MedievalPrehistory Medieval Prehistory YKTTW Discussion

Medieval Prehistory
Pre-industrial humans in a vaguely prehistoric world
Needs Examples Tropeworthy? Already have? Better Name
(permanent link) added: 2013-08-31 13:27:48 sponsor: VincentQuill edited by: vincentquill (last reply: 2013-10-10 17:53:37)

Add Tag:
Prehistory is full of creatures that could pass for fantastic; mammoths, sabre-toothed cats, dinosaurs and millions of others. The problem is, you might think of prehistoric human society as boring. The solution? Medieval Prehistory.

Medieval prehistory involves vaguely prehistoric plant and animal life, or climate and environmental conditions, with knights, castles, and princesses coexisting. Doesn't necessarily have to be set in Medieval Europe or a Fantasy Counterpart Culture to it, but it does have to involve a pre-industrial society. So Ancient Grome and Ancient Africa or even Mayincatec etc. are permitted. Stone Punk which usually involves a more modern-type society, is an entirely different trope.

Subtrope of Anachronism Stew (though usually technically does not fit under that heading due to being set in a secondary universe) and often Alternate History or Historical Fantasy, usually based on the premise that the asteroid did not wipe out the dinosaurs or that somehow other wildlife managed to survive up until the medieval era or something involving Time Travel. Don't expect the wildlife to live in the areas they did in reality.

Related to Dinosaurs Are Dragons and often overlaps with Fantasy Kitchen Sink. Not to be confused with One Million B.C., which involves stereotypical stone-age 'cavemen' living alongside creatures such as dinosaurs, or Prehistoria, its video game equivalent. Can contain elements of The Dark Times and The Time of Myths, or Ambiguous Time Period.


Comic Books


  • A Song of Ice and Fire
  • A small element of The Lord of the Rings uses this. The Drśedain west of Gondor differ greatly from the normal humans, and even from the nonhuman races, and it has been suggested that they are actually Neanderthals. Though not explicitly so, creatures like the Mūmakil and Wargs could be seen as exaggerations of mastodons and dire wolves respectively. Justified as according to Word of God it is set in the Time of Myths in the distant past of earth.
  • The Garrett, P.I. novels, gumshoe-style mysteries set in a fantasy-world city, count both dinosaurs (thunder lizards) and assorted Pleistocene mammals among their Verse's typical fauna.
  • A few times in The Elenium, the villains use time portals to make enemies from the prehistoric past attack the protagonists. These include a Tyrannosaurus rex and a hoard of "dawn men" (the common ancestor of humans and trolls in this 'verse).
  • The Conan the Barbarian franchise counts as an example, being set in a prehistoric ater-earth.
  • Similarly Lyonesse and its sequel Green Pearl take place in a pre-Migration Period world with fantasy elements and a vaguely medieval culture.

Tabletop Games
  • Dungeons & Dragons has stats for dinosaurs, dire wolves (among other "dire" beasts), mastodons, and megalodons. Plus several others. Though whether or not they're actually part of the setting depends on the campaign.
  • The Hollow World facet of the Mystara D&D setting is home to several classical- or Dark Ages-era civilizations, existing alongside vast tracts of dinosaur-populated wilderness.

Video Games
  • Skyrim has sabre-toothed cats and mammoths as well as vaguely medieval humans.
  • World of Warcraft is a Fantasy Kitchen Sink setting with many medieval and Tolkienesque elements. Many creatures resemble or are directly based on prehistoric animals: there are raptors, sabretooth cats, woolly rhinos and mammoths; the kodo beast resembles a brontothere and the plainstrider look like a terror bird. Also, there is Un'Goro crater, a Lost World filled with pterosaurs, stegosaurs and Devilsaurs (which are, essentially, Tyrannosaurus rex).
  • Age of Conan has mammoths and wooly rhinos along with civilized humans. It takes place in the Hyborian Age.

Web Comics
Replies: 49