As writer, I think it's important to examine the characters who truly speak to us so that when we write, we can try to imbue our our heroes and heroines with some of those characteristics. When I first decided to write a post about my top 10 heroes/heroines, I thought, “Oh, this’ll be cake.” I write superpowers after all. So, cake, right? Nope.
When I started making my list, I discovered that I could write it ten times over. I could do a separate one for superheroes, or literary heroes, or real life heroes, or movie heroes, or anti-heroes, and on and on. It really depends on what definition of hero/heroine you decide to use. I finally decided to make a hodgepodge list for my Top 10 that combined of all of those categories – although I mostly stuck to fictional characters.
Telepathic and telekinetic abilities are the top of my list for “if they’re passing around super powers, I want that.” I love all the manifestations Jean takes through herself and the various phoenixes she becomes.
I like the idea of Batman in general. An “ordinary man,” rather than someone with superpowers, who defeats evil through smarts, hard work, and some really cool gadgets. I like that he has issues and a dark side and a back story. My favorite portrayal is Christian Bale in the Dark Knight movies. Buff, smart, self-sacrificing, obsessed, dark. Oh! And did I mention hot? Yumm.
I will say, I'm tempted to change this to Daredevil ever since the Netflix/Charlie Cox take on the character came out. Similar reasons I love him!
I LOVE a strong female character. Daenerys is one of my favorites. I love that she starts out timid and unsure and grows into a powerful, confident, amazing woman. I love that she still makes mistakes and sometimes causes her own heartbreak as she goes along. I love that she has dragons (let’s face it, dragons are awesome). And Emilia Clarke does an incredible job in the role in the HBO series.
Reason: Best Physical Weapon (Indestructible, Retractable Claws)
Just gotta love a gruff, grumpy guy with metal claws and a heart of gold. He was one of my favorites before the movies ever came out. And then Hugh Jackman went and made him even more awesome in a more likable way… and even managed to do that without the yellow spandex outfit.
Val Kilmer’s portrayal in the movie Tombstone put this character in my top 10. Doc is a bit of an anti-hero – drunken gambler that he is. But he is also loyal to a fault, battling grave illness to fight for his friend. I would definitely want a friend like that. And he’s dang funny in a sarcastic way that I really enjoy. He can be my huckleberry any day.
Another awesome strong female. She’s not the most powerful vampire in the coven (although she gets more powerful as the series goes on), and she has been misled and trusted the wrong people. But she fights for real, personal reasons – not just because she’s a vampire. And she allows her views to change as truth is revealed. She’s also a kickass fighter.
If you haven’t read Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand, I highly recommend it (not the movie so much, but definitely the book). It is an account of the incredible life of Louis Zamparini primarily focused on his experience during WWII of surviving first a plane crash into the ocean and drifting for ages, but then a POW camp in Japan. An amazing, amazing real-life story.
I guess I love the anti-hero types who have a really dark side. And Riddick definitely fits. He’s smart, a kick-ass fighter with no fear, and is incredibly loyal to the few people he cares about. And anyone who can defeat some holy half-dead guy definitely has to rate top 10 in my opinion.
Individual, intelligent, forgiving, independent – and all despite the era in which the book is set and was written. Jane Eyre was one of my favorite characters in high school when I first read the book and remains so to this day. She follows her heart, but remains loyal. She relies on herself to solve her own issues. She’s not afraid to stand up to Mr. Rochester and consequently wins his love.
I absolutely had to include the trio from Star Wars in here because it’s my favorite movie of all time. The combo of these three is one of the biggest reasons. We have Leia who is a strong, independent, feisty woman who can hold her own with Darth Vader. We have Luke who is an up and coming Jedi – and Jedi are wicked awesome. And we have Han who is sarcastic, loyal, and a good fighter. Love, love, love, my Star Wars heroes and heroine.
Like I said, I had a seriously hard time limiting myself to just 10. I had a TON of others like…
Aragorn from LOTR, Katniss from Hunger Games, Audie Murphy (WWII hero and actor), Black Widow from the Avengers, Mulan, The Incredibles, James Bond, Ben Hur, Perseus, Marmie March from Little Women, Rogue and Gambit and Cyclops from X-Men, Atticus Finch from To Kill a Mockingbird, Wonder Woman, Beowulf, Blade, Lara Croft, Daredevil…
I could go on and on and on. I even had Julia Sugarbaker from Designing Women on my longer list, cause man can she ever deliver a verbal set-down.
In the end though, the ones I selected for my Top 10 aren’t necessarily the most saintly or deserving, but are the ones I personally connect with most for various reasons. In fact, after writing this, it struck me that I must have a thing for heroes/heroines who are loyal, skilled fighters, and have a dark side.
I had a lot of fun thinking through this list. I’d LOVE to hear about your own list of heroes/heroines. Who do you connect with?