Created By: KJMackley on June 19, 2012

From Hero to Mentor

Passing on their elite knowledge to the next generation

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Everyone has a story to tell. For The Hero it is their adventures in defeating the bad guys. They likely spent years training themselves in a particular set of knowledge and skills and so if they die all of that valuable information goes to waste.

So, often when they get older, they may find someone young and impulsive but filled with a great deal of potential. So they make the step towards finding a protege, possibly even Passing the Torch as they wish to retire.

Evidently this likely happens to all Mentor Archetype characters in some fashion, but examples should be ones we actually see happen.

Compare Hero of Another Story.

Examples:
  • Bruce Wayne becomes the mentor to Terry McGinnis in Batman Beyond as Terry becomes the new Batman. While Bruce does keep a strong presence as Mission Control, the series keeps a strong focus on Terry and in a few episode Bruce has little involvement.
  • Examined in an interesting way in the Men in Black movies. The big reveal of the first movie was that Agent K wasn't looking to train a new partner, but was instead training Agent J to replace him. Thus in the second movie J was shuffled off to be the senior agent and known for neuralizing junior agents who failed to meet his standards.
  • One element brought up in Star Wars was that Obi-Wan went from apprentice to Jedi Knight to having his own apprentice all in the same day. That apprentice eventually turned to the dark side and became Darth Vader. He later lamented that he was unprepared to be a teacher and regretted his brashness. With the original trilogy we only get this mentioned in passing but with the prequels we see how it actually happens.
  • A major aspect of Scrubs is the fact that the characters learn a lot about themselves and how to become effective doctors, thus in the later seasons we see them rely less on the senior staff and instead become senior staff themselves. It is made most prominent in the last two seasons, where J.D. finds himself stepping into the same position his mentor did for him. This was hinted at as early as the first season when J.D. had to be a big brother mentor to a nervous med student and imitated the mannerisms of Dr. Cox.
Community Feedback Replies: 26
  • June 19, 2012
    KJMackley
    For some reason this was discarded 10 minutes after I wrote it...
  • June 20, 2012
    Arivne
    ^ According to the YKTTW Launch List a troper named wiseoldtabbycat decided it was too dangerous to live.
  • June 20, 2012
    Koveras
    • Similar to the Batman example, the original Nite Owl in Watchmen became the mentor to the second Nite Owl.
  • June 21, 2012
    KJMackley
    An episode of Burn Notice had a client of the week who was a friend of Michael's and an Army sniper, not too different from Michael's background. The guy refused to stay on the sidelines as Michael worked out his problem and he took his first steps into the spy world. As he was too emotionally connected to the situation he struggled with maintaining his cover (pretending to be friends with the guy who beat up his sister), but Michael had to coach him along to make the plan work.
  • June 30, 2012
    KJMackley
    This is the basic plot of The Mask Of Zorro, with the original Zorro Diego de la Vega being placed in prison for 20 years and upon escaping and seeking revenge he finds Alejandro Murrieta to train to become the new Zorro.
  • July 3, 2012
    ElCheViva
    There's a piece of a fanon which claims that the spirit which teaches the player new sword techniqies in Twilight Princess is the spirit of the incarnation of Link who was the protagonist in Ocarina of Time.
  • July 3, 2012
    WaxingName
    ^It's actually canon now, thanks to Hyrule Historia.
  • July 3, 2012
    Poprocks311
    Katara in Avatar was besically the main female lead and one of the strongest fighters in the show. As of Legend of Korra she oversaw Korra's training.
  • July 3, 2012
    randomsurfer
    Buffy The Vampire Slayer Season 7: Buffy, the one vampire slayer of her generation, gathers all the potential slayers together to train them for when whichever one is called up when she dies. [note: for the sake of brevity I've skipped the Faith factor.]
  • July 4, 2012
    surgoshan
    • Both Alta├»r and Ezio end their lives as Mentors to the Assassin's order in the Assassins Creed games.
  • July 13, 2012
    KJMackley
    This is the character arc of Doc Hudson from Cars, once being a championship race car and growing bitter that he was discarded for the upcoming generation. After coming to grips with his past he mentored Lightning McQueen and even taught him a few drifting tricks.
  • July 13, 2012
    LittleLizard
    In Mass Effect 3, in the "Denial" ending from the Extended Cut DLC, Liara leaves all the knowledge Shepard's team gathered in hopes that the next generation will be able to stop the Reapers.
  • July 13, 2012
    Koveras
    ^ It's "Rejection", not "Denial"...
  • July 13, 2012
    MiinU

    Western animation

    • The Legend of Korra: Korra briefly mentions, to Bolin, that Katara was her waterbending master. In the previous series, Katara became one of the greatest waterbending masters in the world, and filled the same role to Korra's previous incarnation, Aang, in addition to helping him end the war with the Fire Nation, and restore balance to the world afterward.
  • July 13, 2012
    Sparklesqueak
    The hero Link in The Legend Of Zelda Ocarina Of Time becomes the Hero's Shade, teaching advanced sword moves to the hero Link in Twilight Princess, regretting that he had not been able to pass on his skills during his own lifetime.
  • July 13, 2012
    MiinU
    ^@Sparklesqueak - according to Word Of God, he and Zelda reincarnate. So, technically, Link was teaching himself (i.e. previous incarnation mentoring the current one) similar to how Aang was mentored by Roku, his past life.
  • July 14, 2012
    Achitha
  • July 17, 2012
    69BookWorM69
    So, this is the process for creating a Relegated Mentor?
  • July 19, 2012
    MiinU
    bump.
  • July 19, 2012
    KJMackley
    Relegated Mentor is when they become more and more obsolete and the hero becomes less reliant on them in either training or knowledge. This is more about the process of how they become a mentor at all.

    In another Mass Effect 3 example, squad member James Vega explains he was invited into the N7 program (the human Alliance special forces, the same group Shepard belonged to before becoming a Spectre). Depending on how you play out the conversation Shepard can coach him along with accepting the invite and beginning his training. In a more general sense Captain/Admiral Anderson grows into this role almost from the beginning and continues along this path throughout the series.
  • July 20, 2012
    ChrisLang
    Phoenix Wright sort of becomes this in Apollo Justice Ace Attorney, becoming the advisor to Apollo Justice after having been the main character in three previous games.
  • July 21, 2012
    MrRuano
    • Come Soul Calibur V, Seigfried has become a mentor over the seventeen years following his last battle with Nightmare. Over this time, he not only managed to gather the former kingdom of Wolkrone into a new incarnation of his old mercenary gang Schwarzwind, but also managed to gather along any other unique individuals and taught them what he knew about being a hero.
      • Also along this time, he has made it something of his duty to look for the next successor of Soul Calibur, in the event that Nightmare comes once again.
  • July 26, 2012
    Koveras
    • Partial example in Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha Striker S: the eponymous character (and The Hero in the previous seasons) is still a main heroine but simultaneously the mentor to the next generation of protagonists, particularly Subaru and Teana.
  • July 26, 2012
    HonestGent
    Metal Gear Solid 2 has this with Snake, the hero from the first game, becoming a mentor to Raiden, who's much less experienced.
  • August 11, 2012
    MiinU
    bump.
  • August 11, 2012
    sigh824
    Ninjago Masters Of Spinjistsu's second season has the titular ninjas teach Lloyd, the green ninja.
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