Book Meme: Mel’s Day Fifteen

Book Meme Challenge:

Favorite Male Character

Oh dear. I must choose between all my dreamy beloveds? No! Don’t make me!

I have a bad habit of falling in love with literary heroes, to such an extent that the only real life man to stand out in comparison is my dad.

Benedick, Lord Perter Wimsey, Captain Wentworth, Lord Percy Blakeney, Wizard Howl, Glorfindel, Horatio Hornblower, High King Peter, Eomer, Sir Gawain, Taran, Curdie, Moist Von Lipwig . . . . et cetera, et cetera, et cetera.

They are all strong, smart, dedicated, manly men. (Well, maybe excepting Wizard Howl.)

In fact, I wrote out and accidentally schedule-published an entire rhapsody over my future husband, Captain Wentworth. (You may have read that already. Sorry! I promise that it will reappear at some later point!) But then I slept, (for the first time in 21 hours,) worked long hours at a silly restaurant, and realized that my late night attempts at preparation neglected to properly address the holy, awe-full, (as in inspiring full awe,) man who is,

Aragorn

(AKA: Strider, Estel, Longshanks, Dunadan, Elessar, and Thorongil.)

I am most silly. And insane.

(Finals will be officially and completely finished this Tuesday.)

Need I say more?

All right, in short:

Aragorn is patient, bad-ass, devoted, thoughtful, strong, has leadership, charisma, the ability to make tough decisions, faithful beyond the shadow of a doubt.

And I would like to differentiate between the book Aragorn and the movie Aragorn. I loved the movie, really. It was gorgeous, dramatic, epic, soul-sweeping, and fun. But it did make several character changes to which I object.

First and foremost was that the movie Aragorn tried to reject his birth right. He was a nice modern man practicing what commonly passes for humility.

(Side Note: Someday, I swear, we will write a thoughtful, organized article on the proper confines, motivations, and attitudes of Christian humility, pride, and egotism. I promise. We even have a working title . . . )

Real Aragorn knew who he was, what he was capable of, and what he was called to do. This included kingship. He embraced the path laid out for him, gracefully taking responsibility, planning ahead, seeking  the necessary education, forming the relationships that would guide his quest, and always turning his heart towards his one true love. He did not separate his vocation from his sense of identity.

Also, he could kill an Uruk-hai single-handed. That deserves awesomeness points.

Another point about movie Aragorn is that he had some pretty sappy lines. Would a King who just led a historically momentous battle and reclaimed his throne after hundreds of years then give a speech amounting to “Let us join hands and prance around the maypole”?

Real Aragorn was lyrical and sentimental, but not quite in the same vein;

“‘Gondor! Gondor, between the Mountains and the Sea!
West Wind blew there; the light upon the Silver Tree
Fell like bright rain in gardens of the Kings of old.
O Gondor, Gondor! Shall Men behold the Silver Tree,
Or West Wind blow again between the Mountians and the sea? “

Aragorn is equally at home camping out or in elegant settings. He can strategize or diplomatic just as well as he can obliterate cave trolls. He can carefully choose a difficult course of action, and then follow through. He can read the hearts of men, (and women,) and offer a prudent response.

And as such, he devastatingly attractive.

Aragorn as one of the Christ figures of the book is the warrior Christ; the man who guards, loves, suffers, and rejoices for his fellow-man. He is beautiful. He is a man to love, and a man to imitate.

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11 thoughts on “Book Meme: Mel’s Day Fifteen

  1. Ahem. His name is “Wimsey.” Not to be confused with a particularly frivolous state of being (i.e. “whimsy”) – though he might well be known as a frivolous being. An easily made (and just as easily excused) mistake, though one you might want to correct before you make the acquaintance of Miss Vane. She might have some words on the subject.

    As for Mr. Darcy, I completely agree with your assessment of his character. He and I would never agree on anything; I believe his mere presence in a room would make me throw up my hands in despair and retreat to the confines of some lowly sanctuary (kitchen, perhaps?) where he would never deign to follow. But you cannot forget Mr. Knightley. Besides being the perfect gentleman, and rich, he also knows how to help his beloved on her path towards perfection. Of course, none of us much like being reprimanded, but if it is Mr. Knightley doing the reprimanding, it must be just and for our own good; and what can we do but listen humbly, promise to mend our ways, and then fall into his arms? … as Emma does quite willingly.

    You will excuse my sudden ardour, entering this club unannounced and uncalled-for, without having made your acquaintance, but I could not resist the delightful discussion of one my favourite topics (Austen men ;), and I hope to remedy the situation soon.

    Yours truly,
    ~ Lady Catherine

    • My Lady,

      Most humble apologies. My failure to properly spell and thereby respect the illustrious family of Wimsey can only be attributed to the late hour and mishap of unintended publishing. (And the fact that spelling is my curse, and I am currently writing an essay in Lewis Carrol and the fluidity of words in form and meaning. And I am silly.;))

      I am deeply sorry for the disrespect!

      As for Austen men . . . yes. Although again with Mr. Knightly, while we might be friends, I can never be attracted to him. He and I are too alike in temperament. But rich is always nice . . . And I am sorry that I suddenly changed my mind and switched men after you were so ardent in your interest! I can only say that looking at male characters for more than romantic interest should have occurred to me sooner. But dear F.W. shall have his day later on!

      Welcome, dear one! Welcome to our Club Home! Please, make yourself at home. Offer suggestions, correct my spelling, enjoy our ramblings, and join in discussions! I cannot offer you a hospitable glass of wine, but put your feet up and relax. You are among friends!

      • Hurrah for silly insanity! Thank goodness it isn’t silly seriousness; it’s such a bore to be always serious. And so silly, too.

        And hurrah for Lewis Carroll! I cannot BELIEVE I have only just been introduced to this club; you all discuss my absolute favouritest authors and subjects and people and things. I once thought of starting such a “club” (in the proper cyber-salon blog-fashion, of course), but with one thing or another, it just never happened. So I will resort to commenting on absolutely everything under this glorious cyber-sun!

        Yours devotedly,
        ~ Lady Catherine

      • Ah, but serious silliness provides an instance of spoudogeloious, which in turn allows the opportunity to use the adjective spoudogeloion. Which is such wonderful word!

        Do join! We extend the Tea of Friendship your way!

      • WHAT is “spoudogeloion”? A word I have not heard before??? Impossible! But so exciting 🙂

        And thank you for extending the Tea of Friendship; I would return the favor if I could, but unfortunately, I cannot at the moment … ! Perhaps at some later point. But for now, I am immensely pleased and gratified, and will remain

        Your cordially,
        ~ Lady Catherine

  2. My humblest, deepest, most profound apologies. I am terrified, mortified, stupified, petrified – to put it lightly. Only after reading your Manifesto did I realize quite the size of the gaping abyss into which I had egotistically thrust my foot. When I first sauntered leisurely into your club, I thought to myself, “hmmm, sounds like the sort of place my dear Uncle Peter would haunt.” And when I saw the family name thus misspelt, I assumed it was from ignorance, and I grew apalled. But I now know the mistake could only have been made through sheer carelessness, hovering on frivolity, which is, of course, a strong family characteristic (though both my parents would strenuously protest, my dearest grandmother would admit it is so, and she would most likely blame Great-Uncle Paul … but I digress).

    I therefore extend the olive branch and pray my short-sightedness be excused.

    Yours humbly,
    ~ Lady Catherine

  3. I admit that I blinked a few times on checking this post again, having read the original one on that fellow Wentworth and being quite sure that you had not spelt his name A-R-A-G-O-R-N. It was nice, reading your reasons for him, considering my literary education is still Austen-less; and thus I was learning about a new character. I don’t suppose I can blame you for switching to good ol’ Strider, though. He was high on my list, too; he only didn’t make my cut because it has been so long since I’ve read the books, and I can only envision him as Viggo now. Viggo was a great casting choice, but you are right to criticize the (re)-writing of the character for the movies. Not every hero needs to be reluctant.

    Of course, by changing your choice you’ve utterly ruined the introduction to my Day 15 post. My (sarcastic-but-only-in-friendly-fun) thanks. Time for an edit, I suppose.

    Post-Script: Recommendation on interior design for the Club: a Meta menu on the right-hand margin would be handy, so visitors (such as I) can login directly from your page. Save me the extra clicks to my page to login, and then jump back here. Grazi, amiche.

    Post-post Script: Excellent reasons for an excellent choice.

    Post(cubed)-Script: You had better be insane and silly at least some of the time, or we are no longer friends.

    • Er, yes. I was writing late at night and forgot to save the changes that would have canceled the publishing schedule. And since I worked all day yesterday, I was not home to notice my mistake. Mea culpa!

      Also, the meta thingie is at the bottom. It was ugly, so I exiled it.

  4. Gosh. I’m bewildered by the comments on a post I evidently missed…but I most certainly agree with you on Aragorn, especially book-vs-movie. I am saddened not only by my inability to get Viggo out of my head, but by the loss of imagining Galadriel and Arwen.

    …anyway, ethereal elf-ladies weren’t really the point. The point is, huzzah for manly men!

  5. Pingback: Epic Manly Men of Fiction « Egotist's Club

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