Why Fantasy Still Leads in Popularity
The final season of Game of Thrones has started and everyone is glued to their screens in anticipation of how it will all wrap up. Since it's debut, Game of Thrones has been one of the most popular television series to grace the screen. But before HBO ever aired the show, fans waited in anticipation for the books by author George R.R. Martin to come out. In fact, the popularity of the books is the reason the cable giant took a gamble on the TV series in the first place.
One reason these books are so beloved by readers is the fantasy element.
Fantasy has been a popular genre for as long as books have been around. The stretch of the imagination to encompass ideals like magic, monsters, myth, and sometimes dragons brings a sense of freedom to the reader and the writer. I know that when I switched over to writing fantasy from thrillers, and even now with in urban fantasy, you can push the limits of your creativity without fear of going too far. Because though there are rules in fantasy they are often meant to be broken.
This is the trademark of fantasy. Epic world-building, eccentric characters, insane plots. Readers and viewers alike are hooked into something that doesn't exist in their normal day-to-day. And isn't that the point of fiction anyhow? You get lost in a good book or story, taken out of reality and thrust into an adventure.
I believe the reason fantasy is still top dog is because it encompasses something for everyone. Any gender, race, or religion can find something to latch onto in a fantasy story because in those worlds the norm is not evident. The races are invented, religions are fictional, the archetypes built from the ground up so that anyone can enjoy them.
It's not an exclusive club, in fact fantasy is making a big return off the page and screen and into living rooms with the return of Dungeons & Dragons. Yes, D&D is back! Legions of people are into it including a long list of celebrities like Dwayne Johnson, Vin Diesel, Drew Barrymore, and John Favreau. True Blood heartthrob Joe Manganiello is so obsessed that he wrote a D&D movie script. The revamp and somewhat upgrade t the original style of playing D&D now has new online playing options which has attracted so many more players and made it mainstream. And it wasn't that long ago that “Game of Thrones” writer George R.R. Martin began his storytelling as a young Dungeon Master.
Fantasy draws people in and gives them a way to express their imagination be it on the page, the screen, or in the form of D&D. There's something very freeing and compelling about stepping away from the binds of modern-day society and living in a world of complete fantasy.