Open thread: Endings

(By chris the cynic)

I’m a firm believer in the idea that the ending is the most important part because it colors all that came before. An ending that includes what everyone ended up doing five years down the line is very different from one in which the last lines are, “And the small child fell out of bed with a thud and woke up. It was all a dream.”

For those of us in the Gregorian calendar there’s a bit of an ending today. Hence the prompt for this open thread: Endings. Talk about them. Feel free to disagree with what I wrote above.

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9 thoughts on “Open thread: Endings

  1. Firedrake December 31, 2012 at 11:48 am

    Yes, there are some films and books in which the ending completely devalues what’s come before – to the point that I don’t re-(read/watch) them

  2. cjmr December 31, 2012 at 5:03 pm

    ITA, Firedrake. For example–The Life of Pi (the book, didn’t see the movie)

  3. Silver Adept December 31, 2012 at 5:53 pm

    I’m with The Doctor (11) about most endings – endings mean finality, and there are just a lit of things that I don’t want to have a final ending. Makes me sad to see good shows end after many years, and such.

  4. anamardoll January 1, 2013 at 7:33 am

    I have noticed — along with other members of my family — that I somehow like the “original” Star Wars less having now seen the “new” Star Wars stuff. Somehow something has been lost or changed for me; maybe the flaws that were always there are more visible now? But popping in the originals for a watch now seems a little painful somehow.

    So, yes, endings are important to me. I also find it very frustrating when things which should have endings do not — I’m not a huge fan of cliff-hangers in books (though depending on the book, I can handle them), and I tend to prefer one-offs and trilogies to 30-book long series.

  5. anamardoll January 1, 2013 at 7:34 am

    Also: HAPPY NEW YEAR.

    Today we learned that just because the YMCA is running a joining special on January 1st and just because they don’t post holiday hours ANYWHERE (physical door, website, phone recording, etc.) doesn’t mean that they open at 5:30 am as usual.

    *grumble*

  6. chris the cynic January 1, 2013 at 10:39 am

    Yes, happy new thing. May it be better than the old thing.

  7. Timothy (TRiG) January 2, 2013 at 3:59 pm

    One of my gripes with The Grapes of Wrath was that it didn’t have an ending: it just stopped. But I was fairly young when I read that. I might like it better if I tried it again.

    TRiG.

  8. froborr January 2, 2013 at 5:28 pm

    A bad ending can definitely ruin an otherwise good work for me. The two most prominent examples I can think of are the 2003 version of the Fullmetal Alchemist anime, and Harry Potter.

    With FMA, this was back in college when I still had the stamina to watch an entire anime series in one sitting. A couple of friends and I watched it over a weekend, and somewhere around the end of the first season I realized I was getting sick. By the last few episodes, I was having trouble retaining consciousness and running a high fever, so I just assumed the sudden bizarre twist in the last few episodes (the dual reveal of what lies beyond the Gate of Truth and what powers alchemy, to give specifics without spoilers) was a fever dream. Alas, it was not; years later I rewatched the episodes I had been semi-conscious for and discovered that my memories were largely accurate. The ending really was that terrible. Ruined the entire series for me; I was very, very happy when the remake followed the manga and thus diverged wildly from the first series, ending up at a vastly (vastly, vastly) superior and much more thematically appropriate ending.

    With Harry Potter, I hated the entire seventh book, because it completed Hermione’s transformation from Smart Young Woman Who Is Clearly Best Pony to Weepy Useless Girl Who Cannot Do Anything Without Male Assistance. It is impossible to reread even the good books (i.e., the second and third) without being overcome with horror at what she will become in a few books. The Babies Ever After epilogue doesn’t help.

  9. chris the cynic January 2, 2013 at 5:59 pm

    It is impossible to reread even the good books (i.e., the second and third) without being overcome with horror at what she will become in a few books.

    It’s interesting to me that those are the ones you consider the good ones. Before the fifth book ruined Harry Potter for me for all time, I thought book two was the weakest of the series.

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