Friday, 30 March 2018

Useless Heroes & Bad Good Guys

Hello lovely readers. I've been taking part in a few interviews, etc, and they tend to ask the usual questions about plot and characters.
And it got me thinking, some of my main characters are awful, and if I'm ever in trouble, I really hope they don't try to save me.

Think I'm joking?
Here's why you really shouldn't like my characters...

Hunter Astley
The "hero" from the Witch-Hunter Trilogy.

Everything about him screams "hero". From his dashing good looks and charm, to the fact he is a 7th gen witch-hunter.
He is the most advanced witch-hunter in history, and the Malleus Maleficarum Council (MMC) are falling over themselves to keep him happy.
Hunter is brave, willing to risk his life to take down witches, and keep innocent civilians safe.

OK, first (and most obvious), Hunter is a bit egotistical and a bit of a dick.
I mean, he has to be if his first name is actually George, and he has everyone call him Hunter!
He's been raised in the luxury of Astley Manor, and has been brought up to think he is superior to everyone else. Hunter is very quick to take charge of a situation, and think he knows best. Only his long-suffering friend James is able to knock sense into him.
(If you're curious, he's a lot worse in the prequel James: Witch-Hunter)

He would rather stick to his long-ingrained prejudice against witches, than open to the possibility that the MMC might be wrong. Hunter might be one of the more lenient witch-hunters, binding witches from their magic instead of killing them where possible; but he still carries out every job the MMC sends his way, without question.
So if you think about it, the MMC are pretty bad examples of good guys. They are fixed on the idea that all magic is evil. And they'd rather waste time on Council politics, than face the potential return of a legendary witch.
To be fair, there are enough witches that have allowed power to corrupt them, to provide the Council with evidence of their evilness. But the MMC goes one step further and makes everything black and white.

Hunter is stubborn, and is blinded by the belief that only he can save the day.
Over the years that the Trilogy takes place, Hunter is given several opportunities to stop the war, but he lets his emotions overrule any chance of peace. He also can't condone a result that would effectively be losing.
Hunter is unable to see the bigger picture, and he can't step away from the front line, regardless how often his friends try to educate him. Let's just say, for those that have read the series - if he had listened to a certain someone, he would have learnt how to save a certain someone.

I'd like to think that Hunter was slowly redeemed throughout the trilogy. First, in The Shadow Reigns, where he starts to trust the Wiccans after years of casual contempt. Then, in The Shadow Falls, where he is pretty much forced to overcome his prejudice, when he goes to seek the Benandanti.

Samantha Garrett
The "heroine" from the Enchena Duology.

Sam, Sammy, or Samantha - whatever you want to call her.
For anyone who has read The Lost Soul, she is a pretty useless hero.
In the beginning, she is clearly not the hero. She plays the side-kick to everyone else around her (and not always a good side-kick at that).

Samantha is a completely lacklustre and bland character. She has no plans or ambitions of her own and, whether she is at home, or in Enchena; she expects everyone else to do the thinking and providing. She's just a lost little somebody, who doesn't even know that she's supposed to be found.
Even the people she doesn't like, and makes an effort to be rude to (i.e. Jillis) - Samantha still expects her to help.

Samantha focuses on the small and boring details, because she knows that she couldn't cope with the big issues. So in a way, she doesn't even try. Getting dragged into the middle of an ancient conflict in a foreign world, is too much for her to deal with. She couldn't have dreamt of an adventure this big, and just wants to wake up and go home.
The first time something big and traumatic happens, Samantha withdraws into herself, unable and unwilling to process the tragedy. She allows those around her to push her about, and use her as the will, even though she knows it will hurt those she calls friends.


With the help of her friends, Samantha starts to discover her strengths.
Samantha becomes a lot more independent, and she works hard to improve her physical strength so when it comes to battle, she won't be a liability. Her hard work and dedication pay off and, in The Oracle, she comes back as a much different character.

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