Fantasy Friday is my own feature, posted every other Friday. It’s pretty self-explanatory: I do a feature on something to do with the genre. Sometimes it will be a book recommendation, sometimes showcasing a book or series I’ve loved and other times it might be a discussion post. You’re more than welcome to join in with this feature, let me know if you make your own Fantasy Friday post! This post is a special edition as part of Horror October!
Today I want to talk about: the scariest creatures in fantasy.
From: The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien
Why? They never tire, they are relentless and they will keep going until they get what they desire – the One Ring. Their terrifying shriek can be heard from a long way away and only serves to put fear in the hearts of their victims. Not only can they catch up to you on horseback, but they also have Fell Beasts which means you’re pretty much always within their reach. Not to mention the fact that they carry Morgul blades, and you REALLY don’t want to be stabbed by one of those – or you might become Ringwraith #10. Stay near running water though, and you might be okay…
From: the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling
Why? They look terrifying, and they literally suck the happiness out of everything. So not only would you be faced with this horrific looking creature, but you’d also feel utterly full of despair and pretty much helpless. And then once you’ve given up, the Dementor will try to SUCK OUT YOUR SOUL. Ugh. Not a nice way to go. Better start learning that Patronus charm.
From: The Old Kingdom series by Garth Nix
Why? Unless you’re a Necromancer, or happen to be the Abhorsen, you’re pretty much powerless against the Dead of the Old Kingdom. Seeing as the Old Kingdom is almost uninhabited I’m not sure what you’d be doing in there in the first place, but it’s a bad idea. Even the Abhorsen’s Bells, one of the few things that can send the Dead back to the Final Gate, can turn against him or her.
From: the A Song of Ice and Fire series by George R.R. Martin
Why? Do you happen to have any handy Dragonglass/obsidian lying around? No? Well then you’re probably dead, because that’s the only way you can defeat a White Walker. They’re brutal, strong and bloodthirsty – and not particularly picky about their prey. I would advise staying south of the Wall…
20 thoughts on “Fantasy Friday #22: Scariest Creatures in Fantasy”
The Dementors just may be the biggest home run Rowling ever hit. I can’t think of any single thing she added to fantasy that I appreciate more.
Obviously the films don’t top the books, but that moment in Prisoner of Azkaban where you see the Dementor slip its hand around the door – gives me chills!
Oh my gosh, Ringwraiths are so creepy! I remember watching the first LOTR movie in the theater and I jumped a mile when they were first introduced!
It’s just the thought of being out in the woods and hearing one of them shrieking… eeek!
The White Walkers are scary, but what really scared me was the zombie white walker horses!!! Ew!
They were grisly! I like how they did the White Walkers in the show – I was expecting zombie type creatures that don’t exactly look like they’d last long.
Your list is great! I’d add the Chandrian from Patrick Rothfuss’ Name of the Wind, though it isn’t clear what they are. But I think the not-knowing adds to the scariness.
Damn I didn’t think of that one! Although I can’t even begin to visualise it… reminds me I need to pick up The Wise Man’s Fear asap 😉
Well I haven’t read Sabriel or ASoIaF, but I’ve seen the first few episodes of Game of Thrones and those things were FREAKY. The Nazgul are scary, but honestly I’m kind of impressed by them half the time. They’re pretty awesome 😛
They do have some weaknesses though I guess… fire and running water 😛
Tolkien’s Balrog is just as impressive as the Ringwraiths, especially because it’s described more like a blend of fire and darkness rather than a definite being.
Anything from Lovecraft’s dark imagination is bound to freeze the blood in our veins… Again, I think that the lack of a precise description is what makes these creatures more horrifying: seeing them on screen is one thing, but reading about them in a book is far worse, IMHO, because whatever our imagination can supply is far more scary than anything we might see with our own eyes.
And last but not least – though I wonder if it qualifies: the clown/creature from Stephen King’s “IT”. I remember it was the stuff of nightmares and I’ve never been able to look at a sidewalk gutter in the same way ever since!
Oh gosh how did I forget the Balrog! Such a fantastic moment in the book, and like you said it’s not a definite being which makes it even scarier, because how do you defeat something like that??
I really really need to read some Lovecraft. I’m sure I have some on my Kindle…
Eeeeek! Okay I’ve not read or watched It. I’m not sure if I want to… I know a lot of people who’ve had some serious nightmares from that film 😉
I never watched the movie either: the book was more than enough for me! When I read IT I was in my early 30s, so not exactly “young and impressionable”, and yet it *did* make an impression on me, a very strong one… brrrrr….
Films tend to scare me a lot more than books, since I can imagine something totally different to the scary character or thing in a book. But I reckon IT would still terrify me…
When I first saw the title of this post I thought, “Yeah, I don’t like any scary creatures” but then the Nazgul are the first on the list and they’re both awesome and scary so I stand corrected. The Dead from the Old Kingdom are also pretty scary but not in an awful way. Shelob. The volcra or nichevo’ya from the Grisha trilogy. the vampires from Twilight – oh wait! no. not scary at all.
Yes, they’re the good kind of scary – chills but not nightmares…
I don’t mind spiders, but I think I’d run for my life if I saw one the size of Shelob.
Haha, oh those terrifying sparkles!
I have to agree 100% that Nazgul and Death Eaters are terrifying! I wouldn’t want to cross paths with any of them. They are quite similar in appearance though, I guess that’s another thing both books have in common. If you look closely you’ll easily find tons of similarities between both series.
Yep, there’s some definite inspiration there! Tolkien is heavily influential on the genre after all.