5 Fandom Friday: Five Magical Potions to Always Have in the Cupboard

We already covered Fictional Foods That We Want To Try in an earlier post, but fantasy offers us even more interesting options when we look at potions. Let’s face it, if we had access to effects like these, we would keep them stocked at home for when we need them!

With that in mind, I’d like to share Five Magical Potions to Always Have in the Cupboard.

#1 – Lucy’s Cordial from Father Christmas

The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe

Lucy’s Cordial from the Chronicles of Narnia requires only a few drops to restore health to someone on a battlefield, so even though it probably falls into the category of a standard health potion, it certainly lands on the powerful end of the scale. For me, the most important potion to have on hand is a healing potion, and I have always wanted this one after having The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe read to me as a child.

#2 – Felix Felicis

Harry Potter

Sometimes, you just need a little luck! Felix Felicis (aka Liquid Luck) can be toxic if used in high doses as it can cause extreme recklessness, but if you use it sparingly and only when needed, you are likely to be successful in all of your endeavors while under its influence.

Screen capture by @NWPlayer123

#3 – Energizing Elixir

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

Imagine being in the middle of an exhausting task and suddenly regaining stamina as though you had just begun. The Energizing Elixir from Breath of the Wild comes in handy when you’re climbing a cliff or swimming, and having easy access to this potion in the real world could give you just what you need to finish what you started when fatigue sets in.

#4 – Draught of PEace

Harry Potter

The draught of peace can soothe anxiety and calm agitation. You could use it yourself when you feel stressed about public speaking or a frightening situation, or you could share it with your loved ones when they just need a moment of peace from their worries and cares.

#5 – Morgause’s Tracking Potion

Merlin

Technically, the tracking potion was used by the bad guys (namely, Morgause and Morgana), but you could use it for good! I get uneasy when someone wants me to follow them instead of giving me directions to our intended destination, and this would make it as simple as following their trail. Assuming it worked on animals, you could give one to your pet to see just what they are getting their little paws into.

Honorable Mention: Egg Shen’s Potion

Big Trouble in Little China

“Drink this, you will see things no one else can see. Do things no one else can do!”

 

These are just six potions from a handful of properties, and we’re sure that there are plenty more excellent choices. In the comments below, please share what you would always keep in stock!

You can check out all of our past 5 Fandom Friday posts here, and we’d love to know if you have any suggestions for future topics!

Advertisements

5 Fandom Friday: Five Fictional Songs That We’ll Never Hear

As part of their world-building, many fiction authors, especially writers of fantasy and science fiction, pen songs that are sung by their characters. These can proclaim the great feats of heroes or simply be pub songs filled with nonsense. Fortunately, the lyrics to these pieces are written down for many a fan to set to music and create their own renditions.

But what about songs that have no lyrics? Some songs are so beyond words that the author might describe them for the reader, but because the moment is so bizarre or sublime, they could never be truly recreated.

We’d like to dedicate this Five Fandom Friday to Five Fictional Songs That We’ll Never Hear.

#5 – The Song of the Quarkbeast

The Last Dragonslayer Series by Jasper Fforde

Lily: Jennifer Strange is the main character in The Last Dragonslayer books, and she has an unusual pet, even for this universe. Well, “pet” might not be the correct term, because she couldn’t get rid of her Quarkbeast even if she wanted to. A Quarkbeast is a quantum type of being often described as: “One-tenth Labrador, six-tenths Velociraptor, and three-tenths kitchen food blender.” When two opposite Quarkbeasts meet, they start to sing their mating song. Oh, and when they touch, there is an explosion of enormous force.

If you were to hear the song of the Quarkbeast, it would likely be the last thing you ever heard:

“Others who have heard it are now little more than dust. But if I was about to die, then I was glad to have heard the song. It was lonely — one of lament, of unknown knowledge. A song of resignation, of poetry given and received. The small movements that the Quarkbeasts made as they padded around each other altered the hum so subtly that it sounded like an alto bassoon, but with one single note, infinitely variable.

“But it wasn’t a song of peace, love, or happiness. It was a requiem — for all of us.” (Chapter 24: Risk of Confluence, The Song of the Quarkbeast)

#4 – The Songs from the Alien Planet Rakhat

The Sparrow by Maria Doria Russell

Maria: In Russell’s novel, the SETI program at Arecibo Observatory discovers radio broadcasts of music from an alien planet in a distant galaxy in 2019. This mesmerizing music then triggers events that lead to a group of humans travel to the planet Rakhat and the first human-alien contact.

Earlier this year, I finished this novel and it may or may not have entered my top 10 novels of all time. I’m not sure if I reeeally want to hear the music of the alien race Jana’ata knowing the full story (hooo boy hoo boy), but the very idea of hearing music from an alien race is too tempting. Maybe, during my lifetime this might come true… who knows.

#3 – Song of the Dragons

Dragon Age

Lily: When the darkspawn find an Old God and corrupt it, transforming it into an Archdemon, it leads them in an attack on the surface world. The darkspawn mostly dwell underground when they are not raiding Thedas, always searching for other Old Gods. They are drawn to their location by the song of the dragons.

Unlike the rest of our list, you would think that a video game would provide an opportunity for a player to hear this song, but at best, we only catch distorted fragments. These can be heard in the form of nightmares that grow more frequent as a Warden is tainted by the darkspawn blood they consumed at The Joining, their initiation ritual.

The Grey Wardens are not be envied, because when the song reaches its crescendo, they must participate in a ritual known as The Calling in which they descend underground to kill as many darkspawn as possible before being slain in battle. If not, they are ultimately doomed to join the ranks of the foes they fought so long and so hard against.

There was a stir within his blood
And the dreams lay thick upon him.
A call did beat within his heart.
One road was left before him.

(Codex entry: Shred of Blue)

#2 – The Song of Earth from the Campaign to Save the Humans

So Long, and THanks for All The Fish by douglas Adams

Lily: In the 2005 film adaptation of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, the dolphins of earth sing “So Long and Thanks for All The Fish” before they bid the humans farewell prior to Earth’s demolition. The book So Long, and Thanks for All The Fish, however, describes a gift-wrapped fishbowl that turns up at Arthur Dent’s house with those famous words engraved on its beautiful silver-gray glass. When he is finally clued in by Wonko the Sane to hold it up to his ear, he hears a beautiful song of the Earth’s destruction and its ultimate restoration. And it goes a little something like this:

“The deep roar of the ocean.

The break of waves on farther shores that thought can find.

The silent thunders of the deep.

And from among it, voices calling, and yet not voices, humming trillings, wordlings, and half-articulated songs of thought.

Greetings, waves of greetings, sliding back down into the inarticulate, words breaking together.

A crash of sorrow on the shores of Earth.

Waves of joy on–where? A world indescribably found, indescribably arrived at, indescribably wet, a song of water.

A fugue of voices now, clamoring explanations, of a disaster unavertable, a world to be destroyed, a surge of helplessness, a spasm of despair, a dying fall, again the break of words.

And then the fling of hope, the finding of a shadow Earth in the implications of enfolded time, submerged dimensions, the pull of parallels, the deep pull, the spin of will, the hurl and split of it, the fight. A new Earth pulled into replacement, the dolphins gone.

Then stunningly a single voice, quite clear.

‘This bowl was brought to you by the Campaign to Save the Humans. We bid you farewell.'” (Chapter 31, So Long, and Thanks for All The Fish)

 

#1 – The Music of the Ainur

The Silmarillion by J.R.R. TOlkien

Lily: The Ainur are the first beings created by Ilúvatar (aka Eru), and they originally sang for him in solos or small groups. Eventually, Ilúvatar brought them all together, gave them a theme, and compelled them to sing Great Music in harmony together to create the world.

“Then the voices of the Ainur, like unto harps and lutes, and pipes and trumpets, and viols and organs, and like unto countless choirs singing with words, began to fashion the theme of Ilúvatar to a great music; and a sound arose of endless interchanging melodies woven in harmony that passed beyond hearing into the depths and into the heights, and the places of the dwelling of Ilúvatar were filled to overflowing, and the music and the echo of the music went out into the Void, and it was not void.” (The Music of the Ainur, Ainulindalë, The Silmarillion)

Of course, Melkor just had to go off-key, creating discord and dissonance, bringing turbulence and violence and war. So, it might not exactly be your kind of jam.

 

Can you think of any other songs from fiction that would be impossible for us to actually listen to? Please share them in the comments below!

You can check out all of our past 5 Fandom Friday posts here, and we’d love to know if you have any suggestions for future topics!

5 Fandom Friday: Five Times the Hero Wore Black

“Evil wears black” is a trope seemingly as old as storytelling itself, and we’ve been conditioned since childhood to recognize it. Sometimes, it’s an easy way for a moviemaker to give the audience clues as to a person’s villainous intentions, but we think it’s far more interesting when a film flips this kind of preconceived notion and dresses the protagonist in black.

Our topic for this week’s Five Fandom Friday is Five Times the Hero Wore Black, and we’re happy to share some of our favorite good guys who just happened to ditch the shining armour.

#5 – Maleficent

Maleficent (2014)

Maleficent is one of those characters whose wardrobe helped define her as absolutely evil, and that’s what makes her inclusion on this list a necessary one. In the recent retelling of her story, we get to see her side of things, and it turns out that not all was as it appeared in the classic Disney animated film Sleeping Beauty,

#4 – Batman

Batman: The Animated Series (1992-1995)

Batman’s role as a vigilante compels him to hide his identity, and there’s no better way to slink into the shadows than by dressing in black. In his case, it’s also a reflection of the tortured soul within. The actor Kevin Conroy explained at a panel I attended at Wizard World Austin how he performed the voice: “I was able to just use my imagination, and transport myself to this dark, broody, painful place, which is where I thought the character’s inner life resides, because of what happened to him as a child.”

#3 – Luke Skywalker

Star Wars: The Return of the Jedi (1983)

Luke’s costume in the first Star Wars film was largely white, but rather than being a young hero who defeats the evil character in black, he sees his mentor struck down. In The Empire Strikes Back, he fights the same villain and loses a hand. By the time of the third film, The Return of the Jedi, Luke has been through a lot, and the iconic lightsaber duel between him and Darth Vader sets the stage differently than your standard good versus evil showdown. Luke is tempted by the dark side of the Force, but he not only manages to defeat his foe, he redeems his father. And all while wearing black.

#2 – Harry Potter

Harry Potter films (2001-2011)

I guess when it comes to expecting black to be a portent for evil, we’re all just a bunch of muggles. At Hogwarts, and in the wider Wizarding World, black robes are standard (sometimes mandatory) fare, and it never kept Harry Potter, Hermione Granger, or any of the other wizards and witches from heroic feats. Watch out for anyone bearing the Dark Mark, though…

#1 – Westley

The Princess Bride (1987)

Westley is on the top of this list because I, Lily Milos, am making this list, and he was my absolute first movie crush and I shall always love him. But I can say with some certainty that when “The Man in Black” was first introduced in The Princess Bride, I thought he was yet another bad guy in a mask. He was eventually revealed to be our dashing hero, and it turns out that masks are just “terribly comfortable. I think everyone will be wearing them in the future.”

 

We originally had a hard time thinking of examples of films and heroes for this prompt of ours, but once we got going, we had to refine our list to only our top five! Now it’s your chance to weigh in: what black-clad heroes can you come up with?

You can check out all of our past 5 Fandom Friday posts here, and we’d love to know if you have any suggestions for future topics!

5 Fandom Friday: Five Fictional Foods We Want to Try

It’s never a bad time to blog about good eats, but with autumn in full swing in the northern hemisphere and fall harvest festivals keeping food always on the brain, we thought it was the perfect time discuss the dishes that we can only fantasize about.

We’re keeping the spirit of Five Fandom Friday going strong by creating our own prompts. Join us this week as we share Five Fictional Foods We Want to Try! Do you see any of your favorites on our list?

#5 – Slurm

Futurama

Maria: I’m a big fan of Futurama and one of the thing that I’d love to try is the highly addictive Slurm soft drink. Yes, I know Slurm is made out of the secretion of a giant Slurm Worm, but it just looks like so delicious and fun that I’d still try it. I mean, honey is technically just Bee spit, right? Now, I’ve seen that you can order Slurm online, but with a price-tag of 20$ or more per can or bottle, buying one is out of the question.

#4 – Any food animated by Studio Ghibli

Maria: Whether it being Princess Mononoke, Spirited Away, or Howl’s Movie Castle, Hayao Miyazaki’s animated food looks absolutely delicious. I know that you can just travel to Japan and eat the dishes over there. But I don’t want just any dish shown in Miyazaki’s movies, I want to eat those specifically animated ones!

#3 – Lembas

The Lord of the Rings

Lily: Being a hobbit at heart (and stomach), I’d love to try lembas bread from J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings. The fellowship was gifted lembas provisions by Galadriel in Lothlorien to help them on the long trek into Mordor, and not only will “one keep a traveller on his feet for a day of long labour,” but as Merry says, “Lembas does put heart into you! A more wholesome sort of feeling, too.” Whether you’re running a marathon or simply don’t have time to stop in the middle of a busy day to eat a proper meal, lembas sounds like the perfect food to have on hand!

#2 – Three Course Dinner Chewing Gum

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

Lily: No list of fictional foods could be complete without one item from Willy Wonka’s fantastical chocolate factory! Assuming that it had been perfected and wouldn’t turn me into a giant blueberry balloon, I’d happily enjoy a filling three-course meal in the form of chewing gum. In fact, I would hope there was an entire line of meal flavors so that I could try them all.

#1 – Wonderland’s SiZe Altering Foods

Alice’s Adventures in WOnderland

Lily: A few of these items have somewhat miraculously provided more nutrition than one might expect, but the resizing foods and drinks imagined by Lewis Carroll are pure magic. Starting from the premise that you at least knew the effect of any given “Eat Me” food or “Drink Me” vial, you could be a superhero able to fit into tiny spaces or save people dangling from scary heights. And hopefully they taste pretty good, too.

 

Can you think of any delicious-sounding fictional foods that would vie for a top spot on this list? Please share them in the comments!

You can check out all of our past 5 Fandom Friday posts here, and we’d love to know if you have any suggestions for future topics!

5 Fandom Friday: Five Villains We Secretly Love

Whether they are physically alluring, compelling to watch, or simply misunderstood, we all secretly have villains that we actually root for.

We’re keeping up with the spirit of Five Fandom Friday with our own prompts, and this week, we are daring to admit to Five Villains We Secretly Love! Do you see any of your favorites on our list?

#1 – Lucius Malfoy

Harry Potter Series

Maria: Now, don’t get me wrong, I don’t deny Lucius’ evil side, I’m also not sugarcoating his views. In our world, he’d be an arrogant racist, and I’m all against that. Having said that, I cannot deny that Movie Lucius is such a dandy that he is almost on parr with Gilderoy Lockhart. Everything about movie Lucius in the early films is just so extra, so over the top that I cannot help but love him and feel for his character in the last films as his life starts to unravel.

#2 – Eris

Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas

Lily: I loved the movie Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas when it came out, but it wasn’t entirely because of the heroic deeds of the protagonists. Eris, the goddess discord, was so entrancing to watch that I was always excited to see her. This is largely due to the interesting effects used to create her smoky appearances and movements (Eris is a combination of a hand-drawn character with added 3D effects).

She just wants to add a little chaos into the world, and she happens to use mortals as her playthings. But if you use her own rules to beat her at her own game, she accepts it…rather gracefully.

#3 – Wilson Fisk

Daredevil

Lily: The first time we meet Wilson Fisk, he is about to put himself out on a limb to ask a woman out on a date. He’s nervous and vulnerable, and I instantly felt empathy for him. His backstory is revealed throughout the first season of Daredevil, and we learn that a catalyst for his violence was wanting to protect his mother, a noble motivation. In his mind, he is the hero — like Matthew Murdock, he sees himself as the caretaker of his city. He just turns into a scary, calculating rage monster to make his vision happen.

#4 – Bart Curlish

Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency

Lily: She’s crazy. She’s erratic. She’s hilarious. She’s deadly. Bart Curlish is the opposite of Dirk Gently in that she’s a holistic assassin and is meant to kill whomever she kills. And she has killed a lot of people. But never the wrong person.

Just like Eris, I was always looking forward to when this character would show up, even if her motive (“Kill Dirk Gently”) runs counter to the rest of the show. Honestly, sometimes I really wished for her to fulfill her mission just because I wanted her to have that win.

#5 – Gollum/Sméagol

The Hobbit & The Lord of the Rings

Lily: When we first meet Gollum in The Hobbit, he’s a menace and an obstacle to be overcome (though the riddle game between Gollum and Bilbo is my favorite scene in the whole Hobbit movie trilogy). It’s in The Lord of the Rings that we become sympathetic towards him, or at the very least, can find him pitiable. He is single-minded from the moment he sees the ring, but it is his moments of compassion for Frodo that hearken back to the simple creature he was before the One Ring corrupted him. However, without that corruption, he would not have been able to empathize with Frodo.

He’s a complicated character, to be sure, but when people ask me about my favorite characters in The Lord of the Rings, Gollum is always in the top ten.

 

Did we leave any of your favorite villains off of our list? Be sure to let us know in the comments who we missed!

You can check out all of our past 5 Fandom Friday posts here, and we’d love to know if you have any suggestions for future topics!