*collapses* I’m back from the local fantasy and role play con. They got a *lot* bigger than last year.
Stormtroopers, Mando’s, Predators, a Babylon 5 security guard, lots of Starfleet officers, medieval players, post-apocalyptic…
I even saw a sole Homestuck cosplayer (I blame mousathe14 for being able to identify those)
Something that just struck me:
Do we ever think seriously about how amazing it is that in Discworld, no female character ever gets fridged for the ‘benefit’ of a male character’s story arc?
I mean, it may not seem like a big deal until you remember these are actually 40 books and how incredibly common this is as a plot device in mainstream media.
Let’s take Sybil Ramkin (also known as dragon goddess of my heart) as an example. The one time she plays damsel in the series is in Guards!Guards when the King (actually dragon, actually Queen. Or maybe not. We shouldn’t presume on their gender identity) is going to eat her, and that’s because she was knocked out stone cold by several guards. Once she’s freed, she proceeds to kick ass and take names like you would expect from a dragon breeder, and you can also appreciate the fact that she kicks off probably the most practical courtship in the history of fantasy as a genre.
(also there was that time she knocked out a werewolf with a steel bar because they were holding her captive and apologized afterwards I swear to gods this woman)
And she is never fridged. Think about how easily most male authors would just go, ‘You know what? The protagonist isn’t having enough angst. Let’s kill his love interest.’
Then, tuppence more and up goes the donkey.
And she is such a positive force in the story! We start out with Vimes seemingly as a clichéd anti-hero cowboy-cop, the kind you’ll find in anything from Lethal Weapon to The Maltese Falcon. He is an alcoholic, utterly miserable and deems himself basically worthless. And then something (a combination of Sybil/Carrot/Vetinari support/scheming and Vimes’ own barely contained rage against the universe) kicks him in the pants and he gets character development like wowza! and we end up with a Lawful Good, incredibly clever (it never ceases to sadden me how he thinks he isn’t really that intelligent) protagonist with probably the strongest moral code I have ever seen in a fictional character. I mean, it had a mental/physical manifestation, for gods’ sake.
And they have this most elusive of fictional things; a marriage free of unnecessary drama and full of mutual respect and kindness, and she does her own thing with the dragons while he solves crime (she tends to help, though) and never is she killed off to ‘advance’ his development as a character.
Because a) that would be a really gross (although frustratingly common) thing to do and b),
This is Sir Terry Motherfucking Pratchett.