6th Sep 2014

A Tip of the Fantastic Hat

image

This week I’d like to start a new random installment that I will call “A Tip of the Fantastic Hat” to appreciate a variety things on the periphery of Fantasy Literature that I find particularly acknowledgeable.  Installment jargon courtesy of Stephen Colbert, and hat tipping skills courtesy of Sir Ian McKellen.

image

I would like to give the first official tip of my Fantastic Hat to this man

image

Nick Podehl who narrates The Kingkiller Chronicle audiobooks.  

He is an absolutely perfect narrator for The Kingkiller Chronicle.  Perfect.  For one, his voice is young enough that it makes the novels come alive, rather than drying it out by aging the characters prematurely.  Plus, his female characters are believable, not insultingly high-pitched or anything ridiculous.  And most of all, he knows where to apply the right emphasis on so many words.  A text makes you think that the emphasis should be implied with grammar and punctuation, but that’s not always the case.  Nick Podehl really makes Patrick Rothfuss’ prose come alive, like Kvothe’s sarcastic quips and the true weight of his analogies, similes, and metaphors. 

In an interview with Theresabook.com, Podehl engaged in a dialogue about The Kingkiller Chronicle

Which of the audio books you’ve recorded was the most challenging? Why?

An absolutely epic series by Patrick Rothfuss called The Kingkiller Chronicles. The first book, The Name of the Wind, was about 800 pages. The second book, Wise Man’s Fear, was 1,000 pages! These were long books, filled with more than 300 different characters between the two books, a number of fictional languages and written by a professor of literature, so there were a fair plethora of words I didn’t even know existed! That being said, they were two of my favorite books to narrate. It was a long and challenging process, but they were expertly written books that told a very engaging story that completely sucked me in. I can’t wait for Professor Rothfuss to write the next one! If you like fantasy novels on the line of Tolkien, check this one out.

Read more

Check out Podehl’s website at NickPodehl.com

5th Sep 2014

The Wise Man’s Fear—What was Caudicus’ motive?

Seriously, I’ve been puzzling over this for a long time, and I can’t come up with any answer.

If he had an arcanist’s dream job, then I’m guessing it was an external motive, and Caudicus was being paid to poison the Maer.

But by who? and why?

Stapes knew, so it stands to reason that Dagon found out, and the Maer also knows.  This obviously means that there is a reason, and hopefully this will be addressed and revealed in The Doors of Stone, or I will be seriously let down

4th Sep 2014
"Indifference and neglect often do much more damage than outright dislike"
Source:

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J.K. Rowling

Wise words from J.K. Rowling.  In a way, this statement is similar to the phrase “there’s no such thing as bad press,” although on a smaller scale. Being attended to at all, even in a negative manner can be less harmful than absolute disregard and lack of care.

3rd Sep 2014
seredhiel84:

Angband, The Hells of Iron by EthalenSkye

This image reminded me of the passage from The Silmarillion by J.R.R. Tolkien, 

"And it was said that he took not the challenge willingly; for though his might was the greatest of all things in this world, alone of the Valar he knew fear." 

It really represents the theme that the villains are mostly villainous because of their own fear, like when Dumbledore says to Harry,


"There is nothing to be feared from a body, Harry, any more than there is anything to be feared from the darkness. Lord Voldemort, who of course secretly fears both, disagrees. But once again he reveals his own lack of wisdom. It is the unknown we fear when we look upon death and darkness, nothing more.” 

seredhiel84:

Angband, The Hells of Iron by EthalenSkye

This image reminded me of the passage from The Silmarillion by J.R.R. Tolkien, 

"And it was said that he took not the challenge willingly; for though his might was the greatest of all things in this world, alone of the Valar he knew fear." 

It really represents the theme that the villains are mostly villainous because of their own fear, like when Dumbledore says to Harry,

"There is nothing to be feared from a body, Harry, any more than there is anything to be feared from the darkness. Lord Voldemort, who of course secretly fears both, disagrees. But once again he reveals his own lack of wisdom. It is the unknown we fear when we look upon death and darkness, nothing more.” 

2nd Sep 2014

kingkillerarchives:

So uh… this is a thing.

I’m torn about this series.  On one hand, it could be amazing, but it could also be terrible.  Then again, even if it is completely amazing, I worry that it would be similar to what I said in this post about ruining the natural imagination of the reader.  I’m really excited to see this, but at this point, the only person I trust with creating my imaginations is Peter Jackson.

I wonder when it will be released..

Either way, bless Eric Heisserer for his excitement about the books and his work on the series

29th Aug 2014

melkorwashere:

Sauron being evil through the ages (em,sorry for my english)

1) The Years of the Lamps - Mairon (future Sauron) is one of Aule’s smiths and Melkor’s spy among ainur first on Almaren,then in Valinor. 

2) The Years of the Trees - The Years of the Sun,450-s of the First Age. Sauron-Gorthaur the Cruel is Melkor’s right hand,the most powerful of his servants, beloved maia (c) wikipedia, sorcerer, shapeshifter, master of ghosts and illusions, lord of Melkor’s Werevolves and commander of Angband. Still beautiful, already has cat-eyes, his hair became more red,as fire and gold - Melkor’s elements.

3) ”True” form, End of the First Age - Second Age,until the downfall of Numenor. After battle on Tol-in-Gaurhoth Sauron was not in favor, and after War of Wrath he lost his master Melkor. He refused to return to Valinor with Eonwe and stayed in Middle Earth. For 600 years he begin to slowly lose his mind. His hair became gray and his beauty faded away.

4) End of the Second Age. Sauron dies during downfall of Numenor. His spirit can’t take a ”fair” form anymore - since this moment his physical form became horrible. 

My fascination with Sauron continues.  I think there’s something so interesting about his character, and I really can’t explain why.  Maybe I find the slow decline of beauty as it is corroded by power so intriguing, as well as the concept of Sauron’s vanity being a debilitating fatal flaw.

28th Aug 2014
Snitch by IrishManReynolds
This is the first time the snitch appears in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone:


Wood reached into the crate and took out the fourth and last ball. Compared with the Quaffle and the Bludgers, it was tiny, about the size of a large walnut. It was bright gold and had little fluttering silver wings. 

This is a great illustration of a snitch, but it being black and white is, in my opinion, key.  Details are what make novels rich and enjoyable, but when adapting a film from a book, details can also be a huge detriment when they aren’t attended to.  
In the films:


How it should have been:

Snitch by IrishManReynolds

This is the first time the snitch appears in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone:

Wood reached into the crate and took out the fourth and last ball. Compared with the Quaffle and the Bludgers, it was tiny, about the size of a large walnut. It was bright gold and had little fluttering silver wings. 

This is a great illustration of a snitch, but it being black and white is, in my opinion, key.  Details are what make novels rich and enjoyable, but when adapting a film from a book, details can also be a huge detriment when they aren’t attended to.  

In the films:

How it should have been:

27th Aug 2014

butfili:

thank you, peter jackson!

Thank you for making the stories we love, that in some ways are a part of us, come to life in such a perfect and wonderful way.

26th Aug 2014

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug – review

My favorite quote in this article was this:

it’s not about Tolkien, it’s Tolkien-plus-Jackson, of course. It’s morphed into something new.”

I am a notorious purist when it comes to films adapted from books.  I will admit that I am irritatingly meticulous and require details to be precise and accurate.  Perhaps that’s actually one of the reasons I loved The Lord of the Rings so much: I saw the films before I read the books.  Yes, I will openly admit it (although I read The Hobbit before I saw “The Lord of The Rings” films).  

My favorite scene in “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug” was the barrel scene.  For one, I think the choreographers in these films are amazing.  They always come up with new and clever ideas for fight scenes that are both entertaining and humorous with just a dash of badassery.  Undoubtedly some absolute purists will be upset that the barrel scene was transformed into a fighting scene, however, some who still consider themselves purists may also really enjoy it.  

I think this fact speaks volumes about Peter Jackson’s filmmaking prowess.  If you can take a work like Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings that has such a huge cult following, and add something to it that isn’t just acceptable, but that is awesome, and that nearly all degrees of fans really enjoy, well that’s certainly something special. 

25th Aug 2014

I was just browsing Patrick Rothfuss’ website, and I came across The Tinker’s Packs, the online website for Kingkiller Chronicle merchandise.

I was speculating about what Denna’s ring might look like, and then I found it on the website.  It’s beautiful, and it’s great to see Rothfuss-approved designs that give us some insight into his own creative genius, but I sometimes wonder about selling book merchandise directly from the author.  In a way, the merchandise blots out the reader’s own ability for creative thought.

Initially, I had thought that Denna’s pale blue stone might be a little in the rough (just as she is, in some ways, a diamond in the rough).  I imagined her ring a bit more like one of these—though a little more polished and refined

My point, though, is that in some ways the merchandise has the ability to rob readers of the creative process if the author puts out definitive concrete examples of the subject matter.  

Hopefully anyone with a decent imagination should be able to overcome a minor setback in the creative process like this, but it’s definitely food for thought.

24th Aug 2014
hypable:

Fifteen-year-old Cassidy Stay made headlines last month when she quoted Albus Dumbledore at her family’s memorial, and now a report suggests J.K. Rowling responded in the best way possible.
On July 9, Stay’s uncle shot her mother, father, and four younger siblings when he entered their home and wasn’t given the location of his ex-wife. Stay was the only survivor of the shooting because she reportedly played dead after a bullet hit her finger and grazed her skull.
At the memorial service three days after the horrific incident, Stay gave a speech and quoted Dumbledore in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. “‘Happiness can be found even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light,’” she said to an audience of supporters. “I know that my mom, dad, Bryan, Emily, Becca and Zach are in a much better place and that I’ll be able to see them again one day.”
Read Rowling’s response at Hypable.com

This is really touching, and shows (by extension) what great literature can do.  I say by extension because the excerpt actually isn’t correct.  The quote that Cassidy Stay used in her speech is actually from “Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban”—the film.  It doesn’t actually appear anywhere in the book, but the character of Dumbledore in the novels clearly inspired Steve Kloves to write the line into his screenplay.  Once again, bravo, J.K. Rowling, for bringing us magic and wonder to hold on to at the most heartbreaking and difficult junctures of our lives.

hypable:

Fifteen-year-old Cassidy Stay made headlines last month when she quoted Albus Dumbledore at her family’s memorial, and now a report suggests J.K. Rowling responded in the best way possible.

On July 9, Stay’s uncle shot her mother, father, and four younger siblings when he entered their home and wasn’t given the location of his ex-wife. Stay was the only survivor of the shooting because she reportedly played dead after a bullet hit her finger and grazed her skull.

At the memorial service three days after the horrific incident, Stay gave a speech and quoted Dumbledore in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. “‘Happiness can be found even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light,’” she said to an audience of supporters. “I know that my mom, dad, Bryan, Emily, Becca and Zach are in a much better place and that I’ll be able to see them again one day.”

Read Rowling’s response at Hypable.com

This is really touching, and shows (by extension) what great literature can do.  I say by extension because the excerpt actually isn’t correct.  The quote that Cassidy Stay used in her speech is actually from “Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban”—the film.  It doesn’t actually appear anywhere in the book, but the character of Dumbledore in the novels clearly inspired Steve Kloves to write the line into his screenplay.  Once again, bravo, J.K. Rowling, for bringing us magic and wonder to hold on to at the most heartbreaking and difficult junctures of our lives.

23rd Aug 2014

lackeyson:

'It was nine years after Thráin had left his people that I found him, and he had then been in the pits of Dol Guldur for five years at least. I do not know how he endured so long, nor how he had kept these things hidden through all his torments. I think that the Dark Power had desired nothing from him except the Ring only, and when he had taken that he troubled no further, but just flung the broken prisoner into the pits to rave until he died.'

-Unfinished Tales, Part 3, Ch 3, The Quest of Erebor: Appendix

I found this excerpt in The Unfinished Tales, but after meticulously scanning all of the Dol Guldur scenes in “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug,” I wasn’t able to find these gif sets anywhere.  Were these created for the passage, or am I missing something? And in either case, is that actually Thrain attacking Gandalf?

16th Aug 2014

Sevens?

The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss

Elodin to Kvothe

“Do you know the seven words that will make a woman love you?”

“It is a word. Words are pale shadows of forgotten names. As names have power, words have power. Words can light fires in the minds of men. Words can wring tears from the hardest hearts.There are seven words that will make a person love you. There are ten words that will break a strong man’s will. But a word is nothing but a painting of a fire. A name is the fire itself.”

Kvothe to Denna

"One of the masters at the University once told me that there were seven words that would make a woman love you.” I made a deliberately casual shrug. “I was just wondering what they were.”

Denna to Kvothe

“Looks like I’m destined to be loveless.”
“There you go with seven words again,” she said with a smile. “You do realize you always do that?”

“That’s the first thing you said to me. I was just wondering why you’re here.  My seven words. I’ve been wondering the same thing for so long.”

Eragon by Christopher Paolini

Brom to Eragon

"'It is the way of things ... I must. Will you take my blessing?' 
Eragon bowed his head and nodded, overcome. Brom placed a trembling hand on his brow.
'Then I give it to you May the coning years bring you great happiness.' He motioned for Eragon to bend closer. Very quietly, he whispered seven words from the ancient language, then even more softly told him what they meant.
'That is all I can give you... Use them only in great need.'"

Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling

image

Seven Books

Seven Years at Hogwarts

A seven Part Soul (Horcruxes)

Seven players on a quidditch team

Seven is the age most magical abilities reveal themselves

Vault 713 (Sorcerer’s Stone)

Seven galleons for Harry’s wand

Gryffindor common room is on the 7th floor

Seven bottles in Snape’s logic problem

Seven Weasley children

Harry was born on the 7th month

Harry marries the 7th child in the Weasley family

There is a chapter called The Seven Potters

Wizards come of age at 17

Seven obstacles to the sorcerer’s stone

Seven individuals attacked by the basilisk

The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien

"Seven for the Dwarf-lords in their halls of stone”

image

Numerology

image

image

I would really like to look more into this.  I’ve dreamed for a while about finding a cohesive way to write a paper on numbers in fantasy literature.  Obviously it would require a lot more research into Numerology and numerical symbolism, but maybe the thread of sevens that runs through all of these works is the beginning of that.

Any other sevens that I’m missing?

15th Aug 2014
stairwaytoheavenandhell:

MINDBLOWN one more time

Lets clarify:
7 horcruxes
the diary
the ring
the locket
the cup
the diadem
Nagini
Harry
and the (very unstable) fragment of soul living in Voldemort, which makes an 8 part soul
And I thought it was an infinity..like because of imortality..
But to be fair, this isn’t Rowling’s original design of The Dark Mark.  The artwork she actually approved for her novels in the US has illustrations of the Dark Mark that look like this:

The artwork for the US books is done by Marie GrandPré.  This is the artwork for chapter 27 “The Lightning-Struck Tower’” in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.
As you can see, this design doesn’t include an 8 or an ∞, so it’s not completely fair to say that Rowling hid subliminal symbolism in the Dark Mark.  There also may be different illustrations in international books with different artists.  Plus, I’m not sure to what degree she collaborated with the WB on this rendering of the Dark Mark, so I don’t think this post is completely accurate.

stairwaytoheavenandhell:

MINDBLOWN one more time

Lets clarify:

7 horcruxes

  1. the diary
  2. the ring
  3. the locket
  4. the cup
  5. the diadem
  6. Nagini
  7. Harry

and the (very unstable) fragment of soul living in Voldemort, which makes an 8 part soul

And I thought it was an infinity..like because of imortality..

But to be fair, this isn’t Rowling’s original design of The Dark Mark.  The artwork she actually approved for her novels in the US has illustrations of the Dark Mark that look like this:

The artwork for the US books is done by Marie GrandPré.  This is the artwork for chapter 27 “The Lightning-Struck Tower’” in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.

As you can see, this design doesn’t include an 8 or an ∞, so it’s not completely fair to say that Rowling hid subliminal symbolism in the Dark Mark.  There also may be different illustrations in international books with different artists.  Plus, I’m not sure to what degree she collaborated with the WB on this rendering of the Dark Mark, so I don’t think this post is completely accurate.

14th Aug 2014
"One morning in mid-December Hogwarts woke to find itself covered in several feet of snow. The lake froze solid and the Weasley twins were punished for bewitching several snowballs so that they followed Quirrell around, bouncing off the back of his turban."
Source:

Philosopher’s Stone, Chapter 12


Hey, remember that time Fred and George Weasley bewitched a bunch of snowballs to punch Voldemort repeatedly in the face?

(via sassysnitch)

😂😂😂 And even even after selling “You No Poo” Voldemort never actually directly went after the Weasley twins.  Badasses.