JK Rowling spent several weeks depressed and crying over the upcoming death of Sirius Black in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. Maybe my personal experience wasn’t so extreme, but I now consider Jo a kindred spirit in more ways than one.
I was so close to crying when writing this chapter it’s not funny. The tears were in my eyes, ready to fall, but they never did.
I have to say, it was a very surprising experience. In my opinion, I’ve written more emotional chapters than this one. Maybe I’m jaded. I’ve cried from reading stories, but never while writing them.
No doubt readers of this chapter can guess which scene it was. And if I play Detective of My Emotions, the reason I became so upset was because of the story that partially inspired the scene.
A few months ago, I was riding in the car with Dad. Not unexpectedly, he started telling me about a story he once heard. This one was about the friendship between a little boy and girl. The boy was poor and, if I recall correctly, part of a family that held beliefs that the ruling class did not agree with. The girl was from a more affluent family and believed all the “right” things. Long story short, the boy’s family was slaughtered by the ruling class, and the girl’s family was partially (if not fully) responsible. When the girl saw the ruin of her friend’s family before her, she collapsed and wouldn’t stop sobbing and screaming “FORGIVE ME!” over and over again.
Damn. I guess my throat gets tight every time I think about that story. Maybe it’s because I can picture it so vividly.
When I heard that story, I knew Harlene would have a very similar reaction after she realized what she had nearly let the Jedi do to Maul. Also, I wanted to portray the unspeakable wrongness of attempting to wipe a sentient being from existence for any reason. Much as I love Knights of the Old Republic I, they never explored the ethical issue of murdering someone’s soul. When I played the game, I had my Revan tell Bastila that she was no better than the Sith (which she is for allowing it to happen). Bastila’s response was indignant being that the Jedi had “given Revan another chance.”
No. They wiped Revan from existence. He will never find redemption because he’s gone and will never come back.
Thankfully, they touched on the issue more in Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords through Zez-Kai Ell, and they did it quite well, especially with this quote:
“Suffice to say, redemption was not Revan’s choice, and I have never believed those of the Council who attempt to console themselves otherwise for the crime they committed.”