Trope Talk: Fridging

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Don’t think you know this one? Trust me, you do. And you do not like it. Today let us discuss fridging, also known as why I got so butthurt about the MCU’s grand finale!

Scheming Weasel, Kevin MacLeod (
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  1. Do more bad tropes please, so we can avoid using them.

  2. 5:49 Was… that an unbleeped F-bomb there?
    6:30 Gotta disagree here. It’s possible that Thanos did _genuinely_ love Gamora but saw himself as being willing to sacrifice _anything_ – up to and including said beloved daughter – for a cause he saw as being the ultimate “greater good”. Does this make him anything less than a dyed-in-the-wool villain? No, of course not. Does it give Thanos a bit of character depth that would otherwise be lacking? I think it does, yes. And saying that Thanos “being sad” is given more weight than Peter’s grief is a little premature, given that both Peter Quill _and_ the 2014 version of Gamora are characters in a series that is _still ongoing,_ meaning that there will most likely be opportunities to explore the ramifications in future movies.
    7:54 I would drop the word “arguably” there, myself
    8:40 Wasn’t the Black Widow movie originally meant to be released in between _Infinity War_ and _Endgame,_ with delays being experienced even before the current pandemic?
    9:06 I wouldn’t say that Loki really _did_ have “zero character development” in his series and I say again: the MCU is an _ongoing series._ There will be opportunities for character development for both Loki and Gamora in upcoming instalments
    9:22 Wait, “is getting”? Was this video originally filmed before the release of _Black Widow?_

  3. So was Terry McGinnis’ Dad fridged?

  4. Erika -T[A]P Me!! To Have [S]EX With Me

    While I know that the handling of Gamora’s death was probably bad writing, its incredibly cathartic for me to watch as someone who was abused as a child. It paints the picture of Thanos’s love as inherently abusive. That he may love her, but to him love is about “improving” those you care about through incredible pain. He shows the same love for life at large, believing that culling half of it and thereby insuring resource security is a manifestation of that love. But that love is toxic, it torments Gamora her whole life, it eventually kills her. And that’s what being an abused child feels like, being loved in a way that will kill you

  5. Remember when Hawk Guy was unironically liek “TeLl My wIfE i lOvE Hrrrrrrr” in Current Year Argument, and Strong Female Character was unironically like “TelL HuRm yURsefl” in Current Year Argument? That was a time.

  6. There is some irony in the fact that Moore’s discussion of how he mistreated Barbara Gordon is basically fridging her again.

  7. So, how about deaths that are deliberately cutting narrative arcs short because the author is going for something less neat and tidy than the standard narrative? The classic examples of this would be from A Song of Ice and Fire – characters like Ned and Robb Stark. They’re characters whose deaths are entirely predictable when you understand the rules Martin is playing with, but they’re absolutely gut wrenching when you’re first reading the respective books, because they feel like major protagonist characters at the time of their demise All your expectations from the broader realm of literature suggest they should make it out somehow.

    The death of Ned’s friend, the king, seems like it should be a major setback, perhaps some motivating factor in a campaign against the Lannisters until he’s arrested and publicly executed. Robb going back on his promise to marry one of the Freys similarly…loses him a major ally and gets him in a bad spot…but when we see just how ruthless the Red Wedding is, it’s absolutely shocking.

    It’s a weird category of character death. It’s kinda designed to feel unfinished, disordered, messy. And yet it’s not just fridging, these are deaths you can see coming a mile away, you just need to be in the right headspace to interpret the signs. They’re justified in the narrative, and they’re often beloved (or at least major) characters whose deaths have a lasting impact on the story. And on the Doylist level, they play a critical role in demonstrating to readers they should not expect miracles for favoured characters, thus establishing a much harsher tone than you tend to expect in traditional epic fantasy.

    And no, it’s not just George R R Martin who does it, he’s just the one who got the long ass TV series and the resulting public exposure that allows easy examples. I could refer to Whiskeyjack’s death, but unless you’ve read a specific epic fantasy series that many people haven’t read and really isn’t written to appeal to the mainstream in the first place, that means absolutely nothing to you, so I have to explain how he’s had a badly healed broken leg occasionally brought up throughout the book and how he tries to stop this other character from killing *another character* and re-breaks his leg at a critical moment that costs him his life….or I could just refer to Ned and Robb Stark and let you fill in all the details.

  8. So when it comes down to it, fridging has the same fundamental problem as Mary Sue. The author wants a particular thing but rather than writing it properly they cheat and try to give the illusion of that thing. The place where they overlap is that fridging is an obvious thing to include in making a Misery Sue.

  9. At what point does a character’s death stop mattering for it to be fridging? Invincible’s subway scene was fantastic and resonated with audiences, even though the dead civilians had no characterization whatsoever. It obviously has a massive impact on Invincible, but that moment isn’t mentioned at all after the fact. Is it fridging then? Because those civilians were used solely to highlight Omniman’s evilness and traumatize Invincible, yet they are never brought up specifically again. They might in Season 2, but if they didn’t, would it count as fridging? And if it does, was it a bad scene?

  10. Fantastic how lots and lots of this involved female characters. (she said sarcastically)
    Though it does give me an idea. What if, village burns down in “act one scene one” – and our main character really DOESN’T care, or at least doesn’t act like he gives a damn…? Could be an interesting idea to play with.

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