H is for Hero

I’ve been thinking about the subject of this post for quite a while—ever since last August in fact–when the Starz Channel began to broadcast the excellent Outlander series. The day the series premiered, I passed the time until it aired watching two other films with amazingly strong heroes. These two movies, actually presented to me back to back and leading to Outlander, caused me to wonder what exactly were the qualities each of these swoon-worthy heroes possessed that made them heroes.

MohicansThe first movie was the 1992 version of Last of the Mohicans with Daniel Day-Lewis starring as Hawkeye. Swoon-worthy indeed. Following right on its heels was Mel Gibson in Braveheart. Again, a hero’s hero. And finally Outlander with Sam Heughan as Jamie Fraser.

OMG! Talk about wallowing in testosterone for an entire afternoon!

But as I thought about these three very different characters, they all still felt the same to me, as though they were brothers under the skin, so to speak. So I began to analyze them, try to figure out what characteristics they had in common that would make me think of them as similar. Here are some of the similarities that I think they share:

1) They are all masters at fighting—I’d hate to have to face them with a sword or pistol in their hands.

2) They are all strong-willed—you’re not going to deter them once their minds are madeimagesQEUNEQWS up.

3) They are all very intelligent—they are supreme strategists in battle and all of them speak more than one language.

4) They are all willing to sacrifice themselves for the ones they love. (William Wallace doesn’t actually sacrifice himself for Maren, but he avenges her and then some. He also refuses to accept a pain-killer before his death, which counts as sacrifice in my book.)

5) They all show compassion toward others—Nothing is as sexy to me as a man showing compassion for another person or animal.

6) They all have personal codes of honor they follow—goes without saying in a hero, but I thought I’d mention it anyway.


And I didn’t want to point out that they’re all played by terribly handsome, sexy men. You don’t have to be handsome to be a hero, but it never hurts. LOL

What other qualities or characteristics do you like to find in the heroes you read?



This entry was posted in Alphabet Posts, Historical romance, Jenna Jaxon and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to H is for Hero

  1. I think you covered all the ground with your checklist, except that you didn’t mention honesty. I think that’s an important characteristic in a hero. It goes along with the personal code of honor, of course, but some anti-heroes have a “code of honor” that is pretty much dog-eat-dog and dishonest.

    Great article, Jenna. You always have an intelligent perspective on things.

  2. Marie Laval says:

    Nothing to add, Jenna! You listed all the qualities of a great hero. They are all characters we think and dream about long after the novel – or the film – is finished.

  3. Both movies are on my top favorite lists. I couldn’t imagine watching them back to back. I’ve never attempted such an endeavor. LOL. I recently came across a picture meme on Facebook about the qualities of a Hero and Anti-Hero in novels. Most of the list was right; however, a few points I disagreed with. Under the Hero was listed: is the conformist, peace keeper, is always on the right side of the law, never ambivalent. Under the Anti-Hero it listed: is the rebel, stands up to authority, is often the Fallen Angel, mysterious and unpredictable. And, these were where I disagreed. History is full of novels and movies where the hero is nothing more than an unpredictable, mysterious, Fallen Angel rebel who stands up to authority. And, quite honestly, that is the type of hero I prefer. Why? Because men that are rebels and who men who stand up to authority are usually the first ones in line to protect and save the heroine at no matter the cost. While I would never want a hero to be selfish, lack compassion, be rude or disrespectful, I think giving them an edge brings them to life. Great complete list of qualities!! 🙂

  4. melissakeir says:

    Hero…these men do what they must to protect someone they care for. That’s the sexiest part. If I could be that one thing they love above anything else….If you look at the most recent Dracula movie (Dracula Untold) he does give up his humanity to protect his son and wife. Yes, heroes don’t always protect that person (Wallace didn’t) but then revenge is the message (Liam Neeson in Taken).

  5. Daryl Devore says:

    Great post. Think you nailed the topic.
    Now let’s see if I’m allowed to post this 😉

  6. lizaoconnor says:

    Vic is inside my head today, and she want’s them to be logical and intelligent as well. While she appreciates strong people, (she’s got Tubs right now, and will get another fellow later on) she values brains over brawn.) I don’t know what I prefer, because Vic is too much in my head today.

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