It’s week two of my Class Showcase series, where I take a class from D&D and give three examples from popular culture. This week: Bards.
#3 Brook (One Piece)
For those of you who don’t know, One Piece is quickly becoming the most popular Anime series of all time. The story is essentially about a group of rag-tag pirates traveling the world in search of a legendary item called the “One-Piece”. As you can imagine, the crew is filled to bursting with interesting characters of which Brook is one. He is, for all intents and purposes, an undead skeleton bard (I know that sounds weird but hey, it’s anime!). Interestingly, just as in D&D, Brook can invoke the power of his music (played by violin, piano, or guitar) to affect the moods of others and even use it to give them hypnotic suggestions. He is also an invaluable asset to the crew for his entertainment value during long voyages. (Yo ho ho ho, yo ho ho ho!)
#2 Gabrielle (Xena: Warrior Princess)
I know, I know, two characters from the same show in two weeks? But seriously, Gabrielle is the best female bard of all time when it comes to popular culture. Watching her character grow from a clumsy farm girl sidekick to a kick-ass warrior princess was one of the best side stories of the whole show. Over the course of the six year run, Gabrielle was able to talk and sing her way out of countless trouble and she was undeniably the moral support that Xena needed in difficult times.
#1 Star-Lord (Guardians of the Galaxy, 2014 film)
Let’s forget about the comic book character for a moment and focus in on the movie character. Just looking at that one source, I think I have a very strong argument to say that Star-Lord is a bard. He sings, he dances, he is very passionate about the musical connection between himself and his mom, and he seems to embody the old saying “jack of all trades, master of none”. He even gives passionate speeches and arguments that can totally change the minds of others. In fact, I’ll bet that there are more than a few of you out there that ran home after watching this movie to roll up some new bard characters! (Am I right?)