“I would rather be a good man than a great king.”
It’s tricky enough trying to narrow down the best hero in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, because they’re all amazing. Unfortunately we had to pick one. So why Thor? As Elizabeth’s brother puts it, “He’s a God, ’nuff said.” Yet at the same time there is so much more to Thor, he is the only one ‘worthy’ enough to wield Mjolnir (though Captain America did make it budge a bit) and even more importantly, he wasn’t always worthy. The first film showed that he was flawed, immature and reckless and he had to earn back his ‘worthiness’.
“Maybe what I really wanted was to prove I could do things right. So when I looked in the mirror, I’d see someone worthwhile. But I was wrong. I see nothing.”
Mulan is one of the first characters I think of when I think of hero. It’s not just that she defeated an entire army and ‘saved all of China’ but what led her on her journey, was family. Even after an argument, and being forced into the female traditions she didn’t feel comfortable following, Mulan still stood up for her family. In a way, she did it for herself, for the experience and chance to be someone more but what led her to that choice was a desire to save her father, who would have been sent to war. In his place, Mulan learns important lessons, not just about saving her country but about herself.
The Doctor (Doctor Who)
“In 900 years of time and space, I’ve never met anyone who wasn’t important.”
The best description of the Doctor was given in an episode called the Family of Blood. “He’s like fire and ice and rage. He’s like the night and the storm in the heart of the sun. He’s ancient and forever. He burns at the centre of time and can see the turn of the universe. And he’s… wonderful.” The Doctor is a character with infinite potential, thousands of years old and capable of regenerating almost into a new personality, but one thing he keeps is his love for adventure, saving the world and running. Yet while he can be funny and a little unusual when he eats fish fingers and custard, sometimes he can be scary and stern. He’s an alien yet he loves humans, the perspectives we have due to our mortality.
Buffy Summers (Buffy the Vampire Slayer)
“I’m the thing that monsters have nightmares about. And right now, you and me are gonna show them why.”
To anyone who hasn’t seen Buffy stop reading, go find it on Netflix or something and watch it right now. Okay maybe not, Buffy is very 90’s you have to remember that, but I watched Buffy as a kid (not joking, I was definitely watching it before I was 8) and she means the world to me. Because of Buffy I grew up with a female character in my life who was not only stronger than everyone else, capable of protecting the world from every apocalyptic disaster but someone who showed me you could still be girly and kick arse and most importantly, Buffy made mistakes. I saw her rise up against the villains but I also saw her lose all hope. She kept fighting even though on the inside she was falling apart and becoming self destructive. In a world of monsters and slayers, Buffy was a real person, a real human and a real hero.
Celaena Sardothien (Throne of Glass)
“I am Celaena Sardothien and I will not be afraid.”
Celaena is an assassin who after being captured is forced to work as a slave in the salt mines of Endovier. All the experiences she has endured greatly influence the development of her character. While Celaena comes across as a total badass with no concern for other people, she has her own inner demons that she must struggle with. But one of the most interesting things about her as a heroine, is that she still has done a lot of things that she isn’t proud of. She may be an assassin, but she’s also a lot more than that as Dorian and Chaol can both vouch for her.
Jon Snow (A Song of Ice and Fire)
“Kill the boy, Jon Snow. Winter is almost upon us. Kill the boy and let the man be born.”
It’s hard to pick a hero out of the morally ambiguous Game of Thrones cast, they’d undoubtedly have to be a noble Stark and who deserves that name more than the one Stark who isn’t allowed to wear it? Yes, Jon Snow, the bastard son of Ned Stark (unless you believe some of the theories you read online). While Jon is a bastard and Lady Catelyn makes no mistake of her disdain for him, he always had a good relationship with his siblings, particularly Arya (who both were described to most closely resemble Starks) who helped him to develop his kind heart. But still being a bastard alienated and isolated him so he chose to join the Night’s Watch for the right reasons, to help save the realm from what’s beyond the Wall. Throughout the books Jon develops from a boy, to a man and is forced to make some tough choses (like making Gilly leave her child behind and take Mance Radar’s son instead) at the cost of alienating his friends. It’s his friendships that make him endearing, his relationship with Sam and the other Night Watch and his dire wolf Ghost and just as importantly, Ygritte. Jon must also struggle with leadership and more importantly the lack of faith and anger other Night’s Watch feel towards him.
Kid/Teen Loki (Journey into Mystery/ Agent of Asgard)
So Loki died saving the world (I know, right?) and came back as Kid Loki! This adorable lovable little trickster is completely full of Loki mischief just less of the evil. He has been serving the All-Mother as her ‘Agent of Asgard’. Loki spends a lot of time trying to end plans that his past self (the evil adult Loki) has already set in motion. His greatest enemy is literally himself, both in a physical and mental way. Then there’s also the fact the Loki kind of killed Kid Loki and then became Kid Loki himself, so he’s also dealing with the guilt of killing himself, or the good him anyway.
Princess Adrienne (Princeless)
Princeless is a comic that people need to talk about more. Not only does it quash gender roles, trample all over the ‘princess waiting in the tower for her true love’ stories, but it also brings some very interesting points about racism and sexism to the table. Princess Adrienne is so frustrated with the idea her and her sisters should be waiting in their towers for a prince to save them, that she decides to save them herself. But Adrienne isn’t the perfect feminist, she’s slutshamed her own sister, but that’s the point, she’s still learning that some people don’t want to be saved. Adrienne takes no shit, she won’t let any Prince call her a ‘fair’ maiden when she’s clearly black, she doesn’t want a stupid Prince, and she’d rather them not kill the dragon defending her tower who is actually her friend.
The next post (in two days) will be an analysis of why these are our favourite heroes, why and what you can learn from them. Subscribe so you don’t miss any of Heroes Fortnight (and you get a bonus free writer’s pack with it)!
Do you have a favourite hero? Or maybe more than one? Let us know in the comments below.
– Nadia & Elizabeth