The Stone of Kings · Writing

Meet the Characters of The Stone of Kings – The Reppenhaggans/Christian & Ana

Better shade of greyIn light of the 50 Shades of Grey movie coming out this Saturday, which in my opinion would be better suited for Halloween than Valentine’s (if they had to make it at all), I thought it would be fitting to introduce two of the minor characters from The Stone of Kings. Minor though they are, the Reppenhaggans reflect a major theme of anti-bullying which flows through the book.

And, if you’ll indulge me, they represent a more realistic view of Christian and Ana. And I would sincerely hope that Ana would eventually find courage as Mrs. Reppenhaggan does. As a disclaimer, I’ve never read FSOG and have no desire to. I’ve read enough summaries and excerpts to know that this is too much like some of the abusive relationships I’ve seen within even my own family. I really don’t find it at all sexy or remotely appealing.

What They Look Like

Mr. Reppenhaggan is a strong, burly man who usually leers or sneers. His beautiful wife usually stares at her hands and makes sure that her shirt-sleeves are pulled to her wrists.

Their Part to Play

They make Ardan and Thomas realize how much Hannah means to them. Her beauty has drawn Mr. Reppenhaggan’s interest and he couldn’t care less about the beautiful wife he already has.

Thomas and Ardan are compelled to protect Hannah from Mr. Reppenhaggan. THAT is love and romance.

I’ll say it again: protecting someone from a threat IS true love and romance.

What They Mean to the Story

Whether it’s the people of a country who must stand against tyranny and oppression, or a solitary abused wife who must find the courage to change her situation, victims must find a way an intelligent way to become empowered. Thomas and Ardan help Mrs. Reppenhaggan to realize that her husband’s behavior is unacceptable. She sees that he can be defeated and she is ready to make her own stand.

Their Failings

Mr. Reppenhaggan/Christian is a bully. That’s his failing. Period.

Until she meets Thomas and Ardan, Mrs. Reppenhaggan doesn’t feel as if she can get out of her situation.

Their Strengths

For all his muscle (FSOG: wealth) and attitude (FSOG: hot looks), Mr. Reppenhaggan (Christian) doesn’t have any strength. Unless you count being an example of how NOT to behave to be a strength, then…well, there’s that.

Mrs. Reppenhaggan has the strength to finally see a situation for what it really is. She uses the knowledge to dig deep and stand up for herself. EMPOWERED!

I’d love to hear from you!

Have you been involved in an abusive relationship? If you got out, how did you become empowered? Did you need help? Have you read FSOG and been involved in an abusive relationship? Do you see the book for what it really is? Do you help victims get out of abusive situations? Please share success stories! 

This week’s Wednesday Welcomes dovetails with today’s post. This is totally cool, because I didn’t even plan it! 😉 You’ll get a peek at J.J. Nite’s YA Romance, Bruises of the Heart!


Losing the Beauty

“Father Time Overcome by Love, Hope, and Beauty” by Simon Vouet. I’m no art expert, but it seems we can still appreciate the push for love, hope, and beauty, though I’d have thought that Time might have given in by now.

Last week, I talked about how sad it was that my students had a stubborn bigoted view of the world. This week, I want to discuss the effects of such views. Not only had they completely lost the meaning of two fantastic essays, but lousy attitudes such as theirs continue to put a black eye on a beautiful region of our country that they supposedly love.

Some of the attitudes in America’s southern states have always been a sort of anomaly to me. On one hand, they are famous for their hospitality and respectful manner (I love the habits of addressing people with “sir” or “ma’am”). And who doesn’t like their terms of affection for complete strangers (shoog, darlin’, hun, etc.)? 🙂

I think we all know the other side to the South that is like it’s evil twin.

Now, I’m certainly not indicating that all Southerners with these habits have bigoted views, but some do. I remember one of the kids who didn’t “get” the Canada essay because of being considered a “Yankee” by the author. Otherwise, he was actually a very respectful kid. He was always dressed like a ranch hand and while he wasn’t an exceptional student, he completed his work, was never rude to me, or caused a disruption in class.

Last week, I saw this charming Cheerios commercial and heard about the controversy over it. I wonder how that student would have viewed it?

Would he not have even considered the premise of the scene – that is, a little girl who loves her daddy so much that she want’s to make sure that his heart is healthy? Given that he failed to see the humor in the Canada essay, I’m disheartened to say that he probably would not.

If there is love in a family, why should the color of the skin matter? People have all sorts of views on this commercial, for what I would think to be strange reasons. And that’s okay. Anyone is entitled to their opinions.

But when the beauty of love is overlooked because people are offended… that really doesn’t sit right with me.

I know I have views that some people would find offensive. I may find other’s views offensive. I must admit that my gut reaction to people who disliked the commercial for racial reasons was, “They must bleed a different color…ugly.” But then, to forget completely that we are all human and have our own beauties about us, I certainly hope I never fall into that trap. If I ever am, I beg of you, using an open mind, call me out on it. I will listen.

What did you think of the commercial? Can you see it’s charm, or do you see skin color? Are you appalled that some of us are still stuck in the 50’s?