Lots of good stuff in this article from the Guardian by Damien G. Walter.
…And to judge by the narratives that have filtered down to us through oral traditions and early written records, fantasy has always been essential to those stories.
Stories from the ancient world are infused with the fantastic, from Ovid’s Metamorphoses to Beowulf, The Iliad and The Odyssey. Myth, legend, folk and fairytales have fired our imaginations for thousands of years. We have used the fantastic to take mundane reality and transform it, sometimes for escapist pleasure, and sometimes to find meaning in a world that can often seem brutal and purposeless.
But the commodification of fantasy does not mean it must all appeal to the lowest common denominator, any more than the presence of Starbucks on every street corner means you can’t find a decent cup elsewhere.