Five Epic Scifi and Fantasy Heroes
Every story needs a hero. Someone deeply flawed yet elegantly brave. The kind of person who won’t give up until the story reaches its inevitable end. Scifi and fantasy heroes often jump off the page and come to life for the reader. This is especially true when they test the boundaries of typical hero behavior.
Perhaps it’s because their humanity reminds us that anyone can occupy the role, helping us to see ourselves in a more heroic light. Reading Fantasy can certainly inspire us to live better.
Then again, it could also be because a hero who is deeply flawed makes for an interesting study in character. Either way, there is certainly something to love in the archetype of the flawed hero.
The following epic heroes battle impossible odds while remaining unmistakably human. They represent the best and worst within all of us.
Fair warning, there may be spoilers ahead
Cirocco Jones is the main character in John Varley’s 1978 science fiction book entitled “Titan.” Jones holds her title of captain with a self-possession that is enviable. She’s not quite as loveable in the role of town drunk, but Titan could drive anyone to the bottom of a bottle.
Despite the surrounding lunacy, nothing stops her, literally nothing. Jones and her sidekick go through an inordinate amount of awful and ridiculous adventures, eventually reaching their destination only to find—well—something ridiculous. If you love strange creatures, an even stranger land, and a near-perfect blend of science fiction and fantasy; then you should give John Varley’s Gaia Trilogy a read. Getting to know Cirocco Jones is worth the journey.
Ella of Frell
Ella Enchanted is a young adult fantasy novel about a teenaged girl learning to break free from the curse of obedience. The curse is both an actual occurrence in the book, and a figurative representation of how girls are often raised to be meek and submissive. The story is a modern-day retelling of Cinderella wherein the princess has to save herself. And she does so without compromising who she is or what she wants from life.
Lacie Pound appears in season 3, episode one of Black Mirror on Netflix. The episode is entitled “Nosedive,” and it features a young Lacie trying to climb the social ladder. Only, in this futuristic story, the social ladder is a constantly monitored ranking on a social media platform. The rankings determine what kind of job a person can have, where they can live, what car they can drive, and so on. The story follows Lacie as one unfortunate event after the next slowly strips her of her ranking, and her life. It is a story of repressed emotions breaking loose, and the final scene is exactly why Lacie Pound has made the list as an epic Scifi hero. We’ve all been there.
Eleven is a character from the Netflix Scifi show “Stranger than Fiction.” Eleven has to escape a government facility where she is being used as experimentation. Not only does she show the suits who’s boss, Eleven also manages to show her softer side among the new friends who help her escape her fate and save the day from multidimensional monsters.
There’s a lot to love about Supernatural, and Charlie Bradbury’s character is certainly at the top of the list! Whether she’s battling Leviathans, or her own inner demons, Charlie does so with a nerdy grace that is admirable. Sam and Dean couldn’t have picked a better person for an honorary little sister, and her adventures sometimes trump their own. I’m still waiting to see a spin-off movie exploring Charlie’s adventures in Oz! Thank you Charlie for rewriting what it means to be nerd!
These five epic scifi and fantasy heroes accomplish amazing things within their fictional narratives. Their character flaws often become the things that save them, reminding all of us that integrity is more valuable than perfection.