Created By: Earnest on August 25, 2009

The Helen Of Troy

Name Space:
Page Type:
This a character similar to the MacGuffin Girl, The President's Daughter, The Dulcinea Effect, and the Distressed Damsel, perhaps a Super Trope.

Basically, this is a character whose disappearance or kidnapping launches the heroes into a quest to find and/or rescue them. In terms of traits, they are usually "desirable" or "questable" for any of a hundred reasons. Common ones include: they're a Love Interest, family member, or close friend to one of the protagonists, another is they're needed because they're a king, The Chosen One, or some other political/plot important reason, lastly, they might just plain be a nice person or an innocent that the heroes want to save For The Goodz.

  • As the title says, Helen of Troy from The Iliad is a prime example.
  • Doug from The Hangover, who is given all the characterization of a very Nice Guy to both his friends and brother in law. So much so that you can honestly believe these guys would shake down all of Las Vegas to find him.
Community Feedback Replies: 7
  • August 25, 2009
    I'm trying very hard to see where this is not the Distressed Damsel. The only way I can see this working is if you emphasize the fact that this is a character who is not necessarily in distress, just sought-after for some reason.

    Living Macguffin, perhaps?
  • August 25, 2009
    Chabal 2
    Helen does indeed fit the "character who is not necessarily in distress" definition, as she wasn't attacked by Paris or the Trojans during the whole war.

    Queen Guenievre (can't ever get the spelling right) is also not in distress, as most versions have her go willingly with Lancelot. The whole kingdom goes down because the vassals have to choose sides, help Arthure get her back, or help Lancelot keep her.

    Cleopatra was certainly not a Damsel In Distress, She was fought over because she represented control of Egypt for two warring Roman generals.

    Yorick in Y The Last Man is a male example, various factions want him, mostly alive, some dead.
  • August 25, 2009
    random surfer
    The Searchers: John Wayne & Co. spend years searching for his niece, abducted by Injuns.
  • August 25, 2009
    You know, when I think "Helen of Troy" I don't think "Distressed Damsel" I think "Most beautiful woman in the world".
  • August 25, 2009
    Unknown Troper
    I suppose it's mainly the "face that launched a thousand ships" thing.
  • August 25, 2009
    Well, alternate titles are most definetly welcome. I used her more for the "launched" than the "beautiful", but I see your point.
  • August 30, 2009
    Bump. Up For Grabs, launching this as Living Mac Guffin unless there are objections. (I'm looking at you, trope repair shop! Consider this the priest saying "Speak Now, or forever hold your peace"! ^_~)