Game: Merged Fiction Family Trees

Maybe this has been done before, but I’ve had this idea in the back of my head for a very long time. I want to see if it can work.

Game - craft a family tree, a name or two at a time, gradually merging characters from across classic and popular fiction. [name_f]Imagine[/name_f] [name_m]King[/name_m] [name_m]Arthur[/name_m] as the distant ancestor of [name_u]Anne[/name_u] of [name_u]Green[/name_u] Gables, via famous fictional and fictionalised folks all the way along (Wife of Bath, [name_m]Don[/name_m] [name_m]Quixote[/name_m], [name_m]Hamlet[/name_m], [name_f]Emma[/name_f], etc).

Guidelines:

  • [name_m]Add[/name_m] at least one name from a major work of classic or popular fiction, and pop the name of the book/work in parentheses (if not obvious). The idea here is to pick names from books many people might know. But any domain of fiction or fictionalised characters is fair game, including literature, film, video games, theatre, whatever. And by fictionalised characters, you can include real people like [name_f]Laura[/name_f] Ingalls.

  • The name you add has to relate in a reasonable way to an existing name on the family tree. If there are multiple options for when a book took place, feel free to pick one. But if you’re creating a married couple, they have to be relatively in the right area of the world and the right ages to marry each other. If someone is the parent of someone else, that needs to be at least possible. And a relationship has to be reasonable for the time period in which it occurs.

  • When creating relationships, don’t ignore the immediate context of the main characters from their original stories. For example, don’t ignore that [name_f]Lizzie[/name_f] [name_m]Bennet[/name_m] marries Mr [name_u]Darcy[/name_u] (though you can kill him off to remarry her). But you can ignore details about minor characters (including the names of rarely mentioned parents, kids or spouses) and especially invented family trees already in the books you love. For example, if we’re back in the far distant past, and you’re shipping a Tolkien and a [name_f]Star[/name_f] Wars character, those universes have deep worlds you can completely ignore.

  • In addition to adding one known fictional character, you’re welcome to add people of your own creation and other people from history as “glue” to pad out the fictional names, but it’s better if these people are in secondary roles (E.g. an extra son or daughter) or used to fill just truly unfillable gaps, when you can’t find any known fictional characters to ship (esp. if the timeline grows older, I can imagine this happening more).

  • I’ll start with a generation zero (G0) and you can go either backwards or forwards in time, or both, adding to the story as you go, noting the generation (G-1, G-2, G+1, G+5).

  • [name_m]Feel[/name_m] free to be as literary or as bare bones as you like. So this is fine: “G-5 = x marries y.” And this is also fine: “X met Y on a spaceship, near Gamma Centuri, and they…”.

  • You can also skip generations and let others fill in the gaps.


Now to give it a go

G0 — [name_u]Pip[/name_u], aka [name_m]Philip[/name_m] Pirrup (Great Expectations) rebuffed by [name_f]Estella[/name_f] once again, wants nothing more to do with [name_f]England[/name_f]. He moves to [name_u]America[/name_u] to make a go of it, ends up in the midwest, meets and marries [name_m]Tom[/name_m] Sawyer’s cousin, [name_f]Mary[/name_f] in the mid 1840’s.

G1- They build a house on whispering lake near Deep [name_f]Valley[/name_f], minnesota, where they give birth to [name_u]Jule[/name_u], the mother of [name_f]Betsy[/name_f] [name_u]Ray[/name_u] in the [name_f]Betsy[/name_f]-[name_f]Tacy[/name_f] series; and [name_m]Keith[/name_m]. However, [name_u]Pip[/name_u] dies and [name_f]Mary[/name_f] remarries. [name_u]Jule[/name_u] and [name_m]Keith[/name_m]’s stepfather raises them with a very firm hand, which eventually leads [name_m]Keith[/name_m] to run away take up a life on the stage just before [name_u]Jule[/name_u] marries betsy’s father

(P.S. I hope I did this right!)

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Perfect! And well done!

I’ve also edited the rules slightly to make it easier to ignore minor characters, so that the game is easier (you don’t have to remember every detail of every minor character to play).

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G-1 — [name_f]Lydia[/name_f] [name_m]Bennet[/name_m] marries the total cad [name_u]George[/name_u] [name_m]Wickham[/name_m], as told in Pride and Prejudice. Things settle for a few years, but both are given to drinking, and [name_m]Wickham[/name_m] can be quite violent. One day, in 1812, they have a row and [name_f]Lydia[/name_f] takes off with their youngest, a newborn. She’s not in her right mind though, being also drunk, and sets the baby down on a doorstep, wanders off into the marshes and is never seen again. The crying baby is taken in by the couple of the house - a woman and her blacksmith husband. He’s given the name [name_u]Pip[/name_u], and told all his life that he’s the younger brother of the woman who adopted him.

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Can we format it so that we have them all together in each response, like:

G-1 — Lydia Bennet marries the total cad George Wickham, as told in Pride and Prejudice. Things settle for a few years, but both are given to drinking, and Wickham can be quite violent. One day, in 1812, they have a row and Lydia takes off with their youngest, a newborn. She’s not in her right mind though, being also drunk, and sets the baby down on a doorstep, wanders off into the marshes and is never seen again. The crying baby is taken in by the couple of the house - a woman and her blacksmith husband. He’s given the name Pip, and told all his life that he’s the younger brother of the woman who adopted him.

G0 — Pip, aka Philip Pirrup (Great Expectations) rebuffed by Estella once again, wants nothing more to do with England. He moves to America to make a go of it, ends up in the midwest, meets and marries Tom [name_u]Sawyer[/name_u]’s cousin, Mary in the mid 1840’s.

G1- They build a house on whispering lake near Deep Valley, minnesota, where they give birth to Jule, the mother of Betsy Ray in the Betsy-Tacy series; and Keith. However, Pip dies and Mary remarries. Jule and Keith’s stepfather raises them with a very firm hand, which eventually leads Keith to run away take up a life on the stage just before Jule marries betsy’s father

Or perhaps some other way to make it easier to keep track?

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Sounds great. If we do continue this for a bit, we’d need a way to show branches going in different directions. Though overpays it would be enough just to include everything about a generation in that paragraph.

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Okay, I guess I’ll go again:

G-1 — Lydia Bennet marries the total cad George Wickham, as told in Pride and Prejudice. Things settle for a few years, but both are given to drinking, and Wickham can be quite violent. One day, in 1812, they have a row and Lydia takes off with their youngest, a newborn. She’s not in her right mind though, being also drunk, and sets the baby down on a doorstep, wanders off into the marshes and is never seen again. The crying baby is taken in by the couple of the house - a woman and her blacksmith husband. He’s given the name Pip, and told all his life that he’s the younger brother of the woman who adopted him.

G0 — Pip, aka Philip Pirrup (Great Expectations) rebuffed by Estella once again, wants nothing more to do with England. He moves to America to make a go of it, ends up in the midwest, meets and marries Tom Sawyer’s cousin, Mary in the mid 1840’s.

G1- They build a house on whispering lake near Deep Valley, minnesota, where they give birth to Jule, the mother of Betsy Ray in the Betsy-Tacy series; and Keith. However, Pip dies and Mary remarries. Jule and Keith’s stepfather raises them with a very firm hand, which eventually leads Keith to run away take up a life on the stage just before Jule marries betsy’s father

G2- [name_m]Keith[/name_m] has just left Deep [name_f]Valley[/name_f] after visiting [name_u]Jule[/name_u] and the rest of [name_f]Betsy[/name_f]’s family for the first time in years when he decides to sail off to [name_f]England[/name_f]. It’s there that he meets [name_f]Martha[/name_f] Sowerby, [name_f]Mary[/name_f]’s maid in The [name_f]Secret[/name_f] Garden. They marry and have one child (well, the book doesn’t say anything about that, so I’m just imagining the child- maybe the next poster can make the child be like the character of another book or something?)

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