I’ve seen five minutes of “Earthsea” so far, in which Tenar, clinging to the arm of some kind of mother priestess that I hope to god is not supposed to be Kossil, exposits at great length about being an orphan, whereupon maybe-Kossil exposits about her great faith leading the order.

I think I’m going to be ill. Five minutes of the second installment, and they already brutalized the great bits–the eternally dark Undertomb, the sense of dry, dusty weight of the Labryinth, the rebellion against the more powerful older priestesses because the powers of the dark were much greater than any mere godking–all the GOOD bits, damnit! They didn’t sit around maundering about faith, and she was nothing like an orphan.

I didn’t expect much, but even that’s dashed. Bugger.

On the bright side, one of those unexpected moments of self-discovery in mid rant, as I expounded to James about the mangling of that brilliant book that I loved, The Tombs of Atuan, and the error of naming, and how her name ought to be Arha because she was the Eaten One and the name Tenar wasandeatenholycrapthatmustbewhereIgotEd.

The connection hadn’t even occurred to me, haven’t read the books in ages, but since I’m sure I didn’t run into it before reading the Earthsea books at a formative age, I bet that’s where the notion that you could eat names came from, even if the ramifications for Ed’s tribe are vastly different than for LeGuin’s world. (Also, I’m not nearly as cool as that other Ursula.) So that was a cool moment of realizing my creative roots, anyway.

But I’m still pissed.

Update: Another hour of watching has made things even worse. They had an ad for another Sci-Fi original “Puppet Master vs. The Demonic Toys.” Having once seen “Dollman vs. the Demonic Toys,” not one of the high points of cinematography, I nudged James to point this out.

“I see it,” he said, from the depths of Half-Life 2.

“You know the worst part?”

“HA! Uh, huh?” (bam! Bam! machine-gun noises, flailing enemy bits from the computer.)

“It’ll probably be better than this Earthsea crap.”

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