Tolkien is, as he is in many ways, my exception in this, I think because he plays with the nature of heroism in specific and unique ways. Obviously hobbits, but the lines can be even finer. As we mentioned in class (and supplemented by additional thoughts):
- There are the really nice-guy characters, who have battle prowess but are not quite as famous for it, and are so nice, in fact, that they don't even eat animals because they're too cute or something (Beren, Tuor, even Faramir with all the reading he does).
- There's Aragorn, whom I would posit is probably in a class on his own and is a hard-core good guy who is basically perfect and good at everything, a noble warrior, but also humble about it. Also, when Tolkien introduces him to the hobbits, he looks like a bad guy, and that's his angle, that's what makes him interesting.
- Our super-noble Elvish warriors like Fingolfin, Fingon, Glorfindel, Beleg, who are generally really good guys but, remember, basically everyone in Middle-earth is "fallen" to a greater or lesser extent, but still fallen. They still have pride that won't let them be housed by the Valar, and, like these three especially, tend to get themselves killed in hopeless battles (like being Turin's friend).
- And then we have our bad boys that are still heroes. But they are never 100% heroes nor 100% bad boys.
Remember (sorry for using myself as a case study here, you are going to help me negotiate my feelings) I don't like bad guys or edgy heroes or anit-heroes normally. What is Tolkien's secret????