I want an AU in which the Winter Soldier doesn’t remember anything (apart from a vague sense of familiarity sometimes) and he deliberately impersonates Bucky.
He choses to do that because with his handlers gone he has nowhere to go, and he remembers Steve’s adamant refusal to hurt him, and this unbearable anomaly is the first thing that shocked him in seventy years, the first thing that actually makes him think.
He gathers information from the Smithsonian, textbooks, archives, the internet, and then lets Steve find him. He admits that his memories were wiped, but his perceptive, serum-enhanced brain is quick at picking up details from Steve’s remarks, to tease out the right answer from the question itself. The first time Steve asks him something he really can’t answers he is terrified to say ‘i don’t know’ and astonished that Steven doesn’t punish him for it, just smiles a little sadly. It takes him weeks to realize that he cannot get caught, he cannot make mistakes because Steve will accept whatever he says and forgive him whenever he is weak and he doesn’t get it, he doesn’t get it but he wants it more than he can say.
He feels more and more guilty about the lie he built, and if it was only for his own good, he would already have come clean. But Steve takes care of him, gives him nice-tasting food and a warm bed to sleep in and a shower where he can rinse seventy years off blood off his skin and a steady hand on his shoulder, and the least he can do for Steve is to give him his friend back. He has a new mission now and that is pleasing Steve - he watches Steve for nostalgic smiles and cold disappointment, and he trains himself like people train dogs, teaching himself broad smiles and coarse language just so Steve can believe he has his friend back.
THE IRON KING: “This is the original Game of Thrones" —George R.R. Martin
Martin says one of his main inspirations was not fantasy, but a series of novels set in medieval France, little known or read in the English language. Les Rois Maudits (The Accursed Kings) was written by Maurice Druon between the mid-1950s and the 1970s. It’s a seven-volume saga chronicling the dynastic fight for the French throne in the early part of the 14th Century, culminating in the Hundred Years War.
You know, reading GRRM’s interviews, I find it really REALLY interesting how you see a lot of his own viewpoints reflected in a rather unlikely character (though perhaps it’s just because I often find myself reading a shitton on said character)
GRRM on Woodrow Wilson
He was despicable on racial issues. He was a Southern segregationist of the worst stripe, praising D.W. Griffith and The Birth of a Nation… however… in terms of foreign affairs, and the League of Nations, he had one of the great dreams of our time. The war to end all wars – we make fun of it now, but God, it was an idealistic dream. If he’d been able to achieve it, we’d be building statues of him a hundred feet high, and saying, “This was the greatest man in human history: This was the man who ended war.” He was a racist who tried to end war. Now, does one cancel out the other? Well, they don’t cancel out the other. You can’t make him a hero or a villain. He was both. And we’re all both.”
Stannis Baratheon on human nature
A good act does not wash out the bad, nor a bad act the good. Each should have its own reward. You were a hero and a smuggler.
GRRM on religion
And as for the gods, I’ve never been satisfied by any of the answers that are given. If there really is a benevolent loving god, why is the world full of rape and torture? Why do we even have pain? I was taught pain is to let us know when our body is breaking down. Well, why couldn’t we have a light? Like a dashboard light? If Chevrolet could come up with that, why couldn’t God? Why is agony a good way to handle things?
Stannis Baratheon on religion
I stopped believing in gods the day I saw the Windproud break up across the bay. Any gods so monstrous as to drown my mother and father would never have my worship, I vowed. The Septon would prattle at me of how all justice and goodness flowed from the Seven, but all I ever saw of either was made by men.
GRRM on truth
Truth is sometimes hard to hear…
Stannis Baratheon on truth
The truth is a bitter draught at times…
And these are just three quotes off the top of my head, though IMHO, they do reflect some pretty big stances.
“When you call a rape anything but rape, you are just making excuses for rapists”—"From college campuses to Game of Thrones, why the sudden urge to re-name sexual assault?" asks Jessica Valenti » (via guardian)
“No, I don’t think so. I think he thinks it’s strange. Then again, the circumstances are weird. Bucky gets rescued by this new Steve. For all we know, Bucky is on an operating table thinking he might never come out. That he might never again see the light of day. So for him, every time he comes back from war, he’s like, “Here’s another chance to think whether it’s worth going back. I’m alive. I’m here for one night. I want to live life.” I don’t think it’s jealousy so much, but he doesn’t really have much of a choice because I think for him there’s an element of, “Okay I’m going to go fight and I will survive this one mission and then I’ll come back and I’ll not go back.” But the problem is that he has no choice because Steve’s going and he never lets Steve go by himself. So I think the protective nature of a parent or a brother was was always there. It wasn’t like, “Steve’s this muscle guy and I want to be him.” It’s more like, “Oh god—he’s grown up and what do I do?””—Sebastian Stan’s response to Do you think Bucky almost wishes he was the one turned into a super soldier? (x)
As you might imagine, I walked into Captain America 2 ready to get my Soviet Russia on. The Winter Soldier run is one of my favorites in—well, in any comic, really, and from what I’d seen in the trailers and whatnot, it looked like we were going to get a heaping dose of what makes that series so special and so sobering: the bloodstained underbelly of Soviet international politics, a glimpse at the way men and women were fed into the meat grinder of the State, pulped for the greater glory of their nation. In Bucky we’d see a drafted soldier kidnapped, brainwashed, and streamlined into the perfect machine. Not an ideal Soviet man, far from it; but a tool, utilitarian and dispassionate, with the five-pointed martial star on his shoulder; the awful triumph of the State over so-called human frailty.
And we did, we got all of that—insofar that you can’t have a Winter Soldier without those things. But as I watched, it became increasingly clear that this movie wasn’t looking to talk about the Soviet Union. There is a reason Bucky only speaks Russian once in the entire film. There’s a reason he’s never addressed in it. There’s a reason his code name is drawn from an investigation into one of the ugliest chapters of American history. And there is a reason that the movie takes this snarling, mechanized, indiscriminate killing machine and explicitly sets him up as Captain America’s other half.
I’ve seen some reviews going after the film for pulling its punches, of holding up the Greatest Generation as America’s past, and a polluted security branch as its future, absolving it of responsibility for its actions in both cases. It’s HYDRA now and “sacrifices for freedom” then; why aren’t we interrogating ourselves a little harder?
My answer to that is: we did, and the movie is named after what we found.
The Winter Soldier is concerned with security and international supremacy, and the moral compromises America has made (and continues to make) in pursuit of both. It draws a straight line from WWII America to the modern day, where “we did some things we weren’t proud of” becomes drone warfare and Big Brother. Steve is at one end of this timeline, Nick Fury at the other. There’s a chasm of about fifty years between the two points. That’s where the Winter Soldier steps in.
This film is haunted by an American war, yes. But not the one Steve fought in. The Cold War was “a battle for the soul of mankind”, waged across millions of hearts and minds, and it’s a patched-over burn in the American psyche, barely healed and still tender to the touch. We emerged on the other side of forty-four years as the world’s one and only superpower. And it fucking cost us.
McCarthyism saw Americans turning on one another, fueled by snarling, indiscriminate paranoia. Operation Paperclip recruited Nazi scientists to keep German technology out of Soviet hands. Vietnam, with its thousands dead, was fought to keep the dominoes of Communism from falling across Asia. America, augmented by an unimaginable weapon and ruthlessly militarized, spied, ordered assassinations, irradiated its own children, and dragged the world to the brink of nuclear holocaust. All for the sake of security.
The Winter Soldier is that America.
Inhuman, bionic, unfeeling, unthinking, the perfect weapon: a creature of progress, powered by pure ideology. The mind wipes? Decades of propaganda in its purest, most undiluted form, administered directly to the brain. The arm? I know a nuclear metaphor when I see one.
If Cap is the potential of America, what we should never stop striving for, the Winter Soldier is what became of us when we fell desperately short. He is what we did to ourselves.
In many ways this film is a ghost story, and like all good ghost stories, it holds up the tragedy of our mistakes and begs us not to repeat them. What SHIELD proposes—Project Insight—is assured destruction, a level of control over a population not exercised since we were staring Russia down over a launch pad. And so the Winter Soldier appears, the long cold shadow of America’s past, and crashes into the hope for its future with the ring of a metal fist against a shield.
Cap can’t destroy him, what’s done is done. Bucky can’t be unwounded, or given back his stolen time; the blood on his hands won’t be scrubbed out. But they can walk slowly together, one helping the other stand.
Steve can’t progress without Bucky, just as, the film seems to say, America itself is doomed to fester unless it looks to its past and acknowledges what it has done; the things it has ground into dust in the name of a higher cause. In the MCU, the only way Captain America’s country will move forward is if it swears to never, ever go back.
white people’s reactions to that post criticising Lucy makes me so fucking angry. More than that, it makes me trust them a little bit less.
fuck that whole “yes it’s problematic but I’m still excited!” because it is so much bullshit. Yeah, who cares about POC getting slaughtered and the violent linguistic imperialism BECAUSE ~STRONG WHITE FEMALE CHARACTER~. Apparently, POC’s deaths are less rage-inducing and less meaningful to white allies if a white woman is killing them instead of a white man.
To us, it’s still same white violence we see impeached everyday.
A white woman literally shoots a man in the head for not speaking English. Never mind the danger and oppression non-native English speakers face in the West, this took place in his home country. White expats are given so much fucking priority in Taiwan and China, with the way they’re catered to and coddled.
The kind of neo-imperialistic violence that this film is couching as ~female empowerment~ is really, really fucking harmful. White people have privilege in non-Western countries as well (the shit I’ve seen expats and exchange students get away with in China is astounding), to the extent that we aren’t even safe from harm in our own countries; this film not only ignores it, it glorifies it.
don’t you ever fucking forget that, because we can’t.
Part of having privilege means being able to watch and enjoy media that is harmful to marginalised minorities and still be critical of it, but when this dehumanisation is shoved in our faces, white people need to remember that this is so, so personal.
" I can enjoy problematic media and still be critical of it ” has always applies to microaggressions. It ends the moment it perpetuates the violent dehumanization towards people who face the same fucking thing in real life.
Women who are claiming this movie is feminist and empowering are welcome to explain to me how it’s empowering for me to see the glorified murders of people who look like they could be related to me.