Welcome to Thoughtful Thursday.  Like always, if you have a topic you want to see addressed, please contact us!

A recent discussion with some of the other reviewers on this site turned to a discussion of some of the horrible naming conventions that seem to plague fantasy.  For example, the idea that you can tell you’re reading  a fantasy novel if the protagonist’s name has three apostrophes and a random K and/or H in it. That started me thinking about clichés in fantasy in general.  So I’m throwing down the gauntlet to you, gentle readers.  How many fantasy clichés can you list?  To make it even more fun, let’s list them in story form.  I’ll start.

It was a dark and stormy night.  St’lenth’kor mentally called out for his telepathic bond animal.  Reaching for his sword, he remembered, as he always did when he felt the magical tingle that radiated from the enchanted blade, the night he had received the weapon from his father’s dying hand, the night that had left him an orphan.

Okay, it’s time for you to add to the story. What horribly clichéd thing happens next? Add to the story in the Comments. You can come back and add as many passages as you like. One commenter with a USA mailing address will get to choose a book from our Stacks.


  • Ruth Arnell

    RUTH ARNELL (on FanLit's staff January 2009 — August 2013) earned a Ph.D. in political science and is a college professor in Idaho. From a young age she has maxed out her library card the way some people do credit cards. Ruth started reading fantasy with A Wrinkle in Time and The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe — books that still occupy an honored spot on her bookshelf today. Ruth and her husband have a young son, but their house is actually presided over by a flame-point Siamese who answers, sometimes, to the name of Griffon.

    View all posts