is the character who saves the day in any particular story. Which means he is usually also The Protagonist
, the guy the story is about. This makes them a Hero Protagonist
. which is the ISO standard in media in general two the point that "hero" and "protagonist" are interchangeable terms.
Then you realize that this is a rather obvious fallacy. Since a story can easily be about the villain
. Which means our hero here would naturally be an Antagonist
, making him a Hero Antagonist
But what if, just for a change, a supporting character is cast as The Hero
? This means that The Hero
will be playing a supporting role
to The Protagonist
(s) story. Which means that The Hero
is ripe for being a Sacrificial Lion
or worse, a Sacrificial Lamb
. or maybe as a throwaway character
that is mostly there to resolve the plot because the story is written in a way that The Protagonist
is incapable of resolving the plot with his own power.
The simplest straight example for it (and may perhaps be the Trope Maker
) is The Huntsman of Little Red Riding Hood
. The story is about well, the girl and her journey. But The Hero
who rescues the girl
and kills the wolf
is The Huntsman (Depending on the Writer
, he may be a lumberjack or whatever), who was coincidentally Just Passing Through
and happens to hear her cries of help once her "grandmother" reveals herself to be a wolf and tries to eat her.
A Featureless Protagonist
cannot be this by virtue of being The Protagonist
Related to Hero Secret Service
, who help The Hero
and may be the protagonists here. Related to Hero Antagonist
, Hero Protagonist
, and Supporting Protagonist
, which are about the different roles a protagonist and hero can take when they are not one and the same. This can overlap with Hero Antagonist
if he's only a minor antagonist. Subtrope of The Hero
. Can be a result(or effect) of Take Up My Sword
and Passing the Torch
, where The Hero bequeaths his role to someone else.
A simple checklist to see if a character counts as this:
- Is there a protagonist?
- Is the character NOT The Protagonist?
- Does he remain a supporting character? i.e. narrative wise, would his death NOT derail the narrative? that is, will the story still be about the main characters' quest, whatever it is?
- Does he have an important task like defeating the Big Bad or any other Conflict Killer missions?
- Alternately, is he just a Hero archetype who may have his own subplot that will not affect the Myth Arc status quo(kinda like Hero Antagonist)?
If all are check or there are some technical checks, they count. a single no check disqualifies him, so he may be another trope like Hero Antagonist
Prinny: Can I Really Be the Hero?
- check: The "Hero Prinny", The Player character.
- technical check: "HP" is whoever of the 1000 prinnies supplied for the player is wearing the "Hero Scarf". meaning, The Hero is a Redshirt.
- technical check: There is no particular story arc where we get into the POV of the current prinny.
the game assumes your character is the original HP. ingame, they change voices every time you "respawn", i.e. replace the dead HP. meaning, the prinny that interacts with other characters and moves the plot in general may not be the original protagonist prinny.
- check: find out who stole Etna's MacGuffin, thereby saving the hides of all prinnies because Etna will punish them all if the Hero Prinny fails. they all planned to take up the scarf should the original one fail and so on, hence the unique Video Game Lives system.
Anime and Manga
- Zetsuen no Tempest has Megumu Hanemura who debuts in the second season of the anime. He is The Chosen One of the eponymous Zetsuen no Ki(Tree of Exodus) who is tasked of preventing The End of the World as We Know It. Not only has he no bearing to the first Story Arc, his backstory before that was never really explored (he was chosen immediately after the time the story's Inciting Incident happened, and he had a Girlfriend who dumped him around the time the plot happens, that's it). it was made clear in the narrative that he isn't unique at all, and that if he dies, the tree will just pick someone else.
- Hiroshi Miwa of Ichiban Ushiro no Daimaou was prophecized to be The Hero who will defeat eponymous Daimaou. However, he's the protagonist's friend. which makes them reluctant mortal enemies. he is still rather unimportant narrative wise though, as he isn't the story's Big Bad nor is he The Heavy.
- Deconstructed (like everything else) in Puella Magi Madoka Magica, Sayaka is the first character we see to turn into a Magical Girl, and she already had Chronic Hero Syndrome (and is the closest thing to a The Hero figure after Mami's downfall) which only worsened when she gained the power to actually make a change. She then undergoes a Trauma Conga Line that makes her realize how terrible and unfair the world is, which drives her into depression and made her go on killing spree of witches, which eventually leads to her death via The Corruption.
- The huntsman in Little Red Riding Hood is The Hero in the tale, considering that the huntsman kills the wolf and saves the day; despite this, the story is about the titular character, the huntsman appears close to the ending and makes nothing beyond kill the wolf and save the day.