Harry Potter and the Philosophers stone
Propp’s character theory
The Princess’s father
The Donor + Dispatcher
Propp’s character theory
The main protagonist within a narrative, this is the character you would back in their quest. You want this
character to do well and therefore succeed with their quest. In
Mamad is the hero within my graphic novel. This is due to the consumer backing this character because they know
he’s been wrongly accused and framed. This enables the reader to back the character in the quest before his death
and still remember him at the end, he’s the main protagonist in my story.
The villain is the character type that tries to stop the hero or discourages the character from their quest for their own
personal gain. This is usually in stories where the villains motive is to get the princess’s hand in marriage.
In my narrative, James/king James is my villain. He plots to first frame Mamad for lying to the king, while plotting to
kill the king in the meantime. He tries, and succeeds, in upsetting the equilibrium and stops the hero for a personal
gain. In this case the crown of Winchester was James's goal.
This character type is either a desired character or object within the narrative. This character could be the reason for a
disruption in equilibrium between the hero and the villain.
The crown of Winchester is the Princess in my novel. This is because it is a desired item to a character in the
narrative, James. Even though the hero is not after the crown, it is the closest to a Princess character type in my story.
An unconventional princess character type, due to a
narrative like mine normally having an actual princess
character as the desired item.
The helper usually supports the hero in his quest. This does not need to be a physical contribution, but could
be information or knowledge instead. However, even a character backing a character in the narrative can be
considered as the helper of the story.
The noblemen is the helper in my narrative. Even if the nobleman doesn’t give any information or objects to
the hero, he still backs him and doesn't chant “burn him” in the execution part. Instead, he shows his support
for the hero, therefore, he receives the hero character type.
The Princesses' father
This character type sets up the quest for the hero. It doesn’t necessarily have to be the princesses’
father, just someone who lays down a quest or tasks for the hero to complete.
Unconventionally, The king is the ‘princesses’ father’ in my narrative. This is because he sets
Mamad the task of never lying again in exchange for a place in the monarchy, he also sends
Mamad to inform the Queen about making dinner.
This character type traditionally gives the hero something, such as a magical power or some knowledge. This
will then help the hero complete their quest.
In my narrative, I have not emulated the conventions of the donor character type, but instead made the corrupt
nobleman the donor. I have done this because I had already planned for the twist for the hero to die, this
enabled the donor to be evil and therefore unconventional from the norm. The corrupt nobleman is the donor
because he gives James suggestions on how to get rid of the king and Mamad, while swaying the king on his
decision to execute Mamad.
This character usually sends the hero on their quest. This maybe a family member of the hero or could
be combined with the false hero by feeding the hero false information at the beginning of the narrative
which will send them down the wrong path or to the wrong person.
The King is a character type again, by been the dispatcher in my narrative. He receives the title of
dispatcher by sending Mamad on his quest, but doesn’t feed him wrong information.
The False hero
This character appears to be a good character and at the start may even be mistaken for the hero. This character could
gain the respect of many characters, including the hero's’ allies. However, the character is only pretending to be nice for
their personal gain.
As well as the title of villain, James also gets the false hero character type. He receives this grouping because he appears
to be a good loyal subject of the King, but instead is plotting to destroy the monarchy. However, like many narratives, the
false hero eventually ends up been the evident villain.
Propp’s narrative functions that apply to my
Reconnaissance – The villain seeks the King’s crown and the throne to Winchester. This is evident early on in the narrative.
Delivery – The villain gains the information that Mamad is going to be sent on a quest to the summer palace by the king, this will be
his chance to deceive Mamad.
Departure – Mamad leaves on his adventure to the Summer Palace to tell the Queen to prepare a feast.
First Function of the Donor - Mamad is challenged to prove his loyalty to the monarchy and more importantly, his promise that he
wouldn’t lie to the King.
Hero’s Reaction – Hero responds to the task by accepting the quest and going to the summer palace and tells the Queen what he
believes to be correct.
Guidance – The hero, Mamad, reaches the summer palace and tells the Queen to prepare a feast., thinking he’s in the right.
Return – Mamad sets off back to Winchester castle believing that the King will be happy with his carrying out of the quest.
Trickery – James blames Mamad for wasting food by telling the queen to prepare a feast, even though James had cancelled the
hunting trip that would have prompted the feast.
Difficult Task – Mamad must prove he is in the right, but the king has had his mind tainted by James’s lies for many years.
Unfounded Claims – James claims Mamad should be punished for his acts. He has the backing of his corrupt nobleman also.
Todorov - Narrative structure
A state of equilibrium
All is well in Winchester, the King calls upon Mamad and states he will be a key asset to the monarchy. The people of the city are
happy with the running of Winchester by the King.
A disruption of the equilibrium
Mamad is wrongly accused of lying to The King and is sentenced to death. Shortly after, James poisons the King and gets handed the
crown, the King not knowing about James’s villainous acts. The people of Winchester are in grieving over the death of the King, but
no one knows about Mamad being framed.
A recognition of a disruption
The people of Winchester soon notice that new King James is a bad ruler, due to his introduction of very high taxes and strong law
An attempt to repair disruption
A vigilante group of nobleman and towns people unite and create an uprising against the new King. They try to be peaceful, but King
James threatens them all. The uprising group, behead the King and share the monarchy between all residents of Winchester.
A return to equilibrium
Even though two main figures have died in the city, peace is restored and Winchester now leave in peace from dictators. The shared
monarchy is a success and it is kept permanently by the city.
Claude Levi Strauss – Binary Opposition
Good vs. Evil
This is the main binary opposite within my narrative. The opposite is quickly evident in the novel, within the first 3 pages. It depicts
James and a corrupt nobleman discussing how to get rid of Mamad, the good character in my narrative who never lies. James also
plots to get rid of the King, this enigma and battle of binary opposites drives the story forward and makes the consumer want to
One of the kings noblemen, James was becoming tired of been out of the limelight. He decided
to plot how to get rid of Mamad
Mamad promises he has never lied and won’t lie in the future. The king sees the man as a key
Too messy, we
him…. for now
to get rid
That is true
Is it true you
never lie? And
you won’t in
You will be a
key asset to