1. ionaofavalon says:

    One of the best statements I have read was in The Last Battle, where the centaur dies and has Farsight the eagle tell the king that “a noble death is a treasure no one is too poor to buy. ”

    In my stories I am going to have at least one major character die in the service of his country. I don’t know how I’m going to handle it yet, but I know it has to be done.

    • What an excellent example! I hadn’t remembered that. Love the fact that Lewis included it. I tried to remember if Tolkien had any beloved characters die. The only ones I remembered were not so beloved. Of course it was sad when the elves left, and Frodo with them. So maybe that counts.

      I incorporated some deaths in my fantasy, too. But they weren’t beloved characters, either. Well, except for one.

      I think it’s worth doing because it makes the world much more real. But now, after writing this post, I think I want to add in some commemoration day for all those soldiers who died in years gone by. Writing this post to myself, I guess. 😉


  2. Leanna says:

    *Tolkien spoilers!*

    Just off the top of my head…
    Boromir died on the battlefield after giving up both selfish and national desires.

    Theoden also dies on the field of battle (with Snowmane).

    Movie-wise, the funeral service of Theoden’s son with Eowyn singing is beautifully done.

    • Leanna, thanks for your contribution to this discussion. I love thinking about these kinds of aspects of speculative fiction.

      I thought about Theoden, and I think he’s a fairly good example. I didn’t count him as beloved, though, because I didn’t love him! 😀 When he first came into the story, he was in opposition to the Gandalf and the other questers, and I viewed him as an enemy. Yes, he was under the influence of Wormtongue, but it did color my attitude toward him.

      In the same way, I didn’t think of Boromir because before his change of heart, he’d attacked Frodo and tried to take The Ring from him. I’d also been suspicious of him for pages and pages because he made it clear that he thought the right course was for Gondor to take control of The Ring.

      I like your mention of the funeral, and I agree that funerals are another opportunity to create depth for an imaginative world. What I hadn’t considered before was the idea that people who died fifty years ago or a hundred years ago or five hundred years ago might be commemorated for their sacrifice and service through some kind of ceremony or holiday.


What do you think?