Story characters carry out specific literary functions. Familiarity with the key types of heroes result in captivating and dynamic characters.

In any given work of fiction there are specific character types that appear time and time again. The team of character types put together in any particular work usually depends on genre and depth of the work as well as the author’s style.

This post will focus on the many types of heroes and how they are used in particular genres.

Hero of Chivalry : The Knight

The first hero to be discussed belongs in tales of legend. The Knight is traditionally seen taking on dangerous quests to fulfill his goals. These usually include but are not limited to bringing glory to his King, saving the Kingdom, protecting the Princess or slaying a monster.

His goal is to fulfill whatever quest has been laid in front of him . The Knight fears nothing but weakness in himself and will always put himself in the line of fire with the belief that he must destroy anything that threatens those important to him.

Hero of Destiny : The Chosen One

This particular usually has his destiny explained to him after a prolonged and surprisingly sudden battle with the Villain. He will often have little to no training at first, needing a guardian or protector to teach him the ways of battle.

Examples of Hero’s who fit under this archetype are Neo from The Matrix, the title character of Harry Potter and John Connor from the Terminator franchise.

Hero of Luck : The Comedic Hero

This type of hero usually achieves his goals through blind luck or coincidences. This character is usually less than dependable at the best of times and often needs to rely on a competent team, partner or even more incompetent villain to help him achieve his goals.

The comedic hero begins the work in ‘trainee’ status. When an unavoidable situation arises, it leaves him the only available person to combat the villain.

Examples of Comedic heroes include the title character of Paul Blart: Mall Cop, Maxwell Smart from Get Smart and the team of Reno Sherriff’s Department officers from Reno 911.

Hero of the New World : The Anti Hero

Changes in audience mindsets have caused a change in the way heroes are portrayed in fictional works. The old type of heroes who are sincerely good haven’t survived.

The answer was the creation of the anti hero. He exists with the similar goal of defeating the villain, but he is prone to being a little dark and is likely to have questionable morals. This type of hero has an honourable goal, but he is usually prepared to perform immoral deeds to achieve it.

An example of an anti hero who is light on the ‘sliding scale’ is Han Solo from Star Wars. On the opposite end of the scale is Clyde Shelton, Gerard Butler’s character from Law Abiding Citizen. Endor in Endor’s Game.Pinned Image