Project 2: Exercise 2 – Character Archetypes

I came up with of few other examples of archetype beyond those already suggested. As a recap those already suggested in my work book were:

  • Protagonist
  • Antagonist
  • Mentor
  • Sidekick
  • Shapeshifter

I drew up a different list below:

Illustration of Archetypes








  • Hero (Antagonist)
  • Villain (Protagonist)
  • Joker/Fool
  • Sibling
  • Mother
  • Victim
  • Coward
  • Lover
  • Damsel
  • Monster?
  • Fate?
  • Female Hero or Female Architect.

I came across a few new ideas or concepts of archetypes reading this udemy blog guide to literary characters, namely, Mother & Female Architect. I also found an interesting page from a Cambridge university site which proposed a slightly different structure to archetype’s.

It briefly names Vladimir Propp’s Morphology of the Folktale (1928) and a list of seven archetypes of fairy tales. I think some of these translate across several story telling mediums. 

  1. The Villain
  2. The Provider
  3. The Helper
  4. The Princess and her Father
  5. The Dispatcher
  6. The Hero
  7. The False Hero

Archetypes present in: ‘The Hunger Games’

Scan of front cover of The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, published by Scholastic Ltd, 2011.

Scan of front cover of The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, published by Scholastic Ltd, 2011.










Female Hero/Protagonist – Katniss Everdeen

Katniss is a complex character. The Hero because she fights for what is good, her love of her sister, defends the weak (Rue) and doesn’t kill gladly. But she is also a survivor, and willing to use deceit , to trick people into believing that she is in love with Peeta (at least that’s initially the idea). She defies the normal stereotype of a male character as the Hero.

Protagonist – President Snow/The Capital/The Games

The man behind the games, and who makes several threats and deals with Katniss is President Snow. Their relationship is interesting, he could easily order her killing but chooses not to. He is frightened by her lack of compliance with the capital, and perhaps a little jealous. He cannot get rid of her and risk rebellion by the other states, but he also cannot seem to control her into doing what he wants. He is a source of fear in her life, he even has his own calling card to intimidate her in the form of a rose.

The Games themselves are also the protagonist of the piece, they keep the story going, forcing the Hero to endure hardship after hardship. They seek to Kill all but one of contestants, and the game seems unfairly set against Katniss (the Hero) at several points within the story.

Mentor – Haymitch

He is literally supposed to be their mentor for the games, as a former contestant. He defies the normal fit of mentor, with his flaw, he is an alcoholic. Nevertheless he forges a strong, somewhat bitter relationship with Katniss and Peeta. He guides them through training for the games and acts as a mentor guiding their interaction with the capitol once the games are over.

Sidekick – Peeta Melark

Another complex relationship. I’ve said Peeta is the sidekick because he works to help Katniss stay alive throughout the games at any cost. However he is not purely the sidekick, as he is actually in love with her. He is also perhaps a Hero figure too, as he often rescues Katniss and believes in the good in people.

Lover – Gale/Peeta

Gale is the man that Katniss really loves from back home. They spend hours as young adults learning to hunt in the woods. He emerges as her lover in the series of novels, but again he is a darker character. He knowns Katniss is somewhat torn between him and Peeta.

Joker/Fool – Caesar

I wasn’t 100% sure who fulfilled the archetype of Fool or Joker. But I suppose Caesar does to some degree. He’s the face of the Hinger Games show as the presenter, he has a ridiculous flamboyant appearance. He is also entirely at the mercy of the games producer and the capital, a fool, not wise enough to make a stand. He seems to make light of the gruesome reality of a tv-show in which the contestants hunt each other down to the death.

Sibling – Prim/Rue

Katniss’s literal sister is Prim. She occupies a lot of Katniss’s inner world and is her motivation for survival. However Rue, a younger contestant of the Games represents a surrogate sister for Katniss. Katniss mourns her death in a manner like that of a loved one or sibling.

Damsel – Prim/Rue

I’ve called Prim/Rue joint Damsel’s because in the story Katniss enter’s into the games to save her sister from them, her sister is effectively the damsel she is protecting. But once inside the games she finds herself drawn to saving Rue, a young girl who is at risk from the older, stronger contestants. Rue becomes the secondary damsel in distress literally when she is captured in a net and Katniss rescues her.

Victim – All the participants in the games/ those under control of the capitol.

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