Discussion Thread

I have a question for all of you who write "Walter is not dead" stories. Don't get me wrong, I'm glad you write them! Adrienne's "Once, of Ingleside" is probably one of my favorite stories ever, fanfiction or not! I just wonder what it is you like so much about Walter. To me, he has always been one of my LEAST favorite LMM characters. What is it about him that appeals to you? Why is it so important to you to bring him back? Is it difficult to contradict something so big that LMM intended? I always thought it must have been hard for her to write Walter's death, since she was depressed during that era, and I think she would have liked the idea of bringing him back.

I'd love to hear your responses on this! This is something I've always wondered about.
7 Responses
  1. iffie21 Says:

    I never wrote one but I never liked it that he did die- I always wanted everyone to be alive- but that is just me!

  2. It was very hard for me to contrast what LMM intended. I still have reservations about it to this day.

    Why did I do it? I don't know, really. I think it started with a what if thought. Then I read some other ff's where he didn't die, and wanted to do my own.

    I didn't want Walter to die basically because of three women: Anne, Rill, and Una. They loved him so much my heart broke. I have never liked the idea of Una never marrying, but I really didn't want her to settle for anyone else either. I wanted her to be happy.

    Don't get me wrong, there are plenty of fics that have made Una's falling in love with other people perfect. I guess I really did want to follow that entire what if thread. Also, in my studies of history, it seems that WWI was a futile war, and the end results only caused more conflict throughout the end of the century. The entire world seemed to just spiral farther down from the results. I think his sacrifice could have had more meaning.

  3. iffie21 Says:

    I agree- his sacrfice could have had more meaning- obvisously 'the war to end all wars' didn't exactly work- the second world war was just around the corner. it did seem like walter's death was pointless.

  4. Back on the thought of if it was difficult to contradict LMM's work? So much so that I had originally intended on all of "Once of Ingleside" to have just been one of Anne's daydreams.

    We would have visted Chapter 2 again, only this time Gilbert has brought her out of her daydream where Walter had lived, married, had children, etc...

    I only changed my mind because I grew to love the characters too much and no one wanted me to do that, LOL.

    Also, an old Greer Garson movie, "Random Harvest," sort of inspired me.

  5. I decided to let Walter live because I wanted to play around with the idea of him still living. I always feel sad when I read the bit in RoI when he dies, because I do like him, but there are other characters who are more interesting. Like Ken for instance. Don't you think he gets left out? And Persis. She's not mentioned in any of the books. I would like to know why. If only LMM was alive. I'd write her and ask. It's interesting.

    But with my ff, I was thinking that I could do my own version of what happened if Walter had lived. Don't worry, adriennelane, you'll find out what happens to him later on. I wanted to focus on Ken and Rilla for a while. And all of our other favourite characters (I'm Australian. I spell things differently, such as 'favourite' and stuff. but unfortunately I can't do that with the spell check on my computer. Drat!) will turn up again. Please believe me.

  6. NanMeredith Says:

    Although not my top-favorite character, Walter's pure, beauty-loving soul appealed to me in a very strong way. He wasn't a hero in the same sense as Jem or Jerry, but he ended up being one of the most fearless soldiers that went to the front lines. He knew he was going to die and was willing to sacrifice himself for his country.

    I've always hated the idea of Walter dying, especially since it caused the Blythes and Merediths so much pain, but I could never write a FF where he is actually alive. In his last letter, or somewhere in the book, he said that the world would seem ugly to him after seeing so much destruction and pain, so it was kind of a good thing that he was killed and didn't have to live with the horrible memories of fighting.

    I can't really stand to read RoI anymore, because the characters are so real to me that I'm almost depressed when I read about Walter's death and all of the boys being injured...it's horrible. The last time I read it (this summer) I felt as though I had actually lived through WWI. I guess it just goes to show you how good of an author LMM was.

  7. Gem Says:

    I don't write 'Walter is not dead' stories, but I think I can understand those who do. Walter is their favourite character and Una had so little of him. Besides, Walter was so talented, and it would have been interesting to see how he developed in his career and as a man.

    But personally I'd prefer him to stay dead. His death was 1) to show the horror of WW1 and 2) to save him from himself. With his overactive imagination and sensitivity, Walter would have found it very difficult after the war. So many soldiers went insane with their memories - sadly, I think Walter might have been one of them. I think his death is one of the most poignant and beautiful parts of RoI, and I wouldn't want it changed.

    As for WW1, yes it was a pretty senseless war and ignited WW2, but from the bigger picture, we did reap from the two wars. Through them we learned the importance of peace and globalisation. The sacrifices that they made were for us. Without WW1, there would be no WW2, without WW2, there wouldn't be what we learned. So I think Walter's sacrifice is still great. And best of all, he learned to come to terms with his fear of his imagination before he died.