Hated/Loved cliches in Fantasy

Discussion in 'Fantasy' started by Kallisto, Jun 27, 2015.

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  1. wellthatsnice

    wellthatsnice Active Member

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    hmmm, i love the direwolves in The Song of Ice and Fire. Cant say i stumbled on this regularly enough to be annoyed by it in other novels. That said i can totally see your point and how it could be annoying when done improperly.
     
  2. wellthatsnice

    wellthatsnice Active Member

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    I can see the point they are trying to make. Pure evil is rare in reality. What you tend to see in the real world is a conflicting interests that clash and build into wounds that can't be easily healed.

    Two nations both have claim over land. They take actions to secure the land. The actions escalate, both group feel that they are retaliating to the aggressive acts of the other. Eventually those actions turn to violence and war.

    These stories are simple, and complex, and way more interesting when done properly than pure good vs pure evil.
     
  3. Unit7

    Unit7 Contributor Contributor

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    Well I'm not sure they count as wild animals just being given to the character. Because they are wargs they have a stronger connection and a more intimate connection with their dire wolves.

    In my mind it's completely different then a normal everyday person who is given a dire wolf and that wolf is completely behaved.
     
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  4. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Contributor

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    Yes, but fantasy doesn't take place in the real world, by definition. How interesting the authors make the story depends on their skill. You can have a good or evil race without all your races being that way, so there's still plenty of room for gray areas.
     
  5. Lea`Brooks

    Lea`Brooks Contributor Contributor

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    I agree, the dire wolves felt different to me. Somehow, they still seemed wild, not like the tame beasts in my book. Besides, they're done right. There's a reason the Starks have a strong connection with the wolves. In the book I'm reading, they don't have a reason. They're just the "sacred animal of the Immortals" that all special people like them get for no reason. They can't communicate with them or use them for anything. They're just there to be there.

    It's all about execution to me. If you're going to throw in wild animals, give them a reason why they are tame or connect with a human.
     
  6. Lea`Brooks

    Lea`Brooks Contributor Contributor

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    Lemme throw a question your way, y'all.

    What do you think of gods or other special people reincarnated as normal people? Yanno.. Like the Dalai Lama. A person is born and either has special talents or memories that make a certain culture or group of people believe this person is the incarnation of some important person.

    Would you consider this part of the "Chosen One" cliche? Or is this its very own cliche?
     
  7. daemon

    daemon Contributor Contributor

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    Well, that describes the Avatar, which is one of my favorite fantasy concepts ever. So whether or not it is cliché, or just another variety of the Chosen One™, it can be done very well.
     
  8. Unit7

    Unit7 Contributor Contributor

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    I'm incredibly biased because one of my own and personal favorites is more or less this. They don't end up with any special abilities and if they want they can unlock previous memories of past lives.

    So I think it's a great idea. Though the second it's revealed(assuming I ever get that far) is that my FMC is in no way a 'chosen one.' She just often chooses to fight against whatever needs to be fought. So... It's more of a self appointed Chosen One type deal.

    I do hi I it qualifies under it's own cliche or maybe just a trope. I haven't really seen it outside of Avatar series. I suppose Legend of Zelda might count. I have yet to play Skyward Sword. Which apparently deals with this in some way.

    Either way I am fond of it.
     
  9. Selbbin

    Selbbin I hate you Contributor

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    Book 1 of...
     
  10. Link the Writer

    Link the Writer Flipping Out For A Good Story. Contributor

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    To understand one of my most hated cliché of all fantasy stories, please take a gander at the cover of Jay Lake's Endurance.
    [​IMG]
    What is it, you ask? Scantly clad ladies in scantly clad armor. Especially if said lady is supposed to be a fighter like Green (the woman you see on the cover.) I'm sorry, but even assassins are probably not going to run around dressed in what amounts to a leather bikini. What makes it more bizarre for this one is that the front cover of the first and third book has Green in actual clothing, not looking like she's trying to be on the front cover of Selestani Models.

    It's...it's...C'mon! Why would they ever want to go into battle scantly clad? WHY!?

    In short, it's a hated cliché of mine. >:[

    EDIT: Plus, isn't it kind of demeaning? It's like it's saying, “OMG BEWBS ON THAT TOTES HOT CHICK!!!” when it's supposed to say, “See this tough lady? She's about to wreck someone's shit! Read and find out who that sorry punk shall be.”

    The unfortunate double-standard here is that if you took Green, made her a guy with a torn-up shirt and trousers, people are going to think he was one badass mofo.
     
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2015
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  11. daemon

    daemon Contributor Contributor

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  12. Link the Writer

    Link the Writer Flipping Out For A Good Story. Contributor

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    Which makes it even worst! Look, if I were a woman going into battle, I would want to be protected from HEAD TO TOE, and not only that, but I would want a flat chest armor, not one with steel boobs. Why? Because if someone were to strike me in the area between the boobs, all that damage is going to be centered in the middle of my chest which would end badly for me. I would want a flat chest armor so the damage would radiate throughout the entire armor!!!

    <pants><pants><pants>

    Sorry for the rant. This man is sick of looking at scantly-clad women in video games and books.
     
  13. wellthatsnice

    wellthatsnice Active Member

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    Totally agree, though this does happen the other way a lot. The Spartan's won battles because they were better armored than they people they were fighting. They were not shirtless ab machines. Present day Military guys do not go into battle in muscle shirts or cut off tshirt. They wear flake jackets and body armor so they dont get torn up by shrapnel.

    Women get it worse though, because no matter how much armor they get, they always have visible cleavage and a completely exposed neck...which means they have a major vulnerability point.
     
  14. Kata_Misashi

    Kata_Misashi Active Member

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    I read this entire thread and kept thinking... 'Damn... my story is starting to look rather cliché'...:superthink:
     
  15. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Contributor

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    I wouldn't change any story elements over an internet thread. It's not concepts themselves that end up being cliche or make for poor stories, it's how you implement them.
     
  16. Kata_Misashi

    Kata_Misashi Active Member

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    Heehe, wasn't planning on it. Was just saying. I just hope the way I've implemented mine were eye catching, ya know. :superwink:
     
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  17. stampman

    stampman Member

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    He
    He is known as.. DRAGONBORN
     
  18. Lady Marmalade

    Lady Marmalade Member

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    This one is more personal for me but I hate "perfect" races.

    The worst offender for this is usually the elves, where's they're absolutely perfect and can effortlessly shoot down whatever they want from miles away. I'm sorry but no, there is no "one superior race" that kind of thinking is not exactly highly regarded in this day and age... and for good reason. Now if the author can recognize and explore the flaws within their race, say for example them being incredibly arrogant for their way of thinking then I will change my tune. Otherwise, it just really annoys me when someone goes on about how wonderfully perfect a specific race is because if they're so perfect then they can't develop as a character if they've already reached perfection as a person.

    Other than that, not much else bugs me in the fantasy realm. Damsels don't really pop up any more and prophecies usually have interesting twists to them since everyone's sick of them. Yeah, for the most part the "perfect race" is the only one that really irks me at the moment.
     
  19. AlcoholicWolf

    AlcoholicWolf Senior Member

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    I always get annoyed at maps that are uncreative blobs
     
  20. Sifunkle

    Sifunkle Dis Member

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    Now there's an idea: a fantasy world built on gelatine. As easy to map as an amoeba.

    'Listen well, brave knight. Stormhaven is five days' ride north of the Bleak Crag. No wait... three days ride west of... a full moon cycle in the direction of... you know what, just start eating through the ground here and let's all hope for the best.'
     
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  21. Lea`Brooks

    Lea`Brooks Contributor Contributor

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    Neopets.

    jelly_2005_01.gif
     
  22. Inks

    Inks Senior Member

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    To go on with Link's post, notice that even on the cover the armor has failed because it exposes the arm and it fails to prevent even a scratch on the leg? How about looking how how it REDUCES her mobility around the knee and then even has belts which do nothing, but perhaps constrict muscle movement? Female armor is often actually detrimental in most fantasy settings, because even as thin and weak in appearance it is, the metal parts which pass as a subliger and harness would chaff unbelievably. My issue is not with exposure without specific reason or need, it is the fact that it is done casually and with no intention to disarm, sacrificing so much to garner sex appeal. That being said, unrealistic armor for women to sell on sex appeal is kinda the norm, isn't it? Even in books, apparently the mental image is appealing enough to work. It is extremely rare to even have a legitimate reason for showing skin at all.

    Though yes, I hate "perfect races", silly maps, illogical weapons and armor, inconsistent magic, complete novices becoming masters of combat in a week, extreme emotional whining or indifference, comedic relief characters who do nothing, female leads with terrible backstories, female supporting members for just sex/sex appeal, obligatory "half-" crossbreed for sympathy, dwarf-stature characters being ripped from J.R.R, old wizards who get beat by first year magic students, terrible logistics and army deployments, societies that are ill-conceived.
     
  23. CMastah

    CMastah Active Member

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    I have a perfect race in my setting, they can alter their physiology to be incredibly strong, or fast, or really anything they need. There's no injury they can't heal, death is unlikely for them, they can alter their physiology to make being burned next to impossible, they can release spores that allow them to do a myriad biological things at a distance and they live forever.

    The other races are at war with them to make sure the ubermensch never leave their underground kingdom because they also eat people.

    They ARE a superior race and the other races are making sure they never get out so that the perfect people never become the ONLY people. Did I mention the perfect race only give birth so they can eat their young?
     
  24. Lady Marmalade

    Lady Marmalade Member

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    Ah, interesting twist. Now that idea works because it's subverting and deconstructing the idea of a "perfect race" and how the rest of the world would react to that. Kudos to you for thinking of that.

    What I meant was like races that were so perfectly perfect that they made all the right decisions and they could essentially do no wrong while also being gorgeous and physically awesome in every sense of the word.

    Your race takes this to the extreme, and that is interesting because normally in fantasy the other races don't really care about these logical super-people who could wipe them out on a whim which is highly improbable. I think your idea can work, as long as you give these super-humans a good amount of character because usually what I see with these "superior races" is that they're as bland as a dish rag. However with the twists you have in place, they're bound to be very psychologically complex if they literally eat each other.

    Sounds like a recipe for a good book... I'll let myself out now.

    *awkwardly closes the door*
     
  25. AlcoholicWolf

    AlcoholicWolf Senior Member

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    So what about scantily clad males...


    [​IMG]
     

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