Thursday, September 3, 2009

Sharon Lathan Day 2

Here she is again, folks! Enjoy!

Back for more fun! Whoo Hoo! Today I am going to chat about my favorite heroes. It was tough for me to limit the list to a reasonable number. I have been reading so long that I literally do not remember learning how to read. It is like I was born with the ability to devour a book in no time flat. Until recently my favored genre was fantasy/sci-fi. Those novels are filled to bursting with manly hunks swinging heavy broadswords from the backs of charging stallions, so really not too far removed from the romantic heroes of most romance novels. All very alpha even before I ever heard that term applied to literary men. Suffice to say that now as I have moved into reading romance novels, those manly-men of brawn still appeal to me. But they also have to have brains to go along with it, decency, and a strong moral fiber.

King Arthur My earliest forays into mythology and fantasy were Arthurian legends. I read them all, but the best are the four books written by Mary Stewart, with Mary Zimmer Bradley's Mist of Avalon a close second. Film adaptations are numerous. Excalibur is a favorite, with Nigel Terry a more than adequate King Arthur. Clive Owen is a bit older than I ever pictured Arthur, but it IS Clive Owen so nuff said, right?

Aragorn Fast on the heels of my infatuation with Arthur was a life long love affair with Middle Earth. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings is the best fantasy ever written, period, and the main hero is the standard bearer of all others. Aragorn is the archetypical hero. Wise, brave, a warrior, commanding, long-suffering, intelligent, compassionate, romantic - he is perfection. Peter Jackson opted to make him a bit more flawed and human than Tolkien wrote him, but Viggo Mortensen so incredibly embodied Aragorn that those changes were easily forgiven. And let’s face it, in costume or out, Viggo is hunkalicious.

Jason Bourne Please, I beg you, erase the sacrilege that is Matt Damon from your mind! No offense to Damon, who I like, but the movies are a travesty and insult to the character Robert Ludlum created. I have read all the Bourne books a dozen times and Jason Bourne is an amazing hero. He is a warrior extraordinaire who sacrifices everything to serve his country, again and again. His intelligence and craftiness is astounding, his physical skills mind-boggling, and his capacity to love heartbreaking. An age appropriate Richard Chamberlain did a FAR better job playing Bourne in the true-to-the-book 1988 miniseries.

Richard Cypher/Lord Rahl Terry Goodkind's series is long-winded and frankly somewhat annoying in places, but his created hero is wonderful. The journey that Richard goes on from simple woods-guide Richard Cypher to leader of the free world Lord Rahl is mesmerizing. No other character in all of literature suffers as Richard does, yet he keeps on going, swinging the Sword of Truth with supernatural skill, magically staving off the end of the world, and forever devoted to Kahlan. These are not romance novels by any stretch, yet the love between Richard and Kahlan is superbly written. The TV series isn't all that hot, but Craig Horner does a good job as Richard, and looks real good too!

Dr. Jonathan Ferrier Taylor Caldwell wrote Testimony of Two Men in 1968, and I read the book in one day straight when I was 14 (And, no, I will not say how long ago that was!). I already knew I wanted to be a nurse so I was fascinated by the medical history, but especially by the character of the tortured, complicated Jonathan Ferrier. He is a hero in that he stood up for what he believed in, fought against the established medical practices, and cared about those who were in need. He may be a fictional character, but he stands for all men who strived to advance medicine, an accomplishment I appreciate. David Birney played Jonathan in the 1977 miniseries and was perfectly cast, IMHO.

Captain Mal Reynolds from Firefly OK, so he isn't a literary hero, but he is still one of my favorites! Joss Whedon created him, but I have no doubt that it is Nathan Fillion's personality that gave this character life. A cross between a gun-toting cowboy and cocky Han Solo, Mal is a hero to completely fall in love with. The series was short lived, but the fan adoration for Mal and his motley crew still lives on - and fueled the necessary fire to allow the movie Serenity to be made. Long live the Browncoats!

Hawk, Grimm Roderick, Circenn Brodie, Drustan and Dageus MacKeltar, Adam Black, Cian MacKeltar I just can't pick a favorite out of Karen Marie Moning's Highland heroes! I want them ALL!!! I truly don't have the words to describe how much I love these books and the men Moning has created. Luscious.

Jamie Fraser I will probably get pummeled for admitting this, but I haven't read all of Diana Gabaldon's novels. No excuse, really. And it is a tragic shame as Jamie Fraser is incredible. Tall, manly, a Highlander, faithful to Claire, a fabulous lover, a warrior, a Highlander, educated - I mean, what's not to love? And is it just me or wouldn’t Gerard Butler be a fantastic Jamie?

Honorable Mentions: Edward Cullen, Twilight series. Ryan Sanderson, Marie Force's Line of Scrimmage. Jax Graham, Mary Margret Daughtridge’s SEALed with a Kiss. Stu Redman, Stephen King's The Stand. Roland Deschain, Stephen King’s Dark Tower series. Ender Wiggin, Orson Scott Card’s Ender’s Game. Paul Atreides, Frank Herbert’s Dune series. And I shall stop there or this blog will never end.

Join me again tomorrow when I will be talking about my favorite hero. Any guesses?


Lea said...

Your menz picks are awesome Sharon! Especially Clive as King Arthur, one of my all time favorite movies. And, Viggo as Aragon - definitely *sigh* worthy.

Thanks for sharing, I enjoyed reading your post immensely!


Carolyn Crane said...

I have a guess on your fave hero! Though these heroes are really really excellent. Jason Bourne! I did like the movie, so maybe I'd REALLY like the books!

Sharon Lathan said...

Lea, Don't even get me started on Viggo Mortensen! I held a crush on that man for a long while, still do to a large degree, but a certain Englishman kinda knocked him off the throne. :) Clive was so great as Arthur, and I loved the movie's reinterpretation of the legend.

I bet you do, Carolyn! You MUST read the Bourne books!! SO good. Damon was fine, really he was, but just not as Ludlum's Bourne. Not in any way, sorry.

Bridget Locke said...

Hi, Sharon! *waves*

Yay on Day 2! Yummy menz, great friends and drinkage! Whoot! lol

Tracy said...

Ok I'll take Viggo as well, anything. He's just one fine specimen of a man.

And I love the Bourne books - so darned good!

Great post Sharon. And great pictures too. :)

Vee said...

Hi Sharon,
I love your choices. Viggo was awesome in LOTR.
I love Rochester played by Timothy Dalton. Its funny because I tended towards Heroes such as King Arthur Sir lancelot when younger however upon reading P&P no one could ever surpass Darcy.
I too love Edward Cullen, such a sweetie and played gorgeously by Robert Pattinson.
TSBO devotee

cak said...

i just now saw your blog - and i am in so agreement with all your choices - especially the Moning men - woohoo!!!

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