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We Don't Need Another Hero

(Or the Rise of the Anti-Hero)

We thank the incomparible Ms. Turner for the inspiration and the fact that your song is now stuck in my head.

The idea of the anti-hero is hardly a new one; literature is full of examples and several of these have served as inspiration, to some degree, in The Chronicles.

  • Conan the Barbabarian (or Conan the Cimmerian originally) was a thief, a killer, and a rogue who was more interested in his ongoing survival than helping people, that sort of came as a happy coincidence than his primary concern.

  • Elric of Melnibone, a necromancer and power-hungry beast who was looking for revenge rather and personal satisfaction predominantly but he ended up hailed as a somewhat hero all the same.

  • Lestat de Lioncourt, he is mostly interested in being a great vampire and surviving. He gladly uses people and even makes others vampires so that he isn't lonely. He is mainly concerned with his pursuit of sensation and hedonism but has a loyalty towards his friends and will protect them. That does not mean that he'd risk his life for them, though. He is selfish and vain.

All of these characters and others are not, in themselves, heroic beings but they do heroic things and that is part of what makes them popular, we think. let us analyse it more closely.

The Hero of Olde

Imagine your typical hero, hero. They tend to be attractive to look at, they are muscular if male and lithe and slender if female, they are excellent in combat, and virtuous to a fault, usually ascribing to some antique Code which fell out of fashion among everyone else. They are a paragon.

  • Will always help the weak and defend them against evil

  • Will confront evil wherever they find it

  • Be at the front of any charge

  • They never lie or deceive people

  • Never do anything for personal gain; they will not cheat, steall, or murder

  • They will always go back for an injured colleague that falls behind