Encyclopedia of Fantasy (1997)
Heroes and Heroines

The most common protagonists of fantasy, which draws much of its mythopoeic strength from Taproot Texts in which the values of a heroic age are taken more or less for granted, and which as an escapist genre (see Escapism) derives much of its emotional appeal from the sense of identification with a strong individual. Heroes and heroines are fairly essential to High Fantasy and Heroic Fantasy. They may be, singly or severally, Avatars of Gods, Brave Little Tailors, Changelings, Childe figures, Duos, Hidden Monarchs, Knights of the Doleful Countenance, persons who Learn Better, Temporal Adventuresses or Ugly Ducklings. This list is not exhaustive. [RK]

This entry is taken from the Encyclopedia of Fantasy (1997) edited by John Clute and John Grant. It is provided as a reference and resource for users of the SF Encyclopedia, but apart from possible small corrections has not been updated.