Sunday, May 17, 2015

Geekdom Madness 2015 - The Real Game: Big Mouths/Big Words

In the final round of The Real Game, well, the titles say it all!

Let's reacquaint ourselves with the combatants:

MATCH 1: Big Mouths


Smaug was created by John Ronald Reuel (J.R.R.) Tolkien for the 1937 novel "The Hobbit." Smaug was the main antagonist, intended by Tolkien as a return to the smart, cunning, and dangerous dragons of ancient mythology. In this aspect, Smaug was not only a success, but also the standard for most modern interpretations of dragons.

Smaug had two main inspirations. The first is the "old night-scather" from the epic "Beowulf", of which Tolkien was a particular expert, where much of Smaug's concept and personality come from. The second is most likely Fafnir from the "Volsunga Saga," with whom he shares more similarities.

Smaug's name is derived from the past tense of the primitive Germanic verb smugan ("to squeeze through a hole"). The name is associated with smeag (as in Smeagol), which is a form of the Old English smygel ("to burrow"). The diphthong "au" in Smaug is pronounced like the "ou" in sound or house, though the name is often erroneously pronounced Smog, most notably in the Rankin/Bass animated movie.

Smaug was portrayed by Richard Boone in the 1977 Rankin-Bass animated version of The Hobbit, James Horan in the 2003 video game adaptation, and Benedict Cumberbatch in the 2012 - 2014 film trilogy directed by Peter Jackson.


Audrey II was created by Charles B. Griffith for the 1960 Roger Corman film "The Little Shop of Horrors." Originally called "Audrey Jr.", the name was changed slightly when the film was adapted into a stage musical by Howard Ashman and Alan Menken in 1982.

The story of the character's creation is a bit muddled, as Griffith and Corman threw out ideas rapid-fire to see what stuck. By the time "How about a man-eating plant?" was uttered, Griffith admits both men were drunk.

In the original film, the plant was a crossbreed between a butterwort and a venus flytrap. In the musical adaptation, perhaps as an homage to other classic B-movies of that era, the plant turns out to be a space alien.

"Audrey Jr." was voiced in the original film by Griffith himself. In the original Off-Broadway cast of the musical, Audrey II was voiced by Ron Taylor, and has had many performers since. In the 1986 film of the musical directed by Frank Oz, Audrey II was voiced by Levi Stubbs (of the singing group The Four Tops). Finally, in a 1991 animated series, Audrey Junior (again) was voiced by Terry McGee. Naturally, many puppeteers were also instrumental in bringing the various incarnations to life.



Hermione Jean Granger was created by Joanne "J.K." Rowling for her 1997 novel "Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone." She is one of the three main characters of the book series, alongside the eponymous Potter and Ron Weasley.

Rowling claims the character of Hermione carries several autobiographical influences. "I did not set out to make Hermione like me but she is...she is an exaggeration of how I was when I was younger." She recalled being called a "little know-it-all" in her youth. Moreover, she states that not unlike herself, "there is a lot of insecurity and a great fear of failure" beneath Hermione's swottiness. Finally, according to Rowling, next to Albus Dumbledore, Hermione is the perfect expository character; because of her encyclopaedic knowledge, she can always be used as a plot dump to explain the Harry Potter universe. Rowling also claims that her feminist conscience is saved by Hermione, "who's the brightest character" and is a "very strong female character".

Hermione's name is taken from William Shakespeare's "The Winter's Tale"; Rowling claimed that she wanted it to be unusual since if fewer girls shared her name, fewer girls would get teased for it and it seemed that "a pair of professional dentists, who liked to prove how clever they are...gave [her] an unusual name that no-one could pronounce." Her original last name was "Puckle", but Rowling felt the name "did not suit her at all", and so the less frivolous Granger made it into the books.

In all official appearances, Hermione is portrayed by Emma Watson, who is very proud of the impact the character has had on popular culture and with young girls especially.


Dinobot was created by the toy companies Hasbro and Kenner as part of their Transformers Beast Wars franchise in 1996.

When Hasbro acquired their longtime rival Kenner in their 1991 Tonka buyout, they tasked the Kenner team to revitalize the Transformers franchise, which they did with Beast Wars - a new continuity, with the robots turning into fleshy animals instead of vehicles.While initially angering fans of the franchise, it has since become one of the best-regarded and remembered eras in the franchise history.

Dinobot is one of the best-remembered and best-selling of the original line of toys. Referencing the original "Dinobots" which were dinosaur-shaped robots in the original Transformers, the toy robot turns into a Velociraptor as based on the animal's portrayal in 1993's Jurassic Park.

Much of the popularity of Dinobot and the Beast Wars in general is also due to the animated series which premiered later in the same year as the toys. developed by Larry DiTillo and Bob Forward. While lackluster in the animation department (using low-texture CGI), the series was quickly embraced by fans for its writing. Dinobot especially became a complex character, whose true allegiance seems to be in question despite his honorable personality.

In the series, Dinobot is voiced by Scott McNeil


Final Verdict
Honestly, I feel this is going to be a repeat of this post, though I've been wrong before.

As always, make sure you're viewing the WEB version of the site and vote in the polls (remember, there are two now) on the right-hand side of the screen. Polls close Friday, and results posted on Saturday. Feel free to discuss your picks in the comments below.

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