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Character Opinion Meme!

Today I feel like having some opinions about characters in public, like you do sometimes. I found this posted here a little while ago, and now is as good a time as any to post it, I guess!

Give me a character from any fandom, tv show, movie, book you know that I know and I will tell you:

a. My favorite thing about that character.
b. My least favorite thing about that character.
c. One person I would ship them with in their own verse.
d. One crossover ship for them I think would be neat.
e. One crossover universe for them I think would be even neater.
f. Their ship from hell.
g. Their song.
h. The title of their biography or autobiography.
i. The last bad dream they had.
j. How they're gonna shuffle off the mortal coil, if they haven't already.

If you like, you can also pick a character you don't know that I know about, and I can either form an opinion based on cursory research, or make something up based on just their name.

I'm either not much of a shipper, or else I'm horribly picky about ships (it depends), so I reserve the right to convert any of the above "ship" questions into a friendship as circumstance demands.

ETA I just realized I'm not sure what "their ship from hell" means in this case. A pairing from fiction they anti-ship? The character they would least like to be set up with in canon? idk; probably best to keep it flexible

Further ETA: Well, this is going to take some thought. I should have known! But I will answer all -- it just might take a couple days.

Comments

( 15 comments — Leave a comment )
alley_skywalker
Aug. 3rd, 2015 10:37 pm (UTC)
I'm sorry, I have to ;)

Dolokhov (War & Peace)
evelyn_b
Aug. 4th, 2015 03:18 pm (UTC)
Dolokhov! This shouldn't be too hard, I guess?

a. My favorite thing about that character.

The best and the worst thing about Dolokhov is his loyalty, how it blinds him and drives him and makes him better and worse.

b. My least favorite thing about that character.

His ability to turn on people completely. His calculated takedown of Nikolai at the card table is chilling.

c. One person I would ship them with in their own verse.

I go back and forth between being 100% on board the S. S. Sonya/Dolokhov and resisting it because I don't trust Tolstoy to write it in a way that would be tolerable to me, which is kind of stupid because Tolstoy is dead. Most of the time I'm sold, though, at least on them having the potential to pull each other toward a little more happiness and good sense on the margins. Or at least I like the idea for its optimism.

I also like the idea of him having an affair with Helene that's kind of 95% brotherly affection and shared sense of humor and 5% “eh, why not.”

d. One crossover ship for them I think would be neat.

He and Neal Caffrey from White Collar could write a bad romance, or maybe just charm a lot of people into doing stupid things and handing over lots of money – or a little of both, I guess. High risk of ending in a botched duel, though. :(

e. One crossover universe for them I think would be even neater.

Whenever I can't think of something for this kind of question, I just send'em to space to get yelled at by Jean-Luc Picard. Works for everyone!

f. Their ship from hell.

Helene/Pierre, ugh. THE WORST, obviously.

g. Their song.

“Real Good Man” by Tim McGraw

h. The title of their biography or autobiography.

A Double Life: The Remarkable True Story of Anna Sansouris by Mrs. Henry Woolham-Striker (1864)

Dolokhov never actually writes his memoirs. Why would he? Too much to remember, too much to boast of or regret. However, in his mid-thirties he collaborates with his sister on a series of heavily anglicized Russian folk tales for children. Published under a shared pseudonym and intended as a security for her old age, the books sells only moderately well in the first few decades, but enjoys a surge of popularity in the middle of the nineteenth century, thanks to several well-known novelists eulogizing it as a favorite of their childhood.

Mrs. Woolham-Striker, an English admirer of the Tales, interviewed Mlle Dolokhova when the latter was in her late 60s, several years after her brother's death. The portrait of Dolokhov that emerges in A Double Life is somewhat lopsided and more than a little sanitized; Mrs. W-S's attempt to craft a narrative arc of early dissipation and later redemption is not necessarily borne out by the evidence as she presents it.

Moralizing and highly speculative, A Double Life has now fallen into more or less deserved obscurity, but is worth reading for the insight it offers into Dolokhov's relationships with his family, and Mlle Dolokhova's personality.

i. The last bad dream they had.

The war is still going. He'd thought it was over, but it wasn't, of course; how could it be? He was only on leave. He opens the door of his flat and his mother is gone, and his sister has a black veil wrapped around her face and won't speak to him, won't even turn her head in his direction. Someone – Anatole? – it doesn't matter – has told them everything, and he is covered in blood, how could he not have noticed it before? There are footprints on the floor, handprints on the hem of his sister's skirt, a handful of human hair in his left hand, and his sister is weeping not because he is about to die, but because he didn't die twenty years ago and spare them the shame of his life.

j. How they're gonna shuffle off the mortal coil, if they haven't already.

Sudden stroke, mid-sixties, while on holiday in the country. Everyone forgets to be surprised about how much he's calmed down until he dies suddenly not in a duel. There's a brief swelling of all the old gossip, but not that much. Sonya grieves, but not inconsolably.
alley_skywalker
Aug. 6th, 2015 07:56 am (UTC)
Haha! OMG you're so great at these.

The best and the worst thing about Dolokhov is his loyalty,

I'm glad I'm not the only person who thinks this is a big character trait of his. It's one of those things that is both there and not at the same time in canon.

being 100% on board the S. S. Sonya/Dolokhov and resisting it because I don't trust Tolstoy to write it in a way that would be tolerable

I've noticed this is a common problem. But that's why we have fanfic!

I also like the idea of him having an affair with Helene that's kind of 95% brotherly affection and shared sense of humor and 5% “eh, why not.”

I should probably try writing this dynamic for them at some point.

A Double Life: The Remarkable True Story of Anna Sansouris by Mrs. Henry Woolham-Striker (1864)

You do realize you're ridiculously good at making up fake books, right?

OMG, the dream! That's perfectly really - all of Dolokhov's worst fears wrapped up into one.
evelyn_b
Aug. 6th, 2015 06:11 pm (UTC)
Aww, thanks! Some of these character memes are too trope and ship focused for me to know how to work with, but this one is fun.

I love fake books way too much.

I should probably try writing this dynamic for them at some point.

Doooo iiiiiit.
wordsofastory
Aug. 4th, 2015 04:01 am (UTC)
Oh, how about Fanny from Mansfield Park? Or another Jane Austen character, if you prefer.
evelyn_b
Aug. 4th, 2015 04:43 pm (UTC)
Fanny! I love her so much. ;__;

a. My favorite thing about that character.

Her bravery and sense of self is incredible. She's spent the most vulnerable years of her life being constantly reminded of her inferiority and constantly expected to be grateful and yielding. She wants so badly to be loved and expects so little, yet she's still able to value her own judgment where it counts. She won't take part in that play even when her usual defender gives in and starts pressuring her to join “for the good of everyone,” and even though the pain of disappointing her family must be almost unbearable, she has enough respect for herself not to marry a man she can't love. She is a heroine who saves herself, through sheer force of will and against overwhelming opposition.

b. My least favorite thing about that character.

Fanny and I would disagree about many moral issues if we met in real life, but I don't begrudge her any of that. I understand why she feels the way she does about her birth family other than her brother, but it makes me sad and I hope she develops a better relationship with (some of) them in the future.

c. One person I would ship them with in their own verse.

I would only ship Fanny with her own first choice, so Edmund it is. They can be adorable prigs together.

d. One crossover ship for them I think would be neat.

I'm not dragging Fanny out of the Adorable Prig Parsonage for any crossover ships, but I think she and Kitty and Mary Bennet from Pride and Prejudice could be great friends together. Fanny would give Kitty someone to dress up and indulge and be a real big sister to; she could talk to Mary seriously without laughing at her, and help put them both in better humor with each other. She would bring out the best in both of them and enjoy having friends on more or less equal terms.

e. One crossover universe for them I think would be even neater.

It would be interesting to see her as a companion for the Doctor. I think she'd do a great job keeping him from going off the rails, once she got used to the idea; she'd gain a little confidence after saving the world from killer robots a couple of times and maybe even broaden some of her ideas a bit.

f. Their ship from hell.

Well, herself/Henry Crawford, of course. It's the worst plan ever. I also suspect that one of her cousins read Pamela to her in her pre-teens and it still gives her nightmares.

g. Their song.

Probably some Isaac Watts thing or another; I'll have to think about it.

h. The title of their biography or autobiography.

Memoirs of Mansfield Park and Other Tender Tales by R. Bertram Warner (1891). Not a full biography, but a collection of anecdotes of Mr. Warner's childhood and young manhood, many humorous, some moralistic, including several about his grandmother, Mrs. Bertram. The story of Henry Crawford is alluded to, in a highly romanticized manner similar to popular magazine fiction of the day. There is also a charming story about boarding some neighbor's dogs, and some appealing anecdotes about Fanny as a grandmother. Not a masterpiece by any stretch of the imagination, but affectionate and occasionally revealing.

(Looks like LJ is going to make me chop this one in two)
evelyn_b
Aug. 4th, 2015 04:44 pm (UTC)
Fanny, part two!

i. The last bad dream they had.

I don't like giving Fanny bad dreams :( That doesn't mean she doesn't have them, of course. The Pamela nightmare came back after she was engaged to Edmund, and she still has it periodically – that horrible feeling of being talked slowly into a corner, unable to breathe-- only now the rich heir is sometimes also her father, and the room where he corners her, her mother's dark and damp-smelling parlor in Portsmouth.

Later, she dreams about dying in childbirth. Edmund was kinder about it than she had any right to expect, after the first one left her so weak, but she knows she's disappointing him just the same, and in death his disappointment is greater still. She does not dream of flames or pain, only of how badly she has let everyone down, either by dying, or by no longer risking death.

j. How they're gonna shuffle off the mortal coil, if they haven't already.

Fanny never gets really strong, but she gets enough exercise and sunshine to keep her in decent health and spirits, though it takes her a long time to recover after her little girl is born. At the time of life when most women are said to decline, Fanny seems almost to bloom. Her grandchildren remember her as rosy, little, and robust, and skilled in the old-fashioned decorative arts. R. Bertram Warner, who was ten at the time of her death, does not remember her being ill at all, and in fact she hid a great deal of suffering from her family in the last years of her life.
wordsofastory
Aug. 5th, 2015 07:50 pm (UTC)
Oh, this is too perfect. It's heartbreaking (the bad dream! How she dies!) and sweet (the memoirs!) and funny (Pamela!) and is way more insightful than many fics I've read. Thank you!
evelyn_b
Aug. 5th, 2015 08:51 pm (UTC)
Thanks! :D I appreciate the opportunity to talk about Fanny! ♥
lost_spook
Aug. 4th, 2015 08:13 am (UTC)
Poirot!
evelyn_b
Aug. 4th, 2015 05:45 pm (UTC)
POIROT! ok, let's see. . .

a. My favorite thing about that character.

Complete and unwavering self-satisfaction and commitment to doing exactly what he likes in his own way. This would be annoying in a real person, but Poirot is not bothered by such concerns.

b. My least favorite thing about that character.

There's no way he should be able to solve as many cases as he does with all his jumping to conclusions about what constitutes an “English” crime vs. a “Latin” one, but I don't know if I'd call that my least favorite thing. A tendency to be fixed in his ways makes him both irritating as a person, and a little unsatisfying as a character, but in the medium term it's one of his entertaining qualities, so I don't know. I haven't read all the books yet, and at this point I actually find Poirot a little too static to be really bothered by any of his flaws, if that makes sense. He's just Poirot the Eternal.

c. One person I would ship them with in their own verse.

I find Poirot pretty much un-shippable within his own verse; he's too fussy on one hand, and on the other, too sufficient unto himself. You could mash him together with various characters and make it work, but I doubt I'd have much to say about it. I love his canonical friendships, though, especially with Ariadne Oliver.

d. One crossover ship for them I think would be neat.

Poirot's essential unshippability is a pan-universe phenomenon, but he might develop an unexpectedly warm (by adjusted standards) friendship with Detective Rosa Diaz on Brooklyn Nine-Nine.

e. One crossover universe for them I think would be even neater.

My first instinct was to say Douglas Adams, and I think my first instinct is right. Initially, I wanted to correct it to the P. G. Wodehouse-verse, but actually I think Poirot would do better in the company of Arthur Dent et al.. He would fit right in and suffer no end of minor indignities, and conduct himself among the Vogons and Zaphod Beeblebrox exactly as he does with everyone else.

f. Their ship from hell.

Poirot/hiking. It ruins the shoes and the trouser cuffs and makes one to be covered in the bites of insects; WHY WOULD ANYONE DO THIS FILTHY THING. >:}(

g. Their song.

An idiosyncratic translation of select Gilbert and Sullivan songs into Esperanto by a Belgian enthusiast, which he only plays when Hastings and Miss Lemon are not in the room. Though I have no canon evidence to present (except that it seems like the kind of thing he would like) I suspect Poirot of being a casual member of the international Esperanto community, though he does not have the time, alas, to learn the language as he would prefer. It's one of those retirement goals that keep getting put off in favor of solving 80 more murders.

(continued below)
evelyn_b
Aug. 4th, 2015 05:47 pm (UTC)
More Poirot!

h. The title of their biography or autobiography.

Poirot's memoirs, which remain unpublished, are copious, systematic, and nearly unreadable. They occupy fourteen decorative wooden lockboxes stacked one on the other in a small closet off the “office” room of the Poirot Museum in King's Abbot. The “chapters” are numbered by a system resembling that of Wittgenstein's Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus. Some of the more sensitive material has been written in very bad Esperanto, or in a complicated code of Poirot's own invention.

Every five to ten years, the Hercule Poirot Society, which maintains the museum, makes a new attempt to edit and prepare the memoirs for publication. The attempt has never lasted beyond six months. They are now being digitized in their entirety by a team of volunteers at the University of Leicester, with the vague hope that some kind of Wikipedia-esque crowdsourcing effort will ensue.

Arthur Hasting's memoir, The Years of Detection, is so slight as to be nearly nonexistent, but contains several good-natured anecdotes along with confusing and inaccurate summaries of the cases he wrote up for Fact Detective Magazine in the 1940s, or was it the 50s? Somehow when one thinks about Poirot, one's timelines get all muddled. Some fellows are like that, you know. Timeline-muddly. Comes of being out of one's own place, I suppose. Hastings knows a lot of fellows who felt that way about the war, and of course in a way, Poirot never came home from the war, so it all makes sense, when you think about it just enough and then stop immediately.

i. The last bad dream they had.

There is the dream in which someone has shaved off his moustache in his sleep and he sees it in the mirror right away on waking, and the dream in which his moustache is false and falls off in the middle of a brisk walk to the shops, or perhaps in some other public place. There is the dream where he shrugs off his jacket for some noble purpose, and the waistcoat underneath is filthy, and his hands and face are also filthy and have been for some time. There are the guns rolling impossibly down the high streets of Spa, which is also his parlor, and the rugs torn up to make trenches, the teacups trampled underfoot and everything broken, disheveled, disarranged. There is also the dream where his hat has been battered or stained but he has no other hat to wear.

j. How they're gonna shuffle off the mortal coil, if they haven't already.

Poirot actually dies in canon, in a book I haven't read yet and for which I am trying to avoid spoilers until I do, so I can't tell you anything specific about it. But can Poirot ever really die? Maybe, maybe not.
lost_spook
Aug. 4th, 2015 07:24 pm (UTC)
Ahaha, this is all feels pretty right. I love your answers (and possibly your answers for Fanny above even more ♥ ♥ SO TRUE).
evelyn_b
Aug. 4th, 2015 08:35 pm (UTC)
♥ ♥ Fanny ♥ ♥

I think I was more invested in her personal happiness than any other Austen character (tied with Anne Elliot), and that is saying a lot, because if there's one thing Jane Austen knows how to do, it's make you really invested in the happiness of made-up people.

(there are actually a large number of things that Jane Austen knows how to do)

And unfortunately I have just discovered that what I really want out of life is a story in which Poirot solves a mystery at an international Esperanto conference. Too much trouble to write myself, too specific to request for Yuletide, alas.
lost_spook
Aug. 5th, 2015 08:41 am (UTC)
XD

what I really want out of life is a story in which Poirot solves a mystery at an international Esperanto conference. Too much trouble to write myself, too specific to request for Yuletide, alas.

The world is too full of such fics, it's true.
( 15 comments — Leave a comment )

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