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04 November 2009 @ 05:52 pm
"Oh no, not again!"  
SPOILER ALERT - just in case

Don't read any further if you're reading 'Distant Shores' by bostonchickadee on FF.net and have not yet read Chs 19 and 20


One of the things I've noticed from reading a lot of RH fic from an LJ-fangirl POV (that's Little John, not LiveJournal) is how frequently John is the one who doesn't make it. He's like the RH fandom equivalent of cannon-fodder.

I got an update notice today for a fic I've been reading on FF.net and yup - guess which member of the gang doesn't make it? It's a wonderful story, very well written, good plot and it's definitely a good death (takes an arrow in the chest saving Robin from a sniper in the final showdown) but still, beyond adding a little poignancy to some advice he's earlier given another gang member, would it really have killed you to not kill John?

Of course I've answered my own question there - for this particular fic at least - it's hard to get mad when it's done well but still, the number of fics I've read, both long and short, good and bad where the ending could be summarised "...and they all lived happily ever after...except John who died" starts to just get depressing after a very short while.

I can only think of one multi-chapter fic I've read where only one member of the gang dies and it's not John (Will in a G/M fic that barely mentions Robin or the Gang, in case you were wondering.)

Some of them are good deaths; heroic, self-sacrificing, well-written and fitting to both the character and within the context of the fic in question, like the above mentioned.

Some of them are almost literally one line throw-aways. I remember in particular one epilogue detailing the gang and their kids all getting together a few years down the line and almost in passing they mentioned that John had been killed in the final battle where they defeated the Sheriff.

I get it - he's older, he's set up from the start to be a tragic figure and you can count on one finger the number of confessed fangirls he has (if there's another similarly afflicted person out there, I ain't found them yet*) but FFS - could we give him a warm wife and a peaceful death in bed at a ripe old age just once?

The original legend lets him live, even the show let him live - why is the fandom so intent on killing him off?

(*I know a lot of my f'list have a soft spot for John as well - but he's not your favourite is what I mean.)
Current Mood: grumpygrumpy
omteddy2006omteddy2006 on November 4th, 2009 06:36 pm (UTC)
{{{HUGS}}} for you and the Big Man.
WYG: John S3 seriouswastingyourgum on November 4th, 2009 07:13 pm (UTC)
{{{HUGS}}} back.

Thank you. At least we have Legrand and Eleanor around to treat him right... ;)
jagnikjenjagnikjen on November 4th, 2009 07:02 pm (UTC)
I'm feel your pain, really.

I promise to never kill off Little John in any fic I write...

WYG: John S3 seriouswastingyourgum on November 4th, 2009 07:12 pm (UTC)
Oh I would never dream of imposing that kind of restriction on anybody's writing - just make it a good one, have a reason for it other than just "because everybody else has somebody to live for".

I mean I've killed John off myself in drabbles but if I ever do it in a long fic he'll be 90 and in bed with his third wife... ;)
omteddy2006omteddy2006 on November 4th, 2009 07:21 pm (UTC)
if I ever do it in a long fic he'll be 90 and in bed with his third wife...

who will be thirty years younger but look only forty. And he'll go out with a big smile on his face, right?
WYG: lmaowastingyourgum on November 4th, 2009 07:27 pm (UTC)
Railise: oh noesrailise on November 4th, 2009 09:24 pm (UTC)
And moar *hugs*!! :(

Poor John... I'll admit that I find him difficult to write, only because he's so understated, a man of few words; but I can't imagine adding more tragedy to his character by killing him off, tbh! If anyone deserves some happiness, it's him, after all he's been through.

*lip quiver*
WYG: john muchwastingyourgum on November 4th, 2009 09:28 pm (UTC)
Aww, ty.

I know a lot of people have that same problem but is that why he gets killed off so much or is it just his inherently tragic nature and/or lack of an obvious partner?

Railiserailise on November 4th, 2009 09:59 pm (UTC)
I couldn't say; I don't think I could ever kill off any of the characters (except the Sheriff) in my writing, I just luv them too much (even the Sheriff, but he won't ever stop til he's dead) and need happy endings (get your mind out of the gutter, lady XD).

It's probably any of the things you mentioned, and being older. (I can't think of anything to put in parentheses here.)
robinfanaticrobinfanatic on November 5th, 2009 04:19 am (UTC)
That really sucks...
The original legend lets him live, even the show let him live - why is the fandom so intent on killing him off?

Like you say, I don't think most writers identify with him - possibly because he is older, he's harder to write, therefore easier to kill off. It reminds me of the decision to kill off Chewbacca in the star wars novels. He growled, didn't say much, was hard to write - sure came to life on the screen though, didn't he. Just like John. He is a larger than life character, and you've proven in your fics that there is a lot he has to say, a lot of stories in him, and a whole lotta love to share. May he live to be 90. *hugs*