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Titles of Nobility

Discussion in 'World Building' started by D. Gray Warrior, Mar 21, 2020.

  1. D. Gray Warrior

    D. Gray Warrior Troubadour

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    Many fantasy settings have a monarchy of some sort, and since a lot of fantasy is based on Medieval Europe, the structure is likely to be vaguely feudal (although much more simplistic in its portrayal than real feudalism was), and therefore there may also be ranks of nobility such as dukes, counts, barons, etc.

    Would you use such titles in a fantasy setting? Sure, the setting might be based on Medieval Europe, but that doesn't mean they would necessarily have the same history or conditions that our world did, so they might have no need for dukes and counts.
     
  2. skip.knox

    skip.knox toujours gai, archie Moderator

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    I'll turn the question around. If you don't use such titles, what would you use? Also, could you get away with no titles? That is, what is the story-telling function of titles, in your view?
     
  3. The answer, as always, is it depends.

    If I write a story and I quickly need a noble title that pays no significant role in the story, then going for the European titles is great. People recognise them, it's easy to be consistent and fast. If I were to write a story involving an intricate noble caste and lots of politics, then the system is part of the story and it deserves works building attention.
     
  4. skip.knox

    skip.knox toujours gai, archie Moderator

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    D. Gray WarriorD. Gray Warrior, did you get the answers you wanted? What sort of nobility did you have in mind for your story?
     
  5. D. Gray Warrior

    D. Gray Warrior Troubadour

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    Yeah. I have in mind the usual ranks of duke, count; baron, etc, only my setting is ruled by a grand duke instead of a king.
     
  6. skip.knox

    skip.knox toujours gai, archie Moderator

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    That's fine. If you don't mind, I'll make one historical comment. Kings and nobles are different creatures. Royalty is in one way or another (depends on era and culture) divine. They might be regarded as divine or semi-divine themselves, or they might be regarded as having their position divinely ordained (kingship is divine even if the king himself isn't).

    Nobles aren't divine. Their positions are created by kings.

    Now, you could simply ignore all that, no problem. Or, if you do employ some sort of divine or mythological justification, you could limit it to the grand duke. You could also extend it to other ranks of nobility. Each path is viable; I offer it merely FYC.
     
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