Monday, June 29, 2015

Strong Characters Part 1

So lately, I've read quite a few posts on Strong Female Protagonists. And they are all so awesome! Seriously, I'm so happy that despite the mainstream depiction of a strong female character, these people "get it." They know what 'strong' really is. They, as in:




(*hint, hint* If you haven't read these, then you really should.)

Anyways so, here's what I think makes a strong character, regardless of gender. Today, we're going to the movies (okay, and the TV. . .).


Sometimes the biggest obstacle between the character and his goal is himself. A character is strong when he finally resolves that internal struggle. 

Thor, you know the guy with the hammer? He didn't always have that hammer. All he wanted was to be king, to be worthy to rule Asgard. But he was too arrogant and full of himself to realize there are more important things than war and power. Peace is more precious than revenge. Thor didn't get this.

So his dad grounded him. And took his hammer away.


Thor
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It took a lot for Thor to finally realize that war is not about mayhem and honor. It's about protecting those you love. It took him a while to humble down and realize it's not all about him and how mighty he is. It took getting hit by a car- twice. 

Thor isn't strong because he's the god of thunder. Thor is strong because he overcame himself to become something more.



Thor
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I have to throw in a Once Upon a Time character, probably my favorite character. Ruby, or Rose Red. Ruby has a fear of responsibility. She's rash, rude, and insecure.

Ruby
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 She puts up a huge front so nobody knows that really, inside, she's afraid of growing up and doing important things. People relying on her is a scary idea.

Once Upon a Time. Red Riding Hood
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But you know something? The moment she admits this fear that she can't do it, that she's afraid of letting people down- She tries to actually take on some responsibility. And it scares her at first. But the change in Ruby is one of the biggest. She goes from thinking of no one but herself, to being the town confidant.

 If you're down about something, go to Granny's and talk to Ruby. She'll listen and help you through. She is one of the most important characters in the whole series. She holds the whole town together. Even Snow and Charming go to her sometimes (if you ask me, Ruby should be queen, she's actually helping the people out, Snow and Charming are too busy trying to find each other all the time. . .). So many people rely on her now.

(I've only seen the first and a half season. . .but I will finish Once Upon a Time!)


ruby
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Characters are strong when they overcome their own weakness.


So what do you think makes a character strong? Also do you know any characters who to step out of their own way?

8 comments:

  1. Thank you for the mention, I'm glad you liked my post. :) I definitely agree that strength is the ability to overcome weakness, which is why I think it's a little bit like courage. With courage, it is the ability to overcome fear, so naturally strength is like a tree that is still able to stand after a storm. Terrible metaphor on my part...but you know what I mean. I can see why people think they're interchangable. :)

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    1. Actually, that's an awesome metaphor! I like it. It makes sense. And, yeah, in some ways courage and strength can be interchangeable. You need strength to have courage, you just don't always have to have courage to be strong. . . though most of the time, yeah.

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  2. Really good post! I totally agree that a character's strength is determined by how well they overcome weakness. It's easy to try to control situations or other people, but when a person tries to control their own fears, weakness and flaws? That's what makes a truly strong person.

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    1. Oh! I love how you worded that! It's so perfect. That's so true always. It's easier to try to control things that you actually can't control than it is to put effort into control the one person you do have control over. That's so ironic. . .

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  3. I definitely like Thor as a strong character! It's been a long time since I watched Once Upon a Time, but your reasoning for picking the two characters is quite good. Characters who overcome their own weakness is a totally interesting idea, I think that Aragorn fits the bill, too, because he is able to overcome his fears and aversions to his kinghood, and that kind of thing. :)

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    1. I like Thor too. The change in him, especially from first movie to second movie is quite fascinating to see. I'm glad they were good character choices! I was a little afraid that I was making vague connections that were difficult to see, or maybe didn't even exist. . . I haven't read all of LOTR (but I really want to), but from the Fellowship, I already love Aragorn! And I can see he has a lot of fears to overcome.

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  4. I just had to giggle because you were talking about Strong Female Characters and then mentioned Thor and I KNOW WHAT YOU MEANT BUT I STILL GIGGLED OKAY? XD He does have envious golden locks.
    Ahem.
    BUT YES.
    I'm more concerned about "interesting" characters. If they're interesting and have depth then the strong part just follows on. I think they need to have a goal and be willing to go for it to be strong. *nods* LIKE THOR.

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    1. I know! I wanted to talk about strong characters regardless of gender. But after I brainstormed a bunch of characters to use for this series, I realized that I only had like 1 or 2 actual female characters. So much for diversity. . .

      Yeah, I kind of just like interesting characters too, I mean, as long as they aren't whine. Whiny humanoids get on my nerves sometimes. But I like what you say about them having a goal to go after and sticking to it. Perseverance is a must!

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