Top Ten Tuesday | Frequently Used Words In Fantasy Titles

Top 10 Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jana @That Artsy Reader Girl. Weekly prompts are posted on her blog each week and any blogger who want to participate can create their own list of 10, 5, 2, 1 or any combo of numbers in between in answer to that prompt. Do what works for you on your blog, and join in the listing fun!

This week’s prompt is “Frequently Used Words in [Pick genre] title.” Every single genre out there has their own titling patterns that you’ll start to pick up on if you look closely enough. It’s no fault of the genre or a lack of creativity from the industry, but rather something that I think marketing teams have picked up on: people gravitate towards specific words within titles in each specific genre.

Fantasy as a genre is no exception. Lets look at 10 words that I see pop up often in Fantasy titles.

1. Assassin

That’s not even accounting for all the characters in fantasy novels that are assassins by trade!

2. King

Smart money says that if your main character in fantasy isn’t an assassin, he or she might be a once or future king of the realm the story takes place in.

3. Mage

Or, if magic is more your main character’s strong suit, the titling will probably slant this way. Mage in the title is another title that comes by way of the main character’s profession, leading us to our next pick:

4. Magic

Magic is really a given with fantasy. Some High Fantasy tries really hard to avoid the overt use of magic, but I can’t think of one series where it doesn’t play at least some role in the way the world was formed, or hasn’t had some sort of impact on the characters over time.

5. Blood

Blood is another big important factor in a lot of fantasy stories. Typically either the threat of a character’s blood being spilled, or the promise of power inherent in a character because of their blood.

6. Queen

Of course, if the main character is a once or future Queen too – she may well factor into the titling of the book or series she’s in as well.

7. Dragon(s)

Who doesn’t like a good dragon tail tale?

8. Spell

Like Magic, spells are pretty typical of fantasy novel titling, and often have an even greater focus in the book itself.

9. Witch

Are you all starting to sense some themes here to fantasy titles? Profession and magic are essentially where most titles go to right off. But maybe we can find one that breaks this convention and yet is still popular enough to repeat itself for our final entry?

10. Night

Aside from Kings, Queens, Mages, and all the magicy goodness in between, Night, Dusk and Twilight are often another heavily leaned on fantasy tropes used in titling novels. I think there’s something immediately atmospheric about centering an entire novel so fixedly within the night. It reminds fans of the genre that this is not our world of sunshine and blue skies, and to prepare yourself accordingly.

What did you think of this list? Can you think of any other Fantasy titles with common words? What about common titles within your favorite genre, if it isn’t fantasy?




37 thoughts on “Top Ten Tuesday | Frequently Used Words In Fantasy Titles

Add yours

  1. I like ‘Night’ and ‘Spell’. This was a fun read, I especially liked that you included example pics of the books! Often used titles irk me, I roll my eyes at them. I’ve noticed an increase in longer titles in the likes of ‘A Court of Thorns and Roses’, ‘A Song of Blood and Stone’, ‘A Song of Ice and Fire, etc. Ughhhhhhh, just stop it already! I assume that trend started with GOT’s version?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Okay, now I’m really having a giggle at the words we picked the same, but how differently we picked books! Haha! Ahhh, I love it! This was such a strange top ten tuesday, but all the laughs are worth it! Happy reading, love! 💕xx

    Liked by 1 person

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