emotional tetris

When I was little, before the age of cellphones, my family would go to train shows and inevitably get split up. There would come a time when messages needed to be exchanged, plans made, and I was the chosen informant: short, fast, with a real love of darting between people and objects, hunting through thousands of strangers with only a vague idea where to look for the one person I was in charge of finding. I didn’t knock things over or break anything; I dodged slow-moving oldsters laden with packages as adeptly as squalling toddlers and fur-bedecked doll collectors with dollar signs in their eyes.

Writing this fic feels like dodging through those crowds, except I’m dodging scenes that have already been written, and written beautifully, and which I don’t want to alter or fuck up in any way. Except insofar as I want to use the information gleaned in those scenes to inform those that weren’t, essentially, canonical. And it’s hard! Because there are some moments that were just perfect, as we encounter them in the game, and I have to find a way around them because I want to leave them there. But I still have to reference them because we need to know they have happened. And even if I manage to do that, I am still left in the awkward position of knowing, as everyone else does, that this amazing thing just happened that we didn’t see, and I’m supposed to follow that act with something attempting to be, comparatively, somewhat riveting and/or moving.


Plus there is the added threat–the added obstacle on the frantic ducking, dodging path–of falling down the fandom rabbit hole. The bad kind of rabbit hole, I mean, fraught with internal strife. Not the good kind filled with delicious fanart. Mmm. I have no qualms with those. In the immortal words of Tito:


Even with the pitfalls though, and the amount of time I spend sitting next to this Christmas tree typing instead of, I don’t know, knocking back eggnog out of a glass mug shaped like a moose head, it is so. much. fun.

like stumbling onto a herd of unicorns brewing lattes made of rainbows

I was trying to find a quote from somewhere in the game and found this post instead. Holy shit! Look at those playlists! All those soundtracks. I used to get teased for listening to soundtracks! So many names that fill my headphones every day at work. Hans Zimmer! John Williams! And–and–cripe, look! Cloud Atlas! Doctor Who! My people!

And on the non-instrumental end of things, oh my god, K.D. Lang’s Hallelujah for Solas. I didn’t even know she did a version of that song.

And they divide up characters for writing! How fascinating! I mean, okay, it makes perfect sense; you don’t want characters to suddenly clash discordantly with the version of themselves written several chapters ago by someone else. I get that. I just didn’t know they’d have the money or manpower to protect against such pitfalls. I rather obviously abhor spoilers and so exposed myself to zero percent of this production-type stuff, pre-release or before I finished a first playthrough. (Ah, I see that this was only posted December 12–so I feel slightly less like I missed something glorious due to my head-in-the-sand position on spoilers. Likely I just missed it because I was neck-deep in finals, work stuff, or…well…playing DA:I…) But this is marvelous! I love seeing the divisions, how the person who wrote Character X also wrote Character Y, etc.

And ahahaha, I see that Dorian was written by no less than lead writer David Gaider himself. How I wish I’d been around when the call had gone out, I think it was via a Twitter poll several days ago, to see who we’d like to reprise their roles in future DA games! Dorian, Dorian, a thousand times Dorian. Though it is sad that realistically, choices have to be made. That the carpet of possibility can’t just keep unfurling ad infinitum, paths branching and branching again, allowing for infinite narrative, infinite reprisals, infinite trotting loyally after much-beloved characters. This being, of course, impossible, I know. And for good reasons. That aside, the fact that the lead writer wrote him gives me hope. Maybe he’ll stick around. There are a metric fuckton of fans who’d surely love to see it.

Anyway, this post kicks the stuffing out of my tongue-in-cheek DA:I “alternate” playlist. Which playlist was heavily if successfully contributed to by his husbandly self, since my exposure to 1980s pop culture is very, very piecemeal. But it was only ever meant in fun. This epic playlist the BioWare writers posted, though–that is stuff to create to. (If I, er, could listen to music whilst writing. Which I can’t. But I can get up and pace frantically with music blaring, and then put it on pause and sit back down to type! That I can do.)

Also, you have to love the line: “Sacrifice/ascendance/wonder etc.” Yeah, you know. Etc. And then: “Guitars and sudden silence. Stuff is on fire.” Ayup.

I tend to try to close my ears and eyes to the people behind the creative works I love (with the notable exception of David Mitchell, because that man’s charisma, when he’s talking about something he cares about, does this to your heart) because I don’t want to be disappointed. But this post is the shit. Finding it was like stumbling onto a herd of unicorns in the subway. Brewing lattes. Made of rainbows.

a very fond farewell

I remember my mom stumbling upon me curled in a ball in my room in the dark, crying my eyes out listening to Annie Lennox’s “Into The West.” She asked what was wrong and I replied, in typical teenager fashion, that “it’s just a sad song, okay?”

“Do you want to talk about it?”


Now with Billy Boyd’s final, final finale to the entire Hobbit/LOTR cinematic arc, though, I do.

These movies together have spanned almost the entirety of my adolescence and adulthood. And that’s all I can claim. I’m not old enough to have ridden the first wave of the books’ popularity, and gotten dismissed from college in the 60s for getting lost in the books as one winner of a “biggest fan” contest could say. My wedding ring has no Elvish on it (for all that we floated the idea of having bridespeople dress up as ringwraiths we’d have to battle down the aisle, to an officiant dressed as Gandalf). The fanfic I wrote wasn’t anything special–albeit a learning experience–and I only dressed up for an opening night once.

I don’t even reread the books every year.


Ending before we’ve actually begun–making the movies whose narrative comes, chronologically, before the narrative we’ve already seen made into movies ten years ago–is one of the saddest, most beautiful gifts circumstance could have bestowed on someone unable to let go. Because you’re never quite over–while chronological narrative carries you onward, the chronology of production carries you backward, to the Hobbit, before so many endings have begun. And you never really have to leave it behind.

But then of course there’s the fact that you are going to walk out of a theater and there will be no more new footage on the horizon. I saw Battle of the Five Armies early, as part of the 8.5-hour Hobbit Movie Marathon put on by Cinemark. And I walked out and it was over.


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