Thoughts on the new cinematic for Dragon Age: Dreadwolf
First off, while the artwork is gorgeous, what I really want to praise is the background music. If this is what we can expect for the next Dragon Age game, holy shit, I am excited for the score.
But now, let's get to what I believe is confirmation of symbols for the Evanuris. This is something I touched on before, pointing out one of the figures in the mural released previously had the same head shape as one of the statues in Trespasser called "TyrantIdolHead" in the game files. Namely, these bad boys:
Now, take a look at the symbols surrounding the circle in this artwork:
Each "TyrantIdolHead" above has the same symbol shown in the cinematic art here.
More so, the one in the very centre correlates to the head of the figure on the right of the previously released mural below, and the one on the very right correlates to the figure on the left:
In total four have corresponding shapes:
Which begs the question, which one is for which member of the Evanuris?
I think the one that looks like a sunburst is obviously Elgar'nan. The one that looks like dragon horns could be Mythal. But the others, I really don't know.
The only other thing I want to comment, is in the centre of the large circle, looks like the outline of a city in gold. Then, the golden city turns to black, as the narration explains the creation of the veil.
Does this mean it was Solas who blackened the Golden City in Andrastian legend, and not Corypheus and the Magisters? That would run parallel to what Corypheus says in DA:I, claiming that the city was already black and empty when he broke through to it.
I've been wondering if I should make this post for a while, but I'm just gonna come out and say it: the Sonic movies are not pro-military just because Tom is a police officer. I'd argue that the movies are pretty anti-military, actually.
So, let's talk about Tom first, since he's kind of the elephant in the room with this discussion. Tom is the sheriff to a small town where he rarely has to deal with any real crimes; he usually deals with more trivial problems like people's cars breaking down, and we see him help a family of ducks cross the street.
He's an officer partly out of a sense of obligation (reportedly his family has held this position in some way for over 50 years), and partly because he wants to be in a position where he can protect people in serious situations. His goal at the start of the first movie is to start working in a bigger city where he can be more helpful.
I won't say that Tom isn't something of an idealized vision of a cop, and that in the wrong hands, he could easily be used as a form of military promotion. But I think Tom is like this for a different, more specific reason: to be used as a sharp contrast to literally every other government official we see.
Question: who exactly is the villain in the first Sonic movie? Robotnik, yes, but who is he? What does he represent?
Well, he's pretty much the face of the military.
Robotnik is under direct orders from the government to look into the power outage incident, and that turns into a mission to capture (and experiment on) Sonic - and regardless if Robotnik was authorized to use lethal force, he does so anyway.
And the thing is, all of the higher-ups know he's unhinged and dangerous, but he keeps his job because he gets results regardless of his methods. Heck, the first thing we see him do is lie to Tom about who he is and what he's there for so he can get inside his house to search it. Not exactly the most flattering portrayal of military investigations.
(He even gets punched by Tom after forcing his way into the house anyway)
Tom then proceeds to spend the rest of the movie on the run from the government, going out of his way to protect Sonic (who is quite literally an illegal alien) at the risk of his own livelihood. Clearly, adhering to his job description is not something the movie views as morally correct here.
Second question: who's the villain of the second movie? Still Robotnik, but he's not employed by the government anymore, so he can't really represent them anymore, right?
No, but considering Sonic's adopted family was actively manipulated by a government spy, who was meant to marry his new aunt in order to target him, and Sonic proceeds to get tased and thrown into a cage along with Tails by the other military personnel present at the fake wedding... I think it's safe to say that they are, once again, a central antagonistic force in this series.
(Yeah they do a funny where the spy turns out to have fallen in love for real, but I think we can all agree that was done for the sake of keeping a whimsical tone and not to endorse what was actually happening with the government there)
Which brings us to the third movie, which is still unreleased at the time of writing this. And one final question: how exactly do you think they're planning to write an adaptation of Sonic Adventure 2?
They've already set GUN up as the villains. That alone is central to Shadow's backstory, and the writers have clearly done their homework on Sonic lore. And even if they've somehow wildly missed the messaging of the franchise they've made two successful movies off of, the fact of the matter is that there is no adapting SA2 without anti-military sentiments. Like, they would have to work pretty hard and completely butcher both the game and their own movies up to this point for that to come out being pro-military.
This part's more in speculation territory, but here's a thought: what do you think Tom is going to do when he finds out what happened to Shadow?
Remember, Tom is an idealized small town sheriff who has this job out of obligation. He hasn't had to deal with the darker side of all this stuff until he started protecting Sonic, which - just as a reminder - has led to his house being searched, his car being cut in half, Sonic almost getting killed at least twice, his sister-in-law being manipulated, Sonic and Tails getting locked in cages... I'm probably even missing a few things.
Once everything that happened 50 years ago comes to light (especially if the theorists are right about Tom's family having been involved in it), I honestly wouldn't be surprised if he just. quit being a police officer. or got into activism. or both.
But even if we limit the analysis to just the two movies that are out right now, I struggle to see how "Tom shirks his duties to protect an alien child from being experimented on by the government" is in any way a pro-military sentiment.
In conclusion: basically every problem in the Sonic movies is the fault of the government in some way, so can we please stop talking about the series as if Tom is singlehandedly making them pro-military, now. Thanks
Use a kazoo for a character voice
You know the whole world has gone completely insane when that making Tumblr your primary social media turned out to be a smart decision.
Idk if this makes sense but the Batkids are like snapping dogs that Bruce taught to bite properly when most others would have muzzled them. He didn't tame them, didn’t even try to, but they still came back because he understood and loved them regardless
In light of what we’ve now seen of Kingsley, I keep wondering what Mollymauk would have been like had they managed to resurrect him after episode 26. Would we have had new purple tiefling after new purple tiefling with every in-game death, each one insisting that they don’t know the others and are nothing like them, all the while remaining startlingly in character??
The whole idea is fascinating and brilliant. I loved Mollymauk, I love Kingsley, I’ve even grown a sort of exasperated fondness for Lucien. I love the concept that at his core, he’s the same person, but that same personality expresses in such varied ways.
Regardless, his friends always recognize him. There’s something so heartwarming about that.
Overlooked Gabriel & Annalise Moment - TBSATDH Spoilers
A scene I don't really see people talk about in regards to Annalise and Gabriel's relationship in The Bastard Son and The Devil Himself is the one in Ep. 8 when the boys reunite with her. Gabriel gets to her first, she looks to him first, and she seeks comfort from him first.
Gabriel and Annalise's bond tends to be overlooked and downplayed a bit within the fandom space, and I can understand why. Their bond is probably the most subtle of the three and also the only one that hasn't included any kissing. It’s also the least developed and it's closer to a deep platonic or queerplatonic dynamic.
But in this moment they both look at each other so intensely. The screenshots I took can't really capture it, but Annalise was practically clawing at Gabriel for physical comfort in that scene. And that makes sense to me, given the dynamic we've seen between the three before.
Annalise comforts Nathan:
Nathan comforts Gabriel:
Gabriel comforts Annalise:
Of course, there has also been times when all three of them drew comfort from each other:
And Gabriel did comfort Nathan in this scene, though it was more akin to “snapping Nathan out of his guilt and trauma response to the situation,” since there wasn’t really time for comfort.
But the most common dynamic we’ve seen, and when looking at their one-on-one interactions, Annalise comforts Nathan, but rarely vice versa. So it makes sense that she looked to Gabriel for comfort first, then turned to Nathan.
I really feel like that Episode 5 scene, when Gabriel and Annalise held hands and gave each other comfort during the Ceremony, is when their dynamic started to shift and change a bit. In the sense of getting more intimate and intense, though not necessarily romantic or sexual.
If the series wanted to pursue that route in a (hopeful) second season, I wouldn’t necessarily object to it. Granted it is handled well, especially because I can see how it could potentially tie into the implied trauma Gabriel experienced from Mercury (she had no qualms with kissing Nathan when she was possessing his gran’s body, and her words and actions to and with Gabriel imply possible sexual trauma and abuse, in the below image she says, “So hard to say no to such perfection” while looking at him and touching him in a very sexualized way).
The set up that Season 1 left off with seems to heavily imply that Jessica and Mercury will be the big bad duo of a potential Season 2, which would work perfectly with the hanging plotline of the boy Gabriel promised he would come back for at Mercury’s. And all of that would tie in nicely with a deeper exploration of Gabriel, his sexuality, his past and traumas, and his bonds with both Nathan and Annalise.
As someone who is aroace though, I would also be perfectly fine with Gabriel and Annalise’s relationship continuing to deepen but still staying in this space of deeply platonic and/or queerplatonic, since I feel we could always do with more representation like that, especially for poly ships.
Anyway, wrapping all of this up: That Ep. 8 scene speaks volumes about Annalise and Gabriel’s bond and I love it! It shows how they’ve grown a lot closer to each other than a lot of the fandom thinks they have, and possibly even more than either of them had fully realized in-series until that moment.
Sometimes I remember that the Nie Brothers are from the Hebei province because that's where Qinghe is and then I think again about the most common and generally preferred alcohols in Northeastern China.
I am then immediately clocked in the face by this fact from Wikipedia's entry on gaoliang (a type of very popular baijiu from the area):
Kaoliang ranges usually between 38 and 63 percent alcohol by volume. At present, world's highest alcohol content of kaoliang liquor is up to 92% produced by Chyi Leh Wei Distillery (Chinese: 琪樂薇酒廠) in Taiwan.
Then I am immediately clocked in the face by the story my mother told me when I was home at my parent's house this past Thanksgiving when she was going to school in the Northeast China if they ran out gas for their gas stoves they would just start pouring in gaoliang and--
Yes, see, I think if WWX ever went and tried the wines in Qinghe post-canon, he would have to comment about how Nie-xiong wants to poison him because this isn't wine its either stove lighter fluid or paint thinner. (Which wikipedia also says about gaoliang btw, that it's a great paint thinner.)
I posted this on the bird app some time ago and I'm overdue to post it here too!
According to the Shaperate elves made contact with dwarves 1,500 years before humans arrived.
Elves hunted and killed Titans.
Dalish have a song which they believe is about elves driving dwarves underground.
The Evanuris had their lyrium mine closed and collapsed with stone and MAGIC.
The Blight? Started in the Deep Roads.
All this says to me that the dwarves started as surface dwellers. Then the Elvhen drove them underground, murdered their gods, stole their magic, and caused the Blight.
The "return of Elvhen glory" is so sus to me because Thedas is also the dwarven people's homeland and they seem to get the shaft (no pun intended) no matter what.
I hope even a fraction of this is true/comes up in DA4 because it'll make playing a dwarven MC that much more fun.
Loid being so aghast that Yuri bought Yor’s lame “I forgot” excuse for why she never told him that she was supposedly married for a year is hilarious because he doesn’t realize he has the exact same type of blind spot when it comes to Yor and Anya. Like it’s shown Loid is a typically sharp person; he picked up on Yuri being from the secret police quickly. He’s just oblivious to how his brain stops working when it comes to wifey and baby.
I just. Need to get this out of my head. We all see Hob as a university level teacher but what if he wasn't? What if he was an elementary, or even kindergarten/preschool, teacher. He didn't exactly plan to become an Offical Wrangler of 20 Human equivalent of cats, but it lets him showcase his random knowledge and get even more excited about seeing the future.
Get it outta your head, put it into mine, yes, this is the meta I welcome and adore!!! I think my views on Hob tend to run a little bit sharper and darker than the average fandom take. I've never seen him as someone whose chief trait is hope, yanno? It's hunger for me! Never thought, oh yeah, that is a labrador retriever in human form. I have never associated him with a little classroom that has posters about weather and seasons and a map of the world.
And YET. After getting this ask and thinking about it. I am fucking sold and now I will sell you all too. He would be a brilliant teacher of younger kids. Because I don't think you need to be sunny or kind or friendly to be a good teacher of small children. It’s nice. But I do believe you have to be curious. And sensitive. And patient. And those are some of the traits that characterize Hob to me.
He knows more of the variations of life than can be earned in a mortal lifetime alone. He knows loneliness. He knows losing family. He knows poverty. He knows about moving and leaving what feels like your whole life behind you, when you never wanted to go. He would inherently understand why it's better to talk about 'grownups at home' than 'parents', and why you shouldn't make kids share with the class what they did on their summer vacation.
He is always curious - not just of the world in a way that allows him to passionately transmit that knowledge to his classes like you say OP - but also of his kids. About their dreams and hopes and fears. About how childhood has changed so much. He loves the small stuff. He wants to hear it all. A class of 20 enthusiastic kids might be like herding cats, but it’s also 20 entire lives, mornings and nights and houses and siblings and pets and chaos and weird kid observations and beliefs, and it sates Hob’s bottomless hunger for the human experience far more than a lecture hall filled with a bunch of young adults who are only there three hours a week, whose extent of conversation with him is usually limited to emails asking for paper extensions that he grants each and every time.
He also has this insane sensitivity that you see even in 1389 in the way he pulls back earnestness with humour to match the mood of the room. He is always watching, always feeling, always adjusting. Think of all the little expressions of expectation and irritation and hurt and hope when talking with Dream! I have no doubt he’d ensure each of his students felt seen and understood, even if it's hard at first. Even if it takes a long time to get there. It’s taken him a long time, after all. He is this exquisitely tuned instrument to talk carefully to kids, and to give them back tenfold the sort of validation that a part of him always howled for in those early meetings.
He's good at being earnest. He's good at big feelings. He's good at being funny. He's good at noticing. He's good at these things, in large part, because he's not normal at all.
He’s also as stubborn as a child, but as frighteningly patient as, well, an immortal. It’s probably uncanny to his colleagues. They tell Hob he’s got the patience of a saint, and he thinks, privately, More like the faith of a martyr. But he does. He’s got both.
I think he doesn't get it all right at first. But I think within ten years he’s got so many teaching awards he needs to put up a special shelf for them. Below it, though, are several shelves, already full to bursting, with letters and thank-yous and birthday cards and ‘look at me now’ life updates from former students. Because that is the kind of teacher Hob wants to be.
Your meta about Twilight have me convinced that, written by anyone else, it's not a romance-- it's a horror story.
So now I'm wondering, if instead of being by Stephanie Meyer, Twilight was written by someone like Stephen King? In a horror book with the same core plot and the same blurb on the back, what's the scene everyone remembers- the equivalent to the scenes everyone remembers in The Shining, IT, or Carrie? (Or whatever horror author and work you're more familiar with, you get the idea)
There's just so many good horror scenes, and I really want your take, but like as I write this ask I just want to appreciate the ending a bit:
After she almost dies, after the venom is sucked out, smash cut to Bella the surviving heroine. The horror is over, safe back in Forks. Except the reader gets this sinking feeling. We slowly realize, no, she didn't avoid the bad ending. She's not running from it. She's choosing it, unaware of what it's actually going to cost her and how little she's getting in return. Even as a human, Bella has become the monster that will kill her in the end... setting us up perfectly for new moon where actually she kind of is the villain.
I guess I'm asking what one scene from spooky!Twilight would stick in your memory years laters, and how is it written differently to emphasize the horror?
(And if you're having fun with this, what scene for the other books)
Of course, you nearly inspired an entirely too long rant between the differences of Stephen King's novel The Shining and Stanley Kubrick's film adaptation, but no one wants to sit through that.
With that though, I think we have to take a few steps back.
Stephen King Wouldn't Write Twilight
First, he's done a vampire novel, Salem's Lot, which has a similar enough premise that he probably wouldn't do a Twilight style version.
Salem's Lot is also set in a very small, insular, American town. The events take place only within the town and most of the townsfolk never cotton on to what's happening. There are a select few knowledgeable insiders who then get dealt with.
It's much more Dracula in its inspiration than Twilight, in that we have a very similar subplot to the Lucy subplot where the town slowly starts being victimized by the vampires, no one believes the protagonist except a select few who then disappear from the story, and we slowly get the reveal of the demonic monstrosity that are the vampires.
But it's similar in that it's King's "Give me a modern, small, town with vampires".
But it's more than that.
What's the core plot of Twilight that we're keeping and the blurb on the back per the ask?
The core plot is that Bella moves to this small rural town, realizes there's something strange going on with her classmates, falls in love with Edward and loves him despite him being a distinct risk to her, is hunted by other vampires, and then the story ends after James has been destroyed.
The trouble with Twilight alone is that we have no resolution and no real consequences. Twilight really is just a book that sets the stage for the follow-on books, which works if you're writing YA romance novels, not so much if you want a horror novel.
Bella's fate is undecided as of the end of the novel, her parents are still ignorant as well as alive and well, nothing terrible has happened to any of the characters we've met so far including the NPCs, the Cullens so far seem to be everything they've claimed to be including Edward who for all his talk hasn't done anything.
Compare that to, say, the plot of Carrie. The important thing about Carrie is that we get the Prom. Everything leads up to Prom, we see everything build towards it and no something terrible is going to happen, and then it does.
You can't have Carrie, as a singular novel, end at the moment she opens the door to her surprise date so she can go to Prom.
Similarly, you can't have The Shining end only when they realize that maybe this hotel is filled with malevolent psychic energy, and it might do something.
It's not a horror story unless you see when things go very bad.
He'd probably also add in a lot more of the typical Stephen King tropes that I won't comment on because this isn't the post for "weird shit Stephen King puts in his books sometimes".
Okay, So What Would Stephen King Do?
Honestly, I imagine Charlie would become our main character.
Small town divorced cop estranged from his wife and daughter, whose daughter suddenly decides to live with him (whose new stepfather may or may not be abusive) and is a total mess he doesn't know how to relate to, has the background on the Cullens and yeah they're weird but they seem so nice, as well as the even more local guy in his best friend Billy who says, "dead isn't better, Charlie, don't bury your pets in the cemetery", and life gets progressively worse and weirder as his daughter begins dating what is slowly revealed to be an abusive inhuman creep.
Add on a little former alcoholism and Charlie Swan gets the Stephen King protagonist stamp of approval.
Bella's nice and all, but she's what's lost in the series and gives the impression that she has agency. Charlie is the one who is ignorant, who tries to stop it, and only realizes too late that he moved too slowly, ignored the wrong people, and made all the wrong choices.
And we'd get the entire four novels packed into one with it starting with Bella's arrival and ending with her having been turned and having a daughter niece.
You Didn't Answer the Question
Alright, alright, fine.
I'd say the moment Charlie meets Bella after she's been turned and realizes that this isn't his daughter anymore and that he has to pretend for the rest of his life that it still is.
Of course, this requires being from Charlie's point of view, but honestly, he's the better character for it.
Bella's over there in Breaking Dawn living her best life at this point.
In Twilight itself? The meadow. Midnight Sun is its own spectacle, but the meadow even from Bella's point of view is fucking bizarre and mildly terrifying. You have Edward purposefully, just for a moment, showing what he really is to terrify her, then backing off in terror that he might lose her.
That said, the trouble is Bella as our narrator. What happens is disturbing, but Bella's so teenage in love that she doesn't care or even notice it. She has set up circumstances so that Edward will be able to get away with her murder, let him know it, and watched him rage about how easy it would be for him to kill her now. And she's having a great time.
Basically, if you want this to be a real horror novel, it can't be from Bella's point of view. Otherwise, we have Twilight.
‘the truth is out there... but so are lies’ is honestly, to me, the most impactful moment of the entire x files series, and definitely the most impactful in terms of the quest. because mulder wants to believe so badly - he’d trust anyone, listen to anyone, follow any lead - though ‘you make me a whole person’ is a romantic overture, it also represents how mulder is only half of the investigative team. he wants the truth by searching for the truth. scully, on the other hand, tries to find the truth by searching for the lie. the lies that mulder has been told, the lies of everyone who isn’t mulder, the one person she trusts. the government’s lies. diana’s lies. and the way he stops, listens to her, and says ‘thank you’ before doing what he’s going to do anyways? i think you could read that response as flippant, but to me it’s genuine. he says thank you because he’s not going to change. his stubbornness and willingness to believe in spite of everything and everyone against him is his best and worst trait. he’s going to do what he does, especially this early in the series, no matter what scully says. but he’s going to listen. he’s going to thank her for looking for deception, because it’s not just discovering the truth that will move them forward - it’s also discovering the lies.
narratively, i love that scully says this in s1. i think this is something that it takes the whole original series to really sink in for mulder. that the more they search, the more murky things are instead of clearer. you can sink your entire life into this impenetrable mask of truths and lies. but the truths and lies out there might be bigger but will never be as meaningful, as mulder finally realizes in s8, as the truth they both know. anyways tldr frank spotniz was right
Druids can only cast spells that are the names of pests or diseases.
Good luck fighting against the guy who knows how to cast lumpy skin disease, fall armyworm, fire blight, slow paralysis virus, or blood disease (All are actual names of pests and diseases)
Life sucks at the moment, so I'm turning towards my comfort characters.
Here is my top 5 favorite Prapai characteristics no one asked for 😛
"Just be yourself and I won't be able to get away."
Pai knows exactly what to say to comfort Sky when he is feeling insecure.
"If it's important to you, then I won't."
How beautiful is this line? Although Pai probably wants to take Sky home to care for him, he is so considerate. He knows how important the last cheer is to Sky. He really only wants what's best for Sky.
"To me. You're priceless"
You can see Prapai's sincerity in this scene. He knows exactly Sky's worth - that he is invaluable.
"But I'll show you with my actions."
Actions speak louder than words. Words are easy, actions prove the words. And Prapai will spend the rest of his life proving his loyalty through his actions.
"If you can't cry, I'll cry for you."
This is true empathy. To take another person's hurt upon yourself, this is the ultimate show of selfless love.
What are your favourite Prapai characteristics?
Tim's the only Robin that hasn't gone through a period of "hating" Bruce because he's the only one that didn't have any expectations of him when meeting him. He expected Bruce to be a mess and to be harsh and messy, so when he got that, he was unsurprised. He didn't make a big deal because well, he knew what he signed up for.