Death, we deal with every day of our lives. It's a harsh and depressing topic at the worst of times, life affirming at the best of times. When we open our minds to the escapism that is fantasy we wish to enjoy the wonders of another world, sometimes another universe. I know that is what I want to do when I jump right in to J.R.R Tolkiens Middle-Earth, the Island of Surprises from 'The Wishing Chair' series and the eccentric world of Robert Jordans, 'Wheel of Time' series. These worlds have a wonderful and diverse cast of characters, each different and unique.
I feel that as the decades have gone on, death has become more and more prominent in fantasy. Fantasy used to be about going to exotic and wondrous lands, meeting interesting characters and learning the unusual and often mind-boggling rules that governed their particular world. Now when death would inevitably come into most of these pieces of literature it was treated well in my opinion. For example 'Lord of The Rings', the epitomy of epic fantasy, has in my opinion some of the fewest named deaths in epic fantasy history. In 'The Fellowship of the Ring' there are really only two key characters who die, Boromir, who died heroically saving Merry and Pippin and Gandalf the Grey who plummeted to his doom fighting with a Balrog.