45 Master Characters: Mythic Models for Creating Original Characters/Heroines

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This is a summary of the Heroine archetypes from 45 Master Classes: Mythic Models for Creating Original Characters (see footnote on the index page, Master Characters). You can also find the Hero archetypes on Master Character Heroes, and several additional types on Master Support Characters.

Also listed are the villainous versions of the Heroine archetypes; the book goes into detail on how each heroic archetype can become a villainous archetype.

Compare Romance Genre Heroines.

Quick Overview

The eight Heroine archetypes are as follows:

Their villainous versions are as follows:

  • Aphrodite: The Femme Fatale
    • A cold, apathetic woman who uses sex to get what she wants from men.
  • Artemis: The Gorgon
    • A vengeful woman who can easily go into a rage when she feels threatened.
  • Athena: The Backstabber
    • This woman would do anything to get to the top, even if it meant ruining the lives or careers of her family or friends.
  • Demeter: The Overcontrolling Mother
    • A woman who butts into her children's lives. Her need to be needed is taken to extremes; she might even kidnap her children if they tried to leave her.
  • Hera: The Scorned Woman
    • She doesn't take betrayal well and expects respect from all.
  • Hestia: The Betrayer
    • The Betrayer hides under an innocent shy mask. In reality, she is manipulative and only out for herself.
  • Isis: The Destroyer
    • A steadfast woman who never sways from her life's mission, but sees things in black and white; she is a firm believer in "the ends justify the means".
  • Persephone: The Troubled Teen
    • A selfish girl who likes to indulge herself in parties, drugs, and/or sex; should she get in a pinch she expects her family or friends to bail her out and clean up the mess she leaves behind.

Character Examples

Comparing the Gender Roles

The Female and Male Messiahs

  • The book differentiates between the male and female versions of the Messiah by saying the male Messiah preaches the way of love, while the female messiah is the way love itself.

Greater Detail

I'll put in this section later.

Here list examples of stories or series that play one type off another, so we can see how they interact:

Sonic the Hedgehog

  • Blaze the Cat (an Amazon) learns about warmth and friendship from Sonic The Hedgehog (a Fool). His playful, easy-going nature melts her icy facade.
  • Amy Rose and Sonic The Hedgehog act very similarly due to their archetypes (the Maiden and the Fool, respectively) being male-female counterparts.
  • Princess Elise is a good example of the Nurturer archetype. Her concern for her country is powerful, as she is willing to give herself over to Eggman to protect them. Her entire identity seem to be her roles as a princess and as the seal of Iblis; she definitely has a lot of responsibility on her shoulders and is without time to think of herself. Upon meeting Sonic, who is of the Fool archetype, Elise is able to let go a bit and have fun. He teaches her the value of truly smiling and being free of worry. As Elise herself puts it, he makes her feel less like a princess on a pedestal and more like a person.

Princess Mononoke

  • San is gradually changed from a Gorgon (the villanous version of the Artemis archetype) into an Amazon (the heroic version) by the male Messiah Ashitaka, whose selflessness and love cause this transformation.

Princess Tutu

  • Maiden and Messiah Ahiru's ideals and actions affect the entire main cast. She manages to set in motion the character development of Rue, Fakir, and Mytho through everything she does to regain Mytho's heart and change fate.

The Legend of Zelda

  • Princess Zelda, a female Messiah, is often the motivator of Link, a male Messiah. While he carries out actions to bring change, Zelda is usually the driving force behind him.

My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic

  • Princess Celestia, a female Messiah, almost never deals with world-threatning villains directly. She rather directs her student Twilight Sparkle, a Father's Daughter, into action such as in the pilot where Celestia tricks Twilight into leaving her isolated life and make friends who help her defeat Nightmare Moon.