Wednesday, May 15, 2013

How to Speak Geek: Part 2

I meant to post yesterday, but I had a lesson in being a grownup instead. And this morning, I could have posted, but I started reading book 10 of the How to Train Your Dragon series, the book I thought would be the last of the series. I was wrong; there's at least one more. So while I am flying on the awesome that is that series, I am now anxious to read more and unable to do so.

I've been doing a lot of reading in the past few weeks, so I decided to do what I meant to do earlier for this post: help the non-geeks understand how to speak to the bookworms out there. I realize that the books I will discuss have been made into movies: I don't care. I'm going to write about the books. So there.

Harry Potter
  • Neville Longbottom. Who knew, right? 
  • "Always" is the most romantic word in the English language. 
  • NEVER call someone a mudblood. The proper term is "muggle-born."
  • Professor McGonagall is much sassier than you'd first think.
  • An understanding of astronomy is a big plus in understanding characters, particularly the Black family:
    • Bellatrix: "female warrior", star in Orion
    • Sirius: the "dog star", brightest star in Canus Major and in fact in the whole night sky
    • Regalus: "king", star in Leo
    • Andromeda: a galaxy
    • Also know: Arcturus, Cygnus, Draco, Scorpius, Pollux
  • Despite what the movies may protray, Peeves exists. Also, Dobby stole the gillyweed for Harry and told him about the second task of the Triwizard tournament.
  • The sweetest things in the world can be found in Honeydukes.
  • Fred and George Weasley are rock stars. Not literally, but understand: they are awesome. Be careful mentioning these two, though, to a sensitive Harry Potter fan who has finished book 7.
  • Dolores Umbridge = the devil. No Dark Lord can inspire such righteous wrath in a reader as this pink-cardiganed witch.
  • He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named or You-Know-Who.
  • Gilderoy Lockhart. More than just a pretty face...you know what, no. Just the pretty face. No competence at all.
  • SPEW forever!
  • SPOILERS: Harry does die, but he comes back. Ron and Hermione get together. Voldemort dies. Snape was a good guy.
  • Words to know: horcrux, Elder wand, Expelliarmus, Dark Mark, Quidditch, Hogwarts, Hogsmeade, Ministry of Magic, Death Eater, various incantations, various candy names, various magical creatures...why don't we just end the list now?
The Lord of the Rings
  • Samwise Gamgee. See note above for Neville. Amazing character who, according to Tolkien, was the hero of the book. Only character to handle the One Ring and absolutely turn away from the temptation.
  • Po-tat-oes. Boil 'em, mash 'em, stick 'em in a stew. (From movie, not book. Sorry, but I had to.)
  • Faramir is Boromir's brother, and does not ever succumb to the temptation for the Ring.
  • Just when you think the story is over, there's the Scouring of the Shire.
  • Wow, the hobbits take their sweet time leaving the Shire.
  • Tom Bombadil.
  • Bill the pony.
  • Gollum and Smeagol are the same thing, but not really. Gollum is the creature the Ring created (think "golem") and Smeagol is who he was before he was corrupted.
  • Tolkien really likes to write songs and poetry.
  • Elvish is a legit language with mechanics and conjugations and everything. You can learn it. "Lasto" means "Listen", in the imperative.
  • Gandalf is one of the Maiar, the angels in Tolkien's mythology.
  • Glorfindel, the elf that takes Frodo to Rivendell, once fought a Balrog, died defeating it, and came back to life. Foreshadowing, much?
  • "Fool of a Took!"
  • Boromir does not say, "One does not simply walk into Mordor."
  • Just when you think Gandalf the Grey can't get any cooler, he becomes Gandalf the White.
  • Denethor = worst father ever. Flaming psycho.
  • Words to know: Ent, Orc, Mordor, One Ring, Sauron, Isengard, Ranger, hobbit, elf, dwarf, Gondor, Rivendell, Isildur's Bane.
The Hunger Games
  • Haymitch is the man. So is Cinna.
  • Avoxes are people who have had their tongues cut out. Not mentioned in the movie.
  • No one likes the ending of Mockingjay, though reasons vary. Mine is that the ending felt so rushed, with too much happening before I could feel any emotional connection.
  • This is a book about children fighting to the death. I realize that's well-known, but I thought it should be emphasized.
  • Peeta's leg gets amputated, and Katniss loses hearing in one ear.
  • Katniss has trouble pretending to love Peeta.
  • Gale is one angry young man.
  • Madge Undersee is a friend of Katniss's. She's the one who gives Katniss her mockingjay pin.
  • The mutts look like dead tributes.
  • President Snow smells of blood and roses.
  • The idea behind the games is similar to Rome's "bread and circuses" and modern reality shows.
  • SPOILERS: Primrose, Katniss's sister, dies in the last book. So all of this has been kind of pointless.
  • Words to know: Avox, tribute, district, District 13, District 12, muttation, tracker-jacker, Girl on Fire, Panem.
Hope this is a good start. Naturally, I can't list everything you should know, but this should get you started just fine. Maybe I'll return to books geeks like to read and talk about someday, but for now, I'm going to get back to reading. I have a lot to read, some for run and some for class. I finished reading a Jack-the-Ripper style novel for a class, and while everyone talked about how scary it was, I was fine. Just fine. Not scared at all. Maybe that in and of itself should scare me.

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