Top 5 Tuesday – Tropes I Want More Of

October 2, 2018

A weekly meme hosted by Bionic Book Worm where we list 5 books for the given topic. We all love lists, right?

These are tropes that I really enjoy when they are done well, things I often even look for or get excited about. I found I had Tough Traveling features for most of them, so went ahead and linked them so if you want more details or examples for any, feel free to go check them out. Also, I had to change it to a Top 6 because I had one too many and just couldn’t cut any of them. I realized most of them are from A Song of Ice and Fire, and honestly, it would be quite easy to use all examples from that series as it has all of my favorite tropes, but I decided to keep a couple of others in there for a bit of variety.


Girl Dressed as Boy

I don’t know why I love this trope so much, but I do. I guess seeing a woman prove herself as just as capable as men in a male dominant society/role by passing as one herself. Plus, deception can lead to all kinds of fun and potential conflicts, story lines (especially if romance gets thrown into the mix). I mean, what’s not to love about seeing Arya pose as Arry


Forbidden Love

OK, if this one is done well, and doesn’t come across as insta-love, I love it. While Cersei and Jaime are far from my favorite forbidden love couple to route for, they do provide a ton of (some what uncomfortable/cringe-worthy) entertainment

For more examples, check out my Tough Traveling post on Forbidden Love



Yeah, sorry protagonists, but I seem to enjoy you more when you’ve been left all alone in the world and have to fend for yourself. It tends to give more leeway on what a character can do once you get those pesky rule enforcing parental figures that help secure food and shelter out of the way. I mean really, what kind of fun stories would Locke have with his parents keeping him off the streets? Or Kvothe, what would he have accomplished if his parents were still around? Sure, he’d have had lots of good stories of traveling and performing with them, but would that be as fun to read? Sorry guys, you’re probably more interesting sans parents.


For more examples, check out my Tough Traveling post on Orphans



I’m not sure why I find musicians/bards so enjoyable, maybe because they bring something positive to the story outside of just wit or strength. They can help people unite and come together in some way. Or in some cases, their music can serve as a form of magic, like Rojer from the Demon Cycle books. Though not all bards are well loved. There is Marillion who I think united people against him with his songs:

For more examples, check out my Tough Traveling post on Musicians/Bards

Snarky Sidekicks

Who doesn’t love a side of snark with their characters? They do a great job of bringing some levity to what might otherwise be a dark or grim moment, or keep the main character a bit more levelheaded by slamming them with a healthy dose of snark. But really, no matter what reasons I might think up, in reality its the humor they bring that makes me love them (snark is one of my favorite forms of humor after all.

For more examples, check out my Tough Traveling post on Snarky Sidekicks


Yeah, assassins are bad. Whatever. Reading about assassins is amazingly fun though. Something about the level of stealth and quiet deadliness of them, plus the fact that many of them can be easily overlooked gives a sense of real power to them.

Check out my Tough Traveling post for Assassins

What about you? Do you love or hate these tropes? What are your favorites?


  • Alexandra October 2, 2018 at 9:30 am

    Ooo, yes, exactly! Great list, love them all!

  • Bionic Book Worm October 2, 2018 at 9:32 am

    Absolutely snarky sidekicks!! I often find myself getting more attached to the sidekicks than the main characters lol

  • Tammy @ Books, Bones & Buffy October 2, 2018 at 10:12 am

    Love all these tropes as well! I’d add heists as one of my favorites.
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  • Liz Hollendonner October 2, 2018 at 10:51 am

    I love snark in any of the characters. Assassins that are done well, like Nevernight, are amazing to read about! And Alanna made me love Girls dressed like boys. Great list 🙂
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  • Lisa @ waytoofantasy October 2, 2018 at 12:14 pm

    I could definitely get behind some of these! Especially forbidden love! One of my favorites.

  • Loretta @ The Laughing Listener October 2, 2018 at 12:49 pm

    Oh my gosh, I LOVE stories with girls dressed as boys!! There’s always something they manage to do better than the guys and then when their true identity is revealed, it’s so fun to watch the reactions! GIRL POWER ❤️ Also love a good snarky sidekick!!
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  • Maddalena@spaceandsorcery October 2, 2018 at 2:38 pm

    Well, with Arya Stark you get not one, not two but THREE tropes in the same person: she’s a girl masquerading as a boy, she’s an orphan (yes, she still has brothers and sisters around, but her parents are dead and she’s all alone in the world) and – more important – she turned out into a very, very skilled assassin.
    Talk about multi-tasking! 😀 😀 😀
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  • Northwoman October 2, 2018 at 4:39 pm

    Well wow. I never really thought about this but it’s a great list. I am totally on board with the snarky. I’m not sure I have ever read the musician / bard trope, but I have assassins coming out of my ears. Anne – Books of My Heart

  • Sophie October 2, 2018 at 4:56 pm

    Forbidden was on my list too but yes to your snarky sidekick!!!! I love sarcasm and good banter in books. That’s why I loved Miss Fresh from Lifel1k3 so much!

  • Mogsy @ BiblioSanctum October 2, 2018 at 11:50 pm

    I love forbidden love stories…but um, yeah, Jaime and Cersei probably wasn’t what I had in mind, lol!

  • Lynn October 19, 2018 at 12:39 pm

    I love all these tropes. Especially sidekicks who more often than not end up being my favourite characters.
    Lynn 😀

  • Evelina @ AvalinahsBooks October 19, 2018 at 3:57 pm

    But orphan protags seem to be so common! 😀 I can recommend The Breedling and the City in the Garden. It’s got some orphans and it’s fantasy, and I know you like fantasy 🙂

    I can agree about snarky sidekicks for sure though!
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