DiscardedYKTTW Mere Mortal Giant Slayer YKTTW Discussion

Mere Mortal Giant Slayer
A character who is known for slaying powerful or magical creatures despite having no special powers of his own.
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(permanent link) added: 2012-08-19 00:12:37 sponsor: Shrikesnest (last reply: 2012-09-28 03:03:58)

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Cousin to the Badass Normal, this is a character who inhabits a world where the average person doesn't have any kind of supernatural or magical power but magical creatures such as giants and dragons exist. You might logically expect that no sane person would dare to challenge these creatures, and in general you would be right, except...

Enter the Mere Moral Giant Slayer (or Dragon Slayer, etc.) They have the tactical acumen to figure out how to kill a creature five times their size, the strength and stamina to pull it off, and the foolish bravery to go do it. What they don't have is a spellbook full of magical powers, a closet full of enchanted gear or supernatural protection; perhaps an heirloom sword that is entwined with their destiny, but the overwhelming bulk of their victory comes from their own strength and intellect.

A staple hero of Low Fantasy stories, the audience can find the Mere Mortal Giant Slayer more relatable than other heroes. However, this naturally limits the scope of the world the story can take place in if the author is looking to avoid Fridge Logic along the lines of, "Why doesn't the hero just fly over the giant like he did the gorge?"


  • This is how Aerin Dragon-Killer gets her name in The Hero and the Crown. She manages to kill a dragon with nothing but a dagger.
  • Many versions of the stories of King Arthur's knights have elements of this, although some are disqualified due to the explicit existence of divine protection for the knights.
  • Much of the plot of the film Dragon Heart is about the main character attempting to fake being one of these with the help of a friendly dragon.
  • The Fairy Tale The Brave Little Tailor by the brothers Grimm is about a tailor who, after killing seven flies in one blow, is mistaken to have killed seven men in a single blow. What follows is a series of misunderstandings that have him fighting giants and other mythological creatures at the behest of his king with nothing but his wits.
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