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Grim Oak Press
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2 days ago
414 votes
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Two Little Mice
CREATOR
3 days ago
Once we reach € 450.000 we will unlock a FREE Key Ring for all ADVENTURERS and HEROES.
Goal: €450,000 reached! β€” We did it! This project reached this goal!
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Jay Wolf, editor of the anthology here!

One of the reasons we think Sword & Sorcery & Romantic Fantasy go together so nicely is they both have genre-defining tropes, but those tropes can also be used to great effect to subvert reader expectations and surprise them as well.

Here are a few of my favorites--and many of them have overlap between both of these genres!

Enemies or Rivals to Lovers
Ahem.
Love it or hate it, it's a classic for a reason.
My favorite comic, ElfQuest, my first love in this world of bare-chested sword-wielding adventurers, does this one really well multiple times over multiple storylines.
Often, one of the ways it stays fresh and surprising is the nature of the rivalry or enmity and how our lovers are able to overcome it.

The Tragic Hero
Okay, listen. The reason I am really insistent on the wording "romantic fantasy" and not "fantasy romance" is that you can stick the word "tragic" in front of the former and not the latter. While we've managed to muster a roster of endings I think are overall the Sword & Sorcery ideal of a happy ending, I am an absolute sucker for a romantic and tragic figure like Elric of MelnibonΓ©, another of my first loves in this beautiful weird subgenre of ours.

Just to round things out, one of my favorite goofy ones that tends to materialize on the fandom side of things:

Only One Bed!
Good grief, do I love a solid Only One Bed moment. While the function of this trope is forced proximity or closeness, I think it's also a fun way to dig deeper into a character's psyche. I have written an only one bed moment in a tragic fix-it fic, and one of my favorite Tumblr jokes that occasionally makes the meme rounds ends with the punchline "this bed ain't big enough for the two of us," so there are lots of ways to use it to subvert sexual or romantic tension between characters.


  • What are some of your favorite tropes of sword & sorcery or romantic fantasy?

  • How might those be subverted in a fun or interesting way, especially in the context of mixing genres?
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