heroes to zeros


Before I started honours I use to think heroes were like these magical things, like a unicorn, you know in my mindset a hero was someone who was noble, kind, righteous, over all an awesome person.

But not anymore. oh no, not anymore.

This idea changed over time, I started off thinking a hero was simply someone who did things for the greater good. But then I read and learnt about the 12 types of heros (but these are real life heros). Later I agreed with Joseph Campbell. A person needed go though trails and come out as a hero. And now I’ve come to the point that within in narrative, a hero is simply a hero because they are the protagonist. They are a hero because they are on this quest. They don’t become a hero though the quest, no.They are the only one who can do this quest and that automatically labels them as a hero.

Go go Essay writing skills!


I took the book sleeve off the Hero with a Thousand Faces and now it looks like I’m reading the bible from far away…

So I ended up using my post about the 12 types of heroes in my research strategies first essay, so that’s like 300 words out of 2000, huzzah. For a while I was having a hard time thinking what I wanted to write, I knew I wanted to write about Joseph Campbell but I wasn’t sure who else.

But now I have a better idea, I’m first going to talk about Goethals and Allison’s paper about Heroes, why we need them, the 12 types of heroes, what influences heroes have on us. Then join that up with Joseph Campbell and Monomyth. Talk about what video games follow the Hero’s Journey and then end it with moral choices and then stuff… It might change, it might not. I’m trying to get a draft done by Tuesday so the study group can swap drafts with each other. I like being apart of the study group. It really helps me and makes me work harder and I have friends who I can rely on and ask stupid questions to.

Also yesterday I ended up using subway to explain how monomyth works… it got into a stupid argument.

12 Types of Heroes

As Gethals and Allison mention there are 12 types of heroes. They call it a Taxonomy of heroism. Out of the 12, two of them are the types that put themselves at physical risks. These are the military personnel and courageous civilians. The remaining ten are heroes who take social risk.

1. Trending heroes
As the name mentions, trending heroes are heroes whose influence are always changing, it can be either on the rise or on the fall. Trending heroes can be stars or presidents, they follow the laws of gravity, what goes up must come down.

2. Transitory heroes
The 15 minutes of fame hero. Unlike trending heroes, transitory heroes have a very short self life. After their heroic act and glimpse of fame they are forgotten.

3. Transitional heroes
Transitional heroes are our heroes who change as we grow up and mature. The heroes themselves do not change. We outgrow our heroes and we pick new heroes to replace our childhood heroes.

4. Tragic heroes
Heros who become their own downfall. Oedipus, Hamlet, Macbeth and Brutus are some of the best examples for tragic heroes.

5. Transposed heroes
Individuals who start as a hero and convert to a villain. While Tragic and Transposed heroes both fall from the hero status, Tragic heroes never recover. Transposed heroes on the other hand will thrive in their new role, making the choices to become the villain. Best example of this is Harvey Dent/Two-face from batman.

6. Transparent heroes
The behind the scenes heroes. The most under-appreciated hero. They are our teachers, our parents, healthcare workers, etc.

7. Traditional heroes
The prototypical hero, the classic hero. Noble, morally good and all that jazz. (my words not Gethals and Allison)

8. Transfigured heroes
People are often hungry for heroes, Transfigured heroes is when a person’s actions aren’t very heroic but are exaggerate. It’s often said people will hear/see what they want. Transfigured heroes settle our need for heroes.

9. Transforming heroes
Hero whose actions change them as an individual and trasform the world around them. They change a way we see or think about the world around us. Albert Einstein, Elvis Presley and Steve Jobs are some good examples of Trasforming heroes.

10. Transcendent heroes
Lately there is Transcendent heroes, these are the heroes who don’t simply fit into one category of the Taxonomy of heroism. These heroes could be a mix of two types of heroes. A hero could be a transforming hero but also a traditional one.

I think it’s really nice having all these types of heroes, it really helps explain what a hero, how to define one and how some of us have heroes that other people wouldn’t see as a hero. It also helps you see why someone is labelled as a hero. I also think it’s really good to know that a hero isn’t just a knight in shining amour ready to take down the dragon and save the princess, you don’t need to be physically strong to be a hero.

Goethals, George R., and Scott T. Allison. “Making Heroes: The Construction of Courage, Competence, and Virtue.” Advances in Experimental Social Psychology 46 (2012): 183-235.

Come on up; anti-villain

Fuuuuu, I was talking to JB about heroes, Anti-heroes and Villains today and so he brings up the topic of anti-villains. So I had to have a look into them >.<

I managed to find this on tvtropes.org:

“The Anti-Villain is a villain with heroic goals, personality traits, and/or virtues. Their desired ends are mostly good, but their means of getting there are evil. Alternatively, their desired ends are evil, but they are far more ethical or moral than most villains and they thus use fairly benign means to achieve it, and can be downright heroic on occasion.
They reach a kind of critical mass that makes them more good than normal villains but not quite heroes, blurring the line between hero and villain the same way an Anti-Hero does.”

But the Anti-Villain is not the opposite of a anti-hero. The way I see it is that, the Anti-Villain is a character that’s labeled as a villain but you have sympathy for them, good example are Darth Vader and Dr. Horrible.

Also, there doesn’t seem to be any “who is your favorite anti-villain” post on reddit but there are “what villain could you sympathize with” and “Reddit, has there ever been a fictional villain you feel sympathy for?” Which are pretty awesome to read :)

I don’t really think I’ll go too deeply into the Anti-Villain, but I’ll see if I can track down any papers on them, JB got me hooked, I gotta learn more about then now.

Good Job Reddit

I was on reddit last night and while looking though the ask reddit section I stumbled across this post:

Reddit, who is your favorite villian?

And then I did a search and found a Anti-hero version as well as a hero version. It’s nice to see what people think and why they think that way. Also much love to the anti-hero one, so many characters there I love.

Hm, I wonder would people answer these questions differently if it said “who is your hero/villain/anti-hero” rather then “who is your FAVORITE hero/villain/anti-hero”

Also Villian? Villain? I’m a bit confused here…

Making Heroes


This lovely stack of papers is what I’m currently reading, it’s actually one thing, I just couldn’t get the stabler to stable the whole stack >.>

The paper is called Making Heroes: The Construction of Courage, Competence, and Virtue, it’s a huge chapter I found in a psychology book, but it’s been super helpful in working out what a hero is. I know it might seem silly to wonder what a hero is but I was trying to think of a story with a hero and I just got to the point of what makes a hero a hero?

I’m only about 1/3 into it but its really helpful.

Role Models vs Heroes

It’s currently 12:48am which is considered late for the current me (a year a go me would have called 3am late) and I can’t sleep, I think my mind is buzzing a little about too much. Earlier today (by which I mean yesterday) my mind wondered about Role Models and Heroes and what are the difference between them.

Let’s take my friend Vince, he’s a role model to me, I want to be more like him. I think he’s a good person, I believe in his actions, I want to share his mind set (the way he sees the world, the way he lets things effect him, etc) But to me Vince is not a hero.

I wonder why?

Ok let’s think about heroes, heroes can be a fictional character and they can be real people. I hope many agree that heroes are labeled heroes for the actions that they do, but heroes have flaws, take Han Solo, he’s very much labeled as a hero but his actions are not the most noble. (I still often wonder why he’s a hero and not a antihero but that’s another topic for another post.) So what makes Han Solo a hero? Well let’s see, and I’m so sorry if I get anything wrong, it’s late. At the start of Star Wars (original trilogy)  Han Solo is only there for a job, yup, he’s just in it for the cash/himself. But later on he changes, he’s not longer just out for himself, he saves the princess and helps the rebels win. So yes hero, he puts the needs before others, the greater good before his own.

So let’s go back to Vince, now I personally would never think Vince being a selfish person, he’s helped me a number of times with so many random things and he’s a very kind person. I think Vince has the whole nobleness down but there’s the greater good lacking, but in everyday world are there many chances to do whats right for the greater good? I’ve seen Vince donate to charity before but does that count? Does everyone who donates to charity a hero?

I tried to compare Vince with a hero of mine and then after much thinking I wasn’t sure who a hero to be would be, I could name heroes, such as superman but to think of a personal hero nothing came to mind, just role models, sure role models are people I’d like to be but I also agree on Superman’s beliefs(?) Superman fights for truth and justice. Superman is also good to people, I too, try and be as good as I can to everyone around me, but superman isn’t my role model and superman isn’t my hero, he’s a hero but not mine.

This might sound a bit crazy but I think age also has something to do with this too, role models are “often” older then you, since you’d want to follow in their footsteps. But heroes can be any age.

Most of this is pretty much just things from my head, not much research has gone into it, other then some of the hero stuff. I’m currently researching what a hero is, you’d think it would be pretty simple but there really is more then meets the eye.

I think I need to start thinking who my heroes are… hmmm… I’m sorry to leave this so open ended, some more thinking needs to be stuffed into it, maybe non late night thinking…

This blog will be talking a lot about Heroes and Villains and Antiheros since these are things I’m going to do my honours on. Enjoy.