Whisper and Winterwind: The Dragon at Dreadfall

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WhispertheWolf's picture
Supreme Viking Champion
Joined: 03/13/2015
Boring Analysis Alert! And Fanfiction XD

Yes, I'm continuing a 4-day old conversation. XD


Interesting conversation is interesting. :)




Hehe, well, I'm not sure I'm that enjoyable in the cinema. The first time I watch the movie, I give it a chance, but if I found your film lacking, I will compare it to the book to find what's wrong. (You want to talk about being "that person"? Make me watch a Potter film. ...Actually, I'm pretty sure my cousins watch Potter films with me every Christmas so they can laugh at my sarcastic comments.) XD


The thing is, when you have two versions of the same story that do things slightly differently, holding them side-by-side allows you to see how one version could have been done differently, which makes flaws that much easier to spot.


Although admittedly, I'm that annoying person that points out fallacies, plotholes, and inconsistencies when I'm watching any movie...even with movies I like. XD


So I get where you're coming from. Guilty as charged.


Despite being a different story, I do feel HTTYD is respectful. It's obvious the makers have a lot of affection for the material. Like I said before, when it does allude to the books, it feels kind of like a love letter...like BBC's Sherlock. I'd be worried if the author was disappointed in the movie, but Cowell actually praised it on her blog, saying she was open to movies changing and adapting, since they are a different storytelling method, and she said it "keeps true to the spirit and message of the book." But because it's so different and so..."unfaithful" in terms of the actual storyline, some fans weren't as receptive to the movie and didn't feel it was true to the books' messages at all. So it's really all relative, I guess, and the more you strive for book faithfulness, the more the differences are going to put you off. But I do think the people on the staff and storywriting at DreamWorks have a lot of respect for the original, if nothing else.


I do respect the Potter films for trying - I'll never put down the directors or tell them they did a bad job, they're certainly decent films that attempted to be faithful - but I don't get the feeling they "got it." You can't convey a theme if you didn't catch it or failed to understand why it was there. They were too busy trying to be faithful to the story to understand the point. HTTYD was the opposite. They didn't even attempt to be faithful, but they at least seem to know the idea Cowell was going for - peace, equality, and what it means to be a hero - even if they approached it very differently. Lord of the Rings managed both; it was faithful to the story but also manage to have a lot of the themes come through intact. And sometimes movies manage to succeed and fail even within the course of the same film. The Potter films have a lot of this, and as you pointed out, the Hobbit films do, too.


So essentially, yes, I agree, the spirit of the story should be what comes through. But I don't think faithfulness to the original guarantees this, nor do I think huge deviations in the story are necessarily untrue to the original spirit or theme. And sometimes they enhance the story. I'm one of those people who does not subscribe to the idea that the book is always better, and I have seen a number of movies, some even striving to be very faithful to the original storyline, that I like better than their books. (That's not the norm, but it happens.)


Now about BBC's Merlin...I'm actually very intrigued that you brought that up, as I am a huge fan of Arthurian legend.


I'm unfamiliar with Merlin, so I can't comment on the show itself, but I hesitate to condemn any modern Arthurian legend for "changes to the source material." That kind puts into question what even is the original. Arthurian legends have been retold for centuries and generally lend themselves well to re-imaginings and changes to character roles. They are forever morphed to the writers' whims and moral ideals; the only consistency is that they always uphold the moral code of the day and question what it is to be a ruler and leader. I've read different variations of the French version we're all familiar with but also translations of older English and Celtic versions that are centuries older. All are considered legitimate due to their age, but looking at the French version that's popular with us now, that was such a perversion of the original, regardless of the fact that it was a good story. It added a slew of new characters, cut out others, and changed the roles of existing characters, sometimes beyond recognition. Most of it was rewritten to be romantic so it would sell in the theater. It was, for all intents and purposes, a very unfaithful adaptation, altered to be profitable, even if it was made out of love for its source material. It was made new, updated and fresh, a product of its day. And this is the very way the legend has survived all of these years, altered and changed with each retelling, sometimes molded beyond recognition, always updated for the modern audience. Sometimes it's attempting to challenge the points of its source material. And in its retelling, it renews its appeal.


In my experience, Arthur is best not when it's "faithful" - because then what would you be faithful to, the French plays, the old English legend, the Celtic tales? - but when it's molded to the artist's hand and to the morals of its day. That's one of the charms of the legends. In this case, the BBC Merlin is just carrying on a centuries' old tradition.


From what I've heard, I think Merlin sounds like an imaginative retelling that really challenges the French story's perceptions and cliches. And yeah, it's cashing in on the fact that the fantasy genre is marketable on television right now, but that's just smart marketing; can't blame a company for that. "Cashing-in" is really only vulgar to do if you don't have an actual story to tell, and a lot of people seem to like Merlin, so I kind of assumed there was a story there that was worthwhile. And the show's writer, Julian Murphy, appears from interviews to be knowledgeable of many different Arthurian tales from a slew of different origins, and he blends them all together, along with his own creative spin, to make the show as we know it. I don't know if the show is any good or if it deserves any defense, but at the very least, it doesn't seem to be doing anything different than its own source material did so long ago.


...So basically, Merlin is a fanfiction based on a fanfiction that was likely based on another fanfiction that was probably also based on a fanfiction, all the way back and probably starting with some guy telling a tall tale. (Had to take all the eloquence out of my little spiel before I left it.) XD

Ariathena's picture
Berk's Power Player
Joined: 01/14/2014
This comic was really good!

This comic was really good! The screenshots and dialogue were spot on. I heard you have other comics? Would you happen to have the links to them?

Also, as a matter of fact, I did see the Snaptrapper in the background, and actually expected them to ambush the group XD

WhispertheWolf's picture
Supreme Viking Champion
Joined: 03/13/2015
Thank You!

Thank you! I've only got two comics so far, including this one, although I'm hoping to make more. Here's a link to my first one: The Wolf and the Howl: The Song of Death


Haha, yeah, actually, Sneak, Snip, Snap, & Trap were avoiding them. They weren't eager to face Winterwind again. XD