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.
This week’s topic is WITCHES
Witches are special and probably at least the equal of WIZARDS.
I could have stretched this topic for three of four weeks. We are going to have to come back to this one at some point, there are too many awesome witches and I hate to leave them out.
Granny, Nanny, Magrat, Agnes (Perdita X) –Discworld– They get first mention because they deserve it. Because they are awesome. Because, and you may have heard me say this once or twice, Granny Weatherwax is the best character in fantasy literature. And her surrounding cast are in a three way tie to hold on to top spots as well.
Granny, Granny, Granny. What to say about her that I have not already said. Let’s see. She has broken age old gender restrictions to get a young girl into a wizarding academy. She plays games with Death, literally Death with the scythe, and wins. She has beat elves, vampires and people who need no supernatural to be evil. Joined by Nanny, who seems so much simpler until you run into her iron side they help people in terrifying ways. It is just a joy. Don’t have time to give Magrat and Agnes their due today but know that they too are awesome.
Morwen –Dealing With Dragons by Patricia C. Wrede – Who say’s witches have to be evil? Morwen proves that she is friend to dragon and young princess both. She just doesn’t have time for greedy wizards. This is a great time for me to once again recommend listening to the audio version of Dealing with Dragons. With its full cast presentation it is quite a delight.
Grand High Witch – The Witches by Roald Dahl – Ok, some witches are evil. And not just a little evil, casting small hexes or whatever. Some witches have grand plans to turn all the children of the world into mice. You should be able to see them though. Watch for them itching their scalp, check those fingernails, and for the love of god stay away from formula 86.
Side note, when working restaurants an item was 86ed once it was gone. I have no idea why, and a quick search shows that several areas of the U.S. lay claim to its origin.
Elphaba – Wicked by some pretentious pratt Gregory Maguire – Short list for the most overrated book I have ever read. Did anyone actually enjoy this? It was one of the first of the new wave of fairy tale retellings and the ability to be awesome was all over. But instead it was pseudo-metaphysical and damn near unreadable. I would give more details but it has been a few years. Let’s just say, BLEH.
Gave the world a thoroughly mediocre musical with better than average music. But Nathan! Are not musicals all about the music? If that was the case I would rate Wicked higher on my list. But they took Maguire’s already suspect story and wrapped it in a happy ending with ‘twists’ that could be seen by anyone not drunk at the showing. Avenue Q deserved the Tony that year, the vote went the right way.
Still I picked Elphaba because my wife’s folks named their dog after this wicked witch.
Melisandre –A Song of Ice and Fire by George RR Martin – So I have a thing for redheads. Don’t judge me. I think her role in this tale has only just begun.
Samantha –Bewitched – do do…do do…do do do do duh do.
Along with Julie Newmar’s Catwoman my junior high crushing came from daytime reruns. I guarantee I am not the only one who spent a portion of their summer vacation watching this old classic.
Join us next week as we look at tour COMPANIONS
COMPANIONS… You will normally meet them for the first time at the outset of the tour. They are picked from among the following: Bard, Female Mercenary, Gay mage, Imperious Female, Large Man, serious soldier, Slender Youth, Small Man, Talented Girl, Teenage Boy, Unpleasant Stranger, and Wise Old Stranger.
Take the topic as you will, I am just going to pick my favorite secondary characters from the genre.
As always thanks for joining, feel free to join along at any time, and please check out my fellow travelers!