Considering that my house has a specific television schedule (thanks to my son, who is a stickler for schedules), it’s amazing I get to watch anything at all. But there are certain shows that are worth the extra effort. My favorite right now is ABC’s Once Upon a Time.
If you haven’t watched this (and you’re at all into fantasy), you’re missing out. Every character has such depth, expanding on the previous story.
Take for instance, Rumpelstiltskin, or Mr. Gold in the “real world” of Storybrook. (I fell in love with the actor who portrays him during his role on Stargate, but that’s beside the point.) The creepy, gold-skinned master of dark magic has a past as tragic as the character’s current actions.
A weakling and wimp, despised by most of the village for abandoning them in times of war, his wife leaves him and their child to find romance and adventure. To overcome his shortcomings, he takes on the powers of the Dark One. In doing so, he loses the boy he loves and is trying to protect. But it also turns him into the beast that Belle falls in love with (you see how this keeps going?). But again, his past and pains cause him to make decisions that ignore that love – a love that could save him from his own darkness.
Though a “bad guy”, his character is sympathetic. Even though we watch him do things over and over that are selfish and wrong, we know those actions are fueled by his tortured past, a past that haunts and shackles him even as he tries to overcome it.
I love Mr. Gold. I root for him every time, and then shake my head when he screws it up yet again.
This kind of thing has definitely inspired Xia’s character in my upcoming Illumia series. Sure, she’s the bad guy. She’s a woman with a grudge and a vendetta, and she’s not afraid to destroy anything to accomplish her goals. But she’s fueled by a past full of hurt.
You see, Xia is a dragonfae. Half-races such as her are considered abominations in Illumia, but she’s been further ostracized by the fairy father who refused to acknowledge her existence, and the family of her dragon mother, who disowned the pair. She had to forge her way in the world in order to become the voice of the Mythics – the fairy, unicorn, and dragon races – and that forging took a heavy toll on everyone.
I’m anxious to introduce her, but that doesn’t happen until the end of the first book, which I’ll be releasing in serial format. That means you won’t see her until part 3 or 4 is released, though there are whispers beforehand. This first book is not her story, but as her story grows, I hope to create the kind of depth that the writers of ABC’s Once Upon a Time did with Mr. Gold.
I’ll let you all be the judge of that.