This is a summary of the Hero archetypes from ''The Complete Writer's Guide to Heroes & Heroines: Sixteen Master Archetypes'' (see the footnote on the index page, ''HeroesAndHeroines''). You can also find the Heroine archetypes on RomanceGenreHeroines.

Also listed are the villainous versions of the Hero archetypes; these come from the website of one of the authors (again, see the footnote on the [[HeroesAndHeroines index page]]).
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[[folder: Quick Overview ]]


The eight Hero archetypes presented are as follows:

* [[TheCaptain The Chief]]
** The goal-oriented leader, decisive to the point of inflexibility.
* [[AntiHero The Bad Boy]] (AllGirlsWantBadBoys, JerkWithAHeartOfGold)
** The rebel whose idealism was beaten out of him by the cruelty of life.
* [[UndyingLoyalty The Best Friend]]
** The dependable ally, a peacemaker who hates confrontation.
* [[TheCasanova The Charmer]]
** The irresistible rogue who teaches you the meaning of fun but doesn't hang around for the aftermath.
* [[TroubledButCute The Lost Soul]]
** The sensitive, secretive loner with a [[DarkAndTroubledPast troubled past]] and an uncertain future.
* TheProfessor
** The introvert who understands data but shies from dates.
* [[{{Swashbuckler}} The Swashbuckler]]
** The physically-oriented action hero, who may not let common sense get in the way of a good adventure, who gives his name to an entire [[{{Swashbuckler}} genre]] of romantic adventure stories.
* [[{{Determinator}} The Warrior]]
** The tenacious protector who has noble goals but can easily become a WellIntentionedExtremist.

Their villainous versions are as follows:

* [[EvilOverlord The Tyrant]]
** Evil version of ''The Chief''.
* [[{{Jerkass}} The Bastard]]
** Self-centered version of ''The Bad Boy'' who lashes out at others and tries to provoke them.
* [[TheStarscream The Traitor]]
** ''The Best Friend'' on the outside, but inside he's plotting the destruction of his TrueCompanions.
* [[ManipulativeBastard The Devil]]
** Evil version of ''The Charmer'' who reads people to exploit their "moral weaknesses."
* [[LonersAreFreaks The Outcast]]
** Self-centered version of ''The Lost Soul'' who fails to connect with other people.
* The EvilGenius (MadScientist)
** Evil or insane version of ''The Professor'' whose high intellect lacks a working moral compass.
* [[BloodKnight The Sadist]]
** If you squint a lot, you can see a version of ''The Swashbuckler'' who gets his kicks [[PsychoForHire from torturing others]].
* [[DarkMessiah The Terrorist]]
** Deluded version of ''The Warrior'' whose "warped code of honor" sets him on the far edge of WellIntentionedExtremist.
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[[folder: Character Examples ]]


* '''The Chief:''' The book gives [[MyFairLady Henry Higgins]] and [[Series/StarTrekTheOriginalSeries Captain Kirk]], which should give you an idea of the range.
* '''The Bad Boy:''' [[TheBreakfastClub John Bender]] is an obvious example. [[Anime/CowboyBebop Spike Spiegel]] is a combination of this and '''The Swashbuckler''' (Were he not such '''The Bad Boy''' he would qualify for '''The Lost Soul'''.)
** An example of how these archetypes can be combined to create [[strike:CaptainPlanet]] complex characters.
** Note well that this can be a positive character despite the character flaws.
* '''The Best Friend:''' JD from ''Series/{{Scrubs}}'', Lennier from Series/BabylonFive.
* '''The Charmer:''' Hawkeye Pierce from ''Series/{{MASH}}''; Shigure from ''FruitsBasket''. Ivan Vorpatril is this as well as Best Friend.
* '''The Lost Soul:''' Angel from ''Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer''.
** Seamus Harper of Series/{{Andromeda}} is a combination of Lost Soul and Professor, with a little bit of Best Friend.
** Bothari in Literature/VorkosiganSaga
* '''The Swashbuckler:''' Book gives (of course) IndianaJones - and Zorro.
** Mile Vorkosigan is a combination of this and professor.
* '''The Professor:''' Obviously there's The Professor from Gilligan's Island, and Mr. Spock (or probably ''any'' Vulcan); the book adds {{Frasier}}. And then there's Andrew Steyn from ''TheGodsMustBeCrazy''....
* '''The Warrior:''' Book gives Clint Eastwood in ''DirtyHarry'' and Mel Gibson in ''Film/{{Braveheart}}''.
** Worf in ''[[Series/StarTrekDeepSpaceNine Deep Space Nine]]''
* '''[[EvilOverlord The Tyrant]]:''' [[WatershipDown General Woundwort]], although he's not trying to ''expand'' his empire.
** Osamu Tezuka's seminal work ''Phoenix'' is rife with examples of this type. Many of the characters start out heroic, and are actually close friends of the people they later cut down in cold blood. But they usually have a thread of power-lust running through them even from the start.
* '''The Bastard:'''
** Edmund from ''[[Creator/WilliamShakespeare King Lear]]''
* '''The Devil:''' Iago in ''Othello''.
** Mr Morden in Series/BabylonFive
* '''The Traitor:''' [[Literature/TheBible Judas]]?
** [[Theatre/JuliusCaesar Brutus]] exemplifies this trope nicely
** [[Literature/HarryPotter Peter Pettigrew?]]
* '''The Outcast:'''
** [[VideoGame/FinalFantasyVII Sephiroth]]
** [[WesternAnimation/AvatarTheLastAirbender Zuko]] -> [[CharacterDevelopment develops into]] Lost Soul.
* '''The Evil Genius:''' ''{{Gunnm}}'''s Desty Nova fits, although he's more tragic and doesn't have the elitism that characterizes most (yeah, he uses people for inhuman experiments, but he doesn't look down on people of lower intellect).
* '''The Sadist:'''
** [[Film/ThePrincessBride Prince Humperdinck?]]
* '''The Terrorist:''' ...
** Othar Tryggvassen, GentlemanAdventurer!! -- if you're being uncharitable. Also, he has shades of the MadScientist (but then for ''Webcomic/GirlGenius'', that's a bit of a given...).
** Sad from ''Three Kings''
** The Operative from ''Firefly''.

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[[folder: Comparing the Gender Roles ]]


You can find this section on the RomanceGenreHeroines page.
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[[folder: Greater Detail ]]


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Examples:

* ...
* ...
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A romantic hero, particularly a RomanceNovel hero, usually has certain characteristics:

* While heroes come in various shapes and sizes, a romantic hero is always physically fit. Specifically, he is fit as a result of leading an active life, not as a result of attending a gym. He is always at least toned and nicely muscled.
* A romantic hero never has a boss. That is, although there may be person whom he answers to, he is never supervised on a day-to-day basis. He is always more or less a free agent. (See also: ConvenientlyAnOrphan.)
* A romantic hero has useful female relatives. He always has in-laws, sisters, a mother, etc. whom it is useful for the heroine to know. When the heroine becomes emotionally involved with the hero, she is hooking into an entire social network. Although the hero might seem to be a loner, [[InformedLoner in fact]] he never is.
* A romantic hero's subordinates have women. When the heroine becomes romantic with the hero, she becomes boss of the women whose men the hero is boss of. More generally - to a woman, a man (even a romantic hero) is a non-entity. The real focus is on other women and the relationships between the heroine and them.
* A romantic hero [[BeautyIsNeverTarnished has shiny shoes]]. Particularly in historical romances. He might be stranded on a desert island or in a remote windswept Scottish castle, but his shoes are always immaculately buffed (God knows by whom). More generally, a romantic hero is a snappy dresser--subject to the whims of fashion. Eddie Vedder was a snappy dresser in his own way.
* Before romance, the clothes. Before the characters establish any level of physical intimacy--whether a kiss and a hand-hold or a marathon sex session, we are always told exactly what the hero and heroine are wearing. It can be instructive to get a cheap romance novel and highlight all passages that concern themselves with descriptions of clothing. The completeness and economy with which these authors can describe an outfit is amazing.
* A romantic hero has a [[TheLostLenore Lost Lenore]], whose place the heroine can now occupy. The heroine almost never has to carve out a place of her own, because a romantic hero always has an emotional vacancy. He may be a widower, he may have been hurt in some way by a woman who is no longer around, he may have cared for a female relative who slowly died of tuberculosis. The heroine always has to battle this woman--sometimes literally--and become his SecondLove. The climax of a romantic novel is when the hero somehow - in some manner - says "I love you more than I ever loved her."

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