Sacrifice is a recurring theme throughout the world of pop culture. To use the element of sacrifice is to play off the emotions of your audience. By making the main character make some sort of sacrifice, the audience can marvel at the character’s grandeur, which ultimately makes the character that much more real or important. Many times these books, movies, television series, or even comics become largely successful due to the character’s placement of values, which normally involve the placing the well-being of others before the well-being of yourself. The character who I watched make sacrifices for some ten wonderful years is Harry Potter.
Harry Potter is the epitome of the cool sacrifice. Born to fight an epic villain, Voldemort, where every true fan knows the prophecy that states, “either must die at the hand of the other for neither can live while the other survives.” (sorry about the whole Creed thing, very inappropriate.) Harry Potter’s fate is marked to him the moment Voldemort attempts to kill him as a baby. From then on he is marked to be Voldemort’s equal. He is the cursed child, fated to die at the hands of Voldemort. Lacking the power and magical ability that Voldemort has accumulated for himself over his lifetime, Harry is always viewed upon as fighting a losing battle. Constantly losing his friends and family to a magical war that can only be solved by fulfilling his destiny , as the reader knows it to be, his and Voldemort’s death. As the series comes to a close the reader sees Harry accept his fate as death. However, it is Harry’s acceptance of what he knows he must do as compared to Voldemort’s defiance of mortality that separates the protagonist from the antagonist. Harry accepts his fate by sacrificing himself for the betterment of the world. Harry Potter is a true hero. Sacrificing himself to end the pain of others, he is the coolest idea of sacrifice I have witnessed in my twenty years of life.
Another character that demonstrates cool sacrifice is Bruce Willis in his role in Armageddon. Bruce Willis plays the character Harry Stamper, the best oil driller in existence. Willis and his crew are put on board with trained astronauts in order to ensure that the asteroid is destroyed properly. After fast-paced space training Willis and his crew are launched into space. While in space a series of events that were originally planned for the crew go awry, and it seems as though the crew will be sacrificed in order to detonate the bomb on the asteroid. Fortunately though, fellow astronauts that Willis thought originally to be dead survived what seemed to be an impossible crash. Once again though, the crew is defied by the asteroid when previous conditions for detonation have changed and it seems that someone must stay behind in order to destroy the asteroid. Willis ultimately sacrifices himself, even though chance chose someone else. He sacrificed himself for his daughter, for his country, and for the sake of the group. Willis made making a decision that put him in a far from favorable place seem as though it was the least important part of the trip. He was more interested in the well-being of the others than in himself. By making the decision he did he saved the world, and emphasized the importance of sacrificing yourself for the betterment of the world.