Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Oh, And How I Wept...

Whenever I come to love a character, I seem to set a curse on them. By some strange twist of fate, they will always end up injured, scarred, or traumatised, before the story is finished. That is, if they don't die.  That's what seems to happen to most of them.

As some of you may know, I am one of the legions of fans who adores the "Song of Ice and Fire" series by George R. R. Martin. While I have not yet watched the TV series adapted from the books, I have only just recently finished reading the last book, A Dance with Dragons. However, as much as I wanted to strangle author, editor and several characters within it by the end, it is the third book in the series, A Storm of Swords, that I think is the best in the series.

Namely because it reduced me to a sobbing lump under my pillow for the best part of twenty minutes.

That was evil, George. Even for you. Now please excuse me while I go and hug my family...

I was discussing the book with my friend earlier, and it got me thinking about something that happend earlier this year. For my first speech at a school English Symposium, I did a very quick presentation on the benefits of tragic endings over comic ones, based mostly around the idea of cathartic release. "Cathartic" here meaning "release of excessive emotion in response to fictional events", not some freaky hybrid-word meaning "arthritic felines".

I never used to cry all that much until the wonderful phenomenon of teenagerhood set in. Now, it seems, I am relatively easy to upset - and my tear ducts just love joining in the party. While many of my friends - mostly those who don't read much - will laugh and wonder how on earth something that is happening beyond a barrier of printed words, or a TV screen, can reduce me to a sniffling, cushion-hugging wreck.

What can I say. All the feels. I haz dem.

And, thankfully, I know I am not alone. Cathartic release has been utilised by playwrites, screenwriters and authors since the first cavemen picked up a lump of charcoal. Sometimes, we all need a good cry, and releasing it in an environment where it is deemed to be something at least vaguely acceptable is often a covenient time. Besides, humans are empathetic creatures, and we often recognise parts of ourselves in characters.

And sometimes their fate makes us so utterly miserable that we just want to pull them through the void and give them a hug.

I also believe that I can use my very undignified abuse of the tissue box to my advantage. If I know what makes me cry, I can remember the technique and put it to use myself. Nothing teaches you the value of good dialogue and lifelike expression and reaction like a scene that reduces you to tears. I've also developed a whole new level of respect for orchestral composers. Those evil people owe me gallons of my tears back.

But what about all of you? Do you cry easily? What sort of scene gets to you the most? Leave a comment and let me know - let's see if we can decide universally on the Greatest Tear-Jerking Scene Ever, According to Followers of the Tower of Plot!

And now I leave you with five hints. Five hints that pertain closely to five events, on TV, in books and on the silver screen, that have driven pointy things into my poor bleeding heart in recent times.

Warning: Contains feels. Lots and lots of feels.

~ "Loki ... no."

~ "My brother. My captain. My king."


~ "You were my new dream."

~ The Rains of Castamere.

~ Charley R


  1. Oh Oh Oh - First one = THOR!
    Second to Last = Tangled (The daughter now has a Repunzle Towel)

    Now, scenes that make me cry - I don't know it "the cat who went to heaven affects me the way it used to. Given my 'emotional regression' it might. Yet I was strnagly dry eyes at the end of Captain America last night.

    Anca's Story, had me weeping through just about the whole first half (until I had to stop a come back to it days later). The first time I ever cried over a book on the plane.

    Master Robinton's death in, All the Wyer's of Pern (I think) - you spend tiem with him over the course of six plus books and you get attached to the guy - especially as we could all use a mentor like him in our lives.

    And now I must depart and determine if I need to have a good catharsis moment tonight. (Cat with arthritis *giggles*)

    1. Haha, I daren't read Anca's story for fear of what it'll do to me. Haven't read the Pern books yet.

      And yes, I cried at the end of Thor. Do you blame me? xD

  2. Four out of five references! :) But not to spoil the rest for everyone, I'll just say the one that gets me: "Regenerate!"= Doctor Who. I don't cry that often, (it's more a girl thing to get emotional :P), but I've had my heart stabbed on more than one occasion. And once of those came when we said goodbye to the tenth doctor. Or Rose.

    *wipes back a tear, and feels the urge to write a blogpost about that other wonderful feeling folk get when they read/watch good stories: the heebie-jeebies* :P

    1. Four of five? Which did you miss?

      Ugh! I practically danced for joy when Rose left. I never liked her, or the Doctor/companion romance. I hated that. And funnily I didn't cry at the Tenth regeneration - I was sad to see him go, but Eleven won me over pretty instantaneously, because he's just adorable. And hilarious.

      Haha, go for it, if thou wishest!

  3. I don't cry easily at all. Not at books, that is. The only one that got me close to tears was the Bartimaeus Trilogy, by Jonathan Stroud. British author-- you ought to know him. Anyway, he rounded out the trilogy in an awesome fashion. Unfortunately, nowadays I usually smile at heartbreaking endings, mostly because I'm glad to see a few more writers leave the usual path and go for sadness versus happily ever after. But the better one is when the happily ever after happens, though with sadness mixed within... How? The ending to Matt Myklusch's The Accidental Hero was one such ending.

    Have yet to watch Thor, but am interested in Loki. He seems like an awesome villain.

    1. He is awesome. And he's kinda tragic, as well. His is by far the best character arc in the movie, if you ask me - the rest happens very fast, typical of Hollywood superheroes. I think you'll find some things in there to enjoy ... even if it just laughing at Loki's helmet xD

    2. Is it crucial that one watch all of the superhero movies that have come out since 2008 or thereabouts, or would one be able to get by with just the Avengers/Thor?

    3. Hmmm ... Captain America would be useful, so you know what happened that allowed a WW2 super-soldier to be in the present day. The Hulk films are all completely irreleveant, and Black Widow and Hawkeye don't have their own movies (yet...). Thor is mostly useful for the background of the central MacGuffin, the tesseract, and why Loki's such a git, but you may be able to pick up on that from the film.

      Personally, I'd watch the other movies anyway. Because superheroes are cool.

    4. How many are there? I have no idea.

    5. Of the Avengers team? Hulk has three movies, all absolute rubbish and completley irrelevant. Thor and Captain America, of course, Iron Man has two movies (neither of which you really need, he pretty much introduces himself just by being on screen, but hte first one has some funny moments if you fancy it).

      I think that's about it. So you have a watching list of two, maybe with Iron Man as a third if you fancy :P

    6. Thor, Cap'n America, Avengers. Okay.

    7. I love the Iron Man films, I suggest watching them. You don't need to but they're fun!

      I watched the Avengers, then Thor (twice), then Iron Man, then Iron Man 2, and I'm going to look for Captain America tomorrow. Having the backstory is fun but not necessary.

    8. I made do without having the Captain America backstory - but it did explain things like "Capsicle" and where the Tesseract came from - or at least who unearthed it. Thor is pretty much linked to the tesseract as well, just not so directly. :}

      And Iron Man is just plain fun - Stark is a very intriguing charcter and I'm not surprised that Miriam likes them....

  4. I cry when I get angry. Especially at authors that seem to always without fail kill my favorites. * cough*EoinColfer*cough*

    1. Who was the favorite character Eoin killed? Not Holly in book five of AF, because she was resurrected. Linus de Wynter, from Airman? He was too. Only Root really died in AF. Everyone else got off pretty easily.

    2. SPOILERS! I didn't know Root died .... gah! Now I'm going to have to hunt down the books I haven't read. That's just not fair xD

    3. Sorry... I was sure you had read the books. But it is a truly heartbreaking scene, especially with what follows. Won't say anything more.

    4. Gaaaah! I need to read these again now! xD

    5. Yes, you do! Just don't throw the book like I did. Your wall will appreciate it.

    6. LOL, my poor wall suffers enough as it is!

    7. I was pretty young, so I had nightmares for a while after that. And then in book five... but I won't say. And then-- but nay, I shall abstain from spoilers.

    8. I never got very emotional with Artemis Fowl which is funny, because I really engaged with the characters. I was quite a lot younger than I am now, though, and I didn't tend to cry at books so much. I intend to reread them before the last one comes out :)

  5. You totally need to read Code Name Verity. ALL THE FEELS EVERYWHERE.

    Oddly enough, I don't cry at book often. I'm more likely to cry at songs and music videos. (And I think I got all the references except the last one. I'm guessing it's Game of Thrones?)

    1. O rly? I shall have a looksee .... the title hardly entices me, I have to admit :P

      Yes it is. And that is the scene I mentioned above the GIF. I was traumatised.

  6. I don't cry when it comes to books. Don't really cry full stop anymore, to be honest. Although there was a moment with one character a while back... a TV show... or something like that O_o That one moment completely threw me for a loop. A weird attachment to characters is normal for me, but not crying, haha!

    1. Hehe, I get very attached .. and I'm an emotional person, so the crying kinda comes with it. I've even been known to cry laughing on occasion, because I'm that strange xD

  7. The only movie that I have ever really cried over is Revenge of the Sith. I usually just scream, "WHYYYYYYYYY!!! *Insert character or creator's name here*, YOU FIEND!!!" and short-circuit like a hairdryer in the bathtub. :P

    1. Wow ... I haven't seen that film, admittedly, but that sounds like my reaction to quite a few things ... though perhaps I go without being a hairdryer in a bathtub. I just metaphorically go Hulk-mode xD


    "But in that moment, I rather think he knew."
    "Can I come home?"
    "Everything that made Nuala herself was shooting up into the sky, a towering, gorgeous cacophony of color and words and music."
    "I was gonna be with you. Forever."
    "And it's okay. It's really okay."
    "The end is where we start from."
    "The pain now is a part of the happiness then."
    "...with the ghost of his last laugh still etched upon his face."

    I could go on, but I'll only make myself cry. Please try and identify these as I would be interested to see whether you can.

    1. 1 - No idea
      2 - Thor. That quote is so sad.
      3 - No idea
      4 - Torchwood?
      5 - Torchwood again, methinks.
      6 - Not a clue
      7 - that book you reviewed about the cancer patients ... blast it, I can't remember its name
      8 - Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. Sad sad sad.

      Did i get that right?

    2. 1. Ptolemy's Gate by Jonathan Stroud (mentioned by Liam)
      2. Thor, yes.
      3. Ballad by Maggie Stiefvater
      4. Doctor Who (Donna to the Doctor)
      5. Torchwood, yes.
      6. Torchwood
      7. The Shadowlands (film about CS Lewis)
      8. Yup.

      So you got three right :)

    3. Errr .... yay? I wasn't expecting much better xD