#it has geralt on it
So. I have some observations on the theme of history and history revision in "four marks."
The connecting theme between the storylines shared by the three main protagonists, Geralt, Yennefer, and Ciri, in episode two is the concept of history as we know it versus history as it was. Briefly said, it's about history revision and the realization that the taught history does not reflect the history experienced. This theme comes through especially strong with Geralt (and Jaskier) and with Ciri (and Dara, Adon, and Lilja) in this episode, as they both discover history is different from what they've been taught.
Now, I'm sure the scene with Geralt and Jaskier has already been discussed, so I won't go into that. However, I think the scene between Ciri, Adon, and Lilja has not been discussed as much.
You might wonder who Adon and Lilja are. Fret not, I didn't know their names either. Adon and Lilja are the son and mother Ciri meets at the Cintran refugee camp, and with whom she stays the night.
What struck me are the similarities and differences between Adon and Lilja. We first meet Adon, who then invites Ciri over to their tent. Upon meeting her, Adon immediately shows Ciri his necklace of elf ears. The necklace is somewhat crude and gruesome, and Adon explains that he has been killing elves to take revenge on the elves who killed his brother. Said necklace is depicted below.
This necklace is then prominently shown throughout the following scene, in which Adon and Ciri converse with Lilja, Adon's mother.
Now, here comes the fun part. Lilja is wearing a necklace, too. Her necklace, as shown below, is made from some type of metal, and features six pendants which start out broad before converging in a fine point. You might wonder why on earth this is relevant. Well, Lilja's necklace is another version of her son's necklace! Her necklace, too, is meant to represent elf ears, and matches the number of ears on Adon's necklace. Her necklace is basically a more refined and adult version of Adon's necklace.
Now this is where history comes in. Adon, youthful, is set on taking revenge on the elves that killed his brother. He even explains that the fall of Cintra wasn't Calanthe's fault. No, it was elven spies who led the way for Nilfgaard. Adon is supposed to represent the simpler, taught version of history, for he believes it was the elves who are to blame for the death of his brother and father, not Calanthe. Even when Nilfgaard kills his father, he deflects and blames the elves. His necklace then, represents his crude understanding of history, for it was the elves, and the elves only, who killed his brother and father.
Lilja on the other hand, has a more critical approach to the death of her son and husband. She blames Calanthe, cursing her and her family in front of Ciri, explaining that it was Calanthe's selfishness that got her husband killed, and her son. As the episode progresses, the audience is informed that this is, in fact, true. Lilja's necklace, then, represents her more realistic and hardened view of the world and Cintra, represented in metal, a refined metal that symbolizes her maturity in her view on history, as opposed to her son, whose crude necklace shows his simpler and naive perspective of history.
The necklaces show their attitude towards said history, too. Adon is angry, and takes control over his situation by killing elves. His necklace, handmade, shows his willingness to take revenge as well as his desire to do something. Lilja's necklace reflects her passive attitude; unlike her son's necklace, hers was made for her, most likely by a jeweler. Her necklace, though visually resembling her son's, shows her inaction towards the death of her husband and son. She would rather someone else handle it than do something about her problem herself her problem being Calanthe and her actions, though the necklace does also serve as a reminder of Calanthe's actions and the consequences they bear for Lilja and her family.
Thus, both necklaces visually share the same connection: the elf ears and the connected deaths in the family. However, Adon's necklace represents the youthful and naive vision of history, one which Ciri shares, for she also seems shocked to hear Lilja's opinions on Calanthe. Lilja's necklace represent history in its more objective and mature version, showing that there is more than one side to any conflict, and often one or several people responsible for the consequences and fatalities of any conflict.
Their necklaces represent two opposing sides of the same coin, and visually aid in illustrating both the history Ciri is familiar with, and the one she is not familiar with. History and taught history then suddenly collide, and the door is opened for Ciri to realize the complexity of the continent and its history. Something which a small as detail as two necklaces represents.
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........wow I'm going to cry
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i read a couple of the witcher short stories on a writing break earlier (specifically 'the bounds of reason' and 'a little sacrifice') bc while i continue to hate sapkowski's writing, i hate it less than i hate doing my own writing
and like. witcher netflix is bad but thank GOD they reskinned dandelion, also honestly i'm glad they left yennefer getting forcibly stripped to the waist (and subsequent lascivious male commentary thereon) out of their dragon episode, i didn't need that
really i just desperately wish i knew anyone who both spoke polish and had literary taste i actually trusted, because i'd really love to know whether stylistically sapkowski is closer to something like asoiaf (which i remember from like. 2005ish as being unremarkable but not obtrusively bad? might feel differently now tho) or just absolute potboiler dreck, but unfortunately i have zero ability to evaluate that for myself and don't see that changing anytime soon
there's definitely a very disjointed feel to things and i just absolutely can't tell whether that's a translation issue or a ~cultural differences~ issue (or both, i guess!)
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Oh god now the idea of Geralt fighting for Jaskier is stuck in my head and I'm thinking of a totally different arranged marriage situation where Geralt and Jaskier are sorta just transitioning into a more romantic relationship when suddenly Jaskier's being informed his parents arranged a marriage for him and the weddings in like a week
Through some kind of misunderstanding, Geralt truly believes Jaskier will be happy with the husband/wife his parents found him and doesn't try to stop it. Meanwhile Jaskier's miserable at the idea and a little heartbroken bc "he didn't fight for me. He doesn't want me."
noooooOooo....... how can such cute conversations lead to such agony within me
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More crack modern mob au Gaunskeralt
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me: it's a oneshot
also me: jaskier is an art thief after his family disowned him. the community in which he steals from are family friends who left him behind once he wasn't seen as one of their own. determined to steal back wealth that was stolen from the common people and return it to those wronged, he also has no problem living a lavish lifestyle- the one that was stolen from him in the first place
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ok can i get a "jaskier is a prince of amber" au
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Okay but reading tower of swallows, Ciri is very excited about a certain horse, a mare granted, but now all I can imagine is monsterfucker Ciri absolutely loving to travel with Eskel and Scorpion.
Ciri will let almost anything and anyone fuck her cunt but her ass belongs to Eskel alone, or to who/whatever Eskel lets fuck her there. Maybe when she's getting her tattoo she gets a tramp stamp of Eskels name, and when he sees it for the first time, when Ciris bending over to let Scorpion fuck her, he quickly shoves her to the ground and fucks her himself for hours until shes sore and gaping and dripping in come but marked as Eskels completely.
Maybe when they're both at the keep Ciri will let it peek out under her shirt in front of the other wolves but they can't quite make out what it says and it's killing them. Meanwhile Eskel has to hold himself from shoving her against a surface somewhere and fucking her stupid for trying to show off her mark.
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regis’ lil bags
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Jaskier is coming to Kaer Morhen as Ciri's emotional support bard. They make an unexpected family along the path to healing.
Work In Progress | Chapters: 3/? | Words: 12,597
Chapter 1: Destiny, Unwritten
Chapter 2: The Nameless Bard
Chapter 3: What’s Past Is Prologue
“Greetings, Geralt,” he calls before his thoughts can continue to spiral out of control, and is acutely aware that it comes out much too cheerful to be genuine. Even someone like Geralt would no doubt pick up on it.
The witcher barely looks at him and grunts, the nuance of which Jaskier can’t seem to figure out.
“Well, guess we’re still not talking, then,” he mutters with an air of faux nonchalance, and resists the urge to bury his hand in the too-long sleeves of his black shirt. It’s a nervous habit he has cultivated over the course of the war, but he knows the witcher would recognise it for a sign of weakness, cowering, hiding. But Jaskier is not hiding. He’s over that.
Secretly, he is glad that Geralt barely regards him. That he doesn’t immediately recognise the meaning of the grunt, that he hasn’t memorised them as well as he thought he had. Maybe, just maybe, this whole endeavour won’t end in heartbreak again. Maybe he really doesn’t care about Geralt as much anymore and only has to get used to being around him again for the pit in his stomach to settle.
As he sets eyes on a young girl slowly approaching them, all thought of the witcher and his own feelings about the situation flee from his mind immediately. He identifies her as the fugitive princess of Cintra without a single trace of doubt, her unmistakable pale blonde hair still as bright as he remembers. She looks a lot like her mother, her hair tied back with a black leather band.
Jaskier whirls to her with a gentle smile, giving her every ounce of his undivided attention. “Ah, you must be young Miss Cirilla, then.”
“It’s Ciri,” Geralt grunts from behind him, and Jaskier doesn’t even try to hide the genuine irritation he feels.
“Oh, no, no, no!” He doesn’t turn around to Geralt, just stands up straighter and inclines his head a bit. Rolling his eyes for only the princess to see, he laments, “I will not be taken down the rabbit hole of brutish discourtesy quite so easily as everyone else.” He bends down slightly to make up for his height and mirthfully winks at her. “Us nobility, we have to stick together, do we not?”
Cirilla gives him a mildly confused but entirely intrigued look. Jaskier grins, realising he has got her hooked.
“Oh dear, where are my manners?” he gasps with a tad more exaggeration than he is used to, then takes a step back and bows before the girl. “Allow me to introduce myself, little Miss Cirilla. Julian Alfred Pankratz, Viscount de Lettenhove. Delighted and at your service.”
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#my feelings about Vesemir are very conflicted bc on one hand i wanna like him bc Geralt sees him as a father figure #but on the other hand he would've realistically dealt out some of this horrible abuse to them #like i try to envision him as the 'good cop' kinda Witcher like he was the one who was gentler with the boys but still firm #the kind of teacher who gave the boys reassuring words and a warm hand on their shoulder #and i mean it when i say i TRY bc a part of me immediately jumps to 'no bad wrong older Witcher bad' bc i know realistically he did some #fucked up shit to these poor kids!!! (via @hale-of-stiles-heart)
oh yeah no same. like, on the minor end of things, i've seen quotes from the book where geralt mentions vesemir "tanning their hides"(which would probably be a fairly standard way of raising kids in the fantasy 1200s, but I Dont Like It, so i will look back upon the fictional past and judge all i want to and no one can stop me), and also in tw3 he kept things like. you know. the table they used to strap boys down in for the trial of the grasses. he was involved in that part of the witcher-making process, and i've heard from folks who have read the books that it's....... a pretty uh. uncomfortable situation there, when you start thinking about any of the particulars. he was sortve a "harsh but fair" teacher, i think he was described as, but that by witcher standards isnt a Great sign, and he wasnt especially lenient or anything.
it's easier, in fics, to honestly just ignore that, and paint the world with a nicer, shinier paintbrush(which i often do, because quite frankly i think about the witcher to have fun and that's how i have fun) but in my heart of hearts i dont actually trust that old man.
i also just have no love or patience for fictional father figures, though, so like.
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the Philippa cast reveal single handedly re-ignited my interest in watching S2 lol
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Hey so what if Jaskiers entire family were hunters? Or just really rough and rowdy, fighters. They grew up fighting and hunting but Jask is the “odd ball” in his family because he’s against violence?
Like, let’s take his family for a moment, now imagine with me: a giant man with nothing but pure muscle, people have to look up at him to speak. Geralt would he shocked at meeting him, Jaskier’s father looks more like a tame bear than human, though jaskier gets his smile, laugh and humour from him.
For his mother? I’d love to say she’s just as scary as Jaskiers father, very intimidating, she looks like she can handle her own shit. She’s gotta round up all of the kids? Give her five minutes. Also I think she’d also be tall (tall intimidating women please end me thanks).
I just like the thought of Jaskiers family being ￼ excellent hunters/fighters who continually￼ look for ￼competition. Maybe it throws Geralt for a loop, finding out that Jaskier came from a family of fighters and knows how to use different weapons, but prefers poetry and art, a lover.
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jaskier who wants so badly to fall in love - or rather, who wants so badly to be loved - and yes he is a romantic, he loves so many people, but he’s very rarely even actually been in love and he’s not sure if anyone’s ever truly loved him for who he is and not just what he can do. jaskier who is lonely, who seeks out wives and brothers and concubines and anyone else who feels the same way, spends time with them so they - so he - can feel cared for, even if it’s just for the night. jaskier who was never appreciated, never loved, barely even acknowledged, and so he ran, ran away from a home that was never a home and remade himself. jaskier who thinks “if i can’t find love i’ll create it” and so he does, in the form of flowery ballads and warm embraces and rumpled sheets.
jaskier who, when he does finally fall, does it so fast he doesn’t even realize, doesn’t realize he wants so much more than geralt could ever offer him, doesn’t realize until they’re in a tavern one night, he’s out of breath from his set and he looks up and finds geralt’s gaze on him, a rare smile on his face as he watches jaskier rake in the earnings from tonight’s performance, theres a bit of foam stuck in the corner of his mouth from the ale and the hood of his cloak is down as he raises his tankard to the bard slightly, a new scar stands out on the bridge of his nose and jaskier can’t tell from here but he’s sure the smell of cockatrice blood is still clinging to his armor from earlier in the week, the torchlight is hitting him just right and his eyes are like molten gold and something about that takes his breath away more than singing to a room full of people ever does, geralt is imperfect and perfect all at once and jaskier realizes that he is completely in love with him. its terrifying, to be completely at the mercy of his own feelings, of geralt, of their life together. but some part of him also feels giddy, bubbling with a fondness and joy he’s always craved so deeply.
jaskier wanted love and he’s found it. he’ll cradle it and protect it, locked away tight in his chest. he’ll keep that warm feeling safe and sound.
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i made a quiz. it’s a good quiz. i spent 5 hours on this quiz. please take this quiz.
what your taste in men says about you
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Geralt after telling Dandelion to pour potions on his open wound and asking him to sew it like clothing:
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That issue where you enjoy next week’s chapter more than the one that you’re supposed to be posting tomorrow 😅
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Jaskier runs into Geralt in early spring when he's still got his winter beard and Jaskier abruptly realizes he might have a thing for beards, or maybe just Geralt with a beard
oh literally....... SO true. scruffy geralt rights
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My mind is still stuck on the Renfri's son au (I promise at some point I will actually shut the fuck up about it) and thought about how in your fic Jaskier mentions writing poetry/songs with the intention to not actually share them with anyone bc they're private and thought about Renfri's death being the one thing Jaskier can't view as poetic
Like, he can spin other tragedies into stories and songs and sonnets, can immortalize other unfortunate events through song, can memorialize wars and plagues and senseless crimes but he just cannot wring anything poetic out of his mother's death, can't make the blood anything other than just red
He tries, to write about her in general, but it's like writing about a stranger, a ghost, a shadow and all he can do is write some pretty lines about shrikes and thorns but whenever he does he tastes blood in his mouth and can't go on
And it makes him so angry, bc all the cruelty Renfri faced, all of the pain and abuse and hate she endured, was totally senseless and all for nothing - only a handful of ppl even remember her name but as much as he wishes he could scream his love for her from the mountains, make the world remember her name, he wants to keep it to himself just as much, wants to hold what little memory of her still exists close to his heart to protect her, even if only in death, bc there's always the possibility that he could write the most beautiful song about her and the world would still see her as a monster
OH i adore that. sometimes things are just too painful to turn into a creation of any sort, no matter how much the narrative gets pushed of "someone turning their tragedy into art" or whatever.
maybe as time goes on, as he travels with geralt and possibly even (fruitlessly) confronts stregobor, he writes some journal entries about it-- but they're all stream of conciousness, just an attempt to get the pain out. lance the wound, as it were. not meant for others eyes or consumption, and certainly not a Creation
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