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"I can’t remember where I heard this, but someone once said that defending a position by citing free speech is sort of the ultimate concession; you’re saying that the most compelling thing you can say about your position is that it’s literally not illegal to express." —Rand Munroe, XKCD

Related more to the internet in general than my blog in particular.

Shadow of the Dragon, by Leo Black

I know I use the word ‘refreshing’ a lot when contrasting some of the effective adventuring attire with some of the less believable stuff, but I think it is the most effective word to describe how I feel seeing characters like the lovely, crimson-haired mage in Leo’s painting. As well as being smartly outfitted, she has a competent, intelligent air that I find far more alluring than the sultriest look from the buxomest elf sorceress.

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I love that at first she thinks it’s misogynistic, and isn’t afraid to call him on it, but then we see him do what we almost never see a male superhero do : He admits he’s scared. 

He’s not trying to belittle her, he’s not trying to tell her or even the kids that they’re not strong, 

He’s trying to protect what he loves most because he’s terrified of losing them. The big, giant robot ripping apart BUILDINGS doesn’t scare him at all compared to losing what he loves.

I love this movie for so many reasons, but this scene is one of the bigger ones. A hero movie where the males are allowed to be emotional without appearing weak? A hero movie where females are allowed to be strong without being callous or woefully 2D? A hero movie where children are allowed to explore their potential instead of being shitty sidekicks?


This really was one of the most brilliantly written movies I’ve ever seen, on more levels than I’m going to try to count.

(Source: mydollyaviana)

Surviver by Tim Löchner

With no outside context for the image, it’s interesting to speculate as to what exactly our heroine is surviving. Has there been a new ice age, entombing most of the world in unending winter? Or was she driven from her home by invaders, now waging a winter guerrilla war against those who cast her out? Or is she a pathfinder, perhaps, scouting the terrain for an arctic expedition? The story possibilities are endless.

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Pirate King Elizabeth Swann in Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End

It’s a common trope in pirate filmography where the Governor’s kidnapped daughter replaces the kidnapped princess as the story’s damsel in distress. One of my favorite aspects of Elizabeth Swann’s character in the Pirates of the Caribbean films is that she really only serves this function for the first third of the first movie. After her initial rescue, her usefulness increases a hundredfold. From there on out she battles cursed pirates, regular pirates, giant sea monsters, and mutant fish-people  beside the rest of the heroes with a believable level of skill and with a minimum of screaming.

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Silenna “Lenna” Gardane of Amya Chronicles written by Savannah Houston-McIntyre and Andrew Hewitt with illustrations by Rebecca Gunter-Ryan

One of the aspects of Lenna’s character I admire most is how seamlessly she transitions from guerrilla fighter to Faye’s bodyguard—-and without ever really being asked to. Verily, she’s one of the most well-balanced characters I’ve ever seen in terms of both her role in the narrative and her role within the party. She’s quick and stealthy yet still physically imposing. Serious and competent, but maintains a light sense of humor. Muscular and athletic without being pumped or ripped. Strong and battle-hardened without sacrificing her beauty or femininity.

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Twi’lek Explorer, by Tony Foti

With all of the focus on civil wars, epic battles, and galactic politics, it’s easy to forget that there is also exploration and adventure to be found throughout the Star Wars Universe. I was immediately reminded of this fact when I first ran across this thrill-seeking Twi’lek lass on Tony’s Facebook page. While I haven’t gotten her name or phone number (yet), I do know that she’s from Enter the Unknown, an expansion book from Edge of the Empire, by Fantasy Flight Games.

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