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Ten 10 Brooding Heroes (Or Anti-heroes)

Happy Valentines Day!

They've been around since Alexandre Dumas, Jane Austen, and Charles Dickens envisioned them. They are the characters with few words, more likely to roll their eyes and walk away then carry-on a conversation like their emotionally-uncomplicated peers. They are the brooders doomed to a life of angst, loneliness and gut-wrenching heartbreak that leaves their audience drowning in tears.

In honor of Valentines’ Day, I’m giving a little bit of love to all the fictional brooders who made us cry for them and love them as only crazy fangirls could. They will always be our favorites.

Magneto (X-Men First Class)
This movie revealed to us the tragedy that is Magneto: a brooding anti-hero (or villain really) who can’t let go of his past. A man who will never let himself be happy again.

Sydney Carton (A Tale of Two Cities)
If you haven’t seen this movie, find it now. Sydney Carton is the classic brooding anti-hero. He will break your heart and make you love him.

Li Gexiao (The Vigilantes in Masks)
The tragic widower. The man whose given upon life. He simply drinks, sleeps, and broods about how his wife was killed. And looks so good while doing it.

Henry Nobly (Austenland)
The annoyed brooder. Henry’s got every annoyed, irritated and ‘you’re an idiot, I’m so awesome’ expression down, it almost hurts. Why Henry?

Sir Guy (Robin Hood)
The intense facial brooder. There are many brooders, but few capture the anguished looks that Sir Guy unloads. You know you shouldn't ship him with Marian… but you can’t help it. He just needs some acceptance, people. *wipes tears*

Athos (The Musketeers BBC)
The tragic lover. Ahh Athos, another man given to drink, vocal silence and staring off into space, unable to forgive the woman who ripped his innocent heart to shreds. How many tears must I shed for you?

Mr. Rochester (Jane Eyre)
A true classic brooder. Mr. Rochester is cold, dark, mysterious – a man with terrifying secrets, who whiles away his time staring into a blazing fire (or that’s what he does in the movies, anyway.). Yet underneath his broodiness, we see a man who just needs to be loved. (Wait, how'd Michael Fassbender make it on the list twice?)

Mr. Darcy (Pride and Prejudice)
Accept or not. Colin Firth gave this man his brooding fame. And for good reason. His brooding stares say more than a thousand words. Elizabeth, how could you not love him?

Move aside, brooders. And let a true brooder show you what brooding-hood is. Every aspect of the brooding hero has been perfected in Batman – heartrending tragic past, eternal silent type, intense glares, and an awesome black costume (optional). Brood on, Batman.

Ah yes, finally the brooder who made brooding too-cool-for-school. The brooder whose few lines are snarky one-liners, a man who doesn't care about anyone. And yet underneath that regenerating skin and adamantium bones, we know there’s a heart of (mostly) gold. And that’s what a true brooding hero is.


  1. Yay! A post on brooders! Heehee. I loooove anti-heroes and dark, angsty brooders. They're probably one of my favorite types of character. I just can't get enough. And I love all of these brooders here (well, almost all. I think Li Gexiao is the only one I'm unfamiliar with). Just thinking about each of these characters gives me so many feels and happies. What a wonderful Valentines post. *wipes away tear*


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