Tuesday, 7 February 2017

A type...

A couple of months ago, I came across a type.

The type was a literary construct called a Mary Sue.


A mary Sue is an unfeasibly perfect fictional character, usually the protagonist, that is so impossibly perfect that the author's task of providing them of finding a way out of whatever hole they found themselves in is made utterly straightforward. I found the idea after trying to re-read (via audiobook) something that I enjoyed as a teenager. In this case, a character called Stile, from a series of novels by Piers Anthony.

But I've found another type, and I don't have a Name for it.

This type is a scary bastard, that despite their scariness is utterly ineffectual.

My first identification of the type was Iain M Banks's character, "The Serotine" It appears in his novel, Feersum Endjinn, and despite ratchetting dramatic tension, it is repeatedly hapless. A punchbag whos repeated defeats allow the hero of the tale to prevail. In Banks' case it's a disembodied flayed head that shrieks unnervingly but is avoided and eventually rendered imobile and helpless, to the amusement of those it had formerly terrorised.

Star Wars' Stormtroopers also fit this mould. Scary, authoritarian figures that couldn't hit a cows arse with a banjo.


See also, JRR Tolkien's Nazgul. Undoubtedly scary. Manage to wound Frodo, but kill nobody, and their biggest and scariest is offed (by a girl) just as they're at their most scariest before they all get shunted off into oblivion by the dissolution of their boss.

Deaths by Dwarf - At least 31
Deaths by Elf - one less
Deaths by men, lots
Deaths by Nazgul - 0.5.

Well one of them might have killed a horse that them rolled over and killed a man. So let's give him some credit.
driving lessons in North Wirral? learn to drive in Hoylake? driving instructor in Birkenhead?

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