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Giggity Giggity goo
Tue 12th May '09 11:18AM
2708 Posts
Amanshu's Avatar
Member Since
25th Aug '04
I've recently been thinking about what I term black and white fantasy, and knowing there are a few fantasy buffs here I thought I'd share it to see what people think.

Black fantasy can be defined as fantasy that includes an Evil overlord who is EVIL. They exist solely to be evil and oppress the peoples of the land so an unlikely hero can step forth to slay them. Classic examples would include Sauron and Lord Voldemort.

Grey fantasy can be defined as fantasy that doesn't include an overlord. Instead it's generally about people trying to live their lives in a world that just happens to include big magical scary stuff. Classic examples would include anything by Pratchett and... Well the only others I can think of are anything by James Butcher and the Night/Day/Twilight/Eternal Watch books.

White fantasy can be defined as fantasy that includes a Good overlord who is GOOD. They exist solely to be good and help the peoples of the land so an unlikely hero/antihero can step forth to slay them. There are no classic examples I can think of. The closest I get is any book about a utopian society with a seedy underbelly - the Time Traveller, Brave New World, that sort of thing.

So I was wondering what that world would be like, and would you really be able to tell the difference between a White fantasy and a Black fantasy? And can anyone think of an example?

There's no pee in catheter!
Tue 12th May '09 5:13PM
811 Posts
Agentgonzo's Avatar
Member Since
8th Aug '06

Amanshu was bold enough to comment:
<Stuff about White Fantasy>
And can anyone think of an example?


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Thu 14th May '09 1:33PM
4213 Posts
General's Avatar
Member Since
7th Apr '03
I think any white fantasy would have to have a twist involving the good overlord being revealed to be evil (Logans Run, The Island) otherwise the plot would lack the necisary conflict and resolution to make an interesting story.

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Sun 17th May '09 7:23PM
169 Posts
Xander's Avatar
Member Since
16th Jul '08
Like General said in White Fantasy you would need the overlord to be evil in some way.

The closest I can think of is the Stalone film Demolition Man. In that the world is eutopian if not very free but no one is unhappy or oppressed. Stalone's character is therefore a rebellion against that but it's not a perfect fit.

The other thing I can think of is Equillibrium. Society in that has an overlord that has saved everyone by oppressing emotion. But then again it's sinister motives..

Tue 21st Jul '09 10:55PM
1558 Posts
Swoop's Avatar
Member Since
9th Apr '03
David Edddings comes to mind. The Belgarian's hero is a young chap who is revealed to be king of everything, and his family and friends turn out to be immortal sorcerers, kings, gods etc. He's done several other series of books, usually 5 at a time, all in the same vein.

The drive comes from trying to stop baddies who want to try to do bad things, usually very far away, so the books involve people travelling great distances, often in disguise, allowing for mishaps, conflict, misogyny and the like.

So the overlord is both good and the hero, but often taken out of his comfort zone. I think that sort of fits with your search. Frankly, I'd recommend you don't read them though.

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