Main High Fantasy Discussion

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11:12:57 PM Mar 16th 2013
edited by telmesrin
Absolutely, completely wrong

This entire thing is completely nonsense. "High fantasy" refers to a setting in which only the elite have magic/power. "Low fantasy" refers to a setting where everyone has magic/power. Middle fantasy, obviously, is where it falls in between. Allow me to explain why the current asinine definition is worthless.

Consider Xanth. Xanth is unabashedly based on Florida, and is a world where everybody has magical abilities. By both the correct and the stupid definitions, this is low fantasy. But there is absolutely no reason why this needs to be the case. Xanth could just as easily have been based in a theoretical world that happens to have a large peninsula, and there would be no difference at all in the stories. By the stupid definition, this would mysteriously become high fantasy, a distinction which therefore would be absolutely worthless.

Similarly, consider the Lord of the Rings, which is often considered the epitome of high fantasy. Unfortunately, Middle Earth is England. (Valinor is the Isle of Wight.) Stupid people might never have realized that, but no proper Englishman would write about anything else. So by this retarded definition, Lot R is low fantasy, while by the proper definition, it is high fantasy. Again, arbitrarily changing this setting in insignificant ways would change the distinction. In what fucking way does that make any sense?

Now consider fantasy role playing. If you have a gaming session, and you say, "This is high fantasy" it should tell your players that magic is rare and special, and they shouldn't expect to find magic items in every dungeon and village they encounter. Likewise, if you specify that it is low fantasy, they know that magic is easy to find, and they shouldn't be surprised if the random farmhand they encounter has some magical ability. This is a useful thing to understand, and has a consistent and meaningful definition across settings.

I hope you will all consider this, and pull your collective heads out of your asses.

12:37:30 AM Mar 17th 2013
edited by LordGro
It's a wiki. You always could edit it yourself. For how to redefine tropes, see How To Fix A Trope.

However, I dare say you just aren't the type of contributor the wiki looks for.
01:43:23 AM Mar 17th 2013
The changes they propose are ones that would require TRS, and they go against the definitions I at least have heard (well, perhaps they link in with the idea of low fantasy being more mundane because magic can be used for common things); convincing people — especially with such an angry tone — will be very hard.
03:35:41 PM Mar 17th 2013
I apologize for my rude tone previously. However, simply changing a large, incorrect trope without discussion first is not appropriate, which is why I brought it up here for people to discuss. Consider the list of settings and how many of them just seem wrong by the current definition, and see how many would make far more sense using my definition. I think you'll agree that this change needs to be made.
06:46:28 PM Mar 5th 2014
edited by
I know it's been a while, but I'm just chiming in to say I have absolutely no idea where the OP's definition of "High Fantasy" comes from, and I've been voraciously reading every fantasy I could get my hands on for nearly fifteen years. I've always understood "High Fantasy" to be primarily a case of scope, themes, and tone, not magic level, which seems an arbitrary distinction. By the OP's definition, freakin' Wheel of Time, one of the textbook High Fantasies, a sweeping (perhaps too sweeping) epic about prophecy, legends, and saving the world from an evil god, wouldn't count, since its magic is decently widespread and only gets more common as the series goes on, while The Lies of Locke Lamora (a dark, gritty story about a gang of morally-ambiguous thieves who get caught up in an underworld revenge plot in one city) would, because magic is rare and tightly controlled by a small elite group. That is utterly at odds with any understanding of "High Fantasy" that I've ever run into anywhere else on the 'net or in real life.

This entire discussion thread just seems bizarre to me, and I had to say my piece.
04:29:51 AM Feb 8th 2016
edited by DaibhidC
For the record, the Encyclopedia of Fantasy agrees with the TV Tropes definition:

Fantasies set in Otherworlds, specifically Secondary Worlds, and which deal with matters affecting the destiny of those worlds. [JC]
06:50:11 PM Jan 8th 2013
edited by jatay3
Is Watership Down High Fantasy? The only thing fantastic about them is that it has rabbits with the brains of humans. Even then they mostly act like rabbits; their reasoning power is simply applied to rabbit life. And nothing of world-wide importance happens.
06:34:14 AM Feb 8th 2016
I've heard Watership Down described as "Animal Fantasy", which I think is a useful descriptor, although as of now the wiki does not know it.

But Watership Down is not listed on this page, is it? Does anybody claim it is High Fantasy at all?
12:32:48 PM Aug 22nd 2012
edited by Halcyon_Serenade
The picture links to Dungeons and Dragons, but the series actually depicted is the Dragonlance Chronicles. Technically, the Dragonlance setting was originally intended for Dungeons and Dragons, but has since branched into very much its own, separate universe (read the TV Tropes page, it's correct as far as my own knowledge goes). The characters in the picture are most definitely from the Dragonlance series (their designs are almost exactly what is shown on the novels' cover arts, and might actually have been drawn by one of the many cover artists, but I'd have to double check the illustrators to be sure), not just random Dungeons and Dragons characters, so I think the link should either be changed to the proper series, the picture should be changed to match the link, or, at the very least, a note caption below the image stating that the picture is specific to Dragonlance, not a Dungeons and Dragons stock image. And.... I don't know how to add text beneath the pictures, or I would've done it myself -_-
12:40:18 PM Aug 22nd 2012
edited by TwoGunAngel
Relinked the pic to Literature.Dragonlance. Dungeons & Dragons in general is more Heroic Fantasy than High Fantasy anyway, even though Dragonlance was originally a D&D setting.
05:16:30 PM Dec 10th 2010
What's with the discussion of Low Fantasy? It uses a completely different definition of Low Fantasy than the normal one. It should be changed entirely, I feel, to accurately reflect the definition of Low Fantasy. (Namely, a general lack of magic/fantastical elements, a la Song of Ice and Fire.)

03:47:56 PM Jun 8th 2010
To be honest: i never heard a definition for High Fantasy like that. High Fantasy is either a extremely well built world, with an epic plot, sometimes it's just a world with wierd largescale magics, and dozens of distinctive creatures. An example of the first would be Lord of the Rings (well crafted, deep world) opposed to Forgotten Realms (made up on the go, if an author needs something its just inserted somewhere, no logic behind the world). An example for the second would be Planescape (wierd and wierder creatures, magical contraptions of every sort) opposed to more "realistic" settings like the World of Darkness (sure, there are supernatural beeings, but on the surface it's just a grimdark version of reality. It's seldom that i.e. the earth grows teeth and swallows people.
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