Thursday, 11 June 2015

Tough Travels: Orphans

‘Tough Travelling’ is a weekly feature. Every Thursday 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 ORPHANS.

No one in fantasyland amounts to anything if they still have both parents – RULE NUMBER ONE.

I thought of a TON of entries for this list right off the top of my head: Eragon, Frodo, Harry . . . but then I realised that my list of orphans was almost identical to the list I made for ‘Messiahs’ week, so I decided to go in a slightly different direction . . .



Voldemort

(Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling)

Poor Tom Riddle Jr. He grew up in an orphanage, spending his days innocently murdering rabbits and stealing other kids’ possessions after his crazy inbred mother died giving birth to him. Dissatisfied with not technically being an orphan, he later sought out and slaughtered his father and his paternal grandparents. But he turned out alright in the en- actually, no. No, he didn’t. Who knew?




Shelob

(The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien)

She’s big, she’s ugly, and everyone hates her (hey, we’ve all been there, ‘Lobby.). Poor, misunderstood giant spider Shelob is the orphaned spawn of Ungoliant, an arachnid behemoth who was either killed by Elrond’s dad, or who . . . ate herself? Not sure. Speaking of spiders . . .



Aragog

(Harry Potter (again) by J.K. Rowling)

Eight-legged freak Aragog was imported from his homeland by unscrupulous dark wizards when he was just an egg and sold on the black market like a shoeful of eight-legged cocaine. Luckily he was adopted and raised by well-meaning surrogate mother Rubeus Hagrid, and was able to live a long and happy life/reign of terror in the Forbidden Forest. N’aww, I love a happy ending!



The Protomolecule

(The Expanse by James S.A. Corey)

A nameless and faceless molecule (I mean, how dehumanising!), catapulted into our solar system by an alien race millions of years ago. You don’t get more orphanised than that. (Orphanised. That’s a word, right?)




Mr Teatime

(Hogfather by Terry Pratchett)

Jonathan Teatime, an adorably elegant sociopath adopted by the Assassin’s Guild when his parents died of a tragic, ahem, accident when he was a young boy. It was only later that the Assassin’s Guild reflected that perhaps they should have looked into those deaths further . . .




That’s it for this week! Join us again next week for the topic of PEOPLE ON BOATS, and be sure to check out the Tough Travelling tab above for links to my previous posts and fellow travellers!


18 comments:

  1. Hahah - you put spiders on here! Too funny! And well done.
    That guy in the picture - Mr Teatime - he's the one playing the Raven King that's currently adapted from Norrell and Strange. Have you seen any of it?
    Lynn :D

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    1. Yes! I love it to pieces, and think he's great as the Gentleman. Most people I know aren't enjoying it though. :( What do you make of it?

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  2. Heh... yes, Voldemort is a self-made orphan. Way to go, Voldemort.

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  3. Ayy high five for Voldemort! What a creepy child he must have been. Aragog and his reign of terror can die immediately, please. Giant spiders give me the heebie jeebies.

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    1. Spiders of ANY size give me the heebie jeebies. Yet I'm strangely fascinated by them in films and books. :D

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  4. Love this list! It's unique and fun, with featuring poor orphaned spiders that no one ever takes the time to think about. :)

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    1. Thanks! Yes, I think we need to set up a support group or something. AA (Arachnids Anonymous). :D

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  5. Spiders? Do they count? Dont some spiders eat their mate thus making them half way to orphan right at birth?

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    1. Probably. Spiders are all kinds of EVIL. I blame the parents.

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  6. Poor orphans...can't say I feel too badly about the protomolecule though, that's one extraterrestrial nasty!

    ~Mogsy @ BiblioSanctum

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    1. Very true! I must admit I was stretching it a bit with that entry . . . :D

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  7. Ugh spiders *shudder* I wouldn't mind orphaning a whole lot more of them... :)
    Ahh, Voldemort. You picked the less obvious orphan from that series!
    Mr Teatime sounds really creepy!

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    1. Mr Teatime is very creepy . . . think Ramsay Snow from the GoT TV show. :D

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  8. I love your choices! I am particularly pleased to see a Discworld example, as I haven't read any of the books with orphans in yet!

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  9. I would never have thought about the protomolecule from The Expanse but... it's a very, very intriguing idea! Great pick :-)

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  10. Good job taking a very common trope and giving it a fun twist! I especially like/hate the spiders.

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  11. Amazing creative picks this week. Not only where they themselves amazing, but I really enjoyed your reasoning for their inclusion.

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