The Apprentice (trope)
A character who is In Training for something, usually under some kind of Mentor. Since they're still just learning, they are usually not very good, but if the show is long enough, they'll improve at least a little. Unless they're a Butt Monkey. If they're in a movie, they'll improve after a Training Montage. Sometimes have a chance of falling and becoming a villain, sometimes The Dragon or even the Big Bad, and that usually causes Redemption Equals Death.
And, of course, the life goal of some apprentices is to To Be a Master.
For the TV Show, go here.
- Doremi and her friends from Ojamajo Doremi.
- Sugar from A Little Snow Fairy Sugar.
- Schierke and Flora
- Shi Woon to Chun Woo in The Breaker
- Akari, Aika and Alice from Aria
- Mana to Mahad in Yu-Gi-Oh!
- Kenichi. Take a guess on how much a teenager can learn about martial arts in 39 volumes and counting.
- Yahiko in Rurouni Kenshin. He does progress, although rather slowly over the course of the many volumes of the manga and accompanying TV series. At the beginning of the series, Yahiko is most useful to the heroes as a thrown weapon (it happens). At the end of the series he has become a master swordsman in his own right.
Comic Books[edit | hide]
- Every Robin ever. Unless, of course, it's in their own comic book or until they graduate to something else (Nightwing, dead, Red Robin, Batgirl...)
- Padawans about in Star Wars. Obi-Wan Kenobi in Star Wars Episode I, Anakin in Episode II., and Luke in Episode IV and Episode V
- Mickey Mouse as the Sorcerer's Apprentice in Disney's Fantasia.
- And again within the Wizards of Mickey comic, though to a different sorcerer
- Brutally subverted in Training Day: the apprentice of the piece is being set up by Denzel Washington's mentor.
- Dave Stutler in The Sorcerers Apprentice
- Mitch in Waiting, who remains the Butt Monkey up until the final Rant-Inducing Slight.
- The Famulus (Latin for 'apprentice') in the silent movie The Golem, part of a Sorcerer's Apprentice Plot.
Literature[edit | hide]
- Skeeve in the Myth Adventures series.
- Merrin from the Septimus Heap series.
- Ged becomes the apprentice of the mage Ogion in A Wizard of Earthsea, the first novel in Ursula K. Le Guin's Earthsea Trilogy.
- Taran Wanderer, book 4 in Lloyd Alexander's Prydain Chronicles. Taran briefly becomes the apprentice of three different crafters.
- The Ranger's Apprentice series.
- Molly Carpenter in The Dresden Files. She's got talent in the finer details of magic, and like her mentor seems to have a talent for blowing things up.
- Elena in The Fairy Godmother by Mercedes Lackey ends up apprenticed to, well, a fairy godmother. Comparatively little of the book is actually devoted to her apprenticeship, however; the plot doesn't really kick in until the job has officially been handed over to her.
- Jonathon Strange & Mr Norrell begins with the eponymous Strange wishing to learn under the tutelage of the eponymous Norrell.
- The obligitory Discworld examples: Mort in Mort and Tiffany in her subseries. Would-be Assassin Jocasta Wiggs in Night Watch.
- Katherine in The Privilege of the Sword, and possibly Michael Godwin as well.
- In The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follet, Alfred and Jack later on are Mason apprentices under Tom Builder
- Jamie ends up as an apprentice in the Clown Division of The Pilo Family Circus. Because of the mishaps that beset the clowns, he doesn't get to perform much, but he still ends up better off than the previous apprentice...
- Corbie becomes apprenticed to Felix Harrowgate in Doctrine of Labyrinths. It does good things for him.
- Shan is kidnapped into his apprenticeship in Chronicles of Magravandias.
- The protagonist of the Rivers of London series of books, Inspector Peter Grant, is a fully qualified policeman as of the first book, but also an apprentice wizard indentured to Detective Chief Inspector Nightingale. There used to be a Wizarding School but the birthrate of people who could use magic dropped making it unsustainable that and most of the people who would've been able to teach magic were killed during World War II.
- Asumu in Kamen Rider Hibiki. He doesn't get the chance to be a Rider himself until Kamen Rider Decade: when the Decade crew visit the altered Hibiki world, that world's Asumu becomes a Legacy Character.
- Shintaro Gotou in Kamen Rider OOO becomes one to Akira Date/Kamen Rider Birth, eventually using a second Birth Buster to back Date up. Differs from the Movie War Core continuity, where Date does not appear and Gotou becomes Birth.
Tabletop RPG[edit | hide]
- In early editions of Dungeons & Dragons it was customary for mages/wizards to learn by becoming apprentices of established mages/wizards. A number of wizard/apprentice relationships appeared in the Forgotten Realms setting. For example, Elminster has had many apprentices over his long life span (hundreds of years).
- In Warhammer 40,000 Interrogators are apprentices to Inquisitors. They are slightly more experienced than is usual for the trope; by the time you are even considered for the rank of Interrogator you have probably been serving as a Throne Agent for several decades.
Video Games[edit | hide]
- In the Devil Summoner: Raidou Kuzunoha games, Raidou is an apprentice detective (who does nearly all the actual detecting because the detective he's supposed to be learning from is really lazy).
- Luke from the Professor Layton series, though interestingly, Luke claims to be his apprentice, and Layton denies it (while letting Luke follow him around and teaching him things).
- Starkiller from The Force Unleashed, to the extent that Everyone Calls Him The Apprentice.
- MARIA, the Apprentice Witch of Origins.
- The apprentice warmage from Orcs Must Die.
- In The Incredibles, Buddy is a perfect example of the Apprentice becoming the Big Bad. He idolizes Mr. Incredible and attempts to force his way into a role as his sidekick. When he is spurned by the hero, he becomes bitter and attempts to play a hero by causing catastrophes that only he can fix.
- Spoofed by Trey Parker and Matt Stone in South Park and Team America: World Police
If you wanna, in one day, go;
from a beginner, to a pro;
You need a plan; but more than that--
You need a MONTAGE!
- The title character of Chowder is one of these to Mung Daal; other child characters are apprenticed to other chefs.