Renowned Selective Mentor
The hero's mentor is someone important that rarely mentors anyone.


(permanent link) added: 2011-10-07 22:24:01 sponsor: Dawnwing (last reply: 2011-10-13 01:40:58)

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In fiction, occasionally The Hero will be mentored by someone who holds an important position in their community. It may be the group's leader, someone with a special job that only takes on one trainee in their lifetime, or perhaps an old hero who is retired and normally no longer trains anyone. Occasionally the mentor is chosen by someone else, but for the most part is their own decision to take the character under their wing. Perhaps they see some sort of special ability in the hero. Perhaps, especially if the character is young, they want to be an influence in the pupil's life, trying to make them grow up in a certain way.

Whatever the reason, it is almost always a big honor to be chosen by this person. Because of this, the choice may result in someone becoming jealous of the hero, possibly turning them into a rival.

May have some overlap with The Obi-Wan. Mentor Occupational Hazard may also occur.

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Examples of this trope:

Anime & Manga
  • The Forwards in Nanoha StrikerS have been handpicked for a year-long personal training by the eponymous character. Most combat mages in the setting consider themselves lucky to get Nanoha to act as their OPFOR for half a day. Not to mention that she normally only teaches advanced aerial combat to squadron-sized classes (as opposed to one-on-four training from basics up for the Forwards).
  • Jiraiya in Naruto fits this trope to a T. He only had two groups of students before Naruto, and in both cases one of them was an insanely gifted shinobi who became a legend. He chose to train Naruto become he reminded him of the Fourth Hokage, his previous student and Naruto's father.

Film
  • In Dragonheart: A New Beginning, Geoff is trained by the king's advisor Osric. Osric claims it is because he's a natural and deserves special attention, but his real motive was to make Geoff eager for battle and to trust him in order to convince Drake to give up half his heart.
  • Star Wars: Due to his unusual affinity with the Force, Anakin gets mentoring and attention from high-ranking Jedi beyond that given to other padawans.
  • Pai Mei from Kill Bill. Apparently he only rarely accepts students and is a thousand-year-old renowned recluse.

Literature
  • In The Giver by Lois Lowry, the community only has one titular Giver at a time. Each Giver must choose a child as his successor during his lifetime. The main character Jonas becomes the Giver's student, and he is considered to have a special rank in the community.
  • In Warrior Cats, it is considered to be a huge honor to be mentored by the Clan leader or, to a lesser degree, the deputy. It occurs only a couple times in the series, most notably in the first book when Bluestar, the leader of ThunderClan, chooses the main character Firepaw as her apprentice. It is also considered an honor to train as the medicine cat's apprentice, because it is such an important position; each medicine cat only trains one apprentice in their lifetime. In that case, however, it usually isn't a surprise because the younger cat already has an interest in healing and helps out the medicine cat for a while before officially being apprenticed.
  • Miss Havisham trains Thursday for Jurisfiction in Lost in a Good Book. She's specifically described by Mrs. Dashwood as being highly selective, and she herself says as much, warning Thursday that she could easily lose the privilege of studying with her.
  • Harry Potter has a much closer relationship with the headmaster, Dumbledore, than is usual for a student, to the point of the Professor being almost a surrogate father. In the sixth book Dumbledore even gives him special lessons.
  • In Tamora Pierce's Circle of Magic series, Tris is trained by Niko, the super duper famous mage. Justified, in that the rules of magic dictate it.
  • In Thief of Time, everyone is shocked when Lobsang becomes the apprentice of Lu-Tzu The Sweeper. Even if they don't recognise The Sweeper in person, they are shocked by his rep, and because he never takes apprentices anymore. In fact Lobsang's apprenticeship is a punishment posting for both of them in different ways.
  • Darian certainly has this reaction when he finds out Firesong k'Vala has moved to k'Valdemar Vale specifically to train Darian.
  • In Belisarius Series an emperor hires one of the greatest warriors in India to train his daughter as a Badass Princess. Later she and her mentor get married and they become a Battle Couple.

Tabletop Games

Western Animation
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