Hero Archetype #6 — The Unsung Hero

I’d say we all know him, but then again… how could we?  No one sings the songs of his victories, or of his valor in the face of danger.  He’s the Unsung Hero who saves the world and then slips off into the night never to be heard from again, if he even survives to do that.

He’s the soldier who gets gunned down, his name falling into the depressing malaise on a monument wall.  He’s the good Samaritan who gives you a ride to a gas station when you’ve run out of gas. They’re the ones who fix the problem and then disappear with a silent wave and a smile.

In my opinion he’s the best type of hero.  Honestly, I think he’s the only type of heroic archetype that could be called an actual hero.  They the ones who suffer through all the pain and sacrifice, because come one, someone has to and they get none of the benefits of it.

Sure, a select few may know of his deeds, but long-term?  He’s forgotten.  His existence never known as anything more than a rumor or here say.

Getting emotional?  Are the feels getting to you?  I’ll be honest, even I felt it despite being the author of the words and, chances are, you do to.

What I love about this archetype is that it’s more of an add-on than it is a standalone archetype.  It’s a finishing touch on a painting.  The strawberry on top of the whipped cream of an ice cream sundae.

It’s added in for a little pizzazz and a little distinction for your protagonist.  The versatility of it is truly amazing and that’s what I’m here to highlight.


All of the archetypes I’ve mentioned on this site, all of the other archetypes out in the world that are to be explored.  Hell, all of the archetypes that are yet to be created.  This can be added to anything and everything and that’s what I find so wonderful about it.

It adds a poignancy and little twist to not only your character, but the plot and world you should happen to write them into.  That one little detail all by itself can add a revealing and at times redeeming quality to even the most offensive and unlikable character ever created.

Imagine what it could do for an excellently crafted one?

What I don’t think I ever mentioned on this site is that I also write screenplays.  I know, it seems like it doesn’t mix considering the writing style is so vastly different.

Honestly though, screenwriting totally helped me with my dialogue writing skills, but I digress.

Either way, one of my screenplays is titled Unsung Hero.  The protagonist James Vildrin is a soldier who saves the world and then gives up his identity to make sure that it stays running, by replacing the person in charge.

Only a handful of people know what he did.  How beautiful is that?

Not only did he save the world, but he gave up his life to preserve the world he saved.

Do you see how that changes things?

Without that sacrifice he would still be that typical unbeatable action movie protagonist, but with that sacrifice he’s so much more.

It shows a great amount of selflessness and foresight.

It shows that not only is he an amazing warrior, but he’s also an amazing person.  Someone to look up to, someone to aspire to emulate.

Someone who’s really ready to do what it takes to make a difference.

To be honest, without that I think that story would have been utterly uninteresting without that slight twist on the protagonist.

He would have been just like all the others.  Now all the others have to live up to his heroic acts.

So what do you think?  Agree?  Disagree?  Think I’m crazy?  Whatever you think, please leave your thoughts in the comments below.


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Featured Image: I own no rights, if you do own the rights and want the photo taken down let me know.

2 responses to “Hero Archetype #6 — The Unsung Hero

  1. Pingback: Serendipitous Inspiration #14 — A Suicide Mission | Vincent Alcaras -- Author·

  2. Pingback: Hero Archetype #7 — The Charmer | Vincent Alcaras -- Author·

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