jvankessel
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Joined 01-06-10, id: 2206420, Profile Updated: 01-21-15

I do not write. I read. Sometimes I criticize. Mostly I read Lord of the Rings or Harry Potter based fan fiction.

Gripes:

  • Mary Sues. Those shameless self-insertions that are really just a veiled insult to the reader. Fine if you like fantasizing about bonking Orlando Bloom in the privacy of your own mind, but to subject me to your poorly disguised OC getting it on with Legolas is just beyond cruel. Just bloody stop it already.
  • Slash. The poor man's, or rather poor woman's, Mary Sue. Mary Sue takes over a canon male, takes the extra appendage in stride and goes off to bonk Orlando Bloom, Tom Felton, etc. etc. etc. It is just so insipid and so mind-numbingly boring.
  • Orthographic ignorance, grammatical atrocities and the casual molestation of canonical names. You know who you are.
  • Some other gripes:

  • When the story serves the Romance and not the other way around. The silly shipping wars in Harry Potter are usually a good example of this. I am definitely not interested in a 70K story about the courtship of two minor characters. Boring. Nothing of interest ever happens.
  • Twins. I know twins in real life. They do not behave at all like the Weasley twins. Twins are not automatically mischievous, nor are they natural pranksters, or whatever insipidity is driving your perception of Elrond and Elros, Elladan and Elrohir, etc. etc. etc.
  • The word 'Unsung'. Whenever I encounter that in the synopsis, I just roll my eyes and prepare for a descent into the pits of lame. If you're going to write a shameless self-insertion, have the grace to disguise it better. This also goes for suddenly appearing brothers and sisters to canonical characters.
  • You (and your friends) joining the Fellowship, taking Orlando Bloom (-- Well, Legolas, but you know what I mean --) to the mall (WTF?!), going to Hogwarts, etc. etc. etc. Still Mary Sue and still very boring for anyone that is not you.
  • Drabbles. Don't get me started.
  • Harry Potter gripes in no particular order of importance:

  • Harry gets a really cool name like Harrison, Hadrian, Harold or other assorted nonsensical wish fulfillment reflecting on author insecurities. If the name Harry is good enough for the House of Windsor, it is good enough for Mister Potter.
  • The Most Ancient and Most Noble House of Deus Ex Machina. From just a casual mention of Black snobbery in OotP this has grown into a fanon cliché of monstrous proportions. In all of the books, there is NO evidence of wizarding nobility, and even if such a thing existed it would not grant instantaneous power-ups for the protagonist. And it makes Harry part of the same reprehensible system as his side claims to fight. Some authors even manage to use it to turn Harry into an entitled little wanker who lords it over whomever does not have his exalted ancestry.
  • So Mote It Be. Just stop it already. Whether used in conjunction of the House of Deus Ex Machina or to just illustrate the validity of a sworn statement, this has become a terrible cliché, indicative of a poorly thought out plot. There are countless other methods of keeping an oath, each with their own limitations, such as an Unbreakable Vow, Verita Serum or a contract. A good Canon example of the latter would be the DA's membership list as it was written by Hermione.
  • The Wizengamot. "The Wizengamot is wizarding Britain's high court of law", -- The harrypotter wikia. It is not a hereditary parliament or House of Lords, where members of the Most Noble and Most Ancient Houses of Deus Ex Machina drink tea, oppress the masses and say "So Mote It Be" a lot. Just don't.
  • The Goblins. They're bankers. That should tell you all about them that you need to know. They do not like wizards. They're in it for the money. They're not Deus Ex Machina Elves that can put everything to right for the protagonist. They also do not do inheritance tests, resulting in the protagonist being the heir of several Most Ancient and Most Nobles Houses of Deus Ex Machina. Nor do they do Magical Ability tests, where the protagonist gets this magical printout of all his abilities in percentages. It is boring.
  • Harry is not mega rich. He will not be informed by Goblins of his seven vaults, filled with coins and indexed to the Knut. He will not receive magical printouts listing magical and Muggle investments to rival the holdings of Warren Buffett. Nor will he receive a list of magical properties he owns around the world. There might be some cash stashed away for him to find, but by Merlin's soggy underpants, keep it realistic.
  • Dumbledore. Good, misguided or bad, however you choose to write the man, he does possess a formidable intellect. If you write him as an evil force, make him genuinely dangerous. He will not use 'For the Greater Good' in every other sentence or thought. He will have a plan. And backup plans. He will be adaptable. A good Dumbledore may listen to reason and should be able to be persuaded to change his plans. Therein might lie a challenge for the protagonist.
  • Movieverse. Just don't.
  • Flat, exaggerated characters. Ron Weasley as just a greedy, jealous slob with poor table manners. I'll admit that he isn't one of my favorite characters, but there's more to the boy than just that. Ginny Weasley as the Potter obsessed fan-girl. Molly Weasley. Severus Snape. Albus Dumbledore. Frigging Voldemort. Give them some depth already.
  • The shopping spree. Have you any idea just how boring that cliché is? Especially when Harry buys one of those mega cool chests. Yawn.
  • Straight up rehashing of canon or retelling of canon events through page upon page of dialogue. We've read the books. We know all this stuff already.
  • More to follow.

    Sort: Category . Published . Updated . Title . Words . Chapters . Reviews . Status .

    Where the Grass Grows Green II: On Bended Knee by Ragnelle reviews
    AU. The Quest failed and darkness rules the lands of Middle-earth. For the captives in the Land of Shadow, hope is bleak, and at best they strive to stand, even if only on their knees. And Sauron is set on bending Elessar to his will. Book two of six.
    Lord of the Rings - Rated: T - English - Adventure/Hurt/Comfort - Chapters: 15 - Words: 88,214 - Reviews: 175 - Favs: 53 - Follows: 78 - Updated: 6/18 - Published: 6/12/2012 - Aragorn, Faramir, Eomer, Imrahil
    Odd Ideas by Rorschach's Blot reviews
    Odd little one shots that may or may not be turned into their own stories.
    Harry Potter - Rated: M - English - Humor - Chapters: 158 - Words: 711,366 - Reviews: 9363 - Favs: 3,843 - Follows: 2,957 - Updated: 5/29 - Published: 9/4/2005
    A Borrowed Voice by Quantumphysica reviews
    A young man survives a car crash that should have killed him… but when he wakes from his coma, he no longer understands English. He speaks gibberish... or so the doctors think; they don't know Old Quenya after all. When he meets Maka Smith, speech therapist and oath-bound kinslayer, an unlikely mission from the Valar forces them to work together… whether they like it or not.
    Silmarillion - Rated: T - English - Friendship/Supernatural - Chapters: 11 - Words: 75,922 - Reviews: 122 - Favs: 42 - Follows: 67 - Updated: 5/8 - Published: 3/4/2014 - Maglor
    Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality by Less Wrong reviews
    Petunia married a biochemist, and Harry grew up reading science and science fiction. Then came the Hogwarts letter, and a world of intriguing new possibilities to exploit. And new friends, like Hermione Granger, and Professor McGonagall, and Professor Quirrell... COMPLETE.
    Harry Potter - Rated: T - English - Drama/Humor - Chapters: 122 - Words: 661,619 - Reviews: 30529 - Favs: 16,968 - Follows: 14,694 - Updated: 3/14 - Published: 2/28/2010 - Harry P., Hermione G. - Complete
    Til Death Do Us Part by Lalaeth reviews
    An Elf and a down-at-the-heels mortal woman travel across Middle-earth together. Sequel to Pitfalls of the Palantir. Chapter 46. Haleth has a conversation with Cirdan and realizes that her actions have consequences for other people.
    Lord of the Rings - Rated: M - English - Adventure - Chapters: 46 - Words: 107,183 - Reviews: 331 - Favs: 77 - Follows: 99 - Updated: 1/4 - Published: 2/20/2010
    The Well Groomed Mind by Lady Khali reviews
    On Halloween 1994, Harry learns his mind isn't his own. On Samhain morn, he vows to question everything. Armed with logic and an unlikely ally, Harry makes a last ditch bid to reclaim his life. The goal: survive at all costs. On Hiatus.
    Harry Potter - Rated: T - English - Drama - Chapters: 27 - Words: 183,000 - Reviews: 3104 - Favs: 5,557 - Follows: 6,103 - Updated: 4/9/2013 - Published: 5/29/2012 - Harry P.
    B2MeM 2012: A Spirit in Shadows by Mirach reviews
    Gondor in the 4th Age. The Queen has been poisoned, and the King would do anything to save her. Will that be enough? And what about Sauron after the loss of his Ring? As the line between friends and enemies blurrs, Aragorn finds himself in a difficult situation.
    Lord of the Rings - Rated: T - English - Drama/Mystery - Chapters: 58 - Words: 27,310 - Reviews: 54 - Favs: 15 - Follows: 9 - Updated: 8/17/2012 - Published: 7/2/2012 - Aragorn, Sauron - Complete
    Where the Grass Grows Green I: We May Yet Stand by Ragnelle reviews
    AU. The Quest failed. Sam killed Gollum before the Ring was destroyed and now darkness rules the lands of Middle-earth. A small group from the resistance battles both hunger and mistrust, to keep hope alive. But will the sacrifices outweigh the gain? Book one of six. MEFA 3rd place 2011, incomplete stories.
    Lord of the Rings - Rated: T - English - Adventure - Chapters: 22 - Words: 144,100 - Reviews: 184 - Favs: 72 - Follows: 52 - Updated: 5/23/2012 - Published: 3/25/2010 - Eomer, Aragorn, Faramir - Complete
    Lessons With Hagrid by NothingPretentious reviews
    "Have you found out how to get past that beast of Hagrid's yet?" ...Snape kicks Harry out of 'Remedial Potions', but as we know from The Philosopher's Stone, there is another Occlumens in the school good enough to keep out the Dark Lord. Stupid oneshot.
    Harry Potter - Rated: T - English - Humor/Fantasy - Chapters: 1 - Words: 4,357 - Reviews: 461 - Favs: 2,389 - Follows: 400 - Published: 10/31/2011 - Rubeus H. - Complete
    And Bits of Fluff by Teufel1987 reviews
    What if clearing your mind isn't the only way to keep people out of your head?
    Harry Potter - Rated: T - English - Humor - Chapters: 1 - Words: 4,539 - Reviews: 95 - Favs: 424 - Follows: 96 - Published: 11/28/2010 - Harry P., Severus S. - Complete
    The Bitter and the Sweet by cairistiona7 reviews
    A meeting of Kings beyond the Dark Sea. Features Isildur.
    Lord of the Rings - Rated: K - English - Drama/Spiritual - Chapters: 1 - Words: 2,161 - Reviews: 24 - Favs: 52 - Follows: 1 - Published: 1/7/2010 - Aragorn, Halbarad - Complete
    Prodigal by Aearwen22 reviews
    Two old friends meet again after a very, very long time. 1st Place - General - June 2009 ALEC "Love"
    Lord of the Rings - Rated: K - English - Chapters: 1 - Words: 1,587 - Reviews: 10 - Favs: 10 - Follows: 1 - Published: 8/2/2009 - Complete
    The Lie I've Lived by jbern reviews
    Not all of James died that night. Not all of Harry lived. The Triwizard Tournament as it should have been and a hero discovering who he really wants to be.
    Harry Potter - Rated: M - English - Adventure/Romance - Chapters: 24 - Words: 234,571 - Reviews: 4218 - Favs: 8,350 - Follows: 3,820 - Updated: 5/28/2009 - Published: 2/9/2007 - Harry P., Fleur D. - Complete
    Pitfalls of the Palantir by Lalaeth reviews
    A scholarly elf and a less than respectable woman traipse across Middle earth in search of a powerful artifact. Chapter 36. Epilogue.
    Lord of the Rings - Rated: T - English - Adventure/Humor - Chapters: 36 - Words: 84,012 - Reviews: 143 - Favs: 103 - Follows: 39 - Updated: 12/31/2008 - Published: 6/19/2005 - Complete
    Okay, NOW Panic! by boz4PM reviews
    This is the sequel to Don't Panic! We follow Penny as she journeys with Elrond and Arwen south to Minas Tirith, via Lothlorien and Edoras. She thought Bree and Imladris were bad? She ain't seen nothing yet.
    Lord of the Rings - Rated: T - English - Humor/Angst - Chapters: 60 - Words: 465,490 - Reviews: 2400 - Favs: 1,357 - Follows: 477 - Updated: 9/13/2008 - Published: 4/10/2004 - Complete
    Wish Carefully by Ten Toes reviews
    REVISED. one-shot told by Lucius Malfoy. What might happen if the Death Eaters got what they wished for…
    Harry Potter - Rated: K - English - Chapters: 1 - Words: 7,964 - Reviews: 267 - Favs: 1,678 - Follows: 302 - Published: 6/28/2008 - Lucius M. - Complete
    Fulfilling Oaths by Nieriel Raina reviews
    Finrod doubts his strength at Tol-in-Gaurhoth. After his death, Beren considers the Ring of Felagund and it is passed down until a mysterious messenger arrives in Aman. LOTR/Silm 3RD PLACE 2008 MEFA Times: Multi-age: General. Undying Friendship Series. First through Fourth Age.
    Crossover - Lord of the Rings & Silmarillion - Rated: T - English - Drama - Chapters: 1 - Words: 1,923 - Reviews: 20 - Favs: 32 - Follows: 1 - Published: 2/17/2008 - Complete
    Case Studies of Tragic Sues by Leelee5 reviews
    Tragic consequences can result when a Mary Sue is not informed of the nature and laws of Middle Earth. These case studies will help prevent future accidents.
    Lord of the Rings - Rated: K - English - Humor/Parody - Chapters: 14 - Words: 19,606 - Reviews: 154 - Favs: 80 - Follows: 14 - Updated: 4/15/2005 - Published: 1/10/2003
    Don't Panic! by boz4PM reviews
    Penny is panicking. Where is she? How did she get here? How is she going to get home and whose backside will she kick first when she does? A woman lost in Middle Earth wearing only her pyjamas. This can't be good... (STRONG language; NOT a M-Sue)
    Lord of the Rings - Rated: T - English - Humor/Angst - Chapters: 27 - Words: 136,860 - Reviews: 1266 - Favs: 1,868 - Follows: 305 - Updated: 3/27/2004 - Published: 1/17/2004
    The Game of the Gods by Limyaael reviews
    COMPLETE Morgoth and Varda are playing a little game. Morgoth's weapon: Mary Sues. Varda's weapon: Reality. Rated for violence and Vala OOCness.
    Lord of the Rings - Rated: T - English - Parody/Adventure - Chapters: 35 - Words: 73,692 - Reviews: 777 - Favs: 792 - Follows: 77 - Updated: 11/25/2003 - Published: 9/13/2003 - Complete
    A Boy, A Girl, & A Dog: The Leithian Script by Philosopher At Large reviews
    The Deed of Beren & Luthien (& Huan) retold in the vernacular w/apologies to Messrs Shakespeare & Tolkien. 8/10Act IV.V.xx
    Silmarillion - Rated: K+ - English - Drama/Humor - Chapters: 8 - Words: 560,494 - Reviews: 77 - Favs: 52 - Follows: 9 - Updated: 8/11/2003 - Published: 5/6/2002
    Firimar by Ithilwen of Himring reviews
    Do the Elves in Aman ever look back at Middle Earth? Silmarillion-based.
    Silmarillion - Rated: K - English - Chapters: 1 - Words: 919 - Reviews: 14 - Favs: 11 - Published: 4/16/2002