Intro: The hero has to do something early on or have the potential to do something early on that will make him/her indispensable, sometimes in order to get the chance to survive. If the other characters don’t think that she deserves to stick around, why should we?
Top 5 Things a Hero Can Do to Make Themselves (Temporarily) Indispensable
- Pretending or exploiting common interests/being a suckup.
- Showing off/making a statement.
- Having something invaluable that the others want but to which only the hero has the key/blackmailing.
- Being seductive.
- In Aida, the titular character is captured and enslaved. When she is brought to her new master, Princess Amneris, she uses the first chance she gets to play to her greatest love (fashion) and her greatest fear (her fiancée’s well-being). Tension builds at first when Amneris is taken aback at how much Aida sticks out, but she eventually becomes so accustomed to her that she offers her protection. One might think that Aida thought that anonymity was more of a risk than not speaking up.
- In The Hunger Games, Katniss intentionally shoots the arrow through the apple in the pig’s mouth in hopes of achieving a good pre-games score.
- This point doesn’t necessarily mean that a character must have dirt on somebody, be tit-for-tat, or in any way mean-spirited. In Casablanca, Rick has the letters of transit that Elsa wants. He doesn’t want to put the woman he loves in danger, but she broke his heart.
- Sex appeal is a cheap trick for buying a person some time on their lifeline, but often comes at a huge cost.
- This point usually works best when the character finds himself unexpectedly in a position by or in front of people whom he admires yet for whom isn’t immediately ready to make a sacrifice.