Paul.E.Bailey’s World – My 5 Favourite Fictional Heroes

It had to happen. I went the way of the villain last time, so now I suppose it’s natural progression to look at the good guys. After all, there can be no negative without a positive.

In general, I find I’m more impressed by the bad guy in any work of fiction. Perhaps that says something of me (mu-ha-ha-ha-haaaaaaa) or maybe it’s because I find the antagonist to have more personality or backstory. That isn’t to say I haven’t been massively impressed by some heroes and that’s where this post comes in.

Most all of us like to see the good guy win. Whether it’s Superman, Harry Potter or Bella from Twilight, if you’re watching and you’re interested in what’s going on then you want to see how the hero overcomes the villain in the end. It’s usually an elaborate trick to overcome an equally as elaborate obstacle laid down by the villain.

harry-potter
Whether just one instalment or several, we all like to see how our hero overcomes the forces of evil in the end (Harry Potter image from Buzznet.com)

What makes a good hero? I don’t think there’s one answer to that question, but there has to be something fundamentally likeable about the character if they’re to win over the masses. The stereotypical heroes of bygone days aren’t as common anymore. They don’t necessarily have to be strong, humble and moral anymore. In fact I think people are generally tired of that kind of hero. They like to see something else, be it a badass side or a more ‘normal’ human side.

Anyway, I’ll give you a rundown of who my favourite fictional protagonists are and exactly what makes them my favourites.

Morpheus (The Matrix) – Laurence Fishburne must have been licking his lips in anticipation when he was asked to play Morpheus in The Matrix Trilogy. The captain of the hover ship Nebuchadnezzar looks the part in this film in the way nobody else does. He’s super cool. His voice is like silk. He looks like he could kick some serious arse too. I loved Morpheus immediately when I watched The Matrix for the first time. He’s better than Neo and I feel no shame in saying it. I love Neo, don’t get me wrong. You can’t be a fan of The Matrix and not love Neo. He’s amazing. There’s just something Morpheus offers that Neo doesn’t and I think it’s more humanism. Neo is just so mentally free in the matrix that he doesn’t even need to think to defeat his foes. Morpheus isn’t that free and so has to really dig in deep to take on the enemy. This is exemplified in his fight with the agent on top of the articulated lorry in The Matrix Reloaded (see YouTube clip below). He’s got a quiet wisdom about him and everything he says is a lesson or at least causes a pause for thought. Morpheus is brilliant. He and Agent Smith are the main reasons I love The Matrix Trilogy.

morpheus
Morpheus was an effortlessly cool character (image from carboncostume.com)

James Bond (Ian Fleming Novels and Movies) – I think James Bond is definitely a marmite character. People either love him or they hate him. It’s rare people are somewhere in the middle. I am a huge Bond fan. I’m definitely more into the earlier movies than the later ones (although I do approve of Daniel Craig’s rendition). Sean Connery is James Bond to me. The movies were so farfetched in the 60’s and 70’s (I might as well admit now that I’ve never read the books) and even I admit to cringing at some of the ‘special’ effects, but it was all part of the charm for me. 007 himself is just such an ice cool character. Intelligent, worldly, handsome, strong, fearless…he’s pretty much archetypal. Perhaps a little too perfect, but then that was how it was supposed to be in those days before the world changed. Even now though I think Bond and the idea of Bond has remained a yardstick. He’s changed in many ways (not just because of who plays him – the character is a million miles from what it was in the beginning), but he’s changed in the right ways and remains a real hero. With 007 on your side you know the odds of victory are in your favour because he’s resourceful enough to turn the bleakest of situations into a winner. Usually via a big explosion that’ll cost the state of whatever country he’s in a fuck-tonne of money. Oh well, you wanna make an omelette you gotta break some eggs. His only flaw is that he’s generally quite chauvinistic.

james-bond
Sean Connery is the original and best 007 (image from 007james.com)

Daryl Dixon (The Walking Dead) – Daryl was always on a winner with me because Norman Reedus plays him and Norman Reedus was Scud in Blade II. Then I stopped buzzing off that link and started to actually watch Daryl and he was my favourite character on the show before season one of The Walking Dead had a chance to finish. He’s just awesome in every sense of the word. From the crossbow he carries on his back to the motorcycle he rides, Daryl just has that something that no other character on the show has or has ever had. I’ve said that if he’s killed off then I’m likely not to watch it anymore and I’m being genuinely truthful about that. His character offers more than a bunch of the others do combined. There’s no real need to kill him off at all as he isn’t a character in the comics. He can grow and progress in the show in a way none of the other characters can. That’s something the producers simply have to utilise probably for as long as the show runs. Daryl is a bit of a contradiction in that he’s a one man band, but cares deeply for the group he’s with and will do whatever it takes to protect them. I can relate to that. I won’t say I can relate to Daryl on the whole as he’s a whole lot braver and tougher than I am, but there are certain facets of his character that are mirrored in me. He’s a superb protagonist and the perfect right-hand man to Rick Grimes.

daryl-dixon
Daryl Dixon is the quintessential zombie apocalypse survivor (image from paperlore.com)

Gene Hunt (Life on Mars/Ashes to Ashes) – For the third time out of four, I’m putting forth the wingman ahead of the main man. Like Morpheus was the other guy to Neo and Daryl is the other guy to Rick, Gene Hunt was the other guy to Sam Tyler and later Alex Drake. Except he wasn’t. He was the boss. I mean he was the boss! He was the DCI to Tyler and Drake’s DI. Gene Hunt was the man in both Life on Mars and Ashes to Ashes. You’ll never hear a fan of the shows say he wasn’t the main reason they watched them. Philip Glenister was born to play the tough, misogynistic, racist, borderline alcoholic Mancunian police detective. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a character played so well. Hunt was a larger than life character that ran a team of police detectives in 1970’s Manchester (Life on Mars) and later 1980’s London (Ashes to Ashes) and he ran the slipshod team with an iron fist. He was hilarious. Like roll around on the floor funny. The way he delivered his lines was so deft that you didn’t know it was even being acted. Tyler and Drake were the perfect buttoned-down foils to Hunt, but the dysfunction was normally how they’d end up winning the day in most episodes. Gene Hunt, on balance, is probably my all-time favourite protagonist. He had something that none of the others did. Just watch the series’ and you’ll see what I mean.

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DCI Gene Hunt (right) alongside DI Sam Tyler and his Ford Cortina in Life on Mars (image from dailymail.co.uk)

Ezio Auditore da Firenze (Assassin’s Creed 2/Brotherhood/Revelations) – There can be no doubt about it; Ezio is the best protagonist of any Assassin’s Creed game thus far and I can’t see how they’ll ever top him. He was so good that they made three games in his honour. No other character has had that much game time. I really liked Edward Kenway in Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag and (despite how much he got slated) I also have a soft spot for the original protagonist, Altaïr Ibn-La’Ahad, perhaps owing entirely to the fact he was the one who kick-started the whole thing. Neither of them are as good as Ezio though. The Florentine was just the complete package. He had it all and practically did it all. He was Leonardo da Vinci’s best mate for Christ’s sake! It doesn’t get cooler than that. Ezio had something about him that all other Assassin’s Creed heroes have lacked before or since. He had the most personality and the most tragic story leading him to the path of the Assassin’s Brotherhood and eventual grandmastery. He had to lose virtually everyone he loved in order to become everything he was. He’s the most human of all the protagonists in the series of games and you can feel an emotional connection to him. At least I could anyway. I’d be very happy if Ubisoft released one more game with Ezio as the main character. It won’t happen, but I can dream…

ezio-auditore
Images of Ezio from all three of the games he featured as protagonist (image from deviantart.net)

That’s my list of five, but by no means are we done. They’re my favourites and I’m happy with the list. There are others who deserve an honourable mention though. Those who just about didn’t make the grade.

Trevor Philips (GTA V) is my favourite protagonist in the Grand Theft Auto series of games by a quite considerable distance. Steven Ogg plays the role with relish and the fact they designed Trevor to look like Ogg just makes it all the more fun. I also liked Tommy Vercetti (GTA Vice City), but he was nothing compared to Trevor. Blade, from the movies of the same name, was a serious badass. The movies were epic and he was an epic hero. Forget Twilight; the Blade Trilogy were proper vampire movies and Wesley Snipes was brilliant playing the daywalker.

trevor-philips
Never a dull moment with the insane and incorrigible Trevor Philips (Official Rockstar GTA V imagery)

Clive Cussler’s main hero in his novels is Dirk Pitt and it’s tough not to love him and his faithful best friend and sidekick, Al Giordino. There’s something James Bond-esque about Pitt in his ability to save the world against improbable odds, but it’s never dull finding out how. I have to mention Professor Robert Langdon (Angels & Demons/The Da Vinci Code/The Lost Symbol/Inferno) because he’s a great hero and in a totally different way to all those mentioned. Plus Tom Hanks plays him so well in the movies. There’s also El Mariachi from the El Mariachi series of movies by Robert Rodriguez who’s played to perfection by Antonio Banderas in the second (Desperado) and third (Once Upon a Time in Mexico). I’m also giving a nod to Severus Snape from the Harry Potter novels and films. Alan Rickman played Snape so well. He really made that role his own and Snape was such a great character. It saddens me that both Snape and Rickman are no more.

Despite the fact that he isn’t fictitious, I want to give a mention to King Leonidas I of Sparta. Gerard Butler was superb as Leonidas in the movie 300 and even though the story told in the movie wasn’t one hundred percent accurate, there can be no denying that Leonidas was probably the hero of all heroes. I think Maximus Decimus Meridius (Gladiator) is worth a mention too as Russel Crowe was breath-taking as the betrayed Roman army general. Legend has it that the story was actually true in part, but Meridius himself was fictional.

There you have it. My list of favourite good guys. I hope it makes interesting reading for you. If not then I can only aspire to do better in future.

What makes a good hero for you? Is it essential that you can relate to them in some way? Who are your favourite heroes and what do you think of my list? Who would you take out? I expect to see a whole bunch of comments when I come back so I can have some enlightened discussion with you all. Thanks for reading!

leonidas
Gerard Butler portraying arguably my favourite non-fictional hero, King Leonidas I of Sparta in the movie 300 (image from everythingaction.com)

51 thoughts on “Paul.E.Bailey’s World – My 5 Favourite Fictional Heroes

  1. Am I allowed to prefer Rae’s top five? 😂 Or will I get thrown off your blog for saying that 😆 haha. Katniss and Hermione. Lush. I actually prefer Johnny English to Bond 😀 I can never see Johnny English without thinking he’s more entertaining than Bond. Would Bond work if he wasn’t hot? I think heros have to be either supremely attractive or supremely intelligent, and preferably both to sustain my interest.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You’re allowed to prefer what you wish. This isn’t a dictatorship. It’s merely a blog 😂
      I think Bond would work if he wasn’t hot. It’s more about what he is and what he does than how he looks, but his sex appeal is a definite addition to the man. I’ve got time for Johnny English because Rowan Atkinson plays him and only an utter twat doesn’t like Rowan Atkinson. I think you’re right; a bit of both does help, though I’m not massively fussed about attractiveness on a personal level xxx

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Haha. I am extraordinarily heroic. I killed a spider once even though I have a fear of them. Brave!
        I’m not massively excited for it. I’m not the most Christmassy of people. Caellum’s still too young to understand it too

        Liked by 1 person

      2. You spider murderer! That took balls 😂 Respect. I don’t like Christmas, except for the food, so I’m making it about the food this year, but none of that cooking from scratch bollocks. My Christmas is being purchased pre-prepared from Aldi 😁 Living the convenience food dream.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. I can’t stand spiders. If they looked like Mr Skinnylegs from Peppa then I wouldn’t mind, but they just don’t. They look like alien creatures sent to destroy us all.
        Aldi is ace! I love that you can walk out of the place with a trolley full of shopping and it cost like half of what it would in Asda. My only issue is they don’t always have what you’re looking for xxx

        Liked by 1 person

      4. I don’t mind spiders. I’m the resident spider catcher in my house lol. Aldi is a way of life for me 😉 The Aldi buzz has to be better than class A’s I’d imagine, and the come down is much easier to tolerate, as it’s so reasonably priced you can go straight back again and get a new hit!! It makes food shopping fun 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      5. Comparing Aldi to Class A substance use…that is why you’re both batshit crazy and fucking awesome! 😂 There is a buzz about finding a bargain though, I must agree. I don’t like being swindled by the establishment and I think places like Aldi and Lidl are a middle finger up to said establishment and the corporations xxx

        Liked by 1 person

      6. haha! Thanks 🙂 *bows* I am crazy and awesome, I have to agree there! There is a song about Lidl on YouTube which is quite cool, I only discovered that yesterday. I’m changing my blog to include topics including Lidl and Aldi. That’s what my blog is missing!…my childish excitement about the everyday stuff. I am sick to death of writing about sad stuff, so prepare to hear a lot more comparisons such as the Aldi/class A substance one LOL! I’m gonna re-brand, maybe make my blog like the middle finger equivalent to blogging…fuck pretentious poetry, I’m gonna blog like Aldi would do!!! OH YES. I’m inspired now :)!!! Thanks! I’ve just made a video on anger which I’m gonna publish. I’m burning bridges with my past and starting afresh next year 🙂 BOOOOM

        Liked by 1 person

  2. This post is a winner. I likes it.
    Yay Bella! And Morpheus! And Omg Trevor! Rofl I loved him…
    Fkn Daryl…he’ll always be a Saint to me, if ya know what I mean. Idk what makes a good hero tho…they’re kinda chzy sometimes. The ones you mentioned…whatever it is. Badassery. That’s what makes a hero. E.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. In all fairness, I mentioned Bella as an example of a hero, but I actually think she’s a mega dickhead! 😂
      Heroes are very often cheesy and obvious. Like in every film John Cena ever starred in for example. Or Steven Segal. That shit don’t really impress me. I like my good guys to be well thought out and flawed in some way. All the heroes I mentioned have a fundamental flaw or two

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I thought she was an overdramatic whiner lmao. But she has my name so I had to “yay” anyway lol. I like your list. But I keep thinking of this oldish movie with Bruce Willis I think…unbreakable maybe? Had an interesting hero/villain twist but I forget what it is atm maybe I’ll watch tonight it’s itching me lol. Had a good point I think.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Resting bellend face! Haha. I remember a post on Facebook where people were trying to come up with a good new name for a band and somebody came up with ‘The Kristin Stewart Facial Expressions’ complete with a poster of all her facial expressions (one). I nearly died laughing

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Gosh, this is proving harder than I expected! I feel like some of these are like “well, duh… of course you’d pick that”… but it’s all that is coming to mind at the moment:
    1. Day from Marie Lu’s Legend series. Strong and motivated even in the most dire of circumstances. Clearly has a whole lot of luck on his side… brooding but loyal.
    2. Katniss Everdeen. Written about relating to her before… Strong female character, distances herself in romantic relationships, good actress and savvy in various difficult situations and with difficult people… also fiercely loyal to her friends and family.
    Clearly my top two are not “perfect” hero types…
    3. Hermione from Harry Potter. Intelligence, loyalty, sharp wit, and dude… her magic skills though… lol
    4. Inspector Wallander, epitome of Swedish existentialism. Sharp mind, brave and skilled in the face of death, yet will still have all the feels and and existential crisis after having to kill someone. Makes him human and believable to me.
    5. Wesley from Princess Bride. Pulled up from nothing, worked on himself to turn from a quiet meek boy to a strong sassy man… still loyal to the love of his life and returned to her stronger than ever. His willpower not to give up.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Is it bad that I haven’t heard of four out of five of those? And that the one I have heard of I find to be a little twatbag? 😂 To be fair to Hermione, she gets better with age, but in the early days she was just a proper little bellend! Haha. But your list screams only one thing to me…I need to read/watch more stuff!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I don’t mind smelling a person when you hug them but damn some of the ladies put it on and it smacks you in the face. Tends to be women in their fifties, I guess you lose your sense of smell at that age or something. Lol

        Liked by 1 person

      2. My mum is in her fifties and she tends to smell of horse generally because she’s pretty much always with one. Haha. I wouldn’t say it’d make me smell like that as I am neither sexy nor a champion, but I imagine the two fragrances would compliment each other

        Liked by 1 person

      3. We call it Lynx over here because obviously things need to be called different names in our respective countries. And I really couldn’t do with the hassle of a bunch of broads who look like waxwork models chasing me all over the place.
        My mum always dreamed of owning a horse so she’s in her element now, although not at this particular moment in time. She’s in hospital

        Liked by 1 person

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