All right. I came on today and had no idea what I was going to post about, and then I thought about Frodo and Obi-Wan and Charles Wallace and Martin the Warrior and all the other lovely inhabitants of my mind palace, and I suddenly realized that most of my favorite protagonists share one quality.
And what quality is that?
Well, I call it “Reversing the Double Standard.”
To revisit the dictionary, a double standard happens when someone is a hypocrite, i.e. they hold other people to a higher standard than they hold themselves to. But my favorite characters… they’re not like that. Almost invariably, they hold themselves to a much higher standard than they hold other people.
For instance, Martin thinks “I should have saved Boar!” but when Ferdy and Coggs are kidnapped, he tells Goody Stickle, “Don’t blame yourself.” Obi-Wan blames himself for Anakin’s fall, but doesn’t hold Xanatos’s against Qui-Gon (SORRY IRIS! But it’s canon so it’s a valid example!!!) And don’t even start me on Frodo.
See what I mean? 😉 It makes them charming and more tolerable than someone who really is a hypocrite. It’s going the extra mile.
Now, this isn’t necessary to a hero. Jack Frost from Rise of the Guardians, for instance, specifically told me that he doesn’t have standards. (Silly Jack.) But it sure makes for an interesting trend, doesn’t it?
Thanks for reading, and God Bless!