A to Z Blogging Challenge – Day 3: Fantasy Squad – Centaurs

CYou might already know of my fascination with Greek mythology, and I could talk for hours on the subject. But this theme is not about focusing on one particular interpretation – it’s about how centaurs are represented in media. Plus I think they make an excellent addition to any fantasy squad! I am slightly disappointed centaurs weren’t featured in the movie remake of Clash of the Titans. Having said that, I get far too distracted by Perseus and, okay that might have something to do with Sam Worthington.

But I digress. We’re talking about those beautiful creatures who have the head, arms and torso of a man (or woman) and the body and legs of a horse. I imagine them as wild, stubborn, and noble creatures. In literature and film they are often described as warriors and I can totally get on board with the whole archery element. Not that I have an obsession with archers, and certainly not of the emerald variety. Nope, not me.

by SnowSkadi. Digital Art / Drawings & Paintings / Fantasy©2008-2015 SnowSkadi
by SnowSkadi.
Digital Art / Drawings & Paintings / Fantasy©2008-2015 SnowSkadi

Centaurs are represented well in literature and film thanks to authors like C.S. Lewis, J. K. Rowling, and Rick Riordan. In The Chronicles of Narnia, centaurs are noble, loyal and protective creatures; skilled and gifted in healing. In the Harry Potter books, they live in the Forbidden Forest and are skilled in archery. They also have an interest in astronomy. Staying with the intellectual theme, in Percy Jackson and the Olympians, centaurs were seen as wise.

I didn’t catch the series, but there are many references to centaurs in Xena: Warrior Princess. They are also used frequently in games; Dungeons and Dragons, Tomb Raider, and Mortal Kombat, to name a few.

What about you – do you think centaurs are worthy of being in a fantasy squad? What is your favourite interpretation?

Thanks for stopping by

NB: I ‘borrowed’ my nifty new badge from Doobster, who didn’t officially register for the A to Z, but who is participating anyway. I’ll let him tell you all about it here!



54 responses to “A to Z Blogging Challenge – Day 3: Fantasy Squad – Centaurs”

  1. They seem to show up a lot in YA fantasy. Usually in the role of a wise or savage creature that the humans bump into for a chapter or two. You don’t really see centaurs take a big role in stories for some reason.

    • That’s true, and I don’t know why. They would make a great central character. If I follow through on my fantasy squad, which probably involves making these creatures part of serialised fiction – I’ll definitely give centaurs a meaty role! Thanks for stopping by 🙂

      • I think they’re a hard character to have because of their physical build. Standard buildings and rough terrain would be an issue. It would really depend on how prevalent and advanced centaur society is compared to those around them. I’ve been told that less humanoid creatures are harder sells too because of reader connection.

      • Yes, I can definitely see a centaur with a spear – that fits with the image in my head. I’m not sure about the archery element either, but I do love a good archer and so I’m not complaining! It might be fun to come up with a nice backstory for that 🙂

      • Their height does give them a better view of the area. I’ll have to look at more mythology to see if the archery thing is from the original tales. There’s Sagittarius after all.

  2. I have always liked Centaurs! Ever since I watched Disney’s Fantasia as a kid. That whole scene was just amazing. I enjoyed the portrayal of them in the Harry Potter movies as well 🙂

    • I agree about Fantasia – the scene was truly amazing and centaurs were portrayed in such a positive light. I like them too, and I’m glad they are a part of my team! Thanks for stopping by 🙂

  3. I was going to say, Fantasia! The defensive, territorial ones I saw later in Harry Potter confused me because I didn’t know much about their history/mythology.

    Every team needs to have a good archer, so I say why not? 🙂

    • I knew this A to Z challenge was going to be a lot of work, but I didn’t realise I’d want to incorporate all these wonderful creatures into my work. If I do go ahead with the serialised fiction, they are going to really keep me on my toes! I’ve been thinking about Banshees since yesterday, and now I’m busily building a centaur society in my head 😉

  4. With centaurs always being cast as wise creatures, let’s switch it up and write a story were one is paired up with an elf and the elf is constantly having to save the centaur from the things the centaur does. Or something silly. 😉

  5. My favorite interpretation is Chiron (I think that is his name) the crazy-wise centaur who educated a lot of the Greek heroes and demi-gods.

    Definitely worthy of the fantasy squad. It’s so cool that I get centaurs here and chimera at Diana’s today. Like I’m taking a stroll through the Monster Manual with you two.

  6. I think the first centaur I knew about was from an old Hercules cartoon. He was Herc’s sidekick. He was a bit annoying, nothing like the elegant centaurs you see in Fantasia.

  7. I do see centaurs as gentle and loyal creatures, who know the sky well. But my views might be flawed due to my readings of Harry Potter. I have enjoyed how they are portrayed in the books, but not so much in the films (well I actually never really enjoyed the Harry Potter films that much as they left out my favorite parts of the books).

    • That happens a lot in films, I think. I’ve seen two of the Harry Potter films, but haven’t yet read the books. I’ll look forward to learning about the centaurs in Rowling’s work 🙂

      • I was really deceived when I saw the first film. I really did not want the book to be made into a film, I loved Harry Potter a lot, and hated when it became so mainstream. When I started reading the series (in German at first) no one had heard of Harry Potter, and I wanted to keep it that way, keep the magic world jealously to myself. Over the years as the series gained in popularity, I felt like it lost its magic (at least the spell cast over me wasn’t as strong anymore).

      • I get that. It’s happened to me before. A story that has lost some of its shine because it was pulled apart so many times, it tainted the originality somehow.

    • I agree. I love horses, so these creatures have always fascinated me. I’ve been toying with the idea of using centaurs in my novel, but I haven’t quite figured things out yet. I need to build a land, fit for their strength and beauty! 🙂

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