Pet Peeve? Wrong Ending #mfrwauthor

There are a lot of things that can impact a reader's enjoyment of a book. Lots of misspelled words, facts that aren't accurate, and just plain bad writing are all things that make me as a reader put down a book. But this post will center on one pet peeve--the wrong ending.

Not all genres require a happily-ever-after ending or even a happy for now. While the following examples are from movies I saw recently, the same applies to a book.

In the first one, a husband fought for his wife's freedom from a medieval curse placed on her family when an ancestress was burned as a witch. He survives multiple attempts on his life and the reader is led to believe in doing so the curse was broken. The husband returns home to his wife. HEA right?

The movie ends with him holding her in his arms. Then she reaches behind the couch, pulls out a knife. The camera pans out as the knife plunges downward. You know she just killed him. My disappointment in the tomato surprise was heightened by having invested two hours in watching the movie and rooting for the husband to win back his wife.

The second example had a realistic ending, but again not what I as the viewer wished for. A pair of lovers survived combat in the gladiatorial arena and imprisonment. Against the background of an erupting volcano, and minute after minute of flaming rocks exploding around the city, they searched for and eventually found each other. The hero defeated the evil emperor in combat and the hero and heroine galloped through yet more explosions to get clear of the city. They are near the sea, can escape off the island. HEA right?

First the sidekick is shown facing the pyrocastic flow and being overwhelmed by it. The exhausted horse carrying the hero and heroine to safety stumbles in a grassy field tossing the lovers from the saddle. Instead of the heroine leaving on her own, she sends the horse off and the lovers embrace. The hero forces her face away from the approaching cloud and kisses her. The movie ends with the pair forever together, encased in volcanic ash.

Again, after investing more than two hours and having the volcano eruptions go on forever, I wanted the hero to win. He survived multiple gladiatorial fights, defeated the bad guy (twice), defeated the bad guy's champion(twice), and saved the girl from a burning building. He deserved a reward. Instead he falls to the volcano. Tear jerker ending? Yes. Romantic? Yes? Satisfactory? No. It wasn't Shane riding away so the woman he loved could be happy. The movie built it up so that the hero had a chance to escape the intended fate, had a chance to enjoy his love, then yanked the rug out from underneath him--and us. Even happily for now has to have the potential of forever. It is not the length of a kiss.

~till next time, Helen 

Instead of having the hop list here, I apologize but I have to send you to the master post. Hope you'll endure the extra click and visit them.

If the above link didn't work, here's the direct link to the blog controlling the challenge rather than the post.


  1. The second movie was Pompeii, and I agree the ending didn't fit. It changed the whole genre at one stroke.

    1. I was trying to be nice and not state the name :). With a background in archaeology I was familiar with the encased lovers, but still wanted a different ending. Thanks for stopping by.

  2. Wow, Helen! Those are some good examples of horrible endings!

    1. Losing to the volcano was one thing, but having the wife kill the husband killed the romance. If they wanted it to be a horror, she should have been evil and not worth of redemption. Thanks for stopping by.


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