Two Bit Hero
The character whose heroics take place in the background of the main protagonist's conflict.
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(permanent link) added: 2014-01-08 00:07:18 sponsor: ShanghaiSlave (last reply: 2014-02-08 17:14:48)

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The Hero 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.

Example:

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.


Examples:

Anime and Manga

Literature
  • 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.

Video Games
replies: 79

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