Created By: Pazel on March 4, 2013 Last Edited By: WeAreAllKosh on March 13, 2013

Wandering Wise One

Travelers who tend to be pretty perceptive.

Name Space:
Main
Page Type:
Trope
In a lot of works, travelers are presented as wise and worldly people, especially if they're no longer in their youth. These characters are ones who can be counted on to sweep the protagonist into a world of adventure, offer some sage advice, give the hero a useful item, hint at plot points, or to say, "Actually, I am him" at a later time.

The defining characteristic for these people is that, despite probably being able to serve as a royal advisor or to have a popular newspaper column, they travel the world and dispense their sage knowledge to a lucky few.

Do We Have This One?

Some Examples:

Film

  • The title character in The Book of Eli wanders across a post-apocalyptic United States, seeking to deliver the last known copy of The Bible to a destination he doesn't know of specifically yet (but feels spiritually guided toward). Even though he is mostly functionally blind from the past nuclear blasts, he's very perceptive of his surroundings and an adept hunter, and can handle all kinds of dangerous people and situations skillfully. He is also quite learned and wise.

Live-Action TV
  • The Bill Bixby / Lou Ferrigno version of The Incredible Hulk had Doctor David Banner Walking the Earth, afraid of being captured if anyone discovered who he was. Banner could offer some mighty sage counsel, being a noted scientist. And if brains didn't work, he could Hulk up and beat sense into people.
  • Kwai Chang Caine from ABC's Kung Fu series is a Shaolin monk wandering the Old West in search of his half-brother Daniel.

Community Feedback Replies: 11
  • March 5, 2013
    Arivne
    I think we already have this, but split up into separate tropes. The closest thing I know of to this is The Obi Wan.

    Gandalf in The Lord Of The Rings is a pretty good example.
  • March 6, 2013
    oneuglybunny
    Okay, I dare you to sub-categorize this one:

    Live Action TV
    • The Bill Bixby / Lou Ferrigno version of The Incredible Hulk had Doctor David Banner Wander The Earth, afraid of being captured if anyone discovered who he was. Banner could offer some mighty sage counsel, being a noted scientist. And if brains didn't work, he could Hulk up and beat sense into people.
  • March 7, 2013
    lexicon
    I like this. The tropes that Arivne mentions should be linked to on the page. The examples, including Gandalf, should say how the characters are wise and tell about his traveling.

    This is similar to The Obi Wan but I don't think it's too close. The Obi Wan is the main character's close, personal mentor but this guy isn't stuck in one place watching over one hero. For example, Gandalf is more of The Obi Wan in The Fellowship Of The Ring, especially when he tells Frodo that he will help him bear his burden, but Gandalf is more of the Wandering Wise One in The Hobbit like how he shows up to take Bilbo on his quest.
  • March 7, 2013
    Koveras
    Compare Hermit Guru.
  • March 7, 2013
    oneuglybunny
    Comic Books
    • Miyamoto Usagi, from Stan Sakai's Usagi Yojimbo, tends to wander about feudal Japan as a masterless samurai. He is often the most sensible character in any story arc.
  • March 7, 2013
    lexicon
    It would be nice if Pazel (OP) would show up but oh well. I think a masterless samurai would work much better for Knight Errant unless there's a Japanese equivalent. Sensible doesn't sound the same as wise. This sounds more like a traveling mentor than warrior. The hunk one sounds good with the "mighty sage counsel, being a noted scientist" part but I'd leave off the last sentence. Of course it is up to the OP what counts.
  • March 7, 2013
    LiamM32
  • March 8, 2013
    oneuglybunny
    Obviously, lexicon has yet to read Usagi Yojimbo. A true samurai is the Japanese equivalent to a Knight Errant, in that he is empowered to act on his master's behalf. Much like Prince Valiant, a samurai lawfully could depose or even behead a substandard underling. A masterless samurai, however, is a ronin, and can act on no one's behalf. A ronin must avail his services as bodyguard or assassin to anyone who hires him. Thus, Miyamoto Usagi wanders Japan seeking a worthy master. And he's "wise" in the truest sense of the word. Though he often wields a fearsome katana, Miyamoto Usagi keeps a level head even in the midst of a pitched battle.

    And in the Hulk's case, I would argue that there's a certain wisdom in clobbering fools. [tongue]
  • March 9, 2013
    oneuglybunny
    Live Action TV
    • Kwai Chang Caine from ABC's Kung Fu series is a Shaolin monk wandering the Old West in search of his half-brother Daniel.
  • March 10, 2013
    WeAreAllKosh
    Film

    The title character in The Book of Eli wanders across a post-apocalyptic United States, seeking to deliver the last known copy of The Bible to a destination he doesn't know of specifically yet (but feels spiritually guided toward). Even though he is mostly functionally blind from the past nuclear blasts, he's very perceptive of his surroundings and an adept hunter, and can handle all kinds of dangerous people and situations skillfully. He is also quite learned and wise.
  • March 10, 2013
    Pazel
    These are some great ideas. Feel free to edit this, as I find myself with less and less time to spend on this (not that I had a whole lot to begin with).
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