Holy shit, I’m currently in the process of receiving so much awesome art.
(#getting through this might take a while)
*looks at the amount of fanart and asks he’s received*
Not sure how you’d interpret this in light of the rest of the interlude, but I’d guess Hookwolf would place ‘His mundane subordinates using guns’ as entirely in line with his ‘power’ theme.
Heh, I suppose if you put the quotes right there, that’s true.
When I said that, though, I meant “power theme” as in the theme of his power, which I was thinking of as “bladed weapons”. :p
Kaiser was a manioulator, using an ideology of hate to control and motivate his troops. Purity has denied being a racist, though given her actions that’s up for debate, but in any case she’s more biased than motivated by it. Hookwolf though… Hookwolf is a true believer in the ideology: he’s lumping all aryans together because from his point of view they should all be sticking together. Just like the Nazis invaded nordic countries “to protect them”, to do otherwise would oppose their worldview.
Yeah… It’s good character writing, and the fact that it rubbed me the wrong way in such a personal way only serves to reinforce that.
One thing of note is that there were points (especially when Shatterbird questioned his motivations) where I questioned whether Hookwolf was actually a Nazi, even after that and the comments about Leah’s hair. The reason for that was that there was less of this sort of thing than one might expect, and in retrospect, that too is excellent writing. Most Nazis aren’t just going to be actively thinking shitty stuff constantly – it’s a part of their worldview, thoughts that are normalized to them, not something they have to keep reminding themselves of every two seconds.
Wildbow is skilled at writing shitty people as people, rather than caricatures, which is why the POV bias is so insidious and effective with characters like Hookwolf. This can cause the readers to find themselves involuntarily sympathizing with people who they intellectually know are shitty – or at least have shitty sides – which sets them thinking. Thinking about humanity, about flaws, backgrounds, how these worldviews and behaviors happen, etcetera.
It’s a good thing Interludes are becoming more common, because it lets Wildbow do things like this more often.
I love the “hey maybe Hookwolf could have considered being a teacher” comment, as far as I know that’s the first time anyone has said that. And In my opinion it kinda highlight the fact that hey, all these horrible people maybe if they had different circumstances and their heads hadn’t been filled with hate and evil then maybe they could have been alright human beings instead. Except maybe Kaiser. Fuck you Max.
I know, right? I wonder what happened to some of these characters’ counterparts – assuming that’s a thing in this multiverse – in Earth-Aleph.
Maybe Lung runs an Asian restaurant (I actually really like the idea of Lung enjoying cooking), Coil is running for mayor legally, Max is getting punched in the face on national TV, Amy is living happily with her biological father, and Colin… Colin doesn’t have a Canadian girlfriend.
I kinda suspect that if the chapter had been from someone else’s perspective, Hookwolf wouldn’t seem so competent.
Hmm, possibly. He did seem like he knew what he was doing, and his actions seemed fairly reasonable for the most part, but POV bias is a thing and it can be quite powerful with characters like him.
Shatterbird killing the Chosen is actually the second instance of the Nine killing someone onscreen. The Siberian poked a dude in the brain, remember?
“…actually, this is the first instance we have of one of the Fellowship members actually killing someone in these Interludes, other than them talking about having killed.” Siberian killed the guy that Bitch set her dogs on back in 11a. Or at least, we saw her sticking her fingers in his brain, presumably he didn’t survive that.
Oh yeah! Pretty silly that I should forget about that considering the way Shatterbird killed some of them directly reminding me of the discussion about what Siberian did at the time.
I guess I failed to count Siberian killing the guy because I didn’t immediately realize that was what she did when I read Interlude 11a, and had to have you guys point it out for me that it was lethal.
Siberian’s taken on the entire Triumvirate numerous times, as we learned in 10.06. Hookwolf probably knows enough about how she handles Alexandria to know she could hurt him.
Hm, yeah, makes sense.
I can’t tell if that smiley face means your joking or not when you called the artificial larynx a piece of tinker tech. Cause it’s really not.
An artificial larynx isn’t tinkertech; it’s a real-world piece of used for people who have had their normal larynx badly damaged, usually by throat cancer or major traumatic injury.
Artificial larynxes are not tinkertech, they’re a real thing. Listening to someone with one will give you a good read on Cricket’s voice, I think.
Oh, really? That’s awesome!
Honestly, I feel like that strengthens my point, even if it means this wasn’t really an example of it. If our mundane technology can already do things like this, imagine how helpful tinkertech accessibility devices can be for those who need them!
Yeah that’s an arabian peninsula slur. seen it more than enough times after 2001.
“sandn*****” is an ancient slur that I haven’t seen in a while that cracks me up everytime because it is just so silly and so exclusive to the internet. But yes, it is aimed mainly at a person of Middle Eastern or North African descent, muslims in general but I have seen it being used to people from India as well. You get the idea.
Well… at least it’s descriptive enough to intuit the meaning of at first sight, I guess. Not all slurs have that going for them.
Hookwolf, like all Nazis, is enough of an idiot that the only thing I’d probably take from his slur is “Shatterbird probably isn’t white”.
Eh, fair enough, though I’m not sure I’d call Hookwolf an idiot. He actually seems like a pretty smart guy underneath the brutish exterior, apart from his awful racial views.
(#censoring is mine #as it was in the chapter
#it takes a bit for me to censor something but i don’t want this word in full on my blog)
“dark-skinned woman versus a Nazi racist with a long list of homicides to account for” although she’s probably killed more people than him.
I suppose. Hookwolf has the longest list of homicides or suspected homicides Weld has seen for someone who’s not in the Birdcage, but Shatterbird is capable of killing just about everyone who wears glasses in a city, and then some, at once. At that point, are we even talking about “homicides” anymore, or does it fall under a different description, like “terrorist attacks”? I mean, that’s what they are, attacks that kill lots of civilians to put fear into people and announce the Slaughterhouse Nine’s presence.
Also, it’s possible Weld hadn’t looked at Shatterbird’s files yet in 9.1, though I’m sure he has by now.
Anyway, there was a deliberate bias in each part of that sentence, meant to demonstrate how the situation could be phrased in different ways to justify rooting for either one of them.
Yeah, just when you start to forget that the POV character is a violent racist murdering Nazi, he casually drips a vile slur and pulling for the mass murderer antagonist looks more appealing.
Though the reason the slur made me think about the idea that rooting for Shatterbird might be better wasn’t so much Hookwolf using the slur in itself, as what the slur revealed about Shatterbird. Suddenly, she was described as part of one of the demographics Hookwolf perpetrates hate crimes against, and it became possible that she was there not to recruit him, but to stop that. Though it quickly turned out she didn’t seem to care about it.
Shatterbird throwing around glass with gestures like she’s in fucking DBZ.
After the reveal that her range is capable of covering the entire city, or close enough to that that Hookwolf would describe it as such, I think we all know what her power level is over.
(#i’ve never watched dbz
#i’ve watched a couple of the very first episodes of original dragon ball
#i know some things about it though)
The second time Wildbow took down a chapter, it was an interlude in which we learned more information about Shatterbird. Wildbow has since said that although much of the present-day section is non-canon because it contradicted established characterization and contained poorly foreshadowed elements, the background information about Shatterbird is canon.
Sharks: I can if you want to, but I’m iffy on sharing that.
I’ll trust Sharks’ judgement and leave it be for now, but maybe I should read it sometime in the future, maybe between Worm and Ward? That seems like a good time to read various bonus things in general.
Pretty sure burnscar outright stated in Elle’s Interlude that Shatterbird recruited her
Huh, so she did [here]. I wonder if some part of my brain subconsciously remembered that when I came to that conclusion in Interlude 11e, or if I did genuinely realize that independently after having forgotten it.
Pretty sure you’ve said before that this isn’t spoilery: really glad that you’re through the worst arc 11 interlude now! Prepare for a streak of three really good ones!
(#and yeah i don’t really consider this spoilers because opinions are so wildly varied between people
#so someone telling me they like something doesn’t necessarily mean i will or vice versa
#or even that most people do)
“You’re out of my league I’m out of my mind Thinking I was born In the wrong time” [here] I was really hoping this was a Mr. Brightside parody.
Hehe, nope, sorry. Wrong song. :p
“a Roman AU in general sounds kinda neat” Have you read Jim Butcher’s Codex Alera? It’s what happened when someone challenged him to write a book that combines Ancient Rome and Pokemon.
I have not, but that sounds amazing. 😛
A glass cannon. She literally shoots glass. Wildbow loves playing with tropes.
Hehe, clearly 😛
In retrospect, maybe I should’ve seen this coming after the Girlfriend in Canada.
“A sword age, an axe age. A wind age, a wolf age.” Those exact words are taken from an english translation of the Prophecy of the Völva, specifically the part where she describes the state of humanity immediately before Ragnarok. In that poem they refer to the same age. Shatterbird is making a direct reference to the mythology Hookwolf named his group after.
“A sword age, an axe age. A wind age, a wolf age.“ These are in fact describing the same age – the run-up to Ragnarok – in a quote from passage 45 of the Voluspa or Poetic Edda. Wikisource has the Icelandic text, which I have the impression is closest to the original Old Norse: “skeggjöld, skálmöld / skildir ‘ru klofnir / vindöld, vargöld / áðr veröld steypisk”. (Yeah, Shatterbird swapped the positions of the axe and the sword.)
I think Shatterbird is referring the Fimbulwinter, the three years of uninterrupted winter preceding Ragnarok. I even think I saw it once separated in three winters, one of them being of wolves and the last one being of blades. If the other one is associated with wind her comment would make sense. Then again I last saw that years ago, so I might be completely wrong and remembering things incorrectly.
“Sword and axe make sense, but wind? Also, are these in order, or describing the same age? I can’t really tell.” I believe this is a famous quote from the Norse sagas, describing Ragnarok
I know a fair bit of Norse mythology, but I haven’t actually read all that much of the source material. That’s not really a good excuse, though, considering I recently tried to fix that and ended up reading specifically Völuspá (which, for the record, is only the first poem in the Poetic Edda, not an equivalent name for it).
I do suppose it may have been a different translation… Actually, let me look up the passage in the translation I read:
46. Hard is it in the world, great whoredom, an axe age, a sword age, shields shall be cloven, a wind age, a wolf age, ere the world sinks.
Ah, yeah, there it is. Neat!
“I wonder what happens if they both succeed. Do they duke it out over the open spot?” If they both succeed, there’s a possibility that they’ve opened up more spots.
I suppose that’s true.
If that were to happen, we’d have Bitch and Hookwolf trying to be on the same team. That ought to cause some sparks.
Don’t know if someone else has already mentioned this, but I’m pretty sure Wildbow mentioned in a Reddit post that Rollo actually was either a wolf or a coyote puppy, so it makes sense that Rachel’s power would work better on undomesticated species of dog. That’s what it was originally meant for.
It’s a pretty neat background detail.
Jormungandr is actually an alternate in-story name for Leviathan, like how the nurse in arc 8 said Hadhayosh instead of Behemoth.
Oh, really? I suppose that makes sense with how he’s a sea monster, and Jörmungandr is by all means an “end-bringer” in Norse mythology, alongside Fenrir. I wonder if Fenrir might similarly be used as a name for Behemoth?
Also, I suppose that means Kaiser can be Thor in the extended metaphor after all, except a less successful one considering Thor actually managed to slay Jörmungandr before keeling over himself.
…can you imagine if Arc 8 had ended with Kaiser killing Leviathan and then dying himself? That would be one hell of a base breaker, I think.
I wonder if there’s a Baldr somewhere in this. The closest I can think of is Purity, as Baldr was a god of light, but Purity isn’t invincible as far as I’ve gathered, and Baldr died long before Ragnarök.
And that’s all the asks! I was going to try to go through the fanart I received today as well, but I got nearly eighty images. I think I’m better off splitting that up between the next few chapters and moving on to today’s liveblogging session for now.