruit the Terrifying Ancient Powers through being genuinely nice and sincere, and overthrow Saruman before the ‘real’ heroes even get there.

Let’s not forget Pippin single-handedly saving what’s left of Gondor - and Faramir - by understanding that there is a time for obeying orders and a time for realizing that the boss is bugfuck nuts and we need to get help right now.

Let’s not forget Merry sticking his sword into the terrifying, profoundly evil horror that has chased him all over his world because his friend is fighting it and he’s gonna help, dammit and that’s how the most powerful Ringwraith goes down to a suicidally depressed woman and a scared little hobbit.

Everything the others do, the kings and princes and great heroes and all? They buy time.  They distract the bad guys. They keep the armies occupied. That is what kings and great leaders are for - they do the big picture stuff.

But it is ultimately the hobbits who bring down every villain. Every one. And I believe that that is 100% on purpose. Tolkien was a soldier in WWI. His son fought in WWII. (And a lot of The Lord Of The Rings was written in letters to him while he did it.)

And hey, look, The Lord Of The Rings is about ordinary people - farmers, scholars, and so on - who get pulled into a war not of their making but who have to fight not only because their own home is in danger but so is everyone’s. And they’re small and scared but they do the best they can for as long as they can and that is what actually saves the world. Not great heroes and pre-destined kings. Ordinary people, doing extraordinary things because they want the world to be safe for ordinary people, the ones they know and the ones they don’t.

Ordinary people matter. They can save the world without being great heroes or kings or whatever. And that is really important and I get so upset when people miss that because Aragorn and Legolas and Gimli and Gandalf and all the others are great characters and all but they are ultimately a hobbit delivery system.

It is ordinary people doing their best who really change the world, and continue doing so after the war is over because they have to go home and rebuild and they do.

If nothing else, I have to reblog this for the phrase “hobbit delivery system.” So accurate it hurts.

(via elenilote)

What I love too is how even the foretold king and the assorted great heroes themselves all come to recognize that their main (and by the end, only) role is to distract Sauron. To the point that by the end they’re all gathered up before the black gates of Mordor in order to keep his attention focused on them, with only the hope - not the certainty - that they can buy Frodo whatever remaining time he needs, if he’s even still alive.

One thing the movies left out but has always been such a key part of the books for me was how when the hobbits returned home, they found that home had been changed too. The war touched everywhere. Even with all they did in far-off lands to protect the Shire, the Shire had still been damaged, both property and lives destroyed, and it wasn’t an easy or simplistically happy homecoming. They had to fight yet another battle (granted a much smaller one) to save their neighbours, and then spent years in rebuilding.

(via garrusscars)

In many ways, the entire POINT is that homecoming.
A quest, an adventure, is defined by the return home, and the realization that not only have YOU changed, so has your home.

(via mymyriadmusings)

“My friends, you bow to no one.”

(via sorrelchestnut)

“I will take the Ring", he said, “though I do not know the way.”

(via thegreencarousel)

How many hero quest stories have you read where the protagonists go out, save the world, and then come back so depressed that they can’t even return to their regular life? Ordinary people are wounded and traumatized by war - Tolkien lost the majority of his childhood friends in WWI and he wasn’t the same afterwards. 

(via redheadgleek)
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“The Princess is everything Luke wants to be. She is socially conscious, whereas he is thrown into things; intellectually, she is a strong leader, and he is just a kid.”

- George Lucas

People often talk about how Han influenced Luke, but we should also look at how Leia influenced Luke.

(via apolla-savre)

I’ve always really liked this idea—that they’re the exact same age, but their different lives have given them very different levels of maturity, and Luke is envious, but fascinated, and idolizes her a bit.

(via another-skywalker)

It’s kind of weird to think of Han as being a big influence compared to Leia.  I mean, yes, they were close.  But it’s made reasonably obvious that close male friends aren’t something Luke’s ever lacked.  If anything, I’d say they’re mutually influential.  Han’s experience and training help temper Luke’s youth and inexperience, and his cynicism demands that Luke account for his own faith. Luke, in turn, cracks Han’s shell with hope and faith, and his earnest belief that Han can be better than what he’s let himself become won’t let him crawl back into the hole he’s dug for himself.

But Leia?

I mean, come on.  Luke’s got these vague intentions to run away and do…something.  He’s dissatisfied with his home life, he’s dissatisfied with the future he sees for himself, and he resents, in an equally vague way, the expectations of his family.  He thinks of joining the rebellion because he’s romanticized it.   He thinks of going to the academy because it’s anywhere but where he’s at.  All of his ambitions amount to this sort of nebulous, Anything But What I Have aspiration.  He goes running after Kenobi on the strength of a shitty, recorded hologram because it seems exciting.  He has no real idea about what this sort of mission would entail, or cost, or achieve.  It’s an Adventure, and he’s bored.

Then he meets Leia, and she’s literally everything he ever had some mindless daydream about being.  Only instead of being a cardboard cut-out hero in some story he’s using to distract himself from a shitty frontier subsistence-farmer life, she’s a real person who’s actually fucking doing it.  She’s a leader.  She’s a fighter.  She’s risking life and limb for a cause she completely and utterly understands and absolutely believes in.  This isn’t some thing she ran away to do because she got sick of being a princess and a senator.  People look up to her, and follow her, and obey her, because she’s spent her life earning it.

He’s looking around and going “Empire bad?  We blow up ships?” and she’s going “Here’s ten political treatises on why the Empire needs to go, here are the details of troop movements and expected reinforcements and supply lines for the upcoming battle, and here are the family photos of everybody in the next ten systems that are going to get stomped into bloody paste in retaliation if we fail here.” He finds her, and within five minutes she’s gone from the princess he’s rescuing because that’s what action heroes do to the person he needs to emulate if he’s ever going to make something of himself.

(via theharlequinrose)
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Why did you say six months? This matters. This is important.

This is such a great moment. Amy is angry, she is furious at the dashing of all her hopes. At the childhood spent chasing after the Raggedy Man. At the fact that he dares to come back and ask where she went.
And yet.
She goes along with him, follows him on a madcap adventure, gets left behind again, and still chooses to go with him. Because she wants something more than her ordinary existence. Because he’s lonely. Because he did, after all, come back.
Because she forgives him. She has a huge, ferociously loving heart which she carefully hides, and she forgives him. It’s the first step on the long road Amelia Pond will take towards finding peace and accepting love, and it is one big leap of faith. Amy Pond was left behind for fourteen years but she forgave the Doctor anyway. That’s who she is. She loves with her whole heart or not at all. She is willing to forgive.
But everything that comes at the end of this episode wouldn’t mean as much if this moment at the beginning hadn’t happened. Amelia has raged at the Doctor, at the universe, but he is so sad and lonely and she wants those days in the Tardis so much that she is willing to risk loss for a new friendship. Her rage is never invalidated by the narrative, but she is able to rise above it and decide that she wants this friendship more than she wants vengeance. Being strong doesn’t mean being unforgiving; sometimes, forgiveness is strength. What a powerful message to send.
jeb124: (Default)









“By the first world war, soldiers swore so much that the word “fucking” came to function as no more than “a warning that a noun is coming”. “

Guardian review of Holy Sh*t: A Brief History of Swearing by Melissa Mohr 

i would like to take this opportunity to present my headcanon about that infamous “language!” line: steve and the howlies had such dirty mouths that they had to be constantly reminded to clean it up for the reporters that followed them around. so steve heard a swear word over the radio and had a kneejerk stop that we’re being filmed for the folks back home reaction.

in other words, he said “language” not because he never swears, but because if he’s not on guard he swears way too much. :D

“the word ‘fucking’ came to function as no more than “a warning that a noun is coming”

And the interesting thing about actually dealing with people who do swear to that degree, which I have, is that eventually your brain completely tunes the word fucking out.

You basically don’t hear it. It becomes unimportant noise.

I was actually just talking to someone last night about how when I was a kid (the 80s), no one said “fuck” or “shit,” ever, but people casually tossed slurs around like nobody’s business. Now people use “fuck” and “shit” like punctuation, but slurs are increasingly taboo–and that’s exactly how it should fucking be.

You can tell we were kids in the 80s in different places…


When I first saw this post go around, I was traveling, but I had something I wanted to say and I could never find it again.

Okay, so, this post isn’t wrong, but what the original gifset doesn’t take into account (though some of the commentary touches on it) is how incredibly situational swearing was in the 1940s.

So, yes, men swore a lot – around other guys, in certain contexts. But they were very heavily conditioned not to swear around women and kids.

I think this might be one of the big reasons why a lot of people my age and younger got the idea that people didn’t swear during the 1940s. Most of us fell into the “kid” or “female” categories, or both, and guys our grandparents’ age would never, ever say “fuck” around us. And those words weren’t usually used in media of the era for similar reasons, so we got the idea that people that age were very prim and polite, when it’s more that they were prim and polite around us.

I remember as a young woman walking in on groups of old blue-collar guys talking among themselves, with profanity flying freely, and then noticing me in the room and immediately clamming up and apologizing to me for swearing around me.

There’s a bit in the Douglas Bader biography I was reading a month or so ago that demonstrates this in a WWII context. According to the book, the squadron pilots swore freely in their radio chatter to each other in the field, to the amusement of the WAAFs (female service personnel) who were listening to the radio in an ops room as they moved counters around on maps (much like we see Peggy doing in TFA) and the embarrassment of their commander:

After awhile, to the regret of the Beauty Chorus [the WAAFs], Woodhall disconnected the loud-speaker in the Ops Room, feeling that some of the battle comments were too ripe even for the most sophisticated WAAFs. (“They laugh, you know,” he said, “but dammit I get so embarrassed.”)

… so, right, even in the middle of a war, pilots saying “fuck” over the radio was something the female staff had to be insulated from.

Say what you will about the baby boomers, but they largely demolished that wall between “swearing around men” and “swearing around women”. Most guys my dad’s age don’t do it anymore, at least not to that much of an extreme. By the time you get to my generation (I’m 40), people might swear or they might not, and they usually don’t swear around young kids, but swearing around men but not around women is just not a thing anyone does anymore. At least I don’t know anyone who does it specifically and consistently who’s not elderly.

It’s not really an individual-sexism thing, more of a socialization thing – sexist on a societal level, sure, but I don’t think Steve would balk at swearing around women, kids, or in a refined or professional social setting because he’s a sexist or a prude. It’s just something you didn’t do as a polite person. Like blowing your nose on the tablecloth in a fancy restaurant. I think he could and probably would unlearn that, but it’d take time.

So, to me, about half the examples up there work just fine (“now why the fuck would I do that” to Bucky – absolutely! Or “Is everything a fucking joke to you?” to Tony) and several jar horribly, because they’re not the right context (like the “there’s only one God ma'am” bit – noooo, you aren’t going to get “fuck” and “ma'am” in the same sentence! not for a Steve fresh from the 1940s! – or “we have our fucking orders” … in a polite, professional context like that, no). Steve would never. Or, I should say, someone from Steve’s culture – who tries in general to be a polite and respectful person, as Steve does – would never. Maybe after he’s had a few years to acclimatize to the more relaxed social climate surrounding swearing in the 21st century, but I think it’d take him awhile; he would sort of instinctively jerk himself back from doing it in all but the most relaxed sort of “palling around with your teammates” environment.

(Headcanon-wise, I could see Steve very quickly incorporating someone like Natasha into his mental schemata as “one of the guys” – not consciously, but on a subconscious level: like, he doesn’t hold back from swearing around her pretty quickly – but taking a LOT longer with someone like Wanda or Pepper.)

tl;dr disclaimer: not a historian, was not alive in the 1940s, so please correct me if I’m wrong on things here.

I’m so glad someone said this, because this is something I think a lot of the Steve meta about swearing misses. Situational profanity, exactly! He wouldn’t cuss in anything he’d consider ‘polite company’, because you didn’t do that. I’m absolutely sure he’s capable of having a very foul mouth in some circumstances (he was a soldier who grew up in working-class Brooklyn, so… yeah), but in the cultural context where he grew up, you sure as hell didn’t say ‘fuck’ in front of a lady, not if you had any manners to speak of.

/speaking as someone who cusses like breathing, even.

This is the best explanation of Steve’s ‘language’ line I’ve ever seen.
jeb124: (Default)




snape could’ve been an awesome teacher if he wasn’t a disgusting waste of a human being. he knew from age 16 that the instuctions that the textbooks were giving weren’t as good as they could be. he improved the potions and recorded his methods at age 16. if he weren’t such a shitbag, he could’ve either written the damn textbooks himself, or taught his students his alternate methods. he could’ve revolutionized how potions were being brewed, teaching whole generations a superior method of potion brewing. instead, he spent his time bullying children. 

He could have become rich and famous and been one of the most well regarded wizards of his age with his knowledge of spells and potions

But instead he decided “The girl i hurled racial slurs at put me in the Friend Zone so I’m gonna go become a Magic Nazi and then spend the remainder of my adult years emotionally abusing twelve year olds”

He could have become everything a Slytherin should have been instead of the epitome of what everyone else thinks they are.

Yes! Rebloging for the original post and the comments. This is gold!
jeb124: (Default)


suggested by @resting-meme-face​

Rhodia’s whole thing with intent and morality is so fascinating.

For one thing, Charlie says that he’d have “tried to be a fair leader,” which means, in his own eyes, he was one. The fact that he never actually ruled is irrelevant to him, because he would have been different, so why is Quill so unpleasant to him? He didn’t put the arn in her head, no, he was different, because he intended to be. And because a wish is an action, in his own eyes, he was better, and thus free from blame.

Quill, meanwhile, has a totally different perspective – that of someone who’s constantly being told one thing by people who are constantly doing another. “We’re being reasonable and just,” say the Rhodians, as they put genetically-engineered telepathic monsters in the brains of her people. “This is not slavery,” the Rhodians add, as the monsters control their every waking moment. Say one thing, do another. She has no patience for words; as she says to Dorothea, “An enemy is decided by their actions, not their intentions.”
jeb124: (Default)
See, I didn’t read it at all that his parents were afraid of him or afraid of what he might do – Owen pretty obviously treats him exactly as a teenage son would be anywhere else. He gives him chores, calls him on his shit, firmly reminds Luke that he needs to honor his commitments; yes, he’s holding him back from applying to the Academy, but I’m sure that’s in part because he doesn’t want Vader finding him. 

I asked Nakki “Wait, so how exactly DOES Vader know that Luke is his son?” and she said “Well he’s been running around the galaxy calling himself Luke Skywalker” which was a good point. I would imagine applying to the Imperial Academy under the name Skywalker is sooner or later going to draw some attention. 

I think Owen is afraid for Luke more than anything – when he’s afraid he’s like his father, I figure it means Luke is too curious and adventurous for his own good, and wants to be out in the world instead of staying safely at home. It reads (and always did read) more like the concern of a parent who wants what’s best for their child and knows that child is endangering themselves, not someone who is afraid of what that child might do to them. 
jeb124: (Default)

Class Appreciation Week, Day 7: Post whatever you want!

“… at the end of the day, they’re just children. They can’t cope with this.”

The Doctor’s appearance is a strange moment, really. Sweeping in with a few quick and supposedly easy lessons to teach before abandoning Coal Hill to the care of a few scared teenagers is a discordant note in a melody that will prove far more complex. Of course, in these brief moments, we are offered only a simplified version of this character, but it serves as an interesting counterpoint, contrasting the basic tenets of Class and Doctor Who..

In a Doctor Who setting, dangerous aliens are fun, words and clever ideas make for entertaining resolutions an putting four teenagers in mortal peril on a weekly basis could be just an adventure. As serious and as complicated as Doctor Who can get, in the end, the next story will likely start with a Doctor and a companion, happy encounter a new source of danger. Here, this is juxtaposed with the grittier, less fantastical reality of our five protagonists.

Keep reading
jeb124: (Default)

Now, technically my favourite alien is Quill (and her species in general), but I’ve written so much about her already. And doing her for favourite character and Charlie for favourite alien is fitting because it’s Charlie’s “alienness” that I find so fascinating. 

This will be part Charlie and part to do with the Rhodia in general because it’s impossible to understand him without understanding his culture. 

Charlie Smith. My boy. A source of never-ending frustration and inciter of very complex feelings. Where do I even start?

(His funny little moments of not understanding human culture are funny, but not particularly significant on the level I want to go into here, so I’ll acknowledge here that I love them, and leave it at that.) 

I think I’m going to start with his core trait, which is his good heart and intentions, and his genuine belief that he is always working in the best interest of the people around him. We’ve seen how kind he is from the beginning, when he refuses to sacrifice April even though it could mean killing Corakinus.

Now, kindness/goodness on this level on its own is nothing to be sniffed at, but it’s not exactly groundbreaking either.

The key is in his belief. He’s so completely sure of his own goodness (which does exist, certainly, Mr “I Don’t Like Knives” and “I Would Hesitate From Killing a Friend” and “You Are Lonely”). And, of the goodness of his own people, even though his people normalised slavery of another and “lesser” species as part of their justice system.

I tend to think that Charlie had a very rose tinted idea of what Rhodia was like. That his parents fed him all that “civilised” bs so that he would never stop and wonder things like “wait, but if it’s so civilised, why do we never use the arn on our people?” and other such things.

Because what’s one thing we know? Prejudice isn’t something we’re born with - it’s taught. And we know that Charlie indeed carries a racial prejudice in him against the Quill.

“You are heartless, like all Quill.”

This line confirms what had already been very strongly implied: that Charlie doesn’t see Quill as people on the same level that he does other Rhodia and humans. We know this because Charlie is so kind to everyone he meets, and cares about the people close to him so much that he never even thinks bad thoughts about them, ever. 

But not Quill. 

Quill can be in front of him, in tears, openly grieving, openly devastated, and he calls her heartless for wanting to get revenge for her people, the people she did everything for. He is stone. He doesn’t feel for her at all, just as he ignores the word ‘slavery’ every time that she says it, because he just doesn’t believe for even a second that she could be right and he/his people could be wrong. 

In the end, given how caring he is to literally every other person around him, you can only conclude that he just doesn’t quite see her as a person in the same way he does everyone else. 

I mentioned how he is intent on saving April, but remember what he says to Quill later in the episode in regards to getting April’s heart back - “Sacrifice yourself if you have to!” He’d sacrifice Quill over a human he barely knows in a heartbeat. 

It’s hard to know whether it’s a prejudice he’s aware of or not, but I tend to lean towards him not really being aware of it because of his belief in himself. To him, the Quill being a violent, more primitive, and lesser people is just a fact. He never wanted them wiped out, he wouldn’t have wanted to see them hurt, he would have simply never seen anything wrong with turning the ones who broke serious laws into slaves “servants”. 

Next there’s the matter of that oh so fascinating Rhodian mentality of “a wish is the same as an action”. 

Consider his line: “I would have tried to be a fair leader!”  

This, as I saw someone point out, is really interesting when you consider the Rhodian mentality of a wish being the same as an action. Because Charlie wanted to be a fair leader, as far as he is concerned, he would have been and is one. 

Again, it all comes back to the possibility of not believing that he can be wrong, of Rhodia apparently having no room in their philosophy for personal error. They don’t make moral mistakes, because their wishes are the same as their actions. 

Except, you know, that’s not how it works. The Quill knew that, and no wonder they wanted a revolution if the Rhodia were (perhaps unintentionally/accidentally) taking all of their resources but claiming innocence because it was never their intention. 

But now consider all the stuff from episode six as well. Charlie, based on his own belief system considers himself: 

A fair leader

A person who is righteous and good

A mass murderer/committer of genocide

A possible hero

By the time the latter part becomes an action as opposed to a wish, we don’t see him feel guilty for it, because he’s been carrying the guilt with him the entire time. 

We only see his devastation at failing to bring his people back.

He had been so sure he would be a fair leader, he believed he could save his people which means he had to have thought he would. 

In other words, holy shit, what an awful shock for him in those final moments of the season.

Think about it. He hasn’t just lost his people, he’s lost his most fundamental belief, that wishing and intention is the same as an action - because he believed he could save his people, that if he intended to he would, and he was wrong. For the first time in this life, he is forced to confront the fact that he isn’t always right. That his people aren’t always right - perhaps that they never were. 

I really, really wish we could have gotten more of a look at how he acts immediately after this. Assuming we get a season 2, imagine how much of a change we’ll see? 

If I were to guess, I’d say that he’ll be a lot less confident in himself, he’ll be grieving and he’ll be uncertain of almost every aspect of his life. (I can only hope Matteusz will be around to help him with this, but it’s hard to know where their relationship sits at this point.) For the first time, we’re going to see Charlie when he is aware of the fact that he can do and has done wrong. 

I can’t wait. 

I also think, and hope, that we’ll see an immediate shift in how he treats Quill. That he’ll consider that maybe it was slavery, and listen if she tells him about how she got the arn out, and why she risked it (because her life as a slave, without being able to fight which is the foundation of her culture and identity, was so unbearable, and maybe if he listens he’ll actually understand why). That they can begin to move forward, sharing their loss, finally on equal ground and working through their differences. 

I just… I need more of this boy. 

A morally grey slave-master being portrayed as a sympathetic main character? Who is in pretty much all other respects a lovely person, one of the most openly kind and well-meaning characters in this show? Who also ends up committing genocide? And to top it off, is a gay alien prince? 

When I say he’s the character that fascinates me the most, I mean it. I’ve never been so torn between wanting to fiercely hug a character and wanting to slap them around the face, depending on the episode and scene. But that’s why I love him. It’s because I know how good he is capable of being that I get frustrated when he acts like a dick. I’m SO keen to see him grow and do the learning he so desperately needs to. 

So yeah, Charlie Smith, what a guy. What a complex, lovely, utterly frustrating boy. I love him. 

Thanks to Patrick Ness, for giving us such a fascinating character! 


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