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"But you can't kill dreams. Not really. I mean, despair may be the thing that comes after hope, but there's still hope, right?"
Matthew the Raven, The Sandman: The Wake by Neil Gaiman

Choronzon: "I am anti-life, the beast of judgement. The dark at the end of everything. The end of universes, gods, worlds, of everything. And what will you be then, Dreamlord?"
Dream: "I am hope."
Choronzon: "Oh. Then I am... sss. I... I... I... don't know."

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"Hope is what makes us strong. It is why we are here. It is what we fight with when all else is lost."
Pandora, God of War III

"This is a phrase Tolkien used, by the way, "hope without guarantees". A very good description of what his book offers. Despair is for people who know, beyond any doubt, what the future is going to be. Nobody's in that position. So despair is not only a kind of sin, theologically, it's also a simple mistake, because nobody actually knows. In that sense, there always is hope."
Dr. Patrick Curry, "J. R. R. Tolkien: Creator of Middle Earth" (extra on The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring DVD)

And from that time, through wildest woe,
That hope has shone a far light,
Nor could love's brightest summer glow
Outshine that solemn starlight;
It seemed to watch above my head
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In forum, field and fane,;
Its angel voice sang round my bed,
A Nation once again!
— "A Nation Once Again", Irish rebel song.

Hold onto hope, I'm homeward bound.
In the darkest of night, there's Light to be found.
From a spark will be born a fire.
Shine through the shadow of doubt.

"Though hope is frail, it's hard to kill."
The Prince of Egypt, "When You Believe"

"You cannot kill hope. You tried at Teldrassil. You failed. Hope remains. You set us to kill each other at Lordaeron. You failed. Here we stand. You. Just. Keep. Failing! The Horde will endure! The Horde is strong!"
Varok Saurfang, World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth

''Even if we have nothing else, we still have the future. A lowest point? Starting over from zero? That's just part of the saga! Even if we burn out in the process, we'll make it come true! This is where our revenge begins!

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A team came out from England,
Wally Hammond wore his felt hat like a chief.
All through the summer of '28/'29,
They gave the green caps no relief
Some reputations came to grief

They say the darkest hour is right before the dawn
And in the hour of greatest slaughter, the great avenger is being born
But who then could have known the shape of things to come?
In Bradman's first test, he went for 18 and for 1
They dropped him like a gun!
Paul Kelly, "Bradman"

Hope is the ultimate motivator. In some ways, it's the only motivator.

"Why does the third of the three brothers, who shares his food with the old woman in the wood, go on to become king of the country? Why does James Bond manage to disarm the nuclear bomb a few seconds before it goes off rather than, as it were, a few seconds afterwards? Because a universe where that did not happen would be a dark and hostile place. Let there be goblin hordes, let there be terrible environmental threats, let there be giant mutated slugs if you really must, but let there also be hope. It may be a grim, thin hope, an Arthurian sword at sunset, but let us know that we do not live in vain.”

"Check it out Tsukasa. Even if you kill me, even if you kill anyone, even if you reset Science; there's always an idiot who'll try anything, and the shiny monkeys will inevitably create a technological civilization."

"But rains will end, and nights will pass, and grief will purify"
Lovebites, "Glory, Glory, to the World"

Sam: It's like in the great stories, Mister Frodo - the ones that really mattered. Full of darkness and danger they were. Sometimes you didn't want to know the end. Because how could the end be happy? How could the world go back to the way it was when so much bad had happened? But in the end, it's only a passing thing, the shadow. Even darkness must pass. A new day will come! And when the Sun shines, it will shine out the clearer! Those were the stories that stayed with you, and meant something, even if you were too small to understand why. But I think, Mister Frodo, I do understand. I know now. Folks in those stories had lots of chances of turning back, only they didn't. They kept going, because they were holding on to something.
Frodo: What're we holding onto, Sam?
Sam: That there's some good in this world, Mr. Frodo, and it's worth fighting for!

"I could write ninety percent of an essay on how any of these games are 'the darkest' in their series, but then you get to the end and… what? 'Isn't it crazy how messed up this is?' It's an empty reading, substanceless. Ironically, it’s juvenile. Being 'messed up' is not a theme. Darkness is not a narrative. Violence on its own is not mature. Every description I’ve given thus far is missing the crucial piece, the 'so what?', the 'why should I care?'

"Because
Twilight Princess is not just about fighting and avant garde choices and ominous visions. It's a game where those darker aspects framing the world make each act of kindness stand out more: Zelda’s generosity; Link’s inspiring bravery; every random townsperson's will to survive. It becomes a story about relying on others, a group of strangers able to survive in the twilight only due to the support they receive from each other. Link never succumbs to the ominous vision he received because he never attempts to do it alone— unlike Ganondorf, Link's fight is never for individual glory. And at the end, Link loses one of his closest friends, not through violence or tragedy, but because they both understand they have a responsibility to their own homes. Midna leaves because her community needs her and she, now, understands how important her support is to them.

"And
Majora's Mask isn’t just about the inevitable end of the world, it’s about recognizing that inevitability and still choosing to fight against it, resisting what seems inescapable with every last breath. If Majora's Mask is a metaphor for grief, or climate change, or whatever else, it’s a metaphor that begs you to not lay down and accept them. Although time moves inexorably forward, and yes, everyone will eventually die, that doesn’t mean that the present is a lost cause. And even in the midst of Link’s own grief, he finds meaning in helping others.

"And
Breath of the Wild may live in the post-apocalypse, but god, what a reminder that whatever we consider 'the apocalypse' is that in name only. Although whatever we considered 'the world' pre-disaster may have ended, there's still a world here and it's alive and passionate and wants to be heard. Link and Zelda may blame themselves for the passing of the old world, but their guilt doesn’t prevent them from trying to heal the new one. And for everyone else, they don't particularly feel like they're living in the aftermath of something terrible, life just adapts, it keeps on happening.

"To brand any of these games as 'the darkest
Zelda' is to miss the forest for the trees, focus on the storytelling methods without considering what the stories themselves are doing with them. Heroism shines when contrasted with the darkness. Acts of compassion mean more when stakes are high. And this perspective also misses the levity of the stories, and what those moments contribute as well. A world without joy and humor isn’t a compelling world to fight for. Every one of these games become meaningful through their lightest elements, absurd side characters and silly mini games and the idea of Link not being heavy until he takes the metal boots out of his pocket and puts them on his feet. Zelda games flourish in this twilight, the melding of light and dark. The disparate tones mutually empower each other.

(…)

"We’re left at the end with darkness, yes, a threat that never quite disappears. But we’re left with hope, too."


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