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.
15th of October, 2015 – PURE GOOD
No middle ground, no moral middle, no grey area at all. Some people are pure avatars of goodness. Fantasyland seems to be full of them.
One of the most overused tropes in fantasy. I might run out of room for all these examples.
Frodo might also be nominated for this list or some of the other characters in The Lord of the Rings, but to me, Sam is the most pure of all the good guy in this trilogy. I mean, the guy is always putting others (I’m talking to you Frodo) before himself, giving his food to others (I’m talking to you again Frodo), bearing the burdens of others (Yeap, you Frodo), and actually carrying people on his back to get the job done (I don’t even need to type the name, do I?) So Sam is first on the list.
This youth is a classic example of pure good. He is so pure that he is able to pick up and carry a magical item that will kill if touched by someone not of the correct bloodline. Okay, okay, Errand turns out to be a bit more than merely a good person, but that doesn’t happen until the next series.
The classic vision of a young, noble, and chivalrous king who spends his life desperately trying to live up to the unattainable vision of the perfect knight-king. Sure, there are moments where Kelson is forced to make hard decisions, but even then, he is the pinnacle of goodness. Really is sad that knights weren’t really as perfect as Kelson is in these novels.
I decided not to try to list every character in this series that was pure good, because it seemed like every “good” guy was pure as the new fallen snow and every bad guy was vile to the core. Nothing was too complex or gray colored about the characters in this classic fantasy. It was still good fun, just not very realistic — in the extreme.
The dark elf is really one of the most pure hearted individuals you will ever encounter in fantasy. He is a philosopher warrior who was so disgusted by his own vicious people that he braved an unknown surface world to find the goodness his soul craved. He is dedicated to his friends, committed to his woman, and loyal to his allies. Not that I’m a Drizzt aficionado, but I can’t think of one bad quality this elf ever exhibits. Perfect example of pure goodness in my book.
This castle scullion boy is the classic example of pure goodness. A fitting way to end this list too . . . even though I know I could find many more examples of pure goodness littered across my fantasy shelf. But why try to list then all, because it would be better if you discovered them on your own.