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Advocating for the Defense of Nature

It would be wrong to think that science fiction is the only genre that deals with environmental issues, as it imagines a world destroyed by the apocalypse. Fantasy is just as alarmist, pessimistic even, and willingly takes on the climate emergency.

When spring unfolds the beechen-leaf and sap is in the bough, When light is on the wild-wood stream, and wind is on the brow, When stride is long, and breath is deep, and keen the mountain air, Come back to me! Come back to me, and say my land is fair!
Treebeard, Ent Guardian of Fangorn Forest
J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King
1

Industrialization Embodied by the Forces of Evil

Industrialization

1769

James Watt (1736-1819), a Scottish engineer, filed a patent for his steam condensation chamber and perfected the steam engine invented by Thomas Newcomen. In 1781, he succeeded in converting circular motion into vertical motion in order to increase the power of the steam engine tenfold.

1771

Richard Arkwright founded the first fully mechanized spinning mill in Cromford.

1804

Richard Trevithick (1771-1833), a British mining engineer, invented the first steam locomotive. The engine of the locomotive was powered by the force of high pressure. It was quite rudimentary, but relatively powerful, and could tow 10 tons of iron at a speed of 8 km per hour.

1826

The Frenchman André-Marie Ampère was the first to identify the nature of magnetic current and to discover electromagnetism. The German physicist Ohm formulated a law that made it possible to calculate the resistance of materials to electricity. These discoveries enabled the development of technologies using electricity as an energy source.

1870

The start of the Second Industrial Revolution. Technical progress led to an increase in production and wealth. Cities, where industrial, commercial and financial activities were concentrated, experienced unprecedented development, aided by widespread human migration. Steam navigation and railways grew; the combustion engine was developed.

An avenue of trees had stood there. They were all gone. And looking with dismay up the road towards Bag End, they saw a tall chimney of brick in the distance. It was pouring out black smoke into the evening air.
J.R.R. Tolkien
The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers
2

Japan as a Standard-Bearer

We wound, bruise, pollute and burn this earth, we are the most vile living beings there are.
Hayao Miyazaki
Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind
3

" Winter is Coming "

I started writing “Game of Thrones” all the way back in 1991, long before anybody was talking about climate change. But there is — in a very broad sense — there’s a certain parallel there. And the people in Westeros are fighting their individual battles over power and status and wealth. And those are so distracting them that they’re ignoring the threat of “winter is coming,” which has the potential to destroy all of them and to destroy their world.
George R.R. Martin
New York Times

Symbolism of the White Walkers

Members of the Stark family are the first to sound the alarm. The lack of coordination between the leaders of Westeros to prevent the advance of the White Walkers is obviously reminiscent of the international situation and the difficulty of complying with agreements to reduce pollution. For Martin, humanity should be held accountable for its actions.

White Walker, A Song of Ice and Fire Calendar, illustration by Magali Villeneuve (2016) Penguin Random House
Marcheur blanc, A Song of Ice and Fire Calendar, illustration de Magali Villeneuve (2016)

White Walker

A Song of Ice and Fire Calendar, illustration by Magali Villeneuve (2016)

© Penguin Random House

Advocating for the Defense of Nature

Fantasy arose as a reaction to the development of industry and war in the 19th century, depicting imaginary worlds where nature plays an important role. Saving nature from human aggression and reconnecting with it are major issues of the genre.

Animation Bibliothèque nationale de France - Amopix
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