10 Scariest Fantasy TV Show Tropes

The fantasy genre has always been beloved and has seen a resurgence recently, especially on television. There are plenty of TV shows set in different countries with magical beings that audiences enjoy, but sometimes they end up using very tired tropes in the writing, causing people to cringe instead of appreciating the history.

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From Dragon House For shadow and bone, these shows used lazy and even offensive language, like disrespecting women and entrusting the cliched chosen one with saving their world. Since fantasy has no limits on where and what it can represent, showrunners would do well to dream up new storylines and tropes to enhance these fan-favorite shows.



ten Too many useless new characters

Arcadius aka Cade in The Vampire Diaries.

Fantasy shows can be sprawling in their settings and lore, which is why they can have more characters than other TV show genres. Fans appreciate new entrants who add to the plot, but sometimes new characters are introduced for little or no reason, irritating fans who follow them for the sake of the story.

Besides following some grumpy teen tropes, The Vampire Diaries And The originals were guilty of doing this. New vampires and villains were always circulating in these shows, only to have them die quickly and inconsequentially, or be forgotten completely.

9 Women as pawns

Margaery Tyrell presenting a flower to Sansa Stark in Game of Thrones.

In the magical worlds of television, especially the medieval European type, women are not highly respected. It’s a trope that can easily be removed, after all, everything in these worlds is imaginary, so making women valuable members of society isn’t that hard.

Game Of Thrones may have episodes with 100% Rotten Tomatoes scores, but many viewers had issues with how women and minorities were subjected to wanton violence for no good reason. Women can be equal members in these shows, not just political or sexual pawns to be subjugated. This kind of thinking is outdated.

8 Stereotypical species

Nori and the Harfoots in The Rings of Power.

The fantasy genre has a habit of dealing with binaries like good versus evil, male versus female, etc. Morality is something that’s either black or white on these shows, which can be a pretty simplistic way of looking at it. Too often, entire species of people and creatures are painted in a single hue, making them look seamless and boring.

power rings there may not have been Hobbits, but there were their ancestors, the Harfoots, who were also stereotyped in certain personalities. Harfoots were cute and shy, they loved food (like their descendants) and generally had the same personality. Likewise, the Alumni were all ethereal and otherworldly. It might have been nice to provide some heterogeneity between species.

7 The chosen one / The character who is the key to everything

Alina Starkov fixing her crown in Shadow and Bone Season 2 Episode 8

The Chosen One is a character that has been overused and underdeveloped, making it a trope fantasy fans want to avoid at all costs. Oddly enough, it’s a storyline that countless shows and movies continue to use to this day, despite its age and obsolescence.

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shadow and bone Alina Starkov is the mythical Summoner of the Sun capable of defeating the Shadow Fold, Wednesday has the titular heroine destined to destroy Joseph Crackstone, and Chilling Adventures of Sabrina makes Sabrina the key to everything as Lucifer’s own daughter. This trope has been recycled so many times in even the most binge-worthy fantasy shows that viewers just want to see something different.

6 The anti-hero is always forgiven

Klaus sits in a chair during a dinner party in The Originals.

Antiheroes aren’t held to very high standards in fantasy shows, especially if they’re charismatic. It’s entirely commendable to see outright villains forgiven for their past sins if they claim to have changed or become romantically involved with a main character. These anti-heroes are usually men.

They are never punished for their past sins; in fact, they continue to do heinous things but are glorified or excused. Klaus in The originals and Daemon Targaryen in Dragon House are just a few examples of this trope in action in some of the greatest fantasy shows. Accountability is cooler than captivating men sweeping heroines off their feet.

5 Heroes single-handedly fighting armies

Daemon Targaryen all bloodied

The hero battling an army alone makes for some exceptionally cinematic and impressive visuals, but it stretches the imagination too far and sometimes cringes. It’s humanly impossible for an individual to take on an entire army and defeat it, and this trope defies logic in a way that can’t be taken seriously.

The most recent example is the Battle of the Stepstones in Dragon House where inexplicably Daemon Targaryen went alone and barely protected, reached the Crabfeeder and single-handedly killed him as well. The plot armor here insulted the audience’s intelligence a bit too much.

4 Characters dying and coming back to life repeatedly

Jensen Ackles and Jared Paladecki play the respective roles of Dean and Sam Winchester.

Shocking deaths of TV characters no longer surprise fans because people have a way to rise from the dead in fantasy television. If it’s a one-time situation, fans can still accept it, but some shows have made a habit of killing off important characters and then bringing them back to life a few episodes later.

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This type of murder and resurrection only works for a few scenes and takes away the seriousness of character deaths in the series. Then viewers don’t care who lives or dies because they’re forced to come back, which makes the show predictable and boring. Supernatural leaned heavily on this trope.

3 Unnecessary steamy scenes that add nothing to the plot

Yennefer and Geralt kiss in The Witcher

Romance is an integral part of many fantasy plots, but there has been a tendency to add “smoky” or steamy scenes to many TV shows. When used wisely, these scenes definitely add flavor to a fantastic show, but can also become a low-cost tactic to attract eyes and a wider audience.

Unnecessary use of sex and intimacy is not a good look for fantasy shows, especially those aimed at young adults. the witcher has several sex scenes that are a little too graphic for comfort, but Game Of Thrones remains the worst offender. Fortunately, the prequel Dragon House reduced the sex scenes, and the plot is better for it.

2 Human characters cling to humanity

Fantasy shows that deal with other supernatural species, especially vampires or werewolves, feel a strange compulsion to make the main characters cling to their humanity, even if it doesn’t make sense. On the one hand, these shows endlessly glorify these beguiling creatures, but feel the protagonist must remain staunchly human, even if it doesn’t make sense.

It would be refreshing to see a female protagonist actually want to go over to the dark side instead of always trying to get around it. true blood greatly angered fans when Sookie dealt with vampires for years and was a fairy herself, but chose an ordinary life with humans instead of embracing her powers and uniqueness.

1 The instant expert in everything

Sabrina from Chilling Adventures of Sabrina in a trance, arms raised to the sides

The main character doesn’t always have to be the best at everything, but the fantasy genre tends to do that almost every time. These characters are so gifted that they immediately pick up skills others have taken years to perfect, or naturally become the best at magic, sports, combat, or any other activity.

These characters are complete novices who become experts overnight, which can be a little awkward and absurd to watch. It may be better to humanize the protagonist and make them an Everyman, instead of being extraordinarily good at everything under the sun.

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