Ok but I just wanna say Joseph Quinn's acting here... I feel like I can literally see Eddie's nervousness at interacting with steve. How he messes with his hands and keeps glancing over to gauge steves reactions.
You can literally see his character THINKING and contemplating about getting into Steve's face before he commits to it
And I just love that we see him just give a satisfied full blown smile at making steve get nervous, like he got the reaction he wanted to. Like...? This is what's happening in this scene and people still dont think eddie had some kind of a crush on steve?
i think the way hermitcraft formats storylines works functionally better than the way the dsmp does it.
the way wilbur was talking about it when he was the main writer is similar to how hermitcraft runs in that u need to give ppl causes to fight for or like a big world changing issue and then ppl try to tackle it in different ways is just, format wise, the easiest way to collectively tell stories and also easy and interesting to consume.
and it works bc everyone's doing something different, so if u wanna get the whole story u should really watch multiple perspectives, but u dont have to bc everyone's individual storylines are all unified by the Thing thats happening and they're complete on their own.
whereas if you look at the dsmp now, it's just individual characters telling their own stories that can and do contradict each other, and there's no single Unifying Server Wide event.
like the closest thing recently was the egg plot and ppl got to pick sides and play that out and that worked
but with like las nevadas unless u have specifically coordinated with quackity theres like nothing interesting you can really Do or anything to really work with that isn't just entirely separate.
with hermitcraft like "oh no! the shopping district's getting taken over by mycelium! what is my character gonna do about it!" and then you go from there Works on an individual character level and it works on a content level because the story is structured around how individuals react to the big events that are happening, so people tune into the characters and creators they care about.
with the dsmp uve got "hmm everyone split off to make their own countries bc the one big country's gone now what does my character do now and why is it not just live happy and content in my new country that has nothing happening in it." and it's kind of stagnant. there are obviously people who wanna watch the 10th grinding or building stream and there is value in that but it doesn't really move the overall story forward.
i think at its core, the dsmp needs a dm bc it just feels disorganized and from what ive heard from content creators talking about lore and trying to plan it it just is disorganized. unless things change massively or someone steps up snd goes Im Dming Now Organize Your Plots With Me its gonna stay that way and the dsmp will keep kind of fizzling into relative obscurity
like hermitcraft's gotta good thing going with like total resets every now and then once plot points have wrapped up and ppl are ready to move on, but i think the dsmp is to tied to its own history to dare to pull a complete reset.
anyway thats my backburner essay for today. please forward your comments, complaints, and declarations of war to my inbox or the notes
One thing I think a lot of people are missing is that c!Tommy having attention drawn to him whenever Revivebur needs to apologize is meant to highlight the way Revivebur still needs to grow, but not in the way they think.
His avoidance is not malicious, it is selfish.
He currently is at a place where he has to work up to that apology, because apologizing to c!Tommy requires him to address every way he’s wronged him and that is going to hurt him. And when I say him I don’t mean c!Tommy.
It has been made clear that c!Tommy is the person that Revivebur cares about the most in the entire server, and he’s going to get his apology eventually, but Revivebur needs the time and the healing to be able to look c!Tommy, his brother, in the eyes and recognize every way he’s hurt him without falling to pieces again.
That resolution, that ending to c!Wilbur’s story, is going to require that he heals, and that he faces and accepts every other wrong he’s made prior, because that apology looks like it’s gearing up to be the end of c!Wilbur’s story.
Guys, don't worry, there's absolutely no way Bakugo is permadead right now.
FIrst of all, there is so much set up for Bakugo's character still revolving around Deku that there is no way Hori will not pay off. Deku saving Bakugo with his own two hands, the hand hold itself, them finally working through their issues, Deku not putting Bakugo on a pedestal anymore, the fact that they are both considered All Might's successors and therefore will have to work together in order to do what All Might couldn't and take out AFO. We all thought Hori gave up on the traitor plot line only for him to hit it at the perfect time and also unveil all the set up that he had actually put into it that we never noticed, so there's no way he would drop the ball on something this important. Hell, his original ending was reincorporated into the second movie, and that used the same ideas that I'm discussing now. Hori is actually thinking about this.
Second, you really think Hori is gonna make Bakugo go out in the most unsatisfying way possible? He didn't land a single hit on AFO that mattered, despite being half of the new Symbol of Peace (and not to mention Deku's Symbol of Victory). He died away from all his friends, without a tearful goodbye to anyone. Deku wasn't even there to see it or see him "off". There are manga that can get away with stuff like this for permadead characters, but MHA is not one of them. Important characters get send offs in shonen manga. These comics are for children, and I'm pretty sure JUMP would not sign off on killing the most popular character in the manga without a bit of fanfare (the most popular six years in a row, lets not forget). If Sir Nighteye got a heartfelt goodbye, then Bakugo motherfucking Katsuki is gonna get the saddest, tear jerking goodbye ever, and that's only after he does something that severely handicaps AFO or helps save Shiggy in some way (cause he needed to learn to save people).
Third, Hori said at the beginning of this year that Bakugo fans and haters would be happy with what happened to his character this year. Bakugo haters? Yes, absolutely fed. Bakugo's ultimate attacks have been meaningless and foiled at every turn, he didn't get his Quirk Awakening (just his Cluster ability, which also did nothing), and AFO has been beating the shit out of him for four chapters. He just went out like a chump without making a scratch on our main villain, and his last thoughts were some Avengers shit about getting a trading card signed??? This is rock bottom, no question.
But as for Bakugo fans...what have we actually gotten so far this year? He and Deku has barely spoken, he's not been all that relevant to the arcs that have been happening (except the Miruko fight), and he's seemingly dead without Deku even being there to see it. Literally anything a Bakugo fan would want has not happened, and I don't see why Hori would change his mind about something like that.
So one of two things is happening here: Either Hori is so fed up with MHA that he is just in complete "raze this shit to the ground" mode like the GoT showrunners, or he's actually smart and is doing this because he knows it will create interest for what's going to happen going forward. I'm willing to make a sizeable bet that its the latter.
Elsewhere and elsewhen is by far one of the most fascinating eps of toh for me because of how much the three protags of this ep affected the wold of the boiling isles: belos, luz and lilith (but lets only focus on that last one)
Belos was the one that created the whole imperialist system of the isles
Luz was the one responsible to show philip the light glyph and making him find the collector and this culminated in the existence of the current magic system and the day of unity
And lilith is the one that affected the world the most in my opinion. She was the one that created the whole religion of the boiling isles: the worship towards the titan
Ok ok let me explain!
Philip is not a reliable narrator AT ALL. We are aware of this. He can manipulate others really easily and most importantly
He can improvise really well.
Belos is aware that there is no religion in the boiling isles. He's been living there for a while and never saw no one consider the titan something/someone to worship and they never bothered to see him like a God before. If it wasn't by this phrase of lilith, belos would never think about the titan as a divinity
but when lilith said this he seemed a little shocked... almost like she completed the puzzle he was having so much trouble with
But ofc he couldn't let this opportunity go and guarded this information
Philip is a puritan witch hunter and extremely extremely religious and used this fact (or idea) that lilith dropped and mixed his own colonial beliefs into it and well. now the titan is a God!
And what makes it work in the first place is the fact that the titan is something that while worshipped... is something that the citizens know that exist.
Look, I am not here to say if God exists or not and a toh post is definitely not my place to put my own opinions on religion, but different from us humans, that only proof of the existence of God is the Bible and our faith, the citizens of the boiling isles are literally LIVING in their GOD. There's absolutely 0 ways to deny it's existence.
And with this last puzzle piece not only belos was capable of creating a theocracy but he was also capable of making a cult towards this new God and his own image
propagating his plans of returning to the human realm while killing all witches
And creating an genocidal, corrupt and imperialist system that makes people commit extreme acts against their own loved ones to the approval of a representative of God in their world, while also destroying their mental and physical health
And oh... isnt this last one so... familiar?
It's comical in a extremely tragic way how lilith was the one responsible for creating the system and religious doctrine that ruined her life in the first place....
The tragic truth behind Cale's self-denial – and a surprising twist...?
So this is not new information, exactly, but... I haven't exactly put it together before, at least not in order. There is an actual reason why KRS-Cale grew up to be a complete tsundere in denial of his feelings. And sadly, that goes beyong the surface of being "an abused orphan".
(Spoiler alert for those who haven't finished the novel)
So, remember how KRS inherited some of White Star's curse due to his original body being stolen through reincarnation by Cale Barrow? The curse states that "you can never cherish anything ever again".
Obviously, poor KRS wouldn't know about it. He would live his life while unknowingly suffering under the curse, losing his loved ones through various random circumstances: death, abandonment, distance, abuse et cetera. However, if something like that would happen to a person – especially someone as observant as KRS – he would be bound to eventually figure out a pattern.
And the pattern was, "I lose the people I openly care about".
It resulted in not just in KRS being distant to his colleagues; it resulted in him being in denial on purpose. Think about it: as long as he can convince himself that he doesn't care, that means the curse could be fooled into leaving other people alone.
In other words, KRS grew up conditioned to believe that "as long as I am a terrible person who only cares about my own interests... then people won't leave me."
So here's the twist. As terrible and heartbreakingly sad as this whole thing is... I'm curious – do you figure that KRS's efforts actually paid off?
I think they have!
Think about it! It was stated that KRS "was a cold bastard but really good at his job". His job was saving people. His job was keeping people alive against monster attacks. You want to tell me Cale doesn't care about people? Pfff, please! The guy obviously has a huge bleeding heart for anyone in trouble. If the curse really targeted the people around KRS on a bigger scale, it would explain why the shelter KRS was staying at when he was 20 met such a terrible end. He cared, and as unfair as it is (damn that God of Death's unreasonable cursing method) that meant it affected the people in KRS's close proximity, even if they weren't close friends.
(Like, consider this: Park Jin Tae originally survived against the odds, as he "ran away last". KRS definitely DID NOT LIKE HIM, since the man beat him up and humiliated him on a regular basis. So ironically, KRS's dislike turned into a blessing.)
Even without knowing about the curse, KRS must have subconsciously realized the root cause. So he went like: "okay, if me caring is the problem... then I shall stop caring". He totally scammed his own curse!!
Now, if that was Cale Barrow – the person that the curse was originally intended for – I doubt loophole that would have worked. In the end, the only thing White Star was able to care about was himself (and he died quite often and very painfully, judging from the context) and the curse itself (which eventually came true as Cale was able to destroy it). But from what we know about the God of Death, he was trying to remove the curse from KRS, but without much success. He would certainly be all for KRS dodging the curse's effects – since we were told that the God of Death liked humans who managed to avoid their fate. He would be like: "You don't care about people, huh...? Seems legit. Pass!"
KRS's self-denial was so good it actually worked. It actively protected people around him. And KRS was subconsciously aware of that! Isn't that crazy?! He was proud of being a terrible person, a "trash", someone who only cared about himself, because that helped the people around him! AND HE KNEW THAT!!!
...But then... LSH & CJS happened. 😭
Just imagine it... for so many years, KRS's self-denial worked so flawlessly. He cared for people secretly from afar, keeping them safe and his own emotions in check. And then he was put on a team with LSH and CJS. One person who saved him, his role model, his own personal hero. The other a friendly, warm guy who never cared for boundaries. No matter how hard KRS tried to keep his distance, they wouldn't let him. And the two of them were so capable, too! So strong and good at protecting themselves. Slowly but surely, KRS's resolve began to crack. By the time he realized how much he loved them, it was too late.
At some point a shy, tiny voice said probably whispered in KRS's head...
"Maybe it would be okay to care about them...?"
...Aaand then... the curse came back for KRS with vengeance.
How does that fit with the fact that KRS was the one that was supposed to die? Simple: there are two ways you can lose those you cherish. One, they are forced to leave. Two, you are the one forced to leave. Remember how LSH's favorite saying was that "Being alive is the best"? Weeell... as we all know, Cale really took that to heart. And since he started to cherish his own life... it was first at the line of fire for the curse.
It was either him or the other two. LSH and CJS willingly chose the second option.
At this point, KRS's heart is broken to pieces. He's like, "I knew it. This is my fault, because I let myself care about them. I am NEVER making that mistake again."
He becomes a team leader, "cold but very good at his job". He doesn't let himself have another "person he loved to death, nor a friend he would give his life to save". He keeps his distance from everyone. He is lonely and very, very miserable because he's trying his best to keep others safe, while entirely convinced that he's a bad person who doesn't care about other people.
Talk about being a master at self-delusion!
...And then we arrive at the start of the novel.
KRS's first reaction to being in a new world without any close friends or family? It's pure RELIEF. He's like, "I became someone with a reputation of being trash? Perfect!" His experience taught him that as long as he keeps distance from people, things will turn out okay. Sure there is the protagonist and the plot of tBoaH to deal with, but Cale is fairly convinced that it won't be a problem. "I've always lived my life alone. Surely, it will be no different this time."
But it is different now. Because the curse is no longer there.
It's hilarious to watch Cale being constantly confused by people liking him. He's like, what the hell?? People never liked him before! He's trash, after all! He only cares about himself. It has to be the truth! ...Right?
It's a habit integrated into his brain from many years now: everything helpful he does must be due to some hidden self-interest. He's convinced himself that he's only looking for ways to use people. The few things which he admits to himself that are less self-serving (such as helping starving children), he's like "That's basic human decency, really! ANYONE would do that! Doesn't mean anything."
My last point to prove this theory: it always confused me how Cale connected the fact that White Star's curse applied to him in his previous life. No one explicitly told him or explained it to him, after all. I was like "Wait wait, HOW did you come to that conclusion so fast without any evidence to back it up??" White Star having a similar face to KRS could have been some weird coincidence. The only real proof Cale gets is the fact that in the Sloth test his past-self was targeted by Hunters due to "being marked by the God of Death". Cale came up with the curse theory much earlier than that.
This is what convinced me that I'm right. Subconsciously, Cale KNEW. He always did – he must have felt it. He had been cursed, but after his transmigration, it ended. This is the only explanation.
Conclusion? KRS became a tsundere in self-denial because he wanted to cheat the system and keep people safe from his curse. And surprisingly, he succeeded.
I will forever be annoyed at the way some people take certain lines completely out of context and isolate them to make it seem like actual evidence for points they're trying to make. I see this mainly with ctommy but it happens all the time and it's infuriating.
One huge example of this is people using "the discs were worth more than you ever were" as evidence that Tommy's selfish and values items over people, a point which has been proven time and time again to be untrue.
"the discs were worth more than you ever were" is not evidence that Tommy is selfish, because to present it this way you have to completely ignore the fact that immediately after saying it, Tommy regretted it and told Tubbo to give Dream the discs, saying that he'd become worse than everyone he never wanted to be. Tommy saying the discs were worth more than Tubbo was something he did not mean, he said it in the middle of a huge argument where Tommy was facing the blame for something he didn't do, and this was the first proper conversation Tommy and Tubbo had after Tommy had been exiled and went through Dream's abuse, which caused him to cling to the discs like a lifeline because it was all he had. Ignoring this context completely and isolating the line creates an inaccurate picture of what actually happened, and it annoys me so much when this line in particular is used as some sort of big "gotcha" to prove a point when the lines been taken so far out of context. Tommy's apology and actions directly after "the discs were worth more than you ever more" speaks volumes more about his character than one line said in the height of an argument ever will.
There's more examples of this that I won't go into, like Techno's "I'm a person" line often being included in analysis and art, but the "Yes you are, and so are we" line always being excluded. There's also Wilbur's line about the sunrise being vastly misinterpreted and used to paint this possessive villain persona, who believes the world belongs to him, when in actuality the line is (while still phrased possessively) coming from a mentally ill man who's just spent 13 years without sunlight or nature and in almost total isolation.
The point is, lines can be taken so far out of context that they are used as evidence for points that within context, they actually contradict. You can't fully analyze a scene, or use a single line as evidence for a point, without at least acknowledging the context the line was said in. To use one-off lines that are almost immediately contradicted in context, but sound vastly different without said context, is inaccurate and untrue to canon.
TLDR: stop taking lines out of context and using them to prove points that have been refuted by canon, often in the same scene the line is taken from. Get actual evidence, or accept that maybe your point isn't true in canon.
My theory: I don't think we're going to see the Collector betray Belos the next episode. I think those lines that King heard were important, but they weren't meant to indicate that the Collector's about to do a 180. It was just meant to show that they're getting more than a little antsy. When they're with Belos all we see is an impatient whiny child, but in their head we see it's more than that: their impatience is starting to bloom into frustration and insecurity, and probably has been for a while. The first thing we hear them say is "He's my friend, right? He wouldn't lie to me." Those are not the words of someone who is confident in their relationship with someone. But, they're also not the words of someone who's going to turn their back on that person right that second. I believe the last line, "I want to play a new game," was intended to show his quickly growing frustration with the situation. Belos may just see them as a petulant child, but they are quickly losing their patience with him and his "games". The only reason they're still sticking around is because they don't really have any other options, and they aren't ready to confront the fact that their "friend" might be lying to them. When Belos betrays the Collector, which he most certainly will, I have a feeling the aftermath won't be pretty.
It’s interesting how the fanfiction from this fandom has changed over time. When I first got into it, it was prior to the DSMP being a thing (technically it was a survival server but it wasn’t anything more than a place for the CCs to mess around when it was just the original eight.) At the time, there was actually a decently thriving community, mostly based on minecraft manhunt stuff. Dream would be a feared figure (maybe explicitly for his hunting dragons etc, maybe he’s some sort of assassin, I wouldn’t say AU so much as generously interpreting the series to make a narrative out of it.), and George and Sapnap were hunting him down. Many of these were romance fics but many were also gen fics which would explore the dynamics and world build to make the series fit into a world with which you could tell your narrative.
Then the Dream SMP got going. I naturally switched immediately into watching Tommy and fanfics really started being written with the introduction of L’Manburg as that plotline is where the story started having more of a narrative.
And interestingly, most of the fanfics tended to be retellings. Describing the basic events of the war but making into a proper story, usually discussing it happening over months and rewriting it into an ongoing campaign describing the formation of L’Manburg and the L’Manburg revolution. It was pretty cool, with a lot of focus on worldbuilding and trying to fit the minecraft events into a decently realistic telling. There were a lot of fics focussed just around the bow duel and Eret’s betrayal - some ending tragically with Tommy dying on that fateful day (this was ofc before the days of canon rules like the lifesystem so you used a lot of creative license to tell the story. There was very little AUs, though you did get a good dose of timetravel and canon divergences, usually what if L’Manburg lost or trying to fix things. Considering canon was still pretty lighthearted it was interesting how serious all the fanfiction was.
L’Manburg based fanfiction continued for a while, and there were plenty of attempts to fit anything currently happening, such as the railway war, the pets wars etc into these stories while still being very political and telling lots of post-war stories. Fitting in minecraft mechanics to a real world would happen a lot and you’d see elements like Dream being a god thanks to be a server admin (this was before DreamXD was ever introduced.)
From here on the fandom began to quite rapidly blow up in popularity which brought with it an influx of new writers with new ideas. Canon was also moving at a very rapid pace as the election arcs were followed by Pogtopia. This brought with it a wave, not just of retellings but of speculative stuff, trying to predict where the story was going and writing their own conclusions. There was a lot of writing about how you thought the festival would go, whether things would blow up, who was the traitor, Eret getting a redemption, Niki forming a resistance in Manburg, Tommy and Tubbo trying to run away, Fundy and his relationship with Wilbur and Schlatt, all that sort of thing. The fandom was wild with ideas and so there was a lot of speculative fics. Timetravel and retellings were still pretty popular as well. Canon itself was quite messy and unclear so you could also see a lot of people trying to fit ideas together, like writing about the characters attending MCCs or perhaps their backstories.
As the fandom progressed, people got increasingly into the CCs relationships as well. This is perhaps the rise of SBI fics, as more and more focus was placed on how much the various characters cared about each other. Wilbur and Tommy, the CCs, seemed to be growing closer for instance and that sort of thing was reflected in the fan content. Philza had not joined the SMP at this point, but he was a popular addition in certain fix-it fics and such. SBI family dynamic was growing in popularity as well.
And the Nov 16th happened and fanfiction just continued in the same vein. As each event happens, speculative fics become outdated as theories are confirmed but there were always new things to write about. Again the SMPs pacing did not slow down at all and more and more fans were joining and the fandom started to become more polarised. Before you could probably basically draw a divide between L’Manburg fans and non-L’Manburg fans for the most part. But now things started to become more distinct. There were Tommy fans and Techno fans and Wilbur fans and Tubbo fans and Fundy fans and these all represented a distinct group with different perspectives and it became increasingly obvious which character a fanfiction was sympathetic to and that greatly affected how things were written. It was less an ensemble and more very specific perspectives.
S2′s pacing was extremely quick but people still found time to start writing their angsty character-study exile pieces, for instance. Retellings had waned in popularity as had canon divergence and timetravel stuff. Instead the name of the game was character centric pieces dedicated to delving into the interesting dynamic between the various characters. Still largely based around canon and mostly current canon as everyone was passionate about what was happening at the present time and exploring the specific relationships. SBI family dynamic was also very popular largely being considered canon so it was present in most fics. Fics of Tommy being saved from exile by Techno or occasionally someone else was popular, and quickly became its own niche in a very short time.
And then things just got increasingly polarised as you got to Doomsday, hurt/comfort fics became common as did fics that enjoyed calling out certain characters and other revenge fics. The fandom was absolutely massive by this point but still chaotic so a lot of stuff was often simply in reaction to the streams. A lot of stuff was quite angsty too.
From here you got more speculative stuff again, a lot of Tommy as a ghost fics as well as Wilbur revivals. Did I mention SBI family dynamic? Because that was still inescapable. The egg stuff was also getting going so you had a lot of stuff on it taking over the SMP like some evil plague and a cool wave of post-apocalypse type stuff based on it. Also prison stuff - which was more character study and character centric pieces for the most part.
And then we get to the rise of AUs. Canon seemed less important, instead it was all about the superhero AUs or foster AUs or royalty AUs. And too many more besides to name. SBI dynamic was ever-present as no one could get enough of that family dynamic. Fics also increasingly started to become more lighthearted once more. Many ideas were strange and odd but still had a firm grasp on what the characters were enough so that regardless of which AU, the characters all had the same basic feel as their fanon identities were now firmly established. But yeah, an increase in ideas that were fun and cool. Even in otherwise canon stuff, having numerous character being hybrids was increasingly popular.
And that’s kinda how the fanfiction scene is right now, its as varied as ever with numerous popular ideas that have become far more established rather than the far more chaotic times of the early fandom. It’s like there’s now a very solid framework to draw from so new writers are then happy to explore their ideas given the general dynamics. Canon stuff in general has waned a little more in popularity in favour of AUs perhaps as a symptom as how the fandom has grown beyond fandom as canon content has become increasingly irregular?
And yeah that’s my rough summary from my perspective. I admit, I don’t pay that much attention to current trends and this is just my recollection so this might be slightly off but that’s how I think the fanfiction has evolved over time. :)
I promised rambling about Tango in the death games, so here is my rambling about Tango in the death games. (also disclaimer I have not seen his 3rd Life series so details on that might be off, but I’m gonna not go as in-depth on that one anyway) (another disclaimer, I have not gone back and rewatched anything for this it is off the top of my head so if there is anything I get wrong that would be why)
(@skitter-kitter @hira-a @casual-carcass you guys told me I should post this hello <33)
TLDR: Every round of the game, Tango tries to do something meaningful, something that will have an impact on the world, and every time, he fails. He is doomed to die by the hands of his allies and he is doomed to die alone and he is doomed to have no one care about his death.
Every season, Tango does something to make things interesting, but they never have a lasting impact, or at least not one that makes people remember him. In 3rd Life, he makes Dare To Flare, and it kills two people but in the series as a whole there is no huge...impact in the story overall.
In Last Life, he does You Bet Your Life and it lasts all of about two episodes. Not even, really. He very very briefly has the most lives and then someone goes red and his game ends and he gives them all away. You Bet Your Life fades into memory, but it also sets a precedent for Tango for the rest of the season: the most impactful things he does are give away lives (against his will).
Finally, in Double Life, he brings a Warden to the surface, which is an impressive feat even if he wasn’t on a hardcore server. Except...no one even dies from it, and it gets stuck in his base, and then in the river, and then it dies. Nothing happens with it except brief, quickly-forgotten chaos. Like always, it doesn’t matter to anyone except Tango. They remember it, at least, but there’s no lasting impact.
Sensing a theme, here? He’ll do something and it’ll matter in the moment but never again; it’ll be forgotten as soon as it’s over.
Every single season, Tango has gotten killed by his allies. In 3rd Life, Impulse kills him when Bdubs sets the firing squad against him. In Last Life, Bdubs quite literally stabs him in the back. In Double Life, it’s a little different because his health is linked with his ally, but...I mean, Jimmy still kills him twice, technically. And even if they weren’t officially allies with Joel and Etho, they were at least neutral/friendly when they killed them. Tango will have allies, and maybe he’ll even have a strong alliance with someone, but that doesn’t matter when he’s still going to end up alone and dead by the hand of someone he trusted.
Let’s go back to the meaninglessness for a moment. When he permadies in 3rd Life, it’s during a war that he barely has a stake in and no one even really notices or cares that he’s gone. He’s just a casualty.
In Last Life...when Bdubs kills him, it isn’t forgettable, but his rage doesn’t...go anywhere. He can’t do anything with it because there are more important things to worry about, so it doesn’t matter, really. And then he blows himself up. And then he blows himself up again. It’s nobody’s fault but his own. They were stupid mistakes that could’ve been avoided and weren’t but that doesn’t matter anymore because he’s dead. His episode ends with seven minutes of black screen; it was so that the viewers didn’t immediately catch on that he’d died that session, but all it really does is make his death seem even emptier.
And then in Double Life, his first death is an accident, an explosion that could’ve maybe been avoided. His second death, he dies in what looks like the crossfire of a fight that isn't his, except they ARE gunning for his blood but no one knows it. And then when he dies permanently...he’s alone. It’s not even his fault, it’s Jimmy’s (though it arguably isn’t Jimmy’s fault, either; it’s yet another stupid death that could’ve been avoided if they’d just been a little more careful). It’s a stupid death and he gives us another black screen except this time, he laughs about it at the very end. It’s not funny.
We already talked about how none of Tango’s attempts at something meaningful get remembered, except the Warden. We already talked about how his final death in 3rd Life was just...quiet. Barely noticeable. His final death in Last Life is pretty much the opposite of that - he even gets a grave! But it’s not...it’s not a grave for him, really; Grian built it. Grian, who was mourning Mumbo. Grian, who wrote “peace love and plants” on the sign. It has Tango’s name. It’s not his.
And then in Double Life...I said that the Warden was remembered, even if it didn’t have an impact. It got a grave. Tango (and Jimmy) mourned it, while he could. It’s...a little funny how it’ll be more remembered than Tango was. Again, he got a grave, technically. Kind of. His soulmate gets a grave, so close enough. Tango’s name isn’t anywhere on it, and he’s barely mentioned in anyone’s small eulogies. (Edit: he does have a grave, but it’s unmarked and not or barely mentioned.) He died alone. It’s not his fault. He’s barely remembered. Anyone who would care is already dead.
I don’t know how to end this. I’ll just...fade to black.
I absolutely love the bit of your newest post about Zim just casually *walking* back towards Tak in the rain. I can just imagine the scene and it's fucking amazing. I love Zim just being causally terrifying to others (intentional or not) in ways that aren't just him being a bit crazy or destructive.
I also love all your stuff that actually uses Zim's background, and all that comes with that.
I wonder what it would be like for Tak if she managed to genuinely piss him off (another thing that I love your headcanons of)
Tak absolutely refuses to admit it, but she’s the underdog in this situation. She’s an ex-soldier with plenty of engineering experience from her time on Dirt, and has access to a holographic disguise that’s more advanced than any other disguise in the empire, but her opponent is a fully trained ex-invader with an extensive scientific background that knows earth better than any other irken.
Plus, she fell HARD for Zim’s dumb act.
Tak came from Dirt, knowing nothing about Zim other than the fact that he’s a complete idiot and that he ruined her life. Then, upon arriving on Earth and revealing herself to Zim, that information is seemingly proven to be true, with Zim acting like a complete idiot, interrupting her multiple times and even after explaining everything to him, he STILL doesn’t understand, immediately believing that Tak is after his robot bee. She meets Zim face to face and he’s a complete idiot that doesn’t deserve the time of day from her.
But what if I told you that that was exactly what Zim WANTED her to think. Zim puts on a dumb persona specifically so people underestimate him and/or are manipulated easier by him. So upon another Irken showing up on his doorstep, clearly wanting him dead, he plays dumb. He successfully gets Tak to believe that he’s a complete moron that’s not worth killing, since there’s no way this idiot could ever come close to stopping her plan…. ..right?
The base-disabling nanobots were a surprise, but Zim still managed to minimize the damage, since he got Tak to deploy them on the upper floor where none of his important equipment is. His base was still temporarily disabled, but imagine the damage that would have been caused if Tak released them in his proper base, where all of his actual equipment and computers are.
Plus, Zim is a complete enigma, not just to Tak, but to the entire irken race.
I already mentioned how Zim figured out how to waterproof himself using paste, while no sane irken would even consider using that stuff as waterproofing. And it’s a well kept secret of Zim’s, with not even Dib knowing how he does it, or why Zim’s waterproofing is so inconsistent (he frequently forgets to apply the stuff, so he only really consistently has waterproofing on days when it’s expected to rain).
But that’s not all. Zim has one thing that puts him above the average irken. He’s extremely adaptable. He can change his plans on the fly, he will go against what he’s been taught in the military if it benefits him and most importantly of all, he doesn’t care about efficiency.
For all irkens, efficiency is the most important thing. You must be effective and efficient to succeed. But Zim doesn’t care about that. As long as it works, he’ll use it. For example, waterproofing. Most irkens would never use paste because, well, it’s a primitive arts and crafts material that doesn’t last forever on the invader’s skin, losing effectiveness over time. They’d instead spend days searching for or creating their own solution that is effective as possible, perfect waterproofing or bust. Zim on the other hand, doesn’t care. Paste does it’s job just fine, so he uses it. No sense trying to fix something that’s not broken.
Even his Voot Cruiser is an example of this. Zim’s Voot is obviously an old model. It uses a propulsion system instead of whatever thrustless system modern ships use and doesn’t have an onboard computer like modern ships, and yet he refuses to get rid of it. It’s a perfectly good ship that’s served him well in the past, so he’s not getting rid of it for the sake of efficiency.
And speaking of Zim’s Voot, his dogfight with Tak is a perfect demonstration of Zim’s military skill against Tak, because the thing is, even with an outdated ship, in his dogfight with Tak, he pilots it with masterful skill, managing to outmaneuver Tak throughout the entire fight. Keep in mind that Zim managed to remain directly behind Tak for the entire dogfight (which is a very important and central part of dogfighting), with her and her modified modern ship unable to shake him. Even when flying through the lava around them, she is unable to get Zim off her tail. Zim was winning that dogfight even before Gaz and Gir started helping.
Tak has to resort to physically ramming him to do any damage. And even that does minimal damage as Zim simply ejects the cockpit window and replaces it, which in of itself could be an example of Zim being adaptable and going against his traditional military training.
And the final nail in the coffin during the whole dogfight, Zim is completely silent during the entire thing. He isn’t putting up a persona or trying to make himself seem dumber or smarter than he really is. Zim is completely focused on the task at hand, which is a terrifying thing for Tak to be up against. The only time he speaks is after he wins, when he claims that Tak’s piloting is worse than his, indicating that despite Zim being able to pretty much run circles around Tak in his ship, he doesn’t even view himself as that good of a pilot.
But then there’s this scene that single handily adds a whole new layer to Zim’s character:
Tak’s ship is destroyed and is spinning out in front of Zim. Zim proceeds to joke about Tak’s piloting skills, but then has a realization of some kind and then proceeds to ram Tak’s ship. It seems a bit strange, but it actually shows us something very important about Zim.
First of all, his realization. What was he referring to when he said “Wait”? Well, Tak’s ship is spinning out in front of him and although she does have an escape pod, I’ve played enough Kerbal Space Program to know that deploying something while the main ship is uncontrollably spinning like that will result in the pod getting destroyed or at least heavily damaged. And since her ship is damaged and disabled, Tak can’t just stop the spin with a few button presses. She has no control.
And judging by Zim’s face when he says “Wait”, he knows that.
That’s the look of a concerned Zim. Despite just fighting with her, Zim almost seems worried about Tak’s safety as her ship is stuck spinning with no safe way of ejecting. Even his tone of voice indicates this, as the insulting tone he was just using while making fun of Tak’s piloting skills INSTANTLY disappears upon his realization.
And then, when Zim rams Tak, think about what he just did. He knocked Tak into a bubble of lava. Irken ships have been shown to be extremely heatproof, given how the massive was able to fly through a star and how Zim and Tak’s own ships have been fine zipping around the lava in the dogfight a few seconds ago, and lava is a liquid, not a solid object, so Tak’s ship isn’t going to be very damaged by crashing into it. The most crashing into the lava will do is slow her ship down since that’s what happens when you submerge a moving object in a liquid.
So by knocking Tak’s ship into that lava bubble, Zim slowed the spinning of Tak’s ship, making it safe for her to eject. The fact that Tak only ejects after Zim rams her and not while she’s spinning out adds more evidence to this.
Zim had no reason to do this. He could have very easily left Tak spinning and unable to eject from her damaged ship or even just shot Tak while she was defenceless, but he didn’t. So Zim actively chose to spare Tak by giving her a safe chance to eject from her ship.
So despite Tak wanting him dead and Zim being fully aware of this, he chooses to spare her, fully knowing that she won’t do the same. This pretty much goes against the entire mindset of irkens, especially invaders, who, valuing efficiency over everything else, will remove any threat that they get even the slightest chance to remove.
This part of Zim’s character where he spares those that definitely won’t spare him can be seen with one other character, Dib, who Zim is fully capable of killing with minimal effort, but chooses to keep alive, only attempting to kill him in certain elaborate schemes, and even seeming to go easy on him, not using weapons or his PAK in most fights.
There are two different reasons that Zim may do this. The first is that he may purposely spare people that he considers “worthy adversaries”, despite the fact that they definitely will not do the same to him. If this is true, then Dib and Tak both seem to be considered worthy adversaries by Zim, but since Tak is an irken and much more of a threat than Dib, he doesn’t go easy on her like he does with Dib, but still chooses to spare her after the fight is over.
The second reason is that Zim may fight dirty, but he has his limits. Killing Tak in a dogfight? Sure. But letting Tak die in a broken ship she can’t control or shooting her while she’s in no condition to fight? Hell no. Same goes for Dib. Elaborate scheme where you turn him into a sausage or throw him into a dimension containing a room with a moose? Sure. Just straight up shooting him because he’s a human child and you’re an alien soldier with technology more advanced than he will ever know? Hell no.
It’s probably a mix of the two options, but the final point is that Zim has a weird relationship with killing, and will spare people that won’t do the same.
That being said, Tak hasn’t seen Zim get angry enough to go quiet, although she did witness Zim being focused enough to go quiet during the entire dogfight, which is very close to the same thing, just a little bit lesser. She’s never seen Zim ￼properly drop the dumb persona either, as she herself fell for it and still believes that Zim is an idiot now.
However, if she ever did see Zim’s quiet and competent persona that he gains when he’s extremely angry, she’d never want to see it again. Especially since Zim is very likely to forgo his usual rules with sparing in this situation, and he already doesn’t go easy on her like he does with Dib.
[This post is a continuation of these two posts: https://random-iz-stuff.tumblr.com/post/691450114671296512/write-some-ideas-for-a-fake-invader-zim-episode, https://random-iz-stuff.tumblr.com/post/680570994898894848/headcanon]
No one asked but I’m going to provide my predictions for what will happen in Young Royals Season 2. Please bear with me on my shitty screenshot skills ☠️
After the stills we got, one picture in particular stood out to me. And that was this one with Wille on the rowing team surrounded by Simon, and more notably: Vincent. They are all also clearly in rowing team uniforms.
This makes me think two things:
1. that Wille now has control of the rowing team to some degree
2. He’s kept Vincent on the team so Wille might also have more influence with the members of The Society.
Remember when Wille & Erik were on the phone in Season 1 and Erik tells Wille that “the school is August’s life.”
Well, combine that with us knowing from Edvin that Season 2 will focus on Wille’s revenge on August, winning back Simon, and that he will take questionable, unforgivable actions to do so.
Knowing all that, these are my predictions:
1. Wille will seek to destroy August by taking from him what he holds dearest (like the way August took Simon from Wille): his social status at school.
2. This will manifest in Wille taking over The Society, not allowing August to reclaim his position
3. Wille will take over the Rowing team, another previous point of pride for August
4. And now speculation time: Wille will figure out that August is addicted to ADHD medication and will use that against him. I think this could explain Alexander’s reappearance in the show, as well as explain Vincent being on the rowing team with Wille (he was the one selling August his meds in the first place and definitely has intimate knowledge about August’s dependence on them)
5. Wille weaponizing August’s addiction will drive a wedge between Simon and Wille. This is how I think Wille will learn about Simon’s father’s addiction issues.
All in all, I can’t wait for this season and I can’t wait to be completely wrong about everything!! 🤡