That’s right, folks! February has been dubbed “Fantasy Month” for all the book lovers out there. (I actually didn’t learn this until recently. Even though I’m hopping on the hype train right at the end, at least I didn’t miss it entirely.) In case you’re wondering why I posted on a Friday instead of Monday as usual, it’s solely because of the alliteration possibilities. Fantasy February Friday has a ring to it, doesn’t it? But don’t worry. I will have another post ready for Monday as usual, and that one’s extra special.
I don’t know about you, but fantasy has always been my favorite genre. Consider the worlds of Middle-earth, Narnia, Alagaësia, Aerwiar, and Damar. Each mimics the real world but incorporates more “fantastical” elements that would never appear in our world, such as magic, other races and kinds of creatures (elves, dwarves, dryads, dragons, griffins, etc.), and unique cultures. Fantasy is a subset of “speculative fiction” which encompasses both fantasy and science fiction.
Fantasy is also very broad, with a lot of freedom for writers to make their stories creative and unique. Often, writers fall prey to tropes and clichés—story lines and ideas that have been used so many times that they become dull and uninteresting. This isn’t to say all tropes and clichés should be avoided. Not so! If authors shunned every cliché, they’d end up with stories that are extremely wacky (such as Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland) or even more dull than if clichés were used. Conversely, if people go crazy with their clichés, you end up with… (*cough*) many, many books about vampires and werewolves and impossible love triangles (*cough*) …not to name any names.
Tropes should be considered more of a guideline, an “example” if you will, for writers to observe and change to be their own. When done right, even the most eyeroll-inducing clichés can be salvaged. Consider these examples:
Chosen One instantly receives magical powers and a cool pet dragon and saves the world from the Supervillain.
Chosen One is told they’re the Chosen One, runs from their responsibility, loses a friend or two because of their foolishness, and thus actually has a motivation to develop magical powers and defeat the Supervillain.
One storyline is shallow and predictable, the other allows for plot and character development.
But I’m getting ahead of myself. Fantasy! When done right, it’s an enchanting genre. Fantasy books make up a majority of my favorites shelf. As part of Fantasy February, I’m taking part in a couple of fun tags/challenges/linkups. I also plan to unveil something pretty cool on Monday with my next blog post (*hint hint, nudge nudge, wink wink*) so stay tuned for that.
Today, we have the #FantasyMonth Challenge, hosted by Jenelle over on her blog! I’ll be answering each of the questions from the graphic below.
What was the first fandom you fell into?
The first fandom I fell into head over heels was How To Train Your Dragon. Not the books, since I didn’t read any of those until quite a bit later. The movies. HTTYD remains my favorite fandom of all time for several reasons.
- Characters (Hiccup is just very relatable, Toothless is adorable, and the rest of the gang is hilarious)
- Dragons (They’re not your typical dragons, that’s for sure, but their uniqueness is what makes them so special.)
- Plot (Hiccup’s character development in the first movie was exceptional. He sort of slowed and regressed in the second movie, but everything turned out okay in the end. And don’t even get me started on the third movie. I still haven’t recovered.)
Not to mention all the spinoff series. I loved those as a kid. Ah, good memories.
What is the most recent fandom you’ve become a part of?
Proooobably The Mandalorian. I had watched a few of the episodes when they were first released but didn’t officially get into the series until the end of last year. I was incredibly disappointed that Disney fired Gina Carano, so I don’t know how much more of the series I’ll watch.
(This is Ari from the future speaking! I also got into the Minecraft fandom around the same time as The Mandalorian, so if games count, there’s that.)
Star Wars or Star Trek?
Oh, that one’s really hard. You see, I used to be a huge Star Wars fan before Disney took over. I also used to love Star Trek, but my enthusiasm for both fandoms sort of fizzled out as time went on. If I had to answer, I’d probably say Star Wars but only because of the original Clone Wars series. (That’s another of my top favorite TV shows.)
Marvel or DC?
Ah, I knew that I would have to answer this question one day. To be completely honest with you, the only Marvel movie I’ve watched is Into the Spiderverse. I want to watch the rest of the MCU movies one day, but just…not right now. I grew up watching DC cartoons, and the Young Justice TV series was okay from what I can remember. My answer’s gotta be DC, just for the nostalgia.
What is a fandom you love enough to want to live in that world?
Middle-earth and Alagaësia are full of evil creatures.
Narnia is an option, depending on when I would arrive.
Aerwiar has many interesting locations. I’d love to live in the Green Hollows and study bookbinding in the Guild Hall. (I am a bit soft to be one of the Hollows-folk, though, so maybe I’d prefer Anniera.)
My answer is Aerwiar from the Wingfeather Saga.
If you could hang out with a character from one of your fandoms, who would it be and why?
Janner from the Wingfeather Saga, no question. He is a very good, relatable character. I’d like to get him, Hiccup from HTTYD, Jace from the Ilyon Chronicles, and Ahsoka from Clone Wars all in the same room for a chat. They’d make a great team, I think.
Unknown fandom (something you love but nobody else seems to have heard of)
Well, there’s the Ilyon Chronicles, but I single-handedly got three of my friends to read it, so I don’t think that counts as “nobody.” I have always liked the Green Ember and Quest for Truth series, but a lot of my friends are also into those. Rosemary Sutcliff’s books are lovely, but I can fangirl about them with at least two other people. If we consider games, The Aetherlight is one of my favorites, but many of my friends already play it.
I don’t know if I can answer this question! I tend to pick up a lot of interests and fandoms from my immediate friend group. I don’t really discover new fandoms on my own. If any of the fandoms I listed above are unknown to you, I guess they could count as “something I love but nobody else seems to have heard of.” (If you do know all of them, I think you might be my new best friend, or perhaps a clone of myself that I forgot existed.)
That’s all for today! Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you Monday with a special post!