The word ‘trope’ may have negative connotations, but I don’t necessarily think they’re always a bad thing…
Fantasy, for example, is a genre that is often accused of being ‘
So here are 7 fantasy tropes that make me say yay!
The fantasy genre is full of mythological creatures, many that we’ve seen time and time again. But does anyone ever get tired of dragons?
In fact, the inspiration for this entire post came from me reading Samantha Shannon’s The Priory of the Orange Tree, and my realisation that dragons are just eternally epic! There are literally books that I’ve only picked up because there is mention of dragons in the blurb… I just really love dragons, OK?!
Recently I’ve been loving seeing more and more fantasy books moving away from traditional, medieval European settings, especially in favour of more Asian inspired cultures, or more modern style settings. It’s incredibly refreshing, and I like that it’s giving fantasy a much more varied feel.
However, I can’t say that I don’t still love traditional fantasy settings complete with knights, kings, castles and sword fights. That may be the history nerd in me coming out though!
It’s pretty common for major characters in fantasy books to be members of royalty, and you know what? I love it (so much so that I wrote an entire post about my favourite fictional royalty!)!
Having characters who are members of a monarchy makes the stakes of the book much higher, with the things that happen to them potentially having catastrophic effects on their kingdom. One of the reasons I’m also such a fan of historical fiction is because I love the intrigue and politics, and having royalty in fantasy pretty much guarantees it!
As well as royal characters who exist at the top of the fantasy world hierarchy, I also love the overlooked underdogs who often (reluctantly) rise up to save the day.
Underdog tales are popular in general, and let’s face it: it’s because we all feel like underdogs sometimes. So seeing a tiny hobbit or skinny orphan rise up and do something great is
There’s just something so comforting about mentor characters, wouldn’t you say? The Dumbledores and
This may have become a bit of
I also like it when these characters finally show their human side, perhaps by developing a genuine friendship with another character or doing something uncharacteristically noble. I just love a good heart-warming moment!
Fantasy novels generally involve more travelling than most other genres, and that’s something I really love about it! For one thing, you get to see more of the fantastical setting of the book, which is generally one of the main draws of fantasy.
And for another thing? It’s fun to see characters travel together! There’s a reason ‘buddy movies’ are a thing: because people love to see interesting characters go on adventures. From the big epic moments where they’re fighting for their lives to the smaller character moments where they’re bickering by the campfire, travelling shows you different sides to characters as they operate outside of their usual environments, and have to trust and rely on each other.
It’s a great way to show characters building a relationship, and I love that it’s such a huge part of a lot of fantasy books!
So what fantasy tropes do you love, or are you tired of seeing any of these? What tropes do you love from other genres?