The Top “Must Have” Gifts for your Fantasy Geek
Dude, I just spent the afternoon in Middle-earth with Gleeglop and the Floopty Doos, all right?
I’m guessing you are reading this because you have integrated a Fantasy Geek into your life. I’m also guessing you’re scared to death because you can’t seem to identify with his/her needs. You watch Mad Men, drink Earl Grey with lemon, and bathe with Patchouli Peppermint soap. Your Geek, on the other hand, spouts off about the different races of Elves, can’t tell the difference between shampoo and conditioner, and knows that the word “WoW” is an acronym and not a word at all.
Just how deep down the rabbit hole is your Geek?
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"There will be no foolish wand-waving or silly incantations"
If you’re still reading this, two things have happened. One, your Geek scored between a 60% and a 100% on the quiz. And two, you have no worldly idea what to give your Geek for a gift. Relax, sit back, and realize I’m here to help you with the “Must Have” gifts for your wannabe Hobbit or Rogue. As with my previous Hub, I’ll be showcasing what I consider to be the top gifts for TV, Movies, Books, Video Games, and Board Games.
First lesson: stick them with the pointy end.
Fantasy television has been getting the short end of the stick since I was but a small Halfling. It has been riddled with sketchy special effects, low budgets, overly contrived plot lines, and actors that I would swear were plucked from the checkout line at your local grocery store. Only in recent years have we seen a steady improvement in the quality of fantasy programming. This has never been more evident than in David Benioff’s and D.B. Weiss’ Game of Thrones. While certainly not appropriate for the younger Fantasy Geeks, older ones will immediately notice that this show checks off every block when it comes to epic fantasy storytelling. It has magic, swords, evil villains, heroic knights, insidious conspiracies, and oh yeah…Dragons. It is a wonderfully done visual retelling of George R.R. Martin’s literary saga, A Song of Ice and Fire.
“I made a promise Mr. Frodo…Don’t you leave him Samwise Gamgee”…well I’m going to…later Frodo!!!
Sure, when it comes to a book that best showcases the Fantasy genre, it should be easy, right? You just choose Lord of the Rings by Tolkien and call it a day. After all, it is probably the most seminal work in its class. Plus, Lord of the Rings has completely saturated our daily lives for the past 10 years with the movies, the games, and the long after release of The Hobbit. And I LOVE Lord of the Rings, I do; everybody that knows me knows I do. I just think there’s a story out there you should read before you read LOTR. That book is called The Dark Elf Trilogy by R.A. Salvatore. Salvatore is a masterful story teller and Drizzt Do’Urden is one of the most beloved characters in all of fantasy. This book tells the origin story of Drizzt as well as some of his early adventures. I dare you to TRY to put this book down! I triple dog dare you to try to put this book down! You will go through the full range of human emotions reading this tale of the “little dark elf that could”. He’s getting beat down at every turn and yet, he claws and scrapes and fights for every inch of what he wants and what he believes in. There are supporting characters you will love and characters you will loathe with every fiber of your being. It’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory mixed with Luke Skywalker and The Godfather; just in a Tolkienesque setting. When you finish this one, there are also several Drizzt Omnibus books available to round out his story.
For the time will soon come when hobbits will shape the fortunes of all..
There's no way to do a list like this and stay out of Middle Earth forever. Tolkien shaped a world that has become the gold standard for every fantasy tale that has followed and when Peter Jackson sought to translate it to the big screen, he drank every drop of Tolkien's kool-aid. There is no other movie choice but The Lord of the Rings Trilogy and you may as well throw in The Hobbit just to complete the package. Seeing the Balrog "live" and on screen for the first time, the friendship between Frodo and Sam, the comedic competition between Legolas and Gimli, and the ascension of Aragorn as he comes to grips with his lineage are movie moments I shall never forget. When you combine all of that with the recently released Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, you will enter into a Fantasy euphoria that is seldom reached.
Trying to pick out one video game that speaks for the entire fantasy genre is like me trying to pick just one of the 31 flavors at the local Baskin Robbins. Which is to say, it's doggone near impossible! There are so many singular titles like Neverwinter Nights and Kingdoms of Amalur. There are also plenty of multi title gems such as Final Fantasy, Diablo, and The Legend of Zelda. So when I decided on the best game for your Geek, I took into consideration many factors. The game had to possess the most complete vision of what a traditional Fantasy world would offer. There needed to be a freedom of choice on how you approached your quest. Lastly, the game would need to be accessible to many types of players. In the end, there was only one clear choice; The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. I cannot say enough about the quality of this title. It has an expansive free world to roam with varying climate zones. Skyrim has an enormous selection of classic Fantasy monsters and creatures. You can tackle the story of the game in a multitude of different classes. Fighting Dragons in this game feels like fighting Dragons should feel. The story is top notch, especially considering that Christopher Plummer narrates it. There's additional download content that further expands the story, including being able to ride Dragons.
Bring your D20's, but leave your pencils at home...
I totally wanted to go with Dungeons & Dragons v3.5 as my choice of board/tabletop game. But let's face it; the 40 hour work week is a joke, kids are into so many different things, and siblings are stretched to opposite sides of the country...err....realm I mean. You need a game where you can put 4 people at a table, still create incredible characters, have solid story pacing, and feel a sense of accomplishment when you finish. With that in mind, I chose Dungeon Quest by Fantasy Flight Games for this category's selection. In this game, 4 players can take on the roles of gallant heroes and storm the catacombs of the Dragonfire Dungeon in the land of Terrinoth, battle legendary foes, and loot rare weapons and armor. You can complete a session in just a shade under 4 hours and it makes for a wonderful time on a rainy afternoon.
Didn't agree with my choices?
Which of my selections were you most in agreement with?
Until next time....
Thanks again for reading my Hub. Please make comments or feel free to provide feedback. If you have alternate ideas to share with the readers actually looking for assistance; feel free!