Regretful Mentor YKTTW Discussion
A mentor who comes to regret the results of his training and/or methods.
Exactly What It Says on the Tin, a mentor who has come to regret the decisions they have made when it comes to raising one or more students. Perhaps their art has been perverted into something unrecognizable. Maybe their student(s) died in battle. Or even worse, said student(s) instead did a Face-Heel Turn. Either way, the mentor figure will feel as responsible for the outcome as the actual person, due to being the one that made it possible for the results to come about. As such they may feel the need to try and do something about it, or instead may be too ashamed and depressed, losing their will to fight. Either way, expect a character (usually The Hero and/or The Chosen One) to come along, and convince the mentor to take action attempt to atone for what happened. May lead to Mentor's New Hope if said action(s) include training a new pupil. An inverted form of Broken Pedestal. May lead to My God, What Have I Done?. For a mentor that actively resents the actions of his students, see Resenter Mentor (another trope I'm thinking of suggesting) Examples:
- Obi Wan was an excellent teacher, wise beyond his years and competent in both the Force and the use of a Lightsaber. He also trained the person who would become Darth Vader, resulting in the galaxy falling under the rule of a tyrannical Empire for decades to come, in turn resulting in the deaths of innumerable people. Ouch.
- Inverted with Azmuth of Ben10. He regretted making the Omnitrix after seeing how people wanted to use it as a weapon, rather than a method of understanding one another. This changed when he met Ben, who changed Azmuth's mind and gave him a bit of hope that the Omnitrix could still be used for good. Possibly played straight later when Ben's irresponsibility caused several aliens to run amok on Earth.
- Jeong Jeong, the wise and disciplined firebending master in Avatar: The Last Airbender, regrets teaching the art of firebending to men like Zhao, who was only interested in firebending for its destructive potential. This makes him reluctant to give similar training to Aang, who at the time lacked the discipline that Jeong Jeong feels is necessary to firebend safely.
- In Arcanum, the Panarii religion venerates the elven hero Nasrudin for his triumph over the evil Arronax. The truth of the matter is that Nasrudin feels this way towards Arronax, since Arronax is his son. Nasrudin gave Arronax a position on the Elven Council thinking the responsibility would teach his son some valuable life lessons, but it filled Arronax's head with arrogance and notions of elven supremacy, which culminated in him committing genocide against a human city.
- Slughorn in Harry Potter feels shame over his role in Voldemort/Tom Riddle's education. Specifically he provided the young Riddle with insight into the creation of Horcruxes; Voldemort used this knowledge to make himself immortal, murdering several people in the process.
- Master Shifu in Kung Fu Panda is haunted by the fact that his first student, Tai Lung, went on to become the greatest threat to the Valley (and possibly all of China) ever known.