Grimdark Fiction Readers & Writers discussion

48 views
Define Grimdark

Comments Showing 1-17 of 17 (17 new)    post a comment »
dateDown arrow    newest »

message 1: by Charles (new)

Charles Just what the title says.


message 2: by Wester (last edited Oct 16, 2016 06:52AM) (new)

Wester Tucker (wjtucker) | 6 comments Mod
Obviously people are going to have differing opinions, but this is how I define the genre:

Characters with no defining line between good and bad. Logen Ninefingers being a prime example of this.

Little to no consequences for ones actions.

Good deeds go unnoticed for there is no real motivation to do so.

And blood and suffering, of course.


message 3: by Josh (new)

Josh Brannan | 3 comments Realism in actions and consequences for me. It seems to be a revolt against more straightforward fantasy where the good characters are good, the bad characters are bad, and the good ones are going to end up winning. I think Grimdark goes against that by making characters more complex and morally gray, and it also allows those characters to fail or succeed as their actions/the world around them dictates.

I add the bit about the world around them because it's important to remember that luck is a real-world phenomenon. Obviously, Deus Ex Machina has long been a trope in fantasy, but even it can have its place in Grimdark. It just needs to be a rarity rather than a given.

I think the main thing, other than the moral ambiguity of the characters, is the sense that anything can happen. However, there is a strong sense of consequences needing to make sense. The perfect example is that of Ned Stark's honor getting him killed.


message 4: by Wester (new)

Wester Tucker (wjtucker) | 6 comments Mod
Excellent points. Ned Stark's honor is a great example. The whole Stark clan, really. Game of Thrones (the book) was my first introduction to the literary world of moral ambiguity and that sense of "good deeds get you no where".


Tracey the Lizard Queen | 2 comments For me, a good grimdark tale has the typical moral ambiguity, but also a bleak setting setting, and most importantly, a bitter sweet ending or even better a sad ending. Polansky's work is an excellent example if this.


message 6: by Josh (new)

Josh Brannan | 3 comments Wes wrote: "Excellent points. Ned Stark's honor is a great example. The whole Stark clan, really. Game of Thrones (the book) was my first introduction to the literary world of moral ambiguity and that sense of..."

Me too. It was 21 year old Josh's way of finding out not all fantasy was like Narnia, which is still great in its own way.


message 7: by Charles (new)

Charles What about the setting? No constant factors?


message 8: by Stuart (new)

Stuart Kurth | 2 comments Charles wrote: "What about the setting? No constant factors?"

As long as there's dirt in the cracks, the setting could be anywhere or anything. That lived-in feel. The stinks, the stains, the patches, the parts people don't want you to see.


message 9: by Charles (new)

Charles So, is fantasy an integral part of the genre? Could sci-fi and non-speculative fiction be included?


message 10: by Alex (new)

Alex Denby | 3 comments Charles wrote: "So, is fantasy an integral part of the genre? Could sci-fi and non-speculative fiction be included?"

To my knowledge, the term Grimdark originated in Warhammer 40,000 which is arguably more sci-fi than fantasy.


message 11: by Charles (new)

Charles The few warhammer things I've read seem fairly well-based in fantasy, two Hellbrandt Grim comics and another one about an elf (I think? Long time ago).


message 12: by Charles (new)

Charles Though I kind of get what you mean, space marines and all that.


message 13: by Charles (new)

Charles Darkblade: Reign of Blood, that was it. Elf, daemon, swords. Seems rather fantastical.


message 14: by Alex (new)

Alex Denby | 3 comments Charles wrote: "Though I kind of get what you mean, space marines and all that."

There's Warhammer (also called Warhammer Fantasy for disambiguation purposes) and Warhammer 40000. Both have a similar set of factions (Humans, Chaos, Elves, Orcs, etc.), but the two have vastly different flavouring, that you should be able to infer from the names.


message 15: by Charles (new)

Charles What's the difference? Beyond the obvious. Still the same company and everything though?


message 16: by Alex (new)

Alex Denby | 3 comments Charles wrote: "What's the difference? Beyond the obvious. Still the same company and everything though?"

Same company and everything, yes. Again, the main difference is the setting and how the different factions are flavoured.


message 17: by Charles (new)

Charles Stop eating the factions Alex you know they go straight to your mighty thews.


back to top