Some people just don’t understand the allure of fantasy fiction, either reading it, or watching it in movies, and certainly not writing it. While I could spend quite a bit of time
feeling sorry for them getting them to see how wrong they are discussing the literary tools of employing a fantasy world for addressing real-life problems, I want to be rather self-centered today and focus purely on what I love about this genre.
There are nasty monsters hiding behind the trees, and we need to know how to fight them. “Remember, if it bleeds, you can kill it.” (Bobby in Supernatural).
- Yes, I’m aware that actual trolls, ogres, evil sorcerers and the like won’t really jump out at me while I’m getting the mail (probably not). But the real world is (sadly) full of terrible stuff, and while I can’t fight all the bullies, injustices, and wrongdoings on my own, I can take inspiration from those who fight (and win) in fantasy stories.
- Harry Potter became “the chosen one” not because he was specifically designed or fated to kill Voldemort, but because he took control of his own destiny and made the choice to defend the innocent, be brave, and stand up for what was right in the wizarding world.
- Aragorn in The Lord of the Rings was destined to be king of all Middle Earth, and this was no small task. He could have run the other way, but he knew he couldn’t abandon his friends and the love of his life to the darkness of Sauron. Basically he stared down the whole army of Mordor with only the faith that he was about to die for the right thing.
- Almathea in The Last Unicorn chased the Red Bull into the sea, in spite of knowing full well it would probably kill her. She’d been human for a long time, and she could have decided to stay in that form, accept the love of the Prince, and forget that she ever knew about the trapped unicorns. But she didn’t; she returned to her true form, and stuck to her plan to rescue her kind.
Believing in the possibility of an unseen world makes everyday life less boring.
- No, I don’t think that the next wardrobe I open will actually lead me to Narnia, or that if I fall down a hole I’ll wake up in Wonderland. In some ways, I wouldn’t want to. But I refuse to cut myself off from all the fantastic possibilities — for example, that there’s an afterlife, Heaven, time travel, angels, other dimensions — by nailing my beliefs down to only what’s tangible on planet Earth.
- So many of us get bogged down by the humdrum routine of work, school, errands, chores, sleep, and repeat. Maybe it’s because I’m autistic and I think differently from most people, but I just can’t stand the idea of that being all there is to life. I’m not hurting anyone by hoping that the Doctor might really exist or that guardian angels do follow us around (not even myself).
Sometimes, even in a corrupted world, we can have a happy ending.
- June in Legend fought against a dictatorship that wanted to execute the boy she fell in love with. Even after she decided it was too dangerous for them to be together, she managed to save his life, and although it took a long time, they were able to find happiness, separately and together.
- Harry Potter lived and married Ginny Weasley (excellent choice).
- Firestar survived the battle with BloodClan, took Sandstorm as his mate, had two awesome kids, three really great grandkids, and a darn cool son-in-law. He gave each and every one of his nine lives for the Clans’ survival, and went down in Warriors history as one of the best leaders ever.
Constantly looking for magic in the back of your mind makes you appreciate the little things more.
- When I see a beautiful sunset, a rainbow, or a spectacular natural wonder, I’m in awe. The majesty and complexity of creation is truly astounding and, in a way, magical.
- I have a different definition than some about what constitutes a miracle. The first time my autistic son spoke a full sentence without prompting, I saw God right there in my kitchen.
- Animals really like me. Somehow I seem to be the cat whisperer. Maybe that’s one of my superpowers.
What if you actually are a secret chosen one/superhero/the next Merlin?
- Well, I don’t know about you, but I hope I’ll be ready. If the Doctor shows up and needs my help, or a secretive guardian starts following me to begin my training (think Buffy), I’d be shaking in my fashionable boots, but willing. If I’m chosen, then presumably I can do it.
- A major part of the story is that we’re never sent into battle unprepared. We’re given the ability to blow up our enemies, or the best Elven sword ever, or at least a Sonic Screwdriver and the heart of TARDIS (which is not to be underestimated).
- The downside is that you’re facing almost certain death. What’s the option? The whole world burning down? How do you want to be remembered? That you went down fighting for your loved ones, like Professor Lupin and Tonks, Gandalf, Bluestar and Yellowfang and Firestar, like the Doctor?
Go for it. Believe in yourself.