In all the speculation about the soon-to-come Voyage of the Dawn Treader movie, a few people have expressed their hope that the filmmakers will not do to Edmund what they did to Peter in Prince Caspian — sap him of his nobility. Peter in that unfortunate interpretation was not the hero I remember in the books or even in the BBC movies; he was pettier, perhaps more relatable, but not nearly so much of a hero. I missed him.
I’m partial to heroic heroes. They’re one major reason I’m drawn to fantasy; this genre suits them. I love characters who have high ideals and principles, who will fight for their beliefs, and who, when challenged, don’t fall. I love men who are men and women who are women, and I love characters who are so good they are larger than life and they make want to be good too. I love characters in whom I see glimpses of Christ.
Last year a new editing client of mine was writing a book about young teen boys who get trapped in a cave-in. She was writing the book to tie in with a character curriculum, so she wanted to use the story to teach particular character qualities. A potential editor had informed her that in order to be believable, the characters couldn’t be so mature and principled. They had to be whiny, call each other names, fight more, disobey their parents, et al. She was really concerned about this. I told her that it wasn’t so; that in order to be believable, they had to struggle. But that didn’t mean they had to fail in their struggles.
I know that there are no truly good people in this world. I know that there is no perfection but that which we see in the face of Christ. But that is why I want to see heroes in fiction. They comfort my heart, they inspire me, and they remind me of who I’m supposed to be. They teach me to love holiness, for they show me that holiness is beautiful.
So bring on the heroic heroes, no matter how the world may scoff. This reader loves them — and I suspect I am not alone.