There was a question similar to this: The most loved/hated cliches in writing in general. But let's narrow it down a bit to just fantasy. Now, what I love as far as a cliche, you just might hate or visa versa. This purpose of this discussion isn't figuring what cliche's to avoid and which ones are okay to use. They are ALL okay to use and there's simply no way to avoid using all cliches anyway. It's just to get people thinking what is it about these cliches that they might find annoying or why they just love them no matter how many times they see it. So without further ado, here are my most loved/hated cliches in fantasy. Hated: Prophecies. Now there have been cases where it has been done well (Mistborn) and there has been areas where it has been done very, very poorly. (Star Wars Prequels). Normally, where it drives me nuts is where it's not just unnecessary to be there, but it's also seemingly the only thing motivating the characters to do anything at all. Everyone just chooses to follow some nobody somewhere because some prophecy somewhere says they should? Talk about lazy character development. Hybrids. Particularly hybrids that are from two opposite sides of the force (ie the child of an angel and a demon... Like how does that even happen?) or supposedly a match up that never happened before. Again, there are times when this is done well, but most of the time it just sucks. Elves. Sigh. In every novel it seems. I think the big thing is that people use the elf in place of any real or meaningful character development. They just do things because that's what an elf does, but they don't really have any purpose to being there otherwise. Loved: Magic. Now that's not to say there aren't certain magic cliches I dislike (ie using earth, wind, fire and water because that's just been so overdone and so predictable) but in general it's such a versatile theme that it never grows old. Dark Lords. There many, many types of this cliche, and they're all good in their own way. There's the sympathetic and the just plain baddies. So long as this Dark Lord has a reasonable explanation for what he's doing and why he's doing it (even if he's just looking for power) and he's reasonably established as a threat, it's always a pleasure to read about ultimate darkness. Made up settings. Never get tired of people creating their own fantasy world either, especially when it's at least implied to have a rich history and lore. Back Stories. Everyone has their origins. I never get tired of fleshed out back stories for characters. Especially when it helps explains a character's motives and origins.