I recently came across a picture meme on Facebook about the qualities of a Hero and Anti-Hero in novels. Most of the list was right; however, a few points I disagreed with.
Under the Hero is listed: is the conformist, peacekeeper, is always on the right side of the law, never ambivalent. Under the Anti-Hero listed: is the rebel, stands up to authority, is often the Fallen Angel, mysterious and unpredictable.
These were where I disagreed.
History is full of novels and movies where the hero is nothing more than an unpredictable, mysterious, Fallen Angel rebel who stands up to authority.
And, quite honestly, that is the type of hero I prefer. Why?
Because men that are rebels and who stand up to authority are usually the first ones in line to protect and save the heroine at no matter the cost.
Prince Philip in Sleeping Beauty was a wuss and would never have made it out of Maleficent’s castle without the help of the three fairies. Snow White’s Prince did absolutely nothing to help and protect her. Cinderella’s Prince did nothing either, while a bunch of mice fought with everything they had to unlock the door and free her.
But, Cullen Bohannon in the TV show Hell on Wheels, now that’s a sexy hero. Natty “Hawkeye” Bumppo in The Last of the Mohicans, Rob Stark in Game of Thrones, William Wallace in
Braveheart, Jake Sully in Avatar, the list goes on and on, and all of them sexy hero’s whose characteristics match the qualities on the Anti-Hero list.
Heck, even Lisa Jane Smith and Stephanie Meyer turned vampires and werewolves into sexy heroes that every young girl and most women in the world wanted. Of course, Robert Pattinson, Taylor Lautner, Paul Wesley, and Ian Somerhalder helped the cause.
While I would never want my hero to be selfish, lack compassion, be rude or disrespectful, giving my hero’s an edge that brings them to life.
Certainly, I’m not in for a redemption story, or to give young readers the impression that bad boys are the ones to go for because they can change them, but to have the hero rebel for the sake of protecting his heroine? Uh, yes, please.