Wednesday, September 14, 2022

Fantasy and Violence

Does "fantasy" need violence to be good?

I love fantasy. It is the genre of books I read the most. I believe Lord of the Rings movies are perfect. If I play a video game, it is mostly RPG fantasy game. What I like about fantasy is it is a genre that I can escape from the world, and they contain the best stories I have ever read, seen, or played. I love complex stories that give the story depth and lore. I always thought that fantasy needed violence to distinguish the bad guys from the good. However, this year I have read two books that focuses not on fighting the enemy. Apparently, you can have other stresses rather than trying to survive and save the world. I have nothing wrong with violence in movies or shows, but it has been an interesting trend to observe, and I believe there could be more flavors of fantasy if we branched off of this concept.

Like I have mentioned before I believe that Lord of the Rings are perfect movies. The battles were always amazing like the battle at Helm’s Deep in Two Towers. However, they were never the most memorable parts of the movie for me. When I reflect on the messages from it, I think about how similar Frodo and Gollum are, that if it were not for Sam, Frodo would have ended up like Gollum. I think about Gandalf choosing not to touch the ring because he fears that it would tempt him to do evil. I reflect about the council of Elrond where the fellowship was formed and how Merry, Pippen, and Sam bravely volunteered to go on a suicide mission to help a friend. Don’t get me wrong I loved the battle sequences, and they contributed to the perfection of the movie, but I believe the more memorable portion took place outside the battles.

I haven’t seen Rings of Power, but I hope that instead of focusing on tragic battles that led Sauron make the One Ring (I am not even sure if that is the plot of the show), that it focuses on exploring Middle Earth. let us visit the Shire and learn how the Tooks became well known for the bravery (FYI: Gandalf chose Bilbo to be the burglar in The Hobbit because he was a Took). Let’s explore the Ents and see why the woman Ents became silent. We could have a whole season focusing on the best character Tom Bombadil and how he became so powerful that when Frodo gave him the ring, he took it and threw it out because it didn’t matter to him. Truly this post is about how I envisioned the show Rings of Power.

This year I have read a few fantasy books that I believe are great and contain little to no violence, meaning that the plot doesn’t revolve around a battle. The first book is purely delightful; Legends of Lattes. From the title you can gather that this is a casual lighthearted fantasy. Where we follow Viv, an orc barbarian, after years of adventuring decides to retire and open a coffee shop in a small town that never experienced coffee before. As she settles down, she gains new friends and the life she envisioned is slowly achieved. She starts off with just lattes and slowly she adds more delectable items to the menu. She hires a baker who invents new mouth watering delights, like cinnamon rolls, each pastry is described so well that I wanted to buy 12 to appease my salvation. The climax of the book is revolved around a tragic accident that occurs and how she as a person must progress and overcome these setbacks.

The other book that I have been currently reading is The King Killer Chronicles. Contrary to the name of the series it isn’t as violent as you would expect as far as I am aware of. This book is more violent than the predecessor, but it doesn’t revolve around it. The book focuses on an innkeeper named Kvothe who is telling his life story to a man named Chronicler. At the beginning Kvothe teases the reader by giving titles he earned throughout his life, like Kvothe the Bloodless, Kvothe the Arcane, and Kvothe Kingkiller causing us to dedicate time to find how he gained those alternative names as he tells his life story. His life is a life of tragedy, but he makes the best of it. We start with him, as a young prodigy, living with his successful parents as they travelled to do performances across the land. They run into an evil mythical group called the Chandrian, who kills everyone in his company besides Kvothe. He survives the next few years as a homeless boy until he stops morning for his loss and attends the university to become an arcanist (aka wizard). At the university he is trying to learn as much as he can and earn enough money to be able to pay his high tuition or he will be kicked out. As a reader we feel the financial stress that he goes through being homeless and attending the university. Very enjoyable read and I can’t wait to read the third book whenever it comes out.

I thought that fantasy needed violence, but during this year I have discovered that some of my favorite fantasy’s don’t require a climactic battle. It could be hard for TV shows and movies to adapt these not as violent stories, but I believe that it could be possible and it would be remembered as being unique.

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