Monday, April 1, 2013

Inspirational Monday! Trickster Archetype

The first Monday of every month is Inspirational Monday. Share something that inspires you so the rest can be inspired too.

This month is the Trickster Archetype. It is a universal figure in mythology that serves to explain why certain things are the way they are and/or to teach lessons by its behavior.  They range from the Norse Loki to the Greek Hermes to the African Anasazi and the American Indian Coyote. I loved reading about these guys when I was a teenager, so, in honor of April Fool's Day, I decided to talk about tricksters.

Tricksters are the ones that shake things up, teach human new things, and always good for a laugh; at their expense or someone else's.  They can be heroes that instigate plots (thereby averting Villains Act Heroes React) villains with the intelligence to drive complex plots, or a wild card that can be both and neither at the same time.

Loki is responsible for many misadventures in Norse Mythology, such as when he cut off Sif's hair as a prank which ultimately makes him responsible for the creation of Thor's hammer. He's also responsible for Ragnarok by getting Baldur killed and preventing his Resurrection. Likewise, Q from Star Trek is a modern incarnation of this archetype. He is either testing Picard's crew, having fun at their expense, or both at the same time.  Neither of these characters are straight up villains and that's why I like using trickster-ish characters in my work; they're so diverse.

I don't have to go for a squeaky clean hero or a dark and gritty anti-hero but the mischievous guile hero. From the darkly humorous and cowardly to trickster mentor and the prankster, tricksters are all over the morality scale.  In A Mage's Power, Tasio existed long before Eric, and looking back, I wish molded Eric's initial personality to be more like Tasio's instead of an archetypal loser. Before I discovered TvTropes, I didn't know how common (and annoying!) those were.

The most recent trickster character I've seen goes by the name of 'Discord', who is played by the same man as Q. I've watched videos of the two of them for inspiration.

No comments:

Post a Comment