Apr 19, 2016

Nefarious Tales #2 || Let's talk about antiheroes!

Hi everyone!

It's Day 2 of Nefarious Tales, and today I am going to talk about a type of character who sits in the firm line between hero and villain - antiheroes!

As a literature student, and a character snob, I've always adored these multi layered and complicated characters, and today, I am going to talk about the factors that define a character as an antihero, and why I love them!

Who are these antiheroes in the first place? The standard definition of this character trope would be "protagonist who lacks conventional heroic qualities" Not a hero, because of their less than idealistic and heroic qualities, and not quite a villain because there's some morality existing in them, making it impossible to classify them as a total villain. These characters are quite interesting, as there's so much depth in their portrayal, and that balance between evil and good that keeps them in the grey area which makes them an antihero is always quite mesmerising!

Despite the fact that their popularity rose in recent times, antiheroes have been a part of literature for a long time. Dating back to Shakespeare, in the form of Macbeth and Hamlet, featured in classics in the form of Scarlett O'Hara and Jay Gatsby, antiheroes have always been popular figures in books, perhaps one of the most antiheroes of all being the infamous 007, James Bond.

But what makes these characters antiheroes??? Let's take a look at those distinguishing qualities which defines these characters.

  • An antihero's morality is ambiguous. While they know what's right in the society's eyes, that doesn't mean, they go by it. He/she acts on their own will and views, and most of the time, their choices and alliances are questionable.
  • He is flawed. And perfectly aware of each and every one of his imperfections.
  • By the time the reader is halfway into the story, the antihero will gain their sympathy. Unlike villains, antiheroes will have the readers' support, sympathy and understanding. Even when everything he does is wrong, the reader will continue to vouch for him. 
  • They are selfish, aggressive, callous and sometimes have offensive qualities, such as racism, sexism, meanness etc.
  • Most of the time, they start to have a soft side for a certain other character from the story, making his or her vulnerable side visible to the audience.
  • While their deeds are wrong, they harbor some self hatred and doubt which stops them from being viewed as a villain.

If you ask me, what makes these characters so likeable is the fact that they are more real. There's no human in the world who's entirely black or white, so these gray characters are more realistic than any other fictional characters we read. Furthermore, antiheroes are a reflection of our deepest rebellious streaks. They are someone we want to be, but are hesitant to channel. 

Having said that, I wanted to list down some of my favourite antiheroes.

Victor Vale (Vicious)

Victor makes mistakes. Grave mistakes. His ambition drives him to a point where he loses his morality and sanity. He's aware that he is less than heroic, but embraces it. Long story short, Victor is the perfect anithero, and I love him to death!

Kaz Brekker ( Six of Crows )

Kaz is a thief, a pick pocket and a genius. His plans are marvellous, his tricks mesmerizing and his characterization was terrific! Added to all, there's a tragic backstory to him, which made me want to hug him tightly and never let go.

Severus Snape ( Harry Potter )

I think Snape is one of the deepest characters I've ever read. Period. When the truth about him was revealed in the last book, all I wanted to do was to reread the books all over again, just to see the little nuances of his character which I never gave a second thought to before.

Kell ( A Darker Shade of Magic )

Kell's battle with the power that comes with his magic makes him the perfect antihero. He's also ruthless, and his morality is less than straightforward.

While those are my ultimate favs, here's the rest of YA antiheroes, I adore!

  • Holland ( A Darker Shade of Magic)
  • Nyx ( Cruel Beauty )
  • Ronan ( Raven Boys )
  • Morpheus ( Splintered )
  • Ty ( Stolen )
  • Nathan ( Half Bad
  • Lisbeth Salander ( Girl with the Dragon Tattoo)

What's your view on antiheroes? Who are your favourites?

Don't forget to check out the rest of the posts of Day 2!

And if you haven't entered the giveaway yet, don't forget to enter!!!
(Giveaway in INTL)

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