Why the Chosen One is Always the Best One

Fantasy is my all time favorite genre (argue any other way and you’re wrong) and a lot of the time urban and high fantasy alike are constantly using a certain trope and that is the Chosen One. The word trope is not used in a bad way here, actually if there was one trope I would say I could never get tired of it’s this one. It may seem boring and repetitive to some but if done well each time the book will make you fall in love with it and that is what a good book regardless  of the tropes employed is supposed  to do.

Harry Potter, easily said to be best novel of all time (said by me and is thus obviously true) structures it’s whole story around the fact of Harry being the chosen one. Although books with chosen ones and such are usually easy to predict what happens next. It doesn’t diminish how much you continue to enjoy said book. Another popular book series that employs this tactic is the Percy Jackson series, all the prophecies Percy is given are somewhat vague and hard to decipher, he is still a chosen one and the books are still a lot of fun to read.

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Authors are constantly finding ways to change it up and make it different. A Shadow Bright and Burning by Jessica Cluess is a prime example of this. The main character is thought and praised as the chosen one, yet it turns out that she actually might not be. Cluess manages to put her own spin on what some would say is an overused cliche and make it fresh and interesting.

What might be a cliche for one is considered to be great literature to me (at least when it comes to this cliche for me). This trope is one I love reading whether it be science fiction, paranormal or urban fantasy.

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Those are pretty much all my thoughts and reasons why the chosen one trope is my all time favorite.

Do you have any favorite tropes? Do you know of any good books that use this trope? Please leave a comment below.  

Happy Reading!!

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12 thoughts on “Why the Chosen One is Always the Best One

  1. I like the Chosen One trope too. A Shadow Bright and Burning sounds like Sapphire Blue by Kerstin Gier. They both have a character who is prophesied to be a chosen one but it turns out to be someone else.

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  2. I’m a fan of this trope too. I agree that, even though it’s been done a lot, it can be fresh and interesting each time if it’s done right. Plus, there’s something about the IDEA of a chosen one that appeals to us, right? Like, wouldn’t we all like to imagine that we have some special purpose that only we can fulfill?

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  3. It’s interesting to see that the Chosen One idea is still popular; I feel like an outcast now because, unlike you and all the other commenters, I’m really bored of it! I much prefer characters thrust into situations in which they just get on with it because they have to, especially if it’s a squad rather than just one special individual. That’s why my taste in fantasy runs more toward books like Six of Crows/Crooked Kingdom and Illuminae/Gemina. I also loved Patrick Ness’ The Rest of Us Just Live Here, which satirises the whole Chosen One concept. I’m glad I found this post: it’s interesting to see discussion of this whole concept.

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  4. While I’m a huge fantasy addict, I’m actually not a big fan of the Chosen One trope, myself. Don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of instances where I LOVE books that happen to use it, but I so often struggle with the idea that some random person happens to just be CHOSEN. Maybe it’s because I’ve personally latched onto the idea that, with the right motivation, just about anyone could accomplish an important task, and so it doesn’t make sense to isolate it to “just person x can complete this task.”

    That said, the examples you used are GREAT examples. And Harry’s reason for being “the one” is pretty clear and makes a lot of sense, so it never really bothered me. Percy is “the one” because he is genuinely unique in that he’s the son of Poseidon. If there’s a distinguishing factor that actually makes a specific person well-suited to a task or isolated in some way, then I think it makes a good amount of sense 🙂

    Great topic! ~ Michelle @ FaerieFits

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