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The Chooser of the One

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Lana: So how is it that you're important enough to know about this prophecy, huh?!
Turrick: I wrote it.

Like the name says, The Chooser of The One is the character who finds and chooses The Chosen One. The Chooser can go about this a few different ways. They may possess a book or prophecy that describes The Chosen One, or a means of picking them out of a crowd, or they may be a prophet or seer of some kind who can sense the One. Once found or selected, the chooser may take on the role of Mentor and start training them, tell them of their destiny, or simply deliver the Call to Adventure and hope they accept it.

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Sometimes, the Chooser isn't charged with finding the One, so much as finding a One. The Chooser essentially looks for someone with the skills to fill a job description (defeating the Big Bad, saving the world, etc) and goes with their gut rather than on divine mandate. A knight searching for someone to Take Up My Sword may simply look for anyone who has the right amount (get it?) of pluck and decency. In these cases the person picked may be more of an Unchosen One who chooses to create their destiny rather than sit by passively.

If the Chooser is a god or Enigmatic Empowering Entity they may do the designating themselves rather than via prophecy, Super Empowering the chosen from a complete random Muggle into the One. Other possible Choosers are Sentient Phlebotinum, an Empathic Weapon, or God(s).

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A common variation on this is a Prophecy Twist where the antagonist tries to make it impossible for a prophecy about their downfall to be fulfilled and in the process accidentally creates an opposing Chosen One.

Because of this potential for plot induced randomness, there can be an exploration of the true nature of heroism as something innate or vocational, and destiny as immutable or malleable. It's possible that the Chooser could invoke a sort of Koan and claim that the mere act of choosing someone is meaningless, rather the faith and trust of the chosen paves their path... or that there is no randomness, only destiny.

Compare and contrast The Presents Were Never from Santa, which is when a character thinks they have supernatural aid or a helper, but don't.


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Examples:

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    Film — Animated 
  • In Epic (2013) it's Queen Tara's duty to pick her successor. Later, she picks MK to carry the pod to Nim Galuu.
  • The wise turtle Master Oogway from Kung Fu Panda is the one who chooses Po the panda as the next "Dragon Warrior".
  • Rise of the Guardians: The Man in the Moon picks the titular guardians, but don't give them a clue on what they are supposed to be, leaving them to figure it out themselves. This drives much of the plot, since Jack Frost only realizes in the end that, as a Friend to All Children, he is supposed to become the Guardian of Fun.
  • Rare non-living partial example in the form of The Matrix of Leadership in Transformers: The Movie, in which the Matrix, a talisman of extraordinary power, and containing the soul of countless Autobot leaders, chooses Hot Rod to become the next Prime, and at the same time choosing him to defeat Unicron, an Omnicidal Maniac who threatens to eat everything in existence.

    Film — Live-Action 
  • Dodgers manager Branch Rickey in 42, who declares that somehow he's going to find an African-American baseball player to integrate into his baseball team.
    "I don't know who he is or where he is, but he's coming."
  • In the original Buffy the Vampire Slayer movie, Merrick is essentially this, being the one who finds Buffy and tells her she is the chosen one.
  • In Captain America: The First Avenger, Dr. Erskine overhears a conversation between Steve Rogers and Bucky, and realizes that Steve is the perfect candidate for the Super Serum.
  • The Matrix: Morpheus discovered and mentored Neo.
    • The Oracle, as the full story plays out, is the one that created the whole prophecy to begin with. Neo could have very well been chosen by the Oracle, although it requires a nudge to Morpheus to find him. Once that's done, she offers Neo a cookie, saying that, after he eats it, he'll be "right as rain." What are "cookies" in the computer world? They add information to a program. All that Neo needed was a push to act more than what he felt. Remember that the Oracle didn't tell Neo that he wasn't the One — he drew his own conclusion. The Oracle is rooting for the humans, so helping Neo ultimately choose himself is part of her plan. Remember the sign above her kitchen: "Know Thyself" in Latin? That's what she does to people.
    • The Architect cannot be the Chooser. The One is an anomaly of the choice programming that the Oracle helped to add to make the first stable Matrix. It stabilized the system, save for the One, "The Anomaly," who keeps reappearing every 100 years or so when the Matrix must be rebooted, or reloaded. The Architect noted he'd been trying to get rid of the Ones for a long time with no success (the Ones are Choice Incarnate and presumably can't be removed without removing choice from the Matrix and hosing the system). The Architect settles on using the Oracle's prophecy to force the One to come to him, presenting Neo with a Morton's Fork to save humanity.
  • The Side Kick in The Pumaman is also the one charged with finding the chosen one to become the eponymous hero. This involves throwing him out a window to see if he has a cat's ability to survive long falls.
  • In Star Wars: The Phantom Menace, Qui-Gon Jinn discovered Anakin Skywalker, the chosen one of an ancient Jedi prophecy.
  • Tomorrowland: Athena sees in Casey a dreamer who hasn't stopped dreaming yet and gives her the pin that leads her to Tomorrowland, so she can stop the impending disaster.

    Religion & Mythology 
  • In The Bible:
    • The prophet Samuel chose the first two kings of Israel, Saul and David, led by God.
    • This happens often in Genesis. God chooses Abraham. He also chooses Jacob while Jacob and Esau are still in the womb and tells Rebecca about it, leading to her knowing which son to favor. Jacob favors Joseph out of his twelve sons, and Joseph ends up receiving prophetic dreams and the ability to interpret the dreams of others. In Exodus, God chooses Moses to lead the Israelites, Moses's elder brother Aaron as spokesman and later High Priest, and Moses's older sister Miriam as another prophet and third leader of the people.
    • Jesus was not truly chosen by anyone other than himself (Jesus was chosen by God, but Jesus also is God in most Christian beliefs), but there are still scenes that fit this motif arguably; The Magi presenting him gifts and his Baptism by John are often viewed this way, even though Jesus entirely initiated the latter.
  • In Tibetan Buddhism, the Dalai Lama is a title given by the Tibetan people for the foremost spiritual leader of Tibetan Buddhism. Following the Buddhist belief in the principle of reincarnation, when the current Dalai Lama dies, there is a formal search conducted to identify the reincarnation of the next Dalai Lama.
  • There is the Dalai Lama and the Panchen Lama, who is the second most important spiritual authority in Tibetan Buddhism. Each has a part to play in finding reincarnation of the next Lama. The Panchen Lama bears part of the responsibility for finding the incarnation of the Dalai Lama and vice versa. Tragically, this tradition seems to have come to a halt as the 11th Panchen Lama, Gedhun Choekyi Nyima, was taken into custody by the Chinese Government when he was 6-years-old and hasn't been seen since. It's widely expected that whenever the 14th Dalai Lama dies, China will produce the Panchen Lama (or an imposter thereof) to "identify" a 15th Dalai Lama who can be raised to be loyal to the government. Possibly because of this, the Dalai Lama has hinted that he might choose not to reincarnate.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Exalted: If you're an Exalt and not a Dragon-Blooded, then someone in Heaven, Hell, the Underworld, Autochthonia, or optionally the Wyld is vouching for you. In case of being a Sidereal, one of the Five Maidens chose you before you were born, unless your exaltation is some kind of freak accident.
    • For Solars and Lunars in Second Edition, ultimately it's the Exaltation itself that chooses the one to be precise, in a manner of speaking. The heavens might influence whom is chosen, but in the end it is the actions of the mortal that call the Exaltation to them.
    • Similarly, the optional Umbrals are chosen by their Exaltations because their patron destroyed himself in the creation of the Umbral Exaltations, and the part of him within each Exaltation is what does the choosing.
    • Dragon-Blooded are the exception because the Five Elemental Dragons chose the Dragon-Blooded's family lines back in the depths of time, but don't choose who in that family line is Exalted.
    • For mortal heroes (when they matter), the choosers are usually the Sidereal Exalted, who oversee the Loom of Fate. They use astrology to manipulate destiny, and sometimes operate in disguise on Creation to ensure that fate goes the way it's supposed to. Their "prophecies" are a mix of genuine mystical foresight, careful planing, and subtle manipulation, and they sometimes have to improvise when their predictions go awry because pushing new prophecies through Heaven's hopelessly corrupt and frequently incompetent bureaucracy is often more trouble than it's worth.
  • Warhammer:
    • Sorcerers of Tzeentch can use a spell called Call to Glory to turn a normal guy into an Exalted Hero.
    • Savage Orc special character Wurrzag Ud Ura Zahubu, the Great Green Prophet, is a shaman tasked by the greenskin gods to find the Once and Future Git, the legendary orcish hero who will pull a magical axe from the dwarf-shaped Gaffastone and lead the greenskins to glory. After years of watching likely candidates, during the End Times campaign Wurrzag realized that as there are two greenskin deities, so must there be two champions, making him the Choser of the Two.
    • The Daemon Prince Be'lakor was cursed aeons earlier by the Chaos Gods to become this rather than The Chosen One, crowning the Everchosen of Chaos who will conquer the world for the Dark Gods. Be'lakor has gone through the process several times, and since he can only touch the Crown of Domination if it's to put it on the Anointed's head, he is very much unhappy about the whole thing.

    Toys 
  • BIONICLE characters’ destinies are set by Mata Nui, and fate remains one of the only supernatural elements of the story to survive Doing In the Wizard. The destinies of Mata Nui himself and Makuta were set by the Great Beings, who intended for them to be “brothers” and work together to restore Spherus Magna. Makuta’s ambition to take over Mata Nui’s body inadvertently fulfilled this destiny, as during his fight with Mata Nui he pulls Spherus Magna’s moons close enough together for Mata Nui to finish the job.

    Web Animation 
  • RWBY: To address the absence of the gods from Remnant, the God of Light chooses a single human to act as a guide that will help humanity achieve its potential. That guide also has been given the knowledge required to summon the gods back to Remnant. Ozma is brought back from death to carry out this mission, which requires him to be constantly reborn into the body of a living man. He must unite humanity in harmony then bring together four Relics to summon the gods. If they deem humanity worthy, they will restore humanity's full potential and live among them once more. If they are summoned while humanity is disunited and fractured, they will declare humanity irredeemable and destroy the entire world. As the Big Good, Ozma is locked in a Forever War with the Big Bad, who — having been cursed by the gods — is trying to make humanity irredeemable as she believes it's the only way to end her Complete Immortality.

    Web Comics 
  • In Agents of the Realm, the part is split between two beings: Jade Blackwater searches for the Agents, but its the amulets that chose them.
  • In Darths & Droids, Darth Kanata tries to offer the laser sword of destiny first to Rey because, due to her heritage, she might be the chosen one who will restore imbalance to the Force. After she refuses, she offers it to Yanni first, saying he might qualify just because he knew Luke, but changes his mind because a fresh chosen one can't be old and grey. Finally he gives it to Finn, who has absolutely no basis to be the chosen one, explaining that prophecies are rubbish anyway and someone's got to fix things.
  • In Drowtales, Ariel is chosen by Quain. As of the end of chapter 32, it appears that Chrys has been chosen by Sillice.
  • In Kill Six Billion Demons, Zoss is prophesied to pick a specific person to be his successor as, more or less, king of the multiverse. He shows he has a choice about this by choosing that person's girlfriend Allison instead, though this may only have been because his original choice is captured before he can hand over the MacGuffin. Anyway, it's pretty clear Zoss has made his choice, although there are others who continue to disagree and try to take the prophecy back on track.
  • In Rice Boy, T-O-E is the last of a group of three searchers, given a divine mandate to find and designate the Fulfiller of an ancient prophecy. The twist is that T-O-E's word is no indication that a chosen individual will actually fulfill the prophecy. One of the other searchers, Calabash, quit the job precisely because he was tired of choosing Fulfillers who go Knight Templar or mess up just as bad in some other fashion.
    And then in the final subversion, the most recently named Fulfiller, the eponymous Rice Boy, notices at the end that T-O-E himself has also fulfilled all but the final step of the prophecy. At which point T-O-E does fulfill that final step, which is a world-saving Heroic Sacrifice. So at the very end, the two characters swap roles: T-O-E becomes the Chosen One, and Rice Boy unintentionally becomes the Chooser.
  • Roommates has very few heroes because it's a small scale story and because the Chooser in it is a certifiable jerkass. The Chooser is a character known as the Scribble Person, who is the personification of the Story/Fate, so literally nobody can become a hero or defy his/her chosen (guess by whom) role without his/her consent, and (s)he loves the Rule of Drama very very very much.

    Web Original 
  • In The Gamer's Alliance, the elven cleric Schuldich Cedheros is the sole survivor of the massacre of his order and is sent by the Gods of Order to find wielders for two special enchanted weapons, Dusk and Dawn, which the chosen ones will be destined to use to fight the forces of Chaos. Schuldich manages to deliver Dusk to its intended bearer but narrowly fails with Dawn (he did find two candidates for Dawn's intended bearer but before he could figure out which of the two women were meant to have the sword, an evil goddess appeared, killed him and stole the sword right in front of the women's noses).
    • Leon also ends up in this role when he is tasked with finding the bearer of the Silver Branch whose destiny is to stop the Landpoison of Yamato and heal the wound on the earth caused by the dark god Mardük's tainted magic.
  • The Questport Chronicles: The Lord of the Supreme Council sends the eight strangers that show up at the Temple out on a quest, on the basis that if a real hero hasn't shown up by now, it's unlikely that one ever will. She takes some flak from the rest of the Supreme Council for it, but it works out.


 
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Alternative Title(s): Chooser Of The Chosen One

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Palismen Adoption

In the modern days of the Boiling Isles, witches and warlocks adopt abandoned Palismen from the Bat Queen; the students don't pick their Palismen, the Palismen choose them based on their plans for the future.

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