Tough Traveling – Tyrants
Nathan over at Fantasy Review Barn is the mastermind of Tough Traveling. What’s Tough Traveling? Pretty much, it’s a weekly feature on Thursdays where we dig around to come up with examples of common tropes in fantasy, using Diana Wynne Jones’ The Tough Guide to Fantasyland as our inspiration and guide. Nathan has invited one and all to join in the fun, so feel free to come up with your own lists and add the link on Nathan’s weekly post, which will also contain (unleash) the next weeks theme. So let the fun begin …
This weeks theme? TYRANTS
TYRANTS are like bad KINGS, only truly atrocious…Tourists can tell when a country is ruled by a tyrant because the road to the main city will be lined with impaled corpses.
Zadar from Age of Iron by Angus Watson – This King not only has an agenda of pretty much dominance (image a dale that says “DOMINATE” instead of “EXTERMINATE”) … although in this situation, exterminate is actually one of his favorite forms of dominating. He has a twisted little side kick druid (mage) that gets his jollies on torturing and gutting his victims, all of which are compliments of his King.
*Someone* in Mirror Empire by Kameron Hurley – someone has been invading Saiduan. They are destroying entire cities in the process. Sounds like a Tyrant coming to conquer the land. But, I won’t say who or why, for that, you’ll have to read this one.
The Lady from The Black Company by Glen Cook – Ruler of the The Empire, she is ruthless and cold. She will use magic to gain loyalty and is rumored to have killed her own twin. Not someone you want to mess with.
Ruslan from The Whitefire Crossing by Courtney Schafer – OK, Ruslan may not have ruled a nation, but he is quite a powerful mage he certainly ruled over Kiran (his mentoree) in a tyrannical way. I don’t know what else to say about him other than he is twisted, obsessive, possessive and has some serious magic to aid him in his pursuits.
The Mad King (King Aerys Targaryen) from ASoIaF by George R. R. Martin – Right, to earn the label of Mad King in Westeros, you know he has to be a seriously messed up ruler. This King’s madness was ultimately the downfall of the Targaryen rule. If only he’d been a little more kingly and a little less tyrannical maniac, we might not have this whole game of thrones thing going on in Westeros. Guess I’m glad he was a bit psycho 🙂 (I almost went with Lord Bolton here …. but I don’t think he can top The Mad King)
Honorable Mention: Dolores Umbridge from the Harry Potter Series by J. K. Rowling – This is one twisted, power happy bitch. Her reign over Hogwarts definitely carries the impression of making rules simply to oppress and depress the students rather than for any rational reason. It gets to the point where an entire wall is covered with all her new rules.