DIEGO LUNA as CASSIAN ANDOR in ANDOR, streaming on Disney+ August 31st, 2022.
Damn it, the Andor teaser trailer looks really cool.
incognitajones replied to this post:
hmmm, and yet I don't recall him having anything to say about Aragorn's attractiveness... does that mean Aragorn is an uggo?!?
Sort of, lol! Aragorn cleans up nice on multiple occasions (and Denethor is noted as attractive and strongly resembles him), but in his ragged graying wilderness man persona, he’s ... well, there’s a reason that the hobbits decide that he would probably “look fairer” if he were actually trying to deceive them. :P
Sorry that was annoying, I’ve not considered this detail before & it’s very funny
No problem, and thanks!
I’m not sure why it is that 90% of jokes are either a) incomprehensible or b) painfully unfunny to me, but Legolas soberly eulogizing Boromir as “Boromir the Fair” is hilarious to me.
Legolas is an Elf who is startlingly “fair” to pretty much everyone, including Boromir’s own people, but when they’re laying Boromir to rest, Legolas’s contribution to the sad musical number is “he was so pretty, too :( rip”
Bonus: later, he meets Boromir’s uncle, and his takeaway is this: “That is a fair lord and a great captain of men.” Okay, Legolas.
(Yes, Imrahil is known as “Imrahil the Fair,” the grandson who resembles him is “Elfwinë the Fair,” Boromir is repeatedly described as fair, Faramir closely resembles him and also has a “fair face,” so this isn’t just Legolas’s perception of them. But he certainly has his priorities in order!)
Oh, one of the other things about NOME and part-Elvish beardlessness: Tolkien says something to the effect that the beardlessness is one of the most enduring part-Elvish traits. You’ll get people who aren’t really very Elvish, but if there’s any amount of Elvish blood left, they’ll still be naturally beardless. And he particularly associates this with the House of Elendil’s descent from Elros, with a whole explanation of why that applies to the House of the Stewards also.
The short version is that Húrin of Emyn Arnen, while not a direct-line member of the royal house, was descended from Anárion and a recognized kinsman of King Minardil, which was part of the reason he was appointed to the Stewardship. We’ve known this was rattling around Tolkien’s head since POME, but it’s very clearly laid out in NOME in order to explain that Boromir and Faramir are Elrosians through Denethor and therefore beardless (+part-Elvish through Finduilas as well).
The thing I’m thinking is ... it’d be interesting if there was some kind of, hmm, cultural cachet around beardlessness? I know a lot of people are really into bearded Dúnedain, but if natural beardlessness is one of the most lingering marks of royal ancestry, it seems like it’d be kind of loaded, esp in Gondor. Has it affected the Gondorian aesthetic? Is it some Gondorian value of punk for a young man to grow a beard, or pretend to? Are there ever any misunderstandings with, say, the Rohirrim re: age/status/etc?
I do suspect that, although beardlessness ultimately derives from Elvish ancestry, the fact that in most cases it comes through the royal line would lead to it being more associated with Númenórean royalty than Elves per se. Gondorians care a lot more about Elendil than Turgon.
For no particular reason, I’ve been navel-gazing about obnoxious comments I’ve gotten on fic over the years.
Of course, “obnoxious comments” aren’t created equal. I basically divide the ones I’ve personally received into three types: 1) breaches of etiquette, 2) trivial shit, and 3) wtf?
#1 is stuff like leaving a comment on a new fic to ask when I’m going to update an older fic for a completely different fandom. Please don’t do this! But it’s not a huge deal. Or just saying “update soon” and nothing else like I’m some sort of fic-writing machine. Or trash-talking the genre or ship that I’m writing to emphasize that my fic is good even though my taste in ships/tropes is shit or something. I don’t like any of these things, but they’re essentially just different ideas of courtesy.
#2 are things like ... correcting me for making up a title for the blank Fitzwilliam earldom in P&P instead of going with “Earl of Matlock” (an invention of the 1995 P&P—I’ve gotten multiple complaints about not using it). Or the occasional complaint about calling my genderbent Luke Skywalker “Lucy” instead of something more obscure and space-y (as opposed to the obscure sci-fi name Luke, I guess). Or my physical descriptions of the characters not matching the casting in someone’s preferred adaptation (again, P&P 1995 fandom is particularly prone to this—one person felt the need to inform me that they always imagined my Darcy as Colin Firth, despite knowing of my dislike for the 1995 and the descriptions in the fics not matching him, in response to a fic where Darcy is a woman). Or there’s “well actually in the novelization/Expanded Universe/film/whatever...”
#3 is easily the least common. The most objectionable of the “wtf” genre of comment was undoubtedly the person who thought I was implying that Elizabeth Bennet is a WOC in Season of Courtship, and went on a screed about it. The weirdest was the person who asked if leaving Subsequent Connections unfinished made me feel desirable. I was also pretty “wtf” at the person who urged me to stop writing screenplay-format fic because it reminded them of a different fic writer who they disliked. And there was someone (at AO3, of all places) who told me that my fic was great but I was personally shitty.
There have also been some kind of peculiar edge cases, like someone responding to my Ivriniel fic with a pseudo-above-it-all comment about how hilarious they found the idea of anybody in Gondor ever resenting Aragorn (i.e. the premise of the fic). There was also some person who was indignant that the other comments on First Impressions were positive despite Henry not being manly (there actually were plenty of other people who had criticisms of First Impressions, but most were clustered at different sites than this commenter’s). Obviously not anywhere near as bad as the straight-up racism or homophobia, but those still struck me as weird and wanky beyond just fannish obsessing over minutia.
I have gotten criticisms that I don’t think of as obnoxious—some were (non-adaptation-based) corrections of genuine mistakes, like Americanisms and getting Italian phrases wrong and continuity errors and things. Some people have noted where longer fics meandered off track and the pacing got uneven or seemed directionless (fair!). Some people don’t like my readiness to give substantial roles to OCs/near-OCs. Others don’t like specific decisions I made, like the Rebellion’s limited roles for women in the Lucyverse or the justification for Catherine’s proposal in First Impressions. Okay!
Also, while obviously I’ve seen and remembered the obnoxious comments, they make up a small proportion of the overall comments I’ve received over the years. Most people are nice. I’ve very rarely received really nasty direct comments, despite writing sketchy things at times, deliberately rejecting popular fanons, etc.
And ... I mean, my two biggest fandoms by a mile are P&P and SW (in terms of what I’ve written fic for). And Austen fandom has always been the odd one out for me, fandom-wise. If I excluded the responses to Austen fic specifically, my experience of fic comments would be even more overwhelmingly pleasant (and the comments on Austen fic are mostly pleasant, but it is definitely the wankiest fandom I’ve ever been: both very particular about conformity to its norms and very Cult of Nice about addressing pretty much anything). I know that SW fandom does have awful people in it who leave worse comments than anything I’ve ever received—that’s just what my personal experience has been.
So, yeah, the occasional obnoxiousness I’ve encountered seems like ... not nothing, by any means, but given how much I’ve written, what I’ve chosen to write, and the basic contrariness of my nature, I’ve probably come out pretty lucky as far as fandom goes.
The NOME passage on Elf/part-Elf beardlessness is interesting in a lot of ways, honestly.
The thing is, you can quibble with Tolkien’s sweeping generalizations about how beardlessness works. He says that all Elves are beardless, which is canonically not true; Círdan is bearded in LOTR. He says that the mortal descendants of Elves are beardless, such as Aragorn, Imrahil, Boromir, and Faramir, contrasting them with the bearded Théoden and Éomer ... who are also descendants of an Elf (the same Elf as Imrahil’s ancestress, at that). So it’s easy to go, eh, not compatible with canon, whatever.
Of course, Tolkien elsewhere has a less sweeping explanation of Elvish beardlessness. Typically, only very old Elves can grow beards (with the occasional rare exception). Círdan’s beard is a mark of his age, not something characteristic of male Elves in general.
What’s less clear is how this more limited beardlessness manifests among the mortal descendants of Elves. Maybe they never live long enough to reach the beard-growing stage. Maybe the Númenóreans’ strange lifespans and aging are essentially a hybrid of Elvish cycles of life+mortality, so they can grow beards at their own equivalent of the late Elvish life-cycle. Tolkien isn’t really clear on how the clarification of Elvish beardlessness affects the beardlessness of Elvish descendants.
But it is very clear, IMO, that the statement that all descendants of Elves are beardless is an over-generalization. For Tolkien, it seems that only some descendants of Elves “count” for these purposes. Théoden is the son of a Númenórean woman of the line of the Princes of Dol Amroth, but he’s so powerfully identified with his father’s culture and ethnicity that he’s basically never treated as Númenórean or part-Elvish in any way. UT attributes Éomer’s height to his Númenórean ancestry but nothing else.
However, Tolkien also suggests that Boromir’s and Faramir’s beardlessness is partly attributable to their descent from the Princes of Dol Amroth through their mother (as well as Denethor’s descent from Elros). So it’s not just some patrilineal take on genetics at work. And the beardlessness of the royal families of Gondor and Arnor goes back to a woman, anyway—Princess Silmariën, who herself inherited the Elvish blood of Idril, Nimloth, and Lúthien, all women. This can definitely be transmitted through the female line.
It’s maybe a bit uncharitable, but my suspicion is that Faramir and Boromir’s Dol Amroth heritage “counts” for Tolkien in a way that Théoden and Éomer’s doesn’t because it doesn’t really change anything. Faramir and Boromir are already part-Elvish Númenóreans on Denethor’s side, so Tolkien can tack on “and Finduilas was part-Elvish, too” to reinforce it, whereas Théoden and Éomer are so thoroughly identified with the Rohirrim that their function would be undermined by any signs of Elvishness.
In any case, it’s not that Tolkien is perfectly consistent here by any means, or that his preference for patrilineality doesn’t color a lot of how this works. But I do think it’s more complicated and intriguing than the “Círdan and Théoden have beards tho, checkmate” crowd allows.
I know this isn’t just an autism problem, but for me specifically it is very much an autism problem:
I can present as fairly functional in person, and I put a lot of effort into doing so whenever I venture out Into The World, so people who aren’t close to me generally don’t realize I’m autistic. I’ve got people close to me who are like, you don’t need to do that, it puts a lot of strain on you (true), it worsens your anxiety and depression (true), and your autism is so mild, it’s not like anything you do is that big of a deal, anyway. But these same people will very obviously shut me down or redirect me if I start monologuing about one of my fixations, they make a point of looking me in the eye even though they know I hate eye contact, it took years for them to accept that I’ll never drive, that there’s no special math trick that will make calculating tips anything but a slow ordeal, they pressure me into situations that are sensory hellscapes, etc.
It just feels very weird to be pushed into concealing or downplaying the symptoms of my autism while simultaneously being told that those things are nbd, really. I should just be true to myself and accept being kind of quirky, but not in a way they find tedious or inconvenient. It’s ... very tiring.
Sunflower Auction bids open
So there’s a fanworks charity auction in aid of Ukraine running and I signed up.
If interested, you can bid on me here or browse other offers here. Bids close on May 30.
Though I mostly write Star Wars fic under this pseud, I’ve written for two decades in fandoms huge (LOTR) to medium (Austen, LMM) to tiny (several Yuletide-sized book fandoms). I’m not a fast writer, but I’m reliable; I have yet to default on an exchange commitment.
This is a bit nerve-wracking because I’ve never done an auction before, but I’m very excited and really keen to work with my bidder to develop a story that’s just what they were hoping for! (And the worst that can happen is no-one bids, in which case I’ll donate the money myself.)
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the thing about being in a fandom for a long time is you inevitably develop very intense opinions about things you know objectively are absolutely meaningless but nonetheless make you want to gnaw through drywall like a feral cat and there's just nothing you can do about that
My best friend and I watched Rogue One and loved it all over again, and then watched Space Mutiny last night. The whiplash was ... strong, but very funny.
I am genuinely very, very tired of all the posts on my dash about how having mental conditions doesn’t excuse you from responsibility, it’s on you to take measures to prevent your illness/trauma/whatever from having basically any negative impact on anyone else ever, and failing to do so is at some level a moral failure.
There are various things I find irritating about these posts, but the more I think about it, the more they seem underpinned by a deeply individualistic, pull-yourself-up-by-your-bootstraps, binary way of thinking. They’ll sometimes allow for the reality that the kind of exertion they’re advocating is more difficult—sometimes drastically more difficult—for people with various conditions, but the answer is essentially “but you’ve got to force yourself to do it anyway, sucks to be you.”
It’s not that it’s never the case that sometimes you just have to do, or not do, a thing. But they set up this dynamic where it’s always exclusively on you, the person with a literal mental condition or disability, to handle your issue in a way that accommodates others, but it’s in no way incumbent on others to accommodate you. They frame the problem as essentially one of people not being disciplined and responsible enough in isolation, rather than any kind of mutual consideration. Ugh.
I am writing veryyyy slowly, but on the bright side, that is 90% because my best friend is visiting and we’re doing All The Things. Today we’re going shopping, something I normally dislike, but doing it at this extremely PNW food co-op with tons of local coffee (he lives in a different part of the country and pines after PNW coffee). So, should be fun!
One of the funnest parts of writing my novel—or rather, the setting in which my novel and various other stories take place—is that I just decided one day that it would be matriarchal.
I mean, I’m not very interested in, idk, a super deep interrogation of matriarchy or whatever. I did think about a lot of different aspects of how it would work in this particular context, but at the end of the day, I was (and remain) most interested in how it might inform the sort of general everyday dynamics of life more than meditations on it as a thing or very specific, highly articulated conflicts over it. So what’s been most fun, for me, is to think of ways to have this kind of background hum of matriarchy without it necessarily being the focal point.