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character

archetypes
What is an archetype?
How many wheels does a
car have?
How many legs does a
chair have?
Who wears a crown?
Are these answers always
true?
http://www.flickr.com/photos/catorze/1215175622/
Oxford English Dictionary
• 1.
an original model; a prototype.
Oxford English Dictionary
• 2. (in Jungian psychology) a
primitive mental image inherited
from man's earliest ancestors, and
supposed to be present in the
collective unconscious.
Carl Jung
Sigmund Freud
Oxford English Dictionary
• 3. a recurrent symbol or motif in
literature, art, etc
Disclaimer
• The ideas in this pack at based on
the work of Jung and others
• There is no official list
• There are just archetypes that I, Mr
O’Meara, think are useful
• In which game are there 72,084
different outcomes after two moves
each?
Who are these characters?

http://www.flickr.com/photos/garryknight/3405272134/
What moves can each one
do?

http://www.flickr.com/photos/garryknight/3405272134/
• In stories, there are recurring
characters.
• These can be put together in a
massive number of combinations.
• What are some common, recurring
types of characters in stories?
• What do the following characters
have in common?
Obi-Wan Kenobi
Albus Dumbledore
Dr. Henry Jones
Gandalf
Prof. Charles Xavier
Morpheus
The Old Man Wizard
• What is he like?
Old Man Wizard
• Old
• Wise
• Often male
• Introduces our hero a larger world
• Often taken out of the picture so the
hero has to act alone
Old Man Wizard
• Can we think of other examples?
Look at this character
What can we tell about him?
Hero
• Young
• Brave
• Handsome
• Naive
• Often male (but not always)
• The hero’s question: can I kill the
dragon?
Hero
• Who are some heroes like this in
film, television and novels?
How is this hero different?
The Dark Hero
• Dark
– Look
– Clothes
• Has a dangerous side
• Has a dark past
• A person of action


The Dark Hero’s Dilemma
• If the hero’s question is “Can I kill
the dragon?

• Will I do the right thing?
• Selfish vs. “joining the team”
• Can you think of three dark heroes?
Comic Sidekick
• Funny
• Loyal
• Needs saving
Who is the comic sidekick?
In the Shrek films?
In the film Cars?
The Harry Potter stories?
• What else is usually true of the comic
sidekick?
Love Interest
Love Interest
• Young
• Often female
• Attractive
• Needs to be rescued in some way
Young Woman
• Usually
– Young
– Female
– PrettyThe love interest
– Needs to be rescued
• Can you name three of these?
The child
The Child
• Innocent
• Need protecting
• Mostly actual children

• Can you think of a child character
who is actually an adult?
She is a witch, but that’s not
her real character
Mother
The Mother
• Nurturing
• Caring
• Selfless
• Beautiful but rarely sexual
• Often an actual mother
The Mother
• Can you think of three mother
characters?
This is a witch of a different
colour
The Witch
The Witch
• Old
• Ugly
• Tricky
• Female
• Destructive
• Sometimes “the step mother”
• Can be magical or not
The Witch

• Sometimes simply the female


version of the classic
destroyer
What do men like this do?
The Destroyer
The Destroyer
• Often male
• Older
• Strong
• Verbal
• Evil

• The classic bad guy
What defines these characters?
The Trickster/Deceiver
The Trickster/ Deceiver
• Underhanded
• Mischievous
• Double agent

• Can you think of an example?

• What archetypes are these
characters based on?
Anakin Skywalker
Harry Potter
Darth Maul
Indiana Jones
Lara Croft
Neo
Mrs Weasley
Professor Snape
Miss Piggy
Yoda
Chewbacca
Pippin and Merry
Forest Gump
Kermit
Buffy Summers
Han Solo
Ron Weasley
Gandalf
Frank Martin
Superman
Don Corleone
Darth Vader
Hermoine Granger
Batman
Luke Skywalker
Fozzie Bear
Sorting the Deck
• See if you can identify archetypal
characters in the following stories
Cars
Shrek
WALL-E
Finding Nemo
Matrix
Kung Fu Panda
The Incredibles
X-Men
Lord of the Rings
Batman
http://www.flickr.com/photos/bixentro/338430687/
Mix and Match
• Some characters are simple hybrids
• With these eleven archetypes you
can make 121 types of characters
• 11 simple archetypes
• 110 hybrids
Hybrids
1.Old Man Wizard
2.Hero
3.Dark Hero
4.Love Interest
5.Mother
6.Witch
7.Sidekick
8.The Destroyer
9.The Witch
10.The Deceiver
11.The Innocent

• You don’t have to use archetypes in
your stories...
• but lots of people do...
• and they are a useful way to
consider many stories
• The end

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