“You are reliable, reserved, and down-to-earth. You’re a great team player and you care more about doing what’s right than receiving unearned praise. People may not notice you right away, but you are still respected for your hard work and pragmatism. You know your place.”

– results for “Poo Person” from the official “Which class from ‘Theophilia Wallace’ are you?” quiz

I’m well aware that, in the real world, one’s familial connections are often the greatest indicator of their future success and ability to influence the world. But I was under the impression that our modern cultural values have been trying to move away from the message that the world should operate like that. Like, our media doesn’t espouse the values of a rigid, hierarchical society – wherein there are enforced aristocratic classes and lower classes determined by birth – we’re all about “rags to riches” and “everyone is created equal,” right?

And yet, in every other heroic narrative I see, the relatable everyman protagonist has to have some secret biological lineage that “explains” why they’re such an amazing hero. They can never just be some guy who managed to rise to the occasion. At least not if the story extends any further than a self-contained one-off. John McClane can just be a regular guy who does something heroic in Die Hard – but that series becomes a franchise and, well, surely his son must have inherited those action hero genes!

It’s been hard for me to find any exceptions to this rule – the longer a heroic story goes on, the more likely it will be revealed that the hero actually descends from a heroic lineage. And if that isn’t the case, then that hero is actually the progenitor of a heroic dynasty, and we all get to enjoy the adventures of their descendant(s) in the sequel(s)!

– James