killing off main characters (spoilers!)

Discussion in 'Fantasy' started by David Plantinga, Apr 3, 2017.

  1. Matticus Primal

    Matticus Primal Journeyed there and back again

    Man, what is it about animals dying that brings on the tears, while I remain unmoved by human character deaths? One of my first memories of crying from a book was when their dog Jack died in the Little House on the Prairie series. It's been 30+ years, but I still remember that scene.
     
  2. Darwin

    Darwin Journeyed there and back again

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  3. Matticus Primal

    Matticus Primal Journeyed there and back again

  4. Bierschneeman

    Bierschneeman Journeyed there and back again

    Great one, I'm still pissed they retconned the best episode of the series with a movie.
     
  5. Bierschneeman

    Bierschneeman Journeyed there and back again

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  6. Sneaky Burrito

    Sneaky Burrito Crazy Cat Lady Staff Member

    I just knew what it was going to be before I even clicked the link.
     
  7. Sneaky Burrito

    Sneaky Burrito Crazy Cat Lady Staff Member

    I don't see this book talked about much around here, but Farlander by Col Buchanan takes the concept of a main character dying in an interesting direction. And one that actually works, in my opinion.

    It seems like it is just going to be another "aging mentor trains an apprentice" type of book. Near the end, the apprentice gets captured by the bad guys. Of course the mentor goes to rescue him. And FAILS. Apprentice just dies. Not at all what I expected, but actually refreshing.

    I need to see if he's written past book 2 in that series.

    Anyway, then there is Angus Watson.

    Dug dying at the end of book 2 kind of put me off book 3. I rushed through the first two and I am lagging with #3, been on it for a few weeks now. I can see the thought process leading up to it, and it was really well set up in the book, but it still sucks.
     
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  8. Peat

    Peat Journeyed there and back again

    Her killing
    Lupin and Tonks
    was a savage one for me and I'm not even quite sure why. A good author can extract a lot of mileage out of killing off secondary characters - there's been some great ones from Gemmell and GGK in particular, but there's some good ones from Feist too.


    I don't mind resurrections. I think there are some good mystical thematics to be mined there, for one thing, and its good for guessing games. I think a big part of the success of SoIaF and WoT come from how much fans could talk about what's going to happen and try to puzzle out the mysteries. It does rather change the dynamics though.

    So too does killing a lot of characters. The unexpected death of a cool character has a really big impact, but the more deaths happen, the less likely its a surprise. To paraphrase a football quote... you kill two characters its a surprise both times, you kill five characters its a surprise once, you kill twenty characters and none of them are a surprise.

    Also - and this has been said a few times in this thread - killing off the coolest characters and leaving us with the boring people sucks. I can get why authors pick the charismatic beloved secondary characters to die, you get a big impact, but don't go selling yo' car if yo' can't buy a replacement.


    These three things combined go a long way towards explaining why I personally am a bit over SoIaF
     
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    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 10, 2017
  9. Diziet Sma

    Diziet Sma Hired Nicomo Cosca, famed soldier of fortune

    If an author kills the MC early on and I haven’t seen this coming, then points for the author. However, in my view, this MC wasn’t the real but a false one and only and as long as the author can recapture successfully the reader’s interest and personal connection into another MC(s). If the author fails in this, then the story is obviously a flop.
    When a MC dies, this is also telling me that these sudden deaths can repeat themselves, why not? I become therefore more suspicious and cautious of growing too attached to another MC, I do not like being heartbroken twice in a book… @jo zebedee , I haven’t forgiven you yet for what you did to you know whom…;)

    Resurrecting characters is, in my eyes a deus ex machina resource, which it should be used cleverly and very, very sparsely. I find it tantamount to coincidences in the narrative, I don’t like them nor I appreciate them.

    I’m currently reading Endymion Hyperion Cantos #3 and...

    Resurrection is as common as sipping beer. In this case, it doesn’t bother me as it is a concept brought forward and developed from book 1.
     
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2017
  10. Noor Al-Shanti

    Noor Al-Shanti Stood on the wall with Druss

    And
    Fred!
    She was actually very savage in the 7th book when you come to think about all the deaths!
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 10, 2017
  11. Matticus Primal

    Matticus Primal Journeyed there and back again

    But think about how many villains that died that you're not mourning. Who cries for Voldemort!?
     
  12. Darwin

    Darwin Journeyed there and back again

    Well, Snape found a small place in my heart...
    Edit: very small.
     
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  13. Bierschneeman

    Bierschneeman Journeyed there and back again

    90% of Tim curry villains I mourn
     
  14. Tanniel

    Tanniel Hired Nicomo Cosca, famed soldier of fortune

    To paraphrase Mark Twain, has anyone ever had the decency to pray for the devil, the sinner who needs it the most.
     
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  15. Bierschneeman

    Bierschneeman Journeyed there and back again

    Every time.
    [​IMG]
     
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  16. jo zebedee

    jo zebedee Journeyed there and back again

    Hang in there, @Elvira - book one only tells part of his story ;)
     
  17. Matticus Primal

    Matticus Primal Journeyed there and back again

    My wife some something similar recently when I complained about all the kids I've been seeing with "Always" tattoos (the A being the Deathly Hallows symbol). She thought he was sweet. I thought there was something rather stalkery about never moving on from your elementary school crush, then, after she dies, having a passive aggressive mentor relationship with her son because you hated his father. I mean, seriously, it's kind of creepy. And this is coming from a guy who has six fake facebook accounts so he can keep track of all his exes that have restraining orders against him.

    Kidding!

    (About finding Snape creepy. Obviously).
     
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  18. Peat

    Peat Journeyed there and back again

    Oh my gods yes. If you had your own Snape you'd be weirded the hell out.

    But that's life. The line between super romantic and super creepy is incredibly thin at times.

    I would love to unleash a horde of Draco and Snape fangirls on Rowling and watch her facial expression.
     
  19. Matticus Primal

    Matticus Primal Journeyed there and back again

    No kidding. Here's the link to the folks who recut the Love Actually trailer as a horror film. Which I think it works better as since every time my wife wants to watch it I run away screaming...
     
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  20. Darwin

    Darwin Journeyed there and back again

    I think it would be a pretty dope tattoo, except you're simultaneously advertising feminine hygiene products...

    It's weird to me that people treat the Deathly Hollows as a standard icon of the HP books, considering it was just sort of crudely added into the story at the end.

    I don't think Snape was too creepy. Just creepy enough, maybe.
     
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