Fantasy is a very ancient art, and it has developed throughout the centuries in various subjects: cultural studies, history, literature, music, art, plays, music, cinema… and I could go on and on. But what are the elements that make a fantasy work? The predominant characteristics of Fantasy are tales or stories in which we have myths, imagination, supernatural, symbolism and surreal elements; but we can also have dark elements, magic castles and creatures, and most of the times, a really close correlation with nature. Fantasy has many subcategories.
We have the first written forms of the Fantasy genre in ancient Classic Latin, Egyptian and Greek mythology, but also in the Celtic and Scandinavian tradition.
The Medieval period played a very important role in the distribution of written Fantasy fairytales and stories; in fact, scribes used to spend years writing down several copies of ancient literature, so they would be transmitted to the future generations and their work is very precious today (despite many works was destroyed and burned by repressive censorship, if it was believed that the work was against the religion of the moment).
A fundamental role was played, as I already said, by J. J. R. Tolkien, from 1954 and until now. He is considered the “father” of Fantasy because he managed to take this genre at its peak and make it one of the most important and followed today, by young generations and old ones.
Some names of talented fantasy authors today are J. K. Rowling (how can we not mention her?), Stephen King, George Martin, and Christopher Paolini; these are some of the names that have greatly contributed to make the Fantasy genre successful today.
We also can’t forget that from the seventies the first Fantasy role plays was created, as Dungeons & Dragons. Nowadays there are fantastic role plays that you can physically play with, but with technology the development of computer and Play Station video games are real (as Final Fantasy or The Lord of the Rings).
Fantasy is wonder, imagination. You get to know new worlds and fantastic stories.
What’s your favorite Fantasy work?