Heroes of Circumstance

As we continue our discussion this week about Heroes, we are going to focus on heroes of circumstance. These are the heros that did not set out to be heroes, they just happened to be heroes by chance happenings. If you want a perfect examples of this look at the Children in the Narnia series, Frodo in the Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter in the Harry Potter Series. Other than them all being all fantasy characters/series them becoming heroes happened by circumstance.

When the older children come to Narnia, they want just want to go back in the wardrobe and forget that they even came to Narnia. They don’t want to get involved in helping the people/animals of Narnia against the White Queen, they would rather just go back. It’s not until that they see the effects that the White Queen is doing that become involved in the war against the Queen.

Now lets look at Frodo. He was left with the ring and had to be the one to deliver the ring to Rivendale. Along the way he gets attacked and further more he has a goal when he finds out about the ring and how evil it is, and that is to get it out of the Shire. Furthermore, he volunteers to take the ring to Mordor so that it can be destroyed. In case he is given the burden that he should not have had to bear from his uncle, who had the ring for many years. Did he chose to be left with the burden? No, but when his uncle leaves him with the ring, he has no other choice than to take care of it so that he can his friends could save the Shire, and save the Shire they did.

Harry Potter is long the same lines in that he did not choose that he would have face the Dark Lord, Voldemort, multiple times or that he would have to save Hogwarts more than once. He also did not chose that he would have a lighting bolt scar on his forehead. He makes it very clear past the first couple of books that he did not ask for anything that was happening to him like the fame, or having to deal with Voldemort. Furthermore, he did not want to take care of the other artifacts that Voldemort split his soul into, but when Dumbledore was killed, Harry was left to destroy them so that he could bring down Voldemort and in the end save Hogwarts.

Did any of these heroes ask for their fates to be handed to them? The answer is no, but they chose to carry the burden for a higher purpose than their own. These the characters that we really hoped would survive until the end of the book so that we can see them get their happy endings. However, these heroes, much like the heroes that we route for are changed forever. I would say that in the examples listed above the one that is changed  the most throughout the course of the story is Frodo. Frodo has to deal with the pain from the scar that he received while he was attacked, he is the one that changed while having the ring in his possession and he was damaged by it. He is one that chose to leave Middle Earth on his own accord, for he knew that he was never going to get better and he reached his goal of saving the Shire.

Tomorrow, as we continue to talk about heroes, we will talk about the hero that loses his/her way.

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