Before I start, please note the following post has BIG SPOILERS for the Netflix movie Eurovision: The Story of Fire Saga. Continue at your own risk…
Now that we’ve got that out of the way, have you watched the Netflix Eurovision film yet? If not, why are you here when you could be watching Dan Stevens do this?
Seriously go watch it and then we can discuss three things we all know and understand about this film:
- This film was okay, good, but nothing hugely special.
- The fact that Rachel McAdams ended up with bland and boring Will Ferrell who ABANDONED ON HER LIVE ON TELEVISION TO FUCK OFF BACK TO ICELAND is a travesty.
- But despite all this, the fact that we were blessed with queer, genderfluid icon Alexander Lemtov (portrayed by Dan Stevens) was the blessing I needed in the shitshow that has been 2020 so far.
I can’t remember the last time I was this excited about a character. I watched Eurovision in awe of Dan Stevens’ performance. He gave us a character who, even before the end sequence, was so openly queer, whose performance was so powerful and clothing so perfect, that it literally inspired me to pick up my pirate assassin WIP and write again for the first time in over 6 months because Dan Stevens reminded me so much of my main character. But then we did get the end sequence, where Sigrid is questioning whether Lemtov is gay, where Lemtov responds no, no, there’s no gay people in Russia, so she asks again, asks whether he’s genderfluid and the look he gives the camera as he says no, ‘he/him pronouns’ is the most heartbreaking, awful, despondant look and it BROKE me. Because they didn’t have to imply that not only was Lemtov queer, he was also genderfluid and nonbinary. They could have kept it at asking if he was gay, and I’d have been thrilled that we had this amazing queer character on our screens. But they did imply Lemtov was genderfluid, and this was the first piece of media I recall watching that actually uses the term genderfluid, and the sheer sadness that Dan Stevens was able to evoke in that one look to camera, as if he longed for nothing more than to be able to say who he really was to Sigrid, this woman who has been such an amazing friend to him, is pretty much the best thing to come out of 2020. Minus the whip moment from the video above obviously….
I’ve never longed to be someone more. If I imagine myself as I wish I could be, I would literally imagine Dan Stevens as Alexander Lemtov right now. Sometimes you forget how important it is to see people you identify with on screen, and then something like this happens, you see someone so incredible use the terms you identity with, and then you remember: this is why it’s important. This feeling right now, that combination of empowerment and validation, it’s just unreal.
Anyway if you, like me, would just like to reminisce about all the best moments of Lemtov from this film, thank you Netflix for putting together this video with all of the best parts!
And now, lets actually get to today’s post! I rewatched Eurovision: The Story of Fire Saga this week, and so I decided to talk about some books that remind me of Dan Stevens portrayal of Lemtov so without further ado, here’s some books that remind me of genderfluid icon Alexander Lemtov.
The Mermaid the Witch and the Sea by Maggie Tokuda-Hall
Okay so when talking about a genderfluid icon who quite clearly has the wardrobe of a welldressed pirate, how could I not start with The Mermaid, the Witch and the Sea, the book about a genderfluid pirate?! I’m embarassed to say I still haven’t read it, it has been on my TBR for the past two months since my copy arrived but I keep getting distracted by ARC deadlines. But having seen lots of people rave about this book, I’m hopeful it’s going to live up to the standard that Lemtov has set.
The Scapegracers by Hannah Abigail Clarke
I’m not surprised that book from genderfluid author Hannah Abigail Clarke made it onto this list of books for genderfluid icons. Whilst none of the characters in The Scapegracers are genderfluid, The Scapegracers carries with it a powerful, dramatic, confident, queer atmosphere that is equally as iconic as Lemtov. Sideways, our main lesbian witch, just really fucking reminds me of Alexander Lemtov. Like so much. They both have this air of confidence underneath which they are hiding this soft vulnerability that reveals itself around their friends. Thus: iconic.
Dangerous Remedy by Kat Dunn
If you’ve seen the movie, you know all about Lemtov’s wardrobe and therefore it will make sense when I say this book is on this list because of the French military uniforms and revolution era fashion. Lemtov could’ve been pulled from this book with his flamboyant outfits, I would die for his wardobe, but most especially this jacket and if anyone can direct me to a place I can buy something similar, I will be forever grateful.
Upright Women Wanted by Sarah Gailey
Much like the Lemtov, the team of librarian spies who fight fascists across the US from Gailey’s Upright Women Wanted also have that particularly epic dangerous queer energy. Portrayed as the villain in Eurovision, Lemtov always has an edge of danger that, combined with the sheer power of his queer energy, makes for a character very reminiscent of the team from Upright Women Wanted! These characters are sometimes deadly spies killing fascists and spreading resistence propaganda, and at other times just super super queer.
Gideon the Ninth by Tasmyn Muir
Have you seen this cover? The chaotic queer energy it evokes? Gideon is the chaotic lesbian necromancer from one of the most popular queer SFF books, one that is filled with an air of mystery, and gothic flair that would look right at home in Lemtov’s Edinburgh mansion. But most importantly: Gideon would wear that Lemtov jacket and look damn dapper doing it.
If We Were Villains by M.L Rio
We all know dark academia is gay right? Thus it will make perfect sense when I say that Lemtov’s wardrobe is made for dark academia. Perhaps a slightly more over the top dark academia than we’re used to, but one that celebrates a penchant for gold embroidery as much as Lemtov. Thus it makes perfect sense that Lemtov should walk straight out of the dramatic If We Were Villains, whose over the top love of Shakespeare can match Lemtov’s drama.
I hope you all enjoyed this post as much I enjoyed writing it! It really just gave me the excuse to rewatch Lion of Love on repeat for two hours as I wrote. Was anyone else as in love with Lemtov as I am? What books remind you of this genderfluid icon?