Monday, October 17, 2016

Politics in fantasy

Game of Thrones. The Farseer trilogy (Robin Hobb). The Mistborn trilogy (Brandon Sanderson). The Inheritance Trilogy (N.K. Jemisin). 
I could this as a modern palace...

All these books have a power void, a question of regal inheritance and who owns the right to the throne. Something about royalty intrigues us, secret princes and princesses and power struggles being a trope that never actually goes out of fashion. 

Which, from the viewpoint of living in a democracy with no acknowledged aristocracy or royalty, seems a bit strange. I suppose it's not much different from the Billionaire craze: there's that underlying desire to be incredibly wealthy, and incredibly important. And "Who should rule" isn't just limited to kings and queens, but also to political factions--the Rebellion in Star Wars, the Weyr leaders in McCaffrey's books, the rebels in the Hunger Games. 

I guess people just like politics in fantasy. It even shows up in stories I'd call epic fantasy instead of political fantasy. Lord of the Rings has Aragorn. The Belgariad has the rightful ruler Garion. 

Which political plotlines in fantasy stories have you enjoyed the most? What do you love about them?


  1. Brent Weeks is a masterful weaver of complicated plot lines that interweave and eventually converge. I love seeing how all his tangled threads come together.