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Playing With / Resigned to the Call

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Basic Trope: The hero has very little excitement about accepting the Call to Adventure, but does anyway because they believe You Can't Fight Fate.

  • Straight:
    • Arnold, from a desert suburb, is called out of nowhere to become a hero on a major quest. Realizing he lives in a Doomed Hometown and that his normal life is already over, he agrees to the adventure he never really wanted.
    • Arnold's Doomed Hometown is struck without warning, and he never received the call beforehand. Arnold himself barely survives. Rather than lie forever in Wangst, he decides to join the epic quest that promises him a meaningful life, even though he never wanted adventure, at least not on the quest's terms.
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    • Arnold has been told his whole life that he's The Chosen One. In spite of his doubts, he's just come to accept that everyone expects it of him, so he tries to fulfill the role just to please them.
  • Exaggerated: Arnold and all his teammates are reluctant participants in the quest, because all of them had their hometowns hit without warning before they received the call. They end up getting volunteered into plenty of sidequests along the way, until they all become Knights in Sour Armor.
  • Downplayed: Arnold kinda wanted to finish the book he was writing in his spare time, but the Call to Adventure seems far more important so he compiles all his notes he had for the book to leave with a friend and sets off.
  • Justified: Arnold has seen what happened to his friend Bob, who refused a similar call, and how Carol withered away in meaninglessness when she Missed the Call. He's also seen Dave, who Jumped at the Call, get blown to pieces by being careless. He therefore has vowed not to make any decision regarding the Call without thinking it over first.
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  • Inverted: Arnold was Desperately Looking for a Purpose in Life, and is forced to proclaim: "The Call Put Me on Hold" when nothing happens. He takes it badly, and then inadvertently destroys his hometown himself. And the Call still rejects him! May lead to him becoming an Anti-Hero, or it may become his Start of Darkness.
  • Subverted: Arnold accepts certain parts of the call more willingly than other parts.
  • Doubly Subverted: ...and then those parts he does enjoy start coming at a price.
  • Parodied: No one enjoys the Call. Everyone goes along grudgingly. "No, please no, I like my life how it is" is the ritual statement made by everyone going out to adventure.
  • Averted: Arnold either refused or jumped at the call. He isn't Genre Savvy enough to be resigned to it.
  • Enforced: "Refusal of the Call is too much like Star Wars! And we don't want him to be naive by jumping at it either...let's have him make an informed, begrudged decision!"
  • Lampshaded:
    • "I didn't turn this life down when it came; I no longer had a reason to. Yet, I would not have chosen this life if I still had decent alternatives."
    • "Okay, the dragon's dead. Can I go home now?"
  • Invoked: "You may as well just accept it, even if you hate it. It's not like you can avoid it."
  • Exploited: The prophet knows Arnold is unwilling to accept the Call to Adventure, and so decides not to warn him about his hometown is going to attacked by monsters while he's going to go off to gather water at a distant oasis.
  • Defied: "Having a character in that kind of a situation is too deep for our target audience. And having the town doomed without warning like that is too unsettling. We're gonna have to make you change it to be more traditional monomyth, so that the audience can understand it."
  • Discussed: "After that, Arnold knew he had two options: wallow in meaninglessness forever, or accept a life he didn't want, but never had the chance to reject outright. All his distractions were eliminated preemptively."
  • Conversed:
    Bob: Oh, whatever to do? Your friends and family were all nuked while you were away, and nobody thought to tell you until now. I don't suppose you could help us out? What else are you gonna do? It's not like you can avoid it anymore! You don't have to want this; just...understand that you need it.
    Arnold: Very well. Let's get it over with, shall we?
  • Deconstructed:
    • The quest turns out to be more fun than he ever thought possible, and he can't understand why he ever was so cautious to begin with. In fact, he begins to love it a little TOO much.
    • Arnold accepts the call grudgingly, and his skepticism turns out to be right. The quest turns out to have been every bit as futile as he imagined, so he commits suicide.
  • Reconstructed: Arnold accepted the call grudgingly, but after being on his quest for a while, realized that it was as much a spiritual journey of growth as anything else. No matter how badly he fails or how much his skepticism proves to be true, he knows that no amount of failure can rob him of his new-found spiritual growth.

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