I Wish “The Chosen One” Would Fucking Die.

Most stories where there is a “chosen one” destined to save the world/galaxy/humanity are rarely executed well. There are a few notable exceptions. There is the Elric saga, in which case “the chosen one” is destined to destroy the world as a way to keep the balance of law and chaos. There is Paul in Dune, the man who can look in the place that the women of the Bene Gesserit sisterhood cannot. In that version, Paul becomes the symbol of a bloody jihad he neither wants or can prevent.

If there is a rule about fiction it is this: The writer must tell the truth. “The Chosen One,” the one person who can fix all our problems is a lie. There is never just one person, it always takes a group of people, sometimes generations of people over time to make things better by even a small amount. A single hero who saves everyone by their very presence is just false.

Elric and Paul Atriedies teach us that lesson. Paul isn’t the answer, he’s a messianic Ghengis Khan bringing fire and steel to all of humanity. Everyone Elric loves, dies by his hand and so does the whole world as well as Elric himself.

I’m tired of the “the chosen one.” I hope we see fewer of these types of stories in the future. They’re tired, they’re predictable, they’re boring, they’re a lie.

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