Created By: Bisected8January 23, 2012 Last Edited By: Bisected8February 5, 2012
Troped

Delayed Narrator Introduction *Name Crowner*

...and that is when our heroes met me; the narrator.

Name Space:
Main
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Trope
Needs A Better Name Crowner now open HERE

No Launching Please

Basically this is when someone narrating the story is introduced as a character part way in and reveals this is who they are (although they might not do so immediatly, this is usually the case). The narrator usually doesn't introduce themselves before this point, so it's usually The Reveal. At this point the narration might stay in the third person, however if the narrator sticks around and follows the protagonist it (obviously) shifts to the second person. A good sign that you're dealing with this trope is a statement along the lines of "...and that's when they met me, [insert name here]".

Naturally this can invoke a bit of Fridge Logic; how accurate was the narrator's previous narration when he wasn't present? While he could certainly have been told about it later he could just as easily be an Unreliable Narrator (although this twist is rarely seen along with this trope unless it applies to the whole story).

This trope often goes hand in hand with How We Got Here (since the narrator's narrating events that took place before he began talking), it may also use In Medias Res if it starts with the point where the narrator joins the story. Often overlaps with Narrator All Along, where the narrator's identity isn't revealed until the very end of the story, as a twist.
Examples;

  • In Bastion the narrator is a mysterious old man named Rucks. When the Player Character reaches the eponymous Bastion after the first level, he's revealed to be the only other person who made it there and introduces himself in the narration (although he doesn't reveal his name until a bit further in when The Kid brings back other survivors).
  • The Arnold Schwarzenegger Conan The Barbarian film is narrated by Mako's character, who Conan meets for the first time partway through. (According to one account, the original plan was for Conan to narrate, but Schwarzenegger's English wasn't up to it.)
  • Peter Parker does something like this at the beginning of the first Raimi Spider-Man movie.
  • Manzou from Samurai Champloo does this where he introduces who he is after he'd already been the voice narrating.
  • The narrator in Carne Tremula points out his own birth near the beginning of the film.
  • In the book From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, where the Framing Device is that this is a letter from the titular Mrs. Frankweiler to her lawyer to explain why she is changing her will. Mrs. Frankweiler herself doesn't actually show up until almost the end of the story.
  • The narrator of Valkyria Chronicles isn't introduced until midway through Chapter 2, despite narrating the events previously. How she could narrate events she was not present for is handily explained, since she is an investigative journalist and researched the events in order to write her book on the war. This also overlaps with Narrator All Along, since her identity as the narrator is not revealed until the end of the game.
  • In Dragon Age II, Hawke first meets Varric, the narrator of their story, one year after arriving in Kirkwall.
  • In the film Gor the narrator doesn't appear as a character until the end of the film; he's the sequel's Big Bad.
  • Sir Anthony Hopkins's character in Alexander. Ptolemy was one of Alexander's generals. The Framing Device of the movie is Grandpa Ptolemy telling the childern about Alexander because it is the doom of men that they forget. Young Ptolemy did no narration during the action scenes. Grandpa Ptolemy's function was to tell about big battles which would be too expensive to show.
  • Gaia isn't introduced in God Of War series until after narrating the entirety of the first game and the prologue of the second.
  • In the miniseries I Claudius, it's around three episodes before the narrator is even born, although it's explicitly a story told by that character from the beginning.
  • The identity of the narrator of The Brief Wondrous Life Of Oscar Wao isn't explicitly revealed until at least halfway through the book and there aren't many clues. (It's Yunior, by the way.)
Community Feedback Replies: 42
  • January 23, 2012
    Duncan
    Very similar to Narrator All Along, if not the same trope.
  • January 23, 2012
    Bisected8
    Narrator All Along is when the narrator reveals that they were a given character in the story (usually the protagonist). This is when the narrator appears in the story and the narrator says "ah, here's where I come in", they might not have said who they were before that point but it's not usually a twist of any sort.

    Indeed on the NAA page it even says;

    Note that this only applies when the narrator's identity is a form of Tomato Surprise. Many stories openly acknowledge the narrator's identity from the very beginning, and are not examples of this trope.
  • January 23, 2012
    PaulA
    • The Arnold Schwarzenegger Conan The Barbarian film is narrated by Mako's character, who Conan meets for the first time partway through. (According to one account, the original plan was for Conan to narrate, but Schwarzenegger's English wasn't up to it.)
    • Prince Ombra by Roderick MacLeish is narrated by a character who shows up a few chapters in. The question of how she can narrate things she wasn't present for is addressed; apparently, she has a Destiny to be the chronicler of these events, so she gets supernatural help with things like that.
  • January 23, 2012
    IanWhoWas
    • Peter Parker does something like this at the beginning of the first Raimi Spider-Man movie.
    • Manzou from Samurai Champloo does this where he introduces who he is after he'd already been the voice narrating.
  • January 24, 2012
    Zernik
    • The narrator in Carne Tremula points out his own birth near the beginning of the film.
  • January 24, 2012
    Bisected8
    Does anyone have any ideas for a name?
  • January 24, 2012
    Duncan
  • January 24, 2012
    Bisected8
    Might work, but it could be mistaken for a first person narrative.
  • January 24, 2012
    Zsuzsa
    Does the narrator's identity have to be a secret? If not then a literature example would be From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, where the frame-story is that this is a letter from the titular Mre. Frankweiler to her lawyer to explain why she is changing her will. Mrs. Frankweiler herself doesn't actually show up until almost the end of the story.
  • January 24, 2012
    Bisected8
    Not really, although they don't normally introduce themselves. I'd say that that's an example.
  • January 24, 2012
    DarthZekrom
    I think the Bastion narrator's name was Rucks.
  • January 24, 2012
    ccoa
    • The narrator of Valkyria Chronicles isn't introduced until midway through Chapter 2, despite narrating the events previously. How she could narrate events she was not present for is handily explained, since she is an investigative journalist and researched the events in order to write her book on the war. This also overlaps with Narrator All Along, since her identity as the narrator is not revealed until the end of the game.

    This is not a supertrope to Narrator All Along, BTW. That trope allows for the narrator to be present from the beginning of the story. It just frequently overlaps with that trope.
  • January 24, 2012
    Bisected8
    ^^ So it is.

    ^ Good point.
  • January 25, 2012
    Bisected8
    Any other title suggestions?
  • January 25, 2012
    PaulA
    I've just dug out my copy of Prince Ombra to check whether I remembered it correctly. The character who will become the narrator shows up near the beginning of the second chapter, but the narration doesn't do anything special to point her out; it's only in the more-informal epilogue that the narrator says which character was her. (Though there have been enough hints by then that the moment is more "Of course you've realised that was me" than "Surprise! That was me!")

    Does that still count?
  • January 25, 2012
    Bisected8
    Oh, in that case it probably fits better under Narrator All Along then. This is when the narrator points themselves out when they're introduce.
  • January 25, 2012
    Koveras
    • In Dragon Age II, Hawke first meets Varric, the narrator of their story, one year after arriving to Kirkwall.
  • January 25, 2012
    randomsurfer
    In the film Gor the narrator doesn't appear as a character until the end of the film; he's the sequel's Big Bad.
  • January 25, 2012
    Glyndwr
    Know, oh Prince, that between the fall of Atlantis and the rise of the sons of Aryas was an age undeamt of...

    I don't think the Conan example counts. That narration is Mako's memoirs many years later "But that is another story." This trope is a character who consciously narrates while the action is going on.

    IIRC there was a Dragon movie where Brother Gilbert followed a knight in the hope of getting a story.

    If Mako counts, then Sir Anthony Hopkins counts in Alexander movie. Ptolemy was one of Alexander's generals. The Framing Device of the movie is Grandpa Ptolemy telling the childern about Alexander because it is the doom of men that they forget. Young Ptolemy did no narration during the action scenes. Grandpa Ptolemy's function was to tell about big battles which would be too expensive to show.
  • January 25, 2012
    Bisected8
    Well the idea of this trope is that the narrator enters the story and points themselves out in the narration. After being introduced it doesn't matter if they stop narrating, it becomes first person (if they were narrating to that point) or they continue to narrate as normal (it just so happens one of the characters in the story they're telling is them).

    Is it acknowleged which character the narrator is in the story?
  • January 26, 2012
    Arutema
    • Gaia isn't introduced in God Of War series until after narrating the entirety of the first game and the prologue of the second.
  • January 26, 2012
    Bisected8
    This still needs a title....
  • January 27, 2012
    Koveras
    Why do you dislike Delayed Narrator Introduction? That sums it up really well.
  • January 27, 2012
    Bisected8
    It's descriptive...but a bit clunky (maybe Eddie thinks it needs to be clear before concise, but I think both are equally essential).

    Plus it doesn't quite get across the "narrator is introducing a character as him or herself" part.
  • January 27, 2012
    IsaacSapphire
    In the miniseries I, Claudius, it's around three episodes before the narrator is even born, although it's explicitly a story told by that character from the beginning.
  • January 28, 2012
    Bisected8
    Well, I suppose I could launch this with the placeholder title, but if someone can think of something cleverer...
  • January 28, 2012
    Koveras
    There is nothing more permanent than a temporary solution. ;)
  • January 28, 2012
    Bisected8
    Well, no one? I'll stay open to suggestions for the rest of the weekend and launch it on Sunday night...
  • January 28, 2012
    navigatr85
    Some ideas for the title:

    Narration Revelation

    Narrator Joins Later
  • January 29, 2012
    Bisected8
    Hmm, those might work. Has anyone else got anymore thoughts?
  • January 29, 2012
    benjamminsam
    I like Narration Revelation.

    Literature example: The identity of the narrator of The Brief Wondrous Life Of Oscar Wao isn't explicitly revealed until at least halfway through the book and there aren't many clues. (It's Yunior, by the way.)
  • January 30, 2012
    Bisected8
    Well, if one more person supports Narration Revelation and there aren't any objections to it I'll launch it with that.
  • January 30, 2012
    Koveras
    Narration Revelation is too vague and can be misinterpreted as Narrator All Along.
  • January 30, 2012
    Bisected8
    ...drat...
  • January 30, 2012
    Bisected8
    Well, any other thoughts? Maybe I should make a crowner...
  • January 30, 2012
    Koveras
    Do that.
  • January 30, 2012
    Bisected8
    OK then, here it is; http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/crowner.php/AlternativeTitles/DelayedNarratorIntroduction

    Feel free to add your own suggestions to it, everyone.
  • February 1, 2012
    Bisected8
    There don't seem to be many votes on the crowner at the moment.
  • February 1, 2012
    Bisected8
    Well it looks like the placeholder title's sticking, but there don't seem to be many hats. Are there any problems with the description or examples?
  • February 3, 2012
    Bisected8
    The name crowner seems to be completly static. If there aren't any objections I'll just launch this on Sunday (there's only two hats, so if there's something seriously wrong with this YKTTW I haven't seen because of my OP-Myopia point it out now!).
  • February 4, 2012
    Bisected8
    Launching in about 12 hours.
  • February 5, 2012
    Bisected8
    Launching at 16:00 GMT+0...

Three days must pass before this YKTTW is Launchworthy or Discardable