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
. Not to be confused with I Can't Believe It's Not Heroin
The eight Heroine archetypes are as follows:
- Aphrodite: The Seductive Muse
- Artemis: The Amazon
- Athena: The Father's Daughter
- Demeter: The Nurturer
- A kind and compassionate woman 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 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
- 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
- Sonic the Hedgehog: Rouge the Bat when she's a hero.
- All of the copies of Cylon Number Six in Battlestar Galactica (Reimagined), 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.
- Daphne Blake from Scooby-Doo
- Minako Aino and Michiru Kaioh from Sailor Moon
- Lotus in Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors, as her Hidden Depths reveal. She's casual about her sex life and dresses skimpily, but is quite intelligent and pragmatic.
- Clover in Totally Spies!
- Lucy Heartfilia from Fairy Tail
- Zoe Trent from Littlest Pet Shop (2012)
- Yang Xiao Long from RWBY
- 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 BioShock 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
- Garland from Maddigan's Quest. Totally a Daddy's Girl, considers herself the leader of the circus after his demise, and constantly butts heads with Yves, who she believes is coming onto her mother and trying to take control of the circus.
- Velma Dinkley from Scooby-Doo
- Ami Mizuno from Sailor Moon
- Atlanta from Class of the Titans
- Sam of Totally Spies!, although she's not a supporter of patriarchy and has had a few romantic relationships with men.
- Diana Lombard from Martin Mystery.
- Cana Alberona, who has deep-seated Daddy Issues, from Fairy Tail
- Weiss Schnee from RWBY
- Demeter: The Nurturer:
- Generator (Jade Sinclair) at the Super Hero School Whateley Academy in the Whateley Universe. She even sees her future life as a helper to her friend Tennyo, or as a superpowered baby sitter protecting the children of other superheroes (and her own children, if she ever becomes capable of having children).
- It seems a lot of Final Fantasy heroines fit into the Demeter archetype quite nicely. Examples include Yuna of Final Fantasy X and Final Fantasy X-2,Aerith from Final Fantasy VII, Princess Lenna Tycoon of Final Fantasy V, and Rosa Farrell of Final Fantasy IV.
- Vanilla the Rabbit and possibly Princess Elise of Sonic the Hedgehog
- Princess Rosalina of Super Mario Galaxy
- Fluttershy from My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic, although she also has traces of The Mystic in her.
- Willow from Buffy the Vampire Slayer, the centre of her group of friends and later a surrogate mother to Dawn.
- Zhaan from Farscape (which is even a plant!)
- Cassie from Animorphs
- Snow White from Once Upon a Time certainly has something of The Artemis in her, but is mainly characterized by her role as mother to Emma and her nurturing tendencies toward others.
- Flora from Winx Club.
- Tohru Honda in Fruits Basket, with a heaping helping of The Female Messiah.
- Mirajane Strauss from Fairy Tail.
- Blythe Baxter in Littlest Pet Shop (2012).
- The titular heroine from Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH and her animated equivalent Mrs. Brisby from The Secret of NIMH. By any name, she's a devoted mother who spends the entire story overcoming her own timid nature to protect her endangered children.
- 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:
- Hestia: The Betrayer:
- Isis: The Destroyer:
- Lady Yunalesca of Final Fantasy X
- Miko Miyazaki from The Order of the Stick
- Iji becomes this if she is too violent.
- Faith from Buffy the Vampire Slayer goes from this (what with her over-zealous zest for slaying) to The Gorgon after her Face-Heel Turn. Once her Heel-Face Turn happens, she reverts to The Amazon.
- Cara from Legend of the Seeker begins as this before becoming (surprisingly) The Matriarch after her Heel-Face Turn, what with her protectiveness of Richard and Kahlan.
- Denna, however, is this throughout.
- Viridi from Kid Icarus: Uprising; by the end, she started leaning towards 'The Female Messiah.
- Demona from Gargoyles who has fully embraced her own belief-system that all humans are evil and stops at nothing to commit mass genocide against them.
- Sailor Moon provides two examples of this. First, there is Sailor Galaxia who seeks to dominate the universe in the name of Star Galaxia. In the live-action show, whenever Usagi becomes possessed by the spirit of her past self, she becomes Princess Sailor Moon, who would destroy the world if her lover, Endymion, was ever taken from her.
- Meredy from Fairy Tail, who was ready to kill Gray because he had indirectly hurt her mother figure, Ultear.
- 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.
- 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.