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More on Antiheroes – Ep227

Antihero Menace
Antihero Menace

Has the change in cast members changed how we feel about the antihero?


Cast – Brandon, Brandi, Mike, Shannon, Dan, Eric and Jayson


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If you have some input on this, leave a comment.


  1. Joshua
    Joshua August 18, 2015

    You guys referred to the hero as being the older style, but there’s only maybe 30 years where heros as you define them were popular: 1940s, 1950s, and the 1960s. Before that you would be *very* hard pressed to find any actual heros as you defined them in fiction.

  2. Han Solo
    Han Solo August 18, 2015

    Vader AND Lecter are antiheroes? Uh …. no. They were villains. Sure they did eventually “help people”, but only because it served their purposes and in both instances the “help” involved outright murder. If Vader doesn’t love his son more than the emperor, Luke’s toast. Same with Lecter loving Clarice so much he doesn’t eat her, but protects her instead. You remove those very specific love interests, and you have two of the worst villains imaginable. As is, they’re two of the greatest because of their complexity.

    Antiheroes are just that: heroes. They appear to be amoral and wicked, but they really aren’t, with the hero aspect lying just beneath the surface, waiting for any opportunity to reveal itself.

    • mrm1138
      mrm1138 August 26, 2015

      I feel like the definition of antihero isn’t fully understood, and this is one of those times. The dictionary definition of an antihero is “a main character in a book, play, movie, etc., who does not have the usual good qualities that are expected in a hero.” To me, one of the best recent examples of an antihero is Walter White in Breaking Bad. He is the main character, and in many cases, the audience is meant to identify with and cheer for him. But make no mistake; he is a bad guy. He manufactures illegal drugs and murders people when he deems it necessary.

      Parker is another, older example of an antihero. The Hunter (and its film versions, Point Blank and Payback) follow him as the main character, but he is a thuggish crook who steals, assaults, and murders for his own self-interest.

      Probably the best classical version of an antihero is Richard III. I’m not sure if you can find any redeeming qualities about him.

      I feel like people really get caught up on the “hero” part of the term “antihero” and therefore feel that an antihero must therefore actually be good. That is not the case at all.

  3. Scott
    Scott August 18, 2015

    I can’t believe Riddick wasn’t mentioned in this ep!

    I don’t think I can agree on the point of Vader and Lector. Vader is a redeemed villain and Lector is a monster anyway you slice his story.

  4. Greg
    Greg August 19, 2015

    The Blues Brothers only destroyed the top lights of ONE cop car, the only reason so many cop cars were destroyed was because the cops couldn’t drive as well as Elwood and lost control of their vehicles!

    Now if you want to say they didn’t care how many traffic laws they broke, or destroying the panel in an elevator, or destroying a mall, okay….but not destruction of cop cars.

    This is coming from someone who has seen the movie 67+ times, and has been performing a Jake Blues in his annual church fundraiser musical show for 7 years now…

  5. mrm1138
    mrm1138 August 26, 2015

    Now that I’ve listened to this in its entirety, I just have to say that this was the most frustrating episode I’ve ever listened to of this show because of how thorough the misunderstanding was of just what an antihero is. There is a difference between a morally gray (or morally ambiguous) hero and an antihero. At one point, someone rightfully points out the main character of Payback as an antihero only to have another host question how he could be an antihero if he doesn’t necessarily do anything heroic. Being an antihero doesn’t require a character to actually be heroic.

    Think of virtually any main character in any gangster film ever made (e.g., Tony Montana in Scarface, Michael Corleone in The Godfather series, Tony Soprano in The Sopranos). They are the heroes of their own stories, but they are most definitely not heroic. Other good examples include protagonists of classic film noir movies (e.g., Fred McMurray in Double Indemnity, Sterling Hayden in The Killing, James Cagney in White Heat). Think of the aforementioned Richard III or his modern-day counterpart, House of Cards’ Francis Underwood.

    The dictionary definition of the word is ambiguous enough to leave room for the interpretation of Frodo Baggins and Harry Potter as antiheroes, but I don’t feel that most students of literature would feel that holds much water.

    • Gamerstable
      Gamerstable September 4, 2015

      All very good points.

      Anti-hero has become a bit of a buzzword nowadays that is used to lump characters together under an umbrella label. The “hero” in antihero is what is focused on rather than the “anti” in this case (and this episode).

      One of the running debates at our table (on and off mic) is how “heroic” PCs are, or are they anti-heroes? In most cases, especially by the definition you provided, they are in fact not heroes at all and likely anti-heroes. Murder hobos who roll up on an area disrupting the status quo and taking what’s not theirs (primarily in D&D).

      As for our examples, they were admittedly stretches in some cases. Some of us have rosy feelings for rebels and hookers with a heart of gold, who are usually placed with the label of “anti-hero” when in fact they are actually heroes.

    • SurrenderMonkey
      SurrenderMonkey September 6, 2015

      mrm1138 is mostly hitting the nail on the head for me. I do not look for heroic attributes in an anti-hero. In fact, it seems to me that the most successful anti-heroes are characters who remain compelling or even sympathetic despite a conspicuous lack of heroic qualities.

      Vader, yes, especially if you consider the arc of the entire 6-film saga as it exists today (and the Clone Wars animated series). It is *his* story from beginning to end.

      Frodo, no way. Willingness to act in the face of deeply felt reluctance is one of the most heroic character traits you can possibly possess. The fact that the ring robs him of his agency near the end of the story does not diminish his heroism in any way for me — it only emphasizes how much he had to lose.

      There is a very interesting case to be made for Gollum/Smeagol, however.

      • Gamerstable
        Gamerstable September 7, 2015

        Very nice.

        The article referenced in this episode can be found here
        Frodo falls in the “Classic” anti-hero list, in the classic mythological sense, because he has loads of self-doubt and loaded with flaws. As opposed to the classic heroes of mythology.

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