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Siren and Forbidden Tides: Are Predatory Mermaids The Newest Trend?

April 7, 2018

The latest show causing a huge splash on television right now is Siren. After watching the premiere and Thursday’s episode, I was hauntingly intrigued by the amount of similarities to my Sirenia in Forbidden Tides. From their iced irises to their dangerous hunting style, here are some of Ryn’s traits that remind me of the Sirenia in Forbidden Tides:

 

 

 

1) Their Dangerous:

 

The mermaids that prowl along the waters off Bristol Cove are feral predators. With sharp teeth, amazing strength, and a barbed stinger tail, Ryn and Donna are top of the food chain. In Forbidden Tides, the Sirenia hunt in packs and carry knives and spears to not only take down their prey, but kill any human who poses as a threat:

 

            Zander pumped his tail faster with a spear at his side. Famine had driven his clan mad     before and had even led to murder. The once large and plentiful fish in these waters were       becoming scarce. The humans were greedy, swooping in on their prey in large quantities,             barely leaving any fish for the creatures of the sea. He could see it in their rolling and       panicked eyes, the question that lingered over all of them.

            When would their next meal be after this one?

            His ice-cold eyes watched each clan member for shoving or biting, occasionally    thumping one with his tail if the fighting grew out of control. The prize of the race was            the first succulent bite of herring flesh. Clicks and whistles echoed through the sea as the       clan chased the fish…

 

 

2) Bright Blue Eyes:

 

 

Ryn and Donna’s eyes are enough to leave anyone in a trance. Their blue irises capture the essence and beauty of the sea. Zander, the lead male role of Forbidden Tides, has eyes that immediately draw the attention of Astrid and other humans:

          

 

            Zander gently pulled her under, and they floated face to face. His ethereal blue eyes both frightened and excited her. He held her hands and emitted a series of clicks that         resembled the language of dolphins and whales. Astrid’s hands shook as her mind picked        apart each sound and turned them into meaning.

 

 

3) The Change:

 

 

On Siren, Ryn must change after a full day on land, and the metamorphosis is very painful. Watching her transition is something reminiscent of a werewolf horror movie. She sprouts a huge pectoral from her back, and her skin rips away while her true form emerges. While Zander’s metamorphosis isn’t painful, he still feels discomfort from the change:

           

 

            He clutched the sides of the tub and clenched his jaw. A numbing sensation spread from  his toes through his legs and into his hips. Slowly, his skin fused together into an    elongated fin. Hardened scutes emerged from under his legs and covered his lower body.    Astrid watched with a mixture of fascination and horror.

            He sighed. “Much better.” His fluke spread over the bathtub and curled over the edge.

 

 

4) Naturally Curious:

 

 

While Ryn is forced to grow legs and search for her pod mate/sister on land, she is still curious about the English language and human items. In the marine biology lab, she constantly picks tools up to examine their use, and constantly looks around in a mixture of curiosity and fear. Zander goes through a similar process during his first night on land:

           

 

            The cave the humans put him in was small and dry, with bland colors that reminded him of dead coral. Strange carvings in different sizes with more detail than he was used to       lined the walls. Judging by the tangled flames of red hair, he assumed one of the carvings         was Astrid when she was a juvenile. His eyes darted from wall to wall, examining every         facet and detail. Everything was so strange, but he was too tired to feel scared.

 

 

5) Human Love?

 

 

The humans of Bristol Cove see Ryn’s kind as ferocious, until they later realize that mermaids are capable of love for humans. During Thursday’s episode, Ryn seems to have a seductive moment with Ben, making viewers wonder if a romance is blooming. Forbidden Tides features a young, but inexperienced teenage romance that takes shape with the events in the novel, testing not only Zander and Astrid’s courage, but their emotions as well:

        

   

            As a clan leader’s daughter, she was going to have limitations on her mating choices. He was a hunter and warrior, one of the few males with the responsibility of both positions. Zander warned himself that he had better start to think of her as nothing more than an  assignment. Mating with a clan’s kin was punishable. Being exiled from his people was not

an option.

 

 

Science vs. Nature: When Is It Enough?

 

Siren also explores a newer concept that involves science and living subjects. During Donna’s capture, she is probed, prodded, and tested multiple times, making her weak and miserable. I enjoyed that the show focused on science overpowering nature, and highlighted ethics/concerns. As humans, we must question what is considered ethical and how the subject is responding to these types of tests.

 

 

 

 

 

 

In 1984, a young blonde mermaid named Madison faced similar consequences when Dr. Kornbluth sprayed her with water, revealing her iconic bright orange tail.

 

 

 

 

Forbidden Tides also questions the ethics of marine mammal testing, and what captivity does to these sentient beings.

 

           

            Zander awoke inside a glass-walled prison. A bright lamp hovered over his tank. He         squinted, desperate to keep the blinding light out of his eyes. The axenic water made   breathing difficult, and his gills flared with the effort to draw in oxygen. Memories of his capture and being handed over like a piece of dead meat flooded his senses and caused him to panic. Wires with monitors were attached to his body like an infestation of remoras, tracking his heart rate and other bodily functions. He ripped them off, each causing a stinging sensation on his skin. The tank was cramped, and he could barely turn around. He braced his hands against the Plexiglas wall, trying to calm down so he could think.

            Caged like an animal.

 

 

 

The introduction of mermaids featured on Siren and in Forbidden Tides illuminates a new direction on this once-delicate creature of the sea. Gone are tiaras are princesses who rescue drowned sailors. A new era of feral, dangerous, and intelligent mermaids are coming into the media, and you better beware!

 

 

To find out more about Forbidden Tides along with giveaways, events, and other cool stuff, visit the following link: Forbidden Tides Page.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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