Literature / Three Hearts and Three Lions
Three Hearts And Three Lions
is a fantasy novel by Poul Anderson
published in 1961, expanded from a 1953 novella by Anderson which appeared in Fantasy & Science Fiction.
During World War II
, Holgar Carlsen is in Denmark, part of La Résistance
. Except that at one crucial moment, he finds himself transported to a fantasy world, where the Matter of France from Chivalric Romance
, Charlemagne and his paladins, is true. And that he has some sort of connection with this world that he can not remember. He has a pile of armor, and a steed, waiting for him.
A major influence on Dungeons & Dragons
wrote a pun-filled Filk
version of the novel, with Poul's approval.
Tropes found in this work
- All Trolls Are Different: Three Hearts and Three Lions is, if not the source of the regenerating troll concept, at least one of the earliest known examples.
- Animated Armor: Guarding the passes into fairyland.
- Badass Bookworm: Holger, in both worlds.
- Chaos Is Evil: The forces of evil are called Chaos; those of good, Order.
- Chick Magnet: Holger, to his surprise. Apparently he never got that lucky back home.
- Chosen One: Martinus hypothesizes that Holger is this.
- Crush Blush: While dealing with a forward fairy.
- Curse: Mother Gerd tried one, in the backstory.
- Deal with the Devil: It's implied that Morgan le Fay has done this, even going so far as to help teach some local barbarians demon worship, the Black Mass complete with sacrificing infants, and cannibalism.
- Demoted Memories: Engineering student Holger Dansk is troubled by odd memories and half-recalled dreams of another place. It takes a near-Death experience when fighting for the Danish Resistance to trigger the truth: he is really the Danish take on King Arthur, recalled to life in a strange otherworld to fight for the soul of his country against alien invasion.
- Doorstop Baby: Holger again. Also Alianora.
- Faeries Don't Believe in Humans Either: In the fantasy world Holger is transported to, the characters of the Matter of France are historical, but figures like Julius Caesar and Napoleon are legendary.
- The Fair Folk: Complete with the allergy to cold iron and holy names.
- Fire Keeps It Dead: Holger and friends are fighting a troll, which keeps regenerating until they finally figure out to burn the bits they chop off. This book is the reason it works that way in D&D.
- Human Sacrifice: To a nixie, and in a desecrated church.
- Inept Mage: Mother Gerd.
- Kill It with Fire: Perhaps the Trope Maker for trolls' vulnerability to fire.
- Knight in Shining Armor: The paladins.
- "Leave Your Quest" Test: Morgan Le Fay appeals to him, more than once.
- Love Triangle: Resolved fairly quickly.
- Nice to the Waiter: Alianora rescues Hugi.
- The Nose Knows: Hugi.
- Obliviously Evil: The nixie.
- Order vs. Chaos: A Trope Codifier.
- Our Dwarves Are All the Same: In fact, this may have been the first work to give dwarves the now iconic thick Scottish accent◊...
- Our Souls Are Different: Not all of us have got them.
- The Paladin: The paladins of this work are where the original inspiration for the Paladin class from Dungeons & Dragons came from.
- Raised by Wolves: Or rather, by dwarves.
- Send Me Back: Holger is suddenly switched out from the climactic battle against evil back to our Earth, where he appears in the middle of a firefight with Nazis. It's suggested that the battles are connected, and that good triumphed back in the alternate reality, but Holger would like to know for sure.
- Shapeshifting Lover: Alianora.
- Summoning Ritual: Mother Gerd says she summoned a sprite.
- Swans A-Swimming: Alianora is a swanmay.
- Taken for Granite: The Giant.
- Unicorn: Alianora has one for a while. It finally decamps when Morgan le Fay pays the companions a visit pushing its already sorely tried sensibilities to the breaking point.
- Wicked Witch: Mother Gerd.
- Year Outside, Hour Inside: The elf hill.