World Building: The Golden Age

Tweet of the Day: Designing from Bones – Fantastical Realm, Real World



The Garden of Eden.


The Time of Myths and Legends.

The Golden Age.

The Time Before. It has many names but they all reference a time in the past, real or imagined where things where better than the now. A common element in speculative fiction, especially fantasy and space operas. As a world building device it gives a sense of weight to the narrative in different ways:

  • A sense of time: It serves as a starting point for the timeline/calendar. The Golden Age is usually the First Age or at least the earliest remembered/recorded.
  • Represents the cultural values of the current age: The Golden Age reflects the cultural values cherished by the characters/society of the work, hence the reason why they yearn to return/recreate it. It’s fall represents the corruption of the present.
  • Something to fight for: The heroes (usually) are fighting for the values of the Golden Age or to return to/restore it.

Of course, the story need not be set after the Golden Age. It may be as it ends or it may turn out there was not such thing in the first place.


4 comments on “World Building: The Golden Age

  1. Thanks for the link love, Rafael! Fun Post.


  2. Definately something to think about. Makes me look back at my most recent reads and realising especially in the speculative/fantasy fic I’ve read recently that this is definately a constant theme. Now do I have a Golden Age in mine? … Oh yeah look there it is!


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