This is more of a post about reminiscing and how my fantasy perceptions have changed over the year’s. I have been reading fantasy books for a long time. My plan this summer is to engage another series of book along this lines because with all this reading I have been doing for school I want to get back to some reading just for the heck of it. More on this later as I will consider this a major project for the summer along with getting some headway on my non fiction book. That said I was reflecting today on the different characters I have liked and fantasized about being from the time I was a child until the present day.
I first cut my teeth on fantasy books on the Chronicles of Narnia. I think between that at the old sleeping beauty fairy tale type, I began to develop a desire to be the brave hero. The fearless knight or High King Peter. At school I liked playing swords and shield type games with my friends (can you still do that kind of stuff today, if not something is horribly wrong with education) In later years the Lord of the Rings books gave me the concept of a warrior in different forms – archer, ranger or ax man. I also started playing Dungeons and Dragons at the end of this period of my life and the concept of a knight being more than a knight in the Paladin came into my understanding.
It is probably also about this time and so it is with all of us when we start realize that life is more than black and white ethically. There are not always easy answers and in the angst of that we find often turns us to trying out the dark side. I started playing assassins and thieves in D&D and began to develop a taste for adventures that were more than hack the bad guys and plunder the chest. More than fighting, knowledge and skill began to be important to me and as my teenage years continued I began to play a lot of different classes but I shunned fighters. I played elves and other races mostly because they allowed me to be two things at once. A thief that could cast spells a fighter who could cast spells, etc. I developed a taste for unique characters. That was also true for my taste in fantasy literature and movies.
My college years saw me branch out a title more but the real changes came when I returned home from seminary and found myself playing with a group of guys who seemed mostly to be back where I had been many years ago so I filled the gaps with unique stuff like Amok, half-elf archers who knew magic, I would play the halfling (hobbit) characters but make them clerics. In the end I found myself playing clerics and wizards and my fantasy went from unique to being the sage member of the party which is easier to play when you are actually the wise and intelligent player.
As I have aged, the wise wizard who reluctantly leaves the comfort of his studies and research to take on an adventure appeals more and more. To be sure, the wizard is not going to leave his tower if the party doesn’t have at least two fighters, an archer, a thief and a cleric besides himself. Robes make poor armor but the power of a wizard when he gets to a certain point makes him both the heavy artillery in a fight and the problem solver the rest of the time. It just seems to be more me as time goes on. Harry Dresden the wandering wizard in the streets of Chicago is pretty appealing to me as well.
Blessings and Cheers!!!