GoT enraged me. Supernatural enraged me, too. And Chilling Adventures of Sabrina was the drop that sent my goblet of venom overflowing.
I don’t see the point of taking a character through tragedy and turmoil if you’re gonna throw them off a cliff in the end. Why take the reader through a character’s transformation pain if the character isn’t going to beat the odds in the end, and reach a Happily Ever After? (And yes, George Martin, the character winning a war before dying still counts as ‘a sh*load of trouble for effing nothing’, at least for the character). Oh, and please, dear author and show runner, don’t give us the, “Because the real world sucks, and we need to raise awareness.” You think we don’t know that? How much more aware must we get? You think we turn to your book at the end of an effed up day so we can get some more of the war and gore and mental slaughter that we get on the news and the radio ALL FREAKING DAY? You think we need more of that for our entertainment? You think the world’s collective depression needs feeding? How is that even logical?
As for the success-ensuring shock factor? Don’t even. A Happy End didn’t kill Harry Potter’s career, or Lord of the Rings’, or freaking Bridgerton’s for that matter. On the contrary.
To me, if I put a character through hell, it needs to be for more than just me getting off of pain porn. The character will emerge stronger, they will learn lessons and, if I as the writer get lucky, they might even change their world, and live in it as happy as the purest souls in Heaven.
In my view, sad ends to successful book series and shows are a betrayal that demands satisfaction. The shows I mentioned in the beginning were successful before we, the fans, got slapped over the face with a sad end in which our most beloved characters died on us. I know the makers think sad ends make people talk about the show more, but again – the shows I mentioned were successful before that.
Of course, this is just my view on things, and I’m not by any means trying to push it as the absolute truth. People may LOVE books and shows with a sad end, and they may well have fantastic reasons for that. I would like to understand, too, so please, tell me what you think about HAPPY ENDS versus SAD ENDS (meaning that one or more of the main characters die). Do you see a point to killing off characters in the end of a series, be it in successful books or in shows? Or are you like me, and expect to be rewarded for your emotional investment in the character, and not be slapped over the face with a ‘you lost all your money in a bad trust fund’ by your con broker/author?
Looking forward to hearing from you! And if you’re in for a feast of dark love stories with a guaranteed happy end, help yourself here: