Trends – What’s Hot in Fantasy?

Trends, like nostalgia, pirouette, returning again and again into our lives.

I’ve noticed a few trends recurring this year in the world of fantasy. Granted they’re always there under the radar but I’ve spotted a few patterns in what’s hot this year in books, films and television. So here’s the current breakdown:

Going Up

A sea serpent from Olaus Magnus's book History...

Image via Wikipedia

1. Mythical Monsters – Along with sword and sorcery, heroic fantasy and epic fantasy, dragons are making a long overdue comeback. For a while everything dragon-related had already been done and it began to fall out of favour, yet with Game of Thrones hitting the TV screens and Conan the Barbarian making a comeback monsters are returning into our favour.

The typical zombie.

Image via Wikipedia

2. Supernaturals get Zombie Fever  – Not so much a return as a continued trend. Vampires and werewolves are still thriving. Teen Wolf (new series based on the 80’s film) and Twilight. They’re still dominating the fantasy scene. Zombies in particular seem to be popping up all over the place (thankfully not literally). Attack the Block, the New Pirates of the Caribbean, and it’s also been hinted that more supernaturals will be appearing in True Blood aka Zombies! P.S Did anyone else notice the zombie movie on the TV screen in the background during the last True Blood episode?

3. Magic – Those these elements have been around for a while in fantasy, it seemed as those magic had become more of a throw around recently, becoming more associated with wizardry than elemental magic. Once, more popular in the teenage element, the introduction of Marnie, in True Blood, seems to have brought the deep-rooted dangerous side of magic back to the forefront, yet also kept the human element. At the same time, Game of Thrones portrayed the darker side of magic and its tribal associations in the last few episodes of series one. No longer just acting as a side-gig to other supernaturals, magic is back in its own place as an individual supernatural force. I.e. Witchcraft, sorcery).

4. Hope and Heroes – Yup, we’ve had a lot of horror and post-apocalyptic elements over the past few years (probably influenced by the mood of the recession) and fun though it can be, we’ve needed some heroism and optimism to pick up the mood. Action, heroism and hope are all making comeback. Though we had superhero stuff around for a while it’s not disappearing quickly and heroic fantasy is coming back to Hollywood. Conan 3D, The Hobbit.

Image via Wikipedia

5. Fairies – Mythological creatures aren’t always warm and fuzzy, though fairies evoke a more friendly image. Yet again True Blood recently destroyed this image showing a darker side of the fae. Fairies, like vampires and other supernaturals are being updated with the times.

Anyone else noticed any fantasy-related trends creeping back recently?

What do you think is going up and down in popular culture this year?


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