Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Give me those 'More Interesting Secondary Characters'!

Posted by: Natasha Hoar

“What? No! We all know he lives - he has to come back for the next movie! Go back to Syrena and Phillip! How did she save him? How’s he breathing under water? Did she eventually turn him into a merman? Damn it!”

I couldn’t help yelling at the TV as the credits for Pirates Of The Caribbean: On Stranger Tides rolled. Yes, I was happy Jack lived to plunder, and stagger about another day, but I really didn’t give a hoot about him right then. His survival was a given (million dollar franchise that has another film in the pipes, anyone?). All I wanted to know was what happened to the ‘different’ mermaid and her human love.

Did she actually heal him and imbue him with the ability to breathe under water with a single kiss? If so, why weren’t sailors regularly capturing mermaids to force them into giving them what would be incredibly beneficial powers? If not, how long did she have to drag Philip to a place where he could actually survive? Who would help her heal him? Would mermaids even allow a creature their species essentially viewed as a less-than-happy meal to be healed? What would Syrena have to do to convince her kind that Philip was worthy of being her companion? Would she have to leave her people to have a life with him? Where would they live? If he remained human, but with the ability to live under water, how would his physiology eventually be affected? What would his and Syrena’s children look like?

So many unanswered questions! Argh!

Such is the fate of the ‘More Interesting Secondary Characters’ - forever doomed to live on in the ‘what ifs’ of viewers, until the franchise creators drop a breadcrumb or two in subsequent movies or book tie-ins.

Or they live on in fan fiction. Lots and lots of fan fiction.

I can’t be alone in my M.I.S.C. lamentations - which secondary characters (in movies, books or TV series) do you wish had a LOT more screen time?

1 comment:

  1. Might be worth checking out "On Stranger Tides" by Tim Powers, the novel the movie was based on, to see if it had a clearer ending for Phillip and Syrena.

    I've read some books where I enjoyed the secondary characters romantic arc more than the main one--Where There's Smoke by Sandra Brown and Thief of Dreams by Mary Balogh. That's one of the nice things about romance series is that they often spin off fascinating secondary characters and give them their own HEA in the next book.


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