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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 Jungle Princess, Mountain Man, Wild Child, and Forest Ranger. Contrast with Science Hero.

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Examples

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    Anime and Manga 
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh! GX: Elemental Hero Wildheart. All of the Elemental Heroes that Judai uses in the manga version are commonly referred to as the "Nature Elemental Heroes", although not all of them fit the traditional mold.
  • 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.
  • In 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.
  • 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.

    Comic Books 
  • In ElfQuest, Teir in relation to the Wolfriders when they first meet him, in general the Wolfriders in relation to everyone else, particularly humans. Reversed in a one-issue story with Little Patch, a human boy raised by elves in what humans consider to be the wild.
  • Xenozoic Tales: Jack Tenrec is partly this, with shades of Science Hero (despite his general insistence that science is bad).
  • In 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.
  • Marvel Comics:
    • 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 inverts the trope in that his childhood was as a rich boy, but he then 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 quickly went back to normal after drinking some beer, thank God.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Sheena, Queen of the Jungle: Sheena is a Jungle Princess who is a Friend to All Living Things and fights to defend nature.

    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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • The Wolverine: Wolverine is the Anti-Hero kind. Specifically, he beat the shit out of the hunter who killed his bear friend/companion.
  • In 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.
  • In 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.

    Literature 
  • 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.
  • Tolkien's Legendarium: The Hobbit: Beorn, the shapechanging bear-man, is served by animals and lives In Harmony with Nature.
  • 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.

    Live-Action TV 

    Music 
  • A bizarre example shows up in The Gregory Brothers yodelling video "Chicken Attack" featuring Takeo Ischi. Takeo Ischi 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.
  • 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: 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 
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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).
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • In 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.
  • In 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Defense of the Ancients: All-Stars has quite a selection of them: from the heroic Karroch The Beastmaster, kind Aiushtha the Enchantress, and peaceful Rooftrellen, the Treant Protector, to the somewhat grayer Nature's Prophet and Sylla the Lone Druid, and a Nature Villain Leshrac the Tormented Soul, an embodiment of Gaia's Vengeance gone wrong.
  • The Zoraï of Ryzom 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.
  • Warcraft has Rexxar, the 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.
  • 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.
  • Freedom Force has Eve, a skilled archer who has limited control over plants and animals, and can hypnotize people with a kiss.

    Webcomics 

    Web Original 
  • Ketrin fits this trope to some extent. He is telepathically linked to his wolflike companions and wants to save both them and humanity from an evil force - when he isn't being worshiped as a paralyzed idol, that is. (NB: stories contain sexual content).

    Western Animation 
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