The Chosen One and why I hate the idea…

boy wearing crown statue

A few years ago, the Chosen One trope was all the rage in fiction. Rand Al’thor was the Dragon Reborn, Neo was The One, and a kid from under the stairs was about to take on He Who Shall Not Be Named. Readers loved it, for a while.

Today the trope has fallen out of favor, and I for one, am happy to keep it that way. Even as a child, I didn’t appreciate the idea of predetermined destiny or fate. I remember reading Shakespeare in high school, and my English teacher explained the Fates and Furies to the class. A lot of the really terrible poetry I wrote after that included lines about fighting against both concepts.

In the Magic Unleashed series, I turn the Chosen One trope on it’s head a couple of times. One Chosen One is a villain, chosen to wreak havoc on the living. Another character believes the lie that he is the chosen one. He’s just being manipulated, but he wants to believe he’s special. Both characters challenge any notion that destiny is unavoidable. Like Captain Kirk in the Kobayashi Maru simulation, I prefer to make my own luck.

There is enough cause and effect in the world to consign ideas about fate and destiny to the books of the past. Sometimes a coincidence is just a coincidence. In my limited experience, the universe doesn’t make a habit of aligning to create a perfect situation that can only be solved by a single special individual. I understand why that trope is popular, and I’m sure many authors out there still have Chosen One stories to write. I’m just not one of them.

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