Is fantasy just for kids?

Photo by Pier-Luc Bergeron via Flickr

Aragorn fighting off orcs, Harry Potter casting spells, Arthas pulling Frostmourne from it’s stone. What do each of these have in common? They are characters in a fantastic universe that people of all ages can enjoy and learn from.

Being in this universe though, they are only seen as the fictitious characters that they are. Despite their good traits, they are seen as characters that are are akin to those in Humpty-Dumpty because they are fake and unrelatable. This notion is wrong.

Some of these fake characters have done things just as human as any real person. They’ve shown us the sides of ourselves we want to improve, sides of bravery and courage: like Aragorn choosing to come out of his exile and become the king he was born to be. He also chose to guide the hobbits farther than he ever needed to which was another act of courage. There are also plenty of courageous acts in the Star Wars trilogy such as when Luke Skywalker fails to lift the X-Wing and Yoda lifts it and Luke complains: “I tried…” and Yoda’s reply: “that is why you fail.” Luke gave up and grew discouraged when he could not lift the X-wing out of the water and this is certainly relatable because everyone can think of a time when they gave up after they tried at something and failed.

Fantasy also shows darker sides of humanity. Sides that we want to hide. Like when Arthas, originally a paladin fighting in the name of good, betrayed his entire nation just for power. Or when Murtaugh in the Eragon series is revealed to be a more sinister character, fighting only for his safety.

And yet still, some fantasy stories don’t need to take place in a world of magic. The 1971 movie Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, is a modern day fantasy movie, not because it has knights, but because it embodies innocence and purity and a world where the underdog finally comes into his own.

Fantasy is more than something for children. It’s a lens through which we can see a more pure version of the world. Sometimes, it’s a picture of a simpler time: of magic and horse drawn chariots, a world of fairies where dreams are made real. Or other times, it’s a modern world with magic infused into it. But each show us ways not only to malign the world, but to enhance, enchant, and fantasize it.


Be the first to comment on "Is fantasy just for kids?"

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.