The Chooser of The One
aka: Chooser Of The Chosen One
So how is it that you're important enough to know about this prophecy, huh?! Turrick:
I wrote it.
Like the name says, the Chooser of the One is the character who finds and chooses The Chosen One
. The Chooser can go about this a few different ways. They may possess a book or prophecy
that describes The Chosen One
, or a means of picking them out of a crowd, or they may be a prophet or seer of some kind who can sense
the One. Once found or selected, the chooser may take on the role of Mentor
and start training them, tell them of their destiny, or simply deliver the Call to Adventure
and hope they accept it.
Sometimes, the Chooser isn't charged with finding the
One, so much as finding a
One. The Chooser essentially looks for someone with the skills to fill a job description (defeating the Big Bad
, saving the world, etc) and goes with their gut rather than on divine mandate. A knight searching for someone to Take Up My Sword
may simply look for anyone who has the right amount
(get it?) of pluck and decency
. In these cases the person picked may be more of an Unchosen One
who chooses to create their destiny rather than sit by passively.
If the Chooser is a god or Enigmatic Empowering Entity
they may do the designating themselves rather than via prophecy, Super Empowering
the chosen from a complete random Muggle
into the One. Other possible Choosers are Sentient Phlebotinum
, an Empathic Weapon
, The Force
Because of this potential for plot induced randomness, there can be an exploration on the true nature of heroism as something innate or vocational
, and destiny as immutable
. It's possible that the Chooser could invoke a sort of Koan
and claim that the mere act of choosing someone is meaningless, rather the faith and trust
of the chosen paves their path... or that there is no randomness, only destiny.
Compare and contrast The Presents Were Never from Santa
, which is when a character thinks they have supernatural aid or a helper, but don't.
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Anime and Manga
- Kirin in The Twelve Kingdoms choose each nation's king. The real deciders are gods, but the kirin never make a mistake, even if they think they did.
- Naruto: Jiraiya was prophesied to train The Chosen One who would either bring peace or destruction. Considering all of his other candidates/trainees are now dead and neither has happened yet, the titular character is now the one by default.
- Though he did consider Naruto The Chosen One anyway even when one of his students, Nagato, who wielded a legendary godlike power, was still alive.
- Though it was a bit of a surprise to him that Nagato was alive.
- Chii is responsible for choosing The One Just For Me which beyond simple happiness for her and that one, activates a potentially dangerous program.
- Played with in Slayers TRY. Lina is approached by a dragon priestess to save the world from destruction. Lina brags about how OF COURSE she'd come to her first. At this point, the priestess announces that Lina was actually their second choice.
- In Cardcaptor Sakura, Clow Reed knew that Kero and Yue would have trouble accepting a new master after he died, so to make sure they ended up with one they could both approve of, he split the task of appointing his successor between them. Kero would nominate a likely candidate, and Yue would test their worthiness once they had gathered all of the Clow Cards.
- Magi - Labyrinth of Magic is strange in that being The Chooser of The One is like being The Chosen One. The Chooser, the Magi, is meant to select the next king who will lead the people to greatness. Aladdin, the main character, is one of four Magi. The others are Judar, Scheherazade, and Yunan.
- In The World God Only Knows, a devil named Dokuro Skull needed to find a way to save New Hell from a cult of evil demons. The odds were very bad, so she set-up events so that out of all the possible futures, ones where the world was saved would send back a messenger to help her make that particular future come true by creating a Stable Time Loop. Just in case the messenger turned out to be evil, she created an Alternate Self to act as a watchman, judging the messenger's trustworthiness. The alternate Dokuro ultimately chose Keima to be the one to save New Hell.
- Many of the heroines in the Pretty Cure series are chosen by the fairy companions. Of course, there are a number of exceptions:
- Nozomi of Yes! Pretty Cure 5 chose her teammates and events conspired to make sure they did join in.
- The Pickrun Akarun couldn't choose its user because Eas was still evil.
- Potpourri, being a baby fairy, kept choosing other people before ultimately finding his true partner.
- Hime was given an item to find her next partner. But, she didn't know how to work it, so she threw it randomly and chose the first person it hit.
- Makai Ouji: The protagonist William Twining is the elector, the one to choose a demon to rule hell once Lucifer dies. He has no interest in this, but the demons keep finding him anyway.
- In Pokémon Special, the regional Professors are this, as anyone who ends up with a Pokedex is practically guaranteed a life of danger and fighting against evil. Humorously, a couple of the Pokedexes don't end up with the ones the professors originally intended (theft, loss, mixups), but things wind up working out eventually.
- Green Lanterns are chosen by their ring for their ability to overcome great fear. Usually the living planet Mogo adds in a moral component to the criteria so villains who can overcome great fear aren't chosen. Later Hal Jordan destroyed the corps and all but one of the Guardians of the Universe, Ganthet. He forged one last ring and chose the next, last lantern on his own and almost seemingly at random with a glib "You'll have to do." Years later, after Kyle relit the Central Power Battery and resurrected the Guardians, Ganthet had this to say:
Ganthet: You, my boy, my last lantern... you have always been my greatest hope.
Kyle Rayner: No kidding? When you gave me that ring you said "you shall have to do."
Ganthet: I don't remember anything like that— I have always had the greatest faith in you.
Kyle Rayner: Sounding like a parent already.
- The incumbent Sorcerer Supreme has at least some say in who becomes the next to hold the office. In Doctor Strange stories, the Ancient One guards the office and determines who is worthy to hold it, despite having died and become one with Eternity many years before.
Film - Animated
- The wise turtle Master Oogway from Kung Fu Panda is the one who chooses Po the panda as the next "Dragon Warrior".
- In Epic it's Queen Tara's duty to pick her successor. Later, she picks MK to carry the pod to Nim Galuu.
Film - Live-Action
- The Chronicles of Narnia: Aslan chose the children.
- In The Hobbit, Gandalf chooses Bilbo to be the group's burglar, even though Bilbo has never been on an adventure before and doesn't want to go on one now. It turns out to be a good choice.
- In Gandalf's backstory given in Unfinished Tales, Gandalf (or Olórin) was in turn chosen by Manwë, being the only one of the five Istari to be so chosen rather than volunteering.
- Cyradis the Blind Seer in the Malloreon series by David Eddings is responsible for choosing between The Hero and the Big Bad at the final showdown.
- That being said, the Children of Light and Dark have to choose their successors, whom Cyradis will choose between, by the end of the Malloreon. Garion, the Child of Light, picks Eriond, and Zandramas, the Child of Dark, chooses Geran, his son. Eriond wins.
- In Harry Potter, Voldemort was unknowingly the Chooser, since whoever he decided to mark "as his equal" would be the one with the power to defeat him. Technically, it could have been either Harry or Neville — or even nobody at all, as Potterverse prophecies don't necessarily come true — but Voldemort made it final. Such are the perils of trying subvert a prophecy when you've only heard half of it. Voldemort never does learn of his mistake.
- In Legend of the Seeker, Zedd names Richard as the Seeker.
- There's some bias here as well, given that he is Richard's maternal grandfather.
- In The Dresden Files
- The titular wizard Harry is given two Swords of the Cross. These are holy swords who each hilts contain one of the nails that pierced Christ to the Cross. He is told by the retiring Knights, they wish him to pick their successors and he will know who the person is when the time is right.
- After Harry's presumed dead and taking the mantle of Winter Knight, serving as the personal hit man to Mab, Queen of Air and Darkness, and the two other Winter Queens, Karrin Murphy became the next Chooser as she held onto the Swords for their protection. When Harry returns, she refuses to hand them over to him because of he is now the Winter Knight.
- Previously in the series the Merlin of Arthurian Lore, who was a real wizard here, was possibly a Chooser of the Chosen One as the sword Amoracchius was in his possession. This sword's other name? Excalibur.
- Colonel Graff in Ender’s Game, as he is responsible for choosing Ender as the kid that will be able to lead the army and defeat the Formics.
- Vatra from Of Fear and Faith travels around recruiting various people at the behest of her Emperor to end the thirty year Demon War. Unlike Noble, who was given specific directions who to find, Vatra chooses her recruits personally with her own judgement.
- Riven from Blue Rabbit has dedicated his entire life to finding a Dark Human who can become Illuminated and save his world. Once he discovers Erika is a Dark Human, she becomes pretty much the only thing he cares about.
- In Once Upon a Time, Prince Charming chose Emma by placing her in Gepetto's machine, but she had to be re-chosen by Henry in order to receive the Call to Adventure.
- Rupert Giles, and also the demon Whistler in Buffy the Vampire Slayer
- Doyle, on Angel, sent by the powers, as Whistler was on Buffy, to tell Angel he was a chosen one, while also complaining that the Chosen One doesn't stock beer in his fridge.
- This was basically Azazel's role in Supernatural. First, he chose a variety of kids who were possible candidates. Out of this group, one of them would be chosen ultimately. The idea was that the chosen one would not only free Lilith from hell, but also be instrumental in releasing Lucifer as well as become Lucifer's vessel.
- In The Bible, the prophet Samuel chose the first two kings of Israel, Saul and David, led by God.
- This happens often in Genesis. God chooses Abraham. He also chooses Jacob while Jacob and Esau are still in the womb and tells Rebecca about it, leading to her knowing which son to favor. Jacob favors Joseph out of his twelve sons, and Joseph ends up receiving prophetic dreams and the ability to interpret the dreams of others. In Exodus, God chooses Moses to lead the Israelites, Moses's elder brother Aaron as spokesman and later High Priest, and Moses's older sister Miriam as another prophet and third leader of the people.
- Jesus was not truly Chosen by anyone other them himself, but there are still scenes that fit this motif arguably, the Magi presenting him Gifts and his Baptism by John is often viewed this way, even though Jesus entirely initiated that scene.
- Sorcerers of Tzeentch in Warhammer can use a spell called Call to Glory. It turns a normal guy into an Exalted Hero.
- Exalted: If you're an Exalt and is not a Dragon-blooded, then someone in Heaven, Hell, or Underworld is vouching for you. In case of being a Sidereal, one of the Five Maiden chose you before you were born, unless your exaltation is some kind of freak accident.
- For Solars and Lunars, ultimately it's the Exaltation itself that chooses the one to be precise, in a manner of speaking. The heavens might influence whom is chosen, but in the end it is the actions of the mortal that call the Exaltation to them.
- For mortal heroes, (when they matter) the choosers are usually the Sidereal Exalted, who oversee the Loom of Fate. They use astrology to manipulate destiny, and sometimes operate in disguise on Creation to ensure that fate goes the way it's supposed to. Their "prophecies" are a mix of genuine mystical foresight, careful planing, and subtle manipulation, and they sometimes have to improvise when their predictions go awry because pushing new prophecies through Heaven's hopelessly corrupt and frequently incompetent bureaucracy is often more trouble than it's worth.
- In Drowtales, Ariel is chosen by Quain. As of the end of chapter 32, it appears that Chrys has been chosen by Sillice.
- In Rice Boy, T-O-E is the last of a group of three searchers, given a divine mandate to find and designate the Fulfiller of an ancient prophecy. The twist is that T-O-E's word is no indication that a chosen individual will actually fulfill the prophecy. One of the other searchers, Calabash, quit the job precisely because he was tired of choosing Fulfillers who go Knight Templar or mess up just as bad in some other fashion.
- Possible subversion in that Rice Boy himself points out all the ways T-O-E himself has fulfilled the prophecy, and it is T-O-E who makes the Heroic Sacrifice that saves the world and ends the gigantic battle.
- Roommates has very few heroes because it's a small scale story and because the Chooser in it is a certifiable jerkass. The Chooser is a character known as the Scribble Person, who is the personification of the Story/Fate, so literally nobody can become a hero or defy his/her chosen (guess by whom) role without his/her consent, and (s)he loves the Rule of Drama very very very much.
- In The Gamers Alliance, the elven cleric Schuldich Cedheros is the sole survivor of the massacre of his order and is sent by the Gods of Order to find wielders for two special enchanted weapons, Dusk and Dawn, which the chosen ones will be destined to use to fight the forces of Chaos. Schuldich manages to deliver Dusk to its intended bearer but narrowly fails with Dawn (he did find two candidates for Dawn's intended bearer but before he could figure out which of the two women were meant to have the sword, an evil goddess appeared, killed him and stole the sword right in front of the women's noses).
- Leon also ends up in this role when he is tasked with finding the bearer of the Silver Branch whose destiny is to stop the Landpoison of Yamato and heal the wound on the earth caused by the dark god Mardük's tainted magic.
- The Questport Chronicles: The Lord of the Supreme Council sends the eight strangers that show up at the Temple out on a quest, on the basis that if a real hero hasn't shown up by now, it's unlikely that one ever will. She takes some flak from the rest of the Supreme Council for it, but it works out.
- In My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic, the Big Good Princess Celestia chooses her apprentice, Twilight Sparkle, to be the leader of the new bearers of the all-powerful Elements of Harmony. Most of the rest of the series, including the weekly "lessons about friendship" that Twilight sends back to her mentor, are about Twilight growing into her role.