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 Otherworldly Creatures (Tentacles Preferred):

Just for Tiara, this topic explains itself. Creatures not of our world or even our plain of existence, perhaps living in another dimension. Preferably, though not required, with tentacles.   Or really anything with tentacles can be considered weird enough to be otherworldly.

Thanks to Tiara from The Bibliosanctum for suggesting this topic! I managed to wrangle a couple tentacled beings and one truly blood-curdling example of otherworldly creatures of the insectoid variety.

Harry Potter and the Goblet of FireThe Giant Squid – Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling


Tentacled beings get a bad rap, but the Giant Squid isn’t all bad. Dwelling in the Great Lake surrounding Hogwarts castle, the squid seems to help the students more than harm them – as with Dennis Creevey who falls into the lake and is placed back in his boat by the squid. The Giant Squid likes toast and being tickled. Who knew?

Wild Magic by Tamora PierceKraken – Wild Magic by Tamora Pierce


Daine is a wildmage, someone who can communicate with animals and mythical beasts. Although she’s got a pacifist slant to her, she’s not above summoning a Kraken to defend her home when its under siege by pirates. Tentacles, smash!

Fellowship of the RingThe Watcher in the Water – The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien


As if entering the mines of Moria isn’t scary enough on its own, you’ve got to make it past the Watcher in the Water if you want to even think about making it inside. It’s huge, it’s mean, it’s squid-like with tentacles. BAM.

Blood Child by Octavia ButlerTlics – Bloodchild by Octavia Butler


This chilling, Hugo and Nebula winning sci-fi short story centres upon procreation and the exploration of sexuality and gender roles (classic Butler). Human men living on an alien planet are used as vessels for alien babies of the Tlic species; the Tlics can’t bear their own young so they exploit human men to do so. As if being unwillingly impregnated by an alien race isn’t horrifying enough, fully grown Tlics resemble sea serpents with eight legs…yikes.


  1. The Giant Squid! Yeah, I would NEVER go swimming in that lake. The second task of the Triwizard Tournament would have been my last, I think, because a) I’d probably throw all the gillyweed right back up (EW!) and b) I’m scared of deep water where I can’t see the bottom and seaweed is definitely hiding all sorts of evil creatures so NOPE.
    Ew, that Butler story sounds like something I should avoid.

    And LOTR is a great choice! Again, a deep lake where you can’t see the bottom – instant horror story.

    1. YES I completely agree about the whole instant horror story thing. Honestly, as much as I appreciate how beautiful the ocean is, it kind of terrifies me. I mean…who knows what the hell could be down there??? I think I could do the dragon battle (provided I wasn’t matched with the Horntail like Harry) because I’m not afraid of heights and I’m pretty good at physical tasks like that (martial arts FTW), but that’s the only one.

      1. Ahh I KNEW you were secretly a ninja! But seriously, martial arts? 🙂 How cool is that? My hand-eye coordination sucks so I do really well at sports like cycling, swimming and yoga – the others, not so much.
        I’m currently re-reading Goblet of Fire and was asking myself whether I would enter if I was eligible… I honestly don’t know. I am terribly competitive but not really a sports type and/or an adrenaline junkie… Who knows. 🙂

  2. How did I forget the Giant Squid? Haha.

    Bloodchild sounds horrific. I need more Octavia Butler in my life… I should probably read it!

    1. It’s a classic! I’ve had Harry Potter on the brain recently so that helps. 🙂 It was sooo horrific and so great. I mean, definitely don’t read it at night if you live alone because it’s prime creepiness material, but it really is wonderfully written. I love Octavia Butler so much it’s not even funny.

    • Lynn Williams

    • 7 years ago

    Yay, LotR, HP and Tamora.
    Lynn 😀

    1. The trifecta! 😀 I love it when we can be LOTR buddies like we were this week.

    • Lisa (@TenaciousReader)

    • 7 years ago

    I totally do not remember the squid form Harry Potter. I guess I do remember them being somewhat apprehensive of “something” in the water, but I could never have told you what it was.

    1. HA, yeah I have re-read those books an unhealthy number of times. Not recently, but enough that most of the beasties are pretty fresh in my mind. I liked that Giant Squid because even though it squicked me out, it wasn’t an evil tentacled creature. Pretty unusual, if you ask me!

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