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High Fantasy

Director: Jennifer Liang

The mysterious orphan...the ancient wizard...the sassy princess… All they need is an enchanted sword and a wise cracking sidekick and we’ve got ourselves a trilogy. Dragon Con’s new High Fantasy track will feature discussion of classic works such as The Lord of the Rings, The Chronicles of Narnia, Shannara, King Arthur and The Wheel of Time. We will also make room for new stories, such as A Song of Ice and Fire/Game of Thrones, the Dark Tower and The Stormlight Archive. We’ll mine the deep, mythological roots of High Fantasy and explore the fairy tales and myths that inspire this genre. We’ll be returning old favorites from previous tracks that covered High Fantasy, such as Elf Choir, Looney Theories, Darkfriend Hunt and of course, An Evening at Bree. Not limited to a certain format, this track will cover works both written and filmed, with perhaps the occasional foray into video games, art and comics.

Our theme this year will be “Arthur: A Story for All Eras”. We will be using this myth as our lens for examining many other stories. As part of that will be doing a group read of The Once and Future King, by T. H. White. This classic novel was the inspiration for the Disney cartoon “The Sword in the Stone” and, along with Le Morte de Arthur, establishes many of the tropes we automatically think of when picturing King Arthur and High Fantasy. Our group read will host a “book club” discussion of the novel at the convention, but please feel free to stop by even if you haven’t read it.

Arthuriana will not be our only topic, of course. We will be doing a deep dive panel on “Beauty and the Beast”, ranging from the original french fairy tale, the classic Disney movie, and even a few Steve Martin movies along the way. We’ll also take a look at some of the new developments in the world of Tolkien, including focused discussions on Gollum and the new Beren and Luthien book.

This track will also feature discussions of Game of Thrones/ A Song of Ice and Fire. We will take a long look at the role of women in the story, as well as the issues with adapting an incomplete tale to a new medium. We’ll also do a late night “Looney Theories” discussion to cover some of those implausible, but maybe not ideas we have rattling around in our brains.