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Amalgamation or amalgam, when used to refer to a fictional character or place, refers to one that was created by combining, or is perceived to be a combination, of several other previously existing characters or locations. To emphasize the origin of their creations, authors or artists may use amalgamated names.
An amalgamated character is one that is based on other characters. Amalgamated characters may be a character whose appearance is entirely original to that author or artist, but whose personality shows aspects of several existing people or fictional characters. Such characters may appear to have a split personality, rapidly and inexplicably shifting between how their inspirations would act.
Other amalgamated characters may have their appearance based entirely on existing people or fictional characters. This may go as far as desired by the author or artist, and such a character may even have each eye in a different color. Such characters usually also incorporate some of the personality aspects of their inspirations, or have an entirely original personality.
An author or artist may choose to amalgamate a character, rather than imagining all of its aspects from scratch in order to be humorous by referencing other works and/or real people. This is why such characters are more common in parodies.
- All the characters from Amalgam Comics are combinations of superheroes from Marvel Comics and DC Comics, such as Super-Soldier (Captain America + Superman) and Dark Claw (Wolverine + Batman).
- Jorgen Von Strangle, a tough-looking character from The Fairly OddParents is said by fans to be an amalgam of Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger
- Disney's version of the Queen of Hearts, as seen in the 1951 adaptation of Alice in Wonderland, seems to be an amalgam of the Duchess and the Queen in the original book, and the Red Queen of Through The Looking-Glass
- The popular web comic Homestuck takes a more literal approach to this, as in Act 6 the bodies of two deceased trolls are combined into one spirit-like entity, called "sprites". Sprites sport equal parts of each troll's physical appearance and personalities, and have names created from the two (for example, the trolls of Eridan and Sollux became Erisolsprite).
- The Crew aboard the Flying Dutchman in the Pirates of the Caribbean and the ship itself appear to have sea-life mutated into them.
Places may be amalgamated in fiction by taking districts, landmarks, or characters of existing locations, or previously created locations of another work of fiction. Thus, a sample fictional city could contain the Eiffel Tower a block away from the Forbidden City, where Bill Gates may be living after having bought a nearby clacks tower from Albus Dumbledore. Usually, if the author or artist desires the city to be more believable, he or she will amalgam it only from real places, whereas if the story is more fantastic, fictional places may be better.
An author or artist may choose to amalgamate a city rather than imagining all of its aspects from scratch in order to be humorous by referencing other works and/or real places, or to avoid having to name his or her city altogether, such as when shooting a film in several existing cities, while the city portrayed is supposed not to exist.