All of our favorite genres have their cliches, memes, tropes, and other recurring elements. Unfortunately, the words “cliche,” “meme,” and “trope” make them sound like an infection. What I’m really looking for is archetypes, specifically those found in wuxia novels and kung fu movies. There’s the drunken boxer, the wolf girl, the brave archer, the ardent disciple, the white witch, the one-armed swordsman, the loyal captain, the lady hermit, the master of a deadly strike, the vampire-hunter, the acupuncturist, and so on. I’ve begun a list, but I could use your help.
What kung fu/wuxia archetypes can you think of?