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What is your favorite fantasy creature?


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Showing 1-25 of 88 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Dec 1, 2011, 12:35:18 PM PST
Fantasy opens up plenty of possibilities for strange creatures and unusual beasts, but most of us who read fantasy tend to have a favorite type. For me, it's a tie.

Sarah's Unicorn was the first fantasy book that I can remember reading, and it triggered a phase when I was watching the woods in my backyard for unicorns. Oakhorn was cool to me because he could be tough and powerful against wicked witches, but also gentle and forgiving. Of course, no mentioning of unicorns could be complete without Amalthea from The Last Unicorn; she managed to rescue her people and get the prince to fall in love with her.

Tied with unicorns are the dragons. Smaug in The Hobbit is one of the more well-known examples of the fire-breathing monsters, but my favorite dragon is Fafnir from Norse mythology. He could breathe poison. The only downside to dragons is that they usually have cheap deaths in stories.

So, what is your favorite type of creature, and which character is the best example of that creature to you?

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 1, 2011, 1:26:42 PM PST
Shall we take a class on the "Care of Mythical Creatures," a la Harry Potter? I do like Buckbeak the Hippogriff from the HP & the Prisoner Azkaban. He manages to save the day, & IIRC he shows up a few more times in other books as well. I also really liked the way that JK Rowling used Fawkes the Phoenix in Chamber of Secrets.

Other, non-HP books -- I like GRR Martin's use of the Direwolves. These are barely mythical creatures, I know, but I love wolves.

Posted on Dec 1, 2011, 2:33:03 PM PST
Buckbeak was a fun character. Draco totally deserved what he got.

In my opinion, the way the Direwolves were used in A Song of Ice and Fire qualifies them as mythical creatures, just as the use of the prehistoric creatures in "Journey to the Center of the Earth" was more mythical than factual. Ghost is my favorite of the George R.R. Martin Direwolves.

Posted on Dec 2, 2011, 9:27:03 AM PST
Pegasus

Posted on Dec 2, 2011, 10:32:03 AM PST
What Pegasus is your favorite, GreatSadPanda (can I call you GSP?)? I just read his Wikipedia entry; apparently, Pegasus is the son of Medusa. Oh, Greek myths, unparalleled in weirdness.

Posted on Dec 2, 2011, 10:47:28 AM PST
Rev Otter says:
do kaiju (giant Japanese monsters) count?

because, Mothra. :)

Posted on Dec 2, 2011, 10:49:23 AM PST
Of course they count! Unless you can find a giant moth that can be summoned by two girls that speak in tandem, Mothra is a fantasy creature. ;)

Posted on Dec 2, 2011, 11:26:31 AM PST
Nancy says:
I love the Balrog in Lord of the Rings, especially as it was depicted in the movie. In the book you could "feel' the evil when the character describes it coming from ages past. Much more frightening than the orcs or trolls in the book, which were a dime a dozen, or even Shelob and her offspring.

Posted on Dec 2, 2011, 11:34:58 AM PST
G. Miller says:
Tarrasque.

Posted on Dec 2, 2011, 11:35:03 AM PST
I like Amalthea from The Last Unicorn because Beagle does such a wonderful job portraying the mystical otherworldliness of a unicorn trapped in a mortal form.

Aside from the last unicorn and Tolkien's books, probably my favorite fantasy creature would be Hans Christian Andersen's the little mermaid. I've always loved mermaids because of this story. Such a sad, beautiful tale--although the Disney version is cute, it doesn't hold a candle to the original fairy tale.

Posted on Dec 2, 2011, 6:53:23 PM PST
I've always been a big fan of dragons with Spectral Dragons being my favourite.

Posted on Dec 2, 2011, 6:53:39 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 2, 2011, 7:00:16 PM PST
Nancy, the Balrog is definitely terrifying. I remember reading "Lord of the Rings" for the first time and being absolutely mortified that there was something that could A) make Legolas scream in terror and B) kill Gandalf.

G. Miller, I have to confess that I had to look up the Tarrasque. Having done so, I can say that's definitely something that I wouldn't want to run into!

Red, I agree about Amalthea. Her conflicting state made the story so interesting. Also, the litttle mermaid made me cry the first time I read it. The Disney version is sweet, but the mermaid's sacrifice is what makes the story. Hans Christian Andersen was great at writing bittersweet tales.

Edit: Colin, welcome to another dragon fan! What dragon stories can you recommend?

Posted on Dec 2, 2011, 7:01:32 PM PST
Oh yeah, of course! I'd forgotten about the balrog and the Tarrasque, awesome creatures! I used the balrog a lot when I DM'd MERP (Middle Earth Role Playing) for those who never heard of it.

Posted on Dec 3, 2011, 11:39:25 AM PST
Sara, you stated it so well when you said "the mermaid's sacrifice makes the story." Andersen's "The Little Mermaid" and the movie "Splash" made me believe that mermaids were real when I was a kid, years before the Disney version was released. I was so convinced that mermaids existed that I made a project in the first grade detailing what they ate, where they lived, what their social structure was like under the ocean--a real scientific study, let me tell you!

If you like mer-people as much as I do, check out Alice Hoffman's Aquamarine And Indigo - Water Tales. Two charming novellas in one book by one of my favorite authors. Hoffman has that subtle, poetic style that works so well to convey convincing fantasy creatures.

Posted on Dec 3, 2011, 11:52:53 AM PST
I'll have to check that out. Thanks for the recommendation!

Posted on Dec 3, 2011, 5:08:18 PM PST
Aerin says:
I'll vote for Dragon but the more Chinese version of educated and elegant. The Arkon in Michelle Sagara"s "Cast in ****" series. I would love to meet him.

Posted on Dec 3, 2011, 5:10:59 PM PST
hmmm.... that is a hard one.... i would have to say Niffins from The Magicians or The Mirror Dragon from Eon.

Posted on Dec 3, 2011, 10:23:24 PM PST
Niffins? I'll need to read the book!

Posted on Dec 4, 2011, 7:58:04 PM PST
Got to go with the unicorns in the Firebringer Trilogy. I haven't read anything else that treated them that way, as warriors. Loved those books!

Posted on Dec 4, 2011, 10:53:58 PM PST
Aammar Khan says:
The Kandra from the MistBorn Series. Love that series.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 6, 2011, 4:16:33 AM PST
Jinks the pixie in Kim Harrisons books

Posted on Dec 6, 2011, 4:23:15 AM PST
John Mann says:
I'd have to say just about every 'pun' creature made by Piers Anthony in the Xanth series.

The first non-overused creature that ever made an impact to me were 'Beholders'.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 6, 2011, 8:39:32 AM PST
In Sagaria, it has to be Flip and also Sir Tombin who is so lovable (even though he's a frog).

Posted on Dec 6, 2011, 8:56:26 AM PST
SivaPC says:
Okay, so admittedly, this could be viewed as self-promoting, but I love my husband's new character, Jade, in the Wombat Rue series. She is fiesty, spunky, smart, the warrior of the group, and achingly vulnerable at times. The funny thing is that she's currently stealing the show, but she was added as an afterthought side-kick to the main character.

Posted on Dec 6, 2011, 9:42:03 AM PST
Angelus says:
The Biaviian alien, O-Qua Tangin Wann
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Discussion in:  Fantasy forum
Participants:  61
Total posts:  88
Initial post:  Dec 1, 2011
Latest post:  Jan 28, 2012

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