Character Types: The Prince

Prince Charming.

Depending on who you are and how you grew up, you might have mixed reactions to the name.

Some of you might sigh romantically, picturing your own version of the perfect man who you hope to meet some day.

Some of you might sigh in frustration, cursing those stories and movies that have set impossibly high standards of romance and relationships for men and women, because you know that no one is that perfect.

Others of you, like myself, might raise an eyebrow and snarkily ask “Which one?”

Princes are one of the more popular types of fairy tale characters. I’ve talked about them before, specifically how Disney handles their portrayal, but I wanted to explore their characters a little more deeply.

After extensive research (which, yes, included wikipedia, don’t judge me), I came to the conclusion that there are two types of princes in fairy tales: Prince Charming and the Hero Prince.

Prince Charming

As I said at the beginning of this post, many people are familiar with the Prince Charming character and have a variety of emotions regarding him.

And like I said in my video about Disney princes, Prince Charming is rarely the focus of the story. I find this fascinating because Prince Charming doesn’t just sit idly by while the story unfolds. He’s out trying to save the heroine from whatever mess she’s become ensnared in.

Unfortunately, he’s often considered to just be a shallow, pretty face, given to the heroine as a reward because the story doesn’t spend much time with him.

Poor Prince Charming.

The Hero Prince

Unlike Prince Charming, the Hero Prince is the main character of his story. Readers follow him on his epic journey to defeat evil, save the damsel in distress, and claim his throne.

Often the Hero Prince is a younger son of a king who is wiser, kinder, less evil, or more selfless than his father and brothers.

And Hero Princes are always clever. They sometimes uses disguises, like in The Frog Prince, to find information or see how people truly act.

What do you think about the royal princes of fairy tales? Did I miss any traits?

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