More Than Magic: The Power of Friendship in Fantasy Tales

Explore the enduring themes of friendship and loyalty in fantasy stories. From inseparable duos to unlikely alliances, discover how these bonds elevate the tale.

Friendship and loyalty—two themes so recurrent in fantasy stories that you might think you’ve stumbled into a daycare rather than a realm fraught with peril, dragons, and morally ambiguous sorcerers.

In a genre that often pivots around quests, battles, and someone’s desperate need to stick a sword into a stone (or another person), the power of friendship is an oddly comforting constant.

Let’s explore, shall we?

The Inseparable Duo: Two Peas in a Deadly Pod

Every hero needs a sidekick, just as every fish needs a bicycle—no, wait, that’s not right. Scratch that.

Whether it’s a warrior and their comedic relief or two mages that complete each other’s spells, the dynamics are tried and tested.

They may bicker like an old married couple, but when push comes to shove (usually off a cliff), they’ve got each other’s backs.

The Unlikely Alliance: Frenemies till the End

Ah, nothing says ‘epic tale’ like an alliance forged out of sheer necessity rather than affection.

You know the type: the honour-bound knight and the rogue thief, the elf and the dwarf, the vegan and the carnivore.

Their loyalty is begrudging at first but give them a couple of near-death experiences, and voilà, best buds—or at least allies who won’t stab each other in the back.

The Brotherhood/Sisterhood: All for One and One for Death

Oh, the sweetness of voluntary kinship!

These groups go beyond the usual duos or trios and evolve into miniature armies of friendship.

Whether it’s a fellowship entrusted with a perilous quest or a band of rebels trying to overthrow a tyrant, their loyalty to the cause—and each other—is the glue that holds the narrative together.

It’s like a group project, but with more danger and fewer PowerPoint slides.

The Pet Companion: Because Who Needs Humans?

Why limit friendships to two-legged creatures?

In fantasy, loyalty often comes on four legs, or wings, or fins, or…you get the point.

These loyal pets and mythical creatures offer unconditional love and a convenient mode of transport.

Not to mention, they usually get the best action scenes.

A toast to the unsung heroes of fantasy lore!

Bonds Forged in Adversity: Trial by Fire, Literally

Nothing solidifies friendship like staring into the eyes of a fire-breathing dragon and deciding, collectively, that today is not a good day to die.

Shared life-threatening experiences have a funny way of deepening bonds.

In fantasy, loyalty is often earned through trials that range from combat to riddles to the always-popular test of eating something utterly disgusting.

Betrayal: The Dark Side of Loyalty

Because what is loyalty without the inevitable stab in the back for dramatic effect?

Betrayal serves as the crucible that tests friendships and, more often than not, makes them stronger.

Unless, of course, you’re the one being betrayed; then you’re probably dead.

But for those who survive, it’s a life lesson gift-wrapped in treachery.

The Best Friendships in Fantasy: A Hall of Fame for the Loyal and the Brave

No fantasy fan’s experience is complete without delving into these iconic partnerships.

They make us laugh, they make us cry, and sometimes, they make us wish for a magical pet. Without further ado, let’s get to it.

Locke and Jean (The Gentlemen Bastard Series)

What do you get when you pair a silver-tongued conman with a hulking bruiser?

The answer is Locke Lamora and Jean Tannen, two inseparable thieves whose friendship survives heists, betrayal, and far too many life-threatening situations.

It’s a bromance for the ages, complete with witty banter, heartfelt moments, and the occasional punch in the face—for old time’s sake.

FitzChivalry and Nighteyes (The Farseer Trilogy)

No list would be complete without the mind-linked duo of FitzChivalry and Nighteyes.

A man and his wolf, sharing not just thoughts but an unbreakable bond that challenges our understanding of friendship itself.

Nighteyes offers a brutal, yet honest, perspective that often saves Fitz from himself.

It’s more than a pet and owner relationship; it’s a soul-deep connection.

Hadrian and Royce (The Riyria Revelations)

Swords and stealth come together in the formidable partnership of Hadrian Blackwater and Royce Melborn.

One’s an optimist with a strong moral code; the other’s a cynical rogue with a penchant for sarcasm.

Together, they form Riyria, a mercenary duo that could either save the world or rob it blind—depending on who hires them first.

Legolas and Gimli (The Lord of the Rings)

Elves and dwarves are supposed to be enemies, but Legolas and Gimli didn’t get that memo.

Their friendship evolves from mutual distrust to counting coup in battle.

They’re the quintessential example of an unlikely friendship that breaks all the racial stereotypes of Middle-earth.

Geralt and Dandelion (The Witcher Series)

A monster-hunter and a bard walk into a bar… and the result is an enduring friendship that survives monsters, political intrigue, and Dandelion’s incessant need to turn everything into a ballad.

A poignant reminder that even the most hardened warriors need a laugh sometimes.

Kvothe and Willem (The Kingkiller Chronicle)

The brilliant but impulsive Kvothe finds a steadying presence in his university friend Willem.

Despite the dangers and darkness that follow Kvothe like a shadow, Willem remains a beacon of loyalty.

Their friendship offers a respite from the chaos, even if it’s only momentary.

Jezal and Logen (The First Law Trilogy)

From disdain to a grudging respect, the friendship between Captain Jezal dan Luthar and Logen Ninefingers is as complex as they come.

They may come from different worlds—one a self-absorbed noble and the other a battle-scarred barbarian—but when their backs are against the wall, they find common ground.

TThese partnerships remind us that even in worlds filled with magic, mythical beasts, and malevolent forces, it’s the human (or wolfish, or elven, or dwarven) connections that truly make a story unforgettable.

Unsung Heroes: The Sidekicks of Famous Rogues in Fantasy

Delve into fantasy’s unsung sidekicks, pivotal to every rogue’s journey, offering a blend of conscience, comic relief, and courage in the shadows.

In the dappled shadows of fantasy literature where the roguish anti-heroes revel in their morally ambiguous glory, there scuttles a far less celebrated caste—the sidekick.

These often overlooked stalwarts of story are the wind beneath the rogues’ proverbially dubious wings, providing comic relief, moral compasses, or even a well-timed kidney punch just as the tavern brawl turns sour.

Let’s hoist these unsung heroes from the footnotes to the marquee, shall we?

After all, behind every great rogue is a sidekick rolling their eyes.

The Sane to Their Insane

Firstly, spare a thought for the long-suffering sidekick who plays the straight man to the rogue’s maverick.

They are the ones holding the horse, picking up the tab, and generally ensuring that the rogue doesn’t end up in a gibbet before the story’s end.

They provide a sense of normalcy and, dare we say, sanity in a life otherwise beset by the rogue’s penchant for chaos.

The Conscience in the Shadows

For every rogue with a heart of gold (or at least, brass), there’s a sidekick whispering morally sound advice into their ear, often ignored but indispensable.

They are Jiminy Cricket in leather boots, the ones tugging at the rogue’s sleeve, reminding them of the ‘right thing to do’ amidst the seductive call of treasure chests and ill-advised seductions.

The Butt of All Jokes

Without the trusty sidekick, who would suffer the indignity of pratfalls, misfired spells, or the classic accidental ingestion of a love potion?

They endure it all with a grin (or a grimace), knowing their suffering is for the greater comedic good.

The Unexpected Hero

When push comes to shove (often off a perilous cliff), it’s sometimes the sidekick who saves the day.

They’re the unexpected heroes, the ones pulling the rogue’s backside out of the proverbial and literal fire, only to fade into the background once the applause rolls in.

The Loyalty Behind the Legend

A rogue’s loyalty is often questionable at best, but their sidekick’s fidelity is as steadfast as a monk’s vow of silence.

Whether it’s a matter of debt, honour, or the rarest kind of friendship, these sidekicks stick around through thick and thin.

They’re the Samwise to your Frodo, if Frodo regularly nicked the silverware.

The Mirror to Their Madness

The sidekick often serves as a reflection of the rogue, highlighting their virtues and vices with stark clarity.

Without these trusty companions, the rogue’s dazzling brilliance might just be a tad too blinding.

The sidekick grounds them, reminding us that even the most maverick of heroes needs a helping hand—or at least someone to groan at their puns.

The Harbingers of Growth

Let’s not forget, the sidekick is often crucial to the rogue’s character arc.

It is their influence, their challenges, and their unwavering belief that spur the rogue towards personal growth.

They are the catalysts for change, the unsung therapists guiding our anti-heroes towards a semblance of personal development.

The Best Fantasy Rogues’ Sidekicks

It’s time to shine a well-deserved spotlight on the best of the best—the stalwart companions of some of fantasy’s most beloved rogues.

These are the sidekicks who’ve saved skins, shared burdens, and stood by their partners in crime through thick and thin.

Royce Melborn – The Shadowy Counterpart in Riyria

Royce Melborn of “The Riyria Revelations” is half of the most notorious pair of thieves across the land of Elan.

If Hadrian is the brawn, Royce is the shadow—slipping through darkness, a whisper that spells death for the unsuspecting.

But more than just a lethal blade in the dark, he’s a true companion to Hadrian.

Their banter is the stuff of legend, and his loyalty—once earned—is as solid as the steel he wields.

Jean Tannen – The Gentle Giant of Camorr

In Scott Lynch’s “The Lies of Locke Lamora,” Jean Tannen is the rock to Locke’s hard place.

This bespectacled bruiser can crunch skulls as easily as he can recite poetry.

But Jean’s more than just muscle; his heart and his steadfastness often serve as the moral compass for the Gentleman Bastards, especially when Locke’s schemes spiral out of control—which is always.

Nighteyes – The Furred Philosopher and Companion

Nighteyes from Robin Hobb’s “Farseer Trilogy” redefines what it means to be a sidekick.

As a wolf bonded to Fitz, Nighteyes is more than a pet; he’s a brother, confidant, and comrade.

This four-legged philosopher brings wisdom, wit, and an unwavering loyalty to the table, showing that sometimes the best friends come with fur and fangs.

Azoth – The Apprentice to a Master Assassin in “The Night Angel Trilogy”

The transformation of Azoth into Kylar Stern in Brent Weeks’ “The Night Angel Trilogy” sees him as a sidekick to the master assassin, Durzo Blint.

Azoth’s loyalty and his journey from street rat to skilled killer is a poignant representation of the sidekick as both student and eventual hero in his own right.

His moral compass remains intact, often leading him to question the darker paths they tread.

Wayne – The Eccentric Sidekick in the Mistborn Era 2

Wayne from Brandon Sanderson‘s “Mistborn” series is a master of accents, disguises, and the fine art of “borrowing.”

As Waxillium Ladrian’s partner, Wayne is equal parts infuriating and indispensable.

With a penchant for mischief and a unique sense of justice, he provides not only comic relief but also a reminder that even the most solemn moments can benefit from a touch of the absurd.

So, let us raise a tankard to these paragons of patience, these models of loyalty—the sidekicks of fantasy’s most famous rogues.

May their wit be as quick as their reflexes, and may their rogues’ fortunes be enough to at least keep them in decent boots.

And remember, behind every rogue’s triumphant smirk, there’s a sidekick, probably muttering, “I told you so.”

Decoding the Moral Ambiguity in Robin Hobb’s Farseer Series

Explore the moral ambiguity and complex relationships in Robin Hobb’s Farseer series. Delve into themes of loyalty, power, and personal morality in a world of political intrigue and dangerous power dynamics.

Robin Hobb’s Farseer series has captured the hearts and minds of avid fantasy readers for years and inspired me to become a fantasy writer.

At the centre of the series is FitzChivalry Farseer, a complex and morally ambiguous character who navigates a world of political intrigue, magical powers, and deep emotional bonds.

In this blog post, you’ll discover some of the key themes, events, and relationships that form the core of FitzChivalry’s story, with a particular focus on Molly, Chade, Nighteyes, The Fool, and Burrich.

The Assassin’s Burden: Moral Implications of Serving the Royal Family

One of the central aspects of FitzChivalry’s life is his role as an assassin in service to the Farseer family.

This duty, which he takes on at a young age, brings with it a heavy burden of moral implications that impact his relationships and personal growth throughout the series.

As an assassin, FitzChivalry is often called upon to carry out orders that require him to take the lives of others.

This raises the question of whether assassination can ever be morally justified.

FitzChivalry struggles with this dilemma, as he is forced to weigh the potential benefits of his actions against the inherent immorality of taking a life.

One argument in favour of assassination in this context is that it serves the greater good.

By eliminating threats to the Farseer family and the stability of the Six Duchies, FitzChivalry’s actions can be seen as a necessary evil to maintain peace and order.

However, this utilitarian perspective is complicated by the fact that FitzChivalry is often asked to kill individuals whose guilt or danger may not be entirely clear.

The Impact on Personal Morality

The act of taking a life can have profound effects on an individual’s sense of self and moral compass.

FitzChivalry’s role as an assassin often leads him to question his own morality and the person he is becoming as a result of his actions.

FitzChivalry’s struggle is further compounded by the fact that he is not only an assassin but also a member of the royal family (albeit as a royal bastard)..

This dual identity forces him to navigate the complicated dynamics of power, loyalty, and responsibility, as he is both a protector and an enforcer of the Farseer family’s interests.

The Role of Deception and Secrecy

Of course, the role of an assassin also involves deception and secrecy.

FitzChivalry must maintain a hidden aspect of his identity, even from those closest to him, which can create emotional distance and strain his relationships.

This secrecy also leads to a larger question of trust and the ethics of deception. As an assassin,

FitzChivalry must often deceive others—even his loved ones—to fulfill his duties.

This deception raises questions about the moral implications of lying to protect oneself or one’s family, and the toll it can take on personal relationships.

The Virtue of Loyalty

Loyalty is a central theme in the Farseer series, and FitzChivalry’s unwavering devotion to the royal family is one of his defining characteristics.

However, this loyalty also brings with it a moral dilemma: at what point does loyalty to one’s family or ruler supersede one’s own sense of right and wrong?

FitzChivalry’s role as an assassin forces him to confront this question repeatedly, as he must choose between his duty to the Farseer family and his personal moral convictions.

This struggle highlights the complexity of loyalty as a virtue and the potential moral pitfalls of blind devotion.

A Labyrinth of Loyalties: FitzChivalry’s Relationships


Molly is FitzChivalry’s first love, and their relationship is a central theme throughout the series.

She represents a sense of normalcy and stability that FitzChivalry yearns for, but their love is ultimately a tragic one.

The demands of FitzChivalry’s loyalty to the Farseer throne and his dangerous missions often put his relationship with Molly at risk.

This tension forces FitzChivalry to confront the question of whether he can have both a life of duty and a fulfilling personal life.


Chade, FitzChivalry’s mentor and fellow assassin, represents the darker side of FitzChivalry’s life. Their relationship is built on trust and loyalty, but also secrecy and deception.

Chade’s influence on FitzChivalry often pushes him to make morally ambiguous decisions, even when it comes at a great personal cost.

The bond between Chade and FitzChivalry highlights the struggle between duty and morality that lies at the core of the series.


Nighteyes, FitzChivalry’s wolf companion, is arguably one of the most important relationships in the series (and, it must be said, a personal favourite)..

Their bond, formed through the magical Wit, transcends the human-animal divide and allows them to share thoughts and emotions.

 Nighteyes provides FitzChivalry with a sense of belonging and companionship that he often lacks in his human relationships.

Moreover, Nighteyes’ animal nature forces FitzChivalry to confront his own instincts and desires, blurring the line between human and animal, and raising questions about the nature of morality and identity.

The Fool

The Fool is an enigmatic figure who accompanies FitzChivalry throughout the series, acting as a friend, advisor, and at times, a catalyst for change.

The Fool’s prophetic abilities and connection to a larger cosmic narrative force FitzChivalry to question the significance of his actions and the impact they may have on the world.

Their relationship is marked by affection and trust, but also a sense of uncertainty and mystery.

The Fool’s presence in FitzChivalry’s life serves as a constant reminder of the complexity and ambiguity of the world he inhabits.


Burrich is FitzChivalry’s father figure and early mentor, who provides him with a strict moral compass.

The relationship between FitzChivalry and Burrich is fraught with tension and mutual respect.

Burrich’s unwavering loyalty to the Farseer family and his disapproval of FitzChivalry’s use of the Wit create a rift between them that deepens over time.

This conflict forces FitzChivalry to confront the difficult question of whether his loyalty to his family should supersede his own moral beliefs.

The Moral Maze: Themes and Dilemmas

FitzChivalry’s relationships and the events that unfold throughout the series force him to grapple with several key moral dilemmas.

These include:

  • The tension between loyalty to family and duty versus personal desires and morality.
  • The nature of identity and the extent to which one’s actions define who they are.
  • The consequences of power and the moral responsibility that comes with wielding it.

Through these dilemmas, Robin Hobb’s Farseer series presents a rich tapestry of moral ambiguity that challenges both FitzChivalry and the reader to navigate a complex world of love, loyalty, and sacrifice.

Robin Hobb’s Farseer series presents a compelling exploration of the moral implications of serving as an assassin for the royal family.

Through FitzChivalry Farseer’s experiences and relationships, the series delves into the complex moral dilemmas faced by an individual tasked with balancing duty, loyalty, and personal morality in a world of political intrigue, deception, and dangerous power dynamics.

By doing so, the series challenges readers to consider the moral boundaries of loyalty and the true cost of serving a higher power.