pissedoffatouat said: why is it easy to accept Rumpelstiltskin's death as bold storytelling, even though it's sad, but Neal's "death" feels fake and impossible to accept?
I have no problem accepting Neal’s death because we saw the body AND the funeral and, more damningly, they broke out the Cello Music of Doom (tm).
There’s always room for cello!
But I agree Rumple’s death felt way more satisfying than Neal’s, probably because Rumple broadcasted his death for a whole season. We knew “the boy would be Rumple’s undoing” since the middle of S2, Rumple told Belle he was going on a one-way trip to Neverland in the S2 finale, and Rumple was shouting about dying for Henry for ALL of S3A. So when Rumple actually kicked the bucket to save his family it was satisfying instead of shocking.
Foreshadowing: Doing It Right
With Neal we had JUST gone through his “death” in the S2 finale, so him dying in the middle of S3B seemed kind of “been there, done that.” However, for just this once I’m going to ignore my “ONLY care about what we see in the episodes” philosophy and point out that I’m 90% sure the actor who plays Nealfire wanted out of the show. There were rumors from reliable sources to that effect, AND the actor tweeted official denials of this, AND the writers officially denied it: in my book, Solid Rumors + Official Denials mean the original rumors are true. So just this once I think we have to give the writers a break because they did their best to work Neal’s death into Zelena’s arc in a respectful way to his character— Neal said goodbye to everybody, died a hero to save his dad, and there was a touching funeral. It’s not like Neal randomly fell over a tree root, conked his head and died without anybody noticing.
What did NOT happen
What I find fascinating is that some Nealfire fans were upset that Snowing named their baby Neal, saying they should have named the baby Baelfire. But aren’t Baelfire and Neal THE SAME PERSON? If you love Baelfire but are ‘meh’ about Neal then the writers have failed to link the two, and that’s a big reason why I think Nealfire didn’t get that much love from the fans (see that essay here!). In any case, I’m afraid Nealfire is gone for good except for flashbacks (and those will probably be with young Baelfire).