I found this article useful. It makes you think about how we view recurring characters in fantasy, the giant impact Tolkien had on this genre, and how we should use more creative freedom in generating our stories.
There are no limits on how high our imaginations can soar. There are no limits on worldbuilding, on creating new cultures and characters, and you don’t need to smoke something to be truly creative. Yet, at the same time I also accept that we write the things we identify with and that we know other people will too, and our pleasure derives from that familiarity. Of placing an ordinary person in a fantastical setting and allowing him to do the things he cannot do in the real world. That is what I enjoy. That, and exploring new and ancient worlds. Worlds that at first glance seem familiar until you go deeper…
We like what we like. And we are free do so just as we are free to explore new horizons. After all, this is what fantasy is all about.
Please read the article over at Black Gate. There’s an interesting history lesson there on fantasy as genre.