HERE BE SPOILERS!!!!!
SPOILERS MOST FOUL!!!!!
LOATHESOME, RAVENOUS SPOILERS for Calling on Dragons and Talking to Dragons!!!!!
So. About that whole business with Cimorene Having To Wait Seventeen Years For Her Son To Rescue Her Husband For Her. Yeah, I’m definitely getting Pirates of the Caribbean 5 vibes here.
Here’s my HISHE for Book 3. Assuming we accept that Kazul really couldn’t just speed the most important wingless characters There and Back Again herself…and assuming we accept that there was some truly wise reason to attach half of the forest’s protection spell to the King himself (thereby guaranteeing that he wouldn’t be able to leave the forest if something happened to the sword)… why couldn’t Cimorene break the Twilight Princess barrier around the castle just by virtue of being pregnant with the heir to the throne? Wouldn’t Daystar’s unborn presence have been enough to power the sword? Did he really have to do it all by himself?
This alternate ending would have fit much better with Cimorene’s character in the previous books — she was never the type to just sit back and wait for someone else to save the world (and she definitely isn’t the type to obey fairy tale tropes re: the role of mothers in such adventures). Book 3 even makes a whole thing out of Cimorene being perfectly capable of adventuring while pregnant! Wouldn’t it have been such a fitting twist if her pregnancy had been the very thing that defeated the wizards?
I guess that’s the risk of publishing the end of the story before you’ve written the previous parts — you risk writing yourself into a corner, unless you’re willing to label the prequels as alternate versions of the original.
And, to be fair, it just shows how awesome and memorable Wrede’s characters are. Readers wouldn’t bother creating mental AU fanfiction if they didn’t care about the characters and their world in the first place.
What do you think, Bookwyrms? Have you ever wished an awesome series had taken an entirely different track to its ultimate goal? Any works of fanfiction you consider your personal headcanon?
Dragon Maleficent gif from imgur.