The shit that happens in every single sodding fantasy novel

MADE the mistake of reading more than one fantasy trilogy? Then you’ll have realised they’re all the f**king same and these clichéd tropes crop up every time: 

Someone’s the chosen one

You’ve put in years of hard work becoming the world’s most evil and powerful warlock. Then along comes some twat farm boy who’s never done a day’s slaughtering in his life, but is the chosen dick of prophesy. Oh, so he’s the secret son of the fallen king? Nepotism again.

There’s a special item

Whether it’s a Ring of Immense Power or a book that holds the secrets to eternal life, there’s always something the villain’s after and must under no circumstances get his hands on. Trouble is, its location is a mystery, so everyone and his nan is trying to find it. But we all know it’ll be bloody Chosen Boy.

There’s a dark side and a light side

There are no shades of grey in the fantasy world, just baddies and goodies. Helpfully divided into the Obsidian Nightshaggers and the Heavenly Lightbringers, the protagonist will toy with the first before inevitably and boringly plumping for righteousness.

There’s something that’s a bit like what we know, but different

You can’t have a knight in a fantasy world, otherwise people might get confused and think this is real life. You’ve got to call them a ‘Naiyart’ or a ‘Knick’ or some bollocks to make it clear that you’ve not just lifted from every other fantasy book going, which you have.

Their names are a bit like what we have, but different

Likewise, you can’t just call a character ‘Jennifer’ or ‘Colin’, because that’s not fantasy enough. Who’d want to read about an epic quest undertaken by two dickheads who sound like they run a pop-up coffee stall? Change a few letters to Vennifaer and Kolan and you’re away.

They swear just like we do, but different

You can’t say ‘bollocks’ in the High Land of Shifting Magick. You have to say ‘By Torak’s beard!’ or ‘rusting earthfires!’ or some shit like that, to fully transport the reader to an epic realm where one word is substituted for another.

There’s a big war

No fantasy novel would be complete without its fair share of huge, monotonous battle sequences that you skim to get to the bit with the protagonist again. Millions of stupid orcs versus hundreds of thousands of nameless dwarves in the Battle of Chuffer’s Gap? F**k off. We all know it’s a sideshow while the chosen one gets the special item anyway.

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The Londoner's guide to pretending you're enjoying the summer

STILL pretending London is wonderful and you’re glad you live here? In this weather? Convince no-one by claiming to enjoy these activities: 

Sit outside a pub by constant traffic

A cold pint outside a pub is one of the joys of summer. In central London this means sitting a few feet from a busy junction with an endless flow of idling taxis and fume-spewing delivery lorries. Refuse to admit chilled and outdoorsy is overwhelmed by drinking in an exhaust testing lab.

Enjoy a picnic in a gang-infested park

Parks are great for picnics and postcode gangs practising their intimidation skills. They may not be proper criminal gangs, just macho, aggressive guys smoking skunk who may be carrying knives. So that’s okay then. As they get high, drunk, bored and rowdy, scuttle home claiming to have loved it. You loved not getting stabbed.

Visit a heaving tourist attraction

Non-London friends can’t pop to Trafalgar Square on a glorious day. You can. Though it’s too busy to really relax and the majesty of Nelson’s Column is somewhat undermined by one-legged pigeons and topless blokes swigging lager. And all the f**king Yodas and knobheads taking photos and the constant worry of getting your bag nicked.

Endure the Tube

Not a suggested recreational activity, but stifling heat and enforced intimacy with sweatier-than-usual scum are necessary if you want to go anywhere. A keen Londoner can find a benefit, eg ‘There was a busker with a lute!’, when feral urban minstrels should be exterminated like rats.

Go for a fancy ice cream

Of course, London has the best ice cream parlours. But it turns out there’s a limit to how excited you can get about ice cream, even if there are 200 flavours and toppings range from flaked gold to unicorn spunk. Grit your teeth as you realise a cone costs 12 quid and you’d have been happy with a Solero.

Visit the London Eye

And gormlessly discover every single tourist is doing that and booked three months ago, which you haven’t. You can easily pretend you’ve been on it; say ‘The view is incredible’ and nobody will ask any questions. Your mates won’t care anyway. They just wish you’d shut the f**k up about London.