Alright, so you can’t buy the one above, or it’s super expensive or something, but this isn’t a practical article. This is like those emoji rankings, but with The Hobbit covers, because one of the movies came out on this day, but we’re certainly not gonna talk about that.
IMAGE VIA ALAMY
Okay, this is the edition I have at home, so I might be biased. Or I just have NO control in museum gift shops. Definitely the second one. But it’s good! Simple, classic, has elvish, plus, I can tell you the dust jacket is a nice soft matte. 9/10
Image via Paste Magazine
Smaug’s got GOLD. As a dragon myself, I approve. I mean, as a totally human person, I like the authenticity. And the glowy-ness. It really gives you an idea what it was like for Bilbo to just roll up to this huge hoard. There’s a sense of grandeur. 8/10
Image via Amazon
This one is also good, at least to me, because it’s simple and classic. The mountains are good! We got the eagles! The Hobbit might not be that dark, but it’s maybe a warning about the Lord of the Rings. It’s got style. 8/10.
Image via Pinterest
Again, I might be biased, because my mother had this edition, so it’s nostalgic for me. I think the illustrations are a little nostalgic in themselves, though. You get the sense of Middle Earth in a more peaceful time. 7/10.
Image via Pinterest
Sure, it looks like someone’s graphic design project, but I’m saying that seriously, not like Graphic Design is my Passion. But it’s modern, it incorporates a lot of elements, and it does something different. Good colors. 7/10
Image via Penguin Random House
Sure, Bilbo looks like a toddler instead of just a shorter type of person – look at those chubby cheeks! But the landscapes are good, and Gandalf is nice and mysterious. Still, a little silly. 5/10
Image via Biblio
I love a clothbound, I really do, but but this is lame. The grey makes no sense, I don’t know why the leaves are falling, and I’m frankly baffled by the butterflies. Do I have The Hobbit memory loss? I just don’t get it. 4/10
Image via Amazon
Every movie version is bad, but this is just extra bad. It looks like it was illustrated in 2005. The focus on feet is weird. I guess the door is supposed to make me think of the ring, but it doesn’t. It makes me mad. 3/10
Whatever This Is
Image via Nerdalicious
This is a horror. Was Gollum ever supposed to be that tall? Or… pointy? It’s dated, it’s weird as hell, and I don’t know how to even begin to describe Bilbo. He looks like a potato, and Gollum looks like a triangle. 1/10
Who hasn’t needed SparkNotes at some point? Who else can tell you that one character’s name you forgot? If you don’t know by now, I’m obsessed with SparkNotes‘ twitter. Every tweet is a work of absolute genius. From god-tier memes to incredibly hot takes, SparkNotes’ twitter never disappoints. As we look down the barrel of a new decade, let’s take a look at the most mindblowingly relevant of their recent tweets.
And it’s Gender Neutral!
Sure, the original context wasn’t explicitly romantic, but it’s really something you can make your own. Who doesn’t want to be cool, feared, and respected? Think about it. And the implication that your very own calamity is a dragon? I’d be incredibly flattered. How could you not be? That way you’re not just saying your lover is great, they know you think they’re great. You’re telling them they’re powerful and feared in the local land. Goals.
The only thing that matters – which person in your relationship tries to kill the king and then panics, and which actually just finishes the job? Because listen. It’s important that one of you be able to get things started and set the ball rolling, or you’ll never get things done. At the same time, some people just aren’t great at finishing projects. Conclusions are tough. Momentum isn’t going to get you there. Someone needs to be more detail oriented. Detail obsessed. Wash their hands over and over.
I Can Relate
Okay, so only two of those things are true about me, but all of them are said. Do you love the sea? Are you probably a ghost? Avoid making appearances, especially during the day. Congratulations! You might be the Flying Dutchman, or another legendary ghost ship! Actually, you could be a vampire. Or just English and Victorian. All three? That’s a dream. Maybe THE dream. I’m not a ghost hunter or anything, but I might BE a ghost.
As we approach the decade that has, in advance, been termed the ‘screaming’ 20s, let’s avoid the pitfalls of the roaring 20s. And especially any choice ever made by Daisy Buchanan. Consider her an object lesson, actually. Don’t take up with lying military men. Don’t bail on them to marry guys who suck. Don’t then STAY with those guys when no one even expects you to. Don’t lead said military man on again years later. Definitely don’t commit vehicular manslaughter.
Awareness is Key
Hey. We know better than to call him foul creature. We’re beyond that. We have to be. But the rest of these are real. The Kids use them all the time. I mean, I’ll double check with my baby sister, but I feel pretty confident. it’s the sort of thing The Kids would definitely text about. Especially the last one. See? SparkNotes is always relevant. This is the cutting edge.
All images via SparkNotes on Twitter
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But first, let’s set up one rule: all of the monsters on this list have to be fictional. No non-fiction real people. No, “I read a book on Manson and he was evil so why is he not on this list?” No. All these people are fiction, figments of an author’s imagination.
With that said, let’s start off with:
Image Via Lemony Snicket Wiki – Fandom
I have nothing against children (that’s a lie), but she’s just plain EVIL! From the first pages of A Series of Unfortunate Events: The Austere Academy, you know this girl is trouble, and she is. Duncan and Isadora, two orphans already at the academy, are forced to live in a shack due to not having parents or guardians to sign the permission slip for the dorms. Carmelita begins referring to their shack as the Orphans Shack.
And that’s before our trio, Violet, Klaus, and Sunny, make their way into the story.
When she and Violet have the same class, Carmelita takes it upon herself to poke Violet with a stick and whisper “orphan” every few minutes. Plus, she takes it upon herself to remind the orphans that, well, they’re orphans. Even worst, she calls them “cakesniffers!”, a confusing but still ultimately insulting jab at their…lack of cake?
Image Via Pinterest
Come The Slippery Slope, Carmelita meets Olaf and Esmé Squalor face to face. Without a second thought, she abandons her parents and becomes their child.
Think about it. Her parents sent her to Prufrock Preporatory, a boarding school. I know rich people send most of their kids away for boarding school, but this just stinks that her parents don’t even like Carmelita, and honestly, who could blame them?
When Olaf and Esmé have our trio in their grasp they discuss which Baudelaire to leave alive for the fortune, and Carmelita suggests keeping Violet so they can tie her hair to things.
In the Grim Grotto, Olaf shows his human side with his annoyance at this little monster. Who can blame him? Every moment she’s on the page she just shows off how bratty she is.
You’re a cakesniffer and she eats cake! / Image Via Lemony Snicket Wiki – Fandom
Come The Penultimate Peril we’re on Olaf’s side when he abandons her and Esmé, since Esmé refuses to discipline the girl and Carmelita needs to be taken out back and shot Old Yeller-style.
What does Carmelita do next? She submits a book about how wonder she is to be used as evidence in a potential trial against Count Olaf and the Baudelaires.
Disloyal, wicked, and evil, Carmelita is a true monster. Don’t beleive me yet? Here’s the song she sings over and over again in The Grim Grotto:
C is for ‘cute’
A is for ‘adorable’!
R is for ‘ravishing’!
M is for ‘gorgeous’!
E is for ‘excellent’!
L is for ‘lovable’!
I is for ‘I’m the best’!
T is for ‘talented’!
and A is for ‘a tap-dancing ballerina fairy princess veterinarian’!
Now let’s sing my whole wonderful song all over again!
10-The White Witch
Image Via Wikipedia
The main antagonist of The Magician’s Nephew and of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, Jadis is cold hearted demon. Not only did she murder God (Aslan), she enslaved Narnia to a thousand year winter. That wouldn’t be so bad, trees do annoy me, but she made it so it’s never Christmas but always winter.
To make it worse, she persuaded Edmund to turn against his friends with Turkish delight.
I have the right mind to call Jadis Judas.
IMage Via A Wiki of Ice and Fire – Westeros.org
This is hard, considering a lot of the characters in A Song of Ice and Fireare terrible people, but I say Tywin takes the cake. Yes, Joffrey is a psychopath, but Tywin is worse. Here’s why:
He emotionally abuses Tyrion
He uses Cersei as a brood mare
He sends The Mountain off and “didn’t know” that the Mountain would rape/kill Elia Martell and bash her two baby children against the wall.
Worst of all, Tywin is a perfectly rational person. This isn’t an issue of “bad genes” or anything like that. He was disrespected as a child, and thus he intends to never be disrespected again. Now that he’s an adult with the power he always dreamed of, he hasn’t stopped. He’s not bloodthirsty, he’s apathetic. Family is everything, and he won’t stop until he holds all the power over Westeros, no matter what the cost.
Image Via Birth.Movies.Death
I know he’s a vampire and that might be a good excuse for biting people, but going strictly off the Bram Stoker’s Dracula, The Count is kind of a monster. Yes, he has to suck blood, but I’m not going to hold that against him. At his core he’s a predator. There’s no right or wrong that comes into play here because when you need to eat, you need to eat.
So he is even on this list? Well, let’s look at what he does…
He imprisoned Jonathan Harker.
He impersonated Harker so he could commit heinous crimes in his name, despite the fact he can transform and quickly get away, not impersonation required
He slaughtered an entire ship full of men.
He preyed on Mina just to hurt Jonathan and her family
Dracula doesn’t just feed because he needs to feed, he revels in his predator status just to terrify his prey because he finds it amusing. He’s like a shark that tells you, “I’m going to eat you whole and you’re going to want to scream but you’ll be suffocating as you slide down my throat”.
Dracula takes it a one step, and a couple more, from what his nature requires.
IMAGE Via ArtStation
Morgoth, Melkor, he’s known by several different names, but either way he’s a monster. We learn that in The Silmarillion that, after falling from glory, Morgoth corrupted all those in his wake. You think Sauron is bad? Sauron works for this monster.
It was only when Morgoth, after declaring war against the Elves and Men and slaughtering much of them during the First Age, that he was bound in chains and thrown into the void, leaving Sauron to trouble the world, as we see in The Hobbit and the Lords of the Ring trilogy.
Image Via Men of the West, Youtube
Worst of all, according to a prophecy, Morgoth will rise again.
Morgoth, Melkor, whatever you want to call him, he’s the OG monster in Tolkien’s leafy universe.
Image Via McSweeney’s Internet Tendency
In a world where everyone doesn’t listen to each other and people are routinely mistaken for others, Patrick Bateman fades into the background, and he loves that fact. But, subconsciously or otherwise, he leads a double life as a murderer.
Wealthy, materialistic, this Wall Street investment banker does less time working and more time going to parties. Plus, he tortures women and poor people and gays and children. Or maybe he doesn’t, it’s left very vague whether all his killings are actually happening.
She eats it, calling it minty. Twist! Since he doesn’t like his girlfriend very much, he given her a chocolate covered urinal cake.
Image Via Metro
Real or imaginary, that’s…uh…ewwwww
Image Via Bungalower
Annie Wilkes is the scariest character Stephen King ever created. Obsessive, psychotic, and worst of all…human.
She only appeared in Misery, and she certainly made an impression. The embodiment of every obsessive fan out there, Annie finds popular writer Paul Sheldon after a car crash. So she kidnaps him, ties him to a bed, and refuses to let him go until he writes a book. Paul is forced to indulge her every whim lest there be tragedy consequences.
When he tires to escape, he chops off his foot with an ax and cauterizing his ankle with a blowtorch. When his typewriter breaks down, she cuts off his thumb with an electric knife. When a state trooper comes to her house, she runs him over with her riding law mower.
Image Via Inverse
The titular character of Fifty Shades of Grey, Christian is abusive, emotionally unstable, and an all around prick who the author doesn’t think is problematic any way.
For one, he claims he’s in BDSM but in reality he just likes hurting women who have brown hair. Like his mom “the crack whore”. When Ana tells him she’s a virgin, he stomps around the room before deciding that he has to ‘take care of it’.
Yes, he was abused by an older woman, but he refuses to say she did anything wrong. Not only does he refuse to say she did anything wrong, but you better not tell him he’s wrong or else…
Not the monster, the doctor who created him. This scientist is the true monster of the story.
After creating life itself, Victor looks upon his creation and sees something that is clearly not human. He sees something breathing, thinking, alive, but less than perfect, and so he rejects it, shuns it from the world.
Image Via Owlcation
The creature seeks revenge against him, but are we to blame the creature? Forced away from the one who gave it life into an unforgiving world, the creature could not thrive, only survive. His vengeance is not just wrath, it’s justice for the mistakes Victor has created.
While he regrets creating the creature, Victor does not look upon the creature with understanding. Instead he calls the creature ‘fiend’ or ‘demon’ and pursues him to the Arctic, intend to kill it. He falls through the ice and dies, warning other not to meddle with life, but failing to teach them the lesson of empathy.
Humbert Humbert uses language to seduce the readers, and he almost succeeds. But lest we forget: he’s a pedophile, obsessed over a girl he calls Lolita. That’s why the book is called Lolita.
For the record, her real name is Dolores.
Back to Humbert. He marries a woman to get closer to his daughter and, once the woman dies, he kidnaps her.
The worst of it is that Humbert Humber makes himself a sympathetic pedophile. He criticizes the vulgarity of American culture, establishing himself as an intellectual, and considers his sexuality to be a sign of his culture.
A monster, if I ever saw one, but nothing compared to our number one pick…
Image Via AMazon
“The Judge” appears Blood Meridian very early on. We’re following the kid who goes to a revival meeting when a man bursts into the tent and tells the crowd that the preacher up on stage isn’t a real preacher, but a man wanted in three states.
The man who burst into the tent is “The Judge” and you might not know it, but he’s one you have to watch out for.
But compared to the illiterate drunken rapists surrounded you, the Judge is a breath of fresh air. Just look at that first scene! He showed everyone who that ‘preacher’ truly was. He has morals.
If you think about it, that means you’ve put your trust into this monster.
Image Via PInterest
You see, when the Judge burst into that tent he saw the kid. He didn’t just look at him, he saw into his soul. That’s good. Cormac McCarthy never says who the Judge exactly is, if he has gone mad, but if they told me he wasn’t human, if they told me he was the personification of evil, I’d believe it.
Image Via Texas Hill Country
Featured Image Via Youtube Channel Men of the West, Texas Hill Country, and Wikipedia
According to Sesame Street Magazine, October 15th is National Grouch Day—a day for all Grouches to celebrate their way of life.
Image Via Facebook
Since Sesame Street Magazine taught me everything I know, we’re going to celebrate National Grouch Day the only way we here at Bookstr know how—by making lists.
Image Via The Imaginative Conservative
The quintessential grouch, Ebenezer Scrooge is a cheap old miser who brings misery wherever he goes.
The cold within him froze his old features, nipped his pointed nose, shrivelled his cheek, stiffened his gait; made his eyes red, his thin lips blue; and spoke out shrewdly in his grating voice
That’s a nice way of saying he’s a grouch. A miserable, old, grouch. Literally A Christmas Carol is about him “warming his cold heart”, a poetic way of saying him becoming less a dick.
Image Via Your WDW Store
A less talented writer would make A Christmas Carol an anatomy lesson about Scrooge getting that stick out of his butt, but (pun intended) luckily Charles Dickens is a talented writer. He gives us a wonderful story, retold countless times, about this cold-hearted grouch warming up into a bright happy person during one of the coldest nights in winter.
What is it with stories about grouches becoming better people being set on Christmas? Is it because Christmas is so cold and authors can’t resist the irony of a grouch shedding their cold heart on one of the coldest days in the year?
Either way, the Grinch is a Grouch. In fact, he looks like Oscar the Grouch!
Image Via Elise Skidmore
And don’t blame his grouchiness on the face he has a medical condition—his heart is literally “too sizes too small”—and don’t give me that nonsense that the Whos were mean to him. That’s only in the Jim Carrey movie, and we’re talking about Dr. Seuss’s How The Grinch Stole Christmas here, so you can…
His hatred of a holiday stems from one fact and one fact only: he hates seeing other people happy. Talk about a grouch!
Image Via The Harry Potter Lexicon
For all you Harry Potter fans and all you Hermione fans and all you David Bradley fans.
Image Via PopSugar
When we first meet Filch, he’s quite an unpleasant person. He hates children, students in particular, and it’s quite a strange hatred seeing as he works in a school. I don’t know, maybe the pay is good.
Still, he barks “What are you doing?!” so much you’d think he’d have ground that gravelly voice of his into dust. Be wary, from the students who sneak out at night to the ones who forgot to wipe their feet! Actually, revise that, even if you’re not doing anything wrong, you should still avoid him.
Miserable all the time, he’s rather sadistic, taking this unnerving delight in dishing out punishment to the students of Hogwarts. Look, and re-read, how much he enjoyed punishing young Harry in the first book when Harry was only eleven!
The only thing he seems to love is his cat, Mrs. Norris, but everyone loves cats.
Image Via Odor Klenz
Granted, as we learn more about him, his grouchiness becomes more understandable. He’s harassed by Peeves, the Poltergeist, and he’s a squib, meaning he can’t perform magic. He also evacuated all the students in the Battle of Hogwarts and, despite being unable to perform magic, fought against the Death Eaters. So you know what? Maybe he’s not too bad…
Image Via Reddit
He’s actually pretty cool, but still a major grouch.
For all you Game of Thrones fans and all you David Bradley fans, Walder Frey.
Image Via ImgFlip
Ignoring his part in the Red Wedding, Walder Frey is still a prick.
After farting his way after Ser Edmure Tully’s call to arms because he wants to arrive when the battle is done, Walder Frey is immediately a prick and it only gets worse from there. When Catelyn Stark meets with him, we find that he’s not a nice old man at all. Toothless and wrinkled, he sits in his chair and brags about how he is still sexually active. With 28 kids roaming around, you’d think he’d care about at least one of them.
Image Via A Song of Ice and Fire Wiki
Not a chance. Even at the age of 91, Walder Frey is as self-serving as ever. Being the leader of his house, no one trusts him or his family. Thus, instead of making amends, Walder sees fit to complain about this and continue to deserve the contempt of noble houses throughout Westeros.
He’s a miserable person to be around. A real grouch.
And you know what? I’m not going to ignore the Red Wedding.
Image Via Imgflip
This man orchestrated it because some dude snubbed his ugly daughter and he wanted to get ahead in life. Screw you, you miserable old fart.
Image Via Smithsonian Magazine
Smaug is small. He’s a tiny dragon, but that’s no excuse for being such a grouchy ball of flames.
HE’S ALSO LAZY / Image Via The One Ring.Net
After destroying a kingdom just for the money, he then spends the next 150 years in a mountain. Mass murder for money he doesn’t plan to do anything with? Talk about a miser!
Image Via Pipedia
I think we can all agree that Bilbo is the happiest man in the world, at least in The Hobbit!
Someone drew this! / Image Via PInterest
When Bilbo visits Smaugh, what does Smaug do? Well, he’s amused by him, but ultimately he just wants to be left alone. What a grouch.
And then he burns a town down because he wants to be alone. What a grouch. A mass-murdering grouch.
Image Via The Guardian
A megalomaniac fanatic, Captain Ahab is obsessed with capturing a whale because on a previous voyage the whale bit off his leg.
That’s it. Moby Dick, a book big enough to break someone’s jaw, is about how instead of calling it quits, instead of moving on, Captain Ahab wears a prosthetic leg made out of whalebone and intends to turn the whale who bit him into bones.
Get over it dude.
Image Via Shmoop
And it wouldn’t be so bad if Ahab was the least bit likable. But he isn’t. His only drive in his life to find and kill the Whale. He forces his crew to support his insane mission just so he can kill a whale.
Three hundred pages just looking for a whale while his crew suffers, and he doesn’t stop and think “Maybe I should be considerate to the crew who is risking their lives for my stupid obsession”. That thought doesn’t even pass through his head.
GET OVER IT DUDE / Image Via Consortiumnews
Even when his ship is destroyed and he and what’s left on his crew is on the boat, he’s still chasing after a whale. GET OVER IT DUDE!
You weren’t even nice, Ahab, you were just a real grouch. You’re going to jump for joy when this grouch is dragged to the bottom of the sea by the very thing he’s been trying to kill.
Tolkien and Lewis were both in residence at Oxford for many years, studying and teaching both. They were also close friends, even though they disagreed on almost everything. Sure, they had a shared interest in language, and in what we now call fantasy, but they disagreed on religion, and on the tones of their books. There are also a lot of stories about their friendship, few confirmed, but all amazing. Here are our favorites!
1. The Lamppost
Image via Dissolve
There’s a story that says Lewis specifically put the lamppost in Narnia because Tolkien said a good fantasy story would never have one. The sheer pettiness. What an icon. No fantasy story would have a lamppost? Well this one does! Please, TELL Lewis what his story can have. There’s no slowing him down. A lesson in spite we should really all take to heart.
Image via IOL
Tolkien was, as well as being a linguist and historian, quite Catholic, and Lewis found his philosophical suggestions appealing, becoming religious himself. Tolkien didn’t get what he wanted, though, because though Lewis became more religious, he was Protestant, and Tolkien didn’t at all appreciate how much religion was in Lewis’ books. Kinda played himself.
3. The Draft
Image via The Creative Penn
Apparently when Lewis first read his draft of The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe to Tolkien and a croup of friends, Tolkien hated it. He thought it was terrible and combined too many mythologies. He wanted more consistent world building, and I don’t have a good source for this, but I’ve heard he even told Lewis to stop writing.