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TROPE REVIEW: Found Family

The Found Family is a popular trope found across vast forms of literature, especially fantasy. Often, the typically-orphaned protagonist journeys with a disparate group of individuals and they become a single cohesive unit despite bickering and disputes.

 

An example of this is in the Ilyon Chronicles - the half-breed Jace meets the elder man Rayad who becomes a father figure to him, even gifting his first sword and being the father he never had. This would shift again when he meets Kyrin, who he has a burgeoning relationship with. The family grows from there. The reason this trope is so powerful is because it can clash with the born family. 

 

Let me throw a quick storyline into the mix. You have your orphan who journeys off with a bunch of people. Later she discovers- *cue dramatic music* she's the antagonist's daughter.  Blood ties and friendship bonds pull her in opposite directions. I have no shame in using a found family trope in my upcoming novel Torch-Bearer. There aren't many blood bonds in the group, but I hope that it is clear by the end they have become something more.

 

However, just because it's a found family doesn't mean they won't argue. No family is perfect. Take the Guardians of the Galaxy, for example. Nebula commented "all you do is yell at each other. You are not friends." To which Drax responds, "you're right. We're family."