Monday, August 24, 2009

Archetypal Characters in the Realm of Fantasy Part II

There are many Archetypal Characters found in the fantastical realms, we pick up the study today with characters from C through H. Obviously, not all of these characters need appear in a single story, however, they are all quite at home in the realm of fantasy. Also, this encompasses many of the roles found through fantasy, but there are additional characters and character blends that can be found as well.

Court Jester: Typically portrayed as mentally deficient, the Court Jester entertains the King by doing what comes naturally. He is often silly or the teller of jokes and riddles for the purpose of entertainment, but often find themselves the butt of more cruel jokes than they make, Court Jesters are remarkably agile and acrobatic despite their intellectual shortcomings. Many Court Jesters are talented jugglers and tumblers in addition to being unintentional comedians.

Crusty Dwarf: The Crusty Dwarf is an aging, cantankerous, manly man void of all social skills and social filters. He stands about four feet tall and lives in a subterranean city. Typically he possesses great strength, and is very knowledgeable about mining jewels, and is an accomplished warrior when times call for it. He is skillful at wielding hammers and axes in combat, and leading large armies during times of war. They’re also budding alcoholics.

Crypt Ranger: A special breed of warrior who has exiled himself to a subterranean lifestyle, the Crypt Ranger is a pale, almost specter-like, figure. In their years of exile, the Crypt Ranger has honed their survival skills and developed the ability to see in the dark in addition to whatever weapon skills they learned while living above ground.

Enchanter (Wizard): A practitioner of magic devoted to instilling otherwise commonplace items with arcane energy, an Enchanter is clever and cunning. An Enchanter’s services don’t come cheap - magic items are extremely rare and powerful, as are the Enchanters that create them.

Executioner: A big, burly, individual, the profession Executioner is possessed of great upper body strength and always has a cruel and sadistic demeanor. Most Executioners love their job - when they hear the crowd cheer, they know that the cheering is meant for them.

Gladiator: The Gladiator has been trained in the art of combat for the purpose of entertainment, they fight to the death. If they live long enough, Gladiators learn to wield several different weapons and become both strong and agile. Eventually, if they win enough fights, a Gladiator may win their freedom.

Guard: Trained to provide security for objects, buildings, or people, the Guard has a keen eye for detail and quick reflexes. Most Guards are trained in the use of at least one weapon, although some are merely accomplished brawlers. Guards can follow orders to the letter, but have great difficulty originating their own plans of action.

Guard Captain: Unlike the Guards he commands, the Guard Captain is a free-thinker in addition to being both quick and strong. Possessing the same eye for detail as his underlings and the ability to both formulate and execute a plan of action, the Guard Captain is the glue that holds a security force together – without him, guards lapse into total disarray and chaos always follows.

Highwayman: Virtually always portrayed as a thief. This archetype is your basic career criminal; Highwaymen ambush wealthy travelers and relieve them of said wealth. Usually Highwaymen have high agility and possess skill with a bow in addition to an uncanny eye for locating valuables.

Homunculus: A Homunculus is a small, impish, creature created by a practitioner of magic from their own flesh and blood, a self-aware magical creation. Intelligent and quick-witted, most Homunculi share some of their creator’s knowledge of magic. Should a Homunculus ever die, their creator suffers a temporary weakening due to the common link that they share.

Huntsman: Living on a diet of berries and wild game, the Huntsman has forsaken the bustle of the city for living off the land. Strong and agile, a Huntsman is one with the land, a skilled survivalist and accomplished bow hunter. They prefer to be left alone, but have been known to serve as guides for the military during times of war, or as accomplished hunters in the service of the King.

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Elizabeth Spann Craig said...

There were a couple of characters on your list that I wasn't familiar with, Nancy. Thanks for acquainting me with them!

Mystery Writing is Murder

Helen Ginger said...

Wow, some of these characters I'd never hear of, like Homunculus. If I were going to write fantasy, I'd need a legend of possible characters! Thanks.

(On a side note, I gave you the Kreativ Blogger Award today. You can pass it on or not, but I felt you deserved it.)

Straight From Hel

The Old Silly said...

Great list, well thought out and comprehensive. A few of them I had not thought of as classic archetypical but it certainly makes sense. Enjoyed the post!

Marvin D Wilson

N A Sharpe said...

Hi, thanks so much for stopping by!

Elizabeth - there are soooo many characters from the fantasy realm. This is definitely an incomplete list.

Helen - yeah, the Homunculus definitely has potential for countless stories but a lot of Nancy, from Realms of Thought…

people are not familiar with them.
Thank you so much for the award - you are very kind! I really appreciate it.

Marvin! I am finding my list to be ummmmm....well, lengthy to say the least. There are so many character types that appear in fantasy and so many cross-over genres now.

Thanks again everyone!

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