Today’s post is a bit of a rant, but it is book related, at least.
I realized, the other day, that a large percentage of the books I have read, and adore, have a common theme in them. Sure, they all take place in medieval-like times, in strange lands with strange creatures. And sure, there is always a young heroine (most of the time the main protagonist though occasionally just a supporting character), a handsome and brave older man who is legendary for his use of a sword or magic (or other various things…) and a handful of other characters that are easy to love and also easy to drop into a stereotype. But that older, legendary man also seems to turn out to be immortal for some reason or another. Or, at the least, he has an exceptionally longer life because of some spell or skill or something.
You’re probably wondering where I’m going with this, yeah? Remember the heroine I mentioned? She’s usually what, somewhere between 14 years of age and 19 (at the very oldest). And what ALWAYS happens? She falls in love with Mr. Legendary. He, of course, rescued her from some terrible existence and at first was a strange man she found herself trusting, then became father figure she never had and finally she realizes she loves him. The real kicker is that he seems to ALWAYS come to the same conclusion; he’s in love with the young girl he’s been taking care of/training/protecting.
I know that the age difference never mattered in earlier times. A girl started her period and she was immediately ready to marry and start a family. And I guess I understand the display of this between Legendary and Heroine, since Legendary almost always looks to be ‘about 30’. But the problem is that he only LOOKS that young. Because, remember, he’s got an exceptionally long life. This guy is bordering somewhere between age 150 and 900 (at the least). There’s an age difference and then there’s… well that.
Why does this bother me so much? I have no issue with vampires taking mortal lovers. But a man who has more than outlived at least five wives (and maybe children as well) who takes a 14 y/o girl under his wing, and happens to fall in love with her (did I mention that they usually end up together in these stories?) bothers me so much! Maybe it’s the fact that every single time I have read a situation like this, Legendary is always a father figure for the entire first book of the series. Then, suddenly, he becomes much more than that to the girl and even he is feeling differently about her. She’s becoming a beautiful young woman after a year or so of travel together, and this becomes apparent to Legendary. And interests him more and more as time passes until finally he takes Heroine into his arms and kisses her and they live a long long life together (or Legendary outlives yet another wife…)
Does this bother anyone else?