Main Deuteragonist Discussion

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02:50:26 PM Jan 19th 2017
I have a bit of an issue concerning a few of the examples listed.

Mass Effect — There seems to be an overzealous use of the trope concerning giving the role to Ashley, Kaidan, Miranda, and Garrus. Not that these characters don't play large roles in the games listed, but I'm sure they qualify.

Fallout: New Vegas — House nor Caesar seem to fit as deuteragonist material to me; they seem more as patrons or leaders backing the Courier in a Big Good or Big Bad capacity.

Fallout 3: Tiny one here - Sarah Lyons as tritagonist. I just don't know that she has enough screen time to qualify.

Dragon Age: For this, it's mostly the second game that concerns me, as I don't necessarily think Varric qualifies as deuteragonist (I've also made a note of this where his character tropes are located). His role as a storyteller just doesn't elevate his status to deuteragonist in my opinion, and though he has a role in what happens to Kirkwall, I honestly think Anders would come closer to fitting the role of deuteragonist (if we must have one at all for the second game) because his character is all focused on the central conflict in addition to his impact on the climax.

Harry Potter: I'm not sure I agree with Snape's status as deuteragonist, despite his role.

Sorry if this is a lot, if anyone has a better suggestion of where to go to discuss all this, I'll take it into consideration.

03:09:21 PM Aug 13th 2016
Not every story has a deuteragonist. This is not an omnipresent trope - it's a specific story structure. A teammate of the main character is not a deuteragonist.

A deuteragonist is the focus character on a second team that isn't exactly an enemy of the protagonist. One of the best examples is Jean Valjean and Inspector Javert in Les MisÚrables. Neither is a villain (unless your really want to flatten the story out), and they're opposed, but they both have their points of view shows sympathetically.

There's a degree of separation required for the character to be this, I think. A teammate who gets almost as much focus as the protagonist isn't a deuteragonist. There has to be some sense that it's showing two sides of the story by showing the protagonist and the deuteragonist.
09:29:13 AM Jan 16th 2017
edited by Bored4Eternity
I would argue that the definition is a bit broader than that. While I agree that not every story has a deuteragonist, I would hesitate to say that a qualifying feature of a deuteragonist is that one must be of a separate team or faction.

I think that stories involving a Supporting Protagonist can provide examples of how a deuteragonist could arise while on the same team as the primary protagonist.
11:56:27 PM Aug 10th 2016
I respect that this is a "classic" literary term/trope but I'm having trouble figuring out where the delineation is, particularly in modern works that might not follow the structural patterns of ancient Greek theater?

For example, I am completely confused as to whether this trope applies to the Green Lanterns series, and if it does, who the heck would be the actual Deuteragonist?

For context, Green Lanterns is centered on two protagonists (hence the pluralized title): the impulsive Jerk with a Heart of Gold Simon Baz, and the more cautious, anxious Jessica Cruz. Each of them is an Ensign Newbie archetype of some kind, though Baz was established for slightly longer than Cruz's character, or a lot longer if we're considering them only as Green Lanterns; Cruz had a recurring role in the New 52 continuity's Justice League book, which is where she was introduced back in late 2014, but there, she was the host of an entity (Power Ring) that tried to take her over and she had to learn to wrest control from it, and then (from what I hear) worked with the Justice League for a while the power that gave her, only getting recruited to the ranks of the Green Lanterns very, very recently - so much so that in the Rebirth book that kicked off the series, she and Simon had literally not even heard of each other yet and were each very surprised and confused about the other's being a Green Lantern.

They immediately mess up on the supposed emergency they're responding to, with both of them basically proving they're rookies who don't know what they're doing - and proving that they have no idea how to work together, either. So, Hal Jordan fuses their Power Batteries together - the Power Battery is a Green Lantern's charging station for their (literal) Green Lantern Ring , so apparently this means they have to charge their Rings in the same time and place as each other, together - so they'll be forced to learn to get along with each other. The story then skips ahead to a series of disconcerting incidents that reveal the Earth is being invaded by a group that want to make it into one giant Powered by a Forsaken Child situation, which they now have to deal with, sans Hal Jordan who is off in space.

DURING that plot, there seems to be fairly even focus between the characters and their families. We get flashbacks to Jessica flying with the Ring for the first time and struggling to make her first constructs, we see interaction with her sister until the invasion starts kicking into high gear, etc., but we also see a lot from Simon's perspective - particularly since Jessica is increasingly freaked out; Simon is also picking up all sorts of weird new abilities, which makes me think maybe Jessica is the Deuteragonist (with her story connecting with his as needing to teach him to open up more, and to go easier on her, etc.). But. The series even features Multiple Narrative Modes so it's not like Jessica has no voice; often scenes featuring both of them will bounce back and forth between the internal narration so we see what both are thinking. Plus, as of "Issue #3" and #4 I'm pretty sure the reason the last couple of chapters were more Simon-centric is because they wanted to make the moment where she's infected with the Rage energy more of a surprise/Wham Moment, and then Issue #4 is almost entirely about him trying to snap her out of it/worrying he might have to kill her/worrying about his decreasing power levels in his Ring, so it's probably only natural, for narrative tension reasons, that we get more of his perspective in those chapters. And even counting the so-called "one-shot" that kicked it off, there's only been literally five issues (basically a prologue and four chapters) in the story, with its first major arc/plotline not even resolved yet - so far all I know, Jessica's perspective gets more dominant in the latter half?

IDK, does this at least have hints of Deuteragonist? Would I want to wait until the first major arc is resolved, perhaps, to figure out who's the "second" most prominent protagonist?
07:33:03 AM Oct 9th 2013
Is Sam from LOTR really a deuteragonist? He seems like a textbook sidekick to Frodo, with Aragorn being the deuteragonist, and other members of the Fellowship as tritagonists, particularly Gandalf.

Not confident enough to change someone else's example, but wondered what anybody else thought...
09:34:47 AM Oct 9th 2013
Your assessment sounds accurate to me. I'd go ahead and it.
08:35:30 AM Oct 13th 2013
Your username reassures me.
07:53:08 PM Oct 15th 2013
edited by
Any list of central characters of LOTR which does not include Sam honestly baffles me. He's certainly more core to the narrative than Aragorn (who is more important to the overall world situation, true, and the most archetypical heroic character, but is not really at the center of the narrative the way the Hobbits are), and is more important to the Quest than Merry or Pippin. In fact, the argument has certainly been made (including by this Troper's own mother) that he's more important than Frodo. Tolkien himself was even somewhat favorable to this view, IIRC. I think that dismissing him as a mere "sidekick" does a great disservice to the character.

Of course, I'm speaking as a certified arachnophobe who thinks that Sam is utterly awesome for his fight with Shelob alone, so keep in mind that I'm biased:).

EDIT: And the page itself notes that a sidekick can be a deuteragonist if given sufficient focus. IMHO, Sam certainly got enough focus.
08:21:17 AM Jul 25th 2013
All the natter and Thread Mode Discussion On The Main Page below is not acceptable. Also, examples are not arguable.

  • Dragon Age
    • Dragon Age: Origins has Alistair and Morrigan as possible Deuteragonist and Tritagonist, which is which is naturally open to debate.
    • Varric Tethras of Dragon Age II prefers to masquerade as an ordinary party member, but if you think about it, his impact on the plot is almost as significant as Hawke's own.
      • This is because while Varric is part of the story, he acknowledges that he doesn't make a very good leading man, which is crucial to him as a storyteller.

11:26:57 AM Dec 30th 2012
That picture isn't really saying much. It's just some guy. Could some one add context?
11:38:32 AM Dec 30th 2012
I'll make a thread about it in Image Pickin' when there's room. Meantime, I've removed the empty caption; for reference, the image was only added yesterday.
03:52:35 PM Oct 16th 2012
Why was the Scrubs example changed? Turk and Elliot aren't the Deuteragonist and Tritagonist. Dr. Cox, especially in the first three seasons, is the character with the second-most development and conflict, a lot of it independent of his interactions with JD. One could make an argument for Turk as the Tritagonist, but it's iffy.
02:52:31 PM Aug 24th 2012
I have to say that I find the Final Fantasy X example here the one most fitting this trope. The game is about Tidus being transferred into a different world and his misadventures there - following his father, trying to find out what happened to him since he disappeared years ago. But, at the same time, the game is about the summoner Yuna, as she goes on her Pilgrimage in order to defeat Sin, the monster terrorizing her world. Both characters are central to their plots, both characters get a ton of screentime and whatnot. Tidus is the official Protagonist, he gets a variable name and Dissidia presence, but Yuna is just as important and the title of a Deuteragonist should, in my opinion, mean someone like that.
06:47:56 AM Dec 15th 2011
Is this the same as the Impact Character from Dramatica's theory? Or is it explicitly the type of character who's playing the protagonist to the B-plot, who may or may not be the Impact Character to the Protagonist?
08:27:23 AM Nov 17th 2011
A hell of a lot of these examples are just major characters, not protagonists of any stripe. Does ANYONE actually think that Lassiter is a protagonist on psych, for example?
01:12:30 PM Oct 4th 2011
I don't really agree with the Gurren Lagann example. Simon is pretty much unrivaled for the spot of main character, except by Kamina.
05:44:55 AM May 4th 2011
What the pronunciation of Deuteragonist?
03:04:46 PM Jun 4th 2011
"dew-ter-AG-a-nist" or, in IPA, /ˌdju:təˈɹŠɡənɪst/
07:36:10 AM Sep 28th 2010
Umm, should tritagonist have its own trope? Because it might work better to not have any examples of tritagonist on this trope.

05:44:29 AM May 4th 2011
Maybe name this trope differently to include triagonist?
02:50:27 PM Jul 11th 2011
I agree with Aliroz, tritagonist should have its own trope.
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