Foreword: My deepest thanks for the support and caring expressed since last week’s blog. It was a terrifying thing to have to confess, though your kindness has reinforced my belief that it was the right thing to do. xoxo
I’ve been thinking a lot about endings, having crossed the seven hundred page mark of the final manuscript (of this arc). I’m nearing the heroes’ cataclysmic showdown with Brutus and the Black Queen. Of course, there have been plenty of minor showdowns and Holy Crap moments thus far. As you probably know with my work, I like a slow build of tension over various, interweaving stories, which inevitably collide in an explosive resolution(s). Why write an epic any other way, but grand? Perhaps my preferences are to blame for my disappointment with the endings of two of my favorite shows.
The first fizzler, was the series finale of the riveting legal drama Silk (synopsis can be found in the link). A few of the character and story arcs received passable, plausible closure. However, Martha Costello—the acerbic, noble champion of the downtrodden, and the principle lead of the whole series—had the strangest end to her tale. I’m sure that there have been objectively stranger ends. Such as the ending to the Generation X Angst film, Nowhere, where one of the characters blew-up while cuddling in bed with his lover, and then, wriggling in his remains was an insectile alien that said: “I’m outta here.” But nothing so strange or out of place as what happens to Martha, considering the grounded nature of the show. Here’s the deal: she loses her case, learns that her client was framed, has her faith in the entire legal system shattered, then babbles, incoherently, at a meeting with her peers before fleeing the office. Alright, she’s had a breakdown, I figure, though I doubt she’ll leave her badboy friend Billie, the clerk (who we’ve learned has cancer), to simply die all by his lonesome. There’s Billie, stumbling down a lane to catch her. There’s Martha, on the other side of the street. A bus passes in between them, and Martha—who’s secretly descended from Houdini—vanishes. Poof. Gone. Roll credits. Cue WTFs.
Afterward, I hopped online and discovered that my frustration had been shared by the show’s audience. Disappointing, unnecessarily cryptic, and nonsensical were the more common complaints. Imagine how pissed I’d be if I’d actually watched this show, year to year, since 2013 and those were my just desserts, rather than bingeing all three seasons on Netflix. Regardless, you can’t string your audience (or readers) along like that. It’s an injustice to the material and the characters.
Daredevil Season 2 left a similar, though less stinging impression. I actually enjoyed the slow-burn of the first act, which many people did not. Toward the end, I was excited about what seemed to be a climactic battle between undead ninjas and Dardevil’s motley crew (Elektra was the best part of that season). Unfortunately, the climax, when it occurred, felt less dangerous than many of the prior battles–despite the preamble by the characters about how much doom and gloom awaited them in this showdown. A showdown that consisted of two people against maybe a dozen ninjas, with a hokey appearance from the Punisher who just happened to be in the neighborhood to provide sniper support (borderline Deus Ex Machina). Bad. Cheesy. Made me cringe. Superhero shows can really hit you in the feels by balancing humor, danger, and simplistic moral messaging on love, honor, death, etc. They aimed too high, and hit too low on each of those targets and the result was disorienting and limpid, like watching a drunk slur his way through Shakespeare. (Okay, that might be cool with a tispy Ian McKellen–I would pay for tickets to that.)
Taking these lessons to heart with my own work, I promise you, dear readers, that the soldiers, heroes and villains of Geadhain will get the epic endings they deserve. It may not be with the justice or temperance you want, and you’re going to have to watch some of these people of whom you’ve grown so fond, die. Still, everything will be in line with the themes of the novels. Some endings will be cripplingly sad, others bittersweet, and a few the stuff of which fairytales are made. None should leave you saying: “WTF Christian?”
All my love,
P.S. I had a really fun interview with Minster Faust a while back about, and quote: “The Need for Male Wenches.” Well, that was the byte he used for the title. If you want to listen, I’ve added the link below (and will add it to the “Media” section soon too).