If another character – Falcon, or the Winter Soldier – takes up the shield of Captain America, he will not be Captain America. I want to know the story of Steve Rogers.
If another character – like Jane Foster – picks up Mjolnir to become ‘Thor’, that will not be the story of the Odinson.
Most human stories have no wider significance. There are no wider lessons to be learnt. They are tales told by idiots, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.
Those are not the stories that I wish to invest my scarce and precious time absorbing. ‘Life is hard, random accidents happen at all times, beware’. Thank you for telling me something that I did not know.
Think of Brienne in Game of Thrones. If she doesn’t end up with some sort of decent narrative closure with Jamie then that will be a very long story without much meaning (there is some meaning already, I’ll grant that). Whereas if Jamie, for his crimes, is exiled and has to spend the rest of his life confined to the island of Tarth… well, that’s a story worth telling.
All this is triggered by my disgust at the show runners of Downton Abbey. A clear dereliction of duty. The soul of the story has gone – why continue? A mere accumulation of events, and what is the significance in that?
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