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#people who are just trying to look for orpheus (mythology) content so
corviiids · 12 days
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selection of tweets about hades by supergiant games
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h0tch-r0cket · 1 year
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Infatuation (18+) {a.h.} : chapter 5
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summary: you needed a job. aaron hotchner needed a babysitter. the rest was inevitable.
word count: 5.5K
warnings: explicit language, drinking alcohol, smoking, building tension : )
table of contents
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"Y/N?" Jack called out from the kitchen of the Hotchner home. You had picked him up from school, like always, and he was working on his homework as soon as possible.
"What's going on, Jack?" you asked as you placed your finger in between the pages of your copy of The Centaur which you brought with you to keep you occupied.
"I need help with my math," he said softly.
You put your bookmark in the novel and headed into where the little Hotchner was awaiting your help. You sat down across from him and glanced down at the papers that were sprawled out in front of him. "What do you need help with?"
"Well, Ms. Kingston showed us today how to add and subtract with three digit numbers like 100 and all that stuff. I get confused when you have to borrow from one of the other numbers when you subtract," he said as he tapped the pencil on the table, a habit you noticed Aaron did as well when he was working on his own work.
"Alright, let me take a look here," you said as you grabbed the paper from him.
After a few minutes of explaining the way you go about subtracting the numbers to Jack, he got it pretty quickly. "Thanks, Y/N!"
You ruffled his hair as you stood up from the table. "You got it. If you need me, I'm just going to be in the living room, okay?"
"Okay," he said as he moved on to the next parts of his worksheet.
You settled back onto the couch, bringing your knees up to your chest as you read the novel. You were just reaching one of your favorite parts, your attention glued to the pages in front of you. It was the part where George, the father of the story, had spent his very last dollar to bring home a sandwich for his wife even though he and his son were stranded for the night because their car broke down. There was something about the sentiment, the idea that he would give up his very last dollar, that always warmed your heart.
Just as you finished up the chapter you were on, the small pitter patter of feet coming into the living room interrupted you continuing on with your reading. You looked up from the book to see Jack coming towards you, taking hard steps as he walked.
He plopped down on the couch next to you and let out a low sigh. "What's the matter, kiddo?" you asked as you placed the book neatly on your lap.
"I want dad to come home already," he said quietly as he swung his legs against the side of the couch.
"I know you do, Jack. But hey, he should be here soon. Want to watch a movie in the meantime?" You weren't sure what else to do for him. It was the first time that Jack had ever expressed that sentiment to you.
He nodded his head lightly, not saying anything to actually answer your question verbally. "Alright. As long as you finished your homework," you told him. He simply nodded yet again, his face more somber than normal.
You tried to figure out why he had the sudden mood change from when you picked him up from the bus. You thought maybe he was just tired or perhaps he wasn't feeling good. You knew that most kids always wanted their parents around when they were sick.
As the different possibilities ran through your head as you looked for a movie that the two of you had yet to watch, Jack's small voice piped up from next to you. "Y/N?"
You turned your head to look at him to already be met with his gaze. "Yeah Jack?"
"Can I sit with you?" he asked softly.
You nodded your head and straightened yourself up more on the couch so he could sit on your lap. As he quickly scooted into your lap, your copy of The Centaur fell underneath the couch.
"Sorry Y/N. I'll pick it up," Jack said as he went to reach down and grab it. You pulled him back up towards you and let his back rest against your frontside.
"It's alright. I'll get it later. Pick out a movie to watch," you told him. You passed him the TV remote and let him scroll through the different family movies, hoping that he would find something to occupy his thoughts until Aaron got home from his lectures.
------
As much as he tried, Aaron Hotchner could not focus on the lecture that he was giving in his class. As he sat at his office desk at the university, he flipped through his notes which to anyone else other than him would not have made any sense at all with the way that the thoughts were not cohesive and the exhaustive amounts of abbreviations that littered the pages.
He planned the day's lecture to be about Orpheus and Eurydice, lovers tragically torn apart, but he couldn't gather his thoughts cohesively to provide his students with what he deemed to be the proper lesson.
His thoughts were foggy. Jarbled. He thought he would have shaken the thought of the way your hands touched the day prior. But it was all he found himself thinking about. He wasn't quite sure why. It was a simple accident.
A simple accident that made him want to rethink the way he had been so closed off with you. The way he was always curt. He craved more, despite the fact that he knew he shouldn't pursue anything with you.
He rubbed his temples, sighing in defeat. At that point, the lecture was going to be what it was going to be.
Aaron gathered all of his things in his satchel and headed down to the auditorium before his students filed in. He shed himself of his suit jacket, leaving him in a baby blue dress shirt and tan slacks. He organized his notes yet again and placed them in order on the podium that was in the center of the room.
His students filed in soon after, a chorus of Good afternoon, Professor Hotchner, How are you Professor Hotchner? coming from them.
Aaron gave everyone a few minutes to settle in before glancing at his watch for the time. He clapped his hands together once loudly to get the attention of the class. The side conversations slowly died down, only a few soft murmurs being heard through the crowd.
"Alright folks. Let's settle in. I know today is Friday and you all are eager to get out of here so I'll try to make this as quick and easy as possible," he said, projecting his voice so that everyone could hear him. "I'll run through attendance quickly and then we'll get started."
After taking attendance and marking the absentee students, Aaron grabbed the textbook for the class from out of his satchel. "If you all could open to page 265 that would be absolutely fantastic." Synchronous opening of textbooks and flipping of pages filled the auditorium as the students quickly followed Aaron's instructions.
He began to walk in front of the room, arms crossed over his chest as he glanced out into the sea of students. "Now, does anyone have any ideas as to what the story of Orpheus and Eurydice is about?" He looked into the crowd, being met with blank stares, eyes glazing over, and even a few students nodding their heads back as they fought the calling of sleep during class.
Not one student raised their hand. He caught the students glancing at one another, hoping that someone, anyone, would have the answer. But there was no such luck.
Part of him wondered if you knew the story. You probably would know the tale like the back of your hand, being that you seemed to be meticulous with whatever it was that you set your mind to. He was curious to see just how much you knew about mythology.
He decided that the next time he saw you, he would try to find out just that.
Focus, he thought to himself.
Clearing his head of you as much as possible, he rolled his sleeves up and walked to the whiteboard, uncapping the black Expo marker that laid next to it. "Orpheus," he said as the marker squeaked on the board as he wrote the name down, "is the son of Apollo and Calliope. Well, that is according to some accounts. Some people say that Orpheus had a different father," he clarified. Aaron turned his attention back to his students, pushing his glasses up on the bridge of his nose. "Can anyone at least remind me as to who those two figures are in mythology? Apollo and Calliope?"
A hand rose in the middle of the auditorium slowly. "Yes?" he said, letting the student know that they could answer the question.
"Well, Apollo is considered to be the god of poetry and music. Calliope on the other hand, was one of the nine muses. She was the muse of history," the girl answered.
Aaron shook his head, placing his hands on his hips and he continued to pace back and forth in the front of the room. "Close. Calliope is actually the muse of poetry. Clio was the muse of history," he explained. "But I'm sure you knew that, right Ms. Sinclair?" he said with a small smirk on his face.
The girl nodded and scribbled down some more notes in her notebook, frantic to capture each and every word that Aaron uttered throughout the rest of the lecture.
Aaron took a brief pause and scanned through the crowd yet again. When he noticed one of his students clearly scrolling on his phone rather than focusing on the lecture, he debated about whether or not he should say something. But when the student started to show his phone around to those near him, he knew he would have to address the obvious distraction from the lecture.
"Mr. McMillan, if your phone is more important than listening to the rest of this lecture, which does cover a large part of your final, please be my guest and take the rest of the day for yourself," Aaron said as he raised his hand towards the door, suggesting that the boy leave the auditorium. He watched as the boy's face turned a shade of pink as he slipped the phone into his pocket. Aaron mouthed a small thank you to the student and continued with the lecture.
"As I was saying, with the help of Ms. Sinclair, Orpheus is the son of Apollo and Calliope. Eurydice," he said as he wrote the next name down on the board and drew a line connecting the two names together, "on the other hand was a beautiful Spartan princess. She married Orpheus. He played her beautiful songs on his lyre, which is just a smaller version of a harp. Orpheus was an exceptional musician. But that makes sense considering who his parents were."
He leaned back against his desk, partially sitting on top of it. He crossed his feet and rested his hands on each side of him on the desk to hold himself up. "However, tragedy struck the young couple. Eurydice was bit by a snake and died. Orpheus was heartbroken. So much so that he only played the most somber and melancholy songs on his lyre. "
Aaron paused for a moment, letting his students jot down their notes onto their paper. "But that didn't discourage Orpheus from fighting for his true love."
Aaron pushed himself off the desk and started to pace again, rubbing his thumb against his pointer finger as he walked. "He was not willing to give up so easily. So, he came up with a plan."
He walked over to the whiteboard again and wrote the word Underworld on the board. "Now, what are some things you know about the Underworld?"
"It's Hades' domain," a student called out.
Aaron drew an arrow from the word and wrote Hades underneath it. "And Hades is?"
"Zeus' brother," the same student replied.
"Very good. What else do we know about this Underworld, the realm where the souls of the departed end up in Greek mythology?" Aaron probed.
"River Styx!" another student called out enthusiastically.
"Mhm." He added another line to the diagram and turned to face the student that answered. "What about the River Styx?"
"I don't know. I just know it's there," the student laughed.
"Fair enough," Aaron said with a small smile. "We'll be covering that within the next few lessons so I won't worry about drilling it into your heads for the time being. One thing that I do want to mention is Cerberus, the three headed dog that guards the entrance of the Underworld. That will be important for the rest of the tale of Orpheus and Eurydice."
Aaron paused yet again, settling back onto the top of the desk but this time he was fully seated on it, his legs dangling off the side. "Now, Orpheus, being heartbroken at the loss of his wife, came up with a plan. He decided to travel to the Underworld to try to regain his love."
"That's crazy. Who would want to go to that place? I mean, I get it he loved the girl but is that even possible?" a student asked.
"It was a wild plan, I will give you that. But Orpheus succeeded. He traveled to the Underworld and managed to strike a deal with Hades after playing his music for him. The ruler of the Underworld was so moved that he granted Orpheus his wish to bring Eurydice back to the land of the living. Hell, the stories even say that Cerberus, the ferocious guardian of the entrance of the Underworld, was howling in despair of the pain Orpheus' music suggested."
A hand rose amongst the crowd. Aaron took his glasses off, gently biting down on the end of the arm of them. He raised his eyebrows at the student, allowing them to speak.
"There's no way that he got her back that easily. Greek mythology seems to, for the most part, at least stem from some kind of tragedy," the student said, clearly not believing that the tale would end happily ever after.
Aaron took his glasses out of his mouth and shook them in the direction of the student. "Excellent observation, Mr. Roth. That brings us to the next part of our tale. Hades gave Orpheus a stipulation; his wife would be brought back to the land of the living as long as Orpheus did not look back at her while they were still in the Underworld."
He hopped off his desk and hooked his glasses onto the collar of his shirt as he continued with the lecture. "Orpheus made the journey back to the light, but he turned around too soon, full of excitement to be reunited with his wife. She vanished before his eyes and he was heartbroken yet again."
"So the moral of the story is to be patient and have trust in the situations that you find yourself in?" a voice called out.
"Precisely," Aaron said, his voice soft. He glanced down at his watch. "I think that's enough for today. For the next class, think of a time in your life where this story applies. A time where you were impatient and lost something that you worked so desperately hard to get. Class dismissed."
The students filed out of the room quickly, allowing Aaron to follow behind them with his satchel tucked under his arm, the same fervor coursing through his veins to get home. He wanted to see Jack.
He wanted to see you.
————
"Oh! You sank my battleship!" you hollered dramatically as Jack managed to get another one of your ships clear off the board.
"Yes!" he shouted, throwing his fist up in success.
You were happy to see him going back to his normal, happy self. Whatever was bothering him earlier had managed to subside by the time you were done watching The Lion King.
The familiar car alarm chirped in the driveway, causing loyal Buster to run to the door in anticipation to see his owner.
You felt almost the same degree of excitement flowing through your body. It was the first time you were seeing Aaron since his touch was embedded into your head. You were wondering if things would be different. If he would be different.
As the front door opened, Jack ran over to his father and wrapped his arms tightly around his waist. "Hey buddy," Aaron said with a small chuckle as he patted Jack's back.
"I missed you today," Jack said quietly as he looked up at his father.
"I miss you everyday," Aaron said with a smile. His gaze turned to you and he kept the smile plastered on his face. "How's it going, Y/N?"
"Pretty good. Jack just sunk my battleship...again," you joked, feigning annoyance.
Aaron's smile grew a bit wider, the dimples on his face making another appearance.
You couldn't help but smile at him. His smile was contagious and gorgeous. You felt like it was such a rare occasion that he smiled, even though he was smiling more often around you, that you always studied the way his face looked so you would never forget it.
Aaron headed into the kitchen with his things with Jack following close behind. You followed a few moments after, ready to gather your things and head home.
When you came into the kitchen, you saw Aaron place a hand on his hip as he looked down at Jack who held his hands together tightly in a pleading motion.
"Come on, Dad! It will be fun," Jack begged. He put on a big smile for his father, trying to convince him further to whatever idea he had planned.
"Alright, Jack. I wouldn't mind that. Ask her," Aaron said as he turned his attention towards you. You felt yourself get nervous, not sure as to what it was that Jack was about to ask you.
Jack took a step forward and planted himself in front of you as he looked up at you with big, puppy dog eyes. "Y/N, do you want to stay and have dinner with us?" Jack asked excitedly.
"Oh," you said with shock. Your stomach fluttered at the thought of actually staying and spending time with Aaron, even if Jack was still there. But the rational part of your head was yelling at you to leave. You already were thinking about Aaron too much and you were sure you would be even further doomed if you were subject to his charm and wit for the night. "Maybe another time, Jack. I think Esmé was planning on making a nice fancy dinner tonight."
"Please, Y/N," Jack pleaded. "Stay with us and eat." He held his hands firmly together again in a similar fashion to how he was begging his father to go along with the idea in the first place.
You clicked your tongue and scratched the back of your neck, unsure as to what other excuse you could come up with. "I don't want to intrude on the time you and your dad have together, buddy."
Aaron crossed his arms across his chest and you saw him raise his eyebrows for a quick second behind his glasses. "Stay, Y/N. I'm a pretty good cook," Aaron said with a smirk growing on his face.
You felt your stomach twist further into knots at the thought that one, Aaron wanted you to stay and two, that he was going to be cooking some sort of meal for you.
Aaron, on the other hand, felt desperate. He wanted—no, he needed you to stay. He wanted to learn everything there was about you. He wanted to know your passions, your fears. As his eyes searched yours, he saw the battle that was going on in your head as to whether or not you should stay or go.
He was hoping you couldn't see the way he crossed his fingers together subtly, a silent prayer that you would stay.
He didn't know what was coming over him. All he knew was that at that moment, he didn't want you to leave the house. He had tried to push you out of his head all day, but seeing you here at his house and your gorgeous smile, it was taking everything in his power to keep his composure as he felt himself succumbing to his desire to want to be close to you.
You weren't sure what it was but the way Aaron was staring at you, his eyes soft, it was as if he was subtly begging you to stay.
You knew you shouldn't. You already were feeling things that you never thought you would for the man. But a part of you was curious to try to figure out if he was feeling something similar.
"Alright, fine," you said defeated, throwing your hands up in the air. "I'll stay." Jack let out an excited yell before running back into the living room.
You could have sworn you saw Aaron exhale deeply once you came to your decision, as if he was relieved that you were actually staying. "But I'm telling you now Hotchner, if you're not as good a cook as you say you are, there will be hell to pay," you teased as you pointed your finger in his direction.
And to your surprise, Aaron laughed. He genuinely laughed. It was a sound that was pure music to your ears, something that you wished you could have turned back time to get it on a recording.
"I promise. I am a good cook," he said as he turned around and began to take out some different pots and pans.
You walked next to him and leaned up against the counter. "What exactly are you planning on making?"
He turned his gaze to you, a smug look growing on his face. "Well where's the fun in that? It's a surprise," he said quietly, leaning closer in your direction.
You caught a quick whiff of his cologne, the smell of cedar quickly filling your airspace. You bit down on your bottom lip, the closeness to him becoming almost too much to handle.
His warm honey eyes darted down to your lips and back up to your own eyes. He cleared his throat and stood back up straight, starting to pull some random ingredients out of the cabinet in front of him.
You shut your eyes for a second, disappointed by how quickly he stood away from you. "I'll be in the living room with Jack," you said. He nodded silently, making his rounds in the kitchen to cook.
As you made your way into the living room, you couldn't help but think about how close he was. You could have reached your hand out and stroked his cheek. You could have been putty melting in his hands.
Aaron watched you walk out of the kitchen, knowing that you wouldn't see his eyes raking across your body. Your perfume lingered in the space where you were in the kitchen, reminding Aaron just how close his face was to yours, how he could have pulled you by your cheeks to brush his lips against yours.
He wanted you. And he wasn't sure how much longer he could hold back.
———-
"Oh my god," you sighed in content as you took a bite of the food Aaron prepared. He made fettuccine alfredo with chicken. All from scratch.
His eyes shot towards you as he heard the sound of satisfaction fall on your lips. He raised an eyebrow at you, taking a bite of the chicken that rested on his plate. "So, did I live up to your expectations?"
"Mhm," was all you could muster as you took another bite of the pasta.
You watched as Jack twirled the pasta around his fork. He popped it into his mouth and gave his dad a thumbs up. "It tastes good, Dad. I could eat the whole pot!"
"That's an awful lot of pasta," you joked as you took a small sip of the chardonnay that Aaron had poured for the two of you. He insisted it made the meal but you were wondering if it had different indications than what he led on.
"Yeah it is but I could eat it," Jack said. Aaron rolled his eyes jokingly at his son's active imagination.
A few minutes passed and you all were eating in content. This time, there was a much more comfortable silence that fell between you all, something that you could easily get used to.
"So, Y/N, what made you pick up an interest in Greek mythology?" Aaron asked, clearly ripping off the bandaid he had been gripping to all day. He had to know. He wanted to know more about you.
"I took a class in high school, actually. And from there, I've done most of my learning on my own. I don't know," you laughed softly.
God your laugh. Aaron would never get over hearing it. He took a sip of his wine and glanced at you over the rim of the glass, watching you absentmindedly twirl your fork around in the pasta.
"I just find it interesting that there's so many stories that they came up with and they all have some sort of deeper meaning to them."
Aaron nodded in agreement, finding himself entranced with your words. You were right of course. There were so many things those stories explained, like the natural world or even as something simple to not be selfish.
"That's why I like them so much. The interpretation of them all varies and you can learn so much," he added.
"I like the ones with Jason and the Astronauts," Jack interrupted. Small laughs from you and Aaron filled the space between you at Jack's mispronunciation.
"Argonauts," you and Aaron said at the same time, correcting the young Hotchner.
Jack scrunched his eyebrows in confusion. "What's the word?" he asked.
"Argonauts," Aaron repeated.
"Astronauts is cooler," Jack concluded as he took another bite of his chicken. "Can I be excused?"
Aaron glanced at his plate and pointed his fork in the direction of his son's food. "Eat another bite of chicken and you can be."
Jack scarfed down the chicken quickly and left the table.
Realization hit you rather quickly.
It was just you and Aaron. A tinge of pink fell across your face at the fact that you were alone with Aaron.
You cleared your throat and shifted in your seat, sitting up straighter. "So, how did your lecture go today?" you asked.
Aaron shrugged his shoulders and kept his gaze on his plate. "Could have gone better, I suppose."
"What did you talk about?" You took another drink of your wine and this time, it was you glancing at him over the rim of the glass.
"Orpheus and Eurydice."
"That's a good one. Heartbreaking in the end but I like the story of it all," you admitted.
Of course you knew it. Aaron figured you would. He wished you could have been in his class. You clearly knew so much about the subject matter and he was becoming impressed the more you spoke.
"It's definitely one of the sadder ones," he agreed.
You placed your fork down on your napkin, full from the delicious dinner you just ate. "I think it's one of the best representations of agape in Greek mythology that there is," you added, running your finger along the rim of your wine glass.
Aaron felt his nerves go wild.
Agape?
How the hell did you know about that?
You certainly kept him on his toes.
"And you know about agape, the Greek word for the concept of self-sacrificing love. I have to say, Y/N, I really wasn't expecting you to be so well versed in the subject," he admitted. "But figures, a smart girl like you would go above and beyond to learn about whatever you set your mind to." He took another sip of his wine and his eyes were looking at you more intently.
You definitely felt your face blush at his words. You tried to keep your composure as best as possible, but how could you when he was being so fucking charming and looking at you the way he was?
"I am just full of surprises," you teased, making your voice almost a whisper.
You watched as Aaron licked his lips and raised his eyebrows. "You most certainly are," he agreed, his words coming out with an exhale. "Question for you though."
"Hm?"
"What makes you think that the tale of Orpheus and Eurydice is full of agape?" he challenged.
You took a moment to try to cohesively get your thoughts together. Well, as best you could with the way Aaron was looking at you.
"Well for starters, the man literally went to the Underworld to try to get his wife back. It was an unheard of feat. And the fact that Orpheus was willing to do whatever it took to get her back just shows how much he couldn't live without her. How much he loved her."
Aaron nodded slowly, finishing the rest of his wine. "You make a good point there," he said after he swallowed the chardonnay.
You nodded in agreement. You couldn't believe that you were engaging in such a deep conversation with Aaron. But it felt so natural. So right.
You glanced at the clock, seeing that it was almost 9pm. "I think I better get going," you said quietly. You pushed yourself away from the table and placed your dishes in the sink.
When you turned around to go grab your things, you bumped into a solid mass.
Aaron.
He grunted lightly at the contact, a flicker of his smile dancing across his lips.
"Sorry," you said quickly as he looked down at you. You stared at him for a second, as he did to you, before pulling yourself out of your trance and stepping around him to grab your belongings.
"Not a problem," he said as he placed his and Jack's dishes in the sink. "Let me walk you out." You nodded silently and watched as he grabbed the pack of cigarettes off the counter.
He patted the bottom of the carton against his palm before taking one of the cigarettes out, resting it between his lips as he walked with you towards the door.
He opened the door for you and you turned to say your goodbyes.
As much as you truly didn't want to.
"Thank you for dinner," you said with a smile.
"Don't worry about it," he assured as he leaned against the doorframe, the cigarette bouncing between his lips with each word.
"Enjoy the rest of your weekend, Aaron."
"You too, Y/N."
You headed to your car, settling into the driver's seat quickly, your brain still reeling from the events of the night.
You glanced back towards the Hotchner home and saw Aaron still leaning against the door frame, the faint orange glow of the lit cigarette piercing through the darkness of the sky.
You pulled away from the house and headed back home, watching as the Hotchner home disappeared from your rear view mirror.
Once you got home, you opened the door and pressed your back against it, still shocked with the overwhelming feelings that were still in your stomach, your head. Everywhere.
Esmé turned her head around towards you from the couch. When she saw your shocked and speechless expression, a shit-eating grin grew rapidly on her face. "Spill...the...details...now," she demanded as you sat down next to her on the couch.
As you were retelling the way you and Aaron had a few more moments that night, your phone dinged.
"Don't be a fool! Answer it!" Esmé hollered, smacking her hand gently on your leg.
Your heart fluttered when you saw the name of the person texting you.
                                                   Aaron Hotchner
-You left your book here. I found it under the couch when I was straightening up.
                                -Oh, I totally forgot about it! Sorry! I'll grab it on Monday.
-The Centaur, huh? You really are a bit of a nerd when it comes to mythology aren't you?
                                            -Maybe. But it's also just a good book in general.
-I'll have to give it a read then.
                    -I'm going to test you on it if you do read it, just so you're aware.
-I'll be counting on it.
-Goodnight, Y/N.
                                                                                            -Goodnight, Aaron.
You sighed loudly, trying to ignore Esmé who was staring at you with wide eyes. You clutched your phone tighter in your hand and turned to look at her.
"I'm in such deep shit," you admitted as you leaned back on the couch, resting your head on the headrest.
——
authors note:
i hope you all enjoyed this chapter! i also hope the lecture part wasn't too boring. i figured it was a good change of pace.
thanks for reading! i appreciate the support <3
see you next chapter!
-jordyn
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vikingqueer · 2 years
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music recommendations because i have some thoughts™
i don't wanna be that person who's like "my music taste is so weird lol" but i find that very often most of my friends don't really care for the music i like so i thought i'd just make a long ass post about it on tumblr instead. Fair warning, I'm very passionate about MIKA and The Mechanisms and so this very quickly got VERY long because it is part of my ongoing campaign to convince people to listen to mika and the mechs.
1) MIKA in general, but especially My Name Is Michael Holbrook (2019) and No Place In Heaven (2015) (especially the Deluxe version!!)
MIKA is a kind of British singer (half Lebanese, grew up in France blabla), and you probably know him for Grace Kelly and Relax, Take It Easy from his first album Life In Cartoon Motion from 2007. He writes a lot of FUN music, interspersed with the occasional slightly sadder song, especially when looking at an album like No Place In Heaven, which contains a lot of songs with gay themes, resulting in some songs that are just a little bit ouch. He's originally classically trained and has a frankly RIDICULOUS range and idk he just writes very good pop music. Also I have so much respect for that time he talked about how a lot of pop is very fake, with like expensive cars and stilettos and mini skirts in the snow and said "Because I walk down the street, and I don't see any of that. I see fat women and gay men. I don't know... That's real". He's written 5 albums; My Name Is Michael Holbrook (2019), No Place In Heaven (2015), The Origin Of Love (2012), The Boy Who Knew Too Much (2009), and Life In Cartoon Motion (2007).
For starters, I recommend listening to Last Party, Origin Of Love, Grace Kelly, Blame It On The Girls, Blue, Happy Ending, Pick Up Off The Floor, Last Party, Underwater, Tomorrow and Tiny Love (yes this is a long list but i REALLY love MIKA). If you want a slightly broader palette that's not just my favourites, I recommend the Mika starter pack on spotify.
2) The Mechanisms. I warn you. I am making this a thing. I have been obsessed with the mechs since last march.
Boy, where to start? The Mechanisms were a British 9 member space pirate story-telling cabaret that "died" in January 2020. They rewrite songs to fit retellings of various stories. I don't even know what genre I'd describe them as, but probably folk but steam-punk?? Their 4 "main" albums are concept albums, and I honestly just recommend listening to the from beginning to end in chronological order. A good way to get into the mechs is also to listen to UDAD and then watching the live show on youtube or alternately try giving Death To The Mechanisms a listen, to get good quality live show audio of TBI and various other stuff. Also, it was streamed on YouTube and someone combined the footage with the album audio and it rocks. Really, I think the mechs' best selling points are honestly just their concept albums:
Once Upon a Time (In Space) Their first album from 2012. I'd say this is the most "easily digestible" for the general public, since it's a retelling of various fairytales. So, what if Old King Cole was in fact not merry, but rather a cold-blooded dictator, intent on colonising as much of the galaxy as possible. What if Snow White was a general, looking to avenge what King Cole did to her sister, Rose. What if Cinderella was to be wedded to Rose the day that King Cole attacked in order to kidnap Rose? But y'know, In Space and also like every other mechs album it's a beautiful tragedy. Fave songs are Old King Cole, Pump Shanty, and No Happy Ending.
Ulysses Dies at Dawn You guessed it, it's a story about Odysseus, or Ulysses because I guess Ulysses is easier to rhyme or fit in the meter or something, idk. Ulysses is a war hero of unknown gender who is said to keep something that could take down the corrupt Olympians, meanest families in the City, in a vault to which only they know the passcode. Oedipus, Heracles, Orpheus, and Ariadne have been hired by Hades, who happens to be The Mechs' quartermaster Ashes O'Reilly, to get into Ulysses' vault. I didn't care much for udad at first, but honestly it's got some real bangers and the story is really good. UDAD weirdly stands out as the only of the concept albums to not feature any gay relationships, per se. Fave songs are Riddle of the Sphinx, Favoured Son, and Underworld Blues.
High Noon over Camelot This is my favourite mehcs album. So basically, this is Arthurian legend, but it's a space western and Jonny D'Ville does a bad southern accent. This is the story of the cowboy lovers Arther, Lancelot, and Guinevere searching for the Galfridian Restricted Acces Interface Login, or GRAIL, in order to stop their world from falling into the sun. Meanwhile, Mordred and Gawaine are ruling Camelot, and Mordred has convinced Gawaine to try to establish peace with the Saxons by whom Mordred was raised, but Gawaine hates viciously. If you love getting your heart broken and songs by a fucking off the rails batshit preacher I HIGHLY recommend hnoc. Fave songs are Gunfight at the Dolorous Guard, Blood and Whiskey, and Once and Future King. Honorary mention for Hellfire because it awakens something animalistic in me.
The Bifrost Incident TBI is the frankly only good adaptation of norse mythology I've ever known of, and I say that as Dane who was literally forced to learn things about norse mythology in school because it's my heritage or whatever. I've been listening to TBI a lot lately because it's VERY good. It's definitely the most refined of the mechs' albums (because it's the newest) but also I just love a little bit of cosmic horror. 80 years ago, Odin, the All-Mother, ruler of Asgaard, launched a train through the wormhole Bifrost that would reduce the travel between Asgaard and Midgaard from 3 months to 3 days, but things didn't go quite as planned. Lyfrassir Edda of the New Midgaard Transport Police is trying to solve the case of why suddenly the train has arrived 80 years late; to figure out whether it was accident or maybe it was sabotaged by Loki, who was allegedly sentence to death her murder of Baldur, by the Midgaardian resistance led by Loki's wife Sigyn, or maybe by Thor, who was to take over after Odin, and who holds quite the grudge because he used to be a friend of Loki's. You might've heard the song Thor from this album, it's apparently quite popular. Fave songs are Loki, Ragnarok III: Strange Meeting, and Ragnarok V: End of The Line. Yet again an honorary mention: Red Signal because while Lovecraft was a bitch, his invocations are fucking RAW.
Basically, the Mechanisms do all of their performances in character as captain first mate Jonny D'Ville, quartermaster Ashes O'Reilly, pilot DrumBot Brian, master-at-arms Gunpowder Tim, science officer Raphaella la Cognizi, doctor Baron Marius Von Raum (neither a baron, nor a doctor), archivist Ivy Alexandria, engineer Nastya Rasputina, and The Toy Soldier, who is, as usual, present. You can find very obscure lore about the crew of the Aurora here, tidbits on Tales To Be Told and TTBT Vol. 2, such as One Eyed Jacks, The Ignominious Demise of Dr. Pilchard, Gunpowder Tim vs. The Moon Kaiser, Lucky Sevens, and Lost in the Cosmos.
If you feel like listening to a full 40-50 minute album to find out if you like a band is a bit much, I recommend listening to one of the mini stories Alice, Swan Song, or Frankenstein, which are about 12, 5 and 9:30 minutes respectively.
3) The Amazing Devil You know that guy who played Jaskier in the Witcher? I got into The Amazing Devil from spotify recommending them because I listened to the mechs, and apparently Joey Batey from The Amazing Devil is the same Joey Batey who was in the Witcher. Both him and Madeleine Hyland are VERY talented singers and songwriters and their second album The Horror and the Wild makes me go out into the forest and SCREAM. I listened to it on repeat for like a month straight. I guess they'd also be considered folk, but like. New Folk. Also yes, this is another British artist, I don't know why I'm like this. I've never really gotten that into their first album, Love Run, but King slaps. As I understand there's this whole lore about the Blue Furious Boy and Scarlet Scarlet, Joey and Madeleine respectively, but unlike the Mechanisms it's actually possible to find out things about the actual real people and harder to find the obscure lore? I'm open for people to please help me. Fave songs are The Horror and the Wild, Farewell Wanderlust, and That Unwanted Animal, which is literally a third of their second album, but again. I haven't really listened to Love Run that much, and I just LOVE the harmonies on THATW. (also im gay and dramatic leave me alone)
4) dodie I have so much love for this woman. Like many others, I first knew dodie as doddleoddle on youtube. I think I first stumbled across her in probably 2015, because I distinctly already knew her before she released her first EP Sick of Losing Soulmates in 2016. I think I watched probably every video she's ever made in the span of a few weeks. I just loved her quiet sound and was absolutely HOOKED. Also she's actually the reason I got into MIKA originally, so thanks for that. Dodie just realeased her first album Build A Problem (in addition to her three EP's; the one mentioned above, You, and Human) and it slaps. Yes dodie is also British Fave songs are probably Monster, Rainbow, and In The Middle.
5) Cladia Boleyn Unfortunately, Claudia Boleyn only has three singles and that's it. She's been making content on youtube for quite a while, and that's how I first discovered her. I don't know what genre her music is, but I like it. The songs are Celesta, George, and Mother Maiden Crone, of which the latter is my favourite. I'm not saying Claudia Boleyn invented women in 2017 when she released Mother Maiden Crone, but she did. Also you guessed it, Claudia Boleyn is British.
6) Hozier I'm not about to tell you about Hozier. You know who he is. Listen to Nina Cried Power, Angel Of Small Death & The Codeine Scene, and Shrike. Also Hozier isn't stricly British in that he is definitely from A British Isle, but Ireland is not part of the UK. Give me a break.
7) Oh Land Oh Land IS DANISH. I like her early music best, because I'm not that into the electronic sound. I guess Oh Land is just you regular old pop, but with the occasional weird vibe? Oddly enough, I like her first album Fauna best. Unfortunately I haven't really listened to her newest album Family Tree much, but it seems good? Fave songs are Frostbite, Love You Better and Family Tree. I cried on the bus, first time I listened to the Danish version of Love You Better, Elsker Dig Mer because my mother tongue always just hits harder. Also Frostbite is Oh Land doing a duet with herself which is pretty cool.
8) Oysterband This is a live recommendation. I mean they're a decent folk band and all, but they're a fucking experience live. If you like folk and you ever get the opportunity to see Oysterband live, do it. Unfortunately, yes. They are British. Either way, they are incredible on a scene and I think they deserve a mention for that.
9) Ben Platt Honestly don't know much about this guy, but he's not British and he was in Dear Evan Hansen. He released an album in 2019, Sing To Me Instead, and I just think it's a good album, there isn't really not much more to it. Fave songs are Grow As We Go, Bad Habit, and In Case You Don't Live Forever.
and thats all for now. this has been a ramble. shout out to you if you actually read all of this, especially the mechs part.
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lucky-sevens · 2 years
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so, you’ve heard about the mechanisms, but have no idea what they are or how to get into them?
the mechanisms are a steampunk folk concept band! if you’re familiar with the decemberists, some of the stuff david bowie has done, or steam powered giraffe, it’s a bit like that- each album tells a story! (the albums are all tragic space operas, with the added bonus of being very queer!)
the bit where it starts to get complicated is the band itself. they’re all playing characters, and they do their shows in character! so, basically, the narration on the albums isn’t omniscient- it’s being narrated by the mechanisms, who have opinions about the story and tend to get involved in it at some point. to differentiate them from the actual band, i’m going to refer to them as ‘the crew of the aurora’!
further details under the cut! (edit: added some links!)
the albums
they have 4 main albums, which you can listen to on spotify, bandcamp and youtube! just look them up, there's a youtube account called TheVoidSings that does lyric videos + album playlists, as well as the mechanisms official account! in addition, they are all linked at the end of this post.
(note: the albums are all tragedies, and there’s some pretty intense stuff that can happen- i wouldn’t let that steer you away from it as they are very good and well done, but if you tend to like lighter or happier stories, be a bit careful going in? a lot of queer characters tend to die- because 1. everyone dies and 2. everyone is queer- which, while it’s not bury your gays, i know some people like to avoid.)
album descriptions
-once upon a time (in space)- based on european fairy tales! stars snow white and her attempt to rebel against the evil king cole and his intergalactic empire and rescue her sister, rose red! also has a lesbian romance at the center! 
-ulysses dies at dawn- based on greek mythology! stars four 'suitors'- orpheus, oedipus, ariadne, and hercules- trying to break into ulysses/odysseus' secret vault on a job for the olympians, an elite mob family with a stranglehold over the planet it takes place on 
-high noon over camelot- a steampunk western based on arthurian legend! features poly arthur, guinevere, and lancelot on a quest for the G.R.A.I.L, the control center of the abandoned space station they're trapped on 
-the bifrost incident- based on norse mythology! a locked room mystery around what happened to the ratatosk express, a train that disappeared eighty years ago with all of the asgardian ruling class on board. this album is also rock, versus the earlier ones which were folkpunk. 
you can listen to them in any order (i've summarized them in order of release), but you should listen to the album of your choice in order/all the way through! (my personal favorite is high noon over camelot!)
the crew
the crew of the aurora is a group of nine queer space pirates! they’re all immortal, mostly because of dr carmilla, a morally ambiguous, very lonely lesbian vampire who has a slight problem with experimenting on dying children. they all have a mechanical part of some kind- for example, ashes o’reilly has mechanical lungs, because they originally died from smoke inhalation. that part is called their mechanism, and it’s what’s keeping them immortal! (also, their immortality works by having them come back from death, rather than being unable to be harmed. this can result in them doing really stupid shit, dying, and then just coming back. they murder each other a lot to bond) there’s a lot of found family vibes, which is quite nice! in general, despite being tragic figures themself, they add an air of humor to the albums with their banter and the like!
each of the crew has their own backstory, mostly from quite different genres! if you’d like a fairly comprehensive version of all their backstory songs, i’d recommend this recorded show and if you’d like just an assessment of their general vibes/a good intro to everything, i’d suggest looking up ‘the ignomious demise of dr plitchard’ (one of their stand-alone songs)
bonus content
recorded gigs- there are quite a few out there, and i’d highly recommend listening to them, because the shows were the original way the media was supposed to be! there’s a ton of in character banter, they’re all in costume, all that! 
death to the mechanisms- the mechanisms’ last show! it has a very bittersweet vibe, but there’s also incredible lighting, as well as proper recordings of tales to be told and drunk space pirate (the songs they play at the beginning and end of each show!) there’s also a lot of lore there that’s nice to know, including what it says on the tin: how they all, eventually, die. note- there’s a stream and an audio version. the stream is choppy and cuts out a lot, and the audio version is nice and clean, but the stream is still nice to watch because of the lighting and the visual jokes.
tales to be told volumes one and two- compilations of all their standalone songs! some of them fit with albums, and some of them are their own retellings that work on their own! this is also where all the backstory songs are compiled, though i’d recommend watching the recorded show i linked instead as that has the relevant exposition. 
frankenstein- a standalone, 10 minute album on youtube about the story of victoria frankenstein and the rogue ai she created.
dr. carmilla albums (exhumed and [un]plugged + ageha prototype edition, available on bandcamp)- songs telling the backstory of doctor carmilla, the mechanisms’ creator! they’re in a different style than the rest- think girl in red. lots of yearning lesbian music vibes. 
mechanisms fiction- this is on their website! has a lot of very interesting lore and character things, and i’d highly recommend reading all of it! it’s also very well written. personally, i’d recommend ulysses and narcissus go to the seaside, the quickest draw, archive footage, and bedtime story for the writing, and ever after, the story of the toy soldier, who killed dr carmilla, and ghost in the machine for lore!
resources
links to almost all the mechanisms content out there!
album links
once upon a time in space- spotify/bandcamp/youtube
ulysses dies at dawn- spotify/bandcamp/youtube
high noon over camelot- spotify/bandcamp/youtube
the bifrost incident- spotify/bandcamp/youtube
bonus content
tales to be told, volume 1- spotify/bandcamp/youtube
tales to be told, volume 2- spotify/bandcamp/youtube
frankenstein- spotify/bandcamp/youtube
mechanisms ‘supplementals’ (songs not in the albums, alternative versions, etc)- youtube
exhumed and (un)plugged- bandcamp/youtube
ageha (prototype edition)- bandcamp/youtube
mechanisms fiction
additional short story
tumblr (mostly an inactive blog for the band to post about shows they were doing, but features some in-character posts)
twitter (ditto)
---
gig compilation post
fiction compilation post
blog compilation post
deep lore post
fanfiction recommendations list
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Greek Mythology and Julie & the Phantoms
My first watch through of Julie and the Phantoms (JATP), I noticed a few similarities and parallels to certain myths within Greek mythology. On my million rewatches, I paid more attention to see if there were others. This post is all my observations of the parallels, as well as a few possible theories for season 2 the writers could follow for certain storylines. This is a ridiculously long read, I apologize.
**Disclaimers: 
There are spoilers, so if you haven’t finished watching for the first time yet, don’t read this. 
The content in Greek myths can vary depending on the source. This is largely due to the fact they are just super old. So some of the myths might be slightly different. I did my best just to compare to the gist of the myth. 
I’m going to refer to Luke, Reggie, and Alex together as either Sunset Curve or the boys to save space. 
I apologize for any typos and mistakes; midterm season has left me with an empty head.
1. Orpheus
Obviously a major motif in the first season is the Orpheum. Orpheum literally means House of Orpheus. 
Background information of Orpheus:
His mother is Calliope (muse of epic poetry), and depending on the version of the story, his father is either Apollo (god of the sun, healing, music, medicine, archery, and poetry) or King Oeagrus of Thrace. 
Orpheus was considered to be one of the greatest musicians. He had a “divinely gifted voice that could charm anyone who heard it,” no god or mortal could resist his music. 
Let’s look at some of his myths.
Orpheus and Eurydice:
The basic summary of this myth is that Eurydice, Orpheus’ wife, died after being bitten by snakes while running away from a man, Aristaeus, or a satyr (depends on source) who wanted her for himself. Devastated, Orpheus began singing sad songs until he was advised by nymphs to go to the Underworld and bring her back. After singing to Hades and Persephone, they agreed to let Eurydice return to the main world. However, they warned him not to look back before they both entered the light of the surface. He happily began his trek back to the surface. When Orpheus reached the exit, Eurydice in toe, he turned around to see her, anxious to make sure it wasn’t a trick, that she was really there. Only, Eurydice was still in the Underworld, she hadn’t crossed over yet. Orpheus turning around when he did, caused Eurydice to remain in the underworld. 
So who’s who?
Julie = Orpheus (talented musician and desperate to save their love from the Underworld)
Sunset Curve = Eurydice (dead and trapped)
Caleb = Aristaeus and Hades (wants Eurydice/Sunset Curve for himself; controls the place the dead are) 
Hollywood Ghost Club (HGC) = The Underworld
How do they relate? Stand Tall (s1e09) is where it all goes down.
Like Aristaeus, Caleb is pursing Sunset Curve because he wants them for himself (and Caleb is also threaten by the power they have).
Caleb has the boys trapped in the HGC, just like Eurydice in the Underworld. 
Julie had to deal with the idea the boys died (again) when they didn’t show up before the performance. At first she couldn’t, she ran out until she had a sign from her mom, telling her to go on stage. You could argue this sort of parallels the nymphs telling Orpheus to plea to Hades, or that it parallels Orpheus on his journey back to the surface after Hades agreed.
This is where Julie and Orpheus differ. Julie goes onstage, fully believing in the sign from her mother; that even if the boys don’t come, she can do it. The lyrics of Stand Tall are pure genius. “Keep moving on, never look back.” That’s exactly what Julie does. Unlike Orpheus, Julie doesn’t look back. And the boys appear, no longer trapped by Caleb at the HGC. Julie breaks away from the Orpheus formula and wins. 
@multifandomterrors wrote an essay on how it relates too! She has three theories of how it fits and I definitely recommend you check it out!
Bonus reasons Julie is Orpheus:
Orpheus joined Jason and the Argonauts. When the ship was approaching the Sirens, Orpheus saves the crew from death by playing his own music, drowning out the Sirens’ Song. Likewise, Julie is able to save the boys from Caleb. You can argue that her singing Stand Tall acted as a beacon, beckoning the boys away from Caleb and back to her, saving them in the process.
This one is more of a long shot but oh well. Orpheus is said to have a “divinely gifted voice that could charm anyone who heard it,” that no god or mortal could resist his music. The boys say that Julie has “the voice of an angel.” Throughout the season, as soon as Julie starts to sing, people are generally drawn in, even Carrie by the end. 
Onto the next parallel...
2. Lotus Eaters
As soon as the slightest idea of the boys missing the dance was hinted at I knew it was going to happen because ~formulas~, but once they got to the HGC, I had a strong feeling it was going to be a Lotus Eaters situation. 
Summary of the Lotus Eaters:
In The Odyssey, Odysseus and his crew encounter the Lotus Eaters. They do as their name suggests, they eat the peculiar Lotus flower. When the lotus flower is eaten, those who eat it are “overcome with a blissful forgetfulness,” and want to do nothing more than stay where they are. The crew mates had to be dragged back to the ship, otherwise they never would have returned to their duties. The most well known adaptation of this is probably the Lotus Casino in Percy Jackson & the Olympians series, where the characters spend days/years there, only thinking it was a few hours/days. It’s a time warp per se. 
So what’s what?
Hollywood Ghost Club =  Lair/island of the lotus eaters (everyone there appears to have no other worries in life)
The music & dancing = Lotus flower (sucks everyone in)
How do they relate?
Once Caleb starts performing, Sunset Curve are sucked in. Eventually, they are overcome with a “blissful forgetfulness” and forget about Julie and the dance. They only get sucked back out once Caleb mentions it’s the witching hour.
Alex literally says “This place is some sort of time warp.”
When the boys try to leave, the dancers and then Caleb try to reel them back in. 
The next is not directly Greek mythology, but distantly related:
3. Disney’s Hercules 
The story in Disney’s Hercules isn’t exactly what the myths of Heracles are. It’s Disney, so of course the stories are romanticized and changed significantly. First of all, in the original myths, Hercules is really named Heracles, and Megara is nothing more than Heracles’ wife that ends with a tragic story.
In the movie, Hades wants Hercules dead since he is the only one that can ruin his plan to take over the world. He enlists Megara (or Meg, whose soul he owns) to get to know him and find his weakness. As Meg gets to know Hercules, they fall in love. Hades uses this as Hercules’ weakness, and once he outs Meg for working for him, Hercules is emotionally defeated. However, he still gives up his power for 24 hours, as long as Meg remains untouched by harm. Of course that doesn’t happen, and Meg dies while saving Hercules. Her soul is returned to the Underworld, and Hercules journeys down there to save her, even though he might die doing so. Except he doesn’t; he saves Meg, and it’s happily ever after. 
So who’s who?
Alex = Hercules
Willie = Meg
Caleb = Hades
How does it relate?
Like Hades wants Hercules dead, Caleb wants Alex (and the boys) under his control because they are too powerful. He’s threatened by them.
Even though Willie didn’t mean to bring the boys into the mess with Caleb, he still did (no hate, I love my son). Willie acts as Meg in this situation because Caleb still uses him to get to the boys. Caleb gets to put his stamp on them.
Willie, just like Meg, decides to not help Caleb anymore, though he’s still stuck. He cares about Alex, he doesn’t want him to be stuck at the HGC like him forever; he doesn’t want Caleb to own Alex’s soul. So, Willie helps Alex and the boys with their plan to crossover. 
In Stand Tall, right before You’ve Got Nothing to Lose, Caleb appeals to each of the boys’ weakness. Caleb says “Everything you want, including Willie, is right here.” Just like Hades uses Meg against Hercules, Caleb uses Willie against Alex.
Potential Season 2 Willex Storyline
The parallel to Hercules and Meg isn’t finished. Alex hasn’t saved Willie from Caleb yet, and Caleb hasn’t been defeated yet. We don’t see Willie after the Willex hug in Stand Tall. I think it’s safe to assume that Willie is not safe from Caleb, especially since he helped Sunset Curve escape Caleb’s curse. There’s a lot of things that could happen. One of my assumptions is that Caleb is going to use Willie as bait to lure Alex back in. Another is that, like how Hercules goes to the Underworld to save Meg’s soul,  Alex is going to actively choose to return to the HGC to try to save Willie from Caleb. 
And the last parallel to Greek mythology in season 1...
4. Cheyenne Jackson
He plays Hades in Descendants 3, a Disney movie, meaning he’s the same Hades as in Hercules. 
Caleb Covington, you could argue is the “king of the dead” in JATP
That’s it, that’s the parallel.
Possible Season 2 Storylines
Cephalus and Procris (I’m not as familiar with this myth, but it basically goes like this)
Cephalus and Procris are happily married and very in love with each other. One day, the goddess of dawn, Eos, kidnaps Cephalus because she wants him to herself. Depending on the version you read, Cephalus either sleeps with Eos, or he doesn’t, but regardless, his only concern is how much he loves his wife, Procris. Eos finds that annoying, and plants the idea in his head that Procris is cheating on him when she releases him eight years later. Cephalus returns to Procris, disguised as another man, to see if she would remain faithful. A disguised Cephalus continuously brings Procris presents, and slowly, Procris is swayed by the mysterious man. When Cephalus reveals himself, Procris runs away, ashamed, and joins Artemis’ hunt. Eos wins essentially. She get’s Cephalus... until Procris returns, trying to make amends with her husband. He takes her back, but not long after Procris hears rumors that Cephalus has been unfaithful. She follows him on a hunt, hiding behind a bush. Cephalus hears a bush move, and thinking it’s an animal, he shoots, killing Procris. In the end, Eos still wins as Procris is no longer in the picture, and she could theoretically be with him. Expect Cephalus exiles himself and Eos is never seen again.
How could this apply to JATP season 2?
Julie = Procris
Luke = Cephalus
Caleb = Eos
Caleb-Possessed-Nick = Disguised man
Since Caleb possessed Nick at the end, I assume his plan is to get Julie to pick Nick, thus pushing Luke away from her. Caleb wants Luke and the boys to himself, and as long as Julie is in the picture, that won’t happen. As Caleb-Possessed-Nick tries to flirt and get closer to Julie, Luke will see this and get jealous. His jealousness could lead to tensions between Julie and Luke, making the band a bit awkward, maybe even a big fight that pushes Luke to think about joining Caleb, or at least isolating himself where Caleb would have easy access. I think it would be a very loosely applied parallel, but the idea of Caleb working to cause a rift between Luke and Julie to get Luke by himself is a major possibility. Regardless, Caleb-Possessed-Nick is going to get in the way of Luke and Julie’s slow burn pining for each other. 
A General Thought Not Related to Greek Mythology 
Regardless of what the writers end up doing, I think Caleb’s best plan would be to target the boys individually; like the continuance of the Hercules parallel with Willex and potential Cephalus & Procris parallel with Juke. I don’t know how he would isolate Reggie, maybe something with his family, but targeting the boys one-on-one would be the most strategic move for Caleb. He could even get super manipulative with it. He could say something like “Alex already agreed” or something along those lines to try to persuade the boy he is talking to. 
Additionally, I don’t have any theories on where Carrie and Julie’s relationship may go, but i’m looking forward to a Carrie redemption arc. As far as where Bobby fits in, I read someone’s theory that Caleb may approach him, offering to help keep his reputation as Trevor Wilson, if he helps deal with the boys somehow. I’m sure there’s a potential greek myth that fits a potential Bobby and the boys storyline, but out of the ones I can think of right now, there aren’t. Betrayal is a huge theme in greek mythology though.
Anyway...
While the original target audience was kids and the show probably wasn’t meant to be this deep, as a screenwriter myself, I find it super useful (and fun) to parallel classic stories and myths when I write. It can add a sense of nuance to the story, especially when done right. I hope the writers (assuming at least the Orpheus and Lotus Eaters parallels were intentional) continue to parallel the season with some form of myth or classic story, only to then completely flip the ending. 
If you actually took the time to read ALL of this, my god, I applaud you, you amazing human. Thank you so much for reading it. I’d love to hear what y’all think or what theories y’all have as well!
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thecassadilla · 2 years
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Don’t Look Back
Pairing: Kristanna
Rated: M
Word Count: 2,945/AO3
Summary: After their separation is prophesied by a strange woman, Kristoff goes on a quest to the underworld to save Anna.
Author’s Note: Hi everyone! This is my contribution for Kristanna Week Day 5 - Blue! I wasn’t originally going to write a spin on the Orpheus and Eurydice myth for this day, but the idea came to me last night and I just had to write it out. I also apologize if I messed up any of the mythology, it’s been nearly 10 years since I last read this story and I kind of adapted it to suit the needs of the fic. I’m not really crazy about it because it’s a little different than all of the other stuff I’ve written but what am I gonna do? I hope you enjoy it despite it's weirdness!! (Sorry for all the asterisks, tumblr is finnicky with language and tags) *Please note that this fic is rated M for light s*xual content and temporary character d*ath*
There were few things rarer in the world than true love, and Anna and Kristoff had been lucky enough to find it with each other. In the beginning, they hid their feelings, and for far too long, they danced around the possibility of being together. When they finally came together, what grew between them was beautiful and rare.
In no time at all, they were blissfully married, and spending nearly every waking moment together. On this particular day, they’d gone for a stroll in the park, as the weather was getting colder by the day, and soon being outside would become unbearable. They walked hand in hand, bundled up in their winter attire, and walked along a wooded path. For such a brisk day, there were plenty of people out and about - children and families, joggers, dog walkers. They chatted about their upcoming plans and current events as they walked, damp leaves crunching beneath their shoes. Just as they were getting ready to leave, a wiry grey-haired woman approached them.
“There is very bad energy here,” the old woman warned, eyes widened with fear. “You will not last together.”
“Excuse me?” Kristoff asked, wrapping a protective arm around Anna’s shoulders.
“You’ll be torn apart,” she hissed and waved her hands around manically, before wandering up to another unsuspecting group of people.
“What does she know?” Anna scoffed, rolling her eyes.
He wasn’t the superstitious type, but there was something about what the woman said that managed to rub him the wrong way. “That was...strange.”
She looked up at him, and frowned. “Are you actually worried?”
“No,” he lied, though it was useless - Anna was exceptional at reading his face.
“Nothing can tear us apart, my love,” she promised him, stroking his cheek with her soft, delicate fingers. “Nothing can come between us. Especially not a crazy old lady in a park.”
She’d said it with such confidence that he was able to temporarily brush off the overwhelming sense of doom that the old woman had managed to stir up in him. It wasn’t until they got home that evening that the anxiety returned. He normally kept a calm and level head, but losing Anna was his greatest fear and the sheer thought of it was enough to make his stomach turn. He was quiet throughout dinner as she blathered away and she didn’t bring up his unusual silence until they were lying on the couch.
“What’s wrong?”
“Nothing,” he sighed.
“Something is bothering you.”
“I don’t really want to talk about it.”
“You don’t have to,” she assured him. “But I’m all ears if you change your mind.”
“It’s not a big deal, I just need to relax.”
“How about a bath?” she suggested, squeezing his arm. “I can’t think of anything more relaxing than that.”
He smiled at the thought of it and just a little while later, they were submerged in a tub of warm water and bubbles, her bare back pressed up against his solid chest. He pressed kisses to her neck and her ear, caressing her breasts with one hand and slipping his other hand to tease the sensitive area between her legs all while she giggled and moaned from his touch. They moved from the tub to their bed after they pruned up, eager to please each other and put the stress of the day behind them. It was so easy for him to get lost in her bright blue eyes as she looked up at him with adoration, biting her lip and digging her nails into his back as he thrust into her.
Long after they were both satisfied, he cradled her in his arm and she rested her head on his shoulder, drawing lazy circles on his bare chest.
“I hope you feel better now,” she mumbled. “Because I know I do.”
“I do,” he confirmed, pressing a kiss to her hairline. “Taking a bath together was a great idea.”
“We should do it more often,” she smiled, looking up at him through her eyelashes. “You should get some sleep.”
He watched as her eyes fluttered closed and her body relaxed against his, and he sighed contently, closing his own eyes and drifting away.
He didn’t remember waking up the following morning, but the sunlight streaming in through their curtains had created a weird, hazy effect. Just as he had expected, she was still lying next to him, practically glowing in the morning light.
“I have to go,” she said suddenly.
“You should stay,” he whispered in her ear, wrapping his arms around her waist and pulling her close.
She managed to free herself from his grasp and turned to face him, dragging her hand from his face to his chest and pressing a soft kiss to his lips. “You know that I have to go, but I’ll be back soon and we can pick up from where we left off.”
After one last passionate kiss, she crawled out of bed and he propped himself up on his elbows, watching as she padded across the bedroom floor. She looked back to give him a flirtatious smile before closing the bathroom door. He didn’t even know where she had to go, but with a grin of his own, he flopped back onto the pillows and tossed his arm over his face, wondering how he’d gotten so lucky.
Until she didn’t come home.
Though their separation had been prophesied by the lady in the park, his heart was shattered and he was overcome with grief - god, the grief was unbearable. He’d lost his beautiful wife, the most important person in his life, the person he truly loved and who loved him back, unconditionally. He cried over her pale body for days, wishing that his tears would bring her back but knowing deep down that his sadness had no power in determining her fate.
But, he’d heard of someone who did have that kind of power - the god of the underworld, Hades, who had a penchant for collecting souls. If the mythology was true, then there had to be a way to find the underworld and convince Hades that Anna needed to be earthside with him. They belonged together, and there was no one - human or god - who could tell him otherwise.
He did as much research as he could, scouring books and maps, trying to figure out a way to get to the underworld - to get Anna back. He didn’t care how far he had to travel, or whether it was by land or by sea, but he had to get to her.
So he did, setting off on a long journey across the world before finally coming across the dark cave that had been described in every piece of literature he’d gotten his hands on. A discarded boat on the banks of the river attracted his attention, and he climbed in, picking up the ore in his hands and rowing towards the cave. As he rowed, the water beneath the boat changed from translucent and blue to an oily, black sludge.
When he finally descended into the dark cavern, he found that he was no longer rowing the boat, but that control of the water had been taken over by a force behind him. He turned around and there was a tall, gangly man standing at the back of the boat, guiding them through the rough waters. He could tell from first glance that the man was not human, but that was to be expected - he was going to the underworld, after all. He’d read about this particular man; a ferryman who escorted the souls of the d*ceased to the underworld, though he certainly wasn’t escorting the d*ad in this case.
The journey to the underworld was a long and dangerous one, and he knew they had reached a crucial area when a fog began to form across the sides of the cavern - souls. Everything that surrounded them was d*ad; shriveled leaves and withered trees shrouded in darkness. Finally, the boat collided with a dock and Kristoff turned around to find that the ferryman was gone. He took a deep breath before climbing out of the boat, more determined than ever to find Hades and bring his wife home.
Being surrounded by death created an unsettling, eerie feeling. Kristoff could feel the hairs on the back of his neck stand up as he wandered aimlessly through the darkness, surrounded by the foggy mist. Despite the fact that he was most definitely alone, he didn’t feel alone. He felt as if he were walking along a busy sidewalk in a major city, dodging tourists and workers, rushing to their destination.
Finally, he came upon a looming, black castle and he knew that he had made it to his own destination. With all of the determination that he could muster up, he marched toward it; through the gates, down the cobblestone path, and into the palace that belonged to the god of the underworld. Hades had a bride of his own, and together they sat in matching thrones at the end of the long hallway.
“You’re not welcome in the underworld, mortal,” Hades’ threatening voice boomed.
Kristoff was not going to take no for an answer; he hadn’t made it this far to give up. “I’m here for my wife and I refuse to leave without her.”
“You don’t get to make demands.”
“I need my wife,” he pleaded. “I can’t live without her. I won’t leave without her.”
The threatening creature moved to stand from his throne, but his wife held out her arm, which caused him to pause. She leaned toward him, her long, dark tresses moving in a fluid motion with her body. Her hand flexed over the distance between her mouth and his ear as she whispered to him. Kristoff gulped, unsure of what her actions meant, though he hoped it was an act of mercy.
When she finally pulled away, Hades mischievously narrowed his eyes. “How about we make a deal?”
“Anything,” Kristoff blurted desperately.
“You may have your wife back,” Hades offered, “But, you may not see her until you return to your realm. You will be guided by the ferryman and she'll be in your boat, and once you’ve reached the earthside, she’s yours. If you look back at her before you’ve reached the earthside, then she stays in the underworld permanently.”
“Deal,” he answered without hesitation.
When he blinked, he was back in the boat. He didn’t remember leaving the castle or walking back through the depths of the underworld. He was petrified to look anywhere but straight ahead, and when the boat started moving, he called out to her. “Anna, are you here?”
Miraculously, she responded. “Yes, honey, I’m here.”
Hearing her voice nearly caused him to combust - god, how he missed the sound of her voice. It was almost enough for him to lose control and turn around. “I need to see you.”
“Don’t turn around,” Anna begged. “If you look back at me, then I can’t come home with you. Don’t look back.”
“How can I trust that this isn’t a trick?” he cried. “I need to know that you’re here.”
“I’m here,” she promised. “Keep your eyes closed until it’s safe.”
“How will I know when it’s safe?”
“I’ll tell you. Don’t open them until I say so, okay? Promise me that you won’t open your eyes until I tell you to.”
“I promise,” he agreed, trembling from the stress. He closed his eyes, unsure of what he would do if he lost her yet again. The one thing he was certain of was that he couldn’t live without her. If he had to take drastic measures to ensure they would be together, then he would do so.
For a long time, the boat ride was quiet. In the short span of time that he’d spent in the underworld, he managed to forget how long and treacherous the journey there was. It was difficult to resist the temptation of turning around and checking to make sure that the god of death had made good on his promise, that the woman he loved was actually in the boat with him.
After what felt like an eternity, she spoke again. “We’re almost there, but don’t look back yet.”
“Okay,” he said, hardly able to hear her over the sound of his pounding heart.
Suddenly, a pair of arms came down around his neck, and soft lips were pressing a kiss to his cheek. He didn’t dare to open his eyes - he couldn’t risk it. If this was some kind of test or trick from the god of the underworld and he opened his eyes, she’d be gone for good.
“You can open your eyes,” she said, pressing her cheek against his. “We’re safe.”
“Are you sure?”
“We’re back on earth,” she assured him. “We’re here, together. I’m alive.”
“Are you sure?” he repeated, his voice strained. “Because if you’re not sure, we’re both going to end up back in the underworld.”
“Touch me,” she begged, freeing her grasp from his neck and bringing his arm up to her face. “It’s me. I’m real.”
Through his touch, he recognized her features; her perfectly smooth skin, the slope of her petite nose, and her plump, kissable lips. “It’s really you?”
“It’s me,” she confirmed with a sniffle. “You can look.”
He slowly blinked his eyes open and the first thing that he noticed was that the water beneath the boat had transformed from black sludge to clear and blue. Out of the corner of his eye, he could see strands of her brilliant red hair, and he heaved a sigh of relief; she was here. He hadn’t been tricked by Hades.
She climbed onto his lap and cupped his jaw with her hands before leaning her forehead against his. “You saved me.”
His arms reflexively wrapped around her waist, pulling her closer, and he momentarily forgot how to breathe; she was alive, and he was touching her, and god, she was even more gorgeous than he remembered. “Oh, Anna, I missed you.”
“I missed you, too,” she whimpered, tears cascading down her cheeks. “So much.”
He could feel a lump growing in his throat as he fought to hold back his own tears. “I’m never letting you out of my sight again.”
“Good,” she sobbed, burying her face in the crook of his neck. He placed a hand on the back of her head, and gently rubbed her back, the boat bobbing from side to side beneath them. When she finally looked up at him with reddened eyes and tear-stained cheeks, she asked, “Can we go home now?”
And then he awoke with a start - he was in their bedroom, unsure of if he had ever really left it. Was it really possible that he dreamt the entire thing? He wasn’t sure - it had felt so real.
Anna was leaning over him, brushing his hair out of his face. “What’s wrong?”
“You’re okay?”
“Of course I’m okay,” she laughed. “Why wouldn’t I be okay?”
He blinked rapidly as he looked around the room, and sure enough, they were still tangled up in their sheets like they had been when they fell asleep the night before. He could feel her body pushed up against him and he knew she was real, but he couldn’t shake the nightmare that had plagued him a few moments prior.  “I don’t know...I think I had a bad dream.”
“Do you want to talk about it?”
“You d*ed,” he answered shakily. “And I went to the underworld to save you.”
“Oh,” she said, furrowing her eyebrows together. “Did you?”
“I did.”
“That’s good,” she smiled. “You’re a hero.”
“It felt so real, though. It was so vivid, and colorful, and...real. I don’t even know where the entire underworld thing came from - I haven’t read anything related to mythology since I was in, like, high school.”
“Our dreams don’t always make sense,” she assured him. “Last night I dreamt that I was late to take a test, which is funny because I haven’t taken a test since I was in college.”
“It’s just...I don’t know what I’d do if I lost you, Anna, I really don’t.”
“Well, you don’t have to worry about that because I’m not going anywhere. And if I do die first, I’m going to come back and haunt you.”
“I wouldn’t expect anything less from you,” he chuckled. “I think that lady in the park yesterday really freaked me out.”
“Oh, you’re gonna get a kick out of this; there was an article about her in the local paper this morning - she got arrested for harassing people in the park. It’s not the first time she’s been arrested for it, either.”
“Really?”
“Oh, yeah, I can even show you the article.” She moved to grab her phone, but he placed his hand over her arm, stopping her.
“It’s okay, I believe you,” he said in a low voice, diverting his eyes away from her.
“It’s really bothering you, huh?”
“A little,” he confessed with a sigh. “It’s such a scary thought.”
“I promise, I’m not going anywhere.” She smiled coyly before sliding her leg over his waist and pushing herself on top of him, so they were lying chest to chest. “Even if you change your mind and decide that you want to get rid of me.”
He reached up and tucked a strand of her hair behind her ear. “I definitely don’t want to do that.”
Her lips ghosted against his as she whispered, “Then we have nothing to worry about.”
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Spoilers???
If you have not yet seen the trailer for the Fate of Atlantis dlc and you don’t want to know anything about it, please stop reading. I’ll put a cut, but cuts don’t always work, so stop reading here if this applies to you.
Ah, another post no one asked for, but I’m still going to give you (sorry). It was practically inevitable, all things considered. As you probably know, I am studying Ancient Greece and with that comes mythology. I also worship the Hellenic Gods, which you might not have known, and I only mention it because it reinforces my love of mythology (hence why much of my knowledge on Ancient Greece is its religion/myth). Naturally, this dlc piques my interest, and I’d like to share my thoughts on what we’ve seen, and offer speculations, for lack of a better word.
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Right off the bat, we see this gorgeous temple with an even more gorgeous statue situated in front of it. This is likely in Elysium, purely based off 1) the large planet-like sphere in the top right (sort of resembles Jupiter, but that’s another post for another day), and 2) the people worshipping seem content. They are not distressed or in anguish, as they might be in Tartarus, and they certainly don’t seem to be regretful of their predicament, as Achilles makes clear on his experience in the Underworld. Immediately after, we see an unidentified (gorgeous) Goddess.
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Who she is remains sort of a mystery, but the most obvious answer is Persephone/Proserpina. The flowers are a big indicator of this, but also, the temple from the previous frame. The statue sitting in front of the temple is holding some wheat and a cup of wine, presumably, both of which can be used to depict Demeter/Ceres, or if you’re willing to stretch it Persephone/Proserpina. If you look even more closely at the temple, you’ll notice the banners depicting a cornucopia, which also symbolizes the two Goddess. Now it’s a question of which Goddess is it? Well, I think it’s Persephone because this is the Underworld after all. In clips showing various areas of Elysium, a large monument of her head can be seen, and why would Demeter be so highly revered in the Underworld? She would not, except by those devoted to her before they died. However, as Queen of the Underworld, Persephone would be highly revered. 
That’s not all though. At the end of the trailer, she is seen with the words “Beyond Love,” which initially threw me off. Why would Persephone be “Beyond Love?” And then it struck me. She loved Hades/Pluto, but if Hades was doing something against her wishes, she absolutely would go against him. Not only that, but Persephone is sort of the self-proclaimed benefactor of helping people with love (see Eros/Psyche and Orpheus/Eurydice for some examples). She’s not the Goddess of Love, but she has a loving relationship with her husband, and she is not shy to help people in love. So I think the unnamed Goddess above is Persephone/Proserpina.
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Unfortunately, this guy throws a me a bit of a road block. There is significantly less footage of him, and even less clues as to his identity, however I will say he is one of two Gods: Hades/Pluto or Ares/Mars. I personally believe it’s Hades for reasons I will discuss, but it could easily be Ares and I’ll explain that too.
Hades. Pluto as his Roman (and Isu) counterpart. The easiest evidence is that this is the Underworld (again). His line about many Kings and Heroes in the Underworld and the misthios giving them purpose implies that he deals with affairs of the dead, and only Hades or Persephone would do that under most circumstances. He’s also sort of juxtaposed to Persephone in almost every way throughout the trailer, from colors (setting and physical appearances) to exhibited personality and actions. I just can’t think of a reason why they would do that to Ares and Persephone. More evidence against Ares and for Hades lies in the Isu part. Obviously, the Isu use the Roman names (Juno, Minerva, etc), and while Mars was the God of War, he was not only very highly revered in Rome, but he was also initially a God of Agriculture, and if that is the case, why would they make Mars so dark and “evil” as opposed to making him glorified and dignified. Pluto was undoubtedly a God of the Underworld, so he would naturally be portrayed in darker colors and in darker settings.
The only good evidence for that be Ares (and it’s good evidence, I’ll admit) is the last part where he is shown with the line “Beyond War” which is very much an Ares reference. However, this isn’t concrete, as many Gods are related to war, and the dead soldiers would go to the Underworld (and many would probably go to Elysium).
Anyway, I rambled on much longer about those two beautiful deities than I had expected, so I’ll try to keep the next bit short. As you can probably tell, I’m very excited about this. It’s quite obvious we’re going to be dealing with some mythology here, and I’m of the belief that it is going to be related to various heroes in Greek Mythology. I won’t get into details, but quite a few of the scenes reminded me of some very specific aspects of two heroes’ journeys, so that’s nice. The part I really liked is that Kassandra or Alexis is going to travel to the Underworld, which is something almost all of the Greek heroes do in their lifetime, and as I mentioned in my last post, this sets us up for the end of Kassandra’s heroic journey. I think this is done intentionally, because throughout the base game, Kassandra is completing various challenging tasks and seemingly impossibly feats not unlike those of the great heroes we all learn about. If you want me to explain more on this, let me know and I’m happy to do so, but I’ll leave it at this for now. I am very very excited for this dlc, and I definitely have pretty high hopes, so hopefully there will be no disappointment. I’ll probably talk more about it after the dlc comes out, and I’ll likely comment more on how this and the first dlc tie into an AC set in Rome later. Sorry for rambling, I got excited. Thanks for reading if you’ve made it this far!
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corixus · 4 years
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Transformation in art
The theme
An exhibition entitled “Transformation”was held at the Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo from Oct 29th, 2010 through Jan 30th, 201l.
In September 2012, the National Gallery presented the exhibition  ‘Metamorphosis: Titian, 2012’.  
In October 2012,  All Visual Arts mounted their Autumn show, ‘Metamorphosis: the Transformation of Being’ at The Crypt. One Marylebone Road London.  
Metamorphosis is an elusive and multi-layered term. In biology, it relates to a complete material change of form through successive transformative stages in the lifespan of an organism, such as caterpillar to butterfly.  In art metamorphosis describes the process by which an object or scene is turned into a work of art. Certain elements are emphasised exaggerated or distorted to communicate the artist’s inner feelings about what he/she feels about what they see.
Metamorphosis  also has magical connotations that relate to the inner psychological transformations of being and identity.  This is the essence of Ovid’s epic poem in which the interconnectivity of humanity and the natural world is described through mythological and psychological shape-shifting. Ovid was writing in Latin about 8 CE. His  ‘Metamorphosis’ is a collection of mythological and legendary stories, many taken from Greek sources, in which transformation (metamorphosis) plays a role. The stories, which are unrelated, are told in chronological order from the creation of the world (the first metamorphosis, of chaos into order) to the death and deification of Julius Caesar (the culminating metamorphosis). It collects together a large number of self-contained stories, including the tales of Daphne and Apollo, Diana and Actaeon, Daedalus and Icarus, Orpheus and Euridice, Achilles, Midas and many more. Through the ages the myth  of Daphne and Apollo has had a special appeal to artists. Apollo had made one too many jokes at Eros' expense. To punish him, Eros shot Apollo with one of his golden arrows, which made Apollo fall madly in love with the nymph Daphne. Unfortunately for Apollo, Eros had shot Daphne with a lead arrow, which made her reject the god.
Apollo pursued Daphne and she tried to run away to escape him. Daphne called out to her father, the river god, for help. He changed her into a tree just as Apollo was about to catch her (Fig 1).
Fig 1
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The metamorphic exhibitions
The Tokyo museum quoted its exhibition as;
“To live is to change. We change daily as our cells regenerate and we learn new things, as times change and we encounter new environments, and as we give play to our imagination.  
Under the theme “transformation,” this exhibition explores the boundary between humans and non-humans. In all ages and countries, countless images and artworks have been created on the theme of transformation. Japan, in particular, is brimming with rich images on this theme, from the legends of old to the manga and anime characters of today. So, why “transformation” now? With to the spread of the Internet, the development of the global economy, advances in technology, and so on, the traditional forms “humans” take have started to become blurred, and a diversity greater than anything seen before has begun to emerge. At this exhibition, a variety of images of things that traverse the human and non-human – including animals, machines, imaginary creatures and bodies with different genetic compositions – will be unveiled through paintings, sculptures, video, archives and symposiums. Together, the “transforming” forms presented express as a single omen our hopes, dreams and fears” (Fig 2).
Fig 2
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http://azito-art.com/topics/transformation-at-museum-of-contemporary-art-tokyo/
TheTransformation of Being, mounted by All Visual Arts, combined Old & Modern Masters, spanning from Albrecht Dürer to Francis Picabia, juxtaposed with the paintings, drawings and sculptures of an extraordinary collection of international contemporary artists.    A selection of the works can be seen at:
http://www.allvisualarts.org/exhibitions/MetamorphosisTheTransformationofBeing/Images.aspx
The theme of the exhibition may be summarised pictorially in the following work (Fig 3). A mystery of metamorphosis is assembled in this picture.  Is it the end point of a transformation, a stage in a process by which the woman emerges into the foreground or is it a snapshot of her being converted into the amorphous dark biomorphic substance looming behind her?
Fig 3
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The exhibition in the National Gallery was created in collaboration with the Royal Opera House.  It  refers to three paintings by Titian depicting stories from Ovid’s poem.  Diana and Callisto shows Diana casting out the pregnant nymph Callisto from her company. Diana and Actaeon depicts the young Actaeon out hunting and stumbling into a sacred grotto where Diana and her nymphs are bathing; and in The Death of Actaeon, we see the goddess exacting vengeance on the intruder by turning him into a stag to be torn to pieces by his own hounds.These works were the catalyst for an ambitious project involving the production of three new ballets inspired by the paintings. The costumes and sets were designed by contemporary artists ­– Mark Wallinger, Conrad Shawcross and Chris Ofili – who showed their designs alongside other work produced in response to Titian’s masterpieces.
Ofili chose to go to the source for inspiration. In Ovid’s epic poem, he discovered a magical realm full of passion and desire, which he conjures with psychedelic rivers of vivid colour and peopled with mythic beings such as nymphs and goddesses, stags and soothsayers. The compositional echoes are not of Titian so much as Gauguin, Picasso and Matisse, and of Japanese prints and Aubrey Beardsley’s erotica. Ofili uses these borrowings to make a unique magical brew which reveal their secrets to the viewer slowly because you sense the artist is exploring new ideas and developing new ways of working.
One of Ofili’s paintings, Ovid-Desire (Fig 4), depicts a process of multiple transformation involving a couple dancing; he wears a spangled suit, she is half naked in a dress layered with flesh pink flounces dusted with a sheen of silver. The floor, is a shifting stage patterned with emphatic diamonds, leading up to a turquoise wall and a window looking onto an Edenic landscape where naked women (Diana and her nymphs, perhaps) cavort beneath a crescent moon.
Fig 4
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https://www.theartsdesk.com/visual-arts/metamorphosis-titian-2012-national-gallery
This painting highlights the aim of transformation in works of art which is to blend  several pictures  reaĺ or in the mind  into one.
Surrealist abstraction
The procedure whereby two or more pictures are combined into one has been called surrealist abstraction.  This process of fusion is illustrated in Figs 4-6.   It involves ‘photoshopping’ two pictures (Figs 5 & 6), transforming them, with the help of Topaz Labs filters, into a third (Fig 7).
Fig 5
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Fig 6
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Fig 7
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The third picture is semiabstract and has a life and meaning of its own within the viewer’s innerness.  It embeds Adam and Eve’s expulsion from The Garden of Eden into our present society where the purpose of a supermarket economy is to maximize consumption.  It references the Christian Bible, Genesis 2:15, which explains God’s purpose for how humankind should use Earth’s resources in ways that preserve them. The biblical reasons for stewardship are reinforced and continued from there in many ways throughout the scriptures.  They imply good stewardship that avoids the devastation and loss of soil fertility that occurs in much agriculture today.  However, there is no doubt that persuasive and influential misinterpretation of Christian doctrine has led to environmental destruction and lack of respect for nature.  
In this transformation the representations of two material features of ‘outerness’ are metamorphosed into one representation of ‘innerness’.  
Innerness and outerness
According to Ralph Rowbottam, outerness  is what can be objectively observed, inspected, weighed, measured, cut into. Thus, the stone carving of The Expulsion and the display of a variety of edible plant products, express outerness.   As regards ourselves , outerness includes our skin, bones, hearts, brains and so forth.  Innerness is our subjectivity, whatever we feel, think, imagine: our experience, our consciousness, our inner landscape.  Every human being has these two sides. So presumably do animals.  Rowbottam  says that perhaps even plants  or stones have  some sort of innerness, though infinitesimal in development compared to our own.
The transformation has produced a semi abstract image that is far richer in content and open to many avenues of interpretation.  
Abstraction through transformation departs from the evaluation of a picture through its outer objectivity. This departure from accurate representation can be only slight, or it can be partial, or it can be complete. Abstraction exists along a continuum but always evokes an inner subjective response.  In this context, transformation does not attempt to represent an accurate depiction of a visual reality but instead relies on shapes, colours, forms and gestural marks to achieve its effect.  
Music is an abstract creation.  Beethoven described his innerness when creating a new work.  “....In my head, I begin to elaborate the work in its breadth, its narrowness, its height, and its depth, and as I am aware of what I want to do, the underlying idea never deserts me. It rides, it grows up. I hear and see the image in front of me from every angle, as if it had been cast…”
How does a listener or a viewer come to an understanding of an abstract work of art?  As was said by a person viewing a Rembrandt,  “although the image clearly makes sense as a whole, what sense it makes cannot be easily decided”.  Maybe the mental process involved in trying to make sense of an abstract painting follows a kind of reverse of Beethoven’s creative pathway by first discerning significant shapes and forms in the mind which are then retrofitted to create an underlying personal idea that enhances a person’s innerness..
Both the gallery and the artwork function as interfaces to the larger systems of meanings, values, and social relations that make pictorial systems possible and interpretable. Members of communities and cultures that visit an art exhibit without prior knowledge of the style or period can be left without information that will lead to connecting the dots of interpretation.  In this context the story attached to Fig 6 is only readable because the viewer is given access to the two images that were fused to make it.  With no information about the elements of outerness that were fused to produce Fig 8 the viewer has to  fully accept the fact that they are working outside the realm of answers and explanations. What is actually seen is in the mind of the beholder. Evaluation comes down to answering the question :  would you like to see it in your house everyday?
As always, Picasso has the last word.
“Everyone wants to understand abstract art. Why not try to understand the song of a bird? …people who try to explain pictures are usually barking up the wrong tree.”
Fig 8
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Go to Zygeena’s Pinterest Board to see a growing gallery of digital transformations.
https://pin.it/wze23swivsibns
Go to a Google Doc version of this blog
https://docs.google.com/document/d/1u8se74Rx2-PU7dlp9h6t0i_77XAwChGKHp0vfDDxHkg/edit?usp=sharing
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