Heroes were once nobodies in their world. But when opportunities arose, they jumped to action—whether that meant going against an army of evil forces or taking down someone they once considered friend—and put everything on the line.
These are the typical heroes of fantasy movies and TV shows. It’s their destiny to fulfill the heroic journeys ahead of them, and they may even help make more heroes out of others along the way.
Here are some of the best fantasy heroes in movies and TV shows, and what make them such great characters.
Where is he from? Willow
Dwarf Willow just wanted to get away from his farm and become a sorcerer. But when his children found a baby who turns out to be royalty, he took it upon himself to lead his people and return the infant to safety, thus thwarting the evil plans of Queen Bavmorda.
While he can be short-tempered and too determined for magic, Willow is very compassionate to his family, his village, and even other forces of good. His bravery is important in rallying others into helping him return the infant Elora and stop Queen Bavmorda.
For all that, he deserves full recognition!
9. Dean and Sam Winchester
Where are they from? Supernatural
Dean and Sam Winchester hunt supernatural beings for a living in the aptly named TV series Supernatural.
They travel to many parts of the country in their black Chevy Impala and come across mystical phenomena that threaten others. Sam is more sensitive to the signs and visions of supernatural beings, while Dean is more resourceful at using weapons to defeat them.
Besides hunting one monster to the next, the Winchester brothers also deal with familial issues, which include the mystery of their father and their mother’s murder. Nevertheless, Dean and Sam share a deep bond that helps them triumph all the way to the end.
Where is she from? Princess Mononoke
San is the definition of a “warrior princess.”
She was raised by wolves, explaining why her own movements and appearance are wolf-like. She’s bound to her duty to protect the forest, to the point where she rejected her own humanity. But when she stumbles upon Prince Ashitaka, her heart changes.
As Princess of the Wolf Gods, San has a wild personality, a stubborn heart, and impatience. But more than that, she has deep compassion, for protectine forest wildlife. And when she meest Ashitaka, San begins to embrace her humanity.
7. Edward Scissorhands
Where is he from? Edward Scissorhands
Edward Scissorhands is one stark example of why you should never judge a book by its cover.
While he may look spooky with his pale skin, his dark suit, and his scissor blades for fingers, he’s a gentle man with good intentions. Those who truly open themselves up to him are the ones most rewarded by his heart and conscience.
Undoubtedly one of Tim Burton’s best characters, Edward Scissorhands is a fantasy hero to behold. His eerie charm and warm-hearted personality have enchanted movie viewers of any age. Snow falling would not be the same without Edward.
6. Inigo Montoya
Where is he from? The Princess Bride
You’ve probably heard his famous line: “My name is Inigo Montaya. You killed my father. Prepare to die!”
But before his rightful victory, Inigo was discouraged by his inability to find his father’s murderer. When he was picked up by the scummy Sicilian Vizzini, there he began his path to redemption and chivalry.
Inigo is a skilled fencer. He also poses an irreverent charm that makes him fun to watch. While he becomes a threat for Wesley, he has a change of heart and—alongside Fezzik—helps him rescue Princess Buttercup, which leads to his showdown against Count Rugen.
5. Captain Jack Sparrow
Where is he from? Pirates of the Caribbean
Before he became the face of the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise, Jack Sparrow was a disgraced captain who lost control of his ship.
What was supposed to be a one-off rescue mission for Elizabeth Swann ended up setting him on course for challenges like Davy Jones, the Kraken, the Fountain of Youth, and Poseidon’s Trident.
It’s impossible to watch the Pirates movies and not be excited as Johnny Depp’s Sparrow flees and flails in panic. Rather than use barbaric means, Sparrow uses his wits, his spirit, and his irreverence to evade foes and succeed at his plans.
Where is he from? Avatar: The Last Airbender
Aang is the last Airbender and the one destined to be the Avatar—the one who controls all four elements and tasked to achieve peace in the Four Nations. Though reluctant at times, he grew determined to master all four elements and battle the tyrannical Fire Lord Ozai.
Aang has a childlike wonder and vibrant personality that enables him to turn duty into play. Yet on his quest, he knows when to set his playfulness aside and act as a firm leader. For that, Aang’s lively and serious sides are both inspirational.
3. Tyrion Lannister
Where is he from? Game of Thrones
It’s hard to find a consistently virtuous character in Westeros. However, if there is one, it has to be Tyrion Lannister.
Born a dwarf, he was mocked by family and foes for his appearance, even as far as being resented by his father and his mother. It all drove him to spend most of his time in self-indulgent undertakings.
But when civil war shattered peace in Westeros, Tyrion remained persistent and upright on his morals. Despite his stature, his wisdom stands tall against his adversaries who are after the Iron Throne. For this, his noble journey becomes worth following.
2. Severus Snape
Where is he from? Harry Potter
Severus Snape might seem to be the mysterious hair-raising professor to avoid. But over the course of both books and movies, Professor Snape becomes a key figure for Harry Potter’s success.
He started as a Potions professor at Hogwarts, then became Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher, and eventually Headmaster. Harry Potter later learns it was all for a covertly compassionate purpose.
Out of all the characters in Harry Potter, Snape has the most heartbreaking arc of all. It explains why he has a cold personality, a strict attitude, and a disdain for Harry.
Where is he from? The Lord of the Rings
The greatest fantasy hero of any movie or TV series is none other than Aragorn, heir of Isildur and King of Gondor.
Aragorn first appears as a mysterious hooded figure named Strider. But he aids Frodo and friends to the Elvish town of Rivendell, where he joins the iconic Fellowship to destroy the One Ring in Mordor.
His role as leader of the Fellowship came when Gandalf sacrificed himself, which led him to conquests like rescuing Merry and Pippin, aiding in Helm’s Deep, and defending Gondor against attack.
It was his bravery, determination, and intellect that guided the Fellowship in victory against Sauron—and to this day, Aragorn stands as the utmost example of a shining fantasy hero.