Fictional Guys I’d Run Away With, Part 2

In case you missed Part 1, here’s the final group of fictional men with whom I would happily run off into the sunset.

4) Edward Rochester from Jane Eyre.

Yes, I know- the wife in the attic, the leading on of another woman, the high-handed treatment of his fiancée; he ain’t no role model. I get it. He’s messed up.

I think part of my fascination with this guy came from the fact that I identify with Jane Eyre more than I’ve identified with any other classic heroine, and he’s obviously someone she likes. So there is that level of bias. But for Rochester himself, I think what I liked most about him was that he admired Jane for her unusual nature and her passions. And I loved that he talked to her as a person, as someone who is his intellectual equal. Throughout the story, he’s struggling to cope with his past, his genuine love for Jane, the lingering conscience that tells him what he’s doing throughout the story is wrong, and I like picking out those moments on re-reads. I also think he’s a rare example of a bad boy done right- he has many faults and many problems, but he is capable of love and betterment despite his flaws. He has passion and he has a heart, even if it’s warped and twisted. I will also always have a soft spot for him as the first classical hero for whom I fell head over heels.

3) Tony Stark- known also as “Iron Man”

Yeah, I’m a Tony Stark fangirl. He employs sarcasm like a weapon of its own, is very smart and makes sure everyone knows it, and wouldn’t know tact if it Hulk-smashed him in the street. He’s an arrogant playboy superhero with almost no sense of sensitivity, and the odds of his being hungover while saving the world are astronomically high.

I love him so very much.

The obvious reason would be that he’s played by Robert Downey Jr., and though that’s a huge part of my fangirling this particular character, that’s not the only reason. I think part of the reason I find Tony Stark so interesting is that despite his arrogance and narcissistic tendencies he will do what he thinks is right. Admittedly he gets quite a lot wrong- but once the idea that he’s screwing up finally gets through his ego, he will do anything to fix it (see also: this press conference fiasco and the final battle of the Avengers).

And on another level, I like that Tony has so much trouble talking to people when he’s uncomfortable and/or doesn’t know how to cope with a situation. It adds a different layer to many of his one-liners, since sincerity is something he struggles with- whenever he’s actually in earnest, he becomes notably uncertain and rather awkward, at least in comparison to his usual self-confidence.

Highlight of Arrogance:
Reporter: “You’ve been called the da Vinci of our time. What do you say to that?”
Tony: “Absolutely ridiculous; I don’t paint.”
Reporter: “What do you say to your other nickname, ‘the merchant of death?’”
Tony: “That’s not bad.”

Highlight of Heroism:
“I shouldn’t be alive… unless it was for a reason. I’m not crazy, Pepper. I just finally know what I have to do. And I know in my heart that it’s right.”

2) Sam Vimes from the Discworld series

This guy starts off as an alcoholic, down-on-his-luck policeman in a very violent city that gets routine trouble from trolls, dwarfs, dragons, and countless other things. But he gets tougher and stronger, to the point of becoming commander of the city watch, stopping a war, and generally becoming one of the most amazing and popular characters in the series.

I have a very hard time coming up with specifics for why I like him so much. It could be that even though he tends to look at the worst in everything and yet constantly strives to make it better. It could be that he genuinely cares about law and order and wants, desperate his cynical outlook, to believe that there’s something good out there. He’s tough, can work past fears, never gives up on anything, and his wholehearted dedication to being a policeman is a thing of beauty. And he is always determined to make time to read to his kid. If that doesn’t make him swoonworthy, I do not know what would.

1) Ged from Earthsea (first three books)

When I first read A Wizard of Earthsea, I knew from the first mistake Ged made that I was going to fall for him. And it wasn’t just that when he messed things up, he did so in such grand style that he unleashed a soul-devouring shadow on the world. It was his reaction to said screw-up. He was broken by it, to the point that he struggled to re-learn his magic and fought to get a tenth of the promise he’d had before he let his pride get the better of him. And then do you know what he did? He kept learning, kept working at his magic, and became a fantastically good wizard who had learned to keep his pride in check, and who was brave enough to put his life on the line for his village by facing down a freaking dragon. A dragon that can hypnotize through just its eyes and has a long and storied history of roasting and devouring wizards and warriors.

The scene between Ged and this dragon is the best in the whole book, and at that point I knew I was completely, hopelessly in love with a fictional character and there could be no turning back. I was holding my breath during Ged’s entire conversation with Yevaud, and practically cheered when Ged was able to wrest a promise of non-aggression from the dragon.

And amazingly, he somehow grows even more amazing in terms of both personality and competence in The Tombs of Atuan and The Farthest Shore. I didn’t think that was possible, but the time I’d read those two books, I was so enamored of him that if there was a way to get to the Archipelago, I would have been out the door and on my way without a second thought.

Of course that was back when I was young and foolish. Nowadays I would be out the door after a second thought. Or possibly a third. Either way, I would still be long gone before sense had a chance to kick in.

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12 thoughts on “Fictional Guys I’d Run Away With, Part 2

  1. Pingback: Fictional Guys I’d Run Away With, Part 1 | I Could Be Arguing In My Spare Time

  2. Can’t wait to stick my teeth into Jane Eyre! Loved the film, and the TV series and am honestly so excited to get reading the book! Not to mention Bronte, and if I love it even half as much as I loved Wuthering Heights it will be awesome. 😀

    I love your explanation for Iron Man as well, I don’t really know much about him but what you’ve mentioned certainly put a new spin on the character in my eyes.

    I haven’t read any of the Discworld books yet either – more to look forward to!

    • Ah, Jane Eyre is so good. I really really like it, even though it can be a tad long-winded at some points. Jane is one of my favorite fictional heroines ever, and my crush on Rochester is listed at the top of the post. Out of curiosity, which movie do you mean? Because I keep wondering if I should give the more recent one a try, but I don’t know if it’s worth the time. And I loved the tv series so much 🙂 Ruth Wilson was magnificent.

      Yeah- I’ve only seen the movies, so there is that to consider, but I find him really interesting because of the few times he lets his snarky side down and lets you see that he’s got some major issues under the arrogance. And I like so much that once he decides he has to do something right, he won’t hesitate in doing it. It’s a very interesting trait in someone who is so habitually selfish.

      WHAT? Go read Guards! Guards! or Going Postal right now. I’ll wait 😀

      • It was the most recent film. I was reluctant to watch it at first because the TV series was so good, and I thought surely it can’t be as good as that one because it has even less time to tell the story, but I loved it. 🙂 Of course, I don’t have to book to compare it to so I wasn’t nitpicking what could have been changed/left out. I didn’t realize there was an older version, may have to check that out!

        Haha, I’ve got the first book The Colour of Magic to read, but I’ve heard that the first books in the series aren’t as good, is that true? I also heard you don’t have to read them in order….but I’m so chronological when it comes to books, I find it impossible to start anywhere other than at the beginning of a series. Aggh. 😛

        • I’ll have to check it out then, if only for an excuse to drool over the hotness that’s Michael Fassbender playing one of my favorite literary heroes ever 😉 And yeah, there are a couple older movies, but I’ve never actually seen them, so I have no idea what they’re like.

          I’ve not read them, but from what I’ve heard there is some truth to that statement. But it’s not that they’re bad or anything- more that Terry Pratchett just wasn’t quite as at ease writing that particular world as he is, and so his style in the earlier books isn’t quite as well developed as it is in the later books. I started with Going Postal which is very late in the series and thought it was fantastic. Guards! Guards! is probably a better place to start, though- if you start in the middle, which you clearly aren’t XD

  3. Oh my goodness, I love every man on this list! 😀
    Well, almost. I was very distracted the one time that I watched Iron Man, so I’m not as familiar with Tony Stark, but I do remember him being very amusing. But Mr. Rochester – yes. Vimes – not sure I like him in *that* way, but he was an excellent character. However, I’ve only read one book with him, so maybe with a few more I’ll fall for him. And Ged – VERY YES. Though I have to say I don’t remember really falling for him until “The Tombs of Atuan” – he was absolutely perfect in that book. He was also quite excellent in the other two, but I just adore that one.

    • Oh- you should definitely become familiar with Tony Stark, as he’s quite entertaining. And occasionally prone to fits of sincerity which make him quite interesting to me, given how little he likes anyone to see that side of him.
      You should watch the tv series of Jane Eyre sometime. If you go to YouTube, I think it’s still available there… Ruth Wilson and Toby Stephens (I think that’s the actor’s name, I think.
      Vimes is interesting because I really really like him and whatnot- but I do love him with Sibyl, so there is that too. I really put him in because I just love him so much I thought he shouldn’t go unmentioned.
      I fell in the conversation with the dragon and was therefore all the more vulnerable to his charms in the next two books. He is most definitely one of the best fictional guys ever written 🙂

  4. Every time I read a post on your blog, I get sucked in a little more. It finally happened for good today, and I’ve been skimming through posts in haphazard order. I came across this, found it funny and well-founded, and then you said Sam Vimes. And you had me. Not that I’ve ever been in love with him – the only character to completely have my heart is Megan Whalen Turner’s Eugenides – but I am in love with the entire Discworld universe, and Sam Vimes may be my favorite character in that whole series. So now I’m trapped for good, and will probably keep coming back to your blog way too often, and maybe even commenting. I hope you don’t mind 😛

    • Thank you so much! I have no problem at all with comments- I absolutely love them and try to respond to them as often as I possibly can. If I miss one, it’s not because I’m ignoring you, odds are I’m just busy and forgot.
      But yay for Discworld love! I adore Vimes so much, though I’ve never heard of Eugenides- what book(s) does he hail from and where can I find them? I love Vimes so much, though I think after reading Reaper Man he may have to play second favorite while Death takes the number 1 spot. I just love the way Death looks at things and he’s really sweet when doing the right thing… and yeah, I should probably stop before I start rambling.
      And now I will be off to check out your blog, now that you’ve said such lovely things about mine. Thank you so much for your kind words- I appreciate them very much, and wish you all the best!

      • Eugenides is from a series with no name, the first book of which is The Thief. Part of the reason I so adore him is rather personal, in that he possesses many of my worse character traits but is still a good person who is “never more trouble than he is worth.” I read these books for the first time before I’d figured out how to deal with these flaws of mine, so my feelings for him were somewhere between jealousy and idol worship. However, he is also totally awesome – witty, competent, interesting, and always several steps ahead of everyone else, including the reader. Beyond that, the writing is brilliant. This is the only author I’ve ever read who managed to keep a myriad of secrets from me without ever (technically) lying or failing to provide appropriate foreshadowing. She also did it without my hating her at all.

        I can feel myself going on and on, so I’ll stop talking now because I’m way too fond of these books to provide decent criticism anyway. I am totally besotted, and still find myself grinning foolishly and sighing wistfully whenever I read these books.

        Despite all that, Terry Pratchett remains my absolute favorite author. I can never decide which of his protagonists is best – Sam Vimes, Death or Granny Weatherwax. I suppose I’d have to read them all again to see. Oh, what a trial that would be.

        I hope you enjoy/enjoyed my blog. And, um, I don’t know how to finish, so – it was very nice talking to you. 🙂

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