All Movies Are Christmas Movies (Apparently) *sigh* @aprilajoyr #Christmas #movie

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I always like to say that art is in the eye of the beholder. . .

Shut up.

. . . but even that should have limits.

Is First Blood a Christmas movie? There’s a damn Christmas tree in it.

I think it’s getting out of hand. It seems like every movie could be considered a Christmas movie because 1) there’s bound to be a guy with a beard in it, and 2) there’s bound to be a tree somewhere in there.

Hell. The Lord of the Rings trilogy had trees with beards, so they qualify, huh?

I guess they’re also a kids’ movies.

And I guess The Guardian (1990) also qualifies because it’s about a tree and its fae inhabitant.

It’s a disappointing gift, like a pair of socks.

And what the hell, why isn’t this a Christmas movie?

I see some vegetation in that scene.

No, this is really about nerds not knowing when to quit when it comes to humor. The joke is played out and using it for all movies dilutes its humor as to Die Hard. As Kirk told Uhura, “Too much of anything, lieutenant, even love isn’t necessarily a good thing.”

Yeah, I know.

Leave the joke for Die Hard, or it won’t be a joke anymore.

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Follow April Ajoy @aprilajoyr

In case the tweet is deleted, here’s the screenshot.

Here’s a Dumb Thing #movie

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Here’s a stupid little game that’s probably going to mine your data somehow.

SUPPOSEDLY if you’ve seen over 166 films, you have no life. Mark the ones you’ve seen. There are 253 films on this list. Copy this list, go to your own account, paste this, then put an emoji next to the films you’ve seen, add them up, post your results. Have fun!!!!!!

I have a couple of additional rules.

  1. You have to have seen the entire movie from start to finish. I’ve seen much of Dodgeball, but not all of it, so it doesn’t count.
  2. You can have seen any movie with the name below. I saw the original Flubber but not the remake. While I’m sure the remake is the intended entry, there’s no date attached to the film, so fuck ’em. It counts.
  3. All that said, you don’t get to count a movie twice. I’ve seen both War of the Worlds movies, but that counts for just one.
  4. I shouldn’t have to say this, but porn variations don’t count. I’ve seen Deep Impact, but I haven’t seen what I assume to be, well, Deep Impact. If you’ve seen the latter but not the former, you shouldn’t say you’ve seen it.

Okay? Great. Here we go.

Rocky Horror Picture Show
Grease 🎟
Pirates of the Caribbean 🎟
Pirates of the Caribbean 2: Dead Man’s Chest
Boondock Saints
Fight Club 🎟
Starsky and Hutch 🎟
Neverending Story 🎟
Blazing Saddles 🎟
Airplane 🎟
Total so far: 8

The Princess Bride 🎟
Anchorman 🎟
Napoleon Dynamite 🎟
Labyrinth 🎟 (last month!)
Saw X
Saw II 🎟
White Noise
White Oleander
Anger Management 🎟
50 First Dates 🎟
Total so far: 15


The Princess Diaries
The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement
Scream 🎟
Scream 2
Scream 3
Scary Movie 🎟
Scary Movie 2
Scary Movie 3
Scary Movie 4
Total so far: 17

American Pie 🎟
American Pie 2 🎟
American Wedding 🎟
American Pie Band Camp
Harry Potter 1
Harry Potter 2
Harry Potter 3
Harry Potter 4
Resident Evil 1
Resident Evil 2
Total so far: 20

The Wedding Singer 🎟
Little Black Book
The Village 🎟
Lilo & Stitch 🎟
Finding Nemo 🎟
Finding Neverland
Signs 🎟
The Grinch
Texas Chainsaw Massacre 🎟
Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning
Total so far: 26

White Chicks
Butterfly Effect
13 Going on 30 🎟
I Robot 🎟
Robots
Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story
Universal Soldier 🎟
Lemony Snicket: A Series of Unfortunate Events
Along Came Polly
Deep Impact 🎟
Total so far: 30

Kingpin 🎟
Never Been Kissed 🎟
Meet The Parents 🎟
Meet the Fockers 🎟
Eight Crazy Nights
Joe Dirt
King Kong 🎟
A Cinderella Story
The Terminal 🎟
The Lizzie McGuire Movie
Total so far: 36

Passport to Paris
Dumb & Dumber 🎟
Dumber & Dumber 2 🎟
Final Destination
Final Destination 2
Final Destination 3
Halloween 🎟
The Ring 🎟
The Ring 2
Surviving Christmas
Total so far: 40

Flubber 🎟
Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle
Practical Magic 🎟
Chicago 🎟
Ghost Ship
From Hell
Hellboy 🎟
Secret Window
I Am Sam 🎟
The Whole Nine Yards 🎟
The Whole Ten Yards
Total so far: 46

The Day After Tomorrow
Child’s Play
Seed of Chucky
Bride of Chucky
Ten Things I Hate About You 🎟
Just Married 🎟
Gothika
Nightmare on Elm Street 🎟
Sixteen Candles 🎟
Remember the Titans 🎟
Total so far: 51

Coach Carter
The Grudge
The Mask 🎟
Son of the Mask
Bad Boys 🎟
Bad Boys 2
Joy Ride
Lucky Number Seven
Ocean’s Eleven 🎟
Ocean’s Twelve 🎟
Total so far: 55

Bourne Identity 🎟
Bourne Supremacy 🎟
Lone Star
Bedazzled 🎟
Predator I 🎟
Predator II 🎟
The Fog 🎟
Ice Age 🎟
Ice Age 2: The Meltdown 🎟
Curious George
Total so far: 63

Independence Day 🎟
Cujo
A Bronx Tale
Darkness Falls
Christine
ET
Children of the Corn
My Bosses Daughter
Maid in Manhattan
War of the Worlds 🎟
Total so far: 65

Rush Hour
Rush Hour 2
Best Bet
How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days
She’s All That 🎟
Calendar Girls
Sideways 🎟
Mars Attacks 🎟
Event Horizon 🎟
Ever After
Total so far: 69

Wizard of Oz 🎟
Forrest Gump 🎟
Big Trouble in Little China 🎟
The Terminator 🎟
The Terminator 2 🎟
The Terminator 3 🎟
X-Men 🎟
X2: X-Men United 🎟
X-Men: The Last Stand 🎟
Spider-Man 🎟
Spider-Man 2 🎟
Total so far: 80

Sky High
Jeepers Creepers
Jeepers Creepers 2
Catch Me If You Can 🎟
The Little Mermaid
Freaky Friday 🎟
Reign of Fire 🎟
The Skulls
Cruel Intentions 🎟
Cruel Intentions 2
Total so far: 84

The Hot Chick
Shrek
Shrek 2
Swimfan
Miracle on 34th Street 🎟
Old School 🎟
The Notebook
K-Pax 🎟
Krippendorf’s Tribe
A Walk to Remember
Total so far: 87

Ice Castles
Boogeyman
The 40-year-old Virgin 🎟
Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring 🎟
Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers 🎟
Lord of the Rings: Return of the King 🎟
Raiders of the Lost Ark 🎟
Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom
Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade 🎟
Basketball Diaries
Total so far: 93

Hostel
Waiting for Guffman
House of 1000 Corpses
Devils Rejects
Elf 🎟
Highlander 🎟
Mothman Prophecies 🎟
American History X 🎟
Three
The Jacket
Total so far: 97

Kung Fu Hustle
Shaolin Soccer
Night Watch
Monsters Inc 🎟
Titanic 🎟
Monty Python and the Holy Grail 🎟
Shaun Of the Dead 🎟
Willard
High Tension
Club Dread
Total so far: 101

Hulk 🎟
Dawn Of the Dead
Hook 🎟
Chronicles Of Narnia: The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe 🎟
28 days later
Orgazmo
Phantasm
Water World
Kill Bill Vol 1 🎟
Kill Bill Vol 2🎟
Total so far: 106

Mortal Kombat 🎟
Wolf Creek
Kingdom of Heaven 🎟
The Hills Have Eyes
I Spit on Your Grave
The Last House on the Left
Re-Animator
Army of Darkness
Total so far: 108

Star Wars Ep. I The Phantom Menace 🎟
Star Wars Ep. II Attack of the Clones 🎟
Star Wars Ep. III Revenge of the Sith 🎟
Star Wars Ep. IV A New Hope 🎟
Star Wars Ep. V The Empire Strikes Back 🎟
Star Wars Ep. VI Return of the Jedi 🎟
Ewoks Caravan Of Courage
Ewoks The Battle for Endor
Total so far: 114

The Matrix 🎟
The Matrix Reloaded 🎟
The Matrix Revolution 🎟
Evil Dead
Evil Dead 2
Team America: World Police 🎟
Red Dragon 🎟
Silence of the Lambs 🎟
Hannibal
The Breakfast Club 🎟
Total so far: 121

Fast Times at Ridgemont High 🎟
Ferris Bueller’s Day Off 🎟
Grownups 🎟
Grownups 2
Dazed and confused
Ridiculous 6
Pretty in pink 🎟
The tooth fairy
Polar express
X-Men Apocalypse 🎟
Fantastic Four 🎟
The Leprechaun
Mad Money

GRAND TOTAL: 127

There you have it. Evidence I have a life.

I question the methodology of this study.

Follow me on Twitter @gsllc

MCU Theory: Ultron Won #MCU #Avengers @Avengers @MarvelStudios

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So, here’s stupid theory for you, but one that doesn’t turn out to be so stupid in the end (in a meta sense). Short version: Ultron defeated the Avengers in Avengers: Age of Ultron.

This guy doesn’t look like a loser to me.

He did so by imprisoning them in a virtual reality. That’s what we’ve seen played out over the course of the films since and including the first Ant-Man film. There are many issues with this theory, not the least of which is a lack of any hint that it occurred, which is why it’s stupid.

However, this is something that the Marvel elites should keep in their back pocket. One of these days, the MCU will have to be rebooted. When that happens, this gives them a decent way to do so without strictly invalidating what happened in the prior movies. Obviously, none of what we saw really happened, but it was what the heroes really experienced, and there’s at least some logic behind it. What they saw was their opportunity to pass the torch to the next generation so that they could retire in peace. Sure, there were some tragedies, but only enough to maintain the verisimilitude of the illusion (c.f., the Architect’s explanation of the Matrix). Of course, this isn’t as elegant a solution as the multiverse, but it works if you want to use the same actors to do the torch passing. That lessens the blow of rebooting for the crowd attached to those actors.

Still, some of those who saw these movies as kids, teenagers, or young adults would complain, “You’re ruining the MCU!” Yeah, yeah; we’ve seen this before with Star Trek, Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, etc. fanbases. But much like me now, these people won’t matter at that point. It’s always the younger crowd that has the disposable income, and that’s for whom screenwriters, musicians, etc. create art. If you’re lucky, you’ll turn out like me (in this narrow regard) and just roll with the changes.

<Goldmember voice>”REO Speedwagon”</Goldmember voice>

Try to remember, kids, that the old stuff (Star Trek: The Original Series for me) still exists, and you can watch it anytime you want. The new stuff doesn’t have to be the same (though sometimes it is). If it’s different but still likeable, watch it even if it violates canon. If you don’t like it, don’t watch it, and stick with the old stuff. After all, you will also be old at that point. It’s really that simple. Whether or not this theory is used to reboot the MCU after I’m dead, one way or the other you’ll be in my current position. Choose to be okay with it. This sort of thing isn’t your lawn.

Getting old sucks, and it’ll happen to you too.

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Spoiler Free Comments on Black Panther: Wakanda Forever #BlackPanther #Namor #MCU #spoiler #GoodWatch #DerrickBoseman @chadwickboseman @theblackpanther @MarvelStudios

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I saw Black Panther: Wakanda Forever this afternoon. It was fun, but it was more about setting up Namor and his culture than it was about Wakanda itself. The first sequel is usually about the enemy, so this isn’t surprising or a bad thing. However, because they certainly intend to use that culture again in the MCU, it was more of an origin story than you usually get. When you have 2 hours and 41 minutes of movie, there’s time for that.

I’m glad they made the cultural shift for Atlantis to being Mesoamerican. I’ve commented on this blog before about this, and I know I’ve said this to friends: Because Marvel Studios is charting a cosmic direction for the MCU, I’m hoping they pull in more gods to match up with the likes of Thor. I’m a mythology nut, so seeing those characters in their own stories. If they have Thor fighting enemies, why can’t they have Bast, Tezcatlipoca, Osiris, Shang-Ti, et al. being part of the MCU’s cosmic stories?

R.I.P.

The movie did a good job of respecting the loss of Chadwick Boseman. I hope his brother was satisfied. I know he wanted T’Challa recast.

Wakanda forever!

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Inktober for Charity, Day 30: American Psycho #Inktober #JDRF #StillBrave @JDRF @stillbrave @KevinBednarz

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September’s series of musical selections is officially over! It’s October! Or should I say . . . Inktober?

Do you remember what happened the last time I celebrated Inktober? No? Well, you’re not going to like it. You’re certainly not go to like this one. You see, a friend posted to Facebook a list of Inktober assignments, and being the smartass I am, I’ve taken on (synonym: stolen) those assignments despite my . . . “modest” drawing skills. Look, mine will be funnier, okay? I’d link to his (which are going to be much better), but he protects his tweets. You’ll have to settle for mine.

He’s drawing for a charity by offering his drawings for sale, the proceeds for which go to the Stillbrave Childhood Cancer Foundation. Noble, but my choice of charity is the JDRF. Unfortunately, no one will buy my work, so until their link breaks, you can directly donate here. Or you can donate to Stillbrave. I won’t get angry. Here are the assignments:

I don’t know all of these things.

<< Prior | Next >>

And here is today’s entry.

Day 30: American Psycho

I re-watched the movie in preparation for this one.

It didn’t help. That’s supposed to be blood, but it looks like sweat. Goofily thick sweat. I could have done more with the hair, perhaps avoiding a five-head, but that wasn’t going to save this anymore than my poor attempt at shading in his mouth did. There’s simply nothing right about this drawing, so I punted.

Before you laugh, try to remember that it’s for charity. Then laugh.

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Inktober for Charity, Day 25: The Warriors #Inktober #JDRF #StillBrave @JDRF @stillbrave @KevinBednarz @JoeWalsh

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September’s series of musical selections is officially over! It’s October! Or should I say . . . Inktober?

Do you remember what happened the last time I celebrated Inktober? No? Well, you’re not going to like it. You’re certainly not go to like this one. You see, a friend posted to Facebook a list of Inktober assignments, and being the smartass I am, I’ve taken on (synonym: stolen) those assignments despite my . . . “modest” drawing skills. Look, mine will be funnier, okay? I’d link to his (which are going to be much better), but he protects his tweets. You’ll have to settle for mine.

He’s drawing for a charity by offering his drawings for sale, the proceeds for which go to the Stillbrave Childhood Cancer Foundation. Noble, but my choice of charity is the JDRF. Unfortunately, no one will buy my work, so until their link breaks, you can directly donate here. Or you can donate to Stillbrave. I won’t get angry. Here are the assignments:

I don’t know all of these things.

<< Prior | Next >>

And here is today’s entry.

Day 25: The Warriors

Great movie. In the City by Joe Walsh is also great.

He’s got a huge head.

Before you laugh, try to remember that it’s for charity. Then laugh.

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Inktober for Charity, Day 23: Pulp Fiction #Inktober #JDRF #StillBrave @JDRF @stillbrave @KevinBednarz

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September’s series of musical selections is officially over! It’s October! Or should I say . . . Inktober?

Do you remember what happened the last time I celebrated Inktober? No? Well, you’re not going to like it. You’re certainly not go to like this one. You see, a friend posted to Facebook a list of Inktober assignments, and being the smartass I am, I’ve taken on (synonym: stolen) those assignments despite my . . . “modest” drawing skills. Look, mine will be funnier, okay? I’d link to his (which are going to be much better), but he protects his tweets. You’ll have to settle for mine.

He’s drawing for a charity by offering his drawings for sale, the proceeds for which go to the Stillbrave Childhood Cancer Foundation. Noble, but my choice of charity is the JDRF. Unfortunately, no one will buy my work, so until their link breaks, you can directly donate here. Or you can donate to Stillbrave. I won’t get angry. Here are the assignments:

I don’t know all of these things.

<< Prior | Next >>

And here is today’s entry.

Day 23: Pulp Fiction

There’s a lot wrong with all my drawings, but this one puts almost all of it together. Apparently, Sam Jackson had major surgery removing the right side of his torso. You can see a less pronounced issue with Vinny. He’s a lot taller than Travolta for some reason. Both of these come from the fact that I don’t get size right. I draw a line intending it to be one size, but the result is inconsistent with what appears in the rest of the drawing. I also couldn’t handle the parallax with respect to the two guns, so they look like they’re shooting targets on different sides of the room.

All that said, I think Vinny’s tie is okay.

Before you laugh, try to remember that it’s for charity. Then laugh.

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Spoiler Alert: The She-Hulk Finale #SheHulk #MCU #spoiler #GoodWatch @SheHulkOfficial @MarvelStudios

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Spoiler alert!

I enjoyed She-Hulk immensely. As with every series that came before it, it did a few things that the previous series didn’t and carried with it its own tone. In this case, one of those somethings was breaking the fourth wall. I’m not a comic book reader, but I know that breaking the fourth wall is big in both Deadpool and She-Hulk, so doing so in She-Hulk is being faithful to the comic and not a cheap rip-off of Deadpool. In fact, she did it first. I get all that and have no (more of a) problem with She-Hulk doing it as I do Deadpool doing it. That’s to say that I think it’s overdone but doesn’t ruin either character, TV show, or movie for me.

Once again, spoiler alert!

That said, the final episode of She-Hulk overdid it. Once you get past the marvelous opening, it was ridiculous. The fourth wall breaking was too much. Consider when in Me, Myself, & Irene, Irene asks Hank, β€œDid you just refer to yourself in the fourth person?”

As you know, there is no fourth person in English grammar. Her point was to say that Hank’s use of grammar to describe a weird situation involving multiple personalities (as Hollywood defines them) was outrageous. In a metaphorical sense, Hank’s grammar was so bizarre that it would transcend known dimensions beyond what we could sense. She used a funny, shorthanded way of saying that and then moved along because all jokes get old eventually. If they linger too much, they quickly become cheap gimmicks that distract from the actual story. This is especially true where the specific way they presented it is screwed up. For example, I didn’t find β€œKEVIN” either funny or clever (though I did like the line, β€œEveryone signs the NDA”). I didn’t like the fact that she was supposedly outside of TV land, yet everyone treated her existence as normal or expected. Is she outside the fourth wall or not? That can work with the Monkees, but not with a huge, green superhero that can’t exist in the real world.

Moreover, when Jennifer Walters returned to TV land, she didn’t really get what she asked for. Sure, she got the ending she wanted, but that doesn’t address all her complaints. She was focused on how she wanted the story leading to the ending to play out. She didn’t merely want to win. How she won mattered. She wanted to be the hero, not Bruce. She wanted Abomination to learn a lesson rather than relapse. All we got from that new story was the conclusion with no showing of how exactly it played out to reach that conclusion.

The same could be said about the (ante?)penultimate scene. I don’t want to go all lawyer on you (<– lie), but why did the prosecution drop the charges against Jennifer Walters? The fact that they goaded her, even criminally, doesn’t relieve her of responsibility for her actions (i.e., she can’t justify putting all those people in harm’s way and destroying property as β€œself-defense” from an invasion of privacy that’s already resolved). Importantly, the script pointed that out! When her coworkers came to visit her in prison, Jennifer defended her actions, and then the attorney continued Jennifer’s story, adding additional facts that pointed out that Jennifer was still culpable. The attorney didn’t have to say that. She could have kept her mouth shut, and everyone would have assumed that Jennifer’s rant had legal merit. All the lawyers watching would have said, “Oh, yeah, drama wins out over law. Got it. We can move forward without complaints.” Instead, they made Jennifer’s culpability the fundamental basis of the episode starting with what was said in the previous episode, but they just abandoned it without explanation. Seriously, WTF? It would be as if She-Hulk were purple in the final scene, and no one seemed to notice or care. Well, I’d notice, and I’d care, and I’d write a post about it.

Wait a second. Purple Hulk is a thing? Okay then, imagine she was orange.

God dammit.

So, this isn’t a matter of me refusing to suspend disbelief in the law or science. If they say, β€œgamma radiation turns people into hulks,” “everyone’s entitled to one phone call upon arrest,” β€œvampires exist,” or, β€œMe, Myself & Irene is a treatise on multiple personality disorder,” I’m 100% on board, but they must stick with those premises. Otherwise, the show becomes an inconsistent and unsatisfying mess. Granted, some issues are trivial things on their own, but combined with everything else, you get a stupid episode without true resolution. The writers were just daring me to find things to dislike about it and left a bunch of things in there for me to find. (Do they think that’s what’s meant by β€œEaster eggs”?) Also, the structure for the episode can be summed up like this: β€œOnce upon a time — here’s something that didn’t happen — they lived happily ever after. The end.”

So, I didn’t like the ending, but I wouldn’t advise anyone to miss it just because it ended poorly. It was a solid season introducing a fun character that should appear in the movies. Besides, you may not have a problem with the finale. Reasonable minds and all that.

You’re probably better off watching it — warts and all — than not.

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Good Watch: At Close Range @SeanPenn @hbomax @RealKiefer @CrispinGlover #GoodWatch

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Based on a recommendation, I’m finally watched At Close Range (1986). Here’s IMDB’s tagline:

Reunited with his career criminal father, tough teen Brad thinks he’s found his ticket to an exciting life of crime, only to find out he’s wrong.

As much a part of the movie as anyone.

It started with music that stabbed me in the heart, which continued throughout the movie where the music had to be subtle. The cast is phenomenal but young. So was I in 1986, so it brings me back even though I’ve never seen it before.

As for the movie itself, it’s a sad tale about a kid with no discernable future becoming mesmerized by his absentee father, and the wad of hundred dollar bills he generates from his criminal exploits. As one might expect, everything falls to pieces. It’s based on a true story, though I have no idea how far it drifts from reality.

Definitely worth two of my hours.

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Brutal Watch: The Northman @TheNorthmanFilm @bjork @neilhimself #GoodWatchΒ #mythology #folklore #DnD #ADnD #RPG #TTRPG

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A few of weeks ago, I saw The Northman. I loved it but understand that it isn’t for everyone. It’s a Norse tale, which means it doesn’t fit the formula for what sells in Peoria.

This character was loosely based on me.

The cast was great, but this post isn’t a review. The movie, like several others before it, got me thinking.

I didn’t study mythology because of my interest in 1st Edition D&D (β€œ1e”); it was the other way around. Mythology (and dinosaurs) got me into 1e in the 1970s. I thought, β€œWow! I can tell my own stories within these settings and characters?!” However, whether it’s D&D, Neil Gaiman’s Norse Mythology, or Bulfinch’s Mythology, western literature tends to sanitize the characters and their stories. The β€œgood-aligned” deities are often presented as noble, loving, and helpful. There are certainly some exceptions — Zeus was an asshole — but the sense of right and wrong have been aligned at least to some extent to what the modern audience thinks as “good.” We really do make the gods in our own image. The Northman reminds us that the “good guy” is not someone you’d want to marry your daughter. Life was brutal and uncaring back then, and being that way yourself was an effective survival strategy.

That said, there’s a reasonableness to garnering lessons from these myths. In a very narrow, personal way, I relate rather strongly to the protagonist’s backstory (appropriately discussed today). I would never handle our similar predicament in the same way, but the character’s backstory loosely parallels my own. If you dig through the primitive details of the specific culture at hand, you can find some universal truths, or at least something to which you can relate (no more than vaguely, I hope). After all, people take from stories whatever message they want to hear. We tend to cut out the brutality from these stories, and thus also ignore how those that wrote them applied them to real life.

So no, you wouldn’t want to invite any of these ancient people to dinner.

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Dungeons & Dragons is a trademark of Wizards of the Coast, LLC, who neither contributed to nor endorsed the contents of this post. (Okay, jackasses?)