Why do I love characters everyone else hates?

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It’s inevitable, if I like a character … everyone else hates them.

Does this ever happen to you? Here’s my list. Like them, love them, hate them. Please let me know.

Game of Thrones

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In light of the new season, let’s start here.

Everyone hates the Lannisters. I love them. I think I tend to like characters who are morally grey. My favs are Cersei, Tywin, and Jamie. Tyrion is actually my least favorite, despite his popularity with the fandom.

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But let’s focus on the characters I like that others don’t. For starters, Jaime Lannister. But many fans like him now, you might say. But did they like him from season one, episode one? I did. Most fans spent three or four seasons wishing Jaime dead. Somewhere around the fifth or sixth season, I started reading articles online where people were defending Jaime. People started to see what I saw: a misunderstood character who has fallen from his path after being shamed for rightfully killing a mad king. He is fiercely loyal to his family, even willing to kill a young boy to hide a secret that could jeopardize his children. Even the incest with his sister is about loyalty and love, not sleaze. I saw a character who is going to have a redemption arc and regain his honor.

Cersei_Lannister-Lena_HeadeySo now for the big one: Cersei Lannister. From the get-go people hated her. As with all morally grey characters, she isn’t without her reasons and her redeeming qualities. She is introduced as a woman who loved a husband who would never love her back because of a fierce and stubborn hangup for an old flame. How frustrating is that. She loved her brother because he was the only one she felt she had a place with. She hated Tyrion because her mother died. She lies, conspires, and manipulates to keep her children’s secrets unknown and their butts on the thrown. Little finger schemes only for himself and people LOVE him? People think she is power hungry, but she only took the thrown after her youngest son fell to his death. She would have never killed him to have the thrown. Even though he was soft, weak, and unfit to rule, she still supported him. It wasn’t until after she’d lost all of her children that she assumed the throne, and even now, her motivation is to use that power to avenge her children’s deaths from the Tyrels, the Martels, and the Starks.

So why is that so bad? Yes, she can be cruel, but she is a sympathetic villain, or at least I think she is.

Lastly, who loves Theon Greyjoy. I love him, or at least I love him in the latter seasons. He starts off as a prick, but I see another redemption story coming. Honestly after he helped Sansa, I’m willing to forgive a lot of his former shit.

Vikings

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It’s hard enough to find someone who likes the show Vikings let alone finding someone who actually likes my favorite characters.

9a286627b386a8eacbbf50e57ac995a6--vikings-tv-series-vikings-tv-showOne of my favorite characters is Rollo. He is the brother of Ragnar. During the show he constantly alternates between fighting with or against his brother. Basically what other fans see is a villain. I see a man who is tired of living in his brother’s shadow who is struggling to find out what his own destiny is. Some of the fan hate is legit and brought on by Rollo’s relationship with women. Relationship being a generous word. He worships his brother’s wife, but treats women badly, especially Sigi who does what she can to support him and his ambitions. He realizes he treated her badly when she dies and tries to drink himself to death. After this eye opening experience, he meets Gisla and we see a reformed Rollo. He changes his clothes, cuts his hair, denounces his faith, and removes his warrior arm  band to gain her acceptance.

Even though he is not a ladies man, he was always a good uncle at least. One of the arcs I wish the show would focus on more was the relationship he had with Bjorn. His relationship with his nephew was always a redeeming quality. Hopefully this something they will focus on in the seasons to come.

Aslaug_4b_2You’d think  the backstabbing, woman-abusing killer would be the most hated character on the show. You’d be wrong. Aslaug, Ragnar’s second wife is the most despised character to date. Why is this? I see Aslaug as the discount Cersei of Vikings. Basically, he met her on his journeys and gets her pregnant. All she wants it for him to take responsibility and help care for her child. His current wife becomes outraged (rightfully so) and leaves. He stays married to Aslaug for some time before they eventually become distant. It is clear he still loves his former wife and blames Aslaug for her leaving. Their marriage really falls apart after the birth of their son Ivar. Ragnar wants to leave him in the wilderness to die, but Aslaug wants to take care of him regardless of his deformity. Feeling unloved and betrayed, she does end up having an affair with another man. She doesn’t start scheming against her husband until he starts proving that he might be an incompetent King. His friendship with a priest makes not only Aslaug question his faith in the Norse gods and his loyalty. She doesn’t actually assume the throne until he dies. She doesn’t try to kill him. She literally waits until he is killed. Ragnar even apologizes to her before the end for the way he treated her. So, if the main character admits he’s wrong, why do fans hate her?

Part of this is because Vikings fans seem to be very loyal to Ragnar or what I call Team Ragnar. They ignore the fact that he is supposed to be de-evolving as a human being as he evolves in status. He goes from being a farmer to an earl, to a king. As he gains power, he loses a part of himself. Fans will defend him to the death no matter what he does, even though he’s supposed to be a character who is losing himself.

e3dbb420230eab8bec694b1b35239ad4--vikings-tv-series-vikings-tv-showLastly, I’d like to talk about Porunn. She was introduced in season two or three as a love interest for Bjorn. I appreciated that she had an arc outside of him. She was a slave who was freed by Aslaug (you know, evil Aslaug) and wanted to become a viking. Fans hated her. They blamed her for Bjorn not being in plot. She’s been gone for two seasons and he’s yet to really rejoin plot. That is the problem of the writers, not a character. I really welcomed Poroun as a character. There wasn’t a lot of women representation at the time, and none from the slave class. I thought she offered an interesting perspective. Also, it was good conflict to have her fighting alongside Bjorn. She was inexperienced and hasty to become a warrior, which resulted in her becoming maimed in battle. Now when I say maimed, they gave her some cool face scars. But the character fell into depression because she viewed them as a mark of shame. She was so depressed she even pushed her husband, Bjorn, away and struggled to love her daughter. That last sentence is why they really hated her. What kind of mother abandons her daughter? Why is she so whiney? Sound familiar? Sounds like she might have had depression and post par-tum. Again, this was great conflict for the character and for Bjorn. I think it was interesting having a character struggle with her relationships, especially with a child. There are many women who struggle with or without depression, and like this character, they are demonized. I thought Porunn offered a lot of refreshing perspective and conflict that they lost when they wrote her off.

 

The Hobbit

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I’m just going to say I loved the movie everyone hated. and I loved the character nobody liked. You know who I’m talking about.

So why did so many people hate Tauriel.

  • She wasn’t cannon
  • She was an oc
  • She wasn’t “supposed to be there.”

I do think there were some flaws to her character, but I think she had more purpose than just being a love interest. She had her own desires and goals. She was a good friend and loyal. On that note, when they say she shouldn’t be there, in the book, Tolkien summarizes, which is the book equivalent of a montage, their time in Mirkwood. If they only used characters named in the book, Thranduil would be alone. So they fleshed out a few to make the world more real.

All in all, the movie was a sausage fest, so it was nice to have some roast beef added to the table.

The Walking Dead

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Where to start. Let’s just start with Andrea.

This was a character I really identify with as a single woman and a sister. I just felt like she was always getting screwed and called out by the other characters for stuff that they let other characters do. They refuse to give her a gun because she wants to kill her sister herself when she tunrs. They treat her as though is is crazy and irrational. Meanwhile, Shane is allowed to have a gun … need I say more.

I thought she was great. She was always with the guys or fishing. You didn’t see her being trapped in a domestic woman’s role like Carol (Thank goodness Carol baddassed up) or Lori. She caught fish for the group, went on supply runs, and learned how to shoot. She eventually teamed up with Badass Michon. At this point, fans already hated her, as fans often hate the blond independent woman with personality. Honestly, I didn’t dislike her until the arc with the Governor. It just got boring until she discoveed Michon’s pointlessly cryptic warnings were true.

Lori-Grimes-1Ok, I put it off. Let’s tackle Lori. Ok, while I don’t love Lori, I don’t hate her for the reasons other fans do. She was created to be the voice of reason for Rick who struggles to maintain his humanity and ideals in a apocalyptic world. Sadly, the fans hated her by episode one, despite the fact that she … hadn’t really done anything despicable. She wasn’t technically having an affair. The set up showed that their marriage was suffering, so it makes since that after she thought he died, she would move on. That’s her right. Women get to have relationships after their husbands die. While audiences had context that he was alive, they forget she does not have this context. She ends the affair with Shane after finding out her husband is alive. It’s Shane that tries to keep it going. The result: a tired love triangle that carries on long past it’s expiration date.

The reason I don’t like her: She seemed very against the women learning to shoot as Andrea suggested they do, believing it was “woman’s” roll to maintain civility and normalcy. Fuck that shit. I commend Andrea for her rebuttal that not everyone has a husband to protect them and that it’s selfish to put themselves in a position where they can’t take care of themselves and make themselves a liability to the group. My main reason I don’t like her: she throws up the abortion pills. It’s stupid and selfish to have a baby during a zombie Apocalypse. Need I say more.

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  • She had a Cesarean: therefore, she can’t have the baby without another cesarean. How did she think she was going to accomplish this?
  • A baby would be vulnerable and most likely be eaten if it didn’t die of all the other ways babies die.
  • A post apocalyptic world is no place for a baby or a child. How can they be happy? How can they have any semblance to a normal childhood?
  • The baby will endanger the entire group. Did she ever watch MASH. Doesn’t she remember that last episode where the woman had to suffocate her baby so the group doesn’t get captured.

Reign

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The show itself gets a lot of hate from critics but it’s a guilty pleasure for its fans. Catherine De Medici is one of my favorite characters. I must have a soft spot for powerful women who use their power to protect their children. I guess you could say she is the Cersei Lannister of the WB network. Basically she hears a prophesy that Mary will cause the death of her son, so she does everything in her power to stop her from wedding him. Fans of the show despise her for coming between the two lovers. She is the spice of the show. She’s witty, she’s powerful, she’s sassy, and even a little sexy. What’s not to love, and eventually she ends up using her abilities to help Mary.

Basically I think what it comes down to is that people just don’t like conflict, but tv shows would be very boring if no one ever opposed each other or if all the characters were perfect and morally white. We need these flawed, conflict causing, morally grey characters to make drama … well … dramatic.

Well, I think that makes my list. Who are some characters you love that everyone else loves to hate?

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From Chic to Geek: Nerd’n It Up At Kokomo Con

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Connecting at Kokomo-Com

Connecting at Kokomo-Con

One hundred years is a mere blink in the life of an elf, and Saturday was a mere blink for me. I’m so sad Kokomo-Con is over. If you follow my blog, my sister’s blog, her twitter account or my twitter account, you know we’re a little crazy about The Hobbit. If you saw us at Kokomo-Con, you might just think we’re plain crazy.

How to do like my Pace face?

How do you  like my Pace face?

This was our first, and hopefully not our last, cosplay. I was the King of Mirkwood, Thranduil; my sister was Tauriel; and my son was Legolas. In preparation for this event, we ordered costumes, painted latex ears, watched makeup tutorials, and made a crown out of wire and hot glue–it was actually very simple to make believe it or not.

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My sister getting into character

I think we looked a lot like the characters from Peter Jackson’s adaptation–good enough to be stunt doubles perhaps. Personally, not only was I a convincing Thranduil, but I think I was a rather convincing man. I had a few people tell me I looked like Lee Pace. What do you think? And kudos to my sister, working that red hair. Not to mention my son who was the cutest little Legolas ever!

Kokomo-Con was a lot of fun, which is a gross understatement. There were some great vendors, artist, special guest, events, and, of course, excellent costumes. We were the only ones from Middle Earth, but there were plenty of people from the Star Wars and Marvel universe. Not to mention a few Disney Princesses.

The King of Mirkwood with the Queen of Ice and Snow

The King of Mirkwood with the Queen of Ice and Snow

For those of you who follow my blog for writing content, you might ask, what does this have to do with writing? To be honest, part of the reason we went to the con was to check it out as a possible marketing opportunity. Several of the vendors were selling comic books, paintings, and other media comparable to novels. Booth rental at this event is surprisingly affordable, and with more than 1,500 people walking through the doors, this seems like a great opportunity to make a few sales or at least gain some exposure with our target audience.

storm trooperI think a comic-con is a great place for fantasy writers to connect with potential readers. Fantasy fans travel for miles to shop the booths or dress up as their favorite characters. I think it’s safe to assume someone dressed as Harry Potter or Legolas would be a possible reader. Check to see if you have a local con in your hometown. My sister and I gained several twitter followers from the event. Who knows, they could be future readers. Her book is scheduled to debut this January, so we’ll probably rent a booth at Kokomo-Con 2015. I can’t wait.

Captain of the Guard with  Captain Jack

Captain of the Guard with Captain Jack

So who did we meet at Kokomo-Con? Well, I bumped into a surprising number of people I already knew–that I recognized anyway. I met a few fans of The Hobbit trilogy. Apparently they do exist. I met Darth Vader, Obi wan, Elsa, Merida, Beast (two of them), and Gambit.

Winners of Best Group

Winners of Best Group

Aside from gaining some twitter followers, we walked away with a monetary reward as well. First place for Best Group Costume went to the Mirkwood Elves. Not too bad for our first cosplay. I’ll use my share of the winnings to have my costume dry-cleaned and fix my broken zipper.

It was so much fun getting to be the Elf King.I have to say, I miss my long, blond hair–and my crown. Now that Kokomo-Con is over, it’s back to selling insurance and writing.