Amazon in Middle Earth?

Alright, if you don’t know that Amazon bought the rights to Middle Earth and plan on doing a pre-pre series to both The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings; have you been living on Mars?

Amazon/Middle Earth

For those of you who are not informed, that is a link to an article covering Amazon purchasing the rights and some speculations.  I’ve got mixed emotions about the whole thing.  When it comes to the two sets of trilogies, I do get a kick out of them.  That’s only because my sister sits next to me and we decide that Boromir, Merry and Pippin need a motor boat to get to the Falls of Rauros, and the balrog is now Billy Bob Balrog.  That aside, I enjoy them, but I am aware of when they have deviated from the book.  Tom Bombadil, for instance.  The character is a jolly, but powerful individual that Peter Jackson left out!  They left him out!  Him and his beautiful and equally resourceful wife, Goldberry.  Gone!  Cut from the universe!  I’ll start ranting if I continue, so I will move on.

Anyway, Amazon said they planned on doing a prequel series to even The Hobbit, which probably means they will attempt to do The Simarillion.  The Simarillion is even longer than The Lord of the Rings, which makes it perfect series material.  Of course, that also depends on how Amazon decides to represent it.  Will they follow verbatim what Tolkien put down?  Or will they follow in Peter Jackson’s footsteps and take creative license?  The epic story tells the tale of Beren and Luthien, the two characters upon which Tolkien built his universe.  Many fascinating characters live within The Simarillion besides Beren and Luthien.  There is Huan, the Hound of the Valar and companion of both Beren and Luthien.  There is Tevildo, the feline cohort of Morgoth (the Valar have hounds and Morgoth has cats), and arch-enemy of Huan.  Carcharoth, one of the wolves in the service of Morgoth, and the creature responsible for biting off the hand of Beren that was holding one of the Simarillions.  Loosely based off the Nordic myth when Fenrir bit off the hand of the god, Tyr.

The story as a whole is a long romantic tragedy, that just manages to have a happy ending .  Beren, a mortal man, falls in love with Luthien, and elven princess.  Her father doesn’t want him to marry her, so he says in order for him to grant his permission, Beren must retrieve one of the Simarillions from the crown of Morgoth.  Basically a suicide mission.  But being a determined woman, Luthien escapes her father and joins Beren and Huan on their quest to steal one of the powerful stones.  The Simarillion has enough plot for Amazon to make a series out of it.  Now, let’s just see if they make a good one.

And on that note, it’s been real!

Go Down with the Ship

Everyone (well, most everyone) knows what a ‘ship’ is these days.  A ship is when fans pair their favorite characters together and make them a couple.  Regardless of gender, BTW.  The idea of ships is not in and of itself; it’s just hysterically funny.  Some of the ships people do come up with, it’s like, “You had nothing better to do, so you did this.”

My younger sister had no idea what a ship was, so I decided to ‘educate’ her.  She probably still hates me for it now.  Here is a list of some of the ships that have been done, and I will asterisk the ones my sister hates.

  1. Cherik – Charles and Erik (X-Men)
  2. Ereri – Eren and Levi (Attack on Titan)
  3. McDanno – McGarrett and Danny (Hawaii Five-0)
  4. Jelsa – Jack Frost and Elsa (The Guardians and Frozen)
  5. Jonerys – Jon Snow and Daenerys (Game of Thrones)
  6. Olicity – Oliver and Felicity (Arrow)
  7. Stony – Steve and Tony (The Avengers)*
  8. Bagginshield or Thilbo – Thorin and Bilbo (The Hobbit)*
  9. Stucky – Steve and Bucky (Captain America)
  10. Thorki – Thor and Loki (Thor)*
  11. Lokane – Loki and Jane (Thor: The Dark World)
  12. Larcy – Loki and Darcy (Thor)
  13. Johnlock – John Watson and Sherlock Holmes (Sherlock)

There are a few other ones from Middle Earth that don’t have official names, but they exist, and piss my sister off so much.  Except for maybe the Boromir/Eowyn one.  She likes to entertain the possibilities.

The funny aspect is that there are people out there who spend a large portion of their day thinking this sh*t up and putting it out on the internet.  It’s hysterical!  I’m laughing my *ss off right now!  We all have characters we really like and we want to see them happy in their shows, or movies, or whatever.  But, really?  Putting them in impossible relationships like that?  Your life is sad, sad, sad if you’re thinking about that.  And you probably don’t have a relationship of your own if you’re worried about somebody else’s.

And on that note, it’s been real!

The Border Men – A Study of Masculinity

Very few people these days probably remember the Zane Grey novels or the wonderful stories they tell.  I have read a couple of them, but my favorites are the ones that pertain to the Zane family.  The author himself was the great-grandson of Ebenezer Zane, and the great-grandnephew of Jonathan and Betty Zane.  His family were the founders of Zanesville in Ohio, and great patriots and scouts of the frontier.  So, he wrote a trilogy that elaborated on his family; as well as their relationship with great border man, Lewis Wetzel, or Deathwind as he was called by the Native American Indians.

The one thing people cannot deny when they read Betty Zane, Spirit of the Border, and The Last Trail is the utter and true masculinity of the men involved.  The frontier of Ohio during and after the American Revolution did not tolerate weaklings and peaceful men.  Those men came after the land had been settled and the area secured by more noble souls.

The two lead men who the reader hear most of in all three books are Jonathan Zane and Lew Wetzel.  While the first book does focus on the courage and speed of Betty Zane, the books always have something to say about the two border men.  Now, the definition of a border man was basically an Indian scout and tracker.  Both Zane and Wetzel were intimate with the ways of the Indians, as they had both been held captive by them at least once in their lives.  They had varying opinions about the Indians, for personal reasons.  Jonathan did not hate all Indians, he just didn’t trust them as far as he could throw them.  He had been kidnapped with all his brothers (he was one of five boys), and watched as his youngest brother, Isaac Zane, was separated from them for years. For Wetzel, it was different.  When he was about eleven-years-old, he went hunting with his thirteen-year-old brother.  Upon their return from hunting, they found their home burned and their parents and other siblings butchered and scalped by Indians.  This set Lewis Wetzel on a path of revenge that consumed the remainder of his life.

The first book in the trilogy is about Betty Zane, the youngest and only girl in the Zane family.  Naturally, she’s doted upon by her four (surviving) older brothers.  Throughout the story, Wetzel is soft spoken and caring of Betty, and when one of the villains tries to forcefully kiss her, Wetzel almost kills him.  That was how gentlemen viewed the honor of women: it was sacred.  Eventually in the book, he reveals to Betty that he is in love with her; but because of all the men he’s killed, he feels he is not good enough for her.  When the man she does love is stabbed in the dark by the aforementioned rogue, Wetzel hunts him down and kills him for Betty.  Because he loves her, he kills for her.  Then, he returns and helps defend Fort Henry against Indians and British forces, even holding an opening in the wall all by himself with just an ax.  Tragically in the end, Lew Wetzel must abstain from women, and Betty Zane marries another man.

The second book does focus more on Wetzel as he traverses the frontier around historical Fort Henry.  A wagon train has brought more settlers as well as Moravian missionaries, dedicated to converting the Indians, to the fort.  Two, identical twin brothers take separate paths: one is a missionary and a peaceful man; and the other wants to follow in the steps of Wetzel.  However, scheming renegades and dangerous Indians soon interrupt their lives and throw them all out of balance.  Wetzel is reaffirmed in his life choices when he finds the bodies of the young scout and the young girl he loved.  He buries them side by side and goes to save the second young couple.  In one of the pivotal scenes in the book, the renegade, Girty, attempts to rape a woman, while the missionary is bound nearby.  Wetzel and Zane come crashing in, and Wetzel savagely kills the outlaws for what they did before and what they were about to do.  Once again, a man’s got to do what a man’s got to do.

In the third and final book, Grey focuses on his great-uncle, Jonathan Zane.  Zane is described as being a lover of nature and of the wild; a quiet, thoughtful man.  In the final book, he meets his match in the fiery Helen Shepard, a young girl from Virginia.  She is immediately smitten with him, but he does not reciprocate her feelings.  Through the matchmaking wiles of his siblings, Eb and Betty Zane; Jonathan and Helen are drawn into a sort of Much Ado About Nothing love trap.  However, a traitor within the fort has his eyes on Helen, and hates Jonathan Zane.  After being wounded, kidnapped, and then returned by Wetzel, Jonathan owns up to his feelings for Helen, but begs her not to return them.  But, he must also confess this to Wetzel when she is taken from the fort (not to mention that Wetzel basically called it from the first moment he met Helen).  His old friend tells him to leave their life of scouting and hunting and marry Helen, because he won’t let him miss his chance like he did with Betty.  In the end, Jonathan makes the right choice, and Wetzel continues his path alone.

Zane Grey wrote about real men; rough and rugged, but also kind and caring.  These men killed so that their families, or the families of others might live in peace.  Isn’t that honorable?  Isn’t that something to be admired; and not scorned?  It is truly a twisted world that doesn’t acknowledge real men, and instead, tries to beat them down.

And on that note, it’s been real!

 

Ani-view: Vampire Knight

Because I rather like vampire hunters (sorry Twilight folks), this particular anime caught my eye.  Also, it had Vic Mignogna voicing a (two) character(s) so I wanted to see it.  Yes, this anime is technically classified as a Shojo anime, meaning that it is geared specifically towards girls, but I’m a girl; so it’s fine.

The story takes place at Cross Academy, an elite school that has day and ‘night’ classes.  The day class is obsessed with the night class, and the (majority) of the night class couldn’t care less.  The two classes are patrolled by only two students: Yuki Cross, adoptive daughter of the headmaster; and Zero Kiryu, her moody partner.  In the very first episode, it is revealed the night class is comprised entirely of aristocratic vampires, under Kaname Kuran, a pureblood vampire.  Kaname seems to have an obsession with Yuki, which both scares and excites her; and just plain pisses Zero off.  The hostility between the two men is palpable whenever they cross paths, mostly on Zero’s part, but Kaname sometimes exhibits his own irritation.

When you first meet her, Yuki Cross appears to be a love struck, clumsy girl.  She has a special connection to both Kaname and Zero.  Her connection to Kaname began when he rescued her from another vampire that attempted to kill her when she was a child.  He then visited her after he took her to Master Cross.  Her connection to Zero came a little later, when he was brought to her house after his family was brutally murdered by a vampire.  She tried to help him as best she could, and finally, he opened up to her a little.  Yuki wants to help both men whenever she can, but sometimes, she trips over herself in the process.

For Zero Kiryu, it is almost ironic that he works as a mediator between humans and vampires.  He comes from a long line of vampire hunters, and hates all bloodsuckers with a passion.  Oh, and the irony continues when it is revealed that Zero is also a vampire, slowly descending to what is called a Level E: a purely animal vampire breed.  Zero doesn’t show affection for much, except for Yuki.  He cares for her, but he feels threatened by Kaname because he sees how the other vampire looks at her, as well as how she feels about him.  Zero is torn between the girl he cares about and his own predilections.

Kaname Kuran is mysterious and hardly ever reveals what he’s feeling.  He’s used to people bowing and scraping to him because of his pureblood lineage.  That’s why I actually think he kind of likes Zero’s insolence on occasion.  It’s nice to not have everyone kissing your *ss.  Now, occasionally, Kaname shows his displeasure, usually with Hanabusa Aido, but it’s never actual anger.  Kaname is always calm and collected, a true leader of vampires.  His love for Yuki is incestuous (as is revealed later in the second season) and he will literally do anything to protect her.  Even working with his rival (Zero) to keep her safe.

The anime was ‘fun’, but I wished that Yuki had made a different choice when it came to men.  She left Zero in the end and he promised that if he ever saw her again, he would have to kill her, because he is first and foremost, a vampire hunter.  If you’re a girl, you’re probably going to enjoy this anime; if you’re a guy, probably not.

And on that note, it’s been real!

 

Troy: Why It Almost Worked

I’m sure most people recall the movie Troy when it came out in 2004.  It was one of those big, ancient pieces.  And yes, while the event is based off an actual time in history, we must remember that it is most famous for Homer’s rendition of it in his very large book, The Iliad.  The movie was entertaining and featured plenty of action and a tragic love story; heroes, bold and brave; and a marvelous movie score.  However, it lacked a key element that would have made it very successful, and gone on to continue Homer’s work in The Odyssey.  It was missing the gods!

If you’ve read the original epic, or have a basic grasp of Greek mythology, you will remember that the whole war did start over a woman.  Three Greek goddesses were arguing over which one was the fairest: Hera, Athena, and Aphrodite.  They went to the fairest man alive, Prince Paris of Troy.  They asked him to be the judge, and each offered him a reward for choosing them.  Hera offers him political power; Athena offers him victories in war; and Aphrodite offers him the most beautiful mortal woman.  Paris turns Hera down because he is already a Prince of Troy; he turns Athena down because he prefers love making to war mongering; and he accepts Aphrodite because he is a man fooled by appearances (Helen is taken back by her husband and makes comments about her adulterous relationship with Paris in The Odyssey).  He then steals Helen away from Menelaus, and flees to the safety of Troy.  Menelaus goes to his brother, King Agamemnon, and together, they rally the soldiers of Greece.  From there, the Greek gods take sides in the fight: Apollo, Ares, Aphrodite, and Artemis fighting with the Trojans; while Hera, Athena, Poseidon, Hermes, and Hephaestus fought for the Greeks.  Occasionally, Zeus would waggle a finger to aid this person or that, but he never took an official part or side.

The politics and drama between the gods would have added to the movie, making it grander.  Also, it would have explained to those who did not know, the reason why Achilles was killed by an arrow to the heel.  Just saying.

Another fact (which I mentioned above) is that it would have and should have led into The Odyssey, Homer’s tale of Odysseus’ long journey home.  Sean Bean was basically narrating the movie, so it would have made sense for his character to get the spin off he deserved.  The story of Odysseus’ road back to Ithaca is full of cunning and adventure and (yes) sex.  He sleeps with the nymphs Circe and Calisto for pity’s sake!  It would have been epic!  Anyway, I’m going off an a tangent because I really wanted to see that, but he’s too old now (sh*t!).  Anyway, that is why the movie, Troy, could have been better.  If they had modeled it more after Homer’s work, rather than guess at the actual historical event.

And on that note, it’s been real!

World War II – The Death Theater

World War II is one of the most famous wars in the history of wars.  Why?  Because it was a war that encompassed the globe on a grander scale than its previous counterpart, the Great War.  I have always been fascinated by the wars that ravaged Europe.  The complexities and the strategies always draw me in.  However, World War II was a sad war, just like the one that preceded it.  “But, all wars are sad,” you would say.  Yes, but some more than others.  I say this because World War II affected civilians in many countries, far more than most other wars.  This was because of air raids, nuclear bombs, and advancing armies.

American civilians were untouched by the war; but British, French, German, Dutch, Austrian, Italian, Polish, and Russian people were affected by it every day.  The Holocaust is a major topic of conversation whenever WWII is brought up.  Countless people lost their lives because they were Jewish.  I have read and watched many adaptations of Anne Frank and it makes me cry.  It’s almost ironically funny how the Nazis incriminated themselves by taking pictures and keeping all those documents.  The murderers were punished, but now, the entire country feels it needs to make reparations for the sins of the few, not the all.

However, there were other countless casualties that are glossed over because of who committed them.  The advancing Russian army killed so many German civilians in brutal ways, but nobody asked them to apologize.  They must have deserved it.  Did little children deserve to be shot at point blank range?  Did young girls deserved to be raped?  Did boys deserve to be tortured, and their bodies left at the side of the road?  No.  Stalin was not asked to pay for his crimes because he was with the Allies, instead of the Axis.

Another factor that has been discussed is that Roosevelt knew Japan was going to attack Pearl Harbor in Hawaii, but decided against informing the military stationed there.  Why?  Because then they would be prepared and the attack would not have the devastating affect he wanted it to have.  Men and women died so America could have a reason for entering the war.

In a way, many of the participants were villains.  Not the soldiers fighting and dying, but the men above them; the politicians.  Hitler tried to decimate an entire people and spread his ‘superior’ Aryan beliefs.  Stalin wanted to crush the Germans, and spread his Communistic beliefs.  Roosevelt wanted to make America the official world power, over the dead bodies of Europeans.  All wars are terrible and come at great cost.  World War II is just like the rest of them.  It just seemed to leave the biggest scar.

And on that note, it’s been real!

Ani-view: Spice & Wolf

Spice and Wolf!  The anime that taught viewers a little something about economics and capitalism, while at the same time, introducing you to one of the cutest anime couples ever!  Based off the light novels by Isuna Hasekura, they were later turned into manga and adapted into anime.  My friend told me about it and I bought the seasons and watched them.

So, the anime follows traveling peddler, Kraft Lawrence, as he travels across a medieval world, trading with other merchants.  When he stops at a pagan village called Pasloe, that is when he hears about the local legend of a wolf that aids them growing their crops.  At least the wolf used to.  And then, Lawrence actually meets her.  Her name is Holo the Wise Wolf.  She has a beautiful red tail, pointy ears, and crimson eyes.  She escaped in the wheat on Lawrence’s wagon.  She wants to get back to her home in the far North.  Lawrence promises to get her there and their journey begins.

Almost immediately, Lawrence is protective of Holo, but is mostly because he doesn’t want her to be found out and taken by the Church.  However, eventually the protective feeling shifts from that to a different kind.  The jealous kind.  Lawrence hates it when other men talk to her, especially in a romantic fashion.  He doesn’t have the courage to claim her as his own, but he doesn’t want to share her.

As for Holo, she is the Wise Wolf, as she repeatedly tells Lawrence (in between stuffing her face and being drunk).  She can sense when somebody is lying, but cannot outright say it for a fact.  She has a nose for trade and economics, and helps Lawrence with his deals.  Which I suppose helps makeup for the fact that she spends a great deal of his money on apples.  Holo also doesn’t like it when he is around other ladies; rather apparent when they run into the shepherdess, Nora.  She is defensive of Lawrence, but does not say that he is hers.  Once again, one of them is afraid to speak first.

Their journeys together during the anime test Lawrence’s skills as a merchant and Holo’s skills as the Wise Wolf.  But together, they are a team, and one that travels its way into our hearts with a smile and an apple.

And on that note, it’s been real!