Thoughts about Let The Old Dreams Die !!!SPOILERS!!!

For discussion of John Ajvide Lindqvist's short story collection Låt de gamla drömmarna dö
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sauvin
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Re: Thoughts about Let The Old Dreams Die !!!SPOILERS!!!

Post by sauvin » Mon Nov 09, 2020 6:18 pm

andmker wrote:
Mon Nov 09, 2020 6:02 pm
You've all raised some brilliant points. It does seem fitting that it would have been Oskar that brought up the subject after the events at the swimming pool. I feel that only a short time would have passed between the pool and the train - they would want to get out of Blackaberry and the bloodbath as soon as possible.

On reflection, Oskar remaining who and what he was would raise problems. He needs food and water, warmth and shelter. He would need money to live and would grow older (with the possibility of getting ill). At least this way (and the way you've suggested) its a mutual agreement and the best decision for both of them.
When the two left Blackeberg, Oskar was twelve years old. If he hadn't turned, what do you suppose he might be like when he turns 40, assuming he's stayed with her the whole time?
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Re: Thoughts about Let The Old Dreams Die !!!SPOILERS!!!

Post by metoo » Mon Nov 09, 2020 10:18 pm

andmker wrote:
Mon Nov 09, 2020 6:02 pm
I feel that only a short time would have passed between the pool and the train - they would want to get out of Blackaberry and the bloodbath as soon as possible.
So one would think, but...
The novel has a couple of timings that sort of sets the scene:
  • The first time Oskar went to the training, he told his mother that he would be back home at half past eight. He quickly changed it to nine, to give him time to meet Eli, but the first time he said would likely be closer to when the training ended. You might subtract another ten or fifteen minutes for him to dress and walk home to get the time for the boys to be playing in the pool after the actual training.
  • The train was to arrive at Karlstad after sunset.
Since the training had ended when Jimmy and Jonny arrived at the pool, we can safely assume that the time was at most half past eight. Eli arrived just one or two minutes later, and most likely he and Oskar left soon thereafter.

The direct train trip between Stockholm and Karlstad takes about 3 hours. It did so in 1981 as well, as an excerpt from an old time table shows. At November 13 1981, the sun set at 3.45 pm in Karlstad, which gives us a train departure time around one o' clock pm.

So we have about sixteen hours between the pool event and the beginning of the train trip. What happened then?
Last edited by metoo on Mon Nov 09, 2020 10:32 pm, edited 2 times in total.
But from the beginning Eli was just Eli. Nothing. Anything. And he is still a mystery to me. John Ajvide Lindqvist

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Re: Thoughts about Let The Old Dreams Die !!!SPOILERS!!!

Post by metoo » Mon Nov 09, 2020 10:21 pm

sauvin wrote:
Mon Nov 09, 2020 6:18 pm
When the two left Blackeberg, Oskar was twelve years old. If he hadn't turned, what do you suppose he might be like when he turns 40, assuming he's stayed with her the whole time?
Well, all oldtimers around here know what he would be like. Pity the fan fiction area isn't available for newcomers to read your story...
But from the beginning Eli was just Eli. Nothing. Anything. And he is still a mystery to me. John Ajvide Lindqvist

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Re: Thoughts about Let The Old Dreams Die !!!SPOILERS!!!

Post by sauvin » Tue Nov 10, 2020 7:19 am

metoo wrote:
Mon Nov 09, 2020 10:21 pm
sauvin wrote:
Mon Nov 09, 2020 6:18 pm
When the two left Blackeberg, Oskar was twelve years old. If he hadn't turned, what do you suppose he might be like when he turns 40, assuming he's stayed with her the whole time?
Well, all oldtimers around here know what he would be like. Pity the fan fiction area isn't available for newcomers to read your story...
It might also be a boon if we can get some of the newcomers to chime in on the subject. They're not (necessarily) of the D'Aww school of Eli thought and might yet come up with something I'd not considered.

On the subject of what the kids did during the missing 16 hours, well... they went on their honeymoon, of course! They played chess, poker, backgammon and maybe a few others, made lots of jokes about kiosks not having bananas, and maybe watched some TV. Somewhere along the way, Oskar probably rambled on just a bit about being grateful to her for his life. WHERE they did all these things is a matter of speculation.

Not much of a honeymoon, you say? It's what life is like when you're only 12!
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Re: Thoughts about Let The Old Dreams Die !!!SPOILERS!!!

Post by metoo » Tue Nov 10, 2020 8:51 am

sauvin wrote:
Tue Nov 10, 2020 7:19 am
On the subject of what the kids did during the missing 16 hours, well... they went on their honeymoon, of course!
Hmm, you usually go on your honeymoon after your marriage, don't you? :geek:

Their "marriage", as I see it, is the blood exchange ceremony in Karlstad - albeit O&E would probably rather use the term förbund (covenant) for their particular union.
Last edited by metoo on Tue Nov 10, 2020 9:40 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Thoughts about Let The Old Dreams Die !!!SPOILERS!!!

Post by sauvin » Tue Nov 10, 2020 9:09 am

metoo wrote:
Tue Nov 10, 2020 8:51 am
sauvin wrote:
Tue Nov 10, 2020 7:19 am
On the subject of what the kids did during the missing 16 hours, well... they went on their honeymoon, of course!
Hmm, you usually go on your honeymoon after your marriage, don't you? :geek:

Their "marriage", as I see it, is the blood exchange ceremony in Karlstad - albeit O&E would probably rather use the term förbund (covenant) for their particular union.
When YOU were a kid, people were supposed to get married before going honeymooning. When I was a kid, it was the same. These days, the rules seem to be a lot more relaxed, and seem to have been fairly relaxed since the late '60's. But what we're talking about, just between you and me and all the other grown-ups listening in, just this moment, involves... well... nefarious things we're not supposed to be discussing in front of the kids. The kids, of course, would have different ideas about what a "good time" is, and it would probably involve things like card games, board games, lots of radio, music records and TV and more chocolate ice cream and cupcakes than the ordinary human body could withstand. Well, I'll bet Eli didn't dig into the ice or the cakes very deeply.

Far out, man, can you dig it, man? Cupcakes ain't groovy when all they do is make you upchuck.

On a more serious note, Eli is a survivor and has learned how to be one over a very long span of time, probably with tons of bitter incidents, and Oskar would probably have spent quite a chunk of that time in something of a fugue state dealing with the fact that he'd just nearly lost his life. They'd have hidden from quite literally everybody. Assuming they'd agreed to jump on a train just minutes after she'd whisked him away to whatever hidey-hole she'd had set aside for the purpose, they'd have spent quite a bit of nervous energy just freaking over the idea of being found before they could get _to_ the train,

Blood bond, "covenant", whatever you want to call it, what they did in Karlstad is bargeloads more binding than a marriage. Even if they separated a few years afterwards, her blood will run through his veins forever, and he'd never be able to forget either her or the legacy of their bonding, just as I believe the imprint he left on her would be indelible.
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Re: Thoughts about Let The Old Dreams Die !!!SPOILERS!!!

Post by metoo » Tue Nov 10, 2020 9:41 am

sauvin wrote:
Tue Nov 10, 2020 9:09 am
On a more serious note, Eli is a survivor and has learned how to be one over a very long span of time, probably with tons of bitter incidents, and Oskar would probably have spent quite a chunk of that time in something of a fugue state dealing with the fact that he'd just nearly lost his life. They'd have hidden from quite literally everybody.
Yes, they did, and I still like my idea that they hid in almost plain sight, in the basement storage compartment that belonged to Oskar's apartment.
sauvin wrote:
Tue Nov 10, 2020 9:09 am
Assuming they'd agreed to jump on a train just minutes after she'd whisked him away to whatever hidey-hole she'd had set aside for the purpose, they'd have spent quite a bit of nervous energy just freaking over the idea of being found before they could get _to_ the train,
I find it hard to believe that they decided on leaving together quickly, because leaving in the dark would have been so much easier. There would have been plenty of more suitable trains leaving Stockholm the entire night.
sauvin wrote:
Tue Nov 10, 2020 9:09 am
Blood bond, "covenant", whatever you want to call it, what they did in Karlstad is bargeloads more binding than a marriage. Even if they separated a few years afterwards, her blood will run through his veins forever, and he'd never be able to forget either her or the legacy of their bonding, just as I believe the imprint he left on her would be indelible.
Certainly. I do believe that they didn't just cut their palms and grabbed the hands of each other, but that they swore each other eternal faithfulness and loyalty with a seriousness only a twelve year old might muster.

After that, though, they went on a honeymoon that might not yet be over!

Image
But from the beginning Eli was just Eli. Nothing. Anything. And he is still a mystery to me. John Ajvide Lindqvist

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Re: Thoughts about Let The Old Dreams Die !!!SPOILERS!!!

Post by andmker » Tue Nov 10, 2020 9:39 pm

sauvin wrote:
Mon Nov 09, 2020 6:18 pm
andmker wrote:
Mon Nov 09, 2020 6:02 pm
You've all raised some brilliant points. It does seem fitting that it would have been Oskar that brought up the subject after the events at the swimming pool. I feel that only a short time would have passed between the pool and the train - they would want to get out of Blackaberry and the bloodbath as soon as possible.

On reflection, Oskar remaining who and what he was would raise problems. He needs food and water, warmth and shelter. He would need money to live and would grow older (with the possibility of getting ill). At least this way (and the way you've suggested) its a mutual agreement and the best decision for both of them.
When the two left Blackeberg, Oskar was twelve years old. If he hadn't turned, what do you suppose he might be like when he turns 40, assuming he's stayed with her the whole time?
I think that Eli and Oskar would have "bonded" eventually but it was the timescale between the pool and being seen at the train station that caused me concern. On one hand it would have been beneficial for Oskar to remain as he was for a time. He would have been able to go out in daylight, been able to look after Eli when she was in long, deep sleeps. It would have given the pair the best of both worlds. On the other hand Oskar would have been so happy to see Eli in the pool, to be reunited and would have been so willing to leave with her. I much prefer the latter knowing that LTROI ends with them reunited rather than separated.

It would still remain that Oskar would need food, warmth, shelter and so forth which would limit where, when and what he could do. I think after a few years becoming one like Eli would have been more "likely" as it would be a natural conclusion to overcome his limitations.

It still spins my moral compass :D I like that they get to be together and remain forever young - looking after each other and being able to complement each others abilities. At the same time I feel a bit sad that Oskar (like Eli) will never grow up.

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Re: Thoughts about Let The Old Dreams Die !!!SPOILERS!!!

Post by dongregg » Tue Nov 10, 2020 11:53 pm

I agree that the decision to become infected or not would likely rest with Oskar. Here's a long passage from a fan fiction that deals with the struggle.
“Oskar, how did you come to be like Miss Eli?”
“It’s funny, but I didn’t think about it before Eli left. I mean, I only wondered what it was like for her. But then she saved me and we were running, so I had to think about how it might be down the road.”
“Like?”
“Well, like I would keep getting older. And I wasn’t strong like Eli—I wouldn't be much help in a jam. And like, why would Eli want me around if she had to take care of me?”
"Did you consider just coming back to Blackeberg without Miss Eli?"
"Yes, I thought about it on the train. But Mr. Ávila, the police would make me tell them all about Eli. They would know who they were looking for."
Loyalty. Would I have the strength of character to go to the mat for such a friend?
“Miss Eli, what did you think about making Oskar like you?”
“I wanted it. I didn't think about all that stuff. I knew I was being selfish, but I wanted Oskar to be with me forever."
Now it's Eli who looks as though she might cry.
"It's okay, Miss Eli. It's okay."
She recovers and says, "We got to Karlstad and Oskar got our stuff off the train. When he opened my box, I saw we were in some trees next to the station. We sat on the box and Oskar told me what he was thinking. I told him I wanted it too, but I spent a lot of the time telling him how much I hate being like this and about everything he would lose. He wanted me to decide, but I couldn’t make the decision for him, the decision to be cursed like me. I told him he had to decide.”
“I decided. I took out my hunting knife and we cut our palms. We held hands so our blood would mix.”
“And just like that you became…?”
Eli laughs. “No, Mr. Ávila. It was two days of me cleaning Oskar as his body emptied everything out. And me keeping him safe.”
“It sounds like an ordeal, child.”
“For Oskar, I guess, but I was never so happy in my life—taking care of my Oskar, being with him.”
Oskar and Eli beam at each other again.
Mr. Ávila thinks, I can't turn them in. They trust me. But I could send them on their way and not do anything, not report them. That would keep my name out of it, although it would still be morally indefensible.
Thanks to ACL for part of this. :)
“For drama to deepen, we must see the loneliness of the monster and the cunning of the innocent.”

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