Word Prompts (T2): Tangled (2016-03-02)

It’s never said aloud–at least, not where her brother can hear–but it’s generally assumed that Ember is… a little slow in the head.

“Retarded,” Blake says, just once, before Ash flings all the fury of his tiny six year old body at him. Gary follows soon after in solidarity.

Ember, staring off into space, doesn’t notice until one of the combatants stumbles into her. At which point she blinks, startled, and shouts, “This isn’t supposed to happen!”

It’s loud enough to summon one of the school’s faculty to them, and while the teacher scolds all of the boys, Ember goes back to staring at what appears to be nothing. Of course, that’s not the case, but for the rest of Pallet Town, that’s what it seems like.

Ember Ketchum is generally assumed to be a little slow in the head, seeing things that never appear and reacting to sounds that don’t exist. Intelligent–she has the best grades at school–but she’s definitely… different.

If it weren’t a well-known fact that Ash and Ember are twins, the people of Pallet Town would probably assume that Delia found Ember in the forest; or maybe the other way around. Like one of those stories about legendary Pokemon pretending to be human. Benign, but alien.

And perhaps they’re not wrong.

Here is one thing Ember knows to be true: she is not supposed to be here.

After that, well, nothing else matters. Like an experiment, the presence of an observer–her presence–has altered everything else.

She doesn’t know everything that happened in Ash’s childhood–the Ash that was a character and not her brother–but already she has changed things. Primarily? The twins are approaching their tenth birthday, but Ash and Gary remain friends. Bewilderingly, she and Gary are also friends.

Somehow unfortunately, that doesn’t seem to be likely to change anytime soon. Worse, she doesn’t know why.

On the day everyone their age is to get a Pokemon from Professor Oak, Ember fails to wake up her brother. Or rather, chooses not to.

Let him sleep in, she thinks, because if he goes to the lab early, he might not get Pikachu. And if he doesn’t get Pikachu… then what will happen to the rest of the world.

She doesn’t expect to be a hero–doesn’t want to be–but she’ll be damned if she stands in the way of Ash being one.

The Oaks greet them at the lab, impatient but expectant. Gary, having already chosen his starter, is wearing his Squirtle like a very odd backpack. It’s certainly a less embarrassing sight than what Ember remembers from the cartoon–cheerleaders and a convertible, what was he thinking?

But what really surprises her is that the professor has, not just one remaining Pokemon, but two. Frankly, she wasn’t expecting to get one–just to escort her brother to the lab, witness his first meeting with Pikachu, and return home to Delia. Maybe she’d continue her education–become a professor or a doctor–not a trainer.

Maybe the professor, knowing there was an additional trainer-to-be, prepared an extra starter. Though, more likely, it was Gary who reminded his grandfather to have enough. No way would he be starting his Pokemon journey without his two best friends.

Thankfully, Pikachu is one of them; he and Ash get along as electrifyingly as she remembers. The other twin’s meeting, however, is far less energetic.

“I think you’ll like this little lady,” Professor Oak says, fond and indulgent, even as Ember fails to even touch the final pokeball presented to her.

“Come on, Ember!” Gary says, both encouraging and demanding.

“Yeah, there’s no way yours is going to be worse than mine,” Ash adds, before receiving a shock from Pikachu.

Ember reaches out, unleashes her starter, and falls in love immediately.

~

A/N: … to be honest, I was watching Mythbusters and only realized I missed my post after midnight. So here’s this really late thing…

I was not expecting to write a Pokemon SI!OC… but then I realized… I kind of already brainstormed this here? But in that I used the Japanese names–Satoshi and Satsuki–and I figured, given the English dubs ridiculous translations, they’d make Ash’s twin’s names something punny. Like Ember.

edit: continued here

lovefoundmodelslost:

Model – Isabella Melo

Nationality – Brazilian

Height – 5′10.5

Agencies – IMG (NY, Paris) Women (Milan)

Notable Work – Vogue Brasil January 2014 Editorial 

Eugenia “Ginny” Gothel – aka “Daughter Gothel”

Unlike her mother, Ginny accepts that her youth is fleeting and vows to enjoy it to the fullest while she still can. Though she prefers hedonism and pleasure, she does not fear violence. Given the number of daggers and Stabbingtons at her beck and call–why would she?

~

A/N: Since it’s canon in the book that Mother Gothel has a daughter named Ginny, I thought it would be hilarious if Ginny were short for Eugenia. Given Flynn’s real name and all. 😀

Cross-Post: Idea for a Believable “Rise of the Brave Tangled Dragons” Crossover (Part Three and a Half)

original here. dated 2013-01-28.

[A/N: Continuation of yesterday’s post– Idea for a Believable “Rise of the Brave Tangled Dragons” Crossover (Part Three). Which is combining the protagonists of Rise of the Guardians (Jack Frost), Brave (Merida Dunbroch), Tangled (Rapunzel… does she have a last name?), and How To Train Your Dragon (Hiccup Horrendous Haddock… the third?)

The Romantic Relationships part at the bottom I edited in later and which I was kind of… reluctant about. Also–obviously this was before How to Train Your Dragon Two so I hadn’t fully embraced the HiccupxAstrid ship. I totally do now. I mean, a part of me also still ships HiccupxMerida, but ships are completely peripheral to this whole endeavor anyway.

Also, lostiel was a major inspiration for me to get into this crossover fandom… which considering how many of their posts I link and have reblogged is not surprising.]

~

[[since the characterizations were longer than I expected, I’ve split Part Three into two posts. So this one is character interactions feels/peeves]]

Part Three and a Half: Character Interactions (I mean it this time)

Last post, we were only to get through the first four of a list of 16 things we need to consider. Hopefully, each of these parts won’t take as long since these are all hypothetical character interactions. Here’s the remaining items on the list:
5) Merida and Hiccup’s relationship
6) Merida and Jack’s relationship
7) Merida and Rapunzel’s relationship
8) Hiccup and Jack’s relationship
9) Hiccup and Rapunzel’s relationship
10) Jack and Rapunzel’s relationship
11) Merida, Hiccup, and Jack’s relationship
12) Merida, Hiccup, and Rapunzel’s relationship
13) Merida, Jack, and Rapunzel’s relationship
14) Hiccup, Jack, and Rapunzel’s relationship
15) The Four’s interactions alone
16) The Four’s interactions around others

We’ll make Toothles and Pascal extensions of their humans and address them when relevant. Something else to consider: we have only seen Hiccup interact with people his own age (and while they do respect/listen to him in times of crises, they generally still look down on him). Jack and Rapunzel’s reasons are obvious, but Brave shows us that Merida’s hobbies are all solitary ones. Why is this? Maybe there simply aren’t any kids her own age (excepting her suitors who are from regions far away) or maybe because she’s a princess the commoners don’t interact with her or something else entirely (it’s my personal theory that she’s actually introverted). Additionally: how do each of The Four’s varying family circumstances affect their interactions? For example Merida’s mother troubles versus Rapunzel’s.

5) Merida and Hiccup’s relationship

As stated in Part Two, a lot of Merida and Hiccup’s relationship will be influenced on what we do with the Viking raids. Regardless what we choose, there will always be some degree of mistrust on Merida’s side if not also on Hiccup’s. Eventually, though, his helpfulness and dependability–especially I’ve decided to have her be fostered in Berk for a season–in opposition to the other dragon riders will make her friendlier.

Truthfully, I think she’ll get along with Toothless before accepting Hiccup’s kindness at face value; she’s better with animals than with people, and would probably enjoy catching him fish, whereas Toothless is probably extremely curious of her and follows her when she’s wandering and whenever Hiccup is unavailable. As for Hiccup, he’s used to dealing with and overcoming animosity from others (though Merida’s is reasonable) and he’d understand best what it’s like to be alone and dismissed by the Berk villagers.

Also, I think they’d bond well over archery and the mechanics of it, because Night Furies are all about speed and precision which isn’t exactly the Viking way, and if Merida has been practicing her archery for want of other activities, she’d go through her arrows pretty quickly and go to the armoury/blacksmith to see if they have more (which they don’t). But Hiccup would make some for her (somewhat secretly, he doesn’t want to show her until they’re perfected, but perhaps during the crisis she’s run out of arrows and he’s like no, wait, go to the blacksmith, and there’s like a hundred practice/test arrows or something).

Together, though, I think they are very goal oriented or, rather, problem solving–when faced with a crisis they’d probably sync up perfectly in order to save the day, though outside of a crises they’re on less steady terms. Especially because they don’t really understand each other and the vastly different confidence levels.

6) Merida and Jack’s relationship

I’ve seen a lot of posts that assume Jack and Merida would just be constantly yelling/needling each other. I actually think they’d get along pretty well, though, since Merida does have three trickster brothers and she’s also all about pushing the limits of what she’s allowed to do. Jack probably appreciates that, and her ambition for autonomy, though he might annoy her occasionally because he doesn’t like being alone and we’ve seen that Merida’s hobbies are rather solitary. They may eventually figure out a rhythm for this and figure out how to make her activities not solitary, maybe create a friendly competition (and of The Four of them it seems more likely for Merida and Jack to compete than with, say Hiccup or Rapunzel) with races or archery vs ice bolt accuracy sort of thing.

Further, after a few initial find-and-therefore-avoid-sore-points, they may fall into a gentle needling of each other more focused on lighter things such as hair (Merida’s hair is hilarious, okay, but she could easily respond that he looks like a wee old man with his). Since I am having Merida be afraid of flying (but not of heights–she’s cool with that, but she likes having her feet on the ground) this may be a point of actual contention between them and the whole… family issue. So when they do get into fights (which I personally think would not be often enough to define their interactions) they’d be very good at picking at each other’s sore points–his lack of family, her obligations trapping her, etc.

7) Merida and Rapunzel’s relationship

The foundation for Merida and Rapunzel’s interaction would be their differences more than their similarities simply because they have so many. It’s not necessarily a matter of Merida becoming more feminine and Rapunzel becoming more physical, but there’s an underlying drive to learn. Rapunzel would be curious about basically everything and I think Merida would enjoy teaching someone who is interested. As for Merida, she does crazy shit (like climbing Crown’s Tooth and high speed archery) for the sake of pushing her limits; I’m sure she’d want to excel at different tasks as long as she’s not being pressured into it. I can easily imagine Rapunzel encouraging Merida who is a terrible baker, but will not back down from this challenge she’s given herself. Their relationships with their mothers will be a key point between them, though I’m not entirely sure how it would play out.

Since this crossover is after Brave and, at the very least, after Mother Gothel has outrightly made Rapunzel aware of how much a prison the tower is (and possibly tried to kill Rapunzel’s first humanoid friend), while they do both have very controlling mothers they are at different points in resolving that. Further, I think I’d want them to play chess. How Merida acts with Pascal is somewhat influential (though not to the same extent as with Toothless) to her relationship with Rapunzel, but it’s somewhat difficult to extrapolate. At first I think Merida would be freaked out/constantly shocked whenever he shows up (especially since he’s very small and a chameleon) which would lead to some annoyance on both sides, but eventually may evolve into grudging acceptance and respect due to their mutual care for Rapunzel and surprisingly helpful skills.

8) Hiccup and Jack’s relationship

Hiccup and Jack’s relationship would be fun–both in universe and to write since we’re mixing Jack’s mischief with Hiccup’s sarcasm. Further, Jack would pull more pranks on Hiccup than the other two not because they’re girls, but because Hiccup has a self-deprecating humour which works best with pranks (Merida would get angry when pushed too far, which is why Jack wouldn’t go too far with her since the whole point is to make people happy; Rapunzel is still naive and may not fully understand the difference between friendly pranks and bullying and Jack would simply be gentler around her due to her own gentle nature).

Similar to the girls, though, I think Hiccup and Jack have a lot to learn from each other–their main difference being Jack’s confidence and Hiccup’s experience with socializing; Jack tries to figure out why Hiccup is down on himself all the time and helps him boost his self-confidence (decreasing, though not entirely stopping the pranks as to not get him suspicious) while Hiccup functions as not quite a moral compass, but a check whenever Jack is unsure how he should react to some social circumstance.

I think Jack and Toothless are similar enough that they’d maintain this really odd mixture of affinity and constant one-upmanship, they don’t really need to go easy on each other as much as they do with the more fragile humans (and chameleon).

9) Hiccup and Rapunzel’s relationship

Rapunzel would bring out Hiccup’s more Ravenclaw-ish tendencies in something that would create really cool or crazy things like most combinations of art and science do. They would click so easily because they both know what it’s like to obsess over a project (she charted the stars for years just to fact check the floating lamps and then there’s the montage of dragon training) though there may often be misunderstandings considering her naivety, his cynicism, and the fact that he is least magical of all of them and she’d be the one more willing/able to explain but kind of fail because how does one explain magic? And even then, their easy rapport may cause issues such as them being too caught up in a project that they lose track of something important.

Also, sadly, they both have self-esteem issues which, happily, they may be able to help each other with better than advice coming from either of the two more confident members of the group. Toothless and Rapunzel would like each other in the same way that Max and Rapunzel liked each other in Tangled–immediately, obvious, and lightly–though that does mean their interactions are rather more boring than others.

I see Hiccup and Pascal’s relationship going in different directions, though this is set on the condition that they interact (considering how possessive Toothless is of Hiccup, it’s very likely he’d jealously block the smaller reptile). Hiccup and Pascal are both intelligent skeptics which is why they would at first be confused at each other (that skinny guy trained dragons? this wingless dragon can change colours?) but eventually they’d drift into a mutual appreciation.

10) Jack and Rapunzel’s relationship

Jack and Rapunzel’s relationship is probably the least substantive since, as I’ve set up this crossover, we’re only using a minimum amount of Jack’s movie as well as altering Rapunzel’s significantly. However, it has to be the most developed for this same reason: the reason why Jack goes to Corona so soon after his revival is because he wants to meet the girl born from the sun, while Rapunzel’s movie is shifted because he’s the one that helps her out of the tower and the kingdom.

The strength of their bond is mostly due to their extreme loneliness, they are each other’s first friend (which cements in a sibling-like bond when Rapunzel chooses Jack over Mother Gothel and over the mystery of her birth parents) and they are desperate to stay together and protect each other. Beyond that, Jack and Rapunzel are almost opposite of each other–she’s naive, he’s sly, she worries, he rebels, she wants to see the world, he wants someone to see him, and then there’s the more literal opposites of moon boy vs sun girl. It should work out for the best, though.

Say they get to Iceland via road trip and end up spending weeks in constant proximity with each other–they’re different enough that they’ll have most of the necessary skills covered between the two of them, they won’t get bored of each other, and even if they do get angry at each other they’ll make up easily and quickly. Not only will the underlying loneliness encourage reconciliation, it’ll be easier for them because they will understand that the other is extremely different and thus they’re more likely to consider the other person’s opinion as valid.

The relationship between Jack and Pascal is similarly more developed than Pascal’s relationships with the other two–they are both Rapunzel’s guides and guardians in this new outside world, though Jack and Pascal disagree, occasionally, on what is best for her because they do have different personalities and priorities (obviously Pascal is more trusting of Jack than of Eugene).

11-14) When it comes to three person interaction, there is a tendency to write two people interacting while one just observes or rather disjointed A and B then B and C then A and C. Though these really do depend immensely on what is happening with the plot because that tells you who has the power, who’s in (dis)agreement, who acts as mediator and other cues. Further, the reason why the fourth person isn’t there may influence the dynamic–for example, is the fourth person mad at one of them and are the other two trying to convince the third to apologise? We’ll look at situation normal (assuming there’s no danger and there are no ongoing arguments/grudges happening) vs crises in general and where the crisis is/includes the missing fourth.

11) Merida, Hiccup (and Toothless), and Jack

In situation normal, Jack (and Toothless) minimize the awkward tension between Merida and Hiccup, mostly by keeping the interaction fun and light and their focus away from each other, either by keeping the attention on Jack or at most light pranks and mild snarking with either of them–completely safe territory.

Jack will occasionally challenge Hiccup (and therefore Toothless) to a flying competition, which would make Merida feel slightly left out, though they may take the opportunity to keep curing/figuring out her fear of flying/motion sickness (though I think she will keep this dislike, simply because some things can’t/shouldn’t be solved through persistence). Though in times of crisis Merida will suck it up and hitch a ride with either, she will be (at least temporarily) less efficient.

During general crises, because Hiccup has the most experience/skill in leadership, he will be the one in charge even though I’m pretty sure he’s the youngest. As previously concluded, Merida and Hiccup are more compatible in times of crisis than situation normal, to the point where she’ll immediately act on his plan before he has to fully articulate it.

Merida functions as Hiccup’s second in command (in a similar, if more in sync, role as Astrid in How to Train Your Dragon) mostly because she doesn’t have the experience in leading. Further, he’s better at making more cohesive plans while she’s better at improvising or quick instinctual actions–which while good for a solitary hero, doesn’t work so well with others unless they have perfect communication skills. So while Merida will understand and follow Hiccup’s plan, in the middle of action she will abandon it if necessary most often to the plan’s benefit.

If Rapunzel is not in immediate trouble (for example she’s being used primarily as a healer during the crisis), Jack will follow Hiccup’s orders unless there’s an extreme reason such as he’s noticed something the other two haven’t. If Rapunzel is in trouble (because in this crossover Jack values his relationship with her more than the others) it’s more a matter of Hiccup racing to make a rescue plan before Jack takes off.

Merida would go with Jack if it’s just Rapunzel in trouble, where Jack will then defer to her for the most part, but if there’s a reason why Rapunzel’s rescue is a lower priority (perhaps she’s been kidnapped but not harmed, while there are others in danger elsewhere) Merida will stick with Hiccup until the higher priority is solved before they both go after Jack and Rapunzel.

12) Merida, Hiccup (and Toothless), and Rapunzel (and Pascal)

In situation normal, Rapunzel’s curiosity is actually more likely to make Merida and Hiccup confront the awkward tension (despite Pascal and Toothless’ nonverbal warnings to steer clear of possibly triggering questions)–which leads to extremely passive-aggressive, somewhat racist arguing in the short term but, if they manage to hash out all of their issues, will be good in the long run.

The problem is, though, that it takes them several sessions to get to the end of the argument because either something will interrupt them (considering the amount of issues they would have to go over, that is likely) such as Rapunzel trying to change the topic, or they’ll reach a critical point of anger where they can’t really articulate what they want to say and just implode into huffy silence, or either of them will bow out to avoid the conflict and possibly cool off.

As Rapunzel learns to avoid triggering such arguments, though, the three of them would probably engage in productive activities (because Jack’s not there to distract them away from such sensible pursuits) such as making armor.

In times of crisis, Rapunzel and Hiccup will generally both be riding Toothless as they would create a fairly balanced offensive-rescue force (with Rapunzel’s hair for mid-range grabbing, hitting, and healing while Toothless provides long-range plasma bursts, short-range grabbing, and the ability to transport more weight quickly). This configuration is also best because Hiccup can easily communicate (changes in) the plan with Rapunzel literally right behind him. If necessary, Merida (and Pascal) can do more stealthy manoeuvres of the plan especially as the other two (three plus Toothless) would provide a distraction since neither a dragon nor glowing semi-prehensile hair is subtle.

If Jack’s absence is part of the crisis, Rapunzel’s priorities will be different from Hiccup and Merida’s, though not as obvious as with Jack’s. She will wait for Hiccup’s rescue plan, and if Jack is unharmed she will help with the more dangerous crisis, but if Jack is being hurt she will insist he is rescued at the same time if not before the other people (she does not necessarily have to be the one to save him, she would be willing to have Merida go rescue Jack while she stays with Hiccup and Toothless to save the masses). Further, once reunited, she will heal Jack before continuing with the plan.

13) Merida, Jack, and Rapunzel (and Pascal)

In situation normal, this is the best and easiest trio interaction. Possibly because in this iteration of a crossover, Merida saves Rapunzel from the hypothermia (thereby earning Jack’s eternal gratitude, which is probably not an exaggeration) and by the time it is the three of them, Rapunzel and Jack have bonded to such an extent that they’ve already gotten most of their disagreements out of the way. Further, Rapunzel’s presence ensures Jack makes his teasing and pranks kinder which means they’re less likely to hit one of Merida’s sore spots (and send her into a rage like many of the gifsets on tumblr suggest).

For the most part, Jack and Rapunzel try to draw Merida out of her solitary habits (possibly not understanding why someone would choose to be alone when they didn’t have to) and Jack’s similarly bad attempts at the more feminine activities which Rapunzel has been teaching them would make Merida feel less frustrated about them (both the activities she doesn’t excel at and the fact that the two of them may have interrupted her preferred alone time).

During crises, Merida will take charge somewhat by default, though during the planning phase Jack and Rapunzel are more likely to contribute. For the most part, though, their plans usually shake out to Merida giving the two of them a general shared goal (with the implicit, unnecessary order that they work together and look out for each other) while she covers the rest of what they don’t. Also, it’s this configuration that makes her weapon choice somewhat important–if she’s the one directly battling antagonists, she’ll likely be using a sword versus if she’s doing the sneaking around or support actions, she’ll be using her bow (and Pascal).

For clarification, general crises could happen as such: Merida tells Jack and Rapunzel to handle minions while she goes after the big bad with her sword; or, she has them distract (but not necessarily fight) the antagonists while she and Pascal do some sneaking.

The matter of Hiccup’s absence being the crisis makes is complicated by Toothless–is he also a prisoner alongside his rider, or is he part of the rescue party? Or is Toothless missing the reason why Hiccup is gone? In the very unlikely scenario where Toothless is with the trio, he’d act a lot like how Jack does with Rapunzel missing, and go off on his own to rescue Hiccup if he can. 

However, there’s probably a reason why Toothless and Hiccup were separated so he would herd the trio into saving him first; because they can’t exactly reason with him, they will launch a rescue plan with at least one of them (probably Merida) if not all of them, depending on if there is further crisis elsewhere.

This situation is the least ideal because it would probably involve the girls riding Toothless while Jack provides cover (and we know how Merida is about that), unless there is further crisis elsewhere which makes it even less ideal because Rapunzel would be riding with Toothless (and Pascal) to rescue Hiccup (because there’s a chance he’d need healing) while Jack and Merida deal with the other issue (and Jack would be distracted by his concern for Rapunzel and thus less efficient).

If Hiccup and Toothless are missing together, then it would be like the previously stated general crisis situations where either Jack and Rapunzel distract the bad guy while Merida (and Pascal) sneak to free Hiccup and Toothless, or Merida stalls until Jack or Rapunzel find Hiccup and Toothless.

14) Hiccup (and Toothless), Jack, and Rapunzel (and Pascal)

In situation normal, Jack’s desire for attention will dominate this trio’s interaction. It will, at the same time, make things more difficult to write because of the conflicting methods he uses to get attention. He ramps up his pranking with Hiccup but tamps it down around Rapunzel–this could be solved by having him compete with Toothless, though it would have to incorporate the other two as well since that would just make it Jack and Toothless interaction plus Hiccup and Rapunzel interaction. Perhaps an epic game of tag? Or some kind of Pass the Rapunzel from one flier to another? Or, if Hiccup and Rapunzel are working on a large-scale project, they’ll enlist Jack to help them…

There’s not much overlap in the three different two-person interactions so it’s difficult trying to turn dialogues into a trialogue, because Jack and Rapunzel are bonded through loneliness and magic (which Hiccup is not involved in), Rapunzel and Hiccup are essentially nerds together (which would probably not interest Jack), and Hiccup and Jack snark at each other (which Rapunzel wouldn’t understand or enjoy too much).

In a crisis, though, it would be pretty clear–Rapunzel and Hiccup on Toothless as main offence-rescue force with Jack fulfilling secondary roles like providing cover, distraction, or sneaking. (It would take a while for Jack to get used to this configuration, mostly because he would prefer to be paired with Rapunzel, but he knows she’s probably safest with Hiccup and Toothless). This means that if Merida missing is part of the crisis, but not the major part, Jack (and Pascal) will be the ones to find, free, and bring her to Rapunzel for healing if necessary.

15) The Four’s interactions alone

Merida and Hiccup (and Toothless) actually get along best when all of The Four are together, mostly because with Jack and Rapunzel instinctively forming into a magical, fun-loving pair of unrestrained semi-orphan sort-of-siblings the other two are more likely to realize and bond over their own similarities.

Beyond that, though, it does depend in more detail on what is happening and how far along in the crossover (and thus bonding) we are. During crises, though, the standard formation would still be Hiccup and Rapunzel on Toothless with Merida taking a secondary/subtler role and Jack helping whoever needs it more.

16) The Four’s interactions around others

We’re excluding crises, since those imply other people anyway, but depending on where they are (and further, if they are around someone’s family) that affects much. If in Berk, Hiccup will be conflicted between the other Berk dragon riders and Merida, Jack, and Rapunzel–so early in the crossover, he will be leaning toward the other dragon riders by default but as they maintain their distance from the outsiders he’ll be more inclined to be part of The Four. In Berk, The Four are unsurprisingly most comfortable around Gobber–while Merida actually likes Stoic (he reminds her of her own father, and I think he’d be diplomatic yet awkward to her) since he is, understandably, suspicious but helpful to the other two The Four are very careful what they do/say around him.

In Scotland, Merida’s family is rather welcoming to The Four and they get along well for the most part–I have a feeling that Hiccup will still bear the brunt of some culturally induced antipathy. When it’s just the family and The Four, all is well: Jack and the triplets get along astonishingly well which entertains Merida’s father. Rapunzel and Merida’s mother also get along partially because Rapunzel’s presence calms the triplets. While Hiccup does at first get the cold shoulder, they do see his good qualities and the triplets agree with Jack on how good of a target he is. Merida is pleased with all of this.

However, when the other clans come to castle DunBroch–thus reminding Merida of her duties as princess–she uses The Four as an escape, and they side with her as she continues to carve out a more fitting place for herself. Jack and Rapunzel understand the idea that she wants more freedom, but Hiccup gets that it’s more about being accepted for her true self–Merida as a warrior princess makes sense to all of them, but while Brave concluded with her being allowed to choose her husband (out of three suitors) it seems like her path is still stuck as a more traditional lady.

I’m unsure what other “others” we should consider… but for we’ll consider how The Four may interact when around strangers. Strangers are probably more interested in where this odd group came from and what their intentions are. Merida and Hiccup will probably try to hide their statuses as well as they can, unless it is strategically advantageous, while Jack and Rapunzel hide her origin as best as possible (her being paranoid at people wanting her hair). They’d have to scramble for an excuse, and it’s mostly whoever is the fastest and loudest with their newest excuse that determines what they pass as, ranging from merchants with no wares to circus performers perhaps. For strangers who specifically are not okay with magic and/or cannot see Jack they’ll have to be especially careful, Rapunzel especially, though Jack’s invisibility/intangibility may prove useful in such situations.

~

Romantic Relationships between or including The Four (even though I don’t actually want any):

Canonically, Rapunzel has Eugene, Hiccup has Astrid (though in the books there’s Camicazi), while Merida is (subtly) leaning towards Young MacGuffin. Following that, here are some matters that should be considered in a four way crossover.

I] Astrid will be the main reason why Berk is against Merida, possibly because of jealousy, but mostly because she is actually really suspicious in general and very hostile when suspicious.

II] Rapunzel and Eugene’s romance, if it ever did happen, would be extremely different than movie canon. this may depend on whether or not he got away with stealing the crown. if his timeline were pushed back far enough that Jack and Rapunzel have already vacated the tower when he goes to hide in it, it’s possible that he could have gotten away with stealing the crown, but what will he do with it afterwards? I think it would be cool if he also travelled around, trying to find a buyer or other jobs (because he lost the crown?), and occasionally ran into Rapunzel and Jack (who does not like him at all). This could be part of Rapunzel’s main storyline, where he helps her figure out her past/identity.

III] Merida and Young MacGuffin’s romance probably wouldn’t be significant overall, though that could make the Scotland-set part of the story pretty interesting. Also, I think Young MacGuffin (of the three suitors) would get along best with The Four so they’d be supportive/understanding of the romance if somewhat concerned that the relationship would detract from The Four’s.

IV] The tense and rocky beginnings between Hiccup and Merida would be the most likely (and preferable) romance and could contribute to the plot. There’s the whole enemy nations but also (from here) “she’s everything he wants to be and he’s everything she wished she could be.” In theory, this could be the accidental but fortunate conclusion of the peace treaty.

V] I personally don’t want Rapunzel and Jack due to their co-dependent sibling-like relationship (it’s probably hypocritical, but I always feel like co-dependent platonic is okay while co-dependent romantic is not). But in another crossover I feel like it could work but it would be very… “A Whole New World”.

VI] Jack with either Hiccup or Merida could also be interesting. But then, I don’t know how that would work with the whole firstborn political obligations and the zombie-ghost issues. Also, I usually prefer when romance adds to the plot as opposed to the romance being influenced by what is happening–otherwise it just becomes weird, somewhat unnecessary, baggage. And then that means you have to figure out the impact of Hiccup’s sexuality

VII] It’s somewhat difficult for me to imagine Rapunzel in a romantic relationship with either Hiccup or Merida. Or at least a deep enough romance to bother with the details necessary to transform it from friendship. With Hiccup, it’d be cute and sweet; fluffy but with not enough foundation to do much. With Merida there would be that interesting Merida-is-supposed-to-get-married much less the matter of sexuality, I think it could be very interesting, but I don’t know what direction it would go in nor can I see it helping the plot much–as in, it would significantly alter the plot, but I don’t how?

[[Yeah, you can tell how not keen I am on romance subplots.]]

Cross-Post: Idea for a Believable “Rise of the Brave Tangled Dragons” Crossover (Part Three)

original here. dated 2013-01-26.

[A/N: Continuation of yesterday’s post– Idea for a Believable “Rise of the Brave Tangled Dragons” Crossover (Part Two). Which is combining the protagonists of Rise of the Guardians (Jack Frost), Brave (Merida Dunbroch), Tangled (Rapunzel… does she have a last name?), and How To Train Your Dragon (Hiccup Horrendous Haddock… the third?).

Basically, this is me analyzing the four protagonists via Hogwarts Houses and AtLA Elements. Actually… a lot of this was a consolidated cross-post from two separate tumblr posts I made earlier… uh. You can find one of them here, and there’s a link to the other one in that (it’s basically a Matroyshka doll of links and cross-posting… unintentional Rise of the Guardians reference, go me).

Also, I should reiterate that this was before I actually watched Rise of the Guardians though after I watched it I went back and reread this and was surprised by how well I did on Jack’s characterization… So… yeah.]

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[[okay, this should be the last part. mostly it’s about my feels/peeves on characterizations and character interactions]]

Part Three: Characterizations and Character Interactions

Since we love The Four because of their collective awesomeness and the potential transcendent friendship, we have to make sure to understand each personality fully and to make the relationships complex and deep. Increasing the number of characters makes writing exponentially harder, especially if we want each character to be realistically three dimensional: Not only do we have to worry about each individual’s personal development we have to consider each character’s relationship with the others and we would have to map out how characters interact with each other when other characters are present. To expound, that means we need to understand/outline the following:

1) Merida’s character
2) Hiccup’s character
3) Jack’s character
4) Rapunzel’s character
5) Merida and Hiccup’s relationship
6) Merida and Jack’s relationship
7) Merida and Rapunzel’s relationship
8) Hiccup and Jack’s relationship
9) Hiccup and Rapunzel’s relationship
10) Jack and Rapunzel’s relationship
11) Merida, Hiccup, and Jack’s interactions
12) Merida, Hiccup, and Rapunzel’s interactions
13) Merida, Jack, and Rapunzel’s interactions
14) Hiccup, Jack, and Rapunzel’s interactions
15) The Four’s interactions alone
16) The Four’s interactions around others

All in all that’s quite a lot to consider, even though we’ve bunched everyone who isn’t The Four into “others” and have Toothless and Pascal (and Angus) be extensions of their humans.

Below I’ve briefly written out my own thoughts–in agreement or disagreement to others’ theories I’ve seen– which is not to say I hold mine to be true (I’m actually quite easy to convince one way or another) since this is really the most subjective aspect of writing. Also, most of my thoughts below are just things that particularly stand out to me or, were I skilled enough to write it, things that I would use as a guiding light but not necessarily the map of a specific scene.

1-4) The Four’s individual characters–this is the foundation which the rest are built on. It may seem like the easiest part, since we have entire movies of proof (as opposed to the crossover interactions which are just theories) but often times we are misled. We are only shown limited examples of how our characters act in certain situations, we’re only given small snatches of their life, and so we must either extrapolate what the rest of their life must be like or fall back on the more obvious aspects of their personality.

For the sake of simplicity (and because I’ve seen several similar posts on tumblr), I’m going to use Hogwarts Houses and Avatar Elements to analyze the characters. I know these aren’t traditionally accepted character building/analyzing methods, but they both encompass other nuances of characterization that, for example, the Myers-Briggs test seems too binary and rigid to fully explore.

Most theories usually put each character in different Houses/Elements, which I think is actually true–though characters do share traits, it’s actually their differences which make the dynamic interesting–we want them to get along because of (or despite) their differences. However, I disagree with the some of the more popular assignments:

1) Merida Dunbroch

According to most posts, Merida is Gryffindor and Fire. I actually disagree with both of these. Yes, the title of her movie is Brave (which is a synonym for courage which is the main feature of Gryffindor) and in it she does take risky, almost reckless, actions. But I actually think she is more suited to Slytherin than Gryffindor–the Harry Potter novels don’t show the full depth of Slytherins because it is seen through Harry’s eyes (and he’s considerably biased against them) but they’re not all Draco and Snape and they can be the heroes as opposed to the villains or antiheroes at best.

Slytherin is defined by ambition and cunning; it’s not necessarily the ambition to be strong or in charge (Merida already is both) and cunning is not outrightly lying, political back-stabbing and double-agent nonsense. Literally the entire movie is about her wanting autonomy and doing whatever she can to achieve it–first she finds the loophole in the clans’ firstborn competition, then she persuades the reluctant witch into selling her a spell by buying all the woodcarvings, then she tricks her mother into eating a magical pastry to change, and finally she negotiates peace (and her right to choose her husband) amongst the clans by using their pride against them.

Further she’s considered Fire primarily because of her temper (and secondarily because her hair is such a lovely red, it’s difficult to not make her Fire), but the only reason why she’s angry in most of the movie is because she’s being forced to be a literal trophy wife. Even if I were to consider her Fire, I’d argue it should be because of her vitality and joy for life, but anyway Merida’s temper is a result of her stubbornness and much more in line with Earth than Fire.

If anything, Merida’s personality is an exact match for Toph who is basically Earth personified according to the Avatar: The Last Airbender episode Bitter Work. Further, her movie does have recurring themes and images of Earth–the first line is “our destiny is tied to the land,” bears, forests, the stone circle where the showdown is, and while will-o’-the-wisps look like blue fireballs they are more likely to be found in bogs, marshes, and graveyards and are considered earth spirits/fairies.

tldr: Merida is Slytherin and Earth.

2) Hiccup Horrendous Haddock

Hiccup is apparently more difficult to pin down, since different posts assign him different things. He’s usually a toss up between Hufflepuff and Ravenclaw and then generally Earth. From what I can tell, he’s usually Earth because it’s the one that’s left after the other three, though some is due to his (comparatively) steady nature and perhaps, shallowly, because his colours are green and brown.

However the key descriptions of Air benders–they’re pacifistic, non-confrontational, and open-minded, they go with the flow and only use their abilities in defence–sounds an awful lot like Hiccup. It also doesn’t hurt that if there were bending, Air would help an awful lot with being a dragon rider, and that his designs for Toothless’ prosthetic fin is similar to the Avatar: The Last Airbender’s air-gliders (though these are just fun things to point out, not actual reasons).

As for Hogwarts House, I can see why there is such an inconclusive draw between Ravenclaw and Hufflepuff because Hiccup does have several qualities from both: Ravenclaws are intelligent, curious, and creative while Hufflepuffs are hard-working, just, and devoted. Further, these are the two Houses which are less known in the novels (again due to “Harry vision” and he hardly interacted with people from either of these Houses), so it isn’t as clear where the divide is. While Gryffindor and Slytherin’s differences are often, and loudly, made clear, the traits of Ravenclaw and Hufflepuff are not necessarily opposites of each other. Because of this, we should then use which traits are more prevalent in Hiccup and which are more influential to his movie.

I argue that Hiccup is more Hufflepuff than Ravenclaw; a more elaborate list of traits says that Hufflepuffs are also determined, tenacious, loyal, genuine, well-rounded, fair, open-minded, giving, generous, accepting, compassionate, practical, patient, and dependable. Though his inventions are an important part of his movie and character, most of the movie explores Hiccup’s more Hufflepuff qualities–his loyalty to a village that is disappointed in him, his willingness to see the dragons as sentient beings and not just monsters to be destroyed, the trial-and-error (a lot of error) montage to get Toothless’ fin to work, and his dedication to ending the war between dragons and Vikings even when it costs him his chance to make his father proud. Also we can contrast him to Fishlegs who is a more obvious Ravenclaw.

tldr: Hiccup is Hufflepuff and Air.

3) Jack Frost

I must confess that I know the least about Jack. Luckily, the crossover happens before most of the events in Rise of the Guardians which means his personality in the movie is not necessarily the same as it was when he first was revived by the Man in the Moon. I’m not saying his entire character can be rewritten, because no–writing one of our major protagonists out of character would be foolish–but Jack’s personality analysis will be based on significantly less material than the others’ because we’re using his brief living memory and what we know of him directly after his revival.

Jack is generally classified as Slytherin and Water. Water is obvious considering he was revived by moon magic and he’s pretty much an actual Water bender with all the snow and ice powers, but while those are true it doesn’t give us insight into his character. Water is the element of change, generosity, adaptability, emotions, and turning defence into offence. Jack is the guardian of fun–it is literally his purpose in life (or… non-life) to bring joy to people, which he does by changing boring or dangerous situations into fun ones–the snow days to get kids out of school and when he was alive, saving his sister from the icy lake by turning it into a game. Jack’s generosity is also displayed in that scene, as he risks (and ultimately gives) his life for hers.

As for Slytherin? I don’t understand that one at all. I mean, yes, Jack is sarcastic, sneaky, and somewhat antisocial which the Slytherins from the Harry Potter novels also were, but those aren’t core values of Slytherins. If anything those are manifestations of his mischievous and rebellious nature–and which house had the largest population of pranksters? Gryffindor. Doesn’t Jack seem eerily similar to a young Sirius Black? Besides courage, which Jack has in spades, Gryffindor is defined by passion, playfulness, spontaneity, living in the moment, bluntness, confidence, commitment, recklessness, and self-sacrifice… which Jack also has in spades.

tldr: Jack is Gryffindor and Water.

4) Rapunzel

I usually see Rapunzel assigned to Air because Air is the element of freedom and the movie is ultimately about her gaining her freedom from Mother Gothel. However, she didn’t really want to be free of Mother Gothel (though, yes, that’s probably because of Stockholm’s Syndrome and thus her feelings are rather skewed) she just wanted to see the lanterns. It is entirely possible that, had Mother Gothel brought her to see the lanterns, Rapunzel would have been satisfied and gone back to the tower with little complaint. Even when she was negotiating with Eugene, Rapunzel added the condition of him escorting her back to the tower.

While freedom was a very nice bonus in achieving her actual goal, it’s still ultimately just a byproduct of defying Mother Gothel to see the lanterns. Furthermore, if she really wanted freedom, Rapunzel would not have been so quick to reunite with her biological parents or get married to Eugene (which, essentially, anchors her to Corona).

I argue that Rapunzel is Fire. For the most part, the Fire benders we see in Avatar: The Last Airbender, are the results of decades of using rage and hate as the source of their power, so angry aggression has become the stereotype of Fire. However in the episode The Firebending Masters, we learn that when “properly controlled, Fire is life and industry, comfort and creativity;” just look at Uncle Iroh and his priorities. Even trapped in her tower, Rapunzel embodies all of these aspects in her opening montage. Her daily activities are productive and artistic, and, as I’ve stated earlier, if I were to have Merida be Fire it would be because of her vitality and joy for life which Rapunzel shows more of.

Furthermore, what figuratively fuels Fire bending is one’s drive–the overall motivation in life, or, in other words, one’s dream. Tangled is about Rapunzel flourishing as a person because she finally decides to follow her dream, and the ending of her reuniting with her biological parents and marrying Eugene is more about the comfort of family which and directly opposes the freedom of exploring the wider world beyond the Kingdom of Corona. Fire also works quite neatly with the fact that Rapunzel’s magical abilities are from the sun.

As for Hogwarts House, Rapunzel is Ravenclaw and not just because it was the only one left. Ravenclaws are intelligent, logical, absent-minded, curious, creative, self-entertaining, and interested in understanding and learning about things. While she does also fit the bookish stereotype of Ravenclaws, she is a daydreamer just like Luna Lovegood, the most important Ravenclaw of the novels.

tldr: Rapunzel is Ravenclaw and Fire.

[[Okay, so… the characterizations were a lot longer than I thought, but that means it creates a much sturdier foundation for the actual relationships and interactions. So, yay! I’ll just… put character interactions in another post and call it Part Three and a Half]]

Cross-Post: Idea for a Believable “Rise of the Brave Tangled Dragons” Crossover (Part Two)

original here. dated 2013-01-26.

[A/N: Continuation of yesterday’s post– Idea for a Believable “Rise of the Brave Tangled Dragons” Crossover (Part One). Which is combining the protagonists of Rise of the Guardians (Jack Frost), Brave (Merida Dunbroch), Tangled (Rapunzel… does she have a last name?), and How To Train Your Dragon (Hiccup Horrendous Haddock… the third?). Also, this one has a lot of links to other tumblr posts in the crossover fandom.]

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[[oh god, there’s a part two. Why? I haven’t even seen Rise of the Guardians yet, there’s no reason why I should be so invested in making this crossover work… Anyway, this one shouldn’t be as fake-technical as the last one]]

Part Two: Important Questions that Influence the Plot and Therefore Should Be Answered

[Some of these answers will (and ought to) vary depending on what kind of crossover we want and where the mysterious/mystical plot takes us and what the answers to preceding questions are. For now, I’ll fill them out with what I personally would like to read (or write if I had the ability to do it justice) or different options we could follow.]

When is this crossover relative to the events of Brave/How to Train Your Dragon/Rise of The Guardians/Tangled?

Post-Brave and post-How to Train Your Dragon, because Merida and Hiccup need to have their own personal/parental/societal issues solved before we mix in the craziness that is a crossover. Also, they’re more settled after their movies–more likely to get along as a group than they were before–Merida gains patience, open-mindedness, and poise; Hiccup gains confidence and social skills… and Toothless. So for both of them, this crossover is a continuation of their stories, a possible what happens next. Also both of them need to be more entrenched in their society in order for the Viking-Highlander political/cultural dynamics to reflect in their interactions.

Then, except for Jack’s origin story, pre-Rise of the Guardians because most of the movie was “present day.” For Jack, this crossover helps solve the question of what he was doing for all these centuries. [[Agh, I just made myself sad, because maybe the reason why he’s so standoffish with the other guardians is because he remembers all the fun times he had with the Merida, Hiccup, and Rapunzel except now they’re all dead. Sorry for those feels.]] He has anywhere from three to eight centuries to cross the Atlantic and have adventures, this crossover doesn’t have much of an impact on his personal narrative.

As for Rapunzel, basically this crossover is an AU of Tangled: instead of Eugene sneaking into her tower to hide, Jack Frost wants to be her friend and help her have fun. We can’t exactly have it be before the movie, because the whole point of Tangled was that it was her first time experiencing the world outside of her tower, and she wouldn’t want to go back to that prison. While we could have it be after the movie, as mentioned in Part One, that means she won’t have her magic hair but she will have a husband and obligations as a crown princess. Hence, complete rewrite of Tangled. So while some events may be the same, and maybe they do end up meeting Eugene briefly, ultimately Rapunzel’s personal storyline is the most altered because of this crossover.

Abilities?

Hiccup: Blacksmithing, Leather-working, Inventions, Dragon riding

Jack: Ice/snow/winter powers, Flight, Invisibility/Intangibility [to those who don’t believe in him], Favoured by the moon, Staff fighting?

Rapunzel: Semi-prehensile, Healing, and Glowing Hair, Frying pan fighting, Favoured by the sun, Strength [enough to pull Mother Gothel up the tower]

Merida: Archery, Horseback riding, Sword fighting, Sensitive to/favoured by the will-o’-the-wisps [or magic in general], Strength [equal to that of her father, considering she blocked his attack and he’s practically a mountain of muscle. oh, and she climbed up Crown’s Tooth barehanded in order to drink from the fire falls]

Dragons? [as in, does Hiccup have Toothless? If so, will the others get dragons as well? Why? Do they even want dragons?]

Yes, Hiccup does have Toothless. Even if that will add slight complications to The Four’s interactions, it’s far more manageable than Eugene. [Maybe that’s the first crisis: the dragons are taken/enthralled again, and so it boosts Hiccup’s confidence independent of his dragon riding abilities without hurting his relationship with Toothless, while also giving a reason for him to turn to the three non-Vikings for help].

I’d prefer for the others not to have dragons, because it would add another three dragons to figure out interactions for, it detracts from their unique talents working together and Hiccup already has a posse of fellow dragon riders. Jack wouldn’t even want a dragon because he can already fly and his attitude isn’t all that conducive to forming a bond with a dragon. Maybe Merida likes the idea of a dragon, but she already has Angus; or depending on if the Viking raiders used dragons, she may be wary of them; or maybe she’s afraid of flying–because of The Four it makes sense (since the boys do actually fly and Rapunzel travels with Jack somehow) and it would add depth to her character. 

Rapunzel similarly already has Pascal, who would be jealous over a rival reptile, and I have a feeling that even if she were to get a dragon it would be a Terrible Terror [possible idea: perhaps in this universe Pascal the chameleon doesn’t exist or didn’t become her pet. This makes Rapunzel lonelier and more likely to cling to Jack, since he’d be her first and only friend. Then, when she happens upon/is given a dragon, she bonds with a Terrible Terror that she names Pascal.]

Antagonists?

The only antagonist from the movies left would be Mother Gothel, and while it is in character for her to do anything in her power to follow Rapunzel, is she a large enough threat that they need all of The Four to deal with her as opposed to just Jack and Rapunzel? Hm, maybe the Kingdom of Corona go to war because Mother Gothel convinces the king and queen that Jack kidnapped Rapunzel on behalf of the Vikings/Highlanders. Or maybe there’s another dragon queen. Unsure how to work Pitch in without it having major repercussions in the Rise of the Guardians, but it does open up the existence of similarly evil, magical beings.

Why do Jack and Rapunzel leave the Kingdom of Corona? [as in, which events are different from Tangled because it’s Jack instead of Eugene? What about Rapunzel’s parents?]

Though Jack and Eugene do have a similar sarcastic charm, Jack is more mischievous than rogue–this means Eugene’s antagonists (namely, Max the horse and the Stabbington brothers) who are after him for stealing the crown will also be missing. However, Jack is as new to Corona and social interactions as Rapunzel–while he’s not as naive as she is, he’s probably not as cunning as Eugene–and because Jack came specifically for Rapunzel he is more likely to follow her lead and to encourage Rapunzel to have fun and be free, as opposed to Eugene trying to get her to go back to the tower.

Plot points of Tangled that would/could stay the same: Rapunzel gets into a fight with Mother Gothel about going to see the lanterns, she uses the excuse of new paints to give her (and Jack) a head start, they happen upon the Snuggly Duckling Inn and make friends with the thugs through song, they get to the castle/capital and enjoy the festivities along with the floating lanterns. Plot points of Tangled that would be different: the chase scene in the reservoir probably wouldn’t happened, at least not with Rapunzel; without Max chasing Eugene, Mother Gothel wouldn’t have turned back so Rapunzel (and Jack) would have the full three day head start; Rapunzel, not having been dragged back the tower, may not have realized the truth of her subconscious painting or her parentage.

All in all, this means that Rapunzel has had a small glimpse of how awesome the outside world is; with nothing anchoring her specifically to Corona, I think she’d want to travel and see even more. Since Jack doesn’t really have anything/anyone else, he’d help/go with her.

How do Jack and Rapunzel leave Corona to get to Scotland/Iceland? And, why Scotland/Iceland?

While Jack can (and, for all intents and purposes, did) fly four thousand miles to meet Rapunzel, both of them need to go at least one thousand miles (the minimum distance between Scotland and the closest estimation of Corona) and Rapunzel cannot fly. We could choose to have Jack literally carry Rapunzel away from the Kingdom of Corona–but he may not be strong enough to fly with another person, especially for that long of a distance–or we could have them go on a road trip via more traditional means (hitchhiking in the 12th century, that sounds fun). The second would take longer, but that would give them time for more character bonding or the inevitable Mother Gothel confrontation if we want it earlier in the crossover.

As for why they choose Scotland/Iceland the reason could be anywhere from the Viking-like Snuggly Duckling thugs mentioning their homeland, or Rapunzel having read about either places in a book or seen in the library atlas, or even something as simple as the fact that Jack Frost would be interested in a place called Iceland (especially considering Berk “snows nine months of the year and hails the other three”) and maybe Rapunzel has never seen snow before.

What do we do with the Viking raids?

As pointed out in Part One, the Viking raids could go in any direction and would majorly affect how Merida and Hiccup’s narratives as they are princess and chief’s son. I’d choose for the Vikings to continue the peace-making trend after the dragons, because it’s one thing to build a friendship when the two cultures are wary versus outrightly hostile.

However, that leads to more decisions that need to be made: how do the Vikings try to make peace? Does the peace treaty include an arranged marriage–if so, how does Hiccup feel about it and does Merida feel any different about this one? Further, how do Merida and Hiccup meet as individuals: in a formal setting as princess and chief’s son (canon: Hiccup is known as “The Dragon Conqueror”) or as anonymous Scottish girl and anonymous Viking boy? Where do they meet–in DunBroch castle, the forest around it, the other clan’s regions, Berk? Do they travel back and forth between Scotland and Iceland?

I’d prefer to avoid the arranged marriage (especially since that may lead to Merida holding a grudge against Hiccup and preventing awesome friendship building) but maybe some kind of cultural exchange host situation, where Merida goes to live in Berk–she’d enjoy how non-political life in Berk is and how everyone is a warrior regardless of gender. In order to make that a pleasant surprise for her, I’d have them first meet in a formal setting in castle DunBroch. How they go from somewhat unwilling ambassadors to friends, I’ll leave for character interactions in part three.

How do Jack and Rapunzel meet Merida and Hiccup?

Aka, how do a couple of magical sort-of-orphan runaways meet a pair of royal warrior children? I don’t know. There are so many different ways this crossover could have gone that there’s no given path that is more likely for The Meeting.

One possibility is: Jack and Rapunzel arrive in Iceland, but Rapunzel is ill-prepared for the cold and Jack can’t really help because it is literally his element [vaguely inspired by this art, but… you know, Rapunzel instead of Merida]. Cue Merida, who is still considered an outsider and thus spends most of her time exploring the area, finding them and bringing them back to Stoic’s house. [Are there will-o’the-wisps in Iceland? Maybe that’s how she finds Jack and Rapunzel.]

What/is there a crisis makes The Four unlock their awesome potential as a group?

What the crisis is mostly depends on who the antagonists are–though we can save some for later, future adventures. Further, in order for the crisis to fully unlock The Four’s awesome potential two points requirements must be met:

1) The crisis must be a large enough obstacle that all of The Four are necessary. If it can be solved with only one or two of them, it wouldn’t be sufficient enough to create the amazing group bond that this crossover is for. For example, Mother Gothel on her own could be defeated by Rapunzel and Jack efficiently–adding a warrior princess and a dragon rider would be overkill.

 2) The crisis should be one that The Four can uniquely solve, it should make them work with each other instead of turning to other people they already know. For example, when the crisis hits there has to be some reason why Hiccup would work with the three outsiders rather than the other dragon riders of Berk without making the other dragon riders weak or jerks out of character. 

In character weakness is fine: the other Berk adolescents’ skills revolve around fighting or riding dragons, if the threat isn’t a dragon or can’t be fought with dragons (because dragons aren’t affected or the antagonist has somehow incapacitated them) then only Hiccup has proven adaptable enough to do anything. Or maybe it’s not-so-conveniently the dragons’ nesting time and, as seen in Gift of the Night Fury, only Toothless has proven loyal enough to stay behind, meaning Hiccup is temporarily the only dragon rider of Berk.

In character jerkiness could also be a reason why the other Berk dragon riders don’t help, though: if the crisis followed Merida, Jack, or Rapunzel, it could be in character for them to leave the outsiders to deal with the problem on their own. Hiccup, having not too long ago been shunned for being different and having already proven a tendency to help others at risk to his own safety, would be the only one of the Berk adolescents willing to help.

It could also be that the reason the other Berk dragon riders aren’t helping is because they are the ones that need to be saved (along with the rest of the village, perhaps) and so it’s the three outsiders and Hiccup who come to the rescue because they are so different. Regardless, there has to be a reason why The Four are four and not nine (including the other five dragon riders).

Beyond that, there are some factors to consider if we want to extend the crossover: Will they continue adventuring after this first crisis? How do they convince their parents to let them go adventuring? What is the goal/reason/justification behind the adventures? Where do these adventures take place?

[[I want to do another thing about my character interaction feels/peeves but… that means there’s THREE parts!]]

Cross-Post: Idea for a Believable “Rise of the Brave Tangled Dragons” Crossover (Part One)

original here. dated 2013-01-25.

[A/N: When I first wrote this, I don’t think I had actually seen Rise of the Guardians but thankfully my take on it wasn’t too far off. Also, before Frozen so… while I wouldn’t necessarily go adding in the Arendelle sisters, they could easily make cameos. Actually, if I were to do this brainstorm/outline again I’d probably have Jack’s part involve the plot or characters of Frozen.

Also, also, before How To train Your Dragon 2, obviously.

Also, also, also, I actually prefer “How to Train Your Brave Tangled Guardians” to “Rise of the Brave Tangled Dragons” but the latter was the more common way to refer to them… also “The Big Four?”]

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[[“Rise of the Brave Tangled Dragons” is the apparent name of the crossover featuring Jack Frost from Rise of the Guardians, Merida from Pixar’s Brave, Rapunzel from Disney’s Tangled, and Hiccup from How to Train Your Dragon. I’m still trying to wrap my head around how a crossover could be feasible/believable without being too out there for any of the characters or any of their canon worlds, so that’s what is happening here.]]

Part One: Mechanics of Chronology and Geography

First off, we need to fuse all four of their universes together. Luckily this is pretty easy because all of them have magic (or dragons which implies magic), which we can use to hand-wave many issues away. One of the main issues being the four different historical/chronological contexts. I’ve seen different posts on tumblr which basically state that Merida is in 9th-10th century Scotland Highlands, Hiccup is 10th-11th century Scandinavia (possibly Iceland), Jack is 16th-18th century North America, and Rapunzel is 15th-18th century central/southern Europe.

Oookay, so that’s anywhere from a seven to nine century difference. But magic can be used to hand-wave the history discrepancies; for example, Tangled’s Kingdom of Corona is estimated 15th-18th century because of the architecture/how advanced it’s technology is–well, maybe its success came from the wide-scale acceptance and celebration of magic (let’s say, specifically sun magic). Maybe the Puritan movement likewise happened earlier because of this cultural acceptance of magic (or rather, in resistance to this acceptance), thereby Jack’s family settling in North America happening a few centuries earlier.

Additionally, Brave is estimated to be the earliest because this was Scotland pre-British/Christian influence but we can argue in this mashed up universe that the Highlanders’ respect, if not outright acceptance of magic, maintained Scottish autonomy for much longer than it did in our universe. As for the Vikings, well, we know what their opinions are on dragons but we don’t know how they feel culturally about magic or if they have any magical/mystical interactions beyond large fire-breathing reptiles.

The argument for moving the How to Train Your Dragon timeline is tenuous at best because of it’s degree separation from magic (magic has more chronological/cultural influence and hand-wavy ability than dragons, even if dragons do imply the existence of magic) but maybe the presence of dragons similarly lengthened the Viking society beyond our own universe’s history. 

All in all, let’s meet in the middle and say 12th century. However the point is that, in a universe with dragons, semi-sentient celestial bodies and will-o’-the-wisps, and magic, cultures and societies would evolve at different rates than they do in our universe so The Four could exist at the same moment in time without necessitating time travel.

Another issue is geography. Though luckily this one is not as much of a universe-building problem as it is mechanics/logistics which may actually contribute to this crossover’s mysterious/mystical plot.

We know from Brave that the Scottish Highlanders have defended their homes from Vikings before, it probably isn’t meant to be the same generation or tribe of Vikings as in How to Train Your Dragon but let’s say they are. And anyway, Gobber’s Scottish accent (via Craig Ferguson) and position as blacksmith (and general subservience) could imply he’s a fosterling (aka hereditary thrall, as in his parent(s) may have been taken as thralls/slaves from one of the raids and while his position isn’t as demeaning as a first generation thrall’s he still isn’t of the noble warrior caste). Also, he looks remarkably like the MacGuffins in colouring and stature. Anyway! The point is that Merida and Hiccup could interact without any major changes to their cultural/societal narratives.

Jack and Rapunzel, on the other hand, require more of a stretch. Jack is in a completely different continent while Rapunzel is stuck in a tower–I’m assuming the crossover happens instead of the events of Tangled [[because a) we want to keep the magical hair and b) we don’t want to complicate The Four’s dynamic with the addition of Eugene, especially not with the addition of Eugene as a husband]]. But Jack can fly. I don’t know if he flies long distances in Rise of the Guardians, but since he’s a moon-winter zombie-ghost, flying across the Atlantic Ocean is probably not outside his abilities. But why would Jack fly that far? We could just brush it off and say he’s just wandering around the world for the sake of wandering, but here is an opportunity to merge geographical logistics with plot. For what reason would Jack fly to Europe? To meet Rapunzel.

Let me explain this answer: Jack is a lonely moon-winter zombie-ghost. In Rise of the Guardians canon, Jack is alone for roughly three hundred years and our new timeline implies a further five hundred years of isolation. Regardless of which you choose, that’s a ridiculously long time to be alone. Even if this is the universe where magic is undeniably real, and thus people would be more likely to believe/see him, Jack is from the anti-magic Puritan society. Even if they could see him, they damn magic as satanic worshipping and would probably think he’s a demon or the anti-Christ or whatever.

Anyway, Jack had to have wondered if there were others like him, so a girl who was born through sun magic? That sounds similar enough to justify a four thousand mile flight. (Maybe he hears about it from another group of settlers who travelled through/originated from Corona or the Puritan settlement uses Rapunzel’s disappearance as proof of magic’s inherent evil or the Man in the Moon decides to be nice and not vague or something else).

So there’s Jack going on a quest to meet Rapunzel in the Kingdom of Corona meanwhile, the Viking raids on Scotland theoretically puts Merida and Hiccup in the same place if on different sides of battle. Let’s resolve that matter before we move on to combining all four of them.

As previously stated, lines from Brave and How to Train Your Dragon’s… Gobber proves Highlander-Viking interaction in the form of raids. If the crossover happens after the events of How to Train Your Dragon and depending on which way the mysterious/mystical plot wants to go, we get to choose how the consolidation of Vikings and dragons affects the raids on Scotland: do the Vikings, making peace with one of their long-time enemies, decide to make peace with another long-time enemy OR do the Vikings, having turned one long-time enemy into an ally, become more efficient at battling their other long-time enemy OR something else entirely?

And–even if the crossover happens before the events of HtTYD–because Merida and Hiccup’s interactions are based on their nations’ interactions, what does that mean for them as firstborn children of their respective chief/king? This means politics: possible arranged marriage to broker peace between their two warring nations OR kidnap/hostage situation until demands are met OR something else entirely?

That’s a lot of things to consider and while it may make things more complicated and difficult, it can also lead to a more interesting and engaging plot. Yes, we could just sidestep the issue of the Viking raids entirely by having Merida or Hiccup (or both of them) running away from home but I honestly don’t think we should–firstly, because that removes some of the feasibility of the crossover and we should embrace whatever in canon makes the crossover easier.

Secondly, unless it’s one of them running away from a kidnapping/hostage situation, it’d be out of character for either of them to do that: when Merida wanted to escape being a (literal) trophy wife she didn’t do it by running away, she took (albeit poorly thought out) action to change her fate; further, even though Hiccup was the pariah of his village he still tried to do his best to contribute (in an unorthodox manner).

Thirdly, there will still be that political animosity between the two cultures according to the dialogue from Brave so even if one ran away from home they wouldn’t run towards a long-time enemy (especially considering their status as princess/chief’s son) so for them to meet, both of them would have to leave home and randomly bump into each other.

It’s just more statistically sound for Merida and Hiccup to be in the same place, either Scotland or Iceland, because of politics so Jack and Rapunzel can go there as opposed to three different paths crossing in the middle of nowhere. I mean, you can do that if you want to because stories are never statistically sound anyway, but this whole endeavour was to make the crossover more feasible.

The point is, regardless of what we choose to do with the Viking raids on Scotland, we should end up with Merida and Hiccup interacting with each other because of politics either in Scotland or Iceland (or both, maybe they travel back and forth to visit each other) while Jack, essentially, finds and gives Rapunzel a lift out of her tower in Corona. We’ve successfully made four individual narratives into two, now we’ve just got to squash them together into one massive crossover. Huzzah!

[[That’s more plot than mechanics, though, so I’m going to put that in Part Two… oh god, I can’t believe there are multiple parts, this is taking over my brain]].