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    Default Gunnerkrigg Court 6: Fire Away

    This is the discussion thread for Tom Siddell's webcomic Gunnerkrigg Court; updates every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.

    Previous Threads:
    Gunnerkrigg Court (February 9, 2009 - December 13, 2010)
    Gunnerkrigg Court 2: Small Medium at Large. (December 13, 2010 - June 4, 2012)
    Gunnerkrigg Court 3: Mystery Solved! (June 2, 2012 - May 20, 2013)
    Gunnerkrigg Court 4: Friends in Need (May 20, 2013 - September 29, 2014)
    Gunnerkrigg Court 5: Bismuth as Usual (September 29, 2014 - August 17, 2015)

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    Default Re: Gunnerkrigg Court 6: Fire Away

    Given the mis-identifications by Coyote, Rey and Tony, all fire elementals look alike.
    Last edited by stsasser; 2015-08-17 at 08:16 PM.
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    Default Re: Gunnerkrigg Court 6: Fire Away

    Keep in mind that he's seeing her heavily backlit, and through a black eye.
    Last edited by Qwertystop; 2015-08-17 at 08:16 PM.
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    Default Re: Gunnerkrigg Court 6: Fire Away

    Speaking of black eye... he did all of this while still in the state of being roughed up considerably. Including the decision to bone antenna his own hand. He was not stable at the time. And I still highly doubt that he is now.

    Also of note and possibly repetition: Annie pretty much immediately reverted back to her old Little Girl persona the moment he assumed authority of her life in one fell swoop. Cut the hair, get a little girl dress, wear the mask, don't talk back. She is falling back into old behavior patterns and has no idea what to do about that, which is quite bad.

    (On the other hand, story-wise this is an excellent opportunity for her to grow and move past it when she finally tells him that his opinion holds no sway around here. If she does that. This can go many ways. I'm quite curious.)
    Last edited by Domochevsky; 2015-08-17 at 10:10 PM.
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    Default Re: Gunnerkrigg Court 6: Fire Away

    Quote Originally Posted by Domochevsky View Post
    Speaking of black eye... he did all of this while still in the state of being roughed up considerably. Including the decision to bone antenna his own hand. He was not stable at the time. And I still highly doubt that he is now.
    Oh yeah, Tony definitely has that desperate expression on his face when he's telling Donny about how he got the opportunity to see Surma, so he's not over it. He might've even come back to the court because of the interference with his surgery, though I'm not sure how he'd connect the dots on that.
    Last edited by Hiro Protagonest; 2015-08-18 at 12:32 AM.

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    Default Re: Gunnerkrigg Court 6: Fire Away

    from other thread:

    Quote Originally Posted by eschmenk View Post
    Your tone is different, but you aren't actually saying anything very different.
    I actually am.

    Quote Originally Posted by eschmenk View Post
    You are still describing someone who is an emotional wreck.
    I'd say "emotional wreck" is an overstatement. So is "dangerously ignorant and unstable", as well as saying he has "lost the right to take the high ground on how anyone should deal with anything" and "he should not have so much power over Annie." Everyone is entitled to his or her opinion on the matter. I just think those particular opinions are excessively harsh.

    I get it. Tony's easy to hate after the way he vanished and then barged back in, completely turning over Antimony's life. Plus, he's not much of a charmer. But that's good literature. That's Tom doing a good job messing with our emotions. I don't think Tony's the villain. He's just a flawed guy.

    Remember Reynard's history. He killed a guy and is widely considered "the demon Reynard". Yet we know he's a good guy. Had his story been told with a different perspective, we might not see him that way.


    Quote Originally Posted by eschmenk View Post
    Should someone who is "desperate, credulous and grasping at straws" and who tends to be "blinded or easy to fool" be the completely unsupervised guardian of a child?
    They are all the time, no? They do not make perfect or ideal parents, but that in itself does not make them villains who should have their children taken way. Granted, Tony is a schmuck for a lot of reasons. But let's just see where this goes before passing judgment and jumping to conclusions with incomplete information.


    Quote Originally Posted by eschmenk View Post
    Shouldn't some other relatives or therapists be called in to take a look at things for the good of both Tony and Annie?
    Sure. But that's a far cry from saying the guy's a scoundrel and dangerously unstable.

    And what's to say the Court hasn't already taken that precaution before letting him have authority over his daughter and a classroom full of other children? The Court has it's flaws, but it does seem to take pretty good care of the children.

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    Default Re: Gunnerkrigg Court 6: Fire Away

    Quote Originally Posted by Domochevsky View Post
    Also of note and possibly repetition: Annie pretty much immediately reverted back to her old Little Girl persona the moment he assumed authority of her life in one fell swoop. Cut the hair, get a little girl dress, wear the mask, don't talk back. She is falling back into old behavior patterns and has no idea what to do about that, which is quite bad.
    I think that only part of Annie did that. The fire elemental part didn't. I think that's just something that she's doing superficially and temporarily until she (both parts) comes up with something better; therefore, it looks worse than it really is. Keep in mind that she was willing to deceive her father with respect to Rey. I think she's letting her father see the Annie that he wants to see, while she's keeping the other part of herself safe from him.
    Last edited by eschmenk; 2015-08-18 at 10:39 AM.

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    Default Re: Gunnerkrigg Court 6: Fire Away

    Quote Originally Posted by eschmenk View Post
    I think that only part of Annie did that. The fire elemental part didn't. I think that's just something that she's doing superficially and temporarily until she (both parts) comes up with something better; therefore, it looks worse than it really is. Keep in mind that she was willing to deceive her father with respect to Rey. I think she's letting her father see the Annie that he wants to see, while she's keeping the other part of herself safe from him.
    I feel the hair-cutting scene suggests a good deal more internal friction than that. To what end, I'm not sure.

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    Default Re: Gunnerkrigg Court 6: Fire Away

    Quote Originally Posted by screwtape2 View Post
    from other thread:

    I'd say "emotional wreck" is an overstatement. So is "dangerously ignorant and unstable", as well as saying he has "lost the right to take the high ground on how anyone should deal with anything" and "he should not have so much power over Annie." Everyone is entitled to his or her opinion on the matter. I just think those particular opinions are excessively harsh.
    ...
    They are all the time, no? They do not make perfect or ideal parents, but that in itself does not make them villains who should have their children taken way. Granted, Tony is a schmuck for a lot of reasons. But let's just see where this goes before passing judgment and jumping to conclusions with incomplete information.
    He severed his own arm! What kind of parents are you hanging out with for that not to raise serious questions over whether this guy should be in charge?

    The point is not that he shouldn't be able to see Annie, but whether someone recently in a mental space where he'd remove a major body part cause someone told him to should be in a position of seemingly unquestioned authority. He doesn't even appear to have talked to anybody close to Annie before making these changes, which is something most parents would do before taking such drastic action even if they weren't just returning after more than two years absence. Complete authority over another person isn't something that should just be handed out in perpetuity by dint of being a parent, especially if the parent in question abandoned their child without explanation for years.

    I'm not declaring him evil. When he returned I assumed there would be a reason for how he's acted. The question is whether it would justify them, and thus far the answer is a resounding no. In fact his case is weaker than I was guessing; he didn't leave looking for a way help Annie, he just couldn't face her. And his actions in Divine were not some attempt to cure her; he probably almost killed her by acting in reckless ignorance.
    The fact that he feels super bad about the situation is nice, but it doesn't really mean anything unless that at some point translates to not being such a terrible father.

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    Default Re: Gunnerkrigg Court 6: Fire Away

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    So at least now Anthony knows what the consequences of his actions were for Annie. And we see that Annie now knows what he did, as well.

    The next few pages should be interesting.

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    Default Re: Gunnerkrigg Court 6: Fire Away

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    I don't hate Tony any more.
    I think he's a massive idiot, but that doesn't mean I hate him any more. He's just someone who misses his wife, a lot, and has no idea how to approach his daughter.
    I'm also inclined to think that his jerkishness to Annie might in part be due to pressure from the Court, but that's just conjecture.
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    Default Re: Gunnerkrigg Court 6: Fire Away

    The question is: why? Why play this cruel game? Were they simply malevolent spirits?
    A father taken by time, a brother dead by my own hand.
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    Default Re: Gunnerkrigg Court 6: Fire Away

    Quote Originally Posted by Candle Jack View Post
    The question is: why? Why play this cruel game? Were they simply malevolent spirits?
    It could be. It could be that they are like most mythical gods and spirits -- they don't care what the consequences for others are much of the time. They could be allies of the spirits that Annie helped Ysengrin defeat. Who knows? Maybe we'll find out. Maybe not.

    Quote Originally Posted by Emperordaniel View Post
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    So at least now Anthony knows what the consequences of his actions were for Annie. And we see that Annie now knows what he did, as well.

    The next few pages should be interesting.
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    Yet, as far as Annie knows, he didn't check to see if Annie was OK afterwards and didn't apologize to her or act as if he was worried about what he had done to her. She even sees him laughing about it. Hopefully she will interpret that correctly, but IRL, there would be a large chance that she wouldn't.

    I thought it was pretty reckless of Donnie let Annie see this without knowing in advance what Tony would say. I realize that this is a children's story, but it did strike me as odd.
    Last edited by eschmenk; 2015-08-19 at 08:06 AM.

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    Default Re: Gunnerkrigg Court 6: Fire Away

    He knows what he did. He knows what he almost caused. And yet, he's STILL treating Annie like SHE'S the one who has done horrible wrong?

    Urge to kill, rising...

    Quote Originally Posted by Candle Jack View Post
    The question is: why? Why play this cruel game? Were they simply malevolent spirits?
    Annie is potentially a game changer. She has a fire elemental's power, combined with a keen mind and a willingness to interfere. And Coyote looks upon her with favor. I can imagine that some of the factions in the Etheric Community might decide, she has to go before she grows too strong. And if it can be done through a third party and not traced back to them...

    Or maybe they're Moon worshipers and REALLY upset about the fingerprint.

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    Default Re: Gunnerkrigg Court 6: Fire Away

    I'm sort of expecting that he had to do something bad when he realized what was going on. Like maybe he had his wife back with a moment, but realized that it was hurting Annie so to protect he had to banish or destroy his wife's spirit or something. I could see that causing a bit of resentment in him towards Annie - like, "I had to choose between you and your mother, I chose you but I can't deal with you right now". Obviously this wouldn't justify his bad behavior, but it would explain it a bit.

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    Default Re: Gunnerkrigg Court 6: Fire Away

    Quote Originally Posted by eee View Post
    He knows what he did. He knows what he almost caused. And yet, he's STILL treating Annie like SHE'S the one who has done horrible wrong?
    Kind of like a parent who can't kick the cigarette habit overreacting to make sure their kids don't pick up that or a different habit?

    I doubt that's a particularly large part of what's going on, actually, but things like that happen.

    Quote Originally Posted by eee View Post
    Or maybe they're Moon worshipers and REALLY upset about the fingerprint.
    Funny!

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    Default Re: Gunnerkrigg Court 6: Fire Away

    Quote Originally Posted by eschmenk View Post
    I think that only part of Annie did that. The fire elemental part didn't. I think that's just something that she's doing superficially and temporarily until she (both parts) comes up with something better;
    You could be right. But, I think she's doing it because she genuinely wants to please him to keep him from leaving again. As I said in a prior post, it is about her abandonment and daddy issues.

    Quote Originally Posted by eschmenk View Post
    Keep in mind that she was willing to deceive her father with respect to Rey.
    Yes, but only sort-of-kind-of. I would guess Kat figured large into the decision and convinced her to do it. If left to her own devices, I think she would have handed him over to Tony.

    Quote Originally Posted by eschmenk View Post
    I think she's letting her father see the Annie that he wants to see, while she's keeping the other part of herself safe from him.
    I don't think that's it at all. I think the flashback to Ysengrin shows how she sees the situation. She has conflicted but deep feelings about her father. She believes that her temper could be a problem maintaining their relationship. So, she sees her temper as "a personal demon" "with which she must fight," because her "love for him is far deeper than the hate." At least, it was when she did it. Now, who knows? Only, unlike Ysengrin, her temper really is a demon.

    Anyway, it was not done to protect the elemental. It was to protect Tony and the human Antimony, to make sure she does not do anything to make him leave. Abandonment and daddy issues.

    After this conversation with Donlan, who knows? Maybe she'll reduce him to a small pile of ash?

    http://www.gunnerkrigg.com/?p=1538
    http://www.gunnerkrigg.com/?p=1539

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    Default Re: Gunnerkrigg Court 6: Fire Away

    A thought occurs to me. Could Tony be deliberately trying to make Annie hate him? His misadventure with the fake psychopomps and nearly killing her might have convinced him he is an unfit parent; but talking with the Court, he finds just walking out of Annie's life didn't work and has merely made her more focused on him. If he bullies her and destroys the grandiose picture of him she's built up, though... It doesn't exactly fit, because if he wanted to anger Annie he'd bully Kat, too. But it at least provides a rational explanation for what he's doing.

    Other than he's a jerk.

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    Default Re: Gunnerkrigg Court 6: Fire Away

    Hanlon's Razor.

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    Default Re: Gunnerkrigg Court 6: Fire Away

    Quote Originally Posted by eee View Post
    A thought occurs to me. Could Tony be deliberately trying to make Annie hate him? His misadventure with the fake psychopomps and nearly killing her might have convinced him he is an unfit parent; but talking with the Court, he finds just walking out of Annie's life didn't work and has merely made her more focused on him. If he bullies her and destroys the grandiose picture of him she's built up, though... It doesn't exactly fit, because if he wanted to anger Annie he'd bully Kat, too. But it at least provides a rational explanation for what he's doing.

    Other than he's a jerk.
    If your theory is correct than he would only want Annie mad at him, not Donny. (Which, yea, bullying Kat would be a good way to make Donny pissed at him, I'm sure.)

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    Default Re: Gunnerkrigg Court 6: Fire Away

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    Slasher-smile Anthony is scaring me...

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    Default Re: Gunnerkrigg Court 6: Fire Away

    Do you want to know how I got these scars ...?
    A father taken by time, a brother dead by my own hand.
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    Default Re: Gunnerkrigg Court 6: Fire Away

    Can I just say that Zimmy is still my favourite character?

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    Default Re: Gunnerkrigg Court 6: Fire Away

    Two four six eight,
    Who do we appreciate?

    ZIMMY-ZIMS!!!!

    Now if she'd just hit the stupid mother's son again...

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    Default Re: Gunnerkrigg Court 6: Fire Away

    ...heh, I do come to like Zimmy more and more, yes. Weird how that works. All you have to do is punch someone who has caused grief for the main character. Months ago.
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    Default Re: Gunnerkrigg Court 6: Fire Away

    *recognizes name of comic in http://webcomicsworthwreading.blogsp...9/archive.html
    *starts at the beginning
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    Default Re: Gunnerkrigg Court 6: Fire Away

    And Antimony is seeing all of this.

    Hopefully, it will do some good.

    edit:
    also, not very nice of him to refer to a student as a "thing".
    Last edited by screwtape2; 2015-08-21 at 10:57 AM.

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    Default Re: Gunnerkrigg Court 6: Fire Away

    Quote Originally Posted by screwtape2 View Post
    And Antimony is seeing all of this.

    Hopefully, it will do some good.

    edit:
    also, not very nice of him to refer to a student as a "thing".
    Well, how is he to know Zimmy is a student? At least, when that happened, before he was a teacher. What her knew is that something intercepted his vision, then punched him in the face. People do not usually come in gray with pointy teeth and [void] eyes, it's not unreasonable for him to assume that Zimmy only looks human, or even that the human shape was only due to the intercepted vision being human-shaped.
    Quote Originally Posted by jamieth View Post
    ...though Talla does her best to sound objective and impartial, it doesn't cover stuff like "ask a 9-year-old to tank for the party."
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    Default Re: Gunnerkrigg Court 6: Fire Away

    Also, how else would he refer to Zim?

    "Girl"? Not quite. "Student"? No. "Demon"? Not tactful.
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    Default Re: Gunnerkrigg Court 6: Fire Away

    OK, so not the broken nose, but I'm glad that Tony has something to remember Zimmy by.

    Quote Originally Posted by screwtape2 View Post
    I don't think that's it at all...
    I think you read too much into what I was saying. I thought that Annie was "letting her father see the Annie that he wants to see" so that he wouldn't leave. That meant not letting him see Annie reacting emotionally, as she would have done if the fire elemental stayed inside of her.

    Based on the most recent updates, it may be that the fire elemental side would be in less danger than I originally thought, but I had thought there might have been a theoretical danger that Tony might want to make sure than Annie never changes back and that he might choose to do something harmful to keep that from happening. My intended point was that we probably didn't need to worry about that, though. If Tony never spots the fire elemental, it should be safe from whatever he might have done if he had seen it. Hiding it where Tony never looks should keep it safe. It does amount to keeping another secret from him. I wasn't trying to say much more than that.

    It may be that I was reading the comment I was responding to too literally, but it had said, "She is falling back into old behavior patterns and has no idea what to do about that, which is quite bad." IMO, removing the fire elemental part of her and hiding and preserving it counts as a pretty good idea that she wouldn't have thought of when she was younger.

    Quote Originally Posted by screwtape2 View Post
    So, she sees her temper as "a personal demon" "with which she must fight," because her "love for him is far deeper than the hate."
    I don't quite agree with this, though. I agree that Annie learned from Ysengrin, but Annie's solution was more clever than his. Annie apparently figured out that she didn't actually need to fight her temper; she could simply remove it instead. She is not trying to beat it down and weaken it like Ysengrin does. It's still at full strength. It was able to help her use the blinker stone just now. If she ever needs to pop it back inside of her, presumably she can do that. That gives Annie flexibility that Ysengrin doesn't have. Since she's not fighting her temper, I don't think she'll need to worry about completely loosing to it like Ysengrin apparently looses to his occasionally.

    IMO, Annie's solution was significantly better and more clever than Ysengrin's. Ysengrin's solution was all about fighting and strength because that's the way Ysengrin is. Annie needed to come up with something a bit different for herself. I do think that her solution is based on Ysengrin's, though. She just took what he said and tailored it to herself.
    Last edited by eschmenk; 2015-08-21 at 01:56 PM.

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