The Best and Worst of Fictional Mothers

 

“My mom smiled at me. Her smile kind of hugged me.”
R.J. Palacio, Wonder

This post is for my mother, whose smile always kind of hugs me.

Lily Evans & Molly Weasley from Harry Potter

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This fanart of James and Lily was done by Aicha Wijland and I found it here.

Usually I would limit myself to one character per fictional universe, but in the case of Molly and Lily I’m willing to make an exception. After all, a mother’s love for her children is a central theme in the Harry Potter series. First, of course, Lily saves Harry from Voldemort with her maternal protection. Then, years later, Molly Weasley adopts Harry like he’s one of her own children. And let’s not forget that it was Narcissa Malfoy that saved Harry’s life in the Forbidden Forest.

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I’m not crying, YOU’RE crying.

Catelyn Stark

I have no words for Catelyn Stark. She is so utterly brilliant. Of course, there isn’t a single lady in Westeros that doesn’t kick ass, but when it comes to motherhood Lady Stark really wrote the book.

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She’s not afraid to tell her children the truth, even the arrogant male ones that are successors to the estate. She’s willing to fight for Bran’s wellbeing when it comes to that and she loves all her children equally and fairly. And let’s be honest, it can’t have been easy to love an eleven-year-old pre-pubescent Sansa, no matter how much I have come to love her.

Lorelai Gilmore

This might send me straight to the psych ward but Lorelai Gilmore is everything a mother should be in the 21st century. Lorelai Gilmore, I think, is much like my own mother in the way she approaches motherhood and that is the highest complement I could give. Lorelai is the funniest. Lorelai is the coolest. Lorelai is good at giving motherly advice and offering comfort, she is fair and honest and although she behaves as though her daughter, Rory, was a unexpected gift, I think much of Rory’s loveliness is due to Lorelai’s great parenting.

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Of course, the Gilmore Girls have their flaws. (Gasp!). Lorelai sometimes acts or speaks before thinking and Rory can be utterly selfish. What matters is that the Gilmore Girls, in spite of these shortcomings, love each other unconditionally. What matters is that Lorelai is always responsible when it comes to Rory, and that Rory’s selfishness is rarely aimed at her mother.

Mother Gothel from  Rapunzel

Here’s a quick reminder that not all mothers in fiction are lovely darlings like Lily and Molly, fierce protectors like Catelyn or sarcastic little shits with a heart of gold like Lorelai. Some are terrible.

Mrs. Jumbo from Dumbo

Some mothers are absolutely lovely, though.

 

Best TV Intros

Intros are to TV shows as facebook pages are to people. Although looks can be deceiving, someone’s facebook profile and a show’s intro can give you a lot of information about them. For example, I started watching the first episode of True Blood, but stopped after a minute because the intro was too gruesome for me. A show’s intro is like its business card. And here are some of my favorite ones.

The West Wing

I love The West WingI wish I’d never seen it so I could watch it again for the very first time. I wish I’d never seen it so I would stop holding every other TV show to impossible standards. I love it so much that, like a Pavlovian reaction, the theme fills me with nostalgia and glee and sadness and every other kind of emotion a great TV show gives you, put together in an overwhelming mix. Additional fun fact: the theme’s composer is hilariously named W.G. Snuffy Walden. Continue reading

The Reading Habits of a Gryffindor

The sorting of people as well as fictional characters into Hogwarts Houses can be a useful tool for distinguishing personality types. That’s why I’m going to do a bit of sorting in this blogpost, focussing on the ways one’s Hogwarts House relates to one’s reading habits.

My belief that I am a complete Gryffindor was recently reaffirmed. Sometimes, I doubt my House because I am not, in the stereotypically Gryffindor way, impulsive. I do, however, have a very strong sense of right and wrong and I value justice greatly. I am
opinionated, which you’ve probably figured out if you’ve been following this blog for a while. Even in my reading habits, I am a Gryffindor.

Gryffindors are likely to have strong opinions about books, and be vocal about them. These opinions can sometimes lead to heated debates, in which Gryffs rally to the idea of fighting for what they believe in. When they love a book, Gryffs will sing its praises, especially if it calls to the ideals they value most. Disliking a book can split Gryffs into two camps: some may be just as vocal about their distaste as they are with their love, and some may be quieter, but just as committed to sharing their thoughts. Gryffs are also more likely to experience stories on a personal level, and feel comfortable talking about those parallels.” Source: Book Riot

Continue reading

On The Objectification Of Men

A Dutch newspaper, Het Parool, published a piece on June 17th about the growing objectification of men in visual media such as film and television. Dutchies can read the article here. I have an opinion on the matter, and I decided to share it with you.

In the article, famous actors are quoted as complaining about being objectified by their audience. One of them is Kit Harington, Jon Snow on Game Of Thrones. The other is our newest Superman, Henry Cavill. Cavill cites an incident where he was catcalled on the street and made profoundly uncomfortable. He argues that lots of women feel uncomfortable when they are the subject of catcalling, and therefore catcalling men is equally unacceptable.

Cavill is right. Catcalling is not okay. Catcalling is never okay. Continue reading

He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother

A Review of Game Of Thrones season 6 episode 4, Book Of The Stranger

WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD

My interest in Game Of Thrones, I am ashamed to say, had been dwindling for some time. I couldn’t get excited about the plot twists I anticipated, and the ones I didn’t anticipate failed to properly surprise me. The show seemed to move towards resolution with a tedious slowness, and I was finding it harder and harder to pay attention. Until now. It seems Game Of Thrones, having separated book-plot and tv-plot, is picking up the pace. 

In this show as I have come to know and love it, there’s always something to strive for, something to root for. We want Brienne to kill Stannis and avenge Renley. We want Sansa to escape the terrible Lord Bolton. We want Jon to not be dead. We want all of the Stark siblings to reunite in a tearful but beautiful moment.

This Sunday, we got at least part of our wish. When Sansa reached Castle Black and saw her brother Jon for the first time in over five freakin’ seasons, I was filled with the kind of joy only well-written plots suffused with character development can bring you. Because Sansa was so glad. And she was so, so sorry for having been a brat. And then, to top it all off, she was a complete badass, making sure Jon would be motivated to take back Winterfell.

As a matter of fact, women being badass seemed to be something of a theme in this episode. There was Sansa, encouraging Jon to fight for Rickon and for Winterfell. There was Margaery, telling her seriously messed-up brother Loras not to give up, and there was Yara Greyjoy, who is going to be the first ever female ruler of The Iron Islands. That is, if her brother Theon has anything to say about it.

Of course the final scene of the episode was the best. One of the best, perhaps, that I have ever seen on this show. Daenerys killing her captors and would-be rapists by simply tipping over a few torches, all the while smiling like the cat who got the cream? Give me more scenes like that, please. Give me a full hour-long episode of Daenerys being a badass lady, and the occasional sibling dialogue where the sisters are telling the brothers to toughen up.

For the first time in quite a while, I was genuinely excited to see these plots unfold, because they were seducing all of my favorite characters with the things they so desperately want. Jon and Sansa need to take Winterfell back. Either the Tyrell siblings or the Lannister siblings need to take a stand against that awful High Sparrow, do us all a favour, and wring his neck. Brienne, it appears,  needs to get herself a boyfriend.

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It boils down to this: the writers have given us, and all of our favorite characters, a little bit of what we want in this episode, and like the true bingewatching junkies we are, it has only made us desperate for more. Way to go!