Thursday, May 14, 2015

Tough Traveling - The Weasel

Tough Traveling is a fun meme that aims to tour all the tropes big and small, abhorred and loved that are littered across the fantasy landscape. It was conceived of and is hosted by Nathan at Fantasy Review Barn and here's how it's explained on the blog: 

Each Thursday, our copy of ‘The Tough Guide to Fantasyland’ in hand, we shall tour the mystical countryside looking for adventure and fun (and tropes) from all over fantasy.

This week's trope is Weasels:

Weasels are usually very useful, obtaining information from unlikely sources and the like. For that matter they may be fun to be around. But can they ever really be trusted? Usually about as far as they can be thrown, but one never knows.
The definition I had in my head as I thought about the fictional characters that might fit this topic was someone who was very useful, but who had a distinct lack of moral fortitude.  I'm not sure they are always negative characters, in fact I thought of a couple characters that I think fit this description who are pretty awesome.  This is good because I really like weasels... you know these guys:

Photograph by Marko K. Some rights reserved.  (view image details)
....and I don't like to have such negative connotations attached to their name:0).


- Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin- Varys "The Spider" and Petyr Baelish

Not surprisingly dual entries from the GoT series came immediately to mind and quite frankly I'm surprised it was only two characters - I'm sure there are many more.   Varys and Petyr are the most obvious - both have proved VERY useful to the throne and have found it easy to switch allegiances and stay afloat in a violent and ever-shifting political game.  It would be a big mistake to trust either of them.  I'm guessing they will show up on a lot of lists.

- The Grisha Series by Leigh Bardugo - The Apparat

A religious weasel! You'd be hard pressed to know where his beliefs and loyalty lie.  He has power and can be a useful ally but his loyalty leaves a lot to be desired.

- The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer - Captain Carswell Thorne 

This guy is one lovable weasel.  He's one of my examples of a weasel who is actually pretty awesome.  He doesn't mean anyone any true harm but he is mostly focused on himself and getting what will make Carswell happy.    

- The Rook by Daniel O'Malley - Rook Gestalt 

I take any chance I can to bring up this fun urban fantasy novel.  Rook Gestalt is one mind with four bodies all of which are a little shifty.  Because of it's unique nature Gestalt is very hard to read and keep track of, a fact which Myfanwy, the fellow Rook in the Chequy intelligence agency discovers.

- The Gentleman Bastards Series by Scott Lynch - Locke Lamora

Don't hit me!  This is one of the likeable weasels but I propose that Locke is a weaselly character.  He's small dangerous and wicked smart.  He is also none too concerned with the laws and rules of whatever society he is blending into.  

- Wool Omnibus by Hugh Howey - The Head of IT 

For the Sci-Fi entry into this list I pick the head of IT of Silo 17 (or whatever its called - I think it was 17?) because I guffawed out loud when I learned that that Head of IT was EEEVIL.  Because of course.  (No offense to all the very lovely IT professionals out there - unfortunately at my current job the IT section is the bane of my existence - completely unhelpful and in fact disruptive).  The head of IT is privy to "the secret" and while he is crucial to the running of the Silo he is also doing a lot of morally questionable things on the side.


That's my list for the week!  Head on over to Fantasy Review Barn and check out if your favorite weasel has been duly recognized!

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