Tough Travelling“Tough Traveling” is a weekly Thursday feature created byย Nathan at Review Barnย where participants make a new list each week based on The Tough Guide to Fantasyland by Diana Wynne Jones. This hilarious little book cheerfully pokes fun at the most prevalent tropes in fantasy. All are welcome to take part, and there is a link up over at his site. Join in any time!

This week’s trope isย CHESS MASTERS:

A true master knows where all the pieces are at all times. Others may think they have taken control but alas, the master knew their last move before they played it.

This topic definitely challenged me, but thankfully I had some old faithfuls to fall back on. But of course I snuck a little UF in there. Here’s what I came up with!

Game of ThronesThe Spider – A Song of Ice and Fire series by George R.R. Martin

Thanks to his expansive network of spies, the Spider knows what everyone in Westeros is going to do before they even do it. The world is his web and the rest of us are just flies trapped in it!

Harry Potter and the Half Blood PrinceAlbus Dumbledore – Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling

All I will say about this is that I shared Harry’s fury when it was revealed just how manipulative and secretive Dumbledore really was. Dude, maybe if you’d told people what was going on – or clued them in to some damn prophecies – things wouldn’t have gotten so cray cray.

InsurgentJeanine Matthews – Insurgent by Veronica Roth

As leader of the Erudite faction, Jeanine has the intelligence and resources to control an entire faction…one other than her own. Against their will. That’s some serious pawn manipulation if you ask me. Plus, it wouldn’t surprise me at all if Jeanine were a literal chess master. She’s smart enough!

Storm FrontJohn Marcone – The Dresden Files by Jim Butcher 

Gentleman Marcone has weaselled his way into and out of every situation imaginable. From controlling the criminal underworld to possessing some seriously powerful magical artifacts, Marcone always seems to be one step ahead of the law. And often a few steps ahead of Harry!


    • Lisa (@TenaciousReader)

    • 8 years ago

    Yay! For another Spider pick ๐Ÿ™‚ Also glad to see a woman on yours, I couldn’t think of any for some reason, but I know they are out there!

    1. You know, I didn’t think about it at the time of writing this post but I did have a hard time coming up with women for my list. Still can’t think of too many….which just means I need to read more!

  1. A couple people came up with Dumbledore. I admit I didn’t think of him but it was proving to be very apt.

    1. Don’t even talk to me about that bearded information withholder. DUMBLEDORE, WHYY?!

    • Laura @ Half-Strung Harp

    • 8 years ago

    That’s the first time I’ve ever seen that cover for GoT!

    Great call with Dumbledore. ๐Ÿ˜€

    1. I believe it’s the cover for the mass market paperback! Kind of cool how all the different covers are equally epic, doesn’t often happen that way.

  2. I never understood why Dumbledore had to be so secretive about his VERY SECRET plans… Communication, people, it saves lives.
    Jeanine is a great pick, though I hated her. I haven’t read Allegiant yet (it’s on my tbr despite the fact that I don’t really like this series so much, I just want to cross it off my list) and I wonder how the whole thing will end…

    1. RIGHT?! Thank you. I mean, I like the guy and everything but I just remember feeling so betrayed when we found out the true extent of his information withholding.
      I hated her too…but she’s kind of got it going on at the same time, you know? Weirdly enough, I’ve not read Allegiant either! I won’t lie, I loved the first two books but got majorly spoiled for Allegiant and eventually lost interest in the series.

    • Lynn Williams

    • 8 years ago

    The Spider is just an excellent choice and the other two as well to be honest! Dumbledore also had a long term plan – not the most cheery – but definitely thinking of the bigger picture!
    Lynn ๐Ÿ˜€

    1. Hahaha, no kidding. His plan was DEFINITELY not cheery! But pretty Machiavellian, no? I was begrudgingly impressed.

  3. Man, a lot of people had Dumbledore on their lists this week, but I admit I’ve always thought of him as a kindly old grandfather-like wizard. I don’t recall feeling that angry when it was revealed how manipulative he was, I guess I was just like, shut yer piehole, Harry, he did it for your own good ๐Ÿ˜›


    1. Noooo, Mogsy come back from the dark side! Hahaha. But really though…when his plans were finally revealed, I was angry because it changed how I saw the events of all the previous books, you know? Also, Order of the Phoenix was a complete nightmare where he just wouldn’t talk to Harry. I get his motives but I’m petty like that ๐Ÿ˜‰

  4. High five for Varys and Dumbledore. Great minds and all that. I love Dumbledore but you’re not wrong on the possible benefit that might have resulted from him sharing his plans and knowledge. I need to get back to the Dresden Files, obviously because I have no memory of the character you list…. The gray cells – they don’t hold onto much anymore.

    1. YES old men for the win! HAHA, fair. There are soo many characters in the Dresden Files though, so at least you have that as an excuse. ๐Ÿ˜‰ I need to get caught up on those books too!

  5. Verys should so be on the top of this list! I didn’t think of Dumbledore, but yes he was very manipulative. Good pick with Marcone. Is it wrong that I like him?

    1. Varys is so intriguing. He’s the best, isn’t he? Don’t get me started on Dumbledore…No, not at all! I love Marcone too. He’s just got a little something something, I think.

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