The Very Best Anti Heroes

orangutan list

So I’ve been talking quite a bit about who’s the very best at being bad guys lately. And I’ve also chatted about some of my favourite villains before. But do you know what I’ve never done on here? Got into who my favourite anti-heroes are- which is why I made this list! I have quite the lineup for you, so lettttts bring out the contestants:

Arkham cover D final

Dorian Gray– possibly the quintessential anti-hero. What makes his journey so enticing is that he starts off as little more than a blank slate, yet as the story goes on, his little faults were drawn out and painted onto a horrifying canvass! (which, incidentally, is literally the plot for the book 😉 )

dr faustus

Doctor Faustus– speaking of the ULTIMATE anti-hero, can we get a round of applause for the original schmuck-that-sold-his-soul-to-the-devil?! Louder- not sure he can hear you in hell…

macbeth2

Macbeth– we’ve got to get a Shakespearean hero in here somewhere. And man, is Macbeth a killer anti-hero- I mean, he’s literally a killer and he’s not much of a squeaky clean hero (out out damn spot… which was technically said by his wife)

Blackwing2

Galharrow– a newbie, but a goodie, Galharrow may be rough around the edges, but he’s wicked funny and remarkably sympathetic (probably one of the nicer ones on this list).

prince-of-thorns

Prince Jorg– I was so tempted to fill up this list with *all* the Mark Lawrence characters- because I’m pretty confident he’s the king of anti-heroes at this point- but in the end I decided to just go with Jorg because he really takes the biscuit (and stabs you in the face afterwards).

notes from underground

Narrator from Notes from Underground– this unnamed narrator is quite the misery guts- eaten up with resentment and anguish, he’d give even Dostoevsky’s Raskolnikov a run for his money- and that’s saying something!

confessions

Robert Wringhim Colwan– before there were any other confessions related books or movies, this guy was doing the dirty. Possibly crazy or enticed by a demon- who can say!?

godfather

The Godfather– so you come to me on the day of little importance to me and you ask me for an anti hero… and I’m gonna point you in the direction of the original godfather- cos he strokes cats in a menacing manner! (not something he actually does in the book, but whatever)

six of crows

Kaz Brekker! Yes, his name comes with an explanation point. It’s deliberate.

vicious

Victor Vale– I feel almost mean putting him on this list, cos he’s so misunderstood… but also technically quite bad 😉

Throne_of_Glass_UK

Celaena Sardothien– okay, some of you may say “she’s not an anti-hero”- and yeah, that’s probably true by now, sorta… but she did literally start out as an assassin and was still happily killing people till book 4 (though most of them technically deserved it)

game of thrones book

Jaime Lannister– just about any hero from GOT would do, but honestly, none have had a bigger turnaround than Jaime. I started out loathing this guy- no one could have convinced me at the start that I’d end up praying he doesn’t die!

the young elites

Adelina– Adelina has one of my *favourite* character arcs- which I can’t get into cos of spoilers, but it’s sooooo good (read it)

And we’ll stop at thirteen, cos that seems appropriate for Halloween 🙂

So do you agree with my choices? Who are your favourite anti-heroes? Let me know in the comments!

77 thoughts on “The Very Best Anti Heroes

  1. I quite liked Joe from the book “You” by Caroline Kepnes. If you like reading thriller, then this one is highly recommended(given you haven’t read it already).

    Also Becky Sharp from “Vanity Fair” is another favorite anti-hero(ine) of mine.

    ❤ Kaz as well.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Yes, I think your choices are great examples of antiheroes. We live in a rough age which seems to be particularly cruel and cynical, with little hope for improvement, so I think it’s only natural antiheroes are on the rise in literature as it is easier to see ourselves in them. I can’t say I have a favourite one but you know me, I can never decide.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I really need to read Six of Crows…that book just keeps following me everywhere that I look 😂😂 Like you I absolulely loathed Jaime Lannister at first, and now like you I don’t want him to die. As always: wonderful post! 😊😊

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I haven’t read many of these but I love anti-heroes in books. I actually find myself rooting for them more than the heroes most of the time! 😀 The Six of Crows duology and Vicious have the best characters in general, but I really loved Kaz’s developed in Six of Crows and the dynamic between both Victor and Eli in Vicious was one of my favourite parts of Vicious and Vengeful.
    Great post, and great character picks as well. 🙂 ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Hahaha yes you have a point with Aelin! That’s right she began as an assassin and even when she has become the “good hero” she does not hesitate to gather gold where she can if it can be useful for winning the war. I would say she is above all else a survivor and down to earth. So sometimes her morality is rather grey than white.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Jaime’s a great choice. I adore him though I kind of go the other way from you on his possible fate! Tyrion’s a good anti-hero. Lots to choose from in ASOIAF! The only other two I know are Kaz and Victor but also excellent choices.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I think Dorian Gray was the first anti-hero that I read (if there were others, I don’t remember them).

    On a separate note, I have so many books to check out now!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I love this post!! Definitely agree with Jamie — who would of thought he’d become a favourite character?? And I adore Adelina, Kaz and Victor — even if they are all (sort of) bad people. I can’t help that I’ve always loved the anti-heroes more haha

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Dorian Gray is one of my favourite books and I’m so glad to see you included it. His character progression throughout the book was interesting to read about for sure. Macbeth is one I wouldn’t have thought of but he’s a good one. Great list!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. So many excellent choices, Dorian Gray is just soooooo good. I’m so happy it got featured.
    And I would definitely put both Celaena and Kaz onto this list as well.

    Jamie is my all time favourite character. George R.R. Martin’s characters are so complex but Jamie really stands out for me. It’s that twisted portray of human growth and how nothing is either good or bad. Love your list! 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  11. My favorite anti-hero is Benjamin Malaussène the main protagonist in The Scapegoat by Daniel Pennac. Benjamin Malaussène works for a department store as a professional scapegoat, looking so pitiful when customers come in with complaints that they abandon them.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Snape, Snape, Severus Snape…

    Also, have you noticed how there aren’t that many female anti-heroes? I mean, I’m sure I could think of some if I had to but the most obvious ones tend to be men. Great post! 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  13. I’ve only read two of these! I totally agree about Kaz Brekker, great choice for this list. I’m gonna agree with you about Celaena as well. Certainly some of the characters in the books think of her that way as well.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Dorian Gray is such a fascinating character, I’m really happy to see him on your list. I also adore Kaz Brekker and Victor Vale. All three of them are some of my all time favourite characters. Great list! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Love that you included Robert Colwan. I loved that book when I studied it at uni. I reeeally need to read more of the GoT series, because I’ve only read book 1 and am at the loathing Jamie Lannister stage (though I don’t loathe him as much as Joffrey). I’m really intrigued as to how he will be redeemed!

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Ooooo, I’m on board with you about Jaimie! By the last book the ONLY reason I was still reading it was because I was curious just how far around he would turn. Also I kind of wanted to see Tyrion try to hold his own with Daenerys. Did we ever get to see that? I can’t even remember now…

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Ah, so see, there you go. I was talking to my brother-in-law who has ONLY watched the show, and I kept talking about a character that I guess never made it to the show but seemed like they’re going to play a pretty big part in the books, and we just could not get on the same page with that. Whoever Tyrion was traveling with, some long-lost Targareyn maybe? Who was dying his hair blue?

        Liked by 1 person

  17. Perfect list of anti-heroes!! Dorian Gray and Macbeth are favourites as well, and the Godfather? He knew how to pet his cat! 😉 And I totally know what you mean about Jaime Lannister, I really loathed that guy at first and now he’s one of my favourites!! What a turn! 😄

    Liked by 1 person

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