The general qualities found in most fantasy literature heroes are that:
- They tend to be innocent, meaning that they mean no evil towards any creature and think no evil towards these same.
- They have never before been a hero in their world and are new to the game.
- A hero is self-doubting, always wondering if his actions are correct, wondering if his decisions are correct or not.
- A hero tends to be willing to be self-sacrificing which seems to give the character a Christ-like quality. Whilst a hero thinks of others before himself, he tries to save himself as well if at all possible. However, if all else fails he will gladly stay behind and offer himself up to death in order to save his friends. Cadrach, for instance, in using up the last of his strength to create the bridge of air during the destruction of Green Angel Tower in order for his companions to escape certain death, gives himself over to the powers of death. With this last heroic act, the good done by this deed far outweighed all evil he had ever committed during his life; and even Miriamele found it in her heart to forgive him.
Simon and Aragorn have very similar characters for the main duration of each ones separate story. They both come from orphan backgrounds, descended from a line of Kings. In Aragorns case he knows this fact, but Simon is left to find this out for himself. Like Aragorn, Simon is the keeper of a great secret, that it was not John Presbyter who killed the dragon but St. Eahlstan Fiskerne. Aragorn is the keeper of the secret of Isildurs line. That the heir of Isildur is also the heir to the throne of Gondor, but he will not claim it until the Ring, Isildurs Bane, is once more revealed. At the end of each epic, each one is crowned king of the land for which he fought, and they both marry the woman of their dreams.
Morgenes and Gandalf are both seen as the epitome of wisdom. They both function as guides to their protégés, Morgenes as a spiritual guide, Gandalf as a guide on dark and perilous journeys. Both are killed by a representative of the element of fire: Gandalf by a Balrog, Morgenes by his former pupil Pryrates. Both are resurrected from the dead, Gandalf in a physical sense, while Morgenes lives on in his manuscript and Simons dreams. He gives the rebels guidance via this medium, but soon must leave even that world. Beware the false Messenger! are his last words to Simon, a message he repeats quite often. Gandalf defeats the Balrog and claiming the colour of white as his own, he deposes Saruman from the head of the Council of Wizards. He then becomes a sort of super-protagonist, that is, he is involved in all the threads of the saga. He guides Pippin and Merry to the decision to act as liege-hobbits to Denethor and Theoden, he acts as the main advisor to the realm of Gondor and the armies of light led by Aragorn.
A further similarity between the two old men is the fact that they were both leaders of their respective orders. Morgenes was the head of the League of the Scroll, and Gandalf became the Head of the Council of Wizards. Furthermore they both functioned as Stewards and Protectors to their respective worlds.
Both of these characters are very unusual, in that not much of their origins is known or openly discussed, yet both seem vested with great powers far beyond that of any normal creature in their respective worlds. Geloë is said to have come from across the sea with the Sithi, yet she is plainly not a member of that race. She is called the Witch of the Forest among other, less pleasant names. She, like Tom Bombadil, has the power to change the natural order of things, yet she will not do so with the full knowledge of those observing her acts of magic. Both these characters have a sense of belonging about them, making them fit absolutely into the order of things without having to explain what they are and why they are there.
They both refer to their mission as having been given them by Mother Earth. It is furthermore important to note that they both live in the forests, the epitome of plant and animal life. They both seem to be Gardeners of the Earth, instituted by some higher power.
The most important pair of characters in this bracket must be, without a doubt, Cadrach and Gollum. Both were once good and kind in their hearts, but as they grew aware of the power that lay at their fingertips, they were slowly consumed by it. However, during the course of the history they lapse occasionally into Good, aiding their companions in their quest. In the end, they help fulfil the quest, in their own inimitable ways. Cadrach by sacrificing himself for the greater good, and enabling the escape of Simon and his companions; and Gollum, by turning once more to Evil, and biting off Frodos ring-finger. He subsequently fell into the Cracks of Doom, relieving Frodo of having to physically throw the Ring away, a task he could never have accomplished having fallen himself under the seductive and evil spell of the Ring.
Elias and Saruman share one important quality: they did not willingly give themselves over to Evil, but were drawn in, not being able to escape the clutches of the Dark One in their respective worlds. Elias wandered the nether realms of the Dream World in search of his lost love; Saruman was searching for a way to finally and totally overcome Evil, by using the Palantir of Orthanc. They were both good once, and at their deaths they both regretted the hurt and suffering they had caused.
Eolair and Éomer are emmissarial figures of their respective peoples, to the protagonists of Good. They are both honourable men, well versed in diplomacy and fierce warriors. The similarity of names is obviously an unconscious plagiarism, pointing perhaps to the similar qualities of their characters.
Maegwin and Éowyn both pass through the barrier of the dark dream world prior to death. However, whilst Maegwin chose to die for her lack of vision and in order for Simon to return; Éowyn returns from the brink of death pulled by her brothers love, yet she vows she is dead inside until she finds love with Faramir.
Camaris and Faramir are both tragic figures. They have been misunderstood for most, if not all of their lives by those whom they serve. They are both reluctant but gentle warriors, but when forced to fight, they make a thorough job of it. They are both rewarded at the end of their respective sagas with offers of tracts of land: one the Princedom of Ithilien; the other with the Barony of Nabban. they both assume second-in-command positions to the authority figures of their time.
Jiriki and Legolas are both sent to aid the quests of the human protagonists. Both are first sons of ruling Elf or Sithi families. They have the same light-hearted approach to life, and they are both a decent shot with a longbow. They have similar traits of mysticism, reticence and secrecy about them, although this may be due to the elf ingredient in the fantasy genre rather than any deliberate plagiarism on Tad Williams part.
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