Guest Post: Top 10 Favorite Fictional Heroes/Heroines by Rebecca Gomez Farrell

I love this topic! I tend to prefer the classic hero and heroine over the antihero. Both have their place in literature, but I am drawn toward characters struggling to do what is right no matter the circumstances. They don’t have to be perfect people – in fact, it’s preferable when they aren’t – but they do need to come from a place of actual caring for other humans, and/or fantastical creatures, for me to fully root them on.

My answers include book and television characters, and here they are starting at #10…

10. Keith Mars of Veronica Mars:
The Mars’ family relationship, from this exceptional noir teenage detective show, is one for the ages. Keith Mars manages to be an amazing father amid his wife’s alcoholism and abandonment, losing his job after being wrongly ostracized, and raising a teenage daughter on his own—a teenage daughter who’s about as headstrong as a teenage daughter can get. And Keith Mars did it wonderfully and lovingly, and with plenty of witty banter as well. He’s not a perfect parent, but he’s a perfect character. KEITH MARS FOR SHERIFF FOR LIFE.

9. Charlotte, the spider of Charlotte’s Web: What better friend could there be than little Charlotte, who spins words in her web praising Wilbur the pig so he does not get slaughtered? Charlotte is full of wisdom and fast-thinking throughout this beloved children’s story—no wonder my fifth grade teacher used to play the film during detention. 😉 Charlotte’s ability to accept the circle of her own life, and that it was a good one because of her good deeds for others, is inspiring.

8. Adam West’s Batman, the Light Knight: People have loved the darker Batmen that have been portrayed onscreen since the early 1990s. Indeed, I’ve been told many times that such deeply conflicted souls are truer to the real Batman of the original comics. But those aren’t the bright, colorful comics I remember reading in my mother’s dusty collection, and they don’t portray the silly, fun, and rootable man I would watch for two hours on reruns after school. My first Batman was Adam West, full of Kapows! and a disdain for villains who’d be so despicable as to disrupt the daily lives of Gotham’s citizenry. His character took pride in helping others, even when doing so required a form-fitting leotard; heck, he may have preferred it that way. With West’s passing this year, I have sharply felt the lack of the Light Knight on my television screen.

7. Brutus in Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar: Yes, Brutus is a historical figure, but Shakespeare’s play about the assassination of Julius Caesar should be treated wholly as fiction. Ultimately a tragic figure, and one that might be coined a villain depending on your perspective, Brutus enchanted me in high school. I gave a report on the play by dressing up and performing from the perspective of his wife, Porcia, in class. Brutus arranged for the murder of a friend because he truly believed doing so was the best way to preserve Rome’s ancient democracy. He’s a case study for whether the ends justify the means, and the audience member cannot help but feel how deeply Caesar’s “Et tu, Brute?” cuts, because it’s clear this Brutus acts out of principle rather than malice. He defends himself: “If then that friend demand why Brutus rose against Caesar, this is my answer: not that I loved Caesar less, but that I loved Rome more.” I find myself wondering if I would do the same if circumstances demanded it, and if that would be the moral choice.

6. Samwell Tarly from Game of Thrones: I’m specifying Game of Thrones here, because Sam is a hero in both the show and the book series, A Song of Ice and Fire, but we are further along in the show now. Sam’s heroism is becoming more evident in his everyday actions onscreen, and there’s no knowing whether all those acts will take place in the books as well. Sam’s fear and lack of confidence held him back early on, but he’s grown so much into himself, and things that may have stopped him from following his sense of right and wrong in the past are giving him no more than a moment’s hesitation now. Defy orders not to view a rare book? Absolutely. Disobey a direct command not to save someone from greyscale and potential harm oneself? Sam, the White Walker Slayer, is all in. Once afraid of his own shadow, Samwell Tarly is now a hero willing to do it all.

5. Anne Shirley from the Anne of Green Gables series: Anne Shirley is a dreamer, and she never lets anyone else get in the way of her dreams for herself. She’s an unrepentant bookworm, has a penchant for being overdramatic, and is full of the self-confidence she needs to get ahead. All that while dealing with being an orphan and not knowing how to fit in to the staid old town of Avonlea. So much could have waylaid Anne in pursuit of her dreams, but they only change once she’s achieved them and reevaluates what she wants out of life. She’s the hero that she needs, and sometimes, it’s nice to know I can be my own hero, too.

4. The Doctor from Doctor Who: The Doctor does so much wrong over 50 years of television and thousands of years of traveling in time and space. He’d like you to believe that most of what he does is for seemingly no purpose at all. But in his hearts, the Doctor wants to stop wrongs from happening or right the ones that he can to balance the scales again between everyday people and those who want to take advantage of them. It’s why his TARDIS so often transports him places he never asked to go – she knows his hearts better than he allows himself to most of the time. And it’s why he’s willing to stand against the onslaught, even when he knows he will fall.

3. Lucy Pevensies from the Chronicles of Narnia: Lucy is the youngest of the four Pevensies children, but also the one with the clearest moral compass, though she is a child and makes mistakes. But her youth is also a great asset, as Lucy is more open to seeing Aslan, C. S. Lewis’s Christ avatar, when her older siblings cannot. Her willingness to still believe in things unseen leads her to become the guide for her family. It leads me to one of my favorite quotes on leadership: “The others had only Lucy’s directions to guide them, for Aslan was not only invisible to them but silent as well. His big cat-like paws made no noise on the grass. He led them to the right of the dancing trees—whether they were still dancing nobody knew, for Lucy had her eyes on the Lion and the rest had their eyes on Lucy.”

To me, that quote is a directive to keep following what you know to be true even when others doubt it. Without such firm faith, Lucy’s family would have been lost in the woods. It is not the only time that sticking to her convictions helps everyone else out.

2. Laura Roslin from Battlestar Galactica: Battlestar remains my all-time favorite television show, though I have yet to do a rewatch since it ended! My memory is fuzzy, but Laura Roslin stood out as a shining leader throughout its run. At the series’ beginning, she unexpectedly assumes the mantle of president of the Twelve Colonies, after all 42 people before her in the line of succession have been killed by the Cylon attacks. She had never asked for power, but once she has it, she wields it confidently, even knowing she is dying of breast cancer. Throughout the series, she puts the welfare of the colonists over her own time and again, and once she accepts that she’s a potentially religious figure as well, she follows her instincts to guide her people home in the face of her dearest allies’ skepticism. Laura Roslin is unafraid of ridicule, only of failing her people and herself.

1. Frodo Baggins and Samwise Gamgee from the Lord of the Rings: You can argue that Sam is the ultimate hero of this foundational fantasy epic, as he is the one who comes through when his beloved master and friend falls under the burden of the One Ring and the selfishness it cultivates. But I cannot rank him above Frodo, who took up the burden willingly and into unknown lands, ultimately bearing its mark for the rest of his life. So I rank them together! Sam is stalwart, but Frodo is the one who stepped up at the Council of Elrond and said, “I will take the Ring, though I do not know the way.” Together, they found the way and the courage they’d always had.

Thank you for this chance to dip into my fictional memories of my favorite heroes and heroines!

Title: Wings Unseen
Author: Rebecca Gomez Farrell
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult

To end a civil war, Lansera’s King Turyn relinquished a quarter of his kingdom to create Medua, exiling all who would honor greed over valor to this new realm on the other side of the mountains. The Meduans and Lanserim have maintained an uneasy truce for two generations, but their ways of life are as compatible as oil and water.

When Vesperi, a Meduan noblewoman, kills a Lanserim spy with a lick of her silver flame, she hopes the powerful display of magic will convince her father to name her as his heir. She doesn’t know the act will draw the eye of the tyrannical Guj, Medua’s leader, or that the spy was the brother of Serrafina Gavenstone, the fiancèe of Turyn’s grandson, Prince Janto. As Janto sets out for an annual competition on the mysterious island of Braven, Serra accepts an invitation to study with the religious Brotherhood, hoping for somewhere to grieve her brother’s murder in peace. What she finds instead is a horror that threatens both countries, devouring all living things and leaving husks of skin in its wake.

To defeat it, Janto and Serra must learn to work together with the only person who possesses the magic that can: the beautiful Vesperi, whom no one knows murdered Serra’s brother. An ultimate rejection plunges Vesperi forward toward their shared destiny, with the powerful Guj on her heels and the menacing beating of unseen wings all about.

Readers of all ages will enjoy Wings Unseen, Rebecca Gomez Farrell’s first full-length novel. It is a fully-imagined epic fantasy with an unforgettable cast of characters.

In all but one career aptitude test Rebecca Gomez Farrell has taken, writer has been the #1 result. But when she tastes the salty air and hears the sea lions bark, she wonders if maybe sea captain was the right choice after all. Currently marooned in Oakland, CA, Becca is an associate member of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America. Her short stories, which run the gamut of speculative fiction genres, have been published by Beneath Ceaseless Skies, Pulp Literature, the Future Fire, Typehouse Literary Magazine, and an upcoming story in theDark, Luminous Wings anthology from Pole to Pole Publishing among others. Maya’s Vacation, her contemporary romance novella, is available from Clean Reads. She is thrilled to have Meerkat Press publish her debut novel.

Becca’s food, drink, and travel writing, which has appeared in local media in CA and NC, can primarily be found at her blog, The Gourmez. For a list of all her published work, fiction and nonfiction, check out her author website at