J.R.R. Tolkien - Tor/Forge Blog

Immortal Women of Fantasy

What would it be like to live forever? Would you see it as a blessing…or a curse? Some of our favorite women in fantasy wrestle with this question throughout the entirety of their immortal (or very long) lives. Check out some of our favorite long-lived women here, and let us know who you’d add to the list in the comments.

The Invisible Life of Addie La Rue by V.E. Schwab

Addie LaRue from The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V. E. Schwab

France, 1714: in a moment of desperation, a young woman makes a Faustian bargain to live forever—and is cursed to be forgotten by everyone she meets. Thus begins the extraordinary life of Addie LaRue, and a dazzling adventure that will play out across centuries and continents, across history and art, as a young woman learns how far she will go to leave her mark on the world. But everything changes when, after nearly 300 years, Addie stumbles across a young man in a hidden bookstore and he remembers her name. Trade Paperback on Sale Now!

Placeholder of  -3Circe from Circe by Madeline Miller

Not unlike Addie LaRue, the Greek goddess Circe was also cursed to an eternity in a more literal exile. Cast out of the halls of her father Helios and forced to live alone on her island, she becomes more powerful than anyone could expect by using her own unique talent: witchcraft. Relegated to a few lines in Homer’s Odyssey, Madeline Miller re-invents the sorceress into a symbol of resilience, heartbreak, and, ultimately, humanity.

Image Placeholder of - 56Galadriel from The Lord of the Rings series by J. R. R. Tolkien

The “Lady” of the woods of Lothlórien, Galadriel is one of the greatest Elves in Middle-earth and the bearer of Nenya, one of the three Elven rings of power. Beautiful and aloof, Galadriel is witness to some of the greatest battles of Middle-earth’s many ages and still manages to surprise herself after long centuries of life by supporting the Fellowship on their quest and facing and rejecting the seductive evil of The One Ring.

Poster Placeholder of - 91Claudia from Interview with the Vampire by Anne Rice

Trapped in the body of a five-year-old girl, Claudia, the adopted vampire “daughter” of vampire power couple, Louis and Lestat, has an innocent appearance that belies her bloodthirst and the blessing of immortality comes with a curse of not being able to survive on her own without an adult companion, making her perhaps the loneliest and most vulnerable of this central family.

Image Place holder  of - 67Yennefer from The Witcher saga by Andrzej Sapkows

Sorceress Yennefer of Vengerberg is one of the main characters and the love interest of protagonist Geralt of Rivia in The Witcher saga. One of the most powerful mages in the series, Yennefer is known for her beauty, chaotic neutral tendencies, and hot temper. By way of her magic, Yennefer is able to live for an indefinitely long period of time, but at the cost of her fertility, a fact that haunts her throughout the series.


Celebrate Valentine’s Day with our Favorite Relationships in SF/F

The term shipping doesn’t just refer to boats or how fast you can get your package. These days, it also has meaning in relationships—fictional ones, that is. Ships are the couples from fiction, whether books, tv, or movies, that you desperately want to get together in a romantic way—whether the creator intended them to or not. Over time, fans have created some pretty famous ships (cough*Harry-and-Draco*cough) and some super bizarre ships (Elsa and Jack Frost, really?). Many have gained a life of their own, with fan art, fan fic, and more.

Since it’s Valentine’s Day, we started thinking about our favorite relationships as well as our favorite ships in science fiction and fantasy. We’re celebrating the holiday by sharing our list with you! What couples are your list?

Phèdre nó Delaunay and Joscelin Verreuil

Place holder  of - 25 One of the things we love about Jacqueline Carey’s Kushiel’s Legacy series is the number of relationships to wish for, root for, and cry buckets over. Alcuin and Delaney, Ysandra and Drustan, Phèdre and Hyacinthe, Phèdre and Melisande, Phèdre and Joscelin…okay, really Phèdre and anyone who can make her happy. But we polled the Tor staff, and found that most of us were rooting for the opposites attract relationship of Phèdre, courtesan to kings, and Joscelin, warrior-priest and sworn virgin (at least, at the beginning). Those crazy kids belong together, and they prove it by supporting each other through increasingly dire and dangerous situations, all the way to the ends of the world.

Mat Cauthon and Tuon (Fortuona Athaem Devi Paendrag, Daughter of the Nine Moons)

Image Placeholder of - 19 The Wheel of Time is full of relationships, both good and bad. How could it not be, with 14 books spanning years? And while Rand and his relationship with Elayne, Aviendha, and Min was fun to read, our favorite relationship in WoT is the one between Mat and Tuon. The scene where Mat accidentally marries Tuon (be careful what you repeat three times in fantasy novels, guys!) made some of us laugh, and when she finally completes the ceremony, there may have been tears. Their elaborate courtship dance in between, and the sense that Tuon is always one step ahead of Mat, just makes their romance even better.

Baru Cormorant and Tain Hu

Placeholder of  -88 Sometimes you just want a relationship that makes you cry. Amid all the politics, intrigue and plot twists that made The Traitor Baru Cormorant such a fantastic read, the budding—and forbidden—romance between Baru Cormorant and Tain Hu was definitely a highlight. Two ruthless, competent women who begin on opposite sides, but come together to start a revolution against an ever-growing colonial force—what more could you want? Of course, love in wartime is never easy, and there are plenty of hidden agendas at play that make it even harder. Fair warning: not every favorite romance has a happy ending.

Eddi McCandry and the Phouka

Image Place holder  of - 86 This classic urban fantasy is both a slice of rock life in the 80s (you know Prince was totally one of the fey), and a delightful story of learning who you are accompanied by a wonderful romance. We’ve all been Eddi McCandry at some point—juggling the one-two punch of a bad ex and trying to figure out your life—and the Phouka is a babe.
Richard St. Vier and Alec

Poster Placeholder of - 24 Not only is this a wonderful, tangled world of duels fought with swords and over tea in parlors, but the heart of the story is the tangled, snarled, tricky, unlikely and utterly swoon-worthy pairing of a sword for hire and his difficult inamorata. Fireworks, banter, tension (all kinds), and so much more in a beloved m/m pair. As Jo Walton says in her Tor.com review, is Richard and Alec’s relationship love, or is it a duel? Finding out is part of the fun.

Nienna and Ulmo

Two literary characters who we think deserve one another are Nienna and Ulmo from J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Silmarillion. Nienna is one of the Valar, whose purview is grief, mourning, and mercy, ever turning sorrow to wisdom. While Ulmo, the Lord of the Waters, is the Vala who was fondest of the Children of Ilúvatar (Elves and Men). But like Nienna, Ulmo is a loner. All the other godlike Valar were married—why not these two?

Quick Ben and Kalam

If ever there was a “they argue like an old married couple” in Epic Fantasy, it is Quick Ben and Kalam. One is a trickster mage who might be the most powerful magician around, the other is an Assassin that really distrusts magic. They’ve been together since they were rebels fighting the empire, so long that they’re reached the pinnacle of couple-dom in fiction: they can finish each other’s sentences.

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