The results are in!
I asked you my fellow readers which of the Fantasy tropes you were most tired of and one answer stood out from the crowd: the farm boy saving the world. I think that most of the contemporary Fantasy authors should be aware of this but if we are still annoyed from time to time by reading about them, it seems that this is a cliché that will be hard to put to rest. Still, there's hope.
That specific trope probably won't make me put down a book but it's a first strike if it isn't well executed. I know that on some occasions, it was cleverly used or originally twisted but generally speaking, I think we can convincingly say: been there, done that! Can we move on?
Among the other answers, the following seven were mostly on par:
- Righteous thieves/assassins
- Elves/dwarves (or other races)
- Evil dark lords
- Artifact/sword McGuffin
- Apostrophes/names with G's and K's
- Black-cowled assassins covers
That last entry is probably the least important, mostly so for the authors who don't always have the last word on it. It's essentially a sign that covers ought to be more varied in term of portrayal but in the end, that doesn't affect the books themselves. The same could be said about the naming scheme but in this case again, I'm not sure you'll really begrudge an author who has a tendency to name someone G'har'Kor Vir'Dantys!
I thought that Righteous thieves/assassins would have gathered fewer votes. Maybe that's because it's one of the new flavors and it was used to often in too short a time. As for the others, many of them have been criticized as tropes that need to be explored with care for a longer time.
On the other hand, Empires, 'Unevolved' old worlds and Medievalism got very low scores. Does that mean that when the foundations of world building, the core and most popular settings in Fantasy are taken into consideration, we still prefer a good old world where ages have past and where mighty figures rule over the masses from their stone castle? I believe that the answer is yes from what you shared with me. It's probably one of the reasons why we read so many novels in this specific niche of the Fantasy genre. Add to this some elements of creativeness and the table is set, waiting for a host of compelling characters wearing swords and casting spells! :)
So there you have it. It's only a poll but it ended up being an interesting case to speculate about.