• Katrine Gaarde Vahlberg
4. semester, Engelsk, Kandidat (Kandidatuddannelse)
The hero is at the center of the arena of storytelling. This is especially true for the fantasy genre, which has derived from the myth and the Epic. The hero cannot make it through their journey on their own, however, and is often joined by a helper or sidekick. The purpose of this thesis is to analyze and discuss the role of the sidekick and hero from an archetypal vantage point. I will examine how these roles have changed, using the Farseer trilogy (1995-1997) by Robin Hobb as a turning point to new interpretations of the hero and the sidekick.
I will first contextualize the fantasy genre in its many-faceted form, by using Brian Attebery, John Clute, and Farah Mendlesohn. With this in mind, I will then use Lord Raglan and Otto Rank in order to define the hero archetype as well as Joseph Campbell’s Hero’s Journey to provide another perspective on the myth’s hero. Using these definitions, I will analyze the two characters FitzChivalry and Verity from the Farseer trilogy as heroes. Following this, I will discuss their roles as well as define FitzChivalry as a sidekick using the definition of Ann Cameron and Ron Buchanan. The discussion of Verity and FitzChivalry as heroes in relation to both Rank and Raglan as well as Campbell will include a discussion of FitzChivalry as a sidekick. I will discuss how he both conforms and deviates from the hero archetype and the sidekick role. Instead of performing one role, Hobb creates a new dynamic and role for FitzChivalry wherein he is both a sidekick and a hero.
On the background of FitzChivalry as a dynamic sidekick-hero, I will use Kristian Frisk to put a sociological perspective on the representation of the hero and how it has changed since the 1950s and the publishing of Rank, Raglan, and Campbell’s theories. I have found that FitzChivalry as a dynamic sidekick-hero role mirrors a changing perspective of the hero, and opened up a new type of hero within the fantasy genre. Hobb has created a sidekick-hero with FitzChivalry, which mirrors the perspective of heroic actions mattering more than the birthright of being marked for greatness. Christopher Voegler’s definition of the self-sacrificial hero has a higher impact than that of the hero archetype, though it has not disappeared from the fantasy genre. FitzChivalry is with his sidekick-hero dynamic thus a turning point between the hero archetype and the self-sacrificial hero.
ID: 496655375