“In the second draft of The Fault In Our Stars, the novel ends shortly after reclusive Dutch-American author Peter 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,” John, 39, revealed on the Nerdist podcast.
Huh? That ending is just so random. In case you didn’t know, John is talking about the ethical dilemma created by British philosopher Philippa Foot in 1967. The trolley problem asks whether it is ethical to alter the course of a trolley in order to save five people, even if doing so definitely kill one person.
“[My editor] was like, ‘I can’t tell if this is a joke,'” John continued. “I was like, ‘No man, this is a really interesting way into the trolley problem.’ And she said, ‘I don’t think this book is about the trolley problem.'”
The Fault In Our Stars is definitely NOT about the trolley problem. After a wonderful and heartbreaking book about finding love in the midst of tragic circumstances, I would have been furious if John had published that ending for the book.
John Green didn’t just have the trolley problem alternate ending in mind. Back in 2014, he revealed to Cleveland’s 19 Action News that the book originally ending with Hazel and Van Houten dying in a shoot-out with a drug lord. Yeah, that doesn’t sound right either.
Thankfully, John wrote an ending that was perfect and devastating. Even though readers (including myself) cried all the tears because Augustus and Hazel’s love story was tragically cut short, the ending of The Fault In Our Stars is so fitting and necessary to the story.
HollywoodLifers, what do you think of John’s alternate TFIOS ending?