I started planning this post by thinking: Hey, Good Friday, awesome time for a post on sword and sorcery crucifixion. That evolved into: okay, that might be in poor taste (that’s personal growth, that right there). How about just on hero sacrifice, then? They bring us lessons by sacrificing stuff, right?
Yes, right. And the stuff (or people, whatever) they sacrifice is often forgotten by the time we’re screaming cheers and profanities during the final battle. We feel that something good has been accomplished and we forget everything that was left behind. Well, no more. Today, let us take a moment to ponder these sacrifices.
Let’s just start this with an important one, with a view to the 80s movies boom of S&S (sounds kind of Fifty Shade-ish when it’s put like that. Ha.) A mullet covered in lice is just not an easy look to pull off. Sadly much hair was sacrificed in the name of victory.
So many weapons are cast aside. They’re special for one scene, then they get stuck in a rib cage and game over. Just abandoned like it never mattered. Let us remind the swords that yes, they did matter.
On the same line, with the sword stuck in them and all. Perhaps if it had been protected by more than a bikini, the story could have ended differently .
This one is kinda linked to the last one too, except the people are usually dead without the armor, so you might not think it’s a sacrifice. But some smith out there weeps for their creation. Think about them, for a change.
How many animal legs can be chewed on by a fire pit before that gets old? Luscious meals/orgies usually end up in death by snake, so I don’t feel that really counts.
I imagine between the poor diet and the punches to the face, that post-final-battle S&S is like an All Brawler NHL meet up before mouth guards and face masks were invented. (I’ll confess – I had to ask help with this sports reference. But I still feel pretty cool for having one.)
Let’s be honest. In the telling of a good story (and to make it easier on showcasing character motivation), lovers are easy fodder. If you’re lucky, you’ll get a cool love like Conan’s Bêlit, who’ll come back from beyond the grave to kick butt and take names. But few are so lucky. Most people are just haunted by memories of what could have been.
When heroes are too young to have lovers, well, go Freudian on their asses and kill their parents.
If the hero has no lover and no more parents, they’re probably best friends with a horse or dog (cue Neverending Story trauma in 3, 2, 1). Those were probably sacrificed for the story, as well. It doesn’t pay to be loved by a hero (sing it, brothers and sisters).
Abs and breasts must be showcased. And legs. And other stuff this family-friendly site won’t let me talk about. But decency is often sacrificed, as demonstrated by pretty much any cover of the old Weird Tales.
I hope this hearty list helps you reflect on what you personally have on this day, and remember all that was lost on battlefields far, far away. It’s a day to remember sacrifices made in our name. If the thought of all the good taste sacrificed on 80s battlefields isn’t enough to choke you up today, then I question your humanity.
Oh, how I question it.
Marie Bilodeau is an award-winning science-fiction and fantasy author, as well as a professional performing storyteller. Check out her writings and find out what the heck a storyteller is at www.mariebilodeau.com.