My Various Unasked For Thoughts on Different Arthurian Characters, Because I Can

Yeah, so…I just wanted to list the different Arthurian characters and my different thoughts and opinions about them. Why? I don’t know. I thought it would be fun. I’m not going to cover all the characters here at all, only a couple of the most well-known ones, because otherwise that would be loong.

So, in order of popularity (sort of):

Arthur

  • Probably the one character I don’t have super strong opinions about, to be honest.
  • I don’t really care how you play him, so long as he’s not boring.
  • I do personally happen to like stories that include the ‘he tried to murder his infant son and failed’ aspect, though, because ANGST.
  • I guess I kind of like stories that portray Arthur as a more complex character? One that makes a lot of mistakes, even though he may still be a noble man. I don’t like stories that portray him as perfect, and I don’t like stories that railroad his character for the sake of it. That’s me and every Arthuriana character, though.
  • I honestly have no idea what that whole ‘he ordered that Guinevere be burned at the stake when he found out she committed adultery’ thing was about. Like. It doesn’t make sense from a logical perspective? Of course Lancelot is going to try to rescue her and that’s going to make the whole political situation worse. I don’t get why Arthur did it. Were the noblemen demanding it?

Guinevere

  • I love this character.
  • So, while I don’t have anything personal against retellings that portray Guinevere as some type of warrior queen, I still don’t really like it. Guinevere can have power in a political way and not on the battlefield! Honestly, I could be wrong, but it seems like I don’t run into a lot of stories that have a girl be a competent political leader. I’m just…a liiittle bit tired of warrior girls. I love warrior queens, until that becomes all people are willing to write.
  • I just love Chretien’s portrayal of Guinevere as someone people listen to and respect. That was kind of amazing.
  • I’m okay with someone writing villainous!Guinevere, but it seems like people never do it in ways I can get behind. The few times I’ve seen it done, she’s just a stereotypical, unpleasant, meddling woman rather than a respected enemy. Can some people not write villainous powerful women without tripping into a bunch of stereotypes?
  • While we’re on this topic, my Arthurian OTP is Mordred/Guinevere. I love the ship so much. I’ve yet to come across a (remotely good) novel that’s about this relationship, and the ship has…maybe six fanfics on AO3? Why are all my favorite ships so obscure?
  • Guinevere just has so much potential as a character. She’s been portrayed so many different ways, from medieval literature to today, and she’s such a flexible and enigmatic character. I love her, but she’s also really freaking hard for me to write
  • She’s just such a powerful character when she’s written well.
  • Anyway, if anyone knows of any good Mordred/Guinevere fanfics or novels, let me know.

Merlin

  • I will admit, I have NO idea why Merlin is as popular as he is. He assisted in a rape and just screwed everyone over. I get a fairly unhealthy vibe from his relationship with Arthur, which is only cemented by the fact that Merlin convinced him to attempt to murder Arthur’s own infant son. Why do people stan?

Lancelot

  • He’s a disaster bi and no one can make me change my mind
  • I took a quiz once for ‘which Arthurian character are you’ and I got Lancelot. I guess it makes sense. I’m also a disaster over-achiever who is probably going to end up accidentally betraying king and country one of these days. (I am, however, much less good at time management than Lancelot apparently is, so I am not very good at fighting things or other useful talents.) I think I’m more like Gawain, tho
  • I think almost everybody interprets Lancelot as a Type A over-achiever and I like it.
  • One thing I wish more people would explore is Lancelot’s relationship with the Lady of the Lake. Didn’t she raise him?
  • You know, Lancelot and Guinevere is okay, sure, but you know what’s better? Lancelot in basically any slash ship. Lancelot/Galehaut is AMAZING, okay? (Galehaut is not at ALL to be confused with Galahad. Galehaut, if you don’t know, is some guy who waged a war against Arthur until he found out that Lancelot was super cute and called it off. That really happened.) And I love Lancelot/Gawain possibly even more, because apparently there was a scene in some medieval story–I think it was in the Vulgate Cycle–where Gawain told Lancelot that he wished that he were a beautiful girl, under the condition that Lancelot would love him more than any other. ADORABLE.
  • Basically, literally everyone in Camelot is wildly in love with Lancelot, and that’s not my opinion, that’s fact.
  • Some Arthuriana fans tend to hate/strongly dislike Lancelot for some reason, but I don’t. He’s definitely done a lot of bad things, some of which don’t get called out because of the genre conventions or the social outlooks of the time, but I think he also has potential to be a really, really morally complex and interesting and noble character. Just because not everyone writes the character well doesn’t mean that he’s a bad character.
  • We love and support Lancelot in this house (along with Guinevere, and Mordred, and Gawain, and pretty much everyone except Pelleas he can choke)

Mordred

  • MY BOY. The character who got me into Arthurian legends. Just.
  • I am completely not interested in Pure Evil versions of this character, outside of the actual legends of course. You’ve been given so much tragic villain potential and you are NOT going to waste this. I just think Mordred works so much better as a tragic villain.
  • Morded is kind of…an inverse chosen one. Yes, he’s the center of some important prophecy, but the prophecy is that he’s going to destroy a kingdom. (Anakin, basically. He’s Anakin.) And I highkey love that twist on the trope.
  • I think I’m just drawn to characters like this, I’m sorry. I love Loki, Anakin, Seonho, and Mordred. I definitely have a Type.
  • You’d kind of expect Mordred to have a bigger role in Le Morte D’Arthur, but from what I remember, he’s kind of a background character until the end. It’s kind of an odd structure.
  • I find Mordred’s friendship with his brother Agravaine kind of cute, and I think any retelling from Mordred’s point of view is obligated to feature this.
  • In fact, I just love all the Orkney brothers. They are all collectively my favorite and no one can change my mind.
  • Anyway, I just love characters who plot with queens and topple dynasties

Gawain

  • Like Lancelot, Gawain is also a disaster bi! Aside from that whole bit with Lancelot I talked about up there, Gawain also has this whole long poem that’s all about the story of how he got to make out with the Green Knight. And also about how he learned the true meaning of honor I guess, but we all know what the important part of the poem is. I haven’t read Gawain and the Green Knight yet, but I want to.
  • My sister, who has actually read the poem, claims that the important part of the poem is how he learned the true meaning of honor but I think she’s lying
  • He also has a really cute marriage with this woman named Ragnelle, and I swear I’ll cover that eventually in its own post because it’s an amazing story (no seriously I almost have the post written up I just need to finish it).
  • I think Gawain is the sort of person who loves animals, which is confirmed by the fact that he once tried to kill a man for mistreating a dog.
  • Doesn’t he also love his horse Gringolet? Gawain’s just adorable okay
  • He also stuck up for Guinevere when she was accused of adultery.
  • YES he may be an idiot who kills people but a) so is Lancelot and ninety percent of the rest of Camelot and b) aside from that, he’s really nice! Stop being mean to him, French authors
  • In all seriousness, though, I think I might be the only person who is fine with both more redneck/slightly trashy portrayals of Gawain and the paragon of knighthood portrayals of Gawain. I like both, okay? I’m not down for anything that completely makes Gawain into a jerk, but I’m okay with Gawain screwing up and being an idiot occasionally.
  • There’s this whole segment in one of Chretien’s stories where Gawain makes out with this girl only to find out that I think he killed her father or something and the girl’s fine with it, but her brother tries to kill him and then Gawain and the lady end up having to fight their way out with a chess set. This is the idiot content I subscribed for.
  • I love Gawain. So much. He and Lancelot are both such lovable idiots and I ship them. I don’t really want to pick a favorite Arthurian character, but if I had to, I’d say it tends to shift between Gawain, Guinevere, and Mordred?

So please do tell me your Arthurian headcanons, favorite ships, favorite retellings/fanfics, etc., and I’m sorry for making you sit through all this. I’m still writing it and posting it anyway. 😉 I may make a part two of this, but I already feel cringy enough posting this one post. I do want to cover the rest of the Orkney brothers, though. So I guess we’ll see.

Le Morte D'Arthur, book 1, part 21

Previously on Le Morte D’Arthur: Griflet has been knighted and has gone out to stop the knight who has parked himself in front of a fountain in order to challenge random people to a fight. Unfortunately, Griflet has only gotten himself injured while trying to defeat him. Will Griflet be alright? Will diplomacy and sanity win the day? No. No it never will in this book Find out in this installment!

Then the knight saw Griflet lie so on the ground, and he alighted and was passing heavyhearted, for he thought he had slain him. [Who would have guessed that running at each other at top speed on horseback with spears was dangerous, am I right?] He unlaced Griflet’s helmet to give him air. And so with the fragment of the spear the knight set him on the horse and so betook him to God, and said that Griflet had a mighty heart, and if he might live, he would prove a passing good knight.

And so Sir Griflet rode to the court, where great sorrow was made for him. [This author only knows one conjunction and that is ‘and so’] But through good physicians he was healed and saved.

Right so twelve knights came into the court, and they were aged men. They came from the emperor of Rome, and they asked of Arthur truage for this realm, or else the emperor would destroy him and his land. [I have a question. Why on earth does Arthur end up fighting the emperor of Rome? Like…that’s so ahistorical. And I know complaining about Arthuriana of all things being ahistorical is extremely silly, but this just kind of comes out of nowhere, but it’s in all these stories, and it’s weird.] [Also, ‘truage’ means ‘tribute.’] ‘Well,’ said King Arthur, ‘you are messengers. Therefore you may say what you will; or else you should die therefore. But this is mine answer. I owe the emperor no truage, nor none will I hold him, but on a fair field I shall give him my truage with a sharp spear or a sharp sword. And that shall not be long, by my father Uther Pendragon’s soul.’ [I like this quote? A lot?]

And therewith the messengers departed, passingly wroth, and King Arthur was as wroth as they were; for they came in an evil time, for the king was already passingly wroth because of the injury of Sir Griflet. [Firstly, yes, people like this ALWAYS come in the absolute worst time possible. That is extremely realistic. Secondly, how many times can we fit the word ‘wroth’ into a sentence?] And so he commanded a privy man of his chamber that before day, his best horse and armor, with all that belonged unto his person, should be outside the city before tomorrow. Right so, before the next day, he met with his man and his horse. And so he mounted up and took his shield and his spear, and bade his chamberlain tarry there till he came again.

Arthur rode at a slow pace till it was day, and then he saw three churls chasing Merlin who would have slain him. [Why does Merlin always get into weird situations like this?] Then the king rode unto them, and bade them, ‘flee, churls!’ Then they were afraid when they saw a knight, and they fled.

‘O Merlin,’ said Arthur. ‘Here, for all your crafts, you would have been slain had I not been here.’ [GUYS it’s me whenever my mom makes a mistake. It’s me. Although, obviously, my mom is a much, MUCH nicer person than Merlin. We stan my mom. We do not stan Merlin in this house.]

‘Nay,’ said Merlin. ‘Not so, for I could save myself and I would; and you are nearer your death than I am, for you go deathward and God be not your friend.’ [Way to turn the conversation to something depressing, Merlin. We all know you’re just upset that someone else saw you in an embarrassing situation.]

So as they went thus talking, they came to the fountain, and the rich pavilion there by it. Then King Arthur was aware that an armed knight sat there in a chair. ‘Sir knight,’ said Arthur. ‘For what cause do you abide here that no knight may ride this way unless he jousts with you? I order you to leave that custom.’ [THANK YOU, Arthur.]

‘This custom,’ said the knight, ‘I have used and will use, despite whoever disagrees. And whoever is grieved with my custom, let him amend it who will.’

‘I will amend it,’ said Arthur.

‘I shall defend myself against you,’ said the knight. He armed himself and took his horse, his shield, and his spear, and they struck each other’s shields so hard that both of them splintered their spears. [I love how Arthur gets out his frustration at a potential upcoming war by just beating up some random jerk knight in the woods.] Then Arthur pulled out his sword.

‘Nay, not so,’ said the knight. ‘It is fairer that we both run together with sharp spears. [Okay, that’s nice that you want to be fair, random knight! But you know what’s better? NOT DOING THIS AT ALL.]

‘I would,’ said Arthur, ‘if I had any more spears.’

‘I have enough,’ said the knight. So there came a squire who brought in good spears, and Arthur chose one and the knight another. Then they spurred their horses and came together with all their might, so that both broke their spears in their hands. Arthur set hand on his sword.

‘Nay,’ said the knight. ‘You shall do better. You are as passing good a jouster as any I ever met, and once for the love of the high order of knighthood, let us joust once again.’ [For love of the high order of sanity, maybe not though?]

‘I assent,’ said Arthur. At once there were brought two great spears, and each knight took a spear, and therewith they ran together, and Arthur’s spear shattered. But the other knight hit him so hard in the middle of the shield that horse and man fell to the earth. [I feel like falling down while jousting would be really hard on the horse? Be nice to your horses, guys, we talked about this.] And then Arthur was eager and pulled out his sword, and said, ‘I will assay you, Sir Knight, on foot, for I have lost the honour on horseback.’ [is honor spelled with a ‘u’ or not]

‘I will be on horseback,’ said the knight.

Then Arthur was wroth and dressed his shield toward him with his sword drawn. [No, I do not know what it means to dress your shield toward someone. If you know, please tell me.] When the knight saw that, he alighted, for he thought it would be dishonourable to have a knight at such at such avail, for himself to be on horseback and the other knight on foot. [It’s nice that, even though he’s willing to pointlessly battle someone to the near-death over nothing, he’s still polite about it!]

So he alighted and dressed his shield unto Arthur, and there began a strong battle with many great strokes. And they so hewed with their swords that the cantels flew in the fields, and much blood they both bled, so that all the place there as they fought was overbled with blood, and thus they fought long, and then rested themselves. [Okay, so firstly, I think that a ‘cantel’ means the corners of a shield? Also, I love the over-the-top battles in these types of stories.] And then they went to battle again, and so hurtled together like two rams that either fell to the earth. So at the last, they smote together so both of their swords met even together. [smote] [no seriously why is this the most overused word in the book? I seriously wish I had kept count.] But the sword of the knight smote King Arthur’s sword into two pieces, wherefore he was heavyhearted. [Arthur’s equipment always gives out on him when he needs it the most. First his sword here, then later his helmet. The guy just has a lot of tough luck.] [Is medieval armor and weaponry giving out like this realistic at all? Just curious.]

Then said the knight unto Arthur, ‘you are in my power now whether I desire to save you or kill you, and unless you yield as overcome and recreant, you shall die.’

‘As for death,’ said King Arthur, ‘welcome be it when it comes, but I had rather die than to be so shamed as to yield unto you as defeated.’ [Arthur does kind of have a stubborn streak in this book, doesn’t he? I kind of like it.]

And then the king leapt unto Pellinore [OF COURSE THE WEIRDO IN THE WOODS WAS PELLINORE] and took him by the middle, threw him down, and pulled off his helmet. When the knight felt that, he was afraid, for he was a passing big man of might, and anon he brought Arthur under him, took off his helm, and would have smitten off his head.

Does anyone else kind of get imposter syndrome when it comes to blogging? I know my blog is really messy, but apparently people still read it and presumably enjoy it, and that makes me anxious. But I guess I should chill and learn to be okay with not being one hundred percent wonderful all the time. I don’t know, how do you deal with this?

But I hope at least one person finds this blog informative or entertaining, and I guess if I can do that, I’ve set out for what I wanted to do.

A Kiss and a Candle–a Snow Queen short story

So, I love The Snow Queen. I love it I love it. The only reason why I haven’t covered the fairy tale here on this blog yet is because the story is looong (seriously, I’m pretty sure it’s told in five parts), but it’s a wonderful fairy tale and you should read it if you haven’t already.

So, what’s this all about? Well, the blog Fairy Tale Central is recapping the fairy tale this month, and so Arielle has posted a Snow Queen-related prompt on her personal blog.

Isn’t the prompt wonderful? Of course I had to write something for it. I love the characters in The Snow Queen so much, from lonely, bitter Kay to bright and resourceful Gerda to the mysterious and enigmatic Snow Queen. (and the Snow Queen is not necessarily evil I will fight you on this. You may ask me more on this point, but be prepared for a fifty page essay if you do). (Kidding I can’t even write a fifty page story without collapsing. It’ll probably be like three sentences that barely explain my point.)

Anyway. I wrote a story and will proceed to unleash the monster I created onto the world, along with the pinterest board

I made Kay, the main character, non-binary, which is why I refer to them with the singular ‘they’. The character didn’t really come into my head with a specific gender, so then I decided that I might as well keep them that way? I also got to make Kay Orthodox Christian, since the setting is vaguely Russian-inspired! Orthodoxy, if you don’t know, is the denomination of Christianity that I belong to. This may be the very first time I’ve had an Orthodox character?

Btw, the story is kind of a metaphor for death and depression and suicidal ideation. It’s not a direct metaphor, obviously, but it’s still very much there, and while I don’t know if reading the story would trigger anyone, I feel like I should mention it just in case.

A million stars speckled the night sky. Kay sunk to the ground, their knees hitting the freezing stone of the palace courtyard. It was Nativity, and surely Grandmother must be praying in the small stone church at home, the oil lamps lit in front of the icons. Kay would never pray there anymore. Kay had left their home long ago to follow some elusive woman from the forest with hair white as snow and a crown made of bone, and they would never see the old church again.

Kay did not weep. They did not even feel anything particularly heartwrenching. They never had, since the Snow Queen had taken them away.

Kay’s umber brown hand clenched in their lap. They could barely remember the past. Those memories had faded, along with everything else, as soon as they kissed the cold lips of the Queen that one night long ago. But they had not forgotten everything. Kay did not know who, exactly, the clear brown eyes and sharp-lined face in their memory belonged to, but they remembered the sense of place and steadiness the person brought. They had not forgotten their grandmother’s soft voice singing the prayers, nor the smell of the candles in church. The ice could not quite take everything from them.

The words tumbled out of Kay’s mouth without them being quite aware what they were singing. “Today the Virgin gives birth to the Transcendent One, and the earth offers a cave to the Unapproachable…The Unapproachable One…” Kay’s voice faltered, and the rest of the tune slipped from their memory. They stared at the snow as the sheer overwhelming futility of it all overcame them.

“Kay,” a clear voice said. Kay nearly jumped out of their skin.

They stood and turned to see a woman in a tattered white robe and a crown made of bone and antler. A soft smile hung on her lips, but it did not reach her eyes. There was not a trace of humanity in her eyes, and though Kay had searched for it over the many years they had been here, they had never found anything in her eyes except the cold echoey expanses of a snow-capped mountain.

Her eyes were such a soft shade of green, though.

“You are frightened of me,” she said. “You did not used to be.”

Kay let out a breath, the mist trailing upwards to the sky. “Only a fool would not be frightened of you, my lady,” they said. “I was a fool when I first met you, and I am still a fool now.” Kay’s hand slipped into hers.

The queen took their hand with a satisfied smile and pulled Kay closer. “If you are a fool,” the Snow Queen asked, “then will you kiss me?”

Kay nearly jerked their hand out of her grip.

The queen’s eyes were horribly earnest. “I cannot and will not make you,” she said. She paused, waiting for an answer. “Well? Will you kiss me, or will you not?”

Kay might have agreed, when they first met her that night on their eighteenth birthday. “Your Majesty,” they said. “You said that kissing me would kill me.” They swallowed. “I happen to value my life right now.” That was a lie. They did not value anything much, anymore.

But something bitter and stubborn inside them would not agree to it. Kay had lost so much with the first kiss they had given her. They’d lost half of themself. Why should they lose the rest?

The queen breathed out. “It would not be truly dying,” she whispered. “You would simply become like me. Am I alive?”

Kay looked down. A dust of snow began to coat the courtyard. “You say you used to be human,” they said. They could never bring themself to believe it.

“I was once as you are,” she agreed. “Though no one ever had to convince me to make any rash decisions. I have always been very good at doing that by myself.” She laughed a little. “The people of my village were never kind to me, to say the least. So I went on a journey to meet the fabled queen in the north, and I kissed her on the agreement that I would never hurt again.” A twisted smile made its way across her face, and something almost like sorrow shone in her eyes. It was not quite sorrow. “She told me the truth. I do not hurt anymore. I am not quite sure it was worth it.”

The queen had never told them before why she had chosen this. Kay very easily could have done the same as she did at several points in their life, and that knowledge felt a little strange.

“What will happen to you?” Kay asked. “If I should take your place?” That was what stopped them, always. Sometimes Kay forgot themself. Sometimes the thought of kissing her ice-cold lips and losing everything was the most tempting prospect imaginable. But what would truly happen?

“Me?” A laugh tumbled from her lips. “You would think about me. I will pass on, into the wind and snow. But when have I truly been here?”

The resolution came back into Kay’s voice. “Then I will not. I will never kiss you.”

The laugh shook her slight frame, and her eyes shone with something like admiration. “You are truly a fool,” she said, her voice hoarse. “I have not loved anyone in a thousand years, but I half love you.”

“But I feel the same,” Kay whispered, as if they could ever have had the same experiences. “I will not let you go away from me.” So they did not quite feel the same.

The queen pulled them into a hug. “You are truly a delight, Kay,” she said. “But you cannot save the both of us from ourselves. We were not the sort of people destined to live.”

Kay had often found themself thinking the same. But it was not true. Who knew how they were both destined to die? “I will make you live,” they said. “As much as I am able.”

She sighed and leaned her head into their shoulder. “Kay,” she said. They thought she would say more. She did not. She just said their name.

Kay had been walking the cliff’s edge for a very long time, and they got closer and closer to falling over the edge each day. But they had not fallen yet. They would not. They made a conscious choice to keep living each day, even when living felt futile. They would not kiss the queen, they would not give themself over to the snow, and they would not let her die.

Kay was not sure if they would hold out forever. But right now, they felt a burning determination course through their bones, something that they had not felt for a very long time. They could almost feel…hopeful. Kay would not kiss her. Neither of them were destined to die that way.

I feel like the story wasn’t very good, but I’ll still post it. I honestly might do something more with this story, or else I’ll just let it rot in the vaults of my memory for eternity. We’ll see. 😉

Goodbye, 2019 (I didn't think I would miss you, but I guess I kind of do)

I refuse to believe it’s 2020. I feel like, in some part of my brain, it’s still 1215 and we’re still talking about the Magna Carta and King Arthur and whatever it was we all talked about in 1215, I don’t know. But anyway, I decided to write a yearly recap of 2019 or somesuch. God knows why, because no one could be less interested in what I did this year than I am.

Or is that true? It’s true that, as of the past two months, things have been looking up. I’ve been writing far more. I’ve been (astonishingly) learning lots of things. I’ve found books I love, and have been, in general, interacting with my life more. It figures that I only start liking the year once it’s almost over.

Life

Nah, I don’t really want to talk about this.

Okay, I turned eighteen this year! And I also did decently on my SATs. That’s…Is that all I did? I feel like I spent most of this year in hiding.

But hey, I started a blog! That’s something.

Reading

You know, sometimes I see people say, ‘so, I’ve hit such a massive reading slump lately. I’ve only read 5401 books this month,’ and I’m just…No! You people are doing fine, don’t beat yourselves up over it! Sometimes I only read two books a year!

Shockingly, I did not only read two books this year. Let’s see if I can get these in order (I may miss some):

This one was very good. This book is so delightfully quirky while still getting quite dark in places, and can I say that dark fantasy that doesn’t take itself too seriously is my favorite thing? I also loved the bi rep so, so much, and it came at a time when I needed it, too. I’ll admit I was a bit scared when I (accidentally) read a spoiler about Adam and Ronan, because I just couldn’t see how they would work well together? But Adam got a lot of character development in this book, and I actually like him now, and something about Ronan and him really do just click. I will admit that I do think their relationship could have been built up over the previous two books, but it still works.

And also like…the plot was good and whatever other boring stuff you want me to talk about, but we all know I’m really here for the ships.

I will say one thing, though: More could have and should have been done with Gwenllian. You can’t just drop a magical character from the 14th century there in your story and then leave her to her own devices.

Eh. The Raven King was okay, and the writing was still gorgeous as usual. But I can’t help but feel like the ending was pretty anticlimactic. I remember feeling, right after I finished it, that I wish the author had written a historical fantasy about Glendower instead. I don’t know why. (I guess it is kind of an unfair complaint to say, ‘I liked this book, but I wish the author had written a completely different book in a different genre.’) I think the history behind all the worldbuilding was the really, really fascinating thing about all this, and it’s the part of the story that is consistently underplayed.

Also, did Ronan…Did Ronan really make a racist joke behind his Asian friend’s back, or did I misread that? And Blue, who gets so up-in-arms about other stuff, was willing to just laugh it off? I hope I misread that. (I don’t have a copy on hand right now, so I can’t say for sure. It did jump out at me when I was reading it, though. I know someone else mentioned it too, so I assume I didn’t misinterpret because tired or something.) I mean, it’s definitely not unrealistic for a white boy from the south, but it is a bit…disappointing.

Yeah. It was an okay book. Definitely not perfect. I still love the other three books, though.

This was just a three star read. Maybe a two? I don’t know. It wasn’t the worst book ever, but I didn’t love it at all. I liked parts of it (the setting, a couple of the characters, how alchemy was portrayed), and I hated other parts (the fact that most of the cast was underdeveloped, among other things). I wrote a review of this, which was actually my very first book review? I’m unreasonably proud of the post, considering it’s terrible, but the review still does make me laugh, so that’s good.

On the bright side, I did write some fanfic for this, and the book got me to look up some stuff about chemistry and alchemy, so that’s excellent. Did you know that the science of chemistry actually comes out of alchemy? Darn it, now I wish I’d actually learned some more chemistry. I want to be an alchemist, too.

I actually did pick up the second book at the library, and so far it’s way worse than the first one. My plan is to power through on the sheer force of my own salt so I can write a review, but I may DNF it.

In case you’re wondering, the English title is Grandmaster of Demonic Cultivation

So, objectively, this is a terrible book. Or, more accurately, there are very large peaks and dips in the quality. The plotting is excellent, and it can actually get very suspenseful and creepy sometimes. The romance is freaking cringey. Like, it’s probably a Shatter Me on the levels of books that I like, as in, this got a LOT of emotions out of me at five in the morning, but is it good? Would I read it again? Nah.

But this is also the first book I’ve ever read with a bi main character. And I know it’s kind of stupid to look for representation in a Boy’s Love novel, from everything I’ve heard about the genre, but–I don’t think it was terrible? It wasn’t the best ever, but I don’t think it was terrible. And the characters honestly seem to love each other and have a lot of chemistry and they don’t die at the end. So I think that was what caused my unreasonably happy reaction over this book.

(Note that I am not averse to queer main characters dying at the end, as long as it’s because they’re going up against the evil empire and there was no way out of that alive, and not because one character dies of AIDS and the other jumps off a cliff because something something homophobia. Just like…don’t make it tacky. But it’s still incredibly nice when queer characters don’t die.)

I will say that I think the denouement is the weakest part of the book. Sex scenes are nearly impossible to get right, and kinky sex scenes are not really my preferred thing to read–no shame to you if you like them, of course (I should note that I skimmed the sex scene hard after about a quarter of the way through it, so I can’t tell you much about the quality, except…it is difficult to make a sex scene appealing to me and this wasn’t any different). And I also skimmed through a couple of the post-credits short stories and it seemed like they were kinda shit, so I didn’t read them ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ But I’m reviewing the novel here, not the short stories.

I also honestly cannot tell you if any parts of this novel were problematic, because I read this at five in the morning and my brain can not tell what’s problematic and what isn’t at five in the morning. Sorry.

Overall, I liked the book, but I’m not sure I’d read it again, just in case those happy memories were a lie.

A really excellent book overall, but I won’t say much here because I actually wrote a review and have yet to post it.

I LOVE THIS BOOK. Easily my favorite book of 2019. I do plan on writing a review, but just in case I don’t get it up, read this for demon butlers, stubborn librarians, and absentminded sorcerers. And also, the story has a Howl’s Moving Castle feel, and it’s just really amazing in general. Go read it.

I think that was all the fiction I read this year? I could have read more and forgotten, but I don’t know.

Writing

I barely wrote anything at the start of the year, but I’m starting to get back into the flow of things. I’ve actually started writing fanfiction, which I used to never write, and so far it’s really fun. I also put four short stories onto my blog! I was going to link them in this post, but then I realized I have a little page with their links up there at the top of this website. So you can check them out if you want to.

In case you were wondering about my opinion on them, which you probably weren’t, I think ‘Bran and the Bear’ and ‘The Skeleton Harp’ are the best written, technically speaking, but ‘Sepideh and the Jinni’ and ‘The King and the Courtier’ are my personal favorites. My opinion could change completely by next week.

I also finally learned how to actually plot things this year, I think. And I think my writing may be beginning to hold together better? Hopefully? Anyway, I love writing, and even though it tried to the best of its ability, 2019 did not get to change that.

Blogging

Obviously, I started a blog. I also posted some things on the blog, and I can’t really pick a favorite or even list my top favorites because I’m just that self-absorbed and like all of them, but I liked all my fairy tale and fairy tale-related stuff and also I reread my Cruel Prince review every time I want a laugh.

When I started this blog, I expected to consistently cringe over my posts a month after I put them out, but I actually don’t? It feels kind of nice to put my most badly-written self out on the internet. I mean, sure, my first couple of posts are objectively cringy, but ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ And some of them aren’t as bad as I thought they would be. I thought my post on Mordred and Guinevere’s relationship was terrible when I first put it out, but when I reread it a couple months ago, I didn’t think it was too bad. (Now, I could be completely delusional on this matter.) (Also, man did I used to overuse italics.)

I was thinking about listing my favorite bloggers like El did (with permission to take her idea, of course), but then I realized I’d have to list literally everyone I follow, so maybe not. You’re all great, seriously.

Anyway, screw it, despite the hard stuff, it has been a great year, and I’m so happy to make it to the end of it with you guys. Thank you for supporting me this year, and happy New Year!

So, About Celtic Fairies (part 1)

So! IT HAS COME TO MY ATTENTION THAT THERE IS MISINFORMATION ON THE INTERNET. Like, seriously. Some of those little infographics about fairies that I’ve seen on Pinterest get over half their information wrong. It’s just…if you’re going to make a worldbuilding post, make a worldbuilding post! Don’t say that this is what whatever century Irish peasants believed! For heaven’s sake. So I am here, set to clear up misinformation about fairies and possibly accidentally spread it anyway! But let’s hope for the best.

Disclaimer: This post deals with Celtic fairies, and, more specifically, Irish fairies; much of this information applies to British folklore too, I think, but Irish fairies are what I studied obsessively during my teen years. Also, it’s certainly possible that I may be a massive hypocrite and get over half my information wrong, but if I do, please correct me. I try to fact-check as carefully as I can, but I’m only human (or am I ooh)

So! Let’s have a little Q & A! We’ll call this imaginary questioner ‘Person 1’, P1 for short. ‘M’ is for ‘Mothling’.

P1: Oh! Fairies! Those cute little winged things in gardens, right? Tinkerbell!!!

M: …No. That’s a Victorian trope. I’m honestly not sure if there are any fairies of the sort I speak of that have wings, and not all fairies are little. Some are. Definitely not all. Some have very…changeable size; in their true form they’re probably smallish, but try getting them to tell you that. Let’s not generalize here!

And we do not talk about Tinkerbell. She has her merits, but she’s not the topic of this conversation.

You know, I’ve somehow lived my life without reading Peter Pan? I’ve read Alice in Wonderland and Pinocchio. Pinocchio was a bizarre book, frankly speaking, although I still liked it. But I’m not letting this turn into a review of Pinocchio.

P1: Alright, so by fairies you mean those wicked and dark creatures in YA, treating mortals as their playthings and without a care in the world for any creature but themselves. They’re so scary and immoral, aren’t they?

M: …

Sort of? I guess? Not really? I’m talking about folklore fairies. They’re…kind of like that? (Not in the same way, though.)

OKAY, FINE, I’VE HAD ENOUGH. THE WORD IS AMORAL. NOT IMMORAL. I’ve just always interpreted the fey morality structure as being outside of a human construct, and I mean, I guess you can just make them like especially wicked humans if you want to, with the same motivations and the same impulses?? But I mean, why would you want to. (This has been a callout post to The Cruel Prince. Sorry not sorry. It’s just not how I like my fairies.)

Also, fairies do good things as well. They do. Sometimes they help humans. Sometimes they don’t. They aren’t all bad all the time, and it’s a little ridiculous to write them that way.

So no, we’re not really talking about those, either. As a side note, I’d prefer it if YA would stop talking about how their darker takes on fairies are closer to how original fairies were portrayed. No you’re not closer. You are certainly not.

P1: [grabs my arms (wings?)] TELL ME ABOUT CHANGELINGS.

M: Okay! Ease up there! That’s when a fairy steals a human child from the cradle and leaves a fairy child in its place, which is called a changeling. The fairy child is usually ill-tempered, cries a lot, and remains scrawny despite guzzling much more milk than a normal child. The fairy child is not always an actual child! There is one fairy tale where the changeling admitted to being thousands of years old. Why you’d be thousands of years old and masquerade as a baby, which is one of the most boring creatures in existence, God only knows. Some of them really are fairy children, though! Like a lot of things in folklore, it seems to vary.

Oh. And also, the fairy child usually met a horrific death at the hands of their human parents. And the ‘fairy child’ was probably a sick baby, a disabled child, or simply an abuse victim with unloving parents (look, you can’t tell me awful parents didn’t take advantage of that superstition). Man, I’ve just made myself depressed. I remember searching and searching for a story about a changeling with a happy ending for the fairy, and I found maybe a couple? A couple in a whole sea of stories about murdered babies. People really believed this stuff. They really murdered their children because of a superstition.

As for why the fairies were supposed to do this? I honestly don’t know if there was much of an explanation. I remember reading something about ‘human babies are prettier and they like that better’, but first of all, let’s be real. That makes literally no sense. Can we all just agree that newborn babies are ugly? And also, I’m sure humans feel that their children are worth exchanging the literal world for, but…that seems like quite a bit of inconvenience to go through for one baby. Yeah! I just don’t get it! If you do know of an in-folklore explanation, please do tell me, because I have been wondering about this for quite a while. It seems to be one of those things that just happens, with no reasonable explanation.

P1: So, is anyone else at risk of getting kidnapped?

M: Oh, yeah. Women get kidnapped as brides or nursemaids all the time. I’m also pretty sure that Lady Wilde spoke of human men getting kidnapped and forced into marriage, too, but I can’t find the link right now. Darn it.

Also, from what I can tell, children usually get replaced with an actual fairy; adults usually get replaced with a stick or other small object that has been enchanted to look like them, or else they’ll just disappear suddenly. That’s what I remember, anyway. Allow me to go off and read through all those changeling stories before I commit to this, though. I know I have never read a story where a fairy lives in the place of an adult human, but that certainly doesn’t mean there isn’t one. Honestly, that sounds like it’d make a cool YA book.

Oh, and the illusion ‘dies’ shortly after it’s left there. Changelings get killed or forcibly removed, or else they’ll just stay with the family.

I certainly have read tales of male and female artisans getting captured. There was one cute one about how the fairies kidnapped a woman who was an especially good baker (unsure how old it is though, sorry), and I’ve read another about the fairies kidnapping a blacksmith. Also, apparently, some of the kidnapped people end up as enchanted slaves. How decent of fairies. I am disgusted. (This has also been a fairy callout post and I’m not sure if I’m going to make it to the end of this oh no)

Anyway, kidnapping seems to be kind of their thing.

Basically, if this blog ever goes defunct for no apparent reason, you know what got me!

College. College got me.

Oh! And there are also stories about how the fairies teach the kidnapped girls magic before they send them home. Which is nice, I guess! Not sure if it really makes up for the kidnapping, though. But thanks for trying!

There are also stories about human men kidnapping fairy brides and forcing them into marriage, as you do. (For instance, selkie brides.) Those stories tend to end horribly. As they should! Don’t be a terrible person.

Oh, and by the way, my source for a lot of this section is this. If you’re interested.

P1: There aren’t any stories about human sacrifice, are there?

M: Yes! There are indeed one or two. The most famous one is Tam Lin, of course, where the fairy queen has to pay a teind to hell once every seven years. Lady Wilde also briefly mentions a tradition about human sacrifice. I’m not sure who else talks about it, but do tell me if you know of anything.

P1: …

TELL ME HOW I MAY BE SAFE FROM THEM.

M: Salt! Lots of salt. Salt is good for more than just flavoring. In fact, it’s excellent.

People talk about iron as protection, but one person in a forum somewhere asked where, exactly, people were getting that, and that made me realize that…they’re right? I don’t remember a lot of 19th century collectors of folktales talking about that? Definitely one 17th century guy did. Something something iron is bad because…something something hellfire?! I don’t get it either. I’m sure it makes sense if you’re from the 17th century. (And if you can actually understand the words; I never claimed to be educated) Anyway, if you know of anyone else who speaks about cold iron in relation to fairies, again, do tell me!

Church bells are also excellent, and bread is one we nowadays wouldn’t think of, but Wikipedia says it works! I feel like I might have also read about fire being a source of protection? Idk, man. I’ll try and find it for you. I’m sure there’s other stuff you can do. But, as always, the best protection you can have is being the main character of a fairy tale. Particularly if you’re a bright, clever maiden with a good sense of humor. Those seem to do the best in these types of tales. More seriously, civility and cleverness are the best protection you can have in any situation, and that holds true with fairies, too.

Oh, hey, look at that! I was right about the fire. From Lady Wilde:

Fire is a great preventative against fairy magic, for fire is the most sacred of all created things, and man alone has power over it. No animal has ever yet attained the knowledge of how to draw out the spirit of fire from the stone or the wood, where it has found a dwelling-place. If a ring of fire is made round cattle or a child’s cradle, or if fire is placed under the churn, the fairies have no power to harm. And the spirit of the fire is certain to destroy all fairy magic, if it exist.

I love it when I’m right. Also, quite a few of the changeling stories involve burning the changeling, so maybe I don’t love it when I’m right.

P1: Okay, so where do fairies live?

M: Most of them live in caves and in raths! OH ALSO. I almost forgot to tell you. Do not do not do not mess with fairy ground. Do not build something on it. Do not cut shrubbery on it. Do not even do something seemingly small like plucking a few blades of grass. YOU WILL DIE AND YOUR FARMS WILL BE CURSED. Just don’t do it. I don’t care what you want to do, it’s not worth it. Build somewhere else.

Also, why are you thinking about building on ancient sites anyway? My history-loving heart is angry. Leave the raths alone.

Although, where fairies live depends on the type of fairy, of course! It’s variable. Some live underwater. Some even live in your house!

They’re there. You just can’t see them. >:-)

P1: Dancing?

M: WHY YES INDEED.

Dancing and music is very important. In fact, fairy rings are left there when the fairies dance! And sometimes humans try and join in the dance, which can end badly for the human. Sometimes you’ll be alright. Sometimes you dance to your death. 😉

Not fairy music, but certainly Irish! Also why won’t WordPress center my captions
This has been bothering me

P1: Can they go to heaven?

M: That would depend on who you ask! Usually, the story goes that a group of fairies come up to a traveling priest and ask him if it is possible for them to achieve salvation. The priest always answers no. In some stories, that’s the end of it, and the fairies let out a great cry and sometimes burn down their home.

But there’s also another version, although I’m not sure where I found it. A priest says that the chances of a fairy getting into heaven is as likely as his staff going into bloom. As soon as he leaves, his staff immediately sprouts flowers, and he has to go back and apologize. I don’t remember where I read that, though, so take it with a grain of salt I guess >_<

Okay! I finally found it. It was Swedish, but I’ll leave it here because it’s a cool story.

But my favorite answer from a priest is this: “I will give you a favorable answer, if you can make me a hopeful one. Do you adore and love the Son of God?”

They have no answer.

You can find the stories mentioned here, by the way.

Uh…There’s definitely more to say, but I have realized that this is getting really, really long. I might split this up into two parts? Also, most of my information is from Lady Wilde’s Ancient Legends, Mystic Charms, and Superstitions of Ireland, and if it’s not from there than it’s probably either from Wikipedia or else I found it once upon a researching session. If you have any more questions, ask them in the comments!

Also, I’m sorry if there are any weird typos. It’s a long article and WordPress kept having bugs. I hope I caught everything. >_<

So, in conclusion, fairies are our amazing problematic faves, and I hope you learned something new! I love fairies. A lot. (So please don’t kill me for any of the rude things I said about you, any fairies who might be reading this blog. I don’t mean it, much.)

The King and The Courtier–a short story

Okay, so I cannot write fluff. Right? I just don’t. I don’t write fluff, I write tragedies.

UNTIL NOW, that is. Of course, it figures that when I do write fluff, it would end up being about people who in real life probably were not very fluffy. Let me just go die now. (Writing about real life historical people is so awkward. Am I misrepresenting them? Am I portraying horrible people as wonderful or wonderful people as horrible or strong people as weak or?…) Also, did you know that King Edward II was gay? And he had a boyfriend named Piers Gaveston? And did you know, apparently, that Edward II has a fan blog that I read several articles from and got really emotional over because it was three in the morning and I promise that under normal circumstances I would have a much more reasonable reaction? (lies)

Well, yeah. I’m sure you can see where this was going.

This whole story was so badly researched, I pretty much only read several posts from the fan blog and maybe one section of one Wikipedia page. So I apologize, historians. I know this must be about to make you guys scream.

Ooh, one more thing: I don’t believe Margaret’s reaction to Piers’ affair is known at all. It’s entirely possible she hated it, it’s possible she didn’t know at all, it’s possible she didn’t care. We don’t really know much about the personal lives and personalities of these historical figures. (Basically, it is hugely possible I could be sanitizing ALL these people.) It’s even possible that Edward and Piers weren’t even lovers and they were just extremely close friends! But I mean…the evidence stacks up, though. I believe even medieval chroniclers tossed around the idea. Also, yes, Edward II really was interested in the common folk and their lives, and he was criticized for it by his contemporaries. Goodness, I’m starting to believe he was a YA hero after all.

And I made a Pinterest board (funnily enough, I made this one after I finished the story). I’m sorry the introduction for this is so long; I had a lot to say.

Piers sat down by the king, wrapping his arm around Edward’s shoulders. The king had listened to his noblemen about their various issues for as long as he could stand, until he finally lost patience with them and sent them and the servants away. And that was how Piers and Edward had finally managed to get some time alone, together in the king’s chambers. It was the first time since Piers had come back from Ireland.

Edward leaned his head into Piers’ shoulder, stroking his dark hair. “I’m not at all suited to be king, you know,” he said. A smile quivered on his face. “I can’t bear it. Politics bores me, and I wish I could give this throne to someone else.”

Piers laid a hand on Edward’s wrist. Trust Edward to start complaining about something as soon as he got back. “You aren’t a bad king,” he said.

“You aren’t a very good liar,” Edward replied, passing a hand over his eyes. “Piers, my love, I wish I were a commoner. I love nothing more than working with my hands. Why couldn’t I have been born the wheelwright’s son?”

Piers fought the urge to roll his eyes. “You wouldn’t love working for your food, however much you think you would,” Piers said. “How is Isabella?”

Edward shot him a look. “Well, how is your wife?” he asked.

As if that question would ever bother him as much as it bothered Edward. “She has been doing wonderful embroidery lately and is currently in love with one of my knights. Margaret and I have been very happy, thank you very much.” Piers paused, looking down at his hands. An absent smile played over his face. “We—we’re friends, Edward.” His voice was uncertain, and he studied his hands. He didn’t know why the topic of Margaret had been on his mind so much lately, but he supposed Edward was a better person to bring it up to than anyone else. “We truly do not care about who the other sleeps with, and I’m fairly sure she knows I’m with you. Is that strange?” He chanced a look up at Edward.

Edward opened his mouth, then stopped short. He put his fingers to his lips, his eyebrows knitted together. “Actually, what’s more concerning to me than your debatable amounts of strangeness is the fact that your wife apparently knows about our affair and I’m only hearing of this now?” he said thoughtfully.

“It’s Margaret,” Piers scoffed. “She’s known for likely three years, if not more. And it’s not like you’ve been exactly subtle on your end.”

Edward leaned back with a practiced flop, tilting his head back to stare at the ceiling. “That is untrue slander and I will not stand for it,” he said. As if. “You really don’t care if Margaret has a child that’s not yours?”

Piers shrugged. He’d thought of what would happen, sometimes, if that happened or if she were ever caught with another man. He couldn’t bring himself to care if she had a child that wasn’t his, to be honest, and if either of them were caught with their respective men, it would be horrible for the both of them. It wasn’t as if Piers were with a girl, or with someone who was not the king of England. If he was doing something stupid and dangerous, then why shouldn’t Margaret? “If she has a child that isn’t mine, then we shall simply pretend it is my own. Much less scandal that way. Much less drama. I leave those things to the bastards at court.” The other bastards, that is. He wasn’t counting himself in that sentence.

“Well, that certainly is strange,” Edward admitted, not taking his eyes off the spot in the ceiling. “But you know what’s stranger? The fact that you and Margaret can get along so well. I can never tell what Isabella is thinking. How do you do it?”

Piers didn’t know, exactly, how to explain the course of his and Margaret’s relationship, other than that they had started off with the expectation of mutual hatred and been pleasantly surprised. “We never expected to eventually fall in love when we got married,” he said slowly. “So I suppose we never had the expectation.”

Edward sighed loudly. “I like Bella,” he admitted. “Not in that way, of course, I don’t think I ever will at this point. But I like her, and I respect her. But I don’t think she feels the same way about me. Except sometimes I think she does.”

Piers looked up at him, a smile suddenly on his face. “Edward? Edward.”

“Yes, love?” Edward asked him, mirroring his expression.

“I just got back here. Why on earth are we talking about each other’s wives? Unless we’ve truly turned into the stodgy noblemen we hate.”

Edward shuddered. “Oh, heavens, anything but that,” he said. He took Piers in his arms and kissed him, long and hard. “Of course you’re strange, Piers, and that’s why you’re the man I fell in love with. Happy Christmas.”

“And it’s not like you’re any more normal,” Piers pointed out.

“Of course not.”

“Happy Christmas,” Piers agreed.

It’s a really bad story. But I hope you learned something about the history, at least (I certainly did, wow). If you happen to know more about this time period than I do, do feel free to talk about it all day long, because I absolutely love history. When I get around to studying it. Ahem.

Also, why are all my stories titled The something and the something? At least I don’t use The something of something and something, which is possibly my least favorite title structure after it spread EVERYWHERE in 2017 like some sort of invasive species. (That was the right year, right? I just remember one year where you couldn’t find a title that wasn’t like that. It was horrible.) But I just had this title stuck in my head when I was thinking about how to title this one, and I couldn’t get it out.

I just realized that, not counting my fanfic, this is actually my very first historical story? And I mean historical without a shred of magic, I’ve done plenty of historical fantasy. Huh. Not bad for a first!

Le Morte D’Arthur, book 1, part 20

We’re on part twenty already? I kind of can’t believe this. Also, I’m finally updating yaaay.

Previously on Le Morte D’Arthur: Some unnamed knight is a time-wasting idiot who has set himself up by a fountain and is challenging everyone to fight him. Griflet has asked to be knighted so he can go fight this person. Also, Ulfius finally got dissed, by Igraine no less. You go, girl.

‘You are very young and tender of age to take so high an order on you,’ said Arthur. [I don’t know why this makes me smile? But it does? Arthur’s a little young to be king, too.]

‘Sir,’ said Griflet,’ I beseech you to make me a knight.’

‘Sire,’ said Merlin, ‘it would be a great pity to lose Griflet, for he will be a passing good man when he is of age, abiding with you all his life. And if he adventure his body [no, I don’t know what that means either] with the yonder knight at the fountain, it would be a danger if he ever comes again, for he is one of the best knights in the world, and the strongest man of arms.’ [I assume ‘he’ refers to the knight] [I swear the words “best knight in the world” have lost all their meaning, though. Asking who is the best knight in the world is like asking who is the most beautiful lady in a fairy tale, or who is the best Sith lord in Star Wars, or—you get the picture. They’re all the best knight. Or the most beautiful lady, or the best Sith lord. Except Lancelot. Lancelot is better and prettier than all of them, and he would probably make a better Sith lord, too, should he put his mind to it.]

‘Very well,’ said Arthur. So at Griflet’s desire, the king made him a knight.

‘Now,’ said Arthur. ‘After I have made you a knight, you must give me a gift.’

‘Whatever you will have,’ said Griflet.

‘You shall promise me by the faith of your body that when you have jousted with the knight at the fountain, whether it fall that you be on foot or on horseback, that right so you shall come again unto me without making any more debate.’ [Aww. I interpret this as Arthur caring about his men and wanting Griflet to stay safe?]

‘I will promise you,’ said Griflet, ‘as you desire.’ Then Griflet took his horse in great haste, and picked up a shield and took a spear in his hand, and so he rode at a great gallop till he came to the fountain. [The original word for ‘gallop’ in this story was, in fact, ‘wallop’. Just thought you’d want to know. :- D The words mean the same thing, of course.] And there he saw a rich pavilion, and there under a cloth stood a fair horse well saddled and bridled. [Well, that’s better than I can do. My saddling skills are crap. (It’s…not a very complex skill.)] Then Griflet smote the shield [of course he smote it] with the butt of his spear, so that the shield fell down to the ground. [For some reason I keep getting the E and I switched in ‘shield’? That’s not even that hard a word to spell.]

With that, the knight came out of the pavilion, and said, ‘fair knight, why did you smite down my shield?’ [Starting to wish I had kept a running tally of how many times the word ‘smote’ is used in this book. It looks like someone has a favorite word, is all I’m saying]

‘For I will joust with you,’ said Griflet.

‘It is better that you do not,’ said the knight, ‘for you are young and have only recently been made a knight, and your might is nothing to mine.’ [For someone who just killed a guy last chapter, that’s a surprisingly nice thing to do. Of course Griflet isn’t going to take him up on it, though, because if he were smart he either wouldn’t be in this book or else he’d be Guinevere. Or Dinadan. Those are the only semi-intelligent characters in these legends. (There may be one or two others that I’m not thinking of right now, so feel free to point them out to me if you know of any.)]

‘As for that,’ said Griflet, ‘I will joust with you.’ [I knew it.]

‘It is distasteful to me,’ said the knight, ‘but since I must, [Who, besides social norms, is making you?] I will arm myself. Of what place do you come from?’

‘Sir, I am of Arthur’s court.’

So the two knights ran together, and Griflet’s spear shattered, and therewithal the knight smote Griflet through the shield and the left side [wait, is smiting someone through the shield even possible? Does this mean something else? Whatever, these are Marvel characters in levels of absurdity] and broke the spear so that a fragment stuck in his body, and both horse and knight fell down. [I believe my mom had a saying when I was growing up that went something like, ‘this is the sort of game you play until somebody gets hurt.’ Well, Mom, I could have set myself up by a fountain with my horse and pointy sharp stick and challenged everyone who passed by to a fight. Just saying. It could have been worse.]

I like saying nice things about the things I love, but you know what I love even better? MAKING FUN OF THE THINGS I LOVE. Also, I’m so worried there are typos in here that I haven’t found, and it’s pretty much my biggest fear every time I post something >__<

Edited to add (because I am an idiot and forgot to say this): Happy Thanksgiving to those who celebrate!