Where have all the good men (and women) gone? Favourite heroic heroes!

orangutan fairy tale knight in shining armour0003

Truth be told, I happen to have a soft spot for dark/broody/morally ambiguous heroes. I know I’ve tended to talk about villains and anti-heroes in the past- BUT NOT THIS DAY! For today, I thought it would be fun to talk about some awesome heroes (and heroines) that really stand up for traditional heroic values. These are the people who always find a way to do the right thing- no matter what stands in their way. These are the more stereotypical “goodies” as opposed to our more modern, realistic take on heroes. These are basically what I’d call the archetypal heroes. And yeah, as the title suggests, I decided not to just make this about blokes, cos plenty of female characters exhibit the same traits. Let’s get into it:

orangutan list

brothers karamazov

Alexei Karamazov– now I often spotlight Prince Myshkin from Dostoevksy’s the Idiot, but Alyosha is much the same in personality, if not more noble. He’s by far my favourite Karamazov- yes, above even the allure of Ivan- because he’s a pure soul, intent on doing the right thing and standing up for all that is good in the world. (I have heard people say he’s basically supposed to be Jesus as well, which makes sense).


Faramir– ahhh Faramir doesn’t have the highs of Aragorn or the lows of Boromir, but he is the most human of all Tolkien’s, well, humans. He is definitely my favourite of the bunch. Yes, he does struggle, but he always chooses the right path. He’s the perfect partner for my favourite LOTR heroine as well…


Eowyn– I mean, could I really leave her off the list? Did you expect me to make a post about traditional heroes and heroines and not do more than one Tolkien character? You kinda shoulda seen this coming (so really this is all your fault 😉). Okay, enough kidding around, cos this lady seriously means business! You know what I was saying in the intro about girls being able to have the same traits? Well Eowyn stabs the myth that only men can be heroic straight through the heart/right through Nazghul’s face…


Alana/the Lioness- I mean, if you wanna talk about original *girl power* stories, then look no further than Tamora Pierce. This typical fantasy adventure features the very best of heroics and danger in equal measure.


Harry Potter– okay, so I had to resist the urge to let my bias show and choose another Gryffindor for this one. But I think that other than possibly Neville, most of the other Gryffindors have more glaring character flaws. Other than Harry’s random bout of adolescence in Order of the Phoenix, however, he pretty much fulfils the role of good, old-fashioned hero. Sooo that’s why I went with Harry Potter above all the others… or maybe I’m just under the Imperius curse 😉

bear and the nightingale

Vasilisa– Vasilisa is one of my favourite modern heroines! She’s definitely the kind of character that would make the Sorting Hat scream GRYFFINDOR! She stands up for herself, what she believes in and all of Rus!


Spensa– I recently read Skyward and fell hard for Spensa! She is a kickass heroine- she’s bold and funny and definitely someone you want watching your back!

the martian

Mark Watney– there’s more than one way to be daring in space- and Mark Watney definitely deserves all the awards for bravery! (and also for being a certifiable genius and great wit!)

daughter of smoke and bone

Karou– like I said, there’s more than one way to be a hero. Karou isn’t the conventional hero- her story is more complicated than that- but she does have the purest intentions and the drive to see it through to the end. She would (literally) die to save the ones she loves.

one word kill

Nick HayesNick is the sort of timeless hero who always tries to do the right thing- wherever he might turn up. Even up against the odds, he finds a way to do the right thing and that’s all you can ask for!


Samuel Vimes– speaking of people who always do the right thing, Vimes might be a little bit rougher round the edges than others on this list, but he has a good heart, the best intentions and is such a fun character to boot!

So those are just a few of my heroes- did you like them? How about some of yours- which fictional heroes do you admire? Let me know in the comments!

61 thoughts on “Where have all the good men (and women) gone? Favourite heroic heroes!

  1. What a great post, I do love a hero or two!

    I’ve just finished reading The Lost War by Justin Lee Anderson (epic fantasy) there’s more than one hero in there battling their way through the pages.

    Or Samantha Martin from the Imp series (urban fantasy)

    Another urban fantasy heroine is Alex Craft written by Kalayna Price

    I’ll stop there….!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I also love morally ambiguous characters, or at least complex in regards to morality. I find it makes characters more realistic than those who seem to always do the right thing like it’s super easy ha-ha!

    HOWEVER! I do love this list idea! I totally agree with Faramir and Eowyn … and I just love both of them in general ha-ha!

    Ooo yes … Harry Potter for sure. But I DO find that he has a BIT more complexity to him. Overall, he’s a “typical hero character”, but I find that he struggles more from books 5 to 7, which I enjoyed more tbh ha-ha!

    I would have to say, I also think Peeta from The Hunger Games would fit this definition. Oh! And Lucy from The Chronicles of Narnia!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I love the inclusion of Faramir & Eowyn. Faramir the was always one of my favorites; more gentle and scholarly than the other “great men,” but no less noble.

    I really don’t like the movie version of him trying to take the ring to Gondor rather than choosing to keep his oath from practically the moment he realizes what is going on. Too many of the movie characters only choose to do the right thing when their back is against the wall rather than showing the strength of character to take the high road from the start.

    Also, my wife is pretty much Eowyn (neglected/abused early life, spitfire warrior princess with Irish-Norwegian ancestry, prefers bookish me to “manly men”), so there’s that :).

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yes, Faramir and Eowyn are up there as one of my all-time favourite characters- and almost definitely my favourite LOTR characters.

      Yeah that doesn’t fit with his character/doesn’t let him be as noble as he is in the books, which is frustrating.

      hehe well that’s lovely! 🙂


  4. Some day I will read an anti-hero book and I will like it.

    BUT TODAY IS NOT THAT DAY!!!! *ROAR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!*

    Great post. I’m ALL about the hero’s, so thanks for including them in your list of lists 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I’m so happy that you included Faramir and Eowyn on here!! Eowyn has been my fave fictional character since I was about eight years old, and I love Faramir almost as much. I think I remember reading somewhere that Faramir was the character that Tolkien based the most on himself, which is really interesting.

    And there are so many other amazing heroic characters on this list as well! Harry and Spensa and Mark Watney – truly inspiring 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Sam Vimes always! 😀
    Faramir and Eowyn as well! I think the movies did them a grave injustice.
    As for Harry, I’m in the middle of re-reading Order of Phoenix and just can’t agree with you here 😉 This whole book grates on my nerves like no other HP installment, and Harry particularly is depicted as a moody teenager with a nasty streak… But he does redeem himself later on, so there’s that 🙂
    Great post!

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Alexei Karamazov and Prince Myshkin are two Dostoevsky characters I’m truly detesting. The typical Victorian heroes who build air-castles and who fall on their faces every time they try to live into them. And my favorite Lord of the Rings hero is Bilbo Baggins, although he’s only secondary character in The Lord of the Rings. He secretly relished having adventures, but still wanted to remain settled and would afraid in face of a real prospect of adventure. Bilbo was a very friendly and well-mannered hobbit fond of food, drink, a full pipe, his friends and good cheer. I have also my doubts about Nick Hayes, not because of the protagonist’s character traits, but because I have reservations about the logical consistency of the series as a whole. Samuel Vimes is for me a little too much of a hard boiled hypocrite, pretending to adhere strictly to the rules while bending them when it suits him. Give me Lord Veterinary, the assassin who says that he’s a tyrant but behaves as a benevolent dictator.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ah in fairness to you, a lot of other readers feel that way 😉 Oh I love Bilbo! But I do kinda consider him more of a Hobbit character- but I totally agree with all your points. That’s fair. Ah well I do love Vetinari more to be fair, I just think he comes under the umbrella of “morally ambiguous” (also Vimes really reminds me of a good friend of mine, so I am a little biased 😉 )

      Liked by 1 person

  8. “Random bout of adolescence”… I love it! And it’s so true!

    Faramir and Eowyn are two of my favorite characters of all time, too. They’re both just so human and yet so good. The movies might not have portrayed them quite up to my (very high) expectations, but they came close.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. YES FARAMIR AND EOWYN!!!! I know that for the films, Faramir had to be more of a sketchy character in order to propel the narrative that the Ring is quite virtually, impossible to resist, but when you read the books, he’s an exception to this. He’s a hero in every sense of the word. And yes omg EOWYN, what a legend. Tolkien pairing them made my WHOLE heart.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Totally agree with everyone that Faramir got smeared in the movie. As a friend pointed out, his signature line is, “If I saw [the Ring] lying by the road, I would not take it.” I think the producers were just trying to add additional drama … as if the story needed it.

    What makes Faramir so great (in the BOOK) is that he’s not a heroic type. He’s just a regular, under-appreciated guy doing his duty whether or not anyone thanks him for it … which is what makes it so refreshing to find such virtue in a seemingly random, regular guy, especially after we have seen how the Ring tempts even the great. Frodo and Sam have been going through so much darkness and intensity at that point, and finding this very true person in the last place they expect it is like a drink of cool water. It shows that everyone makes a difference when they do the right thing, even if they are doing it in obscurity.

    Sorry. I got excited. Sermon over.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh yeah I totally agree with you. It’s a silly edition to the plot that completely contradicts his character- I much prefer book-Faramir (/real Faramir).

      YES! I totally agree with you! That is such a wonderful way to put it!

      hehe no worries- it’s the kind of thing I love to read!


  11. OK. Anyway. My submissions for traditional good-hearted hero include:
    Precious Ramotswe from The Number 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency series
    Brother Cadfael from his own mystery series
    Harry from The Heaven Tree, by the same author as the Brother Cadfael books

    Liked by 2 people

  12. I totally agree with Vasilisa and Karou!! I didn’t much like the plot of The Bear and The Nightingale because well there wasn’t much plot… but I loved our girl!! She totally didn’t fit with the time and I just wish she had done a little more for the little people. Karou also didn’t capture me in the first book but I ended up totally falling for her as she did what she felt was right!! Great list Orangutan ❤️


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