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General discussion > Rogue type characters

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message 1: by Paul (last edited Jun 26, 2018 06:11PM) (new)

Paul (eclipse777) | 2 comments Rogues seem to be very popular with readers is it because of the greyness of the characters as you not too sure which way there will go in the end? Which books feature your favourite rogues


message 2: by Jeremy (new)

Jeremy Jackson | 24 comments Rogues are great. As a personality archetype, they're usually cunning, charismatic anti-heroes, cynical and quick-witted and a lot of fun to read. By that definition, Jorg Ancrath could be classified a rogue; he certainly had roguish characteristics and performed roguish acts. He's one of the best I've read, but I think there's at least one in most fantasy books. In the Powdermage trilogy, it's Bo the Priveleged; in Robin Hobb's first Farseer trilogy, the Fool fills that role (though his character alters over time).

The more traditional definition (D&D-type thief/assassin/pickpocket) usually carries over those personality traits. Silk from David Eddings's Belgariad books is the most classic example I can think of.


message 3: by D. (new)

D. Moonfire (dmoonfire) | 6 comments I'd probably say Arma from The Thief Who Pulled On Trouble's Braids by McClung and Shadow from Shadow by Anne Logston. Both have interesting troubles but they have the right "feel" for what I like.


message 4: by Patricia (new)

Patricia Burroughs (pooks) I vote for Locke Lamora, Han Solo, and the Weasley twins. Not a complete list, but the ones that popped straight off the top of my head. And I do have a fondness for them all.


message 5: by Steve (last edited Jun 29, 2018 04:34AM) (new)

Steve | 109 comments The most interesting characters by far in modern fantasy are those whose less than wholesome motives or actions are explained and justified by the author as almost an inevitable result of their background. The characters are often self aware of their dark natures and actions and can fully justify if necessity.
For me Jorg is the archetypal example. Glotka in the First Law series; lots of the lead characters in Game of Thrones where it is hard to say who is ‘good or bad’, they just do what they see necessary for themselves and their friends/family. Gollum is the only really interesting character in LotR for me! It goes right back to the Devil in Paradise Lost and tragic heroes in Shakespeare’s plays.
There’s a quote that the Devil has the best tunes. I like to misquote it as ‘has the best lines’.


message 6: by Beverly (new)

Beverly (bevarc) | 35 comments By definition a rogue is a scoundrel, villain, reprobate, etc., but movies and books long ago romanticized the rogue making him an outlaw with just cause and giving him a whole lot of charisma. Ie., Robin Hood, Zorro, Han Solo. With that type of rogue in mind, my favorites are Jorg in The Broken Empire, Hadrian and Royce in Riyria Revelations/Chronicles, Falcio in The Greatcoats.

The modern rogue is more of a good guy who is known as being a little unethical in getting the job done. Oh, and they are very sexy! Ie., James Bond.


message 7: by Patricia (new)

Patricia Burroughs (pooks) I wonder if we also are less inclined to view people and characters in stark delineations between good and bad. If we allow more nuance and shades of grey so that we are more inclined to view things that way as well as write characters that way. The 'good guys' don't have to be Good Guys in White Hats [tm]?

Are there many examples of the modern day rogue in older literature? Was Robin Hood viewed as the charming rogue or was he viewed as a Good Guy in White Hat [tm]?


message 8: by Joseph (new)

Joseph | 98 comments One of my favorite morally-questionable rogueish types is Jack from Roger Zelazny's Jack of Shadows.


message 9: by Steve (new)

Steve | 109 comments Patricia wrote: "I wonder if we also are less inclined to view people and characters in stark delineations between good and bad. If we allow more nuance and shades of grey so that we are more inclined to view thing..."

I think that’s the point. I don’t like characters in fiction to be just black and white as it’s just not realistic. I’ve lost count of news items about psychopathic gangsters ‘who loved their mum’. I’m sure they did! And may have been civil and polite to quite a few other people.
An extreme example. But I like the way that much modern fantasy creates leading characters who have complexity, both good and bad. And the reasons for that are often given in their back story.
Not sure I’d use the word rogues all the time though. Just realistic?!


message 10: by Patricia (new)

Patricia Burroughs (pooks) Not for all of them, no. Rogue is definitely a specific character.

And yes, she or he usually does get the best lines!


message 11: by Otto (new)

Otto | 3 comments Nothing like classics and I’m a fan of the two original rogues of fantasy Fafhrd and Grey Mouser by Fritz Leiber, The adventures of a barbarian bard that sings in falsetto and lives with his mum and a grey magician with an inferiority complex.


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Jack of Shadows (other topics)

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Roger Zelazny (other topics)