Saturday, April 30, 2016

A Little Something for the Weekend - Dangerous Anti-Heroes

Pink Heart Society editor, Ali Williams, is talking about those dangerous anti-heroes that we can't help but be fascinated by...

I have a bit of a love-hate relationship with dangerous anti-heroes - especially when it comes to romance.

But wait a moment, let me clarify what I mean by a dangerous anti-hero...  I don't mean a typical bad boy, just as I don't mean the alpha hero who's all gruff on the outside, but secretly has a heart of gold...

I'm talking about the anti-hero who will kill anyone who gets in their, who's ruthless and violent and altogether rather fascinating.

So yes, I'm not really sure whether they have a place, per se, on a blog that predominantly deals with romance, but there's something about the internal conflict in a dangerous anti-hero, that makes them altogether fascinating.

Next week, Peaky Blinders returns to the BBC.  For those who haven't seen it, it's a brutal depiction of a violent gang in Birmingham (North England) after the end of the First World War.  And yet, Cillian Murphy's depiction of Tommy Shelby is intricate and complex and makes us face the question of whether anyone can ever be wholly bad or wholly good.

It's a gripping tale, with roots in truth, that places its viewers firmly on the side of criminals, and it even has love narratives interwoven with the deception and violence.  I fell a little in love with enigmatic, complicated Tommy Shelby in a way that wouldn't be understandable if I'd met him in the real world.

Plus, Tom Hardy, sporting an incredibly bushy beard, makes a welcome appearance in the second series

Similarly Sons of Anarchy, with Brit Charlie Hunnam as Jax Teller, follows the ups and downs of a motorcycle club, and the gang warfare that follows in its wake of destruction.

There were scenes in this that I simply couldn't watch, but yet I was absolutely hooked, wanting to know what would happen with Jax, the love of his life and his entire circle of family and friends.

None of them were particularly nice people, but that's kind of why we like anti-heroes.

They do things that we could never do ourselves, and follow a strict moral compass that is all their own - whether they're fighting to protect family or their home, or simply dolling out what seems to be a particularly brutal brand of justice.

But it's the complexity that makes them all the more fascinating, and I can't help that feel that any writer could learn from watching these two series how internal conflict and external conflict can compliment each other, as well as being a masterclass in internal conflict itself!

Are you a fan of dangerous anti-heroes?  Join the discussion in the comments!

Ali Williams grew up in Croydon and spent her teenage years in a convent girls’ school. She then fled to university where she discovered champagne cocktails, a capella singing and erotica.

These days she blogs about perceptions of romance, chick lit and women in society and spends the rest of her time promoting #StrongRomanceHeroines on Twitter, and cracking on with her first novel, Breakfast in Tunford.

Editor for the Pink Heart Society, guest blogger for Mills & Boon and Harper Impulse, and occasional columnist for For Books' Sake, she defies you to slam romance novels within her hearing!

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