To brood or not to brood

September 17, 2008 at 2:53 am (General) (, , )

This is what I want to know: do you prefer your shapeshifter/paranormal heroes to accept their nature/condition, or try to move beyond it and become human?

Some shifter heroes (and I’m including vampires in the bunch) spend all their lives trying to get away from the way their were either born or made.  They hate that they are a creature unlike mortals, and desire only to become human.  They associate morality with humanity.  The creature that is inside them, or that they are is not acceptable.  Usually by the end of their story they have achieved humanity, or have learned to accept what they are, most often with the help of an understanding woman.

Other shifter heroes are perfectly fine with what they are.  They were born this way, that’s the way they’ll die.  If they shift into creature form, they embrace the animal part of themselves and often ensure they are safely away from humans so as to protect them.  Vampires drink real blood from human necks and don’t have to keep a stock of bagged blood in their fridges.  They are proud of what they are, and they want a woman who can accept them for what they are.

I love the latter of the two.  The hero who accepts what he is.  I don’t need a brooder, unless it’s just a part of his exterior appeal.  

What about you?  Acceptance or struggle?  Which appeals most to you in your shapeshifter/vampire heroes?




  1. Valerie said,

    Definitely NOT brooders! Boring, boring, boring…dated too many of them in my younger days. While I’m tempted to rant a bit about the idea that morality equals humanity, I’m not going to let myself indulge. I think the hottest paranormal heroes are secure in their identities. “Humanity” is the baseline…I want the extra zing of otherness too!

  2. Lou Gagliardi said,

    Hey Michele

    Great question! I prefer both. I prefer a hero that broods and wonders if he is truly human..and if he’s not, then it wouldn’t be so bad to see him try to regain it. But at the same time, I enjoy heroes that accept what they are, and try to work with the beast within.

  3. Cathy said,

    I’ve read and enjoyed both depending on the reason for the “brooder”. If he was forced to changed and can’t accept losing his/her “humanity” I see a story, otherwise I see a winner. If you were born that way, accept yourself or get outa my way.

  4. Marcia said,

    I guess that’s why I love Spike so much on Buffy. He relished every moment of being a vampire. For him, it was like a party 24-7. While I used to like the brooding vampire, I don’t. We all have burdens to bare and we have to get by without the supernatural powers. If a vampire hasn’t gotten over it by now, then they’re already defeated. Who wants to read about that?

  5. Michele Hauf said,

    Loving the responses!
    Ah, Spike! Why did the dude never get his own show? He made Buffy so fun and watchable. I still cringe to think of when they revealed his beginnings. As a poet! So good, that show.
    Yeah, he defined the paranormal who had accepted his nature.
    What about one who didn’t? Wasn’t the Forever Knight show about a vampire who wanted to become mortal? I actually liked him in that show. Don’t recall a lot of the set-up, but it must have worked for me. Though, did he do the bagged blood thing?

  6. Teresa D'Amario said,

    Yep, I think it depends on the purpose of the brooding. Mostly I don’t like them to brood about WHAT they are. I want that accepted. Though they may brood about other things, life, death, injuries, all kinds of things. 🙂

  7. Savanna Kougar said,

    Most definitely I prefer acceptance, unless there really is a reason for the hero to brood, beyond just the whole ‘tortured hero’ thing — which for me, has been overdone, and become boring. I mean, how long can you brood. And what’s heroic and fun about that?

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