Allright, I’m very busy and here I’m mostly using the chance to link you folks to a Let’s Play series by a friend, and then proceed to talk about a topic that I feel like discussing:
I warn you, this horror game is R rated and CRAZY, but…. man, did I ever have a blast watching my buddy play it!
ONTO THE TOPIC!
What does it mean to be a hero?
“A hero (masculine or gender-neutral) or heroine (feminine) (Ancient Greek: ἥρως, hḗrōs) refers to characters who, in the face of danger and adversity or from a position of weakness, display courage and/or the will for self-sacrifice—that is, heroism—for some greater good of all humanity.”
That is quite the definition! It basically means that its about not giving up when things get tough, for the sake of others.
Often the term “hero” is bundled together with “protagonist”, because in a story, where the main character is to perform heroic deeds, its what we expect him to become. This makes sense.
Something that makes less sense is that in many stories, the protagonists tends to be of a specific breed. In fact I see 2 types of them crop up a LOT:
-The wild upbeat dude will what he wants, because he believes in himself.
-The silent, calm guy who is determined to reach his goal, and that will guide him there.
As much as some may be really angry at this, I feel like it’s less of a problem. People want to be hooked on a story from the very start, and many who will see a protagonist who’s… for example: weak and whiny, won’t buy that he will ever perform anything heroic. What I however have a problem with is when this issue is less about personality and more about….. gender, sexuality, race or other things.
Oh yeah! That nasty trinity, of course! Most often the protagonist of a story has to be a white heterosexual male. NOW, some people could say that the creators behind a show might be white males, so obviously they project such characters into their stories. Possible, but that implies artist intent, which is definitely not always the case!
“Legend of Korra”, is a follow-up to “Avatar: The Last Airbender”, and lately I found out that Nicklodeon from the very start was against making this show happen, because the protagonist was female. True, they allowed the creators to make 1 episode, which truly did impress them, so that they allowed the series to get made, but the very idea that they questioned the success of a show based on the gender of the protagonist is really nasty! Do they at all follow the online fanbases? This and the earlier show clearly don’t have a purely male following, and it’s not…. ugh… Winx Club… it’s not about fashion, make-up and boys! It’s an action series, and I’m sure that’s something boys like! DID YOU LEARN NOTHING FROM SAILOR MOON???? … the … original. Not Sailor Moon Crystal … *shivers*
Now some might argue that we have some diversity, that there are characters of such breed, they just don’t always get to be the central main character… Yeah, I know, but the main character always gets the most focus, and often side characters get badly treated, especially those “minority characters”, so it makes me think like the main protagonist should for once be “different”!
Then again, what am I expecting? I heard that in Italy, when the first Harry Potter book came out, the cover depicted the protagonist without his glasses, because in Italy… glasses are considered very “un-heroic”. So I guess even as a white male you might not make the cut, because…. “Heroism” means… being a strong jock……. Yeah, that seems to match the definition….