Reasons I Couldn’t Survive in a Fantasy Novel

Through a series of events I have found myself in a back brace, confined to my mother’s couch in upstate New York, without my friends or a job. So I turn to the internet and a new fangled idea of blogging, which I can only assume to be a mix of a personal diary, reviews of books, movies, etc, and top 5 lists. And let us not forget the best part of blogging, the comments.

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One of my favorite things to do as an avid reader is to pretend that either I’m the protagonist character, or imagine myself in the world and contemplate what I would do. Well, I’ve been reading the Mistborn Trilogy, and although I like to escape from the real world to a world of magic in a novel, here is a list of reasons I am glad I don’t live in a fantasy novel. Note, the fantasy worlds I am basing this list on are The Wheel of Time, A Song of Ice and Fire, Lord of the Rings, and the Mistborn Trilogy.

I exist because of modern medicine.

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Many fantasy novels take us back to a simpler time where meals are a hunk of cheese and a loaf of bread, washed down with a pint of ale, jobs are farming or iron working, and doctors used mixtures of herbs to cure everything from cramps to pneumonia. Forget the fact that my eyesight is approaching legally blind for a minute, and forget that I have allergies to most things that grow or have fur, I had severe asthma as a kid and probably wouldn’t have made it to my teen years. If my asthma didn’t kill me, and I somehow made it to be a teenager, I would have died from appendicitis. I didn’t do anything to cause it, I didn’t eat a lot of junk food or drink an exorbitant amount of soda, one day my appendix decided to attack the rest of my body and kill me from within. Without the surgical team to remove it, I would have probably died as a young teen when it exploded and released toxins into my body. How I have survived this far even with modern medicine is a miracle. Most recently, I tried to accidentally kill myself when I fell off a roof, landed on my back and managed to walk away with only a few broken ribs and a fractured spine. If New York City can almost kill me, I’d bet 18 to 1 I would be dead within six months if I lived in a fantastical medieval world.

I have no real skills.

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I’m talking practical skills, people. I use a microwave to cook most meals, I can’t keep a potted plant alive, and my years of Girl Scouts never taught me how to start a fire. On my resume I claim to be an intuitive people person with good management and organizational skills, which would get me exactly where in a feudal society? I could try to attach myself to a local tradesperson, but as they would have to train me from the ground up, I don’t think I’d be worth their time. In all honesty, to survive I’d probably have to become a hooker. Sorry, Reverend Mom and Dad.

I am not an elf.

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To make it in a fantasy world, you need an edge. You either need to have access to magic or be magic. I don’t have a connection to the Source, I’m not an Allomancer, and although I’ve always wanted to be an elf (live in a tree house and sing all the time, anyone?), alas I am human. I’m not even very good at that! I wish I could be badass like Eowyn but I’m afraid I’ve never hit anyone in my life. I seriously doubt I have some previously untapped skill of archery or swordsmanship at this stage.

Women are given the shaft.

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Fantasy novels resemble medieval times, and with that comes all the sexism and racism you can stomach. I couldn’t own property, and I think I’m past my prime to find an ideal husband. What in the world did women do back then anyway? Perhaps I could deliver babies? With my slim knowledge of what’s happening down there I could at least do more than boil a pot of water. And the ultimate reason being a woman in a fantasy novel sucks? Tampons. I cannot imagine a world without tampons. 

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So I guess the point of this is to say that while it is fun to theoretically imagine I’m in Rivendell, Luthadel, Camelyn, or Winterfell, and no matter how annoyed I am with my lot in life, I am grateful to be in the 21st century. There’s always a Renaissance Festival to attend, and I’ve heard Medieval Times is a hoot.

Unicorn out.

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