The Chosen One – How to Play the Trope in Your Fantasy Novel

The Chosen One – is the most anticipated and loved trope in the fantasy novel. Most of them have taken this trope to another level. The hype has been growing ever since especially in young adult fiction. There are multiple characters readers and love who take the responsibility to be that ONE.

Several fantasy book writing services have mentioned from time to time that this trope is one of the primary tropes in most fantasy books.  Harry Potter, The Lord of the Rings, and The Hunger Games are a few examples of it. 

However, for new authors and even experts who are trying this trope, it might be hard to tackle it. We bring you the briefest guide about how you can play the trope in your fantasy novel and leave your readers jaw-dropping. 

6 Tactics to Play the Trope in Your Fantasy Novel 

Write your untypical fantasy novel and make your readers go in awe. 

  1. Undermining Expectations 

One way to give this trope is by subverting expectations. Rather than follow the traditional story arc where the Chosen One gets through their destiny without question, consider flipping the script. Perhaps your protagonists reject their supposed fate and seek to develop their own path to challenge the very notion of destiny itself.  

For example, 

George R.R Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series Undermine the Chosen One trope by introducing multiple characters who potentially fit the role. Characters such as Jon Snow and Daenery Targaryen possess traits traditionally associated with the Chosen One. However, their journey is fraught with moral ambiguity and personal struggles that defy easy categorization.  

  1. Explore the Burden of Destiny 

Another area that you can explore is the psychological and emotional toll of being the Chosen One. Instead of portraying the protagonists as an infallible hero, you can get into the pressure and sacrifices that come with their role. It can add depth and complexity to the character and allow your readers to empathize with their struggle on the human level.   

For example, 

In J.R.R Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings, Frodo Baggins carries the burden of the One Ring which marks him as the Chosen One tasked with destroying it. Throughout his journey, the character grapples with doubt, fear, and the weight of responsibility and shows the emotional toll of his destiny.   

  1. Diversity and Inclusivity

When it comes to the fantasy novel, traditionally the Chosen One is portrayed as a white male protagonist. However, modern fantasy literature is increasingly challenging the narrow repetition by featuring protagonists from diverse backgrounds. You can also embrace this diversity as it will reflect the richness of the real world and open up new storytelling possibilities and perspectives. 

For example, 

N.K. Jemisin’s The Fifth Season introduces Essun, a black woman who lives in a world plagued by seismic cataclysms. As the story unfolds, the character discovers her latent abilities and gets with her role in shaping the fate of her world, offering readers a refreshing departure from the conventional Chosen One archetype.  

  1. Empowering Side Characters 

While the Chosen One typically takes center stage, the supporting characters play a crucial role in shaping your story and supporting the protagonist on their journey. You can empower these characters with agency, motivations, and their individual journey which allows them to contribute meaningfully to the story’s progression. 

For example, 

In Brandon Sanderson’s Mistborn series, Vin is the Chosen One who is destined to overthrow the oppressive Lord Ruler. Yet, alongside her, a diverse cast of characters, each with their own unique ability and motivation, join forces to challenge the status quo and fight for freedom.

  1. Creating Stake and Scarifies

A compelling Chosen One story needs high stakes and significant sacrifices. The protagonist should face challenges and make difficult choices that their resolve and character. You can raise the stakes and explain the consequences of failure and heightened emotional investment in the story.  

For example, 

In Victoria Aveyard’s Red Queen series, Mare Barrow faces moral dilemmas, personal sacrifices, and treacherous alliances. Her decision impacts the loved ones and the fate of nations, raising the stakes throughout the series. The author adeptly utilizes these elements to deepen the character development and drive tension in this fantasy saga.  

  1. Symbolism and Allegory 

Use the power of symbolism to infuse your Chosen One story with much deeper meaning. It can be through mystical artifacts, prophetic visions, or allegorical motifs. Symbolism enriches the storytelling and invites the readers to decipher hidden layers of significance. You can incorporate the allegory into the story and elevate the Chosen One’s journey from a mere hero’s tale to a profound exploration of universal themes. 

For example, 

The Cruel Prince series by Holly Black expertly uses symbolism and allegory to explore themes of power, politics, and identity in the world of Faerie. Through intricate world-building and character development, the series dives into the complexities of human nature and the universal quest for agency. Its rich element of allegory adds depth and resonance that captivates the readers with its storytelling. 


So, this is how you can smoothly play THE CHOSEN ONE trope in your fantasy novel and ensure that your readers get the best to go crazy over. Create a masterpiece and integrate this trope with all perfection. Don’t rush, take your time and come up with something new for your readers. 

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