Thursday 19 January 2017

The original ending for The Fault in Our Stars was way more tragic than you'd expect

Published 09/11/2016 | 17:33

A scene from the movie adaptation of 'The Fault in our Stars'
A scene from the movie adaptation of 'The Fault in our Stars'
Shailene Woodley and Ansel Elgort

The original ending for The Fault in Our Stars was a lot more different than you would expect - but it's still equally tragic.

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Everyone's heart broke at the end of best-selling novel The Fault in Our Stars, when Hazel Lancaster reads her best friend and lover Augustus Water's obituary after he loses his battle to cancer.

However, author John Green had a very different idea in mind for the original ending of the novel.

During an interview on the Nerdist podcast, Green revealed an ending that no one was expecting.

Shailene Woodley and Ansel Elgort
Shailene Woodley and Ansel Elgort

"In the second draft of The Fault In Our Stars, the novel ends shortly after Van Houten ties one of the characters to railroad tracks as an exploration of the trolley problem, which is a really interesting idea to me in philosophy."

If case you're in need of some background information, Van Houten is the author of Hazel's favourite book, The Imperial Affliction. Augustus uses his dying wish to go to Amsterdam with Hazel to meet Van Houten as he knew how much he and the book meant to Hazel.

The trolley problem is an experiment taught in ethics which asks: What would you do if you saw a runaway train travelling toward five people who are tied to the tracks? Option A is to do nothing and allow all five people to die. Option B is to pull a lever that sends the train on to a different track, which only one person is tied to. In that situation, there's only one death, but you're the killer.

Green said his editor wasn't sold on that ending - and we don't blame her.

"She was like, 'I can't tell if this is a joke,'" he said.

"I was like, 'No, this is a really interesting way into the trolley problem.' And she said, 'I don't think this book is about the trolley problem.'"

Another alternate ending that Green wrote saw Hazel and Van Houten dying in a shoot-out with a drug lord to honor Augustus' life, Green told Cleveland's 19 Action News in 2014.

With these three endings on the table, although heartbreaking, the chosen one doesn't seem so bad now, does it?

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