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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Pixie in the Playground
    Join Date
    Jul 2017

    Default On the destruction of the world

    Hello. Been reading for a while, decided that I'd register to chime in with some thoughts that have been bouncing around in my head for a while. Perhaps this has come up before (likely) and I missed it, in which case feel free to link to previous discussions.

    Essentially, I've had the feeling that there are some interesting narrative twists to destroying the world, without it ending the story (in a satisfying way). I just haven't been able to figure out the details. The reason I think this is interesting is that it would subvert several reader assumptions and expectations, and offer interesting story-telling opportunities.

    The first story-telling opportunity is for Hel's plan to blow up in her face. Now, I expect the Order to defeat the evil vampire in the nick of time (and most importantly, for Durkon's spirit to play some part in that), and then the Dwarven Council of Elders will cast their vote free of vampire Domination. But what if the dwarves, in full knowledge of what is at stake, decide that the risk of the Snarl is too great and therefore, yes, the world should be destroyed to be safe. If that condemns all of them to Hel, well... that's their duty. Thing is, that is a noble and honourable sacrifice, so by chosing to end the world, the dwarves free themselves from Hel.

    Another interesting question is this: would the world ending without the story ending at the same time fulfill a technical interpretation of the Oracle's prophecy of Belkar's death? There probably is a way to manage that, but I'm not sure how. I guess I'm mainly basing this on the "not long for this world" turn of phrase, but of course the actual prophecy is worded differently.

    I think the first of these would be very funny and very much in line with villains getting tripped up by their own schemes. The second one would also be funny if done in a satisfying way, otherwise it would just feel cheap. Or the prophecy gets technically fulfilled, with Belkar not out of the picture, followed by him dying anyway shortly afterwards.

    Ok, so points against (aka, reasons why I don't think this will actually happen): the Oracle is set to be resurrected in three years time or so (I forgot the exact number, but I thought it was something like that; someone correct me if I'm wrong), which is after the destruction of the world (but clearly part of the same "continuity"). More importantly though, if the world gets to be destroyed, then even if the story does not end, the Snarl is no longer in the picture. That means the Plan isn't either, which means Redcloak and Xykon lose their purpose. Ok, so Xykon will probably figure out Redcloak has been deceiving him for his own ends at some point anyway (if he hasn't already done that), but it would be odd to shift them to a different plan for the final book.

    Anyway, I was wondering if there has been some discussion along these lines that I may have missed?

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Bugbear in the Playground
    Join Date
    Jul 2012

    Default Re: On the destruction of the world

    Narratively, it would completely negate anything the Order has done and be a literal Deus Ex Machina, as the gods remaking the world would solve the problem. The Crayons of Time flashback and the Godsmoot explicitly stated that remaking the world would absolutely work, they just don't want to kill billions if they don't have to. So it would essentially render the entire strip meaningless if the gods step in without the Order doing something. All they've done now is hasten the end of the world.

    Having the dwarves agree to die is a bit close to suicide, which Rich has stated would never be presented as a good plan.

    On top of that, Elan's prophecy is that he'd get a happy ending. I don't see an ending where the world is destroyed and everyone he ever knew except the Order is killed to be "happy". Rich has also stated that this referred to the story itself, to let readers know that it wasn't going to be a "and then the world ended" type of story.

  3. - Top - End - #3
    Pixie in the Playground
    Join Date
    Jul 2017

    Default Re: On the destruction of the world

    Quote Originally Posted by NerdyKris View Post
    Narratively, it would completely negate anything the Order has done and be a literal Deus Ex Machina, as the gods remaking the world would solve the problem.
    I would argue that by explicitly stating that this is a possibility, and establishing the conditions and arguments at the Godsmoot, make this not a Deus ex Machina. It's still divine intervention, but that's not the same thing.

    The Crayons of Time flashback and the Godsmoot explicitly stated that remaking the world would absolutely work, they just don't want to kill billions if they don't have to. So it would essentially render the entire strip meaningless if the gods step in without the Order doing something.
    Well, there's a vote on whether or not it's a good idea. Whether or not it renders actions by the Order meaningless or not depends on how the story unfolds (but I agree it would need to be done in a way that their actions have meaning). If the story were to go in this way, Durkon having a deciding voice in the decision would be one way to resolve that (which also fits with this being Durkon's story). Not that I have a clear idea on how that would all work out.

    Having the dwarves agree to die is a bit close to suicide, which Rich has stated would never be presented as a good plan.
    I thought about that, but I actually don't think it's the same thing. Self-sacrifice (giving your life for a greater cause) is not the same thing as suicide (ending your life because of... well, reasons vary). At the very least it's no different from speculation that Belkar will get some sort of redemption by sacrificing his life for some greater good.

    On top of that, Elan's prophecy is that he'd get a happy ending. I don't see an ending where the world is destroyed and everyone he ever knew except the Order is killed to be "happy".
    I don't know how to work that one either, but I think that's more to a lack of imagination on my part than that it's fundamentally impossible. Clearly, "end of the world" cannot mean "end of the story", but that's already a given since we have a book worth of story left.
    In a pinch, the gods could mass-teleport every living thing to another plane, unmake the world, make a new one, and put everyone back. That'd be a cheap and unsatisfying resolution, but I'm not ruling out that there's a better idea.

  4. - Top - End - #4
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Grey_Wolf_c's Avatar

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    Aug 2007

    Default Re: On the destruction of the world

    NerdyKris makes good points, but there is one angle to consider: the Snarl's world. I'm about to take off so I can't go into details, but add to you speculation the possibility that the current world does get destroyed, but the Order somehow arranges for the entire population to be moved to the world within Snarl's prison.

    (Disclaimer: I'm rushing to type this so I haven't myself thought all the way through this idea and also forgive typos and autocorrects)

    GW
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