Tropes or not, I can’t get enough of these characters (when they’re done well)…
The Character Whose Bark is Worse Than His/Her Bite
Why? Grumpy people used to scare me when I was younger. I was delighted to find out that a lot of them are softies on the inside. This discovery never gets old for me. 😀
P.L. Travers from Saving Mr. Banks. She’s pretty prickly, but it gets me every time she yells at them for turning Mr. Banks into a monster.
The Doctor from Voyager. He is one of my favorite Star Trek characters ever. Snobby, smug, critical, grumpy, but has a good heart.
The Obviously-Hurting Character Who Acts Tough
Nobody likes jerks. It’s easy to dismiss them and not try to understand them. But people don’t act out of a vacuum. This character type can be easily romanticized. There’s not much romantic about it, but these guys are interesting and complex.
Example: (Why could I only think of one? I know there are more! Maybe I’m thinking of real life. I’ve met so many people like this in real life!!haha)
Jim Hawkins from Treasure Planet. He’s an adrenaline junkie and he tries to act tough, but deep down inside he’s insecure and wounded because his father left him.
The Quiet, Gentle Character with Hidden Strengths
They fight their battles bravely, but rarely get the credit they deserve. I firmly maintain that kindness and gentleness are superpowers.
Sergeant Lipton from Band of Brothers. Quiet, humble, and understated he does his duty faithfully and holds the loyalty and respect of all the men.
Cinderella from the 2015 release of Cinderella. I love how they made her strong in her kindness. She chooses to stay in her home and be kind to her step mothers and step sisters in honor of her parents.
The Leader Who Faces His/Her Duty Without Shirking
It’s easy to run away from problems, avoid them, pawn them off to others, or try to manipulate them. I love the leaders who face their demons boldly, sacrifice for those under them, and show the best that humanity has to offer.
Aragorn from The Lord of the Rings. He patiently pursues his destiny as the heir of Gondor. He serves Frodo and the Fellowship humbly and willingly. He knows how to lead and how to sacrifice.
Captain Winters from Band of Brothers. Maybe not super impressive at first glance, he proves a very competent commanding officer. When he is promoted he struggles with his position because he’d rather be with his men at the front.
Captain Janeway from Star Trek: Voyager. She’s unflinchingly brave. She commands confidently, is fiercely protective of her crew, and is always willing to lay down her life for others.
The Reformed Bad Guy, Who Feels Guilty for His/Her Past
I shouldn’t take pleasure in other peoples’ guilt. If you haven’t noticed already, I like complicated characters. Plus it’s nice to know that people can be redeemed. And something in me relates to the theme that we’re haunted by our mistakes. Plus, there’s often a refreshing humility to these characters.
Black Widow from a million Marvel movies, but especially Avengers I and II. She likes fighting for the good guys. She believes in the cause of good. She always carries the burdens of her past, but they help her make the right decisions (for the most part).
Edmund Pevensie from The Chronicles of Narnia. He betrays his brother and sisters and Aslan, but receives forgiveness. That’s why he is able to extend forgiveness to Eustace in The Voyage of the Dawn Treader (one of my favorite scenes in the entire series!).
Do you guys know of other characters who fit these categories? What characters would you love to see more of?
Have I written any of these characters, you ask? Why yes, yes I have. And if you can correctly categorize my characters in the comment section, I’ll send you a virtual cookie!