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… Mentors
MENTOR. A tour official who will be at your service until halfway through the tour, when you will unexpectedly lose him.
Ruslan- The Whitefire Crossing by Courtney Schafer – Sometimes the mentor can be a real asshole. Kiran’s story in Whitefire crossing actually starts when he leaves his mentor. In a city of magical anarchy the blood mage sits on top, and Ruslan expects full obedience from his pupils.
So this one mostly fits the description, but it is the mentor who unexpectedly loses his pupil instead. Then does a some very nasty things in order to regain him. Man, I should have included Ruslan on the list of Dark Lords, he may not control a horde of minions but he is one nasty man. *shivers*
Mrs. Tick –The Wee Free Men by Terry Prachett – So many ways I could have went with this one, but I had to pick the first mentor young Tiffany Aching had in her journey. It is she that discovers Tiffany’s talents and sets her on her way. But she has no choice but to leave for a while, leaving Tiffany to venture into The Queen’s land to save her brother by herself (well, with a little help from her friends).
A witch in a land with little respect for witches, Mrs Tick is quite ingenious. For instance her pointy hat (for every witch must have one) can be laid flat to look a little less suspicious. Most witches in Discword don’t need a familiar, but Tick’s toad is a welcome addition anyway.
Bayaz – The First Law by Joe Abercrombie- Oh the kindly old magi is there for everyone. When Ninefingers needs direction Bayaz is there to provide it. He has a smile for Jezal early on, may have provided a small amount of assistance in the fight that made Jezal famous, and of course held the evidence that the cocky young man had the blood of kings in him. He is there for everyone in the story!
Funny, I just can’t quite remember how he helped everyone out as the story progressed, but I am sure the kindly old man was a huge help and provided lots and lots of needed advice throughout the series.
Lupin, Sirius Black, Dumbledore – Harry Potter by J. K. Rowling – Wow, remind me not to offer even a hint of advice to young Mr. Potter. The track record of survival here is not very good at all. Oh, and Mad Eye Moody (who wasn’t really Moody and NO, I aint putting spoiler tags around this shit, SNAPE KILLED DUMBLEDORE, the statute of limitations has passed my friends).
Ghost of Del –Clint Eastwood by Gorrillaz- So I’mma stick around with Russ and be a MENTOR, Bust a few rhymes so motherfuckers remember, where the thought is, I brought all this, So you can survive when law is lawless
I admit I had no idea what this guy was really called, but I looked it up and found it. Amazing how one line of a song sticks out to me years later (though to fair, I have the entire first verse memorized to this day). He identifies himself as a mentor and is a flying gorilla like thing. Fantasy creature and a mentor. Count it!
Join us next week for MINIONS. (be do be do)
MINIONS OF THE DARK LORD are all over the place. The DARK LORD has been busy planting them for years.
(Honestly look in your own guide, there are about twenty different examples of what counts, and it all boils down to anyone working for the Dark Lord). Knock your self out kids, this should be one that has no boundaries or limits. Another easy one before we hit you with a toughie after that.
As always thanks for joining, feel free to join along at anytime, and please check out my fellow travelers!