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  1. #1

    Most Shocking Moment You've Ever Read

    So I browsing the Most Powerful Spellcaster thread and reading all the the unholy things Anomander Rake and Co. have done, and I was trying to think of the single BEST moment I've ever read in fantasy--we're talking magic here, because obviously magicians can do things that mere swordsmen can't, but anything goes.

    So, what's the most godlike, shocking, BAMF (see Dane Cook), epic, "Wow!" moment you've ever read in fantasy? Personally, my favorite was probably when Pug/Milamber said, "Tremble and despair, for I am power!" (awesome quote) and ripped down the Coliseum. The Ride of the Rohirrim is also up there, as is any scene featuring Anomander Rake.

    Oh, actually, I changed my mind. I have one way better, although far less visually impressive. My dad read me The Lord of the Rings when I was six or so, which meant that, due to my literary naivete, I did not expect Gandalf to return after he got killed while caning the Balrog. When he popped up in Fangorn and said hello to Aragorn, I was sooo stunned. It was sick. And then he went and spanked Saruman, etc. Awesome.


  2. #2
    Author of "The Inferior" peadarog's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    The Red Wedding in George R. R. Martin's "A Song of Ice and Fire". No magic involved, but shock by the bloody bucket-load.

  3. #3
    I was thinking of The Red Wedding as well, and for something where magic is involved, the epilogue to A Storm of Swords.

  4. #4
    Spoilers ahead (obviously)

    Probably not that shocking as he was quite old, but nighteyes dying in the tawny man books by Robin Hobb really shocked and saddened me

  5. #5
    Spoilers like woah, but that's always the way with these threads...

    1. Red Wedding

    2. Joffrey's "mercy" in A Game of Thrones

    (big break here, as nothing else compares to those two for me)

    3. A half-remembered scene in The Dragonbone Chair where some kind of little gremlinlike monsters erupt from the earth and eat people. I read this when I was about 12 and that's likely why it had such an impact; I've gone back to reread the book but it doesn't seem to have the old magic, and I'm afraid to go far enough to find that this scene isn't as I remember it.

    4. What happened to Asmodean at the end of The Fires of Heaven; the appearance of Moridin later in WoT. Both of these scenes were huge "woah" moments the first time I read them, but on rereading don't have anywhere near the same impact, partly because I am now a much more jaded reader and partly because everything pales after GRRM.

  6. #6
    Chill out - it's only me
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Toronto Ontario
    When Snape powned Dumbledore. That's what immediately comes to mind.

  7. #7
    This was shocking in a BAD way.

    Near the conclusion of Temple of the Winds, Kahlan is having her...monthly...but is forced to have sex with who she believes is Drefan, and it sucks because she wants it to be with Richard.

    And then...AFTER it's over, she decides that if she can't have the man she loves, she is at least going to enjoy her sex life, and she preps "Drefan" for another go.

    She stimulates him...orally. And it describes how her blood is still on...him. And she still puts it in her mouth....

    Okay, I think I'm gonna be sick again.

  8. #8
    Ranke Lidyek


    I wasn't taken by the Red Wedding at all--we know it's coming. I can't think of a moment in Martin's great series that really belongs in this discussion (perhaps Jaime tossing B from the tower). I think the series is more powerful for the cumulative effect of it.

    To me, one of the most shocking moments of any fantasy series took place in The Golden Compass (the intercision sequence). The moment is powerful because of the sense of violation you feel when you're reading. The balloon scene where the child's soul is separated hurts as well. Granted, the rest of the series is sh*t, but the first book is genius.

  9. #9
    I would have to say for me, it was the following:

    Anne Bishops' Black Jewels Trilogy - Book One - Daughter of the Blood

    (Spoiler coming up)

    When Surreal starts hearing the drum beats and knows something is wrong, then goes to Briarwood and finds Jaenelle getting raped and all the blood and how she kills the rapist and the chase that follows and the scene with Daemon, Saetan and Cassandra. This scene had a powerful impact on me when I first read it and still does whenever I re-read the story (about twice a year). You can actually feel the fear, desperation, rage, and shock of the entire scene.
    It was great!

  10. #10
    Speculative Horizons Moderator JamesL's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    The duel between the Red Viper and the Mountain in A Storm of Swords. One of the most disturbing, visceral pieces of writing I've ever read.

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by JamesL View Post
    The duel between the Red Viper and the Mountain in A Storm of Swords. One of the most disturbing, visceral pieces of writing I've ever read.
    Oh, yeah, that's a good one. Great scene.

  12. #12
    Registered User Jeroen's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    The Netherlands

    The death of Suldrun in Jack Vance's Suldrun's Garden.

  13. #13
    That chopping of Ned's head was one for me.

  14. #14
    It never entered my mind algernoninc's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2004
    [big spoilers]

    The Red Wedding, Ned Stark demise, the last stand of the Black Brothers on the hill north of the wall - these are only 3 reasons why GRRM stands at the top of most lists.
    The second coming big moment of an author turning the tables on the reader came for me in Sailing to Sarantium by Guy Gavriel Kay - [spoiler] when Crispin is forced to destroy his masterpiece [end/spoiler]
    Another author that managed to surprise me coming from an unexpected angle is R Scott Bakker - after initially building up Kellhus as the hero of the story, he became the negative force by the end of the third volume, [spoiler] with the seduction of Esmenet his most shocking feat [end/spoiler]. The series abounds in other awe inspiring scenes.
    For emotional intensity, I think Robin Hobb [the first three Assassin books] merits a top spot.
    I guess what I'm trying to say that I find characters going off on a tangent more appealing that magic fireworks that lay continents to waste.

    Shocking moments in a rather negative way abound in Terry Goodkind Sword of Truth - i think I read up to book 5, but it is all a jumble in my memory

  15. #15
    Registered User BrightStar's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Lots of moments in the Sword of Truth shocked me (In a bad kinda way). I'm not easily disturbed or made to feel uncomfortable, but that series has managed to on more than one occasion. And what bugs me mostly about that is that it all feels excessively explicit. My memories of that series are very jumbled up-unfortunately after a while one rape/mutilation scene kinda seems like all the rest-so I can't really pick out anything specific.

    Someone mentioned The Black Jewels Trilogy, and I agree. When I first started reading, I was totally unprepared for how graphic that book can be at times. But now I love it. Some utterly shocking scenes that really left a powerful emotional impact. It's a very, very long time since I read that series (I'd love to re-read a lot of my favorites, but I have too many *new* books to start re-reading the old) but one scene that always sticks out in my mind is a scene in the last book (I think) ****SPOILERS (kinda)***where one of the characters pretends to betray his family, or something.***END SPOILERS***

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