“Tough Traveling” is a weekly Thursday feature created by Nathan at Review Barn where participants make a new list each week based on The Tough Guide to Fantasyland by Diana Wynne Jones. This hilarious little book cheerfully pokes fun at the most prevalent tropes in fantasy. All are welcome to take part, and there is a link up over at his site. Join in any time!
This week’s trope is ORPHANS
No one in Fantasyland amounts to anything if they still have both parents. Rule number one. Thanks to Stephanie for the suggestion (and let us all be surprised together that it isn’t in the Tough Guide).
Kind of a depressing list this week, but at least most of these orphans turned out okay. Also, shoutout to my favourite orphan of all time, Anne Shirley! I had an intense obsession with Anne of Green Gables as a kid…#CanadianThings
| Harry Dresden – The Dresden Files by Jim Butcher
First his biological parents, then his foster father…Harry’s just got the worst luck when it comes to parental figures. Of course, his “second orphaning” (if you will) is a little more complicated than the first. Whatever, Justin had it coming.
| Jane Yellowrock – Jane Yellowrock Series by Faith Hunter
After magically slipping into the body of a mountain lion to avoid a traumatic childhood incident, Jane emerges many years later as a 12 year old girl with few memories of her previous human life. Although we’re not certain how long she shared a body with the mountain lion, Jane guesses that it could have been as long as 100 years. Her parents, whoever they were, are long dead when she rejoins the human world.
|Elena Michaels – Women of the Otherworld/Otherworld Universe by Kelley Armstrong
Orphaned as a young girl, Elena is soon shuffled into the foster system. After a series of truly horrible foster families, Elena strikes out on her own for university…where she meets someone who’ll change her life forever. Her traumatic memories of foster care undoubtedly fuel Elena’s drive to be a wonderful parent, righting the wrongs of her past.
|Tom Riddle/Lord Voldemort – Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling
I bet you thought I was going to pick Harry, didn’t you? No way, his orphan story is boring compared to Voldy’s. I mean, stealing from the other kids at the orphanage? Terrorizing them? Creeping the hell out of the staff? That’s classic! Unlike all my other picks this week, here’s one orphan who never really made good.