->''“But down these mean streets a man must go who is not himself mean, who is neither tarnished nor afraid. The detective in this kind of story must be such a man. He is the hero, he is everything. He must be a complete man and a common man and yet an unusual man. He must be, to use a rather weathered phrase, a man of honor, by instinct, by inevitability, without thought of it, and certainly without saying it. He must be the best man in his world and a good enough man for any world."''
-->-- '''Creator/RaymondChandler'''

A Hero Protagonist is when TheHero and TheProtagonist [[CaptainObvious are the same person.]] This combination of roles is extremely common, to the point where it's considered true unless otherwise noted within any work. Simply put, the central character is also an established force for good within the universe. The Hero Protagonist is also a source of {{Escapism}}; the audience sympathizes with the character because he's who they want to be, rather than [[AudienceSurrogate who they actually are.]] It's common to see {{Hero Protagonist}}s tackle villains who either cause or are personifications of real-life issues, in order to fulfill the desire of the audience to see these problems dealt with.

On the other hand, these characters need to be treated carefully. Since the Hero Protagonist is the central character, the issues common in TheHero become very noticeable very quickly. Since [[TheGoodGuysAlwaysWin it's inevitable that the character will win]], a lot of the drama in the story is removed. Good writing will therefore focus on ''how'' they win, or offer up an interesting character dilemma. Bad writing can turn the Hero Protagonist into an InvincibleHero. Several works avoid the problem altogether by averting the Hero Protagonist by having the two traits in different characters, or dropping one or both from the narrative completely. If TheHero is made into a supporting role, this allows them to be awesome and heroic without dragging down the narrative.

A Hero Protagonist is most often found in works with BlackAndWhiteMorality, where they will be opposed to the VillainAntagonist. This trope is easily one of TheOldestOnesInTheBook, to the point where most of its aversions are likewise TheOldestOnesInTheBook. For when TheHero is not TheProtagonist, see SupportingLeader, HeroOfAnotherStory and HeroAntagonist. For when TheProtagonist is not TheHero, see AntiHero, VillainProtagonist and SupportingProtagonist. Not to be confused with [[Literature/SnowCrash Hiroaki "Hiro" Protagonist]].

''As this is an ([[VillainProtagonist almost]]) OmnipresentTrope, '''no examples please.'''''