[[quoteright:224:[[UsefulNotes/TarotCards http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Hermit_8771.jpg]]]]

->HERMIT, n. A person whose vices and follies are not sociable.
-->--'''Ambrose Bierce''', ''Literature/TheDevilsDictionary''

Hermits are folks who don't live around other folks-- and they like it that way. They never say IJustWantToHaveFriends and they aren't afraid of DyingAlone. Hermits aren't banished or cut off from society as punishment-- they willingly chose to leave it, for whatever reason.

Despite their reclusive lifestyle, fictional hermits may be either friendly or hostile. If a hermit is friendly, their reason for living alone will be that [[MisunderstoodLonerWithAHeartOfGold they simply enjoy the solitude]]. If the hermit is hostile, it's because [[MaddenIntoMisanthropy they're misanthropic]]. On occasion, the hero will encounter a religious hermit.

Nice or not, almost all hermits are quirky. That's because LonersAreFreaks; they don't conform to society's rules about [[ThePigPen cleanliness]], [[NoSocialSkills politeness]], or [[AlienLunch edibleness]]. Heck, they don't conform to society's standards at all. Hermits generally have a high tolerance to [[GoMadFromTheIsolation Going Mad from the Isolation]], but they're not completely immune. See "quirkiness" above.

Most classic hermits to live in swamps, jungles, deserts, or caves. Modern hermits are more likely to live in cities or towns, but be highly, highly withdrawn, to the point of never interacting with the outside world. {{Hikikomori}}, BasementDweller, and the ReclusiveArtist are some examples.

If a hero seeks out this person for [[MentorArchetype guidance or training]], chances are you're dealing with a HermitGuru. Other times when a hero meets up with them on a journey, they may become a kind of one-person WackyWaysideTribe.

Use caution when adding examples from Eastern media - "hermit" is a popular translation for the Chinese ''[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Xian_(Taoism) xian]]'' and Japanese ''[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sennin sennin]]'', but not all xian/sennin embody this trope.

Compare TheAloner, for whom social isolation is a terrible punishment. Contrast HatesBeingAlone, for when a character really doesn't want to be isolated from others. See IWorkAlone for when they don't rely on others.

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!!Examples:

[[AC:AnimeAndManga]]
* Zepis, the legendary second-rate Boiler Engineer, lives in an abandoned mine on the island where ''Manga/TheVoynichHotel'' stands.
* [[DeconstructedTrope Deconstructed]] in ''Manga/KotouraSan''. It's a part of [[AllOfTheOtherReindeer Haruka's]] JerkassFacade and [[LeaveMeAlone deliberately having nobody else in her life]] [[HurtingHero is taking its toll against her]]. She does live alone in the PresentDay, but the difference between solitude and loneliness is made quite clear as the show goes on.

[[AC:{{Comics}}]]
* Gottfried from ''ComicBook/LeScorpion''.
* There have been a few Franchise/ArchieComics stories about hermits-- one was about a hermit teen who ran away from foster care and lived in a cave. He chased away any intruders, until Betty got in trouble-- then he swooped in, rescued her, and decided he liked people and wanted to live among them again.

[[AC:{{Fairy Tales}}]]
* In ''Prince Ahmed and the Fairy Paribanou'', Prince Houssain, having lost out in the competition for Princess Nouronnihar, [[TakingTheVeil became a hermit.]] At the end of the tale, he remains one because he found himself happy in it.

[[AC:{{Fan Fiction}}]]
* Morris the Iguana from the ''Anime/SonicX'' fanfic ''FanFic/DontKeepYourDistance''. He left the big city he was from on his motorcycle out of grief when a friend died and drove mindlessly into the forest, eventually happening upon the village Sunny Clearing and deciding to start a new life there when the locals took him in. Quickly, however, he realized he didn't much get along with them owing to their closed-minded mentality, but he does participate in communal activities anyway, it being only fair. One of these activities, a search for food in the woods, was when he found the protagonist, Paint, as a helpless infant.

[[AC:{{Film}}]]
* At the beginning of ''Franchise/StarWars'': ''Film/ANewHope'' Obi-Wan Kenobi is living in this way on a desert planet, as is Yoda later on in the Original Trilogy in a swamp. The prequel films show that both are effectively in hiding from the Empire.
* ''Film/MontyPythonsLifeOfBrian'' has at least one scene with a traditional religious hermit, who's had his eye on a particular bush of berries.
* Radagast the Brown in ''Film/TheHobbit''. Unless you count the animals he seems capable of speaking with, in which case he's a very social person indeed.

[[AC:{{Literature}}]]
* St Ungulant in ''Discworld/SmallGods'' is a religious hermit. The Omnian Church encourages them, since if people are ''going'' to ask questions about the nature of belief, it's best they do it out in the wilderness where no-one can hear them.
** ''Discworld/{{Snuff}}'' introduces a hermit who lives on Sybil's countryside property, because apparently having a hermit on one's land was once fashionable among the nobility and they like to keep up traditions. This one wanders around speaking cryptic philosophy and being filthy, but gets a week's vacation each year during which he behaves normally and is actually popular with the ladies, ensuring that he will have sons to carry on the profession.
* The Canadian novel ''MungoCity'' is about a world where commercialisation runs rampant. People are allowed to leave Mungo City and get away from the capitalistic society, but only if they agree to live isolated in the wilderness forever. The main character decides to chose this option to get away from his incredibly annoying friend. [[TheCatCameBack The friend follows him into isolation.]]
* Benjamin from ''Literature/ACanticleForLeibowitz'', who may or may not also be [[spoiler: the pilgrim from the first portion of the book, the Old Jew from the third, and/or Leibowitz himself]].
* The Once-Ler in ''Literature/TheLorax''. He lives near the wreckage of his old factory and never ventures outside. This is largely due to his guilt complex.
* Halloween in ''Literature/{{Edenborn}}'' has the whole continent of North America to himself.
* ''Literature/TheHorseAndHisBoy'' had the protagonists helped by a nameless (but friendly) hermit once they reach the end of the desert and cross into Archenland.
* Uncle Rick, from ''Literature/ToughMagic'', lives by himself a few miles away from town, is anti-social, not much of a talker and resides in a mountain (But not a cave. Sort of.).
* JudgeDee is rather sceptical of hermits as a whole, but he does meet one that gives him important clues to solving a murder.
* In the backstory of ''Literature/CharlieAndTheChocolateFactory'', Willy Wonka became this for a time after he closed his factory due to corporate espionage on the part of his rivals, completely breaking off contact with other people and vanishing from the public eye. Eventually he discovered the Oompa-Loompas and hired them as a new workforce, though he remains an in-universe ReclusiveArtist.
* Several of Carl Hiaasen's novels include a recurring hermit named "Skink" who's sworn off society and lived the last 40-some years wandering the Florida Everglades, subsiding off roadkill and occasionally surfacing to lend his hand to a struggling individual or exact some vigilante justice on those who he feels have wronged nature. Only a few people know that he's actually Clinton Tyree, a former Governor who famously resigned and went missing after becoming disenchanted with the rampant corruption that permeated Florida politics.
* Madame Dorothea from ''Literature/CityOfBones'', doesn't like leaving her apartment, and only interacts with Jocelyn Fray.
* In ''Literature/TheFaerieQueene'', many knights encounter hermits -- either genuinely religious, or EvilSorcerer in disguise.
* In ''Literature/GreenAngel'', Green becomes a non-religious hermit out of grief at her family's deaths. Over the books she lives largely alone except for her dog; the boy Diamond stays for a while due to heavy face burns, and they fall in love until he leaves to search for his mother. In the second book, she's less of a hermit since people come to her to tell their stories, and it takes the end of the book for Green to finally start living with Diamond and his mother.

[[AC:LiveActionTV]]
* In the ''Series/DoctorWho'' story "[[Recap/DoctorWhoS9E5TheTimeMonster The Time Monster]]", the Doctor refers to visiting a hermit who lived on a mountain behind his house on Gallifrey. ({{Fanon}} has it that this was K'anpo Rinpoche, the Buddhist Time Lord from "[[Recap/DoctorWhoS11E5PlanetOfTheSpiders Planet of the Spiders]]".)
* Parodied in a ''Series/MontyPythonsFlyingCircus'' sketch about hermits living in caves on a mountainside, who act like cooped in housewives and often ''meet up for a chat''!
* One episode of ''BoyMeetsWorld'' features an ImagineSpot after the group of friends begin playing pranks on one another in which this causes a rift between them and breaks them apart. In this fantasy, Eric becomes a hermit living alone purifying and re-drinking his own urine, having changed his name to Plays-With-Squirrels. He wrote an immense manifesto (claiming that every hermit has one), which includes a thousand blank pages and only one with writing on it- "Lose one friend, lose all friends, lose yourself."
* In ''Series/{{Merlin}}'', the titular character's father Balinor lived as a hermit.

[[AC:Music]]
* In the Music/WarrenZevon song "Splendid Isolation", this is the ultimate goal of the narrator- to remove himself from the rest of humanity as much as physically possible.

[[AC:TabletopGames]]
* ''TabletopGame/{{Deadlands}}'': The ''Fire & Brimstone'' supplement included a Hermit archetype for Blessed characters.

[[AC:{{Theatre}}]]
* Timon of ''Theatre/TimonOfAthens'' becomes a hermit once he is sufficiently MaddenedIntoMisanthropy, and unlike most examples, he's not friendly to visitors ''at all''.
* A MadMathematician hermit is a major plot point in ''Theatre/{{Arcadia}}''. By the end of the play, we know it was [[spoiler: Septimus]].

[[AC:VideoGames]]
* 'Arry the 'Ermit from ''VideoGame/QuestForGloryI: So You Want to be a Hero'' is very friendly and loves company, but is still very much a 'ermit.
* VideoGame/{{Touhou}} has Kasen Ibaraki, The One-Armed, Horned Hermit. She lives on her own, and is about as eccentric as most people in [[MagicalLand Gensokyo]]. However, she is also tasked with aiding people with her wisdom, so she's not a complete recluse.
* Jolee Bindo in VideoGame/KnightsOfTheOldRepublic. You find him living in a hut on the surface of Kashyyyk, which is largely populated by dangerous animals and reckless young Wookiees.
* The nameless hermit of ''VideoGame/AvencastRiseOfTheMage'' doesn't figure into the game, but he's critical to the backstory and serves as the audience for the framing device.
* ''VideoGame/DragonAgeOrigins'' features a mad hermit as part of the ''Nature of the Beast'' questline. The player character must either seek his help to reach the centre of the [[TheLostWoods Brecilian forest]] or retrieve an acorn from him for a [[WhenTreesAttack poetic sylvan.]] He is also a powerful blood mage who once occupied a tower raised from the ground with magic.
** Solas of ''VideoGame/DragonAgeInquisition'' is an elven hermit, displeased with society as a whole and particularly the direction the elves have gone. [[spoiler:Unsurprisingly, seeing as he's actually one of their gods.]]
* In ''VideoGame/KultHereticKingdoms'', one of Alita's tasks is to track down a hermit who lives in the woods, as a favour to the forest's guardian. He's found, but only as a ghost. Since he's a ''religious'' hermit, and Alita's job is to [[IllegalReligion enforce a ban on religion]], their interaction is a bit rocky, but the hermit's new posthumous status makes their debate purely academic.

[[AC:WebComics]]
* Invoked in ''Webcomic/{{Sinfest}}'', [[http://www.sinfest.net/archive_page.php?comicID=4243 asking whether the Storytime Zombie's ignorance stems from living in a cave.]]

[[AC:WesternAnimation]]
* ''TheRenAndStimpyShow'' episode "Hermit Ren", where Ren becomes a hermit to get away from Stimpy.
* Garrett from WesternAnimation/QuestForCamelot" fame. He even has a theme song he sings.

[[AC:Other]]
* There's of course the Tarot card named "The Hermit", which represents contemplative solitude.

[[AC:RealLife]]
* The early Christian hermits who lived in the deserts of Egypt and Palestine in the fourth and fifth centuries AD; indeed, words like "monk" and "monastery" derive from the Greek word ''monos'', "alone". Hermits began to congregate into loose collections (now known as "sketes"), where hermits would live around a central place where they could gather for worship; these evolved into monasteries. However, there are still monks and nuns who follow this tradition and live as hermits.
** Ditto with monastic traditions in other religions, including Buddhism, Hinduism, and Islam.
* In 18th century England, the best gardens would have an "ornamental" hermit. This person was hired to live on the grounds in a hovel and appear occasionally for guests...at a distance. They weren't allowed to bathe or cut their nails and hair over their tenure. After several years, the hermit would be let go and paid a large sum of money. Most modern interpretations of hermits are modeled after this fad.
* Somewhat TruthInTelevision with people who have Schizoid personality disorder. People with the condition do not suffer from social anxiety nor to they particularly desire to go out and interact with others, and many still manage to hold jobs and spouses. They simply prefer to be alone, and cut themselves off. With the new DSM-V criteria it won't be considered a disorder any more.
* Somewhat of a {{Downplayed|Trope}} example, but there's a perception that this trope is a common reason for why some Americans choose to move to Alaska.

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