Okay, so it's Hero Week over at Anne-girl's blog, Scribblings of My Pen and Tappings of My Keyboard. (Love that blog name!) She's challenged us (and, boy, was it a challenge!) to make a list of our ten favorite literary heroes. Coming up with ten took me all of five minutes. Making the list? An hour.
Why did it take me so long? Well, to add my two cents to Anne-girl's amazing post, being The Hero in a novel does not make a guy character a hero. Even if his name is George Knightley or Fitzwilliam Darcy or (dare I say it?) Percy Blakeney. It's what a hero does that makes him a true hero. We love a hero because of what he does, what he is, and what he believes - not because the author or director deemed him The Hero. We love Sir Percy because he rescued innocent aristocrats from a terrible fate. We love Mr. Knightley because he wasn't afraid of telling Emma what he thought. We love... well, I'll leave that for my list. (For more reasons why a hero needs to be a hero, read Anne-girl's post.)
Now, for my list.... I decided to be fair and put different heroes in each rank. If I had my way, it'd just be Sir Percy in the entire thing as #1, #2, #3, and so on. But... for the sake of... well, something, I decided to chose different heroes. : )
Sir Percy Blakeney from The Scarlet Pimpernel by Baroness Emmuska Orczy
I mean, seriously - if a guy's got that great of a cravat and cape (and HAT!), he's got to be a great hero. (Just kidding...)
Need I even put a quote or describe him? Everyone who's anyone should know Sir Percy and how amazing he is. Oh, well. For those few that don't know how awesome he is, I'll put a quote. (And for those who do know how awesome he is... the quote will make you know how awesome he is.) : )
The Scarlet Pimpernel did not take it upon himself to punish the guilty; his care was solely of the helpless and of the innocent. For this aim he risked his life every time that he set foot on French soil, for it he sacrificed his fortune, and even his personal happiness, and to it he devoted his entire existence. [...] The Scarlet Pimpernel was a personality of whom an entire nation might be justly proud.
- El Dorado
"I am in a tight corner - tighter than ever I have been before; but I am not dead yet!"
- Sir Percy, El Dorado
"Percy was not the man to leave a comrade in the lurch! He would not be the man whom we all love and admire, whose word we all obey, for whose sake we would gladly all of us give our life - he would not be that man if he did not brave even certain dangers in order to be of help to those who call on him."
- Sir Andrew Ffoulkes, El Dorado
If that doesn't give you even a glimpse of how awesome Sir Percy is (and why he's my number one), go read El Dorado. (Well, go read The Scarlet Pimpernel, then read El Dorado.)
HA! Just kidding. Scared you, didn't I?!
My, ahem, REAL Number Two...
George Knightley from Emma by Jane Austen
Seriously, people, Mr. Knightley is one of the sweetest, kindest, most considerate heroes you'll ever come across. He was not afraid to tell Emma what he thought. He was one of her best friends and stayed by her for her entire life, through thick and thin.
Two of my favorite quotes from him:
"Really, Emma - it is better to have no wit at all then to apply it as you do!"
"If I loved you less, I might be able to talk about it more!"
Two very different quotes... yet, that's why I like him so much!
Mr. Knightley is, in my opinion, the best Jane Austen hero. Just sayin'.
Edward Ferrars from Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen
Now, this Edward is a hero. (Not that other Edward out there...) Spoiler Alert! After he promised to marry Lucy Steele, then found out that he was in love with Elinor Dashwood, he kept his promise to Lucy. Even though he really loved Elinor. Now, I'm sure that wouldn't have worked out for them, and it's really great (in a terrible way) that Lucy decided to be a total jerk and marry his older brother. End Spoiler Alert
He's a true hero.
I can't find any quotes by this Edward (my personal favorite of the many adaptions), but I do love his first scene. "Beating carpets?" HA!
Mac Campbell from Eight Cousins and Rose in Bloom by Louisa May Alcott
I can't get a picture of him because, well, there hasn't been a movie made yet. (You guys can all cry now.)
Mac is my favorite of The Campbell Boys (there are seven of them). From the very beginning of Eight Cousins, I knew he was my favorite... and I was rooting for him the entire time. Yes, he's a little rough around the edges - at first - but he taught Rose so much about nature and poetry, to name a very few.
"What have you decided to be, Mac?" asked Rose, as they went up the avenue side by side.
"A man first, and a good one if possible; after that, what God pleases."
Something in the tone, as well as the words, made Rose look up quickly into Mac's face, to see a new expression there. It was indescribable; but she felt as if she had often done when watching the mists part suddenly, giving glimpses of some mountaintop, shining serene and high against the blue.
"I think you will be something splendid; for you really look quite glorified, walking under this arch of yellow leaves with the sunshine on your face," she exclaimed, conscious of a sudden admiration never felt before; for Mac was the plainest of all the cousins.
"I don't know about that; but I have my dreams and aspirations, and some of them are pretty high ones. Aim at the best, you know, and keep climbing if you want to get on," he said, looking at the asters with an inward sort of smile, as if he and they had some sweet secret between them.
- Rose in Bloom
Another one of my favorite chapters is 'Polishing Mac.' I absolutely love that part! "It's very easy to say 'come on;' but what the dickens do I do with my left leg while I'm turning and sliding with my right?" HA! Ooh, and after the Hopes' party. "What did you do then?" "Do! I went off like a shot, and never stopped till I reached the Hopes-" "You didn't walk all that way?" cried Rose. "Bless you, no; I ran."
Okay, enough. Before I start quoting entire chapters!
Gilbert Blythe from Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery
There really isn't a better example of a true hero! Others have expounded far more and better than I on how great he is, and you'd better read that in order to get why I like him so much.
"Well, I won't change... that's the least I can promise you."
"'Wilt thou give up thy garter, oh fairest of the fair?' Anne, nobody talks that way! And look at that sap Percival who sits around mooning the entire time. He never lets a girl get a word in edgewise. In real life she'd have pitched him."
"Anne, I've loved you as long as I can remember. I need you. Please say yes..."
The "Pitching and Mooning Scene" is my personal favorite. : )
John Chivery from Little Dorrit by Charles Dickens
This guy is one of the most heroic guys I know, on the terms of heroines. Spoiler Alert! When he found out that Arthur loved Amy, and she loved him, he backed away and let Arthur propose to her, even after his previous attempt when Amy refused as kindly as she knew how. End Spoiler Alert
"All that time I was breaking my heart over her, she was breaking hers over you."
"I'd throw myself over that precipice if I thought I'd give you a moment's happiness!" (Or something like that; I can't find the actual quote)
Arthur Clenam from Little Dorrit by Charles Dickens
Yes, he's more of The Hero from Little Dorrit - well, he is The Hero - but this is just where I placed him in my list. Anywhos, Arthur is such a hero! He's a great guy because he stood up for the girl he loved in her wedding (to a guy he didn't like and I really didn't like), he was kind to Mr. Dorrit, even after Mr. Dorrit was so mean to him, and he was caring and loving towards his (evil) mother, even when she basically hated him!
"What a blind idiot you must have thought me."
John Harmon from Our Mutual Friend by Charles Dickens
(I can't find a picture and I'm too tired to try harder. Look up how he looks yourself! Hehehe...)
Now, John (slash Julius Hanford slash John Rokesmith) was a little bit of a creeper at first. Whenever he'd just pop up, I'd be like, "Argh! Creepy dude!" When we first watched this movie about, oh, five years ago, I didn't like him. I thought he was a weird stalker that wasn't very handsome. By the end of the movie, my thoughts were "quite the opposite," to borrow a quote from one of my favorite literary heroines. (But we're not talking about heroines!)
"You are wonderfully mistaken!"
"Since Miss Wilfer rejected me, I have never again urged my suit with a spoken syllable or look. But I have never changed in my devotion for her, except that it is deeper than it was and better founded."
And, my personal favorite...
"It's a wonder I don't twist your head off AND THROW IT OUT THE WINDOW!"
Wow... Mr. Thornton. Now, he's another guy that I did not like in the beginning of the movie, but by the end, I thought, 'Hmm. He's a pretty great guy!' Mr. Thornton made my list because he taught Margaret Hale about how different life in the North was from where she was from - the South. (The whole handshake scene... Bad move, Margaret!)
"Miss Hale, I didn't just come here to thank you. I came... because... I think it... very likely... I know I've never found myself in this position before. It's... difficult to find the words. Miss Hale, my feelings for you... are very strong..."
"I spoke to you about my feelings because I love you; I had no thought for your reputation!"
Fitzwilliam Darcy from Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
Mr. Darcy made my list because he helped Elizabeth overcome her prejudice by having an awesome house. (Just kidding!) He did have a beautiful house, though... : )
"I must tell you how ardently I admire and love you!"
Honorable Mentions (because what's a list without a few awesome runner-ups?!):
Ralph Percy from To Have and To Hold by Mary Johnston
Traverse Rocke and Herbert Grayson from The Hidden Hand by E.D.E.N. Southworth
Ishmael Worth from Ishmael by E.D.E.N. Southworth
Declan Ross from Isle of Swords by Wayne Thomas Batson
Laurie from Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
Professor Bhaer from Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
Faramir and Aragorn from The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien
Mr. Bingley from Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
Wulf and Godwin D'Arcy from The Bretheren by H. Rider Haggard
I could go on... but I won't. : )
All of these men are awesome heroes that deserve to be loved and looked up to! They're all from amazing books (that were made into equally amazing movies!) and that is what makes them...
My Favorite Literary Heroes.