Created By: captainsandwich on June 11, 2012 Last Edited By: captainsandwich on June 12, 2012

Fantastic Gift Giver

A Fantastic Creature gives a gift to another species that the species did not have before.

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Trope
(A) Fantastic creature(s) gives deliberately gives a gift to another species that the species did not have before. The creature(s) giving the gift might have stolen it. Sometimes this comes back to haunt the creature that gives the gift.

Compare/contrast Touched by Vorlons which is when one creature gains a super power through interactions with a fantastic creature.


Examples

Religion and Folklore
  • A Japanese creature called the Kappa taught humans bone setting
  • In Greek Mythology titan named Prometheus stole fire from the gods and gave it to humans. This haunted him when the gods chained him agains a mountain and had his liver be eaten and regrown each day.
  • In an Irish Folktale the Fair Folk taught a human dancing in thanks for returning something to their queen and then ordered him to teach it to other humans
  • In the Book of Enoch fallen angels and Azazel teach early mankind to use tools and fire.

Tabletop Games
  • In Eberron, Dragons taught giants magic.

Western Animation
  • In Avatar: The Last Airbender creatures taught humans bending (basically elemental magic).
    • The Sky Bison taught humans air bending
    • Badgermoles taught 2 humans earth bending and the practice has spread quite a bit since then.
    • Dragons taught humans fire bending. This came back to haunt them when they were hunted to the brink of extinction by fire benders for prestige that had a Surpassed the Teacher behind it vibe.
Community Feedback Replies: 15
  • June 11, 2012
    captainsandwich
    the http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theft_of_fire has some examples i took some of the examples and put them down already
  • June 11, 2012
    captainsandwich
    I think this might be related to the Just So Story (but with culture or innovation).
  • June 11, 2012
    captainsandwich
    Should I lower the requirements from fantastic creature to just creature?
  • June 11, 2012
    chicagomel
    That might be a good idea.

    Literature: Animorphs The Andalite Seerow gave the Yeerks the technology for space travel, leading to the Yeerks enslaving a bunch of other races. Resulted in the Law of Seerow's Kindness, preventing the giving of any more technology to other species.
  • June 12, 2012
    nitrokitty
    This sounds very similar to Touched By Vorlons.
  • June 12, 2012
    Arivne
    Touched By Vorlons is about gaining power(s) from aliens or supernatural beings.

    From the examples given this appears to be about being given knowledge or taught skills by superior beings.

    It would be a good idea to specifically exclude "giving powers as a gift" from this one's description and include a note that Touched By Vorlons covers that.

    The Avatar The Last Airbender examples appear to be in a gray area between the two tropes. If the creatures just taught the humans how to use bending it's this trope. If they had directly given them the powers it would be Touched By Vorlons.
  • June 12, 2012
    nitrokitty
    ^ True, but when Clarkes Third Law comes into play the line gets even more blurry. Are they really getting fantastical powers, or is it just Sufficiently Advanced Aliens doing their schtick? I think we might have something here, but we need to carefully tease it out and get the specifics exactly.
  • June 12, 2012
    oztrickster
    Clarkes Third Law doesn't really seem to be related to this trope since it doesn't seem to matter whether the gift is magical or scientific as long as it needed to be taught or given to the reciever.

    The Avatar The Last Airbender examples aren't Touched By Vorlons, they were taught bending not given the power.
  • June 12, 2012
    Koveras
    Not to be confused with Enigmatic Empowering Entity.
  • June 12, 2012
    McKathlin
    If the humans learned it without the other race voluntarily teaching it, does it count? There are cases, commonly when the races are at war, when humans learn a magic or technology from studying the other race and their possessions. Do these cases fall within this trope?
  • June 12, 2012
    captainsandwich
    without voluntarily teaching it? You mean like humans learning to make paper from watching wasps? I think we should have the gift giver deliberately giving the gift to the receiver. If the context of how the creatures gave the gift is ambiguous I suppose we could let it slide until we get a lot of examples. Also should we allow trading knowledge (I am leaning towards no)?
  • June 12, 2012
    captainsandwich
    In the event we lower the requirements to any creature giving the gift to another creature, what should we have the name be?
  • June 12, 2012
    captainsandwich
    Is Touched By Vorlons going to be classified as a sub trope or sister trope?
  • June 12, 2012
    captainsandwich
    While I know that Kappa are said to have taught humans, I am not sure if it was a gift, it might have been part of a trade. I would like someone familiar with the myth to say which.
  • June 12, 2012
    Generality
    The title sounds like Supernatural Aid. But it might be related.
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