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Showing posts by: Michael Fiegel click to see Michael Fiegel's profile
Nov 10 2017 2:00pm

The Badass and Child Duo

Read Michael Fiegel's exclusive guest post about the “Badass and Child Duo” trope, then make sure you're signed in and comment below for a chance to win a copy of his debut thriller, Blackbird!

“Is she your child?” asked someone.

“I guess she is now,” the other cried, defiantly; “she’s mine ’cause I saved her. No man will take her from me...”

Arthur Conan Doyle, A Study in Scarlet

Luc Besson's 1994 crime thriller Leon—better known to many as The Professional—is my favorite movie. Telling the story of a professional hitman (Jean Reno) who rescues a 12-year-old girl (Natalie Portman) from corrupt DEA agents, it was a major influence on my writing. This is most vividly reflected in my novel Blackbird, a thriller that tells a similar story with a twist: rather than the “good guy” rescuing the girl, it explores the consequences of the “bad guy” getting her instead.

Both of these situations are takes on the trope known as the “Badass and Child Duo.” You can read all about it on, but the way it works is fairly self-evident: a badass (usually but not always a man) and a child (often a girl) team up in some way throughout the story, with the badass predominantly acting as the child's protector. There are at least two variants of the trope, and they're both interesting to take a look at, seeing as they appear across multiple genres.

[Read more about the Badass and Child Duo!]