Every Thursday, Nathan at Fantasy Review Barn leads a group of fellow bloggers on “Tough Travels”, a trip through the tropes that populate the fantasy and sci-fi world, using Diane Wynne Jones’ hilarious The Tough Guide to Fantasyland as a guide.
This week’s subject is “Enforcers”:
Chamdar — The Demon Lord of Karanda by David Eddings
When Urvon, the mad priest of Torak, needed someone to stir up trouble among Alorn nations, he sent his loyal dog Chamdar. This evil sorcerer, who was transformed into a giant dog by Torak and then changed back to human form by Urvon, assumed the role of Harakan and led a rebellion against the Alorns. He relentlessly pursued Belgarion and friends as they sought Belgarion’s son, before meeting his end from the bite of the little snake, Zith.
Mr. Croup and Mr. Vandemar — Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman
These genteel gentlemen lurk London Below. A relentless pair of assassins who spend much of Neverwhere pursuing the young girl Door and her rescuer Richard, the loquacious Mr. Croup does most of the talking for the two, while Mr. Vandermar is content to simply kill things in gruesome ways. Croup is also known to enjoy snacking on fine china, while Vandermar is partial to small animals.
The Mountain — A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin
When Tywin Lannister needs some brutally butchered, he turns to this 8-foot-tall monster. A landed knight, Ser Gregor Clegane is feared for his rage and brutality, which manifested as a child when he horrifically burned his brother, The Hound. He also butchered babies, raped women and decapitated a horse before meeting his match in Oberyn Martell, who sadly died during the duel as well.
Guido and Nunzio — Hit or Myth by Robert Lynn Asprin
The Myth Adventures of Aahz and Skeeve was one of my favorite series as a kid. So who better to pick for a list of enforcers than a pair of genuine mob enforcers? The pair work for Don Bruce, the Mob’s Fairy Godfather, and they dress and act the part — double-breasted suits, fedoras and Nathan Detroit accents. They are initially working for the Mob, shaking down merchants at the Bazaar on Deva, but eventually they end up working for Aahz and Skeeve as his bodyguards.
Darth Vader — Star Wars