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I've been told that the chosen one trope is terrible, because it's cliche and it also removes the agency from the protagonist, but I am wondering if there's a way to spin that trope and make it original, and if we can also address the fact it may remove the agency from the protagonist.

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    "The chosen one" is the oldest trope ever and the most widely used in both religions and literatures. I would learn a lot, if someone somehow can dissolve that cliché.
    – Bassem
    Feb 16, 2023 at 5:58

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Blurred prophecy

Majority of the Chosen One characters are so because some kind of prophecy. But prophecies can be vague, and in that lies opportunity to shake things up a little.

Purpose One way to shake things up is to have the purpose a bit more vague. To have it unknown if the Chose One is the Chosen One to save or to destroy.

Anakin/Vader from Star Wars for example.. the Jedi believed the prophecy that would bring balance to the force would mean it would destroy the dark side...in truth it leveled them.

If your prophecy is vague enough about the chosen ones destiny you can have him endure inner conflict and suspicion from others... with friends and allies for example seeing him slightly slip to the "dark side" and thinking of (or actually) betraying him to prevent the prophecy to come true while initially even trying to make it come true.

Who? You could possibly make it vague to who is the chose one, this way you could have the character doubt he is the right one or have a plot twist revealing he never was.

Harry Potter semi did this by making the prophecy about a boy born during the end of July making both Harry and Neville candidates. It's kinda a shame that it wasn't a major plot point seeing before the books begin it is already determined Harry was the one of the two.

It was all a lie There was no real chose one, just a children's bedtime story people took to serious.

If such a revelation comes to the character midway through the story it could impact his view on himself and the world, especially if he was raised to believe he was the chose one.

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  • The Twist on the Harry Potter's use of "The Chosen One" is that destiny did not choose Harry to bring down Voldy, but rather Voldemort chose Harry. Both Harry and Neville were equal candidates, but Voldemort went to kill Harry, thus making Harry the "Chosen One" of two viable candidates. Harry wasn't pre-ordained, but rather, determined by someone acting on his incomplete knowledge of the prophecy.
    – hszmv
    Feb 16, 2023 at 13:32

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