The homework for the episode:
Martha: The Wee Free Men, 2003 novel by Terry Pratchett
Pete: Serenity, 2005 film directed by Joss Whedon and starring Nathan Fillion, Alan Tudyck, and others
Caitlin: Wynonna Earp, 2016 TV show, episodes 1.02 (“Keep the Home Fires Burning”) and 2.12 (“I Hope You Dance”)
A nine-year-old girl faces down a cruel, immortal queen who dares invade her home and steal her family.
A ragtag crew of mercenaries stands against the ruling power in the universe, determined to confront them and make right an act of abject horror.
Two women (and a few determined men) chase the legacy of a legendary gunslinger by defeating his demons, and they do it while a baby is being born.
We are joined for this episode by friend of the show Caitlin Flynn! Welcome, Caitlin! Caitlin also happens to be Pete’s cousin, and yet another Oak Park native.
This may be our most ethereal topic we’ve covered yet, but it’s a good one to look at in the framework of a narrative (and we try to at least define what we mean by “character transcendence” before getting too in the weeds on it). Basically, we’re looking at stories where a character has a defining moment that tells us who they are and what they’re about. But first….
Your podcasters’ credentials:
Pete: The Wise Man’s Fear by Patrick Rothfuss
Martha: Into the Drowning Deep by Mira Grant
Caitlin: The Path of Daggers by Robert Jordan
It’s a very literary edition of credentials (probably because we’re all trying to meet our Goodreads reading goals at the last minute). Caitlin and Pete are both frustrated by the lack of a third installment in Patrick Rothfuss’ series, while Martha has only amazement for anyone willing to commit to the Wheel of Time novels at this point. She’s also abandoned her professional TBR pile in favor of Mira Grant’s newest watery horror expedition, and she has no regrets about that.
So, what DO we mean exactly when we say “moments of character transcendence”? It’s a lofty phrase, but what does it mean? The characters we’re examining – a witch-in-training, a lost and damaged super genius (and her various protectors), and a pair of feisty demon hunters – all have a moment that crystallizes who they are, what they stand for, and what their stories are trying to say.
The two main questions we drive at in trying to pinpoint these moments are 1. Where in the story do the characters achieve this crystallization, and 2. What do these moments say about the characters? Additionally, we delve into how these moments help us as the audience understand what the narrative is trying to say.
A warning: Martha gets incredibly emotional pulling out a quote from The Wee Free Men, and everyone braces for an argument over Serenity that doesn’t end up going down. We also don’t address in the episode that we all picked stories featuring women, who are all strong but not Strong Female Characters, which in retrospect was probably deserving of some kind of mention!
We’re taking a bit of a break for the next release day – due to holiday travelling schedules, Pete will be responsible for making sure you all have something to listen to, although what exactly that will be is TBD! After that, on January 17 it’s DYDYH’s one year anniversary! We will be joined by our very good friend and original co-host Calee Schouten to discuss something that is also TBD (but we’ll get you that info as soon as possible).
Happy holidays to all of our listeners! We appreciate every download, view and share. See you in 2018!
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