9/25/2013 UR: "Prince Anax, Part 2"

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This thread is for discussion of this week's Uncharted Realms, which goes live Wednesday morning on magicthegathering.com.

You know what's made me inordinately happy about this story? The casual homosexuality. First of all, yeah, it's Sparta (which was, technically ephebophilia, but who's splitting hairs here?), but just slipping it in and spending a tiny amount of text on Anax's gaze just adds so much wonderful subtext and complexity to the story and it's Magic and my identity and it makes me squee just a tiny bit and thank you.

This story does a good job of tying in a moral message, and although that sounds cliche, it's not just that the younger brother tried the dangerous knee move. Instead Tom ties in more subtle things such as the support of friends, and the willing help of a crippled old man as being worth more then the hired training of a egoistic champion.

The personal development of Alex from prince to the next king is communicated excellently in the contrast of Anex's actions in parts 1 and 2. In part one "He flashed his best princely grin.", while in the closing lines "Anax wanted very much to shout with triumph, or at least to smile. But that is not what a king does, so he did not."

The only aspect that did not strike a strong point with me was the artwork of Lash of the Whip. Such a cruel black card rendered a tormenting nature into the actions of the Akroan king. Perhapes Tom intended the audience to think that Timoteus actually intended to break Anax's leg? Carrying this further, did Anax intend to ridicule his brother in order to sucure his position on the throne?

"Anax put a mask of haughty disappointment onto his own", and then asks the crowd (in an indirect way) "but who would want to serve a king who crippled his own brother?"

I'm not saying that the character is portrayed as black, but a picture tells a thousand words, and some of those words contrasted agaisnt my original envision of Anax. Luckily, the words written into the story are worth at least 5 normal words, so not too much damage done (smiley).

Overall, one of the best multi part stories in the uncharted realms.

 

Silverhawk100 wrote:

You know what's made me inordinately happy about this story? The casual homosexuality. First of all, yeah, it's Sparta (which was, technically ephebophilia, but who's splitting hairs here?), but just slipping it in and spending a tiny amount of text on Anax's gaze just adds so much wonderful subtext and complexity to the story and it's Magic and my identity and it makes me squee just a tiny bit and thank you.

 

Indeed, though I feel it's a tad too subtle.

IMAGE(http://www.wizards.com/global/images/mtgcom_daily_mc52_picMain_en.jpg)IMAGE(http://images.community.wizards.com/community.wizards.com/user/blitzschnell/73821e61e013eadf56a8e4e2226d89a3.jpg?v=90000)

The interesting thing to me is that Anax is portrayed as a *devious* character. He tempts his brother into doing the wrong thing, and then uses that to his advantage. As you say, that's a bit more black than I'd expect, although the fact that he's doing it for the good of the nation makes it white.

I love this story, it's pure mythology (wise old mentor, cunning plan, the villain hoisted by his own petard), but with a very modern twist regarding manipulation of crowds and societies.

I noticed that there wasn't a single female character in this story. That seems like an odd choice, especially since Theros itself did an excellent job including female characters on cards.

 

edit: Actually, the Setassan ambassador is a woman. My apologies to Tom for not reading more carefully!

 

Goblin Artisans
a Magic: the Gathering design blog
Considering that women had no part of the Roman arena scene, I'd say that the lack of women (save for Anax's mother and the mention of Anax's potential wife) was thematically accurate.

Silverhawk100 wrote:

You know what's made me inordinately happy about this story? The casual homosexuality. First of all, yeah, it's Sparta (which was, technically ephebophilia, but who's splitting hairs here?), but just slipping it in and spending a tiny amount of text on Anax's gaze just adds so much wonderful subtext and complexity to the story and it's Magic and my identity and it makes me squee just a tiny bit and thank you.

I'm not seeing it.

It was a lot more overt in the first part.

 

"erdana, sans-serif">Naked as they were, they were on display for everyone to see. No one made a show of looking, but there was no shortage of sideways glances from the men who would follow them into battle in half a decade."

 

But, it was there in the rather loving description of Timoteus' teacher, and that then dictated some wonderful subtext in Zotikos' relationship with Anax.

Wonderful story, just the right elements of parable that needs to go into something like this. I love the focus of the story, to be sure.

 

I like how it's not the story of How Anax Met Cymede, because not many want that. I'm glad it evolved in a different direction, and I'm glad she didn't show up during his childhood somewhere in this story-- it would have just felt contrived and unnecessary. And so yes, if there's any part I would cut, it would be the last monologue.

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