Time for a new poll! A more tasteful one!
First, lest's return to the last one. My question was "Do you have book hangovers?". A majority of respondents, 64% of you fellow Fantasy readers, answered with a yes. Immersion in another universe, escapism, imagination, you name it, the results show that it isn't easy to let go when we stop reading a good book.
The comments were unanimous, when a novel or a series of them are compelling and we grow attached to the characters and their world, cutting the cord creates a feeling of 'post book depression' (as one of the commenter put it) of various degree. Can that hangover degree be a sign of greatness?
Let's get to the other type of hangover!
Taverns, inns and pubs have always been a wonderful trope of Fantasy. The classic innkeeper with his dirty apron and corpulent stomach, most often than not with a beard and not much more hair high up, is welcoming his customers with a low voice. A gleeman sings a song, a fight breaks up, the tankards are being filled by the waitresses, the company is good and a strange fellow is observing the crowd from under his hood!
I have to admit that thinking of scenes set in the taproom of an inn makes me grin. How often have we read about this type of establishment in Fantasy books? It also made me think about the scenes or taverns/bars/inns I remember the most from my reading experience. I'll share some with you and I hope that you'll add your share of names and memories to add to the list of answers I'll come up with for the poll.
The inn of the Prancing Pony
There's no ignoring this one. It's the first worldly inn that the hobbits visit in the Fellowship of the ring, in the city of Bree. The meeting of Aragorn and Frodo, how couldn't this be a nice memory. A nice place worth sitting at? That's another question, maybe not on dark and rainy nights!
The Queen's Blessing
Run by the innkeeper Basel Gill, it's where Rand and Mat meet with Loial in The Eye of the World. They were directed there by Thom Merrilin when he sent them to Camelyn. Another mythic place for the Fantasy readers.
The Crossroads Inn
Perhaps not as widely known, this is the inn in A Song of Ice and Fire along the Kingsroad where Catelyn meets with Tyrion and where Sandor Clegane and Arya Stark stumbled upon Gregor Clegane's men. Maybe not the best place to find good company...
The Phoenix Inn
The inn is one of the settings at the heart of the story developed as a role playing game by Steven Erikson and Ian C. Esslemont that ended up as Darujhistan's homebase for the operations of a modest and rotund individual. This Malazan point of interest would surely offer good conversations with the like of Coll, Crokus, Kruppe, Meese, Murillio and Rallick Nom!
Again from the Malazan world and the city of Darujhistan, K'rul's bar would offer a good competition for a night of conversation around a drink with mighty figures like Duiker, Fisher and a bunch of Bridgeburners in hiding. Want a pickled Seguleh?
Kote's hideout, the Kingkiller himself as a bartender with the mysterious Bass and Chronicler as his companions? Another interesting place from the Name of the Wind to visit but I don't think that we could be privy to the recounting of Kvothe's story...
Care for some music? What better place to go then than the Eolian, the famous tavern in Imre. We could watch the performers try to win their silver Talent Pipes or a patron. Beware of the entry fee though!
Any other Fantasy bar/tavern/pub/inn come to mind? And for the poll, at which Fantasy tavern/inn would you stop for a drink?