Saturday, 12 December 2015

'A' is for Anti-Hero

Let's talk about the anti-hero. The best type of hero around.

(Uh huh. Where, exactly, is your justification for that statement?)

 Here. Specifically point seven.

(...)

The anti-hero is a character on the side of good who lacks the morals, selflessness and other traditional attributes of the classical hero. Anti-heroes tend to be very popular characters, perhaps because they are more complex than their classical counterparts and far more unpredictable.
 Usually, the anti-hero has a dark past...

https://giphy.com/gifs/fullmetal-alchemist-fma-5vXySWGys1Mu4
(Understatement.)

...Or a home life ranging anywhere from dysfunctional to downright abusive.


https://giphy.com/gifs/hxh-killua-qb1eHxhUHLdsc


He can be the main hero...

https://giphy.com/gifs/disney-big-hero-6-hiro-hamada-writers-block-lBldON7OkYeuA

...But is more often the hero's best friend or rival.

The anti-hero isn't always a part of the main group from the get-go, even when he's the protagonist. Often, he starts out working alone and becomes one of them later. 
He may cross paths with the hero because they share a goal...

https://giphy.com/gifs/shaman-king-tao-ren-x6EA0PnwE2SPu

...But he often has very different ideas on how to go about achieving that goal

The anti-hero may even start off as an antagonist...

https://giphy.com/gifs/avatar-bias-the-last-airbender-vcVJS81uznUOc

...Or become one later.

https://media.giphy.com/media/fLL4hTppVlf0Y/giphy.gif
At this point, totally not a spoiler.

Of course, not every character who changes sides is an anti-hero. It is also possible for an anti-hero to grow into a more classical hero and vice versa. 

 
Antiheroes in literature include -
  • Nico Di Angelo (from the Percy Jackson and Heroes of Olympus series).
  • Loki from the Runemarks series (and, arguably, in Norse mythology).
  • Harry Potter himself could count in the later books. Snape and Sirius too.
  • Katniss Everdeen from The Hunger Games (in contrast to Peeta who comes across very much as a classical hero).
  • The Skulduggery Pleasant series is full of these - Skulduggery and Valkyrie are just the tip of the iceberg.
  • Christopher Marlowe's Dr Faustus is a particuarly old example.

Do you have a favourite anti-hero? Tell me about them in the comments.