Wednesday, January 4, 2012

#5 - Chester

Chester is not a dashing heroic knight in shining armor. He is a goofy and fun-loving entertainer. He spends his days traveling and telling tales to the locals. He acts out plays as one-man shows. He sings and dances. He brings joy to all he meets. His older brother thinks he is a fool who wastes his time. Their father loves both of his sons, but doesn't expect much from Chester. That's fine by him though. A lot less pressure if he doesn't have great expectations to live up to. Chester collects tales to share and creates his own adventures through those stories.
And it is this natural joy for the simple things in life that draws Scarlet to Chester. She sees him entertaining a group of children and he is unlike any of the suitors who have been vying for her affection. The two meet and are connected by their mutual love for fairy tales and fanciful journeys.

This sort of free spirit is the kind of character I always liked. The love interest in most fairy tales is the dashing and handsome Prince Charming. But what do we really know about Snow White's or Cinderella's prince? We know they're good looking, and... um... rich... and live in nice castles. That's pretty sweet, I guess, if you're into that sorta thing. But what else?... Nothing. They're boooooring. Prince Phillip is pretty cool. He goes against his father's wishes and follows his heart to Sleeping Beauty. There's a little more to him. At least he has a name. Beast is a great character. He's got a whole lot going on. He's got history and dreams. He's a full fledged character, not just a plot device.
I've always liked the less than smooth heroes - the ones who don't have all the training and riches to be the knight in shining armor. Aladdin lets his larger than life dreams take him on a journey way out of his comfort zone, but his guts keep him going with the flow. He takes it all on with a smile on his face - "...wish me happy landing. All I gotta do is jump!" Westley, a farmboy kidnapped by pirates, becomes the famed Dread Pirate Roberts and saves his love from the odious Prince Humperdinck - "Why'd you say that name? You promised me you would never say that name!" Tristan Thorn promises his crush he'll get a fallen star for her and ends up in a world of flying lightning thief pirates, witches, and ghostly dead brothers. Hiccup is considered a screw-up, but he shows the whole village that brains can trump brawn.
None of these young men were ready for their adventures, but they became the heroes of their tales. They didn't have the training or the know-how, but they had it in them to be great - everyone has it in them to be great. Chester shares this message in his song "Where A Hero Gets Their Start":

"Heroes are made of more than muscle.
Heroes are made of stuff of the heart.
All that good stuff that you got inside,
that's where a hero gets their start.
Forget the stories of knights in steel,
I know a tailor who won the day.
Heroes are made of giant hearts..."

It's easier - and more fun - to relate to the everyman characters than it is to the dashing, rich ones. Flynn Rider the thief; young Wart, the once and future king; Frodo and Bilbo Baggins are the unlikely heroes of their tales, and they were just little guys (though Aragorn, while a king, is still a pretty bad ass hero... He wasn't really a king though. Boromir is more along the lines of the silver spoon prince, but there I go digressing).
I guess what I'm saying is that Chester is the dorky guy who might just get the girl in the end. I have no idea why I would created such a character. I'm totally not a dork. Right?

No comments:

Post a Comment