Take Our Word: Scrolls

ScrollsThe Word

Earlier this week, Bethesda Softworks released its Elder Scrolls Anthology, a collection of all of the games in the Elder Scrolls series released to date, from Arena to Skyrim, downloadable content included. We here at Pop Modern are outspoken fans of these games, especially Oblivion and Skyrim, so we thought it fitting to dedicate our latest collaborative article to the series as a whole. Of course, we’re not going to talk about the games themselves, as that would be far too orthodox and on-the-nose for our taste. Instead, we’re going to throw out some random, “Scrolls”-related pop culture recommendations faster than you can shout “FUS-ROH-DAH!”

The Recommendations


Avatar: The Last Airbender: Who would have thought that Chinese mythology (and the all the scrolls that entails) and a children’s animated series would mesh so well? Despite its reputation for being a kids show, Avatar: The Last Airbender showcased some of the best animation and storytelling on television. In three seasons, it managed to tell a young boy named Aang’s entire journey across a fictional world, and his adventures with the studious Katara and her brash brother Sokka as they help him master all of the elemental arts before the apocalypse. Scrolls actually played a large role in several episodes, with most of them containing some sort of spell or ancient text that could spell the end of the world prematurely if they weren’t destroyed. Besides being visually stunning from start to finish, the writing in The Last Airbender was in a league of its own. Characters reacted to events with maturity and vulnerability, and humor was used only to make some of the show’s darker storylines easier to digest for kids. That didn’t stop them from killing characters, redesigning others from the ground up, and dealing with such heady themes as war, hopelessness, love, family, and betrayal. Anybody looking to show their kids something more intellectually engaging than today’s average animated shows needs to show them The Last Airbender TV show. The 2010 M. Night Shyamalan movie can be skipped, and it’s a disgrace to the creators of its wonderful source material. Just writing about the show makes me want to take the journey with Aang and friends again, even if I know that it ends after three short seasons.
Here’s a link to buy Book One, aka the first broadcasted season of The Last Airbender: http://www.amazon.com/Avatar-Last-Airbender-Complete-Collection/dp/B000FZETI4/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1378779342&sr=8-3&keywords=avatar+the+last+airbender

If you’ve already watched the show and want more canonical adventures of Aang and his friends, the two epilogue comic book series, “The Promise” and “The Search” are both fantastic. Be warned, “The Search” hasn’t actually wrapped up yet, and the last issue ended on a huge cliffhanger: http://www.amazon.com/Avatar-Last-Airbender-Promise-Part/dp/1595828117/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1378779468&sr=1-2&keywords=the+promise and http://www.amazon.com/Avatar-Last-Airbender-Search-Part/dp/1616550546/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1378779491&sr=1-2&keywords=the+search+avatar


Super-Skrull: Here at Pop Modern, we sometimes pretend that we are hard of hearing. Keeping that in mind, today I am recommending the comic Fantastic Four #18, a Marvel comic which introduced the Super-Skrull. This series introduces the leader of the Skrulls, the mortal nemesis of the Human Torch. As such, he has the attributes of the Fantastic Four. His natural appearance is somewhat bizarre, with a flaming arm, a rocky arm, a stretching leg, and an invisible leg. How this benefits him is slightly confusing, but as a character he is still menacing in his own way, capable of shape-shifting, pyrokenesis, invisibility, stretchiness, and strength greater than that of any of the individual Fantastic Four members, in addition to controlling a vast Skrull army. A menacing character, he is one of the most fun villains in the Marvel Multiverse, and a good initial read to get into the Fantastic Four.

This is the character’s page on the Marvel Wiki: http://marvel.wikia.com/Kl%27rt_(Earth-616)

And here’s an Ookla the Mok song to tell you everything you need to know about the Super-Skrull: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kk_tu2MwZDw


Kronos Quartet: In true Take Our Word fashion, I’ve gone with a recommendation that sports the weakest of tangential connections to the topic at hand. You see, I was in my high school’s orchestra, so when I hear “scroll” I think of the curly part at the end of a viola, violin, or cello’s fingerboard. That’s what it’s called after all, the scroll. Anyway, at first I was going to dismiss this instinct, but then the Kronos Quartet came to mind. For those who don’t know, the quartet is a highly-respected, venerable group of string musicians who have been performing together for forty years. Their music is at once expressive, adventurous, and beautiful. The reason I decided to suggest checking out their music for today’s article is that their decidedly epic (a word I use sparingly) sound is perfect ambient music for setting out on a fantastical Elder Scrolls quest. Not that the games don’t already have great soundtracks, but personally when I play video games I usually listen to my own music, and the music of the Kronos Quartet is really the only stuff suitable to kill dragons to.

Here’s a link to the group’s official website: http://www.kronosquartet.org/

You may be familiar with their performance on the Requiem for a Dream soundtrack. If not, check it out: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PpL7YqtD28o

The Round-Up

Clearly, if the entire Elder Scrolls Anthology isn’t entertainment enough for you, there are plenty of other “Scrolls”-related options out there. But hey, if you think we missed anything you can do some scrolling of your own, down to the comments section. Feel free to let us know what you would have added to this list. Beyond that, you can go ahead and follow us on twitter at twitter.com/PopModernBlog for links and articles that we find amusing. You can also stay right here and scroll through this week’s Round-Up, where we’ve put together an Elder Scrolls anthology of our own. It’s a series of Elder Scrolls-related YouTube videos to get you in that questing mood.

Elder Scrolls Lore Series: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d0Od2lbw9N4&list=PL7pGJQV-jlzCPBUy9uAXQUXZ4UBaDLKS5&index=1

“The Good, The Bad, and the Dovahkiin”: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F84oQejFvss

Morrowind Speedrun: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T_fFApDyki4

Oblivion Bug: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fDnnxI_9sPA

Skyrim Trick Shots: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bJDmxtRPoGk

Theme Song Medley: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=adlIBRAy6uM&feature=youtu.be

“Things to Do in: Skyrim“: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RWl-IHKsKdE


Frames of Preference: A Knight’s Tale

A Knight's TaleA Knight’s Tale┬ádeserves more discussion than it has had in the last decade since it was released. In addition to being one of Heath Ledger’s finest roles, it also put a spin on medieval fantasy that wasn’t done as well before 2001. The combination of contemporary music and clothing with the sword and board aesthetic of the Arthurian legend made it a pretty fun action romp. One of the oft-forgotten aspects of the film was how it dealt with the passage of time. In just over two hours, the entire titular knight’s tale is told from childhood to young adulthood, and it wasn’t afraid to cut ahead a year or two when the action slowed down.