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?

Cosplay/Film Progress

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Hey, guys, just wanted to give you an update on how things have been going.
I’ve been busy … too busy.

While I wait for a filming date on my current project, I auditioned for two more roles, one being a GOT parody. Keeping my fingers crossed.

I also got my dreads put in. I think they look awesome.

As far as cosplay, I’m going to Gen Con in August and Kokomo con in October, so I might have to put my Wonder Woman cosplay on the back burner to sew Rylee a new Bjorn shirt and fix my chainmail for my Lagertha cosplay.

And how is that Wonder Woman costume coming, you might ask. Slow. Very slow. I’ve never worked with EVA foam, so I cut out my shield. That’s it. I’m also attempting to use foam to fix my son’s axe that broke at Kokomo con.

In the meantime, sis and I have been hitting the gym hard to get our warrior bods. The gym doesn’t leave much time for anything else, including sewing.

While I should be working on my foam shield, I decided to teach my son how to make props and costumes. He cut the gloves for his Ash costume and I started teaching him how to make shields. This is going to be a Captain America shield.

This week, I’m going to try to get some real progress done on the Wonder Woman cosplay. Between acting, the gym, my son’s Karate and camp, holidays, and work, it’s hard to make time, but we always seem to get our costumes done last minute.

Why I Cosplay

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So as you all know, my blog is where I share my passions–mainly writing (though lately my post haven’t been about writing so much). Right now my greatest passion is cosplay.

What is Cosplay?

Some of you probably cosplay yourselves or at least have heard about it. I’m really not sure what the etymology of the word is, but I know it has “play” in it. It means costume play or something of that nature. I like to call it adult pretend, though children can certainly cosplay as well. It means something different to everyone. Cosplay may be synonymous with weird to some of you who are no doubt looking for the unfollow option on my blog.

Cosplay gets a bad rep for being considered some sort of adult dress up where those who participate are in some sort of stunted state of adolescence or refuse to grow up.

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None of that is true. It’s not just dress up or pretend, it’s a creative outlet and a way of expression.

What Type of People Cosplay?

You’ll find all kinds of grownups, some serious adulting types even. A doctor, lawyer, or insurance agent by trade could be Batman, Iron Man, Harley Quinn, Wonder Woman, Gandalph, or Hermione at a con.

Whatever they do for a living, your typical cosplayers are artist, nerds, geeks, dye-hard fans, actors, etc.

Let’s look at some of my favorite cosplayers.

thgJoshua Dart: Thranduart: Here is an example of a man who took a character and made him his own. He has celebrity status for his Thranduil cosplay. He is the perfect example of cosplaying from the inside out. Not only does he look like the character, but he acts like him. While he still cosplays as Thranduil, he has also cosplayed as Nick Wylde, Woody, and he’s currently working on a new project. You can follow him via Facebook and Twitter. To learn more about him and his cosplay, read all about him in my blog interview here.

14702315_10154198864517955_4740621950542902139_nElysia Vaughan: I met her at my first con, and now I see her every year. The first year she won first place in a costume contest and rightfully so, as she made her costume the year we ordered ours. We won second place, but she certainly deserved first for her Predator cosplay. I wish I had a photo to share, but I can’t find it. She was very friendly and willing to share information about the process of making her costume. She really inspired me to try my hand at making my own. She made it sound easy. I always look forward to seeing her and learning more about her as a person instead of just a fellow cosplayer.

Even some famous people have cosplayed, even if it was just to disguise themselves at cons: Masie Williams, Daniel Radcliffe, Tom Hiddleston, and Henry Cavill. Chances are, if you see someone just wearing a spider man mask, they’re a celebrity in hiding.

Here are a few of my favorites who, sadly, I don’t know their names:

Why Cosplay?

 

There are many reasons to cosplay. Many of us just want to share a passion either for a fandom, a character, for makeup or costume art, or something else that can be expressed through the art of cosplay.

Yes, I just called it an art. And it is. It involves certain skills in arts, crafts, engineering, mathematics, textiles, etc.

I’ve always loved art: theatre, painting, drawing, crafting, textiles, music.

Cosplay gives me an outlet to do all of these things. I get to work with wood, fabric, makeup, do crazy hairstyles, create, and act. It’s a lot of fun, and it’s a great way to escape the stresses of normal adult life.

I’ve been doing this about three years now. The first year, we literally had a month before KokomoCon. I wasn’t going to do it but my sister wanted to. A month doesn’t give you time to make your own costume (or so we thought), so we ordered them. There are a lot of websites if you’re interested in ordering costumes, wigs, or costume accessories: Etsy, AliExpress, Amazon, and Ebay to name a few.

I did make the crown and we painted the ears. That first year was experimental. I wasn’t confidant enough to sew yet. I didn’t believe in myself and I hadn’t discovered I’m awesome and can do anything. We decided to be the Mirkwood elves from the Hobbit. Making the crown reconnected me to the artistic side of myself that had been on hiatus. It also reminded me of theatre, which I hadn’t been a part of since Highschool but meant to get back into. This got me involved in local theatre the following year.

My next cosplay started off as a theatre role. As some of you may remember, I was the centaur in the Lion, the Witch & the Wardobe. After spending over a month working on it, I decided to take it to the con. I learned how to sew a little in high school but this costume told me how to apply what I learned to go above and beyond: creating something they don’t make patterns for. I also learned a lot of shop skills from creating the body and learned to work with mediums I’m not that experienced with like foam. I used parts of my brain I didn’t even know existed, and I’m a lot more savvy than I gave myself credit for.

This year I went as Lagertha from Vikings. This cosplay has a special place in my heart because I feel like we all went as characters we can identify with. I hate to say it, but my kid probably relates to Bjorn. He’s a boy who’s parents split up and he struggles with accepting that while learning new responsibilities as he becomes an adult. I’ve always identified with Lagertha. She’s a protective mother who still has dreams outside of being a parent. Her ex screws her and so does every man she knows, so she becomes a fiercely independent lady boss. I’d say Kylie went as Porunn because she’s a bit wild, independent, and wants to be free.

For this cosplay, I learned to make chain mail, wooden swords, shields, and lace leather. It was fun and daunting at the same time. And we learned something we didn’t think possible when we started our Mirkwood elves cosplay–you can get a costume done in a month. I just don’t recommend it.

For our next cosplay we’re giving ourselves a little more time. I’m going to be The Goblin King from Labyrinth. Again, a lot of sewing involved, and glitter, so much glitter. But all our cosplays must have the wow factor, and the educational one, so I must learn how to do all of his crystal ball tricks. I’m not sure how long it takes to learn how to contact juggle (well) but I have several months to get good enough, so I’m going to try. My son decided to be Hoggle, which will give me practice doing a creature mask, possibly with moving mouth and blinking eyes. My sister will be Sarah. The ball gown should be a bit of a challenge, but I’m up for it.

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Do you cosplay. Share some photos. Why do you cosplay? Who have you been? Who are you planning on being this year?

Ready to Raid: Our finished Vikings Cosplay

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Six weeks and 300 hours later we finally finished our Vikings cosplay. We were literally working until 11 pm the night before the con, but everything was ready on time. We had so much fun though our arms are tired from carrying around our shields all day.

For starters, I want to show you our finished costumes.

Here is my son as Bjorn Ironside. He was so cute. He had so much fun with his ax he even broke it before the end of the night.

This is my sister as Porunn. We had a lot of concerns about this costume, but I really like how it came together. We were able to find a Simplicity pattern for the belt and the armor. We also finally figured out what was going on with those gauntlets. We really enjoyed our time being shield maidens.

Lastly, here is my Lagertha costume. It took three days to finish the armor and lacing in the chainmail. Thank goodness I took three days off before the con. On the plus side. I got all caught up on Reign while working on this. This is my favorite cosplay so far. I love the hair, the armor, the chainmail, the colors, especially the shield. I can’t wait to take this one to Indy con.

We had so much fun at the con. There were some really cool costumes, even a guy dressed as the Oxyclean guy. I’m afraid I don’t have a picture.

He spared no expense

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Go Joe!

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The Force Awakens

One of the highlights to the con is the costume contest. Guess who got first place for group costume.

Just wanted to share some highlights from the con. Thank you are for following. For those of you who were following my post on how to build a centaur costume, I will try to finish that next week.

Vikings Cosplay: Final Week

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With five days left before the con, this will be my last post until after the event. Just wanted to update you all really quick on what we got done … and still have to do.

Shirts Complete

All shirts are finished. This took longer than expected after embroidering and embellishing, but I think they look so much like the character’s outfits. Here are some side by side comparisons so you can see how we matched the fabric and details.

Here is Rylee’s shirt, and what I’ve completed of his vest so far. As you can see, the shirt is the same color and similar pattern, and we found a vinyl that replicated the square pattern of Bjorn’s vest. All I have to do is clean up some raw edges and put the grommets in the front and his vest will be done.

This is the best picture I could find of Porunn’s shirt without her armor. I’m not sure if you can see, but we matched the color of the fabric. Even though the sleeves and collar will be hidden by the armor for the most part, we did recreate the look, complete with the trim. We like to capture the nuances of an outfit, even the parts you won’t see.

I couldn’t find any pictures of Lagertha’s shirt without her armor. I actually had to pause the show to see what it looked like. This gives you an idea though. Embroidering the lines on the shirt took forever.

Armor and Gauntlets

I’m sorry to say I didn’t pause to take pictures of our progress so far. All of the fake leather is cut and just needs sewn. Above, you can see what Rylee’s looks like for his Bjorn costume. His is almost done. Kylie and I are finishing our vest this week. We did start our gauntlets over the weekend. I don’t have a picture of Porunn’s gauntlets, but I have  a pic of a partially finished Lagertha vambrace.

These were so fun to make, but it took five hours to get this done, and I still have one more to do!

Other than that, our swords are done, and I’m sad to say, it was late so I didn’t take any pictures.

What’s Left

With five days left, I’m not sure if we’re ahead or behind schedule. We still need to finish our armor, gauntlets, and Kylie’s belt. Other than that, we would like time to make scabbards for our swords. I may or many not have some more chainmail to link.

It does and doesn’t sound like a lot in the grand scheme of things. Each item just requires so much individual time. That’s where the worry comes in. But I’m still optimistic we can get everything done on time. I have some days off this week to get everything done.

I can’t wait to post pics after the con. Please let me know what you think so far and wish us luck.

Vikings Cosplay: Week Four

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Skol!!! Week four went by so fast, but we did get a lot done despite having a busy schedule. I’d say we’re about 70-80 percent done at this point.

We added some final touches to our shields: some black tacs to cover the staples and leather on the handle to cushion our grip. Going to be carrying these around all day. Don’t  want blisters.

Sewing Progress

Rylee’s shirt is done. Here he is posing with his ax.

Kylie’s shirt is also almost done. I just need to add the collar, but I have no idea what I’m doing. It’s a simplicity pattern, but I can’t understand what it wants me to do. Luckily I have sewing friends who can help me out. If not, I’ll wing it. It should be done this week.

Here’s what it looks like so far.

My shirt is still a cloth heap lying on the floor. I cut out the front and back and that’s it.

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I did, however, find the perfect cloth for the trim and a clasp that looks almost just like the one she wears.

No Pants, No Shoes, no Cosplay

pantsPants are done. That was the goal this week. Everyone has their shirt, pants, and shoes ready. Technically I’m behind because I didn’t finish the shirts, but that shouldn’t take long this week. All I had to do was fix a snap on Rylee’s pants. Kylie bought hers, so that eliminated some sewing. Mine were the only ones I had to sew, which is great, because I don’t like sewing pants. I didn’t even understand the directions, so I tossed the directions aside and winged it. Just used a jeans pattern and omitted the zipper and pockets. If you remember from my last post, I don’t do zippers. I’ll do anything to omit a zipper. I didn’t have to sew my pants. I could have bought them, but I saw a fabric that looked like her pants in the show, so I just had to give it a shot. I’m glad I did. I think they turned out great, and they fit good.

Swords

This week I really wanted to paint them, so I finished sanding and shaping and putting wood filler in the cracks and nicks. We ran out of time to paint them last weekend, so I’m planning on doing that this week. I’m really happy with these. I’ve never made anything out of wood independent of a shop class. I think they look great. What do you think?

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Chain mail

Still working on the chain mail. I try to work on this a little every night. So far I’ve gone through two spools of wire–going on three. The front skirt is done and the shoulders. Just need the back skirt and the chains for the gauntlets.

This week we’ll be working on the vest and gauntlets. Should really see the costumes come together. Join me on Facebook and Twitter for more updates, or stay tuned for next week’s update.

 

Vikings Cosplay: Week Three

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Let me just start by saying, this was not a fun week. We ran into some snags and realized things are coming along slower than they should. With only three weeks before the con, we need to start wrapping up some of our projects. But let’s not focus on what didn’t get done and focus on what did.

Shield Wall Complete

We are finally ready to make our shield wall. Bosses are attached and edging stapled in. All they need are something round to cover the staples.

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Swords

I’m really proud of how the swords are coming along, except how long they’ve taken to make. I was really anxious to make weapons, and I debated whether to make them out of foam or PVC before settling on wood. I’m really glad I decided to go this route instead of buying something from a Halloween store. Sorry I forgot to take pictures. I will next time.

It’s Sew Time

So, I’m finally sewing. It wasn’t as bad as I thought. Turns out, most sewing machines are the same, so it didn’t take me long to figure it out. I modified a pattern to avoid having to use a zipper. I DON’T do zippers. It turned out great. I’m using the children’s Rey pattern to make Rylee’s shirt and leather vest. I took an 8-piece pattern and turned it into a 5-piece pattern by attaching several pattern pieces together that should have been separate. This eliminated so many steps–and the pesky zipper. His short is almost done. I just need to add the grommets and lacing and it should be done.

I forgot to take a picture of it, but here is a picture of the fabric. Just look how well this matches Bjorn’s shirt  in color and pattern.

I know that was kind of a short update, but just didn’t have a lot of time to take pictures. I’ve got to get back to sewing. So hopefully more to show next week.

Vikings Cosplay: Week Two

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Two weeks down: four to go. So what did we get done this week?

Well, let me start by saying this was a tough week; I used tools I haven’t touched in over fifteen years and tried some I’ve never used before.

Let me start off by thanking my friends for loaning us some of their tools and letting us use their shields as reference. I bought you a new 1/4 drill bit because I wore out the one you gave me.

Also I wanted to thank my son who has  been eager to help this week.

 

Lastly, I want to “thank” the cats for all of their “help.” Laying on the fabric and biting my chain mail rod and knocking stuff off of my work desk is shaving hours of time and layers of stress from this project.

So everyone pitched it, and I think it shows.

Preparing to Sew

Yes, preparing is progress. It takes me a week to “prepare” a sewing project. Aside from buying the fabrics, patterns, and thread I have to literally psych myself into it. I hate reading patterns and sewing. Just hate it. It’s nerve wracking and tedious–probably like surgery, I imagine.

You might think I’d be less stressed sewing shirts, vest, and pants after sewing a centaur costume. I mean, at least there are patterns for shirts, right. You won’t find a centaur pattern. I had to make it out of a tablecloth. Believe it or not, this might be more daunting because I have to sew three shirts, three vest, three sets of bracers, a set of leg bracers, and a pair of pants. Luckily my sister bought a pair of pants for her and Rylee. While I’d like a majority of this project to be handmade, it doesn’t all have to be. This will save me hours of work, and the pain of sewing pants.

On a happy note, the fabrics we got are wonderful. I forgot to take pictures so I’ll share in a future post.

Shield Wall: Almost Complete

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Last week we cut out the shields. This week we cut out the hole for the boss as well as drilled the holes for the handle and the boss. We also got to the part I’ve been looking forward to all week long: painting. I love to paint. The colors of Lagertha’s shield are so bright and contrasting: that green with the black. I love it. Went through a lot of tape to get the lines straight. I can’t wait to see it done. Sis is still completing some final touches on hers so I don’t have a picture of it yet. Rylee’s shield is done. He even helped paint. He had a lot of fun. It’s been nice having little projects he can help with. I hope he learns a thing or two about wood working, painting, and sewing by the time this is done.

Weapons: Almost Combat Ready

Last week, along with the shields, we cut out the swords and the ax. This week we started shaping them. Bare in mind this is with minimal power tools, so we’re shaping them mostly with hand-sanding, an electric sander, flush saw, chisel, and file. Honestly the electric sander is almost useless. The swords still need another week’s worth of work, but the ax is finished, painted and waiting to be assembled. I’ll try to share a better picture. This was taken at night without flash, because I turned off my flash for some reason.

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That’s our progress so far. Other than that, still working on chain mail. Technically we’re on schedule, except for the chain mail. I’m falling dangerously behind. I should have had the other sleeve done by Sunday. Oh well, I scheduled off an extra day this week to get ahead (or catch up).

Stay tuned for next week’s progress. This week I start (pause for dramatic effect) sewing.

Lagertha Cosplay: Week One

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Well, all year my sister and I have been teasing a great top-secret cosplay idea. The only problem: we didn’t get it done … or started. With weekly doctor appointments, our mother’s passing, and getting her condo ready for the market, there just wasn’t time. Not to mention all of that procrastination.

So last minute we decided to do a Vikings cosplay. My sister will be Thorunn, Porunn (whichever), my son will be Bjorn, and I will be (the fan favorite) Lagertha. I think it’s really ironic that once again, my son is playing the role of my son–only last time I played the role of father (Thranduil). And once again, he’s playing the role of my sister’s boyfriend–or would-be boyfriend.

For the record, we did not choose Vikings because it would be “easy” just “easier” than our other idea. To be honest, if we’d wanted easy, we’d have bought bed sheets and made Kylo Ren and Rey costumes … not too late to do that.

Vikings is just an awesome show and what better time to create a Vikings cosplay than right before the second half of the latest season. So excited to see Lagertha and Aslaug battle it out for Queen. Hoping Bjorn joins the plot this season. lol

Our Raiding Party

vikings-bjornSo, obviously my kid looks like Bjorn, and he’s my son, so who he was going to be was no debate. I wanted him to go as kid Bjorn at first, but to be honest, big Bjorn’s costume will be easier than the child’s costume. And he gets an ax.

imagesMy sister and I really liked the character Throunn. We’re probably the only fans of the show who do. Not sure why. She’s a fun character with an awesome hairstyle (sis already has the shaved head). She’s a slave turned free woman exploring her new found freedom, which makes her a little wild and reckless. Sadly, the fans hated her and the producer wrote her off the show, which happens to almost all of the children and women characters I’ve noticed. Ironically enough, this will not be the first time my sister has cosplayed as a truly despised character. Two years ago she went to Kokomo Con as Tauriel, the controversial OC for the Hobbit trilogy. While we loved her, she was simply detested by die-hards. So it seems my sister is drawn to a certain type of character. Can’t wait to see how she pulls this one off.

Obviously I chose Lagertha.  Mostly because I can relate with her. She’s a single mother and a fighter who tries very hard not to put up with male BS, but gets screwed anyway, and has a hard time getting the respect she deserves. Personality aside, I love the intricacies of her hair and outfits. And there were a lot of outfits and hairstyles to choose from but I’m going to do this one from Season 3.

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Goals

One of our biggest regrets with the Hobbit cosplay was that we didn’t personally make the costumes. At the time I didn’t have the confidence to sew. It had been almost fifteen years since I’d taken sewing class (and I wasn’t very good. My teacher let me pass for “effort”). I gained a lot of confidence building the centaur costume (completely and utterly by hand), so I feel like there isn’t anything I can’t do.

Sidenote: for those of you who think you’ll never use what you learn in shop class or home economics, if you want to cosplay, you will. It’s been fifteen years since shop and sewing class, but I can’t believe all the instant recall I’ve had while working on this project. I’m glad I took theatre, shop, and sewing in high school. A lot of people said I was wasting my time, but it turns out, I have some useful skills. (Also, as an adult, if you want to eat, take cooking class. Just saying).

Obviously we have our work cut out for us with elaborate hairstyles, wood working, leather working, sewing, and making chain-mail. It’s going to be slow going, but with five weeks left, I think we’ll be done in time for Kokomo Con.

Progress

So, after a week of settling on concepts, we finally made a solid week of effort.

So what did we get done?

Our swords, shields, and the ax are all cut and ready to be filed, sanded, and painted. The swords themselves took an entire day to cut out (I was still getting acquainted with the jigsaw), but the shields and ax we cut out in two hours after work.

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I have one sleeve of chain-mail finished (don’t judge unless you’ve done this). I can’t feel the tips of my fingers anymore. To clarify, I didn’t order a chain-mail shirt, or even chain-mail links. I am making my own links and linking them together one by one. There are many ways to do this, but I prefer the method where you attach them on a rod like so. There is a video on YouTube that shows this process. I made the thing to hold the rod out of PVC pipe. It took all of five minutes to make. As you can see, it is portable, sturdy, and adjustable. (you can put longer or shorter rods and pipes in the top and bottom to make it longer or shorter depending on how long a chain you need to make.

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Next week I hope to get some sewing done. Thanks to friends and family who deserve more than just an honorable mention, I have a sewing machine to sew the garments. It was absolutely free so I’m going to take very, very, very good care of it. Their kindness saved me time and hundreds of dollars, which helps a lot because leather (even fake leather) isn’t cheap.

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I’ll be sure to share photos and updates on my blog, facebook, and Twitter as the weeks go by. Stay tuned for next week’s progress.

 

 

Fight of the Fandoms

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While everyone else on the Interweb is arguing about Batman vs Superman or Iron Man vs Captain America, I’ve been making my own matches.

I keep up with a lot of shows, and one thing I always do, aside from ship (I ship everything), is pair off different people to see who would win in a crossover tournament. I’m not talking about DC vs Marvel or Goku vs Superman (Goku would win–no question). These are my picks for cross-fandom fights.

Let the battles begin!


 

Drogo vs Rollo

These men could be brothers from another mother. Just look at the pics. They’re even making the same face. Not only do their names rhyme–well, kinda/sorta, but they both rock that long hair/beard combo, have body paint and/or tattoos, and forgo wearing shirts (possibly to show off the tattoos). And those are just the visual similarities. They both have arranged marriages to prominent women (whom they can’t talk to because they speak another language), hot tempers, legendary warrior status, an interest in power and destiny, and have both been referred to as “savage” while being hailed as one of the finest warriors alive.

So which of these men is really the finest warrior alive?

I don’t think you need a prophesy to predict who wins this match. I’m going to roll with Rollo.

I can hear you disagreeing through the Interweb. I know that Drogo has that long braid that suggest he’s never been defeated, but come on, look how fast man hair grows. He grew that braid in two years tops. In all fairness, we don’t get to see him fight, just a raid here and there and that one knife fight that awards him his lethal boo-boo. Rollo has a lot more on screen battles to base this victory on.

Let’s look at Rollo. Whether he’s fighting with his brother, against his brother, with his brother, or against him, he’s hard to stop. He fights–as Odo puts it–like a wild bear. Jumping shield walls, lifting men on spears, thwarting war machines. He even gets trampled by six horses and thrown off of a wall and still lives.


 

Catherine De Medici vs Cersei Lannister

This has got to be my favorite crossover match. This is a battle, not of brute strength, but of wits. Both are masters of manipulation and poison–and fashion. These ladies look like they raid each others’ closets or shop at the same store. With wavy gold hair in intricate updos and flowing red gowns, they look like they could be mother and daughter. Aside from the fact that they both rock red dresses, they have very similar personalities: they’re smart, cunning, snarky Queens who love to drink wine and get their way.

Their greatest commonality: They would do anything for their sons … anything.

I hate to say it, but once again, my vote is not for the GoT character, but for Catherine. Even when she’s caught, and she’s seldom caught in her own webs, she gets her way out of it. She certainly wins more than she loses. I don’t know that I can say that for Cercei. Catherine gets away with murder, lies, attempted murder, adultery and far worse. She just has a lot more power and influence than Cersei.

And you’d have to be nasty to beat Cersei. I think Catherine’s cut out for the task. I mean, she bought Narcisse’s horse, gave it to him as a gift, and then killed it and served it to him as a steak. That’s pretty cruel. I’d hate to think what she’d do to Cersei.

This next one is for fun of course


 

Jaime Lannister vs Luke Skywalker

Because the one armed thing and the sister thing.

It might not even be a fair fight since Luke has the force and he just has to force stab Jaime with his own sword. With regular blades, Jaime would win, but I think the force and my vote goes to Luke on this one.

So what about …


 

Jaime Fraser vs Jaime Lannister

I didn’t pair these two off just because of the name. No doubt this would be one of the sexiest cross-fandom fights. Two men fighting face to face, smolder against smolder. To be honest, I’d be just as happy to see them kiss. But on a serious note, I do think they would be pretty evenly matched. However, I think due to having more polished skill, Jaime would win, one handed or not.

Ok another one for fun


 

Ned Stark vs Boromir

The resemblance is uncanny. Gee, I wonder why.

Prepare for the greatest meme war–or sword fight.

Let’s look at what they have in common. Both fight with big swords, both are played by Sean Bean. Both die. Really ’nuff said.

I think Boromir would win almost simply for being younger. Not only that, but going off of on-screen battles, look at all the orcs Boromir kills. Ned can’t even get a hit on Jaime.

I know you all think I’m biased against Game of Thrones at this point. So let’s just pair off another and see if he wins or he dies.


 

Samwell Tarly vs Samwise Gamgee

Everyone needs a Sam.

I’m sure Martin wasn’t at all influenced by Tolkien when he invented this character. cough, cough …

This might not sound like a great fight. They don’t look like much and they don’t have a lot in the way of self confidence, but they’re loyal and stalwart. Endanger the ones they love and they’ll show you what they’re made of under that huggable exterior.

So who Sams better?

To be Frank (or should I say Sam) I think Samwise would win. Look how brave he is in Mordor, especially when he takes on all those orcs alone to rescue Frodo. I don’t think Samwell could survive Mordor. I do, however, think Sam could handle the black, though I think he’d miss the taste of strawberries and Rosie.

It’s time for a three way


 

Katniss vs Hawkeye vs Legolas

These are the most notorious archers in all of fandom. Let’s see who’s the most bad-ass bowman–or woman.

I haven’t seen all the Hunger Games movies, but I like Katniss, from her braid to her rebellious, independent nature. She is a survivalist, but can she survive this three-way match?

Well, Hawkeye does have those massive forearms, some awesome moves, and he does shoot Loki out of the sky–even though Loki does catch the arrow before it explodes (crying foul on that one). Surprisingly enough, he does run out of arrows. Could this cost him the win?

Legolas runs out of arrows too, but look how much better he compensates. Legolas doesn’t even need his bow. It just makes him look good. Who needs a bow when you have batshit badassery. Everything Legolas does is awesome and sometimes just plain ridiculous, from taking down an oliphant like it ain’t no shit to riding a bat. Whether stupid or awesome, no one does it like Legolas.

I really think the odds would be in Legolas’ favor.


 

Eowyn vs Lagertha

I put these two together for the obvious reasons. For starters, they’re both shield maidens. That alone makes them worthy opponents. They’re both also amazing fighters who don’t let any man hold them back. Not to mention they both have awesome blond hair and are loyal to their families.  I’m really not sure who would win. Eowyn does kill the Witch King, which no man can destroy, but Lagertha has killed … a lot. To be honest, this one I’m leaving as a draw.


 

Oberyn vs Rey

These two are very different, but I picked them for their fighting styles. They both fight with staffs or spears. The scene in Star Wars where she’s bashing those guys with the staff reminded me of Oberyn fighting the Mountain.

So I thought, which of them would win in a battle of staff vs spear.

Even though Oberyn uses poison to his advantage, Rey still has the force, and a natural fierce fighting style.

So … in this case, even though he’s a master, I’d say Rey. She seems to share Oberyn’s passionate temper, and could easily be one of his daughters. Being a sand snake would certainly suit her considering where she lives. She’d easily fit into the Game of Thrones universe sans force.


Daenerys vs Hiccup

I know, I need a Daenerys show down. I couldn’t think of who to put her against. In all honesty, she doesn’t fight for herself so much as she has an army and dragons to fight for her, so I’m going to put her against another dragon user. Let’s just do Daenerys vs Hiccup.

Since the dragons do all the work, technically this fight should be called

Drogon vs Toothless

Named after Drogo, he’s the troublemaker in the bunch. He’s also larger and more aggressive than the other dragons.

Even though Toothless has a history of taking down larger, stronger dragons, I think Drogon could take him. He certainly doesn’t stand a chance if all of her dragons join in the fight.


Merlin vs Gandalf

For obvious reasons: they’re wizards.

To judge this fight, let’s look at their powers.

Most of Merlin’s spells seem to be like a force push. Other times he moves objects, often to make them fall on his enemies. He can also disguise his appearance and summon a dragon.

Alot of Gandalf’s spells are similar from the force pushes to the summoning animals. Though Gandalf summons eagles. He can also emit light from his staff to light a path or fight shadow foes. He can also … perform exorcisms?

Wizard powers seem to be a little confusing, but I’m going to bet that Gandalf is the more wizardy wizard.

This last one is just a tease


Stormtroopers vs Vogons

Here you go, the worst shots in the universe will come face to face to … miss each other entirely.

The win goes to whoever lands the first shot.

Well, looking at the on-screen bullseyes … the Vogons have one hit in the entire movie. The stormtroopers have made a few more hits, and just like the Vogons, nonefatal

So the worst army in the universe goes to the Vogons.


I hope you enjoyed the list. Let me know if you agree/disagree. What are some more awesome cross-fandom fights?