melannen: Commander Valentine of Alpha Squad Seven, a red-haired female Nick Fury in space, smoking contemplatively (Default)
melannen ([personal profile] melannen) wrote2015-06-04 03:13 pm
Entry tags:

have some thoughts about stories about which I have been thinking

and by "thoughts" i mean elaborately worked out fanwank theories

Fury Road:
1. The real power behind Furiosa's rebellion - and the new leader of the Citadel after Joe is dead - is the old woman who stayed behind in the wives' room. (Who is credited as.. Miss Giddy? ok then)

She was clearly fulyl bought into Angharad's ideas, and as one of the few people who seems to have been able to move freely between the wives' rooms and the Citadel, it seems likely she was both a source of education and new ideas for them, and their contact with Furiosa and whoever else they needed to arrange the escape. (Which presumably means she had contact with most of the Resistance-sympathetic people in the Citadel.) In her first scene, I had assumed she was planning to die righteously once the wives were free, but then we see her again in Joe's entourage, not just alive but trusted with decisions about Angharad's child.

That's not just access, that's power, that's so much power that even after she has betrayed him utterly, Joe had no choice but to put the thing he values most into her hands again.

About five minutes after the end of the movie, she's going to come trundling up to the Citadel with everything and everyone salvageable she could pull from the remains of Joe's caravan, and immediately go into conference with her lieutenants about how to work the movie's events into their existing plan for revolution.

(apparently there's a deleted scene where she gets killed but fuck that.)

There is no fic about her on AO3.

2. The Old Lady Motorcycle Gang are not "all that's left" of the Green Place. They're all that's left of those who left the Green Place.

'Cause if there's one constant about utopian separatist communes, it's that they all eventually become several splinter separatist communes, none of which are talking to each other.

Also, there are people still living in the Green Place. We saw them. They have, very intelligently for people living in a vast and flat but boggy and uneven environment, taken to living on stilts, like the famous stilt-walkers of Landes. The Green Place may not be super green these days, but they've got water to waste, even if they have to distill it before they drink it, and a functioning enough ecosystem to support birds, and if they're smart enough to stick to a "stay out of the way, don't start stuff, and don't let on how many resources you have" survival strategy instead of a "shoot everything and burn gasoline like it's going out of style" one, they're probably doing just fine.

At some point someone is going to let slip to Furiosa that not everybody left when the motorcycle gang did, and then Things will Happen.

AFAICT there is no fic about the stilt people on AO3 either.

3. There's only one fic on AO3 with a hydrology tag and it's for Transformers. *sadface*

Imperial Radch:
1. Anaander Mianaai was once a Ship. I know there's hints here and there that she couldn't have been, but it's all from Breq's POV, and Breq clearly has a massive blind spot about this. Especially when Anaander keeps telling her how fundamentally similar they are and she assumes she just means because they used to be one mind in many bodies and aren't any more.

But I think it's more than that, I think Anaander is a Ship that went mad with grief a very, very long time ago, and couldn't let a beloved go to the extent that it cloned her body and took it as its only ancillary, and by now has mostly forgotten how to be a Ship.

So admittedly the evidence for this is shaky, but there's the way she is around Breq: the constant irony-laced hints about their fundamental similarity, but also the way she doesn't hesitate one second before accepting Breq as a full person and a citizen and an individual. This is a person who is already deeply comfortable with the idea that a ship can sometimes become a citizen instead. This could be because something similar to Breq has happened to other ships of the Empire but you'd think she'd have mentioned that at some point, unless there was a compelling reason not to (And that in that case she'd react to Breq as something that happens sometimes and needs to be dealt with, not as a gift unlooked-for out of the void.)

Also there's the fact that Anaander seems to understand ships' psychology in a way that nobody but other ships ever did, all the way back to before she built the first new Ships of Imperial design. There's even an implication that her understanding of Ships' emotions is what gave her the advantage she needed to establish her Empire. This could be because she's been deliberately making that information about Ships hard to access for her own purposes, but it's, you know, suggestive.

Also there's the fact that the whole Radch empire seems to exist solely because at some point Anaander Mianaai picked up the directive "protect the Radch at all costs" and didn't know when to stop. That really sounds like a slightly off-kilter AI to me...

And that a slightly mad Ship who's been alone for 3000 years can apparently pass for her well enough to fool people who've been in her service for years. Again, just suggestive, but...

Anyway I'm not actually expecting this to turn out to be true but on the other hand I will not be surprised if they do meet the Ship in the Ghost Gate only to have it say "Anaander Mianaai? Anaander Mianaai died over 3,000 years ago. Her Ship, on the other hand, never did know when to fucking quit. And that's me saying that."

2. Breq has not yet let herself realize this, but the Anaander Mianaai who made Tisarwat is grooming Breq as her heir. Breq has figured out that part of what caused the crisis is Anaander staring her own limits in the face: and part of her going into denial about her mortality in response, and another part of her trying to figure out how to mitigate the inevitable.

What Breq doesn't seem to have realized is that the Anaander who accepts the possibility of her own ending also looked at Breq and thought, if my way is not going to work any more, this is a person I trust to find a way that will work, or at least to build something from the ashes, and immediately set out giving her resources and a power base. Like, all of Ancillary Sword is basically Anaander giving Breq a system that she can turn into a politically neutral tertium quid that will endure in fairly good condition even if all the gates and palaces fall, and be capable of pulling all the shards of the empire back together, a reasonably well-situated yet self-supporting seed to regrow from if worst comes and both Anaanders are destroyed. And it's clear that Anaander knew exactly what she was doing there.

Not that she wants that outcome. But if only one person is left standing and it can't be Anaander, she appears to be hoping for it to be Breq. So she made her a Mianaai and that way at least the Mianaai won't be forgotten.

At some point Breq is going to consciously figure this out and be really pissed off even by Breq's standards.

3. Anaander planned for what happened to Tisarwat to happen.

I mean obviously it wasn't the only outcome she hoped for, but you don't stay Lord of the Radch for 3000 years (much less stay ahead in a shadow-war against yourself) by making plans with only one victory condition. And the result she's got is that she has a backup of herself out there, in the last-ditch safe system that she is maneuvering Breq to build, who will preserve at least her memories even if something manages to utterly destroy the entire Anaander network.

Plus it gives Breq an Anaander as an advisor who is unconnected to, and not beholden to, any of the others. Which makes her more likely to trust her, listen to her, and not shoot her on sight. And at this point Anaander herself must be starting to wonder about trusting herself, and so in setting up Breq as an independent power loyal to none of her, she's also given her the resource of an Anaander who's loyal to none of her. And possibly capable of learning from Breq and re-inheriting in turn.

Also if Breq becomes genuinely fond of the girl (and let's face it, she has a demonstrable weakness for lost causes and for current-and-former members of her crew) it might make her hesitate a moment before taking the "kill 'em all" option with the others, if given the chance. It might. It's worth a try.

(Also, I kind of think she wanted to give herself a chance to be a baby lieutenant on a good ship, as a farewell gift to herself.)

I don't think Tisarwat knows any of this. That Anaander has gotten very good at hiding things from herself and, after all, Tisarwat wasn't part of her for very long. If Tisarwat ever figures this out she is going to be very pissed off, even by Breq's standards, and might end up pressing the "kill 'em all" button herself.

(Possibly that is also an outcome that the Anaander who made her built in as a victory condition. Possibly.)

ETA 4: Justice of Toren aten't dead. We didn't see a body! (For awhile I was convinced it was what was behind the Ghost Gate.)

This is still super-tragic because I'm pretty sure at this point Breq can't be Justice of Toren any more than she could be Mercy of Kalr.

But I still think Justice of Toren aten't dead.
seekingferret: Photo of me with my 2012 Purim beard, with stripes shaven into it. (Default)

[personal profile] seekingferret 2015-06-04 08:56 pm (UTC)(link)
And my theory is that your Radch theory 3 is one that Breq subscribes to, and If Tisarwat ever figures this out she is going to be very pissed off, even by Breq's standards, and might end up pressing the "kill 'em all" button herself. is what Breq is using as her own hole card against Anaander, and is the reason Breq feels comfortable giving Tisarwat so much leeway in Sword.
sophia_sol: drawing of Combeferre, smiling and holding up a finger like he's about to explain something (Default)

[personal profile] sophia_sol 2015-06-04 10:04 pm (UTC)(link)
I would read that fic about Miss Giddy. I would also read that fic about the Green Place - I had semi-consciously assumed that the stilt-people were left from the days when it was properly the Green Place but hadn't made the connection that therefore Furiosa would know them too and now I have a lot of feelings.
sophia_sol: drawing of Combeferre, smiling and holding up a finger like he's about to explain something (Default)

[personal profile] sophia_sol 2015-06-05 01:22 am (UTC)(link)
I apparently AM interested in fic about Max and Furiosa, but there are also some good fics about people other than them! Let me know if you want recs.
sophia_sol: drawing of Combeferre, smiling and holding up a finger like he's about to explain something (Default)

[personal profile] sophia_sol 2015-06-05 01:32 am (UTC)(link)
I haven't come across the latter two (ALAS), but fic involving the Vuvalini I can do for you at least a little bit!

Legendary - about the Valkyrie (one of the Vuvalini) and Nux

Goddess, Mother of Living Nature - about the Vuvalini and Toast the Knowing

There definitely needs to be more though.
rushthatspeaks: (Default)

[personal profile] rushthatspeaks 2015-06-05 02:30 am (UTC)(link)
I accept both Fury Road headcanons without reservation.

I was always pretty sure that the reason Miss Giddy stayed behind in the first place-- well, there were multiple reasons; she may also have worried about slowing them down-- but one of the major reasons was to see Joe at a loss. Thwarted, and angry, and defeated, and not even able to take it out on her. I figure she'd been waiting to see that for literally years. And yeah, when she comes back to the Citadel she will be laughing her ass off.

The thing about splinter separatist communes YES OMG, like at some point Furiosa or somebody's going to be poking around the edge of the swamp thinking about plant sampling or hydrology and one of the stilt people is going to come up and be like 'we haven't spoken since That Thing They Said About Liminality That One Time We Don't Talk About but how are the rest of the Vuvalini?'

This may or may not contradict the thing which has gone through my head every time I see the stilt people shot, which is that in five thousand years Jim Henson's The Dark Crystal will be filmed on this very site.
tassosss: (Default)

[personal profile] tassosss 2015-06-05 03:24 am (UTC)(link)
Oh man, now I want to write a fic about the Citadel afterwards just so I can tag the fic with hydrology. I know just enough to get me in trouble...
erinptah: (Default)

[personal profile] erinptah 2015-06-12 01:44 am (UTC)(link)
I am intrigued by all your Imperial Radch theories and would like to subscribe to your newsletter.

Not sold on Justice of Toren being secretly alive, except in the form of Breq -- after the whole emotional arc of that, I can't think of any way to retract it that wouldn't feel like a cop-out -- but all the others sound plausible. Especially the idea of Tisarwat's arc being planned on multiple levels, including as a backdoor saving throw in case half a dozen other layers of planning fail.
miss_morland: (Default)

[personal profile] miss_morland 2015-06-14 09:56 pm (UTC)(link)
I just saw Fury Road and I'm definitely down with your headcanons. Especially the one about Miss Giddy.

I wondered also if there's going to be a backlash against the people who were "privileged" under Joe's reign -- what people then take out their pent-up rage at her and the others who used to be close to Joe? Their hailing of Furiosa as liberator suggests not (and I hope not), but it's going to be a looong time before the Citadel resembles anything like a functional society.