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Showing posts by: Christopher Morgan click to see Christopher Morgan's profile
May 20 2016 9:30am

Geralt of Rivia—The Witcher’s Romance Hero

Hi, I’m Christopher Morgan. You may remember me from such articles as, “Dinner, my enemy!” or “How I Fell in Love with an Alien Lizard”. Once upon a time, I was a far more regular presence here in the hallowed halls of Heroes and Heartbreakers.  I’ve been know as many things here. Romance Virgin, Tolkien aficionado, Star Wars Fanboy, and a gamer. But, it’s that last bit I would like to indulge for bit, if you will permit me.

You see, this whole thing emerged out of a conversation I recently had with a friend concerning power fantasies and gaming. The state of the gaming community is a bit… toxic, and I am perfectly willing to leave that discussion to those conversations to my far wiser and smarter betters. But, through course of that discussion, I made a realization. Geralt of Rivia, the Butcher of Blavakin, Witcher of the Wolf School, is, in fact, a Romance Hero.

[Stay with me now, for the night is dark and full of terrors and this is Witcher work…]

Dec 18 2014 12:52pm

Saying Goodbye to The Hobbit: Thorin and Bilbo, Kili and Tauriel

I feel as though I could provide a hundred different quotes from J.R.R. Tolkien’s works that all convey the same message, the one of letting go. Which, as true to Tolkien as can be, itself is a phrase jam-packed with meaning. It can mean a temporary parting, it could be saying good-bye for the very final time. Just as Gandalf was once infamously good morning-ed by a particularly sassy hobbit on a fine spring day, we must now say goodbye to all of our friends.

It was a bitter thing, staying so long. It felt uncomfortable. Not just because this was the last time we’d get to see our favorites and marvel at how they are brought to life, but because this was the note we went out on. A movie that feels bloated. An intentional grab at more money by unnecessarily prolonging a franchise. The Middle Earth I know, the one I saw on screen for the first time so long ago, that one deserves better. So, from here on out, only the good. Come, let us return to Erebor...

[There and back again, of course]

May 13 2014 2:00pm

Cajun Invasion: Channing Tatum Will Be X-Men’s Gambit

Apparently everyone’s favorite Kinetic Cajun is on has lined up his first solo film, but who was chosen to glow purple and wear that fabulous trench coat? None other than Magic Mike himself, Channing Tatum.  Word is that Tatum has been officially cast as the master thief turned hero and all around Southern charmer, but the real question we have is who is going to be his Rogue?

In the comics, Gambit, or Remy LeBeau, was a New Orleans street urchin turned master thief who eventually joined up with Professor Xavier’s team of heroic outcasts, the X-Men. Gambit tended to chafe when it came to authority, and wasn’t ever really all that keen on being “heroic” but when he met fellow Southerner Rogue, he was hooked. Personally, there really isn’t a Gambit without Rogue, I mean they even made runner up in best super hero couples suited for Romance, so only time will tell if we get to see the current Rogue, Anna Paquin, meet with the X-Men’s answer to Han Solo.

What do you think about a solo Gambit movie starring Channing Tatum?

Dec 16 2013 5:36pm

Concerning Dwarves…and Elves: The State of The Hobbit’s Kili and Tauriel

The Hobbit poster

I am a huge Tolkien fan, and The Hobbit is the one book to rule them all. In this book, Tolkien poured all his love, devotion to his children, and obsession with English folklore. But Peter Jackson's Hobbit isn't Tolkien's, and that's okay. This one truth you must accept or all that follows won't really be that special or wondrous.

Tolkien is notorious for his lack of meaningful female characters, despite the amazing Eowyn. It's all heroic men doing awesome things. But this doesn't make for as much fun for folks who want a kick-ass girl whooping up on some orcsies. Enter Tauriel, played by Evangeline Lilly, who was created by Peter Jackson to add a bit more gender diversity. I was one of the Neck-Bearded fan-boys that raged against this addition, mainly because I remember Liv Tyler's Arwen, and that wasn't good at all. But boy, was I wrong.

[Ending neck-bearding fanboy hate one person at a time...]

Nov 21 2013 7:11pm

Don’t Mess With This New Bonnie & Clyde Trailer

Guess who got a special sneak peek at the upcoming A&E networks miniseries Bonnie & Clyde? We did, and we are sharing it with you!

Bonnie & Clyde, starring Emile Hirsch and Holliday Grainger (seen previously as one half of the scandalous Cesare/Lucrezia pairing in The Borgias), follows the short, tragic lives of the infamous couple Bonnie and Clyde, notorious bank robbers and criminals. It premieres December 8, 2013. Will you be watching?

Nov 6 2013 10:30am

Cold Blood, Full Heart: The Romance Virgin Reads The Last Hour of Gann

The Last Hour of Gann by R. Lee SmithStop. Go no further. There is something very important that you must know before continuing on. Something so important, that this one truth is critical to everything that comes after. The Last Hour of Gann is about a woman. A very cool, very interesting woman who I enjoyed getting to know greatly. But this woman loves a man. A lizard-man.  They have sex. This is something one must deal with before even beginning this book. If you can, then stick around.

Many, many people told me since beginning here at H&H that the perfect cross-over book if you are new to Romance and come from a history/fantasy background (as I do) then you should read Outlander. I've read Outlander, I enjoyed it, but, R. Lee Smith's The Last Hour of Gann is better at reaching the non-romance fan in me. Had not this year been the year that I finally read through Rothfuss, it would easily have been my favorite book. That said, it is still one of the best things I've read.

[All I can say is, hold on to your butts…]

Oct 9 2013 9:30am

Top 10 Fantasy Novels You Must Read: An Opinionated Opinion

The Hobbit by J.R.R. TolkienFor a while here at Heroes and Heartbreakers I was the romance virgin—someone who hadn't ever picked up a romance book, nor knew just how disturbing words like “quivering” or “throbbing" could be. But, I also wouldn't have been one of the few people in the theatre that knew exactly what Loki meant when he called Black Widow a “mewling quim,” in The Avengers, so you take the good with the bad.

If you are a site regular, you may or may not have picked up on the fact that I am a bit of a Fantasy Freak in my natural habitat. Odds are if a story has Magic, Elves, Orcs, or some sort of mischievous god, I'll read it.  I'd thought I'd share my passion with the wonderful readers at Heroes and Heartbreakers as they have shared theirs with me. So here are my ten absolute must-reads when it comes to Fantasy Literature.

1. The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien

Why? With a sentence scribbled onto the back of a student's test, which then became a story told to his children, Tolkien defined a genre. While lacking in romance, and stuffed to bursting with walking, the book is critical in establishing what modern fantasy is while also featuring a decidedly European/Non-American style of hero. The book is best experienced while read aloud, so you can do the voices just right, and preferably to a child or three.

[What's the opposite of a food and cheer loving expert treasure hunter?]

Aug 7 2013 9:45am

He Really DOES Like Me: Trailer for Thor: the Dark World

One of my biggest complaints about Marvel's first movie featuring their Fantasy Superhero was that we didn't get enough Fantasy. We got glimpses a plenty of the wonderful, vibrant world of Asgard and the politics between the immortals and Frost Giants, but we were then swiftly sent to Earth to mope about and learn humility. The same can not be said of Thor the Dark World.

Not only are we getting more Asgard, but we are getting more Heimdall (and when has more Idris been a bad thing I ask you?), more Warriors Three, more Sif, of course tons more Loki. No wonder they have so many outdoor shots. I'd doubt that there would be any scenery left after Tom Hiddleston left set. Let's not even touch on the whole Loki liking Jane thing. We all remember what Loki did when Thor wanted to protect the Earth. I'm definitely down, what about you?

Jul 18 2013 10:15am

New Players Have Entered the Game: New Casting for Season 4 of Game of Thrones

And just think, you haven't even seen his spear...The game of thrones recently got a whole lot more complicated with a couple of new cast members. First up is the Red Viper of Dorne, Oberyn Martell. Oberyn is the brother to Dornish ruler and bed-ridden house patriarch, Doran. He's known for his penchant for poison and the indulgence of his passions and his temper, along with his rather difficult to wrangle daughters. If you have been following along in the books you know that the Viper of Dorne will make for nothing but fun times for Joff and Co. at Kings Landing.  Good Wife actor, Pedro Pascal will be playing Oberyn in the upcoming season.

Who doesn't love a good mystery?Also recently revealed is that one of the primary minds behind Sherlock and Dr. Who, Mark Gatiss will be joining the folks of Westeros for the new season. They have yet to announce who the Man behind The Man in the Blue Box will be playing, but the scuttlebutt is saying that he will be playing Lord Mace Tyrell, Warden of the South and purveyor of apples. I can definitely see the casting, but I feel that it would be a waste of Gatiss. The man is superb as Mycroft Holmes in Sherlock and plays intellectually aloof better than anyone.

I'd prefer to see him in the role of Lord Rodrik Harlaw of the Iron Isles. Lord Rodrik is the thinking man's pirate, He is known negatively as “The Reader” amongst the nobility of the Isles. Incidentally he is perhaps the smartest of all of the Lords of the Iron Isles and is a staunch supporter of Asha/Yara Greyjoy.

Ah well, we will just have to wait and see if more details emerge.  What do you think about the new casting?

Jul 12 2013 9:30am

Super Best Bros Forever: The Best Bromances of Comics

Hulkling and Wiccan, Avengers: The Children's Crusade #9There is something special about a superhero romance. The heroes are often times defined just as much by their significant others as they are by their powers. Who is Superman with his Louis Lane? Where is the joy of a befuddled Spider-Man without Mary Jane laying the web-slinginger low with a well delivered, “Sure thing, Tiger”?  In fact you could make a pretty awesome case for converting some comics into straight up Romances. But, then again, some comic romances don't need that much converting.

But what about the BRO-mances? That special bond between two men, some have even referred to it as “Guy Love” (Thank you Scrubs). The point where an alliance of convienice becomes a storied friendship that lasts throughout time. I've covered before one of the most popular bromances between two archenemies, but there are always others.

[Aren't there always?]

May 20 2013 4:12pm

Darkness (and Fandom) Never Dies: Unofficial Trailer for Siege and Storm

One of the great things about the internet is that it gives some pretty creative folks an outlet for their talent. We here at Team H&H devoured the first book in Leigh Bardugo's Grisha trilogy, Shadow and Bone, but none of us are nearly creative enough to do something like the above video.  It is a fan-made book trailer for Siege and Storm, the sequel to Shadow and Bone. Does this trailer capture what the Grisha trilogy is all about? Are you a fan of fan-made media?

If you're curious about the series, you can read an excerpt of Shadow and Bone and Siege and Storm here on H&H!

May 1 2013 11:37am

I Always Shall Be Your Friend: The Kirk/Spock Ship is Back!

Any fan of Sci-Fi or just a fan of Star Trek knows about them. And we've all been shipping them even before Shipping was a thing. Kirk and Spock have stolen our hearts again and again, not to mention how they ripped them out in THAT scene in Star Trek II. Well, it 's nice to see the return of the dynamic between Kirk and his ONLY science officer in the above clip.  I mean the Enterprise's Science officer, that's what we were arguing about here wasn't it?

Are you excited for this new Star Trek II? Do you think Chris Pine and Zachary Quinto have the same kind of chemistry as Spock and Kirk Prime? And what do you think will be the fate of the perky blond that literally places herself between the two?

Apr 15 2013 11:23am

Team Gale is Catching Fire in the First Trailer

Team H&H is a bit divided when it comes to the Team Gale and Team Peeta debate. That being said, the first teaser trailer for The Hunger Games: Catching Fire debuted last night during the MTV Movie awards and it looks like it is deviating a bit from the book, perhaps to the benefit of Team Gale? (Heather here: Don't leave out mention of the Katniss/Gale kiss, Chris!) It looks like we are going to see a bit more of the formation of the Quarter Quell and the machinations of Snow and his lackeys, which I'm OK with. It also looks like Prim is putting on her big-girl pants. What do you think? Do the changes look worth it to you?

Apr 6 2013 2:00pm

I Don’t Need a Hero: The Kick-Ass Heroines of Gaming

I'm Commander Shepherd...Recently, game writer Ann Lemay wrote about how creating engaging female characters really shouldn't be an issue in regards to video games. (Her argument was covered pretty well by Jezebel.) As someone who does play video games, and has done so since Mario first saved Peach, I'd like to tell the gaming industry to get over themselves and their male-centric universe already.

One of the men behind the upcoming game, Remember Me, which stars a female protagonist, put it best. When asked about his heroine having a romantic interest in the game, and whether by having that heroine kiss a man he would be alienating his players, he answered with something along the lines of “if your sexuality is challenged by a character in a story you probably have bigger problems.”

I'd argue that games have been messing with our heads and playing with our concepts of gender and trope for a while now, whether or not us guy gamers would like to acknowledge that. So I've taken it upon myself to bring together a list of relatively recent and/or famous characters that any gamer should be familiar with and showing how those characters completly subvert the standard tropes. If you are a gamer, chime in, and if not and you know one, don't be scared of them. Often the stories behind these games are just as good as a favorite book. That being said, let's talk heroines.

[Let the games begin and all that…]

Apr 2 2013 5:15pm

Avengers (News) Assemble!: News from the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s Phase 2

Good ol Bucky and Steve, together again...I suppose that you could say that we here at Heroes and Heartbreakers are…fans of the Avengers and the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Whether it's the attraction between a pair of spies (Black Widow/Hawkeye, a.k.a. Clint/Natasha), or how comic book heroes make the perfect romance hero (or was that the other way around?) we are totally on board with the next slate of Avengers movies, which will be known as the Marvel Cinematic Universe's Phase 2. So to say that we are thrilled about this flurry of news that's hit the Internet recently about a certain spangly-suited captain is a bit of an understatement. Here's what we know:

  • Robert Redford (You read that right: ROBERT. REDFORD.) has reportedly been cast as a new high-ranking official in super-secret spy organization, SHIELD, for the upcoming Captain America: Winter Soldier. The rumor is that he will be playing a mysterious man named Pierce, possibly a replacement for Samuel L. Jackson's Nick Fury as head of the organization. We here can only speculate that it might be a result of the…disrespect… Fury was showing the mysterious Council at the close of The Avengers.  (via Spinoff Online)
  • Concept art from Winter Soldier was also released today showing Golden Boy Steve Rogers fighting a certain cybernetically armed enemy.  Without spoiling it for non-comic readers, this conflict should prove to be very interesting for the Soldier Out of Time. (via The Mary Sue )
  • And finally, it's comforting to know that the Captain America sequel is officially filming as of today in Los Angeles. (via On Location Vacation)

That's all that we have for now. I know I'm excited about the upcoming Captain sequel—more so than Iron Man 3 or The Wolverine, but then I have a bit of a soft spot for Steve.  What about you, are you looking forward to more Chris Evans as Captain America time? Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark? The Chris Hemsworth and Tom Hiddleston Thor/Loki connection?

Apr 1 2013 8:45am

Fifty Shades of Vampires: E.L. James Teases New Book

Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. JamesIn the latest publishing news, author E.L. James is all set to publish her newest book. Reportedly, the book is to have originally been a fan-fiction story based on the characters of her wildly popular novel Fifty Shades of Grey. No word as to plot yet, but rumor is that this will be less contemporary and have a more paranormal lean to it. James has been spotted around her native England LARP-ing in the hope of really gaining a perspective on paranormal culture and interviewing fellow Tie-hards (not to be confused with the Twi-hards of Stephenie Meyer's series).

The news coincides with the announcement of casting Michael Buble in the titular role of the infamous Christian Grey and Kathy Griffin as ingenue Anastasia Steele. The movie is set to come out June 9, 2015.

...And a very merry April Fool's Day to all!

Mar 27 2013 11:15am

He is the Best at What He Does: New Trailer for The Wolverine

We here at Heroes and Heartbreakers HQ were just saying that we need more Hugh Jackman in our lives, and what do you know, the trailer for The Wolverine appears!  The Wolverine is the sequel to the not-so-well received X-Men Origins: Wolverine, but we got to say, so far it's looking exceptionally better.

It looks like Old Man Logan is going to Japan to reconnect with his past and it may be more than he bargained for. Comic fans know that it is in Japan that Logan meets his Japanese wife, Itsu, and they have their child Daken. However, it is also in Japan that Logan meets one of his biggest enemies, the Japanese Mutant, Kenuichio Harada, the Silver Samurai. What do you think, are you in? Will you go for the Jackman and stay for the action?

Mar 6 2013 4:46pm

The Walking Dead’s Daryl/Carol Connection: Could Their Ship Come In?

Daryl and Carol in The Walking DeadWe here at H&H are fans of all kinds of heroes. Yes, even the crossbow-wielding hillbilly ones. We are also of the firm belief that said heroes deserve an HEA. But this raises a bit of an issue when the couple in question is living out the zombie apocalypse.

Many of us wonder, myself included, whether the Daryl/Carol relationship will ever amount to anything more than a few stolen glances and shy touches. While the people behind the show typically play things very close to the chest, Daryl actor Norman Reedus had this to say to Entertainment Weekly when asked about the possibility of Daryl finding happiness with Carol:

If it does [happen], lucky me. She’s awesome. She’s my favorite actress on the show. I mean, I like them all, but I’ve gotten to work a lot with her and know her vibe. If it happens, it happens. I want it to be awkward when it happens. I want it to be really awkward. I want her to make the first move.

But there's more. Reedus also doesn't believe that Daryl has ever been in anything resembling a healthy relationship, let alone with a woman, saying:

Maybe he got together with a couple of locals at one point or something, but I don’t think he was ever in any sort of serious relationship. So if [a Daryl/Carol romance] happens, great. If it doesn’t, great. I like the fact that we’re two damaged people and we sort of gravitate to each other. I like that. If it happens, right on.

(Read the full EW interview here.)

I think it is safe to say that we all are pretty excited about the prospect as well.

Feb 21 2013 10:30am

A Heart’s a Heavy Burden: The Simple Love of Hayao Miyazaki

Ponyo on The Cliff by the SeaI've a confession to make. I, Christopher Charles Morgan, love cartoons. There is nothing nearly as comforting as cartoons when you are feeling crappy. During a particularly rough week in grad school, I remember just sitting up all night and watching Looney Tunes. And nothing sets things right like Elmer Fudd singing Wagner.  That's the thing; there is a certain quality about well-made cartoons that manage to capture everything great and pure about childhood. And there are few people out there that make better cartoons than Studio Ghibli's Hayao Miyazaki.

Founded in 1985 by Hayao Miyazaki and Isao Takahata, Studio Ghibli has since put out some of the greatest cartoons ever. Miyazaki himself has been responsible for the majority of Studio Ghibli's success in the field. He focuses on creating modern fairy tales and translating popular western fairy tales and stories for a Japanese audience. While almost all of his films capture the essential sweetness and simplicity of childhood, there are three that capture romance and love at its most pure.

[Here come the feels…]