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Days 19 & 20

I'm now ... ten days behind on the meme? Ack, university. Also taking a new Guild Wars character, who might maybe be a warrior-monk inspired by the Once Upon A Time verse and named Lucy Starkiller because I am that subtle, to the level cap without leaving the tutorial zone. It goes towards the Guild Wars 2 awards and I desperately need a rainbow jellyfish.

Day 19: Who is your favourite nonhuman female character?

Nonhumans. I don't really watch or read much with nonhumans, I don't think. There's Young Wizards, but my favourite characters there are either human, male, or ... agendered, I guess. (omg the One's Champion) There are the Disney movies I loved as a kid, but the nonhumans generally weren't my favourite part of them. Or, sadly, the girls. Rikki-tikki-tavi isn't female. I didn't like Kanga.

Only humans in Austen. I don't think I liked the nonhuman females in Harry Potter or Star Wars. Star Trek, eh. Susan Sto Helit is mostly human. I don't especially like the White Witch. Snake!Salmissra is fairly cool, but I can't say she's my favourite. I didn't care for Dweia. If Elves count, I'd totally go for Galadriel, particularly circa The Silmarillion when she's proud and ambitious and power-hungry, yet always deeply virtuous (and it adds so much to her renunciation in Lord of the Rings -- of the four renouncers, Gandalf, Galadriel, Faramir, and Sam, I think she's the only one drawn by power itself). But it seems kind of like cheating.

You know, I think I'm going to go for Maleficent. Ah, from Sleeping Beauty. The Disney version. Yes, I know it's wrong and shallow and all of it I like it anyway. Meriwether! Flora! The other one! And frigging MALEFICENT. She's evil. She calls on ALL THE POWERS OF HELL!!! in the middle of a Disney movie. She TURNS INTO A DRAGON. She may very well be the personification of Evil ... Is Cool. She has the black (and purple!) robes. She has the maniacal raven sidekick. She has the staff thingy. She has the horns, the green skin, the hamminess, the blasting things apart for no reason at all.

And I think my favourite thing (aside of DRAGON and POWERS OF HELL) is that she personifies both the grandeur of evil and the pettiness. I've talked about the epic stuff, but think about it. Her entire plan is to let Aurora stay frozen at sixteen and then send Philip after her when he's old and withered ... yes, it's diabolical, but also who thinks of that? (Disney!) And let's not forget the entire reason she curses a baby princess to die, imprisons her love interest, and basically runs around doing evil things with her hellish powers. She didn't get an invitation to a baby shower.

Also, she ruins Flora's flowerbeds, just because she can.

Day 20: Who is your favourite female antagonist?

... Maybe I should have gone with Meriwether for the last one and saved Maleficent for this. Oh well.

I'm going to go with Catherine Vernon, the closest thing Lady Susan has to a heroine. Now, Lady Susan's actions certainly drive the plot, but if that defined the protagonist, then Marianne would be the protagonist of Sense and Sensibility (and Darcy of Pride and Prejudice!). She's also the focus of the story (unsurprisingly) and gets by far the largest share of narrative attention, and pretty much everything revolves around her. So I couldn't pick Lady Susan, our resident Villain Protagonist, but I love her sister-in-law, the Hero Antagonist, nearly as much.

Frederica is often termed the heroine, but ... um, no. Frederica only speaks like twice. Insofar as there's a heroine, it's clearly Frederica's aunt, Catherine Vernon -- Lady Susan's counterpart in Women Who Do Things. She's good but sharp, sensible enough to adjust her perceptions when the evidence changes, and practical enough to realise that the best predictor of future behaviour is past behaviour. She's like Regency Dr Phil, without the fail.

She seems to be an excellent mother to her numerous children but isn't defined by them in any way. She effortlessly sees past Lady Susan's facade where everyone else is fooled, adopts her daughter, and is constantly engaging in a sort of counter-espionage against her. She's unsuccessful most of the time, because Lady Susan, but she's not content to just sit there and be right, she has to do something. Yet she's not a fierce proto-Action Girl type, either, à la Elizabeth or Emma; she's much more sedate and collected and generally together - and I think she's harder, too.

In fact, she's rather like Lady Susan would be if she weren't horrifyingly evil (Lady Susan summarizes her own motives as "there is exquisite pleasure in subduing an insolent spirit").  So very awesome.


shakespeare and fanfic

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