Friends in Fantasy: Unveiling the 10 Best Fictional Friendships

Explore the top friendships in fantasy literature! Uncover the bonds that define characters in Middle Earth, Hogwarts, and beyond.

Who doesn’t love friendship? Today we’re going to delve into the top-flight friendships in fantastical literature.

So, grab a cuppa, make yourself cosy (preferably with a dragon-sized pile of biscuits) and let’s explore ten of the best mates in fantasy books.

Frodo Baggins & Samwise Gamgee – The Lord of The Rings

Are you really surprised? It’s the fellowship that defines the word itself.

 Here we have Frodo, a hobbit with the weight of the world (or a rather heavy ring) on his shoulders, and Samwise, the gardener turned warrior, who probably didn’t even know what he was signing up for when he eavesdropped on Gandalf that fateful night.

Their friendship is the epitome of loyalty, the kind that lasts through a long, wearisome journey to Mount Doom.

Quite frankly, if your mate isn’t willing to carry you up a volcanic mountain while being hunted by a creepy, ring-obsessed creature, are they really your friend?

Harry Potter & Hermione Granger & Ronald Weasley – Harry Potter Series

It’s the magical trio that faced down You-Know-Who and lived to tell the tale.

Harry, Hermione, and Ron showed us the power of friendship, courage, and the importance of a well-placed “Expelliarmus!”

Sure, there were squabbles, moments of jealousy, and that one time Ron left in a huff (we’re still not over that, Ronald), but in the end, they always stuck together.

They faced trolls, death eaters, and even the occasional murderous teacher, proving that the power of friendship truly can conquer all – even an angst-ridden, snake-loving dark wizard.

 Lyra Belacqua & Pantalaimon – His Dark Materials

A girl and her daemon—Lyra and Pan are not just friends, they’re literally part of each other.

If that’s not a deep bond, I don’t know what is.

Pantalaimon, the shape-shifting animal embodiment of Lyra’s soul, is with her through thick and thin.

Their friendship shows us that sometimes, our best mate is our own true self (or our talking ermine, pine marten, moth, bird, whatever Pan fancies at the moment).

Locke Lamora & Jean Tannen – The Gentleman Bastard Series

A pair of thieves who would willingly die for each other, Locke and Jean are the definition of a bromance.

They lie, cheat, and steal, but they do it with such flair, you can’t help but find yourself cheering them on.

Their bond is as sturdy as Jean’s beloved hatchets and as intricate as one of Locke’s grand schemes.

If your idea of friendship involves elaborate heists, constant banter, and the occasional life-saving, this pair is for you.

Arya Stark & Sandor Clegane – A Song of Ice and Fire

An unconventional friendship, to say the least.

Arya, the fierce Stark girl, and Sandor, the gruff, scarred knight known as ‘The Hound.’

They teach each other lessons of survival and humanity.

Sure, they’re not popping over for tea and scones every Sunday, but they’ve got each other’s backs when it counts.

And really, isn’t that what friendship is all about?

FitzChivalry Farseer & The Fool – The Farseer Trilogy

This is a friendship that transcends the usual boundaries of camaraderie and ventures into the realm of the spiritual.

Fitz, the royal bastard, and The Fool, the court jester with a mysterious past, are as different as night and day, yet their bond is unbreakable.

They journey together through heartbreak, prophecy, and the occasional assassination attempt.

This is a friendship that shows us the power of understanding and acceptance, proving that our differences can often be our greatest strengths.

Vin & Elend Venture – Mistborn Trilogy

Initially, an alliance of convenience between a street thief and a nobleman, Vin and Elend’s relationship soon develops into a deep friendship and later a romantic relationship.

They challenge each other, learn from each other, and ultimately change each other in profound ways.

Their relationship is a testament to the power of trust and mutual respect.

It’s a reminder that sometimes, the most unexpected friendships are the ones that shape us the most.

Kvothe & Auri – The Kingkiller Chronicle

In a world full of magic, mystery, and music, the friendship between Kvothe, the gifted bard, and Auri, the enigmatic girl living beneath the University, stands out.

Their bond is gentle, respectful, and deeply touching.

Kvothe shows kindness and patience towards Auri’s peculiar ways, while Auri provides Kvothe a safe haven from his troubles.

Their friendship serves as a beacon of kindness in a world that often seems dark and unforgiving.

Geralt of Rivia & Dandelion – The Witcher Series

A witcher and a bard—an unlikely, yet captivating pair.

Geralt, the stoic monster-hunter, and Dandelion, the flamboyant troubadour, couldn’t be more different, yet their friendship endures through countless adventures and dangers.

While Geralt saves Dandelion from various physical threats, Dandelion often saves Geralt from his own cynicism, reminding him of the beauty and joy in the world.

Their friendship is a testament to the balance that opposites can bring to each other’s lives.

Sabriel & Mogget – The Old Kingdom Series

Last, but certainly not least, is the curious partnership between Sabriel, the Abhorsen-in-waiting, and Mogget, the mysterious cat-like being.

Their relationship is one of mutual respect and necessity more than affection, but it’s their banter and shared determination that really cement their friendship.

Mogget’s cryptic advice and quick wit often aid Sabriel in her dangerous quest, and while Mogget might not admit it, Sabriel’s steadfast courage and compassion likely save him just as often.

It’s a friendship that shows us sometimes, the best partnerships come from the most unexpected places.

So, whether it’s sharing an adventure, a laugh, or just a really good book, these friendships remind us that even in the midst of dragons, dark lords, or dystopias, having a mate by your side makes it all a bit more bearable.

Remember, a good friend will always pass you the next book in the series. But a best friend will buy you your own copy.

What are your favourite friendships in fantasy? Share yours in the comments.

The Anti-Hero’s Journey: From Ancient Epics to Modern Fantasy

Explore the rise of the anti-hero in fantasy literature, from ancient epics to modern sagas. Understand their appeal, evolution, and profound impact on the genre.

Fantasy literature has long been known for its iconic heroes and valiant champions, but it is the rise of the anti-hero that has reshaped the genre’s landscape.

Anti-heroes, flawed and morally ambiguous protagonists who defy conventional notions of heroism, have emerged as captivating figures who challenge traditional storytelling tropes.

Today, we’ll trace the evolution of anti-heroes in fantasy literature, from their humble beginnings to their modern iterations.

You’ll discover the reasons behind their appeal and the profound impact they’ve had on shaping the genre.

The Roots of the Anti-Hero

The origins of the anti-hero can be found in ancient mythologies and epic poems.

Characters like Achilles from Homer’s “The Iliad” and Beowulf in the eponymous Old English epic displayed traits that blurred the lines between heroism and selfish ambition.

These early examples laid the foundation for the anti-hero archetype, showcasing characters whose actions were driven by personal motivations rather than selfless heroism.

The Influence of Classic Literature

The 19th and early 20th centuries witnessed the emergence of anti-heroes in classic literature.

One notable example is Captain Ahab from Herman Melville’s “Moby-Dick.”

Ahab’s relentless pursuit of the great white whale highlighted his obsession and descent into madness, presenting readers with a complex and morally ambiguous character.

Another significant work that shaped the anti-hero archetype is Fyodor Dostoevsky’s “Crime and Punishment.”

The protagonist, Raskolnikov, commits a heinous crime and grapples with guilt and existential crises throughout the narrative.

Dostoevsky’s exploration of the human psyche and the consequences of immoral actions paved the way for more introspective and psychologically complex anti-heroes.

The Rise of the Modern Anti-Hero

The modern era saw the emergence of anti-heroes who challenged societal norms and traditional notions of heroism.

One groundbreaking work was Michael Moorcock’s “Elric of Melniboné” series, which began in the 1960s.

Elric, a frail and morally conflicted albino sorcerer-king, wielded a malevolent sword and battled against fate. Moorcock’s creation showcased a tragic anti-hero who struggled with his own dark impulses, making him a deeply flawed and captivating protagonist.

Frank Herbert’s “Dune” series, starting in the 1960s, introduced readers to Paul Atreides, a messianic figure whose actions were marked by ambiguity and the complex interplay of power, politics, and destiny.

Paul’s moral dilemmas and his journey from reluctant hero to potential tyrant exemplified the shifting dynamics of the anti-hero archetype.

The Anti-Hero in Contemporary Fantasy

Contemporary fantasy literature has seen a proliferation of anti-heroes who defy expectations and subvert traditional hero tropes.

Authors like George R.R. Martin, with his “A Song of Ice and Fire” series, and Joe Abercrombie, with his “First Law” trilogy, have made notable contributions to the evolution of anti-heroes.

Martin’s characters, such as Tyrion Lannister, Jaime Lannister, and Sandor Clegane, embody complex moralities, demonstrating that heroism and villainy can exist within the same individual.

Abercrombie’s protagonists, like Logen Ninefingers and Glokta, navigate treacherous worlds and struggle with their own demons, challenging readers’ perceptions of heroism and redemption.

The Appeal of the Anti-Hero

The enduring appeal of anti-heroes lies in their relatability and their exploration of moral grey areas.

Their flaws and struggles mirror our own, offering a more nuanced and realistic portrayal of human nature.

Anti-heroes captivate readers with their complexity, as they confront their own dark impulses, face internal conflicts, and grapple with the consequences of their actions.

Anti-heroes also provide a fresh perspective on traditional fantasy narratives.

By subverting established hero tropes, they inject unpredictability and a sense of realism into fantastical worlds, making the stories more engaging and thought-provoking.

The evolution of anti-heroes in fantasy literature has transformed the genre, challenging traditional notions of heroism and morality. From ancient epics to modern sagas, anti-heroes have emerged as captivating and complex figures who reflect the shades of grey in human nature.

By delving into their flaws, struggles, and personal journeys, these protagonists have reshaped the genre’s narrative landscape and deepened our understanding of what it means to be a hero.

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