Let me put this out there right away. I’ve never seen The Wire. It’s on my list, and I know it’s considered one of the best shows on television, but I’ve never seen it. Second and more importantly, this test was created by D. F. Lovett, the writer of the blog What Would Bale Do. I asked him more than a year ago if he’d be okay with me using this, and I was happy to receive a yes 🙂
The link to the original article contains aggressive spoilers for both The Wire and Game of Thrones, so click at your own discreation. I decided to let myself be spoiled for The Wire in order to read this, though I still intend to watch it at some point. I’m caught up on GoT, which is the focus of the WWBD’s post in regards to the SBP Test.
The Stringer Bell Paradox Test is when one of your favorite characters kills another one of your favorites. Can you guys guess where I’m going with this?
There are five questions to be answered and a bonus that doesn’t really figure in to the characters/fandom I’m going to use. That fandom is obviously Final Fantasy VII and the major characters are Aeris and Sephiroth.
1. Did one major character kill another major character? – Most definitely yes.
2. Did the world they live in prevent any possibility of them both remaining alive? – Hm, this one is interesting. Nojima says in the Reunion Files that “Since Sephiroth exists, Aerith must exists.” In order for Jenova’s plan to come to fruition, Aeris would have to be out of the way, because the last Ancient was the only one who could stop it. Since Jenova essentially took over Sephiroth (see here for the reasons why I think that. It’s too much to go into on this brief post), its desires became his desires. Aeris arguably had the ability to destroy Jenova with the power of Holy. Maybe…seeing as Advent happened, this is up for debate. The main portion of it was destroyed with only a few pieces left, but it’s such a virulent parasite that that was all that was needed.
I’m going to go with yes on this question. Since Jenova and Sephiroth pretty much became the same entity and since Jenova’s modus operandi is to devour the life energy of planets thus destroying them before moving on, and since Aeris is the protector of the Planet, there’s no way they could survive together once that unholy merging occurred (poor Seph).
3. Did you like the character who did the killing? – Sephiroth is my favorite fictional character of all time. Now if we go with the idea that Jenova killed Aeris in Sephiroth’s guise (which is apparently a big enough idea that it’s on some of the wikis), I fucking hate that eldritch abomination. Since I generally go with Sephiroth was a part of the killing, I think I can still say yes.
4. Did you like the character who died? – Another yes. Aeris is one of my favorite characters. I love people who face their destinies undaunted. My hatred of her in Crisis Core is due to her terrible voice actress and characterization. She’s fantastic in the original and in Advent. There’s a reason I pair her and Seph together 🙂
5. Was the character who died on a path toward redemption? – No, but she was certainly on an important mission that she still managed to accomplish after death. I could argue that she might have been seeking redemption for herself because she felt like she needed to do something to prove she was worthy of being the last of her people and worthy of the White Materia her mother, the last full Ancient, bestowed upon her, but that would move this into the shaky condition of head canon and at best speculative interpretation.
6. Bonus: Did it occur during the penultimate episode of the season? – Aeris’s death occurs at the end of the first disk of the game, which is hardly penultimate. It’s odd to think that a character who wasn’t even around for 2/3 of the story had such an effect. I have quite a lot of feelings and thoughts about why that is, but this post is not the place for them.
I believe Aeris and Sephiroth fulfill many conditions of the Stringer Bell Paradox. Questions 1, 3, and 4 are definite yeses, and question 2 is at least accurate up to 90% if you believe my arguments. Even question 5 and the Bonus 6 are up for debate/interpretation. If there’s any wiggle room, I think I can fit the puzzle pieces in.
Do any of your favorite narrative provide you with the ability to apply the SBP Test? I think someone could definitely apply this to Harry Potter (you know the two). Let me know in the comments!
Thank you again from the writer of WWBD!