Note: This is the Editing Blog for my FFVII fanfiction Northern Lights (which you can find at the end of that link). I will be discussing a myriad of topics along with my frequently tangential and harried editing process. You should be able to garner some enjoyment and insight from this without having read the story and/or without prior knowledge of the original game, but if you’re a fan of paranormal romance and/or dark fantasy, you may find it to your liking. The story will be spoiled in this editing examination, though I will do my best to mark spoilers for any other narratives I mention. Thanks for your interest and enjoy!
So as can be surmised it is still October (granted the middle for me if the 3rd for the date), which means stores are selling Christmas cards because of course they are. I’ve already mentioned my love for Christmas. This is deep rooted in childhood and the memories I’ll (hopefully) always have. I could become the biggest atheist the world has ever seen, and I would still celebrate Christmas with fucking bells on, an angel on my tree, decorations on my mantle, and the holiest of Christmas carols on my tongue. Those are my favorite and the bring tears to my eyes when done beautifully and well.
Technically an Advent hymn, so double win!
Hey it’s the Narcissist from the Future quite amused that she JUST posted this as part of my 26 Days of Advent series.
I…fucking…LOVE Christmas, but I don’t like when the holiday is rushed. It’s not even Halloween, Wegmans! Why do you have Christmas cards out already? Why did I stop to anyway to look? Oh, because I’m the pickiest of sticklers for good angel Christmas cards. One year I didn’t send any because I couldn’t find good ones, and by good ones I mean the angels have to be beautiful. How the hell do card designers dare produce these subpar angels?! Faugh…it’s insulting, so when I find good ones, I buy them regardless of the time of the year. Thus we have this.
There are only 14 so only 14 special people will be receiving them this year, maybe one less since I’d like to keep one for myself.
I have been gifted with more evidence that ASOIAF is a metaphor for Revelations by of course the Ice and Fire experts, James and Ladonna!
Oh random but not so random side note: I’ve started playing Final Fantasy II on my continuing quest to play and review all of them (review right here btw). I’m pretty sure I mentioned this before. I’ve finished the original and the review is here for your perusal. In FFII I’ve named my characters Bran, Jorah, Arya, and Jaime. In the original I went with a Frozen motif and named them Hans, Sven, Olaf, and Elsa. Yes, I’m a giant dork. No, I don’t care.
So going back to that video and Revelations, we don’t even have to look for symbols of War, Famine, Death, and Pestilence; they’re already pervasive in the narrative. The “Pestilence” was the main focus of the above, but the one that sticks out in my mind is Pale Mare, the Song of Ice and Fire world’s name for dysentery. The messy details of that don’t need to be discussed, but the name and manifestation of the pale mare bear a striking resemblance to the Pale Horse where Pestilence is its rider. Another not so random side note, but in FFVII Sephiroth has an attack that’s called Pale Horse…just thought I’d mention that.
Future Narcissist at work here. I’ve been reading A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms, the prequel to ASOIAF. It’s very good. I’m on the part entitled The Sworn Sword, and the reason I’ve decided to speak on it is because at one point Dunk, the protagonist, mentions the first and only (?) time he saw Lord Bloodraven, the “king’s sorcerer.” He was riding a “pale mare,” which is exactly how his horse is described…
Speaking of Bloodraven, he is almost always described as “having a thousand eyes and one.”
I’ve mentioned before (I…think I’ve mentioned it, where the hell did I mention it??) that Martin is surely playing with angel tropes in regards to the Targaryens (found it…here in my “ASOIAF: Jon Snow” article in regards to his almost certain father Rhaegar Targaryen). With Bloodraven, I believe it is the cherubim he could be invoking.
Despite what Renaissance artists would like us to believe, they are not the chubby male children so famously featured, though their obfuscation is so complete that we have the term “cherubic” to describe children who fit the bill.
Rather the cherubim are “beasts (holy, divine beasts) 6-winged and ‘full of eyes within'” per Gustav Davidson’s A Dictionary of Angels. Described again as “many-eyed” by the same source. They first appear in the Garden of Eden (per the Bible) to guard the Tree of Life. So Bloodraven becomes the three-eyed crow whom the Children of the Forest call the last greenseer. He sits on the weirwood throne far north of the Wall. We know by now how important the weirwood trees are. They can show both the past, potential future, and possibly present. Their roots intertwine and hold memory of times long gone. Anything that happens before a weirwood tree is witnessed and can be recalled. There is a theory that all of the weirwood roots are connected, which is how the children were able to break the Arm of Dorne and flood Moat Cailin. It is not many trees, but one…this could very much be a Tree of Life parallel and the “many eyes” and “thousand eyes and one” connection is hard to ignore. Even the phrase invokes the idea of “E pluribus unum.” This was said about him even in his old life, and as the last greenseer, he uses not only the literal three-eyed crow, but others as well to watch. He is the watcher beyond the Wall, and his intentions may not be benign. As the Night’s Watch is (relatively) benevolent in intention at least (protecting the realms of men and whatnot), Bloodraven may be the antithesis of them, a fallen watcher for true.
I had some argument with myself over whether the pale or the white horse was death; it’s the pale, but there are none who’d argue that famine, pestilence, and war all lead to that inevitable end. War leads to famine and pestilence, and the James and LaDonna purport that we haven’t seen the worse of the latter yet. Extending this metaphor to the 5th Seal, which represents the martyrs, we have quite a few to choose from. There’s the obvious Ned Stark, but also the more minor characters such as Syrio Forel who (supposedly) also gave their lives for what they believed in. I’m sure there are more, but I can’t wring that information from my tired brain.
The 6th Seal is easy, the portents from the sky…the comet seen throughout A Clash of Kings. There are some pretty insane theories out there that the comet is going to come around again and destroy all of Westeros in possibly a repeat and revelation of what exactly the Doom of Valyria was. By the description it could have possibly been a comet or a volcano, but it says that volcanic eruptions and earthquakes were the result of it…omg guys, I don’t know. It could be death from above, which would strengthen the FFVII similarities in my insane mind. A comet/meteor striking Planetos (not my term) could cause a nuclear winter in that the dust and debris that would arise would block out the sun, which would also result in a “long night.” It’s possible that this is what originally happened 8000 years ago. There is a very compelling theory by fellow blogger Daendrew about such a possibility here. It doesn’t help that there are other theories about people trying to bring about the next Long Night per the below video by Preston Jacobs.
To the 7th Seal, that’s judgment for which Martin is laying the foundation. I have to go back to the Doom…the more I think about it, the more the comet thing doesn’t seem as farfetched. Even the myths surrounding the Doom fit for it. It would be something the people of that world would have absolutely no explanation for, so them positing that there were “demons” and whatnot in the scorched wasteland would be expected. Martin does sort of just mention the comet in the second book and then nothing else is said of it afterwards. Maybe he’s looking at giving us all a fiery and explosive ending, but he won’t do it in so straightforward of a way as that; he’s far too gifted of a writer…
Are we ready for the edits? Another short one today, a little less than a page.
“’If we can’t go through, we must go up, and I will carry you there. But since I need my hands for climbing, I’ll bear you on my back. Do you trust me in this, little flower?’ The little maid had never once imagined that cat eyes could hold such grief. She laid a hand to his cheek so smooth like marble pulsing warmth.”
‘I trust you completely,’ Aeris whispered.’” She really does and this is ironically painful for him. Her hatred would hurt less and almost be easier to deal with because it would be expected, but this…this forgiveness is almost too much for him to bear. Sweetness can cause such agony.
“’You know you’re as white as my lilies,’ she said, the thought spilling into his ear.
’You’re very pale, too, little one,’ he replied, the hint of a smile within. Nowhere in his voice was the arduous task. Nowhere in his breath was exertion.
’Yes…’ Aeris admitted. ‘But I’ve never seen the sun. Your skin is lighter than your hair, and you know you smell amazing…’” These little thoughts and gentle murmurings. Of course Seph smells amazing; he’s an angel. I really wanted to find a good scent for him, something associated with winter, but I just settled on vanilla and frost. He smells “cold,” but his skin literally radiates heat like a fire within (estuans interius, yup, I make descriptive references to his leitmotif). Apparently the scent of vanilla is often how people describe the odor of old books. I read that recently, and it’s more than fitting for our fallen angel seeking redemption especially considering Aeris’s vade mecum.
So it makes sense she’d hold this scent so dear.
“Sephiroth turned and there she was…her lips so close to his own. If he but smiled, they’d surely meet and her joy would disappear.” It’s only been a day and he’s thinking about kissing her, but I think (hope) I’ve established their mutual attraction from the get go after she realizes he’s not going to kill/rape her of course. Seph is instantly revolted by his thought as he projects that revulsion onto Aeris. That’s the only thing he can imagine on her end 😦
“Against his back her heart more than doubled and filled his ears with her fear.
’I didn’t mean to frighten you, little flower…’ It was softly said, but at that low resonance the blood flooded her veins even more.” Sephiroth thinks Aeris is frightened by his touch, but nothing could be farther from the truth (except what he was told about his mother. Oooooooooooh, I went there)
He would never even entertain the thought of her true reaction, and of course when he speaks it’s even worse. The flower girl is falling head over heel for her murderer, but he’s just shielding what he’s thinking about her. Again, I really worry that all of this happens too quickly, but I press on. The only explanation Seph can conceive is that she’s excited to be leaving the slums at last, but when he closes her wrists in his hand, it causes such a reaction that he has to recheck that she’s not terrified of his touch. Calling her name just makes it worse.
I love their conversation during the ascent. It’s sweet and guileless and wholly adorable.
“’You just say whatever comes to your head, don’t you, little flower?’
’Well…” she considered clinging tight. ‘If it’s nice, why not?’ Aeris appears to follow a more positive version of the rule “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all,” as in “If you have something nice to say, say it.” I tend to do this when I get into the first stages of drunkenness. I’ll just compliment people on random things. Later stages of drunkenness are not so good, but we’re not talking about that today. Going back to the climb, it’s nothing for him, and I seriously do love how awkward/cute their talk is.
“He gently took and unthreaded her hands as one would a delicate knot. Drawing the maid around, he searched her face, and she missed the smile for her shut eyes.” He’s ridiculously gentle with her.
And this is where I leave you. I can’t wait until I get to Chapter 7, dear readers, and not just for the number. I love the picture and the music I found to edit it to. I want to share that with you all when the time comes. It’s a song I’ve been searching for for a long time.
Best wishes until we meet again.