marycatelli (marycatelli) wrote,
marycatelli
marycatelli

fairy tales and war

The authority of kings and lack of nobles, and the size of the kingdoms, are not the only bit of unreality about fairy tales.  There is also the matter of war.

It's not that fairy tales lack war.  When the heroine needs to be separated from her husband post-marriage, well, sometimes there's hunting, but that's not long; certainly not long enough that someone would send the king a message and get back one.  And there's the kidnapping options, but that tends to be limited in plots.  For one thing, you need a culprit, like her envious sisters or mother-in-law.

So war you have.  Its sole impact on the plot is to demand that the king leave his wife.

There's other wars with a little more impact.  What better way for the golden-haired prince working as a gardener to rise again than to win the war for the princess's father?  True, sometimes he gets his magical helper to give him men-at-arms as well as armor, but sometimes it's just him.  Which doesn't argue for a large scale war.  Indeed, plots of this type often have a tourney instead.

Perhaps that explains why the nobles are so lacking in influence.  No wars for them to fight in.
Tags: fairy tale tropes, world-building: military matters
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