Why Are There So Many Big Walls in Fantasy Novels?

Thank you. This concept has been unsettling to me, and I needed some outside thoughts to clarify my opinion and thinking. And naturally, as a writer, I want to write about a BAW (big @$$ wall) in every one of my stories. Maybe it’s a virus that needs inoculation?

A. C. Spahn

Image source http://gameofthrones.wikia.com/wiki/The_Wall

I’ve just started reading Sabriel by Garth Nix. I’m not far into it enough to comment on the story’s overall quality, but I came across something early on.

The land is divided.

By a big-ass wall.

Separating the north from the south.

And now I’m finally asking somebody to explain to me: Why do we keep writing about this?

What is our collective obsession with giant mounds of stone and dirt forming stretch marks across the landscape?

In A Song of Ice and Fire by George R. R. Martin, we have a huge wall dividing the frozen north from the cultivated south of Westeros.

In Codex Alera by Jim Butcher, we have a huge wall dividing the frozen north from the cultivated south of Alera. We have another wall dividing the Marat lands in the north from the Calderon Valley in the south.

In Lord of the…

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