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The 5 Worst Fantasy Novel Cliches

Dragons
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Fantasy author Patrick Rothfuss, who recently released ‘The Wise Man’s Fear,’ the second novel in a trilogy that began with ‘The Name of the Wind’ sat down with the LA Times and detailed what he considers the 5 worst cliches in fantasy novels.


Lisa Maree Williams/Getty Images Entertainment
Lisa Maree Williams/Getty Images Entertainment
5

Prophecy

 
 

One of the archetypes of fantasy is the hero's quest. Often, the hero doesn't know he (and isn't it almost always a he) is supposed to be a hero. It's the revelation pf some prophecy that tips our hero to his destiny: maybe he was the seventh son of a seventh son or the only boy to pull the sword out of the stone.

 
Rischgitz/Holton Archive
Rischgitz/Holton Archive
4

The Helpless Damsel

 
 

Think Princess Leia in the trash compactor. The hero's quest often involves rescuing the damsel from an evil rogue while falling in love in the process, no doubt. Even if the damsel is your sister.

 
Matthew Peyton/Getty Images Entertainment
Matthew Peyton/Getty Images Entertainment
3

Elves and Dwarves

 
 

Tolkein helped build epic fantasy based on woodland munchkins battling it out with bows, arrows and axes. But look what elves have become - Santa's helpers and cookie makers. Back to the enchanted forest, lads.

 
Sean Gallup/Getty Images Entertainment
Sean Gallup/Getty Images Entertainment
2

Vampires

 
 

Vampires are over. So over. Bram Stoker and Bela Lugosi were originals. Ann Rice and Brad Pitt brought the creatures of the night to the 90s. 'True Blood' took them over the top for HBO. And then vampires got the Twilight treatment - swooning Bella, brooding Edward and vile vamp baby births.

 
Hulton Archive
Hulton Archive
1

Dragons

 
 

Everybody's got dragons. Rothfuss don't doubt that dragons are cool, but one can only read so many dragon battles. Let's make a fantasy rule that Anne McCaffrey and George R.R. Martin get the last word on the mystical lizards.

 

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