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The Polgara Project

Back in October of 2019 at Multiversecon, I was on a panel that talked about Anti-Heroes. One of the characters I mentioned was Polgara, from David Eddings Belgariad & Malloreon series. Polgara is one of the main characters and one perhaps the most important character in some ways. If the characters from those sagas were in a band, Polgara would play the bass guitar. She held everythign together and kept everyone moving, for better or worse.I disliked her character at first; I was young when I read the books, but as I grew older and did a fe re-reads I realized how important Polgara is to the narrative. And as my appreciation grew, I realized that in the heroic spectrum I placed Polgara in the position of an anti-hero (auntie hero? ha!) as opposed to just a reluctant or traditional hero.

As I pondered this more and received feedback from folks I decided I wanted to do a deeper dive into the subject. That means a full re-read and taking notes and it won't be quick or easy. I might be wrong, by the way because that is how science works, or I may be some variety of right. Either way, we shall see in the end. This is just an introduction to the overall project, it is not the final verdict. More to come as we go along.

What is an Anti-Hero?

Well, that is a very good question. This article from the Write Practice is intriguing. It talks about 5 tropes, including one called a 'Disney' trope. I am not sure I am on board with each of the five types but it gives food for thought. Another article, this one from Literary Devices, gives some more perspective. For our purposes, I am going to define an anti-hero as:

A character whose action or motivation is contrary to accepted or expected moral and ethical norms as found in the story or real life, and yet manages to wholly or partially undermine the antogonist(s) position.

Thank you for stopping by Part 0 of the Polgara Project. Check back for part 1!

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