Fantasy fiction is a beloved genre that is known for its rich and diverse worlds, as well as its use of familiar tropes and conventions.
However, some of these tropes have been used so frequently that they have become overused and even clichéd.
Here are ten of the most overused tropes in fantasy fiction:
1. The Chosen One.
A character who is chosen by fate or prophecy to save the world or fulfill a special destiny. While this trope can be used to add depth and meaning to a story, it can also be a crutch that is used to excuse poor character development.
2. The Magic Sword.
A powerful weapon that is often imbued with magic and is vital to the quest or the hero’s journey. This trope can make the protagonist feel overpowered and unrelatable.
3. The Dark Lord.
An evil and powerful antagonist who seeks to destroy the world or conquer it. This trope is often used as a lazy way to create conflict and can make the story feel predictable and formulaic.
4. The Wise Old Mentor.
An experienced and wise character who guides and advises the protagonist on their quest. This trope can be used to provide valuable information and backstory, but it can also be used to avoid self-discovery.
5. The Damsel in Distress.
A female character who is kidnapped or imprisoned and needs to be rescued by the protagonist. This trope is often used to create conflict and tension, but it objectifies and stereotypes female characters.
6. The Orphan Hero.
A protagonist who is an orphan and is on a journey to discover their true identity and place in the world. This trope is often used to create sympathy for the character, but it can also make for a formulaic plot.
7. The Love Triangle.
A romantic conflict between three characters, often involving the protagonist and two potential love interests. This trope is often used to create tension, but it can also be used as a cheap way to create drama and can make the story feel contrived and unrealistic.
8. The Horde of Mooks.
A group of weak and disposable minions or enemies who are easily defeated by the protagonist. This trope is often used to create a sense of danger, but it can also be used as a lazy way to create conflict and can make the story feel unrealistic and implausible.
9. The Big Damn Heroes.
A group of powerful and skilled characters who arrive to save the day in a dramatic and climactic moment. This trope is often used to create a sense of excitement and action, but it can take agency away from the protagonist.
10. The Deus ex Machina.
A sudden and unexpected event that resolves a seemingly impossible situation, often involving a supernatural intervention. This trope is often used as a cheap way to create a resolution.
While these tropes can be used effectively, it’s important to be aware of their overuse and to use them in new and interesting ways.
Subverting these tropes or using them in unexpected ways can add depth and meaning to a story, making it feel more original and engaging for readers.