Harstal Firebull to leave hit series

From: Ian Cooper <ian_hammond_cooper_at_...>
Date: Fri, 07 Sep 2001 13:10:06 -0000

FWIW, We share narrating portions of the story arc in our group and I felt on of the major characters had reached the end of his usefulness. To spur debate on the topic I sent the following note to the rest of the group (including Charles, Benedict and Bruce on this list). It was sugessted that other people might want to read it, so here, in the spirit of our recent discussions on NPC's it is:


FGC studios are not denying the rumors that Harstal Firebull, a key character in the popular Hero Wars show will leave sometime in the 3rd season.

The fantasy show, airing on a Thursday night, features the adventures of a band of outlaws struggling against the Evil Lunar Empire. Critics have called the show a cross between Robin Hood, Star Wars, and Monty Python and the Holy Grail, but it remains undeniably popular. Harstal Firebull was a major character in the first series. As the chief of the Firebull clan of the Sambari, home to the stars of the show, he was both patron and mentor to the characters.

One of the writers Ian Cooper commented "The great thing about Harstal was that he was an excellent source of storylines and advice and a way for us to teach the viewer aout the world of the show. Now we are more established and the storylines are demanding we see how the main characters deal with the situation Harstal's role has become less and less significant. The problem is that it has become difficult to justify why our characters would be doing something, why wouldn't they just ask Harstal, or what is Harstal doing. He has become a bit like the Giles character in the Buffy series, we don't want him stealing the limelight but not having him in charge leaves him without a role."

The show is certainly not afraid of killing characters. The popular, but death obsessed warrior, Jonrik, was a shock casualty of the first series finale that saw the characters exiled from their homeland. "We wanted to show our characters suffering real pain at the hands of the Empire so we could understand their search for revenge".

In the second series, which concentrated on the characters wanderings Harstal has played less and less of a role, only really featuring in the episode Death in Clearwine, where he guided the heroes investigations into a grisly series of murders. "More than anything, " Ian comments "his current role is limited to the bond for Oranda the trickster. We don't have anything else for him to do, but the fans are aware he is around and ask questions about what he would be doing. In addition in Series 3 we would like to provide more detail on the magical union, the hero band, that the characters are part of. Who is the wyter, what are the rituals the band performs, can the wyter be strengthened with heroquests, how does the wyter help the characters - its a whole area we have not explored and we want to do that through the main characters, not Harstal, who currently controls the wyter. We want to give the wyter to someone else, and we can't do that with Harstal around. We also have a new character, Baneface, who wants to reform an old Hero Band, now we are going to make him earn that, but its possible we could merge that storyline with the growth of our current band's identity."

Ian also gave some hints about series 3 "Its about daily life over a year, but unlike the first series we are at a tribal level this time, there are more movers and shakers. In addition we want to show the magic and rituals that people participate in, and give the viewer experiences such as the characters flying to Kero Fin on their Holy Day. The Moonhaters provide some great new characters, we like to think of them as like one of the warrior bands of Celtic myth, the Fianna, and we really hope that the writers will have fun with them."

FGC were unsure whether Harstal would be killed off, or simply move on allowing for a return at a later date "It all depends on what the writers feel is in the needs of the story."

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