"The book is a film that takes place in the mind of the reader." ~ Paulo Coelho

Friday, June 25, 2021

Ten of My (Current) Favorite Fictional Male Characters

Hello, everyone!

Today is the start of the blogathon that Miss Megan (of The Pen and the Cross) and Irene and Anna (of Horseback to Byzantium) are hosting: The Thank Goodness For Good Men Blogathon! Because 2020-2021 is a year dedicated to St. Joseph, the girls wanted to host something to celebrate characters we can look up to!


Now, I had every intention of being early to this party. I had plans to write up my post weeks in advance and post it as soon as dawn had broken. I had one slight problem to that plan: I couldnʼt decide what to talk about! I have been flying by the seat of my pants just trying to chose from the plethora of topics. This morning I had enough of that and decided that I had to stop this.

Iʼm taking some inspiration from Hamlette, and therefore, Iʼm talking about Ten of My Current Favorite Fictional Male Characters! You may notice that I donʼt say my Top Ten and that the word Current is in there. Here comes that indecision again, but there are too many wonderful characters to pick ten for certain! I had to narrow my list down so far to make it ten, yet I love all of the other characters that I left out that I will do another post with them in the future. See, all Lord of the Rings characters are missing so I have to do another one someday! I would include them all right now, but I think ten is a reasonable number to limit myself to because or else Iʼll be here all. day. long. (edit from hours later: Which I did all the same even with my limit...)

Note that I made the executive decision to leave out any character played by James Stewart. He is my favorite actor of all time and if I included him it would all be him. Instead, Iʼll save a separate list for him for another day. But know that he plays my TOP FAVORITE male fictional character of all time. Any guesses of who that is?

I also decided to leave out young (under 20) guy characters because that would be a whole different list. I had to do what I could to make this resemble some kind of order! I was going to say only book characters vs. only movie characters, but I couldnʼt decide on that so you get a combination. They are listed alphabetically (by first name) because trying to rank them would break my heart. A quick disclaimer is that while I am likely to say that I love all of these characters (because that's the truth!), it's not in a googly eyes way. These characters are all my family!

I would love to rant about every detail of why I love these characters, but Iʼm going to keep it spoiler-free for your enjoyment! Feel free to read through without any worries that I will spoil the plot or character arcs for these people. One day maybe Iʼll devote a whole post to each of these characters. Maybe I already have...

The first person we have up is...



Arthur Pendragon from Merlin (2008-2012)


Iʼm technically cheating by talking about him because I havenʼt seen the whole show (Iʼm only in the fourth season) but Iʼm going to do it anyhow. Heʼs not going to get any worse, is he? Well, now Iʼm genuinely worried... I was going to write a post solely about him for this blogathon, but well, I havenʼt finished the show yet so Iʼm not qualified...

The truth of the matter is that Arthur is a dollop-head (Merlinʼs word, not mine). He is an absolute jerk sometimes, especially to his poor servant Merlin. Which is weird that I LOVE THIS KID SO MUCH. When we first see him he is mean, selfish, and spoiled. Hardly what you would call regal material for the most well known king of all time. But then again, heʼs just a prince so we figure he has time to grow. And he doesnʼt disappoint! I was already starting to love him by the end of season 1, but in season 2 he stepped it up a notch. He realized what an idiot he was being (thanks to someone who had the guts to tell him off) and started being kinder. I love how he goes out of his way for the smallest things.


The poor baby feels so much pressure to look and act a certain way to be what the people are expecting. My sister can tell you, while watching the show I yell, “Poor baby!” more times that you can count each episode. Which annoys her because Merlin is her favorite whereas all I can do is talk about Arthur. Why? Because he cares about his people. He cares about commoners and servants (except Merlin. Merlin is target and battering practice). He respects his father when basically no one else in the kingdom does. He is chivalrous and doesnʼt walk by someone in need. He is Courage. He becomes the best knight that he can be and his hard work pays off time and again, and at the same time respects people who can best him. He has a cool head (except when he takes things out on Merlin by making him do a million things) and is always willing to discuss a disturbance first without fighting. Which doesnʼt always work when people are trying to kill him, but thatʼs where his training (and Merlin) come in handy. While he tries to hide it with bluster, he has a heart of gold underneath and is willing to do anything to serve his people. Even when that takes away what he most wants.





"There are some men in this world who are born to do our unpleasant jobs for us. Your father's one of them."

How could I not talk about Atticus? Itʼs been a few years since I read the book so Gregory Peckʼs performance is more vivid in my mind, but I donʼt mind that because I love that portrayal. Without a doubt he deserved that Oscar he earned for this role.

What can I say about Atticus that hasnʼt been said before? More eloquent people that me have said a lot so Iʼll try to keep this short. Atticus is so kind and JUST. It makes sense that he would be just because he is a lawyer, but where he works not everyone is like that. He is incredibly smart and gets to the bottom of things. He is a shining beacon for his children, Jem and Scout, and he wants them to live life kindly but without pain.

 "There's a lot of ugly things in this world, son, and I wish that I could keep 'em all away from you."

Him and Scout together are so adorable!

He is a respected citizen of the community but besides that he is brave. He can use a gun and is one of the best shots around but discourages it because he thinks there is a different way. He stands up to wrongs and teaches his children so much by example. I canʼt stress how much I love him.

"Stand up, Scout. Your father's passing."



Colonel Brandon from Sense and Sensibility (book by Jane Austen, movie from 1995 and miniseries from 2008)


Alan Rickman in the 1995 movie spurred my love for this character and Jane Austen! He is so steadfast and gentle. He knows when his company isnʼt wanted (which is always absurd because why would you not want to talk to him??) yet is incredibly helpful. The way he says, “Give me an occupation.” melts my heart every time. He is patient and caring, and will love people with unrequited love no matter what happens to them.


He is honorable, and with David Morrissey's performance in the 2008 miniseries, gives killer glares.

He is my favorite Jane Austen hero. I canʼt believe I just said that, but itʼs true. As much as I love Darcy, he wonʼt have the softness and warmth that radiates from Brandonʼs quiet soul.



Edward Bloom from Big Fish (2003)


If any of you havenʼt seen this movie then you are missing out on a magical ride because it is one of my favorite movies of all time. It was the fault of this movie that made me take so long to decide on a topic, because a review of it was a big contender. All for the wonderful man who is Edward Bloom!

Edward Bloom (played magnificently by both Ewan McGregor and Albert Finney) is not afraid of anything. And while he has good reason for that, he was brave before that and it just keeps growing. He received a special gift and used it to itʼs full potential unlike so many of us who would worry and fret. He is ambitious and works hard. When he sees something he wants, he goes and gets it! This movie is full of so many challenges that he overcomes through his grit and determination. Through all of that he is the kindest and most considerate person! He sees people who might be “unwanted” and just sees the best. He helps them! He is faithful and true and overall amazing.


Have you ever been asked the question, “If you could bring fictional characters to a dinner party, who would you bring?” Well, I have and I was always stumped when trying to come up with an answer. That is, until I watched this movie. I would love to go some where with Edward Bloom and listen to his stories! He has a gift for storytelling like no other. Granted, sometimes he might turn those true stories into tall tales, but that is part of the whimsical wonder of it all.

Plus he has an adorable Southern accent. Which isnʼt a factor, but I still wanted to mention it.

(And I'm still not picking favorites, but if I absolutely had to pick from everyone on this list, Edward would be on top.)



Prince Kit from Cinderella (2015)


While nostalgic, the biggest complaint about the original 1950 Cinderella is that “Prince Charming” didnʼt quite live up to his name because he was lacking in character. The 2015 remake made up for that by casting Richard Madden as Prince Kit. The rest is history!

What strikes me most about Kit is how good of a listener he is. He listens to Ella and that is the greatest gift he could give because it is rare when people give an ear to what she has to say. He sees her shimmering kindness and wants to be like her.

"She isn't just a pretty girl! I mean, she is a pretty girl, but there is so much more."

He listens to the Grand Duke and his father, respects them, then still decides what he thinks is best. His father doesnʼt know how much Kit loves him. Their scenes together are some of my favorite in the entire movie.


He is a sweetheart and has a sense of humor. His friendship with the Captain of the guards and their back and forth makes me smile from ear to ear.



Konstantin “Kostya” Dmitrievitch Levin from Anna Karenina - by Leo Tolstoy


When my dad bought me a copy of Anna Karenina I was doubtful to say the least. I knew a lot about it and was sure that I was going to hate it. I wasnʼt expecting it to zoom to my top ten books of all time. I wasnʼt expecting that all to be because of Levin.

This guy seriously needs a hug! He is so depressed and doesnʼt realize that he is the best character of the whole book. My sisters can tell you how all I did while reading this book was talk about how fabulous Levin is. I was a little obnoxious, just saying his name repeatedly. I got so grumpy whenever we went to someone elseʼs point of view (like the title character...). He is a farmer and simply grand. He has to put up with family members in tough spots and heartache and through it all he just wants to breathe the fresh air and find the meaning in life. He doesnʼt think he will find it and you just want to hold him tight and tell him to keep going.

I FELT FOR HIM. So much! He would be in so much turmoil then would wander his fields and work hard and I could feel his stress being put to the side momentarily. Tolstoyʼs writing captured his emotions and anxietyʼs so well. I would gladly read this book continuously over and over again merely for his sake.



Luke Skywalker from STAR WARS


Why, look, I already wrote a huge post about how much I am like him HERE, so Iʼll keep this section shorter.

When we are introduced to this scrawny kid on Tatooine we didnʼt think we would love him so much. At least, I didnʼt. He seemed like someone who was always looking into the future, into the sunset, and never in the moment. Luke continues to look forward, but now I love him as the wonderful person he is. The person who will not let people go and sees the good in them. His heart is gigantic and he loves his friends more than anything. He has plenty of flaws, but his belief that people can be better fuel him. I canʼt really say too much without spoilers, so if youʼve seen the movies go read my post for more thoughts. It might be shallow of me to say one of the reasons I love him so much is because he is so much like me, but that's the truth of it.





Robin Hood from The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938) and the BBC TV show (2006-2009) and various legends and adaptations.

Is anyone surprised by this? The legends of Robin Hood are one of my obsessions that Iʼm always excited to talk about and that is all because of the character of Robin himself! I plan to talk and rank all of the versions that Iʼve seen one day, but for now Iʼll talk about some of the basics.


My first experience of Robin was Errol Flynnʼs portrayal from The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938). His kindness is his biggest quality. He cares about the people whether they are Saxon or Norman. He sees tyranny and injustice and will fight against it with every breath. He is a little hot headed at times, but he has a wit sharp as a knife.


Within the first few minutes of seeing Robin of Locksley, portrayed by Jonas Armstrong, we roll our eyes. This guy has a lot of work to do to become a hero. He goes through rough patches, but he is always there. He will always be both a kind master and servant to his people. He listens to anyone who has a complaint and will rush off to help them at a momentʼs notice. He keeps his gang lively and leads them in the best way. He has seen the horrors of war but want to forget them and he does that by helping people.

A good version of Robin Hood needs to be selfless above all things, because thatʼs one of the reasons I love the character.



Sherlock Holmes from Enola Holmes (2020)


I have seen and read countless versions of Sherlock Holmes (I mean, I could probably count them if I really tried, but that takes all of the drama out of my statement...) and Iʼve always been neutral towards his character. I liked Robert Downey Jr. playing him, and Benedict Cumberbatch was fun to watch, but he didnʼt rank higher than “nice” in my list of characters. Sure, heʼs a really smart guy who can observe the utmost details out of the smallest things. He knows heʼs smart and can be a little full of himself sometimes. I didnʼt really get what all of the fuss was about.

Until I saw him played by Henry Cavil in Enola Holmes (2020). I had heard that Henry Cavil was going to play him and I was doubtful. I could only think of him as either Albert Mondego, Superman, or Napoleon Solo. How was he going to pull off a famous detective?

I shouldnʼt have doubted him, friends.

“Youʼre being emotional. Itʼs understandable but unnecessary.”

Here he is quiet and observant and through that you sense that he sees EVERYTHING. It might seem like he doesnʼt have feelings, but he is fascinated by his sister Enola, who he hasnʼt seen in years and wants to do whatʼs best for her. Heʼs used to being ordered around by his brother Mycroft but he has a bigger grasp on the situation than he lets on. He has a poker face, but it's a smile and you feel like so much more is going on in his head.


I relate to him more than any other version of Sherlock that Iʼve seen. He feels so much more human and able to make mistakes but is truly brilliant at the same time. I donʼt want to say too much, but guys, I adore this guy.



TʼChalla aka Black Panther from the Marvel Cinematic Universe


TʼChalla is actually only my third favorite character from the MCU, but he seemed like the best fit for this blogathon. I already talked about him a bit HERE, but nothing is too much for this character.

TʼChalla is regal in all of his actions. He learns a lot, and most of it is about mercy. His compassion and strength in forgiveness cuts me to the core. People wrong him all the time and he is willing to pardon and even help them. He wonʼt let revenge eat away his heart because he has seen what it can do. He becomes his own person who is not shaped by any mistakes of his ancestors. He loves his family and country deeply, and wants to share that love with the world.

It could be argued, and in fact Iʼm making that argument right now, that TʼChalla is the most generous and perfect of all of the Marvel characters. I have a deep love for characters who are broken and suffering and TʼChalla has had his fair share of that. He pushes through it and wonʼt let it define him.


“Wakanda forever!”




I have been at this for hours now and could go on for hours more, but Iʼm going to stop for the night. Check out all of the other participants in the blog party HERE and HERE! Thanks to Miss Megan and Irene and Anna for hosting! As you now know, I love to talk about characters and am thrilled to have an opportunity.

Thanks to all of you for reading! Do you know any of these characters? What do you think of them? Have I convinced you to watch or read any of these stories? Do you want me to do a full post about any of these characters? Letʼs talk all about it! I want to do a list sometime like this all about female characters, so let me know if you want to see that!

MovieCritic

11 comments:

  1. Arthur! Actually I love everything about Merlin 😀 Great list!

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    1. Merlin is SUCH a good show! I was reading a different retelling just yesterday and it did not make the characters nearly as lovable. Thank you, Ivy! :D

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  2. MC I love this so much!

    ATTICUS FINCH. I am SO HAPPY he's on this list!! (I wanted him on mine, but I haven't actually seen the movie and I wasn't doing books, so, alas.) Such a good guy just trying to do what's right. And Gregory Peck is one of my very favorite actors!

    Kiiiiiiiiit. I agree 100% that the 1950 Prince Charming was lacking something, and Kit more than made up for it! I so love his relationship with his dad--like you said, he's independent, but he's respectful. <3

    LUKE. SKYWALKER.

    I would agree that T'Challa is one of the best men in Marvel! I can't really think of anyone else who would be in the running? Captain America can be kind of disappointing, and Thor is only morally wonderful after starting out as a brat and going through tons of suffering, but T'Challa starts out great and ends great, while never being boring. ...I haven't seen that movie since it was in theaters, though, so I'm really not qualified to talk about him.

    Oh and I forgot Robin Hood! The Errol Flynn version will always be my favorite, I think. :)

    I'm not personally familiar with any of these other men, but they seem perfectly intriguing and wonderful. I'm particularly curious about Enola Holmes now...

    Again, MC, fantastic post! Thanks for contributing to the blog-a-thon!

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    1. *pouts because my computer didn't publish the first comment I made for some unknown reason*

      Thank you so, so much! I'm thrilled that it was interesting and not boring because it was just me flailing about all these characters!

      MEGAN! You should totally see it! It is such a good movie and one of the best adaptations that I've seen. It had to cut things for time, but the result is so streamlined and meaningful that I don't mind in the slightest. Plus, it has GREGORY PECK, so you can't really go wrong. ;)

      <3 Mr. Kit is marvelous!! The way he jokes with his father shouldn't make me happy cry as much as it does, but I can't help it. Both him and Ella are such role models for me! I want to be like both of them! <3 They are the reason it is my favorite remake!

      When you can just say a character's name and everyone around nods in agreement, you know you have a winner. ;)

      We love our broken characters in Marvel, but it is so refreshing to have someone who is so genuinely GOOD. I can't believe that I didn't appreciate him the first times I watched Civil War and Black Panther, so I definitely recommend a rewatch! He is never boring but kind and just. <3

      Robin Hood has introduced so much in my life, like old movies, good characters, sacrifice for the cause, etc., so it has had quite the impact. The Errol Flynn version is SO GOOD, but I was surprised by how high the BBC ranks, too. :)

      Megan, I need you to see To Kill a Mockingbird, Merlin, Big Fish, and Enola Holmes. I'm currently reading the book that Enola Holmes is based on and it is making me really want to watch the movie for a third time!

      My pleasure! Thank you so much for hosting it in addition to your kind words! :D

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  3. Would you believe I've never seen Merlin OR The Adventures of Robin Hood OR the BBC Robin Hood? *hides*

    Okay, but Atticus! Is the best! (Haven't seen the movie, but LOVED him in the book!)

    COLONEL. FREAKING. BRANDON! (I don't love Sense & Sensibility the book, but the movie? That I love.) OH MY he is PERFECT in the movie!!! Argh. I love that man SO MUCH. (Although Legolas and I burst out laughing the first time he came on the scene, because it's SNAPE, and my parents had to threaten to make us leave. XD)

    T'Challa!!! !!! !!! Arghhhhh that boy. <3 <3 <3 He's definitely one of my Most Favorite Marvel Characters. Ever.

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  4. Whoop whoop for Colonel Brandon and Prince Kit! I have them to thank (with many other male characters) for the expectations I hold.

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  5. I love what you said about Colonel Brandon! We just watched the 1995? version and Alan Rickman's performance was just so heartwarming!!

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  6. Fantastic list! I love Robin Hood (from legends, at least. Haven't seen the BBC Robin Hood yet), T'Challa, Colonel Brandon (okay, I had NO idea that Alan Rickman played him in the 1995 version. That makes me want to watch that movie even more), Prince Kit, Luke Skywalker, and the Enola Holmes version of Sherlock Holmes (or any version of Sherlock Holmes, really).
    Again, great list. And, ooh, I'd love to see you do a post like this with female characters. I'm curious to see who'd be on that list.

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  7. Ugh, I love most of these characters as well. Big Fish is such an underrated Tim Burton movie. More people should watch it. I also did enjoy Henry Cavill's Sherlock, even if I had a few issues with the movie.

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  8. Arthur's great, and he deserves a much better dad than Uther. Merlin's my favourite, but their dynamic is the best part of the show XD
    I feel like I should warn you, but I also don't know if you want to know. I won't spoil anything, but the Merlin show kind of ends on a major cliffhanger so I would sort of be prepared for that. I love the show, but it's sad that it didn't get picked up again.

    Oh Big Fish! I've been meaning to watch that one at some point.
    Loved Henry Cavill as Sherlock.
    Gregory Peck's portrayal of Atticus Finch was spot on.

    I tagged you for a tag I made called 'Running Wild In Impractical Outfits' if you want to do it.

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  9. Ewan McGregor looks absolutely adorable in The Big Fish, oh my goodness.
    I should really watch Merlin sometime. It looks pretty darn good.
    Great lists! I'm so glad you joined the blogathon last week.

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"If you want a happy ending, that depends, of course, where you stop your story." -Orson Welles