Who is Your Favourite Hero in Fiction?

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Written by Frankie Cameron

Who is your favourite hero or heroine in fiction? There is a long list of characters to choose from such as King Arthur (Camelot), Nancy Drew, Harry Potter, Lisbeth Salander (Girl with the Dragon Tattoo), Matilda Wormwood (Matilda), Atticus Finch (To Kill a Mockingbird), Ponyboy Curtis (The Outsiders), Guy Montag (Fahrenheit 451) and Gandalf (Lord of the Rings).

Merriam-Webster defines a hero as “a mythological or legendary figure often of divine descent endowed with great strength or ability; an illustrious warrior; a person admired for achievements and noble qualities; one who shows great courage.”

For this blog, I am using ‘hero’ to define a hero or a heroine.

Image created in Canva

Types of Heros in Fiction

According to multiple writing sites, there are six types of heroes in fiction:

    1. The Willing Hero aka Perfect Hero

    The willing hero is gung-ho, committed to the adventure, bravely forging ahead when others run away. Generally speaking, they run towards danger while all others run away. Examples include Tarzan and Superman.

    “I think a hero is an ordinary individual who finds strength to persevere and endure in spite of overwhelming obstacles.”

    Christopher Reeve (Superman)

    2. Unwilling Hero aka Reluctant Hero

    The unwilling hero is hesitant and needs motivation before joining the adventure, although they typically become committed, eventually. Examples include Frodo Baggins (Lord of the Rings), Hans Solo (Star Wars) and John McClane (Die Hard).

    3. The Tragic Hero

    Tragic heroes are so flawed they never vanquish their demons. They normally lose everything as a result of a series of poor decisions. Examples include Anikin Skywalker (Star Wars) and Peter Pan (Neverland).

    4. The Classic Hero aka Romantic Hero

    A classic hero has a quality or an ability that separates them from the rest. They usually have a rigid morality. They are almost perfect, if sometimes unrelatable. Examples include Robin Hood, James Bond, Hamlet and Sherlock Holmes.

    5. The Epic Hero

    The epic hero is better known for self-sacrifice. They must overcome an inner demon before fighting any external battles. They begin ordinarily and develop into the extraordinary. Examples include Aragorn (Lord of the Rings) and Achilles (The Iliad).

    6. The Antihero

    The anti-hero isn’t a villain, but they normally are only interested in self-preservation. They may need to do a lot of wrong things before doing the right thing, or they may do the right thing for the wrong reason. Examples include Captain Jack Sparrow (Pirates of the Caribbean), Jesse Pinkman (Breaking Bad) and Geralt of Rivia (The Witcher).

    Is the Protagonist Always the Hero?

    I once thought that the protagonist was always the hero, but that isn’t true; the words aren’t interchangeable. Stories need a protagonist, but they don’t always need a hero.

    The Top 50 Sci-Fi Movie Protagonists

    The following list is the top 10 of 50 protagonists according to Den of Geek (click the link to read the rest of the list):

    1. Ellen Ripley (Alien)
    2. Luke Skywalker (Star Wars)
    3. James T. Kirk (Star Trek)
    4. Hans Solo (Star Wars)
    5. Marty McFly (Back to the Future)
    6. Lando Calrissian (Star Wars)
    7. Doctor Miles Bennel (Invasion of the Body Snatchers)
    8. Sam Bell (Sam Bell Moon)
    9. Sarah Connor (Terminator)
    10. Dr. David Bowman (2001: A Space Odyssey)

    I will let you decided if these protagonists are heroes. I personally would have had Katniss Everdeen (Hunger Games), Elliott (E.T.), James Cole (Twelve Monkeys) and Mad Max Rockatansky (Road Warrior) higher on the list.

    Favourite Heroes in Dystopia

    There are a ton of heroes in dystopia. I know I am missing a ton, but some of my favourite characters are:

    • Katniss Everdeen (Hunger Games)
    • Tris (Divergent)
    • Thomas (Maze Runner)
    • Hester Shaw (Mortal Engines)
    • Neo (The Matrix)
    • Logan 5 (Logan’s Run)
    • Jonas (The Giver)
    • Offred (The Handmaid’s Tale)
    • Andre Layton (Snowpiercer)

    Final Thoughts

    Charlie, my protagonist in my novel Hollow Edge, is a reluctant hero. What is your favourite type of hero? Let me know in the comments.

    Until next time

    Frankie

    Feature image by yabadene belkacem from Pixabay.

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