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May 21, 2022

12 Character Archetypes: A Beginner’s Guide


If you’re having trouble coming up with a cast of characters that will make for fascinating narratives, the 12 character types can be a fantastic starting point. Every character type has its unique set of characteristics, including strengths, flaws, and psychological concerns similar to the Jungian archetypes. Almost all of the qualities that contribute to effective tale writing may be used to effortlessly attract the interest of the reader.

Characters with whom we can identify are our favorites. Each archetype contains a bit of our own psyche, which allows us to develop strong connections with the characters. It is good to use archetypes to come up with an idea or blueprint for a novel when you are having difficulty establishing the concept of the novel.

Finding inspiration through studying archetypes is a sure-fire method to get started. Because of the combination of multiple personality types, the plot will unfold in unexpected and interesting ways, resulting in a cast of characters that is both ingenious and well-executed. Are you ready to get to know each character archetype better?

We’ve got you covered! In this article, you’ll know about:

  • The created equal core desire of the archetypal characters
  • The collective unconscious of the 12 character archetypes
  • Which character archetype is unable to delegate talent
  • 12 Character Archetypes: Character Development and own identity talent

What are character archetypes for you?

An archetype is, at its most basic level, a pattern or model that was created originally. It is generally recognized since it is made up of a collection of memories or thoughts that are shared by all of humanity. Carl Jung, a well-known psychologist, tried to understand the human psyche.

As a result of his research, he discovered 12 character archetypes that may be seen throughout different cultures and throughout history. We all share some of the same archetypes, according to him, which live in our collective unconscious and are ultimately something we all share.

Our ability to comprehend stories from all around the world is facilitated by these archetypes. They are the topics that unite us all and bring us closer together. Having a deeper understanding of the 12 archetypes also helps us to design better characters for our narratives.

What are the 12 character archetypes?

#1: The Ruler Archetype

The Ruler is an archetype that feels that power is the most important thing in the world. In 1984, the overarching Big Brother served as an example of this type of figure, as did Joffrey from Game of Thrones. There are two things they fear the most: being toppled and having their kingdoms thrown into disarray. They aspire to exert complete control over their followers’ lives, allowing no opportunity for error or independent thought on their part.

This character type employs psychological torture to coerce their subjects into complying with their demands. They are not interested in being liked. Also, they thrive on the feeling of being feared and pursued. To question them is to put them on edge, thereby eliminating any possibility of rebellion. The Ruler type cannot afford to take the chance of being ousted from his throne.

#2: The Creator Archetype or Artist

The Creator or Artist is driven by the desire to create. They set a high standard for themselves by striving to be the greatest in the world at what they do. Dr. Emmet Brown from Back to the Future and Tony Stark from Iron Man are two fictional characters that challenge reality and push the frontiers of scientific discovery and advancement.

The Creator is a creative thinker who thinks outside of the box. They yearn for the discovery of novel concepts that bring the status quo into question. These are the characters who are constantly pushing the boundaries of science and the boundaries of reality.

We would not know what science and discoveries are eventually capable of producing if we did not have a Creator type to guide us. In the case of unique places and situations that other characters may find themselves in, the Creator is responsible for them.

#3: The Sage Archetype

Sages are the types of personalities who are dedicated to the pursuit of the truth. They are brimming with insight and intelligence, and they are terrified of being wrong or deceiving. They are frequently referred to as the main Hero’s mentors or teachers. Gandalf the Grey from The Lord of the Rings and Yoda from Star Wars are two fictional characters who embody this trait.

They frequently instruct and guide the Hero as he or she is on a journey, and they are the types of characters who do not lead the Hero astray. The Sage is in charge of advancing the plot of the story.

It is the Sage who, when the main character has doubts about his or her capacity to finish a quest, is the one who instills optimism and provides the essential wisdom to ensure success and successful completion of the work at hand. When everything appears to be destined for failure, the Sage is the one who will guide the Hero back onto the righteous path.


#4: The Innocent Archetype

The Innocent is filled with wonder and astonishment at the wonders of the world as if they were children again. There is nothing more important to them than being happy and content in their lives, and they avoid anything that can cause them pain or harm. A fundamental element of the innocent is optimism and true hope for a utopian lifestyle for all people.

Pippin from The Lord of the Rings is the personification of the paradigm of the innocent. There is more to the Innocent’s wandering than just a youthful curiosity. As readers, we have the opportunity to observe the world through the eyes of the innocent.

The Innocent can provide the Hero with innovative and out-of-the-box ideas that he or she can put to use in their quest. This new perspective on the world enables the development of solutions that would not have been considered if the Innocent had not been cast in the film.

#5: The Explorer Archetype

They desire experiences that take them out of their normal comfort zone and are never afraid to embark on a new quest or goal. Their greatest fear is being imprisoned in a society where they are obligated to follow the rules and fulfill the duties that have been established.

The Explorer type is represented by characters such as Indiana Jones and Peter Quill (Star-Lord) from the film Guardians of the Galaxy. They are constantly on the lookout for new things to discover, marvel about, and take in what the world (or cosmos) has to offer. Quests move forward more quickly when an Explorer is present.

The Explorer is willing to take risks as long as they believe they have a good chance of discovering something new in their surroundings. They are not hindered by fear, but rather by a desire to learn and find new things that motivate them to move forward.

#6: The Rebel Archetype

Characters who rebel against social conventions are referred to as Rebels. They are willing to defy the established order and forge their own paths. They are looking for power, but only in the sense of the ability to effect change. The disruption of social norms and ways of thinking is the primary emphasis of their work.

In stories that speak out against oppression and injustice, they are frequently the misfit or outlaw figure who stands up for what is right. The rebellious road is taken by characters such as Robin Hood and Beowulf. When no one else will, the Rebel takes the initiative.

They are virtuous in their ideals, and they will frequently push the Hero in the correct direction in order to see those ideas realized. Also, they have no fear of the Ruler, but they are more likely to bring the Ruler’s character into disrepute. They feel that society needs to change and are prepared to go the extra mile to see that it does.

#7: The Hero Archetype

The Hero is driven by the desire to perform heroic acts that demonstrate their expertise and courage. They aspire to make the world a better place and will go above and beyond to achieve this goal. Also, they are the type of character who can be born into a noble family or be the underdog in a situation.

Both Harry Potter and King Arthur are considered to be examples of the hero archetype in literature. It is they that embody the spirit of what we believe a normal Hero should be like. In literature and movies, heroes are frequently the central characters. They are the ones that have gathered a large group of other characters around them.

The Hero is impacted by the strengths and weaknesses of the members of his or her team. It is the Hero who we are rooting for and hoping will make it to the end of the adventure. Nonetheless, even if the hero is the primary character in stories, it is the supporting cast that contributes to the overall success of the story.

#8: The Magician Archetype

The Magician is a strategist or a teacher in the traditional sense. They have a wide range of experience and are able to offer advice and direction to the Hero in a variety of situations. Some examples of the Magician include Merlin and Dumbledore, two characters who guide their protagonists through difficult adventures that require elegance and bravery on their parts.

Both magicians and sages place a high value on intelligence and instruction, which makes them a good match. There is a distinction between the two in that the Magician provides a way for the Hero and others to follow. As well as superior wisdom and experience, Sage’s guidance comes from a place of ultimate mastery of the road that the Magician is not yet capable of recognizing or comprehending.

#9: The Jester Archetype

Otherwise known for their comic relief, the Jester thinks that each moment should be experienced to its fullest extent. They take pleasure in making others laugh and are also committed to speaking the truth in a way that does not cause offense or upset. The Jester despises wasting time as well and will go to great lengths to find fun and humor in even the most mundane of circumstances.


Jesters are similar to school clowns. They are frequently employed for comedic relief, although they are privy to far more than they are willing to admit. They take pleasure in each moment, which allows them to see what the majority of others miss out on. The Jester can be extremely dangerous because of the amount of knowledge they can gather simply by paying attention.

#10: The Member Archetype

When it comes to character archetypes, the Member believes that everyone is created equal. They want a sense of belonging in the world, but they are afraid of standing out from the people around them. The Member is a regular person who finds themselves in a variety of challenging and unpleasant situations on a regular basis.

Instead of taking the initiative, they will frequently settle for doing whatever they can live. The Member is a figure that will frequently seek to persuade the Hero and others that the quest or journey is not worth the trouble it will take them on. They are concerned about the potential risks that lie ahead and would like to avoid the issue entirely.

Also, they are not courageous characters in the same way that the Rebel or the Explorer are. They are considerably more fixed in their ways and are less inclined to desire to venture out and discover new things on their own.

#11: The Lover Archetype

The Lover is driven by the need for connection and closeness with others. They despise being alone and will do anything to hold on to the person they adore. The Lover archetype is characterized by long-term relationships and a strong sense of commitment. Rather than being alone, they would rather risk losing their identity in the company of the one they love.

The Lover archetype is represented by characters such as Samwise Gamgee from Lord of the Rings and Rogue from X-men. The two of them are willing to go above and beyond for the people they care about. No matter what the consequences are to themselves. The Lover transforms a story into something more than merely a journey.

You might think of them as the type of character who adds depth to your relationships, and they can even be the reason why you embark on a journey in the first place. They frequently find themselves in some sort of danger, and the Hero or character type they are in love with will either have to save them or abandon them to die on the battlefield.

#12: The Caregiver Archetype

The Caregiver is a caring archetype who dedicates their life to protecting and assisting individuals in their immediate vicinity. They are unselfish and moved by compassion and charity, prioritizing the needs of others before their own interests and desires.

Caregivers such as Hagrid from Harry Potter and Obi-Wan Kenobi from Star Wars are heroes in their own right because they are always willing to go the extra mile to support their heroes. The Caregivers are not in love with another character, as the Lover is with another character.

Instead, they are motivated by feelings of devotion, protection, and faith in the Hero and the other characters. They recognize the value of the quest and are prepared to go to any length to ensure that it is completed successfully. This type of person is the best friend type, and they are always willing to lend a helping hand when necessary.

Final Word:

As you get to know all the 12 character archetypes, you will find yourself capable enough to develop ordinary solid virtues. You will even become self-aware enough to know your only core desire and own vision weakness. Want to know which archetype are you? Take our archetype quiz.

Which character archetype rings truest to you? You can take our test to find out which one you fall under!

Comment your character archetype down below!

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