[personal profile] tsubaki_ny
.. via Wikia surfing and apparently an interview with Gerard Butler I have gotten my wish --- GURL UNIR OEBHTUG ONPX UVPPHC'F ZBZZL, INYUNYYNENZN!!!!

And she is Cate Blanchett! And she WAS totally off questing. Thank you, Dreamworks! This is as it should be.

They have changed her name from the books a bit, but SCORE ONE FOR DOING AWAY WITH THE QRNQ ZBZZL TROPE in kid's films!! I am well pleased. I love her.

(O, if I am misled I shall weep tears.)

Spoilery trailer addendum sort of thing

(Still full of trepidation though.)

Date: 2013-12-21 03:28 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ladyegreen.livejournal.com
I hope it is wonderful and all you want it to be.

Date: 2013-12-24 02:37 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] the-narration.livejournal.com
All right so Livejournal is where I come to, apparently, to act like an utter CHILD...
Because the rest of the internet is so famous for its maturity. ;-)

I'd only recently heard that there was going to be a HTTYD 2. I enjoyed the movie, but I admit to a little trepidation about the sequel: the first one had a fairly self-contained story, so I'm not sure what character arc Hiccup could possibly have in this one. It's nice to see a live mother in an animated movie for a change (although I'm annoyed with that trailer for giving away what I'm guessing was supposed to be a dramatic reveal).

(I'm also not sure how much I buy that "a mother knows" business. It's been how many years since she saw him?)

Still, this is going on my "want to see" list along with Gravity and Hobbit 2: Dragon Boogaloo, although there's not telling how long it'll actually be before I actually get around to it, since I see so few movies these days. The only recent ones I've seen are Star Trek Into Darkness (which was made of stupid, and extra infuriating for anyone who's seen Wrath of Khan because it plagiarizes that movie blatantly and ineptly) and Madoka Magica: Rebellion (which was an epic mindfuck that I don't even know how to feel about).

...on an unrelated topic, do you mind if I pick your brain about something? I've been stuck on a problem, and I think your literary background might let you see answers I don't.

Date: 2013-12-24 03:42 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] tsubaki-ny.livejournal.com

Them killing off his mom is one change from the books that I really disliked -- I understand how this reveal might work against a lot of, if not most, people's interest. But I've been dreading possible (likely) huge disappointment in this film for so long that this reveal is like a gift. I almost don't care if I hate the rest of the film now -- they gave me back Valhallarama, and Valhallarama is CANONICALLY a *bigger badass than Stoick!*

(She said "A mother never forgets." Which I buy because they redesigned her to look just like him, instead of the busty blonde Brunhilda archetype she was in the books). Actually they could mess this up awfully too. I cling to the fact that I kind of liked The Croods, so maybe the artistic team really has "it" and TYD wasn't a fluke. (They are also planning a part 3.)

I've been watching the show, and I have issues with it. I might discuss them at length sometime -- they sort of reintroduce a gender essentialism that the film was leaning away from**. (A little. A bigger issue I have is the Flanderization of the twins.) But 1. they were definitely not expecting TYD to be anything like the success it was, so them getting Cowell on board as a consultant and going back to the books to extend the story seems like a solid move, to me. (I also noticed that after the film, Cowell herself began including ride-able dragons in HER plots -- her Toothless had been a small, naughty hunting dragon, but the small hunting dragons were the ones the kids really bonded with, while the riding dragons were supplementary. The show has included this, but reversed, adding in tiny hunting dragons that are somewhat less beloved and have only appeared in two eps so far.) And 2. the books have a definite and logical arc, one the show has been veering toward ever since they knew there would be any show, or extra films. The books are definitely young kids' books, very over-the-top, so I see them complicating things, paralleling rather than following exactly. And yeah, they would need a part 3. The first film -- humans and dragons learning symbiosis -- is really a prequel.

I'm going to be disappointed if "Valka"'s disappearance is not addressed well. In the books no one thinks she is dead; she is off "questing" to garner more awesomeness for her name. Stoick, on Berk Island, chiefing and warring and badassing is, in reality, looking after hearth and home and keeping it tidy while Valhallarama is off fighting armies and creatures and whatnot. A little bit after the mid-series point, she has a pretty big saving-the-day moment, basically via just showing up and going "Hello, I am me, and I think not," swaying the opinion of all Vikingdom, just because of her rep. Hiccup and Stoick don't resent her, but while Hiccup is sort of just resigned to never being understood by his father, he is *really afraid* of disappointing his mother when and if she should ever come home. The film is going to HAVE to touch on the fact that in this version, she's kind of a big liar, and Hiccup and Stoick have actually been *in mourning.*

**The books are a little all over the place on that one. ALL the female characters are ridiculously badass, while Hiccup struggles not to be useless and inept -- his superpower is speaking Dragonese instead of.engineering -- but "girly" is an insult at least twice. I guess twice in eleven books is better than it could have been.
Edited Date: 2013-12-24 05:20 am (UTC)

Date: 2013-12-24 07:12 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] the-narration.livejournal.com
I've only seen the movie, so I can't comment on changes from the books.

The film is going to HAVE to touch on the fact that in this version, she's kind of a big liar, and Hiccup and Stoick have actually been *in mourning.*
How long has she been presumed dead? Because if someone goes off adventuring and doesn't come back for a while, then people might just assume that they were killed. It's not like there would be any way to send a message home that your trip is going to take longer than expected because you got caught up in something. Postal service is probably pretty sparse on remote, dragon-infested Viking isles. :-)

ALL the female characters are ridiculously badass, [...] but "girly" is an insult at least twice.
Well, the attitudes of a character or society within a work are not necessarily the attitudes of the work itself. One presumes that sexism would exist in the Dark Ages to an equal or greater extent than it does in our own time. (Although recent examination of archaeological evidence suggests that Viking women were regularly as well-armed as the men, I'm guessing there was still lots of institutionalized sexism.)

Date: 2013-12-24 02:18 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] tsubaki-ny.livejournal.com
1. I don't think that really matters. Hiccup is a kid, and (like the kids in Airbender) given an extremely modern sensibility in the movieverse. ("We're Vikings. We have stubbornness issues.") I remember thinking some of Katara's anger expression to her dad was a bit much, but her actual anger (which was half anger at the situation) made sense, and they dealt with it as such -- the text doesn't blame Hakoda (after all Katara knew exactly why he was missing and how justified his purpose was in going off in the first place), buther frustration at feeling abandoned anyway and exhaustion at playing mom for so long is still given it's validity and explored. I don't need it to be a huge plot point in Dragon 2, but a mention would make sense. "Did you even try to get home to us?" Or "um... DAD has been really sad, yeah, DAD, that's it" (they bring it up in the show enough to notice. They don't wear it out by any means, but there is an entire episode geared towards Stoick having attempted FOR YEARS to find a lost toy she made for Hiccup).Or "behold, son, this island upon which I have been stuck which has no boat worthy trees whatever." "Valka" has been missing for 20 years, and has spent that time hanging out with dragons, who were the Barker's very worst enemy for two thirds of Hiccup's life. And she has been making defending and rescuing them her life's work. I was elsewhere on the net mentioning how this treatment was actually a bit more period appropriate than the books in terms of how much Stock and Hiccup would know about her whereabouts communicationwise, but if she's got dragons, movie Val's path back is actually a little easier. So if she goes "well, I didn't want your father to slaughter all these dragons, so I stayed here to keep their secret," that will also work for me. I don't want her demonized, I want it addressed.

2. The books aren't realistic enough for that to work. Everything is over the top (sometimes too much for me) and skewed to an almost Roald Dahl level of hyperbole in service of humor. (À character called.Camicazi, who is the obvious template for Astrid, is the unquestioned best warrior among Hiccup's friends to the point where she is able to swim a goodly portion of the Atlantic -- they find America and gather magic potatoes -- with several swords and maces secreted beneath her clothing. She is nine. Also her name is Camicazi. :D) Viking culture is not even attempted to be accurately recreated, even slightly. Gender equality is assumed even at the physical level. In the society she has created it's less that the gendered insults bother me and more that they make absolutely no sense; they are jarring and the characters who make them seem outright delusional. It's unclear how such an idea would even occur to these people. (Granted, the author herself is not immune.)

I still have AOL. :) I just figure you have the right to know my real name at this late stage ;) . (Nah -- seriously I just keep my email addresses very specifically purposed. Tsubaki is still my Dreamwidth/LJ/Goodreads dump, but if you want to actually reach me it's the gmail that will get the message to my phone. Plus you knew my name anyway.)

Date: 2013-12-25 12:59 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] the-narration.livejournal.com
"Valka" has been missing for 20 years...
...wait, how old is Hiccup? Did she mail the kid home?

In the society she has created it's less that the gendered insults bother me and more that they make absolutely no sense; they are jarring and the characters who make them seem outright delusional. It's unclear how such an idea would even occur to these people.
I think that goes back to those "modern sensibilities" that you mentioned fictional children tending to have. Writers of children's fiction want their characters to be relatable to the audience, so they give them the attitudes and speech of someone from our society... including the gender issues that permeate almost every aspect of our lives. She probably should have taken into account that kids teasing each other over not fitting traditional gender roles wouldn't apply in her setting and found other ways for them to bully Hiccup (what's wrong with having him called a "wuss" or "wimp" instead?), but apparently she didn't see or couldn't understand the dissonance.

(I've encountered this with my current writing project. It's set in 2230--by which time there will presumably have been at least some progress towards reducing gender bias--so I often have to stop myself and go "Wait, she wouldn't call him a son of a bitch, would she?" or "Is a Navy medic still called a corpsman?" or "Do they still call it 'marksmanship'?" There are a lot of female characters doing traditionally male stuff, so this comes up a lot.)

Hope you're enjoying your holiday.

Date: 2013-12-25 08:48 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] tsubaki-ny.livejournal.com
Quickie reply -- okay, they've been editing the Wiki. :-)

I forget why, but previous incarnations of the Wiki led me to believe we were dealing with a twentysomething Hiccup in this film -- not a grown, mature MAN HICCUP (still, I dunno, snarky. And still rolling around in the forest with his dragon), but definitely not a child (not so much with the deference, or the asking for permission for things, or having to sneak off for adventures). E.g., There was a reference, now gone, to Stoick sort of pressuring Hiccup to start a family and take over the tribe at the beginning of this story installment. Since it's gone, I'm guessing this was non-concrete knowledge.

But now the Wiki clearly states he is 18 (which means, since there's a reference to five years having passed, that he was only 13 in the first one, which... I'm not quite convinced by!). I'm under the impression that Movie Mom disappeared when Hiccup was about two or three -- she calls him "just a babe," and TV-Show Stoick talks about it like he was a baby as well, but it's also mentioned that he was old enough to take a toy she made him and throw it into the ocean himself (because it was terrifying). So I've been going with the assumption that he was a toddler when she left.

(As to your piece -- it speaks well of you that you're even thinking about it. I'm also having some issues with it, especially in a scene where boys are insulting each other to the point of fisticuffs with what has turned into the equivalent of yo mamma jokes. :P )

Date: 2013-12-29 09:09 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] the-narration.livejournal.com
Gotta be careful with those wikis. ;-)

Okay, so more time has passed and he's older than I thought. So I guess she's been gone, like, 15 years or so. Which is a long time to not come home, so yeah, she's gonna have some explaining to do. Whatever she's been doing had better be pretty important if they're going to forgive her.

(There was a time, no doubt, when a "yo mama" joke would have been a deadly insult that provoked violence, as opposed to the meaningless cliche that they are today. It's all a matter of the attitudes of the society in which the characters live.)

(If anyone complains that it's low brow, just tell them that even Shakespeare did "yo mama" jokes. After all, Shakespeare means class, right? :-P )

Date: 2013-12-26 01:56 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] tsubaki-ny.livejournal.com
(I have no idea what I was trying to say that my phone corrected to "barker's.")

Date: 2013-12-29 08:41 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] the-narration.livejournal.com
Probably "Berker's," what with the island they live on being called "Berk" and all.

Date: 2013-12-24 03:47 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] tsubaki-ny.livejournal.com
I think I might have.been equally infuriated by Trek into Darkness and Hobbit Part Deux. Not sure. Dragons are cooler than Khansicles.

(I'm gonna go back and correct typos in a sec. Using one thumb at present.)

Oh and of course my brain is available for your pickage. Shall I re-PM you my email?)
Edited Date: 2013-12-24 03:50 am (UTC)

Date: 2013-12-24 08:10 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] the-narration.livejournal.com
I've only seen the first Hobbit movie. It was fun, but it felt like it had a lot of padding, between gratuitous action, wacky shenanigans and musical numbers. (But then, I re-read The Two Towers and Return of the King a few months ago for the first time since high school, and I forgot how many times the characters randomly stopped to sing in those.) But compared to STID, with its huge plot holes (Admiral Marcus decides to kill Khan's people by putting them in torpedoes that he's going to give to the Enterprise instead of just vaporizing them, two Starfleet ships have a shoot-out right by the moon and nobody comes out to see what's up, Spock can call old Spock for advice but can't call Starfleet and tell them what's going on, they need Khan's blood to bring Kirk back to life even though they have 72 other people with the same super-genetics handy, Khan's not just a universal donor with people but also tribbles, the procedure after an attack is to gather all the captains and first officers in a room instead of having them on their ships ready to respond) and the way they ripped off dialogue and events from Wrath of Khan without any of the context to give them actual meaning, and without any of the emotional weight.... I would have literally thrown popcorn at the screen, except I didn't want to have to clean butter off my TV.

(Watching Benedict Cumberbatch dual wield a phaser rifle and a huge anti-ship cannon is fun and all, but Star Trek is supposed to be smart action, not mindless action.)

...My friend wanted us to watch it just to see how much nerd-rage I would produce. He was highly entertained by the results.

(I hope that my ranting was coherent. I've been awake about 30 hours by this point, 'cause I had work last night followed by catching a train to visit my folks for Christmas.)

Oh, hey, you finally gave up the AOL. I'll e-mail you.

Date: 2013-12-24 05:10 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] tsubaki-ny.livejournal.com
OH, it just occurred to me that Hiccup's line about dragons and humans becoming enemies again might not be a joke in the long run. (Although the book dragons are sentient.)

I'm not spoiling -- because the series is not over and I don't know -- but the book series seems to be angling towards an explanation as to why dragons no longer exist in our world. There's an element of serious melancholy to them, honestly, considering they are slated for ages 8 to 11.

Fur whfg rssvat xvyyrq bss Fabgybhg in book 12.
Edited Date: 2013-12-24 05:14 am (UTC)

Date: 2013-12-26 12:26 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] shusu.livejournal.com
Tsubaki! It's Shusu. I'm sorry to bother you with craziness in your comment section but... I just found the most amazing Ronin Warriors fic. You've heard of the Yuletide exchange thing?

I swear to God this is Kento fic that should have been written 20 years ago. Yes, Kento. And with Ryo. And it's more sexy than sex. And it's kind of heavy on the soul. I know we never gave the big guy a fair shake, but if Minkland doesn't give this love, I'm afraid no one will. You know Touma is my boy but I cannot sleep from thinking about this fic.

Could you do me ... could you do Kento a solid and pass this on to the Minkers in your address book? All the ML posts these days is spam and Chal's birthday. It's on AO3, but it's dead easy for non-members to post comments.


Two words: Nanjing Massacre.

Date: 2013-12-27 05:00 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] tsubaki-ny.livejournal.com
I'll pass it on. ^____________^

Date: 2013-12-27 05:01 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] tsubaki-ny.livejournal.com
(Oooh, I like Kento's proper name.)

Date: 2013-12-30 06:43 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] tsubaki-ny.livejournal.com
Okay, Jo Mako seems to have beat me to it over on Facebook! I have't gotten a chance to look at the fic properly yet, but I'll brainstorm and see if I can think of anyone she missed. :-)
Edited Date: 2014-01-18 10:44 pm (UTC)



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