The events of Adventure Time’s seventh-season miniseries Stakes follow the character Marceline the Vampire Queen as she tries—and fails—to cure her vampirism. In this paper, I argue that the nature of Marceline’s vampiric curse recalls the fatalistic and deterministic bonds of Stoicism. I argue that when Marceline realizes that she is, in effect, chained by the whims of Fate, she lapses into nihilism before deciding to take her curse willingly upon herself. This triumph in the face of fatalism, I argue, recalls the amor fati about which the German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche wrote. This essay thus discusses Stakes in the language of Nietzsche's “eternal return,” using the miniseries as a vehicle to illustrate the idea that while Fate—broadly defined as "things out of our control"—may be unchangeable on the individual level, subjects always have volitional freedom with regard to how they react to their Fate.
Presented at the Midwest Popular Culture Association Annual Conference Minneapolis, MN, October 8, 2021.