Two Bit Hero
The character whose heroics take place in the background of the main protagonist\'s conflict.
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?
- 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
- 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.
- Exaggerated in Prinny: Can I Really Be the Hero?, The so called "Hero Prinny" may be Hero Protagonist. but gameplay and story wise, said guy is actually whichever prinny is wearing the "hero scarf" in your stockpile of 1000 "lives", which are actually the 1000 prinnies sent for the mission Etna gave. meaning The Hero here is actually a Redshirt. Appearances of "Hero Prinny" outside this game however implies that the prinny who was given the hero scarf never passed it on to another as he never died in his mission. "Gotta have Guts dood!" indeed.
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