Wednesday, December 03, 2008

THE THORN BIRDS: TRAGEDY

Images shot from DVD
Justine meanwhile becomes a stage actress in Europe and one day visits Dane at the Vatican. Cardinal Vittorio liked her immediately; he later told Ralph she was ‘very entertaining’ and how underneath her independent spirit and flippant way of talking was a very sensitive young woman. Some one else is also attracted to Justine, a friend of Ralph’s- Rainer "Rain" Moerling Harheim, a German politician and several years older than her. Justine goes out with him but is afraid of total commitment, although she loves him as well. Dane is later ordained as a priest, ironically by his own father. He takes a vacation to Crete in Greece, Justine was to join him but she stayed behind to be with Rain. While swimming in the sea, Dane noticed two women in trouble with the current and swarm to rescue them but he suffered a sudden heart attack and drowned!
Meggie is told the terrible news by Fee who'd spoken with Justine over the phone and after some difficulty; Dane’s body is flown back to Drogheda accompanied by Ralph, Justine and Rain. Dane’s remains is taken to the family vault. Ralph tries his best to console Meggie but filled with pent up rage and sorrow, she turned to him and told him the truth; DANE WAS HIS SON! Ralph faintly said it was'nt true but Meggie coldly asked him how on earth would he think she could go back to Luke after what they had done at Matlock Island; Dane was his son, a more perfect version of himself. Ralph burst into heart wrenching tears but Meggie made no move to comfort him.
Rain tells Meggie that Justine felt she was the cause of her brother’s death by not being with him in Crete and had decided to move back to Drogheda permanently, instead of going back to London. But Meggie tells Justine she had nothing to be guilty about; it was true she had loved Dane more than her and had neglected her like Fee did to her years back, but she still loved her daughter very much. The two embrace each other warmly and Justine follows her mother’s advice of finding happiness; she finally said yes to Rain’s proposal of marriage.
Justine and Rain take their leave, telling Meggie that Ralph wasn’t flying back with them and he wanted to see her. Meggie found him in the flower garden (where they’d exchanged their first kiss so many years back), in prayer. He however looked up when he felt Meggie’s hand on his shoulder.
She slipped her arms round him and he held her ; hugging each other in reconciliation. Ralph filled with relief, said, ‘My Meggie. I knew you would forgive me, I knew.’ He signaled to her not to apologize to him for her harshness.
He looked even more frail, broken down by the knowledge he had failed Meggie by putting his ambition to be Cardinal before her, instead of leaving the church and marrying her a long time ago. He knew very well that choice would cause him pain and yet he had done it anyway. And Meggie had gone through many battles but still had the ability to love & she'd never stopped loving him despite the way he'd wronged her. Meggie didn’t reproach him; instead she rested her head on his lap, while he stroked her hair. Ralph is noticeably very ill but still kept his hand on Meggie's head, stroking her hair.
He asked her if she remembered a story he’d told her years ago, about the mythical thorn bird that searches for a thorn tree from the day it hatches. She remembered, he had told the story the night Frank and Paddy had quarreled. When the bird finds the perfect thorn, it impales itself –singing its most beautiful song as it dies. Ralph replied, the bird is not aware of its death, it just sings and sings and dies singing. But they humans, when they put the thorns in their breasts, they know very well. They understand but still they do it.
Meggie smiled sadly , kissed his hand and put her head back on his lap,while he continued stroking her hair, once red with golden highlights, now gray. But after a while, Meggie noticed his hand had stopped moving; it had fallen to his side. She looked up and saw his eyes were closed forever.
Ralph, whom she’d known and loved for 43 years… was dead. She touched his cheek and hugged him, too numb with grief to cry. She then placed her head back on his lap,
the plane conveying Justine and Rainer to Sydney flying overhead...



THE END. 
 

Monday, December 01, 2008

THE THORN BIRDS: MEGGIE'S SECRET

Images shot from DVD



















Ralph and Meggie spent several idyllic days on the Island, the happiest they'd had in years. Ralph now realised that being in love with Meggie made him a man like all men, despite his ambition to be the perfect priest. He however had to go back to his duties in Rome but tells Meggie he truly wished he could marry her and never be apart from her ever again; he'll never stop loving her, she must remember that. They exchange a very painful goodbye and he leaves for Rome, while she prepares to leave Luke. When she returned back to Anne and Luddie's house, she already knew she was pregnant... with RALPH'S BABY!
To cover up, (in the novel) she spent one night with Luke, told him exactly what she thought of him and left, telling him he could kept the money he'd stolen from her but he must never step one foot into Drogheda or expect more money from her from then on. She and Justine went back to Drogheda and are very warmly recieved. Months later, Meggie gave birth to Ralph's child, a beautiful baby boy she named Dane. Fee is the only one who immediately knew that Ralph is the father, not Luke, the boy resembled Ralph very much, except for the colour of his hair, blonde while Ralph's was black. Over the years no one in the family ever found out (blind or stupid, I don't know). Ralph confessed to his mentor, Cardinal Vittorio about what had finally happened between him and Meggie. Vittorio, who had known about their love since the rose Meggie had given Ralph fell out of the missal he stored it in, understood and was'nt shocked , especially since it had been with The Rose, (his own name for Meggie) whom he felt very sorry for.
19 years later, Ralph is finally a Cardinal and goes to visit Drogheda. He meets Meggie's children, outspoken Justine and respectful Dane. Meggie is now in her forties, Ralph in his sixties but their love for each other is as strong as ever; they shared another romantic night together. Perhaps Meggie would have told Ralph her secret if Ralph hadn't expressed his hurt about her going back to Luke after what they had done in the Island, and allowing him to father Dane- -she merely told him no one thought of Dane as Luke's son, but as her son. Ralph forms an immediate rapport with Dane during his stay, not realising at all that he was his son, neither does Dane. Dane shocks his family, especially his mother of his intention of becoming a priest! Meggie doesn't blame Ralph as the boy had already decided before meeting Ralph at all. Fee points out to Meggie that what she'd stolen from God, she must now give back. Meggie resignedly sends Dane to Rome, to be under Ralph's care. Vittorio, who sees through anyone and anything, immediately saw that The Rose's son was fathered by Ralph due to their resemblance. To cover up and at the same time protect the three of them, he asks Ralph to say that Dane was his nephew to avoid people saying he was showing too much preference to Dane. They agree and it worked. -TO BE CONTINUED...