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  1. - Top - End - #91
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    Default Re: RWBY IX: Fractured Fairy Tales

    Quote Originally Posted by LaZodiac View Post
    Spoiler: V5C7
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    Aside from the unbelievably baffling idea that "being a bird is bad somehow" this episode was great? Nothing HAPPENS, sure, but you need quiet moments. You need moments of characterization. This is something I WISH happened earlier. Show us these characters actually interacting. Have them bash their character bits together and see what comes up from the natural flow of things. Have ANY SORT OF CHARACTERIZATION AT ALL. This is ACTUALLY GOOD.

    Now, as for the bird thing...if they say, had thee bird form look like a Grimm, implying something more sinister about the whole thing, it might make some sense. But no, bird form is just regular ole bird form. The fact that it's not forced on them, that it's not damaging or dangerous to them in any way, just makes this entire conflict ridiculous. The BEST thing I can think of with regards to why this brid thing might be bad is either weird racism overtones because they're "becoming animals" or because this universe has some kind of "thing" with having your original base "self" never changing because otherwise it's weird. Which of course it doesn't given robot limbs are prevelenet to the point that Ironwood has an entire half of his body replaced with robot. There's nothing in this universe that implies that their bird form stuff is even remotely negative, and the reaction to it AS negative is really dumb.

    But yeah that aside this episode was great for finally, albeit it very lately, doing what RWBY has needed since forever.


    I'll do episode 8 tonight probably, since tomorrow is a day off. But yeah, hope my genuinely positive comments on a rWBY episode don't get overshadowed by the new episode because there's a lot of stuff to actually discuss on 7, for as 'nothing' as it seems to be portrayed.


    There isn't much need to spoil stuff about episode 7 given its been well over a week since it went up for paying members and four days since it went up on YouTube. Anyone, who wants to can but this time I don't see any real drama spoiling (nor am I posting a long review) so I'm forging ahead:

    I liked the party moment too, it contrasts to the earlier moments as it shows the kids have grown up enough to reminesce on the good old days a couple of seasons ago. The fact that these moments come out drip by drip after waiting week after week for a climatic action seen makes them frustrating.

    I don't think sitting knees together during a formal discussion is that out of character for Nora, even if she is the type to laze around. Also note her dress is very pooffy, they would have to constantly force it down, which isn't something they've been doing with the costumes anymore.

    Yang's mom showed Yang the bird thing as her great reveal that Ozpin was keeping these great dark secrets and using and manipulating people. Apparently, that got through. Yang getting all upset about the use of magic segues nicely from the fact that she was already upset Ozpin didn't bring up that detail without being prompted. The fact that granting people shapeshifting abilities isn't necessarily the sort of thing that Yang should logically be upset over, "How dare you do that awesome, totally cool thing to someone!," doesn't matter. We had adequate set-up, both from Raven, and from the fact that Yang showed she was already upset at Ozpin, to give Yang plenty of reason to react.

    By the way, I pointed out that Ozpin still hasn't told us half the story, stuff like the origin of magic, or his first form, or Salem, or the substance of Salem's mission (unless it really stops with "exterminate or rule humanity and it really doesn't matter which"). Yang has plenty more to get upset about unless yet another big data dump is in the near future.
    Quote Originally Posted by Morty View Post
    It would have been awesome if the writers had put as much thought into it as you guys do.
    The laws of physics are not crying in a corner, they are bawling in the forums.

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  2. - Top - End - #92
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    Default Re: RWBY IX: Fractured Fairy Tales

    I spoiled for length.

    Anyway it's not JUST Yang who's upset about the bird thing. Everyone seems kinda disgusted at it, which is...weird to me, still. And Ozpin's made it clear he's going to talk about that important stuff at least. But okay, fair, Yang has some reason to be annoyed like Jaune. Everyone else looks just as horrified.

    As someone who has knees, I can tell you from experience that also sitting on your knees like that hurts like a mother****er. I don't see anyone doing it, least of all Nora.


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  3. - Top - End - #93
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    Default Re: RWBY IX: Fractured Fairy Tales

    Pssst, Zodiac, Emerald wasn't using a new weapon. She's still got her sickle/kusari-gama attached to otherwise ordinary submachine guns that she's always had.
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    Default Re: RWBY IX: Fractured Fairy Tales

    Quote Originally Posted by Callos_DeTerran View Post
    Pssst, Zodiac, Emerald wasn't using a new weapon. She's still got her sickle/kusari-gama attached to otherwise ordinary submachine guns that she's always had.
    It's been five thousand years since Emerald's shown up, let alone done something worth me even acknowledging she exists as a character. Cut me some slack


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    Default Re: RWBY IX: Fractured Fairy Tales

    Spoiler: v5c8
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    Yang working through a necessary and important character moment, props. Not that she's done--nor should she be--but it's a start. No comment on the dialogue.

    Ilia is good at saying something dramatic and provoking a horrified stare from Blake. So good that she did it like four times. Rather less good at keeping Blake captured, but hey, if you love something, let someone else set it free, right?

    Action ramping up. Still waiting on that Raven portal.

    Quote Originally Posted by Reddish Mage View Post
    Yang's mom showed Yang the bird thing as her great reveal that Ozpin was keeping these great dark secrets and using and manipulating people. Apparently, that got through. Yang getting all upset about the use of magic segues nicely from the fact that she was already upset Ozpin didn't bring up that detail without being prompted. The fact that granting people shapeshifting abilities isn't necessarily the sort of thing that Yang should logically be upset over, "How dare you do that awesome, totally cool thing to someone!," doesn't matter. We had adequate set-up, both from Raven, and from the fact that Yang showed she was already upset at Ozpin, to give Yang plenty of reason to react.
    It does matter. The fact that Yang and others react that way is the very reason there needs to be substantial cause for their reaction. It cannot be its own justification--that's circular. Which brings us back to the problem that the bird thing is not, in itself, a reveal that Ozpin was keeping great dark secrets and using/manipulating people, and cRWBY didn't build from that to such a reveal. And why would Ozpin bring up the bird powers unprompted? That would be failing to respect Qrow and Raven's privacy. Even if Yang were reacting purely on emotion to the bird reveal, her reaction would be about Raven in v5c6, not about Ozpin in v5c7. And this fails to explain why anyone else would treat the bird powers as anything sinister. The emotional beats are what they need to be, but the story beats portrayed don't support them.

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    Default Re: RWBY IX: Fractured Fairy Tales

    Raven, one episode ago, used Ozpin's statements as proof positive something was wrong with him. Her ultimate proof was showing Yang "look what Ozpin did to me" and turned into a bird. It wasn't especially coherent or convincing when Raven said these things.

    Its not surprising that Yang would confront Ozpin about those things the very next time they met. If she incoherently repeated the same sentiments with less backgrounds, that probably reflects the level of understanding she took from Raven as to why birds are bad or why Ozpin's world-changing secrets are proof that he's something more sinister. She knows little more than that Raven told her so.

    My first watch through I didn't notice how horrified people's faces were when Oscarpin said he turned Qrow and Raven into birds. I surmise Ruby and Ren caught it from Yang. Weiss's expression is neutral and Nora's ambiguous, could be just shocked. Everyone but Yang recovers after Oscarpin is like "they don't turn into birds during a full-moon, and I don't go around freely turning people into animals willy-nilly (implied, you needn't fear being turned into any rodents anytime soon), it was a serious thing I did that one time with consent, really."

    I wonder if that bird transformation power is inheritable. What birds would Ruby and Yang turn into?

    Alternatively, everyone's heard "magic has a price" and those old fairy tale's where magic always goes horribly wrong. You know, like the one where Ozpin gave his power to four maidens and now the evil witch Salem can now get ahold of that power to end the world...

    Incidentally, anyone notice that the four maidens are four and RWBY and STRQ are all four member teams. Were the maidens Ozpin's first superstar team?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lethologica View Post
    Spoiler: v5c8
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    Ilia is good at saying something dramatic and provoking a horrified stare from Blake. So good that she did it like four times. Rather less good at keeping Blake captured, but hey, if you love something, let someone else set it free, right?

    Action ramping up. Still waiting on that Raven portal.
    Spoiler: V5E8
    Show
    Was any of those horrified stares just acting on Blake's part? You know, now that we know that Blake was prepared for Illia's betrayal the entire time.

    Also, I say that the portal is not coming. Raven will more likely cut a deal with Cinder, despite Cinder's hostile attitude. If they fight, Vernal is in Raven's court and won't go quietly, after a fight Raven is more likely to go it on her own than rejoin Taiyang and certainly won't rejoin Qrow and team Oz so soon after she declared her opposition to Ozpin.
    Quote Originally Posted by Morty View Post
    It would have been awesome if the writers had put as much thought into it as you guys do.
    The laws of physics are not crying in a corner, they are bawling in the forums.

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    Default Re: RWBY IX: Fractured Fairy Tales

    Quote Originally Posted by LaZodiac View Post
    It's been five thousand years since Emerald's shown up, let alone done something worth me even acknowledging she exists as a character. Cut me some slack
    No. You don't give the show any so you don't get any either. XD Glad you liked Chapter 7 though!
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    Default Re: RWBY IX: Fractured Fairy Tales

    I agree that the weirdness of Yang's 'bird powers are sinister' reaction derives in large part from Raven's incoherent and unconvincing speechifying, but there's no reason for Raven to have been either of those things in the first place.

    Quote Originally Posted by Reddish Mage View Post
    Spoiler: V5E8
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    Was any of those horrified stares just acting on Blake's part? You know, now that we know that Blake was prepared for Illia's betrayal the entire time.

    Also, I say that the portal is not coming. Raven will more likely cut a deal with Cinder, despite Cinder's hostile attitude. If they fight, Vernal is in Raven's court and won't go quietly, after a fight Raven is more likely to go it on her own than rejoin Taiyang and certainly won't rejoin Qrow and team Oz so soon after she declared her opposition to Ozpin.
    Spoiler: v5e8
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    Blake may have taken precautions against betrayal, but I don't think she expected it, or the extent of it.

    I agree that given the advice Salem specifically gave Cinder, negotiation is likely to happen. Still, I don't see how the negotiation concludes without Raven handing over Vernal (and Vernal objecting violently) or Raven not handing over Vernal (and Cinder objecting violently), so a fight seems inevitable. The portal would be in the event of Raven refusing followed by a Cinder victory; if Raven goes through, Taiyang is the most likely destination, but if Vernal goes through, I think Qrow is the most likely destination. (The wishful thinking on my part is that RNJR get to go back through the portal and actually do something this season, but it's highly unlikely.)

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    Default Re: RWBY IX: Fractured Fairy Tales

    Quote Originally Posted by Lethologica View Post
    I agree that the weirdness of Yang's 'bird powers are sinister' reaction derives in large part from Raven's incoherent and unconvincing speechifying, but there's no reason for Raven to have been either of those things in the first place.


    Spoiler: v5e8
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    Blake may have taken precautions against betrayal, but I don't think she expected it, or the extent of it.

    I agree that given the advice Salem specifically gave Cinder, negotiation is likely to happen. Still, I don't see how the negotiation concludes without Raven handing over Vernal (and Vernal objecting violently) or Raven not handing over Vernal (and Cinder objecting violently), so a fight seems inevitable. The portal would be in the event of Raven refusing followed by a Cinder victory; if Raven goes through, Taiyang is the most likely destination, but if Vernal goes through, I think Qrow is the most likely destination. (The wishful thinking on my part is that RNJR get to go back through the portal and actually do something this season, but it's highly unlikely.)
    There is a reason for Raven's speechifying being incoherent. She's wrong.

    Spoiler: v5e8
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    I think Raven is the one who is more likely to object to an arrangement with Cinder.
    For all her bluster, Raven is well aware of Salem's destructive agenda and doesn't seem to like it. She seems to be under the mistaken impression she can hide out and avoid Salem.

    Even if Raven was not harboring one of the maidens, this would be yet another example of Raven's logical infelicities. Obviously, if Salem were to win Raven and her bandits would not escape the effects of the devastation. As it is, Raven is interfering with Salems plan just by hosting the maiden, which is why she has brought Salem's attention.

    Vernal is a wild-card, we don't know much about her, but from what we see she sees herself as a rough bandit-type under Raven. Vernal has given us no reason to think she wouldn't join on with Salem. All we know is she seems loyal to Raven.

    So I think its in Raven's hands what happens. I don't think that this includes a portal opening up. Although that saves us a battle, it would also cause an unnecessary backtrack in Raven's character development.

    Raven just finished by saying how much she hated Ozpin and doesn't want anything to do with his war and Salem "cannot be opposed." Its consistent with that if Raven goes with Cinder, or tries to avoid the confrontation. However, going to Qrow (or sending Vernal there) means siding against Salem, and that is inconsistent characterization, for Raven to do that immediately after saying the things she did about Salem and Ozpin.


    Its okay for fictional characters to have illogical motives or not fully coherently explain there thoughts. This happens all the time in real life, especially if you lack context about what someone else is saying or arguing. What's not ok is inconsistent characterization.

    That's why there is a theory out there that Raven witnessed Summer being killed (although that doesn't fit the timeline, Raven left while Summer before her romance with Taiyang). There seems to be some missing context as to why Raven suddenly wanted to quit STRQ and Ozpin's war.
    Quote Originally Posted by Morty View Post
    It would have been awesome if the writers had put as much thought into it as you guys do.
    The laws of physics are not crying in a corner, they are bawling in the forums.

    Thanks to half-halfling for the avatar

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    Default Re: RWBY IX: Fractured Fairy Tales

    Quote Originally Posted by Reddish Mage View Post
    Alternatively, everyone's heard "magic has a price" and those old fairy tale's where magic always goes horribly wrong. You know, like the one where Ozpin gave his power to four maidens and now the evil witch Salem can now get ahold of that power to end the world...

    Incidentally, anyone notice that the four maidens are four and RWBY and STRQ are all four member teams. Were the maidens Ozpin's first superstar team?
    In that case tell us what the price is. The show itself is trying to push this idea that the bird forms are sinister and there's just no support for it.

    Well I mean I thought that was kind of implied. That's something Raven herself hinted at, Ozpin's done all this song and dance before.

    Quote Originally Posted by Callos_DeTerran View Post
    No. You don't give the show any so you don't get any either. XD Glad you liked Chapter 7 though!
    I just had the most positive response to a RWBY episode I've had in months, I think I deserve a little leeway


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    Default Re: RWBY IX: Fractured Fairy Tales

    Quote Originally Posted by Reddish Mage View Post
    There is a reason for Raven's speechifying being incoherent. She's wrong.
    A character can (and usually should) have reasons for their statements and actions that are compelling to them, and understandable to other characters and the audience, even if we think those statements and actions are wrong, and the reasons flawed. So that's not a reason for Raven's incoherent speechifying. I mean, fundamentally, the reason Raven's speech is such a failure is because despite her claim to be offering the truth, the writers weren't willing to give her any hard realities to illustrate. It would be downright easy to give Raven a coherent, convincing, and wrong viewpoint if the writers were willing to make any commitments whatsoever, instead of just regurgitating information they've already presented as filler for the mother-daughter drama.

    Quote Originally Posted by Reddish Mage View Post
    Spoiler: v5e8
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    I think Raven is the one who is more likely to object to an arrangement with Cinder.
    For all her bluster, Raven is well aware of Salem's destructive agenda and doesn't seem to like it. She seems to be under the mistaken impression she can hide out and avoid Salem.

    Even if Raven was not harboring one of the maidens, this would be yet another example of Raven's logical infelicities. Obviously, if Salem were to win Raven and her bandits would not escape the effects of the devastation. As it is, Raven is interfering with Salems plan just by hosting the maiden, which is why she has brought Salem's attention.

    Vernal is a wild-card, we don't know much about her, but from what we see she sees herself as a rough bandit-type under Raven. Vernal has given us no reason to think she wouldn't join on with Salem. All we know is she seems loyal to Raven.

    So I think its in Raven's hands what happens. I don't think that this includes a portal opening up. Although that saves us a battle, it would also cause an unnecessary backtrack in Raven's character development.

    Raven just finished by saying how much she hated Ozpin and doesn't want anything to do with his war and Salem "cannot be opposed." Its consistent with that if Raven goes with Cinder, or tries to avoid the confrontation. However, going to Qrow (or sending Vernal there) means siding against Salem, and that is inconsistent characterization, for Raven to do that immediately after saying the things she did about Salem and Ozpin.
    Spoiler: v5c8
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    I agree that Raven is likely to refuse, but conditional on Raven accepting, Vernal is certain to object, simply because there's basically no story to tell otherwise. And as I said, if Raven opens the portal for herself it's likely to Taiyang--the portal to Qrow would be for Vernal.


    Quote Originally Posted by Reddish Mage View Post
    Its okay for fictional characters to have illogical motives or not fully coherently explain there thoughts. This happens all the time in real life, especially if you lack context about what someone else is saying or arguing. What's not ok is inconsistent characterization.
    It can be okay. In this case, it wasn't, and the issue is not merely illogical motives or incomplete context.

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    Default Re: RWBY IX: Fractured Fairy Tales

    Quote Originally Posted by Lethologica View Post
    A character can (and usually should) have reasons for their statements and actions that are compelling to them, and understandable to other characters and the audience, even if we think those statements and actions are wrong, and the reasons flawed. So that's not a reason for Raven's incoherent speechifying. I mean, fundamentally, the reason Raven's speech is such a failure is because despite her claim to be offering the truth, the writers weren't willing to give her any hard realities to illustrate. It would be downright easy to give Raven a coherent, convincing, and wrong viewpoint if the writers were willing to make any commitments whatsoever, instead of just regurgitating information they've already presented as filler for the mother-daughter drama.
    Raven appears, in my view, to have something like fantasy PTSD - she fought the monsters and came back irreparably damaged and is convinced that anyone who joins the struggle is going to end up the same way. She blames Ozpin as responsible for her pain because he recruited her and put too much pressure on her to succeed, even though it's Salem - being the horrific mother of monsters who serves as a seemingly literal personification of evil - who is clearly responsible. Raven is speaking from a point of severe and irrational personal pain - she doesn't have a coherent viewpoint to offer at all (honestly, there really isn't one, choosing not to fight when the only alternative is 'die horribly at a slightly later date' isn't a logical justification and is a reductive problem of having unreasoning evil antagonists).

    The problem with Raven's speech, as I see it, is that we've had so little exposure to her character at this point. The audience has no good way of recognizing how damaged she actually is and how that damage is influencing her, especially give her outwardly tough persona. So rather than being at least a moderately sympathetic figure who is simply unable to overcome the wounds of past failures - which is what these past two volumes have pretty much been devoted to in terms of the protagonists - she just comes off as ridiculous.
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    Default Re: RWBY IX: Fractured Fairy Tales

    Quote Originally Posted by LaZodiac View Post
    I just had the most positive response to a RWBY episode I've had in months, I think I deserve a little leeway
    Should I quote numerous chapter reviews where you have positive things to say about an episode just to follow it with 'shame it isn't in a better series' comments?

    I'll give you the same slack you give RWBY, its only fair.
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    Default Re: RWBY IX: Fractured Fairy Tales

    Quote Originally Posted by Mechalich View Post
    Raven appears, in my view, to have something like fantasy PTSD - she fought the monsters and came back irreparably damaged and is convinced that anyone who joins the struggle is going to end up the same way. She blames Ozpin as responsible for her pain because he recruited her and put too much pressure on her to succeed, even though it's Salem - being the horrific mother of monsters who serves as a seemingly literal personification of evil - who is clearly responsible. Raven is speaking from a point of severe and irrational personal pain - she doesn't have a coherent viewpoint to offer at all (honestly, there really isn't one, choosing not to fight when the only alternative is 'die horribly at a slightly later date' isn't a logical justification and is a reductive problem of having unreasoning evil antagonists).

    The problem with Raven's speech, as I see it, is that we've had so little exposure to her character at this point. The audience has no good way of recognizing how damaged she actually is and how that damage is influencing her, especially give her outwardly tough persona. So rather than being at least a moderately sympathetic figure who is simply unable to overcome the wounds of past failures - which is what these past two volumes have pretty much been devoted to in terms of the protagonists - she just comes off as ridiculous.
    There's been opportunity, but they went a mile wide and an inch deep with it, because they couldn't (or couldn't be bothered to) rationalize where Raven was coming from and what she really wanted to tell Yang.

    You know what, here, I'll fix it. My starting point: Raven being convinced that Salem is unstoppable is not at all necessary. Which is not to say that it can't be done, but I think that character looks significantly different. Instead, Raven's character would tie together far better if she saw Ozpin and Salem as eternally stalemated.

    As Raven fought Ozpin's war, as she saw him lie to and manipulate and sacrifice people like her to oppose Salem, as she went through pain and trauma and loss, she stopped believing that she was making a difference. It didn't matter if she was there putting her body and mind on the line--Salem would still be there, and Ozpin would as well; the Kingdoms would survive, but never conquer the Grimm; the Relics would be forever endangered, but never actually taken; all her pain and suffering was meaningless. So Raven f***ed off back to her tribe, and resented her true-believer erstwhile friends who thought they were saving the world by fighting for Ozpin--she told herself they were naive rubes, putting themselves through hell for nothing.

    Then Beacon fell, and Salem acquired the Fall Maiden's power. Raven was shaken. But as long as the Relic wasn't taken, she could keep telling herself that Salem hadn't made any real progress. Her victory, though momentarily large, would be temporary, and equilibrium would be restored. Even the Maiden's power would slip from Salem's grasp when its new bearer died. That's why Raven went after Qrow so doggedly on the point of the Relic--and when he refused to say it was lost (or, in this alternative narrative, admitted Salem didn't get it), she reassured herself of her rationalization and continued feeling justified in her course of action.

    This sets up a clear conflict between Raven and Yang in their meeting. Both of them have been traumatized by the Grimm--but whereas Yang doesn't know of the greater war, cares deeply that she and her friends have been hurt, and feels like the fall of Beacon was a world-ending moment, Raven thinks the greater war is bulls*** that renders Yang&Co's sacrifices tragically meaningless, and thinks the fall of Beacon wasn't actually that important. Raven has the advantage of Yang because she knows more, and she can attack Yang's viewpoint through revelations about the war against Salem, and Ozpin's manipulations, and Raven's own history. Raven can't take away Yang caring about her companions (especially Ruby), nor her own previous failures as Yang's mother, so Yang leaves in the end, but Yang's confidence that she's fighting the right fight is severely shaken, and then she's confronted with Ozpin directly. Now we have a conversation between Yang and Ozpin with some real tension in it.

    Raven is ultimately wrong, and her fundamental premise is basically illogical. Salem is not eternally stalemated except by the efforts of those who fight her; she would win if no one did. Fighting her is not meaningless. Raven's speaking from a severe and irrational point of personal pain, as you suggest. But Raven's reasons are compelling to her, and understandable to us.

    We can see how the writers tried to go in this approximate direction! But they screwed up. Raven doesn't even suggest that Ozpin did anything wrong. She brings up only the blandest and least interesting parts of her history. And by saying that Salem is an unstoppable threat, Raven characterizes her own inaction in a far more negative light--perhaps fighting Salem is futile, but for the sake of everything on Remnant it's inexcusable not to try. This characterization of Raven's viewpoint is so utterly puerile and weak that we can't seriously believe it, nor that it truly affects Yang. And it gives Yang nothing to bring to her argument with Ozpin.

    That's why the writing of Raven's conversation with Yang does a disservice to the story. The concepts are there, and the writers are trying to tell the right story with them, but the execution drives me up the wall.
    Last edited by Lethologica; 2017-12-06 at 11:34 AM.

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    Default Re: RWBY IX: Fractured Fairy Tales

    Quote Originally Posted by Lethologica View Post
    There's been opportunity, but they went a mile wide and an inch deep with it, because they couldn't (or couldn't be bothered to) rationalize where Raven was coming from and what she really wanted to tell Yang.

    You know what, here, I'll fix it. My starting point: Raven being convinced that Salem is unstoppable is not at all necessary. Which is not to say that it can't be done, but I think that character looks significantly different. Instead, Raven's character would tie together far better if she saw Ozpin and Salem as eternally stalemated...


    That's why the writing of Raven's conversation with Yang does a disservice to the story. The concepts are there, and the writers are trying to tell the right story with them, but the execution drives me up the wall.
    A lot of people in the forum complain about logical incongruity or lack of explanation in such a way that seems to suggest that every fast-paced fantasy manual should be bogged down in minute exposition.

    Here the fix you are proposing bogs things down because

    1) Raven already gave us an explanation: it was that Salem “cannot be opposed”, that “she will not stop until humanity crumbles at her feet” which actually sounds far worse than a stalemate. Raven didn’t spell out why Ozpin’s war is useless, but she certainly believes it.

    Raven’s “incoherence” so far as she isn’t being sensible isn’t fixed by telling us that its a stalemate. Raven isn’t giving us enough details to parse out why she believes Salems and Ozpin’s capabilities are matched just so, and she can’t without revealing something about Salem we don’t already know.

    However, from what has been said there’s a good reason to think that Raven saw stuff that leads her to think Salem will be inevitably victorious. Qrow, himself, has said that Salem’s creations “are fear” and called out Ironwood for behaving boofinishly by thinking “she fears those little ships.” Raven could have seen things so great and terrifying that she doesn’t believe they can be beaten.

    2) We don’t really believe that Raven intellectually and coldly assessed Salem’s and Ozpin’s capabilities and come to the conclusion she should leave, but that some dramatic event like the death of her teammates lead Raven to leave.

    So the two ways Raven could have let us know why she was so afraid of Salem was to either tell us about Salem’s powers in a way that made her very afraid, or a dramatic death that makes Raven all teary eyed. Neither of those things sounds like Raven would say that sort of thing to Yang.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mechalich View Post
    Raven appears, in my view, to have something like fantasy PTSD - she fought the monsters and came back irreparably damaged and is convinced that anyone who joins the struggle is going to end up the same way. She blames Ozpin as responsible for her pain because he recruited her and put too much pressure on her to succeed, even though it's Salem - being the horrific mother of monsters who serves as a seemingly literal personification of evil - who is clearly responsible. Raven is speaking from a point of severe and irrational personal pain - she doesn't have a coherent viewpoint to offer at all.
    I think this is a good theory, and if so, Raven clearly wouldn’t show her PTSD at this point to Yang, or go anywhere that would trigger that. If Raven is suffering, we will learn about it not now, but when Raven is ready or forced to reveal it, and that is probably the best point.
    Quote Originally Posted by Morty View Post
    It would have been awesome if the writers had put as much thought into it as you guys do.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Reddish Mage View Post
    1) Raven already gave us an explanation: it was that Salem “cannot be opposed”, that “she will not stop until humanity crumbles at her feet” which actually sounds far worse than a stalemate. Raven didn’t spell out why Ozpin’s war is useless, but she certainly believes it.

    Raven’s “incoherence” so far as she isn’t being sensible isn’t fixed by telling us that its a stalemate. Raven isn’t giving us enough details to parse out why she believes Salems and Ozpin’s capabilities are matched just so, and she can’t without revealing something about Salem we don’t already know.

    However, from what has been said there’s a good reason to think that Raven saw stuff that leads her to think Salem will be inevitably victorious. Qrow, himself, has said that Salem’s creations “are fear” and called out Ironwood for behaving boofinishly by thinking “she fears those little ships.” Raven could have seen things so great and terrifying that she doesn’t believe they can be beaten.
    The problem with this is that we, the audience, know Raven is wrong. And not just a little bit wrong. She is totally, completely, utterly absolutely wrong. This is a heroic fantasy series with a relentlessly positive and almost ridiculously heroic eponymous protagonist. Salem is not going to win. She going to lose hard. That may not result in her ultimate destruction or the end of the grim or anything, but her plans are absolutely going to be set back for at least a generation (to allow for a sequel) and potentially a lot further than that.

    Raven clearly thinks that humanity is doomed and wishes to enjoy whatever time she has left, though her choice to spend that time sitting in the forest with a bunch of bandits from her tribe rather than any members of her actual family is hard to accept on its own, though potentially she has internalized a sense of failure sufficiently that she is unwilling to face them. Her encounter with Yang, in which she largely let her daughter embarrass her in an argument in front of witnesses suggests this.

    The problem here is that this approach basically buries Raven in a mass of suck. That's okay - broken characters are actually quite interesting and are useful to have (and in Ilia we can see the potential of a much better one) - but there's nothing in the series so far to reveal how and why Raven is broken in the way she is. That's a problem. It is especially a problem given that Raven is attempting to undercut support by Team RWBY for Ozpin and his adherents (Qrow et al.). Her example of how Ozpin is not to be trusted is that he can Raven and Qrow the ability to turn into birds. This siply does not compute as a bad thing. It's just a free-hanging plot-point that doesn't naturally produce any consequences. They were given a power to make them better scouts. It made them better scouts. How is this bad? There is, at least presently, no answer, but the show has made a largely circular presentation that Ozpin empowering people mystically is somehow bad because it is and Raven offers no further supporting justification.

    Raven's decisions are clearly of massive importance in this volume, but the audience has not been shown or told anything about why she is making them and at the moment they come across as illogical and frankly jerkish. I can invent a reason - Raven has PTSD and blames Ozpin for it - that makes sense of the scenario, but that's not actually in the show. Right now there's a giant gaping plot hole in the spot where Raven's motives should be. Now, maybe there's a 'World of Remnant: Magic' short coming that's going to reveal the history of Qrow and Raven that will clear this up, but right now its a big problem.

    It's not really surprising, motives for characters not driven by fairly basic heroic goals are a major issue in RWBY. The motives of the various antagonists have been extremely poorly justified throughout the series, which has become a problem as they become more prominent and more about Salem has been revealed - establishing Salem as a 'kill all humans' scourge has made this even more troubling, since we have no understanding as to why seemingly sane people are choosing to work for her or what assurances she has offered them. The best justified antagonist in RWBY overall is Adam Taurus and that's...troubling.

    Personally I'm really worried that, like so many other 'magical school' type shows (cough...Harry Potter...cough), RWBY is going to whiff on the transition from coming-of-age story to high fantasy epic.
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    Default Re: RWBY IX: Fractured Fairy Tales

    Oh that reminds me, I had a thought at work recently with regards to how I think they'll beat Salem. Ozpin's always been on about needing someone with a simple soul. I always thought why, and I think I get it. The ultimate twist of all of this is that Salem has no actual power behind her. She has no special powers, beyond her ability to just be really convincing. So if she gets a word in she can convince anyone to give up or join her.

    So you need a hero too stupid to let her get a word in. You need a hero as described by Sherlock, a hero that will just kill you off hand without hesitation because she's the good guy and you're the bad guy.


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    Quote Originally Posted by LaZodiac View Post
    Oh that reminds me, I had a thought at work recently with regards to how I think they'll beat Salem. Ozpin's always been on about needing someone with a simple soul. I always thought why, and I think I get it. The ultimate twist of all of this is that Salem has no actual power behind her. She has no special powers, beyond her ability to just be really convincing. So if she gets a word in she can convince anyone to give up or join her.

    So you need a hero too stupid to let her get a word in. You need a hero as described by Sherlock, a hero that will just kill you off hand without hesitation because she's the good guy and you're the bad guy.
    .......but then why can't you just.....give everyone earmuffs then command to attack her?

    Or just snipe her from out of earshot. modern sniper rifles can be really long range, though that still requires Ruby, technically. though it does take a certain of kind of person to snipe someone and be ok with it, because sniper rifles are less a weapon you fight with, and more of this instant kill stick you end lives with a push of a trigger then get away before people figure out where that shot came from. a lot of sniper training I hear is getting the mental discipline necessary to end a life so easily and quickly without any qualms, so it might refer to Ruby being simple enough to snipe someone without a second thought.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Raziere View Post
    .......but then why can't you just.....give everyone earmuffs then command to attack her?

    Or just snipe her from out of earshot. modern sniper rifles can be really long range, though that still requires Ruby, technically. though it does take a certain of kind of person to snipe someone and be ok with it, because sniper rifles are less a weapon you fight with, and more of this instant kill stick you end lives with a push of a trigger then get away before people figure out where that shot came from. a lot of sniper training I hear is getting the mental discipline necessary to end a life so easily and quickly without any qualms, so it might refer to Ruby being simple enough to snipe someone without a second thought.
    I mean those aren't perfect, and I'm not implying that it's a magical ability. Just that everything about Salem gives off this feeling of "we should have a dramatic talk before our fight" and that's a very poor idea since Salem is just smarter than everyone and knows how to manipulate basically anyone.

    That said a sniper would work too, though that would assume Salem would ever put herself in a situation where a sniper could get her.


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    Quote Originally Posted by LaZodiac View Post
    That said a sniper would work too, though that would assume Salem would ever put herself in a situation where a sniper could get her.
    you mean never going outside and avoiding all windows? yeah. good luck with that. last time I checked her base isn't a secure and practical underground bunker.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Raziere View Post
    .......but then why can't you just.....give everyone earmuffs then command to attack her?

    Or just snipe her from out of earshot. modern sniper rifles can be really long range, though that still requires Ruby, technically. though it does take a certain of kind of person to snipe someone and be ok with it, because sniper rifles are less a weapon you fight with, and more of this instant kill stick you end lives with a push of a trigger then get away before people figure out where that shot came from. a lot of sniper training I hear is getting the mental discipline necessary to end a life so easily and quickly without any qualms, so it might refer to Ruby being simple enough to snipe someone without a second thought.
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    Default Re: RWBY IX: Fractured Fairy Tales

    Reddish, you are playing fast and loose with my comments.

    Exhibit A:
    Quote Originally Posted by Reddish Mage View Post
    A lot of people in the forum complain about logical incongruity or lack of explanation in such a way that seems to suggest that every fast-paced fantasy manual should be bogged down in minute exposition.
    I wasn't suggesting putting everything from the backstory I just conceived on screen in expository form. Rather, that's the background that informs Raven's coherent conversation. I would require no more exposition than Raven actually delivered to realize my narrative--possibly less. It's just that my choice of exposition would make an actual impact.

    But it is true that my version has a lot less logical incongruity. Raven's reasons are compelling to her and understandable to us, even if they're irrational, even if they're wrong.

    Exhibit B:
    Quote Originally Posted by Reddish Mage View Post
    Raven’s “incoherence” so far as she isn’t being sensible isn’t fixed by telling us that its a stalemate.
    I never suggested that it would. I said that what would fix her incoherence is letting her make an actual case instead of the milquetoast waffle she puts out. It's just that the case Raven tries to make works a lot better using perceived stalemate as a basis than using perceived inevitable doom--I'll elaborate on this below. But I could do the latter if you want.

    Exhibit C:
    Quote Originally Posted by Reddish Mage View Post
    2) We don’t really believe that Raven intellectually and coldly assessed Salem’s and Ozpin’s capabilities and come to the conclusion she should leave, but that some dramatic event like the death of her teammates lead Raven to leave.
    I said outright that Raven's speaking from a severe and irrational point of personal pain, not that she intellectually and coldly assessed Salem's and Ozpin's abilities.

    Now that we've gotten past the parts where you misunderstand or misrepresent my position as stated, let's talk about the rest.

    Quote Originally Posted by Reddish Mage View Post
    Here the fix you are proposing bogs things down because

    1) Raven already gave us an explanation: it was that Salem “cannot be opposed”, that “she will not stop until humanity crumbles at her feet” which actually sounds far worse than a stalemate. Raven didn’t spell out why Ozpin’s war is useless, but she certainly believes it.
    [...]
    from what has been said there’s a good reason to think that Raven saw stuff that leads her to think Salem will be inevitably victorious. Qrow, himself, has said that Salem’s creations “are fear” and called out Ironwood for behaving boofinishly by thinking “she fears those little ships.” Raven could have seen things so great and terrifying that she doesn’t believe they can be beaten.
    I absolutely buy that Raven could have fallen into nihilistic despair at the apparently inevitable doom heralded by Salem's terrifying might, thinking that Ozpin's war is useless. Unlike Mechalich, I have no problem with Raven taking a position the audience knows is ultimately wrong--she is, after all, coming into conflict with Yang, whom the audience knows will be ultimately right.

    The real problem is that it doesn't work with anything else Raven says. Why should she care if Salem gets the Relic? That was inevitable anyway. Why would she try a witty retort against Qrow saying everyone's going to die? That's what she herself believes. Why does it matter that Ozpin turned her and Qrow into birds? It's an irrelevant stage trick next to the terror of Salem. Why would she try to impress on Yang that Ozpin is sinister and Yang needs to question everything? It doesn't matter whether Ozpin is sinister if he's useless and Salem is the only being that really matters in the great war. Questioning everything is not a clear path to Raven's true perspective, which is that Yang ought to give up trying to stop the Grimm because they can't be stopped. All this stuff simply doesn't follow from Raven believing Salem is unstoppable.

    But it does follow from Raven believing that Salem has been stalemated and Ozpin is resorting to lying, manipulating, and sacrificing others in a useless attempt to do better than breaking even. She cares if Salem gets the Relic because she fears the stalemate being truly broken. Her retort to Qrow explicitly questions his view of what the sides are in this conflict. It matters that Ozpin did things to her and Qrow because it (supposedly) shows how manipulative and sinister Ozpin is. It's important for Yang to question everything because she's bought into Ozpin's sinister manipulations and needs to realize that he's manipulating her into throwing her life away. Again, the execution is poor, but it's clear to see what story has been envisioned.

    If Raven's perspective were truly founded on the despair of believing Salem can't be opposed and won't stop until humanity crumbles, her fundamental conflict would not be with Yang's belief that she's fighting for the right cause, it would be with Yang's belief that they can prevail. Raven would talk about how the attack on Beacon heralded Salem's victory. She would talk about her bird powers in the context of how even this magic, which Yang didn't even know was possible, is paltry compared to the absolute might of Salem. She would suggest that Ozpin is ultimately the biggest fool of them all for fighting the inevitable and enlisting other fools in his fight. Those are the sorts of topics that follow from the belief Raven states she has about Salem. Maybe we could write some good scenes from there. But it's not the story cRWBY tried to tell.

    Quote Originally Posted by Reddish Mage View Post
    [...]Raven isn’t giving us enough details to parse out why she believes Salems and Ozpin’s capabilities are matched just so, and she can’t without revealing something about Salem we don’t already know.
    She absolutely can. For that matter, it's perfectly natural to conclude from the bare facts of the situation as we know them that Salem and Ozpin were stalemated before Beacon fell. Both entities have existed for thousands of years without one achieving victory. Humanity has developed to advanced civilization in defiance of the Grimm, such that many people live essentially untroubled by the Grimm threat; at the same time, the Grimm themselves have never been seriously threatened. This does not, in itself, look like an inevitable victory for either side, and we don't need to learn anything new about Salem for Raven to maintain that belief.

    (However, it would not be a disaster if Raven revealed something about Salem that we don't already know. Hell, with even a little effort, it could be a good thing.)

    Quote Originally Posted by Reddish Mage View Post
    So the two ways Raven could have let us know why she was so afraid of Salem was to either tell us about Salem’s powers in a way that made her very afraid, or a dramatic death that makes Raven all teary eyed. Neither of those things sounds like Raven would say that sort of thing to Yang.
    Raven would at least be making the case that Yang should be afraid of Salem. Instead Raven's case, however badly made, is that Yang should be suspicious of Ozpin. That's how I know that fear of the unstoppable Salem is not what defines Raven.
    Last edited by Lethologica; 2017-12-07 at 04:23 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lethologica View Post
    I absolutely buy that Raven could have fallen into nihilistic despair at the apparently inevitable doom heralded by Salem's terrifying might, thinking that Ozpin's war is useless. Unlike Mechalich, I have no problem with Raven taking a position the audience knows is ultimately wrong--she is, after all, coming into conflict with Yang, whom the audience knows will be ultimately right.
    I only have a problem with it insofar as Raven has not been presented as someone afflicted with nihilistic despair or anything close to that. I presented that as a hypothesis that would justify why she has chosen to abandon the war with Salem. The show itself has not provided anything concrete at all and in fact Raven's actions, particularly offering a portal to Yang anyway and harboring one of the maidens suggest that's not her actual issue and that instead she just has some sort of vindictive grudge against Ozpin that is also poorly justified. Ultimately Raven's positions in her argument with Yang aren't really backed up by anything she just makes a bunch of assertions and lets them hang there and they don't really get challenged and Ozpin's subsequent explanation doesn't really shed any light on the issue either. They didn't even do the 'and he was the cause of...' smash cut to next scene trick to imply that there was something horrible that happened that simply hasn't been revealed yet.

    Personally I like RWBY and am willing to forgive it a lot given the business model but these past couple of chapters have been presented as offering critical exposition with regard to what the great big Team Ozpin versus Team Salem battle for the fate of the world is going to be and frankly things aren't looking good. To be honest the whole White Fang plotline - which I initially found really small time and bland by comparison, has been handled much better.

    She absolutely can. For that matter, it's perfectly natural to conclude from the bare facts of the situation as we know them that Salem and Ozpin were stalemated before Beacon fell. Both entities have existed for thousands of years without one achieving victory. Humanity has developed to advanced civilization in defiance of the Grimm, such that many people live essentially untroubled by the Grimm threat; at the same time, the Grimm themselves have never been seriously threatened. This does not, in itself, look like an inevitable victory for either side, and we don't need to learn anything new about Salem for Raven to maintain that belief.
    Actually, I'd conclude that, prior to the fall of Beacon, Ozpin was in some sense winning, or at least making progress. Sure the Grim haven't been threatened yet, but humanity's technological capabilities have increased massively. Atlas was in the process of fielding a robot army that could potentially march through the wilderness and slaughter Grim 24/7 forever (or at least until they ran out of dust). The fall of Beacon also included the elimination of the technological solution as an option when Torchwick and Cinder annihilated public trust in Atlas' machines (and whatever sort of entity Penny ultimately was, cyborg/robot/whatever). Ozpin might not have had any confidence in that particular approach (perhaps he tried automatons at some point in the distant past or something and it didn't work) but nothing in the show suggested it wasn't viable.
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    Default Re: RWBY IX: Fractured Fairy Tales

    Quote Originally Posted by Lethologica View Post
    I absolutely buy that Raven could have fallen into nihilistic despair at the apparently inevitable doom heralded by Salem's terrifying might, thinking that Ozpin's war is useless. Unlike Mechalich, I have no problem with Raven taking a position the audience knows is ultimately wrong--she is, after all, coming into conflict with Yang, whom the audience knows will be ultimately right.

    The real problem is that it doesn't work with anything else Raven says. Why should she care if Salem gets the Relic? That was inevitable anyway. Why would she try a witty retort against Qrow saying everyone's going to die? That's what she herself believes. Why does it matter that Ozpin turned her and Qrow into birds? It's an irrelevant stage trick next to the terror of Salem. Why would she try to impress on Yang that Ozpin is sinister and Yang needs to question everything? It doesn't matter whether Ozpin is sinister if he's useless and Salem is the only being that really matters in the Great War. Questioning everything is not a clear path to Raven's true perspective, which is that Yang ought to give up trying to stop the Grimm because they can't be stopped. All this stuff simply doesn't follow from Raven believing Salem is unstoppable.

    But it does follow from Raven believing that Salem has been stalemated and Ozpin is resorting to lying, manipulating, and sacrificing others in a useless attempt to do better than breaking even. She cares if Salem gets the Relic because she fears the stalemate being truly broken. Her retort to Qrow explicitly questions his view of what the sides are in this conflict. It matters that Ozpin did things to her and Qrow because it (supposedly) shows how manipulative and sinister Ozpin is. It's important for Yang to question everything because she's bought into Ozpin's sinister manipulations and needs to realize that he's manipulating her into throwing her life away. Again, the execution is poor, but it's clear to see what story has been envisioned.
    I don’t recall Raven saying whether or not she was concerned with Salem getting the relic. Also, as Mechalich points out, the war against Salem isn’t a stalemate, Ozpin, humanity at large, seemed to have been making great strides. Prior to the fall of Beacon, the world was at peace, the grimm were perceived as more of a nuisance than a grave threat, and there was apparently centuries of progress of civilization expanding against the grimm.

    If Raven felt the situation was one of stalemate where Salem could win if she got the relic. Then Raven keeping the maiden is in fact opposing Salem. Also, a stalemate against a world-destroyer is better than surrender, which Raven’s withdrawal amounts to. I don’t think a stalemate, however well explained, motivates Raven’s withdrawal.

    Now if Raven felt that Salem was prepared to win the war, that could motivate her disillusionment with Ozpin as well as why she would think “Yang is throwing her life away.” A stalemate is simply not what is being envisioned, its a Salem victory.

    In regarding to how I read your prior comments:

    A) I apologize for suggesting you wanted to bog the entire narrative down in constant textual exposition. I separately wanted to complain about how often the suggestion to add some clunky exposition comes up and the implications such suggestions have for narratives. I just see the stalemate as an example of dry exposition.

    B) I don’t see fleshing out the stalemate proposition as a fix to the incoherence problem. As I said before, Raven’s “incoherence” is in lacking concrete context to motivate what she is saying, her statements suggesting Salem is unstoppable are enough to explain why she is sitting back running a bandit camp instead of saving the world.

    Its better to say Raven’s statements lack context.

    C) Saying Raven is speaking from pain isn’t the same as illustrating it. Speaking about things in terms of a stalemate does little to illustrate the personal pain. I just don’t see where anything you have said Raven should have done would have brought home that pain.

    Moreover, assuming there are some intensely personal events that brought about this pain to Raven, it is not consistent with her character for Raven to express those things that brought about that personal pain about to Yang at this point.
    Quote Originally Posted by Morty View Post
    It would have been awesome if the writers had put as much thought into it as you guys do.
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    I'm still just confused about the bird thing.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Future Sword View Post
    I'm still just confused about the bird thing.
    Ozpin has many non specific magical powers and he can give to people, obstensibly however he wants. So he took some of his Magic stat and turned it into a bird form for Qrowe and Raven.


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    Quote Originally Posted by LaZodiac View Post
    Ozpin has many non specific magical powers and he can give to people, obstensibly however he wants. So he took some of his Magic stat and turned it into a bird form for Qrowe and Raven.
    He suggests it not so simple for him to perform the gift however.

    Other things that aren't simply attained

    Spoiler: S5E9
    Show
    Vernal walks in and tells Raven "...Salem's found us." Raven, "Salem...ok." Vernal, "Four of her followers are waiting to speak with you." Raven, "Right, we planned for this. Bring me my helmet."

    Raven is either about to take her stand or cut a deal. Taking up the mask suggests she's about to fight and if so, its not likely to go well for her. It seems from the exchange with Vernal that Raven's long been prepared for what to do when Salem comes. I hope that proves to be the case.

    If Raven is truly prepared for this its hard to see her doing anything other than making a deal, it really makes little sense that Raven thinks she can oppose Salem on her own, or for her to go or send Vernal to join team Oz. Allying with Oz two episodes after saying about Salem "she can't be stopped, she can't be reasoned with, and she will not rest until humanity crumbles at her feat" is simply incongruous.

    Raven also said that if Yang goes to Oz she will "meet the same fate as so many others."

    The sensible thing would be to portal out, that doesn't appear to be the plan.

    I think Raven was originally meant to be part of team Salem, the grimm mask, Neo's recognition of who Raven is... if anyone is willing to make a devil's bargain (other than Leo) Raven is.
    Quote Originally Posted by Morty View Post
    It would have been awesome if the writers had put as much thought into it as you guys do.
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    Default Re: RWBY IX: Fractured Fairy Tales

    Quote Originally Posted by Mechalich View Post
    I only have a problem with it insofar as Raven has not been presented as someone afflicted with nihilistic despair or anything close to that. I presented that as a hypothesis that would justify why she has chosen to abandon the war with Salem. The show itself has not provided anything concrete at all and in fact Raven's actions, particularly offering a portal to Yang anyway and harboring one of the maidens suggest that's not her actual issue and that instead she just has some sort of vindictive grudge against Ozpin that is also poorly justified. Ultimately Raven's positions in her argument with Yang aren't really backed up by anything she just makes a bunch of assertions and lets them hang there and they don't really get challenged and Ozpin's subsequent explanation doesn't really shed any light on the issue either. They didn't even do the 'and he was the cause of...' smash cut to next scene trick to imply that there was something horrible that happened that simply hasn't been revealed yet.

    Personally I like RWBY and am willing to forgive it a lot given the business model but these past couple of chapters have been presented as offering critical exposition with regard to what the great big Team Ozpin versus Team Salem battle for the fate of the world is going to be and frankly things aren't looking good. To be honest the whole White Fang plotline - which I initially found really small time and bland by comparison, has been handled much better.
    I basically agree.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mechalich View Post
    Actually, I'd conclude that, prior to the fall of Beacon, Ozpin was in some sense winning, or at least making progress. Sure the Grim haven't been threatened yet, but humanity's technological capabilities have increased massively. Atlas was in the process of fielding a robot army that could potentially march through the wilderness and slaughter Grim 24/7 forever (or at least until they ran out of dust). The fall of Beacon also included the elimination of the technological solution as an option when Torchwick and Cinder annihilated public trust in Atlas' machines (and whatever sort of entity Penny ultimately was, cyborg/robot/whatever). Ozpin might not have had any confidence in that particular approach (perhaps he tried automatons at some point in the distant past or something and it didn't work) but nothing in the show suggested it wasn't viable.
    Quote Originally Posted by Reddish Mage View Post
    Also, as Mechalich points out, the war against Salem isn’t a stalemate, Ozpin, humanity at large, seemed to have been making great strides. Prior to the fall of Beacon, the world was at peace, the grimm were perceived as more of a nuisance than a grave threat, and there was apparently centuries of progress of civilization expanding against the grimm.
    It's true that humanity is making progress within the four major cities. To say the Grimm are just a nuisance is far overstating the case, though. That's the lesson of Mountain Glenn and Oniyuri, of the rural villages and towns like Ren's under constant existential threat. And thanks to Mountain Glenn again, we know the Grimm have far more might than they have displayed, so the fact that the centers of human might have dominated the Grimm they encountered says little about the state of the larger war. Are Ironwood's robot toys going to overwhelm the behemoths Oobleck showed Ruby? Color me dubious--or, at least, color Raven dubious.

    Quote Originally Posted by Reddish Mage View Post
    I don’t recall Raven saying whether or not she was concerned with Salem getting the relic.
    "Does. Salem. Have it?!"

    Quote Originally Posted by Reddish Mage View Post
    If Raven felt the situation was one of stalemate where Salem could win if she got the relic. Then Raven keeping the maiden is in fact opposing Salem. Also, a stalemate against a world-destroyer is better than surrender, which Raven’s withdrawal amounts to. I don’t think a stalemate, however well explained, motivates Raven’s withdrawal.
    "I just want to know what we're up against." Clearly Raven hasn't fully committed to withdrawal. (And by the way, if Raven knows what she's up against and it's inevitable doom, why would she make this demand?)

    In a stalemate narrative, Raven's withdrawal is not a despairing surrender to Salem (I'm gonna go ahead and call that the 'despair narrative' from here on). It's a cynical rejection of Ozpin. Raven's opinion would be that Ozpin is throwing away lives searching pointlessly for some way to break the stalemate in his favor, treating humanity vs. the Grimm as a chess match against Salem and disregarding the lives he's playing with for the sake of ultimately trivial victories. Of course, this only works if Ozpin has actually done some questionable things for Raven to interpret uncharitably, instead of "woo bird powers." But this shouldn't be hard, considering Oz has admitted to making more mistakes than anyone alive.

    For Raven, sheltering Vernal fits perfectly in a stalemate narrative. First, Raven acknowledges Vernal's own rejection of Ozpin (or Ozpin's proxies). They are of like mind on that subject. But at the same time, Raven is passively maintaining the stalemate against Salem, independent of Ozpin's war. And Vernal is a great asset to the tribe, too. It's a triple win for Raven. (To be fair, it also fits reasonably well with a despair narrative, where Raven can tell herself she hasn't completely despaired as long as she's doing something, and sheltering Vernal is something.)

    Quote Originally Posted by Reddish Mage View Post
    Now if Raven felt that Salem was prepared to win the war, that could motivate her disillusionment with Ozpin as well as why she would think “Yang is throwing her life away.” A stalemate is simply not what is being envisioned, its a Salem victory.
    The disillusionment would be different, though. A despairing Raven would blame Ozpin, yes, but the charge would be that he offers false hope that humanity can survive. The argument would not be based on what Ozpin has done, it would be based on what Salem is capable of. Ozpin's concealment of this truth, and anything else he's done, would be small potatoes against the truth itself. Instead, Raven's actual appeal takes Ozpin's manipulations as an end in themselves.

    Quote Originally Posted by Reddish Mage View Post
    In regarding to how I read your prior comments:

    A) I apologize for suggesting you wanted to bog the entire narrative down in constant textual exposition. I separately wanted to complain about how often the suggestion to add some clunky exposition comes up and the implications such suggestions have for narratives. I just see the stalemate as an example of dry exposition.
    But the stalemate narrative would take no more exposition than the despair narrative! Let alone the exposition that was actually presented, which made little impact with a lot of words. It would just be different exposition.

    Quote Originally Posted by Reddish Mage View Post
    B) I don’t see fleshing out the stalemate proposition as a fix to the incoherence problem. As I said before, Raven’s “incoherence” is in lacking concrete context to motivate what she is saying, her statements suggesting Salem is unstoppable are enough to explain why she is sitting back running a bandit camp instead of saving the world.

    Its better to say Raven’s statements lack context.
    Both narratives are equally attempts to offer a fuller context for Raven's statements and actions, so there's no issue of contextual completeness to contest in the first place.

    Both narratives can explain why Raven is where she is. But despair does a poor job of explaining why Raven says what she says--the implications of the despair narrative would have Raven making different points to a different end. Stalemate, on the other hand, does a great job of explaining Raven's statements.

    Quote Originally Posted by Reddish Mage View Post
    C) Saying Raven is speaking from pain isn’t the same as illustrating it. Speaking about things in terms of a stalemate does little to illustrate the personal pain. I just don’t see where anything you have said Raven should have done would have brought home that pain.

    Moreover, assuming there are some intensely personal events that brought about this pain to Raven, it is not consistent with her character for Raven to express those things that brought about that personal pain about to Yang at this point.
    In both the despair and stalemate narratives, Raven's personal pain derives from some tragedy or trauma she suffered while fighting on Ozpin's behalf against Salem. In terms of backstory, that much is identical, so again, there's nothing to contest between the two narratives on this point. So it's purely a question of what Raven should have revealed in the meeting itself, for whichever narrative is being pursued.

    Raven actually goes into a lot more detail about her backstory than is necessary, and it's connected to the incoherence of her case. Why does she spend so much time talking about how she and Qrow signed up just to become better bandits? It's part of a general attack on the perceived virtuousness of enrolling in the Huntsmen academies. What does that have to do with anything? It doesn't build the despair case (roughly: Salem can't be opposed so don't bother) at all. It hardly does anything to build the stalemate case (roughly: Ozpin doesn't care about us, don't be his tool), either--at most we can generously speculate that it's meant as a first salvo on Ozpin. But really it's just free-floating backstory. The birds thing at least ties into points that would support an eventual case based on the narrative(s)--Raven brings up the birds thing to demonstrate that she has experienced magic beyond anything Yang knows about, and to show that Ozpin is a powerful and mysterious figure. These are things we already know, but that would be a reasonable starting point to make a case based on one of the narratives. Instead it's the closing argument, for some reason.

    Whichever narrative we go with, the crucial exposition is rooted in the history of the conflict between Salem and Ozpin (focused on Salem for despair, focused on Ozpin for stalemate). Raven has to say enough about that to make a persuasive case for her view of the war to Yang, whichever view we choose to go with. Raven's own story is secondary--she won't just spill the beans, but there should be enough implication for us to buy that Raven's view of the conflict is rooted in her personal experience of <the unstoppable Salem/the sinister Ozpin>, depending on the narrative. We don't have to know what happened to Raven, we just have to know enough to conjecture that something happened. A little goes a long way.
    Last edited by Lethologica; 2017-12-07 at 05:21 PM.

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    Default Re: RWBY IX: Fractured Fairy Tales

    After watching S4E4 again thanks to your helpful link, it sounds there Raven has an interest in the fight against Salem, even talking of Salem as “what we are up against.” Qrow even calls her bull**** and says he thought she wasn’t interested in stuff like the relic.

    Instead of either a stalemate or a despair narrative, perhaps Raven has a conflicted narrative. She understands Salem’s danger on the one hand, and thinks the fighting is futile on the other.

    A stalemate narrative doesn’t fit anything she has said. Notably she says in the episode you linked to that she predicted the fall maiden would die and Beacon would fall. That does not describe a stalemate or even a state of maintained disequilibrium, the Fall of Beacon plays to an end of the world narrative and Raven has suggested she knows it.

    I wouldn’t call it despair because Raven thinks she can keep safe longer by playing neutral, but a Salem victory narrative is exactly what Raven implied. If Raven is conflicted about her own narrative though, that is difficult to get across in a bunch of statements she made in an attempt to convince Yang to side with her. As it is Raven’s nonspecific statements may be about as good as it could get without having her trip right over her own words (which she kind of does).

    So the way I see it Raven is conflicted and the extent Raven is not conflicted she should be ready to surrender or flee from Salem. If Raven chooses to fight CWME instead, this would indicate she still realizes the fight is worth fighting not because she thinks that there was and should be a stalemate, but because a part of her won’t accept that Salem can be allowed to win, although it sounds like she hates Oz for exactly that.
    Quote Originally Posted by Morty View Post
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    Default Re: RWBY IX: Fractured Fairy Tales

    Quote Originally Posted by Reddish Mage View Post
    After watching S4E4 again thanks to your helpful link, it sounds there Raven has an interest in the fight against Salem, even talking of Salem as “what we are up against.” Qrow even calls her bull**** and says he thought she wasn’t interested in stuff like the relic.

    Instead of either a stalemate or a despair narrative, perhaps Raven has a conflicted narrative. She understands Salem’s danger on the one hand, and thinks the fighting is futile on the other.

    A stalemate narrative doesn’t fit anything she has said. Notably she says in the episode you linked to that she predicted the fall maiden would die and Beacon would fall. That does not describe a stalemate or even a state of maintained disequilibrium, the Fall of Beacon plays to an end of the world narrative and Raven has suggested she knows it.

    I wouldn’t call it despair because Raven thinks she can keep safe longer by playing neutral, but a Salem victory narrative is exactly what Raven implied. If Raven is conflicted about her own narrative though, that is difficult to get across in a bunch of statements she made in an attempt to convince Yang to side with her. As it is Raven’s nonspecific statements may be about as good as it could get without having her trip right over her own words (which she kind of does).

    So the way I see it Raven is conflicted and the extent Raven is not conflicted she should be ready to surrender or flee from Salem. If Raven chooses to fight CWME instead, this would indicate she still realizes the fight is worth fighting not because she thinks that there was and should be a stalemate, but because a part of her won’t accept that Salem can be allowed to win, although it sounds like she hates Oz for exactly that.
    I forgot about the prediction. That is one other thing Raven says that clearly fits with a Salem victory narrative. And I agree that a conflicted Salem victory narrative is what the writers are canonically trying to do with Raven.

    However, that means a stalemate narrative doesn't fit everything Raven has said, not that it doesn't fit anything she has said. As the stalemate narrative is explicitly a rewrite to begin with, to give Raven a basis for a convincing/coherent/wrong case to make to Yang that is similar but not identical to the incoherent case she actually makes, I'm okay with that.

    Bringing things back to the case Raven actually makes...even with her narrative established, what she says to Yang doesn't work--at least not for her. Instead, it makes a lot more sense as...stop me if you've heard this before...the writers simply reading the first half of Raven's backstory off her character sheet (with intermittent cynicism). Here's how Raven joined the academy! Here's how Raven got Ozpin's attention! Here's where Raven learned about Salem from Ozpin! Here's how Raven got bird powers! Stuff that, by and large, has nothing to do with what Raven wants out of the conversation.

    The things that actually matter to Raven are her impression of the war between Salem and Ozpin and her reasons for abandoning that war (or at least Ozpin's side in it). Her goal is to persuade Yang of 'the truth' that she thought Yang deserved to know--but she spends almost no time talking about it. In all the conversation, Raven has only three sentences that pertain to her goal in the scene: the line about Salem, the line about Ozpin's impossible war, and the line about meeting the fate of many others. That content should be the main focus of Raven's speech; instead, it's tossed off and forgotten. Raven spends more time talking about the different kinds of people who enroll at Beacon, for Pete's sake. That's not a product of her conflicted worldview. It's a completely unforced writing error.
    Last edited by Lethologica; 2017-12-07 at 08:17 PM.

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