Each Thursday, inspired by ‘The Tough Guide to Fantasyland’ we have in hand, we shall tour the mystical countryside looking for adventure and fun (and tropes) from all over fantasy.
Join us next week as we look at ENFORCERS
Some people are made to give orders; others are made to make sure they are carried out. Be it through muscle or guile there are just some people you don’t want to hear are looking for you.
I tried. I had two easy picks for this topic in mind when I set it last week. And come Tuesday, I had two picks. So I just started searching my Goodreads. I was doing quite well. But damn it was a sausage fest. I am relying on you, fellow travelers! There must a woman author other than Rowling who has used this trope. My failure cannot stand.
Jean Tannen – Gentleman Bastards by Scott Lynch – I would be shocked if this isn’t the number one pick of the week, I know for sure there are a few literary crushes around for Jean. He is smart, soft spoken (at first) and in many ways seems to be the perfect back up for Locke.
But those wicked sisters of his don’t lie, and what was done to that Bondsmagi didn’t involve any tickling. Ask the poor unsuspecting gang he took over in Red Seas Under Red Skies and you will learn quickly, Jean is not a man to mess around with. If he has your name it may be best to just leave town. Scratch that, find another continent.
The Agony Aunts – Discworld –Dotsie and Sadie. The guild of Seamstresses is a pretty modern group within the Anhk-Morpork criminal society. While they may occasionly mend a sock it is not the reason young men find themselves at the Guild’s doors at all hours. But there is never a hint of coercion, nor does a pimp appear to provide ‘protection.’
No one messes with a Seamstress because word of The Agony Aunts has spread quite far. Never in a rush, with the cities shadows always on their side, a strangely high voice calling a man sweetie is enough to make even the most hardened offender sweat.
It was hard to pick just one Pratchett this time, because both Tulip and Detritus were making a strong case.
Gregor Clegane – A Song of Ice and Fire – The Mountain. Honestly I included him mostly because I wanted to talk about him taking out his own horse with one mighty swing. And he probably was the best cast male character on the show (that I am now two full seasons behind on).
But as the enforcer for the Lannisters he ran a nice little reign of terror across the countryside. And for brute strength? Can’t beat him.
Anton Chigurh – No Country For Old Men by Cormac McCarthy- Not speculative fiction of course, but impossible not to put on the list. The right kind of people need to be known to call on his services. But once on the case his record seems to be impeccable. I am not sure there is a scarier character on page than Chigurh.
Oh wait, yes there is. The Judge is also one of McCarthy’s creations. DAMN but the man can write. Punctuation is for losers.
Lucius Malfoy – Harry Potter – I debated this one because really going aginst Lucias may have been scary at one point but Harry doesn’t seem to have any issue with it. Plus the enforcer should probably be scarier than the person calling the shots; at least at first glance.
But I had to give at least one Death Eater a shot didn’t I? And for most of the series Lucius seems to be the main man.
The Guy Who was Thrown into the Ship’s Engine – Firefly – I don’t know his name, and frankly don’t care. But the tattooed dude getting tossed right into the engine deserved a spot on this list. Because he was scary, wasn’t he? Right until SPLAT! We could have also included the dude that gets chopped up by helicopter in Indiana Jones if we want to. Just because this list has already completely jumped the shark (and yes, Indian Jones is speculative fiction all the way through).
Hmm, topics have been a bit too easy for a few weeks, let’s shake it up.
Join us next week as we look at UNIQUE FLORA
Self-explanatory. If you know of a plant that is either not on earth, or doesn’t act the same way in fantasyland as it does on earth, then you can consider it unique. Have fun.
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As always thanks for joining, feel free to join along at any time, and please check out my fellow travelers!