Friday, 3 May 2013

Heroes & Villains Blog Hop

I'm sure my blog post is not going to be filled with the intelligent musings that my co-blog hop hosters will talk about. But here goes....

Basically, I believe that on the whole, a hero can not exist without a villain. Sure, there are people that do heroic things, but in the terms of fiction - and let's face it we are talking speculative fiction here - there really has to be the conflict between the two. This would drive both of them forward to stop the other.

In many cases, the hero is not all good, and the villain, all bad.  They have different points of view and if done correctly, as a reader, you can see where they both come from. You may not do what the villain does - but understanding why a villain is bent on their course, helps us understand that for them, this seems like the best course. Unless they are a psychopath or sociopath. And even that label goes on to explain their behaviour.

I'm reading George R.R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire series and there are so many different points of view and so many reasons for people doing what they are doing - you wonder if most are truly the villain the others see them as. I mean do you want the Starks to win? - who seem to be the good guys but who all have faults - or do you want the Lannisters? - who you get to know via Tyrion and later on Jamie. Or Daenaerys - a young woman who is from the deposed royal family across the sea.  Who has the claim?

Usually there are reasons for people being the way they are. Joffrey is a little snotty psychopath who likes to belittle and hurt people, but who is a boy who really wanted his father's love and approval.

Does this give him an excuse to behave badly? No. It doesn't. Sorry, Joffrey, slapping around or getting others to slap around people is just wrong. Wanting to kill people for being poor and yelling at you is wrong. I could go on, but I don't want to spoil the story.

Let's take Tyrion. The Starks see him as a baddie. He is after all a Lannister, but he does have heart and we see his struggles of what must be done compared to what he really wants to do. As an 'imp', he uses his wit and sharp tongue to deflate any barbs or any physical challenges.  He knows he is not safe despite being a Lannister (from the Lannisters themselves), and the one thing that makes him falter all the time is need he has for his family to accept and love him.  Hero? Villain? Both?

Okay, let's go for the 'hero' side - Catelyn Stark. Usually a level headed woman who does the best for her husband and her children, but has a total disregard for John Snow, the bastard son of her husband. Her sense of honour has never allowed her to accept him and has treated him like a leper, while most of her children treat him as their brother. It's the one action that has not made me completely love Catelyn - that a woman with so much love to give to her family can't find it in her heart to love a boy whose status of being a bastard is not his fault.

In the world Martin has created, Catelyn's attitude is normal but my 21st century mind finds it hard. So is she a villain?

In the end, the difference between a hero and a villain, is that even if a hero has a dubious moral code, in the end they will do the right thing for others. While the villain only ever thinks of themselves.

What do you think?

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You can read blurbs and extracts of my Musa books here

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Please don't forget to visit the other folks who are talking heroes and villains.

  1. Nyki Blatchley
  2. Martin Bolton
  3. Debra Brown
  4. Adrian Chamberlain
  5. Mike Cooley
  6. Karin Cox
  7. Joanna Fay
  8. Peter B Forster
  9. Ron Fritsch
  10. Mai Griffin
  11. Joanne Hall
  12. Jolea M Harrison
  13. Tinney Sue Heath
  14. Eleni Konstanine
  15. K. Scott Lewis
  16. Paula Lofting-Wilcox
  17. Liz Long
  18. Peter Lukes
  19. Mark McClelland
  20. M. Edward McNally
  21. Sue Millard
  22. Ginger Myrick
  23. David Pilling
  24. EM Powell
  25. Kim Rendfeld
  26. Terry L Smith
  27. Tara West
  28. Keith Yatsuhashi


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