Each Thursday, our copy of ‘The Tough Guide to Fantasyland’ in hand, we shall tour the mystical countryside looking for adventure and fun (and tropes) from all over fantasy.
Today’s topic is… LARGE MAN
LARGE MAN…He is very calm, very strong, and not at all stupid. In some cases he will have been a BLACKSMITH, which accounts for the ease with which he severs the chains in the Galley.
Let’s get right to it, shall we?
Jirom – Blood and Iron by Jon Sprunk- Hey, I got one that fits every clause of the Tough Guide. Jirom was a slave (can’t remember if he ever had to row a boat) and a gladiator. He was just going to be a meek little sheep until he was sucked into the power zone of Horace, the white male expat of DESTINY, who wasn’t going to take it anymore. They become BFF’s, and Horace even forgives him for being a homosexual.
Umm, he was one of three ‘cover’ characters in this book but to the best of my memory he doesn’t really do much in this book. Blood and Iron was pure Horace. But hey, Jirom is a former slave and a large man so COUNT IT!
Jean – Gentleman Bastards by Scott Lynch- While never on a slave galley, nobody quite plays the role of intelligent large man like Jean. Easy underestimate, at least at first, Locke learned early on what the big man with a tempter could do physically.
But where Jean really shines, once you get past his immense physical strength and nasty ability to use weapons such as his wicked sisters.. no strike that. That is where Jean really shines. But if you gain the change to get to know him you will find that he just might be even more intelligent than the Locke, who is supposed to be the mastermind of the group. And that makes him scary indeed.
‘Try Again’ Bragg – Gaunt’s Ghosts by Dan Abnett– At times his aim with weaponry sucks (Try again, Bragg) but there isn’t a Ghost who doesn’t want him around. Large? Ya, at two meters tall with the strength of any two men he is large. And friendly, because who doesn’t love a friendly giant? But no need to underestimate him, he may seem simple at times but you better know that that is an act he loves to cultivate. In reality you can’t survive the war against heresy and be a dummy. He holds his own, and when given a chance to do something other than be a bruiser always showed great success.
Cazaril –The Curse of Chalion by Lois McMaster Bujold– Cazaril- Ok, Ok, I cheat. I don’t remember Cazaril being all that large. But he WAS a rower on a slave ship before the start of his story, so I had to get one galley rower on ths list. (My second option was to pick a random Far Side cartoon).
Ya, pretty sure he wasn’t a large man the more I think about it. But he did tutor a ‘princess,’ help figure out a curse that has been on the family, and carry a very good book. So that is a kind of large, right?
Dorfl – Discworld by Terry Pratchett – All Golems are slaves, but as they are not technically alive no one sees it that way. Even the often oppressed minorities fight their own little battle of conscience on this matter. Fact is most people think they are nothing more than creepy autotrons. But Dorfl may change a few minds. And in the process make all the other ‘Large Men’ look like me in comparison. Because how you going to stop a walking wall of concrete in an age with no TNT?
Good thing Dorfl appears to have a bit more of a conscience than some of those who have an issue with his very existence…
Join as next week as we check out a MENTOR or two.
MENTOR. A tour official who will be at your service until halfway through the tour, when you will unexpectedly lose him.
People have been clamoring for an easy one again, hopefully this one doesn’t prove to be too hard. There has got to be a mentor or two out there, right?
As always thanks for joining, feel free to join along at anytime, and please check out my fellow travelers!