I don’t know if I’ve ever written a post about mentors in the Legends of Windemere series. I’ve talked about the mentor characters on their own and how they influence the heroes. For example, Selenia Hamilton has been getting brought up a lot since the early days. Makes sense since she was the first one to appear along with Kevin Masterson and Duggan Ironcaster. Later would be Queen Tempest, Cyril, Willow, and a couple others. Some keep appearing while others have only shown up once and have never been heard from again. Also, only 4 of the 6 champions have mentors. Dariana doesn’t have one and Sari has simply never talked about the clan members who she looked up to. So, I can see how mentors fall by the wayside when I talk about the series.
The thing about the Windemere mentors is that most of them are still alive. It’s always a big thing for the hero to see a mentor die and then learn to fight without them. Hasn’t happened here except for that one time that I can’t reveal here. I think a big reason for that is the mentors have typically stayed out of the real fights. Obi-Wan Kenobi and Gandalf went on the adventure. Those who taught Luke and Nyx stayed put after their teachings were done. Some fights happened in their area, but that’s on home turf and that’s always an advantage. These are seasoned veterans that would be a challenge away from their comfort zone, so they are even more dangerous when attacked at home. They don’t show up a lot either, which keeps them safe. The Baron has no reason to worry about the mentors since they’re content to stay out of the prophecy.
There is one question that comes up in my mind and from other people when they read even the first book. Is it a good idea to avoid killing mentors and supporting characters? I wouldn’t say I avoided it, but it never felt right. The deaths would have come off as weak and almost pointless because of how limited the page time for these characters were. I believe there really should be a reason for a character to die and that it should carry a weight. Even if you do it within the course of one sentence while someone is talking, there should be more than shock value. At least for me. Not to mention, people seem to expect the teachers to get taken out. It’s practically in the role description in some people’s minds.
As I start looking at the end of Legends of Windemere, I do begin to wonder if I was too soft. Perhaps this is why I have such high body counts in Crossing Bedlam and Chasing Bedlam. Kind of like a compensation for myself since I don’t think the audiences are crossing over. Anyway, I look over what I’ve done and the idea that I went too easy on the cast does come to mind. I’ve always believed that the death of a character is the end of their story. They can come back as a ghost or be resurrected, but that’s something that shouldn’t be used a lot. Even then, they don’t really grow and change like the living. I put this mentality toward the mentors as well, but then I’ve realized that these are typically characters that have reached the end of their evolution. It’s really too late to second guess myself since everything in my series was happening for a reason. A character lived because they had no reason to die. Kind of mean to off them simply because their role is done and it could hurt a hero.
So, what do you think about mentors and the tradition of them dying? Is the way it should usually go?