Favourite Fantasy Characters – Drizzt Do’Urden

Drizzt also comes from the old TSR stable and I read Drizzt’s adventures when I was about the same age as when I read about Sturm Brightblade. While Sturm was the noble upstanding hero who was viewed as being of good nature, even if he wasn’t of the stature required to become a Knight of Solamnia, Drizzt was completely different from Sturm. He was a dark elf and as such viewed as being evil by anyone who didn’t know him personally. He was someone struggling with his birthright and what was believed to be the right way.

He struggled against his expected role and followed what he thought was the right path no matter what the rest of his society thought was proper and right. He idolised the difference between morality and lawful. Just because it was lawful and what was expected in society didn’t mean that it was moral. He carved out his own place in the world (with his twin scimitars) while defying the ideals of the dark elf society.

Of course, he was introduced in The Crystal Shard which didn’t portray his own society but rather how he integrated into the rest of the world where the rest of the people had preconceived ideas about dark elves. It was the perfect allegory for the world I found myself in at that point in time. Nelson Mandela had been released from Robben Island a few years before and the country I live in was transforming itself around me.

There was a preconceived notion of white South Africans in the rest of the world and the previously discriminated against classes. We were all a bunch of racists, no matter the personal history of the person involved. Unfortunately, it’s still a preconceived notion which is still in place. Maybe by the time my son grows up the preconception would have changed but it wasn’t how it was for me.

It was only after the trilogy ended with The Halfling’s Gem and the first novel of the second trilogy was published, Homeland, that his actual origins and his society was explored.

Drizzt was a ranger and it was partly because of him that I chose to play a ranger character in all of the games of AD&D that I played back in the day. That is, when I could play as a character and not as the DM.

I’m not sure how many novels have been written about Drizzt in the Forgotten Realms world, but those first novels made Drizzt unforgettable and made sure he’d stay in my memory for the rest of my life.