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Talking about a great fantasy hero, it was said that he "was the hero of ages". What does that mean?

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Not just the hero of this week, this year, or this century: he was the hero of ages! – GEdgar Aug 8 '13 at 12:31
So I can rephrase it as "one of the greatest heroes of all times"? – Lorenzo Aug 8 '13 at 12:38
No! "the hero of ..." means "the (very) top one" - not "one of the top ones". – TrevorD Aug 8 '13 at 13:19
Surely he was “the hero of the ages”, right? – tchrist Aug 8 '13 at 14:11
Is that from Mistborn? – o0'. Jul 7 '14 at 20:29
up vote 5 down vote accepted

According to the American Heritage Dictionary (and others), the word age can mean

a. The period of history during which a person lives: a product of his age.

b. A generation: ages yet unborn.

The phrase the ages is often used to express a very long time.

The phrase hero of ages seems to suggest that the individual is a champion who would be revered over a long period of time.

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+1, not just "a long period of time", but all of known history in the specific case from which the phrase was taken (Mistborn novels). Like if Satan actually showed up and took over the world, and Jesus showed up and cut his head off with a big flaming sword while sweet metal riffs played. – DCShannon Feb 24 at 0:36

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