You’ve just turned the last page of a series. It’s finished. Complete. Years of your life waiting for this conclusion has just spanned out in the space of approximately 300 pages. Or maybe it was that standalone where you journeyed with the characters for just one book and you know there will be no sequel.
The author considers it finished. But do you? Are you satisfied with how it ended? Did your ship become canon? Or did it sink? And do you wonder where are they now?
Do you as a reader accept the author’s conclusion? Obviously we all do because it was the author’s story but you can’t deny that those characters were nurtured and grew to have their own personalities and paths in our minds. You may have had pre-conceived notions of how you wanted the series to end or where you wanted the characters to end up.
Do you then create your own epilogue? Have you considered where your cherished characters are 5 years from now, 10?
[Beware possible spoilers as I now list examples/ships – I name the book and the ending/spoiler I have put in white text, so highlight if you want to see or have read it]
Allegiant – ending to Divergent by Veronica Roth
That Allegiant ending! Where is Four now, not just 2.5 years after the Allegiant ending, but 5 years on. What relationships have formed since then?
Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell
Where are Eleanor and Park? How are they faring? Do they eventually meet again?
Clockwork Princess – ending to The Infernal Devices by Cassandra Clare
Then there’s that Clockwork Princess epilogue. Where are the characters in 2014 if there was a 2014 for them?
As young-adult novels, most of these characters range from the age of 15-19. At such a young age most of them have only experienced 1 or 2 relationships by the series end. We all know that in real-life people can go through many relationships throughout their life. The person we are with at 16 is not always the same person we are with a year later, let alone 20 years on.
On the Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta
Are Taylor Markham and Jonah Griggs still together? Do they still do the territory wars for fun?
The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
How is Hazel Grace doing? Is she just hanging on with her drug that just sustains her as she ponders her days with Gus?
Into the Still Blue – ending to Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi
Do Aria and Perry have children now that they’ve reached the still blue?
Between the Lives by Jessica Shirvington – published as One Past Midnight in the US
Do Sabine and Ethan share the same connection in her other life?
Many books offer open endings and leaves room for thought. Do you just let bygones be bygones, accept that it’s the end because it’s just a story, or in your mind, do you have your own version of where are they now?