The Innocent is an archetype that can be used for a number of different types of characters, though if the Innocent is included in the main part of a story, they rarely remain such. Innocent characters can also fall into Hero, Sidekick, and Damsel in Distress archetypes. Often, they may be children.
Common Aspects of the Innocent Archetype:
- Generally happy, optimistic people
- Usually naive or inexperienced in some manner
- May be too dependent on other characters
- May ignore reality in order to hold onto ideals
The Innocent Archetype may also be called the Child or the Initiate, depending on who you’re talking to. In general, the Innocent is someone who craves love and happiness, and who hasn’t been beaten down enough by the world to give up on those ideals. These tend to be sympathetic characters and, if not the main character, a Hero often feels duty-bound to protect them from the evils of life.
There are also downfalls to Innocent characters. They may purposefully skew reality to maintain their vision of the world, or they may be dangerously childish, ignoring rules and potential risks. They may also unknowingly endanger people around them with their carelessness or naivety.
Some examples of Innocent characters include Kaylee from Firefly, Forest Gump, Pippin (the hobbit), Dory (from Finding Nemo), and quite a few Disney princesses.
Who are your favorite Innocent characters, Squiders? With your favorites, do they also fall into another archetype?
Next: The Sidekick Archetype