H is for High Fantasy

Wel­come to Round 8 of ABC Wednesday. The meme was started by Mrs. Denise Nes­bitt, and people from all over the world come together to play and share their entries. Each week word(s) begin­ning with the des­ig­nated letter are selected and woven into a post.

For this round, I’ll be taking each letter and pairing it with a per­sonal expe­ri­ence or thought on life in general.

Taking stock of my library, I discovered my top three categories are Apologetics, John Grisham and High Fantasy books. High Fantasy is…obviously fantasy….stories set in an other-worldly…um…world. Think Lord of the Rings, Chronicles of Narnia and Harry Potter. Evidently I have a very healthy imagination.

But why do I like High Fantasy? I don’t especially like science fiction (except for Star Wars 4, 5 & 6) so it’s a puzzle to me.

Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien
I’ve read the three Lord of the Rings books twice. I’ve own and have watched the movies at least 3 times each. While the books are much more explanatory (and a much harder read than most), I marvel at the cinematography of the movies. The underlying battle for Middle Earth between good and evil is allegory to our lives. Although Tolken didn’t intend the stories to have religious undertones, I think it’s pretty obvious.

Frodo’s failure to cast the ring into the fire is the inner struggle between good and evil…even among the purest of heart.

A silly Hobbit as the ring bearer is not an expected choice. It’s Providence equipping the called; not calling the equipped. As St. Paul puts it, When I am weak, then am I strong…God has chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise. Power is seductive. And dangerous in the hands of those most susceptible to using it to dominate others. Much like the abuse of power is today.

In the end, victory over the ultimate evil come at the cost of much sacrifice and loss. Even though Saruon is defeated, Middle Earth’s Lothlorein and The Shire are never quite the same, and those on the ring quest can never look at life quite the same way ever again.

The Chronicles of Narnia by CS Lewis
The granddaddy of all apologetic writers and a close friend of Tolkien, Lewis’ fictional stories about Narnia are classics. Personally, I don’t care for most of the Narnia books. I like the movies much better. The only three books I think are worthy or re-reads are The Magicians Nephew, The Lion, Witch and the Wardrobe and The Final Battle.

The Magician’s Nephew is the creation story, complete with a forbidden apple tree. Aslan sings Narnia into existence, and evil enters the world through two visitors. Through many twists and turns, an apple core from the forbidden tree is buried in the back yard of Digory’s aunt’s home. When the tree is blown down in a storm, its wood is made into a wardrobe, paving the way for The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. Digory becomes the old professor in whose country house Lucy Pevensie finds the wardrobe and the way into Narnia.

The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. We all know this story so I won’t recap it. It’s the Passion story told in allegory.

The Final Battle is the end of time in Narnia. Two children try to save Narnia from an ape who tricks a donkey into impersonating Aslan, which leads to a final showdown between King Tirian and the Calormenes. All the vegetation is consumed. Father Time casts the stars into the sea, which rises to flood Narnia. The sun enlarges drawing in the moon just before it’s put out altogether by Father Time, turning Narnia into a freezing wasteland. At this time, Aslan tells the survivors to go further up the mountain to the “real” Narnia. That this previously inhabited Narnia was only a copy of what was to come.

Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling
If you want to read my take on this series, please go HERE.

So there you have it. My High Fantasy reads. I think I like pulling out comparisons to my worldview while enjoying a bit of imaginative fun. For more Hs from around the world, click the logo in my sidebar.


11 thoughts on “H is for High Fantasy

  1. For whatever reason, I find Lewis much easier to appreciate than Tolkien. But except for the first LotR movie (and the 1st Harry Potter movie), I’ve seen NONE of the films.
    I HAVE seen the first three (or middle three – I’m so confused – the ones you like) Star Wars movies, and they are among my favorites.

    ROG, ABC Wednesday team


  2. I love Lord of the Rings, I have read the book more than 30 times. But for some reason, it’s just about the only High Fantasy book I like, with the exception of anything Tad Williams has written, his Osten Ard saga is amazing. Well, and Terry Pratchett, but he’s not exactly High Fantasy.


  3. All of my daughter’s favorites Lisa! I remember one harry Potter book vividly. She waited on the patio for the postman, and as soon as she got it onto her hands, she went into her room and read until she had finished it. I did convince her to stop a bit to eat, but then she was back at it!! Thank you for the memory.
    Have a wonderful evening!



  4. I’ve vowed any number of times to try these books and films, but so far have stayed on stop except for one Potter book and movie – and enjoyed them to a degree but guess it wasn’t enough to prod me into having another go. Excellent post!


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