I recently read a popular trilogy (no names, I don’t want to spoil anyone’s enjoyment) and was reminded why I love to read romance: I’m guaranteed a happy ending. In this particular trilogy, after traipsing through disappointments and pain, triumphs and joy, the protagonist…
…as in snuffed out, never coming back, no chance of reincarnation or mistaken demise.
What. The. Hell. I spent hours of my precious free time only to have my heart ripped into tiny pieces. I read to escape, to close the book and walk off with a happy sigh and warm and fuzzies dancing around in my veins. Life has enough heartache, thank you very much. I took three terms of Shakespeare in college (it’s the nerd in me) and I always leaned toward the comedies over the tragedies because the tragedies in the comedies always get resolved with a HEA. They don’t leave you feeling hollowed out, wondering why you came to know a character only to watch them be destroyed. I realize everyone dies, and sometimes minor characters die to move the story along, but come on! The main character? Leaving the love interest all alone, broken and empty? And should George R.R. Martin happen to be reading this…kill off Jon Snow and I might have to get violent.
Now, don’t get me wrong. There are some tragedies I love, even if they’re painful. Like Phantom of the Opera. The English Patient. Dead Poets Society. Where the Red Fern Grows. Once in a great while, I drag those movies out, cry a little, and then make up happy endings for them. HAPPY ENDINGS. THEY’RE WHAT I WANT.
What about you? Do you prefer happy endings, or are you okay with a character kicking off at the end of the journey?