Story Treasury

On Noble Heritage & Evil Parents Among Other Things


Every book has it.

Almost.

Evil dads rockin’ world domination. Or Moms that died saving the world.

How many times have you read a book, and found out towards the end that the great evil leader of the Council who’s trying to tear down civilization is the protagonists Father/Mother?

Or the hero/heroine is an orphan, living in the shadow of her mother who gave her life to end the rebellion which was about to kill so many innocent people?

Okay, not even that then. BUT, how is it that 95.956% of the population in YA/fantasy have parents who are the head of the Council et cetera, and are long lost rare breeds of um…I don’t know… ‘important’ people?  😀

Don’t believe me? Here’s proof:

I must warn you: the parentage may be a spoiler, so if one of the names is from a series you are reading, don’t read ahead. *winks*

Percy Jackson – Poseidon ( Percy Jackson) So he’s a son of the Big Three…

Eragon – Selena & Brom (Inheritance Cycle) Selena was Morzan’s consort and the Black Hand.

Clary Fray – Valentine & Jocelyn ( The Mortal Instruments) You know it if you’ve read it 😉

Korra  – Tonraq (Legend of Korra) Chief of the southern Water Tribe.

Sophie Mercer – James Atherton (Hex Hall) He’s the head of the Council. I think? It’s been a while since I read the book.

Cinder – Queen Channary  (Lunar Chronicles) So that makes Linh Cinder tthe long lost Princess Selene who is supposedly dead.


 

So now every character in YA has important roots?

But let’s face the fact: I always LOVED those books. I still do.

This may have bugged me for about one month, but afterwards I realized how much I love that element. Knowing that there is something more to it. I always wanted a secret portal in the attic. Or the day my parents would tell me they were the kings and queens of Cakeland (Hey, I was eight…)

We readers read books to transport us from our own distinctly  normal life to another parallel universe. To a place where you always wanted to live. Where there’s magic. (In explanation of the last sentence, there are only two things to bribe me with, should the need ever arise – fantasy books, and CHOCOLATE :3 )

Gosh, here I am, sharing my fatal weaknesses with the world, wandering dangerously off the point.

Anywho.

This post was a mess, but I’d like to know what you think!

 Does a character having an important parent/relative annoy you, or do you like it? Does this happen way too many times in books? AND, do you think this happens way too many times in books?

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26 thoughts on “On Noble Heritage & Evil Parents Among Other Things

  1. I hadn’t noticed so much of a trend in parents, but the thing that bugs me (usually with fantasy) is when the main character has an Extra-Special Gift Chosen to Save the World on a Lonely Path and who must Sacrifice his/her life/family/friends/whatever to do so. (Long sentence. Oops.) e.g. Harry Potter, The Grisha, kind of Percy Jackson, Inheritance Cycle. Maybe Lord of the Rings. (I’m not sure of the plot. I haven’t read it yet.) The Mortal Instruments, I guess.

    Yeah. That’s basically just high fantasy. But for the parents thing, there’s also Divergent and Throne of Glass. I could probably think of some more. 🙂 I’m glad that someone else gets irritated by this kind of stuff!

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  2. I think it’s been around a long time. Think of Hercules being the son of Zeus and thousands of other mythological ‘special children’. I don’t really mind as long as it’s done well. As far as YA fiction using it most of the time, I think that works with the audience. Most teenagers want to feel special, so they’ll hook into a character that is.

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    • I think that most people like that in books, so like you said, it works – as long as the plot and characters are not flat and there is some amazing plot and writing on display. I know it, because I find myself doing this as well!

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    • It definitely makes them cooler! How often have I said the character’s name with their title/parents in dramatically elegant voices. At least, I think they’re elegant. Judging from the look on my sister’s face, not so much.
      At least, if the book is awesome and well written, it doesn’t bother me much. So I’m sort of bipolar on this. And thanks for commenting 😀

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  3. You’ll find that a number of archetypes, tropes, symbols and etc. are featured in countless books from the past and the present. I think this is because all stories have been told. The only difference is the players. For example, try to name three movies/books that feature “the chosen one” trope: Matrix, Korra, and Harry Potter. Same trope, different variations.

    This isn’t bad…it’s just the nature of story telling.

    Oh, I tagged you in a Social Media tag on my blog. I hope you can do it! 🙂

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  4. Yeah, way too often the main character has ‘special’ parents. I think I prefer that over the whole Disney killing off parents though. It doesn’t really bother me, but the whole “I am your father” thing is kind of becoming a joke. (Did you read that in Darth Vader’s voice? If you did, you’re awesome!) I think we all wanted our parents to secretly be royalty or something as a kid. I wanted mine to be magical!

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    • Yeah, it’s like the trend in books nowadays.
      Haha, Disney has a habit to do that! And I subconsciously did end up reading it in Darth Vader’s voice 😀 Is that a good thing?
      OH, I WANTED MY PARENTS TO BE MAGICAL TOO! I feel your tremendous loss. sighs unhappily Nor have they admitted that they have secret magic powers. I’m thirteen and still waiting for my letter to Hogwarts.

      But I digress.

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  5. It is a bit much but for good reason. Draco is sure Brian , Son of Tall Brian and Natlaie, Daughter of the Royal Horse Inspector are lovely people but they seem less capable of accomplishing their whatever and holding the audiences interest than Goldoriaolo, Bringer of Light and Justice who Banishes the Nefarious and Uplifts the Faith of the Faithless using the power bestowed upon them by their Parents, Lord Cabalious the Benevolent, Sender of the Last Word and Tamer of the Four Headed Horse and Lady Sombalbius, She Who Did The Final Jump and Burned a Dragon with Her Tears.

    -Comment part 1 of ?(really busy(now even more busy because it took about 5 minutes to decide whether to put very busy or not.))

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    • Anyway Draco was going to mention Kvothe from The Kingkiller Chronicles. He is probably one of the few who doesn’t have some great lineage. His parents were part of a traveling circus full of people who are a bit similar to how gypsy were.It ends up being a bit of a problem in the second book. Racists and all.

      Also the bit about being the Princess of Cakeland is fantastic. Draco also wanted to find out someone would say Draco was a wizard or Jesus MK II. That’s one reason Draco went online and found out about getting a Lordship. There are enough loopholes that most people can probably get one. Anyway one series that is similar to all this is the Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya. It’s about this girl and she is such a fan of sci-fi that she decides to tell all her peers unless you are some sort of alien, time traveler, or psychic to get lost. The problem is that she is actually a god and she just starts unleashing these people to the world but is so daft that she doesn’t notice. That gives Draco hope that maybe all of fantasy is real and the only reason Draco’s unicorn stable remains empty is sheer stupidity.

      -Comment part 2 of ?(Side-note: Was Cakeland made of cake or was that just their largest export? Was there actually no cake and it just ends in a trap? What were the neighboring kingdoms like? Were there cakeified animals or normal animals? Does the climate affect the sort of cake available?)

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      • Hmmm, I haven’t heard of the Kingkiller Chronicles. But I HAVE googled it, and it sounds really good. It’s always great to find a book/movie set aside from the common norms and trends.

        Haha, I am currently crowned Princess of Cakeland. Unfortunately, since no one was nice enough to HAND the power to me, I just took it for myself. Classic world domination and dictatorship…Don’t I just ooze niceness? MUAHAHAHAHA 😄
        Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya sounds terrific. By the way, have you watched Death Note? It’s also a great series – anime though.

        Cakeland, a fictitous land for the general population only allows those people to come an live there who have alove relationship with cakes. the entire land is composed of any kind of cakes you have imagine, with animals like sheep instead of giving wool gave cotton candy and so forth. In winters, it would snow ice-cream, which you could have with cake…

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      • You mean you returned power to rightful and righteous hands. You can’t spell “power” without “PR”. Also if you have the power you can spell “team” with “pr” if you so choose. Maybe even a “k”. When Draco’s armies dominate lands there is always one person holding flowers and we leave one person alive on their side and give them the flowers. We then send pictures to all the civilians talking about how we brought them flowers. It’s all about being polite.

        Yes both Kingkiller Chronicles and the Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya are great. If you read Haruhi though get the light novel rather than the manga as it is supposedly lower quality( Draco has only glimpsed the first volume and it looked kinda bland. The novel was great though) and if you watch it be aware the episodes are out of order in some places. Also FOX picked up Kingkiller Chronicles as a show so that’ll be a thing soon. Draco hasn’t seen Death Note but it’s on Netflix meaning that should be resolved soon.

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  6. Many things are cliche for the simple reason that it works. Love triangles are cliche, but I could tell you of multiple instances where it was done so well I didn’t even realize it was cliche 😄 I created a character once with an abusive father and a weak willed mother. I think the abusive father and heroic mother plays on gender stereotypes somewhat as well. Women can be abusive, and I’ve suffered emotional abuse from many women in my life including my mom.

    Back to the topic. I try to avoid writing cliches because I know it turns off so many people, but I’m okay reading them, lol. I know that they annoy some people, which is why I try not to write it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Cliches, I think in the end come to the writing and how well it was played out. I’m fine with ’em generally, as long as they aren’t so obvious that I’m groaning 😀
      I try not to write cliches too often, but I guess it just happens sometimes. They might make my readers run away screaming ‘Aaaah! This person writes cliches!’

      Exaggeration aside, I know it might happen cause I feel like that sometimes.It’s so annoying when when an author ruins a perfectly good story by writing a cliche, or when I’m slightly hesitant when I find out that the story’s cliched, bit it turns out to be awesome and one of the best stories I’ve ever read 😉

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  7. Pingback: Wherein I talk about New Years & why 2014 was Fabulous… | Nirvana's Pocketful

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