Saturday, February 20, 2010

What is a hero?

Here is a post at Newicue listing the author's top 10 Whedonverse heroes. It certainly has sparked a lot of controversy. Part of it stems from the fact that different people have different definitions of the word "hero."

This is the list of Newicue's top 10 Whedonverse heroes:

Runner Up: Andrew

10. Spike

9. Wash

8. River

7. Giles

6. Jayne

5. Angel

4. Mal

3. Anya

2. Illyria

1. Wes

Right away, you can see the controversy. There's No Buffy (or Willow, Xander, Faith). On a list of Whedonverse Heroes. My other gripe is that Newicue left off Zoe, who with Mal, are the Big Damn Heroes.

If you define Hero as a person who fights the hardest for the side of good, then Buffy certainly belongs on the list.

However, there are many definitions of hero. In Serenity the movie, Mal and Zoe define a hero as someone who gets other people killed. Well, that's certainly not the case with some of the people on this list. Certainly Wash didn't get anyone killed, at least not directly. I suppose as part of the Serenity crew he got Book killed as well as the others who gave them sanctuary.

Newicue certainly has a list of great characters, but I think more of protagonists rather than heroes.

Because of the pushback they got, Newicue is doing a poll on the readers' favorite heroes. And of villains.

My definition of hero is someone who fights hard for the side of good. My favorite heroes are the ones who do it despite their own shortcomings (okay who doesn't have flaws?) and despite the odds of them succeeding. I'm also including characters who grew and changed in interesting ways. I guess in some ways, my criteria is similar as the criteria used by Newicue.

So here's my list by order of shows:

1. Buffy
2. Willow
3. Xander
4. Faith
5. Wes
6. Cordelia
7. Mal
8. Zoe
9. River
10. Simon
11. Adelle
12. Topher

My favorite all round characters, though not necessarily heroes, would include

1. Dawn

2. Wash

3. Sierra

4. November

5. Fred

6. Connor

7. Jayne

8. Spike

9. Lindsey -- but that may just be because I think Christian Kane is hot. Loving him on Leverage.

10. Drucilla

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