Oct. 19th, 2016

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okay, this article is really good and I am all about the analysis of the way nk jemisin uses apocalypse in the fifth season but 

Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings and C.S. Lewis’s Narnia provide the blueprint; a just, magical realm is threatened with destruction by dark, corrupting forces, which must be beaten back by chosen hereditary rulers.

no, no, you’re wrong, because a) the force that defeats sauron is not a chosen hereditary ruler, and b) the really cool thing about tolkien’s cosmology is actually that he does this same thing where he uses apocalypse as both a destructive and creative force, the world has to be broken to be created, arda is created flawed and the promise of arda unmarred is a promise eternally deferred, peace in tolkien is fleeting and tends toward decay, I wrote an entire fucking thesis about this

when did I turn into a person who goes “tolkien’s universe is more morally complex than just ‘good vs. evil, chosen one defeats evil, the end’, fight me” because I’m not sure this is the person I want to be

The funniest part of that quote is that the main purpose and usefulness of lotr’s “chosen hereditary ruler” character is that…well, okay, this is a bit of a dubious rabbit hole, but even though Aragorn is not really a subversion of the destiny-driven heir-in-exile heroic trope, his big difference from other straight-played examples of it is that he knows that he’s really, really, not the protagonist of this particular story (not literally, but, like, functionally? When blocking out the in-universe factors that equate to narrative ones, which are abnormally self-aware here due to how meta LOTR is.) And further, he’s genre-savvy enough to realize that Sauron swears by the inevitability of predictable tropes in other people (because this has actually always worked for him - see: the Rings of Power, 2nd Age; Finrod Felagund, 1st Age) and therefore thinks Aragorn is the protagonist of this particular story.

And so, Aragorn’s main function is to take advantage of this misunderstanding by gathering up all the advantages of his chosen-one-hereditary-ruler-destined-hero-prophecy-fulfiller-ness – both personal (all his know-how and bamf-ery and connections acquired through the improbably cool past granted to him due to his membership in this archetype) and narrative (all the military resources and personal authority that are currently at his disposal due to plot events he was allowed to handle due to his membership in this archetype) – bundling it into a giant ball, and fastballing it at Sauron in the style of some kind of “Dark Lord vs Chosen One: which one can overwhelm the other one through superior might?” climactic battle as convincingly and distractingly as he can (not really expecting, but hoping, they will be of some help to Frodo and that Frodo will somehow save everyone). Which eggs on Sauron’s mistaken belief that he’s in a completely different story from the one LOTR actually is, thereby emptying Mordor of soldiers, focusing all the attention on the army outside the gate, and giving Frodo and Sam a clear path to Mount Doom. Weaponized protagonist-vibes used in the role of a supporting character, in order to serve the actual protagonist.

(yeah, ofc, big oversimplification of that B-plot’s many, many secondary meanings for the bigger scheme of things, but I mean, this is its primary meaning for the A-plot that everything else hangs on bc everything else is a lost cause otherwise.)

By “funniest” I mean…funny how so much lotr-inspired sci fi and fantasy tends to ape at face value the bullshit explanation of the plot that Aragorn fed Sauron/allowed Sauron to believe: “Yeah man, I’m totally the protagonist!! I mean, I’m the chosen one, and the heir of the guy who defeated you the first time, and everything, how could I not be the protagonist, and this attack is totally that big damn good vs evil battle that happens at the end of all the stories that’s against-all-odds for the dramatic tension, but which I expect to magically win due to being a protagonist, pay no attention to the hobbit behind the curtain, hahahahaha, hey, over here, keep your eyes on me, uh, remember this sword? Elendil!! Elendil!!”
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Tbh because there’s no good reason not to.

All the blood status in the hp universe is a metaphor for racism but you know what’s boring? Metaphors for racism that only involve white people. Harry is often described as “dark” and like if James Potter’s family was desi and Lily Evans’s was white, that would enhance Harry’s feelings of otherness while growing up with the Dursleys because lbr Vernon was probs a flaming racist.

“Potter” could easily be an anglicized version of a south Asian last name like Potdar or Potluri, and you could make an argument for a pure blood family like the Potters engaging in and profiting from cultural exchange through the British colonization of India so there was an opportunity to establish generational wealth there.

Also on the night he died, James was making pretty-colored lights for Harry. That was October 31st. In 1981, Diwali, the Hindu Festival of Lights, started on October 27th. It lasts five days.


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