In real life, marriage to a great guy is everything I had hoped it would be. My husband is handsome, honest, hardworking, kind and the most supportive man a woman could ask for. He even does dishes. Sometimes without a shirt. OK, where was I? Oh, right, anti heroes. So we can all agree that hubby is a plain old run of the mill hero and in every day life, that’s exactly what I want. In my fantasy life, however, I seem to have stumbled upon a disturbing truth about myself. I am addicted to anti heroes.
You know the type: hot, flawed, kind of a prick. Mind you I understand that none of these guys would make acceptable marriage material or even acceptable next door neighbor material. But what is it about the anti hero that is so attractive? Let’s examine my five favorite anti heroes from my three favorite shows, past and present, and see if we can’t get me sorted out. Plus it will give us a chance to gaze at five hot guys with anti social tendencies. Hey, nobody’s perfect.
1. Ragnar Lothbrok, Vikings
Oh Ragnar, you of the ice blue eyes and ice cold nerves. You are stunning to look at and a force to be reckoned with. Granted you’re a bit of a man whore and the wanton killing of innocent farmers is sort of a turn off but you’re a Viking. It’s kind of your jam. And you do love your children, that’s for sure. And your funky little priest/slave/pet/BFF Athelstan. Sooner or later people will figure out that crossing you is a bad idea. Maybe that’s why I like you because when people in my real life give me a hard time, I secretly long to put the blood eagle on the offending party but usually end up having to smile through my teeth and pretend I’m not imagining their screams for mercy. When King Horik threatened your family you head butted him to death and took his kingdom. Head butted the king to death. Why would anyone ever hassle you?
2. Rollo, Vikings
Rollo please don’t take this the wrong way but you are one crazy sonofab****. And I mean that with the greatest admiration. Ok you treat women like crap and you betrayed your brother and killed your buddy and tried to strangle Athelstan after he saved your life but people make mistakes. It happens. What matters is that you saw the light, saved your brother’s family from his enemies and look wonderful topless. When you finally settled down with your beloved wife and three beautiful children I knew my faith in you had not been misplaced. Sure you had to betray your entire family, all your people and kill a bunch of families to do it and you were out marauding a scant few years later but you tried. That’s the important thing. How can I not root for you? Anyone can be redeemed. That’s the lesson we learn from Rollo.
3. Jax Teller, Sons of Anarchy
Jax. Like a modern day Hamlet who discovers his father’s death was plotted by his mother and stepfather, the de facto king and queen of the Sons of Anarchy Motorcycle Club, Jax searches for right in a world that is so wrong. Of course it’s only made wronger by the fact that Jax just can’t seem to stop killing people or sleeping with crack whores and porn stars or dealing military grade weapons to violent gangs and drug cartels but still, he’d like to be a better man and that’s something, isn’t it?
4. Jamie Lannister, Game of Thrones
Somehow, despite the fact that Jamie sleeps with his own sister, murdered his cousin and tossed a little boy off a tower, I still can’t hate him. OK I hate him a little bit but I’m still pulling for him. I see those glimpses of humanity when he won’t abandon Brienne of Tarth to her fate, when he tries to strike a deal to save his brother’s life. He is salvageable I’m sure of it, like every other woman who ever tried to save a deeply flawed man was also sure of it. The difference is I’m doing it from a safe television viewing audience distance. Mama didn’t raise no fool.
5. Prince Oberyn Martell, Game of Thrones
All right, all right so things didn’t work out exactly the way we’d all hoped for Oberyn but seriously those bedroom eyes? The dimples? The accent? We can overlook the fact that he will nail anything that isn’t nailed down (and he might be ok with anything nailed down) and that whether someone wants to get down with him or not seems to be irrelevant. “You’re sleeping with me.” “No I’m not.” “Yes you are, you work for Lord Bailish and I’m a prince.” “But…” “Take off your clothes.” We can even overlook the fact that he let his anger overtake his good sense, which didn’t work out for anyone at all except for the most horrible people in King’s Landing. Oberyn is not the best person in Westeros but he might be the most righteous. All he wants really, all that drives him is revenge for his lost sister and her murdered children. When he stands in Tyrion’s cell, raises a torch and says “I will be your champion” how can you not be on Team Oberyn?
So that’s my list of my favorite anti heroes. The flawed, the overly proud, the quick to anger and borderline insane. I think what I like about them, besides their obvious hotness is that fire that burns within. Every one of these characters longs for something more, usually something out of reach and they will do things most people wouldn’t dream of doing to get what they want. They take risks that scare the pants off ordinary folks and take the consequences that go with them. I could never be or be with any one with the qualities these characters possess but it’s fun to imagine isn’t it?