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How do you feel about a 'Chosen One'?

Discussion in 'Writing Discussions' started by C. A. Stanley, Apr 21, 2017.

  1. pmmg

    pmmg Auror

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    Well, It does seem you have a strong conviction about chosen ones. I do not think I agree, but I don't know that its all that important that I do. I would point all this back to my original post on the chosen one. They are all chosen ones. If you really feel strongly about it, sounds like a good place to put a story.

    Anyway...I will suggest a number of things.

    1) I think there can be times when someone is more important than another in terms of events. And I think it might matter depending on how it came about or who said it.
    2) I am not sure that prophecy and chosen one have to be paired, a prophecy could be wrong or non-existent, and someone could still fulfill the role of a chosen one. Isn't it usually the case that a prophecy is believed one way and is twisted at the end to something unexpected, yet still fulfilled?
    3) I am not sure it is exactly hubris to be the chosen one, to know it, and then to say it. (In fact, I think chosen one stories often have characters reluctant to admit it, or accept the role).

    I think only in a certain pool of contexts does it does it amount to what you are saying, they are undeserved and discounting of others around them.

    I could see a character doing just as you say, if this is all preordained, than what does my role matter? Sounds like its all about to unfold just as things have been written. but then, I can see people reacting a lot of different ways. One can find themselves with the chosen one, and still find their role essential.
     
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2019
  2. Now that I think about it, the Tales Of games deconstruct a lot of things.
     
  3. Annoyingkid

    Annoyingkid Banned

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    I don't get time to play games now that I'm writing. But do they get into the deterministic nature of the Chosen one?

    It's an argument that a future event is determined, and that any actions you take feed into that determination.

    If that's the case then the chosen one lying back and doing nothing is equally valid a choice as trying to win. So if someone genuinely believes they're a chosen one, why try? Why not take the path of least resistance and let destiny take care of the rest?

    Doing so is cognitive dissonance. A chosen one is a foretelling. Without deterministic prophecy, the chosen one is just a mundane title no different to any other.

    Wouldn't you be insulted if you were told your actions only feed into the chosen one's destiny, regardless of what they are?
     
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2019
  4. In Tales of Symphonia, the Chosen One Colette has massive self esteem issues from having the weight of the world on her shoulders, and constantly cares about everyone else at the expense of her own needs. It also isn't a given that the heroes will win; in fact, the main villain actually succeeds in his plan and comes a hairsbreadth away from destroying two worlds in a 'I don't care about anything anymore' move, and if the heroes hadn't challenged him, and instead done nothing, the villain would have won.
     
  5. pmmg

    pmmg Auror

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    Well.... For example...

    Suppose the prophecy was only that the chosen one and the evil god would fight it out. But the outcome is in doubt... Young chosen could choose to sit on his arse and play video games and eat cheetos, and big baddie will still show up and have it out with him, but that would not really prepare him for the contest (less, maybe it was a video game contest). He needs the trials of doing to be capable of winning. The path of least resistance is not axiomatically the wisest course.

    Suppose young chosen is destined to go to bad guys land, and fight him there...but bad guy is about destroying everything he loves. Maybe he might be motivated to make that happen sooner rather than later...and he wants to win, cause of that killing all he loves thing, so....he better get training.
     
  6. In Tales of the Abyss, the main theme of the game is fate vs free will, and takes place in a world that's utterly directed by prophecies [called the Score], so much so that people revolve their entire lives around it, going so far as to not do laundry if the Score says it will rain. It also examines clones, and how being a clone and having a clone would realistically effect both you and the people around you.

    The main villain wants to destroy the prophecies, although the full details of his plan are hazy on my part because I still haven't played through the whole game, though I do know all the spoilers [thanks for that, internet].
     
  7. pmmg

    pmmg Auror

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    Um...I am not sure that it must be deterministic.

    A deity appears before a shepherd and commands him to travel to a far land and deliver his message. Has not the shepherd been 'chosen'? Is he not unique amongst humanity at that point? Nothing is determined, he has just been selected and no outcome is known. Adventure ensues.

    I think you are trying to define this term into a very narrow form. Narrowing things down is important, it helps put our thoughts into a row, but we can expand from there.
     
  8. Annoyingkid

    Annoyingkid Banned

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    But the chosen one still came through, right? If Colette chose to do nothing at all, would she no longer be the Chosen One, or would fate align itself to still ensure she is the chosen one? It must be one or the other. If the former, then the title is meaningless, and it's her actions that make her fate just like anybody else. If it's the latter, then the characters lose their agency. Either way, the Chosen One would be a problematic, and I argue disrespectful claim.

    If the chosen one refused to fight at all, then they can't die if the prophecy is true, because they are prophecised to fight the evil god at some point.
     
  9. I'm sorry, then, for entering the discussion, and bringing the games up, My apologies.
     
  10. Annoyingkid

    Annoyingkid Banned

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    He's been chosen, but the chosen "one" can't be something anybody can do, right? If that's the case then everyone's a chosen one, right? Everyone's been chosen to do something at some point.
     
  11. Annoyingkid

    Annoyingkid Banned

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    Disrespectful to the other characters, not to me.
     
  12. pmmg

    pmmg Auror

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    Suppose shepherd goes to his friend and say, hey, I was just chosen to go to a far land and say things that will get me killed. His friend might say, well then I better go with you cause its dangerous. That does not feel disrespectful to me.

    Think I am going to give it up from here. I have a class to do, and home work does not do itself (and I am behind :~()) You have good points AnnoyingKid, but I think you are defining to narrowly.

    For the question above, I would point you back to where I said I don't think Prophecies and Chosen ones must necessarily be paired. And even if they must be, the young chosen cannot take as a given that the prophecy is true or will unfold the way he thinks. Anyway... Why discuss with me...put in a story. That's the goal anyway.
     
  13. As it turns out, TV Tropes has a slightly better description of Tales of the Abyss' prophecy thing:

    <Tales of the Abyss has the existence of the Score, a telling of fate lasting thousands of years, and whether or not the heroes decide to fight it or go along with it. It deconstructs the trope because it shows what the world would be like if everyone had a constant and regular link to "Destiny". They consult it for everything, from who they marry to what they eat for dinner. This leads to it becoming a Self-Fulfilling Prophecy because the people blindly act according to what the Score has told them to do. A single organization has a monopoly on reading the Score and as a result it is the most powerful organization in the world. (whether it is corrupt or saintly depends on which authority figure you're talking to).>
     
  14. and here's the description for Colette being the Chosen One.

    <Colette Brunel from Tales of Symphonia is the chosen one, although she's not the main character and has been fully aware of her status as the chosen one her whole life, it being due to her genetics. This is also a deconstruction. It is revealed that there are entire families containing the chosen bloodline spread across the world, any member of whom can be proclaimed the chosen one by the Powers That Be whenever required. And then of course it turns out what the Chosen is chosen for — to be the vessel for the resurrection of the "goddess" Martel — and by "goddess" we mean "Big Bad's dead sister".>

    Maybe I'll actually complete both Tales of Symphonia and Tales of the Abyss one day. They are awesome games through and through.

    Sorry that I wasn't too good at explaining it all. In my defense, it has been a long time since I played either game.
     
  15. Gray-Hand

    Gray-Hand Minstrel

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    It’s not hard to write a prophecy for a Chosen One that still leaves the outcome uncertain:

    ‘The Chosen One will kill the Dark Lord in battle and rule the kingdom with justice and wisdom’ tells the reader how the story will end.

    On the other hand: ‘The Chosen One will confront the Dark Lord and the New Age will begin’ could mean a lot of things.

    The Chosen One could kill the Dark Lord and become a great king and everyone lives happily ever after. The Chosen One could die and the Dark Lord conquers the whole world. The Chosen One and the Dark Lord could both die, but things get better for everyone else. The Chosen One could join forces with the Dark Lord. The Chosen One could make the Dark Lord see the error of his ways and convince him to alter his conduct. Lots of things.

    Another option is to have other prophecies in the story turn out to be false, or accurate, but in a different way to what was expected, in order to create doubt in the mind of the character and the reader.
     
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