Posted by: CJ | May 7, 2009

Same character, different genres

I realized recently that I keep watching/reading stories with the same character with some modifications. They’re all young, brash heroes, very talented but also outcasts distrusted by authority figures, orphans, and their greatest asset is their toughness and adaptability. Furthermore, a major issue in all of these character’s lives is their gradual acceptance by their community and the authority figures. Oh, not to mention some other special powers and some sort of prophesied destiny.

But I’ve seen this character in a bunch of places recently.

  • Harry Dresden, from the Dresden Novels
  • Harry Potter
  • Naruto from the anime series Naruto
  • Wolverine

What’s with this? Is this some sort of archetypal character I haven’t really been taught before? I normally think through such things in terms of Star Wars, but I’m at a loss. They’re not Han Solo because they’re fighters, not rogues. Not to mention that they don’t have much moral ambiguity. They also aren’t Anakin because they’re not falling to the dark side.

Any thoughts?



  1. you need to read some joseph campbell, voyage of the hero-type stuff. Those are common motifs in the traditional legendary hero. In fact, Jesus and Luke Skywalker have many of those attributes. King Arthur too. (Not seeing Jesus as a fighter? don’t consider fighter in terms of physical, and do consider the pharisees…it’s there)

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