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You're back from Narnia or wherever. What are the realistic consequences?

Discussion in 'Chit Chat' started by Electric Bone Flute, Oct 12, 2020.

  1. Electric Bone Flute

    Electric Bone Flute Dreamer

    So, you defeated the evil emperor after getting transported to this unreal world. You go back to the good kingdom and the king, whose sons were killed by the emperor's assassin's, declares you his successor. As the king grows old and dies, you take over the kingdom, having lost all hope of going home... until one day you do. And when you do, it's as if you never left; as far as anyone can observe, only your memories are different; you know better. You've lived a full life in the span of an eyeblink. You've married a woman and married of your daughters and sons to neighbors' offsprings for political alliances. You've watched the joys and sorrows of friends as they've died and thrived. Now you're back to your world as whatever you were before.

    Um, what now?

    For the sake of discussion, I will suggest the following coming back, and invite you to describe: what happens next?
    • Teenager, socially adjusted
    • Teenager, maladjusted
    • Software engineer/aircraft pilot/any other specialist whose modernistic skills were forgotten in the interim due to lack of use
    • Political leader
    • Your actual real life self.
  2. joshua mcdermott

    joshua mcdermott Minstrel

    I think this happens pretty often: how many times have you lead a completely different life in your dreams, only to wake to being what you were before you went to sleep? Was it really not real? If you could clearly remember all your dreams... i suspect it would be very much like returning from narnia.

    So i'd think the same sort of limitations might exist: that what you have learned and experienced in that dream - in a magical world- may have limited efficacy in the "real world" what works there simply does not here. From physics to relationships- - -being married and having kids in a fantasy world is NOT the same as doing it here. So much of life is between the paragraphs written in telling a story. When I studied physics.. a lot.. it was pretty common for me to go to bed thinking about a problem.. and while dreaming come up with the perfect solution and think: Hot dang, I got it.. ... only to awake and realize..Oh, i completely disregarded a universal constant there...

    So i'd be interested narrative wise, how the reconciliation of what the character thinks they know, and what will simply not happen when in conflict with reality.

    I'd think what happens next is a combo or variation of:

    1. Reject the fantasy world and just become 'normal' and try to engage this world on its terms with some experience.
    2. Fight desperately to "get back" and never engage meaningfully in this world., but perhaps succeed- i mean all the people you love are there right?
    3. Cannot reconcile and have a series of psychotic breaks...
  3. I think it very much depends on whether the experience was real or just a dream. If it was a dream (even a very realistic one), then the memory would slowly fade away to be some kind of happy dream.

    If it was real (even if you end up back in your original body with no time having passed because, hey it's fantasy), then it becomes different. The closest I can relate to this is that after I finished high school and before going to university I took a gap year and travelled Australia for a year. Just me and a backpack. And of that trip, the hardest part was being back. Of course, leaving your family behind for a year has an impact, and there were some tough times while travelling. But being back took some adjusting. I had spent a year with no obligations. If I didn't like a place I could pack up and go to the next one. I could sleep in if I wanted to, see whatever sights I wanted to and have all kinds of adventures.

    And then I was back. Stuck at home, going to university. I had other people tell me what to do and where to go. But also, I was more mature than the people around me. They had just come out of high school, first year students, living away from home for the first time or even still living at home. That's an age where that one aspect makes a lot of difference.

    Of course, the difference faded as time went on, and I adjusted and got back into the flow of things. But for years after I had a desire to simply pack up and leave to travel, usually once autumn hit and a new school year started.

    And that was only after one year. Extrapolate that to decades. A teen would mentally no longer be a teen or even a young adult. He would be middle aged in his view on the world.

    As for skills, well, you can make of that what you will, since it's fantasy. Most skills are developed by laying patterns in your brain. They improve by using them and they slowly degrade if you don't use them. Since no time has passed you could have all skills still be present. Or you could say that they all degraded to a point where they have to be relearned.

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