Harry Potter. Alice. James Bond. Frodo Baggins.
There are so many great heroes in literature, fictional characters who inspire us, beguile us, and make us wonder how we’d fare in a fictional realm where everything hinges on our character and courage.
Who’s the greatest of them all?
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Art: Cover of Fantastic Adventures, January 1951
Sasha A. Palmer says
The first book that came to mind was "To Kill a Mockingbird." Atticus Finch, of course; but Boo Radley's pretty great as well.
My favorite (probably not the greatest but who came to mind quickly) is Lyra from the His Dark Materials trilogy.
Janiss Garza says
I'm a fan of 20th century literature and there are loads of great ones there. My own personal favorite is Larry Darrell from The Razor's Edge. Also Randle McMurphy from One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (although I also am partial towards Chief Broom).
Just literature or all of fiction?
Just literature: Harry Potter.
All of fiction: Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
JOHN T. SHEA says
Felix The Cat!
I could probably be here all day writing a list and explaining at length why I think each qualifies, but for brevity's sake the first name that came to mind is Sydney Carton.
Marilynn Byerly says
It's rarely ever the lead character. Samwise is probably my pick for the bravest because he not only carries Frodo, he also carries The Ring without whining and would have cheerfully tossed it into the fire. He also had more to lose than Frodo because he left Rosie behind, and he went anyway out of loyalty to Frodo. Go, Sam!
Bob Douglas says
Jim Hawkins from Robert Louis Stevenson's Treasure Island.
JOHN T. SHEA says
I like Jim Hawkins too, to the point of naming my WIP's protagonist Jimmy in his honor. But I must point out two things he and all the other nominees for greatest fictional hero lack. None of them are cats, and none of them have magical bags of tricks. Felix alone passes both tests. I rest my case!
I love all things Sherlock Holmes….but really, it's got to be John Watson for putting up with him!
J. S. Pan says
All of fiction? Then Jimmy Chitwood. "I'll make it," still gives me goosebumps all these years later.
I think you have to go back to the original hero, Odysseus, from Homer's Odyssey.