New lands, new languages, new things to cuss out. Nobody in fantayland cusses in quite the same way though; each world has its own way to yell at the world.
I am late, still getting back into the swing of things…. But when I saw this week’s Tough Traveling topic, how could I not write something? I love a lady with a sword.
Fantasyland is full of threats. A lady and her sword can keep those threats at bay.
Creatures not of our world or even our plane of existence, perhaps living in another dimension. Preferably, though not required, with tentacles.
Fantasyland had gods, right? And now they are dead. Dead Gods are not forgotten though, often they are still just influential to the land as they were when living.
There has to be somewhere in Fantasyland where everyone comes together. All roads lead to Rome after all. A place where traders prosper, politicians scheme, and criminals thrive.
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.
Just today I came across this great feature Tough Traveling at Fantasy Review Barn, which explores favourite tropes of Science Fiction and Fantasy. Such a great idea! I’ve thrown down a couple of my favourite fantastical steeds off the top of my head for this week, and I’m hoping to start joining in the fun on a regular basis.
Bill the Pony, The Lord of the Rings (J. R. R. Tolkien)
When I think of fantasy mounts, the first ones that come to mind are those of Tolkien, primarily Shadowfax and the beautiful horses of Rohan. But then I remembered Bill the Pony, faithful steed of Samwise Gamgee and truly the most beloved of mounts. Seriously, is there a more heartbreaking moment than Sam saying goodbye to Bill outside of Moria? I don’t think so. Bill the Pony: ultimate badass, tenth member of the Fellowship of the Ring, and true hero of The Lord of the Rings.
Drogon, A Dance with Dragons (George R. R. Martin)
So this is a fairly liberal interpretation of ‘mount’, since Daenerys rides him only once, very briefly. BUT it was so epic that it definitely deserves an entry on this list. I know I can’t be the only one hoping that if/when Dany finally gets to Westeros (probably 10 books from now) Drogon and Dany will have become a fantastic dragon-riding team raining death and destruction down on everyone.
The Bog Unicorn, Dragon Age Inquisition
I remember when it was announced that Dragon Age Inquisition would feature mounts. I was so excited! And then that one of preorder bonuses would be a mount that was…. a unicorn! What?! There are unicorns in the world of Dragon Age?! And I imagined myself riding around Thedas on a gleaming, sparkling unicorn, daisies sprouting under her hooves, adoring townspeople cheering us as we went about righting wrongs and destroying evil.
And then I saw the Bog Unicorn:
That’s right, this “unicorn” is a rotting undead horse corpse with an old rusted sword driven through its head.
Best unicorn ever.