Who Lives, and Who Dies.

I just finished a fantastic book which really brought a poignant point home for me; our favorite characters mortality.  We cheer them, we weep for them, we urge them on and we at times curse them; we become so very attached.  Then as we approach the end, we sometimes see loss.

It’s inevitable I suppose, mostly the books I read (fantasy, sci-fi) are action based, there’s battles, there’s wars, crusades, magic, lasers, and a plethora of ways to die.  But our favorites soldier on unmolested at times in almost inconceivable ways.  Even through all that implausibility we feel they earned that right to live through it all.

It used to be a cliche that the main characters always lived, except maybe for the token martyr/sacrifice.  Then (for me) Game of Thrones came along and shattered that.  2 major events in that book left me shocked, aghast and deeply emotional.  I’m not exactly a huge emotional person.  Staid, solid, reserved, these are usually my adjectives.  Well written books give me that opportunity to step inside these worlds and really connect with them, so that I often feel more strongly about them than things in the “real world”.

After this last book I have discovered an even more immense respect for authors who have to make that decision.  It’s not an automatic “duh”, it’s a cruel, horrible decision that I’m sure they wrestle with for days, if not weeks.  I greatly enjoy the escapism of these books, but I also incredibly value the way they make me stop and think at the end.

Authors, I salute you.  You give me whole worlds to explore.

 

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