Just for fun the other day, I started compiling a list of things rarely seen in fantasy. The implications are funny, gross, or curious. Here’s what I have so far.
1. Hand washing. Lots of people bathe, but rarely do you see characters wash their hands before eating or, say, tending another character’s wounds. I suppose germ theory hasn’t reached them yet.
2. Concern for or attempts to prevent pregnancy. Really, it’s amazing how infertile characters are. They must know it too.
3. The common cold. How often, despite damp roads and cold temperatures, do fantasy characters get sick? Colds, flu, and other common ailments rarely affect them. They must have amazing immune systems.
4. Dependants. I don’t mean servants or retainers. Rarely do fantasy characters have to drag around and take care of children, aging parents, or others that they might manage to claim on their taxes. Sure, it happens, but I can think of few examples.
5. Acne or other common blemishes. Most teenagers would envy fantasy characters. They never seem to suffer from the common frustrations of youth or other times of life, for that matter, like gray hair, which can occur before fifty, or diaper rash.
What else do fantasy characters rarely deal with? What else do characters from other genres not experience much of?