In several fantasy books, the main hero often sustains injuries in their quest to save their respective worlds.
In The Lord of the Rings, the protagonist Frodo Baggins sustained a number of physical and spiritual injuries throughout his quest to destroy the One Ring. On Weathertop, he was stabbed by the Nazgul with a Morghul blade. Even though the blade’s poison was healed, the injury itself will never fully heal and Frodo would carry it for the rest of his life. At Mount Doom, Frodo had one of his fingers bitten off by Gollum, earning him the nickname Frodo of the Nine Fingers. Finally, Frodo’s mind and spirit was deeply scarred after carrying the One Ring for so long during his quest.
During his final fight with the Shade Durza, Eragon sustained a cursed wound on his back that hindered his progress as a Dragon Rider. Even though the wound was healed and the curse lifted, it still played a significant role in Eragon’s development.
In addition to having his face scarred by a Wildling’s eagle, Jon Snow endured a traumatic experience after being betrayed and murdered by his own men. Not only did he sustain mental and spiritual scars due to experiencing the pain of death and the rapture of rebirth, but the stab wounds he sustained would never fully heal.
Rand al’Thor, the Dragon Reborn, from the Wheel of Time lost his left hand after having a mystical fireball thrown at it.
Overall, the injuries and pain that fantasy heroes play a significant role in their character development and serve as permanent memento of their adventures. I am planning to be in keeping with this tradition and have the main character in my Dark Ice Winter series injuries during his war with the Bauk horde.
“It was thus rather the exacting nature of my aspirations than any particular degradation in my faults, that made me what I was, and, with even a deeper trench than in the majority of men, severed in me those provinces of good and ill which divide and compound man’s dual nature.”
Dr. Henry Jekyll, Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
I always found the moral and psychological elements about Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde intriguing. We all know the story of a mind-mannered yet misguided man of science who created an elixir that awakened his inner darkness. That darkness would then develop a mind and identity of its own. Then these two conflicting personas battle for control over the same body, causing all kinds of chaos in their wake.
The potion that Dr. Jekyll created serves as a symbol in psychology. When Jekyll drank it, it transformed him into Mr. Hyde. On one hand, the potion could serve as a symbol of what happens when a person is under the influence of drugs. When we are high on drugs, we do things that we otherwise would not do, which is similar to what happens when Jekyll drinks his potion and becomes Hyde. On the other hand, Jekyll’s potion could be the cause of chemically induced dissociative identity disorder. With dissociative identity disorder, we acquire at least two distinct personalities much like Jekyll and Hyde. It might be possible that Jekyll’s potion triggers an artificial equivalent to dissociative identity disorder. Overall, Jekyll’s potion serves as a reflection of certain aspects of human psychology.
From a psychological standpoint, Dr. Henry Jekyll symbolizes a human’s “normal” self. It would be a persona that serves as our public face and reflects our adherence to social conformity. The Dr. Jekyll persona is what humans would use to restrain themselves from performing deeds that would be considered evil or socially inappropriate. At the same time, despite being a relatively good and unassuming man, Dr. Jekyll is the kind of man who has hidden desires and urges that he maintains control over. If he loses control, it would undo his entire life’s work. This also highlights human psychology in that we keep our hidden urges under control in order to continue benefiting from our normal lifestyle. In this sense, the Jekyll personality is a person’s conscious self, which is the side that we are able to control.
For obvious reasons, Mr. Edward Hyde is the polar opposite of Dr. Jekyll. He is the incarnation of all of Jekyll’s dark thoughts, urges, desires, and impulses. The difference is that Hyde is completely and utterly liberated from any and all moral, human, and psychological inhibitions and boundaries. This gives him an all-consuming euphoric high of absolute freedom and an overwhelmingly pleasure to being alive and let off the leash. With no inhibitions to hold him back, Hyde is in a position where he can do whatever he wants and not care about the consequences. When we become Hyde, we are free from all social and mental restrictions and the world becomes our playground. Hyde represents the subconscious id of the human mind, which is the dark, animalistic, and instinctual section of our psyche. As the embodiment of the subconscious, Mr. Hyde is the part of our mind that we have no control over.
Overall, by understanding the psychological aspects of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, one is able to better understand the inner workings of the human mind. It is not just about the struggle between light and dark. It is also about comparing and contrasting the conscious and subconscious parts of the psyche.
I have finished listening to the audiobook version of The Lost World by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. It was an enjoyable read and had more complexity than any of its film adaptations. The dinosaurs were depicted based on the outdated Victorian science of Doyle’s time. For example, the Iguanodons walked on two legs like a kangaroo while the dinosaurs as a whole were depicted as dumb lumbering giants. The big carnivorous dinosaur, which was either an Allosaurus or a Megalosaurus, was described as being ugly with skin that was like a toad’s. The conflict between the plateau’s native tribe and the ape men had a serious colonialism feel to it where one civilization comes in conflict with a more advanced one. Overall, this has been a fun read and I would recommend it to anyone who is seeking a good dinosaur book.
I am working on two books at the same time. One book will be my second dinosaur book and the other will be my second superhero book. I have done the prologues of both books. I have started the first chapter of the superhero one and finished the first chapter of the dinosaur one. I am also working on the second chapter of my dinosaur book. I will shift from one project to the other depending on what mood I am in. With any luck, I may finish both at the same time when I’m done, which will be another notable feat in my writing career.
I have a new writing mentor now: my favorite author, Christopher Paolini, author of the Eragon books. I asked him for some pointers on how to improve my future writing and this was our conversation:
Me: “May I ask you for some author advice? I am in the middle of writing my own fantasy book, but there is a bump in the road. There are some characters that I plan to introduce as companions for the main characters, but I cannot decide how best to introduce them. What would you recommend regarding this?”
Paolini: “It depends. Are they a group who travels together? Or do they each join the hero separately? Whatever you do, make the initial meetings interesting and entertaining, and try not to drown the reader in tons of exposition. We don’t need to know everything about these new characters’ backstories. Not right away. It’s good to keep a few secrets. And good luck with the writing!”
I hope this will be the first of many lessons I will receive from Mr. Paolini. It is not every day you receive training and advice from your favorite author! Paolini has become the Master and I have become the Apprentice. A dream come true!
Among the subjects I have researched for my fantasy book, I found a number of sources of inspiration in Norse mythology; particularly the Norse gods. I am thinking of including features from the Norse gods into some of my characters. For example, Odin sacrificed his eye in order to gain wisdom and Tyr lost a hand while fighting a demon wolf. This will also give me a chance to reconnect with my Viking roots. I look forward to finding out more to use for my project.
Drath Vader’s secret apprentice is back with a vengeance as he goes on a quest to rediscover his identity. A great story that has twists and turns around every corner. See Yoda and Boba Fett like you’ve never seen them before as they play a significant role in Starkiller’s quest. Vader even more mysterious in this book than he was in the first one. It is a classic combination between The Fugitive, The 6th Day, and The Empire Strikes Back. A highly recommended story to anyone who enjoyed the first Force Unleashed game.
Dynasty of Evil demonstrates the core philosophies of the dark side of the Force and describes the background of an even more complex and dangerous character than Darth Vader. This is a highly recommended novel to any Star Wars fan or for anyone who just enjoys science fiction as a whole. I hope every science fiction devotee will enjoy this particular item. May the Force be with you!
The teaser for Game of Thrones Season 7 has finally been released! We get to see the various sigils of the noble houses clashing against one another with a foreshadow of the White Walkers’ return. Enjoy!