Animal companion

Animal sidekicks, which is your favourite?

Hello Wottareaders! This is an article about animal sidekicks. We all love to imagine the lives of the protagonists of the stories we read every day, don’t we? It lets our imagination fly to unsuspected limits. In many of the stories we read, these protagonists are accompanied by animal creatures. Companions whom we take a special affection because they accompany the main character throughout their story helping them in their journey.

It is funny how these characters do not even need to talk in order to earn our affection, isn’t it? We love them because of their loyalty, because of how they take care of their master. These animal sidekicks sometimes are adorable or also funny, this is why companies like Disney use them so often.

Which animal sidekicks am I talking about?

Hedwig- Harry Potter series

I’m referring to such endearing characters as Hedwig, the snowy owl who accompanies Harry Potter throughout his adventure in Hogwarts and, lately, trying to defeat the Dark Lord. Before continuing, if you like Harry Potter you might want to check these books similar to Harry Potter.

Hedwig’s character plays an important role in Harry’s life throughout all the books in the saga. It is a white female owl and is Harry’s 11th birthday present from Hagrid.Throughout his adventure, Hedwig gives Harry messages and packages as well as his company and affection. She shows her devotion for Harry biting his ear or fingers affectionately.

Along the books and films, Hedwig can be seen most of the time on Harry’s arm or shoulder when she’s not resting on her cage or in the Hogwarts owlery. Since the beginning, there is a strong connection between the owl and Harry that is conveyed to us throughout the plot.

Although sometimes she may be angry with Harry, for example, when he left her locked up while Harry is at the Dursleys’ home, thus preventing Harry from exchanging messages with his friends.

Unfortunately,

Spoiler alert
Hedwig’s fate is painful for the reader as she is finally murdered during the Battle over Little Whinging. Here the owl is a camouflaged hero as it saves Hagrid’s life and makes the reader suffer from losing a character so dear to Harry and for us.

Speaking of Harry Potter, did you hear about the prequel story written on a postcard that got stolen?

Guenhwyvar –  The Legend of Drizzt

Another example of an animal sidekick is Guenhwyvar, a black panther who belongs to the universe of Forgotten Realms. This panther belongs to Drizzt Do’Urden, this being lives in an astral plane and accesses the material plane when called by his master using an onyx statuette. If you are willing to read the Legend of Drizzt click here for the proper reading order!

Guenhwyvar was created by the magician elf Anders Beltgarden and was a gift for an elf swordsman. In the story, it is not known how it finally reaches the Dark Antipode where it ends up in the hands of Drizzt Do’Urden finally getting after defeating the evil Masoj Hun’ett.

In the battle, Guenhwyvar is a very important element for his team, formed by Drizzt Do’Urden, Catti-brie, Bruenor, Wulfgar, and Regis.  As he saves the lives of his companions many times. Thanks to his adventures and perfect rapport, Guenhwyvar comes to consider Drizzt as a friend and takes care of and protects him as such.

Ghost – A song of Ice and Fire

It is worth mentioning the appearance of  the six direwolves in A Song of Ice and Fire (known as Game of Thrones if you watch the TV show). These large, strong looking wolves appear when Lord Eddard Stark encounters a dead direwolf wolf with the direwolf cubs around it. Initially, the lives of these wolves are in danger as they consider killing them, but finally, thanks to the intervention of Jon Snow, the little direwolves survive and the five legitimate children of the Stark family adopt them. If you are willing to read Game of Thrones, you better check this article first.

When all of them are distributed, a sixth white pup appears, which is finally adopted by Jon SNow. We talk as many of you know about Ghost which takes on a leading role throughout history. This last direwolf is very different from the others because it is an albino direwolf with red eyes, the smallest of the litter. Ghost accompanies John to the Wall and throughout his adventures in the North helping him to survive while protecting others as Sam Tarly, companion of the Guard of the Night.

Even though Jon is

Spoiler alert
killed by the mutineers of the Nightwatch, Ghost always stood with Jon’s lifeless body which expresses Ghost’s fidelity and love for his master.

 

Gwaihir- The Lord of The Rings

Speaking of wolves (or wargs in Lord of The Rings), we cannot forget to speak about Gwaihir. This is the eagle that appears in the saga of the British writer J. R. R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, which appears for the first time to help and rescue the Company of Thorin, Bilbo Baggins and Gandalf from the attack of the wargs.

This noble eagle descends from Thorondor and is known as the king of eagles in the Third Age of the Sun.

After the attack of the wargs, Gwaihir also participated in the Battle of the Five Armies at the foot of the Lone Mountain.  In this battle he led all the Eagles of the Cloudy Mountains, and fought in favor of Dwarves, Men, and Elves, having a relevant role in that battle.

Gwaihir acquires an important role in helping Gandalf the Grey, who does not hesitate to ask for help his eagle friend.  Gwaihir saves Gandalf from being held captive by Saruman in the Orthanc tower in Isengard as well as helping him to get out of the peak of Zirak-Zigil after the Battle with the Balrog. If you weren’t aware of some of these things you might like to take a look at this article LOTR book vs movie.

 

Surely you know many animal sidekicks like the previous ones! Do not hesitate to comment and tell us your favorite  animal companions!

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Which fantasy

 

Hello Wottareaders! You want to start a new series but don’t know which fantasy saga read next? here you have a fun quiz to know the answer. You only have to answer these 11 questions and let Wottaread make the choice for you. This quiz has more than 25 book sagas to choose, so you will surely find that next saga you have been waiting for.

Want to start reading? then, click and go! your next novel awaits!

Didn’t like the chosen fantasy saga? then you can make the quiz once again! just a quick tip: the less “I don’t mind” answers the better, since more parameters will be taken into account!

 

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Jurassic Park wallpaper

6 movies you didn’t know were based on books

Hello Wottareaders! today I’m bringing you something different. Books are excellent source material for making movies, it is way easier to have a script since the story is already written and most of the dialogues will be similar to the original writing. Also, producers can gather valuable data from the book sales, allowing them to predict how much will their movie adaption gross.

This is why lots of best sellers have a movie adaptation, such is the case of Harry Potter, The Lord of the Rings (check here to know why you should read the books) or The Hunger Games for example. And let’s not forget Stephen King, whose most of his books have a movie adaptation, as is the case of Pet Sematary which is going to be released in two months. Producers are playing safe here, they know these novels or authors have a huge fanbase so the risk gets diminished.

However, there are those movies based on not so known books. This is so that sometimes we don’t even know these movies are actually based on a novel!

Want to know some of these? Here you have 6 movies you didn’t know were based on books:

Jurassic Park

Jurassic Park Book cover

Jurassic Park Book cover

The novel Jurassic Park was written by  Michael Crichton and published in 1990. The novel, like the movie, tells the story of a theme park with genetically engineered dinosaurs (what could go wrong? right?. Three years after the publication Steven Spielberg directed this project and the movie was awarded three Oscars by the Academy Awards.

This American writer was also a film director and producer, which led him in 1993 to achieve the unique distinction of having a Nº 1 top-selling book, Disclosure; the most-watched TV show, ER; and a Nº1 movie, Jurassic Park.  Crichton also co-wrote the script for Jurassic Park while its sequel, The Lost World, was written by David Koepp.

I am legend

I am legend book cover

I am legend book cover

I am Legend was published in 1954 and written by Richard Matheson. This novel influenced the development of the zombie-vampire genre and has many adaptations such as The Last Man on Earth, The Omega Man and,  of course, I am Legend.

I must say that I Am Legend movie adaptation does not resemble at all to the original source, having a lot of inventive adaptation (such as it happens with Ready Player One). Despite sharing the same basic premise, the adaptation differs greatly from the original novel. I use to joke that the only similar thing is the main character, Robert Neville (acted by Will Smith).

The Men In Black

Men in black comic

Men in black comic book

The Men In Black is actually not a novel, but an American comic book series.  It was written by Lowell Cunningham and illustrated by Sandy Carruthers. The original series consisted of three issues, then, after different editorial acquisitions, new issues were published including a prequel.

The movie, starring Will Smith as Jay and Tommy Lee Jones as K, turned out to be a success. This resulted in two sequels and an upcoming spin-off which will be released in June 2019 and will be starred by Chris Hemsworth and Tessa Thompson. This success also lead to other spin-offs like an animated tv show, video games and even an amusement park ride in Universal Studios Florida! (See here).

World War Z

World War Z

World War Z book cover

This novel was written by Max Brooks and got published in 2006. World War Z movie, released in 2013 and directed by Marc Foster, tells the story of  Gerry Lane (starred by Bradd Pitt), an investigator who travels the world in order to stop the zombie pandemic.

Meanwhile, the original material is an apocalyptic horror novel in which the story is told through individual accounts providing so different perspectives for the zombie plague spread all around the world. As Max Brooks himself stated, “the film had nothing in common with the novel other than the title”.

 

Fight club

Fight Club book cover

Fight Club book cover

Written by Chuck Palahniuk and published in 1996. The writer had a fight while camping, returning to work bruised and swollen, his coworkers avoided to ask him what happened and that is how Palahniuk got inspired to write this novel. The movie adaptation was released three years later, directed by  David Fincher and starring Brad Pitt and Edward Norton. For those who loved this story, it has a sequel, Fight Club 2, which is released in comic book form.

Funnily, after publishing the novel, Chuck Palahniuk received lots of phone calls by journalists asking him where could they find one of those fight clubs he was inspired about. Of course, Chuck Palahniuk kept telling them he had made up all of it but journalists didn’t believe him. Ironically, fight clubs exist now, inspired by the novel’s philosophy. Also, the Fight Club rules are widely used and adapted all along the Internet.

I, Robot

I Robot Book Cover

I, Robot Book Cover

This is a science fiction novel published in 1950 and written by Isaac Asimov. This book is a collection of short stories posing dilemmas related to the three laws of robotics which, by the way, he created.  Meanwhile, the movie starring Will Smith (third time he appears in this list) was released in  2004. However, the movie, despite using some of the characters of the book as Dr. Susan Calvin, depicts a story of hordes of killing robots whose leader, a machine, wants to control humanity. While controlling humanity is one of the short stories premises, it can’t be said that the movie is linked to the original source.

Three laws of robotics have influenced widely popular culture and had been referenced on several occasions. Some examples are Star Trek and Futurama tv shows or the movie Doctor Who. In case you like I, Robot there are three prequels written by Mickey Zucker.

Hope this list surprised you, how many of these you movies you didn’t know were based on novels? Share in comments!

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Harry Potter prequel

The stolen Harry Potter prequel: a What if

Did you hear of the of the stolen Harry Potter postcard two years ago? for those who didn’t, here is a small excerpt of the original article posted on Mugglenet (see here).

 A rare piece of Harry Potter memorabilia has been stolen in a high-profile theft. During a Birmingham break-in during the month of April, a postcard hand-penned by J.K. Rowling featuring an 800-word story about James and Sirius was stolen, along with some jewelry.

This postcard was won for 25 thousand pounds (32,35$ thousand) in a raising funds auction and was stolen in 2017. The same J.K Rowling asked the fans not to buy it but, let’s be honest here, that postcard is such a valuable item for a fan so there is no way the burglar didn’t have tons of offers to purchase it. What about you, would you have bought such postcard if it was offered to you?

A what-if

But this news is pretty old, why bring it back if nothing new has happened? they didn’t find the burglar nor recovered the postcard. So why this post?  well, as I posted this  Tweet yesterday,  it was just a joke, then I started thinking…

Wottaread Tweet

What if the burglar was a hardcore Harry Potter fan? somebody who loved the series and just had to get such postcard no matter what. When I posted that tweet I realized how this would have been different if the burglar was somebody obsessed with this saga.  Someone whose love for Harry Potter had turned into fanatism. Which by the way, I don’t think is the case since he (or she)  stole some jewels too. It seems to me that the robber just thought the postcard would be worth a lot of money in the black market and since the stealing mode was on he also got the jewels.

But let’s assume it was a Harry Poter hardcore fan. Somebody who stole it only to make a demand: a Harry Potter prequel. Of course, why would the police or J.K Rowling herself accept the demands of a burglar? no reason at all. Nonetheless, it wouldn’t be the burglar’s demand what would pull the trigger but the fan reactions.

The Deadpool movie precedent

It would be similar to what happened to the Deadpool movie, a project that was discarded by Fox until test footage was leaked on the Internet.  People loved it and, as a result, the Deadpool movie not only exists but raised as much as most of  the MCU movies despite having a way lower budget (58$ million, just compare it with Guardians of the Galaxy 232.3$ million budget, which by the way grossed less than Ryan Reynolds’ movie)

See what I mean? it was the fans, and that filtered test footage, that made Deadpool real. I just thought how unusual it would have been if such robbery had been made in order to make such a demand and had led to a Harry Potter prequel.

Would a Harry Potter prequel be a success?

Honestly, I don’t have the slightest doubt. People would love to read about Hogwarts again, Fantastic Beasts tries to get some hold of it but, let’s face it, it’s simply not the same. Don’t get me wrong, Grindelwald’s story is decent, but a story about Harry Potter’s parents has so much potential. We know how their sad story ends, but still, we want to know every single detail, how Lily fell in love with James Potter; the adventures of Moony, Prongs, Wormtail, and Padfoot or, why not, the rise of You-Know-Who, a younger Dumbledore… everything about this wizarding world!

Now, I assume J.K Rowling knows that writing a prequel about James and Lily Potter, Sirius Black, Snape, etc would be a Bestselling saga but I guess maybe she wants to write about other things. Which is totally understandable of course. True, the book sales would be shocking, but I don’t think it’s a matter of money anymore (if it was at any point) since she is one of the richest British celebrities in the world.

At least a movie series?

Even so, if J.K Rowling doesn’t want to write anymore about Harry Potter why not a movie series then? just like Fantastic Beasts. I see two ultra potential movie sagas here. One, the story of James Potter, his friends, and his wife. But also, let’s not forget about Lord Voldemort (yeah, I dare say his name!). What about a saga telling us about the Dark Lord? It would be such a different approach and yet so interesting. Hogwarts from the point of view of Tom Riddle, a kid chosen to be in Slytherin who would eventually raise as the most powerful wizard ever. My god, make this real, please.

Hope you enjoyed this article, If you are craving for some magic at this point you can check these Harry Potter book suggestions. Keep reading.

 

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The Hunger Games wallpaper

The Hunger Games: Despite the movie

You have watched The Hunger Games movies and you feel like you know everything about this saga? let’s find out! in “The Hunger Games: Despite the movie” I will prove to you why you should read The Hunger Games even if you already watched the movie.

A small introduction

The Hunger Games is a trilogy, the first novel was published in 2008 by Suzanne Collins and it has sold around 100 million copies around the world. This story was so successful, that in 2012 Lionsgate Entertainment released the movie adaptation of the first novel. While the original series is a trilogy, the movie adaptation has four movies having the last novel, Mockingjay, adapted in two movies. A pretty common move I must say, as other sagas like Harry Potter or Twilight did. And let’s not forget about the Hobbit, three movies for adapting a single book of 95.356 words…

The movie adaptation was released starring Jennifer Lawrence and Josh Hutcherson as Katniss Evergreen and Peeta respectively. The last film, Mockingjay part 2, collected more than 100 million dollars during the first weekend of its premiere.

This plot takes place in Panem, a country governed by a cruel tyrant who annually organizes “The Hunger Games”. The purpose of this deadly entertainment is reminding isolated people from the districts that they cannot fight against the government. Every year 24 tributes from 12 different districts are selected to fight between them to death. 23 of them will die and only one will survive. That was the rule until one day, a girl named Katniss, by an act of love unconsciously planted the seed of hope in people and encouraged them to fight for their freedom.

Interesting fact: Panem was named by the Latin words “Panem et Circenses” which mean “Bread and Circus”. Smart uh?

How different are the films from the books?

First of all, I must tell you that from now on the article contains spoilers… Once warned, let´s start!

While both versions, the book, and the film, agree in the main story, there are some changes. Even so, I must admit that in this case, the movie adaptation is pretty decent. Of course, there are changes compared to the original source but nothing as the several inventive adaptations in Ready Player One movie  (in case you missed it just click here) or the character changes and elisions in The Lord of The Rings movies ( here)

The novels allow us to go deeper into the story of the 12th District. We learn more about the mining life and what it is to live surrounded by fences and with almost nothing of electricity. You even get to share the trauma of Katniss, Johanna, and Peeta, you feel their pain page after page. And, of course, feeling sorry for Peeta seeing how well he treats Katniss is inevitable… Also, the novel has the power to make you sympathize with the sad story of the Avox, that is, those punished for rebelling against the Capitol. All of this is told from Katniss perspective, which allows us to get more involved in her feeling and thoughts.

I will summarize some of the things that are different in the movies compared to the original source:

The Hunger Games

This might sound like a minor detail, but I think it shows really well how hard life is in District 12, and also says a lot about Katniss as a character: Prim’s cat, Buttercup, does not like Katniss because she tried to drown him because so her family didn’t have to feed the pet.

It was Madge, Katniss classmate, who gave her the Mockingjay Pin, so she can remind her home.

Katniss was unable to hear out of her left ear after the explosion she caused when she threw an arrow straight to the bag of apples that were in the supply pyramid.

When Cato falls into the ground where the Mutos were, he didn’t die instantly. He suffered until Katniss found him and killed him.

Peeta loses his leg and this is replaced by a new leg made of plastic and metal.

As you see lots of these things are too explicit, a reason why it makes sense they weren’t included in the movie adaptation.

Catching fire

This movie adaptation is the one that resembles more to the original source.

When Rhemus beat Gale with the whip, Darius, an Agent of Peace tried to protect him, but he was beaten so bad that he ended up unconscious. Later, this character became an Avox and suffered severe punishment for treason.

At the time Haymitch participated in the Games, four tributes were reaped from each district, meaning a total of 48 tributes instead of 24.

Mockingjay

In this novel, Katniss accepts to be the Mockingjay so she can be the one who murders Cornelius Snow, the president of the Capitol.  She also kills a woman without hesitating after Peeta went crazy and thought that he was going to become a Muto. She also never trains

Due to the death of the actor Philip Seymour, the scene where Plutarch and Haymitch meet with Katniss to inform her about her forgiveness for murdering Coin was omitted.

Katniss, Peeta, and Haymitch wrote a Memory Book in honor of the people who gave their lives for the cause.

 

The film thrills and achieved a good adaptation, but the book creates a unique bond between the reader and the characters since the author allows you to know each of them intimately. You are able to feel what they feel and all from the perspective of a girl who had to become strong in spite of her fears and insecurities… A girl that became a symbol for a nation.

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