The major point of fantasy novels is, of course, showing a world that is different from ours, where magic is alive and where people have amazing powers. Despite the fact that I read them to escape my mundane life, I’m often annoyed when fantasy books include people experiencing real-life issues, such as trauma, and then gloss over said issues instead of addressing and dealing with them. Other big offenders are the lack of inclusion of LGBTQ+ people and examination of mental illness. Authors and readers seem to think that you cannot address such topics because you cannot use modern-day vocabulary in a fantasy setting. However, once in a while I find a fantasy series which doesn’t shy away from using its medium to examine issues we deal with in real life. As such, today I want to talk about the Graceling trilogy by Kristin Cashore, and in particular its final book—Bitterblue.
Spoilers for the Graceling trilogy below. Also, content warnings for abuse, mental illness, PTSD, and rape.
I’m starting to question what it is I even enjoy about this show anymore—because I do enjoy it—but I just hate so many of the characters. At the forefront of my hatred is none other than Rick, but even characters I like have started pissing me off this season. I also, until this season, never noticed how much time has, or rather hasn’t, passed in the show. The first eight episodes of Season 6 take place over the course of maybe three days, if that, and that just doesn’t seem like enough time for any of the characters to work through their emotional issues, especially while dealing with a walker-apocalypse. To top that off, some of those episodes feature numerous pointless subplots that amount to nothing.
What I’m trying to say is that Season 6 has not had The Walking Dead’s strongest storytelling. Spoilers below the jump.