The Identity Crisis Book Tag

Sophie (I love her name, btw) did a book tag this week, and while she didn’t tag anyone, I loved the tag so much? I had to do it. 🙂 It’s not like I have anything better to do then take a lot of quizzes, anyway. A plague is happening! I might as well have a bit of fun.

So, basically, I have to take a bunch of book quizzes and find out which characters I’m most like! I’m excited.

The Rules

  1. Take all the quizzes down below and record your answers somehow. I decided to just copy the text from each quiz and paste it into my post, but screenshots work too! Whatever floats your goat (Yes goat. I SAID WHAT I SAID).
  2. NO CHEATING. You get one shot to take each quiz my friends. I’m watching you. ∗Suspicious squinty eyes∗
  3. Use this post to give credit to the creator Loretta @ The Laughing Listener or tag me on twitter @LaughnListener so I can see everyone’s answers!!
  4. Tag some friends to spread the fun

(Sophie added a couple of quizzes and changed some of them, I think, so it’s a little different then how it was originally. Also, the quiz answers are in italics)

Shadowhunters

I barely remember this book. I think I read it when I was like…eleven? I thought it was dumb, but I was like eleven, lol. I’m not rereading it to find out, though!

(I chose Riverdale for the tv show and spite as my motivation lmao) (I don’t watch Riverdale but the clips I’ve seen of it were hilarious in the worst way possible and I loved them)

Jem Carstairs and Alec Lightwood!

You’re selfless yet guarded, protective and romantic. You value those around you more than yourself, and sometimes you need to be reminded to take a moment for yourself! You’re the friend that everyone loves to have around, even if you doubt it sometimes.

JEM?? I haven’t read the book he’s in. From what I heard, isn’t he the cute, sweet guy who’s always picking up the pieces after Tessa and Will’s toxic relationship? And he’s like, been poisoned or something? And Alec is the queer character, right?

I’ve never read the Infernal Devices and it’s been a really long time since I’ve read City of Bones, so I apologize if I got something wrong, but anyway, I couldn’t be happier with this result! Jem sounded like the best character in the book.

Throne of Glass

I know nothing about this book!

Chaol Westfall

You’re Chaol Westfall, Captain of the Guard: you’re loyal and dependable to the death, with a mind as sharp as the swords you wield. But watch that your sardonic sense of humour doesn’t come across as plain old sarcastic, and lighten up from time to time – who wants to be seen as a grump?

I…I guess? I don’t know who this is. Fun quiz though!

The Hunger Games

Katniss Everdeen

You are strong-willed, enduring, determined, and sacrificing. You are not afraid to speak your mind and there is no use in trying to change it, because you’re here to get down to business and to protect your loved ones, no matter who stands in the way.

As surprised as I am by this–I kind of thought I’d get Peeta–this makes a lot of sense. I think I am the most like Katniss. We’re both pretty guarded and we have a sharp, sarcastic sense of humor, I think.

Harry Potter

I legitimately have no idea which Harry Potter character I’m most like. Buzzfeed, inform me!

Neville Longbottom!!!

You’re awkward and clumsy and hate being the center of attention. But you’re brave and big-hearted and people can always trust you to help them out in a bad situation.

I mean, this does not describe me at all and Buzzfeed is wrong, but I still feel so lucky! I love Neville.

A Court of Thorns and Roses

I know nothing about this book other than what Cindy said about it! (From the youtube channel Read with Cindy. She’s hilarious. I feel like I have a good idea of what the book is about just from her.)

Amren

You are Amren. You can come of as vain, cunning, and temperamental, but under all that you can be caring. You prefer being by yourself. Nearly everyone is terrified of you and don’t want to get on your bad side, because you would make there life worse than hell. You only have a small group of friends and you would do anything for them, and them for you.

Okay, I have no idea who this is, but I feel like I’m getting a lot of the mean characters here and it’s starting to be kind of funny. In case you’re wondering, yes, most online quizzes have told me I’m a Slytherin.

The Raven Cycle

If I don’t get Gansey the quiz is wrong

Update: I got Richard Gansey!!

Ah, Gansey. You really know how to get people together and you probably have no idea how important that skill is. You’re likely invested in one particular subject or task, or you have a great interest in finding what someone might call “the meaning of your life”. Like Gansey, you’re a natural mediator. You have an almost supernatural trait which allows you to easily communicate with different kinds of people. A trait that makes you very likable amongst your peers and surroundings. Though, be careful not to hide your feelings under all that politeness. People are not made of plastic.

So, I’m not sure if the description fits me, because I’m not sure if I’m good at talking to people or not, but I definitely am a lot like Gansey in general. I love history and folklore, and I would drag my friends off on a silly quest to wake a sleeping, centuries-old king regardless of the consequences! (If I had friends, that is. XD ) But seriously, I’ve always really related to Gansey. I’m probably a mixture of Gansey and Ronan, because I like learning things but I’m also really angry a lot

Twilight

This book is such a guilty pleasure for me.

Jasper…Hale?!!!

Hey, Jasper. Howdy there! You’re quite reserved, but we know there’s a whole lot of personality underneath that icy undead skin of yours. People look to you for leadership in times of conflict — no one’s better at strategizing than you. Just remember: It’s OK to smile every once in a while.

So I am, apparently, the Confederate soldier who wants to eat people. Yay!

I’m even from the South. The quiz knew. *sobs* I’m so sorry, everyone. Is it bad that I find this hilarious?

The Cruel Prince

I hated this book lmao

I’m going to say I’m most like Madoc, though! I related to him most, at least

Jude.

You are strong and once you make a decision, you won’t back down. Your resilience is both admirable and terrifying at the same time.

Oh.

Whatever. I’m most like Madoc.

Lunar Chronicles

Fun fact! I have never read any of these books.

Winter

Step-daughter of Queen Levana. She regarded as the most beautiful person on Luna, even with three scars across her face, which are rumored to have been caused by a jealous Levana. She refuses to use her Lunar gift of glamouring and manipulation and has slowly been driven crazy as a result.

She sounds cool!

Percy Jackson

If I don’t get Nico it’s the quiz’s fault, not mine! I have related to that kid since I was a wee eleven-year-old.

Magnus Chase

You’re super resourceful and self-reliant, although this can encourage your loner instincts. But when you make friends, you stick up for them. You just do this in your own clever, funny way, avoiding conflict unless absolutely necessary. But hey, we know you’re not averse to mixing it up if you have to. The fact that you can make it all look so easy, all while focusing on diet and fitness? Teach us your ways, Einherji.

What? I don’t even know who this is. Whatever.

An Ember in the Ashes

I loved this book a lot

Elias

Like Elias, who doesn’t want the violent life of a soldier that’s been carved out for him and is fighting for his soul, you value freedom above all else.

I knew I’d get this cinnamon bun! I love this boy.

Six of Crows

I didn’t really like this book either…*hides* *I’m sorry it’s my fault* I hope I get Wylan or Inej, though. They were both really cool.

Kaz…

Okay, before I post the description, I have to say, WHAT? I’m so mad.

You are most like Kaz, a criminal prodigy and rising star among Ketterdam’s gangs. Cunning, quick-witted, and a born leader, you are a planner who leaves nothing to chance. But beware: though you excel at trickery, you’re dangerously good at fooling yourself.

Okay, okay, maybe the ‘dangerously good at fooling yourself’ part MIGHT be true, under certain circumstances. I’ll be right back, I have to become a seventeen-year-old Gary Stu mob boss and pull off a heist. (I’m eighteen, though. This is already going to be hard.)

I would like to apologize to everyone’s problematic faves I insulted! I love YA, but I love bashing YA more. This was such a hilarious and fun thing to do (I still can’t believe I got JASPER of all people, that was probably the funniest one to me).

Okay, and before I forget (because I’ve been forgetting for about a month), I am now on Goodreads! Or something. I still can’t figure out how Goodreads works, and I’ve accidentally posted a review before I was ready twice now, so that’s fun!

Anyway, I’m not tagging anyone, but if you want to do this, feel free. 😉

Liebster Award!

Sarah sort-of tagged me back for the Liebster award, after I tagged her, except she didn’t tag me, but you could say she technically did. (Yes I’m confusing.) Her questions were great! I wanted to answer them. That is all.

Anyway, I had a lot of fun with this, and that’s what matters.

The Rules

Acknowledge the blogger(s) who nominated you. (Thank you, Sarah!)

Answer the 11 questions you’ve been asked. (That’s why I’m here, after all)

Give 11 random facts about yourself. (…Fine.)

Nominate 11 bloggers and notify them that they’ve been nominated. (I’m not tagging anyone this time!)

Give your nominees 11 questions to answer. (Again, nope!)

1. What is your dearest possession?

I–

I guess I could answer something like my books, maybe my computer (or my dolls that I still kind of love despite the fact that I’m like a thousand years old or something heh heh), but I don’t know. I feel like I don’t…I don’t need them? I love them, but all I need to keep myself happy is myself. I’m not a minimalist at all, though, and will absolutely buy some random stupid thing if I feel like it just because it looks cute. I guess I have a complicated relationship with my possessions.

2. What is a book (that you’ve read all the way through) that you consider simply Not Worth Reading?

Now this one is easier to answer! I wrote two excessively long reviews on both The Cruel Prince and Muse of Nightmares, precisely with this sentiment. But I’m going to go on about them a little more!

Jude and Cardan’s relationship is basically just fetishized abuse. I, personally? I do not find it cute. At all. I’ve liked some glorified abusive relationships (IN FICTION) before, but there was something about Jude and Cardan that was just…joyless. It’s not really that they love each other and are incapable of showing it in healthy ways, they just hate each other but also find each other hot. There’s a big difference between the two for me, but unfortunately, YA tends to go for the second one a lot.

Then Muse of Nightmares was just a mess. There were a lot of problems I had that I went into in my review, but let me just say this now. I swear to God, if someone ever saw the nightmares I have because of anxiety and decided there was some kind of darkness in me based off of that, I would–I don’t know. Yell at them. Curse their name. Turn them into a swan and enchant them to wander the earth until they learn the value of empathy.

Actually, I wouldn’t do any of that. I would just swear a vow of undying hatred that they would never know about and then I would complain loudly to my family as soon as they were gone. Because #ConflictManagement! (I’m terrible.)

Also, the gay characters just felt kind of…fetishized, I guess?

Anyway, this got longer than I expected it too. I like talking about things I hate.

3. What is a book you adore that you also realize is Not For Most?

Ooh, I love this question! It’s a little hard to say, because a lot of books have at least something in them that isn’t for everybody. So, while the real answer is probably some Problematic ™ Classic that I can’t think of right now, I’m going to answer The Hollow Kingdom. The horror elements in that book are SO good, and the characters are incredibly well-developed. I love the book. I grew up reading it. But it also features a captor/captive romance (like Beauty and the Beast or Persephone and Hades), and while a lot of people do like that kind of thing or at least don’t mind it, a lot of people also hate it. So maybe it’s not that it ‘isn’t for most,’ but I do realize it isn’t for everybody.

4. Would you prefer the earth to be flat?

No. Even though C.S. Lewis did a nice job of selling it aesthetically, spheres are much more pleasing. I just love circular things, okay? They’re just. So beautiful.

Now, there are historical theories that I do wish were true. Aether! Alchemy! Especially alchemy. Alchemy is incredibly cool.

5. Do you prefer pencil or pen for writing?

If you asked me to write a story with a pen, I would LITERALLY DIE. Have you seen my typos?

I’m fine with writing notes with a pen, though.

6. What’s an out-of-your-comfort-zone book that you unexpectedly loved?

I guess Grandmaster of Demonic Cultivation was my first time reading an Adult book that wasn’t over fifty years old, so I’ll count that. It was also my first time reading BL, so it was definitely a new genre for me and I didn’t really know what to expect.

I love this book so much! The characterization is really something else, and the relationship between the two heroes is so sweet. 😭 They really love each other so much. And I actually relate to Wei Wuxian a ton. Also, Wuxian and Lan Zhan just have so MUCH chemistry?? I swear they have to be one of the best romantic couples I’ve ever read.

7. If you could live in any time period in any country (by which I do mean you’d be stuck there), which?

Hmm, this is a hard one. They all have their drawbacks. I love the Joseon dynasty (a pretty broad time period, I know), because the clothes and art are so beautiful (and possibly because I have watched way too many dramas, lol). I also like 1920s England and America. And also the Regency period, because even though I’m not sure if I’d fit into the society, I still love the aesthetics!

8. What historical character do you want to see in a novel, that you haven’t?

Ooh, I really like this. I assume this is asking about retellings of historical figures, and not my dream Historical Fiction novel?

I’d love a novel about Wu Zetian. She was an empress during the Tang dynasty, and the first empress to rule the empire in her own right! She is kind of a controversial figure because she was accused of certain stuff that she…probably didn’t do? I don’t know a whole lot about her, I’ve only read a couple articles and her Wikipedia page, but she sounds REALLY cool and I’d love a historical retelling!

Uh…and also Boudicca. The Celts were (are) very cool and Boudicca is a wonderful woman who fought against a corrupt imperial force that was in the process of subjugating the local people. My only fear is that someone would make it tacky. Sometimes ancient Celtic cultures get portrayed as this angelic, pure, and wonderful matriarchal culture that got wiped out by an evuuul patriarchal society, or else they get portrayed as uncivilised and brutish. Or both at the same time, for extra annoyance! Also, the Romans were horrible a lot of times and conquering did not bring out the best in them, so maybe don’t glorify them so much. Rome did a lot of good things, to be sure, but they also did a lot of bad. (Random Mists of Avalon hate coming through, but fun fact! The druids in England were wiped out by the Roman pagans, not Christians! There is legitimate religious persecution Christians took part in, but that was not it and maybe creating historical conflict that didn’t exist low-key annoys me!) But anyway, getting off of that tangent, I think you could tell a really interesting story about Boudicca.

Also, you may have guessed this from my smol rant, but I personally am very…ambivalent on Rome. I love the Byzantine Empire, though. It definitely had MAJOR flaws, but I find it amazing anyway.

And, on that note, Empress Theodora!! She’s so amazing, you guys. She started out as a (15 year-old! 🤢) prostitute, and then she married the future emperor, and the rest was history! Literally. Look her up!

(Also, some historian from her time period wrote some absolutely perverted account about her that was–probably, from what I know?–very biased, and then my history book just put an excerpt from that down and portrayed it as probably true. Gah I hate sexism in history books that doesn’t come from the actual people from the time period. Leave sexism in the 500s, guys! Anyway, /rant)

9. WWI or WWII?

OH GOD WORLD WAR ONE PLEASE BUT BOTH WERE TERRIBLE AND SCREWED EVERYONE UP SO BAD. World War II was basically everyone competing to dig themselves so deep they’d be tens of thousands of miles below the Mariana Trench by the time it was over.

Anyway, I don’t want to share a time period with Nazis (*sobs in 2020*).

Also, on a much lighter note, Edwardian dresses are just…beautiful? I love the silhouettes and the colors and everything!

10. If you were a pirate captain, what would you name your ship?

Easy. The USS Enterprise. I’ve never felt more of a closet nerd than this moment, I’m sorry, I grew up on Star Trek okay

11. What’s the first fictional character you remember relating to as a child?

Hmm. It’s honestly a little hard to say. It’s probably one of the characters in the media I consume when I was eleven to twelve. It might have been Loki (I’m sorry). It might have been over-dramatic and very loud Tamaki–or it possibly could have been Haruhi? Or it might have been Gu Yong-Ha. I know Gu Yong-Ha was the first kind of life-changing character I came across. He taught me that you can be feminine and love fashion and still be super cool and wily and fun. Which is good, because I had just entered into my ~not like other girls~ phase, and thank God he kept me from becoming that insufferable person.

So, uh…Does anyone want eleven random facts about myself?!

  1. ‘Historically accurate’ Arthuriana bugs me. I’m used to the story in a High Medieval setting, and the retellings are never actually historically accurate anyway, because the stories they adapt it from are completely ahistorical (and also because there is a LOT people Just Don’t Know about the time period, including whether or not Arthur actually existed). It’s not like there’s anything wrong with ‘historically accurate’ retellings, but they aren’t usually my cup of tea (I say, as if I regularly read Arthurian retellings in the first place).
  2. We have four baby geese! Their names are Nimue, Emu, Zebu, and Minnow. Emu keeps biting her friends.
  3. Hans from Frozen deserved better. Also, that twist made no sense. Yes, I’m still complaining about it years later.
  4. I don’t tend to read a lot of retellings anymore, and that makes me sad.
  5. I have been trying to find history books and articles and something, anything about medieval Egypt, and I just…cannot find anything. I hate it when this happens to me. Wikipedia always fails me in my darkest hour
  6. I also would love to learn more about medieval Scotland, but I don’t know where to start. (rec me your favorite documentaries and history books, if you want!)
  7. I am extremely pretentious, but I’m sure you’ve never noticed
  8. I never know anything about grammar or what you’re supposed to do with English. Sometimes I read my mangled documents I wrote late at night and marvel.
  9. I just finished The Untamed and now I’m on a show hangover. IT WAS SO GOOD YOU GUYS (and yes, that was the screen adaptation of Grandmaster of Demonic Cultivation, in case you didn’t know). I’m currently trying to write a review, but getting my thoughts in order is hard.
  10. I tend to think of a lot of things as overrated, and yes, I am exactly as horrid as I sound
  11. Mulan is my favorite Disney movie.

I wrote all this at around five in the morning. I’m sure you couldn’t tell 💀 I have a feeling there are typos, but I didn’t look too hard. This was incredibly fun, though, and I enjoyed ranting about stuff I know nothing about (isn’t that what this whole blog is for?). Tell me your favorite historical period in the comments!

Blogiversary + it’s someone’s birthday!!

Happy May Day, everyone! This is just a very short post to tell you that it is, apparently, my blogiversary today. When I checked the date on my first post, it says I wrote my first post on May 2nd, but then I remembered that was just…a weird accident. I think I put down the wrong time zone on my blog at first because I am a disaster? That may have been what did it? But yes, I started this blog on May 1st!

(I make things so complicated for myself.)

It’s kind of wild to me that I’ve been doing this for a whole year, tbh. It feels like it hasn’t been nearly so long. It’s been fun though! Thanks to all my followers for your support, I love you all ❤

Oh, and as for whose birthday it is?

As a side note, his bat helmet KILLS me.

That’s right! Happy birthday, Mordred!!

Be right back, I’m off to make a cake.

Le Morte D’Arthur, book 1, part 25

So, I won’t say I had a great Easter, but I got to carry my bunny Lan Zhan around the house while chanting, “Easter bunny! Easter bunny!” (This is probably the sort of embarrassing thing I should not admit on the internet.)

(Also, the bunny I have is adorable, just wanted to share that fact)

Previously on Le Morte D’Arthur: Some king wants…Arthur’s beard for some reason?! Did I read that right? And also wants to have a war because of course! But we’re just going to ignore that for right now for this chapter, because we have to focus on Arthur doing something terrible instead. Yay!

Then King Arthur sent for all the noble children born on May Day, for Merlin told King Arthur that the one who would destroy him would be born on May Day. [Arthur noooo I don’t like where this is going]

[Why do you have to be THAT kind of mythological king? No one asked for an Agamemnon repeat. Literally no one.]

So he sent for all the children, upon pain of death, and many lords’ sons were found and all were sent unto the king. And Mordred was sent by King Lot’s wife, and all the children were put in a ship and put out to sea, and some were four weeks old, and some less. [So I guess Arthur wasn’t very careful about getting the birthdays of the kids right…? But people who do things like this rarely are.] And the ship drove unto a castle and was damaged and destroyed, but Mordred was cast up, and a good man found him and raised him until he was fifteen years old, and then he brought him to court, as it is told afterwards toward the end of the Death of Arthur. [Ah, good old-fashioned child murder.] [Seriously, WHY DO MYTHOLOGICAL KINGS ALWAYS JUMP TO MURDERING THEIR CHILDREN AS A FIRST RESORT. THAT SHOULD BE A LAST RESORT. THAT SHOULD NOT EVEN BE A RESORT. IT NEVER EVEN WORKS.]

[I shouldn’t have to say this, but Agamemnon was not a role model. Neither was Laius! Let’s not imitate these problematic people! Don’t attempt to kill your children.]

Many lords and barons of the realm were displeased, for their children were lost, though many put the blame on Merlin more than on Arthur; but for dread or for love, they held their peace. [this just in: infanticide controversial among most people!]

But when the message came to King Rience, then he was angered out of measure, and got together a great army, as it is told after in the book of Balin le Savage that follows after, about how by adventure Balin got his sword. [And also how Balin killed lots of people, and also something about a dolorous stroke, but we’ll get to all that later]

But yeah, um…I’ll admit Arthur isn’t my favorite character after he did this. But honestly, this moment is riddled with just…so many plot holes. He already knew Morgause’s son was the one the prophecy was about, didn’t he? Why did he have to go and kill a bunch of other kids?? I’m not missing something, am I?

So, sad as it is to say, I think we have to elevate (de-elevate? What’s the word for de-elevate?) Arthur into the ranks of Bad Mythological Dads. There were already too many of them as it was!

Anyway, I hope you guys had a good Easter, hopefully with lots of bunnies involved! (if you celebrate, of course. Though I still hope you had lots of bunnies involved in your day even if you don’t celebrate, because bunnies are amazing.)

My Country: The New Age; a review, in which I rant about boys who keep getting stabbed

Okay, so my non-spoilery thoughts: I LOVED IT I LOVED IT I LOVED IT. THE SHOW DIDN’T TANK NEARLY AS MUCH AS I THOUGHT IT WOULD. AND I SHIP SEON-HO AND HWI SO MUCH IT HURTS. (I feel like that was kind of the main ship of the show, tbh.)

A few things you might want to know in order to understand this

The show is set during the change from the Goryeo period to the Joseon dynasty at around 1400. It’s about two friends, Hwi and Seon-Ho, who come into conflict and get swept up into the political maelstrom. Also, Yeon is an angel and is Hwi’s little sister. Hui-Jae is there.

I’m kidding, I’m kidding, Hui-Jae is Hwi’s girlfriend. Oh, and one summary claimed there was a love triangle? And that both Hwi and Seon-Ho loved Hui-Jae? But you watch the show, and the only ‘love triangle’ is that both Hui-Jae and Seon-Ho love Hwi and the whole thing was just a weird moment? (Also, this drama was very queerbait-y. Wow.) There was something…very tentative between Hui-Jae and Seon-Ho, but–thank God–they dropped it really early on in the drama, which is good for us, of course.

Prince Bang-Won is fighting for the throne, and his father Yi Seung-Gye is fighting to keep his throne for as long as possible. Bang-Won and Yi Seung-Gye are both real people, as well as the rest of the royal family. Most of the other characters are made up, except for Sam-Bong and a few others.

All right, so now we’ve got that out of the way, let’s start out with the characters. Spoilers from here on out.

Hwi, AKA the stabby idiot (but we love him anyway)

I liked him. He wasn’t my very favorite character, and I feel like he could have been developed a bit more? But he was a decent character. I absolutely love that he ended up apologizing for the things he did wrong. I wouldn’t have liked him NEARLY as much if we hadn’t had that scene. This is why you have characters own up to their mistakes! Not only is it inspiring, it also can be really emotionally resonating and deep and keeps me from hating them. ❤

He’s a bit hard for me to put my finger on, possibly because his characterization tends to jump around depending on what the plot needs. He’s very sweet, yes, but he also has kind of a dark side. For most of the drama, he’s working with Bang-Won, who is planning on killing the sixteen-year-old crown prince? I should mention, in case you don’t realize, that the sixteen-year-old crown prince is Bang-Won’s brother. And it’s a bit hard for me to believe that Hwi can be complicit in that and still be the puppy of the show. I like him a lot, though! If I don’t think too hard about how he gets from one emotional state to the other, we’re fine. And the acting is amazing, as with everyone.

BUT SERIOUSLY, STOP STABBING YOUR BOYFRIEND, HWI. I’m not saying you have to get back together with Little Miss War Crimes, but at the same time, maybe show some hesitation before stabbing the guy who saved your sister?

Seon-Ho, AKA the other stabby idiot, AKA our resident (probably) bisexual disaster, AKA the reason I kept watching this show

MY BOY.

I swear I projected so hard onto him. His orientation is never really stated, but I’d say it’s pretty heavily implied that he’s bisexual. Which is to say that IT’S QUEERBAIT, but to be fair they were never clear what his relationship was with Yeon, either. I feel like I really should mind this, but I don’t, and I don’t know why. Queer-baiting drives me up the wall in other shows, but maybe here, it’s…it’s so over-the-top? Like, I’m not really sure if you can interpret Seon-Ho as not being bi. Look, I don’t know why I feel the way I do. All I know is, I can stand this and I couldn’t stand the queer-baiting in Sherlock and I don’t know why. It probably helps a lot that this is a historical drama, while Sherlock was not. I feel like historical shows have more leeway with ambiguous relationships. In Sherlock it was just…Look, these characters know what bisexuality is, everyone is telling them that they look like a couple, and John even admits!! that he has feelings for Sherlock at one point!! and then he just goes on with his life and the show pretends like it never happened. I don’t even ship John and Sherlock, at all, but it makes me really mad and it feels really exploitative of queer viewers. But if you’re working with historical characters and it’s just something that isn’t discussed in the society as much, I think you have more of an explanation as to why the attraction never really gets addressed.

But anyway, I am here for dumb anxious bi goths! Us dumb anxious bi goths have to stick together.

(Seon-Ho is heavily implied to be in love with both Yeon, Hwi’s sister, and also Hwi himself, and I do have to laugh at how ridiculous that is. To be fair though, straight girls get love triangles with two brothers ALL THE TIME.)

He’s such a moron! He just lights up the screen whenever he’s there. He’s a very morally complex character, and you have to guess a lot of his motivations, but like…usually the motivation is there, it’s just not readily apparent. Because the motivation is honestly insane. It’s like a guessing game! My mom’s family was pretty dysfunctional, and I can honestly recognize a lot of the same patterns in Seon-Ho. I know what I always say about how trauma doesn’t excuse a character’s bad behavior, but honestly, Seon-Ho…I get it. It felt real. And his apology to Hwi at the end? LITERAL GOLD. It tied the whole story together. So beautiful. Oh, and you want to know something beautiful and sad and ridiculous? Seon-Ho and Hwi die in each other’s arms. Also, what is it with me loving characters who get stabbed and then stab the other guy as they lay there dying? I mean sure, as far as I can think of it’s just Mordred and Seon-Ho, but that still feels like too many. (Two very big spoilers written in white, select to see.)

Also, towards the beginning of the show, we get a moment were Seon-Ho and the heroine, Hui-Jae, meet, and it goes something like this (not verbatim, obviously):

Hui-Jae: Hello, I–

Seon-Ho: HI I HAVE DADDY ISSUES I LEARNED TO TRAMPLE ON PEOPLE TO GET AHEAD FROM MY FATHER DID I MENTION I HAVE DADDY ISSUES I HATE MY DAD I JUST WANTED YOU TO KNOW

Anyway, it’s amazing. BUT YOU NEED TO STOP STABBING YOUR BOYFRIEND, TOO, SEON-HO. YOU DON’T GET A PASS JUST BECAUSE YOU’RE BEAUTIFUL AND PROBABLY BI.

Oh, you know what’s funny? When I started this, I was thinking, ‘well, this whole thing seems pretty bi, but you know, it’s a different time period, and I definitely don’t want to say that all male characters who express affection for each other are probably–‘ and then episode 3 came along and NOPE THIS WAS QUEERBAIT ALL ALONG MY INSTINCTS WERE CORRECT.

Yeon, AKA the only one who’s got it together, AKA a literal ball of sunshine

What a sweetie. She’s living her best Gothic heroine life. So pure.

She is Hwi’s ill little sister who ends up getting used as a pawn by Seon-Ho’s father to make life miserable for everyone. She’s honestly probably the one character in this show who does not have something shady going on on the side? (We love and support our shady characters too, of course.) She’s trapped in this awful situation, but she still is unfailingly kind. I really thought the actor brought a lot of life to this role. She managed to make a relatively minor-ish character really stand out.

I also ship Yeon and Seon-Ho, incidentally. What do you do when you ship one character with two different people? Write two fanfics?

Also, is it just me or is Yeon living out a Gothic heroine trope? The ill girl gets taken in by a charming, nice, and shady young man who isn’t telling her everything, while the man’s father acts shady and displeased in the background. Where am I getting that from? Have you read a Gothic novel like that before?

She did get fridged, though. I really don’t think she needed to die. I get that it’s customary in stories like these for the cute little sister to die in order for the heroes to have something to get revenge over, but I really think you could have taken the plot in way more interesting directions by keeping her alive. It’s why you don’t always follow the cliche! I will say, however, that I am glad that they didn’t kill her off at the beginning of the show. That would have been stupid, and Yeon did stick around long enough to do things and be lovable. I do appreciate that, seeing as how I’ve watched WAY too many historical dramas where the cute little sibling died in episode one for no reason except plot.

Hui-Jae, AKA She Who Is Without Screen Time

She wasn’t horrible, but I wasn’t particularly thrilled with her, either. I feel like her character could have gone in WAY more interesting directions. She was beginning to get really interesting in the early episodes, but it kind of disappointed me that as soon as Hwi came back and joined Bang-Won, she immediately switches camp from the queen to Bang-Won, despite hating Bang-Won before. Like. You can have love interests who have different political leanings!

Also?? She indirectly assists Bang-Won in killing the same kid that she saved ten years earlier?? Wtf?

I think I really would have liked her way more if she had been a side character rather than in love with Hwi. And I’m not saying that as a rabid shipper, I just think that their relationship was underdeveloped and not a lot of time was spent on it anyway. It came together for me a little better in the last episode, though. They got some sweet moments before the end.

The villains–Nam Jeon, AKA the incompetent scumbag, and Bang-Won, AKA Hwi’s cool but evil bro

I kind of like Nam Jeon as a character, to be honest. He’s the worst, absolutely! But he’s also a dumb goth just like his son, and I find the similarities between Nam Jeon and Seon-Ho hilarious. Nam Jeon is just a way worse version of his son. This character is such a scumbag, but he’s so bad at it, and it gets kind of funny. He also has a really interesting dynamic with all the characters. One more thing? I can appreciate that the villain is actually the one spouting ideals closer to the 21st century. That’s a nice change from ‘everyone has historically accurate beliefs except for the hero.’

Okay, and as for Bang-Won: Firstly, I want to say the actor for Bang-Won is PHENOMENAL. He really gave a lot of life to the part. Seriously. All the acting in this show is amazing. I like characters like Bang-Won; he’s ruthless and ultimately doesn’t have a lot of loyalty to those he doesn’t trust, but if you don’t become his enemy, he can be downright kind. And that scene where he started to echo the same things Nam Jeon was saying? Amazing. And I swear that fan he has is its own character. However. However, I do have one problem. Why on EARTH is Hwi with this guy? I get that Hwi was forced to be there at first, but what was keeping him there later?

I do admit that, while it was still up in the air whether Bang-Won would be good or evil, I didn’t really like that at ALL. He’s a great villain, okay? He’s not a great hero. You can’t have him kill a sixteen-year-old and then call him sympathetic.

(Okay, I’ll admit I loved Crowned Clown, and that had a–sympathetic? I guess?–character who killed a child. But Ha Seon (the hero, who was not the child-killer) was forced into an awful situation and didn’t have a lot of people he could trust. It was an interesting moment. It made me think. Here? HWI WHAT WERE YOU THINKING.)

Side Characters

I loved the Jurchen (I think his name was Sung-Rok? Was that his name?). He starts off as just this weird, crazy guy who can survive anything apparently (to be fair, so can all these characters), and he ends up basically becoming Seon-Ho’s surrogate parent. Aww.

I was alright with most of the other side characters, but I will admit that I think Mun-Bok tended to seriously derail the tone. Like we’ve got this grand tragedy going on all around him? And then here he is, not taking anything seriously and being silly. Also, I will say that comic relief characters tend to not be very bearable when you don’t find them funny. I like Park Chi-Do, though!

Flaws and other such unpleasant things

Oh man. The character motivations jumped ALL OVER THE PLACE. Seon-Ho wants to kill Bang-Won for insulting him once? Hwi is with Bang-Won why? Is there no other way for Hwi to get revenge? Wait, why did Hwi and Seon-Ho stab each other again?

The politics could get somewhat all over the place, but it isn’t NEARLY as bad as some other sageuks I could mention. The show did do the bare minimum of focusing on the main characters rather than jumping down the evil minister rabbit hole for twenty minutes an episode, but I also wouldn’t say the politics always make very much sense. This show is no Nirvana in Fire or Crowned Clown. It still managed to keep things interesting, though!

I know I already mentioned the comic relief characters derailing the tone, but I thought I’d mention it again, because it wasn’t fun.

Also, much as I enjoy the shippiness between the two male leads, towards the end of the drama it starts getting really really blatant and just…Hwi, is this emotional cheating? Is that what this is? I honestly wish that, instead of queer-baiting us, they could have just made Hui-Jae Hwi’s friend and then gotten Seon-Ho and Hwi together. Of course they didn’t do that, but I feel like it would have worked better for the story, instead of having Hui-Jae be a bystander in her own show. Either that or get her more involved in the plot!

Favorite Dumb Moments

The whole show, probably. But I’ll compile a list of my favorite hits.

Nam Jeon: You’re trying to fly before you can even jump.

Seon-Ho: That is what all birds do.

(source)
Pictured: Seon-Ho

*Hwi stabs Seon-Ho*

Seon-Ho: Your sword…still feels affectionate.

This quote keeps me up at night. What does it mean? Do I want to know?

Seon-Ho: Stay still, or your wound will open back up.

Hwi: I can’t believe the one who stabbed me is saying that.

I feel like this kind of sums up their relationship.

And then there was one scene where Hwi!! put meat on Seon-Ho’s rice!! AKA the shippy thing people do in dramas ahhh!! *dies*

Ugh, these morons. I love them.

Anyway, I definitely recommend this show! It has its silly moments, to be sure, but it is so, so good, and the characters are so complex and enjoyable, and the acting is possibly some of the best I’ve seen in a drama. I really do think it’s one of my favorite dramas. It’s out on Netflix, so you can binge-watch it there if you want. (It might be something fun during quarantine, lol.) I honestly think I might rewatch this show eventually. Also, if you know of any history books about Bang-Won, the strife of the princes, etc., hit me up! I’m curious to know more now.

it’s mercenary, is what it is — livsnjotare

mmmm this is a strange little story of a strange little child who went and became a work hazard. you see, this child was looking at work in creating content, as one does who daydreams in the night and lives out nightmares for an afternoon’s entertainment. but to do that, they needed a much more […]

it’s mercenary, is what it is — livsnjotare

Jo, who, if you don’t know, is a genuinely amazing person and a talented writer, is taking commissions for short stories! So if you have a few bucks and want to contribute, that’d be nice. She’s real cool 🙂

Le Morte D’Arthur, book 1, part 24

I’ve been feeling somewhat terrible what with the coronavirus outbreak and everything, but this chapter of Le Morte D’Arthur made me laugh today and I hope it cheers you up, too.

(I’m not even quarantined yet. I just feel terrible in general.)

Anyway, previously on Le Morte D’Arthur: Arthur gets a fancy new sword from the Lady of the Lake! It is very shiny. That is all you need to know.

Meanwhile, a messenger came from King Rience of North Wales, of all Ireland, and of many isles. And this was his message, greeting King Arthur in this manner, saying that King Rience had defeated and overcome eleven kings, and each of them did him homage, and that was this: they gave him their beards clean flayed off, as much as there was, and so the messenger had come for King Arthur’s beard. […Oookay?] [Can you imagine being woken up in the morning and having to meet this messenger who tells you how much he wants your beard? I swear, if there’s a weird scenario out there, some Arthurian character has lived it.]

For King Rience had trimmed a mantle with kings’ beards, and there lacked trimming on one place on the mantle, and so he sent for Arthur’s beard, or else he would enter into Arthur’s lands and burn and slay, and never leave till he had both his head and his beard. [THIS IS RIDICULOUS.]

‘Well,’ said Arthur, ‘you have said your message, which is the most villainous and unmannerly message that man has ever heard sent unto a king. Also you may see that my beard is too small yet to make a trim out of it. [haha, that’s one way to shut that down] But tell your king this. I owe him no homage, nor none of my elders. But before long, he shall do me homage on both his knees, or else he shall lose his head, by the faith of my body. For this is the most shameful message I ever heard speak of.’ Then the messenger departed.

‘Now, is there anyone here who knows King Rience?’ asked Arthur.

Then a knight named Naram answered, ‘Sire, I know the king well. He is a passing good commander of armies, better than many living, and a passing proud man. And Sire, doubt you not, he will make war on you with a mighty army.’

‘Well,’ said Arthur, ‘I shall prepare for him in a short time.’

Anyway, I hope everyone’s been staying safe, sane, and entertained during quarantine. This was kind of a short chapter, but I hope you enjoyed!