Every Thursday, Nathan over at Fantasy Review Barn hosts a weekly party where blogs set out with Diana Wynne Jones’ hilarious book The Tough Guide to Fantasyland: The Essential Guide to Fantasy Travel in hand to explore all the tropes from their favorite stories. So sit back and enjoy the fun.
2nd April, 2015 – ENFORCERS
Some people are made to give orders; others are made to make sure they are carried out. Be it through muscle or guile there are just some people you don’t want to hear are looking for you.
And to start this off, I’m going to begin with probably the most recognizable enforcer in popular culture!
DARTH VADER (STAR WARS)
Honestly, would you want this guy looking for you?
Hell, no! Because when Vader shows up, it means that someone (or lots of people) are going to die — and probably very quickly.
And if the sith enforcer doesn’t terrify you enough, just the thought of his boss the Emperor sending for your presence at the palace surely will.
THE WITCH-KING OF ANGMAR (LORD OF THE RINGS by J.R.R. TOLKIEN)
This vile shade is known by many names including the Lord of the Nazgûl and the Black Captain, but no matter what you call him, he is without question the chief servant of the Dark Lord Sauron and his enforcer of choice.
Now, Lord Vader might be more recognizable to the average person, but for my money, I think I’d take The Witch-King in a straight up fight with the Sith Lord, because he can’t be killed by “the hand of man.”
What? Vader is more machine than man now. Yeah, that is right. Guess, we will have a really close fight then, won’t we. Wanna put some money on it?
THE TEN WHO WERE TAKE (THE BLACK COMPANY by GLEN COOK)
This group of villainous, powerful sorcerers were given this title by their number (10) and the fact that they were enslaved to the will of “The Dominator” and his “Lady” by an enchantment known as “Taking.” They also have memorable nicknames like: The Limper, The Hanged Man, The Howler, Soulcatcher, Stormbringer, Moonbiter, Bonegnasher, Shapeshifter, Nightcrawler, and The Faceless Man. Each name relating to their personality or a physical trait. For example, The Hanged Man walks around with his broken neck; The Howler actually screetches instead of talks; Stormbringers has the power to summon storms. But no matter their names, these ten are enforcers supreme who have helped Lady conquer a continent and rule it with an iron fist, because if anyone doesn’t bow low enough one of Lady’s “Taken” will make a visit to take you down!
DURZA (INHERITANCE CYCLE by CHRISTOPHER PAOLINI)
This one came to mind because I finished an audiobook of Eragon (Book #1 of the series) last week. While the Inheritance Cycle isn’t my cup of tea, I can definitely see where others would enjoy its classic fantasy story and general YA feel.
One thing Paolini definitely gets right in book one, however, is Durza, who fulfills the necessary role of henchman to the main villain. With his red hair and maroon eyes, pale and death-like face, and a sadistic air about him, Durza is shaping up to be quite the challenge for farm-boy-turned-hero Eragon.
Buy Eragon (The Inheritance Cycle Book 1) at Amazon.
LUKE CASTELLAN (PERCY JACKSON and THE OLYMPIANS by RICK RIORDAN)
My middle son and I have read through this whole series and begun the second series (though that one is going a bit slower for some reason), and we both absolutely despise yet feel sorry for dear old Luke.
For those that have read the books or seen the movies, Luke starts out as a friendly mentor to Percy Jackson when he first enters Camp Half Blood before turning into an evil henchman for the bad guy of the series.
Now, I wouldn’t put Luke in the same enforcer category as Vader or The Witch-King, but he definitely does all in his power to make sure his gods orders are carried out.
Buy The Lightning Thief (Percy Jackson and the Olympians Book 1) at Amazon.
Which enforcers did I miss?
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