R P G A M E R . C O M   -   E D I T O R I A L S

A Tribute to an Old Fashioned Hero

Philip Bloom

Lately, we've had a bit of discussion in the editorials column over hero versus anti-hero, what makes an anti-hero, and various other things. It's actually, despite my silence on the issue so far, an issue that I've pondered at length before. Whatever happened to heroism? Today, we don't have heroes who provide role models, who stand up tall with the old fashioned do the right thing attitude. We have children, striving to survive. We have grumpy silent whiny brats in leather jackets with fancy anime hair. We have jocks that save the world while railing against their father. We got a lot of complicated heroes out there, filled with depth, detail, and design. But you know, we don't have a lot of old fashioned heroes anymore. We don't have a lot of good guys.

I'd like to take a moment to reflect on an old one. Ragnar of Burland. Ragnar wore pink armor. He was a manly man, that way. He didn't worry about showing off that he was a badass. He worked as the head of the guards there, a knight in fact. His job was keeping people safe. He was that type of guy. His adventure started simply enough. Monsters had been kidnapping children away from a local village. The king of Burland asked for volunteers to go forth and rescue them. He volunteered. He wasn't paid to do it. He wasn't doing it to impress some girl. He wasn't raging against the unfairness of it all. He was doing it because it was what he did. Someone needed to save those kids and he had the skills to do it.

And he went ahead and did so by himself. He didn't need a huge party, an army, a squad of completely original cookie-cutter heroes. He went by himself, accepting the help of those he helped along the way and saving the kids. But you know, he learned there that something was threatening the world and more specifically, his home, the folks he worked to protect. So he went home. Got a hero's welcome. He could've stayed there, just passing the message onto the king. He could've let it go off his shoulders.

He didn't of course. That would be boring. Heroes don't do that kind of stuff. He told the king what was going on and then said he needed to go do something about it. He went off, his only companion, a simple healie. He wasn't seeking fortune, glory, pride, or any of those other things we see as common fare these days. He wasn't a teenager, buried in teenage worries. He wasn't even handsome. He was a knight in pink armor, traveling with a floating slime to do what he could to protect his kingdom.

His story was a good one, in my most biased opinion. He was a good hero. Whatever happened to types like him? Is it too simple these days? Not enough inner conflict? No need to strive endlessly over the right or wrong of what they are doing? Guess just doing what is right is not that interesting to many anymore, but you know, it's what hero's used to do. Huzzah for the heroes of old, may you not lay forgotten and may you once again get your time in the sun to shine.

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