At least, in it’s post-Tolkien, post-Sword of Shanara world were every fantasy seems to be a rewritting of the same OMG BATTLES BETWEEN GOODIES AND DARK LORDS. It’s only gotten worse, what with the video game saturation of our media- which of course also boils it all down to this simplicity of fighting and war and etc.
I just wonder why this has to be- even the books that are challenging and trying to change Epic Fantasy, they seem to focus even MORE on the wars, to bring them closer into focus and to celebrate the violence even moreso than before (Abercrombie, Martin, etc). Rather than, going back to a time when Epic Fantasy could also include things like Riddlemaster of Hed, Forgotten Beasts of Eld, the Earthsea books, etc, etc. When GIANT WARS wasn’t exactly a prerequisite for what was considered epic. When adventuring and fantasy could be something else, could involve something else (I mean, even the Hobbit, in ways, wasn’t a war story until the very end, and that was perhaps the most boring part of it).
Sure, stories (esp genre stories) exist mainly on the pendulum crux of conflict, but does that conflict need to be warfare? Or can it be something else? Not that I have anything directly against war stories. They can be interesting, and climactic, and fun (battle of Camlaan!), but it makes me wonder if we are too saturated with these warstories. I just wonder if things have become too focused on these things. I mean, what if war was in the background? What if war wasn’t the purpose of the stories? Ah me, well, maybe I’m just being silly.
Why, when we talk of epic and things being epic, our minds automatically head to War as a shorthand?
All of this is in response to this-