четверг, 22 августа 2013 г.

Vampire Academy: trailer vs book analysis | Chapters 11-15

If you missed my recap of previous chapters you can catch up here 
Ch 1-5 (in Russian and in English)
Ch 6-10 (in Russian and in English

Besides, if you have a twitter account and would like to be the first to know when the recap of a new set of chapters is up or how much longer you have to wait to read it, be sure to follow me on twitter – that’s the first place I share the link to a new blog post. 

One attentive and super-dedicated fan (I’m talking about you, @Carinaaaroseee) pointed out to me on Twitter that I totally skipped one of Rose’s amazing snarking lines during last recap. I think the reason of me missing it is that in Russian it didn’t have the same ring to it. Everyone blame the translator :)

Anyway, the quote deserves its place in the analysis, so here we go. I’ll even add a little fan-art picture I did myself.

(The story behind this picture is simple. My best friend turned VA addict not long ago and read all VA books within a week or even less. During one of our conversations she told me that she really likes the bond Dimka has with his duster. I jokingly assumed that Dimitri and his duster are inseparable – I mean, we do see the coat even during the lust scene! So to what other unusual places can Dimka take his beloved duster? Shower, maybe?)

Embarrassed, I covered my feelings with attitude.
"You see something you like?" I asked.
"Get dressed."

With that sweet picture in mind let’s take a look at chapters 11-15.

In Ch 11 we are told that on November 1 the academy has the annual celebration of All Saints’ Day which is marked by Queen Tatiana’s visit. Dimitri and Rose spend more hours training and on the day of Queen’s visit Dimka shows up at their practice wearing not jeans, but a T-shirt and loose running pants.

That’s not a t-shirt but at least the pants are pretty loose. AND ponytail!

When Dimka suggests Rose should try and hit him, she reacts in her usual way:

I shook my head and rolled my eyes at his older-and-wiser manner. He'd once told me he was twenty-four.
"Whatever you say, Grandpa.”

I really hope they retain some of that eye-rolling in the movie. I can picture Danila saying some wise grown-up stuff and Zoey rolling her eyes like, “Whatever. Less talking, more fighting. Or making out. It’s your call.

At the end of the practice Rose tries to catch him unawares but fails. I would feel sorry for her, but thanks to her stunt we see Dimka pressing Rose to the floor. Rose mentions that at times Dimitri looked at her almost admiringly and his face lit up with a genuine smile.

And here we have the first time Rose acknowledges her feeling to her mentor. 

She tries to reason herself out of having a crush on him. How can one be so naïve as to try something like this? You just can’t resist Dimka’s awesomeness.

He was seven years older than me. Seven years was a lot. He'd been learning to write when I was born. When I'd been learning to write and throw books at my teachers, he'd probably been kissing girls. Probably lots of girls, considering how he looked.

On a side note we learn that, despite a grand façade, the Academy is very modern on the inside – including wi-fi and whatnot. 

We are about to witness the celebration on All Saints’ Day. First we’ll take a look at what the book has to say, then analyze sparse trailer footage concerning Queens meeting and do some guessing.
In the book the celebration is basically a banquet in school’s commons. The event is rather formal, so Lissa and Natalie wear dresses – blue, silky and strapless for Lissa (she borrowed it from Natalie) and yellow for Natalie. By the way, remember Natalie’s blue dress from the teaser? I find such coincidences really interesting. Oh, and Rose wears a sweater. Because dresses are too mainstream, or what?

The adult guardians are lining the walls and Dimka is among them. As the Queen appears (in a red silk dress and a matching jacket), everyone except the guardians kneels. Tatiana passes the dhampir tables very quickly which irritates Rose.

She moved through the novices' section fairly quickly, though she did nod and smile here and there. Dhampirs might just be the half-human, illegitimate children of the Moroi, but we trained and dedicated our lives to serving and protecting them. The likelihood was strong that many of us gathered here would die young, and the queen had to show her respect for that.

On her way to the dais Tatiana stops to speak to several royal moroi, including Lissa. She praises Lissa’s name and says some good things about the Dragomir kings. But Tatiana wouldn’t be herself if she didn’t ruin everything be ending that speech with, “Your names represent the finest qualities people have to offer and hearken back in time to deeds of greatness and valor. But, as you have demonstrated, names do not make a person. Nor do they have any bearing on how that person turns out."”

Now let’s talk about the teaser for a moment. We’ve got to see a bit of Lissa’s speech during the Queen’s visit. 

I love how regal Tatiana looks. Her gown and tiara prove how archaic and stiff moroi government can be.

Just look at those HUGE earings!
We all know that in the book there was no such thing. Given the moviemakers stuck to the original relations existing between the Dragomir princess and Tatiana, the scene in the trailer was simply presented out of context which led to some confusion among fans. Assuming that in the movie the Lissa/Tatiana conflict stays true to the book, I’ll share my idea of how this trailer scene might fit into the story.

Instead of stopping at Lissa’s seat on her way to the dais, Tatiana invites the last living Dragomir to take the stage, tells everyone how grateful they all are that Lissa’s okay, blah-blah-blah. As Lissa is now the head of her family, people will look up to her and follow her lead, so Tatiana prompts her to say something inspirational. Hence the whole “Blood is family, blood is pain, blood is death” thing. On this pic we see Tatiana holding Lissa’s hand and the audience fiercely clapping.


(Note #1 from an anonymous fan:
Look at this picture of Mia again. See the guys behind her? They all wear uniforms and are clapping. So maybe this trailer scene with Mia hissing takes place approximately at the same time as the pic above?)


I’m really suspicious of this nice Tatiana. She’s up to something. Look at Rose in the background. She doesn’t applaud.

(Note #2 from another fan (Viktoria):
Well, maybe the reason for that is that her left hand is bandaged and in a sling? 

But why? Could that be the bandage Dimka put on her arm in the I-will-get-you-some-gloves-but-please-don’t-cut-your-hair scene? Though it doesn’t explain the sling. Did Rose actually punch someone?! There are a few times in the book when she wants to, but she manages to subdue this barbaric urge. Or did I miss something?).

Anyway, seems like the Queen didn’t fool Rose either. So my guess is that after the crowd calms down Tatiana is going to make an example out of Lissa’s escape saying how irresponsible and immature she was to do something so stupid.

Behind the throne you can see some royal moroi – at least I think they are royal moroi, –  flanking the throne are guardians in uniform (almost military looking). There are also some guardians in the back of the cheering crowd. And I’ve just noticed that Tatiana seems to be holding a scepter. 

It bothers me that we don’t see Dimka in the scene of Queen’s visit, though in the book he was one of the guardians lining the walls. But don’t curse the filmmakers just yet and certainly don’t throw stuff at your computer. Remember that we’ve seen like 5 seconds of Tatiana’s visit. Maybe Dimka is still there, but they didn’t want to give away too much this early. Maybe Queen’s reprimand to Lissa is still in the movie. Don’t panic – simply wait for further footage.

  Now back to the book.

Lissa’s upset and soon leaves the banquet. Rose rushhes after her but Natalie gets to her first. When Natalie leaves, Rose’s worried that Queen’s words would result in Lissa hurting herself again. The Princess assures her friend that such a thing won’t happen. This conversation reveals that Lissa likes Christian but Rose is not exactly thrilled. Then the girls are joined by Mia and she and Rose bicker over the parent issue. Mia reminds Rose that she at least knows who her father is, and her mother didn’t abandon her. Rose is about to punch the little brat but Dimitri appears. He’s there to escort Rose back to her room. Rose’s impulse didn’t pass unnoticed.

"We may need to add an extra training on self-control."

They meet Christian and Rose, being really pissed-off, tells him to leave Lissa alone saying that
“She thinks you're a freak, but she's too nice to say anything.”

In Ch 12 Rose feels that something is really bothering Lissa and she decides to get out of the dorm to find her friend. To the matron she says that she has some secret guardian stuff she needs to discuss with guardian Belikov. The matron calls Dimka who appears in the dorm fully dressed and alert, though he was pulled out of bed.

(Okay, I get that being in love strongly affects your mental capacity, but really, Rose? Did you expect him to come over in his boxers and duster? Wait, maybe you did. But… Well, never mind.)

They go to moroi dorm. Lissa’s in the bathroom and Rose goes to talk to her. The princess is covered in blood – partly her own (she cut her wrists) and partly in rabbit’s that was left in her room with a note attached to it. Here’s what the note said:

“I know what you are. You won't survive being here. I'll make sure of it. Leave now. It's the only way you might live through this.”

Moviewise we have seen a phrase with a similar meaning and the manner of delivery twice – in the teaser and in the still. So the wall inscription goes, “If you stay, beware” or something like this. 

I wonder whether the dead animals will make it into the movie. I’m strongly for staying as close to the books as possible, but seeing bloody bits and pieces of what once was a cute animal would be pushing it too far for me. With that thought in mind I’ve come to a certain conclusion.

Remember how in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets we were told that the blood in which the message was written (“Enemies of the heir… beware”) probably came from chickens whose throats were cut (well, at least, that’s how I remember that bit) , but these poor chickens were never shown. Can’t that be the case with VA? Episodes with the fox and the rabbit might be combined for the movie to be just one scene where no dead animals are shown, only the message written in blood. Besides, in the still we can spot Natalie who was present for the fox incident, but not for the second one – Lissa specifically told that she didn’t want Natalie to freak out and that’s why she took the dead rabbit to the bathroom and cleaned the room. In the still both girls are in their uniforms which probably means that they discovered the writing on the wall during school hours (Richelle mentioned that after classes we’ll see plenty of teens wearing jeans). In the book the fox was found when Rose and Dimitri had their training session; when Lissa was getting rid of the rabbit, Rose was trying to get some sleep.

Lissa gets admitted into the clinic and confesses to Rose that she cut her wrists to let the stress out. Rose remembers Sonya warning her that the more Lissa uses her powers, the worse she’s gonna get and that Rose has to get Lissa out of school.

It appears in the morning that nobody knows about the rabbit, because there’s another rumor circulating the Academy. In class the girls learn that the secret about Rose feeding Lissa while they were on the run was exposed. Rose assumes it was Christian who told everyone, but Lissa says that he wouldn’t do this to her.

 (Richelle mentioned that she was present when they were filming a scene in class between Lissa and Rose when some nasty stuff is being spread about the latter.  My money is on this particular episode.)

Rose wants to beat the crap out of Christian for telling people, but he says that it was Jesse who spread the rumor. Furthermore, Zeklos told that he and Rose had sex and she let him drink her blood. Ralph told the same about Rose and himself. Now Rose wants to teach these two a lesson. But she manages to walk away because Kirova will expel her if she attacks moroi students and then Lissa will be left alone in the Academy.

In the evening Dimka comes to Rose’s room. He’s surprised that Rose’s more worried about Lissa. It turns out that he has secretly brought Lissa to dhampirs’ dorm to let the girls talk. Lissa feels guilty for what happened and believes that Mia’s behind that rumor. She did this to get back to Lissa for telling people about her parents working for Drozdovs. The princess says she’s always been the weak one but it’s time she protected Rose and made use of her stupid powers. She plans to use compulsion to make royal moroi turn away from Mia.

In Ch 13 Lissa sets her plan into action. Knowing that Rose doesn’t approve of the idea of princess using compulsion, Lissa uses her powers only when Rose is not around. When Rose learns about that “trick”, she willingly gets into Lissa’s head to see her conversation with Camille and then – Christian. He’s been avoiding Lissa since Rose told him how Lissa “really” feels about him. Ozera knows that Lissa’s using compulsion on moroi. She storms off, and Rose feels pity toward Christian who clearly still likes Lissa.

Training becomes Rose’s favorite part of the day. At one point in this chapter Dimitri notices that her hands are awfully affected by the cold weather and exercise, and he promises to get her gloves. While her wounds are being tended, Rose talks about how her appearance will change with time.

I looked down at my destroyed hands as he worked. "This is only the start, isn't it?"
"Of what?"
"Me. Turning into Alberta. Her...and all the other female guardians. They're all leathery and stuff. Fighting and training and always being outdoors - they aren't pretty anymore." I paused. "This...this life. It destroys them. Their looks, I mean."

At this point, at the beginning of her journey, it seems really important to Rose that she’s pretty. She’s used to attracting boys’ attention, she’s comfortable with and proud of her looks. But let’s not forget that she’s a 17-year-old girl. And wanting to be pretty is normal for a teen girl. I think as the story progresses Rose finds a new kind of beauty – fierce, passionate, strong, the kind of beauty characteristic of female guardians. I mean, what they do in itself is beautiful. Sacrificing your life to protect someone who can’t do it themselves is beauty incarnate, isn’t it?

He hesitated for a moment and looked up from my hands. Those warm brown eyes surveyed me, and something tightened in my chest. Damn it. I had to stop feeling this way around him. "It won't happen to you. You're too..." He groped for the right word, and I mentally substituted all sorts of possibilities. Goddess-like. Scorchingly sexy. Giving up, he simply said, "It won't happen to you."

You can officially fangirl now.

Dimitri tells a little bit about his past and his family. His mother and sisters live in a dhampir community in Russia. Dimitri and his sisters’ father is a royal moroi who was in love with Dimka’s mother but abused her. When Dimitri was 13, he couldn’t tolerate it any longer and beat the crap out of his dad. Rose is too overwhelmed by emotion to hold her tongue.

“You really are a god."
"Uh, nothing."


Dimka doesn’t believe the rumor about Rose. He knows she’ll become a great guardian.

“You understand your responsibilities better than guardians twice your age. You'll do what you have to do to succeed."

From all the little thing said in this chapter it’s clear that Dimka respects and admires Rose. And one more appearance talk which made me like, “Awwwwww!”

“I don't want to cut my hair."
He looked puzzled.
"You don't have to cut your hair. It's not required."
"All the other guardian women do. They show off their tattoos."
"Don't cut it," he said gruffly.
Somehow, I remembered how to talk again.
"But no one'll see my tattoos if I don't."
He moved toward the doorway, a small smile playing over his lips.
"Wear it up."

It inspired me to do a little fanart. I’m not a pro in terms of photoshop and stuff, so that’s all I could manage))

In Ch 14 Rose sees through Lissa’s eyes how more and more moroi succumb to Lissa’s compulsion. Natalie has some suspicions but princess seems to distract her for some time.
During Sunday service the priest tells about Vladimir once again. Mason looked through all the book in the library that mention the saint, but they obviously need books written during St.Vladimir’s life. Rose remembers that when Christian first met Lissa in the attic, he mentioned that there are boxes containing some info about Vladimir. Rosa needs to got hold of these boxes and for that she needs Christian’s help.

In the kitchen Rose has an argument with two moroi but is saved by Mason. She asks him to deliver a message to Christian – that Rose needs the books and that she lied about Lissa’s feelings towards him.

In Ch 15 Mason brings the books, and Rose is particularly interested in Vladimir’s journal. It’s clear that he wouldn’t last so long if not for shadow-kissed Anna. Rose remembers that she first heard that term from Sonya two years ago. They met in a hallway and Sonya told Rose to get Lissa out of school. Then she was taken by two unknown guardians to never come back to school.

In the evening Mason sneaks Rose to Lissa’s party. There’s alcohol involved, but Rose doesn’t drink. She takes the whole “They come first” thing so, so seriously! Sometimes I can’t believe how protective Rose is towards Lissa. They are like sisters!

“I guess I don't think guardians should drink around their charges.”

She has an incredible sense of duty that is unheard of in a 17-year-old. Dimitri is 100% right – Rose will make an outstanding guardian. Just wait and see.

Xander, one of moroi boys, who had a bit too much to drink, asks Rose what it was like to feed someone. He once tasted another moroi’s blood but it didn’t seem to have the same effect on the bitten moroi as it does on a dhampir or a human. He asks if he can bite her. Rose makes a joke out of his request and everyone moves on to a different topic.

But before that Rose has a flashback to another party, 2 years ago, some two weeks after Sonya was taken away from school. That night Rose had a drink and her bond with Lissa was a little bit dimmed. Moroi boys brought a human feeder to the party, a girl Rose’s age, who looked like she lost a lot of blood already. The boys started a kind of group feeding thing which Lissa didn’t particularly like. She asked Rose to do something about it, and Rose talked to Wade who was the initiator of the feeding. He left the room with the girl. Lissa tried to tell Rose that he’d just continue in his room what he’d started at the party. But Rose just waved these concerns off and went on partying. Some time later she spotted that Lissa was nowhere to be seen and went to find her. Lissa was in Wade’s room, making him smash things with a baseball bat. Rose tried to stop Lissa before she ordered Wade to hurt himself and succeeded, though barely. When dorm stuff comes to the room, Rose takes full blame for destroying school property. And 2 days later, before she is kicked out of the Academy, she and Lissa run away. That’s actually the scandal Kirova mentioned when the girls were brought back by Dimka.

As for the movie, I think the Wade episode would be nice. It helps to realize the scope of Lissa’s powers, that she can barely control them, that Rose will do everything to protect her friend. This scene also casts some light on why Rose was so severely punished (aside from the fact that she run off with the only living member of the royal Dragomir family). And seing people crash and smash thing in the movies is my guilty pleasure. So… bring it on!

I think that’s all for today.
Thanks for reading another trailer/book recap.
See ya!


P.S. Yesterday it occurred to me that there’s one more coincidence in the whole VA movie/book world. Danila is from St.Petersburg which is the city Rose goes to after a certain event in the books. Has everyone else figured that out by know? I might feel a little bit pathetic, if that turns out to be true))

P.P.S. If you post a comment here, don't freak out if you don't see it appear immediately. I've got pre-moderation of all comments to filter spam. Sorry for inconvenience!

(Part 3 - Ch 16-19)

5 комментариев:

  1. Hmm...now that I see a close-up of Rose during Tatiana's visit, it does look like her hand is bandaged and in a sling. But I don't think it's a sling, it just looks like it, because of the dark uniform. I don't know, if it's a sling and if she is in fact leaning against the pillar, she wouldn't be leaning on it like that. She'd be in pain. But it is a movie so who knows.

    I agree with you on the dead animal thing. I'm learning to be a vet and even I don't like seeing stuff like that. So I'd be okay with that change.

    He's from St. Petersburg?? I thought Moscow. Stupid IMDb, of course they're wrong. Anyways, that just PROVES that they did the right thing by choosing a Russian actor (like they should have). :)

    1. Danila was BORN in Moscow. He studied in St.Petersburg and now works at Theatre de l’Europe there. He also lives in St.Petersburg. So that's just a matter of perspective, I guess - do you come from a place where you were born or from a place where you've lived for more that a decade? Ж_

    2. lol I okay I guess IMDb really was right this time. I see what you mean. :)

  2. Are you going to do the rest of the chapters? Please do! I really like this!

    1. Hi!
      Thanks for checking it out!
      Yep, I'm going to continue the analysis. Chapters 16-19 will be posted in a few hours, so be sure to come back. As soon as they are up, I'll share a link on twitter.