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FanFiction, Lord of the Rings FanFiction, and Lord of the Rings with Ciel Pierlot

Bonus Episode

Release Date: September 3, 2022

Your hosts are joined by Ciel Pierlot to talk about all things fandom. They discuss the joys of fanfiction, including Sansûkh by Determamfidd that Ciel attributes with getting her back into writing. They also bring up systemic issues with Fandoms and when things get “problematic.” They also spend a lot of time talking about Tolkien’s work, the works surrounding his work, and their adaptations far and wide. Are they excited for the new show? Short answer: kinda.

You can find Ciel at:

Thanks to the following musicians for the use of their songs:

- Amarià for the use of “Sérénade à Notre Dame de Paris”

- Josh Woodward for the use of “Electric Sunrise”

Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 4.0 License


Episode Transcript*

*this transcript is AI generated, please excuse the mess.

Lilly 00:04

Hello, and welcome to fiction fans, a podcast where we read books and fanfiction, too. I'm Lily.

Sara 00:11

And I'm Sara. And I am so pleased that we are welcoming back onto the podcast CL Pirlo to talk about fan fiction with us. Hello, everybody. Thank you for coming on.

Ciel 00:22

Thank you for having me back.

Lilly 00:24

So excited to hang out with you again and talk about all of our greatest pleasure fan fiction. Yes. But before we do, what's something great that happened lately?

Ciel 00:35

My parents had their five year wedding anniversary last weekend,

Sara 00:39

oh gratify their anniversary.

Ciel 00:42

I was a party and everything was great. That's awesome.

Sara 00:45

My good thing is also five years, I passed five years at my job. And they gave me a gift card and I was able to buy books. So yay,

Lilly 00:56

books are great. I gotta say, five years of marriage is more exciting than five years.

Sara 01:00

I mean, yeah. Yeah.

Lilly 01:03

Not that it's a competition. But I don't know.

Ciel 01:07

I mean, it depends on the job. Well, I get paid a lot

Lilly 01:10

and depends on the marriage, I guess, was like giving the

Sara 01:14

benefit of the doubt. I think in this case, probably the marriage is more exciting.

Lilly 01:21

My good thing has zero milestones involved. But I did recently get the Lord of the Rings, board game journeys of Middle Earth. And it's super fun. It actually feels like it was made by people who love Middle Earth, and not just people who slapped you know, the One Ring logo on the box to make money. So that's really nice. I don't know I had I, you know, Lord of the Rings, merchandise can be really hit or miss. This was a really, really great hit. And it's been a lot of fun. And I'm enjoying it immensely. So that's awesome.

Sara 01:56

We'll have to play it sometime when we are together.

Lilly 01:59

Yeah, it's actually like a campaign style. Oh, interesting. There's an app that keeps track of like whether you won or lost your previous mission, and then it actually changes the plotline of the overall story.

Ciel 02:12

It's very nice. Oh, interesting. Oh,

Lilly 02:14

wow. Shouldn't have brought that up as timely as it was. Now. I want to talk about Lord of the Rings. But first, what's everyone drinking tonight?

Ciel 02:21

My answer is I'm drinking nothing. Tragically.

Lilly 02:25

Not even water. The rare not even water.

Ciel 02:28

I know. All right.

Sara 02:33

I'm feeling a little under the weather. So I have a medicinal DRAM of whiskey and then I will be moving on to water.

Lilly 02:40

That's a great name, but I'm not sure that's how it works.

Sara 02:44

Medicinal drab. I'm pretty sure that is yeah, you know, the alcohol. Alcohol kills all the germs that

Lilly 02:49

you might be having. All right, all right. Yeah, it's

Ciel 02:53

totally medicinal.

Sara 02:54

Definitely medicinal.

Lilly 02:56

Okay. Silly me.

Ciel 02:58

Go up to any old timey doctor, and they'll confirm that it's medicinal.

Sara 03:02


Lilly 03:05

I guess I just didn't realize we had travelled into the 1800s.

Sara 03:08

You well, all of the, like the oldest people in the world. You know, you ask them how they're still live. And they say, Oh, I have this pack of cigarettes a day and you know, drink a bottle of whiskey.

Lilly 03:19

So are you also having a medicinal cigar this evening?

Sara 03:22

No. I am not doing that.

Lilly 03:27

Well, I am having a non medicinal glass of red wine. But we can all pretend I'm Gandalf while I'm drinking it. So it works if it's Oh, I'm gonna make so many dumb references in this episode. I'm sorry. Go for it.

Sara 03:44

Don't be sorry. No apologies needed. So rarely

Lilly 03:48

Am I in a crowd of a crowd three's a crowd where I can completely indulge in all of my dumb references and everyone will get them very exciting. Oh, I

Ciel 04:00

totally get that. That's how I feel with some friend groups. It's like Oh, finally people who understand my obscure mean jokes. Yes.

Lilly 04:10

We recently we my husband and I recently forced my parents to rewatch all of The Hobbit movies. So I'm like very fresh right now. oh nine. And has anyone read anything good lately other than Sandy Hook, The Hobbit slash Lord of the Rings fan fiction, which is the general center of conversation for this evening,

Sara 04:32

I was feeling in a nonfiction mood. So I went back to Tolkien's letters, which I started ages ago and then had to put on pause because of all of the podcast reading. So I went back to that there's one that I want to read out just for no particular reason other than I liked it. It's letter 302 May 2 1968. From a letter to Time Life International Limited your ideas of the natural Mine are different, since I never in any circumstances do work while being photographed or talk to or accompanied by anybody in the room. A photograph of me pretending to be at work would be entirely bogus.

Ciel 05:12

I like that

Sara 05:14

I like that. Yeah, I you know, I feel you talking

Ciel 05:18

very relatable, huh? Oh gosh. Honestly, the only thing I've been reading recently is I've been way, way way way too obsessed with Final Fantasy 14 So Final Fantasy 14 fanfiction. All of that counts.

Lilly 05:35

It's reading accounts. I have been reading unspeakable Hobbit fanfiction, and also the speakable Hobbit fanfiction. So we're just going to move right on.

Ciel 05:47

Oh, yeah. It's definitely always a mix of speakable and unspeakable via my ao three browsing history is between me and God. Yeah. Oh,

Lilly 05:58

I have two accounts. And then there's the secret secret account.

Ciel 06:06

I only have the one account and it's the one like people know my writing. As people know my writing. Nobody knows my real name and connection to it. But like my fan self has that account. But like, there's a lot of fanfiction. I won't like bookmark or save on my account. So I just have to remember the names of it in my head. And anytime I want to reread it I have to go searching for it because I'm like not bookmarking some of the stuff I like, because then other people can see my bookmarks.

Lilly 06:36

I remember back in back in the day before I had discovered a oh three. I don't know what it was founded. But I will assume it was around. I had actually put SF dotnet or For those not in the know. Like in my browser. Like I had a folder. Oh my god, that's amazing. Assessment bookmarks. Yeah, half of them were you do?

Ciel 07:02

Oh spectacular. For me. It was you know Yahshua and Naruto that will fanfiction dotnet also 2008 I could go live that was 103 was started 2008. So it

Lilly 07:15

was before it existed. So I don't have to feel bad. Yeah.

Ciel 07:19

I mean, to be fair, I was on fanfiction dotnet technically, when I oh three was around, but I didn't. I don't like to talk about.

Lilly 07:27

Is it weird that I'm more embarrassed about using than I am about reading fanfiction? Question it's a bad sentence. I'm not. It's not embarrassing, but it's like, you know what I mean? Like,

Sara 07:43

FF gotten that was all there was true for a long time.

Ciel 07:48

So I mean, well, that and like specific sites like fandom or even ship specific sites. Yeah. Like all the individual archives. Yeah.

Lilly 07:58

So when I never learned how to navigate Live Journal, like that was just beyond me.

Ciel 08:04

I was a bit too young for the Live Journal days.

Sara 08:07

I love my Live Journal and the Live Journal, fanfiction communities. There are some really good prints of tennis. Short stories on there. Oh, eclectic. Okay,

Lilly 08:17

so here's a can of worms that I'm going to open and then promptly kick faraway that no one has to answer the question. Is it weird that they're all technically middle schoolers moving on? Okay,

Ciel 08:30

I'm gonna say no, because I was in middle school when I discovered fanfiction so I'm good.

Sara 08:36

There you go. I mean, yes. I think when I started reading, Prince of tennis, I was in high school. I think I discovered it in high school. So yes, but I generally wasn't for Prince of tennis. I generally wasn't reading the like the super smiley stuff. So like, not weird.

Lilly 08:53

Nice save.

Sara 08:57

Mostly, Jen.

Ciel 08:58

I feel like I want to get into this can of worms because I feel like I've seen so much fandom drama and discourse about this type of stuff. But I'm also like, not I should leave the can of worms alone. I know better.

Lilly 09:09

I mean, I'm the one who opened it very specifically.

Sara 09:12

I think the act of writing fanfiction about characters who are in middle school is not inherently bad or weird.

Lilly 09:20

Also, they're not real people. And they're not

Ciel 09:23

acting well. Yeah, that's always been my opinion. Right? Like okay, I'm getting into the can of worms. I severely apologize. There's gonna be some like warm animal cruelty or something. All right.

Lilly 09:34

That's what this episode is now. Let's do it.

Ciel 09:38

But like so a lot of the discourse that you see is like, Oh my God, how dare people like this? You know, how they're adults like reading stuff about like teenagers or like the problematic stuff like, honestly, this is my opinion with all the problematic things and include literally anything. Yes, even that type of fanfiction tick They'll worst thing like my opinion is always is it tagged? Was any real people harmed in the making of this? If the answer is yes, it was tagged and no one was actually harmed then you're fine. Right? Whatever weird horrible stuff you want. That's the line.

Sara 10:15

So often I feel like the authors who are writing that stuff are very explicit in like the author's notes like yeah, this is this is weird. This isn't something you should do in real life. Or like this is this is fiction don't go out and take this as some kind of like you know, life guide

Ciel 10:31

God I read this fanfiction the other day where it was rated E for explicit and in the tags it was like this is dark this is not going to be a happy fan fiction and there was like a long list of things that were like you know, fucked up I want to say but not really fuck you know, it's like you know violent shit and like all that stuff and it was basically a fanfiction and we're one of the main characters was like a serial killer so of course it's gonna be like a dark fanfiction or whatever. And like three chapters after the reveal that this dude was a serial killer and like she was gonna be bad. Someone in the comments left this response that was like, How dare you write this? This could hurt some people to read and I'm like, Okay, if anybody gets past the like wall of tags saying that this is not going to be a sunshine and rainbows fanfiction gets three chapters past the point where it becomes clear this is a fanfiction about a serial killer that's on them man that's on them.

Lilly 11:29

Especially when the when the fanfiction that deals with these darker themes is so self aware. Yeah, I think it's worse when you read the fanfiction that's clearly written by someone very young. And there's nothing gross in it. Or, you know, a gross I'm, I'm gonna use live language you get what I mean. But it's a relationship that's clearly extremely imbalanced and unhealthy. But the writer doesn't even realize it. Isn't that worse?

Ciel 11:59

Twilight. Anyway.

Lilly 12:03

abusive relationship, like no.

Ciel 12:06

I totally get that. Like, I started in, you know, Yoshua and Naruto and like Naruto in particular, there was a lot of just like, horrible sexist shit. And everybody seemed, you know, everyone seemed like they were between the ages of like, 12 to 16 writing this really horrible sexist shit and just like kind of didn't get it at all. And I'm like, okay, I get if you're writing sexism into your fanfiction, for whatever reason, if you're self aware of that, like, it's fine, you know, because then you'll normally tag it and it reads like you're aware of it. But, you know, a lot of God Naruto was a huge defender. Probably because the creator of Naruto was a horrible sexist piece of shit. But like, yeah, that and like weird abusive relationships. Like if it's written by somebody who's not aware of it being abusive. They get like yeah, I don't know how I'm saying this. Words are complicated. You are right. I agree with you literally. TLDR what Lily said

Lilly 13:07

well, I also remember reading a lot of Yasser fanfiction where whoever the competitor was of the ship the relationship we're gonna use so much slang in this episode. Sorry, not sorry.

Ciel 13:22

Can have to include a glossary at the end.

Sara 13:26

In the show notes,

Lilly 13:27

whoever was the competitor of the main relationship written about in the fanfiction was just completely lambasted. Oh, yeah, it was always a sheep, as you mentioned, and she was always just the worst sluttiest attention hoariest terrible person How dare she also like the boy that the main character liked?

Ciel 13:50

Oh, yeah. Naruto fanfiction. Mine one of my favorite characters was soccer. But only soccer are written in fanfiction by people who did not ship Naruto and sauce gay. Because if it was fanfiction, where people sit Naruto and sauce gay, then no matter what version of you know, no matter if it was an AU what part in the story they were at Saqqara was this horrible, bitchy, nasty girl. She was she was a nasty woman. Like my favorite character Naruto is soccer I've written and fanfiction that does not ship Naruto and sauce gay. Yeah.

Sara 14:29

I feel like that's the problem. Beyond just like these two fandoms right like yes, the female love interest is always always just completely out of character and and horrible and bitchy in a way that they aren't in the original work. Well, the competitive

Lilly 14:46

love interest who often is female if the writer is two men. The cannon live interest. Oh, this was something I wanted to talk about. Entry Level fandom. Just The idea that there are those pieces of work? Well, that's a loaded phrase I just realized there are though. I mean, fandoms yes, that people just discover the concept of fanfiction through. And they're always a little bit novice, and probably pretty young. And so the works for that, like, main piece is there are different words and fandoms. I'm not just using the word fandom over and over again, there is right or the original work that it's based on,

Ciel 15:29

like the original piece of media. Yeah. And the entry

Lilly 15:33

level stuff tends to have a lot of young writers and new writers and not just writers, but participants in this world that tend to have a lot of similar pitfalls that have begun to recognize over time.

Ciel 15:51

Yes, the people participating in the in the fandoms. wank, but don't know the term fandom wank because they are newbies to fandom. Yes.

Lilly 16:00

I'm trying really hard to not call their work poorly done. Because that's not fair. They're new. That's literally the whole point. They're allowed to be new. Yeah. But I'm also allowed to dislike the tropes that they use too much.

Ciel 16:14

If there is, there is definitely a point to which you can tell if somebody is, oh, gosh, like I don't, I generally feel like you can tell if somebody's either very new to writing, or very young. And oftentimes, it's fine. But sometimes there is kind of that lack of self awareness where they sort of don't know, gosh, like, you know, when you read a lot, you know, what common tropes are, you know, what cliches are oftentimes I feel like, I see a lack of that sort of writing awareness and people who are newer to Phantom, and oftentimes that does manifest in shit, like, you know, bashing the female character that's interfering with, you know, the ship or something. Because, you know, if you're newer, maybe you just haven't seen the fact that that's a super overdone trope. And once you do see that it's a super overdone trope, because you just spend so much time reading, you're like, oh, maybe it's kind of a problem that everybody writes this. Yeah.

Lilly 17:15

Yeah, I also feel like I have sort of begun to avoid areas that I see as entry level, because it's too much work to sift through all of the novice work to find, well, well done fiction.

Sara 17:31

I feel like that's in many respects, that's a factor of having been in a fandom as long as like we've been in fandom. Because, you know, like, for example, when I was first getting into reading fanfiction, I ate the novice stuff up, you know, like, I loved it. Yeah, but as I've gotten older, and as I've been more entrenched in fanfiction, and fanfiction tropes, like your tastes do evolve and you get a little pickier about what you read and the quality of what you're reading. Oh, definitely like

Ciel 18:03

when I first got into reading fanfiction again back in middle school. My first fanfiction site was not fanfiction. dotnet or Live Journal. It was quiz Zilla?

Sara 18:12


Ciel 18:17

Like so obviously, I had no taste. Or you had x sorry for anybody to post it on Mozilla, I apologize. But ya know, I totally didn't really care whether somebody was experienced or inexperienced in writing and generally couldn't even tell back when I first started. It's sort of one of those things where the more time you spend in fandom, the more you can learn to identify that and it is just one of those cases of your preferences growing the more and more time you spend.

Lilly 18:45

I remember the first time I was reading it was you Yasha fanfiction.

Sara 18:49

A classic? Yes.

Lilly 18:51

And I had the thought of, but that's actually how that character is like in the show. Right? Baffled like wait, wait a second. Why are they doing this? Why are they making her so terrible?

Ciel 19:04

Now God I remember Okay, so this is definitely what I shipped in Edo. Yahshua was I shipped QAGOMA and so show Maru. Who didn't I gotta say main female character shipped with her cannon love interests. Hot older brother was seemingly a thing. I just really liked an anime fandom because, like in Naruto, soccer and Itachi that was my ship. But anyway, you know, yesterday, it was the showroom. Kygo may also

Lilly 19:33

both antagonists, which I feel like should not go unmentioned.

Ciel 19:37

antagonists are just it's an antagonist. But oftentimes, it's like slightly morally gray antagonists. Oh, yeah. Once there Yeah, yeah, I mean, honestly, that's that's kind of all my favorite characters is hot antagonists. You know enough moral grayness to Yeah, anyway, try to trash fill in

Lilly 19:58

my trash villain. Yeah, try feeling trapped feeling so I'm really into Final

Ciel 20:02

Fantasy 14 And my absolute favorite character for anybody who plays Final Fantasy 14 is m itself. And if you go into fandom, people are just like, Yeah, I love that Rat Man, like, yeah, that rat, man. And I'm like, Yeah, that's what I'm here for. I'm here for the interest characters. Oh God, what was my original point? I had a point. Oh, yeah. Yeah, and people would be horrible to kick you. Because she was always some like bitchy interloper who would like turn into Yosh his eye or whatever? And I'm just like, No, she's a complicated character. But she's not just some, like, horrible person. And it just seemed like people were like, oh, man, I have the opportunity to make a female character a horrible bit. I'm going to take that opportunity. Because who cares about writing complex characters are, you know, interesting characters when you could just make a woman a bit. So much easier. I never even liked Kikyo like I would watch you know, Yash and I'd be like, yeah, she's not even anywhere on my list of favorite characters. But after reading so much fanfiction that was just horrible to her. I'm like, kind of protective of her almost. I'm like, Yeah, I don't like her. But fuck everybody who hates her because

Sara 21:20

she deserves better.

Lilly 21:22

That was exactly the character I was talking about. Yeah. Poor Kiki.

Ciel 21:26

Kiki, oh, she doesn't better.

Lilly 21:30

And so if we like our morally gray, and especially fanfiction, exploring relationships with morally gray characters isn't Bilbo Thorin just the perfect opportunity?

Ciel 21:42

It was so is oh my god, I guess?

Sara 21:46

I don't know. I don't think Thorin counts as enough of a villain.

Ciel 21:50

He's not. But he's definitely a little morally gray, morally gray, I'll grant you. But like, he's one of those characters where He's morally gray and that he very clearly has his own moral code that mostly lines up with, you know, what the reader would think of as like good guy actions. So like all his mistakes that he makes, I mean, obviously he's influenced by like gold sickness and debatably corruption of the brain of power if you want to get into whether or not that's a generational corruption or not. Anyway, that's a whole nother debate. But like, all his all his mistakes, all his bits that are like more morally gray are so clearly a result of like, all the stuff that makes him a great person, like his devotion to his people. Like, that's his failing, right? Which is, I guess, morally gray, but also just Oh god, it's good writing. That's what it is good writing.

Lilly 22:47

This just didn't newsflash. Tolkien is a good writer.

Ciel 22:51

No, right. Shocking. It's almost like his works are popular, which I know is weird.

Lilly 22:56

Concept. I'm still angsty because I know a teacher in high school who said all of his characters were black and white. And I was like,

Ciel 23:05

that English teacher needs to be fired because they don't know how to read books. I know this is my opinion, but I'm correct. Objectively speaking.

Sara 23:13

Yeah, agreed. I just

Lilly 23:14

remember going, like, obviously, not enough guts to actually argue with the teacher. But just like Dahlem. What. So we are ostensibly talking about Sandy Hook today, which we did read. I remember, I started talking about entry level fandom, because I have always avoided Legolas Gimli pairings. Because the first couple of ones that I found were so painfully entry level that it scared me away from the whole pairing entirely.

Ciel 23:52

I mean, it's a pretty popular pairing. So there's definitely bound to be some bad stuff in there or stuff that you personally don't like. Again, I hesitate to label anything is bad. Yeah,

Lilly 24:03

I mean, novice writers who are perhaps not as skilled, their writing is not bad, but I perhaps did not have the empathy to read it at that moment. I feel that is that enough sentences to say bad without saying bad? Oh, no.

Ciel 24:19

I actually didn't read Somsak for the longest time I went into Lord of the Rings fandom. So fun fact for any anyone listening to this I hope someone's listening to this Hi listeners. Thank you for staying through all our rambling if you go to a oh three and you go to the Lord of the Rings fandom and you just search by kudos the number one most kudos fanfic is Somsak by like a lot. So I went in to the Lord of the Rings fandom after rewatching the movies like oh, wait Legolas and Gimli are super in love with each other. I went into the fandom and something about I don't know if it was a premise, or just the fact that it was super popular. or I was like, I'm not gonna read that it just seems like it's too popular to be good the fact

Lilly 25:04

that it's almost 600,000 words long.

Ciel 25:08

See, that was pretty that's actually I'm not sure whether or not that was

Sara 25:13

dry I'm just saying like a good meaty fanfiction that will last me more than like a day.

Ciel 25:20

I feel like I just can't based on that, given that my main fanfic that I wrote was 1.4 million words. I feel like I have no leg to stand on here. And if I even try to judge what past me might have been thinking, it's just like it. I have I have no stepstool here, I know where to stand.

Lilly 25:40

I will be the odd man out and say that I am a trash short fanfiction reader. And I would also like listeners to know that This fanfiction is almost to the word as long as the entire Lord of the Rings plus the hobbit

Ciel 25:56

series, and it is worth every word.

Lilly 25:59

It's good that I my voice went up at the end there. It's not token. It's good. I have opinions. I enjoyed every minute of it. I'll save that for later.

Ciel 26:11

Oh, I mean, it's definitely one of those things where I don't know if any fanfiction can recreate the same type of like cadence and style as a writer like Tolkien just because Tolkien was, gosh, all writers are a product of the time they write in. And writing styles have simply changed since then. And I think honestly, if somebody tried to write a fanfiction, in the same, you know, style as Tolkien it probably just wouldn't sound right. I agree. I feel like that would also be really miserable to write. Oh, yeah, absolutely. That'd be horrible. But it would not be fun. For anyone. The author doesn't

Lilly 26:46

try to mimic his style. But I noticed while I was reading it that quite a bit or so I read about half of it as well. And I'm like chapter 2627 out of 51. And a lot of the contents of this fanfiction are scenes from Lord of the Rings, but just sort of from a from a different perspective, with a little bit of extra stuff thrown in. I definitely found myself thinking I just read this. I read Lord of the Rings recently. And I don't think this fanfiction was written for me. One thing I think it does really really well is it blended the movie world with the book world almost seamlessly. Like the the Canon choices that it makes between those two works is flawless. It's so good. And I could see someone who's maybe only seeing the movies, reading this fanfiction, and then maybe being interested in reading the books for the first time or getting some lore that they didn't have to begin with.

Ciel 27:47

Oh, yeah, I mean, I read the books and God I even read The Silmarillion which unless you really liked Bible study, don't read this Overland. But like reading this fanfiction, I definitely found myself getting more and more drawn into parts of you know, Tolkiens canon lore that I just never cared about or even really noticed all that much reading the books.

Lilly 28:13

I wish that there was a version that I could read that was just the new parts. I could skip rereading all the Lord of the Rings stuff.

Ciel 28:22

It gets more hawkish, I don't want to say disconnected from the Canon stuff as it goes on. Because more and more scenes start being from other characters points of view, you get more and more of the dead door peanut gallery which I love. I think that's the one of the official tags is the dead door peanut gallery myself just

Lilly 28:43

reading to those parts. And I was like, Okay, I know this. I know this. I know this and dead work. Alright, I'll read this part.

Ciel 28:50

They're really good. You know, it does get less connected or not less connected to the movie canon, but it deviates more and more from the movie canon. You get a lot more of what are the doors up to during the events of the book, you get some stuff with Gilad real and oh my God, what's it called the war under the trees which was basically a war of attrition in Mirkwood and Lorien. I mean, you actually get like a loss and GIMP Lee's relationship becoming like a romance which you don't get in the movies and so that's obviously all new and you get more Bilbo and Thorin and obviously that is cannot be canon because Thorin is can authentically dead. He's dead in this fanfiction. Too many characters in this fanfiction start dead and stay dead and yet also interact with the main cast. It's difficult to explain.

Lilly 29:37

Oh, did I forget to give a spoiler warning again?

Sara 29:40

Yes, I'll let all

Ciel 29:41

boiler warnings it's fine fair. To be fair. Thorin is dead is where the first chapters right I'm in Florida. Hey, Thor died. Oh yeah, Lord of the Rings spoilers. Sorry if anybody hasn't heard of Lord of the Rings in the year of our Lord 2022

Lilly 30:00

Haven't You're welcome? No, that's actually something like, I think I mentioned Legolas. And Gimli is not a pairing that I have ever been particularly interested in. And this fanfic was the first time that I ever actually found myself invested in their relationship. And I think part of it is because it's not a very novice writer trying to do enemies to lovers in 2000 words, right? Like this author is taking the time to actually build and uses a lot of the Canon arc. And it's only now after Helm's Deep, that we're actually starting to get romantic with it. And so it feels so much more natural.

Ciel 30:42

Wait, have you wait, okay, so you're after Helm's Deep. Oh my god. Right? What happened in Helm's Deep?

Lilly 30:47

That's when Legolas realized she's in love. Yeah, I remember that bit

Ciel 30:51

and Eric Gordon's like, oh my god, I can't believe you're finally realizing this. Now. I've been third wheeling for months for Eric Ward, or Soren throws a very big tantrum over it. Oh, yeah. He does not have a good time about that one. Even though like half his family has figured

Sara 31:09

it out. But I'm pretty sure he's the last person to figure it out. Yeah.

Ciel 31:13

Oh, he definitely is. Yeah, I think I think of her rereading it I noticed every single time somebody else in his family picked up on Legolas and Gimli falling for each other and Thorens just like what do you Why are you acting weird? What are you talking about? I don't get it and they're just like, you'll figure it out later.

Lilly 31:30

I don't think he's the last one because I think Gimli doesn't know yet. Unless he knows and we just don't We don't know well,

Sara 31:37

okay, the last the last of the dead dwarf peanut gallery.

Lilly 31:42

Just give me no and he just hasn't said it. That's fair.

Ciel 31:44

There's some drama there.

Sara 31:46

That's something that I really enjoyed was picking up the like hints that other members of the family were, you know, figuring out what was going on and thorough and just being completely oblivious. Oh, yeah.

Ciel 31:58

I love the dead fourth peanut gallery. I love the members of his family so much. Honestly, it's so weird because I'll read this fanfiction and like one of my favorite characters actually. Not part of the dead door peanut gallery. And alive dwarf is DESE who never gets any screen time in the books or movies but I love her so much. She breaks my heart

Lilly 32:20

and she's been through hell yeah.

Ciel 32:22

Yes. I love her. I guess gets worse.

Lilly 32:27

How could it not? We're only at Helm's Deep.

Ciel 32:31

You've all read the Lord of the Rings books right? Yes. So you know Dane dies Yep. So we do we do see that in the fanfiction and definitely does not make me cry a lot. Oh,

Lilly 32:43

I feel like so at no point in this fanfiction have I actually burst into sobs but I can't read like I have a bad habit of just like pulling my phone out and reading fanfiction in literally any social situation that I'm not immediately engaged in. But I can't do that with this and you were valid. I can't do that with this because it just has me like at a low level Misty eyes constantly. I feel that the little tear like not crying just a little cry II

Ciel 33:15

know I think it's oh my gosh, I want to say Chapter 34 Chapter 36 I don't remember.

Sara 33:20

I'm impressed. Remember that much.

Ciel 33:23

Let's not talk about how many times I've read fanfiction. Many. But I've been you know, I've been reading it and I've been kind of a little like, you know, a little teary, a little misty eyed and be like, Oh my god, this is so good. And I was like a angsty teenager. No hate to angsty teenagers. I'm sorry. I know what it's like, it sucks. Your angst is valid and it gets better. But I was like a teenager who hadn't cried in so long because I was like cold hearted, jaded to the world. I read the chapter where Dane dies, and that scene just made me like start sobbing. And I was like, oh my god, I'm feeling emotions. Way too many emotions. I can't handle this. And sure enough years later it still makes me cry.

Lilly 34:02

As it should.

Sara 34:03

I mean, like that's as that's the point of like good medias to engender these emotions in you so

Lilly 34:09

I thought you were gonna say make you cry. Well,

Sara 34:11

yes make you cry. makes you cry. Got no I can. I can attest to that all the best meet you makes you cry at the drop of a hat. So it doesn't have to be good media to make me cry. Like give me like a pet commercial. I'm full on sobbing

Ciel 34:27

that's fair.

Lilly 34:28

That's low hanging fruit. Everyone cries at those

Ciel 34:32

No, I was I so I've never cried for a video game before. But again, I've been playing waiting like Final Fantasy 14 And the last three hours of the story. I just I was in tears the whole time for like three hours straight just like non stop sobbing. Yeah, that that media definitely you up.

Lilly 34:54

So I will give just a one sentence premise of Sansa look we're in the wharf afterlife and they are all watching Lord of the Rings happen. There you go, boom. oversimplification,

Ciel 35:07

but it's clear as hell. Yes.

Lilly 35:09

So there's some really interesting things that the author does with the concept of this Dwarven afterlife. Uh, one of which that I love maybe the most is that the different generations of Thorens family are more or less the age they were when they died, which means there are people who are much much older than their parents. Like, I mean Thorin I think is older than his grandparents even in the afterlife just because he managed to make it long.

Ciel 35:38

I think so. I think it's so if I remember correctly, I think it's not. I don't think it's your you stay the age you were when you died. I think it's Gosh, what is my hall say? The age at which you were your best self? Right?

Lilly 35:51

But for people like Thorens little brother who died when he was an adolescent? Yes.

Ciel 35:56

I mean, poor Ferreira and I love him so much. He's such a baby.

Lilly 36:01

He's what the equivalent of 17 forever. Yeah, pretty much versus his nephews who are like, I mean, still young, but I would say maybe mid 20s. Yeah. Translated right. leet to regular human age, because I don't expect everyone listening

Ciel 36:19

are in their 70s.

Lilly 36:23

I don't know. There are other dwarf 20s. Yes. But that's just such an interesting dynamic that I really appreciated the author considering and just brings such a cool underlayer to all of that. All of those relationships and all of the storyline happening there. Like, what would it

Ciel 36:45

be like? Yeah, like the little world building details of how would this afterlife work? It's just all so good.

Sara 36:52

It feels very thought out. Like you can tell that the author put a lot of thought into the concept that they're building on.

Ciel 37:00

which I liked. Well, because I mean, I, I think that the concept is canon. Yeah.

Sara 37:05

But like, how does that work? You know, like, the author has thought about these things. Yeah.

Lilly 37:10

Tolkien is like, I don't know, they, they die. And then they come back for the song later, because he's all about songs. That's about as much thought as he ever put into the dwarves.

Ciel 37:20

Yeah. And also because Tolkien kinda let dwarves fall to the wayside. He forgot about the dwarves a lie. Yeah. He wrote The Hobbit. And he was like, oh, dwarves are cool. And then he was like, oh, Nah, man. I'm all about the elves. And he stayed that way forever.

Lilly 37:34

Yeah. He, I think he acknowledged that he was a little uneven in his writing.

Ciel 37:40

Yeah. No, he was self aware about it. But I mean, one of the things that I found really interesting, after the Hobbit movies in particular came out the number of people in fandom who are like, yeah, dwarfs kind of aren't given any world building and not even much in the movies. And like a whole fan in dwarf culture has kind of been built organically from the bits and pieces we get in the movies and the books. And Sonic is definitely kind of one of the things I don't want to say at the center of it. Because, you know, that kind of fan and is so big and sprawling, and it's hard to determine what is the start, what's the center, like, all that kind of stuff, but definitely is a large part of it. And there's also there's a few other fanfictions that I don't remember the names of off the top of my head that are similar, like dwarf culture focused. I want to say something was written by Scarlet Jedi that was good.

Lilly 38:38

There are also entire phantoms around orcs and like, what if the orcs had one and what does that look like? And hey, turns out they're people. They're not just monsters. bred for war, as the movie reminds us so many times.

Ciel 38:54

Yeah. Yeah, yeah.

Lilly 38:58

I'm pretty sure Tolkien is explicitly apologized for the way he dealt with orcs like verbatim like, yeah, fucked up. I think he said those exact words.

Ciel 39:09

Gosh, I remember him saying something about the way the orcs were something. But you know, you see so many people who are just like okay, no, I was totally right. Sorry, I did just quickly go to am three to my subscription page. I was totally right. One of the other main dwarf fix that is really really good is comes around again by Scarlet Jedi. And that's another one that's kind of at the center of like, cool dwarf cannon. Anyway, yeah, sorry. I had just really quickly looked that up because otherwise it's gonna bother me forever.

Lilly 39:42

Did you know that if you type comes around again and Google EO three auto auto fills? Either that or Google knows me.

Ciel 39:52

Really? Yeah, honestly,

Sara 39:56

Google's a little terrifying. Know if I do it, so This comes around again by Scarlet Jedi.

Lilly 40:02

Okay, mine was comes around again a oh three which did bring me to the correct fanfiction. Hey, this is not actually a question. But something I noticed that is definitely a fan and thing is that Dory is the vision of Dwarven beauty.

Ciel 40:21

Yeah, that was such a fan and thing and honestly, I love it

Lilly 40:24

every single fan fiction and I'm always so curious, like, who was the first person who was like, I'm gonna make this a thing?

Ciel 40:32

I don't know, I think it's because like, Okay, this is I wasn't here for this part of fandom when it was when this was come up with but I think there's a line in the book in The Hobbit book where it's mentioned that Dory is the strongest of the group. And so I think we're like, Oh, if you know, strength is like a really sexy thing and dwarfs then, like, Dory being the strongest would make him really attractive to people. I mean, it makes sense, which I vibe with. Yeah.

Lilly 41:01

Also feels a little bit like teenage rebellion, because the Dory in the movie is not like, typically conventionally attractive by Hollywood standards. And so it does feel a little bit like fandom going Fuck you guys.

Ciel 41:17

Oh, definitely. Definitely, no, that's one of the things that I do really love about The Hobbit fandom. In particular, like the dwarfs, corner of the Lord of the Rings fandom is a lot of rebellion against like Hollywood beauty standards, so much fan art of these like absolutely gorgeous dwarf women with their like incredible beards and like thick eyebrows, and that kind of stuff. And by the way, that leads me to a thing I'm super mad about is if you have seen all the like teaser images for the Amazon TV show, they introduce a dwarf lady and she does not have a beard and honestly, shame on Amazon. They should all be fired just for that same

Sara 41:54

on Amazon.

Ciel 41:55

I know. Right?

Lilly 41:56

Are you telling me that a Amazon adaptation of Lord of the Rings isn't going to be like a thoughtful ban re creation of the story? Yeah,

Ciel 42:06

you know, see elves are ageless. So they decided that Cate Blanchett was just too old to play gladiatorial. So, clearly, Amazon knows exactly what they're doing. I will die mad about that.

Lilly 42:19

Her scenes are the best in The Hobbit movies.

Ciel 42:22

She's so good. Like, who looks who looks at Cate Blanchett. And is like, yeah, I don't know. She's just not she's not pretty enough to play gladiatorial anymore, because she's a little bit older now. Like monsters, horrible people, terrible executives. No hate to the actress that they cast as younger gladiatorial in the Amazon TV show. I don't want to like, you know, be like, Oh, I hate that actress or whatever. Because obviously it's not her fault. That was not a decision she had any part in making. But whoever decided that they would not bring Cate Blanchett back was a coward.

Lilly 42:56

Agreed. 100% agreed. I do love me some gladiatorial. Yeah, that was a tangent. Sorry. No, I'm just now thinking of Gladwell. And I can't bring my brain back to what we were talking about.

Ciel 43:10

She's so pretty. I remember the first time I watched Lord of the Rings, The the movies. I was, I don't know if I was I think I might have been in middle school, possibly Elementary School. I don't remember. Don't quote me on anything here. I remember I had such a crush on collateral. One of my friends was like, oh my god, Aragorn is so dreamy. And I was like, Yeah, but he's covered in a layer of grime and gladiatorial looks like flawless at all times. Why? Why would you have eyes for anybody other than glad real in this? She's incredible. And I stand by that statement, even though now I do appreciate Aragorn and his slightly grimy attractiveness. I still stand by Galadriel is the most beautiful, hottest, sexiest

Lilly 43:53

character. All of those things are 100% True. Thank you. Thank you. I feel like Aragorn and Geralt from The Witcher are my two grimy, grimy hero boys.

Ciel 44:05

I saw this great thing that was like the reason Geralt appeals to so many people is because he's in the center of the Venn diagram of people who had a crush on laid off and it's true. If that

Sara 44:19

is accurate.

Lilly 44:21

I just remember when I was going through my Aragorn phase, and then they get to Return of the King and they gave him a shower and I'm always like, No, why would you do this?

Ciel 44:31

He looks so terrible at the end when they clean him up. I mean, fortunately it's only for like one scene but still they ruined him

Sara 44:38

and just should be grimy.

Ciel 44:42

They made his beard look not scruffy too, they made his beard look like well taken care of. And that was the greatest defense to me. It wasn't necessarily that they like washed his hair because like okay, whatever. But whatever they did to his beard, I just know

Lilly 44:59

because We have not yet had a movie that is just 100% Cate Blanchett as collateral the entire time. I have been forced to look at the other characters on the screen. And I think Thorin Oakenshield was the first character with graying hair graying, not gray that I was like, Oh, I get it

Ciel 45:24

taught this, there's something about characters that have like, just a bit of salt and pepper somewhere. That can be very, very nice and Thorin definitely, yeah, yeah,

Lilly 45:36

intellectually. I had always known that. But I think I was like, in college when the Hobbit movies came out. And so I was finally old enough to be like, that's actually a real person and not just an adult. 5000 years away from me.

Ciel 45:48

Ya know, it's weird. It's like when when I was a kid, there were definitely characters and you know, movies and stuff where I don't know if it was a factors or what hair and makeup did to the actors were they looked so pretty, that they almost looked like plastic. And so I never really had a thing for them. Like, you know, I had a crush on Galadriel because she's beautiful and flawless. But she doesn't look like she's flawless.

Lilly 46:09

But she's also terrifying.

Ciel 46:12

Yeah, he's terrifying. Like, the scene where Frodo officers the ring and like, Stefan, but like, you know, as a kid, I was like, Oh my God, she's so pretty, because she looks like a real person. She looks ethereal, but she doesn't look fake. And so I think characters you know, who have like that kind of salt and pepper. It makes them look real. It makes them move away from like a more plasticky sterilized type of attractiveness that you see in a lot of Hollywood movies. Agreed.

Lilly 46:43

And then you get Thorin. And, oh, I should probably know his name. I do. It's on the tip of my tongue and it's not a stinkbug Armitage,

Sara 46:53

yeah, Richard Armitage.

Ciel 46:54

Oh, Richard Armitage. Yeah, Richard Armitage

Lilly 46:56

and Martin Freeman, do a great job of ruining everything. I feel like the books are not like they definitely have gray area dialogue with each other. But their chemistry is not nearly as unavoidable as it is in the movies.

Ciel 47:17

Yeah, in the movies. It's it's definitely front and center.

Lilly 47:21

They were conspiring.

Ciel 47:24

Well, I mean, I think part of it also is that in the books, oh, gosh, this is what I'm gonna say I kind of don't like this about the movies I liked at the movies gave more focus to Thorin because in the book, he is kind of one of many dwarves and in the movie, he is definitely more of a central character. I don't like that they started kind of completely ignoring the rest of the dwarves in favor of Thorin. And then Kilis romance with TARIO, which I'm kind of annoyed that they added because it felt kind of out of nowhere. Also, I feel so bad for Evangelium Lily, she was offered the role as TARIO. And she was like, cool, just don't put me in a love triangle. And they were like, Oh, we're gonna put you in a love triangle specifically to screw you over.

Lilly 48:00

I will defend until the day I die, that it's not a love triangle, because Lego is never final. I don't think it is just like kool aid your new boyfriend? That's not a love triangle.

Ciel 48:11

No, I don't, I don't, I don't think of it necessarily as a love triangle. I think the thing that annoys me is that it's very clear that they were trying to portray a love triangle. Like, you can see that they were like, Oh, we're going to do love triangle bait here. Honestly, my personal headcanon Is that like the loss is just really afraid, because Tamriel is his only friend. And he's really afraid that if he starts hanging out with Kelly, she's going to make another friend and she's not going to like him as her best friend as much anymore. Had canon accepted. Yeah,

Lilly 48:38

I mean, she never actually says he likes her. It's just Thranduil who's like, yeah, I have a crush on you.

Ciel 48:45

I don't really know what the movie, you know, what the director or the writer whoever was thinking when they came up with that, but it's definitely something that I kind of had candidate my way around. But it is kind of annoying that we got a lot of focus taken away from the rest of the dwarves in the second and particularly the third movie.

Lilly 49:02

Yeah, I, I mean, I agree. It's just not, I don't think it's a format where they would have been able to give all of the dwarves something going on? Well, I

Ciel 49:11

think they could have because they definitely had more of a good vibe in the first movie. In the first movie, it feels like Thorin is clearly a main character, but you get a lot more of the other dwarves as well. And then in the second and third movie, it just feels like they kind of forced them into the background.

Sara 49:27

Yeah, their personalities feel a lot flatter in the second and third movies than they do in the first which I think that they could have gotten around if they weren't so busy focusing on these other relationships that they wanted to bring in.

Ciel 49:42

No I saw an interview for saw or read. I don't remember an interview given by one of the actors who plays God. I don't remember which of the dwarves they played but they play one of the unfortunately relegated to the background dwarves and they were talking about how in the first movie, the actors were really given kind of free rein to think of, you know what their characters personalities might be like, you know, what their kind of group dynamics would be like and then allowed to show that on screen and you know, add and stuff in the background and that kind of thing. And then apparently, according to this actor in the later two movies, that was all just kind of gutted, like they were kind of told like not, you don't get to have screen time, you don't really get to add in anything, you know, the focus is on Thorin. And all this new light, not a love triangle, but all that new stuff. And I think that was kind of a shitty decision, because the group dynamics you see in the first movie are amazing. And they add so much color to it.

Lilly 50:36

I agree completely. I'm not sure that's that different from the book, though. I feel like in the book, there were like, two of them got yellow cloaks, three of them got blue clothes. All right, let's go.

Ciel 50:49

It's weird, because it's not like you get a lot more in the books. But in the books, it's a lot more evenly distributed. Nothing, if that makes sense. Like it feels like the movies kind of decided to do weird favoritism. And in the books, it was just kind of like a lot of people were kind of flat. Just because that was how the book was. Yeah,

Lilly 51:05

I mean, it's a kids book. It's not nearly as complex as Lord of the Rings. It is a kid's book. Yeah. And that's okay. It's okay to have books for written for other age groups.

Sara 51:13

Well, that's why we have fanfiction to you know, broad Exactly. broaden those characters.

Ciel 51:19

This is what fanfiction was made for exactly.

Lilly 51:22

When stories give us these just huge hanging, like, what ifs? How can you not just sort of start to fill in those blanks?

Ciel 51:31

I know, you got to do all the fix it fanfiction.

Lilly 51:37

Did we ask we've kind of covered how we got into fanfiction, I lost my note we have

Sara 51:41

but and we've talked a little bit CL about how you avoided sound suck. Because it was too popular is too powerful. It was

Ciel 51:50

Yeah, I had bad experiences again, because I came from anime fandoms where the really popular stuff was kind of the shittiest. But that was oftentimes where you'd see a lot of the like, female character bashing was in like the really popular stuff. So it kind of avoided sunset because it was pretty long. And it was kind of too popular in my head because, you know, I I'd had that bad experience in past fandoms and there were a lot more relationships in it besides just Gimli and Legolas. And at the time, I was like, Oh, I'm kind of specifically looking for Gimli and Legolas fanfiction. So you know, I'll go to that beautiful, beautiful realm of 5000 to 20,000 word one shots, which is just a sweet spot of fanfiction. So like I went through basically all of a oh three. And I was like, Oh no, I really want something Meteor than this. Like, I want that long, thick. And so by the time I'd gone back to the start of the kudos list again, and saw this really long fanfiction. I was like, alright, I'll give it a try. I'll see if there's anything here. Or if it's like my other experiences where the popular stuff is bad. And nope, it was so good. I became so obsessed with it so fast. It threw me down into the fanfiction train like I had not been before I read it. And then like four months later, or something by the time I'd like finished it and digested it and become way too obsessed with it, and then done my reread of it. I ended up writing again, and I hadn't written for a really long time. But there's something about really good media that inspires you to create. I mean, I think that's a summary of all fandom. Basically, in a way. You dedicated

Lilly 53:29

your novel bluebird to Sandy Hook, if I remember correctly, I did to the to the writer. Yeah. Was that because of that inspiration? Yeah, it was

Ciel 53:39

because that I wrote some fanfiction in middle school and for high school, but I kind of just stopped writing after I graduated high school. And Sonic was the thing that got me back into writing and specifically got me into writing in a way where I was actively trying to write something I was happy with and write in a wave where I was improving my own skill. Because previously, you know, I'd written some fanfiction, but it was always just kind of like, I wasn't really thinking about how to write well, and how to produce good work. And so after reading Sonic and starting to write for a completely different fandom, it wasn't Lord of the Rings. I was definitely a focus in my head on thinking about how to be a good writer. And then I just never stopped writing and eventually got a book published

Sara 54:23

pay as one does.


I know right?

Lilly 54:28

Before we started recording, you mentioned the sort of not fraught necessarily, but in my mind, the great pitfall of reading long fanfiction, especially ones that have not been finished yet. I know. Could you tell that story for the listeners?

Ciel 54:45

I personally read? I will read unfinished fanfiction. I will read unfinished, long thick

Sara 54:51

I will tell you and me both there.

Ciel 54:54

Oh God. There's this one fanfiction. I'm reading right now. It's so good. It's not even perfect. really long I think so far, it's only about 30,000 words. But I started reading it when it was only, I think three chapters, and now it's 10 or 11, I want to say, and it updates relatively frequently. And every time I get that ao three email, it's like a burst of serotonin. It's like, better than doing drugs. And so for me, that's one of the things I read unfinished fanfiction for I read it, I subscribe to it. And then when I get those 803 emails, it's just like, who needs I have a three your favorite fic is updated emails, like I don't need anything

Sara 55:35

else. On the other hand, it's really tragic when there's a fic. That is excellent. was updating on a regular basis, and then just goes dark for, you know, with with no explanation, and you don't hear from them ever again.

Ciel 55:50

Yeah, that definitely happened. Yeah, I think for me part of it, I wrote a super long fanfiction, and it spanned basically, about four years, but you know, I would not have finished it if I didn't have people reading and replying to every chapter. And so I think knowing what kind of motivation that can give a writer, you know, as somebody who writes long, thick and doesn't post all of it at once. I know that if everybody like everybody in fandom, only ever read stuff that was completed, very few things would get completed. Because there's an extent to it's in fandom, you really rely upon that chapter by chapter feedback in a way you don't publish writing. Yeah, and I

Sara 56:32

mean, like, don't get me wrong. I love unfinished work. I read it very happily. I mean, sadly, when I get to the end of it, but I've definitely felt that

Ciel 56:40

tragedy of stuff that I know is never gonna get completed, but I don't know it's worth it. Because even if, you know, it's a it's a tragedy that's never gonna get finished. You still got something good out of it. Yeah,

Sara 56:50

I mean, I do. Like I do think it's worth it. It's just sometimes they'll go back to these, these fix that were being updated on a regular basis when I first started reading them, and like got to a certain point and that had been dropped for whatever reason, maybe I'll never know, maybe they'll get picked up again. Maybe they won't, but like, I'll go back to them sometimes because there was something in them that I really enjoyed and I want to reread what there is and then each time I do that I regret that you know, I don't know what happens next that I may or may not ever know what happens next.

Ciel 57:21

That's what you're imagining for right mental fanfiction of fanfiction.

Sara 57:27

I would rather have the chapter saying no, I know

Lilly 57:30

what you mean. But that does bring up the idea of fanfiction based on other fanfiction which I think is a delicious rabbit hole.

Ciel 57:38

There is Sonic fanfiction, there is fanfiction for Sonic. I have read some of it. It's very good. You will get fanfic of fanfic like Sonic is filled with fan art because people have done so much fan art for this fanfiction. I've done fan art for it. That was

Lilly 57:55

something I thought was really cool about Sansa. We mentioned how this was one of the fanfictions that really helped sort of create this fandom version of Dwarven culture. And at the beginning of each chapter, I think it's each chapter. The author gives like a little bio for one of the original female Dwarven characters.

Ciel 58:16