these two memes have equal and opposite energies
ok but how could you forget this one
god you’re so right. hatred, worship, and comradery. below, above, and beside. the ultimate trifecta.
Ugh! I'm so tired of people ragging on Mari's inability to confess. "My sympathy is with Chat Noir, because at least he's confessed and been rejected so he knows where he stands. Marinette never has." Have they not been paying attention? Do they not remember how hard being a teenager is? Marinette has tried countless times. Even if you don't count all the verbal attempts there's the present, the letter, the Valentine etc. Every time it goes wrong. The universe actively works against her.
Well, I mean, if I had to confess to a guy linked to about a hundred memories of humiliation, embarrassment, and shame, I’d have trouble talking to him too, but go off I guess.
The thing these people are totally missing is that Marinette is trapped; she never got closure and can’t go anywhere.
And from a narrative standpoint, Marinette being unable to confess could be for three reasons (technically four if you consider the reason to be a mixture of a couple of them):
- Because that would end the romance subplot if Adrien returned her feelings (very unlikely and I’ve detailed multiple times why that is).
- Confessing to Adrien and being rejected would finally give Marinette that closure she needs and have her move on. Like, here’s a question: have you ever started something, gotten so deep into it, but been unable to finish for whatever reason? You might want to quit, but the fact that you haven’t finished keeps nagging at you; you don’t want to delete what you’ve already done, but you don’t have the confidence/skill to finish either. Now, imagine that, but with Marinette’s crush on Adrien. She wants to move on, has personally asked for help (and been ignored), but she can’t because she never got to hear those words, “I’m sorry, Marinette, I just don’t feel for you that way.”
- They want to keep using Marinette’s anxiety and crush as their own personal punching bag.
Me personally, I think it’s a mix of the latter two, because really, what else is there to do after she’d been rejected? She can’t pull a Chat Noir because it’d be super same-y and having her just pine without doing anything at all would be equally dull, so she almost has to move on.
And yes, then there’s the universe actively working against her. She has confessed in both “Dark Cupid” and “Chat Blanc,” but the former had a ladybug conveniently fly in at the perfect time to distract her (and another ladybug showed up to visit Adrien, making him completely forget about who the card could be from as he fantasizes about it being from Ladybug) while the latter had the world LITERALLY END because of her confession.
“It was because Adrien saw her as Ladybug!” Oh really? Then why didn’t Lucky Charm give her something else and encourage her to go back earlier than Bunnyx had her go and just have her leave before Adrien got into his room?
Because the writers don’t want her to move on. They want to keep using her as a punching bag, and all these people who complain about Marinette being unable to confess (and probably still shipping the love square while they’re at it) are doing the exact thing that the narrative is spoon-feeding them; that this is all Marinette’s fault somehow and not the universe hating her guts.
they really just liked to traumatize us with children’s cartoons in the 90s and early 00s huh
back then, it wasn’t so much “how many sex jokes can we get away with” as it was “how many unspeakable horrors can we fit into our cartoon before the parents start to complain”
yes this is about courage the cowardly dog
Rewatching Veth/Notts backstory from ep 49 again, and one of the things that strikes me that I love so much about her is just how many of her quirks just come from her personality, not her being a Goblin. She is SO PROUD of her collections that she spends a good few minutes describing them to her friends even in the midst of a dramatic Backstory Monologue. She had wax seals! And Beau thought that was neat!
and as terrible as everything that happened to her has been, it really seems like it’s given her a chance to find the things she loved about herself and hold onto those as tight as possible. You can see it in her dialogue in 49, where she agrees with Jester’s assessment of herself as pretty, and says “at least I used to be”. I don’t think the woman in that gray dress from the official art would’ve ever allowed anyone to call her pretty. But being a Goblin has given her the perspective she needs to love her body! And even beyond returning to the original status quo, the updated art of the yellow dress from Xhorhas is Nott stepping even farther out of her shell then she did as a halfling. She’s wearing bright colors, and her collections are out proudly on display! She seems to be trying so hard, more and more, to draw out those things like the collections and the personality that she can still try and love about herself.
I think in a fascinating way Nott has been kind of mis-remembering how she felt living in Felderwin as a halfling. She’s romanticised her own feelings about it, separated them into ugly chaotic Nott and happy, confident veth, when all the evidence we’ve seen shows that the body image issues and lack of self-confidence are not at all new, just kinda magnified. It seems like where the narrative is now with the currently-releasing episodes, at least where I’ll expect it to be once I catch up, is Veth having to deal with the realization that becoming Veth again hasn’t magically solved all her problems. She’ll become halfling again and feel better for sure, but still feel slow and dumb and only fit to be a sidekick sometimes (there’s a whole other meta to write about Caleb’s face journey during that ep 49 monologue and how he does not agree with that assessment but I digress). So Veth is gonna have to deal with the fact that her feelings are still complicated but she’s lost the convenient and valid excuse she had for running from them, and I cannot wait to see how that will resolve for her.
I need to friggin catch up already!! There is too much of show!
just got a burst of notes on my last veth meta so i think i’ll take a moment to talk about something i thought of recently –
part of the conflict we’ve been seeing with veth lately boils down to an extreme version of ask vs. guess culture. the mighty nein are generally very good about respecting emotional boundaries. (we saw this a lot when caduceus was struggling, people were like ‘why is no one talking to cad about his feelings???’ and like. it’s because cad has clearly stated that he does not want to talk about his feelings! they are respecting his boundaries!)
veth is not. to veth, lovingly pushing the stated boundaries of a loved one in order to do something you think is in their best interest is not only acceptable, it’s a sign of just how much you care about them! and here’s the thing that complicates this - that’s not always wrong! because the very FIRST time she did it, we almost all agreed it was a good thing! SOME stated boundaries, like Caleb’s insistence that he didn’t care about his friends, need to be challenged! so we had that great moment where veth challenged him for the first time - “why do you want to go after them? […] I want to hear you say it.” and he couldn’t, he really wasn’t ready to go there, but it was good for that to be challenged! it was good for her to say “well i’m doing this because i love them.” that was good!
but in cases like “contacting Astrid when Caleb really doesn’t want to do that” it becomes clear that in most situations it’s really not okay to violate people’s boundaries, not even for their own good, not even if you think it will make them happier. matchmaking at Fjord and Jester after Jester had clearly asked her to stop is a milder example - later developments show that, hey, she was right that them getting together would be a net positive for them both! but it still wasn’t okay to act like that after Jester asked her not to!
So Veth’s operating under a guess culture that goes beyond “you should infer what this person wants without them saying it out loud and give it to them without being asked” to “you should figure out what this person really wants in spite of their statements to the contrary and give it to them without being asked”! I don’t know how closely d&d halflings stick in culture to lotr hobbits, but it seems like the “affectionate meddling in other peoples’ personal affairs” thing is probably pretty standard.
so when the nein ask “do you want to hunt down the goblins that did this to you and kill them all? cuz we’ll totally do that for you!” she demurs, no, no, she doesn’t want that, it’s not important, there are bigger issues, and besides they’ve probably moved on, finding them would be too big an imposition, no, no, no - and the nein hear her explicitly telling them that she wants them to drop it and go “okay, we respect that.” but what she really wants is for them to love her so much they don’t take no for an answer. what she wants is for someone to intuit that yes, she really does want this, they should override her stated “no” and do this thing anyway. they should say “no, we’re going to deal with this whether you like it or not because THAT’S HOW MUCH WE LOVE YOU!”
and that’s just not how the nein operate!
OK I had too much to say about Caleb and Nott’s ‘Messes together’ talk so I’m giving that it’s own post.
I’ve definitely seen the ‘messes together’ convo giffed/referenced before. However, I didn’t know that it was A) Coming from such a low emotional point from Nott? It was almost an intervention. And B) that Nott was fucking INVISIBLE the whole time?? wtf Nott?? He wants to see you! I thought this scene would be heart-warming not heart-breaking! Sam Riegel, who gave you the right to make me fall in love with this terrified self-loathing alcoholic who’s avoiding her feelings so hard that she can’t even stay visible during a conversation with her best friend?
Just the sheer volume of LOVE and vulnerability that Caleb is pouring into this conversation makes me wonder again why their relationship, platonic or no, isn’t one that people focus on more! Caleb isn’t like this with anyone else! He’s got entire facial expressions and this soft, gentle tone of voice that he only ever gives to Nott. And he gives her so much here, affirming that she doesn’t need the booze to be wonderful and that she doesn’t need to be brave alone, and that he always has her back? He’s even willing to be selfish about it, to ask her so gently to worry him less, which is huge for someone who hates himself as much as Caleb does! Nott is the only good thing that Caleb allows himself to have, and his devotion to her is just so pure.
Nott just can’t see it right now though! Or, what I actually think is more likely, she thinks she doesn’t deserve his devotion and she wants to hide her hurt from him so she won’t be a burden. I honestly think she may feel guilty about how much Caleb loves her. This is one occasion where my being spoiled makes me enjoy something more, because Nott’s line about believing that her issues would be the last to resolve should be heartbreaking, but I know that after this Caleb is gonna fight so hard to prioritize her issues, and it makes me really happy to know how she gets proven wrong about this!
I’ve talked about this before, but I think we get another fascinating layer to the separate-identities motif Nott has going on, where she can only either be Veth with her family or Nott with the nein. Her insistence that her issues have to go last comes from this strange belief she seems to hold that she needs to stay a goblin if she’s going to adventure and protect and be with everyone, that she can’t do all those things as a halfling woman, too. Veth is a stay-at-home-mom who supports Yeza but doesn’t do anything on her own, and Nott is a brave adventurer and maybe a hero. This specific division is unusual because it comes up with Nott on the more favorable end of Who To Be, even though she can’t stand the body she’s in. Which of course takes us all the way back around to one of Nott’s central problems, which is that she really seems to love being an adventurer! She actually says in this talk with Caleb that if she wanted to have fun she would be with her family at home, but I don’t think she was being honest with herself there, because she was given that option and didn’t take it, and because of how much joy being in the m9 obviously brings her so much of the time.
And it’s amazing how much of this conflict Caleb seems to pick up on! Even while he can’t see her face, they’re still so much on the same wavelength. So he sees her inner turmoil and doesn’t try to solve it or even really discuss it any further than reaffirming that he will always be there. There’s this tone in his voice that’s almost desperate when he tells her that she doesn’t have to be brave alone, and you can tell how strong his need to show her how much she means to him is. In some ways he can probably tell it’s not sinking in, because the tragedy of these two is how they both hate themselves so much that they can’t accept the same amount of love that they are willing to give, so they just circle in a messy dance of complimenting each other while refusing to take compliments in return, and maybe it’s messy but at least they are dancing together.
And lastly, (feel free to ignore this if it’s not your jam but I am incapable of not being widowbrave trash), don’t think I didn’t notice Caleb’s hesitation before calling himself her best friend! What do you think he held himself back from saying? That he’ll always love her? Was he gonna call her his partner? Maybe he is just so lost as to how he should define their relationship. I may be called a conspiracy theorist for this, but nobody can convince me that they are not secretly in love with each other. It just explains too much.