Viewing a single comment thread. View all comments

frogandbanjo t1_j9pasrs wrote

Yeah, I get that a lot. Too old and stubborn to add more exposition. I try to make either the characters or dialogue worth reading, anyway.

The basic principles and setup should be clear enough from the text, though.

  1. Needs are not desires. I saw that somebody else wrote that, too.

  2. Wishes are efficient, to a point. If it's more efficient to make the narrator/protagonist simply not need something, that's what happens. Instead of eating, he'll simply never be hungry.

  3. When the wish was originally made, the protagonist/narrator had a genie right next to him. Even though his next wish freed the genie from the usual "lamp and contract" bullshit, his previous wish seized upon the "freed" genie as a power source to easily and efficiently fulfill the narrator's needs. It was right there. Everything worked out. The genie became trapped yet again.

Then things get a little murkier - and watch reddit turn what's supposed to be a "4" list item below into a "1" because it's so ingenious. (Holy shit, it didn't!)

  1. The genie is not a human, nor of the prime material plane natively. His "species," for lack of a better term, is fundamentally different. Even when utterly whammied by a wish, it has natural defenses it can use to try to escape from them. The genie eventually escaped from his new prison by overloading it. He provided the narrator with so much love, friendship, and even primal pleasures that the wish's control over him slipped. He fled, leaving the narrator to eventually experience what he should've all along: the near-infinite slumber of total need-death.

  2. Because the narrator failed to wish for the best wish - the only wish one should ever wish for - his wish was extremely powerful, but not infinitely so. Eventually, reality itself insisted that something needed to happen: a prime material plane needed to wind down and end. The wish delayed it for a long time, but it could not delay it forever.

  3. That brings us to the pivot point of the story: where suspension of disbelief must allow the protagonist and genie to roughly fulfill the terms of the prompt. For reasons left to gods and cosmic forces, the narrator was given a second chance to wish for that one best wish.

He first wished to exit the plane, but did so in such a way that delayed need-death. He wished to continue the business with the genie.

He then wished to become god - the only wish one should ever wish for. However, he was able to remain where he was even after shoring up his first set of wishes, on an ethereal plane, to continue and conclude his business. See the first new wish, above.

For his third wish, he granted the genie true godhood, too - the only thing that can ever truly free anyone. Their business concluded, the narrator was finally ejected from that ethereal plane and placed in his own pocket reality. The genie was placed in his.

It turns out the narrator was not such a bad guy after all. He'd just stumbled onto one of those infinite, pernicious middle grounds between pedestrian wishes and the one best wish. Even though he spent an eternity not feeling guilty - because he didn't need to - when given a second chance, he finally got it right.