Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Top Six Favorite Antiheroes

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There's something you need to know about me. Actually, there's three things you need to know about me. And they are as follows...
  1. I LOVE characters- movies, books, TV shows, all of them! Sometimes, I tend to obsess over them.
  2. I love antiheroes, more than most people can understand.
  3. I also love 'Top' lists!
That is why today's post will be-- My Top Six Favorite Antiheroes! Why Top Six? Well, because.... I couldn't bring it to a normal number, like ten or five.
I hope to post a 'Top' list every Wednesday... at least for a while. I have a few planned. :D

For those of you who don't know what an antihero is, let me explain.
An antihero is either a villain who displays noble and admirable qualities usually associated with a hero. Or a hero who displays such negative qualities that are usually associated with villains. It's quite simple, really. These characters are often so complicated and pitiable that I have fallen in love with them. (That's just an expression; I don't really love love them, if you know what I mean. ;)
So without further adieu, let the list begin!

CAUTION: Possible spoilers ahead.

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#1: Prince Zuko
Story: Avatar; the Last Airbender

From almost the first moment I saw him, I pitied this young character. Something about him struck me, and he instantly became my favorite character.
As the primary villain of Book One of Avatar, Zuko is painted at first as an arrogant, hot-headed prince of the Fire Nation, obsessed with capturing the Avatar and restoring his honor. Over time, it is revealed that Zuko was banished from his homeland by his father, and that his only hope of things ever returning to normal is if he captures the Avatar and brings him back to the Fire Nation.
As the series progresses, we find that perhaps Zuko isn't without motivation for his actions. While he is self-centered and completely obsessed, he also has a vulnerable, but honorable side. And, to my great pleasure and joy, we get to watch his journey from spoiled prince to great hero.

#2: Anakin Skywalker/Darth Vader
Story: Star Wars

Anakin Skywalker, later known as Darth Vader, is practically the opposite of Zuko. Anakin starts out as a noble, heroic young man, who, although slightly self-important and impetuous, is very caring and loyal. He is the Chosen One, destined to bring balance to the Force.
However, over time, he falls under the influence of the sinister Sith Lord, Darth Sideous. Sideous, under the alias of Chancellor Palpatine, slowly poisons Anakin's mind with the thoughts and temptations of the Dark Side, playing to his pride and ambition. He convinces Anakin that in order to save his beloved Padme, he must embrace the power of the Dark Side of the Force and become a Sith Lord.
Eventually, Anakin's love for his family, as well as his lust for power, wins out, and he betrays all of his friends among the Jedi, becoming convinced that the Jedi are evil, a pestilence which he must rid from the galaxy.
Fortunately, near the end of his life, Anakin's son Luke was able to convince him to return to his original loyalties and defeat Emperor Sideous and restore balance to the Force, thus fulfilling his destiny.

#3: Loki
Story: Thor/The Avengers

I don't know if Loki counts as an antihero, but I think that in Thor, at least, he does.
As the younger brother of Thor, and a prince of Asgard, Loki is known among his fellow Asgardians as a weakling, who's greatest strength is in magic, trickery, and mischief. Despite his great friendship with his brother, it is a well-known fact that he is jealous of Thor. He feels that Odin, their father, has always favored Thor over him, and he desperately wishes for a chance to prove himself to his family.
Eventually, Loki finds that his true heritage does not lie in Asgard, but in Jotunheim. He is a Frost Giant, son of the great warlord Laufey, a terrible enemy of Asgard.
Horrified by the truth, Loki angrily accuses Odin of lying to him for his entire life, and suspects that Odin only wanted to use him for political gain.
Over the events of Thor, Loki descends from a loyal, loving brother to a conniving  scheming usurper, determined to prove to Odin that he is just as worthy as Thor to rule Asgard. In his twisted mind, he thinks the genocide of the Frost Giants is the answer.
By the time The Avengers takes place, Loki seems to have fully embraced his evil nature, and blatantly attempts to conquer Earth and rule it as our king.
But fans everywhere, including me, anxiously await the arrival of Thor 2: the Dark World, in which we are given the hope of Loki's possible redemption.

#4: Elphaba/the Wicked Witch of the West
Story: Wicked (the musical)

Elphaba, also known as the Wicked Witch of the West, was different from the moment of her birth. Born with bright green skin, Elphaba is looked down upon by her father, younger sister, and all of the local people. She also blames herself for the death of her mother, as her father was so afraid that she would bear another green child that he made her chew a white-weed during her pregnancy, resulting in her weakening and eventual death in childbirth.
However, despite her outward appearance, Elphaba has a pure, strong heart, and all she wants to do is help people, using her powerful gift of magic. Unfortunately, it seems that everything she does goes wrong, resulting in pain and suffering for those she tries to help. Eventually, she is outlawed after trying to expose the Wizard Oz's lies and trickery, and she is forced to flee to the West. The people soon nickname her the Wicked Witch of the West, and believer her to be an evil, vindictive antagonist intent on destroying their country. And, in time, Elphaba herself comes to believe herself wicked because of her apparent inability to do anything good.
However, deep inside, she still maintains a desire to redeem herself, and have someone know her for who she truly is, and not be blinded by her exterior. She is truly a tragic character, and I cannot watch The Wizard of Oz without seeing her in a completely different light.

#5: Tùrin Tùrambar
Story: Narn I Hin Hurin: The Sons of Hurin

Tùrn Tùrambar is the son of Hurin, and when Hurin is captured and cursed by the evil Morgoth, his entire family suffers for it.
Even from his childhood, it seems that Tùrin is doomed for darkness. He does his best to protect his mother and sister and become a hero, worthy of his father's name. However, his own pride, and others' ill interference repeatedly brings about his failure.
Tùrin does become a hero, but the price is high. As his friends and family fall around him, he blames himself for their deaths, and wanders far and wide. He tries to put his dark past behind him, but Morgoth's curse will not easily let him go. When his ruin eventually comes, it leaves everyone feeling heartbroken, and a great emptiness is left in his place.

#6: Guy of Gisborne
Story: Robin Hood (BBC, 2006)

In Season One of Robin Hood, Guy of Gisborne is the Sheriff of Nottingham's right hand man. He becomes romantically interested in Lady Marian, but his reputation for being a ruthless tyrant causes her to treat his advances with contempt. However, Guy's feelings for her seem to be genuine, as he constantly tries to prove to her that he does have a caring side. She eventually begins to care for him, though perhaps not in the way that she loves Robin Hood.
At times in the series, we can almost hope that Guy will give up his wicked ways to join in the fight for good, all for the love of Marian. However, after a devastating event in Season 2, our hopes are crushed... or are they? Because in Season 3, Guy joins Robin's gang- albeit reluctantly. Eventually, however, he comes to value the friendship of the other members, and by the finale, it is shown that he is loyal to Robin to the end.

-Rayne Speryll


  1. Awesome list! I like all of the above!

    1. Thank you! Anyone you'd like to see added to the list?

  2. Sadly, I'm well acquainted with only two of the above: Anakin and Turin. I'm not a fan of Turin, quite frankly, but Anakin is cool. He's on my top three favorite characters for Star Wars.

    Oh, and thank you for reminding me that I should add The Avengers, Robin Hood, and possibly Thor onto my list of stuff that I want to eventually ask permission to watch. On that note, will The Avengers still make sense if I don't watch Thor or the other superhero movies involved with it first? (I'm pretty sure that at least two Avengers superheros other than Thor have their own movies . . .) Thanks in advance!

    1. Turin is a hard character to like. But after reading the book countless times, he grows on you. ;)

      The Avengers should make sense for you if you don't watch the rest of the superhero movies. Josh Whedon, the director, wanted the film to make sense for non-comic fans as well as devoted superhero followers. I myself have yet to see the Iron Man films, as well as the newest Spider Man film.

      I'll post a review of 'The Avengers' soon. :D

    2. And therein lies my problem: I read the book once, decided it was depressing, and never touched it again.

      Good! I don't know if I'll get to watch it or not, but I really want to (since it looks so cool) and I don't want to have to watch the rest of the superhero movies to understand it. I'll look forward to seeing your review of it!

    3. I completely understand why you'd consider it depressing. As it is, I can only read every once in a while, or else risk my own light-heartedness!

      I hope you do get to watch the Avengers. It is a great movie, as are the rest of the Marvel films.

  3. That's cool Ele-... Er, Rayne! :P Though most of the characters I am not familiar with, I can definitely understand how you like them. :) Though I don't particularly enjoy Star Wars, I do like the character Anakin. I can totally connect with you there. ;)

    }Lady Maggie{

  4. Hey, Maggie! Anakin is one of the best, which is why I ranked him as #2. :)

    P.S. You can call me Elethia too, if you wish.