what do you think of so many people labeling amy as violent and sexually aggressive?yes she’s flawed and i’m aware of that but in dw there is a lot of insulting, pushing each other around and slapping going on between the characters in general, for example donna, clara, river song and the doctor himself (for example when he forces a kiss on jenny) don’t get me wrong this behaiour is wrong but in dw it’s smth that as good as all characters do, not just amy and it gets ignored a lot in other ones


Thank you for waiting anon you’re a gem and so is this question.  Please drop me a line and let you know if you saw this because I know it’s been a few days.

To begin I’d like to point you towards sarah531​‘s amazing gifset regarding Amy Pond and symptoms of PTSD, not only because it’s flawless but because it’s very relevant to what you’re talking about here.  You guys know that I’ll scream until tumblr deactivates me (and probably after to anyone who’ll listen) that Amy Pond is mentally ill in some respect, whether you subscribe to the abandonment issues theory, depression theory, PTSD theory, or other theories.

Sarah did an awesome job of citing evidence for each of these characteristics, so I’m definitely going to build on that (hope you don’t mind) to answer this question.  If you’ll notice, many of the characteristics pertain to what you’re talking about: suicidal impulses, inappropriate sexual conduct, reckless behavior, difficulty working through conflict, difficulty expressing emotions, aggressive behavior, and thoughts of revenge on perpetrator.  I’m going to go through each of these and hopefully by the end we’ll have an answer to your question.

Suicidal Impulses/Reckless Behavior

I felt like these two went hand in hand as they tend to have the same source in my opinion.  I’ve spoken at length on this here, here, here, and here, also tillthenexttimedoctor talked about this recently here and with me on my blog here, so basically there’s a ton of reading you can do about Amy and this specific kind of mental illness in case this was something you’re interested in.  Some of these metas overlap into “difficulty expressing emotions” as well.

As Julia pointed out in one or more of the links above, Amy’s suicidal impulses often make her more likely to put herself in life-threatening situations, which often result in violence.  Her pushing and shoving the Doctor at the end of Cold Blood, her crashing the car in Amy’s Choice, on the surface these look violent but if you delve more into it you see the underlying pain that Amy’s going through that drives these impulses.  Since I and others have already written so much on this I’m going to let those metas speak for themselves and move on.

Difficulty Working Through Conflict/Expressing Emotions

Some of the metas linked above overlap in this, but I’d like to point out that this is one of Amy’s most consistent and interesting flaws, in my opinion. While people often write off Amy’s inability to express herself and solve conflict as a sign of her being uncaring or rude, I’d argue quite the opposite: she cares too much.  Amy puts on a hard, uncaring exterior because she’s afraid people are going to abandon her.  She pushes Rory away because she thinks he’ll leave her, she’s afraid to let the Doctor in because he’s left her in the past.  Everyone she’s ever cared for: the Doctor when she was little, her parents, even her aunt later, all leave her.  Of course she’s not going to be emotionally vulnerable when people are constantly hurting her, and this results in her lashing out.  I don’t think that’s violence, I think that’s a natural response to past trauma.

Aggressive Behavior

Amy’s frequently seen slapping, hitting, or lashing out in some way (mostly against Rory, which isn’t a coincidence).  Some of them are playful punches on the arm, but sometimes they’re not.  I feel like this goes hand-in-hand with Amy’s inability to work through conflict.  She doesn’t know how to express her emotions or talk about how she’s feeling, so she reacts physically.  This isn’t good, it’s definitely a character flaw, but it’s part of who she is.  She’s not violent for the sake of being violent.  I think that’s where the fundamental misunderstanding comes in.  What Amy’s doing shouldn’t be condoned, but people often call her violent as if it’s just there, instead of thinking about why she’s acting and reacting this way.  She’s doing it for control, to try to feel like she’s not drowning, and she’s doing it in an attempt to express how she’s feeling.  That doesn’t mean it’s okay, but that also doesn’t mean her violence is baseless and should be treated as such.

Inappropriate Sexual Conduct

This is, as you aptly pointed out, the one that Amy gets so much criticism for.  I think the fact that it’s on the list of symptoms for PTSD speaks volumes already, but let’s dive deeper into this.  Firstly, from a feminist standpoint, there’s literally nothing wrong with being open and confident in your sexuality as long as everything’s consensual.  Usually this isn’t a problem for Amy as most of her sexual interactions are with Rory, who accepts and even encourages them.  Amy’s flirtatious nature on the surface isn’t really an issue either, because as far as we see she doesn’t actually cause discomfort to anyone besides the Doctor.  This is what I want to talk about.  The scene at the end of Flesh and Stone draws both shippers and criticism alike.  

I have to agree with Sarah who said “this is wrong, icky behavior” on Amy’s part.  There’s no way to spin this to say that this is okay: Amy forced herself on the Doctor.  She’s flawed, and she made a bad choice and now she needs to own it, period.  I wish we’d seen a bit more of her owning that, but we do see her work out her issues with Rory and grow as a person.  I’d like to point out that not only did this occur at the beginning of Amy’s run, but also occurred at a time of anxiety for her.  This explains, but doesn’t excuse, her behavior.  Just like above, Amy’s not sexually aggressive for the sake of fan service or just because, she’s sexually aggressive due to some underlying issues related to her character.  That doesn’t make it okay, but it’s part of the picture that needs to be addressed.

I point all of this out because as Amy evolves through three seasons of the show, by series 7 you’d never see her do anything like this.  She’s much more grown up, much more in control of her emotions, and much better at dealing with her anxiety surrounding stressful or uncomfortable situations.  She doesn’t feel the need to be so sexually aggressive because it’s not a coping tactic or a way for her to feel in control.  Amy made a mistake and learned from it, and I think the show did at least an okay job of pointing out that this wasn’t okay.

Thoughts of Revenge on the Perpetrator

This is the one that I honestly don’t understand why people get so angry. I’ve talked before about how Amy’s actions towards Madame Kovarian could be considered an act of love, but even if you don’t subscribe to that concept, I want you to honestly tell me that, if you were a parent, you wouldn’t try to take revenge on the person who not only kidnapped your child, but preformed mental and medical abuse on her.  People have justified parents left and right for killing or being otherwise violent towards the people who want to or do cause harm towards their children.  Why is Amy any different?

People tend to either forget that Amy’s a mother or get angry at Moffat for bringing it up too much or “not developing it well enough” or something in that vein.  Regardless of your feelings on who River Song turned out to be, a mother’s love is a concept we as a society push and push, and now people turn around and use it against Amy?  Shows a lot of unfair bias to me.

To conclude, I think that labeling Amy as violent and sexually aggressive is only partially true.  I think to blanketly label her those things ignores a lot of depth of character.  Yes, Amy lashes out, and yes, she owns her sexuality.  Yes, sometimes she takes it too far in both respects, but those are character flaws. You’re right in your assessment that Doctor Who often showcases a lot of violence and some sexual aggression in other characters.  I think it’s more pronounced in Amy because it’s part of her character, but we’re not supposed to condemn her for it, we’re supposed to look at it in conjunction with who she really is.

People love to ignore the good parts of Amy to slap labels on her.  I’ve talked about this more in depth over here (which I also linked above for another reason), as well.  It’s the classic strawman tactic to try and take down Moffat, or something of that nature.  But we, dear anon, know better, and I hope in some way that’s a comfort.

Finn 101


let’s start with DNA. Martin is more than just a reason to explore Finn’s backstory and make him sad and armless. Martin is Finn’s biological dad, which means they might share certain personality traits.

Finn’s alternate-wish-world mom seems like she’s probably a better person than Martin, and Stormo is made from Finn’s “heroic DNA” and shares his mom’s blonde hair, so the most obvious symbolic (not scientific) interpretation is that Finn’s mom is the source of the heroic DNA while Martin is the source of any inherent wrongteousness. whether or not this is true is uncertain; for all we know Martin is a hero in his own way. but for the sake of analysis it’s worth assuming what we’re meant to assume: Martin is Finn’s bad side.


and if there’s one thing we know about Martin it’s that he’s entitled. “The Visitor” presents this as clearly as a fable. Finn, exhausted and dehydrated, politely asks for some water, and later Martin chugs the whole barrel and tosses it to the ground. throughout the episode Martin takes advantage of the villagers while Finn does whatever he can to make the experience less traumatic for them, and what we learn is that Martin is selfish and manipulative and gets what he wants. Finn is the good guy, of course. but he is Martin’s son, and under the right circumstances perhaps they wouldn’t be so different.

when we first meet Finn he’s partying in the Candy Kingdom, raising the dead with Princess Bubblegum and freely taking bites out of the walls and sidewalks. free food is not for everyone, by the way; Finn’s alter ego Davey has to pay for a street vendor’s Coco Birds, whereas Finn can take anything because he’s Finn. as the hero of Ooo and friend of the kingdom’s ruler/creator/all-powerful and all-seeing god of life and death, Finn is spoiled.

and it’s easy to see how the lines between things and people would get blurry for him. candy citizens are sentient food created in labs, and Ooo is a place where trees and mountains can talk and a 12-year-old can become the proud father of a microwave and then battle for custody of the microwave and then abandon the microwave in a pile of junk for 15 months. (yep, he’s Martin’s son.) so when princesses made of slime and hot dogs want to marry Finn, what’s stopping him from seeing those princesses as objects to take? everyone wants Finn, and Finn can have pretty much anyone he wants.


except he can’t. “why do i keep trying if i can’t keep her?” Finn sings as he gazes wistfully at framed pictures of Princess Bubblegum. good question, Finn. for the first two seasons he denied any feelings for PB until the opportunity was handed to him at the end of Mortal Recoil. when PB turned 18 again, Finn lost someone he could never admit he wanted in the first place. and now that he’s actually making an effort, fighting wizards to kiss her and nervously squirming his head into her lap, he’s experiencing something unfamiliar and absolutely terrifying: rejection.

it’s no accident that “All the Little People” is so suggestive: Finn stays up late at night simulating debaucherous relationships between tiny versions of his friends, and he can only make things right by shaking his “little Finn” as hard as he can. Finn is frustrated, and when he doesn’t know how to deal with frustration he gets addicted to the feeling of manipulating others. playing god.


Adventure Time loves this motif. i mean really loves it. playing god with the “little people” is a theme that pops up all over the series. Flame Princess references it by name in “The Cooler” which is a reference to when dream-baby Finn echoes the “wawawa” sound in “Frost & Fire” which is foreshadowed by the diaper prank in “Jakesuit”. Magic Man sings about it, and “Astral Plane” suggests Grob Gob Glob Grod and Mars might be involved with it. “The Visitor” is built on this imagery. it’s everywhere in every form. even in that classic gif of Jake saying “we could rule them like gods! angry gods.

the point is that Martin, PB, and Finn all have this in common: they play god. it’s in Finn’s DNA, and when he couldn’t learn it directly from Martin he got hands-on practice with PB, and he and PB both hurt Flame Princess because they thought they could toy with her. Finn doesn’t notice that PB is doing this to him until “Too Old” when it’s revealed that part of her plan was for Finn’s plan to fail. “Too Old” is a turning point for Finn’s worldview because in one horrifying night it becomes clear that he’s both a pawn and a player in a cosmic game of chess. everyone in Ooo is either eating someone else or being eaten. this is why older people are “less fun inside” and Finn decides to make things right with Flame Princess.

so has Finn changed? in season 2 he wishes for an Ancient Psychic Tandem War Elephant to control with his mind, and then he promptly dumps it in the basement, a lot like NEPTR. in season 6 he sets APTWE free: “i feel weird giving you orders.” Finn has learned a lot, especially since his breakup with FP. if Martin represents Finn’s selfish inner manchild, a “kid stuck in a dad’s body”, then Martin’s escape from the Citadel represents Finn growing up, his carefree childhood violently torn away like his arm, his eternally crystallized youth melting in the flames of existential loneliness and dread. dread doesn’t prevail; Sweet P is born and life goes on. but Finn still needs some time to catch up.


after sorting out the concept of revenge, Finn is left with a wilting flower for an arm, a manifestation of the grass curse that seems to reflect his emotions. Finn is depressed. in season 1 he was desperate to dance with Princess Bubblegum, and now in “Breezy” he’s just sitting with Raggedy Princess at a party and doesn’t even acknowledge that PB is there. but that’s not relevant, right? Finn is over PB and that’s healthy… right? or have his experiences left him with a need to repress his feelings and stuff them into The Vault?

the flower slowly dies as Finn numbs the pain with meaningless pleasure, kissing every princess he can find, until finally it blooms for Breezy. “my love will not fade,” Breezy sings, while Finn sees a vision of Princess Bubblegum. “this memory of feeling… who calls to my heart?” “my hero arise; let love be your guide.” what does it all mean?

Finn loves Princess Bubblegum. he tried to move on and get with Flame Princess, and then he tried to get back with PB, and then FP again, and then every princess in Ooo, but listen: he loves PB. romantically? as a friend? it doesn’t matter. “i see love beyond reason.” Breezy’s unconditional love is what inspires Finn. the epiphany here is a big one: Finn doesn’t have to get what he wants. he can continue to love, just like Breezy. after all, Breezy doesn’t need to be with Finn to appreciate his flower, and Finn doesn’t need to be with PB to feel whatever it is she makes him feel. and what is life without desire? to quote a wise dog: “if you get everything you want the minute you want it, what’s the point of living?” so the flower blooms, the arm is reborn, and life goes on.

“I hate when people say things like, “yeah, maybe Steven Moffatt is a little bit sexist, but he’s still a great writer.” No, he’s not! Leaving aside the gaping plot holes, leaving aside some of the most compelling story lines he’s left untouched, Steven Moffatt should not be considered a “good writer” because he cannot or will not write female characters that are full people. The women in his years of Doctor Who live half their lives as caricatures, and the other half only as people by analogy. That level of poor characterization is the epitome of bad writing.” —

My latest rant on Doctor Who and feminism (via mansplainedmarxist)

I do not think Moffat is a good writer: I think, essentially, he’s a one-trick pony whose one trick (timey wimey stuff!) stopped being clever quite some time ago. His dialogue in the show is usually pretty good, but he’s hopeless at plots, a fact made all the worse by him thinking he’s great at them. I won’t even go into all the thoughtlessly offensive crap he’s spewed over the years, on Twitter and elsewhere – for someone who runs not one but two shows that celebrate thinking, it’s bloody ridiculous how little he actually does. When this leaks into the show itself, it infuriates me.

But that being said, I cannot take seriously any critique of him that writes off Amy, in particular, as not being a ‘full person’. Insofar as any fictional character can be considered anything like a person, Amy qualifies. We know what she does, we know why she does it, we know her thoughts, her feelings, and her fears. We know she’s terrified of abandonment (because: most of the people she’s been close to have abandoned her). We know she hides her emotions (because: she’s afraid of being ‘clingy’, because: everything she’s clung to she’s lost.) We know more about her childhood than we know about almost any of the other companions, we know what her favourite subject was at school and what sport she played. We know who her favourite artist is, and that she’s a good artist herself. We know that when she loves, she loves hard, even though she’ll barely admit this to herself. (see: everything involving her and Rory). We know she’s pretty comfortable around guns and violence, and we know she’s the only modern-day companion to ever actually murder someone in cold blood. (Yes, it was undone shortly after, but she didn’t know for sure that that would happen in the moment she was doing it.) We also know that this affected her to the extent that a few episodes later, she’s adamant that the Doctor not kill someone in revenge.

We’ve seen her grow from immaturity to maturity, we’ve seen her grow from weakness to strength. We have seen -and this is no small thing- that this is a woman who would die rather than lose a loved one. We’ve seen her be the complete opposite of a Strong Female Character (which I’m starting to think is a concept that needs completely, utterly tearing down) because when something goes wrong – when Rory is in danger, when the Doctor appears dead, when her daughter’s taken from her – she goes either completely hysterical or completely catatonic, unable to fight back. The loss or potential loss of a loved one paralyses her completely. Her reaction when Rory is shot by Restac looks like a full-blown panic attack, to me. I can, for what should be obvious reasons by now, relate to that wholeheartedly.

I’ve seen some other things: people commenting that watching Amy’s journey helped them relate to and deal with things in their own lives. Four psychiarists? I’ve been there, and I’m very glad to see someone on my TV screen who also has.

Did inexcusably sexist plotlines (read: the intensely disturbing pregnancy arc) happen to Amy? Hell yes, I’ll never deny that. But regardless of who invented her – and don’t forget that Karen Gillan had a lot of input into her as well – I am exceedingly grateful that she came to life.

Furthermore she is, after all, the only companion of whom you can say that her life has been touched by some form of mental illness. Whether it was realistic, well-written or not is a whole ‘nother debate, but she grew up doubting what was real and what was not. So did I.

Just let me keep my fucked-up, weak, obsessive, panic-attacky girl, and the woman she grew into.

Brick!Club 5.1.23: Orestes Fasting and Pylades Drunk


Septembrisuer wrote a fascinating post about why Grantaire and Javert both have to die at the moment of revolutionary enlightenment. So this started off as a reply to that, but I don’t think I ever addressed their arguments, so it should probably be its own post.

The question about why Grantaire dies got me thinking about similar thoughts I was having about Javert and Enjolras and why each had to die, a couple of books ago. The conclusion I reached was – to shamelessly quote myself:

Javert’s death is a reaction to his inability to cope with being an absolute in an imperfect world

and that Enjolras’ death, by comparison, is an imperfect world’s inability to cope with the absolute – a fault not with the absolute itself, as in Javert’s case, but with the world (and therefore a fault that can be fixed, leaving us with hope for the future.)

But where Enjolras and Javert both represent ideals and absolutes, Grantaire is the opposite – the anti-ideal. And yet the anti-ideal dies not when Grantaire is shot, but moments before:

“Vive la République! J’en suis.”

So to apply my previous hypothesis: does the anti-ideal, Grantaire-the-cynic die because he is to absolute in his cynicism (just as Enjolras is too absolute in his ideals) to cope with an inabsolute world? Or because an inabsolute world is not able to cope with his absolute nature? It seems apparent to me that for Grantaire-the-cynic it must be the former – his absolute cynicism is thwarted by the sight of Enjolras, dying for his country and his principals. And not, as Grantaire-the-cynic most likely believed, futilely. Because one needs only look at Enjolras’ death through the eyes of Hugo to see that is a transcendent experience.

The audacity of a fine death always affects men.

And therefore, it is apparent to Grantaire-the-cynic, the anti-ideal, that the world is not so hopeless as he expected. A futile death can still have a profound effect. And so Grantaire-the-cynic dies, and Grantaire-the-idealist, for a brief moment, is born.

But why must Grantaire-the-idealist die? My answer to that is that it is because he’s no longer the absolute cynic, but he has not attained the ideal. And so Grantaire, rather than being the foil to Enjolras, the cynic-beside-the-ideal, is simply a man. And die, in this horrible, brutal reality, is what men do.




Prince Hans: The Mirror

In an episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation called “The Perfect Mate,” a woman named Kamala is taken on board the U.S.S. Enterprise. She is a supremely talented empath who, in any condition, mirrors the emotions of the person with whom she interacts.

Thus, with the brilliant Captain Picard, she is intelligent and adventurous. With the animalistic Klingon, Worf, she is primal. With the womanizing Commander Ryker, she is provocative and flirtatious. And so forth.

That is the true nature of Prince Hans, in Frozen.

This explains why there has been so much confusion about his character. Because he isn’t a character at all — in the sense that there is, as far as the story shows, no essential self to Hans.

Rather, every scene in which Hans appears shows him interacting with someone, and in those scenes, he takes on the characteristics and emotions of the people with whom he interacts. He mirrors them, as if he were an empath, reflecting their feelings back at them. And more than that, he even embodies their projections, personifying their hopes or dreads.

In Hans’s first scene in the film, Anna has just been dreaming of a perfect prince, and there he appears, as if her will had conjured him out of thin air. He seems to be just like her, a little awkward, but sociable, and wholly receptive to meeting someone — as if, like Anna, he too had been dreaming of running into someone new.

She leaves the encounter a little dreamy-eyed and love-struck, and he ends the scene with the same look on his face, reflecting hers.

Then, at the coronation ball, Anna attempts to re-forge a relationship with Elsa, which of course, Elsa cannot do (for Anna’s safety). Thereafter, Anna immediately encounters Hans again, except this time, he mirrors Anna’s desire for a much deeper instant relationship, just as Anna improbably wished instantly to bond closely with Elsa (as if the last 13 years of separation had never existed). Hans now wants exactly what she wants, an open-door relationship with someone, and he seems even to have endured the same hardships as Anna has: being ignored by siblings. He mimics her movements in the clock scene. He echoes her exact words: “Can I say something crazy?” “Can I say something crazy?” In their love song, they sing the same words right back at each other, again and again.

When Elsa unleashes her magic, a fascinating moment follows in which Elsa and Hans exchange glances with one another. Elsa looks up, concerned, and Hans too looks up, with a similarly concerned look on his face. In that one moment, he reflects her emotions precisely.

When Anna resolves to set out after Elsa, Hans’s desire is to parallel her: “I’m coming with you.” But Anna leaves him behind, in her place. In effect, he is to function as her substitute, as her mirror self in Arendelle.

As the governor of Arendelle, when the people approach Hans with kindness, he reflects their kindness in return. But when the Duke approaches him with hostility and attempts to show him who’s boss, Hans mirrors the Duke’s bravura and stares him down, asserting his own authority in turn.

Even at the ice palace, when he confronts Marshmallow, he mirrors the great snow monster in the ferocity of his combat skills. Just as Marshmallow grows ice spikes, so too does Hans grow one — his sword – and defeats Elsa’s mighty snow sentinel by reflecting the snowman’s violence.

When he encounters Elsa in her upper chamber, he echoes Elsa’s very own lifelong dread when he says to her, “Don’t be the monster they fear you are.” In effect, he is speaking for her, uttering her own emotions, as if he were empathically linked to her.

Even his very next action is a mirroring one: when one of the guards raises his crossbow to shoot, Hans, in grasping the guard’s crossbow, shoots with him. The are two suddenly on the same trigger, mirroring each other, performing the same act, shooting the weapon together as if they were twins.

When Hans next encounters Elsa in the dungeon, his tone is identical to hers. He sits beside her and speaks with sadness and worry: “Stop the winter. Please,” saying the lines just the way Elsa might utter them herself. He seems, in that moment, to be as gentle as Elsa. He reflects her emotions and her demeanor.

Next, of course, comes the library scene. And now, one might think that Hans reveals his “true” self. But that’s not the case at all. Here too he performs an act of mirroring — of Anna.

Consider Anna’s words when she returns:

What happened out there?

Elsa struck me with her powers.

You said she’d never hurt you.

I was wrong…She froze my heart.

That is, of course, Anna’s selectively edited and misconstrued account of what happened. In truth, Elsa struck her with her magic unwittingly and unwillingly, after having begged Anna repeatedly to leave, for Anna’s own safety. It was Anna herself who caused the situation in which she was hurt.

However, because Anna (due to her characteristic lack of perceptiveness about others and their emotions) does not recognize why the ice-palace incident transpired as it did, she misconstrues the event as if she were the one who had been wronged or betrayed by her sister.

And what does Hans do next? He mirrors this, as he mirrors all things. He wrongs her. He betrays her.

Anna’s projection of an unexpected betrayal from her sister causes Hans to mirror that unexpected betrayal right back at her. Once again, Hans even echoes Anna’s own words to him: “You’re no match for Elsa.” “No, you’re no match for Elsa.” He takes off his gloves when he does this, just as Elsa wore no gloves during the encounter at the ice palace, when Anna believes that Elsa betrayed her and hurt her.

In the next scene, with the ad-hoc Arendelle council, Hans seems grave but resolute, just as they do, seemingly prepared to do what’s necessary to save Arendelle — even something desperate, such as executing the queen. Earlier, they had projected onto him the image of a hero (“You are all Arendelle has left”), just as Anna had yearned to meet “the one” right at the beginning of the film, and Hans reflects their hero projection right back at the council members, just as he initially reflected Anna’s projection of a perfect prince, or later, her projection of a betrayal and injury by someone whom she thought loved her.

On the fjord, Hans once again mirrors Elsa. Observe how wide-eyed and nearly frantic he appears when he shouts at her, just as wide-eyed as Elsa herself appears.

And what identity does he take on in this moment? That of an executioner — which is exactly what Elsa believes that she has become, once she is told that Anna died because of her magic. Elsa believes that she has become lethal, that she is death personified, and Hans, in turn, mirrors that identity, becoming death himself, sword in hand, like the scythe of the grim reaper.

Only at the very end of the film, when he is locked in a cell, is Hans seen alone, for the very first time. At that moment, there is no one to mirror, and he sinks to the ground like a mechanism without a battery, because, like an empath who only exists in relation to someone else, he has no independent existence – or at least, none to which the audience is privy, in this film.

– – – –

No wonder Hans has attracted so many diverse interpretations, all seemingly incompatible with one another. There is no single Hans, no “true” Hans, not even in the library scene. In every moment in which he exists in Frozen, he functions as a mirror to other characters, embodying their emotions or their projections.

It is not that he is not sincere. Quite the opposite. He is entirely as sincere in every moment as are the people he reflects. He is just as genuinely committed to love in one moment as he is genuinely committed to kindness in another and to execution in another. As a fully empathic personality, he becomes whoever he is with.

“Who is this Hans?” Olaf asks. The answer is: not a person, not a character, but a mirror, perhaps even supernatural — a mirror who reflects everyone around him, their loves and fears, their vices and virtues, their lives and, very nearly, their deaths.

(My own extended review of Frozen appears [here].)

I know this is already long enough, but I wanted to point something else out:

in the original story, the main focal point, besides the queen, and love, etc, is a mirror. The mirror that tainted the Queen, the mirror that shattered when an attempt to take it to heaven was made, and a mirror’s shards who have to be gathered to put it back together so it can regain full-power again.

In the movie about it (not Frozen, but Snow Queen), they explain that the mirror showed each sister of the seasons (fall, winter, summer, spring) what they most desired – could grant to them if they so desired. It was for all 4 but the Ice Queen, having been corrupted by the image it showed her, stole it (then it follows the shattering, being put back together, etc).

My point is, the whole time I was watching Frozen I was thinking “where’s the mirror? If you’re going to use this story, you need to have the mirror, it’s vital.“ I was disappointed, when leaving the theater (despite loving the movie to bits) that the mirror hadn’t been mentioned, or seen. But the thing is…they did put it in there.

I just couldn’t see it, because the mirror was disguised as a person



les misérables movie meme

eight scenes: javert at the barricade (5/8)

“Shoot me now or shoot me later / Every schoolboy to his sport”


(via maraschinocheri)

Miniskirt-wearing model saves universe: film at 11

I found this article earlier, and near the top was this:

Amy Pond is a model? Because obviously, obviously all she’s good for is her looks. I mean, Moffat has pretty much said that time and again in reference to Karen Gillan. Yeah, I know this was hinted at in the last series, but seeing it fully realized made me so angry. Amy Pond (despite what her characterization over the past series may imply) is a fully capable woman who is truly quite brilliant, yet she’s been reduced to an object. 

It’s not working for me: it just comes off as criticizing a fictional woman by semi-shaming actual women. Is a woman who desires to be a model planning to reduce herself to an object? Is a ‘capable’ woman forbidden from being a model? What job is appropriate for a capable woman? Karen Gillan, after all, was a model herself. This speaks of agency (admittedly there’s a huge, huge conversation lurking somewhere in my mind about how much agency a fictional character can actually have), but ignores Amy’s actual choices.

Amy chose to be a model. We know from Space And Time that she considers herself good-looking…and why shouldn’t she? Modelling is something she both likes (check out her little slide down the stairs while she’s doing her photoshoot!) and is very successful at- more than averagely successful at, if little girls ask her for her autograph while she’s shopping. Also, it would be a job which provided her with both money (always handy, since Rory might well not be making much as an apparently part-time nurse) and freedom- she’d almost certainly get to travel and she doesn’t seem to answer to anyone.

And just in case you didn’t think she was robbed of her agency enough at this point, Moffat makes a pretty great show of bringing that point home: in addition to being put in danger, just so the Doctor can save her once again, she’s now completely worthless because she can’t bear children. Awesome.

The point was not that Amy is worthless for not being able to have kids, but was that she thought she was worthless. And I’m sure it wasn’t meant to come off that way, but when you consider the actual resolution to all this in the episode…this almost reinforces that horrible idea Amy got in her head. Because that isn’t what the episode was saying, not remotely. It was saying that Amy assumed, for some reason, that Rory would value her ability to give him children more than he valued her. (Probably because they had, technically, lost one child already.) Rory told her that he didn’t care about that and they reconciled (if a little too quickly for my liking). At no point was it even remotely implied that Amy’s infertility made her worthless- no word like ‘worthless’ was ever said- and I’m slightly unsettled that so many people jumped to this conclusion.

Steven Moffat appears to be unaware that he himself has reinforced said horrible idea, incidentally. I like to think this episode was his way of making up for it, but I’m not sure I should give him that much credit. I probably shouldn’t.

[Oswin is] a genius super hacker, but does she need to be in a mini-dress? I’m all for wearing whatever you want, but I feel like with Moffat’s track record of female characters, this choice wasn’t a personal one.

I don’t know about Jenna Louise Coleman, but Karen’s said Amy started out in trousers, only for she herself to push for the skirt- that’s here. (There’s also a filming picture from 2009 floating somewhere on the Internet of Karen in the trousers. I guess it was a last-minute decision?)

Then the bit about “I was having a bit of a phase”, in reference to her first love, a woman. Because bisexuality is a phase, apparently.

Can’t argue with that: there was no reason for that line and frankly I’m suspicious of his motives for putting it in.

But Amy, Amy, Amy- I look at her, and I always see a woman who was determined to hold on to her agency even when all around her tried to take it from her. And I’m talking about Madame Kovarian, the Silence, even the Doctor to some extent- not Steven Moffat! Amy defied or killed them all: guess it remains to be seen whether she kills her own author.

Also on Tumblr!

Naming Amy

Amy took the name Amy Williams by the time of Season Seven, or at least officially- she signs her divorce papers Amelia Williams, and of course she’s buried under that name. It’s a point that bugged me when I first saw it, bugged me quite a lot- especially since Rory has always been implied to take his wife’s last name. Heck, there’s even this interview with Arthur Darvill from SFX in 2011-

What would it say on Rory’s gravestone?
Rory Pond, bumbling hero.

So what we actually got on the grave is disappointing for those of us who really liked that here was a man taking his wife’s name. (In fact, Steven Moffat even specifically said in an interview, Rory has taken his wife’s name- why change that, why?)

Now, within the context of the show, I’ve got to work out why Amy ended up a Williams instead. Because in A Good Man Goes To War, it’s pretty obvious she hasn’t taken the name- she clearly states Melody is going to be a Pond and not a Williams. Sure, she might have just preferred the way the name sounded, but that sounds like a outright rejection of traditional naming conventions to me.

Perhaps her terrible experiences on Demon’s Run were what actually made her want to change her name: bad things happen to Pond girls but they may not happen to Williams girls. Or perhaps when she realised how many bad people were keen on acquiring Amy Pond, she changed it- Amy Williams, bearing a much more common name, would be harder to find.

There’s an awful lot of headcanon you can make to fill in the gap: perhaps Amy changed her name due to pressure from her elderly relatives (many women have been there); perhaps she even fell out with her parents and changed her name to spite them (Pond, after all, is not just her name, it was most likely originally her father’s). She might even have changed it because there was another woman called Pond in the modelling industry- I guess there could be any number of plausible reasons.

Anyway, there would be things to consider after being sent back in time by the Angel, too. Had Amy wished to shake things up considerably in whatever time period she landed in (and can you picture her doing anything else?) she may have been careful to refer to herself as ‘Williams’ from then because she knew there was no famous figure called Amy Pond- her younger self, growing up in Leadworth, would have noticed.

I suppose somewhere around here we’ve got to consider what Amy thinks of her own name- as a little girl, she was Amelia Pond -“like a name in a fairytale”. After becoming disillusioned by the Doctor, she started to call herself Amy Pond, a rejection of the Doctor’s fairytale world. Her name is sort of tied to the Doctor, always has been. And you know, I think Amy’s name on the gravestone is meant to be the ultimate, final rejection of the Doctor’s world (a world that took away her baby, don’t forget). She no longer wishes to ‘come along, Pond’.

Or I think that’s what we’re meant to take from it, anyway- Amy changed her name because Amelia Pond is the Doctor’s companion and Amelia Williams is not. I’d still have much, much rather both Amy and Rory were buried under the name Pond, but I guess I can appreciate what Moffat was trying to do- demonstrate that Amy no longer wished to be a character in a fairytale. After all, bad things tend to happen to them. And I like to think no more bad things ever happened to Amelia Williams.

Amy Pond Grows Up- Doctor Who Series Five, Adulthood, And The Monomyth

Doctor Who Series Five, Adulthood, And The Monomyth

I’m gonna let this speak for itself! Any comments are appreciated, hope you enjoy, and it contains speculation for Series Six. (Although no spoilers.)

AMY: I grew up.

DOCTOR: I can fix that.

The Beast Below

So, there’s this thing about growing up…

Let’s look at the Doctor. He’s not exactly grown up, not really an adult, and can’t really have a relationship with a human. (Yes, there’s River, but we know nothing about her so far) He couldn’t tell Rose he loved her, he couldn’t understand John Smith’s love of life when he stopped being him, he’s the guide through a world of adventure but in adventures people die.

Let’s look at Rory. He’s a grown-up, completely. He’s got a job, a car, he’s left childhood behind. He’s very sensible, he’s totally reliable, and he’s so very in love with Amy. He could be, in some other (inferior) story, the boring alternative to the Doctor, a life of mortgages and beans on toast and nothing else. But, Rory questions the Doctor. But, Rory shows kindness to an enemy. But…he’s a good man. Probably time good men stopped being considered boring, and the Doctor would certainly agree.

Then there’s Amy- girl with an imaginary friend, a boy who couldn’t grow up. She’s Peter Pan’s Wendy, but we know how that turned out. She leaves with him the night before she herself grows up,  flies away in her nightie to another world. And all the time she knows she’s running from adulthood, and while Rory tries to tempt her back she’s gotta find her own way. “Why would we leave all this, why would anyone?” says Amy to Rory, but the Doctor’s given his answer to that already. “I look at a star and it’s just a big ball of burning gas…after a while everything is just stuff.” No-one can stay on the TARDIS forever, or it’ll make the magical so mudane.

The greatest test the TARDIS ever gives is whether or not to leave it. It’s like walking away from it is an acceptance of adulthood, a taking with you of what you’ve learned. Sarah Jane did it, Martha did it, and their lives aren’t devoid of magic, they’re parents and warriors and heroes. And they still get to see the Doctor, be his friend, look at Sarah Jane! They get everything, a life to call their own.

So Amy, when we meet her, oh she’s no grown up. She’s wounded and careless and cruel. She won’t acknowledge Rory as her boyfriend, and space museums packed with astounding things bore her. (You promised me a planet). Series Five is Amy’s journey to adulthood- to be continued, hopefully, in Series Six. So let’s look a wee bit at that.

Snatched from Wikipedia:

“In a monomyth, the hero begins in the ordinary world, and receives a call to enter an unknown world of strange powers and events. The hero who accepts the call to enter this strange world must face tasks and trials, either alone or with assistance. In the most intense versions of  the narrative, the hero must survive a severe challenge, often with help. If the hero survives, the hero may achieve a great gift or “boon.” The hero must then decide whether to return to the ordinary world with this boon. If the hero does decide to return, he or she often faces  challenges on the return journey. If the hero returns successfully, the boon or gift may be used to improve the world.”

That’s basically what Series Five is! Amy’s hero’s journey, with Rory as the ‘gift’. And I figure that Series Six will be the ‘return journey’. Going into lots more detail, because I heart this sort of thing:


Departure-The Call to Adventure- “The hero starts off in a mundane situation of normality from which some information is received that acts as a call to head off into the unknown.”

Little Amelia meets and loses the Doctor. She’s not quite normal, but her life seems mundane, and although it takes a while for Amy to head off, eventually the Doctor comes for her…

Refusal of the Call- “Often when the call is given, the future hero refuses to heed it. This may be from a sense of duty or obligation, fear, insecurity, a sense of inadequacy, or any of a range of reasons that work to hold the person in his or her current circumstances.”

Amy hesitates, cos she’s getting married the next morning. (This would be her sense of duty) The hesitation doesn’t last long though…

Supernatural Aid- “Once the hero has committed to the quest, consciously or unconsciously, his or her guide and magical helper appears,or becomes known. More often than not, this supernatural mentor will present the hero with one or more talismans or artifacts that will aid them later in their quest.”

If we leave the Doctor out of this whole thing (he is the quest, sort of), this is so River. And the talisman would be her diary, given to Amy at her wedding to help her.

The Crossing of the First Threshold- “This is the point where the person actually crosses into the field of adventure, leaving the known limits of his or her world and venturing into an unknown and dangerous realm where the rules and limits are not known.”

Amy lands on the Starship UK, a completely new world. And heck yes,it’s dangerous. But she passes her test…

Belly of The Whale- “The belly of the whale represents the final separation from the hero’s known world and self. By entering this stage, the person showswillingness to undergo a metamorphosis.”

Ooh, Amy literally ends up in the belly of the whale. (Okay, okay, it was its mouth, but still.)

The Road of Trials- “The road of trials is a series of tests,
tasks, or ordeals that the person must undergo to begin the transformation. Often the person fails one or more of these tests, which often occur in threes.”

Where to start? Amy takes on multiple tests- the Daleks, the Angels…she escapes alive, but changed.

The Meeting With the Goddess-“This is the point when the person experiences a love that has the power and significance of the all-powerful, all encompassing, unconditionallove that a fortunate infant may experience with his or her mother. This is a very important step in the process and is often represented by the person finding the other person that he or she loves most completely.”

Hey, hello Rory!

“And when the adventurer, in this context, is not a youth but a maid, she is the one who, by her qualities, her beauty, or her yearning, is fit to become the consort of an immortal. Then the heavenly husband descends to her and conducts her to his bed – whether she will or not. And if she has shunned him, the scales fall from her eyes; if she has sought  him, her desire finds its peace.”

Well, she shunned him, sort of, and in Amy’s Choice the scales fall from her eyes.

Amy’s totally ‘fit to be the consort of an immortal’, but she’s been looking at the wrong one. (as discovered by her in Amy’s Choice) To be with the Doctor completely would require a huge change, maybe even the loss of some of your humanity- you’d see the universe turn to stuff. Rory is what keeps Amy grounded in reality, even when he himself becomes immortal he’s still the embodiment of ordinary but phenomenally powerful love. He waits two thousand years just to make sure she’s safe. The Doctor would never, ever do that- it’s not in him to take the slow path. It would be boring, and he’s always got a quicker way…

Rory vs the Doctor. That’s a lot of what Amy’s journey is about. The best of humanity vs the world-saving, but also world-destroying hero. Not an easy choice, because the Doctor represents so much magic and power, but sometimes it all comes down to love.

Woman as Temptress- “This step is about those temptations that may lead the hero to abandon or stray from his or her quest, which does not necessarily have to be represented by a woman. Woman is a metaphor for the physical or material temptations of life, since the hero-knight was often tempted by lust from his spiritual journey.”

I’ve got nothing for this one. Plus it’s kinda sexist. Let’s just ignore it!

Atonement with the Father- “In this step the person must confront
and be initiated by whatever holds the ultimate power in his or her life. In many myths and stories this is the father, or a father figure who has life and death power. This is the center point of the journey. All the previous steps have been moving in to this place, all that follow will move out from it. Although this step is most frequently symbolized by an encounter with a male entity, it does not have to be a male; just someone or thing with incredible power.”

Amy confronts the universe and puts it right, bringing back the Doctor. The cracks in the universe held tremendous power in her life, but now they’re gone and everything is right again. She has Rory, and her parents…

Apotheosis- “When someone dies a physical death, or dies to the self to live in spirit, he or she moves beyond the pairs of opposites to a state of divine knowledge, love, compassion and bliss. A more mundane way of looking at this step is that it is a period of rest, peace and fulfillment before the hero begins the return.”

We’re a bit in the wrong order now, but Amy does die a physical death in The Pandorica Opens.

The Ultimate Boon- “The ultimate boon is the achievement of the goal of the quest. It is what the person went on the journey to get. All the previous steps serve to prepare and purify the person for this step, since in many myths the boon is something transcendent like the elixir of life itself, or a plant that supplies immortality, or the holy grail.”

Amy marries the man she loves and they run off in the TARDIS with a man they both love. She’s got her man, won the day, gets New Who’s very first happy ending.

But what comes next is the Refusal of the Return“Having found bliss and enlightenment in the other world, the hero may not want to return to the ordinary world to bestow the boon onto his fellow man.”

SERIES SIX- BRING IT, MOFFAT. I don’t want them to, but I’m willing to bet Amy and Rory will leave at the end of the year, and go on to have plain awesome lives. The fifth step of the Return is ‘Master of two worlds’. I want Amy and Rory to be that.

But just for now, let’s stay in the Doctor’s world…

You ran off with another man.

Not in that way.

It was the night before our wedding.

We’re in a time machine. It’s the night before our wedding for as long
as we want.

We have to grow up eventually.

Says who?

Well…yes, actually, says Who. (Sorry). With the occasional exception, the Doctor teaches people and fixes them and then shows them back out into the world again. He needs to see the universe through new eyes all the time, and that’s why he’s loved all his companions, he’s seen so much of the universe through them. And none of them need be the consort to his immortal.

The whole story of Amy has quite a few things to say about not only the role of the Doctor’s Companion but about the roles of men and women in general- She’s the brave hero off having adventures, Rory’s the one who waits for her. She’s the one who cheats, he’s the one who forgives her. She’s the one who’s afraid of commitment, and he’s the loyal, commited partner. She’s the hero, he’s the prize. And he’s a nurse, a traditionally female role! But I think it’s worth pointing out, unlike previous companions, Amy gets to be married and still be everything she was before, still be devoted to the Doctor.

I’ve looked at Rory in depth before, but I think I was a bit hard on him then- basically I think now that the key to him is that he loves Amy totally  unconditionally. He’s never make her choose between him and the Doctor- he may still have to entice her to step out of the TARDIS and complete her journey, but he’d never deny her her best friend.

Karen Gillan says in an SFX interview, “I think there’s alway going to be this thing between the Doctor and Amy that Rory can’t really be a part of, because they’ve just shared this thing together.” but if anyone could understand that, Rory could. The Doctor demanded back in The Hungry Earth that the three people in the church be the best of humanity, and Rory passed the test with flying colours- he was kind to Alaya, tried to save her life, carried her body back to her people and took Restac’s revenge for himself. And he’s pretty much grown out of jealousy now. The Amy who is dedicated to the Doctor is Rory’s Amy, and he wouldn’t change her for anything. The Doctor’s a part of her, and he accepts that. This is, after all, the man he died for.

Amy grew up and the Doctor can fix that. He does, but not in the way she expected. She grew up because she had to, he’s going to make her grow up because she wants to. By the end of Series Five Amy’s an adult
who knows enough of children’s dreams to save the Doctor from his own sacrifice. She’s learned. Now she’s just got to find her way back, to share what she’s learned- the Return. The last phase of truly growing up…

Refusal of the Return- As seen above, “the hero may not want
to return to the ordinary world to bestow the boon onto his fellow man.”

The Magic Flight- “Sometimes the hero must escape with the boon, if it is something that the gods have been jealously guarding. It can be just as adventurous and dangerous returning from the journey as it was to go on it.”

I think we can safely assume there will be monsters in the next series…

Rescue From Without- “Just as the hero may need guides and assistants to set out on the quest, oftentimes he or she must have powerful guides and rescuers to bring them back to everyday life, especially if the person has been wounded or weakened by the experience.”

 Now this one is interesting-

Campbell explains it to us. “‘Who having cast off the world,’ we read, ‘would desire to return again? He would be only there.’ And yet, in so far as one is alive, life will call.” Oh, this will happen to Amy. After all- “Why would we give this up? Why would anyone?” But Rory, he’s her rescuer. He’s always been.

The Crossing of the Return Threshold- “The trick in returning is to retain the wisdom gained on the quest, to integrate that wisdom into a human life, and then maybe figure out how to share the wisdom with the rest of the world. This is usually extremely difficult.”

Ah, it will be hard- just look at Sarah Jane or Rose- but I think Amy and Rory will manage it. They’ll pass the TARDIS test, they’ll leave, and they’ll be okay. Hold out for The Pond Adventures in twenty years time!

Master of Two Worlds –“This step is usually represented by a transcendental hero like Jesus or Buddha. For a human hero, it may mean achieving a balance between the material and spiritual. The person has become comfortable and competent in both the inner and outer worlds”

Mentioned this earlier! This is what people like Sarah Jane managed to achieve- she had her time with the Doctor and used all she’d learnt wisely. She gets a son, a family, the continuing friendship of the Doctor himself and a geniunely fantastic life.

Freedom to Live –“Mastery leads to freedom from the fear of death, which in turn is the freedom to live. This is sometimes referred to as living in the moment, neither anticipating the future nor regretting the past.”

Well, this is the last step. They all lived happily ever after.

I’ll miss Amy and Rory terribly once they’ve completed their journey, but the Doctor said it best: if nothing ever finished, nothing would ever get started. So here’s to Series Six, just around the corner, and to Doctor Who, the best children’s show ever. The one that shows us adulthood and childhood and all the wonders of the universe, and has us grow up but not forget.