Kate (mskatej) wrote,
Kate
mskatej

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What do we want from our heroes?

I was talking to bop_radar in the comments of yesterday’s post, on the subject of heroes and what we look for in our heroic characters, and I thought I’d share it with the rest of you, and then ask you to reciprocate, and tell me what you love about your favourite characters (whether they be heroes or sidekicks or villains or fallen heroes or whatever your bag is.)

*

While I like and find interesting many different kinds of characters, the heroes I love, admire and respect the most are the ones who don’t waver too far from their path. That’s not to say they don’t suffer at all, or that it’s easy for them, because I would find that boring. I require the hero to be on a journey, and some darkness is good! Just not too *much* darkness.

Four heroes spring to mind when I think of characters I love with all my heart, and they are all the stars of their respective shows:


  • Benton Fraser
  • Buffy Summers
  • Clark Kent
  • Sydney Bristow


  • There are many things these characters have in common, other than being the star:


    1. Their moral centre is strong and unbreakable. They would never take a human life (well, Sydney has, but it’s different with her because she’s a CIA agent and that’s just a part of the job. Still, she has never *murdered* anyone). This is incredibly important to me.
    2. They are all physically attractive and charming.
    3. YET...they are all extremely *nice*, kind, giving, loving people. They are the kind of people I am attracted to in real life. I look up to them and I can understand why others love them so much. [In our discussion K mentioned Buffy’s easy life compared to Faith’s, and yes, she had a relatively stable upbringing, but as someone who believes in nature over nurture, to me, Buffy’s personality is the one she was born with; the (heroic) qualities she possesses have nothing to do with her upbringing, and people love her deeply because she is an amazing human being, not because she’s a cute privileged blonde hottie. Faith OTOH is not so easy to love – hence the reason I don’t love her quite as much. She’s damaged, yes, but she’s also not innately *good* in the same way that Buffy is.]
    4. They are brave, fiercely loyal, protective of their loved ones, driven to do the right thing because of something deep in their soul. They will never fall, they will never be crushed, no matter what they face.
    5. They are all lonely (despite being loved), because they are set apart from everyone else by their gifts.
    6. They have all sacrificed a lot and suffered a lot, and the reasons they suffer are precisely *because* they’re heroes, and the hero’s journey is not supposed to be an easy or happy one.


    (I'm sure I've forgotten lots of other things they have in common - add to the list if you please!)

    So there you have it. They are the types of heroes I love MOST. I do adore the redemption plot archetype, but my very favourite characters will never need to be redeemed in that way, because they would never fall that far.

    *tips hat*
    Tags: meta
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