The End

2019 is a big year of endings. I’m not talking about graduations (hats off to all my graduating friends though) or cutting out toxic relationships. In fact, I’m not talking about the real world at all. 2019 is the second year in my life where all my favorite shows and series are ending. This year marks the end of Game of Thrones, with it’s eighth and final season, Marvel’s Avengers, with the recently released Endgame rounding out the 22-film saga, and Star Wars, which after 42 years will be ending in December with The Rise of Skywalker.

Like many fans, I left the theater after seeing Endgame in tears, partially because of the loss of adored characters, but also because it felt like a large chapter of my life was now over. My friend, who I saw the movie with, had asked me before not to cry, because he felt it wasn’t healthy for me to get so worked up over something that wasn’t real. Logically, he was right, except for the fact that it felt like they were. It felt like I was walking away from part of myself instead of an empty theater.

This happens to me all the time; I always cry at the end of binging The Lord of the Rings, I cry after reading books, I cried before the show even started when I went to see The Phantom of the Opera on Broadway, and recently, I’ve been crying after every episode of Game of Thrones. And I don’t think it’s a bad thing.

After all these years, these characters became important to us, and I think it’s healthy and empathetic to cry over their losses, and even more understandable when it’s all over and there’s no more pages left to read, no more episodes to wait for, and the story is over. I think, as a society, we’re not good at saying goodbye, and that’s what this is. Logically, my friend is right; this is the end of a franchise, which was created, sculpted, and ultimately designed to make money. For those of us who invested our time and energy outside the theater, discussing with family and friends- those of us who close a book only to open a chatroom and gush over highlighted passages- these franchises are living breathing things. Sometimes they’re disappointing (looking at you Game of Thrones season 8 episode 4), and sometimes they go on too long (aka: Supernatural), but at the end of the day they’ve been a part of our lives and feel like so much more than pages of a book, or flat colors on a TV screen.