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Mentor Archetype
aka: The Obi Wan

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"Kara, when I first came here, I was confused too. Able to see into the past, the future, yet not having a clue what to do with my own life. A harbinger for everyone but myself. Diana took me in without hesitation. If you need someone to turn to, you can trust her."
Lyla on Wonder Woman, Superman/Batman: Apocalypse

A more experienced advisor or confidante to a young, inexperienced character, particularly to The Hero.

This character is better skilled, faster and more experienced than their student and they're passing those traits on to the student. They may have grown too old for the task or have their own job to do. Their role is to introduce a new skill or sharpen the current skills of their student, often hoping to pass the torch because they know their career is coming to an end. This character may die, so that their student can learn to stand on their own two feet. Very often this role is performed by an Old Master, Spirit Advisor, Wizard Classic, or Hermit Guru. Expect them to have the same elderly, but powerful look associated with the Grandpa God unless you're dealing with Younger Mentor, Older Disciple, which subverts that expectation.

Compare Big Good where they tend to keep a distance on the hero's quest and run things from the throne.

Named after Mentor, Telemachus's elderly advisor in The Odyssey, who was actually Athena in disguise. For more information concerning "The Mentor" and other narrative archetypes, see Vladimir Propp's theory of narrative.

A list of subtypes can be found on the Mentor Index page.


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    Anime and Manga 
  • Kaze no Shōjo Emily has Emily's new English teacher Mr. Carpenter. He takes an interest in Emily's writing career and encourages her to keep moving forward with it, even after she's been rejected by multiple publishers.
  • My Hero Academia interestingly has multiple characters like this on both the hero and villain sides.
    • Izuku Midoriya's primary mentor is All Might, the world's greatest hero, who passes on the Quirk called One For All to Midoriya after deciding that he's a worthy successor. He also has a secondary mentor in Gran Torino, a contemporary of All Might's predecessor who also trained All Might himself. Both fulfill different needs, as while Midoriya derives his power and ideals from All Might, Gran Torino is better at teaching him how to use One For All without destroying himself.
    • On the villain side, Tomura Shigaraki is mentored by All Might's arch-enemy, All For One. All For One knows full-well that he fulfills this trope, having taken in and raised Shigaraki from a young age after killing his grandmother and uses the twisted bond between them to encourage Shigaraki to be a better villain. Even after his arrest, he chides All Might for not embodying the trope as well as he has because while All Might won and continues to be there for Midoriya, Shigaraki's loss of a beloved mentor is going to motivate him to grow stronger and more independent.
  • Bleach: Everything Uryuu Ishida knows and believes about Quincies comes from what his grandfather taught him, including the attitude that it's wrong to blame the Shinigami for the Quincy massacre 200 years before. His grandfather died when Ishida was a young child, right in front of Ishida's eyes. Throughout the story, Souken's teachings continue to guide Ishida via the power of flashback.
  • Naruto:
    • The Third Hokage, Hiruzen Sarutobi, one of the more notable elders in his village (and in anime in general). He even dies at the hands of his renegade student Orochimaru.
    • We also have Jiraya; after he dies, Naruto goes to learn under his teacher, a frog, to become as powerful as him.
  • One Piece makes occasional use of these:
    • About half of the Straw Hats' Parental Substitutes qualify in some way, particularly Koshiro (Zoro's dojo master), Zeff (who taught Sanji how to cook), and Tom (who took Franky on as one of his shipbuilding apprentices).
    • During the Time Skip, in which all of the Straw Hats separately train to get stronger and prepare for the New World, many—but not all—of them gain a mentor to help them do so. The two most prominent examples are:
      • Silvers Rayleigh, former First Mate to Pirate King Gold Roger himself, mentors Luffy, who wants to succeed Roger as the next Pirate King.
      • Dracule Mihawk, the world's greatest swordsman, trains Zoro, who wants to eventually defeat Mihawk himself to claim the title of the strongest swordsman in the world.
  • Father Remington from Chrono Crusade, who (once he's finished training Rosette) is so determined to make sure that Rosette does things on her own power that he purposefully keeps it a secret from her when they happen to be traveling to the same city, for fear she'll depend on him too much if she knew he was around. However, when she gets in a bind he shows up to be a Big Damn Hero.
  • Dragon Ball:
    • Master Roshi was originally this for both Goku and Krillin in Dragon Ball.
    • When Goku dies and decides to do some training in the afterlife before he comes back to life in Dragon Ball Z, he goes to King Kai, who becomes his new mentor from there.
    • Piccolo plays this somewhat in the first arc in Z where he decides to train Gohan, not only to get him ready for the Saiyans who were coming but also because he sensed his death is near and wants someone to pass on his knowledge to. He's brought Back from the Dead.
    • Goku and Vegeta both get training from Whis in Dragon Ball Z: Resurrection 'F' and Dragon Ball Super, who trained God of Destruction Beerus in martial arts. He agrees to teach Goku and Vegeta how to sense and use godly ki.
  • With the exception that he merely makes his swords and doesn't train him in using them, since he's a blacksmith, and he doesn't travel along with him, this is Godo from Berserk and how he acts toward Guts. He lets Guts stay with him for a year to train, gives him all sorts of neat weapons and equipment, and gives him plenty of insight on personal ambitions and life in his own way. He's the only guy that actually manages to make Guts shut up and think about his actions for once and puts him in his place, something that the Skull Knight can't even succeed in doing. This is one of his last great feats before he dies of old age, something that he is well aware of. He lampshaded this when Guts comes back to his house for the first time in two years to check on Casca. Because of all of this, Godo's in Cool Old Guy territory.
  • K has Kuroh Yatogami's late master, Ichigen Miwa, the Colorless King, a wise old seer who found him dying in the woods as a child, made Kuroh his Clansman, and took him in. He taught Kuroh swordsmanship, and plenty of other skills, like cooking, and piloting a helicopter — possibly because he foresaw that Kuroh would need them. He also foresaw Kuroh's relationship with the main character (mentioned in the novels), and possibly sent him on his mission so that they would find each other. There's also Kuroh's senior pupil, Yukari Mishakuji, the one who went bad. Both of them are fond of shoehorning Miwa's haiku poetry into every possible situation. (Creepy.)
  • Kuroko's Basketball:
    • While Riko Aida is the coach of Seirin High's basketball club, her father Kagetora (a former player of Japan's national team) is definitely this trope. Riko is responsible for Seirin's training regimen and devises their strategies and tactics, but Kagetora teaches individual players how to work on their respective strengths. He's the one who teaches Hyuuga, Kiyoshi and Izuki their respective Signature Moves: Barrier Jumper, Vice Claw and Eagle Spear.
    • Alexandra Garcia, a former WNBA player, serves as Kagami's and Himuro's mentor, as she has taught them how to play basketball properly since their childhood. She would help preparing Kagami for the Winter Cup and teaches him the Meteor Jam right before his match against Yosen High, which is Himuro's team.
  • Lyrical Nanoha:
    • Yuuno serves as The Mentor to Nanoha in the first two seasons, but it's more prominent in the first season. At the beginning of the series, he needs time to recover to regenerate his mana, thus he's dependent on Nanoha to gather the 21 Jewel Seeds as soon as possible before things escalate. She already surpasses his expectations and in power from the start, thus she's more suited to battle in combat against her adversary Fate than Yuuno is.
    • Rynith was specifically created by Precia to be this for Fate, complete with her contract expiring together with her life once she's finished training Fate. When a pseudo-revived version of hers appeared in The Gears of Destiny, she showed just how much more skilled she was compared to Fate, beating everyone she met from Nanoha, to Signum, to Reinforce (albeit a weakened one) despite not taking the fights too seriously, and eventually being the only one capable of defeating a similarly pseudo-revived version of Precia.
    • Speaking of which, the Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha A's Portable games showed that, had she skipped the Heroic Sacrifice in Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha A's, Reinforce would have served as this for Hayate, spending the precious few years she had teaching Hayate how to effectively use her newly-received powers before she finally dies.
    • Hayate was mentored by Genya Nakajima when she served under him in the 108th Battalion during the four-year Time Skip between the airport fire and the formation of Riot Force 6. Because of this, she continues to treat him as a superior officer despite outranking him in the present.
    • Nanoha herself takes this role of the mentor towards the Forward Team, with Vita as her assistant trainer. Depending on your point of view, Nanoha may or maybe not The Protagonist in StrikerS, but she still takes action alongside her students in battle.
    • Nove is this to Team Nakajima (later Nakajima Gym) and also grows as a trainer during the series. Due to being a Cyborg, she cannot pass through the tournament regulations, but she still can teach some little girls how to kick ass anyway (or find other people helping to train them).
  • Clef of Magic Knight Rayearth gives the girls magic power and instructs them on its use, but leaves them to complete their journey on their own except when he is speaking to them remotely through Mokona. The anime has him Taken for Granite in the first episode and eventually becomes unable to communicate. He gets better in the second half.
  • There was a mysterious old man in Destroy and Revolution where Makoto had learned about the One-ness and disappeared. He was alone and had no friends or family. No one, not even Makoto knows his name.
  • Tepec, in El Conquistador. He saves Quetza from being sacrificed in the Temple, and he is a wise and intellectual teacher, a sage who achieved his position in the Elders Council by his own sapience, not by his age or connections. He is a tutor of the Golden Age, as he misses the Toltec wisdom over the Aztec warmongering.
  • Aunt Tekla in Shaman of the Undead with Deadpan Snarkiness added. Shamans are incredibly rare and she was the previous one, so she teaches Ida about her powers and trains her to use them properly. She also manages to skirt the Mentor Occupational Hazard by dying two years before the story started and aiding Ida as a ghost.
  • Kyubey of Puella Magi Madoka Magica is the one who makes contracts to turn girls into Magical Girls, and has them fight Witches, as part of a plan to save the universe. However, unlike most Mentor Mascots, he does not have the girls' best interests in mind...
  • Bakuman。: Akira Hattori isn't a mangaka, but as an editor he serves as an important mentor to Muto Ashirogi, teaching them various important things about the manga industry and advising them how to create a good manga. Generally, all editors should be this, but Hattori is the only one shown to effectively mentor his mangaka he's supervising. Miura attempts that, but his results are lackluster in the end.
  • YuYu Hakusho: Genkai specifically trains Yusuke to literally inherit her powers and become her successor.
  • Hunter × Hunter: Gon and Killua are eventually taught the basics of Nen by Wing in the Heaven's Tower. Later in Greed Island, they meet Wing's master Biscuit, who would continue his training and teach the kids the advanced techniques of Nen. While Wing does it as his duty as a Hunter, Biscuit does it purely out of curiosity.

    Card Games 
  • Magic: The Gathering: This is a common trope; the focus on magic means that younger mages are often mentored by older ones, though the mechanics vary from plane to plane.
    • Ajani Goldmane, the leonin planeswalker, was one to Elspeth Tirel, especially during the Greek-inspired Theros arc. His Theros-block card even calls him Mentor of Heroes. As a result, Elspeth's death at the end of that storyline has haunted him ever since; after all, it's supposed to be the other way around.
    • Sorin Markov was one to Nahiri. In the days when being a planeswalker meant becoming a Physical God, this was pretty common. Nahiri even says he was like a father to her. Their relationship ended pretty badly, which was also common for Oldwalkers.
    • Jace learned to harness his Mind Magic from a sphinx named Alhammeret, though he turned out to be an Evil Mentor who was using Jace to prolong a war.
    • Subverted with Chandra; her fellow pyromancer, Mother Luti, tried to be one of these for her, but Chandra's fierce independence meant she didn't often listen to the older woman. That changes when she finds out that Luti is actually the legendary Jaya Ballard.

    Comic Books 
  • Daredevil: Stick, the streetwise pool shark/sensei who trained Daredevil.
  • Shazam!: The wizard Shazam often played this role to Billy, Freddy, and Mary. For a while in the 1970s, Uncle Dudley grew a mustache and, at Shazam's behest, started calling himself Billy's mentor, in order to tie into the then-current Shazam TV series (see Live-Action Television section).
  • Wonder Woman: I-Ching, a blind old-master martial artist with a deep knowledge of the supernatural, acts as a mentor in his every appearance starting as a teacher to Wonder Woman in Wonder Woman (1942) and going on to mentor Kenan Kong and help Superman.
  • X-Men
    • Surprisingly, Wolverine is this to several generations of X-Men, being a father-figure to a number of the teenaged female members. He and Storm are both mentors to Kitty Pryde, and like Wolverine, Storm is a parental figure to her as well, in this case being a mother figure.
    • Likewise, Charles Xavier is this to the X-Men as a whole. Particularly Cyclops, who along with the other adult members of the X-Men, goes on to be a mentor in his own right to many young mutants attending the school.

    Fan Works 
  • Abraxas (Hrodvitnon): The Titans Godzilla, Rodan and Thor all respectively serve as experienced combat tutors to the newborn hybrid Monster X (particularly Vivienne) over the story.
  • In Amazing Fantasy, Izuku runs into Peter Parker, who offers to teach him to become Spider-Man, not long after gaining spider powers.
  • In The Bridge, the MonsterVerse King Kong served as one for the growing Godzilla Junior when the young saurian wound up on Skull Island and kept following the ape around. At first, Kong just ignored him, but after seeing how docile Junior was around the islanders and that the youth who'd taken a shine to him could keep up with the giant ape, Kong was won over. Over time Junior would watch and imitate Kong's battles against skullcrawlers and other native kaiju, Kong's training by emulation making Junior a much stronger close-quarters fighter than Godzilla Senior.
  • Six months into his journey in Challenger, Ash becomes a mentor for both his cousin Luna and Giovanni's son Silver. While Ash acts as a Big Brother Mentor for Luna to protect her from Team Rocket, it's implied Giovanni is having Ash mentor his son as payment for the Sandile he gave Ash at the start of his journey.
  • Child of the Storm has Doctor Strange, formerly teacher of Wanda Maximoff, end up as one to Harry - indeed, it could be argued he's this to the entire heroic side of the cast (though no one's entirely sure where the mentoring begins and the manipulating ends). Thanks to his manipulative nature, and the fact that he's lining up Harry to take on Thanos, among other things, mean that Harry is not totally pleased at this, but also acknowledges that Strange is (when he actually bothers) a very good teacher.
  • Code Prime: Word of God has confirmed that Optimus will be this toward Lelouch. Megatron is one for Charles and later Suzaku.
  • Demon In Fodlan: Goetia finds himself becoming Lysithea's magic teacher. Sometime after, Byleth, Leonie and Mercedes join in. Soon after, Dorothea and Linhardt join the class on Edelgard's recommendation. Later, Rhea offers him a position as a lecturer on Magecraft, which he soon accepts, deciding to teach humans in order to better themselves— placing his faith in them to do more good than harm with his teachings.
  • In The Hunger Games/Angel crossover "Demon's Games", Angel takes on this role to Katniss after he saves her from the Capitol's assassins, teaching her about the true demonic nature of the Capitol's power and preparing her to fight demons. As she learns more about this new world, as well as becoming a Slayer herself, Katniss compares him to her Watcher, and by the end of the fic she reflects that she considers Angel essentially a brother.
  • In Guardian, Lady Ginnem — the first summoner Lulu guarded in Final Fantasy X — is portrayed this way for Lulu, taking an interest in her while Lulu is living in the temple orphanage and teaching her magic. (Sadly, her Mentor Occupational Hazard is preinstalled by canon.)
  • Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality: The archetype is continually referred to as "the mysterious old wizard." Harry has two mentors, Quirrel and Dumbledore, while Hermione experiences some frustrations finding someone willing to mentor her. "Dumbledore refused to be my mysterious old wizard, do you know where I can write to request another one?" In the end, they decide that since Hermione is actually the hero of the story, that means Harry is her mysterious old wizard. It helps that it turns out he's technically sixty.
  • In Heir to the Bruce Quest While staying on New Avalon for medical treatment Rhiannon is mentored in rulership and court politics by none other than Hanse Davion.
  • Hours 'Verse: Minato (and to a extent, Ryoji) acts as this for Yu during Catch Perfect, providing advice both mundane and supernatural, helping with fusions, scaring off the Reaper, and forcing Yu to take a break during the Heaven dungeon.
  • In Hurricane Suite, Ibuse the salamander patriarch taught Naruto a great deal about chakra and helped him through dealing with his trauma. Naruto frequently asks him for advice whenever he has doubts or doesn’t know what to do.
  • In Legacy (DocSuess), Matt Murdock, AKA Daredevil, ends up becoming Spider-Man's fighting teacher.
  • In A Man Like No Other, Steve Rogers is a mentor to most of the new Avengers, even as it is made clear that Katniss is his primary protégé in her developing role as the Mockingjay, to the extent that Steve has his shield repainted to represent Panem rather than America.
  • The Night Unfurls:
  • In Per-Verse, Mayor Wilkins acts as Xander's mentor after his life is turned into a video game. Wilkins explains that in Xander's first life, he was already playing and decided to be a villain for a change of pace. He teaches Xander some of the basics of the game including how servers work, such as the fact that since he's on a public server, Xander will earn more points but he's might be joined by anywhere from one to thousands of other players at any given time.
  • Takamachi Nanoha of 2814: Superman is an older advisor for Nanoha. She smugly notes how her mentor can actively assist her "which other Magical Girls only dream about".
  • The Vocaloid fanfiction Vocal Vision has Luka as this for Miku. Also Gakupo for Luka and Haku.
  • In The Unlikely Ally, Ryoko Tanbo acts somewhat as a shoulder to lean on for the senior Magical Girl of the group, Mami (who is, ironically enough, the initial mentor for the main group). Anyone who's watched the show knows that Mami needs this badly.
  • The Firbolg slave who trains Haara during her flashbacks in Vow of Nudity fits every bullet on the list (except dying; a large part of her motivations as a freewoman involves finding him again to rescue him.)

    Films — Animated 
  • The protagonists of Bands on the Run, sentient rubber bands shaped like things, meet with Stretch, a regular rubber band who teaches them about the ups and downs of a rubber band's life.
  • Doc Hudson hates Lightning in Pixar's Cars. However, Lightning discovers that Doc was a famous and successful race car in his day. After teaching lessons in driving and humility, Doc eventually becomes his personal racing coach and crew chief and helps him in the final race.
    • In the finale of Cars 3, Lightning himself becomes a mentor to Cruz Ramirez just as Doc was to him.
  • In Kung Fu Panda, Master Oogway fills this character trope, being the Old Master to Shifu. He seems addle-minded until he dies, but the heroes realize at the end he knew exactly what he was doing. Afterwards, Shifu takes Oogway's place and plays the role of the Old Master to Po.
  • The Lion King (1994): Mufasa to his son Simba, who he teaches to succeed him as king.
  • Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse: Peter B. Parker ultimately ends up being this to Miles. He's the first other Spider Miles meets barring the one who died, he's the savviest and experienced of the Spider-Gang throughout the movie, and he takes a more direct mentorly role than the others.
  • Peach is one to Mario in The Super Mario Bros. Movie; she's the one who properly introduces Mario to the new world, tells him about Power-Ups and how they work, and trains him in platforming and Combat Parkour.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • This is a recurring theme throughout the Star Wars saga, having been heavily influenced by the Hero's Journey.
    • The most obvious example is Obi-Wan Kenobi, who mentored both Anakin Skywalker (with tragic results), and his son Luke (which went better).
    • Another well-known example is Jedi Grandmaster Yoda. After Obi-Wan's death, Yoda took over Luke's training, and states that he has been training Jedi for over 800 years.
    • Obi-Wan himself was trained by Qui Gon Jinn, who was noted to not get along with the Jedi Council and disagreed with several of their views. Jinn was the one who originally wanted to train a young Anakin, but after his death, Obi-Wan took the responsibility.
    • In The Force Awakens, Han Solo of all people takes this role on for rising heroes Finn and Rey, an irony given his rocky relationship with Obi-Wan in his younger days. He even suffers from Mentor Occupational Hazard.
    • Rey actually winds up being mentored by all three heroes of the original trilogy, one in each movie of the sequels, as all three wind up dying by the end of their respective movies; Han in The Force Awakens, Luke in The Last Jedi, and Leia in The Rise of Skywalker.
  • X-Men: First Class: Sebastian Shaw to Magneto. Professor X to the team. Magneto to Mystique.
  • The Hunger Games: Haymitch Abernathy.
  • Rufus in Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure guides Bill and Ted while they navigate history.
  • In The Matrix trilogy, Morpheus in most respects fills the role of the mentor but is the only one of the three regulars to survive to the end. He tries to sacrifice himself for Neo as early as the first film but gets rescued.
  • Fr. Merrin in The Exorcist is the mentor to Fr. Karras, showing up with a wealth of experience and skill and then dying in time for Karras to finish the demon all on his own. It doesn't end up too well for Karras either...
  • In the first Highlander movie, Connor MacLeod's mentor is Ramirez, played by Sean Connery. He's killed by the Kurgan, leaving Connor himself to face him more than five hundred years later.
  • In The Mask of Zorro, the original Zorro, Don Diego de la Vega, plays the Mentor to his chosen successor, Alejandro Murrieta.
  • An interesting variation of this occurs in Men of Honor. The racist Bill Sunday (Robert De Niro) makes Carl Brashear's (Cuba Gooding Jr.) life miserable but still guides him in his quest to be a Navy diver. He even coaches Brashear personally when he's disabled and must re-hab in order to continue.
  • In Judge Dredd, Chief Justice Fargo has most of the qualities of The Mentor (mentors Dredd, dies partway in to give him a motive for revenge, provides Exposition, etc.).
  • Bishop from The Mechanic (1972) is this to McKenna, giving him the skills or "tools of the trade" to become a good Professional Killer. At least, until the Twist Ending...
  • Chubbs from Happy Gilmore is a comedic but very straight version of this trope. He helps Happy get his start in golf, teaches him the basic techniques, tries to teach Happy maturity, dies, then puts in a kinda-sorta appearance as a Spirit Advisor. Also, the fact that he's not The Hero is better justified than in many stories: he may know the game and techniques much better than Happy, but in golf being one-handed is a major handicap.
  • Timothy Spall's character (a mentor to Mark Wahlberg) in Rock Star. On the DVD commentary (Word of God), the director describes him as "a demented Obi-Wan Kenobi."
  • In Kingsman: The Secret Service, veteran secret agent Harry Hart acts as a mentor to Gary Unwin, aka Eggsy, and persuades him not to waste his life and talent on crime, and instead join the undercover espionage agency Kingsman to save the world from James Bond type villains.
  • Veteran Irish street cop Jim Malone teaches the younger Treasury agent Eliot Ness how to deal with Al Capone's forces in Chicago beyond conventional legal methods in The Untouchables (1987).
    Jim Malone: You wanna know how to get Capone? They pull a knife, you pull a gun. He sends one of yours to the hospital, you send one of his to the morgue. That's the Chicago way! And that's how you get Capone. Now do you want to do that? Are you ready to do that? I'm offering you a deal. Do you want this deal?
  • Marvel Cinematic Universe: Tony Stark demonstrates some elements of this in Captain America: Civil War when he recruits Peter Parker (AKA Spider-Man) and helps him upgrade his suit. However, by the end of the movie, Tony has realized that he dragged Peter into a fight that had nothing to do with him, and resolves to keep him from getting involved further. In Spider-Man: Homecoming, Tony has continued this stance, giving Peter as much advice as he can, while also trying to keep him from getting in over his head.
    Tony: Don't do anything I would do.
    [Peter nods]
    Tony: And definitely don't do anything I ''wouldn't'' do.
    [Peter looks confused]
    Tony: There's a little grey area in there, and that's where you operate. Alright?
  • Perfect Addiction: Julian, Sienna's boss, is her mentor in MMA training and fighting, along with a father figure for her. With his higher experience Julian encourages Sienna in training but also pursuing a fighting career of her own.

  • Trope Namer: Mentor himself (who may or may not be Athena in disguise) in The Odyssey solely exists to offer wisdom from his many years of life to Odysseus.
  • Creation Man And The Messiah by Norwegian poet Henrik Wergeland has an exaggerated version: A nameless sage that teaches all of humanity in the essential wisdom of religion, God, trade, politics, and social relations.
  • The real-life poet Virgil guides The Divine Comedy's protagonist through Hell and Purgatory with his philosophical wisdom. As a Roman poet, Virgil allegorically stands for wisdom obtainable by human reason, and he fittingly leaves the poem once Dante has to ascend to Heaven and face the world of theology.
  • Dreamscape Voyager Trilogy
    • Captain Elyia Asier serving this role as Cassidy. She frequently drops advice and life lessons, knowing that Cassidy wants to be the captain of her own crew, someday. At the end of the first book, she reveals to Cassidy posthumously that she knew she was going to be killed and was readying Cassidy to take up the position.
    • Cassidy, in turn, is a mentor to Miria, who is new to life as a sailor.
    • Captain Saala Balthine was this to Zayne until some time before the start of the story.
  • The Dreamside Road features an odd example. Sucora Cloud functions as Enoa’s mentor from beyond the grave, using films and training materials Sucora left behind for that purpose. Played straight, in that Sucora taught her niece the meditation that gave Enoa the building blocks to learn Shaping.
  • In The Dresden Files, Ebenezar McCoy was this to Harry when he was still learning how to use magic. While his previous guardian, Justin DuMorne, taught him how to use magic through direct methods (such as throwing baseballs at him to teach him how to make a physical barrier), Ebenezar taught him that the power of magic comes from passion and emotions, and how important it is to follow the Laws of Magic. It comes as a shock to Harry when he learns that his teacher, who taught him the importance of the Laws of Magic, was the Blackstaff, or the one person on the planet who can legally break them if he feels he needs to.
  • In A Game of Thrones Ned Stark appears to be the main protagonist, and five of the other POV characters are his children and wife. After his death reveals that he was a Decoy Protagonist, you can see through his influence on his family and the North in general that he was really The Mentor all along.
  • Haymitch Abernathy to Katniss and Peeta in The Hunger Games. All past victors of the Games are brought back each year to mentor the new tributes from their district, though Haymitch definitely keeps up this role to Katniss and Peeta long after the Games themselves are over.
  • A Mage's Power
    • Basilard is a squad five senior. His job is to teach Eric, Tiza, and Nolien how to be proper mercenaries and develop their respective skills.
    • Dengel is a classical example in that he is both older than dirt and regarded as a sage. He teaches Eric high-level and esoteric forms of magic.
  • In the Malazan Book Ofthe Fallen, K'rul chose Kruppe, of all people, to confide in, visiting him in his dreams, giving well-meaning advice and even fighting off the Jaghut Tyrant for a while.
  • Doctor Morgenes of Tad Williams' Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn plays this role for Simon, taking the wayward kitchen boy under his tutelage and giving him some rudimentary schooling. He's really a member of the League of the Scroll, a group of scholars dedicated to preventing the return of the Storm King, and Simon isn't quite what he seems either. Then, Morgenes dies in a Heroic Sacrifice to allow Simon to escape from Evil Sorcerer Pryrates. True to the trope, he continues to appear to Simon in dreams, attempting to warn him of the Prophetic Fallacy that is about to befall the heroes.
  • The old priest in Nation. Defied by the fact that the young hero, Mau, doesn't want to hear a damn thing he has to say — in the wake of the tsunami that devastates their area of the Great Pelagic Ocean, the old priest is clinging to his faith, while Mau violently rejects it... despite being continually harassed by the spirits of his ancestors and Locaha, the god of death. Played straight, though, in that he helps Mau become the leader the refugees desperately need.
  • Vatra and Noble provide this role in Of Fear and Faith, mentoring the group and helping them out in certain situations, on top of dragging them all along on their epic journey to begin with.
  • Subverted in the Railway Series Sir Handel/Falcon and Peter Sam/Stuart assume Duke is 'dead' in the present day of the books, (or it's heavily implied), but it turns out in book 25 that he's fine and rescued.
  • The Shahnameh:
    • Simorq for Zal: The giant mythical bird, Simorq finds the baby Zal abandoned in mountains and raises him. When they part ways he gives Zal three of his feathers and tells Zal to summon him by burning a feather in times when he's in desperate need of help.
    • Piran is this to Afrasiab. His wisdom and compassion saves many good people from Afrasiab's wrath, including Bijan and Manijeh.
    • Rostam is this to Siavash, Esfandiar, and later Bahman. He especially has a soft spot for Siavash, seeing him as a surrogate for his own son whom he never really got to know.
  • In TimeRiders, Foster is a mentor to the team and is constantly helping them, although he appears less and less until City of Shadows, when he dies, but not before giving Maddy a crucial clue to the Agency's true nature.
  • Blackstone, from Wearing the Cape and Villains Inc., was a retired US Marine when he had his breakthrough and became one of the founders of the Sentinels. Ten years later, as the last surviving and active Sentinel of the original five, he is both the spiritual mentor to the newer Sentinels and the team leader.
  • Many teachers might qualify as mentors; the Whateley Universe's main setting is a school, after all.
    • However, Becca Stone is specifically summoned by the Tao to come to Whateley Academy and teach Bladedancer how to become one with the Tao. Becca doesn't teach combat: she's way over a hundred and was trained as a nurse back before her coming to understand her part in the Tao.
    • Benjamin Keeling was still chosen to mentor the AI designated OAI-CPA-0501 even after the OAI-CPA-0401 fiasco. His qualifications to teach humanity are open to debate.
  • The Wheel of Time:
    • Moirane Damodred Sedai mentors all the Two Rivers youths, Rand in particular, and "dies" protecting him from Lanfear as a result. Predictably, she comes back in a weaker form in Towers of Midnight.
    • Thom Merrilin to Mat Cauthon and Rand Al'Thor. He helps them escape from Trollocs and is the reason they survive "in the real world." He then "sacrifices" himself by battling a Fade, giving them time to escape. He even gives Rand some knowledge about Aes Sedai and channelers later on and gives Mat a great deal of mentoring from the time of the Band onward.
    • Elyas Machera to Perrin Aybara. He even has the "hermit" characteristic, seeing as how he freaking lives and speaks with wolves. He mentors Aybara in coming to terms with being a Wolfbrother and in using his abilities.
  • Wolf Hall portrays the relationship between Cardinal Wolsey and Thomas Cromwell as that of mentor and protege. The two share an affinity as extremely intelligent but lowborn men having to deal with the game-playing and tantrums of Upper Class Twits and Social Climbers in Henry VIII's court. Even years after Wolsey's death, Cromwell often remembers tidbits of his advice and frequently asks himself what Wolsey would do in a given situation, and comes to regard him as having been a Parental Substitute. Cromwell also serves in this role himself for his ward Rafe Sadler and the small army of apprentices, orphans, and urchins he looks after at his family home, wanting to give other smart but resourceless boys the same good fortune he had.
  • In Warrior Cats, although she isn't his mentor in the sense the series usually uses the word (training the character to be a warrior or medicine cat), Yellowfang serves this role to Fireheart; she's the elderly, dear friend he always goes to for advice. She later becomes Cinderpelt's actual mentor (training her to be a medicine cat) and does the same for her, and they both remember her wisdom after her death.
  • The kindly Zeena is this for the main character Stan in the first half of the Nightmare Alley, teaching him how to do her complex mentalist "code act" and how to cold read people.
  • In E.T.: The Book of the Green Planet, Botanicus guides E.T.'s role as a botanist and helps him on his overall journey.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Giles, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, is a Watcher. His job is to train a slayer. He is Buffy's primary mentor throughout the series.
  • The Bureau of Magical Things: Professor Maxwell, a half-human half-elf, serves as keeper of the Magical Library and tutor to a group of young fairies and elves learning the art of magic.
  • Game of Thrones:
    • Jon Snow has a range of mentors. His father, Eddard Stark, is Jon's first mentor, guiding and training Jon alongside Robb, Jon's brother and Ned's eldest son. Lord Commander Jeor Mormont is a mentor for Jon, grooming him to become the next Lord Commander. Qhorin Halfhand becomes another mentor for Jon while they are ranging beyond the Wall.
    • Likewise, Jon's younger sister Arya Stark has a range of mentors. Syrio Forel in Season 1 is a good mentor to Arya. He is a master sword fighter and instructor hired by her father Eddard Stark to train her. Her father was also a good mentor. Later, she has the morally ambiguous Jaqen H'ghar to guide her. Her moral compass notably alters under his tutelage; she is young and still pure-hearted under her father and Syrio, but smarter and more sneaky when she interacts with Jaqen. When she becomes The Hound's hostage and they form a quasi-friendship, she gets progressively darker and more violent, verging on Straw Nihilist by mid-Season 4, and her body count noticeably increases as well.
    • Maester Luwin, who educated the Stark children — Robb, Jon, Sansa, Arya, Bran, and Rickon — is presented as Bran's primary mentor in the earlier seasons of the show. Bran is later guided by Jojen Reed in his greenseeing abilities and then mentored by the Three-Eyed Raven.
    • Maester Aemon is Samwell Tarly's primary mentor.
    • Tyrion serves as this to Jon briefly in his period of adjustment with the Night's Watch, he's also one to Podrick Payne. Tyrion also tries to educate his nephew, but Joffrey is a lost cause.
    • Tywin tries to be this to his grandson Tommen when the latter becomes king in season 4, but a combination of Tommen's own weak will, the Tyrell influence, and the rather critical snag of Tywin dying at the end of said season, severely limit the effectiveness of his attempt.
  • H₂O: Just Add Water: Louise Chatham is trying to be this to the mermaid trio, but her habit of being cryptic and disappearing when they're not looking tends to frustrate them more than it helps them. It's hard to tell if she's being a Sink or Swim Mentor, or if she knows they wouldn't trust an adult with their secret, but either way, the plots of many episodes could have been resolved in minutes had she been upfront about being/having been a mermaid.
    • By contrast, the trio of Mako Mermaids: An H₂O Adventure has Rita Santos, who was born a mermaid but was exiled to land for falling in love with a human. Though reluctant at first, she teaches the girls how to adjust to land and fills them in on the magical education they're missing while the pod is gone.
  • Lost:
    • Locke turns out in the long haul to be this to Jack. They turn into bitter enemies for the first 4 seasons of the show with Locke trying to turn Jack from a man of science into a man of faith and leading different factions of the survivors. Once Jack leaves the Island, he eventually reluctantly realizes Locke was right, to such an extent that when he learns of Locke's death he tries to kill himself. He then resolves to return to the Island and fulfill John Locke's mission.
    • Played straight with Locke being Boone's mentor, although this does get him killed.
  • Megan in Privileged becomes this to the twins as well as their tutor.
  • Hornblower has two important mentor figures in the miniseries adaptation Horatio Hornblower:
    • Captain Pellew takes a special interest in Hornblower because he sees a promising officer in him. It's with the interesting twist that he sometimes pretends to be furious with Horatio just to mess with him. It takes Horatio some time to figure out when Pellew is joking.
    • Matthews is Da Man among lower deck characters. He can offer his insight even to officers who respect him and listen to him because Matthews is experienced, reasonable, respectful, and concerned for the good of the ship.
  • Nowhere Boys: Ellen becomes this to the new Nowhere Gang in the final two seasons.
  • In The Shazam!!/Isis Hour there was a character actually named (or at least called) "Mentor." There was the occasional implication that he was actually the Mentor from The Odyssey (for example, he claimed to be old enough to have taught archery to Cupid). In addition, Once an Episode the six gods that make up the word SHAZAM would advise Billy directly, though they preferred to speak in riddles and let Billy figure out what they meant for himself.
  • Supernatural:
    • John Winchester (the father) to his sons the Winchester Brothers. We never see him training them, but we know that he taught them everything they know about hunting.
    • Bobby Singer becomes a mentor figure after John dies for several seasons until Bobby dies, and continues to guide Sam and Dean from the afterlife until they put him to rest.
  • Carter Hall/Hawkman plays this role in Smallville. As one of the last surviving members of the previous generation of superheroes, he becomes a mentor to the current generation of superheroes, most notably Clark Kent. In the show's tenth season, Carter informs Clark that he has fought against and defeated that season's Big Bad Darkseid on at least two previous occasions, but is then killed in battle by another villain who had unknowingly become a minion of Darkseid later in that very same episode.
  • Chin often plays the mentor to his cousin Kono in the new Hawaii Five-0. Suitable since he's an experienced if disgraced cop, and she is just coming up to graduation to the HPD at the start of the series.

  • In the backstory to Interstitial: Actual Play, Criss Angel becomes a mentor to Marche after the latter stumbles into the bubble-world that Criss had to make when he was sucked into Gummy Space.

    Professional Wrestling 
  • Rikidozan to BI Cannon in the Japan Wrestling Association. Unfortunately, he never got to finish the job as he died from a stab infection after a Yakuza attack, causing his two disciples, Giant Baba and Antonio Inoki, to tear the promotion apart in his absence.
  • When his in-ring career began to wind down, Bobo Brazil took to mentoring the hot new talent and potential superstar Rocky Johnson.
  • Kenta Kobashi served as one to Kenta Kobayashi, the future ace of Pro Wrestling NOAH, prior to his learning excursion to South America. The name similarity was just a coincidence, with the latter going by KENTA to distinguish himself.
  • The Místico gimmick originated around Fray Tormenta mentoring one of his orphans who desired to become a luchador. CMLL had planned for there to be multiple mentored luchadors, starting with El Sagrado, but when he proved to be unconvincing, the angle was abandoned, with Místico being the only reminder of its existence due to his breakout status.
  • In Gateway Championship Wrestling's latter days, MsChif mentored Jackal and Cabal, originally for the purpose of defeating her enemies, her own mentor Johnny Greenpeace and Daizee Haze, the trainee of her tag team partner. Jackal ended up taking her place in the light heavyweight division when she left too.
  • Since the fall of Generation Next, Alex Shelley has sought to guide many promising wrestlers to greater heights, in New Japan, Ring of Honor, and others, while not repeating his mistakes, most notable case being in 2016 with KUSHIDA, ACH, Jay White and Lio Rush when he manipulated a three on three Tag Team Tournament to give the four of them a technical numerical advantage in hopes it would offset the inevitable cheating The Cabinet, The Kingdom and Bullet Club would engage in while himself and Sabin went after The Young Bucks and The Addiction (though Kingdom and the club prevailed).


    Tabletop Games 

    Theme Parks 

  • The six original Turaga from BIONICLE to their respective Toa warriors and the adventure-seeking Takua.
    • The Turaga themselves, when they were Toa in their younger days, and Vakama in particular, were mentored by Toa Lhiikan until he's killed by Makuta.
    • In the Bara Magna Arc, the elder Glatorian Ackar is one to the rookie Gresh, and eventually to the Brought Down to Normal Mata Nui.

    Video Games 
  • Billie Bust Up! has it's fair share of colourful characters, none as cool as Aristotle, the mentor to protagonist Billie.
  • Chicory: A Colorful Tale: After Pizza helps her deal with her anxiety while admitting their own, Chicory helps Pizza become a proper wielder.
  • Cuphead: The Elder Kettle acts as a father figure to Cuphead and Mugman, though it's not made clear if they're actually family.
  • Dragon Age:
    • Duncan acts as Alistair's Mentor; he's been his Senior in the Grey Wardens and a surrogate father figure for months by the time you meet him in your Origin Story. Duncan's involvement with the player character is too limited for him to count as his/her Mentor too, though he does save your ass in each of the Origin Stories. He has an Obi-Wan Moment in the disastrous Battle of Ostagar; however, they Never Found the Body.
    • Wynne can be this to the Warden if the player wishes. Verges on a parent/child relationship with a mage protagonist.
    • In Dragon Age II, despite having been deceased for several years prior to the start of the game, Malcolm Hawke is frequently referred to as being this to a Mage!Hawke and Bethany. Despite giving up his magic when he married Leandra, when he discovered that his child(ren) had inherited his gifts, he immediately set about teaching them to hone their abilities and how to blend in, so they could keep their magic a secret from the Templars, in addition to teaching them how to use their magic responsibly.
    • Keeper Marethari serves as this to Merrill, having trained her to eventually succeed her in leading their Dalish Clan. Even though Merrill enters a self-imposed exile, Marethari still offers her advice to her and relies on Hawke to curb her growing obsession with the Eluvian.
    • In Dragon Age: Inquisition, the Inquisitor him/herself can serve as this to the young farmer called Sutherland. If his quest chain (on the war table) is completed correctly, the player guides him from being a raw recruit to the leader of his own small adventuring company. He's extremely grateful for the Inquisitor's belief in him.
  • The Elder Scrolls:
    • In Arena, Ria Silmane was summoned by the Player Character prior to the events of the game to train him in the magical arts. She was killed and he was imprisoned, kicking off the events of the game. She is still able to guide the hero from afterlife, however.
    • In Skyrim, this is the role that Paarthurnax holds for the Greybeards, as he has guided generations of them in their study of the Way of the Voice. He can also be this to the Dragonborn, should s/he choose to view him in that light.
  • In Ensemble Stars!, the third years are theoretically meant to be this towards the first and second years, especially within units. Some are good at it (Nazuna is a genuinely supportive and helpful Big Brother Mentor type), some not so much (Chiaki really wants to be a mentor but is a bit too odd and naive to be entirely successful), some seem actively detrimental (Izumi's 'mentoring' just kind of looks like bullying), and some are downright inscrutable (Kanata barely has any connection to the real world at all, let alone the idol business). Some also mentor in other areas - Wataru sincerely tries to help make Hokuto and Tomoya into good actors, even if his methods are very eccentric, and early on Tomoya in particular is very reluctant to learn from him.
  • In Growing Up, all the adults that you meet give you career advice in their story arcs and provide you with tips on how to pursue your passions.
  • Kyu in HuniePop... in regards to teaching the player to become The Casanova.
  • Lavitz Slambert from Legend of Dragoon is an older and somewhat wiser character than Dart, who uses his general life experience to try and guide the younger adventurers; it's also his death that drives the heroes' quest for most of the game.
  • The Legend of Zelda:
  • Coach from Puck OFF, who starts to care about The Hero so much that is determined to keep him away from the Big Bad Dominator. As much that it leads him to die for him.
  • Peppy from Star Fox, as he is stated to be the oldest one on the team, was a member of the original Star Fox crew with Fox's father and also acts somewhat as a mediator between the more hot-headed Falco and the other teammates.
  • Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic:
    • While Jolee Bindo seems to fit in terms of character, in terms of the role in the plot Bastilla actually serves this role. She is the one who shows the Player Character that they are a Jedi and serves as his/her mentor throughout the game, despite probably being younger. This is justified by both her raw power in the Force as well as the fact that she was bonded in the Force with the protagonist. Though she fails to stay in charge, it is for a reason as she was never meant to be in charge. Her purpose was not to act as a mentor but to utilize the protagonist's visions to find the mysterious Star Forge, as he/she turns out to be the amnesiac former Sith Lord Darth Revan.
    • Jolee Bindo does however serve as something of the Yoda role as a wise and seasoned former Jedi (and a hermit, to boot) who left the order because he found its refusal to acknowledge love's influence in a Jedi's life. It's never made clear just how much of Jolee's Grumpy Old Man routine is really an act, but he is shown to be the wisest follower you meet. He even figures out, on his own, that the protagonist is actually Darth Revan. He just doesn't think it's his right to say it.
    • Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II – The Sith Lords:
      • This game puts your character, a Jedi exile severed from the Force and rediscovering his/her power, in the hands of Kreia, a mysterious Force-user who's apparently neither Jedi nor Sith. She's a considerable subversion of the trope, however: although she genuinely grows to love you, she also lies to you constantly, manipulating you (and everybody else) to achieve her Machiavellian purposes. Eventually, she reveals herself as the Big Bad, forcing you to take her down yourself.
      • The player character him/herself can actually be this as well. There are a handful of party members whom the Exile can train in the ways of the Force. It's most noticeable with Handmaiden, since Atris herself will call Handmaiden out on jumping ship from Atris's mentorship to the Exile's, and in cut content where Handmaiden has to fight her fellow sisters, she remembers the lessons she learned from sparring with the Exile in order to win without killing them.

    Visual Novels 
  • The protagonist of Melody is this to the title character. He guides her to success in both her personal and professional life.

    Web Animation 
  • A Day With Bowser Jr: Kamek serves as a wise mentor to both Ludwig and Bowser Jr. (Not that Ludwig ever listens to him, though...)

  • In Freefall, Florence explains to Helix that space is unforgiving and he must learn from Sam, who has been there before, and ask Florence whenever he doesn't understand why Sam is doing something. Sam finds it briefly cool to be a mentor before he realizes that it could also be Florence assigning him a watchdog.
  • Lord Frey from Alfdis & Gunnora seems to be something of a mentor to young Alfdis.
  • Sir Huldric in Crimson Knights becomes this to Judoch when he takes him as his ward into the Order of the Black Rose.

    Web Original 
  • Mahu: In "Frozen Flame" the mage known as "Mr. Storm" has been the mentor of prince Arius for many years and a close friend too.
  • Can You Spare a Quarter?: Pony is a medicine man who is teaching Jason various nature skills such as respect for nature and how to track someone in the snow.

    Western Animation 
  • From Avatar: The Last Airbender:
    • The Airbending monk, Gyatso, is a kind mentor to Aang, then eventually dies. When Aang discovers his death 100 years later, it sends him into Heroic BSoD mode and awakens the Avatar State.
    • Uncle Iroh is a mentor to Prince Zuko and not only helps to protect him but also helps him in his destiny to side with Aang to stop the Fire Nation's conquests.
    • In the Sequel Series, The Legend of Korra, the titular protagonist only has to learn one element at the beginning of the series so her mentors don’t play too big of a role. Katara was her Waterbending teacher and a grandmother figure to her and gives her her blessing to go off to Republic City in the first episode. Her and Aang’s son Tenzin is her Airbending teacher with whom she lives for most of the series. He’s an uncle figure to her and plays this trope more closely than his mother.
  • Batman Beyond: In the future, Batman, the ultimate badass (and still an elder badass if forced by circumstances), became a mentor to a new younger Batman, giving advice by radio.
  • Grandpa Max, in Ben 10, was a Man in Black when he was younger, and retired to have some peace and quiet, spend time with his grandkids... Once the Imported Alien Phlebotinum the show revolves around latches onto his grandson's wrist, Max's experience is invaluable (especially since the sender intended it to go to Max in the first place).
  • In the Molly of Denali episode "Tale of the Totem," Uncle Jack takes Randall on as his apprentice totem pole carver.
  • Princess Celestia from My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic. She located and taught Twilight Sparkle toward her coronation.
    • Sunset Shimmer is this as well as The Leader towards the human counterparts of the main cast in the spin-off Equestria Girls films and specials, being the only "human" with a deep understanding of the magic that has leaked in their dimension from the main MLP universe.
  • The Owl House: Eda Clawthorne is this to Luz right from the start, agreeing at the end of the pilot episode to take her as an apprentice to train her in magic, and does a damn good job of it. They, along with Eda's adoptive son King, become a Family of Choice very quickly.
  • In Star Wars: The Clone Wars, Anakin Skywalker becomes this for young initiate Ahsoka Tano, who becomes his Padawan. Unfortunately, this ends only slightly better than Anakin's own apprenticeship to Obi-Wan, with Ahsoka leaving the Jedi Order after feeling betrayed by the Council's lack of trust, only to later have to cross blades with her former teacher after his fall to the Dark Side.
  • Work It Out Wombats!: Ellie is a mentor towards Zadie according to her character profile, though we haven't seen it on screen yet.


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Mentor, The Mentor, The Obi Wan


Al Mualim

Both his title and his role in the Assassin Order, teaching and guiding Assassins throughout the Levant.

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Main / MentorArchetype

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