Big reveal – it was very satisfying! I like how everything is tying together and wrapping up. I have a character analysis of Rose coming up – some of Scorpius’ comments/thoughts made me think about the choices she’s made .. and she’s one of my favourite characters, and you’ve made her ‘real’ in the sense that she's multi-layered and hella not flat so I’m scrutinising a bit. Not sure if I’ll be able to convey this clearly but I’ll give it a shot.
This is the first time Scorpius has acknowledged, or where I’ve really noticed he’s acknowledged in his thoughts, the decision Rose made regarding his life. Even though he was ready to give up his life. He even mentions some variation of ‘No one asks what I what’ to his father, which is very true.
So, Rose made a selfish decision because she was not strong enough to let him go, for real this time, even though she got to actually say goodbye and have time to process and get ready for it. I know the whole of Oblivion it was always about trying to find a way to save him – but she never acknowledged a WHAT IF, it seemed to be WHATEVER NECESSARY throughout the story. I think it would have been really interesting if we saw Rose’s thoughts when she was making her decision about what to do, though I secretly believe as soon as she had thought of it she had made her decision. There was no back and forth because she can’t live without Scorpius (how off am I there?).
She never got over his death which is super unhealthy, especially after 2 ish years (!!) (and you’ve acknowledged this in some of your review responses) AND she has not accepted death (unlike her parents & uncle did in HP, which I find super interesting). Of course it’s war and she’s young. But just the fact that she’s so in love (and obsessed? (Is my cynicism coming through here? haha)) with Scorpius makes me wonder what Scorpius thinks about the whole thing. Comes back and discovers how messed up Rose still is after ALL that time. And then she killed DeSable because she couldn’t bare to lose him again. Looking back to Rose in the first ‘book’ of this series, she was very independent and she’s lost that over the trilogy (which is very real. Your characterisations are fantastic.) --- kind of a negative character arc for her, I guess?
Rose kind of trapped him now I feel, in a sense. Say in the future things didn’t work out between them. How would Scorpius ever be able to leave? How would Rose deal?
I definitely was rooting for Scorpius to live, but now I’m kind of rethinking that. It would have been major character growth for Rose to be able to let him go. It would have been a very compelling read if she had a moral dilemma and we saw her thoughts, especially with the loophole she found. But this is war and things happen and I get that. I think I should reread this series when Oblivion is finished – I might be missing and forgetting a lot, so I hope if I was way out in the ballpark at any point during this word vomit it isn’t offensive at all. Plus I’m a bit cynical in terms of ‘true love’ and all that.
Sorry this was so long. Your stories have made me ponder on more than one occasion and since I have no one to voice my thoughts with here I thought I’d send this to you and see what you say!
Anyway, we’ll see what happens next. Perhaps more will be revealed between R & S and this short essay will be void and even more so inaccurate.
Hope I didn’t bore you. :)
Author's Response: Hoo boy, great analysis! And I'm never, EVER gonna get bored of people sending me their thoughts like this, I'm always happy to hear and discuss them. Rose really has come a long way; I mean, they all have, but I think Rose is the one who snuck in her character development, because people like Selena and Albus had much more DRAMATIC arcs and changes. Perhaps because I had a little trouble with Rose originally as a character, but once I found her voice I think she came along leaps and bounds.
This is, I think you're right, the first time Scorpius has come close to consciously recognising Rose's choice. He's alluded to it before or veered away, but the correlation here is notable. And the 'no one asks what I want,' was pointed, whether he intended that or not. He's GLAD, of course, Rose kept him alive. But he would have never chosen to let de Sable die in his place.
This plot point - this part of the Scorose relationship - is absolutely a deconstruction of True Love. Rose spent over two years failing to get over a SIX MONTH relationship. Sure, it was a super INTENSE six month relationship, under extreme circumstances, but she and Scorpius had never built a life together. The truth of it is that she didn't WANT to get over him, because that meant letting go. 'Obsessed' is not a bad word; it's a slightly misleading word because that is not all their relationship is; there is the capacity for them to build something honest and healthy. But it's no more inaccurate than simply saying 'love' right now.
I would agree that it's not the most cynical thing in the world to read her story as an independent girl becoming an obsessive woman. I couldn't write from Rose's POV before the Chalice destruction because that would have spoilered things, but I don't think she wavered much. I think once the idea was in her head, she went for it hell-bent-for-leather, and that's not necessarily because she couldn't conceive of NOT doing it. I think she probably didn't let herself consider not doing it, because then she might waver. Rose's story isn't so much about her not being ABLE to let Scorpius go, so much as her not being WILLING to. She didn't want to try to get over him. She didn't want to doubt her choice to kill de Sable, because then she might stop.
Rose still has some more Choices left, more than most of the rest, really. The others are still subject to their momentum (while we don't know how Selena will deal with her mother, all of those pieces are in play on the board, for eg). So take anything I say now, anything you've read now, with the view that Rose's story is ABSOLUTELY not over.
It's a sad thought you raise, of what future their relationship could have under the circumstances. She killed for him. She seems unable to live without him. What if it just didn't work out? I'd like to think that with time, they could heal up and get a bloody grip, but who knows.
None of this is at ALL offensive or dull! I'll just reiterate that Rose's choices aren't over, and the impact killing de Sable has had on her has yet to be felt fully. Your thoughts won't be VOID, but... perhaps they are incomplete.
Thank you so much for this rocking review. ;)