Charon didn’t have an active role in a lot of myths, but he makes appearances all over the place. That didn’t stop in ancient days. The ferryman is an archetype. A neutral character who serves to transport the protagonist from one place to another and give off a generally creepy vibe. You’d be surprised where Charon popped up in recent history.
The Clash of the Titans
Charon appears in the original clash of the titans as a skeleton. It was a creepy moment and not one I saw fit to rewrite with my own version of Charon.
The Amber Spyglass
Another creepy ferryman, in a heart wrenching moment, he unwillingly ferries Lyra and Will across the river to the land of the dead.
In a play on words, the fairies typically act as ferrymen for children who “fall out of their prams” or get lost. The children are taken to Neverland, a wonderful land that sounds a lot like a child’s paradise. It doesn’t take much to read between the lines here. Peter later acts as a ferryman to children who died, traveling with them for part of the way so they wouldn’t be frightened.
Have you seen any examples of ferrymen that stuck with you in books or movies? Comment below.