Rachel's Blog: The Chosen One

Wed, 08 Aug 2007

Jane Espenson has an explanation of why certain fantasy and sci-fi stories cross into popular acceptance, and others do not.

It's a very specific type of Hero's Journey, the most potent sub-case. It's told over and over again, and it works, over and over again. Dorothy Gale, Buffy Summers, Harry Potter, Charlie Bucket, Luke Skywalker, even Peter Parker, they all fit a very specific pattern. They're living a life, sometimes a fine one, often a troubled one, but certainly one governed by ordinary rules, when suddenly the curtain is pulled back and a whole new world, or a new set of rules of this world, is revealed. And what's more - and this is the important part - in that new world, they are something special. They are The Chosen One.

It also goes a little way to explain the current popularity of YA fiction among adults. In a world where so much is going wrong, wouldn't it be great to have the opportunity, ability and belief from others that you can make a difference? Yes, please.