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When we need a dose of courage

When it comes to me, I used to think that being brave equalled being fearless, and so I thought I could never be brave.

But I once read that being brave isn’t about not feeling fear – quite the opposite, it’s about moving forward despite the fear.

I’ve really liked the words ever since.

I think many people, including me, love reading about incredible adventures, brave deeds, and fearless protagonists, while being muffled in a blanket on a sofa, safe and sound, not feeling the coldness and tiredness, not feeling that every single muscle is burning and our chest is on the verge of tearing apart – so fast is our heart hammering in dangerous situations.

But still, even though reading about the bravery of our favourite fictional characters doesn’t put us in jeopardy or in a predicament in real life, we can benefit a lot from their experience. For example, let’s say we want something in life, but we’re afraid at the same time. Here come our favourite protagonists – we can stop and ponder, ‘Hm,’ we think, ‘what would X do in my place?’ And then it’s somehow easier; we pluck up the courage and move forward. Hopefully 🙂

I wondered what fictional characters we perceive as brave or inspirational? I did some research, and that’s what I found (be careful, spoilers!):

Huffpost puts Bran from The Games of Thrones on the first place of their list, whereas Bustle mentions Éowyn from The Lord of the Rings as one of the most inspiring fictional characters.

Bran – loses his ability to walk when he’s merely seven years old, not to mention the fact that soon afterwards he loses almost everything important to him, and yet he doesn’t give up.

Éowyn – decides to make her own destiny and goes beyond the boundaries of convention. She doesn’t want to limit herself to the things everyone else expects her to do.

There are a few examples I’d like to mention briefly:

1) Daenerys from The Games of Thrones by George R. R. Martin

I remember reading about her forced child marriage – I was shocked! And yet she bounced back.  The moment when she freed herself from the toxic influence of her brother was definitely memorable! It was an inspiring example of destroying the limiting walls inside your own mind.

2) Agnieszka from Uprooted by Naomi Novik

In the book there’s a moment when Agnieszka decides to venture alone into a creepy, cursed forest just to save her kidnapped friend, even though she knows it’s pure madness. That deed was truly impressive. I’d like to highlight that before Agnieszka, no one had ever left the forest alive.

3) Richard Cypher from Sword of Truth by Terry Goodkind

One day, Richard is forced to abandon his safe and calm life to do the things he has never suspected himself of being able to do. But like it’s often said, we can do much more than we think we can 🙂 To cap it all off, what Richard discovers about his true parents – that he’s the fruit of a cruel rape – could be a devastating truth to many people, but not to Richard.

1) Aribeth de Tylmarand from Neverwinter Nights

Well, that is a tragic character, that is, but exceptionally brave. An elven paladin, the first woman to be honoured and admired by masses; appreciated even by the ruler. Aribeth fought for what she believed was right and did everything to help people. Even though she ended up as an antagonist, it can’t be denied that she was brave.

2) Sebille from Divinity: Original Sin II

Ah, I really like Sebille. A former slave of lizards, broken and tortured, she managed to escape and make her past her strength.

A quote from the game:

“I used to be a slave, kept under the thumb of the Master: the bastard that made me hunt down my own kin. How did he do that, you ask? With the living scar you see on my cheek, this horror that takes no more than a song sung by Master dearest to control my very thoughts. But now the tables have turned. I broke my shackles. And when I finally find him, I will make the Master sing a very different kind of song…”

I must say, going through the game and watching Sebille’s story was a pure pleasure.

I guess that’s why I made the protagonist of my novel brave as well 🙂 I like to believe that any event in our life can bring us something positive.

I hope you’re also fond of some of the characters I mentioned above, and that reading about them has brought you some consolation if you’re struggling with anything currently 🙂

Have a good day!