Ending the Story in Flight

One of my kids has, wisely, picked up on the fact that Disney tends to kill off characters’ parents.

We talked about it (they weren’t disturbed, they just found it odd) and I mentioned that it was one way to “raise the stakes.” I’m not sure if that expression means much to a child who doesn’t know how to play poker, but I’m sure we’ll also get to that in time.

Painting by N.C. Wyeth

Another aspect of stories we haven’t discussed, but I’m sure we will eventually will be when heroes die… and in many cases why and how they die.

Robin Hood was one of my favorite characters from folklore growing up, but it was years of reading tales and watching the films before I got to his death, which, upon reading it, made me sick and angry. And so when I read this piece by Lance Mannion, who sadly left us himself just earlier this year, it resonated.

There’s a lot to unpack in that short piece — from how a hero’s work is unfinished to how their end might be unfair compared to their feats of heroism. However, the idea that sticks in my brain is that notion of a story ending even as it continues, even as it begins again.

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