Category: Just for fun!

Author Fight Club: J. K. Rowling VS George R. R. Martin

Both series fall under the genre of fantasy, but afterwards the similarities fall apart. They don’t have similar themes, similar characters, the setting is vastly different. They are different as heaven and hell, cheese and gravy, pens and shotguns. But I want to step up and proudly announce, “Who gives a snap?”

I still want to compare and contrast them and the reptilian part of my brain wants to see them fight to the death.

Thus we introduce the American Tolkien and the Queen of Magic, George R. R. Martin and J. K. Rowling. One is the pirate-version of Tolkien, the other is an English woman who’s got a magic wand in one hand and a magic pen in the other. One has finished their series, the other says he will. Well, take a break from writing Georgie because…

Ignoring the broader themes of Chuck Palahniuk’s seminal work, Fight Club, we’re going to do what we do best and have two people fight each other.

Since we can’t talk about Fight Club (see rules one and two), we’re going to write about it. Specifically, we’re going to have two writers fight each other. Three rounds will determine their strength as we go through their impact on the world at large, their power of description, and their distinctive style.

It’s the fight of the week, guys, because it’s GEORGE R. R. MARTIN VS J. K. ROWLING!!

 

NOTE: For all these sections, we are only relying on the words from the books, not movies, not fan art, not pictures, and certainly not Tweets.

 

 

 

1-Impact and Influence

J K Rowling

Image Via Variety

 

In case you live under a rock, Joanne Rowling is a British author, film producer, television producer, screenwriter, and philanthropist. Her Harry Potter series has won multiple awards and sold more than 500 million copies, and has become the best-selling book series in history.

The books became the basis of a popular film series, over which Rowling had overall approval on the scripts and was a producer on the final films.

She became the world’s first billionaire author, but lost her status after giving away much of her earnings to charity but remains one of the wealthiest people in the world.

Time named her a runner-up for its 2007 Person of the Year, noting the social, moral, and political inspiration she has given her fans.

In October 2010, Rowling was named the “Most Influential Woman in Britain” by leading magazine editors and the 2016 Sunday Times Rich List estimated Rowling’s fortune at £600 million, ranking her as the joint 197th richest person in the UK.

She’s done other things, but those are the most important.

 

George R R Martin

Image Via Indie Wire

 

Now George R. R. Martin is an American novelist and short story writer in the fantasy, horror, and science fiction genres as well as a screenwriter and television producer. Let’s focus on his A Song of Ice and Fire series because, if we’re being honest, that’s the only thing we care about.

Like J. K. Rowling, his series was adapted, but this time it was a television series for HBO known as Game of Thrones. In 2005, Lev Grossman of Time called Martin “the American Tolkien,” and in 2011, he was included on the annual Time 100 list of the most influential people in the world.

Each series is well-known, but which has more influence? For that, we’ll have to talk about international markets.

 

Image result for international markets
Image Via Due

 

A Song of Ice and Fire was adapted for an HBO TV series, which the name of the first book for the name of its series. It’s very grotesque. There’s a lot of graphic violence and sex and nudity. From incest to rape to murder to torture, there’s a lot of heavy stuff here.

And that hurts marketing.

 

Image result for harry Potter Merchandise MuggleNet
Image Via MuggleNet

 

On the other hand, Harry Potter started out a middle grade series and then became a YA series. It’s a book series, but it’s also a film series, it’s also a dozen or so video games, it’s also two major theme parks, never mind the merchandise. It’s primary audience is children and young people and thus everyone and their families can get involved. Not so with Game of Thrones.

Harry Potter gets dark, but never THAT dark. The adult content is largely subtext, such as Aberforth’s love for goats or Fenrir’s interest in children.

Which do you think is more marketable?

 

Image Via PInterest

 

Plus, even if you don’t know the story, every single person has heard the name Harry Potter and knows about the boy with glasses and a lightning bolt scar who goes to a magic school.

Even people who are moderately familiar with Game of Thrones can’t point out any of the main characters or tell you anything about the plot because it’s all over the place.

Point for Martin! JK

Point for Rowling!

 

Martin=0

Rowling=1

 

 

2-Power of Description

Description

Image Via Chefs4Passion

 

To start this section, we’re going to tackle the big dogs. How does Rowling and how does Martin describe their iconic imagery? How does J. K. Rowling’s description of Hogwarts par up with Martin’s description of the Iron Throne?

Just to be clear, we’re going to tackle only the first description of description of these icons. They are referenced numerous times throughout the first books in their respective series, but how does the author describe them when we first feast our eyes upon them? That’s what we’re going to look into. First impressions make a big impact.

Here’s Hogwarts in its first physical appearance in Harry Potter and The Philosopher’s Stone.

 

Hogwarts Castle

Image Via Galerie

 

There was a loud “Ooooooh!”

The narrow path had opened suddenly onto the edge of a great black lake. Perched atop a high mountain on the other side, its windows sparkling in the starry sky, was a vast castle with many turrets and towers.

“No more ‘n four to a boat!” Hagrid called, pointing to a fleet of little boats sitting in the water by the shore. Harry and Ron were followed into their boat by Neville and Hermione.

“Everyone in?” shouted Hagrid, who had a boat to himself, “Right then— FORWARD!”

And the fleet of little boats moved off all at once, gliding across the lake, which was as smooth as glass. Everyone was silent, staring up at the great castle overhead. It towered over them as they sailed nearer and nearer to the cliff on which it stood.

“Heads down!” yelled Hagrid as the first boat reached the cliff; they all bent their heads and the little boats carried them through a curtain of ivy which hid a wide opening in the cliff face. They were carried along a dark tunnel, which seemed to be taking them right underneath the castle, until they reached a kind of underground harbour, where they clambered out on to the rocks and pebbles.

“Oy, you there! Is this your toad?” said Hagrid, who was checking his boats as people climbed out of them.

“Trevor!” cried Neville blissfully, holding out his hands. Then they clambered up a passageway in the rock after Hagrid’s lamp, coming out at last on to smooth, damp grass right in the shadow of the castle.

They walked up a flight of stone steps and crowded around the huge, oak front door.

“Everyone here? You there, still got yer toad?”

Hagrid raised a gigantic fist and knocked three times on the castle door.

 

Compare that to George’s description of the Iron Throne as per his first book in the series, Game of Thrones:

 

The Iron Throne

Image Via Game of Thrones Wiki – Fandom

 

Through the high narrow windows of the Red Keep’s cavernous throne room, the light of sunset spilled across the floor, laying dark red stripes upon the walls where the heads of dragons had once hung. Now the stone was covered with hunting tapestries, vivid with greens and browns and blues, and yet still it seemed to Ned Stark that the only color in the hall was the red of blood.

He sat high upon the immense ancient seat of Aegon the Conqueror, an ironwork monstrosity of spikes and jagged edges and grotesquely twisted metal. It was, as Robert had warned him, a hellishly uncomfortable chair, and never more so than now, with his shattered leg throbbing more sharply every minute. The metal beneath him had grown harder the hour, and the fanged steel behind made it impossible to lean back. A king should never sit easy, Aegon the Conqueror had said, when he commanded his armorers to forge a great seat from the swords laid down by his enemies. Damn Aegon for his arrogance, Ned thought sullenly, and damn Robert and his hunting as well.

 

The description of Hogwarts breathes power, glory, and magical wonderment, but the concrete details are a bit spare. After learning the castle is “[p]erched atop a high mountain on the other side, its windows sparkling in the starry sky,” we learn that Hogwarts is “a vast castle with many turrets and towers.” The place is big and it seems to grow ever larger as we come closer, hence the line “[i]t towered over them as they sailed nearer and nearer to the cliff on which it stood.” The place also has a “huge, oak front door.”

The description of the Iron Throne is one of horror. After learning the hall is “covered with hunting tapestries, vivid with greens and browns and blues,” and we go from the mention of “hunting” to noting that the only thing “the only color in the hall” that Ned Stark sees is “the red of blood,” we earn that the throne itself is an “ironwork monstrosity of spikes and jagged edges and grotesquely twisted metal,” and is “a great seat from the swords.”

Instead of a lake “smooth as glass,” we have “the light of sunset spilled across the floor, laying dark red stripes upon the walls where the heads of dragons had once hung.”

Instead of a big castle “with many turrets and towers,” (note the word ‘many’ and how, um, vague that is) we learn about “ironwork monstrosity of spikes and jagged edges and grotesquely twisted metal.”

George adds some history to his descriptions to even further amplify his readers with a sense of scale and dread, from “the immense ancient seat of Aegon the Conqueror” and beyond, but we’re only focusing on the physical details, and, well…

The long and short of it is that J. K. Rowling leaves things up to the imagination. She lights a fuse, and we let it run wild. That’s great and all, but not for this section.

Before we go onto the next section, style, let’s talk about food.

 

Image result for Hogwarts train ron and harry

Image Via The-Leaky-Cauldron

 

I love food, you love food, wizards love food, muggles love food, Harry Potter and The Philosopher’s Stone introduces the magic of food with this:

Harry’s mouth fell open. The dishes in front of him were now piled with food. He had never seen so many things he liked to eat on one table: roast beef, roast chicken, pork chops and lamb chops, sausages, bacon and steak, boiled potatoes, roast potatoes, fries, Yorkshire pudding, peas, carrots, gravy, ketchup, and, for some strange reason, peppermint humbugs.

Doesn’t that just make your mouth water? Delicious!

The people of A Song of Ice and Fire, like all us muggles, love food. How does George R. R. Martin describe food? Well, in A Clash of Kings, we get the Harvest Feast at Winterfell, presided by Bran.

 

Harvest Feast at Winterfell

Image Via Amino Apps

 

There were great joints of aurochs roasted with leeks, venison pies chunky with carrots, bacon, and mushrooms, mutton chops sauced in honey and cloves, savory duck, peppered boar, goose, skewers of pigeon and capon, beef-and-barley stew, cold fruit soup. Lord Wyman had brought twenty casks of fish from White Harbor packed in salt and seaweed; whitefish and winkles, crabs and mussels, clams, herring, cod, salmon, lobster and lampreys. There was black bread and honeycakes and oaten biscuits; there were turnips and pease and beets, beans and squash and huge red onions; there were baked apples and berry tarts and pears poached in strongwine. Wheels of white cheese were set at every table, above and below the salt, and flagons of hot spice wine and chilled autumn ale were passed up and down the tables.

Incredible!

These two passages beside each other bring out some faults in the other. For one, George R. R. Martin made a bigger list, which always gets points. But it’s not just a list, we have sentences! We get one list, and then we get “[t]here was black bread and honeycakes and oaten biscuits; there were turnips and pease and beets, beans and squash and huge red onions; there were baked apples and berry tarts…”

The use of the phrase “[t]here was” over and over only makes this list seem longer.

Second of all, in addition to listing things, he added more description, noting, for instance, that the wheels of white cheese are “set at every table, above and below the salt.”

Who’s more descriptive when it comes to food between J. K. Rowling and George R. R. Martin? The answer is George R. R. Martin Really likes food.

 

Image result for George R R Martin eating
Image Via IMgur

 

We have to give the point to George for this section. It was close, and it makes our hearts ache, our stomachs hurt. In fact, George wrote it best in A Storm of Swords:

There was a sickening crunch. Ellaria Sand wailed in terror, and Tyrion’s breakfast came boiling back up. He found himself on his knees retching bacon and sausage and applecakes, and that double helping of fried eggs cooked up with onions and fiery Dornish peppers.

 

Tyrion vomiting

Image Via Reddit

 

Martin=1

Rowling=1

 

 

3-STYLE

Style

GOT STYLE? / IMAGE VIA STYLECASTER

 

Normally we’d reserve this section for style, comparing and contrasting the two styles. We did for Dr. Seuss vs Dr. Seuss, we did it for Tolkien vs Lewis, we did it for Faulkner vs Hemmingway, we did it for E L James and Josh Lark, but in this case the styles are just too different.

Yes, they both write fantasy, but for vastly different audiences. J. K. Rowling talks about friendship and love, George talks about honor and loyalty. Looking at just the style is too narrow a view, so we’ve decided to instead compare and contrast…

 

3-Style WORLD BUILDING

World Building

Image Via Veronica Sicoe

 

It’s one fantasy world we’ve loved to live in vs one fantasy world where we go “Nah, where I’m at is fine.” We’d all love to live with Harry Potter, but we’re not talking about that. We’re asking this, who built the better world? Which one is richer?

 

World of Harry Potter / Image Via Pinterest

 

At first glance, it seems that J. K. Rowling has this in the bag. She’s only gone into detail about Hogwarts and the Wizard World of England and not the sprawling, near hundreds of places George has gone into. Less room to mess ups.

 

 

World of Westeros / Image Via PInterest

 

Over the course of five books (so far), George has explored how various characters were shaped and shape their world continuously. There was a Mad King some time ago. His reign caused Danny to be cast out as a child, caused Jaime to lose his honor, caused Ned to go off to war and come back with a bastard child named Jon. The aftermath of his reign brought gave us King Robert, who brought in a council of sycophants who took advantage of him and put his kingdom into debt, brought Cersei Lannister closer to him than anyone should ever get to Cersei, and much, much more.

This all happens before the novel. The event affects the characters.

J. K. Rowling does the same thing, but on a smaller scale. Harry Potter is affected by the wizarding war, he’s the boy who lived but lost his parents, and we learn that Snape lost the love of his life and turned ‘good,’ Neville lost his parents, Sirius Black was blamed for crimes he didn’t commit, and so on.

So far, as far as the world events affects the characters, they are on even ground.

 

Image Via Today’s Veterinary Business

 

Getting into the nitty-gritty, Danny’s freeing of the slaves and the following chaos is similar to Hermione’s vain attempts to free the House Elves, facing racism. But here we get a problem: We learn Ron harbors some feelings that House Elves like being servants, but nothing comes of that. In fact, the two get married, and Ron’s ill-feelings are largely brushed aside.

In fact, that happens a lot in this series. Filch is a squib, unable to perform magic, but he’s mean so it’s okay to mock him. And that’s that.

Danny frees the slaves, but meets chaos and rebellion at every corner, never mind her own destiny tugging to move to Westeros. Even though the series isn’t done, we already know that these events won’t be brushed aside.

With George, we learn how prejudice affects people. Tyrion is short and is constantly mocked for it. Thus, he’s forced himself to be smarter than everyone else, but also wallows in self-hatred and is a drunk. He loses the love of his life and meets Shae, a woman who wants him because she thinks it’ll get her ahead. When Shae betrays him, Tyrion outright murders her (unlike in the show, but we’re only talking about the books here BTW).

J K Rowling introduces prejudice, but then it’s either dropped or…Lupinned?

To explain, Professor Lupin was a werewolf who, when his conditions is revealed, has to leave Hogwarts. People refuse to give him a chance because of his conditions, showing how prejudice affects and defines people even more so than their condition. But then we meet an evil werewolf who wants to affect children with his condition, showing that maybe, just maybe, that kicking someone out with this condition could be maybe, just maybe, justifiable.

George R. R. Martin’s world shows how people shape their worlds and the worlds affect the people. Prejudice not only hurts people, but it defines them. Rowling does something similar but she’s a tad, let’s say sloppy, when it comes to prejudice.

Sorry J. K. I’d still move to Hogwarts instead of Westeros, but points goes to George.

 

Martin=2

Rowling=1

 

 

The Match

Brought to us by the WONDROUS  Jaclyn Appelgate

 

The night’s crescent moon lit the abandoned castle through hallowed windows, the cold air crawling in. George R. R. Martin sat there in the main hall, warmed by a small banquet of food residing in front of him, a scorching fireplace lit ablaze behind him, and a pen and paper sitting alone on the far end of the table. The thoughts in his head spiraled one after the other.

“After this meal it will all be done. Or maybe I can try my hand at some sightseeing to stir my imagination. Or maybe I need a good book, or a visit to the nearby town. That video game I signed to work on could use some of my attention too.”

After finishing another turn of the giant roast pig on a spit beside him, he slammed his fists on the table, grumbled in frustration, only to slice himself yet another delectable piece of tarty lemon cake. George was so preoccupied in his thoughts and his eating that he hadn’t noticed the shady figure of a woman creeping into the hall.

“Expelliarmus!”, shouted a voice. A flash of light charged towards the author, who just managed to dodge the blast, save for his desired lemon cake that now oozed down the stone wall.

George was enraged, “That was my desert!! Now I’ll never finish Winds of Winter! Who the hell are you?!”

The dark figure came into the light, it was J. K. Rowling!

Rowling directed her wand straight at the man in front of her, never standing down as she slowly walked toward him. “I figured you would be in a pathetic state of procrastination, but this is bloody awful!”, J. K. sneered at him. “First you lock yourself up in a cabin, now a castle?! Ridiculous!”

George stood tall and stared her down, “We all have low points. At least I’m not spouting out half-assed crap that only tweens and socially awkward teenagers can fall back on.”

K.’s eyes lit up in fury, “That does it! My agent suggested that I collaborate with you, but I can see you’re just a grotesque lard of a man, and a poor excuse of a professional writer!”

George was not amused, “Ok, are we gonna go ahead and fight, or are you just going to keep monologuing?”

J. K. lowered her wand and raised her hands as an eerie smile came across her face. From behind her, black puffs of smoke flew into the hall from it’s one and only entrance. One by one the smoke faded and men and women wearing skulls to mask their face were revealed—it was the Death Eaters!

Martin was outnumbered 13 to 1.

Martin leaped under the hall’s table as J. K. Rowling and her Death Eaters fired one spell after another at him. With the long table covered in cloth, there was no telling where Martin was exactly.

Rowling commanded her troops, “Destroy the table! Find me the fat man!”

Spell after spell rocketed across the hall and at the table, resulting in an explosion of broken up wood, various meats, potatoes, and pies. No one noticed the snow storm that began engulfing the castle.

There was such a mess of smoke that had blocked the Wizards’ and Witches’ view of their target that Rowling ordered them to cease fire. With that the smoke had a chance to dissipate. There was nothing but the gray from the smoke. Then three pairs of blue glowing eyes appeared.

“Impossible”, whispered one of the Death Eaters.

Heavy marching began to sound outside the castle, and the smoke finally cleared to reveal three armor wearing White Walkers standing guard to defend Martin, who was crouched behind them. Two of the undead soldiers took a step ahead, ready to attack in a battle stance, while the third, who was wearing armor twice his size, began to take its armor off and hand it to George.

Rowling saw the fear in her comrades’ eyes, but she wasn’t backing down. “Friends! We spoke of this possibility and knew of the risks! You know what to do!” They all nodded, fear still filling their eyes.

The Death Eaters closely circled Rowling who swirled her wand in the air, steadily creating a vast lasso of flames to surround the group. The White Walkers shook at the sight of the flames, but did not move from their spot. From the hall’s entrance the army of White Walkers stormed in, and while they too shuddered at the fire, they slowly continued to march on and attack the Death Eaters.

Rowling began her march toward Martin. “Forward!”, she yelled.

Slowly Rowling’s Death Eaters began to die off one by one from the onslaught of the undead. With every death of her men and women, there were several White Walkers burned to the ground.

Martin charged to the roast pig and thrusted out the steel spit, ready to make his move. When Martin’s three White Walker guards were burned and leviosa’d out the open castle windows, Rowling ordered her last Death Eater, “Hold the army back while I finish the job.”

Martin gave her no chance to cast any spells on him and attacked her with the steel spit in a fencing combat style. Jabbing endlessly, Martin began to break a sweat, and just managing to dodge the blows Rowling was sweating from the heat as well.

Hitting the wall of the castle Rowling yet again dodged Martin’s attack that surprisingly so powerful it cracked into the stone. In an intense rage Rowling punched Martin in the opening of his armored helmet, knocking him to the ground.

“Master!” cried the lone Death Eater, “I can’t hold this army much longer!”

J. K. Rowling did not respond to her subordinate, her eyes were fixated on her kill. She stood on top of Martin and cast a paralysis spell on him.

“Damn you!” Martin cried.

With a grin on her face Rowling reached into her pocket and took out her cell phone, pointing it’s camera at Martin’s face.

“This will be for my next Twitter post. And what lovely lighting we have this night.”

But Rowling’s perfect picture was about to be ruined with a surprise visit from one of Danaerys Targaryen’s dragons, Drogon. Drogon’s head entered the hall and he was face to face with a very shocked J. K. Rowling.

Martin’s paralysis began to fade just enough to give the order, “Dracarys!”

The flying beast’s jaw opened and released an intense fire that instantly destroyed J. K. Rowling.

The final Death Eater called for her Master in tears as the White Walkers finally made their way through the fiery wall of magic and destroy Rowling’s final comrade.

Martin regained his ability to move and patted the dragon on the snout.

“Wow”, he stated. “That was some fantastic inspiration for Winds of Winter!!” He threw his hands up in the air in joy and danced around. He turned to his army of White Walkers and shouted, “But first, let’s have a feast!!”

 

 

Match written and directed by Jaclyn Appelgate

 

 

 

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Featured Image via Pixels, Biography, Daily Express

8 of Literature Worst Monsters (Who weren’t all that bad)

Who are literature’s worst monsters, but aren’t actually all that bad? Who has a silver lining that we can look into? Who are the almost monsters of literature that are almost terrible but not quite?

Let’s find out!

 

 

8-Vernon Dursley

Vernon Dursley

Image Via Cat and Ellie’s Bookcase – WordPress.com

 

At least Umbridge told Harry the truth! At least she told him that he shouldn’t lie!

Not only did this pig in a human suit lie to Harry, but he abused him since he was a BABY. He’s not even magical.

Objectively, of all the characters from the Harry Potter series, Vernon Dursley is just the worse. He’s human, so we can judge him as much as we want, for keeping a baby in a closet under the stairs for ELEVEN YEARS. Voldemort had the decency to try and kill Harry, Umbridge at least spoke in a nice voice, but Vernon just yelled at him, smacked him around, lied about his parents, and threw him under a closet for ELEVEN YEARS.

To make matters worse, no one called the cops. At least Petunia kept the blanket Harry came in when he was a baby.

At least Umbridge told Harry the truth! At least she told him that he shouldn’t lie!

Voldemort had the decency to try and kill Harry, Umbridge at least spoke in a nice voice, but this pig in a human suit just yelled at him, smacked him around, lied about his parents. At least Aunt Petunia kept the blanket Harry came in when he was a baby. Of all the characters in the Harry Potter series, he’s not even magical, but he’s certainly one of the worse.

OR IS HE?

Horcruxes can influence those around them and Voldemort made one out of Harry. Thus the Dursleys’ dislike of him was exacerbated by Voldemort’s magic.

 

J K Rowling
Image Via Parade

 

Granted, J K Rowling said this:

James was amused by Vernon, and made the mistake of showing it. Vernon tried to patronise James, asking what car he drove. James described his racing broom.

Vernon supposed out loud that wizards had to live on unemployment benefit. James  explained about Gringotts, and the fortune his parents had saved there, in solid gold.

Vernon could not tell whether he was being made fun of or not, and grew angry. The evening ended with Vernon and Petunia storming out of the restaurant, while Lily burst into tears and James (a little ashamed of himself) promised to make things up with Vernon at the earliest opportunity.

Either way, Vernon might not be as bad we thought he is (though he’s still pretty terrible)

 

7-Moby Dick

Moby Dick

Image Via Public Radio International

 

The titular character from Moby Dick, at the end of the day, is a WHALE. It has no concept of good of evil, it’s just a big whale.

 

Captain Ahab

Image Via The Guardian

 

Captain Ahab is the rotten one here. Blame him, not the whale!

 

 

6-Alexandra Finch Hancock

Image result for Aunt Alexandra
Image Via To Kill A Mocking Bird.com

 

While not the worse character in To Kill a Mocking Bird (the real monster is Bob Ewell), Aunt Alexandra is a racist piece of crap. The formidable matriarch of the Finch family, Aunt Alexandra is the king of woman who wears a corset even under her bathrobe. Before she even comes onto the page, Scout compares her to Mount Everest: “throughout my early life, she was cold and there,” but when she comes on the page she far exceeds our expectations of her.

Bossy, hyper-critical, Aunt Alexandra likes thinks done her way or the highway. Imagine the pressure poor Atticus is under when she targets him, taking umbrage with his client, Tom Robinson, noting that the case might endanger the Finch reputation.

She forgoes human decency because of the family. To her, “what is the best for the family” is more important than the family itself.

Aunt Alexandra, in underlining the moral of young Sam Merriweather’s suicide, said it was caused by a morbid streak in the family. Let a sixteen-year-old girl giggle in the choir and Aunty would say, “It just goes to show you, all the Penfield women are flighty.” Everybody in Maycomb, it seemed, had a Streak: a Drinking Streak, a Gambling Streak, a Mean Streak, a Funny Streak.

She’s obsessed with family streaks, hinting that she believes that the Finches are destined to be superior. In a book about racism, the real reason Aunt Alexandra doesn’t think Atticus should take the case are clear.

She also uses it to beat Scout over the head with.

Oh, yeah, Scout is in her line of sights as well. Scout is a tomboy, Aunt Alexandra is a proper lady, the pinnacle of the South. Thus, Alexandria sets to work trying to quash Scout’s tomboyish tendencies and forge a new identity for her.

Aunt Alexandra’s vision of my deportment involved playing with small stoves, tea sets, and wearing the Add-A-Pearl necklace she gave me when I was born; furthermore, I should be a ray of sunshine in my father’s lonely life.

But it’s not just racism, Aunt Alexandra is also a classist. When Scout wants to play with Walter, a poor boy, Aunt Alexandra:

…took off her glasses and stared at me. “I’ll tell you why,” she said. “Because—he—is—trash, that’s why you can’t play with him. I’ll not have you around him, picking up his habits and learning Lord-knows-what.”

 

Image result for Atticus Finch and Aunt Alexandra
Image Via PInterest

 

However, are we judging her too harshly? Is our picture of her incomplete?

After Tom is killed, family affection that looms largest for Aunt Alexandra, telling Miss Maudie:

“I can’t say I approve of everything he does, Maudie, but he’s my brother, and I just want to know when this will ever end. […] It tears him to pieces”

She’s concerned for her brother, standing by him even when she disagrees with him. Make of that what you will, but at least she’s not Bob Ewell, a man so terrible that I’ll bet when Boo Radley killed him no one in town even batted an eye. Not even his daughters.

 

5-Grendel’s Mother

Image result for Grendel's Mother
Image Via ArtStation

 

Depending on your translation of Beowulf, she is either called Grendel’s mother or Grendel’s dam, but I’d liked to call her Mother-whose-son-had-his-arm-ripped off.

I think we can all sit down and agree that Grendel is a monster. He terrorized a village and Beowulf was in the right in defending the town against that monster, but Grendel’s Mommy isn’t that bad. Her son was returned to their cave mortally wounded, one of his two arms (or claws) ripped from its shoulder socket and now hanging in a mead-hall as a grotesque trophy.

Of course she’s going to be mad. And you know what? Good for her for stealing her son’s arm back. Why’d they even want it so bad?

 

Grendel's Mother decapitated

Image Via PInterest

 

But Beowulf just had to come, invading her home, and decapitating her.

Her motive is human and, from her point-of-view, she’s lived there over a hundred years and was never a problem. She just wanted her son’s arm, but they just had to kill her because she was a monster. As Tyrion once said, “I wish I was the monster you think I am!”

 

 

4-Cholly Breedlove

Image Via Baakari Wilder

 

Pecola Beedlove, a young black girl, is routinely mocked by other children for her physical appearance. The only person to find her desirable is her father.

Cholly Breedlove makes this list. To make a long story short, he abuses his wife, he burns down his family home, and repeatedly rapes his own daughter.

But he’s not quite the evilest character Toni Morrison has ever created. In his one and only appearance in The Bluest Eye, we learn quite enough about him that creates a picture of how abusive is cyclical.

 

Cholly Breedlove

Image Via Youtube

 

Abandoned in a junk heap as a baby, Cholly is taken in by two white men who force him to perform sexually for their amusement. When he finally meets his father, he shits his pants.

Thrown in a world where people abuse him, Cholly grows up into a man who doesn’t care about life. He’s free, but he cannot love or be loved. He does what he wants, uncaring for what happens him.

He rapes his daughter to remind himself that he is alive. He rapes her to feel the pain he felt as a child because that’s all he knows. He’s a monster made from monsters who tries to make his own daughter into a monster, all the time thinking ‘monster’ is synonymous with ‘human.’

 

3-Jaime Lannister

Jaime Lannister
Image Via A Wiki of Ice and Fire – Westeros

 

Kingslayer.

Oathbreaker.

Snobbish, rude, Jaime Lannister is in a relationship with his twin sister, Cersei, making three bastards that are set to become Kings and Queens themselves without the actual King Robert none the wiser. He even throws Bran out a window when he catches him having sex with his sister, crippling the boy.

But do I even need to explain why this character from George R R Martin’s Song of Ice and Fire series just isn’t as bad as he sounds?

At the age of fifteen Jaime become the Kingsguard to the Mad King, Aerys II Targaryen. He took an oath to defend the King no matter what, and he broke that oath.

 

Jaime Lannister

Image Via PInterest

 

Yeah, he killed the king, but for two years he witnessed the Mad King’s growing insanity and tendency for burning men alive first hand. One night after burning someone alive, Aerys visited the chambers of his wife and raped her. During this time, Jaime was outside, telling his fellow Kinsguard that they were sworn to protect the queen as well, to which he was told, “but not from him.”

Later, during a rebellion, Aerys devised a plot to burn the entire city to the ground rather than lose it. Upon learning about this plan, the Hand to the King resigned and Aerys burned him alive. Jaime stood back.

When Aerys ordered the city to be burned, Jaime killed everyone involved, including the King, an action which saved the whole city and caused them to hate Jaime for breaking his oath. Even after he was pardoned, even Jon Snow, who “[knows] nothing,” notes that “[t]hey called him the Lion of Lannister to his face and whispered ‘Kingslayer’ behind his back.”

 

2-The Wicked Witch of the west

The Wicked Witch of the West

Image Via THe Vintage News

 

Don’t judge a book by its cover, and don’t judge a witch by their name. Plus, odds are this witch only chose the name because of the alliteration. Ignoring the film adaptation and the musical and book the musical is based on, the original Frank L Baum book introduced her only when some magician tells Dorothy to murder her.

Taking the film into consideration, however, the Wicked Witch is still sympathetic. Dorothy murdered her sister, dropping a house on her head, and then her sister’s body disintegrated. The last thing the Witch has to remember her sister by is a pair of shoes, which Dorothy can’t give her and Glinda refuses to take off her feet.

 

Wicked

Image Via IMDB

 

Imagine if your sibling was murdered and the murderer had their prized heirloom on their feet, refusing to give it you because they didn’t like you. And why doesn’t Dorothy try to talk to the Witch? Is it because she’s Green?

The Witch was in the right. She might not have gone about it the right way, but Dorothy is a murderer hanging out with a discount iron man, a scarecrow (don’t give him any fear toxin), and a lion.

Plus, Wicked, both book and musical changed our minds about this Witch.

 

 

1-The SharkJaws

Image Via Amazon

 

IT’S A SHARK! It has no concept of good of evil, just food and hunger. Both in the Peter Benchley novel and the Steven Spielberg film, it is a big hungry shark.

 

Image Via MovieFanFare

 

The mayor should have closed the beaches. Blame him (or the mob), not the shark.

 

 

 

 

 

Featured Image Via Decider

Pick A Halloween Candy And We’ll Give You A Book!

 

 

Author Fight Club: E.L. James vs Josh Lark

Two purveyors of smut and story, two literary giants who’ve gifted us with the steamiest, the sexiest, the naughtiest stuff to ever be in our hands; two individuals, who have used their words to bring us to our knees; two authors who can make our hearts pound⁠—as well as other things!⁠—are going to fight!

Ladies and gentle⁠—please be gentle⁠—men, we bring you E.L. James vs Josh Lark.

Ignoring the broader themes of Chuck Palahniuk’s seminal work, Fight Club, we’re going to do what we do best and have two people fight each other.

Since we can’t talk about Fight Club (see rules one and two), we’re going to write about it. Specifically, we’re going to have two writers fight each other. Three rounds will determine their strength as we go through their power of description, their distinctive style, and their impact on the world at large.

Bring out the whips and the aliens (we’ll get there), let’s have these two authors fight each other.

(Viewer Discretion is Advised)

 

 

1-Influence

 

Image result for E L James
Image Via Pink News

Now let’s get this one out of the way. E L James wins. Her trilogy, made up of Fifty Shades of GreyFifty Shades Darker, and Fifty Shades Freed, has sold over 125 million copies worldwide, over 35 million copies in the United States. Bloody hell, she even set the record in the United Kingdom as the fastest selling paperback of all time!

Plus, in 2012, Time magazine named her one of “The World’s 100 Most Influential People” and she’s even had film adaptations of her works: Fifty Shades of GreyFifty Shades Darker, and Fifty Shades Freed.

Simply put, you know her name.

But let’s not leave Lark in the dark, let’s give him his due.

 

Related image
Image Via Amazon

A self-published author whose work is massive, to say the least, Lark has written everything from college dorms to Area 51 aliens.

Huge beyond belief, Lark notes that ever since he discovered his attraction to men “he has been writing erotic stories about them”. He tells us that “[i]n his free time, he enjoys playing 7-card stud poker and gay rugby.”

He’s a force of wonder, but sadly he loses this match up.

Point for James!

 

James=1

Lark=0

 

2-WHO’s more DESCRIPTIVE? Who’s more steamy?

 

Ana

Image Via Deadline

 

It’s porn vs porn. Who’s the better writer? Who can make us just tremble with their words? As a side note, I don’t give a snot that Ana orgasming with every other touch isn’t realistic, I just want it to be described well!

 

Let’s tackle this passage from the first novel in her infamous trilogy, Fifty Shades of Grey:

 

I pull him deeper into my mouth so I can feel him at the back of my throat and then to the front again. My tongue swirls around the end. He’s my very own Christian Grey-flavored popsicle. I suck harder and harder… Hmm… My inner goddess is doing the merengue with some salsa moves.

 

The phrase ‘Christian Grey-flavored popsicle’ is hilarious. Also, the image of Ana’s inner goddess ‘doing the merengue’ is the strangest image. Both of these phrases, placed so close together, takes me out of the moment. Don’t get me wrong, they’re hilarious, they’re memorable, but they aren’t exactly descriptive. Plus, they take me out of the scene.

 

Here’s another passage from the last book in the series, Fifty Shades Freed:

 

He groans loudly and thrusts deep, again and again, over and over, and I am lost, trying to absorb the pleasure. It’s mind-blowing…body blowing…I long to straighten my legs, to control my imminent orgasm, but I can’t…I’m helpless. I’m his, just his, to do with as he wills…Tears spring to my eyes. This is too intense. I can’t stop him. I don’t want to stop him…I want…I want…oh no, oh no…this is too…

“That’s it,” Christian growls. “Feel it, baby!”

I detonate around him, again and again, round and round, screaming loudly as my orgasm rips me apart, scorching through me like a wildfire, consuming everything. I am wrung ragged, tears streaming down my face—my body left pulsing and shaking.

 

Much better! On a related note, FEEL IT, BABY!

But that brings me to the dialogue. Every so often during the sex scenes, the people talk. Lines like “Feel it baby” take me out of the scene, making me wonder if Christian Grey is unsure if Ana ‘feels it.’

 

Related image

Image via gyfcat

 

So some of the sex scenes are bad, while others are great with some wonky dialogue thrown in just to knock down our expectations.

 

Now That I'm A Ghost, I'm Gay (A Paranormal Sex Straight Seduction Story) by [Lark, Josh]

Image Via Amazon

 

Now that’s a picture! On a related note, let’s switch to Lark and see what he has to offer. This passage comes from Now That I’m a Ghost, I’m Gay:

 

Even so, the tingle where we touched made his thighs quiver at the first sensation of what I was doing down there. When I had first taken Jason’s entire length, tickling under his balls as I did, he bucked his hips forward into my face.

 

Now that’s a picture! Short and to the point, it’s exactly what we want. Plus there’s this scene.

 

I only caught a glimpse of him naked, the water running in beads down his broad chest to his broad chest to his narrow waist, little rivers running off the end of his dick…

 

No metaphors, no comparisons, just flat out smut.

Comparing this to James’ work showcases how she isn’t that descriptive. She leaves a lot to the reader, and thus we don’t get images of water running off the end of someone’s penis like “little rivers.”

When it comes to descriptions, Lark knows just what words to use to make us tremble.

Point for Lark!

 

James=1

Lark=1

 

3-WHO’s got More Style

 

Got Style?

GOT STYLE? / Image Via StyleCaster

 

Humor is a style, and James is hilarious. Throughout the book, and usually after sex, the characters will be forced to talk to each other. For instance, Christian tells Ana that, “I know that lip is delicious, I can attest to that, but will you stop biting it?”

Maybe the line is supposed to be sensual, reminding us both of what just took place and what will take place, but it’s hilarious. You needed to tell her that her lip was delicious? How thoughtful!

Even in one of the earliest scenes in Fifty Shades, Ana and Christian decide to go out for coffee. What follows is a farce. We go through the intricate details of getting the keys, determining what car someone should go in, where the keys are, and how this whole situation, a billionaire wanting to go out to coffee with Ana, is quite insane.

But Lark is also funny. Just look at his Amazon descriptions. They’re erotic, they’re funny, and they come with incredibly helpful warnings. His story about a man giving his sister’s boyfriend a blowjob has a warning that reads:

 

WARNING: This 5600-word erotic story by Josh Lark contains explicit descriptions of a hot straight virgin giving his sister’s college boyfriend a hot gay blowjob, including forced fingering and cum eating. Pray that your e-reader doesn’t melt before you get to the end.

 

His story about a gay doctor who has to suck out snake venom from a cowboy reads:

 

WARNING: This 4900-word story by Josh Lark contains explicit oral sex between two men, anal fingering, and a cumshot that will have you milking your own snake of its venom.

 

Plot Story Circle

Image Via Teachers Pay Teacher

 

How are their plot structures?

With James, well, there’s no flow. Her novels retain their fanfiction roots where stories would come chapter by chapter. Plot points are introduced and dropped in the same chapter, which makes everything clunky. For instance, the villain in Freed is Jack Hyde, a publisher who was fired by Christian Grey for harassing Ana. But he actually didn’t care about Ana, and hates Christian because he was adopted into a bad household and Christian was adopted by a millionaire family. But Hyde isn’t the true villain because he’s been taking orders by Mr. Lincoln, a man who has one appearance and is mentioned briefly at the end. Why doesn’t the Ernst Stravo Blofeld of the Fifty Shades universe appear more?

It makes everything seem like it was written without an outline, which some authors do, like Stephen King, but it’s less successful here.

 

Foggy Mirrors
Image Via The Clever Homeowner

 

Let’s look at Lark for a hot second. Each of his books follows a similar structure: introduce the characters and the premise, the characters get closer, they have sex, the story ends with everyone happy. It’s simple, straightforward, but let’s dive deep back into Now That I’m a Ghost, I’m Gay.

In this story a college student dies and is transported to the shower, where his roommate is stepping out. Oh, no, our main character is secretly in love so him but he never told him anything. Gradually, the roommate realizes that the dead student is there as a ghost. He’s frozen with fear, and our main character writes on a foggy mirror, “I am,” but stops.

What should he say next? That’s he’s dead? Or that he’s gay?

Things go quickly after that. They have sex, they finish, and our main character looks back at the mirror and finishes the sentence I AM with SO GLAD.

See? Every plot point is necessary, and there’s a lot of time spent in the bedroom. We know what we’re getting into, and we know what to expect. It’s like a circle.

 

Ring Around the Rosie

Image Via Giphy

 

Of course, is it fair to compare Lark’s utilizing every page to James just flittering them away with pointless plot points? Is James’ clunky storytelling and laugh-out-loud descriptions a style though?

 

Snowqueens Icedragon

Image Via bUsiness Insider India

 

A little history…

Erica Mitchell rose to fame as Snowqueens Icedragon on FanFiction.net, writing Twilight fanfiction in staggering succession. She started with Safe Haven, a point of the story through the eyes of Edward, and later wrote Master of the Universe, a loose retelling of Twilight.

From there, thanks to her large outputs and responsiveness, Master of the Universe continually graced the top charts. Eventually, Australian Publisher, The Writer’s Coffee Shop, agreed to publish her story as a trilogy. Since then her stories have been pulled from FanFiction.net and the archives.

That’s not to say her novels are Twilight ripoffs. The names have been changed; the supernatural elements are removed in favor of BDSM. Plus, she’s added some weird stuff.

 

Fifty Shades is abusive

Image Via Letter2Self

 

Christian is an abusive boyfriend.

Take this scene in the first Fifty Shades of Grey. When Christian asks Ana what her hard limits are and she tells him she’s a virgin, Christian stomps around the room before he decides to take her virginity as “a means to an end.”

That’s not mentioning the other stuff.

Plus, in Fifty Shades of Grey Christian tells Ana “I’m a dominant,” when Ana asks him, point-blank, “Are you a sadist?”

Come Fifty Shades Darker, “I’m a sadist, Ana I like to whip little brown-haired girls like you because you all look like the crack whore—my birth mother.”

So he’s a liar who’s having sex with this woman because she reminds him of his mother.

The whole thing is Stephanie Meyer but WAY more problematic.

 

How to Turn a Wolf Gay (An M/m Werewolf Submission Erotica Story) by [Lark, Josh]
Image Via Amazon

In Now that I’m a Ghost, I’m Gay our main character sees the boy he’s in love with, and doesn’t go straight to screwing him. In fact, when they see each other, the main character notices the “…widening of his eyes, the hitching of his breath, and the almost imperceptible contracting of his balls made him seem so intimate and naked.”

Note how he isn’t doing anything, besides being dead. They just look at each other and let things go from there. No needless stomping around. Plus, unlike James, who doesn’t tell you about the rampant abuse that takes place within her pages, Lark lets you know all the eroticism that’ll take place in those warnings we mentioned earlier. It’s a “check out the box. Oh, it’s my fault I told you there was a poisonous snake in that box” vs “this box contains so much gooey gold you might just explode if you reach inside it” type of thing.

As Lark writes in his Amazon description’s warning for his book, How To Turn a Wolf Gay:

 

WARNING: This 4200-word erotic paranormal story by Josh Lark contains oral and anal sex between human men and a male werewolf, at one point partially morphed. If you think the rough punishment sex inside is too hot for you to handle, go read a boring Twilight knockoff and leave this one to the big dogs.

 

James=1

Lark=2

 

 

Winner: Joshua Lark

 

 

The Match

He walked to the center of the field, empty handed. It would be alright, he told himself, they would sort out their differences. It was a misunderstanding, after all, he didn’t mean to call her out like that in the Amazon description for How to Turn a Werewolf Grey. She would come, he would throw his hands up, and they’d have a cup of coffee. Or tea, if she pleased. He looked down at his watch. It was fifteen minutes after three and her car was nowhere in sight.

The grass around him started to shiver. A gust of wind slapped his face. His eyes rose to the sky.

Up in the sky a single black dot grew and grew, slowly descending, the clouds parting to the sides in fear. His eyes were wide. “Christ,” he muttered.

BANG!

He threw his head to the side. A used condom was beside him. He looked back up, squinted, and with eyes like sniper rifles he saw that the side door to the helicopter was open and he saw E.L. James holding an actual sniper rifle. She fired.

He jumped to the side. She was shooting used condoms at him. They burst around him, splattering around, exploding like bursts of blood. The ground was littered with rubber and fluids. He ran back, but a wall of condoms exploded in front of him. To his right, to his left, behind him, in front of him, all around him, nothing but condoms.

He looked to the ground. Fitting, he thought, and he smiled.

The smile didn’t leave his face because, slithering through the rubber, was a snake. He tilted his head, the snake looked up at him, and he knew those eyes.

What E.L. James didn’t know, what most people probably didn’t know, was that AREA 51 was based on a true story. That snake was a shape-shifting alien, and they had been friends for quite a long time. It was the story of ET, but without the ending and with more sex.

Reaching out, the snake extended his neck, expanding, and soon it became a hose. Gently holding the snake by the neck, he turned and held up the hose, aimed. “Hasta la vista,” he said, and fired.

The horse shot out great gallons of fluid, striking the helicopter, and it spun out of control. Lowering the hose, letting it fall to the ground as it turned back into a snake, Josh Lark sighed, but his sympathy turned into curiosity because E.L. James had dropped her sniper rifle, jumped off the helicopter, and from her back pocket took out a whip. She spun it around her head and, like a helicopter, she slowly descended to the ground.

Her black eyes were locked with Joshua Lark’s.

The snake jumped back into Josh’s hands and quickly morphed into a hose. Josh squeezed the neck and his alien-snake-hose friend fired, but E.L. James was avoiding the blasts, zigging back and forth. Alright, Josh thought, let her come close and…

E.L. James had one hand on the whip, swinging it above her head, but with her other hand she pulled out a squirt gun. The squirt gun had been in the sun, and its fluid was piping hot. Before she would get close, she would fire and he would fall.

He fired at her. She maneuvered to the left, aimed, and fired.

Josh Lark saw the blast coming at him.

It was close.

Closer.

The snake was in front of Lark, mouth expanded, and it swallowed the fluid. Josh smiled, and tapped the snake on the neck. “Go,” he said, and the snake fired.

James fell, crashing to the ground, slapping into a pile of clear goop.

Josh smiled, the snake leaned close to his chest. “Thank you,” Josh said, “I’ll offer you some tea. You’ve met my husband, right?”

 

 

Featured Image Via Amazon, Writer Write.co, and Penguin Random House