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|Forums: War Room → Determining a main character|
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Classification scheme implemented.
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After adding the categories Major characters (Legend of Korra) and Minor characters (Legend of Korra), it occurred to me that there's no concrete criteria on determining if a character is a main character or not. There are many factors that can lead to the decision, the major ones being number of appearances, plot relevance, and whether their voice actor is credited under "Starring".
The current main characters are Korra, Mako, Bolin, Asami, Tenzin, Lin, and Amon. Korra and Amon's main character status is a no-brainer, considering they are the main protagonist and antagonist, respectively. Mako, Bolin, Tenzin, and Lin's MC status is, I presume, based on the fact that they were among the first characters announced for the series, and supported by their credits under the "Starring" list. As for Asami, her plot relevance sky-rocketed in "The Aftermath", and, after re-watching some of the past episodes, I noticed that she was credited under "Starring" as well. So, which factors out-weigh the others, and if a criteria is not currently used, should one be created?
I'm asking this mainly because there was a bit of a dispute over whether Tarrlok is a main character or simply a major supporting character. The main reason against him being an MC is that Dee Bradley Baker isn't credited as a main voice actor, although, this is incorrect, as he voices main characters Naga and Pabu. However, since Baker voices many characters, they are listed under his credit under "Starring", regardless of whether they have a pivotal role in the series, namely, the Butler, Oogi, the lemurs, and the Radio host. Since Tarrlok is listed under Dee's credit alongside several minor characters, this does complicate things.
- To me, Tarrlok looks like a main character for now. He kidnapped Korra and is bringing chaos to Republic City, so he is important enough to be considered a main character. 00:04, June 8, 2012 (UTC)
- He would be a somewhat main character. He did make a difference in the plot and made a big impact on Korra's plans. I would say that he was a main character. 05:34, July 17, 2012 (UTC)
- Lol, I went ahead and categorized Tarrlok as a main character a long while ago, 12 days after I created this forum thread, since he was listed before Dee Bradley Baker's other characters in the credits, and is featured on Nick.com along with the other main characters. That part of the discussion is already resolved. :P —Random Ranaun (Talk to me!) 06:34, July 17, 2012 (UTC)
- Whoops, silly me. I should have checked his page before leaving my unneeded 2 cents .___. 08:01, July 17, 2012 (UTC)
Am I the only one who feels he is not classified as such? Sure he had a rather large role but he was not as integral as the other main characters. Remember this was planned as a mini-series/spin off, his role seems alot larger due to compactness of the series. He is a supporting character for most of the series until the two episodes where he is a villain and only shows up as a supporting character after.—Arrow(talk)→ 08:38, July 17, 2012 (UTC)
- First, Korra will be aired with 52 episodes total. I propose to change the main characters on the main page with several main characters per books, but it's hard to categorized them as main or major. Acer Indonesia Ask anything about fanon! • TCA:TFF 09:19, 17 July, 2012 (UTC)
- Per 888, I am against making changes to anything if it has yet to be released. 17:25, July 17, 2012 (UTC)
- I would consider Tarrlok a Major Character, because if you look back at Book 1, he kept the story moving with his equalist task force, kidnapping the avatar, and bloodbending. Even though he did not appear in every episode he should still be classified as a major character. Regarding the topic about the difference between main and major characters, I believe that characters like Tarrlok who are confirmed dead, should not be considered a main character for the series as a whole. If we get into the nitty gritty, I suppose he could qualify as a main character for Book 1 though. I that maybe it would be easier to consider classes of characters for each book, instead of the overall series (except Korra, Mako, Bolin, Tenzin, who we know will stay throughout the whole series)-- 02:29, July 18, 2012 (UTC)
- At the insistence of some, I drafted some clear criteria which would allow us to quickly categorise characters without arguing over it in future.
Avatar Wiki classifies characters that appear in the series included in the franchise as main, major or minor characters. The criteria for inclusion in each classification is set out below.
For this classification scheme
- "Featured" refers to being a catalyst or overtly and directly supporting the catalyst for a pattern of events.
- "Pattern of events" refers to one of the individual story threads (running through an episode).
A minor character is:
- Anyone who has one or more lines of dialogue;
- Otherwise, anyone who performs an action that is the clear and unambiguous focal point of that frame (merely appearing does not fulfil this requirement).
A major character fulfils the requirements for a minor character, and is:
- Anyone who is featured in the pattern of events for two or more episodes;
- Otherwise, anyone who has dialogue in a majority of episodes in a Book.
A main character fulfils the requirements for a major character, and is:
- Anyone who is featured in the pattern of events for a majority of episodes in a series (as distinct from an individual Book).
- Otherwise, anyone who acts as the primary antagonist for a series (as distinct from an individual Book).
- Tarrlok was later being main character: He was firstly shown as "supporting character", until he came to revealed his "half-true" secret, a bloodbender. His role was almost-like with Iroh and Tarrlok was shown in several episodes. Acer Indonesia Ask anything about fanon! • TCA:TFF 12:06, July 18, 2012 (UTC)
I'll simply say that it's quite a poor idea to categorise Tarrlok as a main character when there are 40 episodes left that will have no Tarrlok appearances at all. The 888th Avatar (talk) 12:15, July 18, 2012 (UTC)
- Think of it this way. In ATLA, Zhao was a main villain and a main character of Book 1 Water. If we were to have a wiki on just the first book, he would be definitely classified as a main character. However, looking at the whole series, we see him as a major character, because he was a main character only for 1 Book, the minority of the series. So the same thing can be said about Tarrlok. He was a main character, but will only be for the minority of the series. I guess that could even be said about Amon, because he's dead now also. We really don't know until Korra is over. BlackMonkey Talk - Rhythm 12:59, July 18, 2012 (UTC)
- Well, Zhao wasn't a main character to begin with. He appeared in only 7 out of the 20 episodes, and even then, he was only credited under the "Also starring" heading. He was always a major character, not a main character. —Random Ranaun (Talk to me!) 14:25, July 18, 2012 (UTC)
- I've finally decided to join this thread :). I support 888's proposal: it is reasonable and gives us a clear view of who's what type of character. 15:27, July 18, 2012 (UTC)
- Acer, Tarrlok isn't a main character. Per 888, "anyone who acts as the primary antagonist for a series (as distinct from an individual Book)". 18:05, July 18, 2012 (UTC)
- ^ And since Tarrlok is dead, he can't be in the next book. ^ 18:34, July 18, 2012 (UTC)
(Forgot to add this) Therefore, Tarrlok is a major character like Zhao is, since that is "Anyone who is featured in the pattern of events for two or more episodes" and "anyone who acts as the primary antagonist for a series (as distinct from an individual Book)".18:40, July 18, 2012 (UTC)
- I honestly think a separate ruling should be made for TLoK. Unlike ATLA, each Book is its own self-contained arc, each with its own villains. Think of it this way, if ATLA continued with a Book 4 with all-new villains and a new conflict, the same way as TLoK, wouldn't we still consider Ozai and Azula main characters? —Random Ranaun (Talk to me!) 20:06, July 18, 2012 (UTC)
- But when we're talking about the main character category, we're talking about the series as a whole, not an small arc, each of which lasts only about a quarter of the series. I've never heard of a classification where a villain that appears in less than a quarter of a series is considered a main character. There are so many villains in classic comic book series that dominate the pages when they're on the loose, but they still wouldn't be considered main characters on the same level as the protagonists. The 888th Avatar (talk) 01:11, July 19, 2012 (UTC)
What about characters that are less than minor? Like foamy or the corncob guy in ATLA or feathered hat man and the previous Avatars in LoK? Should there be a category lower than minor? The only name I could think of for it is "Inconsequential characters" --Burgundy (wall • contribs) 18:11, July 19, 2012 (UTC).
- Those characters haven't appeared enough in the series to receive their own category. We don't need a category for everyone that we see. Otherwise we would have a category for some random guy in a crowd somewhere. 08:12, July 21, 2012 (UTC)
That the scheme for classifying characters should be as The 888th Avatar proposes
- Support — I acknowledge my effort as being far from perfect, but I think it is the simplest, broadest and most effective approach to unifying our approach to character classification and putting a stop to inconsistency. The 888th Avatar (talk) 08:06, July 24, 2012 (UTC)
- Support — There will always be some subjective preference involved when it comes to classifying these, but the proposed approach is indeed one of the most effective ones there is. (however, we do seem to have excluded people who have never said any lines in the series from the categorization). Lady Lostris (talk • HotN) 08:41, July 24, 2012 (UTC)
- Support — I think 888 has still nailed the definitions here. From what little I've learned, the best rules in life and science were always the simple ones, and this does away with as much speculation as possible in preference to clear and objectively measurable standards. KettleMeetPot (wall • contribs) 08:48, July 24, 2012 (UTC)
- Support — We need to be consistent. These new definitions of characters will be much more comprehensible and give a much better understanding on what type os character someone is. 15:27, July 24, 2012 (UTC)
- Support — This classification will work for what we need, there can be exceptions, but the general criteria to classify is well covered there. Dcasawang1 • wall 16:31, July 24, 2012 (UTC)
- Support — The Kid 100% (wall • contribs)
- Support — Random Ranaun (Talk to me!) 22:31, July 24, 2012 (UTC)
- Support — For consistency. ― Thailog 22:38, July 24, 2012 (UTC)