So … yeah, I’ve decided that this one’s not going to Hub. I’m looking at it as more of a warm-up. It’s been awhile since I wrote anything essay-ish of that length, and I need to sort of gear up to it. (There will be a cut. This is going to be LONG.)
No More Happily Ever After – The Death of the Happy Ending in Genre Fiction
Once upon a time, genre fiction endings were relatively simple. There was the final climactic battle against the forces of evil, and one way or another, there was triumph. Sometimes the main protagonist had to sacrifice themselves for the greater good, but often they were able to return to friends and loved ones, possibly scarred both physically and emotionally but with the potential for healing, and the world or galaxy was saved in a concrete way, shown on ‘screen’ through a montage or a poignant scene of some kind. And they all lived happily ever after.
More recently, however, a trend has developed, best summed up in the words that more or less kicked off the comic book series Fables: “No more happily ever after”. Happy endings of any kind have become less and less fashionable until books, television series, video games and, to a lesser extent, films end on a note of melancholy for the protagonists and the audience.
I wholeheartly agree with this blog. Real life is tough enough. We must wear our helmets everyday. When I play a video where I have allowed myself to be absorbed into the fantasy, I want at least the option to have a happy ending. It’s reaffirming. Because as much as life sucks, it important to remember than there can be happy endings.