Understanding the Lord of the Rings: Eagles – if all else fails

(tl;dr: plothole shmothole; eagles are a symbol for divine intervention)

Probably the most heated discussion among (pseudo- and real) Tolkien fans is the apparent plot hole of the eagles in the Lord of the Rings novel. If the eagles are so helpful, people say, why not just fly over to Mordor, possibly coming in from the less protected East side of the country, and drop the stupid ring right into the volcano? Defenders then go on to say that eagles are really powerful and dignified beings, and you can’t just use them like that – which is true but seems like a pretty thin argument, considering the eagles did help both Thorin’s group of dwarves and later Gandalf by carrying them on their back. And then, there is the abominable theory that Gandalf wanted to use the eagles all along, and that his plea “fly, you fools” was a hidden message… yeah… sure. Because Tolkien literature is that crude. Read More

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Underrated: A Series of Unfortunate Events

(tl;dr: awesome piece(s) of postmodern literature, not only for kids)

In honor of the upcoming Netflix adaptation of A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket (pleasedon’tsuckpleasedon’tsuckpleasedon’tsuckbtwareyousupposedtoaddapostrophesinthesethings?), I’m going to introduce this wonderful series of books to those of you who may not know it yet, and just do a little advertising for one of my favorite series of all time. Read More

OMG, Big Boo in Friends, 20 years ago!! In „The one with the lesbian wedding“, obviously. Where else. She’s got, like, two lines, but still… be still, my beating nerd heart.
(I’m talking about Big Boo from Orange is the New Black, by the way. Not from Super Mario. That would make no sense. Why would a cartoon ghost attend a lesbian wedding? Yeah.)

Understanding Harry Potter: The Rest of the World

(tl;dr: The way foreign cultures are presented in the Harry Potter series is an insult both to foreign cultures and to the Harry Potter series.)

Disclaimer: Before I start this article, let me be clear on one thing: I love the Harry Potter series, as evidenced by the insane amount of details I could put into this text without having to look anything up. I consider the series to be a serious piece of literature and I have the greatest respect for JK Rowling’s writing skills (in her later novels, she managed to change her style to the point of being unrecognizable, and that’s one hell of an achievement). I don’t mean to smear these wonderful books.

But. Read More

1984: Big Brother is not watching you

(tl;dr: 1984 is a great dystopian novel, but it no longer depicts the future we should fear.)

Every few weeks on a certain popular memes website, I see posts advising people to read 1984 by George Orwell with the caption „Read this! It’s happening!“ – posts that make me gag, and maybe that’s what the name of the site is based on.

Because it’s bullshit.

We are not living 1984, and I’l tell you why (“Why?” “Exactly.”). Please note: “we” here means Western countries in the 21st century. It doesn’t hold true for all people in the world (far from it!), but it does for most of the people who read and write on the English-speaking internet. Read More

One of my bigger problems is mixing terminology from different fandoms to describe something.

Hey, remember the time Sasuke digivolved to SSJ3 at the Argonath, just after he’d joined the dark side? You know, on his way to Voldemort, the guy with the high voice and snakes? That’s right, when Vulpix, I mean Naruto, evolved to Ninetales, yes. Exactly.

Understanding Harry Potter: The Boy Who Died

(tl;dr: The Harry Potter series is about death; fear of death makes you weak and evil; accepting your fate makes you strong and good)

The Harry Potter series is, of course, not about magic. Magic is something that comes to your aid when all hope is lost, something that solves unsolvable problems. At least, this is the way magic is used in fairy tales and genres like magical realism. Not so in this series: in Harry Potter’s world, magic doesn’t actually solve problems, because the essential ones still exist. “No magic can bring back the dead,” Dumbledore warns us, and if your crush doesn’t return your feelings, love potions won’t help because they create only an artificial love. In Harry Potter, people are poor, jealous, angry and sad, and no magic can help it. It is a world that follows different rules, but rules are in place and cannot be broken by Harry Potter-type magic.

What is the series about, then?

Death. Harry Potter is about death. Read More

Making a case for: Star Wars Episodes I-III

(tl;dr: I don’t think they suck.)

Celebrating the upcoming main event of December (and who needs Christmas?), here’s an article about Star Wars. I have a feeling that this is one people are going to stone me for. But, protected by the cloak of invisibility that is internet anonymity, I’m going to plunge into it anyway and you can just hope it won’t get worse than this („Worse? How could it possibly be worse? Jehova, Jehova, Jehova…“). Read More

Netflix, you did a great job on House of Cards and Orange is the New Black. If you manage to turn A Series of Unfortunate Events into the amazing series it deserves to be next year, I will be your loyal friend forever. If you turn it into a good series, I’ll advertise it to everyone I know. If you turn it into a bad series, I’ll watch it anyway so I can bitch about it. Oooh, I can’t wait!

Understanding The Lord of the Rings: The End

(tl;dr: The LOTR is the end of Tolkienish history; you can’t understand it without the Silmarillion no matter how boring you think it is; Middle-Earth history could be our history)

Several times, I’ve heard people call the Silmarillion “Tolkien’s most boring novel”. The main flaw with this is not the judgment (boring) since that is a matter of opinion (it may make you seem like an uncultured swine, but you’re entitled to that. I personally found A Tale of Two Cities pretty boring despite the epic beginning and heartbreaking ending, and I hope I’m entitled to that!). No, the main flaw is that the Silmarillion is not a novel. But it does give us the background we need to understand Tolkien’s novels. Read More