okay actually. now i’m thinking again about how my chemical romance released the most anti-trend single possible. the foundations of decay is 6 minutes. dropped without warning. the reverb covers up the lyrics. when you can hear the words they’re very grim. the lyrics online are still unconfirmed. a gritty breakdown. rattling distortion. self-contained meta. there are no tiktokable sound bytes. etc.
i think this does actually show such a dynamic shift for them. bc while they were counterculture and complicated pre-breakup, they were also mtv mainstays. trl guests. late night show performers. they were very much proponents of pop culture. and engulfed in the viability and popularity of hottopiccore at the time.
now for them to come back and flagrantly ignore what is popular and in fact, express outward disdain for it. it’s very open criticism. that few artists of their legend, stature, time, and genre, have willed to do.
Hey guys, Dream mentioned on his friends’ podcast that the Dream SMP would be back soon!
And to ensure it doesn’t die from inactivity, apparently there will be activity requirements. So, this would mean some minimum amount each streamer would have to stream. Perhaps like once a week at minimum but I guess we’ll see.
I would assume this rule would hold true for the core members who are playing on it and want to be involved in the plot. If you’re gonna be a regular, you have to be on it regularly basically. This would be in contrast with those less interested presently. For instance, I imagine once Wilbur’s arc is finished, which should be in one stream, he won’t be a regular though perhaps he might still be allowed on for an irregular stream? There may be several others like this.
Dream’s also definitely spoke with many members and they’ve come up with some interesting plans and such so it shouldn’t be boring streams, at least for the first few weeks. I know Tommy and Tubbo have both expressed excitement and likely many others have as well. Earlier Dream noted it would not be a reset but it might still be something similar so expect a fresh start in many ways.
Could this be the start of an organised Dream SMP? I guess we’ll have to wait and see!
thinking about little rayla in bloodmoon huntress asking lain and tiadrin “why do you both have to go” and her parents responding that they’re stronger together, that they need each other so they can come home to her as soon as possible... and then they didn’t, and she learns that they died together, and neither came back to her at all, amplified by ethari living because runaan left him at home, and then her own decision at the end of through the moon and it’s like - i always new, but fuck man, it hurts
finn wolfhard and why he himself is proof of byler (why his interview answers are like that)
i’m sure you’ve heard that finn can’t play a straight character, so it would essentially just make sense for mike being queer, endgame proved. obvi 🙄 (joke) (but rlly funny cuz the streak must go on)
anyway, finn wolfhard has been in the industry for years, and one of the things that separates him from other actors is his love for the entire filmmaking process. he’s so involved in all the projects that he works on, and it’s great to see a person so passionate about something, and also be able to deliver on it. this is one of the main reasons why i believe that finn 100% knows the ending of stranger things, at least pertaining to mike wheeler, and has been in the know now for a while (i’m talking end of s3 so since 2019). this ending reveal would be important for him to know for his character, because it explains why mike is acting this/that way. i mean, think about it, if we are all right about mike’s queer coding, finn has to have known the motivations behind his character while acting. if there’s one thing that finn can do, it’s keep a secret for the sake of the storyline and he’s doing a fantastic job.
during s3 press, he got asked tons of questions pertaining to melvin, which is a given, considering they just reunited in s2 and fans are excited to see what they’re like as a couple. viewers go onto watch the show and they take notice of a definitive shift in mike’s behavior. at his worst, mike is rude, hurtful, and obsessive. fans are starting to hate mike (lol just wait til s4). in summary, finn’s character gets reduced to being el’s boyfriend who is a bad friend. but we know the ending of s3, and what finn most likely had to have found out in order to portray mike in that way. there’s more to it!
s4 press and his interesting answers (the proof)
- at the premiere, he was asked what’s in store for milkvan. he goes onto say that they’re both discovering things about themselves.
- in the well-know hair chair, finn gets posed the question ‘what’s going on with mike this season?’. he replies saying that mike’s trying to “keep on a normal path” and be as “normal as possible”
- upon getting asked a byler question, specifically about what would happen if mike were to know about will’s feelings, finn wolfhard stated that he thinks there would probably be a mutual understanding and acceptance
- in the post-volume 2 cast interview, the interviewer wanted to know finn’s perspective on where he thinks mike and el’s storyline is going. he responds with basically “i’m excited for the ending of the show and to see which characters leave hawkins (smalltown boy theory) and stay. as for mike and el, it’s hard to tell, but i just hope they both find happiness”
- in a lot of the press, he emphasizes on how good the ending is that the duffers wrote (keeping in mind that the duffers stated it would be controversial)
all answers hint towards what we suspect: milkvan bones, byler endgame - with no explicit statements, yet he’s really just laying it all out.
to tie this into his upcoming panel (yay!), he doesn’t do this often, and he could very well never come back to do it again, so please try remaining respectful in the questions you ask. he is not going to spoil, so don’t try getting him to do that. is he secretly a huge byler super fan? no, he doesn’t get like that with ships, especially of his own, but something he truly appreciates is good writing, so of course he’s going to be on board with it and care about it if it’s going to be given the proper story and wrap-up!
I know I won’t shut up about this but,
Please for the love of frick stop downplaying what Izzy’s done to Ed. Stop acting like Ed’s some unhinged abusive monster for the toe thing while trivializing Izzy’s bad choices in the same breath. Everyday I get less and less tolerant of people acting like Ed overreacted and Izzy did absolutely nothing to justify what happened to him in episode 10.
Let me just spell something out for a second. Ed had to stand there, with seconds to spare, desperately thinking of a way to save someone he loves before he dies in front of him. You want to look at me and say doing that to a person doesn’t matter? That the cosmically horrifying thought of “they’re gonna die, they’re gonna die, IF I DON’T DO SOMETHING THEY’LL BE A CORPSE-” screaming in your head isn’t an act of violence? I am literally begging some of you to understand that this isn’t some outlandish scenario no one can ever relate to or understand. There are people who know this fear. It can be a lot when there’s tons of people insinuating it isn’t as big of a deal as it actually is.
Izzy directly put them in this situation, and it’s not the first time he’s tried to kill Stede. It’s not just that either, he’s standing there wasting those precious seconds yapping bullshit trying to justify why Ed should just let himself be hurt in this way. Later on he’s completely unsympathetic of Ed’s grief, and belittles him for the selfish desire of wanting Ed to stay the person he knew. Even if this comes from a place of emotional immaturity, it’s still incredibly cruel.
Besides “Ed’s becoming a different person so Izzy has the right to be upset” does not track. It doesn’t matter if Ed wasn’t always like this, he grew and changed. That is a thing you can do. Izzy can be upset but Ed was not responsible or deserving of punishment for those feelings.
I think the reason people see these things as lesser than the choking or toe incident is because of the subconscious tendency we have to deemphasize emotional abuse. The pain Ed caused Izzy was not worse or “disproportionate” to what Izzy caused Ed just because it was physical. These are traumatic experiences and terrible ways to treat people, and I’m tired of fans trivializing them because Ed’s retaliation was flashier.
Credit to this post by @enderwalking and some Discord convos with @thequackcity for getting me thinking about this topic again (please let me know if you'd rather not be tagged)
Okay so my short answer to the disc duo "obsession" question is that a good chunk of it is a silly semantic debate. They obviously have a toxic and abusive dynamic, and they're obviously crucial to each other's narratives. Whether or not the word "obsessed" is appropriate is a minor quibble, imo.
My longer answer to this question requires me to analyze why their relationship is the way it is. What I'm going to say here hinges on my interpretation of both characters as being fundamentally afraid of change and instability. Which for c!Tommy manifests as needing someone to follow, look up to, and idealize (even as he chafes against authority he thinks is flawed), and for c!Dream manifests as needing control over his environment.
On c!Tommy's end, it's not exactly fair to call it an "obsession" if his fear of c!Dream is repeatedly justified by experience. After all, this is the person who nearly drove him to suicide, who blew up his home multiple times, who killed him and revived him and gleefully promised to do so over and over again. But his feelings are very complicated, because the man who ruined his life was his friend once, too. Think about the repetition of his exile, the cycle of creating and watching those creations destroyed, and how c!Tommy latched onto the routine even as he spiraled into depression. These events happening in the aftermath of losing c!Wilbur only support his craving for a steady friend. Even after he snapped himself out of that rut, he keeps coming back to the person who abused him, both physically and in spirit. He can't fully rest as long as c!Dream is alive, and who knows if even his death will give him peace. In that way, it's an incredibly lopsided bond; c!Dream's very continued existence gives him power over c!Tommy, whereas c!Tommy can't directly influence c!Dream as strongly or consciously.
On c!Dream's end, the "obsession" with c!Tommy is sometimes misunderstood as a monomaniacal fixation, when his goals are clearly a lot broader, all wrapped up in his quest for peace and unity (whatever that entails...) on the SMP. And I think that's where a lot of miscommunication between the two sides of this argument happens. c!Dream isn't singularly focused on making c!Tommy's life hell, or on possessing him in the most literal way we might think of it. Nor do I think his controlling and ruthless personality is exclusive to just one person or situation.
But c!Tommy does take up a disproportionate place in c!Dream's mind. The kid is an easy symbolic scapegoat for the server straying from the original ideal, given that the Disc Wars were some of the first big conflicts on the server, that he was one of the founding members and arguably the "muse" of L'Manberg, and that he has a (somewhat earned) reputation as a troublemaking gremlin. However, I think c!Dream finds c!Tommy's presence a strange comfort as much as his mischief is an annoyance. Especially as time passed and the number and scale of the wars increased, c!Tommy became a convenient "stress toy" due to his emotional transparency and, later on, the conditioning from months of history. c!Tommy is uniquely frustrating to him, but that also makes him uniquely satisfying to put down; if c!Dream wants to feel powerful, scary, and competent, he can count on c!Tommy's reactions to give him that boost. It's a combination of practical motivations (intimidating the server members into responding in ways that suit his plans, starting with the one who fears him the most) and more emotional ones (feeling control over something or someone in a world that rapidly escaped his ability to cope with its transformation) that make c!Tommy the perfect victim.
And yes, there is once again an uncomfortable awareness that they were buddies once, if vitriolic ones, and that they've remained constants in each other's lives even as they've become bitter nemeses. That combination of chaos and consistency keeps them so horribly entangled, and both of their emotions are so much more complicated than simple hatred.
As a final note, I like the interpretation of c!Dream seeing c!Tommy as a wayward little brother figure that he needs to "correct" by any means necessary and also has fun tormenting, much like one would pretend to be a big scary monster or put a spider in their sibling's hair to make them cry after being irritated one too many times. (This twisted familial dynamic also opens the door for a lot of thematic parallels with c!Wilbur, a more explicit brother figure, though his dynamic with c!Tommy is hardly healthy, either.) But I also think the idea that c!Dream opportunistically ruined the life of a teenager who once admired him and rarely gives a second thought to the harm he caused because he's so obsessed with a "united server" that never truly existed - thus making c!Tommy's devastating trauma mere collateral damage - is very terrifying and tragic in its own way. They're both compelling frameworks to play around with, and I don't think either one is entirely right or wrong.
Anyway, those are my thoughts. I'll leave it to more prominent discduo enjoyers to add on or correct details, but for now I'm leaving it here
Travis is a Complex Character
The people arguing over whether or not Travis is a good guy are missing the point to his character. He’s not good nor bad. Travis is complex.
He obviously shows emotions of regret and sorrow when locking max and Laura up, but doesn’t do anything to comfort them either( tho some could argue that he doesn’t want to show emotion because he mentally think’s it makes him look weak) and you can’t blame Laura for knocking him out/shooting him. It’s his fault that he made them fear him by not telling them everything.
One of the greatest examples of his complexity is his dynamic with Laura. Depending on your choices, you can either make Travis Laura’s enemy or “partner” by the end of the game.
Travis see’s Laura as an “escape” because:
1. He respects her determination to protect Max(something she and him have in common because Travis has done some morally questionable things to protect his family)
2. He’s senses that she’s a fighter and not afraid to shed blood(which might be a reason why he kept her in a cage despite Max being the Werewolf.)
Hell, another sign of his respect is in this clip: https://youtu.be/2Wyy78bnpZ8
So overall, I think he see’s himself in Laura.
And you feel bad for him.
Travis obviously has mental issues. He has shown to be deranged and cold blooded in alternate scenes, but Ted’s acting shows that Travis hasn’t gotten the right help and is in need of some therapy. His mother is abusive towards him, seeing a man in his 50′s being told what to do still is honestly pathetic.
At that moment, he deserved better.
Does this defend some of his actions? No. But it does give him some excuses as to why he did the things he did.
Oh and, to the people saying:
“ wHy aRe pEoPle sIMpInG fOr hIm hE’s oLd aNd a bAd gUy.”
Really?? So what if he is?? Everyday I see people simping for the teenage camp counselors and no one bats an eye. But then when Travis is sexualized you all lose your minds. Perfect common sense.
If you guys wanna think like that then I don’t want to see another post about someone simping for Silco or Loki ever again.
They’re EXTRA old and have done worse shit.
what if I killed someone.
[ID: a screenshot from the website genius lyrics, showing lyrics to “Jason’s Bar Mitzvah” from Falsettos. The word “photo” is highlighted, and the annotation below it reads,
“In the PBS recording, Whizzer says “No!” at the prospect of taking a photo, and looks uncomfortable doing so, and this is a really heartbreaking moment because he doesn’t want to be remembered this way – sick and dying – or to have his appearance at that point captured in a photo, which is understandable for anyone in that situation, but especially for him since he has clearly established that he values appearance. At the same time, this is one of his last moments alive, since he dies at the end of the song, and so this is the absolute last possible photo they can have of him while he’s alive.
The recording also shows Jason saying “cheese” awkwardly throughout the taking of the photo, which reminds us that, however mature or smart Jason is, he is still a kid, watching someone he cares about die, unsure of how to handle the situation or the feelings it evokes.” /end]
If you think about it, the three Dreamers (as well as their Closest Persons) has their own theme going on.
Lurien (and his Butler) with Devotion.
Herrah (and Hornet) with Choice.
And Monomon (and Quirrel) with Change.
With all of them (as well as the Hollow Knight) being burdened by Duty.
Lurien's is pretty self-explanatory in and of itself so I'll ramble about Herrah and Monomon for now. (sorry my short Watcher king. There's just not enough content on you for me to ramble about)
Also, this ramble of mine will definitely be a mess so... be warned.
The reason I think Herrah's theme here is with Choice is because she's the only one of the Dreamers who didn't exactly have a side if the Seals should be broken or kept and instead allowed the Knight to choose for themself. However, it's not that simple. Because unlike the two Dreamers who held onto their beliefs with conviction, Herrah seems to be just.... tired. Exhausted.
The reason why Herrah didn't choose a side is because she was just exhausted from everything, atleast from what we see with her dialogue during the first time the Dreamers appear before the Knight.
>"Let us sleep, little shadow. Return to your darkness. Allow us our peace"
(This is probably Herrah speaking or atleast the first line of it because she's not talking about the Seals, as well as the fact she calls the Knight "little shadow" which is also the same nickname Hornet uses, giving us a small nudge that these two are connected.)
The thing is, in this line Herrah isn't exactly giving us a choice per say. She just allows us to do what we please, not giving us an option we can possibly take. She just says "Allow us our peace" which is ambiguous by itself. So this brings me to my next point, Herrah's theme is Choice because she wasn't Given A Choice.
The reason why Herrah chose to Dream in the first place is because she didn't have a choice. She was in a tight position. Even if she refused the King's offer, her people would've succumbed to the Infection either way. So dreaming really was the only choice at the time to be able to stop the Infection and allow her people to continue striving. This is not to say she is a weak person, in fact she's the complete opposite of a weak person if she was given the title of Herrah the Beast.
Which brings us to Hornet. Herrah chose to dream for Hornet because she loves her. And so now, the choice to what happens to Hallownest lies with her. And in Silksong, possibly Pharloom as well. And she did make a choice of her own, unlike her mother that was forced to choosing one.
Monomon on the other hand is Change. This is even more apparent with Monomon's dreamnail dialogue as well as the fact that she's willing to risk the Infection leaking out without the protection of the Seals in order to bring change and a new age to Hallownest's corpse.
(Breaking the Seals and burdening the Knight with the responsibility of stopping the Infection by finding another way to do it is a risky move after all when none of them are even sure if the Knight can even achieve such a feat. It's not surprising why Lurien would be so against it if it's so risky. He was just being logical and cautious in his own way besides his Devotion to the Pale King. She even acknowledges this in her cut dreamnail dialogue)
Hell, in her cut dreamnail dialogue she even says that "To live forever in an unchanging world... Death, I would fear less"
Similarly to Hornet (especially after the Knight starts going for the Dream No More ending), Monomon wants Hallownest to rest in peace.
And she thinks breaking the Seals is the only way to do this by destroying the everlasting stasis. By allowing change to affect Hallownest's corpse once again.
Sometimes a small sacrifice must be made to give change and a new beginning. Despite how bittersweet it may be.
And now that brings us to Quirrel!! Not only has he changed ever since he took on Monomon's mask and travelled far beyond Hallownest, but after being unburdened of his duty upon release of Monomon's mask, he apparently disappears leaving his nail behind.
Even with the knowledge that Monomon and Quirrel's theme is change, it's still ambiguous whether or not that means he died or left. After all, Monomon (as well as the other Dreamers, and the Knight. And in the worse case scenario, those that remain in Hallownest) died in order for this change to happen
Quirrel's life isn't completely needed to bring change and a new beginning in Hallownest. So maybe, like Hornet who can and will make a choice of her own, Quirrel can have his own change and new beginning in life as well.
If you think about, in a weird sense I suppose the Dreamers' Closest Persons drive home of these themes even further. Whether for the better or for the worse. (Sorry Lurien's Butler, but you do technically do show the worse of the theme Devotion. It's sweet you still watch over Lurien but also unfortunate that it took your life in the process as well)
It also makes alot of sense as to why, out of all the Dreamers' Closest Persons, we only get to see Hornet and Quirrel in game in the Knight's adventure. Because the Knight's journey is about Choice and Change. Not Devotion.
It's why The Hollow Knight ending is the most disappointing ending of all because the Knight going with their existence's devotion to the Pale King isn't what their journey was about. It's not about embracing the very thing that caused their painful existence, it's about making a choice of your own (sometimes even literally) to bring a better change to the worse present.
The reason why Hornet and Quirrel is a big part of the Knight's journey is because they embody it.
Anyways, thanks for coming to my TedTalk.
theory: is perfect lyctorhood possible?
spoilers through nona the ninth chapter 1 (including prologue), following the theory that nona is alecto
[I HAVE NOT READ NONA THE NINTH, THESE ARE JUST MY THEORIES.]
the more i think about it the more i start to believe that "perfect lyctorhood" with both souls and both bodies intact isn't actually possible. it's a beloved theory in the fandom, especially because it creates a convenient ending for gideon and harrow to both survive. however, from the nona prologue and first few chapters (i have not read the book) the more i'm starting to think that uh. maybe there is no "good" or "ideal" version of lyctorhood. specifically: maybe there is no version of lyctorhood without consequence.
the main reason for this is alecto, in her entirety. something just... isn't quite right about her. mercy and augustine said so themselves, and assuming harrow's hallucinations of the body were in fact visitations of some sort, her behavior towards harrow would also count as strange. i used to be of the theory that perhaps alecto was some kind of vengeful spirit living on earth that john just met somehow, but since the nona prologue i've begun to consider a different possibility. what if alecto was just... some girl. just a normal college student, just a human like everybody else—at least until her lyctorhood with john.
let's look at the normal lyctorhood process. it's a one-way street, with one soul (the cavalier's) being burned as power to fortify and augment another soul (the necromancer's) and the body that soul is inhabiting. only one soul is "in use" or conscious, and its the necromancer's. in a "perfect lyctorhood" situation however, both souls are simultaneously being used as fuel to power and augment another soul and consciously inhabiting a body. it's a two-way street, but the fuel is still being used up. each soul is being drained to power the other soul. wouldn't they both be dead eventually, or powerless, or at least very weak? this line of logic is similar to the law of conservation of energy, that energy cannot be created nor destroyed, or "you can't have something coming from nothing." additionally, this thought also comes from the manga fullmetal alchemist's principle of equivalent exchange, that something of equal value must be traded in for something desired.
after the avulsion trial in gtn, camilla says that palamedes didn't believe the trial could work without giving the cavalier some form of brain damage. the lyctorhood process is extremely taxing on a cavalier, possibly even in a "perfect" lyctorhood. alecto, from what we've seen, has some symptoms consistent with that of a traumatic brain injury, most notably amnesia, irritability, aggression, and confusion. was alecto's brain injury (or soul injury, as that might make more sense in the context of tlt's magic system) collateral from her and john's "perfect" lyctorhood? john received immortality and unlimited necromantic power, but only by damaging alecto's soul.
it could be that there was no way for the cavaliers to live after lyctorhood without some kind of major injury to their souls, and that this is the motivation for why john claimed that "perfect lyctorhood" was impossible (even though it seemed possible to cytherea, mercy, and augustine). this could be the same reason why john had samael killed, to prevent what happened to alecto (everybody becoming afraid of her, and having to eventually "put her down" and entomb her because of it) from happening to him.
the series is undeniably about the relationship between harrowhark and gideon, but it is also, almost equally, about the ethics and morality of the invented process of "lyctorhood" itself. from characters' comments in gtn (most notably silas's "i understand fallibility" and "we have debased ourselves" and palamedes's "my conscience doesn’t permit me to help anyone do what we have all embarked upon"), to the existence of the resurrection beasts and the discussion of lyctorhood as a sinful act in htn, it is clear that this is the thematic moral and ethical question of the locked tomb, eventually circling back to the relationship between gideon and harrow once again. if it had been anyone other than gideon, would harrow have lobotomised herself? would she have rejected lyctorhood anyway, or was it her love for gideon that, to quote tamsyn directly, "redeemed" her from the sin of consuming another soul? gideon's lyctoral devotion to harrow has been described as a corruption arc. the text is clearly leaning into the viewpoint that lyctorhood isn't ethical or moral, and perhaps tazmuir is going to include "perfect lyctorhood" in with that to explain the story of john and alecto. in this theory, there is no version of lyctorhood that comes without consequence, so lyctorhood, and by extension the empire (as lyctorhood is a crucial tool of imperialism for the nine houses), must be abolished.
i'm prepared for all of this to be proven wrong in a month so lol
So 99% of the time I'm happy to keep my distance from Dracula Daily posts I disagree with or memes I find annoying, but there's something I want to speak up about here because it's a case where I think shipping & meme lenses are genuinely impeding people's ability to understand the story.
Specifically: In today's entry, Jonathan describes how "Last night the Count asked me in the suavest tones" to write three post-dated letters saying he’s fine and on his way home. Which Jonathan correctly understands as Dracula covering his tracks so it'll take longer for people to realize if Jonathan doesn't make it home.
The thing is, I've seen probably dozens of posts commenting on Jonathan using the word "suave", and it's always from a shippy lens. "Ooh, ~in his suavest tones~ huh", "Jonathan worrying he's about to die but still noticing Dracula's suave tones", etc. etc.
And I get it! Jonathan/Dracula shipping is obviously very big right now, and there are places in Dracula where the homoerotic subtext is very real. I'm not here to say that looking at Dracula through a queer lens, or the lens of whatever your preferred ship is, is incorrect.
But this is a case where I think looking at the story only through that lens is keeping people from picking up on the actual implications here. The point of specifying that Dracula said this "in his suavest tones" isn’t that Jonathan thinks he has a sexy voice. I mean, maybe Jonathan does think that! Who can say. But that's not what matters here, what's significant to the scene.
The significance of Dracula saying this "in his suavest tones" is that he's still putting on the act of the charming, gentlemanly host, even now that he's long past any possibility of Jonathan actually believing it. Not only that, but as his actions become more and more blatantly threatening - he's literally forcing Jonathan to help pre-emptively cover up his own murder - he's actually turning up the act, laying it on thicker than ever. Not just asking smoothly but in his suavest tones. There's something so deeply cruel and mocking and infuriating about that, like he's daring Jonathan to call him out on the act and face the consequences.
You get that sense of Jonathan's fear and anger and frustration all throughout this entry. He knows Dracula's a liar and he knows what he's being forced into, but he feels helpless to do anything about it right now. And I think those feelings are very much there when he bothers to note Dracula's ~suavest tones~, too. It's not Ooh, he has a sexy voice, it's How dare you smile politely while you torture me?
I really think reading Dracula’s scenes in chronological order is improving the experience for the average modern reader. Because the novel is clearly originally written to have a significant mystery of “wtf is this guy’s deal”, the answer being, horrifyingly!, “a vampire.” But the average modern reader knows that! What we don’t know, however, is how that’s revealed, just how horrifying it is or…anything Dracula or any of the other characters do, essentially, because few of us have actually read the famous book before, nor even watched any movie remakes. Why would we need to—we all know Dracula is a vampire!
But telling the story in meticulously chronological bits like this shifts the focus from what and why (he’s a vampire; because he’s a vampire) to how and, perhaps most tension-building of all, when. The erratic updates really help with when—when we know so many answers, even the innocuous ones are exciting when they’re answered, and it’s impossible to predict when that’ll be when we know the book is all jumbled from the original. Every update, every day without an update becomes the scene in a horror movie where you know the killer is going to jump out at some point in this hallway but- there?! No, that’s a rat, that’s Jonathan saying “no particular update.” OH SHIT, THERE’S THE WALL-CRAWLING/VAMPIRE BRIDES/COFFIN-SLEEPING/ETC!
The how is mostly a question of, how bad is this gonna get? After all, we know roughly how they’ll kill him—stake, sunlight, maybe beheading, etc. But which of our increasingly beloved heroes will he hurt in the meantime—sweet Lucy? surprisingly adaptive Jonathan? The current non-flashback of the Demeter’s voyage is a perfect example: in the original text, it come toward the end, Mina finds the news clippings when trying to figure out (I assume) wtf Dracula is, how dangerous he is, and how to stop him. We the modern reader know all that! And it’d be harder to feel tension or emotion over deaths that we know have already happened within the novel’s timeline! But when presented in “real time”, the captain’s logs are great dramatic tension—the reader knows Dracula is in one of those crates of dirt instantly. How many sailors will he pick off before they reach England? When will they finally be safe? Meanwhile, there all already unsettlements at home: Lucy has started sleepwalking, Arthur’s father is badly ill, Renfield is…Renfield. And we haven’t heard anything of Jonathan since June 30, his last message being, “Good-bye, all! Mina!” as he attempts one last escape…
It’s superb. I’m so delighted by the cleverness of this Dracula delivery system.
As hilarious as all the “how oblivious ARE you?” jokes about Stede are, I think we’re missing the big picture. This isn’t about obliviousness, it’s about trauma.
Stede isn’t ignorant of the fact he’s in love with Ed. he’s been abused his whole life for his queerness and is having trouble conceptualizing that he’s allowed to be.
Notice how Stede immediately has the instinct to walk back his comment of Ed being “lovely”? This is the same man who didn’t even pick up that his very obviously mutinous crew was planning a mutiny, that shit was learned behavior. He’s speaking as a little boy who was tied to a boat and stoned for picking flowers, and as someone who was told mere days ago a man falling in love with him was “defiling a beautiful thing.”
Homophobia/ heteronormativity is alive and well in this world and Stede, being forced to live in the conservative circles he does, would’ve absolutely been painfully aware of it. The fact that he feels the need to ask a woman what it’s like to be in love with a man speaks volumes after he’s already been happily kissed by one and has roleplayed being married to him when lonely. He’s not just casually making conversation then has a eureka moment when he happens to notice the description applies to him and Ed too, he asked specifically to compare them.
It’s him testing the waters and thinking that maybe “they” were wrong. Maybe he’s not broken or pathetic, maybe he never deserved to be treated as such. Maybe he didn’t “seduce” Edward, or “ruin” him, or “defile” him. And maybe his feelings for Ed are just as loving and romantic as Mary’s feelings are for her boyfriend.
It’s such a beautiful moment when he slowly smiles, let’s out that little breath like a sigh of relief, and tells his wife of an arranged marriage with nothing less than wonder in his voice that what he’s found at sea is in fact love. Fuck, it gets me every time.
There’s an absolutely gorgeous through line of queer liberation in Stede’s half of episode 10 after this scene. How he refers to Ed as his “newfound love”, confidently says they’ll “all be great”. He smears the blood on his face himself, breaks his own flowers, all to reach someone who sees him as perfect and beloved exactly as he is. What a fitting ending to his days of crying himself to sleep because he cannot be what everyone’s failed to beat him into.
"I want people to do the right thing, but I don't want to control people" is perhaps the most revealing thing c!Dream has ever said about his goals and beliefs, but to me, the way he phrases it is as frightening as it is hilarious.
I think that's the core of what makes c!Dream such a human character and a loathsome one at the same time. Because we haven't all destroyed countries, performed human experimentation, or bullied someone younger and weaker than ourself into suicide. But plenty of us - enough of us - have looked at the discord in the world, seen conflict and chaos and watched friendships drift apart, and thought, "wouldn't this be so much easier if everyone just did what I believe is right? If I could just... make them believe what I do?"
That's not tyranny, though. It's just a thought. Just a fleeting, sickeningly-sweet, wild, unachievable thought. Besides, ruling all of humanity would be so exhausting.
And c!Dream isn't a tyrant, either. He's just... a teacher. With harsh methods, even evil ones, whatever that means. But hey, results are results, right?
god my favorite part of knitting/crocheting/etc is watching string become fabric. crumpling it in my hands. this fabric would've never existed had I not willed it into being. it isn't fabric, it's time made physical. made material. isn't that the high of crafting? you mold time between your hands and put it into other people's hands. my least favorite part is when my cat tries to cram the whole yarn ball into his mouth