Thursday, July 8, 2010

Why Heroes Do Heroic Deeds

All fantasy stories have a hero. Whether it’s a book, a movie, or a fairy tale-they all have a hero. The hero is usually the protagonist as well. But what makes them do heroic things? What’s the driving force behind them to jump into the action and take on the most evil living thing? Or to lay down their life to save another?

Almost all reasons have a similarity-they are fighting for someone. Someone that is dear to them. Someone they love.

It could be as big as saving the world. They fight for the world’s survival. But the hero could also be fighting for one person. And even though people will kill me for saying it, that person is usually someone they love above all other people. The hero’s wife (or husband, but it’s not usually that way) or wife to be.

Loyalty. The force behind their actions could also be loyalty and love to a nation or a commander they admire-who gives them the mission or objective. They do it because of love for their leader or love of their country. An example of this is Kale in Donita K. Paul’s Dragonspell when she chooses to do what Paladin says out of love and loyalty among other things.

And last and in my opinion, least is honor and glory. I hate that this is actually a reason. The hero sacrifices and puts himself in harms way and possible death for his own personal good. He wants to lift himself up above others and to do so he may be thought better of and be remembered. The reason that I completely disagree with this is because the person is doing it for selfish reasons and not for God.

Of course there’s also the whole ‘for money’ thing. Those that are paid for their actions. Just like honor and glory, I dislike this reason too-it’s greed. I don’t believe it’s sacrifice or courageous if your being compensated for it.

In closing I give this quote:
“I do not love the bright sword for it's sharpness, nor the arrow for it's swiftness, nor the warrior for his glory. I love only that which they defend”.


  1. I love that quote...way to go!

  2. There's the reluctant hero too, the one that doesn't consciously decide that he or she is going to take on the darkness but because they get caught up in events they find themselves there.

    And, there's the repentant villain, one of my favorites, the one seeking redemption for deeds that were not godly. Some of the strongest heroes are in this frame. Edmund from Chronicles of Narnia is somewhat in this vein, and he is the strongest of the children, even stronger than Lucy in my way of thinking.

  3. Yes, but that isn't quite the reason they DO the heroic things. That defines/redefines their character. So when they themselves have changed the decisions they would have made before the events change too.

    Galadriel, Me too! One of my favorite quotes, especially in regards to the fantasy genre.


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