Sunday 29 November 2015

Nerd Church - Where Do We Go From Here?

Are we too old, too bitter, too disenchanted, for happily ever after? Do we believe that the princess lived a happy life, after she and the prince rode into the sunset together? Are we able to believe that everything, from the moment the book ends, is sunshine and rainbows?
True, a lot of books do not end happily - and/or don't end with the characters actually living - but is this our fault? Do we, as fans and readers, not want the ra-ra happy ending, but instead the dark, the ambiguous, the uncertain?
Obviously, it's difficult to talk about endings without wandering into spoilerific territory - and that is not something I really want to do - but if you think of a lot of popular books and series, do they end in happiness?
Those that do go for the fairy-tale style ending are often ridiculed and lambasted for being too unbelievable. That, in a way, is kind of sad; happiness and good fortune is no longer something that we believe we can have - so we don't want the characters in the books we read to have it either.
But then, despite the happy endings (though not for the villains,) fairy tales were originally quite violent. There was torture. There was death. There were beheadings and all sorts of random magical crap. (If you're interested in some good quality retellings of original fairy tales then I'd go for Philip Pullman's Grimm Tales: For Young and Old - I utterly love that book.)
My dear lovely nerds, I honestly wish you to find some hope in your lives - it's ok to be realistic, and often it's quite frankly beautiful to err on the gothic side of life (I certainly do!) - but sometimes you have to look to the brighter things. Even if that means a splash of the unreal.

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