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Most hated Fantasy Cliches


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Showing 1-25 of 460 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Mar 18, 2012 8:52:34 AM PDT
I hate the long-lost heir to the throne plotline.

How about you?

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 18, 2012 8:56:25 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Mar 18, 2012 8:57:45 AM PDT
Magic sword/weapon req'd to defeat evil usurping king.

ETA: and why the frack is it always lost. Seriously, you have a weapon to vanquish evil & you forget where you set it down?

Posted on Mar 18, 2012 9:13:29 AM PDT
The benevolent and ever-sissified gentry race.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 18, 2012 9:44:44 AM PDT
That's my most hated, Will.

I also hate it when the humble kitchen boy, even if he isn't a long-lost prince, is suddenly imbued with amazing powers and fighting skills. I'm a bit of a fuddy-duddy when it comes to that. Warriors require a heck of a lot of training, from a very early age.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 18, 2012 9:58:04 AM PDT
I sort of love the humble kitchen boy trope, even though it's ridiculous.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 18, 2012 10:03:39 AM PDT
It works in the Arthurian legend, with Gareth (Beaumains), but of course he came to Camelot in disguise, and was put into the kitchens. He already had the latent fighting skills. That, of course, is where the whole trope comes from; but while it works in Arthurian legend, I'm afraid it just irritates me elsewhere!

Posted on Mar 18, 2012 11:16:59 AM PDT
How about the wise old man with a mysterious past who mentors the humble kitchen-boy/king-who-doesn't-know-it while they search for the magical weapon/object, making friends with the misunderstood dragon/troll/race who aids them in their quest as well as the variety of people/animals who have just happen to have the skills needed to attack the evil uncle/god/madman who usurped the throne, while threatening the beautiful princess?

Posted on Mar 18, 2012 12:09:39 PM PDT
W. Westphal says:
Well some of your complaints don't make snese. You don't like "kitchen" boys becoming the hero. But that is basically what connects with most people. Most people would relate more to a farm or kitchen boy learning new things and becoming a hero than they would to the beefy 6 foot tall man who has learned to fight since he was 13.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 18, 2012 12:37:44 PM PDT
I know, right?

Posted on Mar 18, 2012 12:47:41 PM PDT
And how the humble kitchen boy/heir to the kingdom suddenly finds a magical weapon that only he can use? Which as been lying around,completely unrecognised for years...

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 18, 2012 12:50:09 PM PDT
That's fine. I just happen not to like it. I don't think it's about "not making sense", it's about personal taste. I'm not going to knock the people who like that - wouldn't dream of it.

Posted on Mar 18, 2012 1:29:54 PM PDT
The problem with cliches is that someone somewhere liked them -once, but then other writers pinched the ideas and they were flogged to death...

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 18, 2012 2:27:16 PM PDT
They came back from the grave as ten ga-zillion zombie novellas?

Posted on Mar 18, 2012 2:28:30 PM PDT
Reviews4U says:
Young boy realizes he is not who he seems and goes on to become all-powerful. Seen it about 10,000,000 times. (Not really, but you know what I mean.)

Posted on Mar 18, 2012 2:40:34 PM PDT
This isn't really a fantasy one and it's really minor but I saw it again watching "Dead Snow" last night and it kind of bugs me. You have a character who wears glasses for most of the story but just as they make the heroic turn the glasses are gone and they apparently have perfect vision. I also swear the guy in "Dead Snow" didn't look as fat after that either but it just might have been the clothing. I get they don't apparently want a hero with glasses but at lest explain it or don't give them glasses in the first place (or give them contacts or something). "Stargate" does it but I think that's because the healing device used on Daniel healed his vision as well but then again in the series he had them again but that's a whole other kettle of fish. :)

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 18, 2012 2:55:02 PM PDT
Dead Snow - is that the Nazi Zombie film? That was cool! But I know what you mean about the glasses.

Posted on Mar 18, 2012 3:15:59 PM PDT
The kitchen boy/serving wench suddenly exhibits a power unknown to all or at least a power that as been as lost as that damned magic sword. And why can't the kitchen boy/serving wench ever have a nice, normal family?

Posted on Mar 18, 2012 3:30:57 PM PDT
Can't have a hero(ine) with a family, you know.

They get in the way on quests, demanding time out for birthdays, or shopping for new curtains, demanding extra time in the tavern/wine shop/ chop house/market/bazaar, and constantly complaining about the distance travelled.

And, why do none of them ever take a toilet break? Honestly, you'd think that with all those guard posts Gandalf would have stopped in Moria for a pee somewhere!

Posted on Mar 18, 2012 4:19:51 PM PDT
The skeleton for most fantasy tales.... from the Lord of the Rings, to Star Wars, to Shannara, to Feists series, to Wheel of Time, so on and so forth.

You have a totally unprepared young wretch oblivious to the giant world around them, who has a life seemed to be destined for absolutely nothing of great importance, (Frodo, Skywalker.) Then enter the grand wise and powerful mentor, (Gandalf, Obi-Wan.) They all decide to leave home, seeking adventure, knowledge, whatever. They meet a cast of interesting and exotic characters,( elves, dwarves, and wookies.) Something happens to where they cannot return home, the quest is absolutely necessary (Frodo must destroy the ring, Skywalker's family are murdered.) They gain something of power (the ring, the force). Something happens to the mentor. Our character is thrust into the big wide world all alone.... Eventually against all original odds saves the whole world. I could go into a little deeper depth, but i am lazy. I know not all tales fit perfectly but that is the general idea.

Where do they get these ideas? Probably read some Joseph Campbell (I know Lucas did) or in the terms of Tolkien borrowed from the mythology itself.

Fact is, people like relating to the main character, so they must start ordinary, and what makes it great is to see the growth. It is difficult to think of a new formula for mythology that people can relate to. It is uncomfortable trying to have a new take on the EPIC.

I do have to say that not all fantasies have to be that way, Personally my favorites are Conan the Barbarian and The Dark Tower Series.... and they don't really fit that system.

If you all want to see something new, go out and make it. I am trying.... but being a lazy fat man with serious doubts about his writing skills, things are moving slowly....

Posted on Mar 18, 2012 4:48:52 PM PDT
I don't mind anything cliche in fantasy novels. How else can you connect with the character? What I do hate are the long scenes that could be done in just a few pages. For instance, when Frodo has to destroy the ring. That scene is so boring that I just want to throw the book or movie.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 18, 2012 7:53:14 PM PDT
Yeah saw it last night online. It was okay if you go in knowing it's kinda of a comedy like say "Shaun of the Dead" or "Return of the Living Dead". I grew up with glasses so yeah its kinda irritating when they seem to be able to see, shoot and fight just fine. It's like why were you wearing them to start with. :)

Posted on Mar 18, 2012 8:52:06 PM PDT
J. D. Lowe says:
Has anyone seen this?

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/HomePage
The is nothing new under the sun

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 18, 2012 10:19:11 PM PDT
>And, why do none of them ever take a toilet break? Honestly, you'd think that with all those guard posts Gandalf would have stopped in Moria for a pee somewhere!

Dragon Fate is the only fantasy novel I've ever read where the need for bathroom breaks and some form of bug repellent while traveling in the wilderness was acknowledged. It also has a hero well out of his teens whose skill at fighting was gained through intensive military training, and who regularly practices to keep his proficiency up.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 19, 2012 1:26:58 PM PDT
Excellent analysis, Jesse!

The thing is, as far as your analysis of Frodo is concerned, Tolkien didn't get that from the mythology, as far as I am aware. Generally speaking, mythological heroes who appear to be "ordinary" to begin with, tend to have some powers inherited, or gifted to them - more like Luke Skywalker than Frodo, in fact. (I know Tolkien wasn't very interested in Greek mythology, but most of the demi-gods come to mind, especially Perseus).

But, overall, cool analysis.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 19, 2012 1:27:53 PM PDT
Agreed. I expected it to be pretty rubbish, actually, and was therefore pleasantly surprised. I don't think I'll be rushing to watch it again, though! LOL!
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Discussion in:  Fantasy forum
Participants:  98
Total posts:  460
Initial post:  Mar 18, 2012
Latest post:  Dec 4, 2012

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