To Prologue, or Not to Prologue?

I have written a prologue for my ‘traditional’ fantasy story, and I did it without giving it much thought. Which, ironically, got me thinking. A prologue is very common in fantasy fiction. So common that I wrote one without consciously thinking “I’m going to give this story a prologue”. But is a prologue necessary? Can a prologue be a help or a hindrance? Here are my thoughts…and a photo of a typewriter. 

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