Saturday, September 30, 2006

So who is your favourite hero?

The second episode of Reader, I married him - a 3 part TV series all about romantic fiction - looked at romantic heroes in Part 2 this week.

It's introduced by Daisy Goodwin, who has done an excellent job of making an entertaining TV programme which manages to be engrossing, informative and fun, and, even better, it isn't patronising. Daisy, we award you a night with the hero of your choice for services rendered to romance.

So who were the four top literary heroes of all time? They're a bit obvious, perhaps, but no less worthy of 'Best hero of all time' status for all that. In no particular order, they are:

Mr Darcy. Proud, arrogant, but willing to change. With ten thousand a year and Pemberley, to say nothing of a flawed but engaging character, how could he not feature in anyone's top 10?

When he marries Elizabeth, it's the perfect happy ever after.

Rhett Butler. A man who can be relied upon to come to the rescue, whether it's by bringing a girl a new bonnet, or finding a horse and cart to help her flee a war-torn town.

He's a man who's prepared to bide his time to get what he wants, and pay the price for it.

And of course he can be relied upon to sweep a girl off her feet as well . . .

Heathcliff. The original bad boy. Wild, passionate and not averse to banging his head against a tree if the occasion calls for it.

And then there's Mr Rochester. Brooding and enigmatic, he's the archetypal tortured hero, a man of mystery with pain in his past, and something in his attic . . .

So who is your favourite hero, and why?


Jenna said...

It's almost impossible to pick a favourite. I think the Scarlet Pimpernel would be my choice, though. He's got an air of mystery and at the same time he's adventurous and capable. He's also capable of very deep love.

Julia Williams said...

We've been having this discussion on another loop. I'm with the Darcys and Rochesters, but also love: Gabriel Oak for his loyalty and dependablity, Eugene Wrayburn, for his outrageous cynicism and tortured soul (I do like them dark, but have to fess up that I hate Heathcliff), and also, sorry Mandy, Dobbin for his loyalty too...

But my favourite hero ever is in a fantasy series by Tamora Pierce called The Immortals. His name is Numair, he's a magician. And boy does he have sex appeal.

Failing that (and straying into the realms of tv) my favourite hero of the moment has to be David Tennant as Dr Who. He is gorgeous!!!!

Carla said...

One of the things that struck me about the programme was that a lot of the commentators said that although they loved their favourite hero in the pages of a book, they wouldn't want him in real life! A bit like the way people used to say "Great for a holiday but you wouldn't want to live there" about exotic destinations. It seemed to be a common theme. Did anyone else notice that, and is it a feature of romantic heroes - that they belong in a fantasy life?

Elain said...

I'd have to go with Cpt Wentworth. When he says "You pierce my soul" I just melt!

Kate Allan said...

Any of Heyer's heros, for example, Dominic Alistair, Marquis of Vidal... why were they not in the programme's line up? Or Jean Aubrey (Frenchman's Creek)? Or Captain Jack Elliott (from The Diary of Sarah Agnes Prime)?

Julie said...

I find Heathcliff to be psychotic, Angel Clare to be a bit wet, bigoted and quite hypocritical and Rochester is a bit too taciturn for my liking so it's Darcy all the way! He's gorgeous, rich, loyal and loves his family but has got just the right amount of Alpha male qualities in him!


Kath said...

My favourite hero would have to be Max Ravenscar. I love Heyer's books, they're such good fun.

Anonymous said...

In Heyer books it would have to be Lord Vidal for me too.

In George RR Martin books I think Ser Garlan Tyrell as he's one of the few characters who behaves according to the knightly code (a big theme in the series).

As for my favourite TV hero of the moment I pick Lieutenant Ralph Clarke aka Jack Davenport from The Incredible Journey of Mary Bryant.

Anonymous said...

The thing about the pages of a book thing is I'd want to adjust them. Still be who they were in the context of real life.

Heathcliff without the tree-head contact. Rochester without the crazy wife. Darcy a little less arrogant.

My favorite is Heathcliff, before he goes off the edge. Provided I were his Cathy and not just Isabella, of course.


marissa said...

Mr. Darcy. hands down.
because he is orgasmic to the tenth degree times four.

but im pissed at the ugly pix they put on here... they shouldve put Matthew Macfadyen... because collin firth has NOTHING on him.
... it had to be said.