Jan. 26th, 2017

potentiality_26: (doctor who)
What's a fictional trope/cliche/character type you can't stand? (from [livejournal.com profile] whimsicalnixie)

I really dislike the character type- mainly found in sci-fi and fantasy genres- that has really cool powers or the opportunity to go an awesome adventure, and spends all their time whining about how they just want to be a normal person who does normal things.

It can be effective, of course (for instance, in early Supernatural Sam's decision to leave hunting to live a normal life made a really interesting contrast to his brother, and Buffy the Vampire Slayer did a really good job of selling how hard her life was, making it easier to understand why she might wish she could have regular teenage worries instead) and I'm not saying that on a case by case basis it doesn't work- I'm talking about it as a basic trope that writers pull out time and time again in the genre- and as a trope I really dislike it.  I don't know why they think fans of what is essentially escapist fiction would find a protagonist like that compelling.

Like, I'd be a wizard if I could.  I'd travel with the doctor if I could.  At least a little part of most nerds want to do these things and like to imagine that they'd be awesome at it and have a great time, and watching someone who actually can do magic or whatever conclude that it's much more important to just go to work tomorrow instead is sort of painful.

Again, it's obviously a trope that works in some situations, but I've quit reading books because of it in the past, so I'd say it qualifies as something I can't stand.
  

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