The power of the three.note
is a common number in ensembles.
The most common pattern for this is for two members of the group to be each other's Foils
, frequently coming into conflict with each other, with the third member of the group acting as the mediator, keeping The Team
together and balancing their respective personalities. This is the dynamic that makes the ensemble powerful.
Note the word 'ensemble'. These characters interact directly with each other. You can have three characters in a story that serve as foils
of one another without it being a Power Trio. The Three Faces of Eve
, for example, might be a Power Trio with the three "faces" all in the same family, or it might be composed of characters that never meet, and not be a Power Trio at all.
Power Trios can be embedded in larger ensembles. Three Plus Two
is a Power Trio within a Five-Man Band
. The Five Temperament version of the Four-Temperament Ensemble
sometimes manifests as two Power Trios with the same central member. A Six Student Clique
is often broken into two Power Trios and a Magnificent Seven Samurai
often has one, and sometimes two, Power Trios of its own.
Below, we list the many variations of a Power Trio. Freudian Trio
is one of the more frequently found versions and is often the basis of the other trios. They can overlap.
- Beauty, Brains and Brawn: The Chick, The Smart Gal, and The Big Gal.
- Big, Thin, Short Trio: One big, one thin, and one short.
- Chromatic Arrangement: Three characters Colour-Coded For Your Convenience as red, green and blue or red, yellow, and blue.
- Comic Trio: An idiot that comes up with stupid plans, another idiot who blindly follows instructions, and a relatively normal person who can't do anything to stop them.
- Fire, Ice, Lightning: A Power Trio of elemental powers. Usually analogous are The Spock to Ice, The Kirk to Lightning, and The McCoy to Fire.
- Fighter, Mage, Thief: A Mighty Glacier, a Squishy Wizard, and a Fragile Speedster.
- Freudian Trio: The three characters represent the Ego, Superego, and Id of Freudian psychology.
- The Hecate Sisters: Three female characters representing the maiden, the mother, and the crone.
- Knight, Knave and Squire: One idealistic fighter, one pragmatic fighter, and one inexperienced fighter.
- Land, Sea, Sky: One of land, one of sea, and one of sky.
- Nice, Mean and In-between: A nice character, a mean character, and a character who sticks in-between the two.
- Rock Trio: Three-man rock band containing guitar, bass, and drums.
- Terrible Trio: A villain with two henchmen.
- íThree Amigos!: The Hero, a friend of the same gender, and a friend of the opposite gender.
- The Three Faces of Adam: Three male characters roughly representing adventure, authority, and wisdom.
- The Three Faces of Eve: Three female characters representing the child, the mother, and the seductress.
- Three Successful Generations: The youth who will make something of himself, the adult who is making something of himself, and elder who did make something of himself.
- Town Girls: Where one is butch, one who is femme, and one who is neither.
- Two Girls and a Guy: The Heroine and her best friend, and a guy who is just a friend.
- Two Guys and a Girl: The Hero and The Lancer, mediated by The Chick.
- With a Friend and a Stranger: Central character, joined by a childhood friend and another character from out of nowhere.