The Cool Kids' Fantasy Club discussion

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General discussion > Can anyone name a male protagonist who isn't just the good guy (and someone to whom interesting things happen), but also a great character? (what made you like him?)

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message 1: by Mitriel (new)

Mitriel Faywood | 4 comments Can be from any genres or even from television/movies, if you like.


message 2: by Ian (new)

Ian (lonelyboy1977) | 23 comments Cazaril (or Lupe dy Cazaril to give his full name) from The Curse Of Chalion by Lois McMaster Bujold is a fantastic protagonist. I really like that he’s not the archetypal fantasy hero. His tragic backstory lends itself to a revenge tale, but at no point in the book are his actions motivated by a desire for vengeance. He goes out of his way to avoid confrontation and putting himself in harms way, yet he never shies away from doing so when he deems it necessary. I also appreciate his willingness to sacrifice himself on behalf of those he feels a sense of duty towards.


message 3: by Book Haunt (new)

Book Haunt (bookhaunt) Agent Aloysius Pendergast in the series by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child. He is enigmatic, highly educated, charming and refined with a very mysterious past that trickles through as the stories progress. You never know what will come next.


message 4: by Jessica (new)

Jessica Calaway (bookenthusiast13) | 27 comments Kaz from six of crows is amazing. I like the fact he's not like a pronce charming character. A good guy willing to do bad things if it'll achieve his goal.


message 5: by Mitch (new)

Mitch Kable | 3 comments Jalan from the red queens war.

He’s the protagonist, but a coward, and a cheat, and a liar. He looks out for himself and yet somehow stumbles over the finish line a hero.

I like that he’s pretty much looking out for himself the whole story, then sometimes he accidentally acts heroically, or when it comes to the real crunch, reluctantly makes the right choice.

He’s a real character, full of flaws, who ends up the good guy.


message 6: by Wadi (new)

Wadi Hisham | 6 comments Jorg Ancrath from the Broken Empire series is an absolute bastard, but I loved the character. I think what I like about him the most is that when you start the series, you see that Jorg has hit the rock bottom of his morality.
He is an absolutely evil and vicious person. Even then, however, he has a way of winning people over with his exceptional wit and in a band of dim wit mercenaries, he stands out as a genius.

Add to that his arc of redemption, his struggle with overcoming his evil nature, his determination to be a better man than his father and his climb back up that morality hill, and you have one hell of a compelling protagonist. He never becomes a "good guy" throughout the series but by the end, he is a mature character than the one you were introduced to.


message 7: by Pepe (new)

Pepe | 1 comments Kelthus in Scott Bakker's Prince of Nothing trilogy. He has a god like intellect, manipulates everyone in every possible way, the main character loves/hates him, and he's the best chance to save the world.


message 8: by Carole-Ann (new)

Carole-Ann (blueopal) Mallor in The Penitent Assassin

One gets attached to Mallor (and all his incarnations) in a way that you begin to think he is really GOOD and trying his best to overcome the evil in the world, but, somehow, you can't forget how EASILY he can kill !! He's out for vengeance, and FFS he relishes this!

And I love him !!


message 9: by Stoyan (new)

Stoyan (stoyan456) | 3 comments Szeth from Stormlight archive.


message 10: by Nick (new)

Nick George | 5 comments I second Szeth. Kaladin and Dalinar from the Stormlight Archive are just as well written.


message 11: by ThomasF (last edited Sep 03, 2018 06:05PM) (new)

ThomasF | 4 comments Caine/Hari Michaelson from the Acts of Caine series.

Kicks ass even when old, is self conscious enough to question the morality of his actions (does the end justify the means?), has streetsmart (and booksmart), and has enough faults to be believable. I also like the way his backstory is woven into the series without being just flashbacks, and it makes us understay why he is the way he is, as well as the motivation for his actions.


message 12: by Jessica (new)

Jessica Calaway (bookenthusiast13) | 27 comments Hisham wrote: "Jorg Ancrath from the Broken Empire series is an absolute bastard, but I loved the character. I think what I like about him the most is that when you start the series, you see that Jorg has hit the..."

Jorg is hands down one of my favorite characters of all time!


message 13: by Carla (new)

Carla (carlaribeiro) | 12 comments I'm thinking Kelsier, from Mistborn. He has that hero's reputation, but is sometimes too sure of himself and that has some harsh consequences. And yet, his heart is actually in the right place and his mind is much more complex than it seems. That's what I love about him.


message 14: by Stephen (new)

Stephen Richter (stephenofskytrain) | 40 comments Does it have to be male? The Traitor Baru Cormorant


message 15: by [deleted user] (new)

Oh man, Whiskeyjack, from Malazan Book of the Fallen. He's a soldier, who's been a solider all his life. He's even had the chance to become the emperor, but he turned it down and fell in line to accept disciplinary action so that the empire didn't crumble in a long line of betrayal.

He's a good man, who knows how to be kind, how to be stern. And goddamnit he knows how to love in a world where love is impossible.


message 16: by Jeremy (new)

Jeremy Jackson | 24 comments For nuanced and complex characters, it's tough to beat K.J. Parker. Most of his protagonists are as well-intentioned as they are morally ambiguous. One of Parker's favorite themes is intent vs. consequence, as they relate to good and evil; if intent makes us good, can we be excused for disastrous results? If consequence does, can a good person be called bad, or a bad person good, if their actions have contrary ramifications? He does this best, I think, with Poldarn from the Scavenger trilogy, who lost his memory and spends the story trying to redeem himself for actions he can't even remember, often to unintentionally adverse consequences.


message 17: by Lope (new)

Lope Nieves (lupus7) | 7 comments king harry of serie king harry tape aka foulmouth


message 18: by JustKat (new)

JustKat | 12 comments Nevyn from the Deverry Cycle was pretty compelling.


message 19: by Robin (new)

Robin Hobb | 21 comments Faramir from the books of The Lord of the Rings. There is a lot more to him than the movies portrayed.


message 20: by Sarah (last edited Oct 04, 2018 12:28AM) (new)

Sarah | 5 comments I second Whiskeyjack.

I put forward Vimes from Terry Prattchett's Discworld. I love how he is only trying to be a half decent human being and look after his city he isn't trying to be a hero.
He has some great male backing characters like Vetinari, Captain Carrot, Nobby and Colon.


message 21: by Ellie (new)

Ellie Billings | 24 comments Oo I second Vimes.


message 22: by James (new)

James (jw89) | 17 comments Vaelin Al Sorna from Blood Song, Tower Lord, and Queen of Fire. He goes through a lot of growth, and deals with his past and his experiences in some very believable ways. He does some bad stuff (and good stuff) and tries to grapple with the conflicting feelings that brings. A good character, though I was sad the POVs split after the first novel. :(


message 23: by Beverly (new)

Beverly (bevarc) | 35 comments My choices are Mark Lawrence's characters, Jorg Ancrath and Jalan Kindrith.

Jorg, the ultimate bad guy; cold, cruel, self motivated, a sociopath with a magnetism that draws you to him and makes you care for him.

Jalan, the selfish, liar, coward, cheat and womanizer whose heroic exploits are not by choice and his lovable, irreverence makes you smile and want to give him a big hug.


message 24: by Beverly (new)

Beverly (bevarc) | 35 comments James wrote: "Vaelin Al Sorna from Blood Song, Tower Lord, and Queen of Fire. He goes through a lot of growth, and deals with his past and his experiences in some ..."

I agree! Vaelin was a great character. It was too bad that the series was not solely about him. I loved the first book which was totally about Vaelin. The second book which branched off from Vaelin featuring more of another character's storyline was just okay. The third book with almost no Vaelin was terribly disappointing.


message 25: by Oldsouth (new)

Oldsouth | 1 comments Say one thing for Logan Nine fingers...say he's multi faceted.


message 26: by Nadia (new)

Nadia Freitas (nadinha) | 3 comments Harry Dresden from Dresden Files (by Jim Butcher) fits the criteria


message 27: by Addi (new)

Addi (addisu) | 73 comments Kuni Garu from the The Grace of KingsHe is both flawed and lovable, clever but always, self-avowedly, surrendering his fate to the 'most interesting path'.


message 28: by Anni (new)

Anni | 10 comments Oldsouth wrote: "Say one thing for Logan Nine fingers...say he's multi faceted."

Hahaha... Well played! :D But spot on still, I really love how Abercrombie writes his characters


message 29: by Christy (new)

Christy | 2 comments Jeremy wrote: "For nuanced and complex characters, it's tough to beat K.J. Parker. Most of his protagonists are as well-intentioned as they are morally ambiguous. One of Parker's favorite themes is intent vs. con..."

I came here to mention Orhan!


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