Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Unstructured Archetypes: The Competent Man

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at PhotobucketHe is James Bond. He is Aragorn. He is Jack Ryan. He is Roland, the Gunslinger. He is Batman. He is also Lara Croft and Honor Harrington.

He can be a woman (see above), but only if she possesses all of the masculine virtues.

He is a hero. Make no mistake.

He is strong. Physically and emotionally.

He is tough. You can torture him. You can bereave him. You can not break him.

All things that he does, he does with perfection, whether it is tying a knot, building a fortress, or slaying his enemies -- especially slaying his enemies.

He is an expert is many things. He knows all things with respect to his profession and many other things besides. If he were interested in formal education, he’d have a hundred PhDs.

He went to the school of hard knocks. All of the important things he knows were learned the hard way.

He is loyal to his friends and loved ones. If you are hurt or killed, he will avenge you. Corollary: if you are a friend or a loved one, there’s a very good chance that you will need to be avenged.

He had a Mentor. That mentor might still be alive but is probably dead, and most likely requires avenging.

He is usually multilingual. He picks up new languages with ease.

He is a master of arms. If you give him a weapon, he’ll know how to use it. If you give him something that isn’t a weapon, he’ll know how to use it as a weapon. Of course, he can also kill you with his bare hands… or his teeth.

He’s moral but pragmatic. He doesn’t get tripped up by ethical dilemmas; his world lacks shades of gray. Even when his actions seem amoral, he’s fighting on the side of the angels, and don’t you forget it.

It goes without saying that he’s an excellent lover. He always brings his partners to the most intense climaxes of their lives. If he’s a man, he will have almost always have had many partners. Never the less, he will have a One True Love (and, rarely, an Other One True Love). That love will most likely have been killed.

Villains can be competent, but never as competent as The Competent Man. They are also doomed (even if they do, eventually, return).

He knows how to party, but he’s not a hedonist. He has no problem putting away his pleasures when the time comes to act, and that time is always soon.

He’s a survivalist. You can drop him in the middle of any environment with nothing at all and he’ll know how to forage and thrive.

He can be wounded, but never permanently crippled (even if he does lose a few fingers or a even a limb). Nothing can prevent him from being Competent.

He’s got few friends, which is probably for the best.

He is always the most handsome man (or most beautiful woman) in the room, even if his features are roughly hewn.

There is no competent missus. If, by some miracle, the competent man becomes married, and his spouse doesn’t get killed, his tenure as a Competent Man is over. He can, however, pass on his legacy to his son.

The Competent Man doesn’t take any shit. Don’t even think about it.

He’s got regrets, but nothing that a good avenging can’t take care of.

The Competent Man may be godly or agnostic. If he starts out as an atheist, he will not remain one.

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