Category: TV

Sorting: Firefly, pt 2

Apologies, this week has been absolutely nuts for me.  But here it is, the conclusion to Tuesday’s post!

Inara Serra: The only member of the crew to have a legitimate profession outside of the ship, Inara brings a certain level of respectibility to Serenity.  While Mal often mocks her choice of a profession, Inara seems to do well as a companion, completely transforming her shuttle into elegant living quarters.  She is extremely compassionate – a trait probably enhanced from her years of training – and cares deeply for the crew.

When Inara first joins Serenity she makes it clear that she never intends to service anyone in the crew, and she holds to that – she’s happy with her living arrangements and doesn’t want to complicate things. While she is very friendly with the crew, she rarely takes a role in their jobs, and is normally away with a customer while the rest of the crew is taking part in their sometimes shady dealings. As such, we see very little of how she handles under stressful situations.

What we do see of Inara’s confrontational prowess, though, is that she prefers to diffuse a situation with her words before it comes to blows.  We see numerous times that she attempts to calm an enemy (or, occasionally, another crew member) using her feminine wiles and companion training, and she uses her respectibility as a companion to get the crew out of trouble.  She uses her contacts within her customers to get help when the crew needs it, and convinces a client to bend the rules in order to help the crew get away from some particularly vengeful enemies.

Verdict: Slytherin

Shepard Book: We know very little about Shepard Book’s past, which makes it hard to sort him properly.  He is very devout, but quite accepting of all of the crew just as they are.  He tries to settle things diplomatically, but has been known to help fortify and defend himself, the crew, and anyone else under his protection if necessary.  He’s also extremely knowledgeable on not only his chosen faith, but the specifics of others.

When we first meet Book, he is looking to go on a journey, and doesn’t care about the destination.  He swears to defend those he believes defenseless, even if they turn out not to be.  It seems as though he’s searching for something, but we never really find out what.  Whatever it is, though, he puts it on hold when he joins the crew, as they accept him and give him a new mission in life.

It’s clear that Book has some sort of violent past; he’s far too familiar with weaponry to have spent his entire life in an abbey.  It’s possible he was once connected with the Alliance, as he’s still got clearance with them to access their medical facilities when he’s wounded in a gunfight.  From what we see of him in Serenity, he fights for what he believes in, no matter the cost.

Verdict: Gryffindor

Simon Tam:  Had Simon been able to stay in his comfortable, successful life as a doctor on the core planets, he’d be a Ravenclaw, no question.  Top three percent of his class, and a  brilliant doctor even under pressure, Simon had it made.  But there’s one defining thing about Simon that makes all of that meaningless – his love for his sister.

Simon does some extremely brave, yet admittedly stupid things to rescue his sister.  Giving up everything, defying his parents and the law to try to save her – those are more brave than stupid, but trying to get himself lit on fire and getting himself shot fall more on the stupid side. 

Even with the crew, Simon is very reserved, always worried that they’ll turn against them and turn them over to the Alliance (to be fair, he may not be completely wrong in his suspicions, in regards to one crew member).  But most of them like having a doctor on board, and think that Simon’s actions against the Alliance to save his sister were very noble, and they’ll do what they can to protect them.   

Verdict: Gryffindor


River Tam: River is the brilliant, broken younger sister that Simon has given up everything to rescue, and her smarts show through even her bouts of insanity.  Sadly nowadays it comes out more in random trivia (about the ship, about how to kill people, etc) than in ways it could be useful, but Simon works tirelessly to find ways to fix the damage done to her by the Alliance.

We know that as a young child, River was exceptional.  She excelled at everything, and even pointed out when Simon’s textbooks were incorrect.  She chose to go to the Alliance school where so much damage was done, chose it because it had the most exciting and challenging program, and she loved to learn.  While there, she was able to outsmart the teachers and get notes home to Simon, begging for help.

Much like Ender in my last sorting, River’s intelligence would have been used as a pawn in someone else’s game, had Simon not intervened.  She’s led to believe that the program she enters is good for her, and there are many that would use her skills to benefit themselves.  In the movie, we even see the crew using River’s unique gifts to protect themselves – something Simon is furious over.  River can take care of herself, but with her mind so fractured, it’s sometimes hard for her to realize when to do so.

Verdict: Ravenclaw


Sorting: Firefly

I know I said that the fabulous Geardrops was going to be guest posting this week, but she’s super-busy, and I had a great idea for a subject anyway!

Ok, to be fair, I’ve wanted to sort these guys since before I even thought of this blog, so that it’s taken me three weeks to actually get around to it is something of a testament to my willpower.

In honor of Joss Whedon’s birthday last week, I think it’s only fitting that I sort the characters of his undeniably brilliant show, Firefly.  Full of charismatic, multi-faceted characters, this sci-fi western got far less than it deserved when Fox cancelled it after only one season.  The episodes had enough stand-alone stories that a casual watcher could easily become enthralled in any show they happened to catch, and the overarching storyline kept the devoted watcher enchanted.  There was humor to keep it lighthearted, and enough emotion to make the characters seem real and relatable, their flaws only adding to their depth.  All in all, it’s a fantastic show, and I’d recommend it to anyone.

The following character images are all from Can’t Take the Sky, a fantastic resource for all things Firefly.

From the fabulous website, still-flying.netMalcolm Reynolds: In the war between the Independent outer worlds and the Allied core planets, our captain volunteered to fight for the Independents.  He gained the rank of sergeant, but the Independents were eventually overrun by the Alliance in the Battle of Serenity Valley.  After the war was over, Mal and his loyal corporal, Zoë, look to stay out of the Alliance’s long reach and watchful eye.  Mal buys an old Firefly-class transport ship and pulls together a crew to live aboard it,  becoming smugglers and occasionally taking legal jobs, if they must.

Mal is fiercely protective of his crew, and would do anything to keep them safe.  In the first episode we see him run from the Alliance in order to save his mechanic, and in that same episode he shoots an Alliance spy that would turn them all over to the feds.  Throughout the show we see Mal thumb his nose at the Alliance; he picks fights at Alliance bars on Unification day and eagerly jumps on all opportunities to make the Alliance look stupid, but when one of his crew members requires medical services and the doctor is unavailable, he swallows his pride (albeit somewhat unwillingly) and approaches the Alliance for help.  When it appears that his ship had failed and was slowly going to suffocate them all, he insisted that the crew split up evenly between the two shuttles and that he would go down with his ship, preferring to give the crew equal odds at survival.

Mal has a very strict moral code.  When the doctor is concerned that Mal might kill him in his sleep, Mal assures him that he would only ever kill him in a fair fight.  He’s brave and rarely backs down from fights.  He’s a natural leader, and has a way about him that makes people want to follow him.  He fights for the things he believes in, even when he recognizes that they might be the losing side.  He can be vengeful, but that comes with the kind of passion for life and freedom he carries.

Verdict:  Gryffindor

Zoë Alleyne Washburne: Zoë fought under Mal’s command during the Unification War.  After the war was over, she stuck by his side, sometimes doubting his choices – she was surprised that he’d buy a broken down piece of junk to start their new lives – but always remaining loyal.  She’d follow Mal through the pits of hell and back again, if he asked her to.  Her loyalty is returned – Mal trusts Zoë to have his back more than anyone else on the crew.  They still maintain a commander/subordinate relationship, even though the war is long over.

Zoë marries the pilot, Hoban “Wash” Washburn, sometime between when he joins the crew of Serenity and the start of the show.  While it’s clear that they have a loving, solid relationship, her loyalty to Mal is a point of contention that comes to a head in the episode “War Stories.”  Yet when she is forced to choose whom to save by a sadistic captor, Mal or Wash, she wastes no time in saving her husband.  They do, of course, come back later to rescue the captain.

Zoë is clearly very brave, having fought in a war and willing to face anything in order to protect those she cares about.  She’s aware of the dangers in life, but chooses to face them head-on instead of hiding from them.  She’s strong and compassionate, but it’s truly her loyalty that defines her, her willingness to do whatever she must for those she loves.

Verdict: Hufflepuff, with Gryffindor leanings.

Hoban Washburne: We get our first impression of our pilot, Wash, as he plays with toy dinosaurs while the rest of the crew are out on a heist.  Having never fought in (and subsequently lost) a war, he lacks the weight-of-the-world austerity that sometimes comes over Mal and Zoë, and is generally a pretty happy person.  He’s excited to experience new things, and he’s usually very laid-back and easy going, but he has a jealous streak when he’s reminded of how close Zoë and Mal are.

Wash tends to be the voice of reason within the crew, keeping a clear head when other tempers run hot.   He may not be as brave or eager to fight as Mal or Zoë, but he’s definitely got backbone – he doesn’t fall for a certain vixen’s advances and he stands up to Zoë when he finds out that she lied to him about a discussion she had with Mal.  There’s only two times in the entire show that he ever truly appears overwrought with emotion – when he’s being tortured, and when he thinks that Zoë is about to die.

Wash is a talented pilot, with enough smarts to get second in his class and rack up a long line of positive recommendations when Mal is looking for a pilot.  He’s enthusiastic and genuinely seems to enjoy the life they lead, danger and torture aside.  He’s level-headed and fair, and generally likes to talk things through and come to a conclusion that satisfies everyone before moving forward.

Verdict: Hufflepuff

Jayne Cobb: Jayne is, for all intents and purposes, a mercenary.  Brought onto the crew for some additional muscle, it’s clear from the start that Jayne’s role on the show is to be the crass, trigger happy gun-nut who makes his way through life by intimidating people.  He’s opinionated and often speaks before he thinks – if he thinks at all.  He joined the crew when Mal was able to convince him that it was in his best interest to switch sides from a gang that attacked them – he promised him more money and a better bunk if he betrayed his comrades, and it was good enough for Jayne.  His main goal is always to exploit a situation so that it benefits him, even if it doesn’t benefit the crew as a whole.

Yet despite his surliness, Jayne seems to genuinely care for most of the crew.  He forms an unlikely friendship with Shepard Book, and he seems very concerned when Kaylee is shot by the Alliance spy.  In general he gets along with Mal, though the two do occasionally disagree on the way Mal runs things.  We know that he still corresponds with his mother and sends her money when he’s able.  He seems to enjoy being part of the crew, and will – most of the time – do what’s best for them.

A noteable exception to the afformention affection of the crew is Jayne’s constant animosity with Simon and, to a lesser degree, River.  He dislikes them right off the bat, as their presence means that they’re unable to take as many easy jobs as they were previously able to, since they’re now avoiding the Alliance.  When they first take on Simon and River, Jayne chooses not to sell them out to the Alliance spy, claiming to Mal that the money wasn’t good enough to turn on the crew.  He gets the chance again, though, and later on in the show Jayne does try to sell Simon and River to the Alliance.  They’re able to escape, but Mal threatens to kill Jayne if he does it again.

Verdict: Slytherin

Kaywinnit Lee Frye: Despite the rather unusal circumstances in which Kaylee was introduced to the crew, she’s by far the most innocent of the crew.  She’s constantly bubbly and cheerful, always seeing the bright side in even the worst situations.  She’s a natural mechanic, and is almost always able to sense when something’s wrong with Serenity.  She loves her home on the ship, and is very proud of the life she’s chosen.

The entire crew adores Kaylee.  Mal dotes on her like an older brother, and Inara watches over her like an older sister.  Even Jayne teases her affectionately (or, at least, in a way he percieves to be affectionately – it can sometimes be a bit crass, but, well, that’s Jayne for you) and is distraught when she’s shot by the Alliance spy.  River can relax enough around her to actually act like a girl and play games with her, and Simon…well, if Simon wasn’t always so concerned about River, I’m sure he’d notice and return her affection.

Kaylee is an interesting character in that she’s ready for the rough-and-tumble if she needs to be, and she’s a fantastic mechanic with natural intuition as to how all the parts work.  Yet she’s also the very picture of a girl – along with loving girly things and adding a woman’s touch to the ship, her feeling for Simon are a fairly sizeable part of the storyline.  She tries to be brave when she needs to be, but getting in fights and coming out the victor really isn’t her strong suit.  She loves the crew and constantly tries to make them all happy, and she normally succeeds – her sunny disposition rubs off on the whether they like it or not.

Verdict: Hufflepuff, but with some Ravenclaw leanings due to her natural smarts with engines.

Tune on on Thursday for the rest of the Firefly cast!