Dawson’s Creek Characters As Classic Archetypes

Dawson’s Creek Characters As Classic Archetypes

Dawson’s Creek might not chronicle the traditional hero journey, but it does feature classic archetypes of characters in the same way.



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Dawson’s Creek Characters As Classic Archetypes

Heroes and villains are Dawson Leery’s bread and butter. He loves a good morality tale – or even a good jump scare. Movies and the way they make people feel are everything to him in Dawson’s Creek. He would probably know a thing or two about classic archetypes.

In literature, classic archetypes are those character types that appear over and over. They’re most often associated with “the hero’s journey” in myths and legends, or these days, in epic fantasy movies. While Dawson’s life, chronicled throughout the early 2000s WB drama, isn’t an epic fantasy, it does feature a lot of those classic archetypes.

10 Dawson: The Hero/Innocent/Creator

Dawson’s Creek Characters As Classic Archetypes

Dawson fills three archetypal roles. Some fans of the show would argue he isn’t the real Hero of the series since he doesn’t appear in every episode; that honor belongs to Joey. The show, however much it veers off course, is Dawson’s journey. His quest isn’t to defeat a monster but to realize his dream of filmmaking.

Dawson also, however, fills the role of the Innocent. This is the character who is naive to the ways of the world and lived their life in a sheltered bubble, the person who has a lot of growing to do. Of course, Dawson’s innocence is also part of his approach to filmmaking, which is why he also fills the role of Creator. His earnestness and love for morality plays becomes part of the mark he wants to leave on the world as he brings his own visions to life.

9 Joey: The Orphan/Companion/Creator

Dawson’s Creek Characters As Classic Archetypes

One of the most common roles filled by the Hero amongst the archetypes is that of the Orphan, but Joey fills it instead. Having lost her mother to cancer and her father to prison, Joey lives with her big sister but still feels completely alone. She has to find her place in the world, and she does that amongst her friends.

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She also fills what’s traditionally a romantic role – the Companion. Often a love interest for the Hero, the Companion is someone the hero turns to for emotional support. Joey and Dawson try a romantic relationship, but it doesn’t work out. They still, however, proclaim they’re soul mates. Like Dawson, Joey also finds herself with a story to tell. She doesn’t leave her mark on the world through movies or television. Instead, Joey takes the Creator role to several different mediums – song, painting, and writing – before she chooses one.



8 Grams: The Caregiver

Dawson’s Creek Characters As Classic Archetypes

The Caregiver is a parental figure in the Hero’s life. Dawson has parents. His parents even frequently give him advice and play a role in his development, but Grams fills this role even more than they do because she becomes everyone’s Caregiver.

Grams takes such a turn from the character the audience meets in the pilot episode. Initially, she is stern and unwilling to bend, but she eventually becomes the person all of the main characters can go to for help. She allows all of them to stay in her house when she moves with Jen and Jack to Boston for school. Grams is there for holiday dinners and to babysit Dawson’s little sister. She becomes completely selfless for this group of young adults.

7 Drue: The Shapeshifter

Dawson’s Creek Characters As Classic Archetypes

Drue isn’t a part of the series long. In fact, most of the characters who would qualify as a Shapeshifter aren’t. Drue is introduced as someone Jen knows from New York – that she definitely doesn’t trust – whose mother runs Capeside’s country club.

He gets under the skin of the other characters and seems like a high school villain, until he doesn’t. The truth is that Drue’s motivations for stirring up trouble are never entirely clear to everyone beyond him being unhappy at home. Every once in a while, he does something nice for the group, specifically Joey since she works for his mother, and it throws them for a loop. That never knowing which side Drue is on is what makes him a Shapeshifter.

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6 Audrey: The Explorer

Dawson’s Creek Characters As Classic Archetypes

Audrey is the kind of person who is willing to try anything. She longs for adventure. In the early part of her appearances, that manifests in her trying to party her way through college and boys, but as she grows, she realizes that’s not the best thing for her.


The Explorer is the kind of person who strives for freedom. They don’t like to be boxed in to a particular role, but consistently try to be there for the people around them, setting their own journey aside. Audrey does that so often that it leads to her searching for love in all the wrong places, but eventually, she finds her path as a singer.

5 Mr. Brooks: The False Mentor

Dawson’s Creek Characters As Classic Archetypes

Along the Hero’s journey, he meets a lot of people who help him achieve his goal. While Dawson’s friends would all be termed allies, he also needs a mentor. When Dawson is in high school, the audience might think Dawson finds one in Mr. Brooks, but that’s not the case.

The False Mentor doesn’t have to be intentionally false. They aren’t necessarily tricking the Hero into following their advice. They can just be someone the Hero believes is a part of shaping their journey, but really, is simply filling the role until the true Mentor comes along. Mr. Brooks, a cantankerous Capeside resident that Dawson works for, is that False Mentor. Dawson learns from him, but not the same way he learns from his true Mentor.

4 Todd: The Mentor

Dawson’s Creek Characters As Classic Archetypes

The director that Dawson meets during his college years is his real Mentor. Todd is not the best person when he first has Dawson on his movie set. In fact, Todd has a lot of growing to do himself, but his attitude forces Dawson to examine his dreams from a new angle.

It’s also while working with Todd that Dawson starts to make the leap from following orders to making decisions for himself. Todd teaches Dawson that sometimes, compromises are necessary to achieve his dream, but there are other areas in which he needs to hold fast. He might not always treat Dawson well to get him to realize these things, but Dawson learns a lot of valuable skills from Todd, like negotiating with people way above his pay grade.

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3 Jack: The Everyman

Dawson’s Creek Characters As Classic Archetypes

Jack has a lot of big storylines for Dawson’s Creek, but his struggles are some of the most relatable on the show. He’s not after a lofty Hollywood job like Dawson. Jack doesn’t act as the person with all the wisdom in the group. Instead, he’s a young man who wants to be accepted for who he really is and have a family of his own.

That involves coming out to his dad, finding a best friend in a small town, nearly flunking out of school, and eventually raising a child with the man he loves. Jack’s problems (and their solutions) are much more grounded in reality than everyone else. Not as jaded as Jen or as innocent as Dawson, he is the show’s Everyman.

2 Jen: The Outlaw

Dawson’s Creek Characters As Classic Archetypes

If The Explorer doesn’t like being boxed in, then the Outlaw absolutely refuses it. The Outlaw is the person who refuses to conform to society’s standards, whether that makes them someone actually on the run from the law, or someone who bucks the trends they’re confronted with on a regular basis.

The Outlaw of Dawson’s Creek is definitely Jen. She spends her formative years feeling like an outsider because she has very different interests from the people of Capeside. Her non-conformist attitude has her changing cheerleading routines, her grandmother’s opinions of her, and the lives of the people she meets.

1 Pacey: The Jester/Lover

The Jester, as the name implies is the comic relief. They make quips at the Hero’s expense but are more observant than given credit for. Pacey fills that role, but he also fills another surprising one.

The Lover is not the Companion of the Hero, but rather someone who is so devoted to the people they care about that they’ll do anything for them. Pacey falls in and out of a lot of relationships in the series, and when he’s in, he’s all in. He sacrifices his own reputation to keep the teacher he falls for out of trouble, his own job for a woman he has a crush on who dates their boss, and his own happiness to make sure Joey is happy.

Link Source : https://screenrant.com/dawsons-creek-characters-classic-archetypes/

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