Tag Archives: Low Fantasy

Referring to a sub-genre of fantasy in which fantasy elements are considered to be supernatural.

Harry Potter casts his first true patronus charm.

“Harry Potter” Book Series Review

Harry Potter casts his first true patronus charm.If you ask me what I think of J. K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series, my answer will likely depend on what day you ask me.  Some days I’ll say I liked it; some days I’ll hate it.  In all honesty, however, my feelings towards Harry Potter are best described as “confused,” because there are a lot of things I really like about the series and a lot of things I really hate.  All things considered, I usually wind up mostly ambivalent towards Rowling’s best-known work.
Continue reading “Harry Potter” Book Series Review

Harry Potter kills a basilisk with the sword of Godric Griffindor

“Harry Potter” Review Coming Soon

With my review of Ralph Bakshi’s The Lord of the Rings cartoon still a while off, I’ve decided to review something else in the meantime.  For the past little while, I’ve been working on a review of J. K. Rowling’s wildly successful Harry Potter series.  Let’s get this out of the way for those who might be worried—I don’t dislike the Harry Potter series, so you can expect a more positive review than most of the stuff I’ve been posting recently.  Hooray!

Harry Potter kills a basilisk with the sword of Godric GriffindorI’ll be reviewing all seven books in a single article, which should explain why it’s taken me so long (despite only beginning to write the review over the weekend, I had been planning it for a long time before that).  So now you know what my next few big projects are!  I hope you’re as excited as I am about this, and if so, then you can expect to see a new review up within the next few weeks.

King Joffrey is the only well-written character in Game of Thrones.

King Joffrey: The Only Well-Written Character in Game of Thrones

Thus far, I’ve written a number of articles on George R. R. Martin’s horrendously boring A Song of Ice and Fire series.  Among these were two in which I analyzed some of the many poorly-written shells that pass for characters in Martin’s world.  In this article, however, I will discuss the villain of the first few volumes, King Joffrey.  Joffrey is the only well-written character in A Song of Ice and Fire, mostly because he’s the only character who’s internally consistent.
Continue reading King Joffrey: The Only Well-Written Character in Game of Thrones

Bronn the mercenary sings The Rains of Castamere.

The Music of Game of Thrones

Game of Thrones, the show that captivates fourteen-year-olds everywhere, is bad.  It’s not well-written; it’s not well-shot; it’s not well-lit; half the time it’s not even well-acted; and even the music to the opening credits is little more than a rip-off of better music.  When I first heard that opening theme, I liked it, and indeed it was what made me watch the show in the first place.  I’d watch the opening credits then suffer through the blandness that followed, but I was always struck by how similar it was to the theme from another show…
Continue reading The Music of Game of Thrones

“A Game of Thrones: Are You Not Entertained” by Robert Tracinski

Charles Dance's character facing his grandson the king.

I highly recommend you read this article by Robert Tracinski about Game of Thrones.  I personally feel that Game of Thrones is a symptom of a problem.  I frequently see sycophants droning on about how “great” the show is and how “realistic” the characters are, so it’s good to hear that I’m not alone in my concern about the nihilism that Game of Thrones promotes.

Jon Snow, a character in Game of Thrones

Jon Snow: The Boring Bastard

“What’s wrong with the characters in A Song of Ice and Fire,” you ask?  Well, let’s just take a look.  As for what’s wrong, where do I begin?  Why don’t I start with the fact that they’re all basically the same character?  You can’t really expect any better when an author divides his attention among a thousand of them, which is why you need to limit the number of pivotal characters in a story.  Every character in the story has, at most, a few personality traits to differentiate it from the cookie-cutter template that Martin applies to the lot of them.

I plan on suffering through several more of these character analyses, but I’ll start with the ever-tedious Jon Snow.  No, I’m not talking about Dr. John Snow, the Victorian physician who discovered that drinking polluted water was a bad thing—oh, I only wish!  Jon Snow is, amazingly, one of the least irritating of Martin’s characters.  I shudder to think of analyzing any of the others, but that’s Future Hamish’s problem!
Continue reading Jon Snow: The Boring Bastard

Conan The Barbarian

Epic Fantasy vs. “Sword and Sorcery”

I’d like to shed some light on a misconception concerning the genres of Epic Fantasy and Sword and Sorcery.  For those who don’t know, the genre of Sword and Sorcery was created primarily by Robert E. Howard and thrived for many years in pulp magazines.  Epic Fantasy, on the other hand, was created by Tolkien with works such as The Hobbit after World War I and The Lord of the Rings after World War II.
Continue reading Epic Fantasy vs. “Sword and Sorcery”

A Game of Thrones Review: “A Little Adrift”

I had intended to touch upon this in my actual review of Chapter 16, but it slipped my mind when I actually sat down to write the review.  In case anyone needs further evidence in support of my claim that the direwolf’s slaughter had almost no effect on the characters, I found a quote by the author about just that while making sure I hadn’t misremembered anything.
Continue reading A Game of Thrones Review: “A Little Adrift”

Johnny sniffs his ex-fiancée's red dress.

Defining a Mary Sue

Now, I think people have a tendency to apply the term “Mary-Sue” to just about any character they dislike or find irritating.  A common summary of what constitutes a “Mary-Sue” is simply that a character is perfect, idealized, has no faults, or always does the right thing; I fervently believe this definition to be quite inaccurate.

For me, whether one is a Mary-Sue is not a question of perfection but one of accountability.  Sex also plays a substantial role in the equation.  To put it most simply, a Mary-Sue is a character who acts merely as a vessel through whom the author may live out their—often sexual—fantasies.
Continue reading Defining a Mary Sue

With any luck not many people will have read my latest post, entitled Further Thoughts on A Game of Thrones: “A Little Adrift,” as I don’t think it was structured as well as it could be.  There were also a number of points I’d forgotten to mention, and I wasn’t really satisfied with the article.

Some things in my life have been a bit hectic over the last little while, and I think I published it before it was anywhere near ready.  I tried rearranging it while it was still up, but in the end I’ve decided to take the post down for revision until I’m happy with it.  I’ll be posting something else soon, and I’ll hopefully have the revision back up soon after that.