Living in the shadows of greatness...

Have you ever created a character who have famous or infamous parents, siblings, grandparents, or other close family members who forced them to live up to their expectations, when they are their own person?

I shall use my characters as an example of what I am trying to get at.

Solai eins Naivin is the son of Solanna who was the Sovereign of the whole planet/she ruled the world. Solanna was an powerhouse of a monarch and a confident yet loving woman who truly cared about people. Solai knows his mother is a great leader, role model, and even mother, but he could never be exactly like her and because of that people are expecting so much from him since his mother was a great and amazing ruler.

Jorildyn Calverstone is the heiress to the Top Five High Elite Families and she just wanted do her own thing, hence becoming a Knight. But being known as the Calverstone princess, people often assume she would follow after her family’s footsteps. Yet when she became a Knight, people view her as that rich kid who parents placed her in the situation for fun. Jorildyn loves her family who equally love her back, but she never wanted to be like her family who are great people in the business world and wanted to be her own person.

Faust Thornwood is a prince hailing from a family of royal criminals who work in crime related dark magical arts, but he, like Jorildyn wanted to be a knight and help people. His older brother and current king is the talented and amazing one, who has high hopes for Faust. But Faust doesn’t want to be anything like his brother and prefers to help others. Plus his older brother is psychotic and sadistic as sin and his other family members are abusive in their own way.

Nicholas Scarlett is a prince in name only since his nation was invaded and now the once royal title feels like an insult and spit to the face these days. His parents, the former monarchs are the reason why his country was invaded and why he and his sisters are forced to deal with oppression of their invaders and hatred from their own people. Because of his parents betrayal, Nicholas and his sisters have deal with people believing that they’ll become as horrible as their traitorous parents. When they are nothing like them and want to save the kingdom.

Demetrius Steelcrest is another prince who comes from a family of arrogant, spoiled, warmongering extremist who would rather flaunt their wealth and prove just how amazing they are and belittle people who aren’t amazing as them. Demetrius hates his family and even more after what happened to his twin sister and his mother who he thought died. His father wants him to be a great ruler like him and his grandfather. Demetrius doesn’t want to live up to his family’s expectations and rather not be known as a Steelcrest because of it.

Do you have characters like this in your stories or not? Have you ever written characters like this? Do plan on doing so?

Thought and Feelings?

NOTE: The characters great family members can either be alive or dead or whatever.



Wow that’s a lot of characters dealing with that conflict.

I don’t have characters who fit that conflict exactly. I have a “jealous mentor” though:

Torgyn used to be one of the most powerful sorcerers that the world had ever seen. But he has now lost almost all of his powers, and is very old. His protégé Jorvo is growing up to be a powerful sorcerer who could surpass him in strength. And more, Jorvo might be turning to the dark.

Torgyn fears he cannot control Jorvo, and cannot teach him or defeat him when the time comes. He’s jealous of Jorvo’s powers and disappointed in himself that he cannot be what he once was.


I am now seeing that. LOL! :laughing:

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Ummm…yes and no? My current mc is the crown prince and his parents would have wanted him to live up to the expectations of royalty, except they were murdered by anarchists when he was eight years old. Now he’s pretending to be a commoner so that the anarchists won’t discover he’s still alive before he can wreak his revenge. So I guess you could say he’s finally being his own person in that he’s doing exactly what he wants, which is the opposite of what they would want. (They wouldn’t want him to go to the gallows for slaying their killers.) ¯\_(ﭢ)_/¯

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So, another royal, heh?
I think I had two together characters like this too but one of them was rich while the other was a commoner.

Honestly, I had no idea that I really like this concept/trope/whatever you want to call it, because I did this shit more than once.

I honestly had no clue.

EDIT: Scratch that! I don’t think Zelen Cambeck and Oliah Willenburg were like that! Zelen only became a Knight because his brothers went missing or something along those line and he wanted to uncover the truth. Oliah comes from a legacy of Knights who are loaded in wealth. Her parents care more about their duties as knights than being parents. Yet they don’t expect much from her, but others do. So, Oliah might be a 50-50 version of this I suppose.

This is interesting and I apologize for rambling like that. LOL!

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The parents of Nathaniel and Rachael, specifically Nathan’s dad and Rachael’s mom are them on steriods. R&N are trying to be better people where their parents failed. So that’s more an inverse.


I have a main character named Suri in an AU of mine who’s the daughter of a mech pilot who died twenty years ago in battle, valiantly defending Earth.

She’s mostly fine living under her dad’s famous shadow, and even cherishes the few memories she has of him. The problem is that she very recently discovered her dad’s secretly been alive all this time… ¯_(ツ)_/¯


Two words for you.

Son Gohan.

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Honestly, I was referring to your own original characters from your own stories.

I mean I understand what you are getting at, but really wanted to know if the characters you’ve created are like any of the examples I’ve listed.

Sorry about that. :sweat_smile:

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What if the parent is a tyrant? Then yes. Mordecai from “The Facade of Quad in Nimrod” is the CEO of a massive trading company in the country Lwendolen and he wants his son to do as great as he did. So even when Henry (a massive failure) is able to finally get a decent job at a bookstore, Mordecai is NOT happy at all.

He says, “I heard that you’re working at some measly bookstore! The Quads never work at a bookstore. Get a better job.”

Henry tries to keep the job hoping that maybe if he becomes the owner one day he will please his father.

Then he makes a horrible mistake and is fired. He has to try to keep this a secret from his father. So, he goes out “to work” and wanders around until it’s time to go home. Of course, his father eventually finds out about this lie. On this same day, his father finds out about the fake checks Henry’s been making in his father’s name to take money out.

All hell breaks loose :sweat_smile:


Henry’s father is a piece of work…
Poor Henry…I think.


Henry is also a piece of work XD There are incidents that are definitely his fault.

No one in that story is quite a good guy or ends up right :stuck_out_tongue:

I suppose the most decent is Henry’s sister, Valerie.


Oh wow!

So, anyone can have a screw loose or gone missing, I see?

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Yep :grin:

The worst is Valerie’s fiance, Fernando. Worse than Mordecai is saying a LOT.

He is awful. He gave me a headache XD

Well, I was able to get back at him, writing a story that takes place 30 years later where Fernando finally ends up in jail.

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Ah, writing a character that plays somehow into the story, but is a migraine inducer.

We’ve all been there. Some more than others.


I was trying to think of another “living in the shadows of greatness” type of character.

So, I have this one guy who did live in the shadows of corrupt greatness. He found a boy who looks like him, put the boy in his place, murdered the boy in his place, and then ran away. So, everyone thought the real boy who inherited greatness was dead.

Quite smart, actually :sweat_smile:


Fernando plays a big role in the story. He’s not even Valerie’s real fiance :eyes:

There’s a whole lot of messy, messy things that go on in this story. It’s so ugly and messy, it’s great XD

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I mean, Amneris is the Queen of one world and her sister Xix is the Queen of the other so they dont really qualify (though Xix does her best to NOT live up to her father’s expectations and legacy). Hathor (Amneris’ daughter) does have to deal with being in her mum’s shadow a lot but Amneris is always encoraging her to follow her passions and doesnt really have any expectations other than dont be a dick soooooooo yah :joy:


Aww, she seems like a cool and awesome mommy!
I love that!

Lovable moms are adorable!
Yeah, I got a bit weird there and I apologize for that!

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