Let’s Talk Bookish: Cut and Paste Character Archetypes

Let’s Talk Bookish is a weekly meme hosted by Rukky @ Eternity Books and Dani @ Literary Lion. Today’s topic is Cut and Paste Character Archetypes.

Are there any characters you feel like you’re seeing over and over again recently? The same love interest in multiple romances? The same protagonist over and over? I’ve seen a lot of complaints about Rhysand-like characters recently so I’d love to hear what characters you’ve seen too much of.

This is not really a topic I’ve given much thought to, but I suppose there are repetitive character archetypes, particularly within the same genres. However, I’ve yet to come across two books that are so similar that it would be an issue. In my experience, character archetypes tend to reappear because they’re a really good fit for the story.

Take fantasy for example. Ever since A Court of Thorns and Roses, there has been a definite upswing in Rhysand-like characters – tall, brooding characters with a dark past, often Fae – and admittedly, I’ve been avoiding many of those books, but only because I don’t want the experience of reading those books to spoil ACOTAR, which remains one of my all time favorites, for me. Hero-villain romances are another theme I’ve noticed in recent years in books like Shadow and Bone, Renegades, Daughter of Smoke and Bone and so many more. I find this theme

Another more generic character type I’ve seen across genres is the protagonist figure who doesn’t seem like anything special at the beginning of the book, but over the course of the story, they become strong characters, whether through their intelligence, skill or magical powers. This archetype is one I rather enjoy as it’s often a story of a character going from ordinary to extraordinary and it has the potential for a wonderful character arc – if handled well. It’s really in the hands of the author how these archetypes turn out, and while it can end up seeming cringy and repetitive, it definitely has the potential to be worked into something new and exciting with each book.

What are some repetitive character archetypes you’ve noticed? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

8 thoughts on “Let’s Talk Bookish: Cut and Paste Character Archetypes

  1. Hasini @ Bibliosini October 8, 2021 / 2:40 pm

    I’ve definitely noticed many protagonists who go through major character developments on their paths or quests, and, like you said, I really enjoy it when it’s well done! TBH that’s probably a character archetype that won’t die down that easily! 😅

    Liked by 1 person

    • Raji (@journeyintofantasy) October 10, 2021 / 9:49 pm

      That’s true, it’s something that is a core component of so many fantasy novels that it’s odd to not see some form of it at this point!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. JamieAdStories October 8, 2021 / 5:46 pm

    There are many repeated characters in fiction. But every author writes their story differently.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. 24hr.YABookBlog October 11, 2021 / 10:50 am

    What a great discussion Raji! I feel like I notice lots of specific character types in fantasy, but their always so difficult to describe so I never really find time to mention them! I guess one I notice is the “angry female character,” usually in fantasy? I totally understand why authors write their characters that way but then it kind of comes across as their only personality trait 😂

    Liked by 1 person

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