Help me know what to look for over at TVTropes!
February 5, 2017 1:52 PM   Subscribe

What would be the proper search term for (or examples of) this trope in media? All signs/prophecies/whatever point to Character X [usually the main character] being the special/chosen one, the person who will save the day, defeat the bad guy, whatever. HOWEVER, it turns out the real special/chosen one is someone else.

(Neville Longbottom, not Harry Potter. Tank or Trinity, not Neo.)
posted by Lucinda to Media & Arts (10 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Try searching for the examples you listed, and see if any of the tropes on that film/book page fit the bill.
posted by milk white peacock at 2:04 PM on February 5, 2017

Possibly Hero of Another Story?
posted by timetoevolve at 2:05 PM on February 5, 2017

I'd suggest Missed the Call. (I googled " not the chosen one" and then clicked a couple of things.)
posted by Wobbuffet at 2:09 PM on February 5, 2017 [1 favorite]

Decoy protaganist?
posted by pearshaped at 2:11 PM on February 5, 2017

Yep, decoy protagonist.
posted by notquitemaryann at 2:12 PM on February 5, 2017 [1 favorite]

Decoy Protagonist sounds like it to me, though I wouldn't put either Trinity or Tank in that category. Also, there's never really any doubt that HP is the actual chosen one, is there? And Neville is more like the backup chosen one, or something?

Missed the Call sounds like a good match for your Matrix examples, I think. I got the impression that Morpheus was specifically unplugging people he thought might be The One, so that would mean everyone on his crew but Neo Missed the Call.

Alternatively, you might find The Aragorn ("Supporting Leader" if you go by their boring new naming scheme) to be a good fit. Especially for your Neville example, since IIRC he had a pretty important role in the successful resolution of the story even if he wasn't actually the chosen one.
posted by tobascodagama at 2:25 PM on February 5, 2017

Isn't there a Fake Ultimate Hero one?
posted by BeeDo at 2:49 PM on February 5, 2017 [1 favorite]

I think based on your description, MultipleChoiceChosen is a good place to start. They specifically give Neville Longbottom as an example.
posted by traveler_ at 2:52 PM on February 5, 2017 [1 favorite]

I never read the full HP series, so maybe that wasn't the best example. Maybe The Matrix wasn't the best example either. Decoy Protagonist is what I think was looking for. Thanks!
posted by Lucinda at 4:05 PM on February 5, 2017

The Matrix is a good example, but it's actually Agent Smith who is the chosen one.
posted by Phssthpok at 5:03 PM on February 5, 2017

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