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Old 08-30-2019, 07:57 PM
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Anyone else watching Carnival Row?


New series from Amazon, Victoria era urban fantasy. So far I've only caught the first episode although all 8 dropped at once.
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Old 08-31-2019, 01:11 AM
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Not yet, but plan to get into it this weekend!
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Old 08-31-2019, 05:13 AM
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How was the first episode?

I'm gonna watch, but probably not til next weekend.
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Old 08-31-2019, 07:15 PM
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Quite fun, interesting world-building. Bit heavy handed with their messages. Also, could we please stop the rumour that Orlando Bloom is in any way good looking?
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Old 09-01-2019, 05:54 AM
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Orlando Bloom is not bad looking, even if he's not to your taste.

You do get a sense of there being a wider world than what you see, histories and peoples mentioned in passing but not deeply explored. It's a bit of an anachronism stew but since it's a fantasy that doesn't matter.

I'm five episodes in and enjoying myself. There's definitely some dark aspects to the story, but given it's about war and refugees and prejudice that's hardly surprising. There are a couple twists along the way, and I suspect the story would look different on a second viewing because you'd know which of the details were foreshadowings or connected in advance..

One thing I don't think gets addressed too often in stories about severe prejudice is the issue of passing as the dominant group, and of people who are "halfbloods". Since I'm not entirely through the story I'm not entirely sure where they're going with it. (No open spoilers, please, since several people aren't planning to watch for a week or two).
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Old 09-01-2019, 11:43 AM
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We've started watching it. I like it quite a bit so far, but it literally very dark. Mu husband commented that we should watch it only at night, because things were hard to make out.
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Old 09-02-2019, 05:57 PM
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Just finished it.

Wow. There are some VERY evil people in that world. And they win this round.

There are a few hope spots. Very much would like to see a second season.

I did, however, find the frequent use of the work "fucking" in the context of a pseudo-Victorian society quite jarring.
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Old 09-02-2019, 06:50 PM
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I did, however, find the frequent use of the work "fucking" in the context of a pseudo-Victorian society quite jarring.
Google says the word fuck originated in the 1500s.
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Old 09-02-2019, 07:56 PM
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It's not what I typically associate with Victorian English. Then again, most of the Victorian English I'm familiar with is the printed word, and "fuck" has long been considered "unprintable". Given that much of Carnival Row concerns criminals, war, and slums it's probably not that out of place, I'm just not used to it in that context.

That, and I can't stop associating the Haruspex with the Borg Queen. The actress has a very distinctive voice to me.
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Old 09-02-2019, 08:08 PM
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So it's like Victorian Deadwood? I may have to check this out.
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Old 09-02-2019, 08:42 PM
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I haven't gotten around to watching Deadwood so I can't say, but maybe you'll watch it and let me know if that's a fair comparison?

There are also some real heartbreaking moments, like when Philo finds the recording of "I'll Fly for You"/lullaby and there's a montage of his memories as a young boy in the foundling home.

SPOILER:
Also, the scene where the infant Philo's wings are amputated is pretty wrenching, I mean, it's a scene of a baby having limbs cut off him without anesthesia, it's pretty damn horrible. The Puck housekeeper seems to be telling herself that the boy's wings were undersized and he probably wouldn't be able to fly anyhow, but I got the impression that was more to ease her thoughts about cutting his wings off than necessarily true. We don't know that Philo's wings wouldn't have been able to carry him, we don't see any other half-Pix (that we're aware of), and it's already been established that Philo feels their lack.

On a less gory note, Vignette's discovery that the library she had sealed to keep hidden was not only discovered, it had been entirely moved to an auction house with bits on display/for sale... but forbidden for Fae to visit, by that time in the story you understand just how horrible that is for her.


Lots of big themes in the series, woven into the story: refugees, prejudice, classism, cultural appropriation/commercialization, fanaticism, and so on.

Amazon has apparently greenlit a season 2.
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Old 09-02-2019, 11:25 PM
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I watched the first episode. It was simply ok. I'll keep it on the back of my watchlist.
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Old 09-03-2019, 12:10 AM
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I've got two episodes left. I really like it.

I can't help but compare it to the Netflix movie, Bright, about humans, fairies, orcs, and other 'fantasy' creatures living together--though in modern times rather than a Victorian-like era. There are similar themes in both works regarding racism, oppression, segregation, and classism. I only sorta liked Bright, and I think Carnival Row is better in most respects. Granted, as a series it has much more time to world-build and develop its story than Bright had.

Orlando Bloom is good as the world-weary police detective, and I've been impressed with Cara Delavingne as Vignette. I've only seen her previously in Suicide Squad and Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets, neither of which left me with much opinion on her acting. She's very good in this and her character tends to wear her heart on her sleeve so she displays some range.

And it was great to see Jared Harris (Fringe, The Expanse, Chernobyl) in this. He's always really good. The way his part of the story is going, though, I worry his character's son and/or wife may want him out of the way.

Looking forward to the last two episodes, and I'm glad to hear it's already been renewed for season 2. With this and The Boys (along with a few other shows) Amazon is starting to rival Netflix for me in terms of their original series offerings.
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Old 09-03-2019, 10:22 AM
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I watched the first episode. It's not terrible. But that's the best I can say of it. It looks good, and the story is a pro-diversity tale, which obviously the world needs right now. Even the pixie-winged Fae were actually kind of cool.

But the story was a series of clichés. And the characters were also clichés. The actors do a decent job with what they have, but the script is just just an excuse for some cool visuals, and the characters did all kinds of nonsensical stuff - why run from danger when you can literally fly? - and I just didn't feel like I was watching real people and situations.

It isn't terrible, it's just not, in my opinion, very good. Maybe it gets better, I don't know. I just can't raise much interest in seeing episode 2.
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Old 09-03-2019, 11:18 AM
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But the story was a series of clichés. And the characters were also clichés.
Yes and no - there are a few plot twists where you find out characters are not who/what you thought they were, but you don't see that until your past the first episode.

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why run from danger when you can literally fly?
I think the net of barbed wire strung above the woods with dead/decaying pixies dangling from it might have had something to do with all the running you see initially.

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and I just didn't feel like I was watching real people and situations.
Well, it's fantasy so some it will be, um, fantastical. If it's not your cup of tea that's OK, no one like everything.

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It isn't terrible, it's just not, in my opinion, very good. Maybe it gets better, I don't know. I just can't raise much interest in seeing episode 2.
I thought things improved considerably as the story moved along but if it doesn't engage you then by all means watch something you enjoy more.
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Old 09-03-2019, 01:08 PM
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I'm up to episode 6 and I'm enjoying it. I like the steampunk feel of it, the story is interesting, there are a few different story arcs. It is dark and a bit more gory than I'm used to in shows I watch, but not too awful (so far?). Does anyone else use the Amazon Prime X-Ray feature to see who the actors are and the little paragraphs with explanations and more of the background story?
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Old 09-03-2019, 01:41 PM
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We're currently about half-way through. Enjoying it. It does seem as though someone took a spinner to a selection of show elements to put it together, though.

"Let's see ..." [spins] "... steampunk ..." [spins] "... murder mystery ..." [spins] "... faeries ... ? What the hell, let's go with it."
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Old 09-03-2019, 05:25 PM
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I'm up to episode 6 and I'm enjoying it. I like the steampunk feel of it, the story is interesting, there are a few different story arcs. It is dark and a bit more gory than I'm used to in shows I watch, but not too awful (so far?). Does anyone else use the Amazon Prime X-Ray feature to see who the actors are and the little paragraphs with explanations and more of the background story?
Yes! I'm beginning to like the X-ray more and more. I love that it's there but unobtrusive, so you only need to see it when you want to use it, and if you'd rather watch without it that's no problem.
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Old 09-03-2019, 05:28 PM
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"Let's see ..." [spins] "... steampunk ..." [spins] "... murder mystery ..." [spins] "... faeries ... ? What the hell, let's go with it."
You know, those are some of the most bad-ass pixies I've every heard of. They're not little Tinkerbells or empty-headed little flitting things. You get the idea that they can stand toe-to-toe with any other intelligent critter in the milieu. Definitely a different take than usual on "pixie".
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Old 09-03-2019, 09:56 PM
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Does anyone else use the Amazon Prime X-Ray feature to see who the actors are and the little paragraphs with explanations and more of the background story?
Yes, all the time, and it drives me insane that neither Netflix nor Hulu give any cast info at all beyond the top two leads. Prime really does a lot of things right.
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Old 09-03-2019, 10:08 PM
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One thing I'm really loving is the artistry in everything, from the costumes, to the furniture, the artwork and the fabrics. It's all so lush and rich, it's like they emptied a castle or museum to use on the sets.
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Old 09-03-2019, 10:18 PM
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Yes, all the time, and it drives me insane that neither Netflix nor Hulu give any cast info at all beyond the top two leads. Prime really does a lot of things right.
Amazon owns IMDB, so it has easy access to all that information including headshots of actors, biographies, etc.
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Old 09-03-2019, 10:45 PM
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That makes sense, but they could at least include the cast names (and director) like my cable system does. If I search for a title on my cable system it gives a cast list of the top dozen or so actors.
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Old 09-03-2019, 10:58 PM
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It's an interesting diversion, the only problem I see with the Satyrs ("Pucks") is any wide shots I see of them walking give me a distinct "Torgo" vibe (Torgo was supposedly supposed to be a "Satyr" in "Manos"), I think it's their big knees...

I wonder if the Master would Approve of Carnival Row?

and yes you now will all also hear the "haunting.... Torgo theme" whenever you see a Satyr on screen... you're welcome! <evil grin>

Deeeeep HUUUURTING... DEEEEEEEP HUURTING!

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Old 09-04-2019, 04:49 AM
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What about the molefish?

Do darkashers have any awareness or feeling, or are they just automatons?
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Old 09-04-2019, 09:13 AM
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We've started watching it. I like it quite a bit so far, but it literally very dark. Mu husband commented that we should watch it only at night, because things were hard to make out.
Yes, agreed. It is very hard to see.

The sound mix is quite muddy, too. Effects and music really loud, then can't hear the dialogue.

But it is interesting, and what I can see is beautiful.
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Old 09-04-2019, 09:23 AM
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You know, those are some of the most bad-ass pixies I've every heard of. They're not little Tinkerbells or empty-headed little flitting things. You get the idea that they can stand toe-to-toe with any other intelligent critter in the milieu. Definitely a different take than usual on "pixie".
Well, of course. They're Irish.
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Old 09-04-2019, 02:58 PM
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Kinda' like Sookie Sackhouse in True Blood?, actually, CR has a lot of similarities with TB, just different mythical beings.

does CR have vampires/werewolves/zombies? or is it the more classic mythical creatures (pixies, satyr, Kobolds, etc... (Kobolds, hmm, like Harry Potter House Elves?)

Mythical Kombat!
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Old 09-04-2019, 03:10 PM
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does CR have vampires/werewolves/zombies?
As of the penultimate episode of season 1: no vampires, a kind of werewolf, and something I could classify as more golem than zombie.
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Old 09-04-2019, 03:15 PM
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does CR have vampires/werewolves/zombies? or is it the more classic mythical creatures (pixies, satyr, Kobolds, etc... (Kobolds, hmm, like Harry Potter House Elves?)
No vampires (at least not that we've seen), but there is a werewolf-like "curse" called a marrok, and the darkasher I mentioned is a sort of franken-undead - it's a creature assembled out of other dead creatures. According to one person who can make them they are have no awareness of their own, but who really knows?

They have pucks (satyrs/fauns), centaurs, pix (pixies), kobolds, and trow (trolls) that are named types we've seen so far. The kobolds may or may not be particularly intelligent - they might be highly trainable animals, or differently intelligent people, it's a bit ambiguous.

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Old 09-04-2019, 10:13 PM
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I think it's different than True Blood myself. That became overwrought and shock drama. CR has an actual story.
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Old 09-04-2019, 11:01 PM
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^I agree. True Blood was very campy, while this has a more somber tone. Also, while there were tensions between humans and the vamps/werewolves/etc. in True Blood, there was not the stark social stratification that we see in Carnival Row where virtually all the 'critch' are second-class citizens or worse.
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Old 09-05-2019, 01:56 AM
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I've seen episode 1 and will continue watching. I like a bit of Elfpunk, haven't really had too much since my Falkenstein game ended.

The showrunners for this would be a good pick to do a The Iron Dragon's Daughter movie...
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Old 09-05-2019, 08:39 AM
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Finished it last night, and I think there's also a touch of Cthulhu tossed into the mix, as well.
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Old 09-06-2019, 04:57 AM
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Well, of course. They're Irish.
Welsh (they said they were from Annwn). Maybe some of them are Irish; they implied there were several kingdoms, and mentioned the Morrigan in passing.
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Old 09-06-2019, 05:05 AM
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They actually spell it Announ... probably because most of the people watching the show wouldn't know how to pronounce Annwn. It's probably a mix of Irish/Welsh/other influences for the Pix.
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Old 09-06-2019, 08:38 AM
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They actually spell it Announ... probably because most of the people watching the show wouldn't know how to pronounce Annwn. It's probably a mix of Irish/Welsh/other influences for the Pix.
According to the subtitles, they spell it Anoun. Mrs. ToKnow noticed that it looked like they used a place holder ("well, the name for the place clearly needs to be a noun ...") and it just stuck.

And Tirnanoc comes from Tír na nÓg, in Irish mythology. Yes, there's absolutely a mix of references and allusions to Earth cultures in the fictional races and places, but I still think the Irish Diaspora is the central one for the Fae.
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Old 09-06-2019, 08:59 AM
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Welsh (they said they were from Annwn). Maybe some of them are Irish; they implied there were several kingdoms, and mentioned the Morrigan in passing.
The whole Fae island/continent is Tirnanoc, Anoun is just one country there. And the accent is definitely Irish.

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Old 09-06-2019, 08:57 PM
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According to the subtitles, they spell it Anoun. Mrs. ToKnow noticed that it looked like they used a place holder ("well, the name for the place clearly needs to be a noun ...") and it just stuck.

And Tirnanoc comes from Tír na nÓg, in Irish mythology. Yes, there's absolutely a mix of references and allusions to Earth cultures in the fictional races and places, but I still think the Irish Diaspora is the central one for the Fae.
If they are going to use "real" names in their subtitles/fantasy maps, they couldn't bother to check the spelling? Or have a Celtic consultant on board? Seems a tad disrespectful.

BTW the winged Pixie people kept freaking me out whenever they appeared. Their wings are obviously too way too small to fly, so, OK, they are magic, but why would magic folk need physical wings to fly? Maybe it wasn't the magic wings so much as the CG animation; it just looked strange.
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Old 09-06-2019, 10:20 PM
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I noticed that burgh/borough is spelled "Burgue". So maybe the wacky spellings are deliberate? (E.g., how precisely did they end up with "Fomhoire" rather than Fomoire or Fomhóraigh?)
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Old 09-06-2019, 10:56 PM
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Forgot to add, specifically marked are "High Bresail" (heh) and "Purampet". What is that last one?
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Old 09-07-2019, 03:29 AM
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If they are going to use "real" names in their subtitles/fantasy maps, they couldn't bother to check the spelling?
I'm pretty sure it's deliberate, to fictionalize everything (since it's not set on Earth anyway).
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Seems a tad disrespectful.
How so?
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Forgot to add, specifically marked are "High Bresail" (heh) and "Purampet". What is that last one?
It's a town, but in the Faun/Puck homeland of Puyan on the continent of Ignota, not Tirnanoc. They don't seem to have a Celtic place naming thing going on there.
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Old 09-07-2019, 05:11 AM
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BTW the winged Pixie people kept freaking me out whenever they appeared. Their wings are obviously too way too small to fly, so, OK, they are magic, but why would magic folk need physical wings to fly?
Directional control? Maybe they magically levitate but need the winds to go in different directions rather than float like balloons at the mercy of the wind?
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Old 09-07-2019, 05:21 AM
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I'm pretty sure it's deliberate, to fictionalize everything (since it's not set on Earth anyway).

How so?
I take it back. At first I thought they were mangling the spelling out of ignorance, like they couldn't be bothered to take even a passing interest in Celtic languages and mythology, which would have been a bit disrespectful, but it's quite deliberate— and, evidently, successful — at creating the uncanny effect that something is out of kilter. Especially since I cannot put my finger on the system behind the funny spellings. "Ignota" seems like perfectly spelled Latin, for instance. (Good old Terra Ignota)
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It's a town, but in the Faun/Puck homeland of Puyan on the continent of Ignota, not Tirnanoc. They don't seem to have a Celtic place naming thing going on there.
I gathered that, but what mythological island/city/realm does it represent?

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Old 09-07-2019, 05:37 AM
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Directional control? Maybe they magically levitate but need the winds to go in different directions rather than float like balloons at the mercy of the wind?
Considering their fear of getting their wings clipped, we see they need them whole, intact, and unbound or they just fall, like the insect wings they are modelled after. I know I was giving the matter too much thought, and they are just meant to be normal flying winged magic fairy people
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Old 09-07-2019, 06:41 AM
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OK, there's a bunch of stuff wrong with the wings from a real world standpoint.

1) When not extended they're flopping, like fabric (I suspect as part of a costume they are fabric or a plastic sheet of some sort). Detached wings are also floppy. I recall reading somewhere that they are "hydrostatic", by which I assume that fluid in the wing veins make them stiff and that when flying they are stiff and when not flying the fluid goes elsewhere, leaving the wings floppy. Not entirely unrealistic - the human penis works in a similar manner - but it seems to happen very rapidly and makes the wings very stiff, which would require extremely high (for a biological organism) pressure changing extremely rapidly.

2) They're nowhere near large enough to support a human body, or anything like a human body, much less additional weight which we occasionally see them do (carrying babies, or wounded comrades). At least we never see them glide, which would be totally impossible with those wings - if a pix is flying her wings are beating.

3) When a pix is viewed from the back without clothing we can get a look at the wing attachments. The points are small, you really have to wonder how a human-sized body can be suspended from such small points without problems or pain, but let's assume there is some anatomical thing going on allowing it. There don't seem to be any additional muscles for flight (well, we are dealing with human actors) that we can see, and flight muscles are huge on any flying animal. During an autopsy scene a mention is made of a flight muscle, but it's not something we can see. Given that it's implied even a full pix can pass as human with a bit of cosmetic surgery presumably the average human in Carnival Row can't see it, either. Presumably, there are anatomical differences that doctors and anatomists can easily identify, hence a prominent half-fae passing as human being told all his life to avoid doctors at all costs, but we the viewer aren't privy to them.

4) Flying is enormously energy intensive. Hovering even more so (which is why the only hovering real life flyers are tiny). Pix should be eating constantly to fuel their energy requirements. But they aren't.

With the above I either have to ferociously suspend my disbelief or give up entirely on the pix. So... whether it makes logical sense or not, flight in the pix is dependent on them having intact wings. Maybe their wings function as much to soak up magical energies allowing flight as much as being the means to fly. Half the time they fly they look like limp bodies dangling from wings, so maybe that's not so far-fetched. They don't fly like birds or bats, they fly like insects, but the reason insect flight and mammal/avian flight differ is because size matters in aerodynamics. However the pix fly, it's not by the rules that govern flight in our world. Somehow or other clipping or severing their wings messes up their ability to fly, the exact reasons being inexplicable because we don't understand how they can fly at all in the first place. We just don't know. But in a world like Carnival Row where undead flesh golems like darkashers exist, and divination by reading entrails actually works, I see no reason you can't have magical flight tied to some biological requirements (like having wings) that wouldn't work in our world but are mandatory in their world.
  #47  
Old 09-07-2019, 07:42 AM
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Originally Posted by DPRK View Post
what mythological island/city/realm does it represent?
I don't think everything has a 1-to-1 correspondence with mythical places, but you might be better-off looking at Greek or Roman myths, since they're fauns.
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Old 09-07-2019, 12:02 PM
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IIRC, there was a reference in one of the episodes about Pix having "hollow bones", similar to birds, how much weight savings would be achieved if a humanoid skeleton had similar bone structure to avians?

Most of the pix on screen also seemed to be very slightly built, very thin, i'm assuming an obese Pix would have more difficulty generating enough lift to overcome the weight?
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Last edited by MacTech; 09-07-2019 at 12:02 PM.
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Old 09-07-2019, 01:12 PM
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It made very little sense to me that Vignettes entire library could suddenly show up in the Burgue. The entire premise of the show was that they abandoned the war and left Tirnanoc to the Pact, how did they retake Anoun if they were bailing? If her home was free why wasn't she there?
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Old 09-07-2019, 06:09 PM
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Originally Posted by MacTech View Post
IIRC, there was a reference in one of the episodes about Pix having "hollow bones", similar to birds, how much weight savings would be achieved if a humanoid skeleton had similar bone structure to avians?
Let's start with actual human skeletons - adult human skeletons tend to be around 16 (women) to 22 (men) pounds, or around 8-11kg (yes, I know, those two sets of numbers are not entirely in agreement, but it's a starting point I got to through Google). That's for an adult human weighing between 140-200+ pounds, or 75-100 kg (yes, yes, again, not entirely in agreement but we're talking averages anyway.

Bottom line, even if the skeleton had no weight at all you're not going to save that much weight Most of the weight is things like muscle and internal organs, which can't be made "hollow". Birds cut down further on weight by not doubling certain internal organs, so they have only one functional lung, kidney, testicle/ovary, etc. but that only goes so far

Quote:
Originally Posted by MacTech View Post
Most of the pix on screen also seemed to be very slightly built, very thin, i'm assuming an obese Pix would have more difficulty generating enough lift to overcome the weight?
Let's say the average pix is small, slight, and hollow-boned, with less difference between the genders than in humans. Say... the women are 5 foot tall and the men 5 foot 6. Let's say that a human the same size and body build would be 100 pounds (averaging, again). Let's take 10 pounds from that for "hollow bones" and maybe other weight-saving traits. That's still 90 pounds to launch into the air. There haven't been 90 pounds flying creatures since the pterosaurs died out 65 million years ago. The maximum wing loading of a flying bird these days is around 5 pounds/square foot (25 kg/m2), which means a 90 pound flying critter needs 180 square feet of wing to go aloft (AND some honkin' big flight muscles to go with it). The pix ain't got that, not nearly. Nor are their wings optimized for lift.

If the pix fly (and they do) there must be magic involved somewhere.
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