Monday, June 1, 2009

Heroine Archetype - The Crusader

I chose this archetype because The Crusader is probably my favorite heroine of them all. This lady is a fighter. She is the personification of strength and steadfast determination. The Crusader has been given a purpose, and she is willing to die if necessary to achieve that end. Typically her resilience comes as a result of a trauma suffered, or from being forced into a lifestyle or career that puts her in constant danger and demands she stay on top of her game at all times.

The Crusader is a force of nature. She is independence. She is unwavering principle. Simply put, she is fierce. Once she sinks her teeth into a cause, good luck trying to get her to change her course. The Crusader is focused and resolute, and allows nothing to stand in her way.

One example of a Crusader is Xena Warrior Princess. Xena spent years honing her warrior skills, using them without mercy against the innocent people of Greece in her egotistical quest to conquer the world. After a run in with Hercules opened Xena’s eyes to the error of her ways, she is determined to right the wrongs she’s committed against the people of her homeland, even if it means sacrificing herself in the process (which she eventually did at the end of the series). Her crusade – redemption.

Another good example would be Selene from Underworld. Selene is a vampire who was told by her maker and mentor, Viktor, that her family was slain by a pack of bloodthirsty werewolves. When war breaks out between vampires and lykins, Selene gladly steps up to offer her slaying services to gain a taste of revenge. But when she finds out the lykins weren’t responsible after all, instead it was Viktor who’d killed her family, Selene suddenly develops a different set of values altogether. Her new resolve is doubly strengthened when she falls in love with a man who Viktor and the other vampires desperately want to see six feet under. Her crusade – justice.

My third example is Milla Jovovich in Resident Evil. This one rates way up there on my gross-out meter, but it’s a great example of a Crusader. Alice (played by Jovovich) wakes up to find herself locked down inside an underground “city” called The Hive, dodging infection from a genetically mutated strain of virus that creates flesh-eating zombies (which happen to be nipping at her heals the whole way – literally). Alice has to isolate the virus before it consumes mankind, then fight her way past the countless defenses of the supercomputer who holds the remaining uninfected people captive in a ruthless attempt to contain the virus. All this while recovering from temporary amnesia! Now that’s a tough cookie. Her crusade – save the world.

I love this archetype. She is so multifaceted you can do almost anything with her. One thing that’s so great about her is, she can hold her own with the boys. This girl is no damsel in distress. Not to mention she makes for some pretty fiery love scenes, especially when paired with a bad boy.

A few other Crusaders: Charlie’s Angels, Jennifer Lopez in Enough, Angelina Jolie in Wanted, and everybody’s favorite vampire slayer, Buffy Summers.

Have I already mentioned your favorite Crusader, or do you have one I neglected to list? What about a favorite scene or quote from your favorite Crusader? Your input is welcome!

Thanks for reading. ;)

Tracy Preston

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