The Hero, the Dark Companion, and the Girl

jedion357's picture
February 20, 2014 - 8:33pm
Just caught a trailer for Pompeii the movie, it featured scenes that hinted that the main characters were a white guy and a white girl (take three guesses who's going to get the girl) and the white guy seems to have a big black friend. And a light went off: its the AD box cover a hero, his "dark" companion, and a girl. Its a simple recipe of 1 part action, 1 part adventure, with a garnish of romance

Its rather cliche in that you see the same thing with Han Solo, Chewie and Leia
to a limited degree its the Lone Ranger and Tonto (thus romance only being a garnish and sometimes not added).

I'm trying to think of other examples but with the beginning of a head cold I cant think of any or I'm completely out in left field with this.

Regardless of how many examples of this there are I suspect that it actually says something about men or boys in general and our society in particular. I'm just having a hard time thinking straight right now. Anyone have a comment?
I might not be a dralasite, vrusk or yazirian but I do play one in Star Frontiers!

jedion357's picture
February 20, 2014 - 8:38pm
Ooops just thought of another example:
Gilgamesh and his "dark" companion Enkidu that Enkidu is killed and becomes Gilgamesh's reason for questing for immortality. this its the Hero and his Dark companion mix with action and adventure and a garnish of romance with the twist that Enkidu got to bed the girl.

John Carter of Mars with Tars Tarkus and Dejah Thoris
Tars is green but is still the "dark companion"

Perhaps its not so much of a dark companion but a primitive side kick, noble savage or something
I might not be a dralasite, vrusk or yazirian but I do play one in Star Frontiers!

KRingway's picture
February 21, 2014 - 3:38am
Well, Gilgamesh did actually spurn the girl - hence Enkidu's death... Wink

rattraveller's picture
February 21, 2014 - 4:45am
Unfortunately there is another stereotype to this which gets thrown in alot. The first example which popped in my head was "Tales of the Gold Monkey". Here you have the hero, the gal and the fat guy.

Before the "Big Bang Theory" the fat guy would sometimes be replaced with the nerdy/brainy guy.

Whatever the case, it is a reflection on society that you have the hero, his romantic interest and his "buddy" who will never get the girl because he is what society feels is totally inappropriate to "getting the girl"

OK that went much deeper than I thought.
Sounds like a great job but where did you say we had to go?

Ascent's picture
February 21, 2014 - 5:07am
Loved that show. (Tales of the Gold Monkey.) It deserved many more seasons. I had to settle for Disney's Tale Spin. :P
View my profile for a list of articles I have written, am writing, will write.
"It's yo' mama!" —Wicket W. Warrick, Star Wars Ep. VI: Return of the Jedi
"That guy's wise." —Logray, Star Wars Ep.VI: Return of the Jedi
Do You Wanna Date My Avatar? - Felicia Day (The Guild)

jedion357's picture
February 21, 2014 - 12:43pm
I had completely forgotten about Tale of the Gold Monkey and your'e right it deserved a longer run.

And yes Disney's Tale Spin was a poor substitute but also a bit of a guilty pleasure that I indulged in under the guise of putting up with watching what younger siblings were watching.

So the dark companion can also be the social misfit but he's loyal to the hero like all dark companions

Note: I often think of Big Bany Theory as an updated version of Golden Girls. I never really watched Golden Girls to be honest as even home work would be more appealing to me than that; it just seems to me that its an update of GG or Sex in the City for nerds.

EDIT: so as I try to think about what this motif means it would seam to say that a large demographic of our population desires to be a hero who gets the girl and has a loyal companion that cannot or will not compete with him for the affections of the girl but will be a solid helper in time of need.

Scoobie Do seems an expansion of this. Fred and Daphne are the Hero and girl thouhg Fred never seems to get the girl in the cartoons, Vilma is the loyal nerdy helper even though she has no chance at getting the object of her desire in the previous pair and Shaggy and Scoobie are the comic relief.
I might not be a dralasite, vrusk or yazirian but I do play one in Star Frontiers!