Tough Traveling – Musicians/Bards

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?  MUSICIANS/BARDS

BARDS often join questing parties and provide entertainment around the campfire. Sometimes their music even holds a little bit of magic. Or a clue to an ancient mystery. Or…


I had a harder time this week than I suspected, but here they are. Some obvious, and hopefully at least one unexpected.


Kvothe from Kingkiller Chronicles by Patrick Rothfuss

Seriously, will there be a single list without Kvothe? Do I need to state what an absolutely amazing musician he is? Along with everything else he is super-duper awesome at? He’s Kvothe. He’s amazing-ness is quasi-human/bard form. You know you awesome sauce him.




Seraphina from Seraphina  by Rachel HartmanSeraphinaArt

Seraphina’s musical talent is not just ethereal, it’s also pretty much inhumane. Her half dragon heritage gives her an edge, taking her music to an entirely different level. But, because of this, she has to be careful to hide her musical ability or else people may start to suspect. Quite a challenge to be so good at something you love so much, but feel you need to hold back out of fear.


Rojer from Demon Cycle by Peter V. Brett



** Warning – potential mild spoilers, I can’t remember when these details were introduced in the series **

The Fiddle Wizard, so, he’s not just any musician, but one who can actually control demons with the music he creates. You might think a fiddle sounds lame, but when you can use it to not just keep the demons at bay, but make them fight and destroy each other?? Well, you have to give a whole other level of respect to the bard.




 FlexbyFerrettSteinmetzDeath Metal from Flex by Ferrett Steinmetz

OK, so this is probably not your typical bard or musician choice. But, Death Metal’s magic comes from and revolves around, you guessed it, Death Metal. As the member of a band, music overtook him to where he manifested magical abilities that mirror his obsession.




Marillion from A Song of Ice and Fire by George R. R. Martin

I’m not sure anyone’s opinion of Marillion is higher than his own. And I’m lazy. I’ll just give you a couple of quotes, they’re better than what I could say anyway. 🙂


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21 thoughts on “Tough Traveling – Musicians/Bards”

  1. Marillion… I knew there was a bard in Game of Thrones, but I just couldn’t remember him… and was too lazy to look it up.
    A half-dragon bard… sounds interesting. Is she kind of a human who can turn into a dragon?
    Windsprite recently posted…Tough Travels -BardsMy Profile

  2. Great list! I was surprised that I was actually familiar with all these musicians, though I have to try The Kingkiller Chronicles.

  3. For someone who struggled you did a great job! The Peter Brett books look really interesting and your description of that character made me think of the song “The Devil Went Down to Georgia” which made me smile!
    Stephanie recently posted…Tough Traveling – BardsMy Profile

  4. Yay for Flex. I never would have thought of that. I had Rojer and Kvothe too – it took me a while to come up with the Brett entry though. I knew it was there and it was niggling annoyingly at the back of my mind but I couldn’t unpick it for ages.
    Lynn 😀
    Lynn recently posted…Face off!My Profile

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