Intrigued by an interesting article about Game of Thrones and how it defers from a realistic medieval setting i would both analyze the article and set my beliefs and attitude towards creating a medieval fantasy world like Land of Oyr.
i would firstly differentiate about the placement of Martin and Howard into the same category. I don’t believe Conan was meant as a commercial success but it had become so after the death (suicide) of the writer and the comics from marvel.
Another issue is the insertion of modern concepts to a medieval paradigm. Homosexuality, women’s’ right, equality and democracy to mention but few issues that today are considered as self-explanotory during medieval times were unknown as pcs! In order to seem more acceptable to a larger audience (or even from ignorance) many authors tent to forget about the conditions in that society and instead create a modern society in a medieval background, making their worlds seem (to those who had read and study) unrealistic, funny and wrong.
Of course, since no one from medieval time period will criticize your opinion and you are an author not a historian you can write whatever you want and the ignorant masses will bow to your work if it is promoted heavily.
Realistic settings was a major source of conflict during our rpg sessions. AD&D 2E was totally wrong in realistic playing and i began studying history and reading other rule sets to find something that would intrigue me more.
I had read many epic fantasy novels and i realized that younger authors tend to fall into the mistake of trying to mitigate a modern perspective in a medieval world that made me disappointed in their work albeit their writing style or the quality of their effort.
As i was creating Land of Oyr i tried to think and place myself in a setting where survival is crucial in everyone’s mind (whereas today is almost gone from the west world) and brutality and death is a constant companion because of wars and monsters.
Also magic is a serious parameter as it is the divine powers of priests. In contrast to our world, gods exist and grant powers to their priests to protect the faithful and the church but also to show their divine might. So it seems to me that atheism or even skepticism towards gods is non-existent as their presence is a fact of life.
I could go on indefinitely about what a medieval world could look like and how wrong most epic fantasy books are concerning their attitude towards the facts of a realistic world should be but i will cut here. its midnight the full moon rises and the temperature is still too high to think clearly…