books, greek mythology, Jasper Fforde, lloyd alexander, movies, prydain chronicles, the last dragonsayer
Lately, the hashtag #FictionalDeathsIWillNeverGetOver has been trending on Twitter. As soon as I saw that, I immediately thought of characters—whose deaths I will never get over. I could not let it pass and so I must tell you all about the imaginary deaths which shall haunt me forever.
As I’ve said before, the 2004 movie Troy is my favorite film of all time. (Again, don’t ask why because I have no idea.) I felt so sad when Hector died because Achilles’ reason for seeking revenge on the Trojan prince really wasn’t Hector’s fault. Achilles’ young cousin, Patroclus, was mad about Achilles refusing to fight the Trojans so he dressed up in Achilles’ armor and led his cousin’s men into battle. Hector killed Patroclus, thinking he was Achilles, but he felt really bad about it when he found out and while he had his brutal moments, he clearly had a more developed conscience than most the other characters. Oh, and he had a wife and infant son, too. He really, really was one of those characters who you wish could have lived. (Yes, I know he dies in the traditional myths, but that doesn’t mean I have to like it!)
Quark the Quarkbeast
A friend of mine loaned me Jasper Fforde’s YA debut, The Last Dragonslayer for a road trip and I enjoyed it greatly. The main character, Jennifer Strange, has a pet whose coat is described as “an open knife drawer,” eats tin cans, and has to be careful so as not to dent Volkswagens when he wags his tail. Quark was a semi-sentient creature who was fiercely loyal to his young mistress and ended up dying to save her. I knew he was going to die because once again, that detail was spoiled for me, but I still adored him and was very, very sad to see him meet his demise.
One of the great underrated fantasy series of all time is Lloyd Alexander’s Prydain Chronicles. In the second installment, titled The Black Cauldron, we meet a young and mystical warrior who is equally skilled with a sword as the harp and seeks to make and keep peace amongst his companions. He is betrothed to a beautiful and wise young woman with whom he is deeply in love and was an all-around good guy. But…in a scuffle with the zombie-like warriors sent by the dark lord, he is fatally wounded and dies. Adaon is of the minority of my FDIWNGO in that I didn’t see his death coming. Though that didn’t subtract from the devastation I experienced at the others’ deaths, it certainly was a compounding factor with Adaon.
To be continued…