Short Live the King

April 15, 2009 at 2:06 pm (Game Time) (, )

I hate Varian Wrynn so much. And it’s not just because I’m for the Horde.

The thing is, I can’t get over how much of an ass he is. It doesn’t help that people think he’s badass and cool for being a complete and utter a-hole; every time I hear someone singing Varian’s praises I want to gag a little. Really? He bugs me for the exact same reason Fandral Staghelm does, which is that his ability and/or desire to make decision for the benefit of his people is consistently overridden by his personal desires and vendettas.

In the Secrets of Ulduar trailer, he doesn’t do anything heroic or even good–he allows his hatred of Thrall and orcs to override any sense in seeing that HELLO, OLD GOD, can’t we just, you know, agree to disagree and maybe work together to keep this evil out? Sir? Your Highness, King of Stormwind?

But, no. What would his people say if they knew his reaction to a dire threat was to brawl in public?

Look, I know that in the comic Varian Wrynn’s been through a lot–kidnap, amnesia, being a gladiator. But the fact of the matter is that his kidnap and amnesia? Were not Thrall’s fault. They were not even the orcs’ fault, unless the orcish individuals in question were part of the Defias Brotherhood, which, again–not affiliated with the Horde. And quite frankly the reason the Defias were even attacking him was because he allowed his nobles to kick them out without payment. Really, Varian? You make stonemasons work and rebuild your city for four years and then throw them out with paying what you agreed to pay? And you’re surprised they lashed out at you? Please, you asshole. And another thing, why the fuck would Thrall or the Horde want to sabotage you on your way to a peace conference? Seriously? You can’t have the possibility of an alliance without both parties wanting to talk.

And another thing–blaming Thrall for the gladiators? Look, I know Varian doesn’t exactly know Thrall’s history, but Thrall was raised in slavery to be a gladiator. Being denied freedom and forced to live a life of brutality for the amusement of others? He’s been there, done that, bought the t-shirt, lost it in battle. You don’t see Thrall demanding retribution from the entire Alliance for the wrongs done him in his youth, do you? You don’t see him demanding Varian lose his head for Tabetha’s death, do you? No, because he’s not a self-absorbed asshat like Varian Wrynn. He understands that the wrongs of the few shouldn’t be attributed to the many or even thrown onto the shoulders of a scapegoat. But Thrall is Varian’s scapegoat; he is the person Varian blames for all his problems when, quite frankly, some of them were rooted in his own arrogance and greed. And Varian is allowing his personal mad-on for Thrall affect his ability to rule. That doesn’t make him cool or badass; that makes him Fandral fucking Staghelm, the guy people let Horde raids take out because nobody likes him.

I understand that Varian is also grieving for Bolvar Fordragon. Hey, they were best buddies, they barely got a chance to say hello to each other before he was killed. I see the grief, I sympathize, I do not sympathize with allowing his grief to endanger his people. Seriously, he is not the only person to lost someone in that battle. He makes his whole spiel about the Alliance losing more people, well, that’s just the way the cookie rolls sometimes and considering the Horde probably lost significant, elite (they were on wolves, after all) troops as well–who is he to go around saying WE LOST MORE AND SO WE ARE JUSTIFIED IN HATING YOU BECAUSE YOU DIDN’T LOSE AS MANY rather than hating, you know, the guy who made the plague? And orchestrated its use? You know, some dude named VARIMATHRAS THE MOTHERFUCKING DREADLORD.

Look, I know that Varian doesn’t know half this stuff. But the reason he doesn’t know half this stuff isn’t that the Horde won’t talk to him–Thrall answered the summons to Dalaran pretty quickly, and he had to have known that if Jaina was calling then the Alliance was probably involved somehow, and he was probably also hoping that Dalaran being, you know, neutral territory would help keep hostilities at bay and oh oh oh let’s not forget that he had to have beenwilling to talk for the initial peace conferences anyway–it’s that Varian completely shuts down any possibility of communication. He refuses to examine how the Alliance was the cause of his troubles, how members of the Horde don’t represent the entire Horde, and instead focuses on hating Thrall who, quite frankly, hasn’t really given him a reason for hate except that he’s an orc and members of his Horde happen to engage in reprehensible activities.

And, as his little hissyfit in the Secrets of Ulduar trailer shows, he’s perfectly willing to allow his personal and pretty unreasonable and irrational hate for Thrall wreck attempts at alliance in the face of the greater evil, ie. Yogg-Saron and the fucking Lich King (who, by the way, was originally human and therefore originally Alliance). Did Varian not realize that losing Northrend would also result in his own men being lost, thus rendering the loss of Bolvar’s life completely insignificant? Yeah, way to honor your friend there, Varian. Let your hotheadedness and willful blindness and scapegoating and inability to get your head out of your ass render his death completely useless, I’m sure Fordragon really appreciates it.

Granted, Garrosh Hellscream didn’t act any better. But Thrall, who is warchief of the Horde and therefore the one who would be in charge of orchestrating any peace or alliance, didn’t act. He did not go into that room in Dalaran with hostile intent. He went in with the knowledge that bad shit is going down, maybe we’d better sit down and listen to the powerful mage people and maybe decide what to do so we don’t all friggin’ die.

So congrats, Blizzard. Varian Wrynn is indeed the anti-Thrall. He’s a completely unlikable jerkface who needs to die in a fire ASAP, and good riddance to him say I.


Permalink Leave a Comment

Do Cyborg Vampires Sound Good to You? They Do to Me!

April 13, 2009 at 6:02 am (Animanga) (, )

(ETA 2: originally written 03/17/2009 but if I want to backlog posts I can, so there. :P)

So hey, who wants a manga rec?

In a nutshell, Vassalord is about Charley the cyborg vampire who is a vampire hunter and his adventures with Rayflo, a hedonistic vampire who is his master and the source of his blood. If you guessed it was shounen-ai, you guessed right! But the description utterly fails to take into account the complex relationship between Charley and Rayflo, one that’s long and changing and is full of denial and confessions and forbidden desires and just, I was expecting a thinly veiled excuse for extremely homoerotic blood-sucking and yeah, there is that, but I wasn’t expecting the twistiness of Charley and Rayflo at all.

It helps that the characters are themselves interesting. There is no set seme or uke (top or bottom) which I find fascinating as a part of their complex relationship to each other. The other characters are pretty cool too, and when’s the last time you saw a scruffy hard-boiled detective in a manga? And then there’s the obscure vampire lorebits, and the plot which looks to be shaping up to something rather interesting…The characterizations are a bit shaky in the beginning but they even out, same with the art.

Even if the premise doesn’t sound like your thing, check it out anyway and give it a couple chapters. Probably not NSFW; there’s no sex (only sublimations) only violence (well, it’s got vampires, what were you expecting?) and some non-explicit nudity. Also Rayflo likes to go around with his shirt open (I’m not complaining, but people around you might).

The link up top leads to an online viewers which seems to be a bit slow so be warned if you have a slow connection.

ETA: I just got some exposition on one of the newest characters and a;dkljaf;sdkf, why is this manga so much more awesome than it should be. On the other hand, cyborg vampiric vampire hunter so uh, maybe not that surprising after all.

Permalink Leave a Comment

Merlin Viewing Notes

April 13, 2009 at 5:58 am (Don't Touch That Dial) ()

Yes, I watched it. No, these aren’t all my notes. Yes, beware of spoilers for pretty much the entire first season. No, I didn’t watch every single episode, mostly because I wanted to skip to the slashier ones and then didn’t feel like going back to see the other two.

I’d put up the extended notes, but I’d want to put them into some semblence of order first, and Merlin seems to have been a hothothot-cooooooold fandom for me. Le sigh.

(Format cribbed from Copperbadge’s various “3 Things About –” posts.)

Read the rest of this entry »

Permalink Leave a Comment

Mini-Book Report: Corambis by Sarah Monette

April 12, 2009 at 12:16 pm (Books Galore) (, )

Corambis was pretty much everything I wanted it to be.

(This quick knee-jerk reaction isn’t spoiler-y in a specific events sense, but may be spoiler-y in a general-story-structure kind of way.)

I mean, it started out a little shaky and heavy on the exposition—Monette handwaved the beginning of their journey quite a bit—but by the time the book really got going? Oh god. By the end, I felt so happy for Mildmay and Felix, like my heart was lifting and spreading wings. It’s not a get-up-and-dance-and-squee kind of happy—it’s a sort of gentle sense of hope and rightness and the internal equivalent of a grin that wont’ fucking go away. Because those boys, they’ve worked so fucking hard for a happy ending, and they got one, dammit, they’ve got one and while I’d’ve liked to see Mehitabel and Vincent, and more Mildmay than was in there, I can see why Monette would make the call for them to take the back seat a bit because Mirador was Mildmay’s book and it makes sense that this book would be about Felix. This series’ strength has ever been the characters, rather than the plot (perhaps natural, considering the nature of its rotating first person POV) and oh god, I can’t even properly express myself here. FELIX, YOU ARE CHANGING AND BEING HAPPY AND A;DKAJSLDF OH GOD I AM SO HAPPY FOR YOU I CANNOT EVEN DEAL.

It was worth the wait, to read this thing in one sitting. Oh, boys. I’m so, so, happy for you both.

BRB, off to reread.

Permalink Leave a Comment