Many stories talk about what we get from our families. In epic fantasy, stories can hinge on things that characters have inherited — swords (Shannara), rings (LotR), a way with the Force, the ability to do magic (unless one is a Mudblood, of course). Or inheritances can be more subtle, helping characters face their challenges — Harry Potter, for example, has inherited both his father’s skill with a broomstick and his father’s invisibility cloak.
Inheritance is a way of making the present story the culmination of effects in the past, creating continuity, and increasing the scope of a tale. Of course, it’s not what the characters have, but what they do with what they have that matters. The person who leaves his grandfather’s sword hanging on the wall over the fireplace doesn’t make a good story.
What story has touched you with an heirloom or inheritance, something the main character has received from the past? What was special about it?
This is a post for the Blogging from A to Z April Challenge. My theme is epic fantasy, and blog posts will cover authors, books, tropes, themes, or anything else I can think of to fill the alphabet. Check out some of the other bloggers participating or follow my blog by e-mail if you like what you’ve read.