Page 4 of 10 FirstFirst ... 23456 ... LastLast
Results 46 to 60 of 146
  1. #46
    Loveable Rogue Moderator juzzza's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Location
    In the shadows
    Posts
    3,890
    You see, there lies my fascination with such characters. It's when a writer explores why a man has an air or indestructibility, the truth beneath the exterior and the flaws in the man, that I am engaged. That is why I do not see the 'caricature', I think many men identify with flawed characters who live up to this hard man reputation but underneath are probably more unbalanced and that is why they fascinate us. You don't have to be an amazing fighter necessarily to identify with them.

    I can understand why you only see the caricature, perhaps I have just met more real-life people like that. And I don't mean that they carry around double crossbows or teleport into alternate universes, I just mean they are hard men living hard lives and as a consequence, find it difficult behaving outside of what is expected.

    I didn't take it as an insult, just a little shallow (not a personal insult to you Leiali) to cast off these characters as simple testosterone filled macho, one-dimensional characters, and to assume that my interest in them is a man's man love of the fighting bad boys. There is no such thing as a well-rounded man (or women for that matter) and if a writer tried to present one to me in a book, that for me is a caricature and one I would dismiss and find of no interest.

    Gemmell and Stover both have an ability to portray the perception of these men from the POV of the people around them, and often they only see the caricature, however, the stories always delve deeper and reveal their motivations, fears, inner-struggles and ultimately how they rise beyond other's expectations to achieve great things or make huge sacrifices.

    Most men when they look at themselves, wish they could be better and regret certain things they have done or said. When a character comes along that has exaggerated flaws and yet overcomes them, it is inspirational.
    Last edited by juzzza; December 21st, 2004 at 09:54 AM.

  2. #47
    Registered User Leiali's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Norfolk, UK
    Posts
    1,404
    I can't say I disagree with you there. That is why I have been reading Gemmell since I was thirteen and why I have been pleased to discover Stover. But I think that for me personally, it is perhaps more difficult to identify with an overtly masculine figure. Not that I can't empathise with the travails of the character, just that I have a different outlook perhaps, and different priorities (perhaps also being female I have a different cultural expectation laid upon me and therefore am not as aware of the particular pressure of manhood? I don't know).
    It did come across as a bit shallow at first, I now see what you mean. Anyway, If we could go outside of the fantasy genre for a sec, I would say my ultimate character is Francis Lymond, from a historical novel series by Dorothy Dunnett. I find the rennaisance man an intriguing concept.

  3. #48
    GemQuest Moderator Gary Wassner's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Location
    new york, ny usa
    Posts
    4,633
    Both of you are making some incredibly interesting points. Characters, though they may leap off the pages and appear as real people if they are well written, are created by the author to drive his/her story and express the varied POVs that any book needs to consider. Rarely is a character modeled after a real person. As an author, if you trap yourself that way, in a sense you have written yourself into a corner. Shallow has meaning. Depth has meaning. You can learn as much from the shallow character as from the one you empathize with more, though you may not always realize it while reading.

    I know this thread is about characters that have captured your heart, and this is a bit off topic, but sometimes, the sad and evil one (tragic perhaps), unbeknownst to me, steals my interest. More often than not though, it's the troubled hero, the one who feels the burden of his choices weighing so heavily upon him, that I remember the most. For me, a great character has to be sympathetic. But he also has to have a larger perspective. It's that balance between earthly matters that never become insignificant, and those larger struggles that shape the person and change the world, that fascinate me. How does the character assimilate both and still make valid choices? There's where I become most interested.

  4. #49
    Registered User Leiali's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Norfolk, UK
    Posts
    1,404
    With Gemmell, I found it very difficult to understand why certain choices were made by characters such as Druss or even Jon Shannow (my memory is not so good here so I am going to have to go by my instinct) and even more so now, as I think that things get less black and white the older you get, and the protagonists of these tales want to go back to a black and white concept of the world.
    So I think I'm with you on this Gemquest, for me the crux of the matter is whether the anti hero has a complex reasoning process that I can in all conscience agree with or at least respect in order for me to feel that their then going to kick someone's head in is an acceptable action. Sorry. That was facetious. I mean that I need more 'grey' in any protagonist that I read about than Caine or Waylander can give me.

  5. #50
    Loveable Rogue Moderator juzzza's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Location
    In the shadows
    Posts
    3,890
    If you can give me more 'grey' in a protagonist than Caine or Waylander, please name them and the books they appear in, because that is exactly what I love to read (not an argumentative challenge L, I genuinely would be interested in looking them up!)


    I enjoyed ASoIaF for example, but didn't find an 'as interesting' character as either of the above except for perhaps Tyrion, and although (and this may be my testosterone requirement ) he was more than a match for anyone with his wit and mischeviousness, he couldn't knock people out with his fingers!!!

    Another thing I like about our 'mis-understood caricatures' (trademarked term now), is the pay-off for their lifestyles, or sacrifices they are forced to make as consequence of being emotionally switched-off. Most are incredibly lonely and socially inept. I like this contrast and am fascinated when they have the epiphany that this is not the only way to exist, and how and when they try and live in 'our' world, or fall in love or follow a just cause. It is addictive reading/viewing for me as a reader/audience.

    This may be controversial, but perhaps the love for this type of character amongst the male fantasy readership, is because many fans are drawn to the genre because they too feel isolated and lack some or all of the social skills that their heroes display. Add to that, these characters are tough, hard, heroes who fight back... Everything the reader is not but wants to be? Just a thought and I am by no means suggesting we (because I am huge fan) are all socially inept geeks, who wished we had muscles. I am actually a socially laid-back geek with HUGE muscles, so there!!!

  6. #51
    I don't know if anyone mentioned her already, but but I was and am still absolutely taken by Lady as she is portrayed in the first half of the Black Company. I think i came as close as falling in love as you can be with a fictional character

    Other female characters i adored were Styliane and Alixana from GGK's Sarantine Mosaic and Aspalar from Erikson's Malazan Book of the Fallen.

    As for male characters, Kruppe and Iskaral Pust from the same Erikson really cracked me up, and the same can be said of Terry Pratchett's Death.

    And a special mention goes to Goodkind's Richard Rahl, simply because he remind me so much of a family member of mine... a total ass.

  7. #52
    Registered User Leiali's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Norfolk, UK
    Posts
    1,404
    I don't think this is very good but I have a bit of a mind block, here we go:

    Grey characters:

    Fitz - from the Farseer novels, though I agree with Chris W he is really really moany.
    Back to the basics with:
    Pug - From Magician , because I think he learns to be a man and live with power without corruption.
    Sam Vimes - From Terry Pratchett books because he is a tortured practical man in an impractical world.

    Sci Fi

    Miles - From The Vorkosigan Saga, because he is clever and funny and overcomes adversity with the above.
    Danli Wi Soli Ringess - From the David Zindell Neverness books. He is philosophical, thoughtful, considerate, powerful and just plain cool.

    Hope that helps Juzzza.
    Oh, and though this is a tad off topic, I went to a reading by Gemmell a couple of years ago. Best one I've ever been to, he was hilarious! But when it came to signing my book, he asked ' is this for a boyfriend?' My reaction of an indignant 'No!' was a tad ruined by my friend next in line saying 'Yes'. Dammit. I have been reading Gemmell's books for years, and I didn't like the fact that he assumed at a glance that I wasn't a fan.....
    That was meant to refute the socially inept geeks comment but I totally lost my thread then

  8. #53
    Hmm, well Waylander and Jon Shannow both rate very highly, love those guys. I tend to identify with loner characters and, well, they're the two most compeling characters of that sort I've come across yet.
    Ender Wiggin hooked me in as well, that's science fiction obviously but a lot of people have mentioned him already so I figured I could too.

  9. #54
    Quote Originally Posted by juzzza
    This may be controversial, but perhaps the love for this type of character amongst the male fantasy readership, is because many fans are drawn to the genre because they too feel isolated and lack some or all of the social skills that their heroes display. Add to that, these characters are tough, hard, heroes who fight back... Everything the reader is not but wants to be? Just a thought and I am by no means suggesting we (because I am huge fan) are all socially inept geeks, who wished we had muscles. I am actually a socially laid-back geek with HUGE muscles, so there!!!
    Bingo. That's pretty much why I fell in love with the characters of Shannow and Waylander. Of course, these days I'm less socially inept and much less of a weedy geek but they still resonate with me. I think a lot of it is the 'look, he's emotionally closed off too but that's what makes him so hardcore' factor, made/makes me see a 'positive' side to being the way I am.
    Oh and with regards to having difficulty understand their thought processes I have to say it's never been a problem for me. I suspect it's to do with the sort of people we are. Gemmell seems to be one of those things you either totally get or completely don't get in my experience. You should probably be grateful that Waylander's thought processes don't make sense to you.

  10. #55
    Quote Originally Posted by Leiali
    But when it came to signing my book, he asked ' is this for a boyfriend?' My reaction of an indignant 'No!' was a tad ruined by my friend next in line saying 'Yes'. Dammit. I have been reading Gemmell's books for years, and I didn't like the fact that he assumed at a glance that I wasn't a fan.....
    Hmmm, that is a bit irritating of him, to be fair though, I've met very few girls who read Gemmell, perhaps he's just used to girls coming up to get books signed for their boyfriends and said something stupid without thinking about it?
    I really hope next time he does a signing tour he comes somewhere useful, like, the Midlands...

  11. #56
    Registered User Leiali's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Norfolk, UK
    Posts
    1,404
    Quote Originally Posted by Dimlien
    Hmmm, that is a bit irritating of him, to be fair though, I've met very few girls who read Gemmell, perhaps he's just used to girls coming up to get books signed for their boyfriends and said something stupid without thinking about it?
    I really hope next time he does a signing tour he comes somewhere useful, like, the Midlands...

    Well if he can make it to East Anglia, he can get to the Midlands I'm sure!

  12. #57
    masochistic biscuit
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Location
    Coventry, UK
    Posts
    314
    Quote Originally Posted by Leiali
    Well if he can make it to East Anglia, he can get to the Midlands I'm sure!
    Yes, especially if I ride up on a donkey and kidnap him...oh the possibilities...

  13. #58
    Member Legolas's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    Southern USA
    Posts
    135
    I have to agree with others.

    Merlin - Merlin Trilogy
    Gandalf - LOTR
    Fitz - Farseer Trilogy
    Ged - Earthsea

    I have a thing for wizards.

  14. #59
    Doomfarer
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Cair Paravel by the Shining Sea
    Posts
    431

    Character who has captured your heart and soul

    I would go for Kerr Avon of Blake's Seven. His witty lines, the fact that he was not a success in life yet knew how to deliver the goods are just three of the reasons why I am attracted to him.

    Michael B

  15. #60
    The characters who have touched my heart most would no doubt be those from ASOFIA, bran, jon and especially arya... then there are the characters that almost made me cry when I realized that the series was going to end and I would not experience their adventures, failures, etc, and that would bethose from the Belgariad and mallorean.. Aunt Pol, Belgarath and of course Garion.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •