The new Pottermore: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

Nowadays, Pottermore is a serious topic of discussion. After its big overhaul and complete makeover, Pottermore became so much more and so less than it used to be.

I tried to love the new Pottermore, I really did.

My efforts, however, proved to be in vain, because the more I visit it, the more I grieve the wonderful site it used to be. Of course, the new Pottermore isn’t all bad – believe me it could’ve been worse, however, the ugly parts are definitely in the forefront of this sad and confused site that is the shadow of its former self.

In my article, I’ll discuss the Good, the Bad and the Ugly of the new Pottermore.

Please note, that this is a personal opinion.

Without further ado, I start with the more optimistic side of this discussion:

The Good:

The availability of the site. While the site’s design is questionable at best, you can’t deny that the fact that you can reach  the site from any device is a good thing. This way, a larger audience – one that might prefer tablets or phones over PCs – is being drawn into Pottermore.

The wand, House and Patronus selections. It’s nice to see that the developers are listening to the complaints of the site’s users. Indeed, it is good that you can log into your new account, get a wand and get sorted not only to your Hogwarts house, but to an Ilvermorny house as well. I also adore the Patronus feature. It is the one feature that is exclusive to the new Pottermore that people have wanted since forever and now it’s here – brand new and super gorgeous.

Alas, with those minor good things in Pottermore, we have even more bad ones. So, here it is, ladies and gents. The list of:

The Bad:

Oh boy, where to start. There are so many things bad with this site that it’s just hard to pick. Okay, I’ll start with the first thing that comes to mind – the fact that the “Writings by JK Rowling” section is a complete mess. Sure, it will display the few articles that Rowling had written about since the site’s remodeling, but if you want any older content – it’s not there. Believe me, sometimes I want to revisit the Celestina Warbeck article and listen to “You stole my Cauldron” one more time, but I can’t. I have to click the discover button to search for her.

What?

Instead of a simple click to the “Writings by JK Rowling” and searching for Celestina’s article, I have to rely on the search bar to find what I want. You’ve got to be kidding me. Here is another of my Peeves – the search bar itself. Would it really be so hard to  add some sort of filtering system? Celestina is pretty easy to find, but let’s just say I try to type “Harry Potter” and I get this:

EXPLORE THE STORY

Family ties in Harry Potter, Harry Potter, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

And that’s just the EXPLORE THE STORY part of the search results. All I wanted was an article on Harry friggin’ Potter. Please allow me to exclude things from the search to make my life easier. Also, the titles of the search results are misleading at best. Let’s go with the “Harry Potter” example. When I click on the link, I expect to see some sort of basic info and an article (or a collection of articles) on Harry Potter by JK Rowling. What I get is film stills, posts like “8 adorable Harry and Ginny moments”, quotes from the book and maybe if I’m lucky a link to the info on the Potter family or broomsticks or whatever articles that have nothing to do with Harry himself (although they can still be a fun read). Search for minor characters seems to be far simpler and the results far more accurate. Here’s another bad thing. Articles like the mentioned “8 adorable Harry and Ginny moments”. They are opinion pieces that are better left in the blog of whoever the “Pottermore Correspondent” is, instead of an official Harry Potter site that’s meant to enrich and expand the universe millions around the world have grown to love. The last bad thing I’ll mention is the lack of interactive elements. Where is the Potions brewing, spell casting? Where is the commenting feature that made Pottermore so attractive? It’s not in the new Pottermore that’s for sure. A Death Eater did it? Frankly, I don’t care. I want them back. Also, what happened to the charming articles by Rita Skeeter and the classes such as Duelling and Potions? I’d also like them back please.

I could go on and on, but I believe there are far more things to say in:

The Ugly:

The site’s design. Tiles, really? Those might work for Windows tablet interface, but on Pottermore they’re just butt ugly and they take up space. They’re just taking the whole “metro” craze a bit too far. Speaking of ugly design choices, can someone explain the site’s unexplainable case of MPD? Back in the day, Potermore was a pleasure to navigate. Yes, the interracive elements were there, but they were both intertwined and separate to deliver one of the best site designs ever. This headcase of a site is a royal mess. What is it supposed to be, anyway? A merchandise selling hub? A cheap HP fan site? A place to expand the fandom? A way to promote upcoming movies and plays? It tries to be all that and fails. Miserably. It delivers inaccurate info *cough*Lavender Brown *cough*, ridiculous content (I mean honestly, who needs to know the ways Harry messed up the Dursleys’ day.) and fails to deliver new and fresh content from JK Rowling. It seems that everything the site stood for took a back seat for all the things I frankly don’t care about. I don’t care about the limited edition cover designs. I care about learning about the Black family. I don’t care about info on the Cursed Child, a play I will never see as it is not being performed in my country, but I’d like an article on Colin Creevy or an article explaining what happened to Sally-Anne Perks.

Please, is it too much to ask for the developers of the site to return to the drawing board? I’m not saying that the new Pottermore sucked entirely. They did some good things with it. There is potential. So why not take that potential and turn it into something magnificent? Why not return some things from the old Pottermore to improve the website? Please, Pottermore, I’m begging you. Fix yourself.

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5 Villains that I honestly hated

A while ago, I wrote an article about the bad guys I honestly enjoyed watching on the big screen. After watching Suicide Squad and thinking a lot, I’ve decided to write about the villains I actually hated. Whether by bad acting by actors, or by the evil actions of the characters themselves, these top 5 people have earned my eternal enmity. Please note that these ten villains are taken from both movies and TV shows. Cartoon, anime, comic, manga or other characters are not on this list.

That said; allow me to introduce the first entry at

5. Macklyn Warlow/Ben Flynn (True Blood):

I actually had mixed views about this show. It was great about four seasons or so and then two villains, both of these that are on this list came and ruined it. One of these was Warlow. Can you please explain what his purpose in the show was again? Frankly, I have zero clue. Sure, at the beginning, back when he was still mysterious and all that, he was kinda cool. When we got to the part where we see him on screen, my only thought was an unamused ‘what?’

He was the bad guy, right?

Then what the hell was up with his saving people for Sookie kick? I think he actually forgot that he was supposed to be evil. He was not supposed to be like ‘Sookie tie me up so I wouldn’t hurt people’ and shit. No. Just no. Hurting people is in the bad guy description. This guy was about as evil as a wet paper towel. The only evil thing he did was kill off Niall’s tribe and even that could be chalked up to a young vampire among fairies. By the end of his run on the once good True Blood series, I was frankly pissed off.

I expected to see a bad ass villain in the shape of a vampire/fairy hybrid.

Heck, Vampire Diaries managed to succeed when it gave us Klaus.

So, what the hell, True Blood?

Now, before I start ranting even more, I give you the next entry on this list.

4. Billith (True Blood):

This is the second villain that ruined the True Blood TV series for me. I can admit that I was never a fan of Bill Compton, but he was getting better. He was finally recovering from being pussy whipped by Sookie and becoming someone I might actually like as a character.

Then Billith came.

Season 5 ended almost perfectly for me. Spoilers to anyone who has still not seen that episode, but Bill got killed off. Did he stay dead?

No.

Wait, what?

No really.

What?!

I thought the rules of being a vampire are simple. An eternity with the possibility of getting the True Death as in you get killed and it’s curtains for you. No second chance in life. No reboot. That’s why it’s called the True Death for God’s sake!

Neither the TB universe nor the books they were based on even mention that if you take some weird ass blood, the normal rules of True Death do not apply.

I don’t care that it’s supposed to be the blood of an insanely old vampire.

Godric was old and he didn’t rise from a pile of ash when he met the sun.

Including weird ass shit like Lilith and her hallucinogen blood is not a good thing.

It’s lazy writing. It shows that the creators of the series were completely out of ideas and couldn’t think of anything better.

I mean the first vampire, yes okay, I suppose I could suspend my disbelief for that.

After all, vampires had to come from somewhere.

I can also suspend my disbelief at vampires being created by God given the theme of vampires vs religion throughout the series.

But Billith?

Seriously?!

I watched Billith and my promise to at least tolerate Bill Compton died a quick death after living a short and unsatisfying life.

The next entry is

3. John Gilbert (Vampire Diaries):

This show had its own share of villains, but none pissed me off more than Elena’s father did. Considering the fact that the show gave us Klaus, Damon, Katherine and whoever that hunter guy from season 4 was, it’s a true accomplishment.

This enmity had absolutely nothing to do how John was written.

In fact, the creators did an amazing job with him.

The fact that he’s human is an icing on the cake. It means that he’s so shrewd that even Damon, the badass 100+ year old vampire feels like he’s a major threat.

What earned my complete enmity was the killing of Pearl and Anna.

Now in case you don’t know, during John’s tenure as the big bad, vampires that were sealed in a tomb near Mystic Falls were released. Amongst them were two that endeared themselves to me from their first appearance Pearl and her daughter Anna. They were just people that wanted to lead a peaceful life despite being vampires. Pearl even took up the mantle of leader of the tomb vampires to make sure they don’t go batshit insane and start a murder spree in Mystic Falls.

Then John Gilbert killed them both not only killing the only sane vampire amongst the rest of the tomb vampires, but also his nephew’s girlfriend.

Dick move, dude. Dick move.

  1. Amanda Waller (Suicide Squad):

Now, before people start hating on me, hear me out. Yes, I did watch Suicide Squad. Yes, I liked it. And yes, I did refer to Amanda Waller as a villain.

Amongst people like Harley Quinn, The Joker, Deadshot, Killer Croc and the others how in seven hells could an ordinary woman be a villain.

Let’s take a look at her actions, shall we?

  • She released crazy characters from behind bars;
  • She was happy when Rick Flag fell in love with a woman that was possessed by a crazy witch, because then she’d be easier to control;
  • She watched cooly as Deadshot nearly well…shot his guard when it was obvious that the thing was loaded with actual bullets.
  • She didn’t try to help Doctor Moone, a woman who was obviously terrified of her transformations. Instead, she chose the poor woman to be used as a weapon;
  • She didn’t feel any remorse whenever she stabbed The Enchantress’s heart, when it was obvious that Doctor Moone shared the pain The Enchantress felt whenever the said heart was stabbed;
  • She promised freedom and other rewards to the Suicide Squad for risking their asses. She didn’t keep her word. I mean honestly. Ten year off the prison sentence for nearly dying. Gee, thanks, lady!

It’s not the superpowers that make the villain. It’s the actions. And boy, these actions, when you take into consideration how strangely relatable the Suicide Squad members were to me, were simply unforgivable.


1. Now, this one was a tie between Lord Voldemort, Dolores Umbridge and Fenrir Grayback (Harry Potter):

Take your pick between a twisted Dark Lord so evil that people were afraid to say his name, a crazy Blood Quill loving bitch with a penchant to write cruel and unusual laws towards werewolves and call centaurs ‘half breeds’ of ‘near-human intelligence’ and a werewolf that got so used to the taste of blood that once a month isn’t enough for him.

For me all three of them were creeps who should’ve been chucked into the darkest cell Azkaban had to offer.

So, there you have it.

My list of top 5 vilains that I hated.

 

Seven movies or franchises where I rooted for the bad guy

Sometimes, the movie’s bad guys outdo their heroes. Whether by their skills, charisma or because you just have to pity them. I have compiled my own personal list of such movies. Feel free to disagree.

Let’s begin.

  • Twilight franchise: Every single bad guy in it.

 

What is the franchise about: To those people who had enough sanity to avoid the insanity that is the Twilight craze, I will tell a bit about these movies. In these movies Bella (played by K. Stewart) falls in love with an over one hundred year sparkly vampire named Edward (played by R. Pattinson). I’m not kidding. Vampires in this story sparkle. During their ‘love’ story they take down multiple villains, Bella gets suicidal after Edward leaves her then they hook up again get married and have a half vampire daughter named Renesmee. That’s it. It’s only redeeming quality is Edward’s adopted brother Jasper Cullen né Whitlock, who is the one of the few rounded characters in the series.

 

What caused me to make the choice: Well, to tell you the truth it was the so called heroine of the franchise that made the choice for me. How pathetic is the series when you want to see the main character becoming a buffet to any vampire she meets? We nearly get the chance in Twilight and in latter films, but alas she still lives.

 

  • Thor and Avengers franchises: Loki

 

What are the franchises about: The Thor franchise introduces the Norse gods to us. The Avengers picks up where Thor leaves and makes the titular protagonist group The Avengers fight Loki the God of Mischief and his army of Chitauri.

 

What caused me to make the choice: What’s not to like about Loki? He actually uses his brain over his brawn and has cool magic powers. In Thor he was given a back-story people can relate to and personally, throughout that movie I was torn between wanting to hug him and slap some sense into him. If people actually listened to him for once he’d make a kickass advisor as he sees the world so much clearer than Thor or anyone in Asgard (perhaps save for Frigga).

 

  • The X-men franchise: Magneto

 

What the franchise is about: this franchise is about mutants with cool powers and their relationship with humans. It’s got everything an aspiring fantasy fan could want and more.

 

What caused me to make the choice: Frankly, it was a tough call between Magneto and Major Stryker. Both of them are shrewd in their own way, but Magneto’s charisma, back story and the fact that there is a chance that the future of Mutants vs. Humans he envisions has a good chance of coming true won me over. His power of Magnetism is just the icing on the cake.

 

  • Fight Club: Tyler Durden

What the movie is about: A fight club started by the main character and his alter ego Tyler Durden. I was quite scptical when I watched it, but I loved it.

What caused me to make the choice: Sure, Tyler’s just a part of the main character, but he’s wild, sexy, charismatic and carefree. He’s the type of guy who doesn’t give a flying one about what people think of him.

 

  • The Home Alone franchise: Harry and Marv

 

What the franchise is about: this franchise is about a kid getting left home alone and defending himself from robbers.

 

What caused me to make the choice: Frankly, I felt sorry for those two. Getting beaten by a kid is nobody’s idea of a picnic, but Kevin (played by M. Culkin) makes Harry and Marv go through absolute hell and the more I watch these movies the sorrier I am for those two.

 

  • The Lord of the Rings franchise: Saruman

 

What this franchise is about: an idiotic hobbit finding a powerful magical artifact, keeping it and endangering all of Middle Earth, causing nine heroes to step up to save the day.

 

What caused me to make this choice: Although Saruman is not the main baddie in this franchise, he’d the one that really stands out. No offence to the Witch King or Sauron, but they got far less screen time and character development than needed to interest me. Plus their deaths were just so pathetic. And although Saruman is not quite as kickass in the movies as he is in the books, but his strategic genius and overall power is nothing to sneeze at.

 

  • Dracula (1992) aka Bram Stoker’s Dracula : Dracula

 

What the movie is about: It follows the story of Johnatan Harker as he entangles himself in a world of the supernatural. It is the best attempt to turn Bram Stoker’s Dracula  into a movie.

 

What caused me to make the choice: Garry Oldman’s performance as Dracula, of course! He mixes the kindness and ruthlessness that anyone who had read Dracula would recognize and makes it into an art form. Seriously, by the end you start to feel sorry for Dracula.

 

 

Why Eowyn is my favourite character…

The Lord of the Rings is one of those book series which you either like or you love. It has everything an aspiring fantasy fanboy/fangirl needs: it is action packed, it has magic and beautifully written characters, great history and (of course) anything from Orcs to Hobbits. You could read it several times and still find something exciting and new about it.

However, like any book series, you can’t read The Lord of the Rings without developing a fondness for one or another character. Some admire Gandalf, others like Arwen, Aragorn or Legolas.

While all of them are great in their own right, my all time favourite amongst the LOTR characters is Eowyn.

In a world so saturated with magic that the trees talk, where something simple like a ring can bring about the end of all things, where women hide in fear and men do battle we have an interesting character like Eowyn.

At first sight she seems to be nothing special – just the daughter of a king with a crush for the main hero.

However, she doesn’t stay that way.

Unlike Arwen, who is the ‘epitome of awesomeness’ (note sarcasm here) and is as unchanging as a marble statue, Eowyn matures and develops throughout the series.

The first time she drew my attention is with this conversation she had with Aragorn:

‘Too often have I heard of duty,’ she cried. ‘But am I not of the House of Eorl, a shieldmaiden and not a dry-nurse? I have waited on faltering feet long enough. Since they falter no longer, it seems, may I not now spend my life as I will?’

‘Few may do that with honour,’ he answered. ‘But as for you, lady: did you not accept the charge to govern the people until their lord’s return? If you had not been chosen, then some marshal or captain would have been set in the same place, and he could not ride away from his charge, were he weary of it or no.’

‘Shall I always be chosen?’ she said bitterly. ‘Shall I always be left behind when the Riders depart, to mind the house while they win renown, and find food and beds when they return?’

‘A time may come soon,’ said he, ‘when none will return. Then there will be need of valour without renown, for none shall remember the deeds that are done in the last defence of your homes. Yet the deeds will not be less valiant because they are unpraised.’

And she answered: ‘All your words are but to say: you are a woman, and your part is in the house. But when the men have died in battle and honour, you have leave to be burned in the house, for the men will need it no more. But I am of the House of Eorl and not a serving-woman. I can ride and wield blade, and I do not fear either pain or death.’

‘What do you fear, lady?’ he asked.

‘A cage,’ she said. ‘To stay behind bars, until use and old age accept them, and all chance of doing great deeds is gone beyond recall or desire.’- J. R. R. Tolkien The Return of the King

This piece tells us so much about what kind of person she is. She’s not a fragile maiden waiting for someone to rescue her. No. She’s the type of person who would be the one doing the rescuing.

And in Middle-Earth that is a rare thing. A diamond in a pig trough kind of rare.

In Middle-Earth, most women we see are either hiding, using magic to defeat enemies or give out infinite wisdom *cough*Galadriel*cough*.

All of them are graceful, beautiful and soft in a feminine type of way.

Eowyn is the Middle-Earth version of a tomboy. She desires what is usually availlable for men in Middle-Earth: glory, fame, to not die of old age whilst being left behind to rot far away from battle when she could be out there kicking ass.

She managed to take down a freaking Nazgul when even Gandalf failed. While dressed as a man.

Which other lady of Middle-Earth had the balls (pun fully intended) to do something like that? After all it was said that the Witch King could be defeated by no man.

Women could kick his ass just fine.

And Eowyn did kick his ass. In style.

Oh, and that little banter with the Witch King before she did was absolutely priceless:

‘Hinder me? Thou fool. No living man may hinder me!’

Then Merry heard of all sounds in that hour the strangest. It seemed that Dernhelm laughed, and the clear voice was like the ring of steel. ‘But no living man am I! You look upon a woman. Eowyn I am, Eomund’s daughter. You stand between me and my lord and kin. Begone, if you be not deathless! For living or dark undead, I will smite you, if you touch him.’- J. R. R. Tolkien The Return of the King

This is why for me Eowyn is such an awesome character even if I wish that she was around more than she was. Tolkien even managed to find her a happy ending with Faramir. She definitely deserved it.

 

The book series that left me wanting for a better ending

Sometimes, book authors do the right thing and quit while they’re ahead. Others, well… they leave us high, dry and sadly disappointed by the book ending.

One of these unfortunate people was Charlaine Harris.

That’s correct.

The series is her Southern Vampire Mysteries.

I’ve read the thirteen books and I was cursing myself for not stopping at Dead and Gone aka the ninth book of the series. Before the tenth book Dead in the Family, the series while not perfect was bearable.

Then Dead in the Family came and I was bemused. Sure, there were a lot of interesting things in it, like Sookie dealing with her post Lochlan and Naeve trauma, the introduction of Bill’s vamp sister and Eric’s backstory.

The rest was meh at best.

In my opinion, Alexei Romanov was introduced into the story only as a plot device and one of the catalysts of the future Sookie and Eric backstory.

Eric’s maker Appius was a vile bastard that should’ve been staked a long while ago.

However, while Dead in the Family was semi-ok, the next book was worse. While DitF had its moments, Dead Reckoning had a big fat nothing going for it. We learn that Dermot is not the bad guy. Other than that nothing else changes.

Claude is still a creep with a gorgeous body.

Sookie and Eric’s relationship starts to deteriorate.

Bill still doing the ‘I still love you Sookieh’ routine made me want to sharpen a stake and ram it up his sorely pussy whipped ass.

His TV version had more sense before the whole Billith stint (and I can’t believe I’m saying this).

The less said about this book, the better.

Hopefully, it will get better. Right? Right?!

Sorry, no dice.

Deadlocked came and I really wanted to curl up and cry.

I really did.

This book only continued the cluster fuck we were shown in the previous book.

Victor Madden was finally dead (whoopee shit!) and his boss finally got off his ass and crawled out of Vegas to investigate.

The problem with this is that I no longer give a flying one whether Sookie makes it or not. This made the whole situation boring to say the least.

The cluviel dor (aka the story’s Deus ex Machina) had potential. It really did. Sookie could’ve fixed all her problems with the thing and she used it to revive Sam Merlote aka the guy who’s her boss and the one guy she showed little to no interest in throughout the entire series. The sad part is that it worked. The object that allegedly worked only if the user loves the one (s)he intended to use the object on, worked on Sam Merlotte.

Huh?

Now that is a mystery.

Hopefully, we’ll get an explanation on this in the next book.

Right?

Right?!

Nope. Sorry.

Dead Ever After sums up my entire feelings on the series after reading this…piece of…work.

Can anyone explain to me what happened?

Why did a series about a telepath, werewolves and fucking vampires ended up being so jam packed with any supernatural being under the sun and plots so uninteresting that it makes you want to bang your head in an attempt to erase any evidence of having read the book?

Back in Living Dead in Dallas when the maenad was introduced it was short and sweet, but in this rag Harris seriously sees the end of the series and attempts to stuff anything and everything in it before giving the anti-climactic and unrealistic ending.

That is gross.

‘Voldemort in a tutu and singing I feel pretty’ gross.

Reading this book from back to cover made me want to take an extra-long shower and drown myself in chocolate.

My advice to people wanting to read this series is this: read up until Dead and Gone and then invent your own continuation of the series.

It will be far less traumatizing.