I was talking to my husband this morning — a bad habit, I know, but we were getting dressed after showering and it seems so weird to do it in total silence — about fan fic, comics, soap operas and evil twins. Or good twins. Well, twins, at any rate.
The truth is any type of episodic story telling that goes on very long — let along over generations — acquires certain very odd characteristics, like people “not being really dead” or resets, or characters who change completely, or entire cycles where we later find out it was all a dream or it was an evil twin who did it, or something.
Every. Single. One of them.
It might not be obvious, for instance, with things like classical myth, but that’s because what you read is sort of a “compilation of the best.” But for every tale, there’s another way the thing went, or things were done, or–
Then there comics. Once my boys got in a fist fight over which of the many reboots of… Batman, I think? was “the real one.” In their defense, they were 12 and 15. But still, just listening to them argue made my head hurt.
And those of us in the Jane Austen verse, particularly pride and prejudice fanfic….. Oh, my dear and fluffy lord. Every one of the characters has had an evil version, or been told “it’s just a dream.” Or been redeemed. Or.
So, what is your favorite instance of:
“But that’s not x, that’s y, his twin!”
“This character wasn’t really dead all these years. really, he was just–“
Two or more parallel/accepted story lines.
“Madness made me do it!”
And what other tropes common to all human episodic, long-drawn-out story telling can you think of that are evading me?