This is an emergency post; episode 9 was terrifying. I realized after the last two episodes that the conflict between Izetta and Sophie is a conflict between narratives of hope and narratives of reality. Narratives have the power to move entire countries, and this is not lost on the series with its heavy focus on propaganda.
These are conflicts that play out every day on a personal and societal level. We individually struggle with dreams that are at various levels of fulfillment, and our countries grapple with inequality and injustice, shaping and shaped by the narratives embedded in the social fabric of our realities.
And it’s terrifying because despite all of the happy endings our stories can give us, we can always tell ourselves a single story to defeat them all, “In reality, there are not always happy endings.” Narratives of reality hold fiction’s kryptonite. So how can Izetta fight Sophie? How do we deal with an episode 9? What do we do when it seems that there is no basis for hope in reality, when there isn’t a happy end in sight?