Tough Travelling“Tough Traveling” is a weekly Thursday feature created by Nathan at Review Barn 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 is MESSIAHS:

If the world needs saving who are you going to call?  Perhaps there is someone out there destined to save everything?  It sounds like you need…a Messiah.  (Thanks Rabindranauth for the topic).

Messiahs or Chosen Ones are all over the place in fantasy, unsurprising since the world always seems to be ending for some poor kingdom or other. Here are some of my most memorable Messiah figures!

Harry Potter and the Half Blood PrinceHarry Potter – Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling
The Boy Who Lived. The boy who must defeat the Dark Lord and save the entire wizarding world…and muggle society too. I mean when you think about it, Harry’s hero arc is literally that of a Messiah. He goes off to die/make the ultimate sacrifice for his friends/people, then he comes back to defeat the forces of darkness. BAM. Messiah.
Ender's GameEnder Wiggin – Ender’s Game by Orson Scott CardYes this is sci-fi but everyone else has used it at some point so I say why not! What do you do when an alien race might be amassing their weapons to smite you? Looks like little bitty Ender Wiggin’s gotta save the world from the evil Buggers! Or is it the other way around?
Trickster's ChoiceAlianne of Pirate’s Swoop (Aly) – Trickster’s Coice by Tamora PierceAly is a the Chosen One, she who will restore rightful rule to the Copper Isles. Unfortunately for Aly, she’s been chosen by Kyprioth, aka the Trickster God. Everyone in the Copper Isles knows that it’s not exactly smooth sailing for his followers. But Aly still manages to get her Messiah on despite the crappy odds. You go, girl!
Fellowship of the RingFrodo Baggins – The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien
Does anyone not know this story? Naive underdog goes on a quest to thwart the powers of darkness and save the world – he’s the only one who can! Not exactly an easy life. Poor Frodo, proof that the Messiahs of fantasyland don’t exactly have it easy.


  1. Who ya gonna call…ghost busters

    1. Ooooh good one! I didn’t even think of them.

  2. Hahahah the gods of Tortall seem to do nothing but meddle in mortal lives.

    1. UGH so true! You’d think they’d be busy fighting their wars yet somehow they’ve always got time to muck things up for our heroes.

  3. Ha, Frodo! Yes, he’s saddled with the fate of the entire world, the poor little guy. (By the way, I can’t wait for my kiddo to start toddling around so I can dress him up as a hobbit for our equivalent of Halloween!)
    I also chose Harry! I wonder on how many lists he’ll show up this week!

    1. YES toddlers as hobbits are the best!!! I think he’ll be down for that – who can resist a cloak?

      I have a feeling that Harry’s gonna be the star of the show this week!

    • Laura @ Half-Strung Harp

    • 7 years ago

    Great list! I think you’re the only other person I’ve seen who’s included Frodo, although Harry has been very popular this week. 😀

    1. Frodo needs love, too! Actually he probably needs love more than any other messiah protagonist, haha. Harry’s popular enough as it is. 😉

    • Lisa (@TenaciousReader)

    • 7 years ago

    You have Tamora Pierce as often as I have GRRM! I almost put Ender on my list, but forgot while I was drafting it up 🙂

    1. I try to squeeze her in there every week, that’s for sure! Ahh Ender, arguably the most recognizable sci-fi messiah.

    • Lynn Williams

    • 7 years ago

    Hah, you got LoTR and I didn’t. You win. I will now pack up sticks and just go quietly!! Although…. I did get Harry Potter!
    And you got Tamora.
    Lynn 😀

    1. WHAT? Shocking! Honestly I usually pick LOTR when I can’t think of anything else…so I’m sure lists without Frodo – like yours – are much more creative than this one!

  4. Ender! Great Choice! And are we not supposed to use SciFi? *shifty eyes* What are rules? I laugh at rules! Trickster’s Choice looks pretty great – Trickster gods are the best! I just recently read my first Tamora Pierce and she is way awesome! Will definitely be reading much more. Do you have a favorite?

    1. Thanks girl! YES! Laugh in the face of rules! Something something cheaters always prosper. That’s how that goes, right? 😉

      AHHHH YES STEPHANIE!!!!! You don’t even know how happy I am about your intro into the fabulous world of Tamora Pierce. Which book did you start with? Was it Alanna: The First Adventure? That’s the best place to begin, I think. My favourite(s) by far are Trickster’s Choice and Trickster’s Queen, bonus points because they’re a duology. I also love The Immortals quartet.

      1. I did start with Alanna: The First Adventure and think I will continue to work my way through all the Tortall books.

  5. I checked with the judges Sci Fi is allowed because it is awesome. Though mentions of Card get you a warning. *evil glare*

    1. Would you say that I got…carded? Ayyyyyy!!! Badum tish.

  6. Great choices, and Sci-Fi is definitely fair game. There would have been weeks where I’d be totally screwed with my lists if I hadn’t been allowed to feature sci-fi titles 😛


    1. Now that I’ve got the okay from so many people, y’all are gonna have a hard time keeping up with all my sci-fi inclusions!! Except not really, since I’ve read very little sci-fi up to this point (unless we’re counting YA dystopians).

  7. I traveled thru the lists and so many Harry potters…you know I think we should challenge Nathan to come up with a topic for the travels that Harry Potter can’t possibly be used for!!

    1. Whoa…good idea! What would it even be? For a second I thought that the “gay mage” sub-trope from the Companions trope a few months ago might work, but J.K. Rowling’s post-series revelations made that one fit.

      1. Darn it’s the impossible Task then

  8. I was thinking this was going to be a hard one, but I didn’t think of the chosen one thing. Harry Potter and LoTR are good ones! (and there’s nothing wrong with stretching the rules a little, everyone else does) I keep meaning to read Pierce. I love tricksters!

    1. Without the chosen ones I would’ve been toast! YES MOLLY, READ TAMORA PIERCE. You will quickly learn that the “secret” purpose behind my blog is to get people to read my queens, Tamora Pierce and Kelley Armstrong. 😉

  9. Harry Potter is all that I could come up with for this week’s theme, but now that you mention it, Frodo does make sense too.

    Carmel @ Rabid Reads

    1. Yep, that hobbity fellow certainly has a messiah complex going on! And his tribulations make for a good drinking game too. Every time a character in the LOTR movies shouts “Nooooooo, Frodo!” you drink. 😉

    • Windsprite

    • 7 years ago

    Sci-Fi Messiahs… lets me think of Anakin Skywalker from Star Wars…

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