It was a little over a year ago I teased that the Everflame series and The Dean Machine were actually set in the same universe. That blogpost can be seen here. In that post I mentioned I would be writing a new book series that was also set in that universe, and would involve characters from both stories.
As it stands, I have the rough draft written for the first two books in that series, and I hope to have them both available later this year. The book series is titled The Hands of Ruin, and the story begins five years after the events that take place in The Dean Machine.
Here are the covers... now it's back to work.
I didn't come up with this theory, and in no way take credit for it. It’s just something I stumbled upon in bits and pieces as I traversed the inter-webs, and thought I should share. If you are a Game of Thrones fan who is not up to date on the television episodes, or someone who doesn’t want potential spoilers, do not read on. For everyone else, here is a fan theory about GOT that is too perfect not to be true.
Firstly, let’s follow the family tree of House Targaryen, starting with Aerys II, the Mad King. (This is the guy Jamie Lannister kills to earn the nickname "Kingslayer"). The Mad King had three children with his wife, Rhaelle. These children are Daenerys “Mother of Dragons,” Viserys (the d-bag from season one last seen wearing a scalding pot of gold, care of Khal Drogo), and Rhaegar (Died; never on the show).
So, the Mad King has three kids. However, as we have learned time and time again, Westeros is filled with illegitimate children. It’s likely a dude nicknamed the Mad King wasn't the most faithful guy in the world to his wife, and probably wasn't afraid to take whomever and whatever he wanted whenever he felt like it. In a world where you’re seemingly not a cool kid unless you have a bastard of your own, it seems pretty safe to assume the Mad King had at least one illegitimate child.
So that brings us to Tyrion Lannister. You know, the Tyrion whose father, Tywin Lannister, treated him like he wasn't actually his son, the Tyrion who recently displayed an amazing ability to calm caged dragons long enough to pet their necks and take the shackles off of them, the Tyrion who is described in George R. R. Martin’s books as having hair so blonde it almost seemed white. Doesn’t Tyrion almost seem like he isn’t really a Lannister? Maybe he isn’t a Lannister…
Maybe the Mad King had a thing for Tyrion's mother, Joanna Lannister, and maybe the Mad King had a secret affair with her, or maybe he just took what he wanted in the way a tyrant king might. If you believe this possibility, then it means Tyrion is yet another bastard in Westeros, and the half-brother of Daenerys. Does that make Tyrion the “Uncle of Dragons?”
Now let's go back to one of the Mad King's legitimate kids, Rhaegar Targaryen. We never met him, but we do know something about him. Namely, that he kidnapped Ned Stark's sister, Lyanna, and kept her prisoner until Ned Stark and Robert Baratheon started a war over it. Rhaegar dies at the hands of Robert Baratheon during the war, alas Lyanna Stark dies anyway. Oddly, we aren’t told exactly how Lyanna died.
This raises the obvious question: why would Rhaegar kidnap Lyanna? And it is surely to be followed by the obvious answer: to make more bastards. Because, as we have already learned, time and time again, the goal of every man in Westeros is seemingly to make more bastards. It’s as if they think it’s a game. Whoever has the most bastards when winter comes is the winner. (I digress).
It's not a huge logical leap to think that maybe Ned Stark wasn't unfaithful to his wife, Catelyn. He never really seemed like the kind of guy who would cheat. I mean, wasn’t the whole point of Ned Stark’s character to tell the world nice guy’s finish not only last, but also without their heads in the Game of Thrones? Maybe it’s not so hard to believe that Ned Stark didn’t raise his own bastard within the walls of Winterfell, but instead was doing something far nobler. Maybe he decided to raise his sister's orphaned son as his own. Maybe Jon Snow's mother is Lyanna Stark. It would explain why her character is brought up so often, as evidenced by Bran Stark's memory/dream in the most recent GOT episode. Also, this would obviously mean Jon Snow’s father is Rhaegar Targaryen.
This would also make Jon Snow (Targaryen) the nephew of Daenerys Targaryen, and Tyrion Lannister (Targaryen).
Hmm, aren’t there three dragons?
That is why I say this theory is too perfect not to be true, because let’s be honest, if you’re telling me this show could have Tyrion, Daenerys, and Jon Snow riding a trinity of dragons into battle against an army of White Walkers, yet someone said, “nah, I think we can come up with something better,” that person would be wrong. That person would be utterly, tragically, mind-bogglingly incorrect.
Don’t crush our dreams, HBO. Tyrion Lannister needs to ride a fire-breathing dragon.
• • •
Dylan Lee Peters
Author of The Dean Machine and The Everflame Series
Sometimes, when I read a book, or become immersed in a particular kind of film, I begin searching. Searching for what—I’m not sure I even know. Maybe truth. Maybe revelation. Maybe I’m searching for that magic analogy that will help me to understand the human condition in a way I couldn’t have understood it before. Maybe I’m searching for a copy of myself. I don’t know. None of that seems perfectly correct, but none of it seems perfectly incorrect either. I suppose that’s why I begin searching in the first place.
Maybe you do this too, and if you do, then you know how often that search can end in disappointment. Truly, you end up having projected importance onto a story that was nothing more than smoke and mirrors from the outset. Most often, the story is a mechanism created to hold your attention, and nothing more. You are left searching for a greater meaning that was never there. Sometimes, when a storyteller is actually trying to convey greater meaning, they only capture a glimmer, just for a moment, but ultimately lose grasp of it, and something promising falls apart. Your search leaves you feeling unfulfilled.
So, if you have been on that ambiguous search that I’m talking about, then you also know that disappointment. If you know that search, then you also know there’s a trap to fall into. You know what your weaknesses are. You know the smoke and mirrors that get you every time. It’s the hook you will always take, no matter how many times it leaves you strung up on someone’s line.
The first book of Jeff VanderMeer’s trilogy, Annihilation, is the hook that I had to take, knowing that I was setting myself up for likely disappointment. Its smoke created the perfect screen to pique my curiosity, and its mirrors reflected the silhouettes that I had to chase down. That first book devoured me so completely that I was ashamed of how much I succumbed to it. After finishing, I moved on to the second book like a junkie injecting their fix, cursing the poison that had gained mastery over me. I had begun that ambiguous search again.
If the first book had set the hook, the second book, Authority, was reeling me in at a ferocious rate. I read and re-read passages as if they were incantations, sure to produce a revelatory vision. I regarded the book as if I had stumbled upon some ancient scroll that could unbind the universe. Damn it, I was caught up in it. When I tried to tear my head away from it, it still had me pondering its greater meaning. It was a pressure buried in my thought, it was a brightness embedded in my chest, its shadows were at the corners of my eyes, I could feel it on my fingertips, and I couldn’t wash it off.
The book had me ready to receive that message that I’m always searching for. I wanted it so damn bad. I was ready to peer down into the winding darkness, I was ready to walk across the swirling light of the void, I was ready to jump into the abyss, and the whole time I would be praying that this time would not end in disappointment. This time there had to be something worthy of the search. This time there had to be something that should be found, that needed to be found.
I burst through the surface of the third book, Acceptance, knowing that I had left myself vulnerable to another let down. Yet, as I read along, I realized that I would not be let down. This time, unlike so many expeditions that had come before it, I did find something worth the search. There it was, shining upon the surface of the grass, moving below the water like a great gray shadow, flitting through the air like an alien dust, exactly what I was looking for, exactly what I am always looking for.
• • •
I don’t know how to begin to review a work such as The Southern Reach Trilogy. I don’t know how to evaluate it, quantify it, or qualify it. I sure as shit don’t know how to parse it into a few paragraphs that will convince you that it is worthy of your attention. All I can communicate to you is that it is worthy of your attention because it holds within its pages something true. It’s something we just couldn’t find the right analogy for.
A little embarrassed, he said, “That fish down there sure is frightened of you.”
“Huh? It just doesn’t know me. If it knew me, that fish would shake my hand.”
“I don’t think there’s anything you could say to convince it of that. And there are all kinds of ways you could hurt it without meaning to.” Watching those unblinking eyes with the gold streaks—the dark vertical pupil—that seemed like a fundamental truth
• • •
Dylan Lee Peters
Author of The Dean Machine and The Everflame Series
1. I will, with almost 100% certainty, never write another novel under the title of Everflame. In that respect, the Everflame Series is completed.
2. Everflame and The Dean Machine are parts of a larger story that will be told in my next series of novels. They are connected in that they each take place in the same universe. The Everflame Series is a story of this universe’s ancient past, and The Dean Machine a story of its future.
3. Characters from both The Everflame Series and The Dean Machine will have major roles in this new series I will be writing.
Stay tuned for more information about this new project, and clues as to which characters will be along for the next adventure. In the meantime, make sure you are caught up with the story in the Everflame Series, and The Dean Machine.
I came to this party late. Very late. I abstained from watching The Walking Dead until last year. I’ve never been into the zombie genre. It always seemed so one-dimensional. Zombies attack, everyone runs, and ultimately no one escapes. The story ends in the inevitable pig pile of death. So, for a very long time, I assumed The Walking Dead would follow the same arc. I had even watched Season One: Episode One a few years ago, and concluded that the show would be exactly what I thought it was going to be. So I judged it unworthy of my time, and forgot about it.
It turned out that I was wrong. After years of hearing others call the show “the best on TV,” my wife and I reluctantly gave the show another chance. Our reasoning, if for nothing else, was that we needed to find out why everyone was hooked on The Walking Dead. We needed the mania to at least make sense. Season one of the show is still utterly boring in my opinion, but about halfway through season two, we were hooked. The story was certainly not one-dimensional; in fact, it was going places I didn’t think a television show ever would. We were binge watching on Netflix, night after night, loving the character building, the shocking deaths, and finding ourselves admitting we were wrong about The Walking Dead. It wasn’t just a show about zombies. It was a show about people, survival, and finding hope against seemingly insurmountable odds.
We caught up to the show just after Rick Grimes and his group found themselves behind the walls of Alexandria. At this point we were hooked. At this point we were Walking Dead fans.
But that’s where everything changed for me. In my opinion, the show has devolved into something lesser since that point. The characters had been sufficiently built, but in Alexandria we are forced to watch them stagnate. Carol is no longer bad-ass, and Daryl’s crossbow never seems to get enough of the spotlight. The plotline has fits and starts, and the show has lost the ability to make me believe they just might kill off anyone. The Walking Dead had never been boring, but now it felt like it was becoming so. It all came to a head with last night’s season finale, as I watched Rick and his group held hostage, on their knees, waiting for the next blow to come, and it never came. Not for the audience anyway. As the screen went black, the credits rolled, and the realization that I had just wasted another 90 minutes of my life washed over me. A much more sobering epiphany struck.
This is when I realized that as an audience, we were just like the characters of the show. We were hostages, on our knees, waiting for something to happen so we can stand back up… but nothing really happened.
Ask yourself this: what are the enduring images of last night’s episode? You will certainly see Negan with his baseball bat, Lucille, but think past that, what else do you remember? What stands prominently in your mind? For me it’s the repeated ads pushing us to watch Better Call Saul, or Fear The Walking Dead. Ask yourself why last might needed 90 minutes to tell a story that went nowhere instead of 60. Ask yourself why, when you hear the echoes of last night in your mind, you hear “AMC’s The Walking Dead.” I’ve never felt like I was watching HBO’s Game of Thrones, or USA’s Mr. Robot, but it’s definitely AMC’s The Walking Dead.
And this is why, when after 90 minutes of watching filler and commercials just to see who Negan was going to kill–because let’s be honest with ourselves, that’s all last night was–and then not be told who got that baseball bat to the head, I’m absolutely done watching this show. Last night was my series finale.
I will endure advertising for a good story, but I refuse to be strung along like some mindless fool, hooked up to the advertising machine, allowing myself to be shown ad, after ad, after ad, and be given nothing in return. We received no quality entertainment, no story, no resolution, and this has been happening since the walls of Alexandria appeared on the horizon. We’re all just kneeling in the mud, and watching commercials.
AMC’s Negan was exactly right, and it felt like he was speaking to AMC’s audience.
“Give me your shit or I will kill you. Today was career day. We invested a lot, and you know who I am, and what I can do. You work for me now. You have shit; you give it to me. That’s your job. Now I know that is a mighty big, nasty pill to swallow, but swallow it you most certainly will.”
Nah. I’m good. I’m not giving AMC half my shit anymore.
You really want to know who AMC’s The Walking Dead killed off last night?
There is a perceived problem afflicting a portion of today’s America, and a great deal of people would argue that the problem is very real. They live their daily lives frustrated with the direction of their country/society, fed up with the people that surround them, and afraid there is little hope that things will get better. Many people in America feel like Adam and Barbara Maitland from the movie Beetlejuice.
Try to see the parallels for a moment. You just came to the realization that you are no longer in the world that you thought you were in. You don’t feel dead, but it seems like you are. No one notices you or what you care about. You don’t understand what is going on or how you got to this point. You have questions and no one has answers. You try to get help, but no one is there to give you that help. The world is so strange to you when you walk out your front door, that you’re better off staying inside forever. And now, to top it all off, these weird people you don’t like are moving in, and there’s seemingly nothing you can do to get rid of them or their weird art. You just want things to go back to the way they were. You’d do anything to have life go back to the way it was before.
To a lot of Americans (seemingly) this is exactly how they feel in today’s America. They are scared, they want help, they are fed up, and they are ready to do whatever they have to in order to get what they want…
…and then their television lights up.
There’s a man, telling them everything they want to hear. He seems to understand exactly what their problems are, and seems to know exactly what to do to fix them. Sure, his hair is very odd, he’s wearing an obscene amount of makeup, and he seems a little abrasive, but he makes them wonder if that’s not exactly what they need: It’s time to shake things up. He’s telling them that he can make all of their problems go away, and all they have to do is empower him.
If you’ve seen the movie Beetlejuice, you know what happens after this point. The Maitland’s give Beetlejuice the go ahead, and all hell breaks loose. It turns out Beetlejuice is a shyster, a charlatan, a fraud. There were some who tried to warn them not to get involved with this man, but they wouldn’t listen. They didn’t do enough digging into who Beetlejuice really was. The Maitland’s let themselves make a poor decision out of fear and anger, and they ended up in much worse trouble then they were in before… Everyone ends up in much worse trouble.
In the end, the Maitland’s realize what a mistake Beetlejuice is just before it’s too late. They realize they will never be able to get back to the way things used to be, but that’s okay. While the Deetz’ who moved into their home are strange to them, and flawed (as we all are), they are not bad people. The Maitland’s learn to live with the Deetz’ so that everyone has a better life. Most importantly, the Maitland’s learn that they are the ones who are responsible for the quality of their own lives, and that as long as they live out of fear and anger, nothing good will come of that.
So BEWARE. You may be living the plot of Beetlejuice.
SPOLIERS AHEAD. BEWARE.
So, everyone has their theories about the new Star Wars trilogy, and I suppose fan theories are just the modern world’s way of saying, “hey, that was fun, let’s obsess over this until we bust a blood vessel!” Ah, what a strange and wonderful world we live in.
Anyway, like any self-respecting dork I have my own theories, and I figured I’d share one I thought of this morning. As of yet, I haven’t heard it anywhere else. It concerns what we will learn about Rey’s past.
As of now there is a lot of speculation over Rey’s parents, mostly due to the fact that the movie seems to point the audience to the conclusion that her father may be Luke Skywalker. Most people seem to be shrugging that away as the “way-too-easy” conclusion, figuring it doesn’t make for a very impressive reveal in either Episode VIII or IX. All sorts of theories are abound that Rey might be a Kenobi, or she may just be another Solo (making her Kylo Ren’s sister, and making that storyline very Star Wars indeed). However, I don’t really agree with those ideas, or with the idea that making her a Skywalker is just too easy.
I think Rey is the daughter of Luke Skywalker, and I think people are missing what the big reveal of the next movie is going to be. It’s not going to be about Rey’s parents. It’s going to be about Rey’s past.
What we know now is that the little girl, Rey, was left on Jakku with some fugly alien junker, and her “family”– whomever might be included in that equation– left her and never returned. We know that she is strong with the force, and I mean stroooong with it. Rey is I just learned I had the force about half an hour ago and whipped some dude that is twice my size in a light saber battle strong. We also know that after touching that blue light saber (seemingly Obi Wan’s) she had some wicked flashbacks. One of which was being surrounded by the Knights of Ren after a presumed massacre. Those things are pretty much all we know.
Now let me bring up something we might know about Kylo Ren and Luke Skywalker. We were told Luke Skywalker quit training kids to be Jedis and disappeared after one of them “went bad.” As if it was all just too much to take, he had seen too much, and he had to get out forever. Once we see Kylo Ren giving a soliloquy to his dead grandfather, and then see the burnt helmet of Darth Vader, it’s easy enough to connect the dots and assume that Kylo, the grandson of Vader, was the one who went bad. As we later learn that Kylo is actually Ben Solo, son of Han and Leia, it all makes perfect sense. Ben Solo was the one who went bad and made Luke Skywalker give up his teaching position forever.
But… wait a minute… WHY did Ben Solo go bad? Anakin went bad because of a lethal cocktail of ego, paranoia, and Sand People made my mom a slave after I left her, and I returned just in time to see her die. So Ben Solo had to have some messed up stuff go on, right? But Mom and Dad were alive, well, and sort of getting along. Don’t tell me he went to the dark side over a divorce…
And Luke left the world behind because his nephew, a teen with some angst problems, was getting his goth on? I mean… he didn’t try to save him, or bring him back, or… anything. Doesn’t that all make Luke seem just a little soft? Wouldn’t Han and Leia be uber-pissed at him for failing the kid and then leaving?
So here’s my big theory. Maybe Ben Solo wasn’t the one who went bad. Maybe it was little Rey. Maybe little five-year-old Rey was like an atom bomb of death that no one could control. Maybe that massacre we saw at the feet of the Knights of Ren was the handiwork of Rey?
I think Luke saw his little daughter do some stuff that would have made grandpa Vader barf in his helmet. Then Daddy Luke promptly lost his mind, jedi-erased the girl’s memory of her bad deeds, and left her on the most desolate planet he could find. Then, not being able to live with what he had brought upon the world, or what he had done to his daughter, he vanished.
Then, Ben Solo got all dark side because he saw what happened to little Rey… and then he saw Luke abandon her. Now, watching your uncle abandon your niece on a desert planet because she is the devil incarnate, and then peace-out on life… that makes you go dark side.
So that’s my theory. What do you think?
You can put me firmly in the group of people who once called themselves Star Wars fans. (You noticed the qualifier in that sentence, right? Once.) Like so many, my childhood was filled with lightsaber battles, and imaginary playtime with Wookies and Ewoks. Even into my teens I watched the films with a warm, everything-is-right-in-the-world feeling. My friends and I quoted Yoda. We were damn proud Star Wars nerds.
When George Lucas decided to release a new trilogy, Episode I through III, we counted down the days, and consumed any news and merchandise we could. There was a fever pitch with all Star Wars fans at that time. You had to be excited. It was like someone had shown up with a time machine and told you they were about to take you back to one of the happiest, most carefree, and innocent times of your life. All you had to do was stand in line at the movie theatre and let it all happen. So we did. We metaphorically gave Mr. Lucas our hands, and let him lead us to the Promised Land. But then he did the worst thing he could have. He turned a wonderful part of our childhood into a mockery.
I don’t have to rehash the epic disappointment of Episode I through III. The three movies remain unwatchable for an array of reasons. I’ll just say, on a personal level, George Lucas killed meesa soul. Like a Jedi being hunted by the Empire, I had to leave the Star Wars universe. They had taken an important part of my childhood, and completely bastardized it to make more money.
It made it even more tragic to me that it worked. The Star Wars franchise blew up. Over the years that followed Episode I through III you couldn’t escape the Star Wars marketing machine. A new generation of kids had been seduced with lightsabers, and pod races. Anakin Skywalker was a household name, R2-D2 became the cutest little robot in the club, and Yoda replaced Bob Marley for the next generation of stoners searching for meaning amid a clouded high. Even Boba Fett somehow managed to eke out his own little piece of land on planet I’m-Such-A-Rebel.
I was the old codger complaining that back in my day you had to be a real fan to even know who Boba Fett was. Oh God… I had become one of those sad people complaining that their favorite band had gone mainstream. It was time for me to leave the party.
So, when Disney bought the franchise and announced the coming of Episode VII… I sadly didn’t give a crap. My little Star Wars soul was dead. Yet, in the coming months, things began to change. It was a slow change, met with resistance, but it was a change.
I heard they were bringing back the old characters for the new movie. (Hmm, that’s somewhat interesting). There seems to be a rumble that the producers understand what was so wrong about Episode I through III, and promise not to repeat past mistakes. (Okay, admitting you have a problem is the first step). They are promising less goofy CGI characters, a much better cast with fewer established stars, and a promise to stay true to the original movies. (Well, I’ll see what the reviews say). The reviews are… good. (Maybe I’ll check it out when it comes to Netflix).
Then a good friend of mine, someone whose opinion matters greatly to me in this particular matter, posted on facebook that the movie redeems the failure of Episode I through III. (No… Is it possible? I suppose… I’ll have to go see it).
And then… The movie exceeded any expectation I had for it. It was amazing.
No more horrible actors, the new cast was quality, and had chemistry.
No terrible CGI goofiness, the effects were apt and not overdone.
The comedy was subtle and actually funny, not the corny and forced slapstick of the “Jar Jar” disaster.
And then, the thing I just never would have expected. The story was absolutely great. It was heartfelt and deep. The action was suspenseful, and riveting. I found myself caring for the characters, new and old. There was mystery that kept you intrigued. There were moments that brought actual sadness. This movie had me; it awakened something in me.
And before I knew what had happened. I was back. Like Han Solo returning in A New Hope to help Luke defeat the Death Star, I was back. I walked out of the theatre, and for the first time in fifteen years, the force was with me. If Episode VIII had been in the theatre next door, I would have immediately walked in to watch it. Knowing I have to wait over a year for it is killing me, and that’s probably the best review I can give.
Without giving anything away, the final scene of the movie is the most perfect metaphor for the “old guard” of Star Wars fans there could possibly be. If you never thought you could return, you were wrong, the force is strong with you, and it is there waiting for your return. All you have to do is reach out and grab it.
Just about a year ago, I set out with a goal, a new year’s resolution. Today, I completed that goal with a six-mile run and finished running my 500th mile of the year. This blog post isn’t intended to pat myself on the back, or to boast. I’m well aware that for many people 500 miles in one year is not a big deal. However, it was a big deal to me, because it was something I had never done before, something just two years ago I never would have imagined I could do, and also because of who kept me going every step of the way.
My Heart is a Machine. If you’ve read my book, The Dean Machine, then you know exactly what it means. The inspiration for the sci-fi/fantasy adventure was Dean, a rescue dog that my wife and I adopted, who tragically passed away far sooner than he deserved. He was an old dog, who had spent years suffering in a puppy mill, and spent his last days struggling to fight the cancer and congestive heart failure that were crippling him. Yet, up until his last few weeks, Dean was a dog on fire, with all the energy and spunk of a dog half his age. He loved life, relishing every second of it. It is why he was nicknamed The Dean Machine long before thoughts of a book ever came into play.
Dean was with me every stride I took when I ran, and every breath of air forced in and out of my lungs. I told myself he was waiting for me up around every bend. I ran in pain because of Dean, I ran through sickness, I ran through rain, and I ran in the heat of a Florida summer. I ran when I didn’t want to, I ran when it was hard to fit it into my schedule, I ran because I never forgot what Dean went through, and because my complaints didn’t mean a damn thing.
Dean’s heart was a machine, and now mine is too.
There are still dogs out there that suffer as Dean did, and make no mistake the fault lies with us. My Heart is a Machine is now my mantra, it’s the slogan for the book, and it’s Dean’s legacy. It’s why I will always donate royalties from sales of The Dean Machine to animal rescue organizations. It’s why I’ll be sending a $100 check to True & Faithful Pet Rescue Mission, Inc. at the end of this month. That total is partially due to those of you who purchased The Dean Machine, and I thank you.
I hope in the future to be able to donate to animal rescue organizations in amounts far greater than what I am sending this month, but for that to happen I need help. I need your heart to be a machine. So please buy the book, and spread the word.
Thank you and happy holidays.
Five seasons into the series that has become America’s sickly obsession, and I can’t help but wonder where our gory group of friends will head next. One thing is for sure; they can’t possibly continue the ping ponging between rural roads and gated communities. (I’d bet you never thought of a prison as a gated community). That formula has already gotten stale, and if the audience is forced to watch another season of “in a safe place, herd of zombies comes, out on the road again,” The Walking Dead might finally start its real life death march. It won’t matter how many governors, or cannibals, or tribal wackos they throw into the mix, it’s time for the show to grow.
The first two episodes of the sixth season have hinted that the world of The Walking Dead might be ready to get a little bigger, and that those who have “Just Survived Somehow” might finally be ready to go on the offensive. I mean, isn’t that the arc of most storylines? You beautifully built your characters, your audience is invested, and now the adventure really begins. Your audience is ready to see their favorite protagonists grow beyond what they know of them, for better or for worse. I think The Walking Dead has reached that point. I’m tired of Rick’s authority being challenged. I’m tired of watching Glen’s talents wasted on supply runs. I’m tired of Daryl’s silent brooding. (Is it merely irony that he has wings on the back of his vest, or foreshadowing? I hope for the latter). It’s time for the core characters of the show to take Carol’s lead, put a cape on, paint a W on their foreheads, and save the world. Or at least die trying.
If we see the demise of our survivors while they’re huddled behind a wall and scared it’s just going to feel so empty. Are the showrunners really doing all of this character building to emphasize the existential? Life is just a series of character building plot lines eventually snuffed out like barely burning flames–c’est la vie. I hope not.
Here are five things I’d like to see the show try.
Disagree with any of my ideas? Have any of your own to add? I’d love to see them in the comments.