Musings on Fiction and Tropes

I still choose the Chosen One

I’ve been watching Wynonna Earp and thinking about the whole Chosen One trope. I love it. I know it’s a bit problematic at times (what with it’s occasional overtones of privileged saviour and the tendency to jump over plot holes) and prone to cliche and suffering from a case of the Mary Sues, but it has always spoken to me.

It must speak to others too because there’s an abundance of examples to choose from. Films like The Matrix have their Neo, and Star Wars attempted to make Anakin a chosen one (I reserve a little judgement on that one). Harry Potter is all about the Chosen One, although it plays with it in various ways. Many of my favourite TV shows centre on a chosen one – Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Once Upon A Time, Merlin, and now Wynonna Earp.

As I prepared my lists of Chosen Ones, it struck me that they all, with the possible exception of Merlin and Arthur, and maybe Luke Skywalker, are reluctant saviours. At least at first. Usually they grow into their role. Emma Swan ends up merging who she is with her role as saviour, and Wynonna Earp gets antsy if she thinks she’s being left out of the action.  Once we’re made important it’s hard to back down from that. Especially once we accept that we’re actually doing some good too. Continue reading “I still choose the Chosen One”