Fantasy Novels Deconstructed [Infographic]

February 4, 2014 |  by  |  Entertainment, Movies

Why do you like fantasy? As a fantasy-addict, I’ve had to answer this question many times to my father, middle school football coach, ex-girlfriend… But for any fantasy-junkie, the answer is simple: it’s awesome. However, as bizarre as it sounds, there are people who don’t like fantasy, who buy into the lie of, “It’s just a bunch of monsters, wizards and men with goatees swinging swords, and casting spells until the good guys just sort of ‘win’.” To be fair, that’s an accurate description of Robert Jordan’s “Wheel of Time” saga, (which was still pretty cool).

This infographic uses Tolkien’s works to break down the structure of epic fantasy. There are wizards, heroes, mythical races of elves, orcs, etc. But Tolkien’s work was so much more, he invented an entire lore and history of a fictional universe, he invented languages! He created a structure for later fantasy writers to follow, like Terry Goodkind or Brandon Sanderson.

Then there’s the new wave of fantasy writers, notably George R.R. Martin. This new breed of fantasy’s characters are grey, neither good nor bad (unless it’s Joffrey), and contain more plot-based writing than lore, creating a new realm of nerdy-awesomeness.

With the huge success of ‘Game of Thrones’ and ‘The Hobbit’ films, it seems like the masses are starting to think fantasy is cool too, but don’t stop there! Read the books! Then nerds like myself will find girlfriends/boyfriends who like fantasy just as much and live happily ever after. The end. [Via]



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I'm so cool.

Erich grew up in northern Canada, he no lives in Texas and complains about the weather.

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  • Horatio Postlethwaite

    While I do love the Lord of the Rings novels, I do skip the songs whenever I read them now. Come on, we all do it.

  • Mark

    I’m afraid I don’t like Song of Ice and Fire exactly because it has only 4 elements – war, heroes, mythical creatures and romance. The mythical creatures are only there as props – so basically this is House of Cards or East Enders in costume!

    If you want to see it done properly, read The Malazan Book of the Fallen series by Steven Erikson – he has better wars, better romance, better heroes and better writing imho!

    • JaiGuru

      I disagree because the “fantasy” part of fantasy is what usually entirely wrecks the genre. It is simply too easy to end up in deus ex machina territory. Downplaying the mythical aspects makes fantasy %100 more believable by requiring a ton less suspension of disbelief and also is less likely to set up crappy writing tropes.

      • philipmarie

        Than it stops being fantasy no? Fantasy is there to have fun, for escapism even if a lot of it nowadays is very dark. But then escapism isn’t only about having fun but also about trying to learn. People say they don’t like fantasy, they like reality but television isn’t realistic, spy thrillers aren’t realistic, Harlequin romance novels aren’t realistic but moral dilemmas of war, rape, friendship etc… are somehow off limits becuae they are dealt with a lot in fantasy?

  • bewildered.

    why does the sword of truth sounds so similar to the plot in sword of shannara by terry brooks?

    • JaiGuru

      Because they both nakedly steal from Tolkein, and do a damn poor job of it.

  • Liam

    I’m fairly certain that, even though they appear in the films of the hobbit, radaghast and saruman aren’t in the novel.

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  • Dave Williams

    The font you use for the headings is very, VERY cool….what is it, please, and where can I find it? Thanks.