If you have seen the TV or read magazines one of these days then you know that the movie “Fifty Shades of Grey” is going to be released soon. This led to a discussion between a friend and me about what made the tortured hero from this series so famous as compared to all the others like him?? While I have no answer to that one, I have to say this seems to be the time of tortured protagonists.
This seems to be the season or the decade of dark heroes. Anti-hero is the new hero in the books like in Harry Hole in Jo Nesbo’s books, Wallander in Henning Mankell’s books, Christian Grey in Fifty Shades or Walter White from Breaking Bad just to name a few. Most of the books/shows have a hero who is tired and tortured who still retains some amount of humanity. Then the romantic dark heroes have an element of a waif-like, naïve heroine who cannot resist the appeal of the darkness in his soul. This is the woman who is going to bring our dark hero back to life and lighten his darkness!
Nobody wants a knight in the shining armor any more, but a tired knight in a tarnished dusty armor. Gone are the days when the heroes were polished, flawless and could do no wrong. But the pendulum has swung in the opposite direction, we have completely flawed heroes. I assume I can see the appeal in a hero who has gone to hell and back and has still has the compassion and morality to do the decent thing most of the times. But the popular shows and authors are pushing the limits of this concept even though it certainly makes for interesting reading. These days you cannot read a book without reading about some poor chap who has been assaulted by life. And now the new genre among the tortured heroes is the war heroes. I guess it is the real life which fuels the imagination of the authors and story tellers!