Character Archetypes: The Mother

The Mother Archetype is kind of like the Mentor Archetype, in that Mother characters tend be more idealized and more removed from the action. They often show up only for a short time to provide guidance and nurturing before a Hero is sent on their way.

Common Aspects of the Mother Archetype:

  • Idealized
  • Nurturing; provides comfort and advice
  • Generally female
  • Rarely developed as a “real” person

Mother characters seem to exist purely as a stopping point in someone else’s story. They’re often more idea than person, and often based off the idea of the Earth Mother: matronly, symbolic of fertility and plenty.

Mother characters can also be apparent in their absence, with the idea that a Hero is lessened through the loss of their mother or someone fulfilling the Mother role.

Mother characters do not accompany a Hero on their quest. Often they provide their care on a one-time basis. Fairy godmothers are often considered to be examples of Mother archetypes, and the archetype is extremely common in fairy tales. But often, if you see an older woman show up somewhere, who gives comfort or advice, you’ve found a Mother character.

Any Mother characters you especially like, Squiders? I find it hard to get close to them, since they really are more idea than person.

Next: The Threshold Guardian


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