Do You Feel Lucky?

(and feel free to comment! My older posts are certainly no less relevant to the burning concerns of the day.)

Wednesday, January 04, 2017

Protagonist Archetypes #3: The Girl Who Gets Fallen In Love With

One could argue that the Girl Who Gets Fallen In Love With is a weak role, not a powerful, almost most wondrous storybook archetype, as I've posited in the past in my critique, note, ode to noted actress Zooey Deschanel. People denigrate that kind of role, calling instead for a gun-totin' or sword slicin' or club bludgeonin' swashbucklerina.

These people have either read the wrong storybooks, or watched the wrong 80s and 90s and 00s reimaginings of them, or both.

Let's look at it from the flipside of the archetype: the Boy Who Gets Fallen In Love With. Don't give me this revisionist glib cynical cowardly Prince Charming stuff. I know Prince Charming. I don't know if he was valiant or not, but he's clearly a good guy, a good catch, an honorable man - rich as all fuck and cuts a damn dashing figure, besides. He is also someone who is capable of true love, as witnessed in broken spells. But I don't know if he was or wasn't courageous, in the hero-of-violence sense. Because as far as I can recall, Prince Charming never even unsheathed his sword! Not in the stories I've read. Certainly he wasn't lopping heads off with it. They just throw all that trash in there these days to pump up the junk-candy adrenaline rush, and fill out a cinematic amount of time. All distracting from the real magic of the story - the only kind of magic that sometimes comes true.

Storybooks are for children, some say. But the power they have is witnessed in the dreams they instill, which mature and endure far beyond childhood as some of the biggest and most wished-for, important gifts adulthood could bring or want. Things that the rest of life needs, for the "happily" to feel right, and fit. The power of these stories isn't founded in some laughable theory of early indoctrination and brainwashing. The themes put into these tales are simply the most powerful themes, the most powerful needs and wants that their storytellers knew. These stories were not written by children, but by grown men and women who knew what magic was possible to life. Powerful, powerful stuff.

The love of these stories is a true thing: not a false, not a lie - but never is it promised, never guaranteed. Never deserved. One can only hope for luck and fate to open a crack, and when the chance comes, it must be dared! You must seize that chance with pluck and audacious good graces. True love is not deserved, but it can be earned. The mere chance of that is rightly called fantastic.

These storytellers put in all of the highest magic of real life that they could. The most powerful adult roles are not soldiers, but lovers.

And as in fiction: so in truth. The most magical and beautiful and amazing of roles is to be the one who gets to fall in love. You who believe that's a weak role: you only think you grew up.

In actual fact, you don't even know which way.

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