Over the years we have been treated to some really good movies (…I’m talking about some really, really good stuff), and in most it is a battle between the ever-good protagonist and the terrible, despicable, awful antagonist (sounds familiar aye?). Yeah it’s a cliché but over the years it has provided some of the most iconic fictional characters on the silver screen. Note though that this is not an attempt to rank the “greatest” heroes. Without further ado, your heroes:
10. GOKU (From the Dragon Ball Z franchise)
Yes, my first entry is an anime! It is the first of two entries from the anime world. The dragon ball Z is definitely one of the most popular animes of all time and no one can’t deny the manga phenomenon that is Goku.
Possessing a sense of humor and light-hearted spirit, he was always going to be a hit with the audience. In addition, he knew when to be serious (something some of the funniest people fail to draw a line with). His mercy to his enemies couldn’t be ignored and one can’t help but admire his morally right nature. This attributes throughout the span of the movies gained him some strong and loyal allies.
- Katniss Everdeen (The Hunger Games franchise)
A perfection blend of youth and wisdom, she grew in leaps and bounds during the progression of the story line, starting as a teen but ending it in her mid-thirties. From the first scene, she was always destined to be an icon. From the taking the place of her sister as a tribute, to defying the Capitol by giving Rue (a fellow tribute) a befitting burial, she has always been a symbol of what is right and true. Such was her good character that she became the reluctant face of the rebellion.
One standout moment was when she assassinated President Alma Coin. A key point to her character as a whole was her ability to stay strong and overcome her biggest adversity in the series; the torture, poisoning and beating of Peeta Mellark. It showed a really human side to this larger than life character.
- Harry Potter (The Harry Potter franchise)
His life had all the makings of someone great from the moment he was born. Born at the end of July, he was a waiting prophecy to be fulfilled. As usual a failed attempt on his life led to the death of his parents (I think we have heard that before) but the fact that he was the first ever survivor of the killing curse, set the story up for a really compelling adventure.
It is important to note that his just and noble character remained no matter the adversities or deaths of his friend he saw. That can’t be overemphasized as it was no easy feat to see so many of his friends and allies die. This all the more piled pressure on him to fulfil his destiny and he did so time and time again. His values appeal to us all.
- Gandalf (The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings franchises)
An epitome of wisdom and maturity, he really was a symbol for all things good in the movies. A constant grey bearded look though he later had a white bearded look, you can’t say wisdom beyond his years (he had lived for a couple thousand years before his death!).
His life showed an important fact: the urge to learn from people around him and teach others, something that would greatly enhance him for the battles ahead. A beacon of truth in a dark world, he really was as dependable as they come. Don’t be fooled by the wise and guise, he sure knew how to hold his own in a fight, after all he was a powerful wizard. His initial demise was after a ten-day battle with a balrog in which they both died. Another thing to note about him was his ability to amass forces to help his cause and his intuitive ability to know when someone had betrayed him.
- Naruto (The Naruto franchise)
Definitely one of the most widely known manga characters of all time (obviously or he won’t be here!). A symbol of a unique generation of manga, for one, it was hugely successful during a time that interest in Japanese styled animation had wildly erupted across the globe. Starting from humble beginnings, he was an ostracized orphan due to the sacrifice made by his parents to protect him and his village as a whole. Why was he sneered by his own people for such a noble sacrifice? Well let’s say it was because the thing behind the damage was the nine-tail, an extremely powerful beast trapped in his mom. This will place the setting for the entire franchise as this stigma affected his every action and character development.
Boisterous, humorous and a bundle of energy, a serial prankster, he definitely wasn’t one for the orthodox. An avid user of the sexy technique, it showed how out-of-the-box and unconventional he was in battle. Due to the presence of the nine tail, he is arguably the strongest character in the action series. Also, he is loyal to his friends to a fault. Most of the major plot is centred around him trying to get his close friend, Sasuke Uchiha, from a self-inflicted dark path of vengeance and deep hatred for his brother Itachi. This would be a tough and long journey ultimately resulting in the redemption of his friend and he valuing their friendship. In the end he fulfils his biggest dream which is becoming hokage.
- John Snow (The Game of Thrones franchise)
The phenomenon that is the HBO series has produced so many iconic characters. The series is such a hit that most of us finding ourselves wondering what we will do with ourselves when it is off season. It has produced the likes of Prince Oberion, Tyrion Lannister, Ned stark, Rob stark, Sansa Stark, Arryn Stark, Daenerys Targaryen but it’s most notable character has to be Jon Snow, King of the North.
Unlike, most movies and TV series, GoT threw us a curve ball making us think that Ned Stark was the main character. Jon Snow has grown exceedingly over the course of the show. From the bastard son of the starks, he is now the key figure in the much-anticipated battle between the living and the dead. His loyalty amongst his other strong ‘northern’ values is his strength and sometimes his biggest weakness. This is highlighted by the way he first died, killed by the same brotherhood he had sworn with his life to protect and which he had done severally. He’s also soft hearted shown on several occasions such as when he gave the king beyond the wall a merciful death while he was being burned alive or when he ran to try to save his younger brother from an impending death. One thing sure about him is that he gives 150% every time called upon. A true leader. Though, the highlight of his appearance on the show so far was the scene where he slept with his aunt (before you all scream eww and shout disgusting, to be fair he didn’t know and she is actually hot, LOL).
- Yoda (The Star Wars franchise)
From the first scene we saw this sagely Jedi, he has always been a hit. Be it that he walks around with a limp from old age or that he is a two feet green alien or his poorly worded grammar he has always been a hit. His early influence in the life of Luke Skywalker is just one of his several inputs over the course of the programme.
His past is shrouded in mystery, his race is unknown, adding to the mystic ambience around him. Though not able to put words in a structurally correct manner, his statements carry with them a religion-like ,sagely, deep meaning (he’s over 800years for Pete’s sake). One question which I think we will all have hanging over like clouds is: how would a much younger Yoda look like, talk like and behave like?! Nonetheless, he’s arguably the strongest character ever to appear on the hit show.
- Han Solo and Chewbacca. (The Star Wars franchise)
For a movie that has produced so many hugely popular good guys, there was absolutely no doubt which two are the most popular of all time. Han Solo, smuggler-turned-hero, and his furry co-pilot. These two are as close and efficient as they come. On their ship, the millennium falcon, which Han won in a bet against his close friend, fellow smuggler, Lando Calrissian; they achieved so much as a smuggling pair and more importantly, for the rebel alliance.
For a person described as a lying scoundrel, Han Solo underwent a huge transformation after he befriended Chewbacca to the point of putting his life several times for the rebellion even after the defeat of the empire at the battle of Endor. Chewbacca himself is no slouch on the battle field; strong and skilled with a gun, he was a somewhat unstoppable force when in his ‘zone’.
Ultimately the fall of Han solo will be, as a result of his son Ben Solo, who joined the First Order, a dark group of force-sensitive people. This would be as a result of his frequent absences as his father leading to resentment from his son and the eventual collapse of his marriage to Leia Organa. Under the alias of Kylo Ren, Ben will later kill his father in the bowels of the star killer weapon, a death which we believe he knew would happen and allowed to happen to try to amend for his absences as a father and put Ben on a path of redemption to the light. An unfortunate end for a fan’s favourite.
- Batman/Bruce Wayne (DC Universe)
The caped crusader, the Dark Knight, the bat, the protector of Gotham, the world’s greatest detective. What would the world (specifically Gotham) be like without batsy (the ‘endearing’ name given by his arch-nemesis, The Joker)?
Unlike most heroes, he possesses absolute no super power unless you want to count his genius-level intellect. A powerful combination of wit, exceptional detective abilities, high tech gadgets, martial art skills and loyal sidekicks. One key important figure in Bruce Wayne’s life is Alfred Pennyworth, his Butler/Every other thing he can offer to Master Bruce. Orphaned at a young age, Bruce Wayne was faced with the obvious choice of sinking into depression and a resentment filled life. Instead, he chose a path of personal development and one dedicated to being a beacon of justice in a dark city. Over the years, he has taken a couple of sidekicks namely: Dick Grayson (Night Wing), Jason Todd (Red Hood), Tim Drake (Red Robin), Stephanie Brown (Batgirl), Damian Wayne (His son, grandson from legendary villian,Ra’s Al Ghul), Carrie Kelley (Female Robin), Helena Wayne (daughter from an alternate timeline). Apart from the ‘Batman family’, he has several ‘working’ relationships with the Gotham City police department (GCPD) and fellow vigilantes such as Green arrow, Katanna, Superman, Wonder woman, Green lantern amongst others. To show how noteworthy his accomplishments are, he is the unofficial leader of the Justice League, a team of super heroes despite being the only member without actual superpowers. We must not forget the playboy that he is though, accounting for the numerous romantic flings he has had with fellow heroes, some villains and ‘civilians’ alike. A round of applause for him please!
- Superman/Clarke Kent (DC Universe)
Sorry Marvel fans but what will this list be like without the Man of Steel himself. A man of krypton origin possessing God-like powers – Super strength, ultra hearing, extreme durability, laser vision, ice breath, and I could go on and on. With powers like these, you would expect him to be unstoppable, which he is (ignoring the effects kryptonite has on him).
Unlike most beings in the universe with such immense power he handles it with ease not allowing it to get to him. In fact, he has on numerous occasions submitted to the Government forces not because he couldn’t beat them but rather because he chooses to respect due authority. What a being!
One might say it was the humble upbringing he had on a farm with his earthly parents that made him this way but to stick to such values says a lot. He even has an alter ego, Clarke Kent, who works as a be-spectacled reporter for the daily planet. (Sometimes wearing glasses can be such a good disguise, go figure!)
As a hero, he has fought alongside the world’s greatest heroes and against the universe’s strongest villains such as Apocalypse, Dark Seid, Lex Luthor (his arch nemesis), etc. His staying true to the American values is unparalleled in the DC universe. So much is his influence outside the TV industry that he is made reference to in every area of our lives.
Note: ‘pops’ from the terminator franchise came in a close eleventh, narrowly missing out because he really is more popular as an antagonist than as a protagonist in the terminator movies.
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