Valar Morghulis: A Tribute To Nerd Love
There is a lot going down in the geek world this week. In case you missed it, two very large facets of the nerd world are coming to a close. Avengers: Endgame and Game Of Thrones' episode Battle of Winterfell. This blog isn't about them specifically and there will be no spoilers for anyone who hasn't seen any of the above. This is about the characters and the emotions tied to them. This is about nerd feelings. I have always loved books and movies. I get attached to books and movies. I fall in love with characters. I bring them a little too close to reality at times. I have been devastated over character deaths and relationships. And I mean devastated where I can't stop thinking about them and cry at the mention of their name.Books are more intense at times than movies for me. I've loved books since I can remember. Books feel more personal; it is just you and the pages. You craft how the characters speak and move. You grow attached. They belong to you. It becomes personal. When Harry Potter ended (the books and then a second punch with the movies), it felt like all my friends were moving away and I was going to go to have to continue on without them. Luckily, you can always re-read and re-watch everything...sometimes obsessively...Nothing is a better example than the aforementioned above: Avengers and Game of Thrones. Comic superheroes and fantasy. They give birth to the greatest (and worst) fandoms. I have always loved fantasy because I dream of a world like those described in Tolkien and C.S. Lewis. I always found it relatable somehow. It was my escape when I felt I didn't belong in the 'real world'. The adventures are great, the stakes are high, we hold our breath and step into the wild unknown with our new friends. We feel every pang of hunger, stab of a sword, prophecy of destiny, forbidden love affair. It all happens to us as it happens to them. To me, when I read, I am Bastian in The Neverending Story. It is my job to help save the world.I thought a lot about these worlds and how I feel about them as I sat and cried through last week's Game of Thrones. I was so overcome with emotion at a particular scene and realized how much I care for those characters. It was a stunning moment of kindness, love, bravery, and several insanely beautiful performances. I have been thinking about it all week. The surge of joy I felt followed by fear for all their lives felt deliciously real. But it isn't; it's all fantasy. They aren't real. And yet, here I am, my stomach filled with dread for their lives as they embarked on a completely made up battle as if I am right there waiting with them for the Night King (yeah, that's a real sentence I said seriously). And what's so wrong with that? It may seem ridiculous but I value how much I care for these imagined beings. As agonizing as it can be, it's a lot of fun to play along.I am less attached to Avengers but nonetheless still involved and nervous and excited. It is more the end of that era that brings all my feelings to a boil at the surface. We are losing this realm that we've had for so long and it is quite the accomplishment and journey we have been on. It will be a bit of a hole for a while once it ends. A new beginning will happen and that's what always occurs in comics. Things end and seem like forever but nothing is in that world. It is part of the beauty of it and why we all keep coming back for more. It is a hell of a ride and I am not ready for the end but we never are. I'm ready to send these characters off with everyone else and cry and laugh with them, some for the last time until they start fresh and reinvented.The fact this is all happening in the same week feels like a personal attack. I know there are people out there who could care less. They haven't dove in headfirst like the rest of us and became a part of these imagined worlds and families. They probably love other things just as much. At least I hope so. There are also those that are even more heavily involved than me, of course. Regardless of where you stand, it is a loss that feels real to me, as silly as that may sound. I am so happy to be the type of person that jumps into the fray and draws their sword. Okay, a wand, not my sword, let's be honest.I want to write like that. The world of fantasy, especially young adult fantasy, is full of love and devotion. Their fandoms are deeply committed and involved and I think it is a phenomenal thing. I know I likely will never get to the level of any of the above but if there is one person out there who reads my story and falls in love with my characters, staying up til 4 A.M. because they can't stop now, then my dream has come true.I've come full circle.What a fucking time to be a nerd. Godspeed to us all as we navigate the final adventures with our friends. I'm with you until the end of the line.