Sep. 15th, 2011

bobthemole: (Default)
After a brief hiatus in which I pulled one all-nighter to make a presentation, and another all-nighter to grade assignments, I hereby present the first of tonight's many celebrations of Tonks.

Since this entire festival is about celebrating women who face the ire of some branch of fandom, I thought I'd explore why Tonks - despite her Awesome - is subjected to the indignities of fandom wank.

Tonks, simply put, is awesome. She is about as hip as wizards get, her hair can turn luscious shades of plum and rose, and she is a certified badass in her position as an Auror. This makes her, in some eyes, too good to be true. The charge of being a "Mary Sue" has been laid against her for this reason.

The concept of the Mary Sue has a long and convoluted history. It started out as a criticism of poorly characterized and unconvincingly perfect self-insertions by naive authors, but became a disparaging label for any female character with an "excessive" number of positive qualities. Paradoxically, most male characters with similar positive traits aren't criticized in the same fashion.

Many people counter-argue that interesting female characters like Tonks are dismissed as Mary Sues because of the lingering sexist belief that women have limited capabilities, and any highly capable woman is automatically incredible.

Another reason for dismissing female characters is if they pose a threat to the critic's preferred OTP. In Tonks' case, she was criticized for marrying Remus Lupin who is popularly shipped with Sirius Black.

As someone who was involved in the Remus/Sirius slash fandom, I encountered a distressing number of fics in which Tonks was characterized as a usurper who came between the two men - despite the fact that Sirius died before Tonks and Remus began their relationship.

I think these are inadequate reasons for hating on Tonks. Sure, she's got physical features and traits found in many self-inserts, but she doesn't take over the narrative. She isn't the most complex character in the series, but as she's a background figure there aren't many opportunities to reveal her inner life. As for her "interference" with the Remus/Sirius pairing, to criticize her for that is to reduce her to her relationships and she deserves better.
bobthemole: (Default)
As much as I love Tonks, while I was in the Remus/Sirius fandom I struggled with my desire to see Tonks happy AND give Remus and Sirius a Happily Ever After. This was a bit difficult on account of all three characters being dead at the end of Book 7. I was too much of a canon-junkie to resurrect them all and create an AU threesome.

J.K. Rowling did me a favor by temporarily killing Harry Potter in Deathly Hallows and giving him a vision of the afterlife complete with a misty replica of King's Cross Station. With a canon afterlife I could easily give my favorite pairing their cozy domesticity, and compensate Tonks for the rich full life that was taken from her.

Also I like trains.

Title: Charon's Train
Author: Bob the Mole
Words: 2536
http://archiveofourown.org/works/119657

This is the first fanfic I ever wrote. I still think it's one of my best.
bobthemole: (Default)
The sequel to Charon's Train was Terminus, in which I have Sirius and Remus meet up in the afterlife.

It's not my best work (too sentimental, unfortunate present tense use) and Tonks isn't actually in it. But my favorite part is when Sirius and Remus speculate on Tonks' whereabouts after the events of Charon's Train. I've excerpted that bit below. It's short.

Cut for spoilers... )

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