Adventure? Take This with You!

Dangerous to Go Alone

Picture from Spader7 on deviantART.

“It’s dangerous to go alone. Take this.”

These are the famous opening words of The Legend of Zelda, and an age-old motif in mythology, legend, folklore and fantasy. “Going on an adventure? Here, take _____ with you!”

Luke Skywalker got a lightsaber at the start of his journey. Frodo Baggins received a magic ring. The Pevensies (sans Edmund) accepted useful gifts from Father Christmas, and Captain Jack Sparrow was granted a pistol and one shot. Heck, even Perseus got a bunch of neat stuff for his quest from the gods in the old Greek myths.

The hero often seems to get something—a sword, an amulet, a keepsake—at the start of his or her adventure, and whatever it is always turns out to be really useful. A pointless knick-knack is later revealed to be the all-important Map or Key or Talisman of Plot Advancement.

So take my advice. If someone gives you something at the beginning of an adventure, hold on to the darn thing. You’ll be needing it.

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