Showing posts from January, 2014

Heroism and True Heroes, Part 2

Last time , I wrote about my definition of a true hero and some examples of characters who aren't true heroes (at least in the stories that we have of them). Today I want to talk about someone who is. I'm going to choose Bilbo Baggins because his status as hero was what started this exploration. Let's look at the first half of my definition of a hero: doing the right thing even when the easy path is open or something you've chosen in the past. The shining moment in which Bilbo does this is when he is in the goblin caves with Gollum, wearing the Ring and holding the sword Sting. Bilbo knows that Gollum would kill him without a second thought if their situations were reversed. He also knows that Gollum has already been a threat to his life. Yet, Bilbo determines not to kill Gollum if he can avoid it. He chooses to see Gollum for the pitiful creature that he is, and that pity goes on to not only keep Bilbo's own soul untainted by murder but to inspire Bil

Heroism and True Heroes, Part 1

Recently, a friend of mine posted that about a revision of The Hobbit in which Bilbo was gender swapped. One of her main issues with this is that instead of creating a new female hero, the reviser simply did damage to one of the few true male heroes in existence*. She listed the three true male heroes she has encountered as Bilbo Baggins (of The Hobbit ), the Doctor (of Doctor Who ), and Agent Coulson (from the Marvel Cinematic Universe). Obviously these are all fictional characters, but the conversation seemed to be concerned mainly with fictional characters rather than real-life heroes. This post will be following in the same vein. In reading her post and the ensuing discussion, I started to think about heroes I had watched or read. I also began to wonder about my own characters and whether I had written any true heroes of either gender. That thought led me back to something I had written in a previous discussion on heroism with another friend: Heroism is a)