‘Tough Travelling’ is a weekly feature: every Thursday (hopefully!) I’ll be rummaging around in my memory to come up with various examples of commonly used fantasy tropes. Full credit goes to Nathan of Fantasy Review Barn for coming up with the idea: be sure to check out his blog!
This week’s topic is TRUE LOVE.
"Sonny, true love is the greatest thing in the world. Except for a nice MLT, a mutton, lettuce and tomato sandwich, where the mutton is nice and lean and the tomato is ripe."
There were LOADS of examples I considered for this week's topic: Locke and Sabetha, Ron and Hermione, Faramir and Eowyn, Tristran and Yvaine . . . and, of course, Wesley and Buttercup. But I don't have twelve hours to sit and gush about them all, so here follows three examples of true love that have clearly stuck in my memory more than others . . .
Mara and Kevin
(Servant of the Empire by Raymond E. Feist and Janny Wurts)
The phrase “worlds apart” can be applied quite literally to these two. Midkemia and Kelewan are two planets fiercely at war with each other, and Mara and Kevin are from opposite sides of the Rift. When Kevin finds himself a captured slave on Kelewan, he despises Mara and everything she stands for. But Mara admires his courage and honesty, and spends hours – and later, days and weeks – in his company, learning his “alien” ways. The two fall in love, and Mara’s new insight into her own culture helps form her into a stronger and better leader. Of course, in Kelewan, a slave is not deemed to be an appropriate companion for a noblewoman, and their relationship can at best be described as turbulent. Does it end happily? I’m not telling you . . .
Togg and Fanderay
(Memories of Ice by Steven Erikson)
This is a bit of an unconventional entry, seeing as Togg and Fanderay are not actually human. In fact, they are wolves – wolf gods, in fact – who were torn apart by an apocalyptic event and then spent literally thousands of years seeking one another again. And they say animals don’t have feelings?
Arwen and Aragorn
(The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien)
He’s a mortal human ranger, she’s an immortal elven princess: Arwen and Aragorn’s love story is a classic example of this fantasy trope, complete with a “you’re not good enough for my daughter” subplot. Arwen has two choices: leave Aragorn and go to live forever amongst her fellow elves, or remain in Middle Earth with her lover and eventually die. She chooses the latter, even though she knows their love will only last for his mortal lifespan, and even though she will be left to live alone for centuries after Aragorn has passed away. Aragorn even tries to persuade her not to stay, because he loves her too much to see her make such a sacrifice. Now THAT’S dedication.
That’s it for this week! Join us again next week for the topic of KNIGHTS, and be sure to check out the Tough Travelling tab above for links to my previous posts and fellow travellers!