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[[quoteright:350:[[Literature/IdyllsOfTheKing http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/rsz_merlin_4.jpg]]]]

A more experienced advisor or confidante to a young, inexperienced character, particularly to a {{hero|icArchetype}}.

Even though this character is better skilled, faster and more experienced than TheProtagonist, they aren't the Hero, either because they are not TheChosenOne or because they have already [[RetiredBadass grown too old for the task]]. Their role is to [[ChekhovsSkill introduce a new skill]] or [[TrainingFromHell sharpen the current skills]] of the protagonist, often hoping to [[PassingTheTorch pass the torch]] because they know their career is [[EndOfAnAge coming to an end]]. This character [[MentorOccupationalHazard may die]], so that the protagonist can [[InTheEndYouAreOnYourOwn learn to stand on their own two feet]].

Compare BigGood where they tend to keep a distance on the hero's quest and run things from the throne.

Named after Mentor, Telemachus' elderly advisor in ''Literature/TheOdyssey'', [[GodWasMyCoPilot who was actually Athena]] [[DisguisedInDrag in disguise]]. For more information concerning "The Mentor" and other narrative archetypes, see [[http://www.everything2.org/index.pl?node_id=947547 Vladmir Propp's theory of narrative]].

A list of subtypes can be found on the {{Mentors}} page.

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!!Examples

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder: Anime[=/=]Manga]]

* ''MyHeroAcademia'' interestingly has multiple characters like this on both the hero and villain sides.
** [[TheHero Izuku Midoriya's]] primary mentor is All Might, the world's greatest hero, who passes on the Quirk called One For All to Izuku after deciding that he's a worthy successor. He also has a secondary mentor in [[OldMaster Gran Torino]], a contemporary of All Might's predecessor who also trained All Might himself. Both fulfill different needs, as while Izuku derives his power and ideals from All Might, Gran Torino is better at teaching him how to use One For All without destroying himself.
** On the villain side, [[TheHeavy Tomura Shigaraki]] is mentored by All Might's arch-enemy, All For One. All For One knows full-well that he fulfills this trope, having taken in and raised Shigaraki from a young age [[spoiler:after killing his grandmother]] and uses the twisted bond between them to encourage Shigaraki to be a better villain. [[spoiler:Even after his arrest, he chides All Might for not embodying the trope as well as he has, because while All Might won and continues to be there for Izuku, Shigaraki's loss of a beloved mentor is going to motivate him to grow stronger and more independant.]]

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Comic Books ]]

* Shazam, from ''{{Shazam}}!''
* Surprisingly, ComicBook/{{Wolverine}} is this to several generations of X-Men, being a father-figure to a number of the teenaged female members.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Fan Fiction ]]

* Fanfic/TakamachiNanohaOf2814: Superman is an older advisor for Nanoha. She smugly notes how her mentor can actively assist her "which other {{Magical Girl}}s only dream about".
* The Vocaloid fanfiction [[http://www.fanfiction.net/s/7002672/Vocal_Vision Vocal Vision]] has Luka as this for Miku. Also Gakupo for Luka and Haku.
* ''Fanfic/HarryPotterAndTheMethodsOfRationality'': The archetype is continually referred to as "the mysterious old wizard." Harry gets two, Quirrel and Dumbledore, and Hermione has some frustrations finding someone willing to mentor her. "Dumbledore refused to be my mysterious old wizard, do you know where I can write to request another one?" In the end, they decide [[spoiler:that since Hermione is actually the hero of the story, that means Harry is her mysterious old wizard. It helps that it turns out he's technically sixty]].
* In ''Webcomic/{{Guardian}}'', Lady Ginnem--the first summoner Lulu guarded in ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyX''--is portrayed this way for Lulu, taking an interest in her while Lulu is living in the temple orphanage and teaching her magic. (Sadly, her MentorOccupationalHazard is preinstalled by canon.)

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Film]]
* This is a reccuring theme througout the StarWars saga, having been heavily influenced by the Hero's Journey.
** The most obvious example is the former TropeNamer Obi-Wan Kenobi, who mentored both [[TheChosenOne Anakin Skywalker]] ([[FaceHeelTurn with]] [[APupilOfMineUntilHeTurnedToEvil tragic]] [[FromNobodyToNightmare results]]), and his son [[TheHero Luke]] (which [[LoveRedeems went better]]).
** Another well known example is [[BadassGrandpa Jedi Grandmaster]] [[EccentricMentor Yoda]] After Obi-Wan's [[ObiWanMoment death]] Yoda took over Luke's training, and states that he has been training Jedi for over ''800 years''.
** Obi-Wan himself was trained by Qui Gon Jinn, who was noted to not get along with the Jedi Council and disagreed with several of their views. Jinn was the one who originaly wanted to train a young Anakin, but after his death Obi-Wan took the responsibility.
** In ''TheForceAwakens'', Han Solo of all people, take this role on for rising heroes [[DefectorFromDecadence Finn]] and [[AscendedFanGirl Rey]], an irony given his rocky relationship with Obi-Wan in his younger days. [[spoiler:He even suffers from MentorOccupationalHazard.]]
* ''Film/XMenFirstClass'': [[EvilMentor Sebastian Shaw to Magneto]]. [[CoolTeacher Professor X to the team]]. [[MentorShip Magneto to Mystique]].
* ''Film/TheHungerGames'': Haymitch Abernathy.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Literature ]]
* In ''Literature/DragonQueen'', the old man tries to be this, but is hilariously ineffective.
* TropeNamer: Mentor himself [[spoiler: or possibly Athena herself]] in ''Literature/TheOdyssey''.
* The Sisters of Orion, especially Vasja'ri, in ''{{Literature/Alterien}}'' filled this role for Oberon and the other early Alteriens.
* A few people played this role for Caspian in ''{{Literature/Astral Dawn}}''. The most notable mentors he had were Magali, Peleus and Ixchel.
* Gandalf in "Literature/LordOfTheRings" and "Literature/TheHobbit" plays this role to Bilbo and Frodo Baggins, and indeed to many of the Fellowship in LotR.
* Haymitch Abernathy to Katniss and Peeta in ''Literature/TheHungerGames''. All past victors are brought back each year to mentor the new tributes from their district, though Haymitch definitely keeps this up long after the Games themselves are over.
* ''[[Literature/AMagesPower A Mage's Power]]''
** Basilard is a squad five senior. His job is to teach Eric, Tiza, and Nolien how to be proper mercenaries and develop their respective skills.
** Dengel is a classical example in that he is both older than dirt and regarded as a sage. He teaches Eric high-level and esoteric forms of magic.
* ''Literature/TheReynardCycle'': Reynard and Isengrim play this role to several characters throughout the series. Notably, Isengrim ''mentors'' Reynard, and vice versa.
* ''Literature/SoulSeekers'': Paloma, Daire's grandmother, is this.
* In Jeramey Kraatz's ''Literature/TheCloakSociety'', Lone Star was this to the Junior Rangers. Alex realizes how much when he comes to talk Alex out of his MyGodWhatHaveIDone reaction to having [[spoiler:caused a death.]]

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Live Action TV ]]

* ''Series/{{Angel}}'': Lorne, sort of.
* Giles, ''Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer'', is a watcher. His job is to train a slayer.
* Megan in ''Series/{{Privileged}}'' becomes this to the twins as well as their tutor.
* Hornblower has two important mentor figures in the miniseries adaptation ''Series/HoratioHornblower'':
** Captain Pellew takes a special interest in Hornblower because he sees a promising officer in him. It's with the interesting twist that he sometimes [[ChewOutFakeOut pretends to be furious with Horatio just to mess with him]]. It takes Horatio some time to figure out when Pellew is joking.
** Matthews is Da Man among lower deck characters. He can offer his insight even to officers who respect him and listen to him because Matthews is experienced, reasonable, respectful and concerned for the good of the ship.
* In ''The Shazam!/Isis Hour'' there was a character actually named (or at least ''called'') "Mentor." And he drove around the country in his RV with a young kid he wasn't related to. And no one ever seemed to find that odd.

[[/folder]]

[[folder:Professional Wrestling]]
* Wrestling/{{Rikidozan}} to BI Cannon in the Japan Wrestling Association. Unfortunately, he never got to finish the job as he died from a stab infection after a {{Yakuza}} attack, causing his two disciples, Giant Baba and Wrestling/AntonioInoki, [[Wrestling/NewJapanProWrestling to tear]] the promotion [[Wrestling/AllJapanProWrestling apart]] in his absence.
* When his in ring career began to wind down Wrestling/BoboBrazil took to mentoring the hot new talent and potential superstar Rocky Johnson.
* Wrestling/KentaKobashi served as one to Wrestling/KentaKobayashi, the future ace of Wrestling/ProWrestlingNOAH, prior to his learning excursion to South America. The name similarity was just a coincidence, with the latter going by KENTA to distinguish himself.
* The Wrestling/{{Mistico}} gimmick originated around Fray Tormenta mentoring one of his orphans who desired to become a luchador. Wrestling/{{CMLL}} had planned for there to be multiple mentored luchadors, starting with El Sagrado, but when he proved to be unconvincing, the angle was abandoned, with Místico being [[TheArtifact the only reminder of it's existence]] due to his [[BreakOutCharacter breakout status]].
* In Gateway Championship Wrestling's latter days, Wrestling/MsChif mentored Jackal and Cabal, originally for the purpose of defeating her enemies, her own mentor Johnny Greenpeace and Wrestling/DaizeeHaze, the trainee of her [[Wrestling/HunterJohnston tag team partner.]] Jackal ended up taking her place in the light heavyweight division when she left too.[[/folder]]

[[folder: Toys ]]
* The six original Turaga from ''Franchise/{{Bionicle}}'' to their respective Toa warriors and the adventure-seeking Takua.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Video Games ]]

* Wynne in ''VideoGame/DragonAgeOrigins'' if the player wishes. Verges on a parent/child relationship with a mage protagonist.
* Kyu in ''VideoGame/HuniePop''…in regards to teaching the player to become a {{Casanova}}.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Webcomic ]]

* In ''Webcomic/{{Freefall}}'', [[http://freefall.purrsia.com/ff900/fv00864.htm Florence explains to Helix]] that space is unforgiving and he must learn from Sam, who has been there before, and ask Florence whenever he doesn't understand why Sam is doing something. Sam finds it briefly cool to be a mentor before he realizes that it could also be Florence assigning him a watchdog.
* Lord Frey from ''Webcomic/AlfdisAndGunnora'' seems to be something of a mentor to young Alfdis.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Western Animation ]]

* Iroh from ''WesternAnimation/AvatarTheLastAirbender'' is this to Zuko.

[[/folder]]
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