"Faces of Evil in Modern Fantasy"

Joseph Young


Fantasy literature has enjoyed a vast increase in cultural prominence in the last quarter-century. What was once considered a marginal genre of scant literary merit is now enormously popular, enjoying huge sales and steadily increasing critical respectability. This change is partly due to the fashion in the early years of this century for cinematic adaptations of fantasy novels. Film “franchises” such as The Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter sold tens of millions of tickets apiece and prompted sympathetic reappraisals of their source material among both popular and academic audiences. Though this trend seemed to have run its course by about 2010, the television show Game of Thrones (2011-present) appears to have taken it to a new level. After six seasons the show continues to break ratings records and seems likely to be remembered as part of the zeitgeist of this decade. This success has naturally prompted renewed interest in George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire, the series of novels on which the show is based. Recent editions of Martin’s books have become runaway bestsellers and the forthcoming installments will no doubt do the same. Martin has also become a success with the critics, who praise the complexity of his characters and the moral depth of his work. Long-time readers and scholars of fantasy obviously welcome this.


Evil; Modernity; Fantasy Literature; Morality; Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.21533/epiphany.v9i3.248


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