Ambling through my A-Z of fantasy series, we come now to the letter ‘G’… which stands for several key fantasy elements — especially GRASSLAND.
Grassland – A large open area of country covered with grass, especially one used for grazing.
meadow – pasture – grass – pasturage – mead – prairie
Lots of fantasy novels take place on grasslands, otherwise often referred to as plains. The one that sticks most in my memory (and it’s actually SF) is Jaran and its sequels by Kate Elliott (and stupidly I can’t think of any others just at the moment! Except for the fairly well-known Grass by Sherri S. Tepper, although I haven’t actually read this.). I’m also rather partial to writing about grasslands myself ~ heh.
Natural grasslands are regions of low rainfall where the dominant vegetation comprises many different kinds of long or short grasses. There may be some trees (savannah), and there are usually many different kinds of wildlife. They are rather likely to go hand in hand with horses…
Other important G words in fantasy are:
- Gods and Goddesses — Just about every fantasy novel you’ll ever read (but admittedly not all) features a unique GOD or GODDESS or pantheon of said deities playing a key role in defining the cultural identity of the characters. Sometimes the goddesses/gods are personified as individual characters (Eddings, Jemisin, Fallon have all done this), other times they are aloof and symbolic (as in Guy Gavriel Kay’s Lions of Al-Rassan and many others).
- Guards — Often faceless, GUARDS are the ubiquitous law-keepers and soldiers, usually attached to whatever ruling entity is in power.
- Guilds — A fantasy trope bordering on cliche, GUILDS are most often the province of thieves or artisans.
- Giants, gnomes and goblins — High fantasy creatures that don’t seem to appear much in modern fantasy, but are prevalent in Tolkien and its imitators (and old faerie tales)… and Harry Potter.
- Griffin — Another mythological creature with the head of an eagle and the body of a lion.
And then there’s
Good – That which is morally right; righteousness. (Traditionally the opposite of ‘evil’.)
As far as characters go, I can’t go past the lovable-yet-inept GERADEN from Stephen Donaldson’s Mordant’s Need duology, and the ‘pawn of prophecy’ himself GARION from David Eddings’ Belgariad and Mallorean series.
As for books, there is of course the popular Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin (although I will point out that 1. it’s only the name of the first book and 2. I haven’t actually read it…).
And authors? Alison GOODMAN is an author I like and Neil GAIMAN is an author whose work I haven’t read, but probably should ~ heh.
So that’s a wrap for ‘G’. Let me know if there are some obvious fantasy G topics I’ve missed — I daresay there are many!