“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."
A Hero Protagonist is when The Hero
and The Protagonist 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. This role is used most often in classical myths and heroic legends, since these tales are usually a story of conflict between the forces of good and evil. 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 who they actually are.
It's common to see Hero Protagonists
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 The Hero
become very noticeable very quickly. Since 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 Invincible Hero
. Several works avoid the problem altogether by averting the Hero Protagonist, making The Protagonist
less heroic and therefore more interesting, as well as shunting off The Hero
, if such a character exists, into a supporting role, which allows them to be awesome and heroic without dragging down the narrative.
A Hero Protagonist is most often found in works with Black and White Morality
, where they will be opposed to the Villain Antagonist
. This is an Omnipresent Trope
and easily one of The Oldest Ones in the Book
, to the point where most of its aversions are likewise The Oldest Ones in the Book
. For when The Hero
is not The Protagonist
, see Supporting Leader
and Hero Antagonist
. For when The Protagonist
is not The Hero
, see Anti-Hero
, Villain Protagonist
and Supporting Protagonist
. Not to be confused with Hiroaki "Hiro" Protagonist
As this is an Omnipresent Trope, no examples please.