Sunday, September 19, 2010

Props in Fantasy

I admit I rarely give notice to props while reading novels. All that flowery language gets skimmed over. Who cares what the chest looks like, if it’s made of oak or cedar? Who cares about the double doors, the space inside, or the intricate carvings rimming its design? Until…wait a minute…it comes back in the story to mean something. Props, just as designing your intricate landscape of your world, should matter. Some of the most noticeable props I’ve read are:

Harry Potter by JK Rowling: The matching dressers that give death eaters access into Hogwarts.

Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien: Legolas Mirkwood Bow. A magical item indeed.

Game of Thrones George R.R. Martin: Valyrian steel. Nothing is more strong and deadly.

The Alchemist by Michael Scott: Excalibur and Clarent. Both mighty swords.

The Wizard Heir by Cinda Chima: The weirbook where the information of individual mastery is recorded.

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins: The Cornucopia where the games begin and end.

What are some props that seem to stand out in books you’ve read?


  1. The chocolate pot in Sorcery and Celia by Patricia Wrede is my favorite.

  2. the alethiometer in The Golden Compass.

  3. I have to say that the more I read, the more I pay attention to what the author chooses to describe. I like it when they casually slip something in that means something later.

  4. Agreed. Sometimes the little things end up being BIG things. :-) Can't think of one now though... Arrrg.


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