TSM Episode 359: The Queen of Air and Darkness

The Queen of Air and Darkness, indeed.

Queen Morgause, wife to King Lot of Orkney

Download: Released 2016.01.18

Dire portents reappear in the form of a crow with a stolen arrow in its beak, and strange happenings abound: Anime news dominates, England beat South Africa in South Africa, amiibos are weaponised against gamers, and Sony tries to copyright Let’s Plays.

20 comments on “TSM Episode 359: The Queen of Air and Darkness”

  1. Julian is right, I always enjoy these anime previews. But if I’m the only one reading who does, that’s time that can be better spent covering things the silent majority is interested in. That said, thanks for it. There’s no podcasts I listen to that cover anime, so it’s always nice to hear it talked about here.

    A few organized thoughts:

    -Sekko Boys was absolutely bizarre in all the right ways (and very short per episode so it makes for an easy watch) and I thank you two for bringing it to my attention.
    -The Gundam: IBO show is pretty decent. All the Universal Century stuff tends to stand above the rest.
    -Lupin III’s new season is wonderful an I greatly enjoy watching it. It’s classic Lupin, classic not-too-serious-and-silly adventure and has a unique style that’s a joy to watch.
    -Prison School season 2 is not actually out yet, and may not even be in production. There is a live action adaption that Funimation acquired and is likely what was listed.
    -Phantom World has pissed off a lot of SJWs with it’s heavy fanservice, which of course means I have to at least watch one episode.
    -I didn’t catch the title, but the Marshmallow romance series? I’m going to seek that out. Finally, a romance -I- can appreciate.
    -Grimgar looks beautiful and I can’t wait to watch.
    -One Punch Man was an unexpected jewel and will be a milestone in anime. Last season or not, it outshines everything else to have surrounded it in years. Cannot wait to see more in the future.

  2. @Wolfe: I didn’t catch the title, but the Marshmallow romance series? I’m going to seek that out. Finally, a romance -I- can appreciate.
    Marshmallows are disgusting!

    @Rad Mice Ali: Nope! Never forget, this is a retelling of the Arthurian core. There are two significant female villains, and Morgause is the first.

  3. Hmm, in Dresden Files Mab definitely is the Queen of Air and Darkness. She’s also an immortal faerie too though, so maybe Jim Butcher took some liberties with the original lore.

  4. @DiceAdmiral: There’s no ‘maybe’ about it. Mab dates from Shakespeare and is drawn from a separate literary tradition; Morgause is centuries older. Mab is not a part of the original Arthurian mythos (which itself predates Malory also by centuries).

  5. Yeah, Butcher has a kind of combined mythology thing going on where some of the immortal entities wear several mantles. For Example: *Mild Dresden Files Spoilers* Odin and Santa Claus are the same being.

  6. I’m aware that there was a TV series, but Jim Butcher didn’t write that and I did specify that he was the author. We’re also talking in the context of novels. I haven’t seen all of it, but I’m pretty sure that the TV series doesn’t get far enough along to even mention Mab or mantles. ALSO: if the TV did deal with mantles then they would cast the same people for those roles because that’s the whole point. It’s a mythology thing, not a lazy casting thing.

  7. @DiceAdmiral: Slow down there, keyboard warrior.

    I’m aware that there was a TV series, but Jim Butcher didn’t write that
    No, but he did ‘create’ it, which is why your mention of him was consistent to my understanding.

    We’re also talking in the context of novels
    No, *you* are operating under that assumption. That does not mean that I was. I was thinking of the wider context of Arthuriana, which includes television, movies, art, music–and with good reason: the slider and picture above are from a television version of the Arthurian mythos; moreover, ‘Queen Mab’ appears only in a (different) television version of the Arthurian mythos (the Hallmark movie from 1998).

    I haven’t seen all of it, but I’m pretty sure that the TV series doesn’t get far enough along to even mention Mab or mantles
    I have not seen it either, and cannot confirm or deny this.

    if the TV did deal with mantles then they would cast the same people for those roles because that’s the whole point. It’s a mythology thing, not a lazy casting thing.
    This statement operates under the assumption that I know the content of the books, and that this would inform my concept of the show, which is demonstrably not the case. If I do not know the content of the books, and I only know that it exists a show, then I would be WELL JUSTIFIED in thinking that such a decision is down to minimal (not lazy) casting.

  8. Jim Butcher should use more words and stop combining characters!

  9. Mr. Butcher is somewhat literate, and so I presume he had read, prior to writing his novels, TH White (because if you haven’t, you are a literal bad person).

    His use of the epithet “queen of air and darkness” is, I think, more likely due to his fascination with Dungeons & Dragons, where the title refers to a faery deity (drawing on the Shakespearean tradition) rather than the Matter of Britain, which he has not referenced other than calling the leader of the human wizards “the Merlin” after Arthur’s legendary sorcerer. However, Merlin is a composite character of several Welsh and Bretonic/Celtic figures, indicating again that Butcher, insofar as his written universe includes the Matter, only includes the poppier versions and the author himself has done no great scholarly digging into the legends (which is fine; he is writing novels of modern fantasy fiction, which need not be scholarly treatises on Arthurian myth).

    Also, Nimue/Viviane is the best Arthurian female character.

  10. I presume he had read, prior to writing his novels, TH White (because if you haven’t, you are a literal bad person).

    The finest thing said on this site to date.

    His use of the epithet “queen of air and darkness” is, I think, more likely due to his fascination with Dungeons & Dragons, where the title refers to a faery deity (drawing on the Shakespearean tradition) rather than the Matter of Britain, which he has not referenced other than calling the leader of the human wizards “the Merlin” after Arthur’s legendary sorcerer.

    This would be consistent with the ‘queen of air and darkness’ being Mab–Mab is a Shakespearean literary figure, after all, potentially drawn from Welsh proto-sources.

    However, Merlin is a composite character of several Welsh and Bretonic/Celtic figures, indicating again that Butcher, insofar as his written universe includes the Matter, only includes the poppier versions and the author himself has done no great scholarly digging into the legends (which is fine; he is writing novels of modern fantasy fiction, which need not be scholarly treatises on Arthurian myth).

    A fair point; it is also worth adding that Merlin himself is a nebulous creation and in his various forms behaves quite differently. The Prose Merlin gives us perhaps the best long-form example of a consistent and developed Merlin (contrast for example that in Malory, which is inconsistent and of brief and generally undeveloped textual appearance).

    Also, Nimue/Viviane is the best Arthurian female character.

    In the core texts of the central mythos few female characters are adequately developed for there to be a real running. I think that Guinevere is probably the most psychologically realistic character, in that her actions and motivations seem understandable and internally consistent: indeed, her treatment of Lancelot in Malory (drawn only very partially from the French sources) has a ring of real accuracy about it with which it is difficult to find compare in the mid-fifteenth century. She gets my vote.

    Tennyson’s development of Elaine is very good, but his Guinevere is still better (benefitting from a surer foundation). However, T. H. White’s Morgause takes the cake as far as his female characters go. The flippancy, vanity, lack of concern–there is something decidedly chavish about his Morgause: a value-less queen: a medieval Paris Hilton, possessed of sons, caring little for them except for the few instances in which she desires attention, and, when sated, wanting them gone.

  11. “Jim Butcher should use more words and stop combining characters!”
    But then the books would take even longer to come out! Let’s not push him into GRRM territory.

    “which he has not referenced other than calling the leader of the human wizards “the Merlin” after Arthur’s legendary sorcerer. ”
    That’s sort-of true. The title and position of the Merlin is so named because it was once held by Merlin (who makes a brief non-speaking appearance in a vision of sorts).

    Anyways, I agree, Butcher has his own take on mythology cobbled together from many different sources. That’s one of the reasons I enjoy his work so much. Book 2 has 3 different kinds of werewolves in it!

  12. Info Blast Skirts Irrelevance

    This week’s panel
    Silicon Noob
    Lusipurr

    NEWS
    New Funimation Logo
    You’re right about it looking more corporate. The first thing that I thought of was Yahoo.

    2016 anime seasons
    Crunchy Roll
    Funimation
    The last anime that I watched was Madoka Magicka and I think it was a damn near perfect story and brilliantly told. Is there something of that calibur in here somewhere that I should try?

    Mario Maker sells $1 Mil in US
    That’s kind of a bummer that it just now hit this mark. It’s not for me, but I’m glad that it exists.

    Nintendo deleting Mario Maker Levels
    It looks like they’re also baning said levels from ever being uploaded again. Damn.

    Rose and the Old Castle
    That is a truely beautiful looking game. Reminds me a bit of Muramasa.

    Sony attempts to trademark Let’s Play
    Hopefully that doesn’t gain any traction. In a mildly related note, I considered linking to Forbes for this story, but they have been up to shenanigans themselves recently. In an attempt to get users to stop blocking their ads, they walled off the site to anyone using an adblocker. If a user decided to turn their blocker off, then the site immediately fed them an ad loaded up with malware. So, don’t go to Forbes’ site.

    Amiibo locked content
    I was always expecting this. I finally did get my first amiibo though. It’s the blue Yarn Yoshi and it will never be used in a game, it was only purchased as decoration.

    Imitanis Literature Corner
    The Once and Future King by T.H. White
    Part 2

    I skipped this section in my first listen, but could this be a good jumping back on point? I’m thinking that I might be really confused by my missing half of the last book, so I didn’t try.

    Imitanis Entertainment Moment
    I don’t really have anything to talk about this week, but I didn’t get any replies on my last week’s post and it has some really great content, so go check that out: HERE!

    DiceAdmiral Travel Moment
    Stayed home.

    Final Notes
    I still like the opening fanfare. What is it?

    Board Games Discussion / Dice Admiral’s Board Game Corner
    Not this week. I didn’t get any feedback last time, so if you want me to write about more stuff like that, let me know.

    Final Quotes
    n/a

    Donators
    Cumulative total record holder: Imitanis
    Single Donation record holder: Imitanis

    Donators eligible for end of year drawing: 1 Did you not announce the results if the staff game drawing or was there not one this year or did I just miss it somehow?

  13. The first thing that I thought of was Yahoo.
    Exactly. Depressingly corporate.

    Is there something of that calibur [sic] in here somewhere that I should try?
    Not this season. In my opinion, it would take going back to Black Butler from several years ago for something that is more or less without any significant failings. There are plenty of excellent things kicking about, though: One Punch Man is highly regarded, and I thoroughly enjoyed The Seven Deadly Sins.

    It looks like they’re also baning said levels from ever being uploaded again.
    Correct: once a level is submitted and uploaded, it is locked on the origin console: it cannot even be edited again by the creator. So, in effect, this policy locks users out of their own content!

    If a user decided to turn their blocker off, then the site immediately fed them an ad loaded up with malware. So, don’t go to Forbes’ site.
    Cunts!

    I’m thinking that I might be really confused by my missing half of the last book,
    You will benefit from having heard the first book, but it is by no means necessary. The first book deals with Arthur’s education as a young man. The second book deals with his early kingship.

    Stayed home.
    HAS THIS EVER HAPPENED BEFORE!?

    Did you not announce the results if the staff game drawing or was there not one this year or did I just miss it somehow?
    Not announced: we have not held the drawing yet.

  14. But then the books would take even longer to come out! Let’s not push him into GRRM territory.

    I think it would take significantly more to push any author into GRRM territory.

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