Playlist: One True Hero, inspired by ABC’s The Quest

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The season finale of The Quest saw what was, to me, a pleasant surprise in it’s champion and finale. While I won’t give away too much, I will say that the winner uses wit and constructive thinking to dominate the final challenge, and defeat the evil Verlox.

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The basic rundown is this: A group of strangers is transported to a world of high fantasy, where they take on the title of Paladin in order to assist a realm in danger. They’re summoned by three mythical beings, the Fates, for a major mission. One of them is meant to be the One True Hero: the one person with the strength and bravery it takes to destroy the villains Verlox, who has been terrorizing the kingdom for some time. The Paladins are assisted by the timid-yet-secretly-brave Crio, along with gruff and skeptical knight Sir Ansgard. They serve under Queen Ralia, who is looked after by the suspicious Grand Vizier.

For all of it’s (delightfully, mind you) cheesy ins and outs, The Quest was easily the only reality-style show whose second season I am eagerly waiting for. The creators took the concept of reality competition and created a storyline to follow it, placing competitors in a high-fantasy world filled with swordsmen, dragons, dangerous villains and mythical beings. The competitors are positive, earnest geeks (“My god,” I said while watching the series, “Almost all of them are lawful good!”) who support each other while at the same time understanding which of their opponents has the skills to best them.

Overall, The Quest was an incredibly fun show, and I certainly hope it comes back for another season. In the mean time, of course, the fans lay as dormant as a broke Dragon (read: we’re quite restless) so I put together a small playlist to, hopefully, inspire the One True Hero in every one of us. You can listen to it below, or on Spotify, but I also wanted to write a little bit about some of the songs, as they have pretty strong ties to the show as a whole. All of the songs, by the way, are in order: from the beginning of the show ’til the end. There’s a spoiler in that sequence, but not one that’s strong enough to stand out. Still with me? Great. To Everealm we go!

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 Hard Times – Patrick Wolf 

Give us hard times / and we’ll work harder / give us hard times / and we’ll think harder, harder

This is the quintessential Paladin song. Not only does it make you want to get up and save a castle, it also describes the mentality of the Paladins to a T. The song is about overcoming hard times, maintaining your self-worth, and being stronger than you think you are.  Mix that message with the trio of guitar, violin and drums, and you have yourself a high fantasy anthem.

The Wizard – Uriah Heep

He had a cloak of gold / And eyes of fire / And as he spoke I felt a deep desire / To free the world of its fear and pain / And help the people to feel free again

While the Paladins technically don’t cross paths with any crazy wizard types, this Bowie-esque tale of a boozy wizard contains certain magical elements that I think fit right in with The Quest. Plus, any song that reminds me of Labyrinth is good in my book.

Night Amongst the Elves – Arlene Faith

Right, despite the lack of Elves, this song is absolutely perfect for this particular spot on the playlist. I always worried for the Paladins the most when they were at their happiest – if Game of Thrones has taught me anything, it’s that the best moments are usually followed by your favorite character getting their eyes gauged out. Luckily, this is ABC, so the only bad things that happen after moments of peace are attacks on the castle or the Queen. This is definitely my “three cheers to Sir Ansgard the Fierce!”

Warrior – Beth Crowley

Put me to the test / I’ll prove that I am strong

This is entirely about the winner of this show, but also very much reflects all of the Paladins. These are all normal people like the rest of us, who get to play and compete in a world that they’ve only dreamed of. Our heroes come in all shapes and sizes, but that hardly matters when their courage is on display.

Paladin’s Light – Epic Soul Factory  

I loved the cast this season – this playlist is entirely for them.  It’s rare that you see a group of people in a reality show who work so well together, are exceptionally supportive of their opponents, and keep their minds on the goal like these guys did. A drink in their honor! Or, hey, a song.

If you weren’t able to catch The Quest when it aired, you can watch it for free on Hulu. It’s a short series, and tons of fun to follow. Kudos to the cast and crew for a great season!

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