Why I Read Fantasy (and Why You Should Too)

The Lord of the Rings
“Since it is so likely children will meet cruel enemies, let them at least have heard of brave knights 
and heroic courage.” ~C.S. Lewis 

I have had it up to here (mentally hold hand at a high point in the air) with people bashing fantasy.

“Fantasy is for children”

“Fantasy is unrealistic”.

“Fantasy is just bad literature.”

One itty-bitty problem with these remarks. They’re wrong.

As a hard-core fan of such epic tales as Harry Potter and The Lord of the Rings, I die a little bit inside every time I hear these statements regurgitated from the throat of society.

I am writing now to defend these stories. I’ll lay it out here plain and simple – I love fantasy. I LOVE it. I am a fan of magic, I am a fan of lightsaber action, I am a fan of Narnia and Hogwarts and Middle-Earth.

I recently watched the LOTR this weekend. (Before I go any further, make a mental note: If you are one of the few rather unfortunate souls that has not yet seen these movies, drop everything you’re doing right now and go get them. This is important.)

Continuing on. So I was watching the LOTR when I realized something. Maybe it was because of the chill I got during the Warg Rider battle in the Fellowship of the Ring when Legolas shoots the first arrow. Maybe it was the cheering and hollering and jump-out-of-your-seat raw excitement when Gandalf rides out with Eomer at the Battle of Helm’s Deep in The Two Towers – those three minutes of pure freaking awesomeness that give me goosebumps just thinking about it. Maybe it was Aragorn’s speech at The Black Gate, or maybe it was the tears streaking down my face at the end of Return of the King when Frodo boards the ship to The Undying Lands and disappears beyond the horizon.

That was when I realized that fantasy is important. There is something about these stories that stay with us. We carry them around for a reason.

As children, we do not ask for the pretty stories. We do not want to hear about the nice stories. We want to hear about the monsters and the goblins and the bad guys and the sword battles and the time evil almost won before the heroes rode in and saved the day.

And this is important. It is important because these things are real.

So give me fantasy. Give me magic and spells and dragons. Give me a world that almost goes dark. Give me a speech that lifts my spirits. Give me a hero that gives me hope. Give me a story. A rich, deep, powerful, full-blown story.

Because this world is full of stories, and I believe that it is very much worth our time to seek out the best ones.

~ Natalie

 

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2 thoughts on “Why I Read Fantasy (and Why You Should Too)

  1. C.S. Lewis said it best: “When I became a man I put away childish things, including the fear of childishness and the desire to be very grown up.”

    I will be a fan of fantasy for life, and I know I’ll always be in good company with Tolkien, Lewis, and Rowling.

    1. Awesome quote! C.S. Lewis is one very remarkable man – and yes, you are indeed in fantastic company among those authors. In my opinion, fantasy teaches us more about reality than any other genre. It’s a shame more people don’t realize that. Thanks for commenting!

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