Monday, August 29, 2011

What exactly is a Hero?

So, what exactly is a “hero” supposed to be? I’m talking fantasy here, but this really applies to everyday life as well. A standard fantasy setup is to have some random dude, some lowlife, or beaten-down person rise up and save the world.  That is fine, and I love those kind of stories, take Rand Al’Thor: just a sheepherder from the Two Rivers, who winds up being the Dragon Reborn. It makes for a very exciting story. But that type of thing just doesn't happen in the real world very often. And even in fantasy worlds, it surely doesn't happen very often, but who wants to read about the common man in fantasy. As Zhy asks, "who wants to read a story about a town drunk?"

But heroes are not always named. Those who run this world—I mean really run the world, and make things happen—do not have CEO on their title. They carry their lunch to work in a pail, they come in and start the servers, fix the main lines, run the pumps and hoses, and go into nuclear plants and spray them down with sea water. And then they go back to their families. When they are asked “how was your day?” they reply, “it was good.”

Zhy reiterates strongly that he is NOT a hero. And events are unfolding far away that would lead one to believe that was the case. Plus, the whole adventure story kind of leads one away from the whole concept of needing a hero.  But things are starting to unfold that may require him to do more than stand there and try to recall memories from an alcoholic fog.

We are often led to believe the man character will help save the day.

Does that have to be the case?

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