Literature / 45 Master Characters - Heroines
aka: Master Character Heroines

This is a summary of the Hero archetypes from 45 Master Characters: Mythic Models for Creating Original Characters (see footnote on that page). Hero archetypes can be found here, and several additional types under Support Characters.

Also listed are the villainous versions of the Heroine archetypes; the book goes into detail on how each heroic archetype can become a villainous archetype.

Compare with The Complete Writer's Guide to Heroes & Heroines: Heroines. Not to be confused with I Can't Believe It's Not Heroin!.

Quick Overview

The eight Heroine archetypes are as follows:

Their villainous versions are as follows:

  • Aphrodite: The Femme Fatale
    • A cold, apathetic woman who uses sex to get what she wants from men.
  • Artemis: The Gorgon
    • A vengeful woman who can easily go into a rage when she feels threatened.
  • Athena: The Backstabber
    • This woman would do anything to get to the top, even if it meant ruining the lives or careers of others.
  • Demeter: The Overcontrolling Mother
    • A woman who butts into her children's lives. Her need to be needed is taken to extremes; she might even kidnap her children if they tried to leave her.
  • Hera: The Scorned Woman
    • She doesn't take betrayal well and demands respect from all. If she finds her man has dumped her she will make life a nightmare for him and whoever he has dumped her for.
  • Hestia: The Betrayer
  • Isis: The Destroyer
  • Persephone: The Troubled Teen
    • A selfish girl who likes to indulge herself in parties, drugs, and/or sex; should she get in a pinch she expects her family or friends to bail her out and clean up the mess she leaves behind.


Hero Examples

Villain Examples

Comparing the Gender Roles

The Female and Male Messiahs
  • The book differentiates between the male and female versions of the Messiah by saying the male Messiah preaches the way of love, while the female messiah is the way love itself.

Examples of stories or series that play one type off another, so we can see how they interact:

Sonic the Hedgehog
  • Blaze the Cat (an Amazon) learns about warmth and friendship from Sonic The Hedgehog (a Fool). His playful, easy-going nature melts her icy facade.
  • Amy Rose and Sonic The Hedgehog act very similarly due to their archetypes (the Maiden and the Fool, respectively) being male-female counterparts.
  • Princess Elise is a good example of the Nurturer archetype. Her concern for her country is powerful, as she is willing to give herself over to Eggman to protect them. Her entire identity seem to be her roles as a princess and as the seal of Iblis; she definitely has a lot of responsibility on her shoulders and is without time to think of herself. Upon meeting Sonic, who is of the Fool archetype, Elise is able to let go a bit and have fun. He teaches her the value of truly smiling and being free of worry. As Elise herself puts it, he makes her feel less like a princess on a pedestal and more like a person.

Princess Mononoke
  • San is gradually changed from a Gorgon (the villainous version of the Artemis archetype) into an Amazon (the heroic version) by the male Messiah Ashitaka, whose selflessness and love cause this transformation.

Fairy Tail
  • Minerva starts off as The Gorgon and later some of The Backstabber until Erza, when Minerva was vulnerable and defenseless halfway through the Tartaros arc, convinced her that she still has people caring about her, and come the Alverez Empire arc and the Sabertooth Spinoff manga, she becomes 'The Amazon.

Princess Tutu
  • Maiden and Messiah Ahiru's ideals and actions affect the entire main cast. She manages to set in motion the character development of Rue, Fakir, and Mytho through everything she does to regain Mytho's heart and change fate.

The Legend of Zelda
  • Princess Zelda, a female Messiah, is often the motivator of Link, a male Messiah. While he carries out actions to bring change, Zelda is usually the driving force behind him.

My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic
  • Princess Celestia, a female Messiah, almost never deals with world-threatening villains directly. She rather directs her student Twilight Sparkle, a Father's Daughter, into action such as in the pilot where Celestia tricks Twilight into leaving her isolated life and make friends who help her defeat Nightmare Moon.

Black Lagoon
  • The series contains both versions of Athena. Balalaika, a former Soviet soldier turned ruthless Mafiya queen, is loyal to her comrades, but otherwise fits the Backstabber archetype perfectly. One of her victims is Yukio Washimine, a Yakuza Princess who takes over her murdered father's criminal organization; poor Yukio tries to be The Father's Daughter, but fails, with tragic results.

Gravity Falls

Alternative Title(s): Master Character Heroines