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Mashiara Sedai

[White Ajah Fantasy Week] Journey Before Destination Discussion

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I feel this idea of journey before destination is a large part of the fantasy genre.  How does it tie into the film "The Labyrinth"?  Let's take a look....


When Sarah first enters the labyrinth, she runs into a worm.


Image result for labyrinth worm 'ello


The worm gives her advice with navigating the labyrinth, and sends her on her way.  As Sarah goes down one way, the worm tells her, "Don't go that way!  Never that way!" 


Sarah goes the opposite.


After Sarah leaves, the worm says, "If she'd 'ave kept on goin' down that way she'd 'ave gone straight to that castle."


This is so interesting to me.  What would have happened if Sarah had gone straight to the castle?  Would she have had the power and resources to take Toby back from Jareth?  Or was the long way there the thing that saved her in the end?


This trope happens many, many times in films and books.  It seems as if the character needs to the do the opposite before being able to meet their goal.  Or the character must be betrayed in order to be saved in the end.


One time in particular is within The Wheel of Time itself!  Here's a quote from Brandon Sanderson:



So all the Forsaken pretty much ended up helping the Light win by accident. Is that the Pattern's design?

Well, this question is loaded with some issues. First off, there's the concept of the Pattern. Does it have a will? The Wheel does the weaving. The Pattern more IS...but some quotes in the books do ascribe small motives to it. This doesn't even get into the idea of whether what the characters believe is true or if it is simply their way of understanding.

Let's put it at this...Moiraine would say that the Wheel has woven what it Willed, and men beating against it only served to more surely enmesh them into their places.



So, is the journey through the labyrinth more important than the destination?

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Absolutely.  In most stories, they are meaningless without a theme, a lesson learned.  Those lessons, the point to the story, is learned in the long way around.  If she didn't face all of those obstacles and learn how to overcome them the movie would have been a fun example of puppetry and singing but ultimately have no point.  No lesson can be educational and entertaining without conflict of some sort.

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its always about the journey. the end goal, the destination may change because of the journey. even if you take the short straight path. there will be things to pop up and divert. and thats the interesting bit

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40 minutes ago, Cross said:

the destination may change because of the journey


That's true.  I'm re-reading The Great Hunt and it's funny how many times the destination they're going to changes.  SO many different things change as Rand, Mat, and Perrin keep growing and becoming more ta'veren.


5 hours ago, thehumantrashcan said:

No lesson can be educational and entertaining without conflict of some sort.


Excellent point!  I always fantasized about how The Little Mermaid would have gone if she'd listened to her father and stopped thinking about the human world.  Probably be a very boring movie.  *lol*



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I think the journey is what makes it interesting! Anything can happen along the way and one never knows what twists and turns, up or downs there will be along the way. When Sarah first enters the Labyrinth it just looks like one long hallway with no twists or turns at all. She's surprised to see that it's only an illusion. Things are not always what they seem.

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First off: LOVE this topic!

I think we see this motif/theme of the journey's importance in a lot of places. It is "the road less traveled by" it is "the road goes ever on and on" (Which is one of my favorites, or as Gandalf has said in the same story, Not all Those who Wander are Lost). It is the necessity of the long road trip from the Two Rivers forward that gives the characters time to develop and become what they need to be in order to be successful. Can you imagine what would have happened to Rand, Mat, and Perrin if they had been taken straight to Tar Valon as completely innocent as Rand's Sheep, and Mat's Da's Cows? They do not have the knowledge yet to see with eyes that understand, or see past illusions for what things really are. 

For Sarah, without the journey she never would have understand 'how' to defeat Jareth. His defeat is not on swords, but in understanding. "For my will is as strong as yours and my kingdom as great. You have no power over me." The Sarah at the beginning is childish, a bit spoiled, and only becomes capable of this through what she faces and learns along the way. The Emond's Fielders go through this same type of transformation, each on their own path (some fighting it, some rushing headlong into it, some with no idea where they are on it), to become what they must be to play their parts in what is to come. 

The Journey is the process, the forging, the creation, the understanding.... without the journey, there is no reaching a destination. 

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1 hour ago, Rhea said:

Things are not always what they seem.

A good way to look at a lot of experiences in life, I think.  


27 minutes ago, LadyWordsmith said:

The Sarah at the beginning is childish, a bit spoiled, and only becomes capable of this through what she faces and learns along the way.

Yes, this is true, too!  She grows a ton over the few hours she's in the labyrinth, as shown by how she begins to pack up her toys and books and plays when she's back in the real world.  I also love this idea, that the bad things that happen can be what brings us to salvation in the end.  It kinda ties in with the Tao Te Ching, where it talks about negative space is just as important as positive space.  You need both in balance to have a happy life.

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