Bleh with Barry

Random with a cynical twist of lime.

Posts Tagged ‘Pandora

If I Formed My League of Extraordinary Gentlemen

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So, a friend just posted on my facebook wall asking me if I made my own League of Extraordinary Gentlemen using only characters from books (not the comics or movies). Immediately, I asked the question “Can I use villains and they play well with others?” because this is important in forming my group. This simple face can change the usefulness of some characters drastically. So, I suppose I will try to make my group considering that the villains have to work with the heroes for some reason or other…so with that in mind, here I go.

* Sherlock Holmes– With his powerful deductive mind, Holmes would make a good addition to any group’s intelligence

By Sidney Paget(1860-1908) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

factor. He would be able to break down analytical problems and move through them with a speed that others might not have.  He would also be good in a pinch when in a situation where he was fighting because he can break down the most effective route for dealing with people (no, I’m not thinking about the movie here…even though, he does it to an almost preternatural degree).

* Frankenstein’s Monster– I would be making this choice for two reasons. First, the monster would begin to round out the muscle of the group. He is preternaturally strong, agile, and durable, which would make him a good asset. Second, he has a knack for learning and appears to be pretty intelligent himself. So, he could serve a two-fold  position as both the brawn and, potentially, the brains.

* Merlin– Scary powerful sorcerer…need I say more. He can do a lot and help in a tight situation in many ways. Brains and power…

* Muldumarec– A shape-shifting knight from the medieval lai of “Yonec.” His ability to morph into other things would make him the perfect person to infiltration and espionage. He would probably be okay in a fight because of his abilities and his skills as a knight…I’m also talking about him without being killed by his lover’s jealous husband…

By Edward Reginald Frampton (1872-1923) (Démons et Merveilles (E.Brasey)) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

* Titania– Another magic user and fae to boot, she would round out the group. Her femininity would help balance out the group of men and would allow her to seduce the opposing forces. Her magical abilities would also be handy in tight situations because she is the queen of the fae. Moreover, she can be quite frightening depending upon the folk tales / literature that she appears in. Her near immortality and invulnerability would also be handy in a lot of situations…

* Pandora– No, I’m not talking about the figure from Greek myth that unleashed pestilence upon the world. Rather, I am referring to the 2000 year old vampire from Anne Rice’s vampire chronicles (this is my guilty pleasure add). Pandora is sexy, provocative, intelligent, and powerful (she waxes philosophical but also rips out a man’s heart to drain it). With her telepathy, she could be the communicator of the group talking to the others mentally. Her pyrokinesis and telekinesis would also make her deadly from afar, and her other vampiric abilities such as immortality, super strength and speed, and near invulnerability would make her quite a force to be reckoned with… she would also play well with the other members of the group (unlike some of Anne Rice’s other characters).

So, there you go…I think that this would be a fairly balanced team of hard-core literary characters. I’ve tried to balance brains and brawn; moreover, I’ve also tried to create a middle ground of characters that can go either way. Overall, I think they would make an interesting group with a diverse array of powers.

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Vampires that I Like And I’m not Talking Twilight

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I am an ardent fan of vampire folklore and interesting tales of vampires that spring up now and again. I don’t know why, but since my younger years, I have been fascinated by the sentient undead. I mean sure you have other creatures that some consider undead that are sentient too, but overall, the vampire is the only “undead” creature that has potential for something other than mindless carnage (yes, I’m talking about zombies…they are just mindless killing machines…).

Vampires interest me because they have potential beyond the need to feed on humans for sustenance. They are capable of much more evil or good in some cases. They also don’t have the whole rotting factor that most other undead have (which causes them to have a finite shelf life). Vampires to me have potential within the realm of film and literature that no zombie ever could. However, I’m not going to discuss the pros and cons of vampires and zombies. Like I have said many times, I enjoy reading about vampires and watching movies that contain them. Over the course of many books and movies, I have developed many favorites…some for obvious reasons and others for less.

Dracula–As the quintessential  vampire novel of the 19th century, the character of Count Dracula springs to the pages of the book and into our minds as a fully realized, fully evil creature. He is vicious and stands tall in the face of his enemies. Based on the actual historical figure of Vlad Dracul, Dracula’s heartless attitude and demeanour are mirrored by actual fact. Dracul was cruel and heartless. He committed many atrocities and was (and is) revered by his people of Transylvania as a hero. This character can transform into other creatures of the night, has power over people, possesses super strength and heightened abilities, and can go out in the daytime (see Edward wasn’t the first). Dracula is a first-rate vampire who has lived for centuries and continues to thrive until he meets one who is knowledgeable of him. Dracula was the first vampire character that I was introduced to and therefore holds a special place in my heart.

Pandora and Marius– A couple who were born and turned to serve greater purposes: Marius to be a God of the Grove and later protector of the vampire king and queen and Pandora because Marius loved her. Anne Rice in all her glory created these two eccentric characters (well, maybe not eccentric but a little peculiar). Marius is a renaissance man, term man being loosely used, and floats through the Millenia (2 to be exact) protecting the king and queen and by his constant examination of life, art and the people around him. He is intriguing to me because as much as he stays the same throughout the course of his existence he changes to fit in with the time (save his red velvet which never leaves him).

Pandora is also an interesting character. Also a Child of the Millenia (a name given to the vampires in Anne Rice’s universe that are of age one thousand or greater), she is extremely powerful and independent. This is why after 200 years of living together she and Marius part because of a fight. She then goes out to seek what she will of the world, trying to find companionship and love. She never seems to find either and remains eternally lonely as a result. She is quite a vampire as shown in Queen of the Damned. For the most part, she is a proper lady. She looks and acts like a normal person should. However, this is what sets others at ease. At one point, during an orgy of followers of Azim, an Indian vampire and her child, she tears out the throat of a victim draining him and then rips out his heart to gain the last bit of blood.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Vampire_Chronicles

Anne Rice’s vampires all have interesting personalities and are very different. They are all believable which is why I appreciate and love the characters she creates.

Eric and Pam–In the Sookie Stackhouse mysteries by Charlaine Harris, I also have a male and female vampiric duo that I enjoy. Pam and Eric have got to be the most interesting of the main vampire characters that she creates. Eric is a 1000-year old viking, and Pam is his Victorian English Fledgling. They develop nicely over the course of the books (Eric more so than Pam because he closer to the central character of Sookie). They both have that desire and intrigue that make vampire characters interesting. While the seem to fit in with the time, they both are out of place in their own right. Each is exceedingly beautiful which leads to them being so much more dangerous than some of the other vampires. Along with their banter back and forth and the comedy that comes out of their mouths (especially Pam’s. She has such a dry sense of humor), they seem to be what you would want your “out” vampires to be.

Honorable mentions:

Bill from the Sookie Mysteries

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bill_Compton_(The_Southern_Vampire_Mysteries)

Sophie-Anne Leclerq–Louisiana’s Vampire Queen in Sookie Mysteries

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sophie-Anne_Leclerq

Armand from The Vampire Chronicles

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Armand_(The_Vampire_Chronicles)

Lestat from The Vampire Chronicles

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lestat_de_Lioncourt

Louis from The Vampire Chronicles

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Louis_de_Pointe_du_Lac

The Vampire Formerly Known as Lestat

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In the realm of Anne Rice, we all know about the vampire Lestat and his escapades into the supernatural world that is his realm. He has been the consort of the most powerful vampire in the world (Akasha), had an out of body experience, been to heaven and hell, and became a religious vampiric icon. But now, his story has come to a halt, and he lives on through the pages of his books.

While I am sad about Lestat because at the end of Blood Canticle he doesn’t have a lot of resolution, I am even more sad because of the “death” of the other vampire characters contained within the novels. The characters that I hoped Anne would pick up and start writing about again. Characters like Mael, Eric (vampire mentioned in Queen of the Damned), Pandora (I know that she wrote a novel about her but I want more), Gabrielle, Thorne, Louis (after the transformation), and others. I always found her peripheral characters very intriguing (more so than Lestat at times). Yet, now, Anne has said that at this point in time she does not plan to write anymore vampire chronicles…so, we’re left with dangling strings in my eyes. Now, I love and respect Anne because she is one of my all time favorite authors. I love her prose and her choice of words. She paints pictures with them.

The true reason I write this post is because part of me wonders what is going to happen with the ideas of the vampires or other supernatural creatures contained within Anne’s earlier works…will they be forgotten in the grand scheme of novelic time or will they find their rightful place in literary circles?

Personally, I believe that the books are amazing retellings of the vampire folklore that has been prevalent in cultures around the world for many centuries. While Anne does take some liberties with the overarching myth in places, she remains true to the heart of the myth itself. She also humanizes this creatures of darkness that have symbolized rape, disease, famine, and other deep, dark things for years. Her writing has opened the “monster” up and made them seem not as scary; however, by that same token, she has made them even more monstrous. If something that still has human emotions and drives acts like a feral, evil thing, they seem more monstrous. Her vampires make the choice willingly to feed on humans… they don’t lose themselves…

Another thing that interests me about her vampiric ideals is the whole mythology she created of the “red-haired twins” that she created to rationalize her vampires…it is brilliantly thought and written…it makes me almost wish that she would write her own book of myths or folklore. I believe that it would be a brilliant oddity.

While Lestat and the other vampires may never grace new pages of novels again, I still have hope that they will come to life in new forms. As recently as a few years ago, there was a musical that opened based on the books. In which the music wasn’t bad; however, the staging was lack luster at best. There is also talk of new movies coming out to portray the “brat prince” again…(Hopefully, they won’t make another Queen of the Damned movie travesty…because it sucked [no pun intended]). Here’s hoping that Anne Rice’s vampires continue to prosper in the minds of readers around the world. Because if they don’t, vampires like Edward Cullen might…and that would just be sad…

Top 10 Reasons I’m Not a Fan of Twilight

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10. Vampires don’t sparkle. I don’t care how you slice it…they should either burn or lose their powers…the whole sparkling thing is kinda lame. I mean it says “HEY WORLD. LOOK AT ME. I AM SOMETHING TO BE FEARED!”…If you are a creature of the night that lives purely on the blood of another creature, do you really need to call attention to that. (I don’t care if Meyer does try to rationalize this fact by saying that this is the reason why they live in Washington State.)

9. Animal blood…I don’t care how much a vampire claims to be reformed and a “vegetarian” as they call themselves. Vampires are predators of men. Animal blood just doesn’t seem like it would satiate the desire to hunt the most elusive prey…mankind. Also, I think that after a vampire had had a taste of human blood that they would be addicted to it because the wild blood of the animals would probably taste a bit “gamey”.

8. The fact that the Cullen family is willing to stay a family for so long. This doesn’t make sense to me. I get tired of being around people in my family pretty quickly sometimes. I couldn’t fathom spending years, decades, centuries around them…now, I know that some of the Cullens are relatively young; however, people get on each others nerves. They seem happy to live together in harmony…and while this behavior of having a leader of the pack dictate the whole works for animals, I don’t know how well it would work for something that reasons like a human.

7. The fact that it’s really just a love story. While vampire literature can have the idea of love entering into it (I’m not saying that), the majority of vampire stories do not have this as the pure basis of why this story is important…on the other hand, Twilight and the subsequent books focus mainly on this with vampires and werewolves being throw in as backdrop…if you need to get your jollies off by reading something like this, I suggest the romance book aisle at Wal-Mart because quite frankly while they are literary trash some of them are better written than the Meyer books.

6. Washington…Really? Now, I have nothing against Washington (it is a beautiful state), but it seems to me that with all the power that vampirism entails  that they would live in and visit places with a little more history to them. Why not visit Italy or France or Germany or Russia…somewhere a little more exotic. I know that Meyer says they live here because of the overcast days…but really, this is the reason why the vampire is seen as a creature of the night. If these particular vampires only came out at night, they wouldn’t have this problem either.

5. Vampire literature is steeped in folklore and oral tradition dating back centuries. The only thing that Meyer really had the followed the vampire mythos at all is the fact that they drink blood and that completely tearing them apart will destroy them…I mean sure they are other thing there that other people assume are just tied to the vampire myth like super strength, super speed, etc. but these are not found in a lot of the actual base folklore of the vampire.

4. The extra powers that her vampires have are not really original. The whole mind reading thing has been done. Read Anne Rice’s Vampire Chronicles. Her vampires have very similar “gifts” to Meyer’s. Anne’s vampires came first…thereby, it seems that Meyer may have borrowed the idea from Rice.

3. I despise the character of Bella. Her angsty teenager personality is terrible. She lusts after a guy that she meets randomly and pines over him using every available synonym for pretty or beautiful out there…Good God, get over it…that’s what I think…she is  a narrator that I cannot relate to…this might be because I have a penis. I don’t know…I’m just saying it.

2. The male leads of the novels/movies Edward and Jacob are not that great in my head. Edward is brooding and angsty just like Bella which is sad because he is a 100 year old teenager…Jacob is weird and off to the side and is there just for plot point to me…They’re both really static charaters…main characters to me should be fully realized “people”.

1. The whole star-crossed lovers thing has been done before and much better. Think of Romeo and Juliet. Shakespeare wrote a brilliant play of love and tragedy…Meyer has written a stock narrator in the form of Bella (who is written without a personality because Meyer wants the reader to “become” Bella). She falls in love with the “bad” guy. From that point, terrible things unfold for her; until, she finally becomes a vampire and has a baby…Please…it’s God awful…

Bad writing, bad plot, misusage of a mythological creature, and other terrible facets are the main reasons that I dislike this series. I know that some things are open to interpretation (i.e. the whole vampire thing), but there is nothing that can redeem the many flaws that stretch across all fields of writing.