Moderate mature content for blood and gore. Mostly decapitated heads. View at your own risk.
I'm on a roll, guys! Another TarotKlok submission! Thanks to the lovely
for the original commission that gave me the idea! This is Toki Wartooth as card XIII, the "Death" card.
Now. There are some major points about this piece that I think everyone should know. Here they are in sequence:
I do not make any profit from this project. It is purely in fun, to kill time between my two jobs, practice, and school. All character design credit, names, likenesses, trademarked symbols, the "Dethklok" name, the "Dethklok" logo, the "Metalocalypse" name, the "Metalocalypse" logo, and any future pieces or additions in terms of the above are the sole properties of [adult swim], Williams Street, Titmouse, inc, the Metalocalypse creators (Brendon Small and Tommy Blacha), and any legally affiliated parties. I do, however, claim credit for the time, effort, and actual drawing that it took to make this piece.
These tarot cards are part of a NON-DIVINATION DECK. I highly recommend against comparison between these cards and the major/minor arcana used by divination enthusiasts. Because I have so dramatically altered the design and symbolism of a divination tarot deck, any attempted readings could be sorely misconstrued.
Most cards in this series have had their names altered. However, they still follow the specific array of trump cards, and will act much the same as their original counterparts. In this instance, the title of the card has not changed.
The point of the Metalocalypse-themed deck is rendered null if the entire deck does not uphold the theme. In the case of the 22 original trump cards, many cards "symbolized" (from where the divination deck readings were derived) certain positive outcomes. There were also three positive virtues in the original deck- Justice, Strength, and Temperance. I have altered all overtly positive cards to be either their polar opposite, or something overtly negative.
The next point of business is the symbolism in each card. Here is a definitive list of the utilized symbolism in card XIII:
Toki Wartooth is the centerpiece, surrounded by an elaborate border that is referenced from the title card/logos of the actual show/band. His pose is very strong, a wide-legged, centered stance he often takes when performing with the band. He is shirtless, showing the scars on his back, he holds his guitar in hand, and his expression and hair are wild. Toki's hair was designed with a whipping motion in mind, not just to symbolize a cliche point in the world of rock and metal music, but to symbolize his nearly split personality, where he exhibits the ability to go from sweet and innocent to dark and brutal in the blink of an eye. Toki's hair was also designed to be slightly reminiscent of horns. His expression is referenced from a particular episode of the show, in which someone in a crowd pushes the guitarist over the edge, causing him to beat the man to death, and then cause mass destruction.
The guitar is a key piece of this card. In the original Death card(s), Death is either riding a snow white horse into the scene, or Death is holding his intimidating scythe, which is used to sever any remaining threads of life (or whatever the prediction is discussing). The white color, in many cultures, is the color of death; conversely, it also represents purity, and even new beginnings. In this case, Toki's Snow Falcon guitar is already white, making it the perfect symbol of finality, besides the fact that Toki's music and bandmates are his weapons against that which would bring him down: life. Furthermore, we have already seen Toki dressed as death, complete with hood and guitar-scythe, on the Council's screens during "Dethkids" (I believe). Instead of folowing this design, I chose to draw Toki cloakless and shirtless, to add a sense of raw despondence and brutality to the image, and I chose to symbolize Toki's music as his weapon, instead of adding the scythe to the guitar. However, I have added crossed scythes to the Gear banner flying behind Toki's head.
The black, gold, and red color scheme represents the show's color scheme, and colors most often associated with death and dying. It's an overall macabre feeling.
Behind Toki there is the aforementioned banner, and a sunset. The original Death card(s) typically depict this as a sunrise, symbolizing, rebirth, new beginnings from endings, and the cycle of life. By reversing this to a sunset, however, a feeling of hopelessness becomes more poignant. Doubt is allowed to creep in from all sides, as darkness takes over, possibly forever. The colors also differ from the easy-going gray/blue scheme in the original cards, which represent impartiality, in that these colors are passionate and dramatic. Toki's Death-persona is, thus far, picky. There are certain people who remain unaffected by his provoclivity to heralding endings. It is largely his own unrestrained rage, or Fate acting as a defense mechanism, that drives Toki to be the epicenter of so much pain and loss. The banner is a play on Death's black and white Rose banner- the flower of Love. Instead of adding a flower to the banner, I chose to equate this dramatic scene with something Toki and his legions would use as a symbol of brutality and hate, firmly planting the banner of the damned divine in the aftermath. I have also changed the color of the banner from black to red, to show suffering, instead of passive and ending.
The landscape is desolate, filled with crosses and headstones smeared with blood. The grass is slightly green, but is visibly decaying. There is no life in this place, but rather, mere memories and reflections of it. This is a strong contrast to the oft lush, or even riches-strewn landscapes of the typical Tarot Death card. I have also omitted the river Styx and the pillars of knowledge from the background, to symbolize Toki's reign of terror to be absolute and ignorant in its purpose.
Finally, there are three decapitated heads at the bottom of the card, suspended by Toki's guitar cable (note: I am aware that the show depicts them has having a wireless setup). In the original Death card, there are three figures, representing men, women, and children, or that no one is immune to death. One of these figures is also a figure of religious standing, paying homage to his ultimate master. In this case, I have chosen to replace whole, understanding human beings with those Toki had slighted or been slighted by. The head on the right belongs to Caroline, his blind date from a matchmaking agency who's companionship did not turn out as planned. Although Toki did not kill this woman, her happiness and chances at getting what she wanted (a child) were highly affected by his unwillingness to be with her, representing emotional death. The head in the middle belongs to Rev. Aslaug Wartooth, Toki's father. Toki's presence caused Aslaug's death to go awry; instead of passing peacefully, he was dropped into an icy pool of water and drowned. However, Aslaug's passing meant that Toki was free from his childhood abuser, and that Aslaug's irrational actions could no longer harm anyone. His actions being put to death in such a way represents mental and moral death. Finally, the head on the left belongs to Juliette Sarmangsadandle, a terminally ill child who was unable to meet Toki as her dying wish because of his selfishness and insecurities. Her passing represents physical death. These heads are tethered to Toki's guitar cable incompletely as a way to show that his presence in their life would be their ultimate end. They are also incomplete bodies, to sigify the lack of longterm effect their deaths have on Toki himself.
I appreciate feedback from non-tarot fans and players/readers alike! I intend to upload the rest of the trump cards, and then continue on with the suits. I'm particularly looking for critique on the symbolism and the setup. Thanks for reading, thanks for looking, and enjoy!