Fantasy Orphan

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Well hello there, I would like to thank you for stopping by today. I am pleased to be here.

Where is Jenelle, you ask?

She’s letting me take over her blog today. Oh! I’m sorry. Allow me to introduce myself.

I am Fantasy Orphan.

You’ve probably heard of me… especially if you like to read fantasy. You’ve read some of my stories. You’ve rooted for me, heard about my painful back-story, perhaps you’ve even shed tears for me. As you know, I am an important part of many fantasy stories. I’m often the protagonist, the unlikely hero, the one who rises up and overcomes the shadow and tragedy of my past.

At some point in my past… my author thought it was important that I lose my family. I didn’t like it, but what could I do? This loss of family made me vulnerable in some way that was necessary to the story, and it also freed up my author from needing to answer any questions about where my parents were and why they let me go off on such dangerous adventures. I hadn’t got any parents, and thus was left to fend for myself and get into all sorts of trouble whenever I wanted.

See, if I’d had parents, they would have loved me too much to let me do anything so dangerous as run off with Old Ben to save the galaxy from the evil Empire (even my aunt and uncle in that case were too strict… so my author killed them off, too!) I wouldn’t have gone haring off on a wild adventure with Gandalf to liberate the Dwarven homeland from Smaug if I’d had those pesky family ties keeping me stable and sensibly AT HOME! (I was a responsible adult for a while while I raised my nephew, but, being a fantasy orphan myself, I knew how important it was to give him some space, so the moment he came of age, I exited, stage right, and gave Frodo the room he needed to find his own adventure without any parental oversight). I probably wouldn’t have gotten into so much trouble at Hogwarts if I’d come from a good wizarding family, either. You can find me easily. I run rampant through nearly every Disney retelling of various fairy tales. In many stories, the loss of my parents often determines my station in life, gives me the courage to rise up in the face of overwhelming odds, or at the very least it prompts me to seek vengeance for their loss.

In any case, as I was saying, my not having a family is most convenient for the author…. I mean, it allows for so many interesting twists and turns in my story.

I’m free of obligations that come with having a family.

I get away with things I wouldn’t necessarily get away with if I had parents.

I can always have an existential crisis if I suddenly discover that one of my parents is, in fact, still alive!!! I don’t even know how I’ll react to that!

It also allows me to have a heritage or family tree that I am completely ignorant of… and then the sky is the limit! I can go from a poor pick-pocket dreaming of seeing the interior of the palace to heir to the throne in the course of my story!

So, that’s who I am. Thanks for letting me tell you a bit about myself. I think I hear Jenelle returning and… I… should get going. Keep an eye out for me in all your favorite stories, and when you meet me there, please have pity for those of us whose parents our authors have so blithely killed with nary a worry nor care.

Adieu!

P.S. Please ignore the signature at the end of this post… Jenelle didn’t write this, I just used her stationery.

~ jenelle

7 Comments

Tracey Dyck

Bahaha! This is fantastic! Fantasy Orphan sure has a cheery tone considering everything that’s happened. XD And it’s true, making your protagonist an orphan is just so darn convenient! You get a premade kit: mysterious heritage, no limiting ties to home or loved ones, and a classic underdog story. No assembly required. ;)

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jenelle

Glad you enjoyed it! I was inspired by your “autobiography of a fantasy hero” post :)

Yes, orphan-backgrounds are quite convenient…

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Christine

*CHOKES* Oh, this was pure gold! I’m grinning so hard.

I have to admit, I’m extremely guilty of creating Fantasy Orphans. It’s a bit of a staple with the genre I suppose… Though I HAVE been trying to incorporate family more in my novels lately. I think having orphaned protagonists are fine. There is SO much that can be done with that. But I also love seeing strong families in fantasy. So…I guess I’m happy either way. It’s all good! XD

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jenelle

Glad you enjoyed it :) I had fun writing… erm… letting Fantasy Orphan take over the blog today :)

I have my own share of fantasy orphans running through the Minstrel’s Song… a few who start out as orphans… and at least one who starts with wonderful, loving parents and… erm… well… yeah… I’m an evil author. :-D

I love seeing both in fantasy, as well. :)

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E.F.B.

Hehe! This was fun. Fantasy orphans are one of those tropes that have a good reason for existing: they really are convenient sometimes.

I actually only have one orphan in my few completed stories and/or WIPs, and it turned out her father was still alive. In two if my other works, my main characters still have both parents intact (and the parents do stuff!) and in another work the mother is alive and active, though I admit that she and her daughter spend much of the story separated because portal fantasy. So, I guess while I’m fine reading orphans, I write a mix of family situations. :)

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Madeline J. Rose

Hahaha, this was spot-on!! XD But despite how overused and sometimes annoying this trope is, it will always make me feel nostalgic. So many of my old stories had orphaned characters. Too many of them… XD

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