My book includes a significant "mentor" character to one of my MCs. Now, my limited understanding of mentor archetypes is that often a key function is simply for them to die. Indeed, that is what befalls my mentor character, after which my MC becomes self-aware, his mission clear(er) and he begins his own path through the pages. I'm interested in anyone who has written anything with a mentor character in it, or read works with such characters in them, and how they feel toward mentors. What do you like and dislike about them? In particular, how do you usually consider the relationship between the mentor and his MC? When the mentor is still alive, it seems to me that the MC tends to have a juvenile, naive and even shallow quality as a character, that is only really unleashed when the mentor is gone. This seems to lend itself to predictability in the book: the MC (who we know is MC by reason of the POV) is kind of just following along, until he is forced to lead himself. This annoys me. My solution is to try and give the MC concrete goals/conflicts/motivations before the mentor's death. However, they generally seem to have to conform with the mentors own goals (the two can't really be in major conflict, else he is no longer a mentor). Then, if the goals (etc) change too much after the mentor's demise, it feels the first part of the book is a "waste". If they don't change at all, then what was the point of the mentor and his death? Have people had similar difficulties? How have people given life and meaning to their character before a mentor's demise?