8 Types of Heroes in Fiction

The concept of heroes and heroines has been a central theme in storytelling. From old myths to modern literature, the same concept has been depicted in various ways, each representing different ideals and qualities that set them apart from the rest.

Meanwhile, the term ‘hero’ isn’t isolated to superheroes or epic fantasy characters. Every lead, every character in fiction can be classified under the term ‘hero’. 

Here, we will explore eight types of heroes found in fictional books that drive the plots forward and help readers connect and relate with books on a more emotional level, and even begin to root for them!

The Reluctant Hero

This is a character who is initially reluctant to take on the challenges and responsibilities of being a hero. In some cases, they are thrust into a heroic role against their will. They often doubt their abilities or feel like they’re not ready for the task at hand, thus their hesitance and resistance. However, as the story progresses, they rise to the occasion and become the hero/heroine that the story needs.

As aforementioned, a perfect example would be Adea from JP SINA’s book, “The Forbidden Alpha”. Adea’s journey can be seen as that of a reluctant hero who is thrust into a dangerous and morally complex situation, but rises to the challenge and ultimately does what’s right.

The Rebel/Anti-Hero

An anti-hero is a character in a story, who lacks traditional heroic qualities such as bravery, selflessness, and a strong moral code. Anti-heroes often have flaws and characteristics that are normally considered negative, such as being selfish, cold, or evil–however true or untrue these might be. Nonetheless, despite these flaws, anti-heroes have redeeming qualities that make them sympathetic to the audience.

Unlike traditional heroes who are often portrayed as perfect or nearly flawless, anti-heroes tend to be complex characters who are more realistic and relatable. They may be motivated by selfish desires, but they can also have moments of compassion and bravery.

Winter from “The Ruthless Alpha(You’re My Obsession)” by Omaisabella is an example of an Anti-Hero.

The Tragic Hero

The tragic hero is a character who is destined to fail or suffer a great loss. They may have noble intentions, but their flaws or mistakes ultimately lead to their downfall. Tragic heroes are often depicted as struggling against fate or insurmountable obstacles beyond their control.

An example of a tragic hero is King Alan from the “Empyreal” by Stephanie Nzekwue. Alan is a tragic hero who is deeply in love with the Unseelie King’s Consort, but their relationship is ultimately doomed as theirs is an impossible love. Despite his affection for her, he becomes responsible for her death, leading him to spend the rest of his immortal life grieving and seeking ways to bring her back.

The Classic Hero

The classic hero is the quintessential protagonist, often embodying traditional values like courage, honor, and selflessness. Perfection in a single person. Example? We have King Alexander from “The 5-time Rejected Gamma” by Stina’s Pen. These characters are often seen as archetypal romantic heroes, with their charisma, passion, and devotion to the heroines of their stories. They embody ideals of chivalry, honor, and true love that make them compelling and memorable to readers.

The Byronic / Brooding Hero

The Byronic hero is a type of anti-hero who is brooding, intelligent, and passionate. They often have a dark past or a secret that they are trying to hide, and they may struggle with inner demons. Byronic heroes are often seen as outsiders or rebels, and they can be both attractive and dangerous…and aren’t attractive, brooding and dangerous men the most alluring characters?

Lucien from Kiss Leilani’s “The Alpha King’s Hated Slave” book is a great example of a Brooding Hero.

The Everyman/Everywoman

This is a relatable character who faces relatable challenges and navigates them with resilience and determination. They may not have any special abilities, but possess a strong moral compass and a willingness to do what’s right. 

Jada Wright, the protagonist of the book “Cold Showers” by Omolade Ayisat can be classified as an Everywoman Hero.

The Romantic Hero

This is a protagonist who embodies romantic ideals like passion, emotional intensity, and individualism. They may be impulsive or rebellious, but have a strong sense of personal freedom and a desire to pursue their own desires. An example of romantic heroes include Rig Landon from Aimee Lane’s “Hunted by my Alpha”.

The Super Hero

The Superhero is a protagonist with extraordinary abilities or powers that they use to fight crime or protect the innocent. They often have a secret identity and must balance their heroic duties with their personal life.

An example of such a hero is Elaina from “Elaina the Warrior” by Eliza Selmer.

Understanding the different types of heroes in fiction can help writers create complex, compelling characters that inspire and engage readers. Most of the given examples fall on other categories of Heroes as well. The combination of characters can help develop an endearing, fascinating and unique hero that will capture the hearts of the readers in no time. Happy writing!


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