[[quoteright:350:[[Pinball/DungeonsAndDragons http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/dungeons-and-dragons-pinball-detail_5848.jpg]] ]]
[[caption-width-right:350:[[BarbarianHero Muscular heroes,]] [[WizardClassic magical wizards,]] [[BreathWeapon fire-breathing]] [[OurDragonsAreDifferent dragons,]] and a little FanService as well.]]

The exploits of mighty-thewed, sword-wielding heroes and their thiefly, wizardly and/or priestly companions, as they [[InHarmsWay spend their days]] smiting evil, fighting monsters, recovering treasures and quaffing ale.

Tends to be distinguishable from HighFantasy by its scale -- the problems are generally those of the hero, not the world -- and moral standards -- [[GreyAndGrayMorality absolute evil and absolute good make fewer appearances]]. Also by its tendency to be an endless series of adventure, partly because the smaller scale makes it more plausible, and partly because the heroes are very prone to love being InHarmsWay. On the other hand, it's distinct from LowFantasy in that explicit magic is much more prevalent (the "sorcery" in "Sword and Sorcery") and, again, it focuses on a hero or adventuring party rather than following kingdoms and societies (except as the hero has an impact on them).

The [[UrExample first story of this type]] is often considered to by Creator/LordDunsany's "The Fortress Unvanquishable, Save for Sacnoth" from 1908, but it is 1929's "[[Literature/{{Kull}} The Shadow Kingdom]]" by Creator/RobertEHoward that is responsible for [[TropeMaker kick-starting the genre proper]]. Howard himself would later go on to [[TropeCodifier codify]] the genre with his Literature/ConanTheBarbarian tales.

Heavily influenced by TheHerosJourney, the [[KingArthur Arthurian]] cycle, the Literature/ConanTheBarbarian stories and movies, the game ''TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragons'', and classical myth.

Sometimes set in a world that looks [[MedievalEuropeanFantasy an awful lot like medieval Europe]], although it can range all the way back to a "forgotten prehistory" such as in ''Literature/ConanTheBarbarian'', or even the "classical" period (ancient Greece, Mesopotamia, etc.), as found in ''Series/XenaWarriorPrincess'' (this variant is sometimes called "SwordAndSandal" and more burly versions are called "ThudAndBlunder"). May involve {{Mythopoeia}}.

Sometimes it can be found in the future, often in AfterTheEnd setting; sometimes it comes close to PlanetaryRomance. Also often features MedievalStasis.

Also known as "Sword and sorcery", a term coined by [[Literature/FafhrdAndTheGrayMouser Fritz Leiber]], one of the genre’s {{Trope Codifier}}s, in reply to a letter by {{Michael Moorcock}}. There is much debate of the definition of these genres; unkind souls have even described Heroic Fantasy as nothing but an upmarket term for Sword and Sorcery.

Good live-action film and television heroic fantasies can be counted on the fingers of one hand (generally starting with the ''Conan the Barbarian'' movie). Dying is easy. Fantasy is hard! On the other hand, roughly half of all [=RPGs=] ever written fall under this genre, if not more.

See also TwoFistedTales, PulpMagazine.

Heroic and epic Fantasy of Chinese cultural origin is known as {{Wuxia}}.

Contrast SwordAndSandals. See also MedievalEuropeanFantasy.

Not to be confused with LowFantasy, which is simply {{Fantasy}} in a down-to-earth setting.

Nor to be confused with {{Demythtification}}, which is {{Mythology}} reimagined as HistoricalFiction.

Perhaps you would be interested in [[SoYouWantTo/WriteAHeroicFantasy writing one yourself?]]
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!!Examples:

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[[folder: Anime & Manga]]
* CrimsonSpell combines Heroic Fantasy with the [[BoysLove Yaoi genre]].
* Arguably ''{{Berserk}}'' goes from LowFantasy to a heroic but [[DarkFantasy dark]] fantasy at the end of the Golden Age arc where all the demons start coming out and become the main source of conflict.
** Or it was Heroic Fantasy all along without the characters noticing. After all [[{{Devil In Plain Sight}} Zodd the Immortal]] didn't exactly keep his existence a secret.
* ''RuneSoldier'' is a comedic Heroic Fantasy spin-off of the high fantasy ''RecordOfLodossWar''.
* ''Manga/FullmetalAlchemist'' started as this, though it quickly veered into HighFantasy territory. The [[Anime/FullmetalAlchemist 2003 anime version]], on the other hand, stuck with Heroic Fantasy.
* ''Anime/SeireiNoMoribito:'' While it later turns out that the fate of the kingdom is at stake, the story follows a lone mercenary on the run, who is trying to hide the prince from assassins send after him by his own father.
* ''TheTowerOfDruaga''
* ''Anime/QueensBlade''. The heroines rarely have magic on their side while the villains do and often the only way to win a fight is through sword battles. While there is a grand plot involving the fate of the land, the heroines are largely unaware of it and just want to fulfill their personal desires.
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[[folder:Comic Books]]
* ''Comicbook/{{Aquaman}}: Sword of Atlantis'' was an attempt to make the titular character's comic this genre.
* ''MouseGuard:'' Heroic fantasy with mice soldiers.
* ''Comicbook/RedSonja.''
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[[folder:Film]]
* ''Series/TheAdventuresOfSinbad''
* ''Film/TheBeastmaster'' (only the movie, not the {{science fiction}} books it was based on.)
* ''Film/ConanTheBarbarian1982'' and ''Film/ConanTheDestroyer''
* ''Film/{{Conquest}}'' mix this with DarkFantasy and {{Horror}}.
* ''Film/ClashOfTheTitans''
* ''Film/PrinceOfPersiaTheSandsOfTime''
* ''Film/{{Highlander}}''
* ''Film/KullTheConqueror''
* ''Film/RedSonja''
* ''[[Franchise/EvilDead Army of Darkness]]'', an AffectionateParody of the genre.
* ''Film/TheSwordAndTheSorcerer''
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[[folder:Literature]]
* Alison Croggon's ''Literature/BooksOfPellinor''
* Lynn Flewelling's ''Literature/{{Nightrunner}}'' series
* Creator/{{David Gemmell}}'s books are a prime example.
* Creator/RobertEHoward's Literature/ConanTheBarbarian, Literature/{{Kull}} and Literature/BranMakMorn. To a large extent Howard invented the modern incarnation of this trope.
* Patrick Rothfuss's ''Literature/TheKingkillerChronicle'' (although the protagonist is leaning toward AntiHero territory and may get worse in the upcoming book 3).
* Norman Spinrad's ''Literature/TheIronDream'' (a {{Deconstruction}} geared towards showing just how screwy the genre's politics can get)
* The [[Literature/TheWarGods Bahzell]] series by Creator/DavidWeber.
* Michael Moorcock's ''Literature/TheElricSaga'' (another {{Deconstruction}}).
* Fritz Leiber's ''Literature/{{Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser}}''
* Karl Edward Wanger's ''Kane.''
* C.L. Moore's ''Literature/JirelOfJoiry'', the first major female character in Heroic Fantasy.
** Her husband Creator/HenryKuttner was no slouch in the genre, with works like ''Elak of Atlantis'', ''Valley of Flame'' and ''The Dark World.''
* Charles R. Saunders's ''Literature/{{Imaro}}''.
* The Literature/BlackCompany series
* ''[[Literature/MalazanBookOfTheFallen The Malazan Book of the Fallen]]'', especially during [[{{BadAss}} Karsa Orlong]]'s storylines.
* Marion Zimmer Bradley's ''Literature/TheMistsOfAvalon'' is either a DarkerAndEdgier or DeconstructedTrope version (or possibly DistaffCounterpart) of the KingArthur story.
* The {{Shadowleague}} trilogy
* ''Literature/TheNightAngelTrilogy'' by Brent Weeks.
* ''Literature/CodexAlera'' (quasi-AncientRome + ElementalPowers).
* Creator/LordDunsany's "The Sword of Welleran" and "The Fortress Unvanquishable, Save for Sacnoth", as well as a few other short stories here and there.
* Everything by Creator/DavidEddings.
* Everything by R. A. Salvatore.
* Tamora Pierce's Literature/{{Tortall Universe}}.
* ''Literature/TheExilesViolin'': A hero armed with mystical weapons that fights a power mad EvilSorcerer doesn't sound like the kind of thing that would happen in a SteamPunk detective story but it happens and checks off the other markers such as personal trouble and grey morality.
* Lynn Abbey's ''Rifkin'' series.
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[[folder:Live Action TV]]
* ''[[HerculesTheLegendaryJourneys Hercules: The Legendary Journeys]]''
* ''Series/{{Roar}}'' (pre-[[KingArthur Arthurian]] British Isles)
* ''[[XenaWarriorPrincess Xena: Warrior Princess]]''
* ''[[LegendoftheSeeker Legend of the Seeker]]''
* ''{{Series/Merlin}}''
* Arguably ''RobinOfSherwood'' what with its use of archetypes and mysticism.
* ''KrodMandoonAndTheFlamingSwordOfFire'' is a parody of the genre.
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[[folder:Pinball]]
* ''Pinball/{{Hercules}},'' not surprisingly, is all about this.
* ''Pinball/{{Gorgar}}''
* ''Pinball/{{Paragon}}''
* The "Barbarian" table of ''VideoGame/BallsOfSteel''
* ''Pinball/{{Varkon}}'' has a shirtless adventurer confronting the monstrous Varkon on the other side of a magic stone gate.
* True to its license, ''Pinball/DungeonsAndDragons'' plays this absolutely straight.
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[[folder:Radio]]
* ''Radio/ElvenQuest'' is a parody.
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[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* ''DungeonsAndDragons''. Though the game system is flexible enough that the enterprising DM can apply it to almost any {{fantasy}} subgenre, as printed it tends toward Heroic Fantasy.
** The ''DarkSun'' setting specifically aims to emulate old pulp stories and is heavily influenced by JohnCarterOfMars, as well as ConanTheBarbarian.
* ''Barbarians of Lemuria'' emulates the whole Sword & Sorcery genre.
* As does ''TabletopGame/OnMightyThews'', which even comes with a list of substitutions to make things more pulpy.
* ''{{Exalted}}'' is what you get when you combine this with the tropes of wuxia, ancient myth, and a dash of shonen anime style to taste.
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[[folder:Video Games]]
* ''Franchise/DragonAge''. While the first game has a "unite the people to fight an army of evil" main plot, the side plots that make up the biggest chunk of the game follow the genre pretty straight. The second game focuses completely on a single protagonist rising in power within the hierarchy of one city, with the main factions being Templar (sword) and Mage (spell).
* ''DemonsSouls''
* ''Sword And Sorcery EP''
* ''VideoGame/GodOfWar'' plays it pretty straight, though starting with the second game the scope of the events becomes considerably bigger, as it grows into a full blown war among the gods.
* ''PrinceOfPersia''
* ''VideoGame/TheReconstruction'' ({{Deconstruction}}, ironically)
* ''VideoGame/FantasyQuest''
* ''TheWitcher:'' A lone monster hunter hunting a sorcerer who stole the alchemical secrets from the witchers.
* ''BarbarianTheUltimateWarrior''
* ''VideoGame/MonsterHunter'' is mostly this as well. The levels of mysticism are very slight (down to the special mode of the Longsword in Tri and its derivatives), but everything else is totally straight: minimal overarching plot, for the most part its just a world where people make a living slaying or capturing giant monsters for the chance at building more weaponry with which to slay or capture tougher giant monsters.
* ''VideoGame/SkiesOfArcadia'' is a {{Reconstruction}} of this setting, with SchizoTech and OceanPunk thrown in for flavour. Much of the world is equivalent to the real world [=15th/16th=] Century, but there's also fantastical creatures, adventurers and explorers, myths, and widespread use of magic and magical weaponry. Not to mention the {{Sky Pirate}}s, of course.
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[[folder:Web Comics]]
* ''Webcomic/OurLittleAdventure'', if you only factor in Julie and her gang's adventures.
* ''Webcomic/MeatShield''.
* ''Webcomic/{{Evon}}''
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[[folder:Western Animation]]
* ''WesternAnimation/FireAndIce''
* ''ThundarrTheBarbarian''
* ''KorgothOfBarbaria'' is either a parody or a humorous straight example, depending on how you see it.
* ''WesternAnimation/AdventureTime''
[[/folder]]

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