Sunday, March 2, 2014

Happily Ever After, Really?

This panel is a good snapshot of his personality; black eye, defiance, denial, and all.

Most fantasy stories end with some variation of "the happy ending," where the main conflict has ended and the main characters either marry or shack up with their love interests. This bothers me because a. such a creative genre ought to have more imaginative endings and b. if there's a sequel it involves finding a new love interest because IF HE/SHE IS "THE ONE" EVERYTHING IS NATURALLY PERFECT AND IF IT ISN'T, HE/SHE ISN'T "THE ONE" aaaand the sequel is about finding "the real Mr/Mrs Right."
Okay, so maybe I'm complaining about a particular urban fantasy/romance I was suckered into reading. However, emotional maturity comes from working through problems in a relationship, not transferring your affections/dependencies/neuroses to the next available guy/girl. YOUR EMOTIONAL BAGGAGE, IT GOES WITH YOU!

I can name two fantasies from my childhood that broke with tradition. Naturally they're among my favorite books. The Hero and the Crown, and The Last Unicorn. I won't ruin the endings for those of you that haven't read them, but I will say that if you can live without the words "Happily Ever After" you might give them a try.

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