When we think of a Protagonist, the standard type that comes to mind is the underdog, maybe a young character who goes on a difficult journey and learns some lessons and faces many challenges, or a capable person who gets in way over their head in some kind of intriguing trouble and has to struggle their way out of it.
Certain kinds of stories or series, no matter what the medium, are suited to the lone Protagonist. A detective, or a wandering barbarian, or innocent fugitive, or martial artist, or husky dog.
Other times, it's preferable to have a duo to talk to each other, disagree, and tackle their problems from their unique points of view, with skills that complement each other. Even larger ensembles increase the possibilities into endless variations of relationships, and have advantages including the possibility of some of the heroes dying, creating suspense and tension.
But it can get different than this - it's possible for a series (of books or comics or TV shows or whatever) to have the WORLD be the Protagonist or main character. This is where the environment itself is the recurring element between chapters, or books, but the characters can come and go freely. You might see a character/group focused on heavily for one story, and whether they die or not, they can just go out of focus, never to be seen again even though the series continues. It's the larger environment that is the main character.
I believe Discworld is one of these types, though I haven't read it. Thieves' World as well. I guess having the word “world” as part of the title is sometimes a giveaway. We've got them here on The Duck as well, with Genejoke's BASO and El Cid's Transneptunian.
Finallly, the Anthology-type series is completely different stories with completely different characters who are seen once and never again. In this case, it can be the THEME that is the main character. So it has no recurring characters or even a recurring environment, necessarily, but it's about the Military. Or it's Horror stories. Or supernatural stories with a twist or a moral. Love, Death and Robots is an example of a theme-as-main character series on Netflix.
So that's what I was pondering today anyway.
Have a good one!
Banes at 12:00AM, June 10, 2021
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