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Nature Hero

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Respect the forest and the forest shall respect you.

"Ahhh, the great outdoors!"
The Dryad, Warcraft III
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A hero who lives largely in isolation from human civilization in the wild. They have an uncanny affinity with and appreciation for the local wildlife and can communicate with them easily and have them listen to their requests. This kind of hero spends time helping visitors survive the region and protecting the region and its wildlife from those who would exploit or destroy it. Quite likely to have been Raised by Wolves. Tends to have No Social Skills or become a Socially Awkward Hero if they leave the wilds. Could be either male or female.

Sometimes this hero isn't quite as friendly as some others, and openly admits that most people get on his nerves.

Often has Wild Hair, and either dresses in furs or Garden Garments.

Subtrope of Nature Lover. See also Druid, Jungle Princess, Tarzan Boy, Mountain Man, Wild Child, and Forest Ranger, all of which frequently overlap with this. Contrast with Science Hero, although overlap may be present in the case of more ecological-minded scientists.

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Examples

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    Anime and Manga 
  • Black God : Kakuma and his twin sister, Makana, are two of the last surviving members of the Hiba Clan of Tera Guardians. Though it's just the two of them, they remain committed to protecting their Clan's Tera Stone and the surrounding forest.
  • Brave10: The Sanada ninja leader Sarutobi Sasuke was abandoned in a forest and lived there until Sanada Yukimura recruited him. He still spends most of his time there.
  • Delicious in Dungeon: Senshi lives alone down in the titular dungeon, following a self-sufficient lifestyle hunting, gathering, and farming monsters, only returning to the surface to buy spices for his cooking. He prefers spending time with the fauna than with other people, and is always mindful not to over-forage, lest he disrupt the dungeon’s native ecosystem. However, the monsters of the dungeon still want to kill him. He admires them all the same.
  • Digimon Savers: Ikuto (Keenan in the English dub). As an infant, he was accidentally sucked into the Digital World as a result of being too close to his parents' experimental Digital Gate. He was raised by Digimon (most notably Frigimon) to the point of thinking he was one. He sports a "tribal" sort of look, carries a boomerang, and uses Hulk Speak, despite the fact that most digimon talk normally.
  • Dragon Ball: The former villain Android 17 has become this by Dragon Ball Super, being a ranger living on a isolated island filled with rare animals. He's the only ranger there, and more than capable of protecting the animals from space poachers.
  • Princess Mononoke: San provides the page image, having literally been Raised by Wolves, whom she regards as her family. During the film, she and the Wolf Clan are Eboshi's primary opposition to prevent her from destroying the forests and killing the spirits therein.

    Comic Books 
  • Marvel Universe:
    • Ka-Zar is a bit of a Tarzan Captain Ersatz (born the son of nobleman Lord Robert Plunder, lost in the jungle and raised by animals) except he was raised by sabre-toothed tigers and is the resident Nature Hero of the Marvel Universe's Lost World, the Savage Land.
    • Shanna the She-Devil is an interesting case. She's a college graduate and New York zoologist who went to an African nature preserve to raise two orphaned leopards. She got very into the role (her fur bikini is made from their mother's pelt), started fighting poachers, hooked up with Ka-Zar and is now arguably a bigger Nature Hero than he is.
    • X-Men:
      • All-New X-Men reveals that the Hand has an environmentalist wing... called the Green Thumb.
      • Wolverine: Logan was born a rich boy, but became an orphan wandering with his sort-of girlfriend before retreating fully into the wilderness after she was killed. He's never lost his bestial side since, except for that one time when a psychic assault reverted his mentality back to that of the little pampered rich boy. He went back to normal after drinking some beer.
  • Planetary: Kevin Sack, Lord Blackstock, is a blatant pastiche of Tarzan, with a name riffing on Ka-Zar's (Sack = Plunder). As with everything in Planetary it gets a bit deconstructed; the Values Dissonance of the Mighty Whitey not having ... relations ... with the locals is played up, and it's implied that he may have had less of a problem with his animal companions.
  • Prez (1973): Eagle Free lives at one with nature and understands the ways of animals to the extent that he can tell them what to do. When Prez first encounters him, he's leading a group of forest animals against a corrupt developer's construction machinery.
  • Sheena, Queen of the Jungle: Sheena is a Jungle Princess who is a Friend to All Living Things and fights to defend nature.
  • Wonder Woman (1942): Marya "The Giant Mountain Girl" (she's eight feet tall) is very in tune with and feels connected with nature, having been living a solitary life in the wilderness when she first met Diana. She also does not put up with anyone trying to attack people or abuse nature in her presence.
  • Xenozoic Tales: Jack Tenrec is partly this, with shades of Science Hero (despite his general insistence that science is bad).

    Film — Animated 
  • Quest for Camelot has one of these in the person of Garrett, a blind hermit, complete with a song all about how he's no good with people.
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    Films — Live-Action 
  • The Beastmaster lives not just in harmony with animals, he can control them too.
  • Instinct: Ethan Powell became one of these after he observed a gorilla family for a long time in the wild, leaving behind an estranged daughter.
  • Jurassic World: Velociraptor-trainer Owen Grady lives off the grid despite being well-paid at a luxury resort park and has a big dose of Not Good with People. His dilapidated trailer/shack implies that he spends far more time at the raptor paddock than at home and every aspect of his life appears to revolve around Blue, Delta, Echo, and Charlie.
  • Maleficent was once a kind fairy, who lived in the Enchanted Moors, living among the Fair Folk in trees. When her home is threatened by man, she summons warriors made from the forest itself, even a great dragon made of plants. When Maleficent falls to darkness, the woods forms her a throne made from roots and vines. After she turns good again, she gives her crown to Princess Aurora.
  • Run Wild, Run Free: Philip feels a deep connection with nature. He's been trying to explore the moors since he could walk, and before he went mute he knew the name of every plant and animal he saw.
  • The Wolverine: Wolverine is the Anti-Hero kind. Specifically, he beat the shit out of the hunter who killed his bear friend/companion.

    Literature 
  • Daughter of the Forest: Sorcha is a downplayed version of this. She loves nature and likes wandering the forest. But she isn't naturally reclusive except for a few years for a special reason, and her preferred lifestyle is as a Tomboy Princess who likes the forest but lives among humanity.
  • Deltora Quest: Jasmine is constantly described with Wild Hair. She talks to birds. She was raised by trees. (She can talk to them, too.) She eventually learns to live with humans, but doesn't have much patience for most of them even after falling hard for one.
  • Hoot: Mullet Fingers. He doesn't have egregious amounts of hair growing from his knuckles or anything. He got his nickname by having reflexes fast enough to catch a mullet with his bare hands. He lives in the woods by himself and protects the local wildlife from habitat loss in any way that he can.
  • The House Without Windows: Eepersip (the name comes from the sound of a birdcall) ran away from home to "live wild", incidentally gaining almost superhuman abilities via lots of dancing, climbing and running around. She communes with animals, becomes spiritually attuned to her environment, and finally dissolves into a cloud of butterflies.
  • The Immortals: Daine series starts out this way. With her Animal Talk, she's able to solve a lot of problems with four-legged (or winged) helpers, and she's much more comfortable with animals than she is with people. She's frequently described as being having animal hair, feathers, and occasionally bird crap on her clothes.
  • Realm of the Elderlings: Fitzchivalry Farseer fits this trope for much of his life, having bonded with a wolf and living off the land far away from other humans.
  • Tolkien's Legendarium:
    • Radagast the Brown, one of the five wizards, tends to concern himself far more with the natural world than with the trials of Men and Elves, living in the depths of the forest and speaking with birds and beasts.
    • The Hobbit: Beorn, the shapechanging bear-man, is served by animals and lives In Harmony with Nature.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Kamen Rider Amazon, who's basically Tarzan if he had super sharp claws that cut into monsters and cause lots of "blood" to fizz out of them.

    Music 
  • The Gregory Brothers: A bizarre example shows up in the yodelling video "Chicken Attack" featuring Takeo Ischi. Takeo is a man in an opera outfit who has "the power of nature and can bend every beast and tree to his will", which he uses to transform chickens into ninja warriors to fight evil ninjas.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Dungeons & Dragons: The druid and ranger classes, and most of their derivatives and enhancements, tend to focus on living In Harmony with Nature, doing everything alongside their loyal Animal Companions, and watching over and protecting the pristine wilderness from evil, undeath and civilization. In 4th Edition, there's an entire power source (Primal) for Nature Hero characters— shamans, barbarians, druids, and wardens. The PHB3 adds the seeker class, whose skill at ranged weapons invokes the Ranger of earlier editions.
  • Magic: The Gathering: Extremely common among Green-aligned heroes and the nicer Green planeswalkers. Summoning token creatures, beefing up creatures, and gaining power/toughness/extra abilities depending on the number of Forests you control are some of the ways this power manifests. Garruk Wildspeaker is a classic planeswalker example.
  • Pathfinder:
    • This is generally a common archetype for a number of classes, i.e. the classic druids and rangers, the hunter class that hybridizes them, and the shapeshifting shifters. They typically spend much of their time within the wilderness, live in close contact with animals (druids, rangers and hunters take Animal Companions as a class feature), commune with fey and sapient plants and animals, follow the ancient Green Faith and serve as protectors of the wild places of the world.
    • Chicome couatls live in an endless quest to track down lands where evil, war or pollution have rendered the land corrupt and barren, utilizing their magic to make plants grow, call the animals back, and make the land lush and fertile once again.
  • Warhammer:
    • Imperial Jade and Amber Wizards, who uses the lores of Life and Beasts, tend to lead reclusive lives in the wilderness, speaking with birds and beasts, ensuring the fertility and health of the forest, and protecting the wild from the perverse influence of Chaos.
    • The Wood Elves, for a given definition of "hero", are extremely invested in protecting the sanctity of their forest homes and the nature spirits that dwell there.

    Video Games 
  • Avadon: There's no collective Gaia, and none of the animals are very bright, so Shamans rule over nature rather than seeking unity with it. However, the Shaman party member does talk about the importance of protecting nature against the various forces that would corrupt it.
  • Baldur's Gate: Most ranger and druid characters, including Jaheira, Minsc, Kivan, Valygar and Cernd. Faldorn was this in the first game, but underwent a Face–Heel Turn and became an extremist that ended up doing more damage to her local grove than she was saving it from.
  • City of Heroes features The Woodsman, who can control plants and summon animals to fight for him. His evil Praetorian version is Shadowhunter, who can turn his skin to stone and is super strong, while commanding large packs of werewolves.
  • DC Universe Online: The Nature power set turns the Player Character that uses it into a Nature Hero, at least in terms of powers. One of its skill sets allows the player to turn into different types of animals and the other grants control of plants.
  • Diablo II gives us the Druid class, who fights with the summoned spirits of plants and animals, elemental attacks of wind or fire, or by shapeshifting himself into a wolf or bear.
  • Dota 2 has quite a selection of these:
    • Aiushtha the Enchantress is a gentle doe-centaur who embodies nature's kindness.
    • Karroch the Beastmaster is a rugged warrior who Speaks Fluent Animal and obviously fits The Beastmaster trope, using his hawk and boar alongside two small axes.
    • Rooftrellen the Treant Protector, a huge living tree with Green Thumb powers and who gains bonuses near trees.
    • Nature's Prophet was born from a seed left by the earth goddess Verodicia as her final act. He keeps stewardship over the forest, being able to teleport around via a blooming flower, summon trees to block enemies, and bring the trees to life to fight for him.
    • Sylla, the Lone Druid, was tasked with protecting the Seed, which is prophesized to bring nature back to its former glory one day. He's accompanied by his pet bear, who has Green Thumb powers, and can turn into a bear himself.
    • Hoodwink grew up in a forest, until it got razed by the neighboring kingdom. After scavenging a crossbow, she's basically become some kind of eco-terrorist, killing the people who threaten her homeland.
    • Leshrac is a Nature Villain, being the embodiment of Gaia's Vengeance gone wrong.
  • Dragon Age: Origins: Morrigan is an Unscrupulous Hero version. She grew up in the swamplands, and found peace in living amongst the animals for short periods of time when not with her mother, and yet she lacks any sort of compassion for anything, will not hesitate to kill things that stand in her way, and strongly upholds her mother's Social Darwinist beliefs.
  • Freedom Force has Eve, a skilled archer who has limited control over plants and animals, and can hypnotize people with a kiss.
  • Kamiko: Uzume is described by the game's manual as living "deep within a remote forest" and is stated to be capable of empathizing with plants.
  • League of Legends has Udyr, who has the appearance of a Wild Man (dresses in animal pelts) and the living in isolation part of the trope. Rather than an animal companion, he has four Nature Spirit stances he can rapidly switch between in combat. His lore paints him in a more heroic light, using the animal spirits to preserve the balance of nature and to protect his homeland.
  • The Path: Ginger seems to greatly prefer playing in the forest to listening to her family or visiting her grandmother. Her sister Rose is also enchanted by the forest's natural beauty, and talks a lot about how at home she feels there.
  • Ryzom: The Zoraï have this as a racial trait, though being in a world without a single scrap of metal (that's not in the hands of an off-world Higher-Tech Species) tends to give this feeling to everyone.
  • Samurai Shodown: Nakoruru and her sister Rimururu. Downplayed in that, although they're very much aware that they fight for the preservation of nature, they're much more intelligent and aware of the outside world.
  • Shadowverse has Arisa. Her Forestcraft class is centered around this theme and has cards based around forest animals, elves and fairies. In addition, she is being trained as a guardian of the forest.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog started as this, although he embraced technology more and more as the series progressed. He is still a nomadic character who disdains Dr. Eggman's work, however.
  • Suikoden II has Kinnison, who can be recruited in the forest outside Ryukei Village, and Ayda, who hails from the Forest Village. Both archers have close ties to nature and are committed to defending their respective woodlands. So it's only natural that they took a liking to each other; particularly during the best ending, where it's possible to get a bonus scene by recruiting Muku-Muku and the other 4 squirrels. Ayda makes a surprise visit to Kinnison's forest, causing him to become nervous and blush.
  • Twilight Heroes: The Naturalist, although operating in primarily an urban environment, is capable of taming rather than defeating their foes, and uses skills inspired by animals (from such staples as wolves and sharks, to more obscure choices such as echidnas and starfish).
  • Warcraft has Rexxar, a Mok'nathal (half-orc, half-ogre) beastmaster, who vastly prefers the company of his many animals to that of the rest of the Horde.
  • Wild puts players in the shoes of a Neolitic shaman who can possess animals.

    Webcomics 
  • Kiss Wood: Sul becomes one with the help of Ahbon. Originally a Nature Lover, Sul is transported to an endless and hostile forest and he learns to adapt to survive. He already had the Wild Hair, to begin with.

    Web Original 
  • Ketrin: Ketrin is telepathically linked to his wolflike companions and wants to save both wolves and humanity from an evil force — when he isn't being worshiped as a paralyzed idol, that is.

    Western Animation 
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic: Fluttershy lives on the edge of the woods, has a special talent for communicating with animals, greatly prefers the company of animals to that of intelligent beings, and has saved the lives of her friends and other ponies by using her talent on a number of occasions.

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