Heroes are Heroic (Except When They're Not)

An Essay By I am Nate-Dude // 7/13/2010


     Heroes come in all packages. Whether they’re normal guys like us, or dogs, (or cats…maybe). We love our heroes. Why shouldn’t we? They’re so…heroic. Every day we see heroes, sometimes without knowing it. Every time I see a man or woman in uniform, I’m just dyeing to salute them. I love police officers (even when they pull us over for not using motorcycle helmets). But some people are labeled heroes for no good reason. We like to think they are the “good guys”, but they just aren’t. 
      Let’s start with Dr. Henry Walton Jones Jr., (a.k.a. Indiana Jones) as an example. Now I’m not saying Indy isn’t a hero, but this knight does have some cracks in his armor. Indy drinks, can’t stay with one girl for longer than one movie, and he could use a bar of soap taken to his mouth once in a while. Also, I find it interesting that this guy, who sees the hand of God several times, doesn’t believe he needs God. Still Indy’s good points are just as strong as his bad ones. He’s nice to kids, saves people from Nazis, marries Marion in a church, and so on, and so forth. Indy’s still a hero, but he does have his rough edges.
      Moving on to a hero that everyone loves: Gandalf! Why do I bring up the gray/white wizard? Well, because he is a wizard. People loath me when I bring this up. Magic is evil.  Pure and simple. Bottom line. Gandalf is a sorcerer, which makes him bad. Sorry. It is the same thing with Harry Potter, Eragon, and yes even Yoda. I’m not saying that we toss Gandalf, Yoda, or Eragon. However, we must keep this issue in mind when watching Star Wars or Lord of the Rings.
       We also have Heroes that are villains. What comes to mind are secret agents who don’t mind mowing down innocent people as long as they complete their mission.  Pirates who want to do the right thing, but they do it the wrong way (did I mention that they’re pirates?). Heroes that stalk and murder a villain just for pitiful revenge.   These are broken heroes. Confused, deranged, and lost. 
      The only reason I wrote this was to put my thoughts on paper (or the screen of your computer). I just noticed that there are a lot of movies out were the good guys are willing to do wrong things, just so they can achieve their goal. Even in the Hannah Montana Movie (yes I’ve seen it, and yes I liked it).
      It just got the wheels in my head turning. True heroes do what is right even at their own inconvenience. Take Spiderman as an example. He always saves the very people who want him dead.  But not just Spiderman. Our own soldiers fight and die for us, but never receive any thanks. There are heroes all around us but we are sometimes too busy to notice them.  I’m ready to be a hero in any small way I can…will you join me?


*high five*

Great job, B. :)

I totally agree...

Ariel | Mon, 07/19/2010

"To produce a mighty book, you must choose a mighty theme. No great and enduring volume can ever be written on the flea, though many there be that have tried it." -- Herman Melville

Amazing essay--great job and

Amazing essay--great job and I totally agree. Now that's not to say that I'm going to give up my Gandalf poster, but...LOL. Wonderful thoughts.

LoriAnn | Mon, 07/19/2010

I don't mind tossing Eragon.

I don't mind tossing Eragon. And I REALLY don't mind tossing Hannah Montana.

Anna | Tue, 07/20/2010

I have hated the words and I have loved them, and I hope I have made them right. --The Book Thief

Good job!

This is something that's always bothered me. Take Pirates of the Caribbean for example. Despite my affection for the infamous and ingenius Captain Jack and his motley crew of swashbuckling pirates, murderously handsome blacksmiths and beautiful governors' daughters, deep down I'm on the side of Norrington and the good old British Navy. Pirates are bad, period.

I don't, however, agree with what you said about magic. Harry Potter, yes, I have some issues with (although I won't deny that I enjoy the movies). In fictional worlds magic, used for good, is perfectly acceptable. What about Narnia, which is clearly a Christian story? There's magic in that. And if magic is bad what are we supposed to tell our kids about the three fairies of Sleeping Beauty, or the enchanted castle in which the Beast dwells? There is a series of books, Christian fantasy, called the Dragonkeeper Chronicles, where magic is a talent given by "Wulder", that story's version of God, and actually has it's base in the chemical makeup of that world. Very interesting and creative.

That's my two cents...very good essay and good point. ;) High-five!

KatieSara | Tue, 07/20/2010


"Are all humans like this? So much bigger on the inside?"

Master Kynsle said, "Magic is

Master Kynsle said,

"Magic is the word used by unlearned people to describe a power they don't understand--a power of science, a good bit of luck, and the grace of knowlege from a loving Creator."

LoriAnn | Wed, 07/21/2010

I love Gandulf, Narnia, and

I love Gandulf, Narnia, and other stories with magic, but just because some guy called C.S. says that theres good magic doesn't mean he is right. I don't care what man says, I care what God says.

"For rebellion is as the sin of whitchcraft," 1 Samuel 15:23 a

"And he caused his childern to pass through the fire in the valley of the son of Hinnom:also he observed times, and used enchantments, and used whitchcraft, and delt with a familier spirit, and with wizards: he wrought much evil in the sight of the LORD, to provoke Him to anger."  2 Chronicles 33:6

That's just two verses.  If you can find me any place in the Bible that oks whitchcraft (a.k.a. magic) I'll eat my hat! 

I am Nate-Dude | Fri, 07/23/2010



And who the sam heck is Master Kynsle?!

I am Nate-Dude | Fri, 07/23/2010


I'm pretty sure magic is only

I'm pretty sure magic is only wrong when humans perform it. In that passage wizard is a translation word; Gandalf as a wizard (Istari) is actually a separate species from human. For instance, characters in the Narnia books use magic, but whenever the human children try it bad things happen (Lucy and the magic book, for instance). Wizard doesn't=evil; humans using magic=evil.

Anna | Fri, 07/23/2010

I have hated the words and I have loved them, and I hope I have made them right. --The Book Thief

You must have missed the underscoring...

on "fictional worlds".

The Bible is right. You are right. Magic in reality is evil because it can only come from Satan. In completely fictional places and situations, there is no harm in causing unusual things to happen and calling it "magic," provided everyone reading or hearing it understands that that kind of magic isn't real without hellish powers involved.
And let me elaborate a little bit on Narnia specifically:
The White Witch is, well, a witch. She is evil and, IMHO, represents Satan in the great Christian allegory that is The Chronicles of Narnia. That's bad, or, black magic right there.
But Aslan represents Christ, right? When the children are transported into Narnia by various "magic" means, it's always Aslan that is bringing them; hence, power of God, not magic.
Gandalf can also be considered a Christlike figure. Sauron obviously is the devil; he uses his powers in twisted and evil ways to do twisted and evil things.

I hope that makes my stand on things a little more clear.

(idk who Master Kynsle is either)

KatieSara | Fri, 07/23/2010


"Are all humans like this? So much bigger on the inside?"

Anna is correct.  A letter by

Anna is correct.  A letter by Tolkien (I can't remember the number, but' it's the prelude to The SIlmarillion) says that the magic of the Elves is art, and the magic of Sauron is power for sheer dominance. In either case, it is not practiced by humans.

Julie | Sat, 07/24/2010

Formerly Kestrel

I know what you guys mean.

I've had to talk about this before, though I must say you guys do a better job then the other poeple that I've talked to.  I don't think Narnia or LOTR take things to far, I'm just saying we should keep things in perspective.

P.S I don't have a problem with villains using magic.

I am Nate-Dude | Tue, 07/27/2010


Great Conversation

 A lot of these comments are very thought-provoking. I feel compelled to say that Gandolf is generally held to be a representation of the Holy Spirit. In cases like this, the word magic is sometimes just a word. I agree with some of the other commenters. Magic in reality is evil. Yes. This is true. Witchcraft is evil. But the word magic is often used for simply a force, a manipulation of science, or other things that we can't understand. It's true that witchcraft is evil in reality.

One of my biggest concerns about Harry Potter, for instance, is this: Will everyone understand that these things are not real? Young children, especially? These things are often allegorical. They do not portray reality. Could that be dangerous for some? Yes, I think so. I have heard that witchcraft schools grew after Harry Potter. People saw Harry and set out to learn the real thing. But for many, for those who understand that the word magic is often used to describe things that aren't witchcraft, but other things, the simple use of the word isn't a huge deal. At least for me.


This is a great conversation. I, too, think that people should be careful and on-guard in regards to these things. Thanks for a great post! I agree: we should keep things in perspective.




Anonymous | Mon, 01/17/2011


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