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Master Character Heroines
This is a summary of the Heroine archetypes from 45 Master Classes: Mythic Models for Creating Original Characters
(see footnote on the index page, Master Characters
). You can also find the Hero archetypes on Master Character Heroes
, and several additional types on Master 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 Romance Genre Heroines
The eight Heroine archetypes are as follows:
- Aphrodite: The Seductive Muse
- An expressive woman, full of life, who sees the simple solutions other people don't - but seeks intimacy and is strongly identified with sexuality, to the point where "this archetype has gotten a bad rap."
- Artemis: The Amazon
- Athena: The Father's Daughter
- Demeter: The Nurturer
- A compassionate caregiver who sacrifices much in order to help others - particularly children or those she feels she is responsible for; her whole identity is tied up in caring for others.
- Hera: The Matriarch
- A strong, supportive, committed woman who sticks by her family no matter what, yet won't let others wrong her even if they're family; she's the shoulder everyone can lean on yet she wants to keep tabs on everyone too.
- Hestia: The Mystic
- A calm, gentle woman of simple tastes, who enjoys solitude and does not shy from basic household chores (a career doesn't much interest her); she needs to be creative and can be free-spirited, and she wants to do things for herself rather than be beholden to someone else.
- Isis: The Female Messiah
- A selfless woman who never sways from her life's mission, she doesn't take sides but acts as a detached observer, although she stands up for her own beliefs.
- Persephone: The Maiden
- A carefree, childlike woman who prefers to let others handle the details of life so she doesn't have to worry about it; she easily opens up and approaches people that others might shun, although sometimes this can harm her.
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 expects respect from all.
- Hestia: The Betrayer
- The Betrayer hides under an innocent shy mask. In reality, she is manipulative and only out for herself.
- Isis: The Destroyer
- A steadfast woman who never sways from her life's mission, but sees things in black and white; she is a firm believer in "the ends justify the means".
- 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.
- Aphrodite: The Seductive Muse:
- Xiao Qiao from Red Cliff and Romance of the Three Kingdoms. By distracting the enemy general with her charms, she delays a battle long enough for her side to gain an advantage.
- The book cites Samantha from Sex and the City as an example.
- Arguably, Rue from Princess Tutu
- The titular character of D.W. Griffith's Judith of Bethulia
- Rouge the Bat when she's a hero
- All of the copies of Cylon Number Six, but especially "Chip!Six"/"Head!Six", who appears in Gaius Baltar's subconscious in a red dress and seduces him into doing things.
- Rarity from My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic
- Stella from Winx Club
- Guinevere from Merlin who is considered sensible and down-to-earth as well as romantically desirable by the narrative. In the first season (before she became a Love Interest) she was very much The Nurturer, and she retains traits of this throughout the show.
- Irene Adler in Arthur Conan Doyle's original short story, and most screen adaptations. Arguably, the version showcased in Sherlock is a villainous example of this type.
- Artemis: The Amazon:
- Athena: The Father's Daughter:
- Integra Fairbrooks Windgates Hellsing
- Played straight in Gonzo, but not completely in the manga. Integra's not trying to prove anything to anyone there and connects rather well with Seras Victoria, looking up the Queen for orders if anyone. She's a mix of Persephone (when she was young), bit of Athena, Hera (her attitude towards her family and her role as leader of Hellsing certainly seems this way) and Demeter (towards Seras Victoria and the younger knight generation).
- Naturally, Annabeth Chase from Percy Jackson and the Olympians
- Konan from Naruto
- Princess Ashe in Final Fantasy XII
- Sharon "Athena" Agathon from Battlestar Galactica, who is the "good" Eight, joining the fleet and becoming a mother.
- Kushana of Nausicaš of the Valley of the Wind
- Eboshi from Princess Mononoke, though she doesn't exactly align herself with men to gain power and definitely doesn't support patriarchy
- Sally Acorn of SATAM and the Sonic the Hedgehog comics
- Queen Elizabeth I
- Elanor Lamb in Bio Shock 2 who is very loyal to her Big Daddy.
- Ziva David in NCIS: Not literally as she does not get along with her biological father, though her mentor, Gibbs, is a Parental Substitute. She prefers to associate with men not so much romantically but as a fellow wolf in the pack and strives successfully to be as Badass as any of them.
- Arguably she is an Artemis. Abbie might be a better fit, though she is also very much a Persephone.
- Jadzia Dax in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine has a close relationship with a powerful male mentor who she was mentor of in a past life , is intelligent and humorous, works hard and plays hard, and enjoys paling around with Klingon warriors.
- Twilight Sparkle from My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic is a good example even though she doesn't align herself with powerful men given the Improbably Female Cast. However, she will proudly announce to anyone that she is a loyal student of Princess Celestia, the Physical Goddess and ruler of Equestria.
- Irene and Shakuntala in Belisarius Series. The first is a great strategist and the second a Badass Princess. Shakuntala also has more then a few traces of Male Messiah though not a male.
- Hawkgirl from Justice League
- Princess Mithian from Merlin
- Belle from Once Upon A Time whose most important relationships are with the men in her life, and who respects them whilst simultaneously trying to get independence from them.
- Hermione Granger from Harry Potter
- Demeter: The Nurturer:
- Hera: The Matriarch:
- Hestia: The Mystic:
- Isis: The Female Messiah:
- Persephone: The Maiden:
- Aphrodite: The Femme Fatale:
- Artemis: The Gorgon:
- Athena: The Backstabber:
- Demeter: The Overcontrolling Mother:
- Hera: The Scorned Woman:
- Medea of Greek mythology
- After being The Mystic for the first two series of Merlin, Morgana becomes this. Interestingly, she is not "scorned" in the sense that a man has ditched her, but that she feels betrayed and embittered by all of Camelot.
- Nightmare Moon of My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic.
- Isabella from Robin Hood, whose Face Heel Turn is brought on by Robin telling her that he can't run away with her.
- Hestia: The Betrayer:
- Isis: The Destroyer:
- Persephone: The Troubled Teen:
Comparing the Gender RolesThe 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.
I'll put in this section later.
Here list 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.
- 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.
The Legend Of Zelda
- 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.
My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic
- 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.
- 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.