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 Is there really any reason for me to add to the picture?

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.

If you’d like to see Vader in all his dark glory, there are a couple novels, in particular, that I’d recommend: Darth Vader and the Ghost Prison or Lords of the Sith: Star Wars that I’m reading now.


the witch king 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?

Buy The Fellowship of the Ring: Being the First Part of The Lord of the Rings at Amazon.


theblackcompany 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!

Buy Chronicles of the Black Company (Chronicles of the Black Company Series Book 1) at Amazon.


Durza 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 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?


This entry was posted in Lists, Tough Traveling and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.


  1. Nathan says:

    My love of the Taken is well known. It is the less is more approach we get from them. We know Limper is tearing a path through the country and limps, that is about it. And yet his glory (infamy) just grows with it.


  2. Jenn says:

    I would pay so much money to see that Witch-King vs Vader fight. So much.


  3. digitaltempest says:

    LOVE these choices! The only one I’m not familiar with is the Glen Cook book, but it’s on my TBR pile. Also, I wanted to give you the highest of gives for listing Luke! My oldest son, my younger daughter, and I are listening to the Percy Jackson series. We love it. We’re on book 3. I almost chose Luke for one of my enforcers! He may not have the “strength,” but he definitely has the cunning, which is sometimes just as important in an enforcer. I’m glad that someone chose him, and I have such a soft spot for Luke despite everything.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Kaja says:

    This is a cool list – Durza completely slipped my mind! I thought about including Murtagh as Galbatorix’s henchman but couldn’t reduce him to the role (not that I’m a huge fan of the series, but there’s no rule against using books you disliked, right?).
    Luke is such an interesting character. I actually liked him a lot but he’s a bit too fond of the Titans, that’s true.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. rudejasper says:

    Darth Vader is pretty much the ultimate henchman in the Sci Fi universe – can’t think of another that threatens him. Hmm…..Now I’m going to be contemplating that for a while. I have a soft spot for reformed Enforcers too so I do have some special affection for him.


  6. Durza, the Witch-King, AND the Ten Who Were Taken? Hats off to you this week! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  7. lynnsbooks says:

    Yep – I think Vader is THE enforcer really. The Witch King is a great choice. I’m a total slacker this week and didn’t get LotR – which is really a little bit ridiculous.
    Lynn 😀


  8. I never would have thought of the Witch King as an enforcer, but he totally works! Normally I think of the hierarchy of evil as placing him above the Nazgul, making them his enforcers…but then I forget to include Sauron! Cool list as always.


  9. Pingback: BEST OF FANTASY |

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s