In every story, there’s a baddie. A villain. And in an epic fantasy story, it’s a “dark one” or “evil one” who’s been around for a long time. They’re usually thousands of years old and have a secret to immortality.
No one thinks that the villian can ever be overthrown, or overpowered, or killed, or stopped. So society continues for hundreds, maybe even thousands of years, under this assumption and eventually becomes complacent.
And then there’s this person who comes along, the “chosen one” trope we know too well. And this person has the power somewhere deep down to overthrow the villian. We hope that they will, and we follow their epic perhaps through seven, ten, or fourteen volumes. We see their struggles, their trauma, their friendships and sometimes romances.
We see ourselves. And this is why epic fantasy is epic.
It speaks to the parts of us that have become complacent in our lives, under the “regime” of our mind. Our assumptions about ourselves. No, we aren’t enslaved by an evil dictator, at least not outwardly. But what about inwardly? Who really has control of your thoughts, feelings, and eventual actions?
I think it’s human nature to want someone else to come along as the chosen one to eradicate the bad guy. But let’s be real – it’s us that has to kill the villain.