If you didn't see it, relax. They give away pretty much everything in the trailer.
One thing Bright does is try to offer some token justification for all the orc racism we see all over the place. In short, about 2,000 years ago, orcs sided with some mysterious Dark Lord, and had to be defeated by an alliance of all the other races (humans, elves, centaurs, fey, etc., etc.). And, according to the world's lore, orcs have done literally nothing else to earn that awful rep since those dark days.
Do you remember how long it took Germany to stop being thought of as the place that bred jackbooted genocide soldiers? Well, if you looked around recently, it's been less than a century before they left that reputation behind. Now Germany is thought of as respected leaders of a union of nations, and a strong, guiding force.
Roll that around in your head for a moment. There are still people alive today who remember the atrocities of the S.S., and who survived the Holocaust. Yet only a few generations later, the identity of that nation has been remade into a different image.
Are you seeing the disconnect, here?
I Blame Tolkien, Really
As with so many other genre-setting trends, I lay this one at the feet of the famed author and professor. Because, since Middle Earth dealt with time by thousands of years, it seems that every other fantasy setting chose to do the same thing. Not because it was what felt right for their stories, or because it was inherently more interesting, but because it was what worked in The Lord of The Rings, and that was the mold they happened to be using.
The problem that you run into is that a lot of stuff changes over 1,000 years. Empires crumble, cultures shift, language changes, and governments are entirely rebuilt. Hell, depending on your world's doings, the very shape of the landscape might change entirely.
If we're talking about lost civilizations, ancient artifacts, and forgotten treasures, then it's perfectly reasonable to talk in millennia. However, if you're talking about the perceptions of a group of people, the lifespan of a nation, or even how long a certain fighting style or weapon has been in use, it might be worth asking yourself whether you should narrow your timeline. Especially if your protagonists lead relatively human lifespans, indicating that generational turnover happens fairly fast by the standards of elves, dwarves, and other long-lived races.
That's all for this week's Craft of Writing post. Hopefully it got some wheels turning, and gave some folks a little insight. If you like my work, you can find more of it in my Vocal archive. To stay on top of all my latest releases, simply follow me on Facebook, Tumblr, and/or Twitter. Lastly, if you'd like to support me, head to The Literary Mercenary's Patreon page, or Buy Me A Coffee! Either way, there's a free book in it for you.