Hiding in plain site? Put on a disguise. Often used to sneak into the evil lair. For best results brain a guard and steal his; no one is tracking these things.
Smash and grabs are not always the best way to illicitly acquire objects in fantasy land. Sometimes these things take planning, a loyal crew, and a little bit of luck. But a good crew can always get the job done.
Some people are just ridiculously good at everything. Be it magic, swordplay, or all of the above. THE ACE has no equal.
Kvothe, The Kingkiller Chronicles (Patrick Rothfuss)
I used Kvothe last week too, but I have to use him again because he is just the most Ace-like character I’ve read in recent memory. Whether he is being the world’s best musician, training to be a warrior with a prestigious mercenary group, or becoming the most powerful arcanist ever, Kvothe is just always the best at everything he tries. We even have whole chapters about how good he is in bed. It’s… well, it’s all a bit much at times, quite honestly.
Hermione Granger, Harry Potter (J. K. Rowling)
I feel like I’m choosing a Harry Potter character every week…. but how can I not mention my favourite know-it-all Hermione Granger? She is the best at everything. Harry would have been lost without her. No doubt about it: without Hermione, Voldemort would still be in power. She is the real hero.
Breq, Ancillary Sword (Ann Leckie)
I’ve chosen Ancillary Sword specifically because Breq was more flawed in Ancillary Justice (if nothing else, at least, she wasn’t the greatest at plan formation and execution). But she has a steep learning curve, and Fleet Captain Breq in Ancillary Sword? She is smarter than you. She is stronger than you. She has faster reflexes and is better shot. She speaks all the languages. She takes time out from fighting injustice and classism to do ethnomusicological fieldwork. Basically, to quote Seivarden: “Fleet Captain is pretty fucking badass.”
Lem, Zombies, Run!
Lem is brave, noble, thoughtful, and self-sacrificing. He is the best runner that your rival settlement New Canton has in the zombie apocalypse – but he’s willing to lay his life down for you in the field anyway, because he’s just that sort of guy. He overcame his humble beginnings as an orphan to become a self-made millionaire, and his post-apocalyptic hobbies include saving children. He also is a Nobel Prize winning chemist, a personal friend of Kofi Annan… and has an Olympic medal in luge.
Ace Rimmer, Red Dwarf
Sort of a two-for-one here, because Sam Yao jealously calls Lem ‘Ace Rimmer’ in Zombies, Run! I had no idea who Ace Rimmer was, not having seen the British comedy series Red Dwarf. So when I got home from my run I looked him up on youtube, found this video, and started laughing. For your viewing pleasure: The Ace, Ace Rimmer…. What a guy.
Sometimes magic can be subtle. Who wants that? Big explosions or acts of creation, death and destruction or acts of awe inspiring wonder. If your world has magic then why not show it off?
The Prophecy Con, Patrick Weekes
Hell hath absolutely no fury like a pissed off former death priestess….. and to avoid spoiling my favourite part of this book for everyone, I will say no more than that.
The Wise Man’s Fear, Patrick Rothfuss
Kvothe going kind of ballistic on the bandit camp definitely qualifies. He uses one of the bandits dead bodies like a creepy voodoo doll to use sympathy, stabbing a bunch of them at once with swords they can’t even see… and then he calls a lightning storm down on them to finish things up. Kvothe is kind of creepy, right?
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, J. K. Rowling
Credit where credit is due: this is one of those very rare moments where the movie made a scene so much more epic than I ever imagined it in the book. In a few passing sentences before the Battle of Hogwarts, Pf. McGonagall brings the school’s statues to life: “And all along the corridor the statues and stuffs of armour jumped down from their plinths… ‘” With the help of the movie, this half paragraph or so turn into one of the most epically awesome displays of magic ever.
“Chosen,” Buffy the Vampire Slayer
ALL THE SPOILERS: For me, this is the most awesome display of magic on this list. In Buffy‘s final episode, Willow uses her power to give all the would-be slayers in the world the slayer’s strength. “From now on, every girl in the world who might be a Slayer, will be a Slayer. Every girl who could have the power, will have the power. Can stand up, will stand up.” … Awwww, I’m getting all teary just thinking about it! I really can’t overstate how profoundly wonderful this was to watch as a teenage girl (Plus, you get a bonus magical explosion from Spike’s amulet thing in the mix too).
Self-explanatory. If you know of a plant that is either not on earth, or doesn’t act the same way in fantasyland as it does on earth, then you can consider it unique. Have fun.