Monday, December 16, 2013

Favorites: Top 3 Male Characters in Fiction

     Yes! It's been forever! School is finally over until the spring semester, exams are finished and I am bored, bored, bored out of my skull already! Anyways, earlier this year I did a post of my three favorite romantic couples, which was a lot of fun. I've been wanting to to this post for a while and now I think I have finally narrowed down my list of male fictional characters and selected the top 3 : )

(By the way, How do you like my Downton Abbey inspired Christmas layout?)

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Elijah Mikaelson 

From: The Vampire Diaries and The Originals

Daniel Gillies as Elijah Mikaelson in
"The Vampire Diaries"
     Handsome, intelligent, charming...and deadly. Elijah Mikaelson is one of the oldest vampires in the world, as well as one of the most dangerous. Living with the curse of vampirism for a thousand years, Elijah lives a controversially moral life. Apart from his heightened vampiric abilities (speed, strength, compulsion), Elijah is somewhat of a negotiator and for the most part can be a reasonable and rational person to deal with. Well known throughout the supernatural community as a noble and honorable man, he will also kill, terrorize and maim when it suits his need to get whatever he wants.

     In spite of his volatile flaws, Elijah can also be compassionate, generous and even self-sacrificing. He will usually give people the benefit of the doubt and always keeps his promise (even to those who don't keep theirs). Elijah's sole reason for existing for a thousand years is to bring together his broken, dysfunctional family which consists of his mother, a powerful witch, his three younger brothers and his baby sister, all of whom are vampires. Elijah firmly believes in "Family above all else" without your family, you are nothing.

     The bane of his whole thousand year existence is his younger half-brother, Niklaus, a hybrid vampire-werewolf and illegitimate child of his mother's adulterous affair with a werewolf native. Growing up, Niklaus "Klaus" was hated and even abused by his own father (although his father didn't know that Klaus wasn't his until after they were turned into vampires) and Elijah was morally compromised between defending his younger brother and standing up to his father.

     After they were turned into vampires, Elijah made a promise to his brother that he would always stand by him, in some hope of washing away the guilt that he felt for not protecting him when they were children. His promise has not always been easy to keep, especially when Klaus is considered the most dangerous supernatural threat in history and it comes to a point where Elijah feels that killing Klaus is the only way to save him. Yet time and again, no matter how bad his brother gets, no matter how Elijah may want to kill him, Klaus still remains a constant part of his older brother's life.

     From the moment that Elijah Mikaelson walked onto the screen in season 2 of "The Vampire Diaries" he was an immediate favorite and even in the storyline, he is considered the favorite of "The Original Family." Elijah's complex story and background, combined with his equally confusing personality and moral decisions is what really drew me to the character. He can be charming one moment and the next moment he's ripping your heart out.

     Without a doubt, he's my favorite on the show and the top of the list of favorite male characters in fiction! Elijah's morality in the midst of his volatile nature and his inward struggle between his humanity and his abominable nature as a vampire makes him one the best fictional characters I've witnessed in a long time.

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Lord Faramir

From: "The Lord of The Rings" trilogy

David Wenham as Lord Faramir in
"The Lord of The Rings" trilogy
      First I have to say, I only know about Faramir from the movies, I've never read the books. So any Tolkein fans who might be reading this, feel free to enlighten me on his book verse vs. movie verse. That being said he is seriously the only fictional character I can recall that suffers from middle-child syndrome...and he isn't even the middle child! Well not physically at least. Faramir is a soldier who is caught between his father's favoritism toward his older brother Boromir and his father's contempt for the rest of Middle-Earth. No matter what the man does, it can never compare to his brother's successes and any attempt to save Middle-Earth is worthless and in vain according to his father at least.

     When I first saw Faramir in The Two Towers, I was a little skeptical of him (remember I haven't read the books) and was wary if I could trust him or not. Where his brother was a soldier who seemed to belong on the battlefield with an army, Faramir lived more a hunter's life in the woods with his men. When he kidnapped Frodo and Sam and held them in the caves, it was relieving to see that he wasn't abusive or heartless toward them, but then they were Hobbits, just mere children to him in many ways. 

     Now, he can be manipulative, for example Gollum and The Forbidden Pool, which I found out from my sister that he was making that whole 'forbidden pool' story up to get Frodo to confess, which worked, but seriously?? You call it the 'forbidden pool?' Couldn't you come up with something a little more original sounding than that? He has an incredible gift of diplomacy, which does sometimes require a little manipulation, but he knows how to speak to people and what it takes to understand them.

     One fault that people had with the movie verse is Faramir's usage of the Ring. According to book verse he had no desire for it at all (which I found confusing at first, because I thought the race of Men desired it) and was much more kind and hospitable to Frodo and Sam as well. Although, in the movie it is made blatantly clear that Faramir doesn't desire the ring for himself, but for his father. At the same time though, isn't that what evil does? It takes a hold of our greatest weaknesses, in Faramir's case his low self-worth, and uses it against us. Faramir wanted the Ring to prove himself to his father, but to do that he would have to harm or even kill to lay claim to it. So in all essence, Faramir did desire the Ring for himself, not to use a weapon worldly gain, but to use as a tool for his father's love. At least that's how I see it.

     Yet, what is meant for evil can be turned to good. Faramir soon realizes the horrific effects of the Ring and what it did to brother and furthermore, what it may do to him and his father. He proves himself by ignoring the stated law of the land and allowing Frodo and Sam to leave and journey on to Mordor. Faramir's sacrifice for Frodo and Sam is an all embalming effect that truly made me appreciate his character even more and made me despise his father by the time we meet him in Return of The King

     By the time we reach Return of The King, Faramir has been changed due to his meeting with Frodo, Sam, Gollum, and the Ring. Try as he may for his Father's affection, he never receives it even if it meant going out onto the battlefield and nearly dying in the prospect. He befriends Pippin and sees much of his younger self in the kindly Hobbit, but the best (as anyone may know) is when he finally finds the love that he has craved his whole life in the wounded shieldmaiden, Lady Eowyn of Rohan. I mean, talk about your ultimate love at first sight! Eowyn and Faramir are also in my top 3 favorite romantic couples in fiction : )

     Faramir may not be the embodiment of perfection, he is a flawed man, but through his flawed character and imperfect being, is a man who saw that the only person you need to show your worth to is yourself and then and only then will the whole world see a life that is worth living and remembering.

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Finnick Odair

From: "Catching Fire" and "Mockingjay"

Sam Claflin as Finnick Odair in
"Catching Fire"
     When I first read Catching Fire and met Ditrict 4 resident, Finnick Odair, the winner of the 65th Hunger Games, he seemed to be the stereotype jock character. The arrogant, narcissistic, guy whom all the guys envy and all the girls want to sleep with. He's handsome, he's charismatic and, lets be honest, heavily opinionated. Katniss takes an immediate dislike to him and writes him off as a jerk who knows nothing of hardship or real life (District 4 is relatively well to do district), but under Haymitch's instructions, she must trust him when the games begin and by this point, Katniss has learned never to doubt Haymitch.

    Finnick is one of the Capitol's most celebrated victors. At only 14, Finnick made Panem history by winning the Hunger Games and holds the title as the youngest victor in the history of the games. Such greatness at such a young age. Yet, underneath that facade of arrogance is a breaking heart and a damaged soul. After he won the Hunger Games, President Snow didn't waste anytime in threatening Finnick's family and friends to enforce the boy's loyalty to the Capitol instead of his own District. President Snow turns Finnick into a male prostitute to be used by any resident of the Capitol.

     Now as you can imagine, I was pretty floored when I read that small bit of information in Mockingjay. I really had a hard time time trying to get through the rest of chapter afterwards, when I realized that Finnick's pain was so great and so real. What President Snow didn't realize though, is that he was creating a detrimental force in Finnick. Instead of asking for money or gifts from the Capitol residents that 'rented out his body' Finnick asked for their deepest secrets and what they knew about President Snow. Overtime Finnick gains an insurmountable amount of knowledge on President Snow, his life, his rise to power in Panem as well as other heavily guarded secrets that he reveals to the world. 

     Finnick, like Katniss, became a Mockingjay. President Snow thought that he could use the boy for the Capitol's gain and instead, the plan backfired and Finnick  turned President's Snow's plot of domination to assist the second rebellion of District 13. Katniss herself is overwhelmed at Finnick's secret life, his humiliation, and his painful past, so much so that she said she wanted to throw herself down and beg Finnick's forgiveness for her former opinion of him. If someone like that can move the heart of Katniss Everdeen, than they must be pretty extraordinary. 

     Of course, that is all reveled in Mockingjay and by the time I opened that book up, I was a well and true Finick Odair lover (no inappropriate pun intended there). I knew I really loved Finnick was when I found out in Catching Fire that his only real love was Annie Cresta, victor of the 70th Hunger Games and another resident of District 4. What makes their love story so incredible though, is that Finnick loved Annie even in spite her post traumatic stress she received during her time in the arena, that rendered her insane. After I read that, I just wanted to shout, "FINNICK ODAIR! YOU ARE AMAZING!" 

     By the end of the trilogy though, Finnick does not survive. He's killed in a mutt rage, but not before he had married Annie and then fathered their son together in the underground caverns of District 13. While Katniss, unable to help, watched him die, she recounts certain moments of his life. Moments that made her come to the realization that Finnick was no ordinary man, but a good man, a brave man, a self-sacrificing man, and above all, a man that could love past his pain and find love in others as well.

1 comment:

  1. One fault that people had with the movie verse is Faramir's usage of the Ring. According to book verse he had no desire for it at all (which I found confusing at first, because I thought the race of Men desired it)

    The Stewards of Gondor are descended from the race of Numenor, just like Aragorn, which makes them different from ordinary men. In the book, Faramir is quite uncorruptible, but I think in the movies they changed that to show just how powerful the ring is. Because until then, the only person who's really been seduced by it is Boromir, and so in the movies it looks Boromir is just a weak man, while it doesn't affect anyone else much at all. That's my theory on the change, anyway.


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