Misfit Toy

Hey everyone. I know it has been a while. In all honesty, i haven’t been writing a lot lately. That upsets me. I used to write everyday to keep my mind active. Now, it has kind of lessened. Im setting out to change that. Also, i wanted to come back onto my blog. I like updating stuff here and get feedback from other writers on WordPress. I hope to start updating again. I even have plan for a new blog series, just like my interview with a writer series. I shall update that very soon. But for now, here is a poem i wrote before my few months of writers block. Hope you enjoy it:

Misfit toy

 

Broken

Disfigured

Maimed

Observed from eager eyes of

Blood thirsty audiences

They marvel,

They spit,

They cheer,

They jeer,

Whatever tickles their fancy.

I, always under the watchful eye

Of the Master

Master of tricks,

Mind or otherwise.

My “difference”,

Gains him enjoyment.

My “afflictions”,

Give him power.

As i get smaller and smaller

In my caged existence,

He gets bigger and bigger

More sinister and more power hungry.

His laughs fill my mind

With poison.

“Your only worth,

Your only job is to please me”

The horrifying gurgle of his voice

Fills my thoughts

And corrupts my mind.

The master of my own affliction…

And the audience fill the stage

To watch my fall,

My grand finale.

I am done.

This misfit toy has played

Its part

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Please watch Euphoria ūüíú

Okay, I know I said my next blog post would be my review on Bella Thorne’s new book. That can wait. I just couldn’t stop thinking about this show. After I finished my first viewing, I went back and watched it again. I just can’t get over this show ūüíú¬†So this week’s blog post will be me, gushing over this HBO show. This will be a spoiler free post. And I highly advise you to go and watch this show. It’ll be worth your while.

The story

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I have watched a lot of teen dramas, but none has been as gritty and hard-hitting as Euphoria. Euphoria tells the story about “A look at life for a group of high school students as they grapple with issues of drugs, sex, and violence.” It is the most dark teen drama I have seen. It discusses depression, sexual and physical abuse, nudes and porn. It goes into various dark topics, that other teen dramas wouldn’t touch and it keeps you on your feet throughout the show.

The music

The soundtrack for this show is phenomenal. A lot of the music was created by Labyrinth. Along with chosen songs for the show, they just have pieces of music with no lyrics, sung by Labyrinth. Music, like the video above, would get you emotional throughout the show. The pieces play perfectly into certain scenes of the show. One of the best tv soundtracks I’ve heard in a really long time. It also has a phenomenal song performed by Zendaya and Labyrinth, called All For Us.

The cinematography 

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The shots in this film, are phenomenal. The lighting, the colours. It is so innovative the way this show was made. You can tell that so much love was put into every shot, so to enact the right emotions from the audience. It’s superb. However, if you are sensitive to bright lights etc, this show may not be for you.

Zendaya

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Need I say more. Give this girl an Emmy for her performance in this show. This show has an amazing cast, but Zendaya stills the show.

The ending

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The show ends on an ambiguous note, but it leaves you wanting more. It caught me off guard, at how off the walls it was. But it does make sense in the context of the show. I’m not going to spoil anything,¬† but all I’ll say is that, thank God there is a season 2 coming.

Euphoria is one of the best shows out there. Currently, it is my favourite tv show at the moment. This was just a short post on some of the reasons you should watch Euphoria. I may do more posts on this show. It is worth the dissection. The story has so many layers, and it’s brilliant at telling a story. But until then, I hope you enjoyed this post. I’ll see you in the next one.

Poets in Music #3

Billie Eilish

Hey, guys. I haven’t done one of these in a while, but I had to talk about this artist for a second. I adore Billie Eilish. It was so hard to choose my favourite songs from Billie Eilish. She is one of the most inspiring artists out there and her lyrics are so insightful. I’ve never seen anything like it, especially from someone as young as she is. I’m almost 24 and she is more accomplished than I will ever be. A lot of my choices are from her latest album, “When We all Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?” Pick it up, download it. It’s amazing. As I have said before, this blog series talks about musicians who create music with insightful lyrics, who inspire my own work. I call these musicians, “Poets in Music. ”

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Honestly, this one of my (maybe the only one) favourite Billie Eilish songs. It utilises the ukulele to play this heart-breaking song. Billie’s voice is altered to sound more child-like, but it works for the context of the song. The song tells the story of a person who gives their all into a relationship, only to get nothing in return.

“I came committed, guess I overdid it
Wore my heart out on a chain
Around my neck but now it’s missing, hmm”

Some lyrics like this, showcase a person who tried desperately for this relationship to work. But no matter what they did, the other person didn’t do the same. In an interview, Billie revealed that she wrote this song in the point of view of someone she hurt. She said she wanted to understand where they were coming from, when she ultimately hurt them. Its a beautiful song, with a heart-breaking story. And my favourite lyric from the song, sums up the whole song for me,

“I know you’re not sorry
Why should you be
‘Cause who am I to be in love
When your love never is for me”

 

Listen Before I Go

This song is one of the darkest songs I heard from her. This song comes, almost, as a window into the mind of someone about to kill themselves. The song stops you in your tracks when you hear the opening lyric, “Take me to the rooftop, I wanna see the world when I stop breathing, turning blue.” The initial message is clear. However, what I took from the song, was that it was a letter to the people this person is leaving behind. This person, on top of the roof, knows that their friends will be heart-broken, but still plans to end their life. They say things like, “Don’t say I’m all that matters, Leave me.”

This person seems to come to terms with their decision and is almost angry at their friends for possibly stopping them or just not caring enough to stop them, “Leave me like you do”

When I first heard this song, it gave me chills and if I’m being honest, I balled my eyes out. Never has a song hit me this hard, where it brought me to tears. The most creative and heart-breaking part of the song is the end. You have the end lyrics, where this person apologises to everyone,

“Call my friends and tell them that I love them
And I’ll miss them
But I’m not sorry
Call my friends and tell them that I love them
And I’ll miss them
Sorry”

And the last sound you hear in the song after the word “Sorry,” is the sound of wind, a thud and people’s screams. You just heard this person’s suicide. Its hard to listen to, but it is one of the most creative songs on suicide I’ve ever heard.

I love you

Now, when I first heard this song, I didn’t really like it. For some reason, I was too held up on the more upbeat Billie songs, that I skipped this one. But when I sat down and listened to it, I was floored. This would be my second favourite song from her debut album. Love is beautiful, but it sucks as well. Billie sums it up in this one line

“You didn’t mean to say “I love you”
I love you and I don’t want to”

This song tells the story of someone who confessed their love to another person. And this song portrays the fear and confusion in that moment.¬†“It’s not true, Tell me I’ve been lied to” and “The smile that you gave me, Even when you felt like dying.” The song shows the possibility of everything blowing up in your face when you tell someone you love them. The point of view in song is from the person who heard this confession, and they cant comprehend it. No, you must be joking.

The song plays out this battle in their head, over whether or not, they love them to. Until the final line in the song, gives the answer,

“We fall apart as it gets dark
I’m in your arms in Central Park
There’s nothing you could do or say
I can’t escape the way, I love you
I don’t want to, but I love you”

Accepting that you are in love, and that it is terrifying. The lyrics are complemented with the beautiful guitar strings. It doesn’t distract you from the story that’s being told. I adore this song, and the many nuances it holds.

 

All the Good Girls Go to Hell

I love this song for its wacky lyrics and the dancing beat to this song. I cant explain why I love it. I just do. I also still don’t know what the song means. From my interpretation, it tells us that everyone goes to hell, even good girls. I don’t know. I need to listen to it more. But some of my favourite lyrics in the song are, “My Lucifer is lonely” (such a cool line), “Your cover up is caving in,
Man is such a fool
Why are we saving him?
Poisoning themselves now
Begging for our help, wow!” and “My god is gonna owe me”

Plus, the beat to this song is sick. Please make a music video of this song. Still waiting

 

Honourable mentions

When the Party’s Over

 

I feel this song in my bones. And this is one of the best music videos I have ever seen. Its creepy and creative, but that’s Billie Eilish. Some of my favourite lyrics in this song are, “Don’t you know I’m no good for you?
I’ve learned to lose you, can’t afford to”

and

“I’ll only hurt you if you let me
Call me friend but keep me closer (call me back)
And I’ll call you when the party’s over”

Wish you were Gay

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The artistic way they wrote this song, where they had the 12 steps to get over someone placed in reverse. An example would be

“Baby, I don’t feel so good,

6 words you never understood,

I’ll never let you go 5 words you never say”

“10 fingers tearing out my hair,

9 times you never made it there.

I ate alone at 7,

You were 6 minutes away”

The song is upbeat and talks about being in love with someone who is broken and cant love you back. So Billie’s character in the song, turns the guy gay so to explain why he doesn’t like her back. It shows the selfishness of someone, who wants someone they cant have. People gave this song a lot of slack, due to the title. Thought it was offensive, but if you listen to the song, Billie is basically outing herself for being selfish.

 

That’s it for this “Poets in Music.” I’ve missed this and its good to be back. I should have a review out soon on a book I ordered. I don’t know if you’ve heard about”The Life of a Wannabe Mogul” by Bella Thorne. Yeah, that’ll be my next blog post. *Fingers crossed* If not, Ill see you in the next post. Hope you enjoyed this one.

Game of Thrones Season 8

Now that the finale has aired,¬† I wanted to give my grievances about the final season of Game of Thrones. I love GoT so much, and that’s why it hurts to see it fail so badly, especially when it is on it’s final run. I found it difficult to write an appreciation post about the show after watching the last couple of episodes. However, I still love most of the show. The show gave us these amazing years with amazing characters, moments and actors. And it was the number one show for many years. However, it is a shame that many people forget about the amazing moments that the show brought us because of the trainwreck of a final season. My appreciation post will come later this week.

Now that the show is over and we got our ending, I wanted to talk about what I liked and hated about it. (Yes there were some great things about this season, but unfortunately, the bad is outweighing the hard work that was put into this season).

Things I Liked:

The acting

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Even though some characters didn’t get the resolution they deserved or their moments were too rushed, all the actors gave it their all. Emilia Clarke should win an Emmy for this season, for the stellar performance she gave. Her best performance came this season when her character descended into madness and turned into the tyrant we feared she would be. Just look at her face just before she sacked the city. She turned from confusion to rage and her face said it all. The actors worked with what they could and they did it fabulously.

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Jorah, Theon and Sandor’s deaths

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These three characters had the most powerful deaths in the season. Their arcs came to satisfying conclusions and I couldn’t ask for anything more. Jorah died protecting his queen, Theon died fighting and protecting the Starks. And Sandor got his final showdown with his brother which ended in their epic ends. Each of these characters showcased satisfying ends to their character development, which wasn’t a plentiful in this season. So it was nice to these amazing characters to come to brilliant conclusions.

The cinematography

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Say what you will about the writing of the show, but this season never failed to amaze me with the shots they gave. In episode 3, 5 and 6 of season 8, it had the best shots in the whole series. They worked their hardest for this season and it shows. This season was gorgeous to look at.

The first two episodes

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The season started off strong in my opinion. I felt like, after a few slow seasons, we were starting how Game of Thrones began. The pacing was good, the characters scenes were amazing. It felt like coming home when the first episode aired. I never felt happier. I even enjoyed episode 3, even though people complained about how dark the episode was. I was fine with it. But after these first two episodes, the rest only showcased good moments instead overall good episodes.

Drogons final scene

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Dany’s death scene was too rushed in my opinion. Even the impact of Jon killing Dany fell flat to me. But the scene was saved by Drogon coming and coming to the realization that his mother was dead. He has been there since the very beginning. He was raised by Dany, and we felt his pain in that scene without any dialogue. And the best moment in Game of Thrones came in this scene when Drogon destroyed the Iron Throne. The only seat of power in Westeroes and the reason this whole mess started. Drogon knew that it wasn’t Jon who killed Dany, but the power consumed from the Iron Throne. If it never existed, none of the tragedies of the show would have happened, especially Dany’s death. This scene with Drogon broke me as a viewer. And as he took Dany’s body away to grieve in solitude, it ended the Mother of Dragons perfectly. Drogon, the last dragon on earth, brother less and motherless.

Things I didn’t like

Jons character arc

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We have followed Jon since season 1. He had been a main character throughout the series. And many held with baited breath when he came face-to-face with the Night King. However, that moment was taken by Arya. I loved that scene but it was meant for Jon and that shows when you see what Jon did after that. Oh wait, he did nothing after the Battle of Winterfell. All he did was tell everyone he didn’t want to be king and staying away from Dany. All he did in the end was kill Dany. It felt rushed and wrong since he did nothing throughout this last season. His character got shafted towards the end and it felt unfair.

Dany’s descent into madness

Dany is my favourite character in the series and it broke my heart to see what happened to her in this final season. Now, let me explain. I didn’t mind that she went mad. That was the most logical end for her character. I loved the scene when she burns down King’s Landing, as it shows our beloved Daenerys descend into madness. However, the showrunners gave Dany’s descent only two episodes to develop. Therefore, when you watch her burn the city to the ground, it felt unjustified and wrong. How can sweet Dany who would never burn a city, all of sudden torch it and kill millions? This is why I felt they should have done another season. So they would have the time and resources to flesh this out and not have it too rushed. I felt sad to see Dany’s character arc go that fast, as she has been pretty fleshed out throughout the series. Similar to Jon, they should have taken more care with Dany’ story arc for the final season.

 

Jaime

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Jaime Lannister and his redemption arc. Thrown out the window. Oh my god. Out of all the things wrong with this season, this pissed me off the most. Jaime left Cersei in season 7 and went to the North. All seemed to be coming to an end with his redemption arc. He separated himself from Cersei and fought for what he thought was right. He got with Brienne (finally) and it seemed he would live out his days in the North with her. But no, they had to have him go back to King’s Landing to be with Cersei. In that moment, I thought that the only way they can save this, is if he killed Cersei. But no, they died together in each others arm. So his whole redemption that started back in season 2, or 3, meant nothing. And fuck Jaime for what he did to Brienne. Tormund would have treated her right.

 

Overall, the season fell flat due to the writing. Everything felt too rushed and thats what I fear would happen when they announced that the final season would have only 6 episodes. They should have done 10 and another season. To do it justice, they should have had a season 9. However, I didn’t hate the season. As discussed, the season had so many good things about it to. The shots, the moment when Ayra killed the Night King, Dany’s dictator speech. So many jaw-dropping moments, just the way Game of Thrones should be. I was disappointed with how the showrunners certain characters and how many stupid stuff lead to certain points but I wont say I hated it. They were many things they got right in the show. And I felt the ending was one of them. Many were divided by the ending and I understand why. I felt the same. Bran becoming king felt out of nowhere to me and out of all the characters, he was my least favourite, especially this season. But I accept that they would be better off with Bran as king. I loved the conclusion to Sansa’s story with her as King of the North. The ending was bittersweet in the sense that when the conflict was done, the Starks are still not together. Separated by exile, duty and need for adventure, the Stark children have gone their separate ways. I neither hate or love that ending because it wasn’t what I expected but im happy with it. Seeing Dany die broke my heart, the election of Bran as king gave me hope to a new start and to see the Stark children have their own happy endings, I felt bittersweet. As Martin and the showrunners said I would feel. The final season was slightly disappointing but I didn’t hate it. I can debate about the horrible decisions the writers made, but I stand by this, Game of Thrones was one of the best tv shows out there. And I am glad to have been a long-time viewer. I think Anatomy Trope puts it better than me in his video here:

But the final season wasn’t the worst. It wasn’t the best ever. There was potential there, but it fell flat by the writing. But I still adore this tv show, and I am so sad that it ended. What did you think of the ending? And how did you feel when it was over? Id love to here all about it in the comments below.

Hope you enjoyed this blog. I shall post my Game of Thrones appreciation blog up this week. Until then, talk to you soon.

Let’s Talk about: Crimes of Grindelwald

Oh boy. This is going to be a fun post. For the past several months, I have been working on my Masters thesis. Its a final project in the programme, where you pick your own topic to research for several months and get graded on it. It’s similar to the final year project I had to do last year, but a little longer. Anyway, I chose to do my topic on the figure of the author in literature, and chose to analyse the author, J.K. Rowling.

 

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Yes, this woman. I’m already getting annoyed just thinking about her. Now, I dont mean to say I hate Rowling. On the contrary, I consider her one of my favourite authors and she is the main reason I started writing in the first place. Thats why I chose her for my thesis. However, my respect for this woman is dwindling fast and Ill tell you why.

For my thesis, I knew I had to watch Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald. I hadn’t gotten a chance to watch it, and now was the perfect opportunity. I watched it for the first time several weeks ago and oh god. Why, J.K. Rowling?! I hated this movie with a passion. Why would you do this, Rowling?! And I came to find out, I am not the only one who hated this movie. Many people/fans hated this film. But I’m not here to talk about the collective thought on this film. I’m going to tell you why I hated it so much. Keep in mind that I watched this film a little while, so my thoughts are very all over the place and this will become ranty.

First thoughts:

When I first saw the trailer for this film, I was excited. I loved the first Fantastic Beasts film. I loved the story of Newt Scamander, coming to New York with a briefcase full of magical creatures and going on an adventure. The characters were so relatable and interesting, that I couldn’t help but love everyone. I also loved the character of Newt. He brought so much character to the screen, without being expressive. He plays a animal lover, without the social cues of a human. He prefers taking care of creatures, than conversing with humans. So he tends not to look people in the eye, hide away his expressions and tends to more rude towards humans. But thats what makes him a fascinating change to the original protagonist of Rowling’s stories, Harry.

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Newt just wants to find his creatures. He has no destiny to uphold. No sense of a greater duty to mankind. He serves himself and thats it. But seeing him warm to Tina, Queenie and Jacob in the first film, made me love him even more. I loved the integration of Grindelwald into the story, which showed that Fantastic Beasts connects the lore of Harry Potter. I was excited for what was in store in Crimes of Grindelwald.

Well….

The story and characters

The plot of this film was all over the place. We were following several perspectives of the film, such as, Newt, Tina, Queenie, Jacob, Grindelwald, Dumbledore, Credence and Nagini. There were too many perspectives that it clogged up the narrative. And a lot of the characters didn’t do anything to push the plot forward. For example, Newt was asked to become an Auror to help find Credence. (Why they asked a magic zoologist to help in an important mission, I dont know). He refuses, but Rowling needed him to be in Paris for some reason, so she made up the plot detail that Tina was in Paris. And thats the only reason why he goes there.

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I ship Newt and Tina as much as the next person. But it felt like Newt was misplaced throughout this film. Why does he need to be in Paris? Why does he end up at Grindelwald’s meeting at the end? He’s just there. That infuriated me. Rowling, why put sweet Newt into a narrative he shouldn’t be in? If you wanted him in the story, give him a proper reason to be there. Just like in the first film, where he was bringing the Thunderbird to Arizona. Oh wait, Rowling discredited that information in this film, when Dumbledore asked if Newt told anyone the real reason why he went to New York. Anyway, moving on. The first scene of Jacob and Queenie in this film was awful.

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Firstly, the explanation for how Jacob’s memories came back is ludicrous. He says that the potion used for the rain in the last film, only worked on bad memories. Jacob did not have bad memories since he spent the majority of them with Newt, Queenie and Tina, so the potion didn’t work on him. That contradicts the ending of the first film, when we see Jacob having no memory of the wizarding world. Also, Queenie putting a curse on Jacob so he would marry her. This was wrong on so many levels, as this is not Queenie’s character. She is too sweet to ever consider doing that to Jacob, especially if she loved him. Also, the fact that Queenie joined Grindelwald’s side. I can see it from the idea of the law against witches and non-magical people to be together. However, the fact she went to Grindelwald’s side without Jacob and with Jacob against Grindelwald, it made no sense. The point for her to agree with Grindelwald, is that shell end up with Jacob in the end. Next is Credence and Nagini.

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I loved Credence in the first film. Tragic and powerful character. He had a strong storyline in this film, with trying to find his real family. That was cool. But it also felt lacklustre with Grindelwald’s involvement. The reason he was in Paris, was because Grindelwald set a path for him to follow. Okay? And Nagini, you had no purpose in this film. Her character was pushed into the trailers and promotions of the film for nostalgia points. She only spoke 5 words throughout the whole film. She had no story. There was no development in her relationship with Credence. So when Credence joined Grindelwald’s side, she was upset. Why? The film showed no relationship. Rowling didn’t make me care about these characters, which leads me onto the next character, Leta Lestrange.

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I was excited for what her role would be in the story. What did we get?? Nothing! The first film eluded to her character and that was a great scene. It gave hints to a relationship between Newt and her. However, I got the impression that Newt had feelings for her and she didn’t reciprocate. In this film, it was the complete reversal. She is engaged to Newt’s brother, but the film presents us with flashbacks of Leta and Newt when they were kids. It looked like the film was going to push more of this deeper love between Leta and Newt. But that doesn’t happen. There were a couple of flashbacks, Leta seems interested in Newt, but Newt doesn’t seem to care. Also, her final scene where she says, “I love you” to the Scamander brothers. The film confused her relationship with Newt so much in the narrative, that I didn’t know who she was referring to. Maybe that was the intent, I dont know. It just didn’t work. Also the reveal of her murdering her brother, Corvus Lestrange was just cliched soap opera type.

Random Guy: Oh, Credence. You are our long lost brother, Corvus. The product of a sexual crime against this guy’s mother. (I dont remember this guys name, and since he served no real purpose to the film, except for giving this crap climatic revelation, it doesn’t matter).

Leta: No, he cant be Corvus. Because I killed Corvus. I swapped him with another baby because his crying annoyed me.

I am not joking. This was supposed to be the revelatory moment in the film, where we find out the identity of Credence. There is a revelation and then it gets taken away from us. Until it gets placed as the last scene in the film (ill get to that).

As for Gellert Grindelwald…

Grindelwald

I actually dont have anything bad to say about Johnny Depp’s performance. He was good in the role, even though, Rowling failed to present this seductive dictator, as she claims in interviews. As discussed above, several characters went over to his side, due to his charismatic speeches. However, as a viewer, I didn’t feel like he won me over. His discussion of the oncoming war caused by humans, felt like a crap motivation for people to come to his side. He has murdered people, and has done terrible things. But oh, he predicts the destruction of World War 2 by the humans, and that gets people to forget the evil deeds he has done.

Also how does a human war affect the wizarding world? I dont know. I guess we are going to wait for the next film, to find out.

Needless Harry Potter easter eggs

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Nicholas Flamel, why are you even here?

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Oh cool, the Philosopher’s stone appears on screen for less than 5 seconds. Why even put this in? Oh, youre not a true Harry Potter if you didn’t see this useless easter egg appear in the movie.

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Also McGonagall appears in this film. But according to Harry Potter lore, she shouldn’t be alive during the events of film. And what makes it even more hilarious, when Leta reminisces about her childhood at Hogwarts, McGonagall is there too. What is she? More than a 100 years old. Come on, Rowling.

Major mistakes on the lore

Throughout the film, its almost like Rowling doesn’t know her own world. Or she just wants to change on a whim.

First, Dumbledore is Defence against the Dark Arts teacher during the events of the film. No, he shouldn’t be. He should Transfiguration teacher. Why change it? Because its the cooler subject in Hogwarts. Jude Law tried to say that he was Defence against the Dark Arts teacher for a period of time, after he was Transfiguration professor. I love how the actor, himself, is trying to defend the mistakes of the author. Rowling never can shut up on her Twitter about meaningless information. But when it comes to a lore mistake made by her, she is noticeably silent.

Another small thing, was the fact that people can apparate onto Hogwarts grounds. According to the lore, no wizard can apparate into Hogwarts, except for Dumbledore himself. And this mistake showed up in the first trailer, before the film released. They could have fixed it, but decided to leave it in. Even after, many fans expressed their complaints about it.

Now for the biggest mistake in the film. At the end of the film, Credence discovers that he is the long lost brother of Albus Dumbledore. Now, there are so many things wrong with this revelation. How did this never get mentioned in the Harry Potter books? This would be valuable information to Dumbledore’s backstory in Deathly Hallows. How could Dumbledore fail to mention that he had a secret brother in the Kings Cross chapter in the final book. First thing, I thought was Grindelwald is lying. He has to be, because this statement makes no sense. When Dumbledore reveals all his regrets to Harry in the final book, he never mentions Credence. The only explanation is Grindelwald is lying or Dumbledore never found out.

Firstly, Rowling attempts to prove this statement is correct by the appearance of Credence’s phoenix. Albus said earlier in the film, when a Dumbledore is in need, a phoenix will come to him. So that points to Credence being a Dumbledore. However, this makes for a discrepancy in Rowling’s lore and reveals bad storytelling. Now, the next film hasn’t come out yet, therefore, answers have yet to come. But if Credence turns out to be this long lost brother, then to make the final moments in Deathly Hallows make sense, Albus must have never known he had a brother. Then where is the point of this revelation if Albus doesn’t find out he has a long lost brother??

Also I am briefly going to talk about the claimed romance between Dumbledore and Grindelwald, as I am going to get very annoyed at this point. As we understood it in the lore, Dumbledore had feelings for Grindelwald but Grindelwald never reciprocated. However, as Rowling claims in this featurette for the film:

“There was a sexual dimension to this relationship”….So did they have sex or no? But that isn’t the point. She is stating this, when the film suggests nothing of the sort. The only thing we get is a line where Dumbledore says: “We were more than just brothers.” Now, I dont want a sex scene between Johnny Depp and Jude Law. Thats not what I am getting at. But I feel like Rowling is just shoehorning information in as an attempt to make her look progressive. She isn’t concerned about her characters or her story. She just wants to maintain relevancy, by making these big claims and never proving or showcasing them. If they had such a love relationship, show it more in the films. Now, they could do it in later films, but from this sequel, I fear itll be more the same. Jumping around the subject and claiming progressive behaviour.

This movie turned into a melodrama and a hot mess, instead of a wizarding world film. And I hate it. I am sorry to Eddie Redmayne, Johnny Depp, Ezra Miller, Jude Law and every other actor who had to be a part of this terrible movie. You deserved so much better.

Apologies for this ranty post, but god, did this movie make me angry. This wont be the only time I say this, but Rowling, please stop. Keep the integrity of your story. Thats why I loved Harry Potter so much. Good story, good characters. You weren’t trying to make your story relevant or keep it in the public eye. I loved the first Fantastic Beasts film because it was a new story in a world I already knew. By placing too much relevance on Harry Potter lore, you ended up tarnishing the story of this film, and the lore with it. Please stop or just make sure the next film fixes your mistakes. You know what, just get rid of this film. Pretend it didn’t happen and start over.

Hope ye enjoyed this rant. I shall see ye in the next post.

 

A note to the unrequited

I’m back. And the first order of business as I return to the blog-o-sphere, I want to show you what I have been working on. Its another project I have been planning and working on for months. May put it as my work in progress. I call this piece,

 

A note to the unrequited:

Rather remain silent than truthful. Rather keep up appearances than disrupt the flow. Rather remain friends, than attempt the unthinkable.

I love you. But I don’t want to.

A word to the unrequited: Silence is golden. Trust me…

 

This is the beginning of a prose piece that I have yet to summarize. In the point of view of an unrequited, the world seems unforgiving. To watch someone you love in the arms of another. I wanted to follow that train of thought. In my novel, I have a character that falls into that category. In my opinion, to be in love with someone who doesn’t know or doesn’t love you back, is the most heart-breaking emotion someone feels. But I also believe those people are the strongest. To be in love but never say it out loud. Its a tragedy that anyone can face. I just wanted to show you a piece of what I am currently working on.

I have just finished my college semester. Ill be doing my thesis during the summer, but for now, Ill be blogging more. I’m looking forward to start regular posting again. Its good to be back. Hope you enjoyed this post. Ill see you in the next post

 

 

 

 

 

Where I’ve Been?

This is just going to be a short blog post. I feel bad that I have been absent on here for the past month and a bit. But its to be expected from everything that has happened. I am alright. It’s just that things have been hectic lately. College is hitting me hard with the amount of assignments and the thesis I have to write. I try to fit in time for some writing. However, I feel I wont be able to do it properly, until I finish my classes for this semester.

Along with college, the year has just turned into a really bad year. I’m trying to stay positive, but its hard when everything bad is hitting you all at once. I feel like blogging and writing can keep my mind off things, but I havent had the time or mentality to get back into it.

I will be back, but at the moment, I dont have the mindset to do it. I feel like when the stress of college gets lifted off my shoulders, Ill have a little room to give my mind and heart back to this blog. But at the moment, its been hard. I’m sorry for this weird post. I probably might delete it later. I just wanted to let you know that I am not doing great. And its okay to admit that.

But I will come back. I wont let this platform go anytime soon. I just wanted to be honest and let you know why I have been absent on my blog. I hope to talk to ye soon x

International Women’s Day Book List

To celebrate international women’s day, I shall share some books that were written by strong females or books that talk about strong females. Most of these I have read, with the exception of one. The books contains themes such as femininity, female sexuality, sisterhood, sexual violence and many other themes that bring about female empowerment. Or opens up discussion about womens experiences and rights. If you are interested in these books, pick them up. They are all great books. So my choices of books for International Women’s Day are:

Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur

milk and honey

New York Times bestseller Milk and Honey is a collection of poetry and prose about survival. About the experience of violence, abuse, love, loss, and femininity. Rupi’s collection of poetry is an amazing representation of femininity and what it means to be a woman. Her poems hit hard on topics, such as rape and sexual identity. I fell in love with every piece she put into the book and the strong illustrations Rupi created for each piece.

 

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

the hunger games

The Hunger Games is a 2008 dystopian novel by the American writer Suzanne Collins. It is written in the voice of 16-year-old Katniss Everdeen, who lives in the future, post-apocalyptic nation of Panem in North America. The Capitol, a highly advanced metropolis, exercises political control over the rest of the nation. This YA novel created a strong, female protagonist in Katniss Everdeen and I admired her when I read the series. I related to her cold demeanour towards strangers and how hard it is to trust. However, she is living in a dystopian society so it is harder to trust people. Katniss’ defiance against President Snow and the totalitarian state of Panem is inspiring and what you need to see every now and again from literature.

 

The Round House by Louise Erdrich

the round house

It is an exquisitely told story of a boy on the cusp of manhood who seeks justice and understanding in the wake of a terrible crime that upends and forever transforms his family. The novel focuses on race on an Indian reservation in North Dakota, rape and the aftermath of such a tragic event. It was a powerful read, through the eyes of a child witnessing the aftermath of his mothers rape. This story of vengeance, justice and history is a brilliant book and you should give it a read.

 

The Pleasures of Eliza Lynch by Anne Enright

the pleasures of eliza lynch

Based on the true story of the beautiful Irishwoman Eliza Lynch, who, in the 1860s, became, briefly, the richest woman in the world…In Paris, Eliza is in bed with Francisco Solano Lopez, heir to the untold wealth of Paraguay. The fruit of their congress will send Eliza across the Atlantic, leading a caravan of servants, clothes, jewellery and champagne on a regal voyage down the River Parana to her glorious future in Asuncion. Together with Lopez, Eliza embarks on a series of disastrous wars that define the nation and demonstrate her power – until she discovers the true sweep of her own cruelty. Anne Enright has an amazing talent at writing fascinating women. The character of Eliza Lynch captured my imagination when reading this book. Plus she is an Irish girl, which hits home. Brilliant writing, excellent female protagonist. Give it a read.

 

Asking For It by Louise O’ Neill

asking for it

A story about sexual violence and consent. Louise O’ Neill tells a story of an unlikeable girl who had a horrific thing done to her. This book marked conversation about consent and whose to blame. The book was fascinating, as the main character was deplorable at the beginning of the book. Therefore, when she was raped, people started to claim that she asked for it. She deserved to be raped because she was a horrible person. This book delves into those dark topics that need to be discussed in the world we live today. A world where the rules of consent become blurred, where yes means no, where its okay for this to happen to someone. This will be a tough read, but it is worth picking up.

 

Daughters of the House by Michele Roberts

daughters of the house

Th√©r√®se and Leonie, French and English cousins of the same age, grow up together in Normandy. Intrigued by parents’ and servants’ guilty silences and the broken shrine they find in the woods, the girls weave their own elaborate fantasies, unwittingly revealing the village secret and a deep shame that will haunt them in their adult lives. This book centres on mother-daughter relationships and sisterhood. Moreover, the religious undertones take a feminist view, when Therese goes against the patriarchy of the church. Monsieur Cure represented the patriarchal Church, where he refused to allow Therese speak and called her stupid for seeing the Virgin Mary. Whereas, Therese leads a reformed religious belief with the Virgin Mary by her side. Moreover, the question of the female sexuality and the female body becomes a central theme within the novel. Its a slow-paced one and it jumps between timelines but I highly recommend it.

 

Thats all I have for this post. If you are interested in finding more books by women, about women, check out Our Shared Shelf on Instagram. Its always posting up-coming books and circulates many books by women. Hope you enjoyed this and I shall talk to you in the next post.

 

Killing Stalking: A Review

Here comes another review. However, it isn’t a typical book. This month, I took up a manga that I discovered online, called Killing Stalking. It is a Korean manga and the story is told through visual art. I havent read that much manga, so I decided to try one. I heard about this particular manga through the grapevine on the internet. It was the new upcoming manga that became very popular. So I picked it up and….wow. After reading some of this story, I knew I had to talk about it. So thats what I am doing here.

 

*****DISCLAIMER: This manga contains graphic scenes of violent sex, rape, murder, self-harming and suicide. If you are sensitive to these topics, please dont read this manga*****

 

To avoid any graphic content, I am going to stick to the story and its characters in this review.

killing stalking 1

Plot: Yoon Bum, a scrawny quiet boy, has a crush on one of the most popular and handsome guys in school, Sangwoo. One day, with Yoonbum’s obsession towards Sangwoo reaching its peak, Yoon Bum decides to enter Sangwoo’s home. But what he saw inside was not the Sangwoo he had dreamed of.

After reading the overview of the plot, I wanted to learn more about the characters. Yoon Bum (the stalker) discovers that the person he stalked, Sangwoo is a murderer. Bum becomes Sangwoo’s personal victim, a person for him to enslave and do as he pleases. There is torture, there is murder and there is disturbing sex. To me, the duality of a stalker and a murderer was just too fascinating to pass up. I wanted to see how this twisted relationship goes.

Bum (the stalker) 

killing stalking bum

Bum is the perfect example of an obsessive stalker, and Stockholm syndrome victim. Bum starts the story with the line:

“There’s a guy I like. I follow his social media updates religiously. Isn’t it obvious I’d want to know about the personal life of someone I like? Its nothing to be embarrassed about. But I don’t want him to know.”

“Normally in male-female relationships, they would either date or decide to be just friends. But in my case, neither applies. I am Yoon Bum and I am a male.”

Bum begins the story with the denial of his stalking and encouraging his own unhealthy behaviour. He follows Sangwoo and breaks into his home. He becomes Sangwoo’s victim, which entails torture and mind-games. Moreover, you learn about Bum’s childhood filled with abuse and loneliness. The dark events of his past inform you as a reader and you begin to sympathize with Bum. However, there is no black and white in this story. Bum is no more innocent than his murderous captor, Sangwoo.

Sangwoo (the murderer)

Image result for sangwoo in killing stalking

Sangwoo is the mysterious psychopath and the apple to Bum’s obsession. I love Sangwoo as a character. There is so much mystery and terror surrounding him. One minute, he can be gentle and kind. The next, he will threaten to cut your throat and toss your body away. His main tactic is manipulation. He keeps Bum as a pet, as he is aware of his obsession and he keeps him around for enjoyment. However, his intentions start to blur as the story moves forward. Why does he keep Bum for so long? A psychopath like Sangwoo surely would tire of Bum and find another victim to terrorize. But he keeps Bum around. He takes him to events, allows him to meet his friends. He integrates Bum into his life. This puts a big question mark over Sangwoo’s intentions. What does he want? His change in behaviour puts you on edge throughout the whole story. He is handsome, charismatic, but he is also short-tempered, violent and psychotic. From what I read so far, Sangwoo had a troubled past with his parents. You can see scenes, where Sangwoo’s father dominated over his mother and him. These scenes transfer to his interactions with Bum, which shows he holds onto some trauma in his past. As a reader, I still dont have all the answer surrounding Sangwoo, which makes him all the more intriguing as a character. Why does he kill people? How did he become this? So many questions still!!!

 

Things I love about it:

The artwork

Not only is the story intriguing, the artwork is beautiful. It portrays simple scenes brilliantly, in contrast with the horrifying, violent scenes. The manga artist did an amazing job, capturing the thrilling mood of the story, through their page turners. Each image cut up and spaced out to leave the suspenseful effect on the reader.

killing stalking 2killing stalking 3.png

The Story:

This manga is a suspenseful thriller through and through. Every time I turned a page, I was gripping the edge of my seat. I wanted to know what happened next. Also, the characters are fascinating. There is no black and white. Sangwoo and Bum live in the grey area. For a minute, I think I have figured out Sangwoo. But then the next minute, I am left confused about his intentions and who he is. Neither character is innocent. You are reading a story about a murderer and a stalker. Both of them are pretty bad. But it’s interesting to see the manipulations, the cat-and-mouse games played and the power dynamics between the two.

One thing I dislike about this story is the Detective plot.

killing stalking detective

Yes, this idiot. Detective Yang Seungbae, I really didn’t like him. I understand you needed conflict in the story, besides the impending doom of Sangwoo and Bum’s relationship. And the suspicions Detective Yang had over Sangwoo was interesting, but he was working off little evidence and he was doing everything the wrong way. I dont want to get into spoilers, but he screwed up his investigation of Sangwoo and I wasn’t sad about it. At that point, I was on Sangwoo’s side. I wanted the murderer to get away, which I guess is the point. Nevertheless, I didn’t like the actions of Yang. Also his chapters were boring. I hated it, whenever I just passed an intense scene with Sangwoo and Bum, and I turn the page to find Detective Yang gracing us with his presence. I didn’t like the swapping between storylines. I would have liked it better, if Yang was a smarter character.

Character development: 

Bum and Sangwoo are the driving force to the story, and both are equally compelling. Bum, the cowardly stalker, shows depth in his dire circumstances, asking the questions what would you do if you were in his situation. The amount of times where I sat through another one of Bum’s running thoughts on escape and screaming “why wont you do it?” But he answers that for you. Sangwoo will catch me, overpower me and kill me easily. So he bids his time. He stays. He learns, but he also still obsesses. You cant teach an old dog new tricks. A stalker to Sangwoo for many years, he still remains a victim to Sangwoo’s will. Its tragic, pathetic and intriguing. No matter how pathetic Bum is, I sympathize with this stalker. The same with Sangwoo.

Throughout the story, I fear Sangwoo as much as Bum. However, I sympathize with his moments of weakness, where we dont see a murderous psychopath. This gives the reader a weakness, to believe that there is something human underneath this monster. I dont know if there is any humanity in Sangwoo. I have yet to find out. But finding out is part of the fun. The story develops these characters for you to hate and sympathize with, all at once. The story gets you to love the villains, similar to what the Netflix series, You did. Even though we knew the protagonist was committing horrible crimes, we understood his motives and started to sympathize with him.

You.png

Another thing I am not a big fan of, is the graphic sex scenes in the manga. However, I dont let it bother me, as they do play an interesting part to the manipulation tactics in the story. Each sexual scene portrays Sangwoo and Bum’s dynamics. Who is in control in this scene? Sangwoo always has control over all aspects of Bum, including in a sexual context. However, these sexual scenes can show a change in power relations, as the manga progresses. At the beginning, Sangwoo is dominating and aggressive. He decided what to do and if it was to be done. Whereas, as the story continues, dynamics slightly shift and Bum takes control in sexual aspect. This leaves you wondering how much is Sangwoo in control of Bum? How long would Bum retain that control? And what does it mean for their toxic relationship?

Overall, the manga is an intriguing read and I recommend you read it. However, it is a tough read. As I said in the disclaimer above, the manga holds disturbing, violent scenes that if you are sensitive to content like this, than I advise you not to read it.

Thats all I have for this post this week. Hope you enjoyed it. I wanted to try something different today and I hope it pulled off. If you are interested in reading Killing Stalking, you can find it on the internet to read. It is worth the read, but be warned of the graphic scenes you will see in this manga. Hope you all had a lovely week and Ill talk to you in the next post.

 

What Literature Means to Me

Since I started my Masters programme, I have gone on a journey to delve into as much literary texts as I possibly can. Part of my course is to look at Literature and define it. What is your own definition of literature? Do you only see elitist literature as part of the canon of literature? Can only a select few of works by writers, such as the Bront√ę’s and Austen, be considered a part of canon? What counts as literature?

literature

This a big question in literary academia and it is quite contested. Literary critics/theorists argue that certain significant works will be considered a part of this grand literary catalogue. However, this becomes elitist. The literary canon consists mainly of classics and works that critics deem exceptional within the literary world. An example of an elitist work would be Jane Austen’s Pride & Prejudice.¬†

pride and prejudice

Austen’s novel became influential for its time. I read somewhere that many male readers believed Pride & Prejudice to be women’s literature. Therefore, they didn’t take it seriously. However, Austen’s work places a new perspective on her current society and how it treated women. Moreover, she created the progressive character, Elizabeth Bennet who subverted societies thoughts of women at the time. Pride & Prejudice is up there on the elitist list of literature. However, can a series like Harry Potter, be considered elitist?

harry potter

Harry Potter would be considered popular fiction. However, does it discredit it as an influential book? As of February 2018, the books have sold more than 500 million copies worldwide, making them the best-selling book series in history, and have been translated into eighty languages. The books have touched so many generations of readers. But it isn’t considered elitist. However, what a critic will think is exceptional, you may think its tripe. Therefore, the literary canon becomes subjective and the question of literature comes into question. To me, literature are works that really grapple you, works that amaze you, leave you speechless and change your view on the world.

I dont consider popular fiction, or elitist fiction when I read. I read what interests me, and what grabs me as a reader. But more importantly, I read something that teaches me something. I want a novel that doesn’t provide me with all the answers. I want to be on the tips of my toes when I read a novel, and many things to be left up to interpretation.

I had a conversation with my Gender & Sexuality professor, about this topic. She started to compare two novels: Asking For It by Louise O’ Neill and Conversations with Friends by Sally Rooney. Both are well-known Irish novelists and both books portray similar scenes or themes. Asking For It delves into the trauma of sexual assault and the continued assaults made to the victim by society after the event. According to my professor, O’ Neill’s novel delivers a simple story with an obvious message behind it. It starts a conversation, but it doesn’t create new avenues to explore that. Whereas with Conversations with Friends, you have to read between the lines to explore the full extent of the story. The narrative is not taken on face-value. You must read further into the plot thats given to you.

And thats what literature is.

Stories that leaves you with more questions than answers. Stories that make you return to the same characters over and over again. Stories where you take away something different each time you read it. Literature insights so much emotions and intrigue. It is a beautiful form of art and knowledge. Ill find a place in the literary world. It’s my home and that’ll never change.

 

 

 

 

Why I Love Kingdom Hearts

A little different from my usual content, but I promise I have a literary post planned for next week. I decided to make this post, since the long-awaited Kingdom Hearts 3 is coming out tomorrow (Well where I live, it is). I have mentioned my love for Kingdom Hearts before in a previous post called¬†Things that make me happy.¬†But I didn’t go into the reasons why I adore this series. I have been playing these games for years and I still consider it my favourite game series. Here I’ll list the reasons why I love Kingdom Hearts and if any of this compels you to give Kingdom Hearts a go, I highly recommend it.

 

The Characters 

Image result for kingdom hearts characters

I am not going to count any of the Disney characters in this, as Disney have amazing, well-rounded characters. For now, Im sticking to the new characters Square Enix created for the series. In the first game, the list of Kingdom Hearts characters was slim picking as Square wanted to put more emphasis on their Disney and Final Fantasy characters. However, as the series has grown, more characters have been added into the mix. So many of these characters have strong storylines from start to finish, from Riku’s path to darkness to his redemption and the tragedy of Roxas. However, my favourite character in the series has to be Sora, the protagonist.

Related image

Sora is the most optimistic character I have ever come across. Even through the face of danger and hopelessness, he always keeps his smile. Even one of the characters said that “He is far too nice for his own good.” He fights for the safety of his friends and connects with everyone he meets. He can be na√Įve at times, but thats part of his charm. He is so optimistic to a fault. But alas, he cant stay like that forever and I am not ready for that. Each character brings something to each instalment and my hopes are that Kingdom Hearts 3 will tie up loose ends with every character. They all deserve happy endings.

 

The Story 

Image result for kingdom hearts story

The Kingdom Hearts plot is one of the most convoluted plots in a video game series. Any Kingdom Hearts fan knows the struggle of attempting to tell a friend about the series. But besides all that, I love the plot of Kingdom Hearts. Each instalment brings its own addition to the bigger picture. It can get confusing when you try to think of the different timelines and how everything connects, but I love the built up lore that Nomura has created for these games. My favourite plot in the series is Kingdom Hearts 2. There is so much tragedy, humour and mystery within that instalment. It’s the best game in the series (in my opinion).

 

The Music

If you dont like the game series, thats fine. But if you dont cry to this piece of music, you are heartless (*wink* see what I did there, KH fans *wink*. I’m so sorry). The music in the series is arranged beautifully, and every rendition compliments to whatever happens into the series. I feel the games wouldn’t be as good as they are, without the OSTs they have. For example, my favourite piece of music from Kingdom Hearts is “The Other Promise.”

The reason I love this piece is because it evolves the character theme of Roxas. Throughout the series, Roxas had the most tragic story arc and this piece shows it. This plays the moment Roxas has a stand off with his other self, Sora. Kingdom Hearts 2 plot builds up to this moment of conflict between the two, and as the player, you can feel the sadness within that moment of contact through this score. There are other amazing pieces of music from the games, such as character themes, Simple and Clean, Sanctuary, Dive to the Heart, Missing You etc.

 

The Disney connection

Image result for kingdom hearts disney characters

For nostalgia reasons, I love the inclusion of Disney characters. Its fun when you play as Sora and befriend your childhood heroes. Its interesting, fun and it gives all the feels. Also, each character has their own battle style and in Kingdom Hearts 2, each Disney partner has a joined battle stance with Sora, such as Sora has a battle stance with Jack Skellington called “Dance Call.”

Each party member has a particular battle stance. It makes the gameplay enjoyable and gives variety to the different Disney characters in the games.

 

Overall,¬† Kingdom Hearts is an enjoyable ride for anyone. If you love an interesting story (even though its a little convoluted), Disney characters, fun battles and exciting characters, try Kingdom Hearts. You wont regret. Youll be grinning from ear to ear, while playing it. I’m recently playing Kingdom Hearts 2 and years on, I still adore it. I felt the same way I did, when I first played it back in 2005. I cried, I laughed and I’m ready for Kingdom Hearts 3. Along with the rest of the Kingdom Hearts community, I cant wait to have Kingdom Hearts 3 in my hands. Its been years in the making and the time has finally come. Hope you enjoyed this post. I know its much shorter, but I wanted this out before tomorrow as Ill be getting Kingdom Hearts 3 then. To talk about the series as a whole, its really difficult. I wanted to talk about Kingdom Hearts 2, as its my favourite game in the series. But I felt I should talk about the whole series. But I might make a dedicated post for Kingdom Hearts 2 at a later date. It’ll be more extensive than this post. But for now, hope you enjoyed and Ill talk to you in the next post x