The Importance of a Good Character Death

Everyone knows when they read a book or watch a movie that there is a chance a character they really love is going to die.  Either the character was the funny/supportive friend, the wise mentor, or even a love interest, no one is safe!  If one show/series of books has taught us that, it’s Game of Thrones.  George R. R. Martin is notorious for killing off many good characters that we all loved or came to love.  First example would be Ned Stark, as played by Sean Bean.  Ned Stark was the perfect character: loyal to king and wife, a devoted father and a good master.  That’s probably why he needed to die (per Martin’s logic).  But then, that set a precedent for most of the character deaths on Game of Thrones.  They were all good characters.

Now, everyone who has read/watches Game of Thrones, has probably also read/watched The Lord of the Rings.  J. R. R. Tolkien created a world and any good characters; most of whom live to see peace come to Middle Earth.  Honestly at the rate GOT is going, who is going to be yet living at the end of this final season?  Nobody!  Of course, GOT is on a larger scale than LOTR simply because there are more books in the series.  So, I guess there are more characters to kill off, but they are usually the good guys.  That’s my problem.  Tolkien understood the importance of having a well placed death of a good guy, but he didn’t do it often.  Obviously in The Fellowship of the Ring, we believe Gandalf has perished, and Boromir sacrifices himself to save Merry and Pippin.  In The Two Towers, Hama is slain while defending Helms Deep (this is from the book, not the movie, where he still dies, but in a warg attack).  In The Return of the King, we see Theoden die in combat at the Battle of Pelennor Fields.  Also, if you recall, Halbarad, one of Aragorn’s Dunedain Rangers, also dies in battle.  That’s four good characters who died.  That’s less than one hand by a finger.

For GOT, you’ve got the characters as follows:

  1. Ned Stark
  2. Khal Drogo
  3. Robb Stark
  4. Catelyn Stark
  5. The Blackfish
  6. Commander Mormont
  7. Pyp
  8. Grenn
  9. Osha the Wildling
  10. Rickon Stark
  11. Benjen Stark
  12. Talisa
  13. Hodor
  14. Jojen Reed

And probably a couple of others we’ve all forgotten.  Many, many, many deaths.  It is important for certain, key people to die in order to give the heroes or heroines a reason for finishing the job as it were.  There have to be deaths so that somebody can say, “Their deaths will not be in vain.”  Just, don’t kill everybody who ever showed a whiff of goodness and decency.  That’s why there’s this meme:

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And on that note, it’s been real!

 

The Day We All See Red

I know it’s a day late, but hush up!  I have things I want to say, and I was too busy yesterday to say them.  For little children, the possible meaning of Valentine’s Day is lost on them in their innocence.  They see the candy and immediately associate it to a day like Halloween.  Then comes the actual valentines you can give out.  They cut haphazard designs and give them to their teachers, parents, or even their siblings.

As they mature, they start to realize that Valentine’s Day is not meant for family, but for your romantic relationships (if any).  Now, I’ve always been single for Valentine’s Day.  I was homeschooled, so I never had a beau growing up.  I made valentines for my siblings and candy bags with my sister for every other person in the family.

When I got into high school and went to my technical school, there was one guy I kind of had my eyes on, and so when the appropriate time came, I made him a valentine.  He thanked me for it and politely told me that he was not interested in having a relationship in that moment and that he just wanted to be friends with me.  I was fine with that.  Fast forward to a couple of years later; I had watched my older sister have a relationship with a wimp, break up with him, and then go through the anxiety of ‘did I do the right thing?’ afterward.  It drove me nuts!  Why get into a relationship if this was going to happen and you were going to degrade into a babbling creature in sweatpants and a jar of peanut butter?!  Needless to say, I started working in reception for my doctor and I had two other jobs, so I was like, “I’m too busy to have a boyfriend, so, I won’t!”  Easy solution, right?  Except for the guys who would always ask to only work with me and say those oh so nice things about me.  Which is all well and good, but, they got predictable after a while.

Now, I’m here.  I’m almost twenty-three years old, I’m going to school/working in what I want to do, and I have met a man who interests me.  He actually send me a dozen red roses yesterday.  I found them on a table in my house after I went to a physical after school.  I liked that instead of sending me a blown out bouquet, I got a simple one with a lot of meaning.  It made me smile and I placed them in their vase and on my desk.  Of course, now I will probably have to explain to my dad where the flowers came from.  Sh*t!  But otherwise, I truly did enjoy my gift, and our ‘actual’ Valentine’s Day will be this weekend.

And on that note, it’s been real!

Female Villains: Best Written By Men

If you’ve read my title and aren’t offended, congratulations!  If you read it and are, get over it.  I’m a woman and I’m giving an honest opinion of what I’ve seen of female villains in movies and shows and how they are portrayed.  And I’ve discovered that the best female villains were written and scripted by men.  Here’s why.

A woman is going to write a female villain in terms of ‘how would I act if I was evil’.  All well and good, but she’s also not likely to be honest about it because she doesn’t want people to not be able to relate to her female villain.  In her attempt to make them relatable, she makes them too weak or nice in a way.  Not good!  When you make a female a villain, make them a conniving b*tch because that’s what a woman is when she’s angry, or has plans for world domination.  Now, not to say all men have female villains down pat.  They make mistakes too… why?  Because they’re human like us and nobody is infallible.

An example of a bad female ‘villain’ is Maleficent, as portrayed by Angelina Jolie in the 2014 movie of the same name.  It was written by a woman about one of Disney’s most iconic villains, and she made her good.  The mind positively boggles.  The movie had a low reception from moviegoers, with a score of 51% on Rotten Tomatoes.  Their critique was Jolie’s performance was good, but the script and the idea that Maleficent was the ‘heroine’ just didn’t fit.  And most loyal Disney fans would have preferred the traditional Sleeping Beauty story with Jolie playing the green-skinned villainess as she was supposed to be.  We all know that even though the movie was named Sleeping Beauty, Prince Philip, and Flora, Fauna, and Merriweather were the real heroes.

Now the example of a good female villain would be Hela, portrayed by Cate Blanchett in Thor: Ragnarok.  She was powerful, terrifying, eerily attractive, and above all: a cold-hearted b*tch.  Thank you, male writers!  I have tears in my eyes!  Hela was the perfect villain and Cate Blanchett did an excellent job with bringing her to life.  She was devious, vengeful, spiteful, and strong.  You hated her, but at the same time, you admired her.  She knew what she wanted from life, or, death as it were; and she knew how she was going to get it.  Things just conspired to get in her way, but she certainly wasn’t a villain who was a pushover.

Now, that’s not to say that women can’t do female villains, it’s just rare for them to be honest enough with their character to create a foe worthy of their protagonist.  When I created my main villain of my trilogy, I just stopped analyzing and let the character speak to me.  Princess Rae dan Kae of Capricorn, killed her mother when she was born because of the curse of a pair of horns that protrude from her temples cutting her open.  Her father blamed her for his wife’s demise, but never said anything directly to her.  Rae dan Kae is the unspoken heir to the throne, and is too terrifying for any man to approach to ask for her hand in marriage.  She is conniving and plans to subjugate the other nations to her whim and will.  Her father thinks he makes the plans, but she is really the influence over him and many others in her kingdom.  She kills because she can, and her moods are unpredictable.  Rae is incapable of love and the only true emotion she is possession of is contempt.  Everyone else and all other nations are beneath her and her idea of Capricorn.  She was the perfect opposition for Zodia in every way, and when I wrote their clashes, I really enjoyed myself.

Well, there you have it for that problem: the dilemma of worthy female villains.  Careful with humanizing them because you could possibly take away those traits that will make them truly despicable.

And on that note, it’s been real!

Guess Who’s Going… :)

I know I mentioned this band in a post last year and how wonderful their historical songs were.  Well, they’re on tour right now, and they’ll be in Philadelphia in March, just in time for my birthday!  My younger brother and I said we wanted to go see them, but when no plans were made, I honestly thought that nothing was going to come of it, and just settled to take my actual birth day off from work (school will be on spring break during that week, so that was already covered).

Last week, my brother suddenly calls me into his room and says, “I want to get our tickets and hotel room for Sabaton in March.”  I was stunned.

“I thought we weren’t doing that,” I said.

“We’re not missing them being so close to us,” my brother said and got on their website.  We found the cheapest tickets and he purchased both of them with an, “Happy early Birthday.”  We then looked up our hotel, which is about 7-10 minutes away from the venue where the concert is being held.  Once he got that, I marked it in my calendar.  He then said, “Oooh!  We’re on the border of Jersey.  We can visit our friend.”  He rang him up, asked him for his address and told him to keep his calendar for March 7th open.  So, we have a trip planned in early of March for a concert and to see our buddy.  It will be an early birthday present, and we can say hi to our friend, whom we haven’t seen we went to Cedar Point last summer.  Needless to say, I’m very excited!

And on that note, it’s been real!

Let It Snow! Not…

I actually did not know about the weather, or at least how bad it was going to be until night time, so when everyone was talking about not dying, I was all for that.  I went to sleep last night, but set my alarm for 6:00 like I always do.  When it went off, I checked my phone and saw that my teacher was not coming in to class today because of the snow and the ice underneath the snow.  I was more than happy to go back to sleep until after 9:00.  Then, I got summoned outside to shovel the very heavy snow on our driveway.

But, the good news was that school was basically cancelled for everyone today, and my two siblings are just chilling.  They’re playing a computer game together and I am doing this blog post.  It’s been so long.  My school is still driving me crazy, my dentist has been needing me to cover for other assistants, and life in general just continues to throw curve balls at me.  Yay!

I can’t do much more of this snow and cold though.  It’s such a pain in the *ss to start my car fifteen minutes before I actually leave and scraping the snow off my windshields.  Bundling up and still managing to get cold.  It’s a beautiful thing to live in the northern states of America (not).  I want to go south!

And on that note, it’s been real!

The Zodiac: How My Books Came To Be

The first time I contemplated writing a book, I was around twelve-years-old.  I my head was filled with the Greek tales and epics, and my first concept of the story was more of a Greek spin on things.  I had names like Andromeda and Heracles and so on.  It was more ancient and I was going farther back.  I wrote things down on paper and tucked them away because I didn’t have a dedicated computer.  We only had a public computer, and I could get kicked off any time.

About three years later, I saved up for and purchased my own laptop.  I started writing short stories, but my mind eventually wandered back to that idea for a novel.  I dug those notes out, looked at them, and went, “What the heck was I thinking?!”  I trashed the idea and went back to the ‘old drawing board’.  At that point in my life, I had read The Hunger Games trilogy, and two of the three Divergent books.  I enjoyed them, but at the same time, the two lead female characters had a flaw I could not abide by: they hated killing their enemies.  Now, note that I said, ‘they hate killing their enemies,’ instead of, ‘they hate killing.’  There is a difference.  Somebody comes at you with a gun or a knife, are you going to stand there and mumble, “But I don’t want to kill them.”  It doesn’t matter!  They want to kill you!  It’s your life against theirs, your future opposing their own.  There is no pausing to think; there is only fight or flight.  Both Katniss and Tris got on my nerves because they didn’t have the guts to do what was necessary.  They thought too much instead of using their instinct.

When I created the medieval world ruled over by Orion, my mind fashioned Zodia.  She believes she is common and nothing special; but she is so much more than that.  She becomes a source of inspiration to others, she teaches and is taught, and she fights for everything she holds dear.  Zodia is young and looks to others to guide her: her pet lion, Fangrus; her right hand, Zentii; her shadow, Kator; her father, Prince Horun; and her mentor, General Tiron.  She had a support system, but still followed her own judgment and gut feelings.

I shaped her and honed her and other characters for three books.  It was a pleasure and a joy to do so, and when I self-published them via Amazon, I was happy to think that other people could enjoy them as well.

And on that note, it’s been real!

Texting Trauma

Now, everyone has those people in their lives, who insist on having everything spelled correctly, even in texts.  No words can be shortened, no abbreviations that aren’t accepted in the unknown Guide to Abbreviations, no short cuts of any kind.  In fact, the only word they might accept is ‘ok’.  Otherwise, everything must be as if you’re writing an essay.  I’m one of those people.

I mentioned several posts ago (still in 2017) that I met a guy and we’re basically in a relationship that this point.  We text each other every day and see each other every weekend.  Anyway, he doesn’t always take the time to spell things out or check to make sure the spelling is even correct.  He’ll send me texts that are not grammatically correct, and I will text him back to correct him.

Sometimes, he says after he presses ‘send’, he’ll realize that something wasn’t right a few seconds before I correct him.  It’s funny and I always find it amusing when he tells me that.  I don’t just fix his grammar and sentence structure, I’ll do it to members of my family as well.  Come on!  Everyone family and group of friends has that person!  Hey, any flagrant ill use of the King’s English is punishable by death in my house.  Speak proper or don’t speak at all.

And on that note, it’s been real!