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https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/dungeons-and-dragons-pinball-detail_5848.jpg Muscular heroes, magical wizards, fire-breathing dragons, and a little Fanservice as well. The exploits of mighty-thewed, sword-wielding heroes and their thiefly, wizardly and/or priestly companions, as they spend their days smiting evil, fighting monsters, recovering treasures and quaffing ale.

One of the three typical settings for fantasy literature. High Fantasy usually focuses on the epic struggle between absolute good and absolute evil, and the characters are thrust in the midst. Low Fantasy portrays the struggle of characters to achieve their own personal goals, ranging from questionable to decidedly unsavory.

Heroic Fantasy sits somewhere in between. It tends to be distinguishable from High Fantasy by its scale—the problems are generally those of the heroes, not the world. Kingdoms and societies are portrayed mainly to the extent the heroes have an impact on them. On the other hand, it's distinct from Low Fantasy as well in that the heroes are actually heroic and their goals are morally sound or, at the very least, not overtly objectionable. An Anti-Hero in this setting is more likely to be a Loveable Rogue than a Well-Intentioned Extremist.

The setting differs as well: it is neither fragile and in need of saving, nor a Crapsack World with wickedness Inherent in the System—rather, it's an ambiguous place, characterized more than anything by being an Adventure-Friendly World, with much untamed wilderness to travel through, quests to undertake and dungeons to delve. Therefore, the heroes are very likely to encounter magic and fantastic elements, assuming they aren't prevalent in the setting to begin with.

The first story of this type is often considered to by Lord Dunsany's "The Fortress Unvanquishable, Save for Sacnoth" from 1908, but it is 1929's "The Shadow Kingdom" by Robert E. Howard that is responsible for kick-starting the genre proper. Howard himself would later go on to codify the genre with his Conan the Barbarian tales.

Heavily influenced by The Hero's Journey, the Arthurian cycle, the Conan the Barbarian stories and movies, the game Dungeons & Dragons, and classical myth.

Sometimes set in a world that looks an awful lot like medieval Europe, although it can range all the way back to a "forgotten prehistory" such as in Conan the Barbarian, or even the "classical" period (ancient Greece, Mesopotamia, etc.), as found in Xena: Warrior Princess (this variant is sometimes called "Sword & Sandal" and more burly versions are called "Thud and Blunder"). May involve Mythopoeia.

Sometimes it can be found in the future, often in After the End setting; sometimes it comes close to Planetary Romance. Also often features Medieval Stasis.

Often lumped together with Sword & Sorcery, a genre coined by Fritz Leiber. Unkind souls have described Heroic Fantasy as nothing but an upmarket term for Sword & Sorcery, though Leiber deliberately created it to set his stories and similar works by other writers apart from the general field of Heroic Fantasy.

Good live-action film and television heroic fantasies can be counted on the fingers of one hand (generally starting with the Conan the Barbarian movie). Dying is easy. Fantasy is hard! On the other hand, roughly half of all RPGs ever written fall under this genre, if not more.

See also Two-Fisted Tales, Pulp Magazine.

Heroic and epic Fantasy of Chinese cultural origin is known as Wuxia.

Contrast Sword & Sandal. See also Medieval European Fantasy.

Not to be confused with Low Fantasy, which is simply Fantasy in a down-to-earth setting.

Nor to be confused with Demythtification, which is Mythology reimagined as Historical Fiction.

Perhaps you would be interested in writing one yourself?

Examples: open/close all folders

Anime & MangaEdit

Arguably Berserk goes from Low Fantasy to a heroic but dark fantasy at the end of the Golden Age arc where all the demons start coming out and become the main source of conflict. Or it was Heroic Fantasy all along without the characters noticing. After all Zodd the Immortal didn't exactly keep his existence a secret. Black Clover. The setting we're introduced to is relatively peaceful, thanks to the Wizard King, and everyone in the series has a degree of magical abilities, and our hero's primary goal is to become the next Wizard King, so it qualifies as such. Bikini Warriors: Which involves a group of heroines with typical fantasy roles, and go on an epic quest together, while clad in bikinis. Crimson Spell combines Heroic Fantasy with the Yaoi Genre. Delicious in Dungeon, which is the story of a group of heroes Dungeon Crawling to save the lead's lost little sister. Dragon Ball early on in the series, before its Genre Shift to high-powered Space Opera. Fairy Tail focuses on the eponymous guild of wizard adventurers and the various quests they undertake for fun and profit. Fullmetal Alchemist started as this, though it quickly veered into High Fantasy territory. The 2003 anime version, on the other hand, stuck with Heroic Fantasy. Hunter × Hunter One Piece Queen's Blade. The heroines rarely have magic on their side while the villains do and often the only way to win a fight is through sword battles. While there is a grand plot involving the fate of the land, the heroines are largely unaware of it and just want to fulfill their personal desires. Rune Soldier Louie is a comedic Heroic Fantasy spin-off of the high fantasy Record of Lodoss War. Senyuu. A series with heroes, demons, swords and magic. Actually, more like a parody, but despite loads of gags and jokes remains heroic. Slayers Sword Art Online Though the narrative is driven by technology and is set in Next Sunday A.D., at its heart Sword Art Online is still fundamentally a fantasy of heroic warriors (and later, wizards) crusading across mythical lands, fighting for justice, honor and making the world a better place with swords and spells in their hands, courage and love in their hearts. The Tower of Druaga, based off of the video game of the same name.

Comic BooksEdit

Fan WorksEdit

Quite averted in With Strings Attached, which is partially set on a continent that was once a place of Heroic Fantasy. However, by the time the four find themselves there, the skahs warriors have long since wiped out any threats, and are going crazy with boredom because they have nothing to do and refuse to become civilians. A major goal of some of the secondary characters is finding a way to restock the continent with monsters, since the gods refuse to do it. Played much more straight on Jim Hunter's world, but that's because it was built by a gamer. Prince Toreus Rhann is Conan on a dyson sphere. Prince Eric Khorum Rhann is Conan on a dyson sphere,underwater.

Film=Edit

Army of Darkness, an Affectionate Parody of the genre. The Barbarians The Beastmaster (only the movie, not the science fiction books it was based on.) Blood of Beasts. Clash of the Titans. Conan the Barbarian (1982) and Conan the Destroyer Conquest mix this with Dark Fantasy and Horror. Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters Highlander. Kull the Conqueror. Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time. The Princess Bride is an affectionate and very gentle parody of this genre. The novel it was based on was darker and more of a deconstruction. Just like with Shrek, the heroes' goals are taken just (or almost) as seriously as they would be in a straight heroic fantasy. Red Sonja. The Sword and the Sorcerer. Wizards of the Demon Sword. Gleahan and the Knaves of Industry: The movie contains no legitimate fantasy elements, but it hits all the beats of a Heroic Fantasy story. Gleahan definitely thinks he's in one of these, though.

   Literature

The Bahzell series by David Weber. The Black Company Alison Croggon's Books of Pellinor. Codex Alera (quasi-Ancient Rome + Elemental Powers). Robert E. Howard's Conan the Barbarian, Kull and Bran Mak Morn. To a large extent Howard invented the modern incarnation of this trope. Everything by David Eddings. Many of the older Discworld novels were comedic deconstructions/parodies of this genre, as are a few of the more recent ones. A very loose rule of thumb for the Discworld books: If the main character is Rincewind or Susan, it's probably going to be heroic or high fantasy; if it's Vimesy, the Watch, Moist, or Death, you are probably looking at low fantasy, the elderly barbarians are usually heroic fantasy, and if it's the witches then it's probably either going to be low or heroic fantasy. Pratchett seems to have started out creating straight parodies of heroic and high fantasy, and then gotten bored halfway through and slowly began integrating and exploring low fantasy settings more and more. Fans are divided as to whether the earlier (and punchier) heroic fantasy parodies are better or worse than the later ( and more thoughtful and elaborate/longer) low-fantasy-with-an-emphasis-on-social-themes-and-character-based-comedies. Back in the day, there were a number of less popular and deservedly-forgotten fantasy/comedy novels attempting to capitalise on the popularity of Discworld, which were almost always set in heroic or high fantasy universes. They tended to very bleak, because they had the same and sometimes an even more exaggerated casual approach to violence that you'd see in the earlier Discworld novels, but not the goofy and likeable supporting cast of recurring characters which stopped Discworld from ever becoming particularly dark. David Gemmell's books are a prime example. Michael Moorcock's The Elric Saga (another Deconstruction). D. E. Wyatt's No Good Deed... has many elements of this. The Exile's Violin: A hero armed with mystical weapons that fights a power mad Evil Sorcerer doesn't sound like the kind of thing that would happen in a Steam Punk detective story but it happens and checks off the other markers such as personal trouble and grey morality. Fritz Leiber's Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser. Robert A. Heinlein's Glory Road is a Reconstruction of these types of stories. Mercedes Lackey's Heralds of Valdemar series has quite a few stories in this tone. The most notable is the Vows and Honor series, about a swordswoman/sorceress mercenary pair who travel the world looking for work and battling evil. In her Oathblood introduction, Lackey specifically noted that she made them to play with the tropes of heroic fantasy: they're both women, one of them is celibate, and Reality Ensues more often than not on their adventures. Charles R. Saunders's Imaro. Norman Spinrad's The Iron Dream (a Deconstruction geared towards showing just how screwy the genre's politics can get). C.L. Moore's Jirel of Joiry, the first major female character in Heroic Fantasy. Her husband Henry Kuttner was no slouch in the genre, with works like Elak of Atlantis, Valley of Flame and The Dark World.. Karl Edward Wagner's Kane. Patrick Rothfuss's The Kingkiller Chronicle (although the protagonist is leaning toward Anti-Hero territory and may get worse in the upcoming book 3). The Malazan Book of the Fallen, especially during Karsa Orlong's storylines. Marion Zimmer Bradley's The Mists of Avalon is either a Darker and Edgier or Deconstructed Trope version (or possibly Distaff Counterpart) of the King Arthur story. Moribito by Nahoko Uehashi. The Night Angel Trilogy by Brent Weeks. Lynn Flewelling's Nightrunner series. The Lineage of Tellus starts off as this before the problems shift from the heroes to the world, wherein it becomes High Fantasy. Everything by R.A. Salvatore. Lynn Abbey's Rifkin series. The Shadowleague trilogy. The Snow Walker trilogy by Catherine Fisher. The Sorcerer of the Wildeeps, for which The Epic of Gilgamesh may or may not have been an inspiration. Lord Dunsany's "The Sword of Welleran" and "The Fortress Unvanquishable, Save for Sacnoth", as well as a few other short stories here and there. Tamora Pierce's Tortall Universe. While the fate of the kingdom of Tortall is on the line in the Song of the Lioness and the Immortals quartets, the focus throughout remains on the coming-of-age of Pierce's heroines. Later books have lower stakes, but all have a good down-to-earth feel, and fairly nuanced morality. Talion: Revenant: The book's genre. It centers around Nolan's quest to stop a bandit leader, and later protect a king. The Barbarian And The Sorceress by Patrick Thornton.

   Live-Action TV

GARO, though it is debatable, as it has various Dark Fantasy elements. Hercules: The Legendary Journeys. Xena: Warrior Princess. Kröd Mändoon and the Flaming Sword of Fire is a parody of the genre. Kyoryu Sentai Zyuranger with dinosaurs and a Super Sentai twist. Merlin. Roar (pre-Arthurian British Isles). Arguably Robin of Sherwood what with its use of archetypes and mysticism. The Adventures of Sinbad

   Music

Black Sabbath stands as the modern musical Ur-Example for this in their early batch of songs such as The Wizard. They weren't alone, considering Led Zeppelin and Jethro Tull were greatly inspired by Tolkien. Ronnie James Dio is the one who truly brought this to prominence, as Dio was a massive fantasy nerd and part of bands whose whole shtick revolved around muscular barbarians slaying dragons. This was most evident with his band Elf and his later solo work. See Holy Diver. Heavy Mithril is either this or High Fantasy in rock form. The whole genre of Power Metal is defined by heroic tales of fantasy folk heroes and heroines, and takes Heavy Mithril Up to Eleven.

   Pinball

The "Barbarian" table of Balls of Steel. True to its license, Dungeons & Dragons plays this absolutely straight. Gorgar. Hercules, not surprisingly, is all about this. Paragon. Varkon has a shirtless adventurer confronting the monstrous Varkon on the other side of a magic stone gate.

   Radio

ElvenQuest is a parody.

   Tabletop Games

Dungeons & Dragons. Though the game system is flexible enough that the enterprising DM can apply it to almost any fantasy subgenre, as printed it tends toward Heroic Fantasy. The Dark Sun setting specifically aims to emulate old pulp stories and is heavily influenced by John Carter of Mars, as well as Conan the Barbarian. Exalted is what you get when you combine this with the tropes of wuxia, ancient myth, and a dash of shonen anime style to taste. As does On Mighty Thews, which even comes with a list of substitutions to make things more pulpy. Warhammer generally occupies this league of the fantasy landscape, though it is diverse enough to encompass both High Fantasy (the wars of Aenarion against the Daemons, the Great War Against Chaos) and Low Fantasy (the traditional WFRP millieu, involving cultists and ne'er-do-wells stabbing each other in the dark alleys of Altdorf) as well. Being a wargame, the "heroes" in Warhammer tend to be great military commanders and the conflicts wide-ranging wars, rather than bands of adventurers and their skirmishes, though there are plenty of the latter at work also (Gotrek and Felix, pretty much everyone from the Warhammer Quest spin-off).

   Video Games

Barbarian: The Ultimate Warrior. The Dark Souls series. Dragon Age. While the first game has a "unite the people to fight an army of evil" main plot, the side plots that make up the biggest chunk of the game follow the genre pretty straight. The second game focuses completely on a single protagonist rising in power within the hierarchy of one city, with the main factions being Templar (sword) and Mage (spell). The Elder Scrolls is one of the most prominent video game examples in modern media, at least from the perspective of each individual game. Taking a broader look at the series in its entirety (as well as digging deep into the rich backstory), and its High Fantasy elements come into greater focus. The Fable series. Fantasy Quest. God of War plays it pretty straight, though starting with the second game the scope of the events becomes considerably bigger, as it grows into a full blown war among the gods. Monster Hunter is mostly this as well. The levels of mysticism are very slight (down to the special mode of the Longsword in Tri and its derivatives), but everything else is totally straight: minimal overarching plot, for the most part it's just a world where people make a living slaying or capturing giant monsters for the chance at building more weaponry with which to slay or capture tougher giant monsters. Prince of Persia. The Reconstruction (Deconstruction, ironically). Skies of Arcadia is a Reconstruction of this setting, with Schizo Tech and Ocean Punk thrown in for flavour. Much of the world is equivalent to the real world 15th/16th Century, but there's also fantastical creatures, adventurers and explorers, myths, and widespread use of magic and magical weaponry. Not to mention the Sky Pirates, of course. Superbrothers: Sword & Sworcery EP. The Witcher: A lone monster hunter hunting a sorcerer who stole the alchemical secrets from the witchers. ==Web Animation Join Login Search


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Follow Heroic Fantasy Main Laconic Create New

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/dungeons-and-dragons-pinball-detail_5848.jpg Muscular heroes, magical wizards, fire-breathing dragons, and a little Fanservice as well. The exploits of mighty-thewed, sword-wielding heroes and their thiefly, wizardly and/or priestly companions, as they spend their days smiting evil, fighting monsters, recovering treasures and quaffing ale.

One of the three typical settings for fantasy literature. High Fantasy usually focuses on the epic struggle between absolute good and absolute evil, and the characters are thrust in the midst. Low Fantasy portrays the struggle of characters to achieve their own personal goals, ranging from questionable to decidedly unsavory.

Heroic Fantasy sits somewhere in between. It tends to be distinguishable from High Fantasy by its scale—the problems are generally those of the heroes, not the world. Kingdoms and societies are portrayed mainly to the extent the heroes have an impact on them. On the other hand, it's distinct from Low Fantasy as well in that the heroes are actually heroic and their goals are morally sound or, at the very least, not overtly objectionable. An Anti-Hero in this setting is more likely to be a Loveable Rogue than a Well-Intentioned Extremist.

The setting differs as well: it is neither fragile and in need of saving, nor a Crapsack World with wickedness Inherent in the System—rather, it's an ambiguous place, characterized more than anything by being an Adventure-Friendly World, with much untamed wilderness to travel through, quests to undertake and dungeons to delve. Therefore, the heroes are very likely to encounter magic and fantastic elements, assuming they aren't prevalent in the setting to begin with.

The first story of this type is often considered to by Lord Dunsany's "The Fortress Unvanquishable, Save for Sacnoth" from 1908, but it is 1929's "The Shadow Kingdom" by Robert E. Howard that is responsible for kick-starting the genre proper. Howard himself would later go on to codify the genre with his Conan the Barbarian tales.

Heavily influenced by The Hero's Journey, the Arthurian cycle, the Conan the Barbarian stories and movies, the game Dungeons & Dragons, and classical myth.

Sometimes set in a world that looks an awful lot like medieval Europe, although it can range all the way back to a "forgotten prehistory" such as in Conan the Barbarian, or even the "classical" period (ancient Greece, Mesopotamia, etc.), as found in Xena: Warrior Princess (this variant is sometimes called "Sword & Sandal" and more burly versions are called "Thud and Blunder"). May involve Mythopoeia.

Sometimes it can be found in the future, often in After the End setting; sometimes it comes close to Planetary Romance. Also often features Medieval Stasis.

Often lumped together with Sword & Sorcery, a genre coined by Fritz Leiber. Unkind souls have described Heroic Fantasy as nothing but an upmarket term for Sword & Sorcery, though Leiber deliberately created it to set his stories and similar works by other writers apart from the general field of Heroic Fantasy.

Good live-action film and television heroic fantasies can be counted on the fingers of one hand (generally starting with the Conan the Barbarian movie). Dying is easy. Fantasy is hard! On the other hand, roughly half of all RPGs ever written fall under this genre, if not more.

See also Two-Fisted Tales, Pulp Magazine.

Heroic and epic Fantasy of Chinese cultural origin is known as Wuxia.

Contrast Sword & Sandal. See also Medieval European Fantasy.

Not to be confused with Low Fantasy, which is simply Fantasy in a down-to-earth setting.

Nor to be confused with Demythtification, which is Mythology reimagined as Historical Fiction.

Perhaps you would be interested in writing one yourself?

Examples:

   open/close all folders 
   Anime & Manga

Arguably Berserk goes from Low Fantasy to a heroic but dark fantasy at the end of the Golden Age arc where all the demons start coming out and become the main source of conflict. Or it was Heroic Fantasy all along without the characters noticing. After all Zodd the Immortal didn't exactly keep his existence a secret. Black Clover. The setting we're introduced to is relatively peaceful, thanks to the Wizard King, and everyone in the series has a degree of magical abilities, and our hero's primary goal is to become the next Wizard King, so it qualifies as such. Bikini Warriors: Which involves a group of heroines with typical fantasy roles, and go on an epic quest together, while clad in bikinis. Crimson Spell combines Heroic Fantasy with the Yaoi Genre. Delicious in Dungeon, which is the story of a group of heroes Dungeon Crawling to save the lead's lost little sister. Dragon Ball early on in the series, before its Genre Shift to high-powered Space Opera. Fairy Tail focuses on the eponymous guild of wizard adventurers and the various quests they undertake for fun and profit. Fullmetal Alchemist started as this, though it quickly veered into High Fantasy territory. The 2003 anime version, on the other hand, stuck with Heroic Fantasy. Hunter × Hunter One Piece Queen's Blade. The heroines rarely have magic on their side while the villains do and often the only way to win a fight is through sword battles. While there is a grand plot involving the fate of the land, the heroines are largely unaware of it and just want to fulfill their personal desires. Rune Soldier Louie is a comedic Heroic Fantasy spin-off of the high fantasy Record of Lodoss War. Senyuu. A series with heroes, demons, swords and magic. Actually, more like a parody, but despite loads of gags and jokes remains heroic. Slayers Sword Art Online Though the narrative is driven by technology and is set in Next Sunday A.D., at its heart Sword Art Online is still fundamentally a fantasy of heroic warriors (and later, wizards) crusading across mythical lands, fighting for justice, honor and making the world a better place with swords and spells in their hands, courage and love in their hearts. The Tower of Druaga, based off of the video game of the same name.

Comic BooksEdit

Aquaman: Sword of Atlantis was an attempt to make the titular character's comic this genre. Cerebus the Aardvark started as a Parody of these before becoming a full-on Mind Screw. Conan the Barbarian and Red Sonja. Mouse Guard: Heroic fantasy with mice soldiers. Rat Queens mixes the genre with Feminist Fantasy. Ironjaw is post apocholypic Clonan with bear trap jaw from Atlas Comics. Wulf the Barbarian is blonde Clonan from Atlas Comics. Claw the Unconquered is Clonan with red guanlet demon hand from DC Comics.

Fan WorksEdit

Quite averted in With Strings Attached, which is partially set on a continent that was once a place of Heroic Fantasy. However, by the time the four find themselves there, the skahs warriors have long since wiped out any threats, and are going crazy with boredom because they have nothing to do and refuse to become civilians. A major goal of some of the secondary characters is finding a way to restock the continent with monsters, since the gods refuse to do it. Played much more straight on Jim Hunter's world, but that's because it was built by a gamer.

FilmEdit

Army of Darkness, an Affectionate Parody of the genre. The Barbarians The Beastmaster (only the movie, not the science fiction books it was based on.) Blood of Beasts. Clash of the Titans. Conan the Barbarian (1982) and Conan the Destroyer Conquest mix this with Dark Fantasy and Horror. Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters Highlander. Kull the Conqueror. Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time. The Princess Bride is an affectionate and very gentle parody of this genre. The novel it was based on was darker and more of a deconstruction. Just like with Shrek, the heroes' goals are taken just (or almost) as seriously as they would be in a straight heroic fantasy. Red Sonja. The Sword and the Sorcerer. Wizards of the Demon Sword. Gleahan and the Knaves of Industry: The movie contains no legitimate fantasy elements, but it hits all the beats of a Heroic Fantasy story. Gleahan definitely thinks he's in one of these, though.

LiteratureEdit

The Bahzell series by David Weber. The Black Company Alison Croggon's Books of Pellinor. Codex Alera (quasi-Ancient Rome + Elemental Powers). Robert E. Howard's Conan the Barbarian, Kull and Bran Mak Morn. To a large extent Howard invented the modern incarnation of this trope. Everything by David Eddings. Many of the older Discworld novels were comedic deconstructions/parodies of this genre, as are a few of the more recent ones. A very loose rule of thumb for the Discworld books: If the main character is Rincewind or Susan, it's probably going to be heroic or high fantasy; if it's Vimesy, the Watch, Moist, or Death, you are probably looking at low fantasy, the elderly barbarians are usually heroic fantasy, and if it's the witches then it's probably either going to be low or heroic fantasy. Pratchett seems to have started out creating straight parodies of heroic and high fantasy, and then gotten bored halfway through and slowly began integrating and exploring low fantasy settings more and more. Fans are divided as to whether the earlier (and punchier) heroic fantasy parodies are better or worse than the later ( and more thoughtful and elaborate/longer) low-fantasy-with-an-emphasis-on-social-themes-and-character-based-comedies. Back in the day, there were a number of less popular and deservedly-forgotten fantasy/comedy novels attempting to capitalise on the popularity of Discworld, which were almost always set in heroic or high fantasy universes. They tended to very bleak, because they had the same and sometimes an even more exaggerated casual approach to violence that you'd see in the earlier Discworld novels, but not the goofy and likeable supporting cast of recurring characters which stopped Discworld from ever becoming particularly dark. David Gemmell's books are a prime example. Michael Moorcock's The Elric Saga (another Deconstruction). D. E. Wyatt's No Good Deed... has many elements of this. The Exile's Violin: A hero armed with mystical weapons that fights a power mad Evil Sorcerer doesn't sound like the kind of thing that would happen in a Steam Punk detective story but it happens and checks off the other markers such as personal trouble and grey morality. Fritz Leiber's Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser. Robert A. Heinlein's Glory Road is a Reconstruction of these types of stories. Mercedes Lackey's Heralds of Valdemar series has quite a few stories in this tone. The most notable is the Vows and Honor series, about a swordswoman/sorceress mercenary pair who travel the world looking for work and battling evil. In her Oathblood introduction, Lackey specifically noted that she made them to play with the tropes of heroic fantasy: they're both women, one of them is celibate, and Reality Ensues more often than not on their adventures. Charles R. Saunders's Imaro. Norman Spinrad's The Iron Dream (a Deconstruction geared towards showing just how screwy the genre's politics can get). C.L. Moore's Jirel of Joiry, the first major female character in Heroic Fantasy. Her husband Henry Kuttner was no slouch in the genre, with works like Elak of Atlantis, Valley of Flame and The Dark World.. Karl Edward Wagner's Kane. Patrick Rothfuss's The Kingkiller Chronicle (although the protagonist is leaning toward Anti-Hero territory and may get worse in the upcoming book 3). The Malazan Book of the Fallen, especially during Karsa Orlong's storylines. Marion Zimmer Bradley's The Mists of Avalon is either a Darker and Edgier or Deconstructed Trope version (or possibly Distaff Counterpart) of the King Arthur story. Moribito by Nahoko Uehashi. The Night Angel Trilogy by Brent Weeks. Lynn Flewelling's Nightrunner series. The Lineage of Tellus starts off as this before the problems shift from the heroes to the world, wherein it becomes High Fantasy. Everything by R.A. Salvatore. Lynn Abbey's Rifkin series. The Shadowleague trilogy. The Snow Walker trilogy by Catherine Fisher. The Sorcerer of the Wildeeps, for which The Epic of Gilgamesh may or may not have been an inspiration. Lord Dunsany's "The Sword of Welleran" and "The Fortress Unvanquishable, Save for Sacnoth", as well as a few other short stories here and there. Tamora Pierce's Tortall Universe. While the fate of the kingdom of Tortall is on the line in the Song of the Lioness and the Immortals quartets, the focus throughout remains on the coming-of-age of Pierce's heroines. Later books have lower stakes, but all have a good down-to-earth feel, and fairly nuanced morality. Talion: Revenant: The book's genre. It centers around Nolan's quest to stop a bandit leader, and later protect a king. The Barbarian And The Sorceress by Patrick Thornton.

Live-Action TVEdit

GARO, though it is debatable, as it has various Dark Fantasy elements. Hercules: The Legendary Journeys. Xena: Warrior Princess. Kröd Mändoon and the Flaming Sword of Fire is a parody of the genre. Kyoryu Sentai Zyuranger with dinosaurs and a Super Sentai twist. Merlin. Roar (pre-Arthurian British Isles). Arguably Robin of Sherwood what with its use of archetypes and mysticism. The Adventures of Sinbad

==Music==

Black Sabbath stands as the modern musical Ur-Example for this in their early batch of songs such as The Wizard. They weren't alone, considering Led Zeppelin and Jethro Tull were greatly inspired by Tolkien. Ronnie James Dio is the one who truly brought this to prominence, as Dio was a massive fantasy nerd and part of bands whose whole shtick revolved around muscular barbarians slaying dragons. This was most evident with his band Elf and his later solo work. See Holy Diver. Heavy Mithril is either this or High Fantasy in rock form. The whole genre of Power Metal is defined by heroic tales of fantasy folk heroes and heroines, and takes Heavy Mithril Up to Eleven.

PinballEdit

The "Barbarian" table of Balls of Steel. True to its license, Dungeons & Dragons plays this absolutely straight. Gorgar. Hercules, not surprisingly, is all about this. Paragon. Varkon has a shirtless adventurer confronting the monstrous Varkon on the other side of a magic stone gate.

RadioEdit

ElvenQuest is a parody.

Tabletop Games Edit

Dungeons & Dragons. Though the game system is flexible enough that the enterprising DM can apply it to almost any fantasy subgenre, as printed it tends toward Heroic Fantasy. The Dark Sun setting specifically aims to emulate old pulp stories and is heavily influenced by John Carter of Mars, as well as Conan the Barbarian. Exalted is what you get when you combine this with the tropes of wuxia, ancient myth, and a dash of shonen anime style to taste. As does On Mighty Thews, which even comes with a list of substitutions to make things more pulpy. Warhammer generally occupies this league of the fantasy landscape, though it is diverse enough to encompass both High Fantasy (the wars of Aenarion against the Daemons, the Great War Against Chaos) and Low Fantasy (the traditional WFRP millieu, involving cultists and ne'er-do-wells stabbing each other in the dark alleys of Altdorf) as well. Being a wargame, the "heroes" in Warhammer tend to be great military commanders and the conflicts wide-ranging wars, rather than bands of adventurers and their skirmishes, though there are plenty of the latter at work also (Gotrek and Felix, pretty much everyone from the Warhammer Quest spin-off).

Video GamesEdit

Barbarian: The Ultimate Warrior. The Dark Souls series. Dragon Age. While the first game has a "unite the people to fight an army of evil" main plot, the side plots that make up the biggest chunk of the game follow the genre pretty straight. The second game focuses completely on a single protagonist rising in power within the hierarchy of one city, with the main factions being Templar (sword) and Mage (spell). The Elder Scrolls is one of the most prominent video game examples in modern media, at least from the perspective of each individual game. Taking a broader look at the series in its entirety (as well as digging deep into the rich backstory), and its High Fantasy elements come into greater focus. The Fable series. Fantasy Quest. God of War plays it pretty straight, though starting with the second game the scope of the events becomes considerably bigger, as it grows into a full blown war among the gods. Monster Hunter is mostly this as well. The levels of mysticism are very slight (down to the special mode of the Longsword in Tri and its derivatives), but everything else is totally straight: minimal overarching plot, for the most part it's just a world where people make a living slaying or capturing giant monsters for the chance at building more weaponry with which to slay or capture tougher giant monsters. Prince of Persia. The Reconstruction (Deconstruction, ironically). Skies of Arcadia is a Reconstruction of this setting, with Schizo Tech and Ocean Punk thrown in for flavour. Much of the world is equivalent to the real world 15th/16th Century, but there's also fantastical creatures, adventurers and explorers, myths, and widespread use of magic and magical weaponry. Not to mention the Sky Pirates, of course. Superbrothers: Sword & Sworcery EP. The Witcher: A lone monster hunter hunting a sorcerer who stole the alchemical secrets from the witchers.

Web Animation Edit

Tales of Alethrion is set in a magical and weird world where people travel and discover for the sake of it, where strange monsters are fought by heroes for glory and where high-tech cities coincide with tribal hovels. Though later shorts expanded on the setting, it can't be said to have been made more solid for it - if anything, it's just been expanded with more characters and more places for them to travel to. Only a single story has been about saving the world, and it that case, it was still more concerned with the relation between the evil creature and Alethrion himself who accidentally created it from his own rampant greed.

Web ComicsEdit

The Echo Chronicles, One plane consists of this kind of world, connected to another which is Urban Fantasy. Evon. Meat Shield. Our Little Adventure, if you only factor in Julie and her gang's adventures. Champions of Faraus.

Western AnimationEdit

Adventure Time. Fire and Ice. Mighty Magiswords. As a lot of film critics have noted, Shrek and its original sequel might have been written as self-conscious affectionate parodies of "fairy tale movies" but both movies use and celebrate heroic fantasy tropes so whole-heartedly that they both feel more like straight "fairy tale movies"/ heroic fantasy with lots of humour and character development. Thundarr the Barbarian. Alternative Title(s): Medieval Fantasy, Swords And Sorcery Previous Index Next Historical Fantasy Fiction Heroic Pet Story A Hallmark Presentation Show Genres Historical Fantasy Dark Fantasy Literature Genres High Fantasy Heroes Prefer Swords Dark Age Europe Horny Vikings Gotta Catch Them All ImageSource/Other Hotline Ghost Fiction Speculative Fiction High Fantasy Fantastic Noir Fantasy Sword and Sorcery


TV TropesEdit

Subscribe Switch to Desktop Version TVTropes is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License. Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available from thestaff@tvtropes.org. Privacy Policy Tales of Alethrion is set in a magical and weird world where people travel and discover for the sake of it, where strange monsters are fought by heroes for glory and where high-tech cities coincide with tribal hovels. Though later shorts expanded on the setting, it can't be said to have been made more solid for it - if anything, it's just been expanded with more characters and more places for them to travel to. Only a single story has been about saving the world, and it that case, it was still more concerned with the relation between the evil creature and Alethrion himself who accidentally created it from his own rampant greed.

Web ComicsEdit

The Echo Chronicles, One plane consists of this kind of world, connected to another which is Urban Fantasy. Evon. Meat Shield. Our Little Adventure, if you only factor in Julie and her gang's adventures. Champions of Faraus.

Western AnimationEdit

Adventure Time. Fire and Ice. Mighty Magiswords. As a lot of film critics have noted, Shrek and its original sequel might have been written as self-conscious affectionate parodies of "fairy tale movies" but both movies use and celebrate heroic fantasy tropes so whole-heartedly that they both feel more like straight "fairy tale movies"/ heroic fantasy with lots of humour and character development. Thundarr the Barbarian. Alternative Title(s): Medieval Fantasy, Swords And Sorcery Previous Index Next Historical Fantasy Fiction Heroic Pet Story A Hallmark Presentation Show Genres Historical Fantasy Dark Fantasy Literature Genres High Fantasy Heroes Prefer Swords Dark Age Europe Horny Vikings Gotta Catch Them All ImageSource/Other Hotline Ghost Fiction Speculative Fiction High Fantasy Fantastic Noir Fantasy Sword and Sorcery


TV Tropes

Subscribe Switch to Desktop Version TVTropes is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License. Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available from thestaff@tvtropes.org. Privacy Policy=Sect

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