This week’s Top Ten Tuesday prompt is Favorite Tropes. I have a hard time knowing what’s considered a trope and what’s not, so I’m not entirely sure which of these on my list qualify as tropes. But here are ten elements in a story that I don’t mind reading over and over (as long, of course, as they are done right).
Enemies to Lovers: I love when characters start off on the wrong foot and hate or at least dislike each other greatly. but then along the way, they fall in love (or become friends if it’s a platonic relationship). Some of my favorite ships started off as “enemies”: Han and Leia, Darcy and Elizabeth, Anne and Gilbert, Nina and Matthias.
Best Friends to Lovers: I also love when best friends become lovers too. Maybe because my husband was my best friend long before we dated, but I love seeing it done well in stories. Emma and Mr. Knightley, Mal and Alina, Percy and Annabeth—there aren’t enough!
Gruff Character Whose Life is Changed by a Child: I can’t think of any specific examples of this off the top of my head, but I love when some grump or mean character is softened by a child. It’s just so heart-wrenching. *sniffles*
Reluctant Hero: There is just something about a protagonist that fights against becoming a hero or a leader. And then the moment when they do what they have to do to save the day even though they may not want to. Aragorn, Han Solo, Bilbo Baggins, Peter Parker—the list of favorites could go on.
Battle between Good and Evil: This is probably the most cliche trope to exist, but I can’t help but love when good triumphs over evil. I know that having morally gray protagonists and plots are the Thing Right Now, but I still love a good story where the two sides are obvious and you know which one to root for.
Sibling Relationships: Give me all the sibling relationships. Brothers, sisters, brother-sister. Even cousin relationships. I love when stories include realistic and strong sibling relationships and I will never be over it.
Calvary: The “Calvary trope” is when the heroes are all but beaten and the villain’s victory seems inevitable, but at the last second, an army of supporting characters comes riding to the rescue. Think Gandalf and Eomer arriving at first light on the third day to save Rohan at Helm’s Deep in The Two Towers. I love these moments where you just know there isn’t hope and hope arrives on the horizon.
Fairy Tale Retellings: Even though sometimes it seems like fairy tale retellings are overdone, I have a weakness for them. I love reading different authors’ interpretations and imagining of classic tales.
Elves: I blame Tolkien for this one, but I love elves. All types of elves: wood elves, high elves, space elves. Give me all the elves.
Redemption Arcs: I’m all for redemption arcs. Give me the worst of the worst and show how they change for the better. How they can be heroes too. (I blame Darth Vader.)