Monday, February 14, 2011

Imaginary Valentines

Happy Valentine's Day my dear readers! I hope that whatever your relationship status you truly do have a wonderful day. Remember, there are many different kinds of love out there, so if you don't have a special romantic valentine to share your day with, there's no need to be all grumpy and anti-love. Declare yourself your valentine and treat yourself to a fantastic evening of your favorite things. Or make a good friend your valentine and go out and have a good time together.

I have to say I am lucky enough to have found the love of my life and we have a nice low-key celebration planned for the evening. We're going to dinner with our daughter at one of our favorite restaurants and just plan to enjoy one another's company. I am very much looking forward to it.

I read an interesting Valentine's Day-inspired article on GeekMom yesterday. Geek Mom Delphine asserts her belief in every reader's right to fall in love with the characters in the books we read. I really couldn't agree with her more. I think a character so well written you can fall in love with him (or her) is the sign that a writer is doing something very, very right.  After reading this post, I was inspired to come up with my own list of fictional valentines to share with you guys.

Harry Dresden
(The Dresden Files by Jim Butcher)

Harry is all kinds of awesome. He has his flaws, certainly, but he is a loyal friend and fiercely protective. He does what he believes is right and he always stands up to bullies, no matter the odds against him. He has a pretty solid sense of humor as well--freely joking about the time that one bad guy kidnapped him and tried to sell him on Ebay. Also, he's a wizard. And when he needed a way to stop necromancers, his weapon of choice was a reincarnated T-Rex. I mean, come on, how cool is that? Sadly though, it could never work out between us. My love of computers and gaming would not mix well with his effect on electronics I fear.

Araris Valarian
(Codex Alera by Jim Butcher)

Well, clearly JB is quite a talented writer. Araris is a very interesting character indeed to me, and he is a romantic, which wins him points. Araris was the most well-known swordsman in Alera, and singulare (body guard and friend) to the princeps Septimus before his death. When Septimus was killed in battle, leaving behind an unacknowledged wife and newborn son, Araris allowed himself to be disfigured with the coward's brand and presumed dead so that he could go into hiding with his friend's widow and son and keep them safe from the princeps' enemies. It's not his fault he fell in love with her, but he was a total gentleman about it, which makes their eventual romance all the more sweet.

(The Dragon Prince and The Dragon Star by Melanie Rawn)

Ostvel stuck me as an interesting character throughout the entire span of both of Rawn's trilogies. Not a Sunrunner, but living among them, and married to not one, but two, over the course of the narrative (his first wife died due to illness), he carried with him a perspective on the group that not many others in the series possessed. He was forever surrounded by people of power (Sunrunners and nobility), but he always remained a very straightforward and simple man, even when Rohan gave him is own princedom to run. The guy was just plain cool. If he was real, he would be the first friend I would turn to in any sort of crisis, no matter how big or small, and I would never hesitate to confide in him. Plus, he just seems like a pretty fun guy to hang out with.  

Bardan Jusik
(Star Wars Republic Commando by Karen Traviss)

Oh man, Bardan. I think I've told you before he's probably now my favorite Jedi of all time. Mostly because he had the guts to look at the Jedi Order and see it for what it was--neither good nor bad, just stagnant, and willing to let itself be used and compromise its morals because it thought doing so would serve the greater good. The man has a conscience, which, dagnabbit is just sexy. Also, he didn't stop being a user of the Force just because he walked away from the order, and he was constantly looking within himself to keep himself from being tempted by the dark side, while still allowing himself to have the kind of life that most Jedi deny themselves. It's hard not to love a man who is willing to give up the only way of life he's ever known for his family. Not for some half-baked romance, mind you, but for his actual family.

Lord John Grey
(The Outlander and Lord John Grey by Diana Gabaldan)

Okay, this maybe is a bit of a stretch, since he definitely plays for the other team. But John Grey is an absolutely fascinating character. He falls in love with a man who clearly prefers women, in a time when homosexuality is definitely something that needs to be kept hidden. Instead of pining about his unrequited love, he gets on with his life, while remaining a silent pillar of support for the man who has captured his heart. He is a true gentleman, in every sense of the word, and it's hard not to love him a little bit.

So there's my top five literary valentines for you. Delphine actually threw in one in her blog that was from a movie, Obi Wan Kenobi as portrayed by Ewan MacGregor in The Revenge of the Sith and I have to say I am totally in agreement with her on that. That particular role made me fall in love with MacGregor as an actor and with Obi Wan as a character. It is not easy to make a stuffed shirt like Obi Wan sexy, but MacGregor somehow managed to pull it off, and whatever lingering reticence I might have been having about being a Star Wars fangirl was completely quashed when I realized that while watching The Revenge of the Sith for the first time.

Other honorable mentions include:
Oz the werewolf from Buffy the Vampire Slayer (he is just cool in every sense of the word).
Charlie Weasley from Harry Potter (a British ginger who loves dragons? I mean, come on).
Alistair from Dragon Age: Origins (a cute, super sweet, slightly naive, prince in disguise with a wonderful sense of humor and all kinds of loyalty and courage to boot? Um, heck yeah.)

So, who are your imaginary valentines?

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