There he is. The perfect hero. There was of a prophecy of his coming. He was born to save the world. He may have grown up an average person, but when he becomes a teenager he learns of his destiny. With the help of a gruff master and quirky sidekick, he becomes adept at all hero techniques inside of a week: Sword fighting, strategy, being able to experience traumatic events without any lasting damage to his charming personality. He will fight. Win. He is...The Chosen One.
He's also boring. Fortunately for the millions of writers who use the Chosen One trope, this is absolutely fixable. The Chosen One is like a cracker. Bland on its own, but the perfect vehicle for something amazing. Like cheese. Or salmon. Or Nutella. Or hummus.
I'm hungry right now, in case you couldn't tell.
Now, I'm sure you all are brilliant writers, so you've put clever twists on this cliche. Hopefully. But I have some twists here in my brain that you may not have heard of. I can safely assume this because they are the product of my very tired, very hungry, very stressed, oh-my-gosh-I-forgot-I-have-a-blog-post-due brain. Which means that these ideas come to you unedited, stream-of-concsiousness style. Prepare yourself. Here are 7 lesser-known, improved versions of the Chosen One.
2. The Self-Appointed Savior. If you want something done right, you have to do it yourself. Which is why she's decided she's going to be the Chosen One. Okay, so maybe the prophecy was about somebody else. But they're doing a pretty inefficient job. Move over.
3. The Eager-To-Please Chosen One. Okay, so, maybe he's not very good at saving the world. He tends to make everything a lot worse every time he breathes. But people seem to believe that he can do it and he really, really doesn't want to let them down. So stand back everyone, because Carl's going to fix this. Just wait a second while he tapes together his glasses.
4. The Unbeliever. Pffft. Chosen One. That's all a lot of tricks and nonsense. She's a realist. She believes in what she can see, not that weird shaman that showed up on her doorstep the other day. But things start changing around her. Like that guy who saw her birthmark and started babbling about dark lords. Or the soldiers who keep trying to arrest her. She leaves her village to escape from all of these delusional people, but the delusion just seems to follow her. Pushing her. Before she knows it, she has a sword that glows. And apparently she has an arch-nemesis now, who doesn't seem to believe her when she says that she doesn't buy into in all this conspiracy crap. Nope. Arch Nemesis is out to kill her, so maybe it's time to start defending herself with these new magic powers that are probably just some really intricate illusions.
5. The Infiltrator. When the prophecy surfaces, the tyrant knows just what to do. He understands that marching into a person's house to kill their Chosen One Baby is a terrible idea. There's an entire series on why that doesn't work. The natural thing to do is to do is to win the Chosen One onto his side. So he moves in next door (undercover, of course) and helps raise the Chosen One into someone intelligent. Talented. Selfish. Somebody who, with the proper bribing, will pretend to do the duties of the Chosen One while secretly letting the tyrant succeed.
6. The Grandmother. Teenaged chosen ones can be inexperienced. Whiney. Lacking necessary skillsets. The Chosen One Chooser (because yes, that is absolutely a term) decides to gift the title of Chosen One to somebody more qualified: Grandma. She's been around. She knows things. Like how love triangles are a distraction, how nobody wants to hear you whine. She's fed up with Bad Guy's attitude. He clearly never listened to his mother. Armed with knitting needles and a plate of cookies, Grandma is off to give this young man a talking to.
7. The Irresponsible One. He's been trained since a child. Had every necessary Hero skill pounded into his head since birth all because of that lady prophet who showed up on the king's doorstep. He spends twenty years preparing and completely missed out on his childhood. Then, just as he's about to depart to kill the bad guy, some star-readers show up out of the blue. That prophet that told him he was the Chosen One? She's actually the real chosen one and the only one who can save the world. She just didn't want the job. She's been out having a grand time while he's been slaving away. Sorry.
Personally, I'd like to see these Chosen Ones much more than the usual cliche type. What do you think? Which of these is your favorite? If you've ever seen them used before, please let me know. That is a story I must read. Also, if you have any twists on the Chosen One that you'd like to add, please leave a comment below!
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