Toothless Letter QA questing we will go. A questing we will go!

What’s classical fantasy without a quest? To achieve a goal, a hero or heroine, must undertake a journey, starting out from home, often as an ordinary person, and overcome many obstacles, travel many miles, find the object of the quest whether that be an object, a person, or something very random, and then get back to the starting point or somewhere else.

And that’s basically what a quest is. It’s a great, if old, foundation for a plot, and can often work with character development, as the person encounters new things and grows or develops. Sometimes the journey can also be a symbol for other things, and have complicated metaphorical currents going on as well, but I’ll leave that to more talented people, or actual English Literature graduates.

Travel also means that you get to have some really good fun with settings, and showcase a lot of different and sometimes exotic cultures and places within the world of the book.

And sometimes they don’t return home, either because they don’t want to, it’s impossible, or they die along the way. This usually happens after completing the goal. This probably comprises most of the bitter-sweet endings out there.

Old examples include Homer’s Odyssey, several King Arthur and the Round Table tales, the ever present Lord of the Rings trilogy (you must take the ring to the mountain!). There are probably quite a lot of modern ones as well. I am very fond of the Belgariad and the Malloreon, which sit on my bookshelf, all ten novels, describing some very classical quests to solve the fights between the child of light and child of dark. Very fond of those books.

Anyone else got any favourite quests?

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