Today, the guys in the Goodreads Top 5 Wednesday group have an interesting topic, one which is straight forward and to the point: “Favorite Teachers/Mentors — Typically, we read about our protagonist being taught by someone wiser than they, whether is it is a teacher as we know them or more of a supernatural/magical mentor. Talk about some of your favorites!”
Mentors? Teachers? Spec Fic is full of these people. In the old days, every mentor seemed to be an old, smart-ass wizard with a long beard though. Still, it should be easy to find five of these people. So let’s see if we can find some teachers/mentors who are a little bit different from the “Gandalf” mold.
5. YODA — STAR WARS
I’m going with the most obvious one first. There is no better teacher than the original Yoda. Yes, I’m excluding that damn impostor in The Last Jedi.
4. MORATHI — WARHAMMER
Beautiful, powerful, and evil beyond measure the Hag Queen and mother of Malekith has spent her entire life molding her son to become the ruler of the elves. One really has to wonders just how much of Malekith’s evilness is the direct result of his mother’s teachings and constant prompting.
3. CAPTAIN BRAYLAR KILLCOIN — BLOODSOUNDER’S ARC
Braylar is a frightening, tough-as-nails soldier who teaches his company’s young, naive scribe many, many lessons. Thing is, Braylar doesn’t want to be a teacher, doesn’t care too much about Arki, and passes along what teachings he does to keep the youth from bothering him. Sounds like my first boss.
2. THE GUNSLINGER — THE DARK TOWER
Roland Deschain has some good qualities and a lot of bad qualities. Along his path to the Dark Tower he draws people into his orbit, trains them, treats them as friends, and is willing to discard them whenever he needs to. But those who survive the experience learn a lot though.
1 SALTHEART FOAMFOLLOWER — THOMAS COVENANT
Sometimes a teacher isn’t a Jedi Master or a parent or a mentor. Sometimes the people we learn the most from are our friends. Those who have read Stephen R. Donaldson’s Thomas Covenant books know the main character has a hell of a lot to learn about being a decent human being. One of his closest friends is the giant Foamheart. This giant refusing to completely give up on Covenant even though he really, really wants to at times. And through his huge heart, horrible grief, and never-ending determination, Saltheart actually imparts some valuable lessons to Covenant, teaching him how to be a better person.
Well, that’s it. My list is done. Any thoughts? Let us all know!