I’m waiting for this Sunday with mixed feelings of excitement and dread. Even if George R.R. Martin doesn’t kill them all, the ending will be, as the actor who plays Jamie Lannister says, sadisfying.
It wouldn’t be the first time that a work of fiction broke my heart. It started, I think, with Hans Christian Andersen’s The Little Mermaid and The Little Match Girl when I was about five, and has never stopped. Since then, I’ve hated Hans Christian Andersen — no author should do this to any child.
But that was only the beginning because adult writers love doing it to adult readers. My high school curriculum was heavy on literary classics, not to mention three years of studying literature. Save for Jane Austin and Charlotte Bronte, I can hardly remember any novel, or story, or play I had to read that didn’t have a sad/tragic end. Russians, French and Germans were definitely the worst. They couldn’t write a darn thing without killing the main character and a few others in the process.
So, from Prince Andrei Bolkonsky from War and Peace and Marguerite Gautier from The Lady of the Camellias, to (I’m now fast-forwarding through several decades) Jack Twist from Brokeback Mountain (the T-shirt scene was emotionally the most devastating ever. I couldn’t talk for hours) to Boromir, Severus Snape, Fred Weasley… I mourned them all.
It happens to you, doesn’t it? Or should I be worried?
Although I eventually get over the loss of fictional people I’ve grown to love, the damage is often irreparable – I’m not able to read those sad books or watch those sad movies ever again, particularly if something bad happens to the main characters. Or I find a way around it. I watch the LOTR trilogy right up to the moment when Frodo, Sam, Pippin and Merry return to Shire, and then I stop. Frodo’s departure depresses me. But to go and watch the movie in which Han Solo dies? Never! Maybe George Lucas doesn’t need him alive, but I’m afraid I do.
It will happen with A Song of Ice and Fire and Game of Thrones. I won’t go back to them. Too many people to care about: not only Jon and Daenerys, but also Aria, Bran, Tyrion, Jamie, Sam, Sir Davos, Varys, The Hound, Lianna Mormont, Sansa, the dragons… It’s open range on all remaining characters. G.R.R. Martin won’t resist. It will be a killing spree of epic proportions, equivalent to a medieval plague epidemic. Mark my words.
I almost want to skip the last season, and preserve in my mind the world I know and love, an open-ended story in which everyone is still alive and everything is possible, where the goals are yet to be reached, risks taken and dreams fulfilled.
Because life really doesn’t make any sense once you’re dead.
P. S. This post is dedicated to an unknown person (or persons) who keeps checking my FB page for new content.