Ancient archetype that may be understood in at least three different ways.
- Any character can wear a different archetype hat at different stages of the story, and when this happens, the character might be said to change shape.
- In a sense, the False Ally is a shapechanger, though a real Shapechanger doesn’t merely reveal her or his true motivation at some point, but actually alters her or his essence once or several times in the story.
- Another way of defining the Shapechanger archetype is more literal; for example, all the stories in Ovid’s Metamorphoses feature Shapechangers.
Famous Shapechanger: Proteus. Modern example: most Marvel superheroes. See Archetypes.