While Isabelle and I have similar views on a lot of things, one thing we’ve never seen quite eye-to-eye on is what makes an ideal sort of hero. One day while we were comparing the types of characters we tend to write, I had an epiphany: Isabelle has a thing for Reluctant Heroes. And me? I love a good old-fashioned White Knight.
Now that might seem a little un-feminist of me, as a white knight is generally the type to swoop in and save the day, protecting the damsel in distress at all costs, leaving her no particular responsibility in the matter, right?
But that’s not exactly what I’m talking about. Because the White Knights I have a tendency to fall for always have some major obstacle they have to overcome—sometimes an insurmountable one, and the bigger the obstacle is, the more I love them for it. I’m not talking about Edward Cullens here, ladies and gentlemen—I’m talking about Jacob Blacks. Those characters that would lay down their lives at the feet of the girl they love, but something’s always stopping them. Whether it be the girl simply not loving them back, some misunderstanding that keeps getting in the way, or—my admitted favorite—the character’s own short-sided views of himself. Maybe a combination of all three! Sometimes a character doesn’t even recognize their own feelings until it’s (almost!) too late…
My white knights tend to be impetuous, rash, ready to throw themselves headlong into a fight—or anything else. They tend to be jealous creatures, with feelings that are liable to be hurt until they know exactly where they stand in the eyes of the people they care for. So maybe there’s a bit of immaturity there at times, too… an impatience with mistakes or misunderstandings, but they’re loyal to the end, and always ready to apologize and forgive when the stakes are up and it’s the important things that really matter.
And let’s be honest here… the idea of someone throwing themself in front of a dragon for me? Kinda hot. You know it’s true.