Fictional Character Crushes: Don’t Pretend You Don’t Have Them
Sara's Top Fandom Crushes. Apparently, I kind of have a "type." Don't judge. ;-)
Fictional character crushes. Like actual-person crushes, they can take many forms, from the purely physical to the intellectual, to the I-want-to-BE-you, but unlike “real” crushes, they can be as specific and fantasy-oriented as we want them to be. Some of them, we wish were real. Others … well, it’s just as well they aren’t. Different characters can “speak” to different parts of our psyche at different times in our lives and heck, let’s be honest – at different times of the same day. I have broken down my fictional crushes into some categories to help organize my thoughts on the matter. Feel free to share your own crushes and opinions in the comments!
Honorable mention goes out to my very first TV boyfriend, Zack Morris from Saved By The Bell. I didn’t know what it was that I felt, but I think it was the beginning stirrings of fangirl-itis. Thank you, Zack Morris. You never forget your first.
Seamus Harper from Andromeda – He was so not my “type,” but his constant snark, giant brain, high energy, and scrappy fortitude left me fanning myself like a Victorian lady with the case of the vapors. He can be my Smart, Scrappy Space Boyfriend any day! I just want to run my hand through that spiky hair. Seriously. My Seamus (shut up) could Space MacGuyver a functioning spaceship out of soda cans, an old battery, and a cool rock if he needed to. The other characters kind of treated him like crap, especially in the later, weirder seasons (Seefra? WTF?), but Seamus Harper was nothing if not resourceful. He survived Scary, Futuristic Earth, and he adapted to Seefra, The Bunghole of the Universe just as well. Probably a lot better than us fans did. He may also be the only man, fictional or otherwise, with enough energy to keep up with my chaotic mindspace. :-) Too bad he’s not real. Le sigh.
Sam Winchester from Supernatural – I know. I know. I’m a stereotype, but the things that draw me over and over to the character of the younger Winchester brother actually reflect some of my healthier values. He’s intelligent, incredibly resilient, and kind of a geek. Like me. He’s also tall and built, and while these attributes are purely aesthetic, they’re also pretty legit. Sam Winchester, if he were real, I’d date. We could fight evil and get our adventure on, and then hit the library and get our smart on. And I’d borrow his flannel shirts … ahem. Now, his older brother ….
Dean Winchester – … Dean Winchester? Yeah. I don’t want to date him, but my internal fantasy-maker has other plans for Winchester the Elder. Plans that mostly involve making out in a haunted house and then taking him home to make him a greasy cheeseburger and a pie. No judgement. You know you’ve had weirder fantasies. ;-)
Very Special Agent Tony DiNozzo from NCIS – Tony is the comic relief. He’s immature. He teases and hassles his co-workers endlessly, is the butt of the office jokes, and generally kind of makes an ass of himself. Or … does he? He also threw himself into icy cold water to save Gibbs, fought terrorists to save Ziva, survived the plague, tricked a world leader into slipping up during an interrogation when Tony was the one being interrogated, and talked a bunch of trigger-happy feds, including his own teammates, into not firing on a kid with a bomb, because, well … a kid!
He protected Abby when she was being shot at in her laboratory, and he withstood torture and was found beating his torturer down with his chair while still tied to it. My theory is that Tony allows himself to be seen as a clown because it helps keep the peace, a role I can understand wholeheartedly. Team Gibbs is not an easy place to work. Talk about a high-stress work environment – at least one dead body per week, and that’s just what we get on TV! Throughout the seasons of NCIS, Tony has been awesome, hilarious, heroic, a prankster, smart, brave, hot (the vapors!), and musically talented. If he were real, I would totally want to get with that. Hey, I’m a little bit obnoxious. It stands to reason I like my fellas just a little bit obnoxious as well. ;-)
Ezra Standish from The Magnificent Seven TV Show – Be still my pounding heart. This hot piece of Southern gentleman not only learned to overcome his personal prejudices, he also learned to let others in enough to have real friends. Ezra may have had trust issues and some serious self-hatred problems, but daaaang! Those vests, that hat, and those lovely dimples! And don’t get me started on his razor wit. I’m a sucker for a razor wit and I’m not ashamed to say it out loud. He may have considered taking the dirty money, but when it counted, he literally threw himself in front of a bullet to save a lady’s life. The con-man with the heart of gold, my fictional boyfriend, Ezra Standish.
We all have a dark side. We don’t all choose to embrace it, but I think we all entertain the notion. The idea of achieving world domination with your favorite villain is appealing, but is no way to actually live. The cheap thrill of making the anti-mutant a-holes pay for their nonsense Magneto-style is alluring, but ultimately unsatisfying. At least, that’s what they tell me.
Michael Fassbender as Young Magneto – Okay, so as awesome as Sir Ian McGandalf’s Magneto is, (and I really love that gentleman!) Michael Fassbender’s Young Magneto is … really, really hot. He’s got ideals, dat face, and some serious bro-love for Charles, but when it comes down to it, my darling Erik has some control issues. For that matter, James McAvoy’s Young Charles Xavier is pretty wonderful as well, and in my fangirl heart, they talk it out and remain the bestest of bros for life. (I need fanfic recs, stat!) But, when metal things such as other vehicles on the road really start to tick me off, I imagine that my Secret Fictional Villain Boyfriend Young Magneto is in the passenger seat, flinging them all to the side for me. I love you, man. It’s just as well he isn’t real – I’m pretty sure I’d be in for a lifetime of, “That’s not how Charles does it!”
Jareth the Goblin King from Labyrinth – Okay, so he’s not entirely altruistic, but I think that the King of the Magic Pants was coming from a place of lonely imperiousness that was totally fixable with time and patience (at least in my head canon.) He was trying to do Sarah a favor, if you think about it. She didn’t want to babysit? Okay, sweetie. No more babysitting. He even took the kid and did a much better job of babysitting than she ever did. I bet he does dishes and cleans the bathroom too. Toby was laughing it up with Jareth and the Goblins. Could have been a Future Goblin King Trainee.
But nope, Jareth jumped the gun and got Sarah when she was too young. He could have waited until she was in college or something, but nope. Maybe the age of consent in the Goblin Kingdom is different. Maybe Goblin lifespans are different than ours … (totally also in my head canon.) The bad parts were all simple cultural misunderstandings and after Sarah left, a brokenhearted Jareth was left alone to educate himself on human customs, trying to figure out where he went wrong. That’s also a part of my head canon, about at the point that he tries with another Sara, who spells her name differently, who gets taken away to the Castle Beyond the Goblin City and gets to wear The Dress at a fabulous, sparkly masquerade ball … but I digress. That sounds like a work of fanfiction I once … saw. Somewhere. On the Internet. This site is called The Mary Sue, right? ;-)
James Franco’s Harry Osborn. Not that other one. – Yeah, I know. Harry was spoiled and went bad. On the other hand, he was sad, scared, and found out that the only person he trusted was responsible for the death of the father whose love he had desperately craved his whole life. I get it. Poor little rich boy, but Franco’s portrayal really got to me. The other guy’s probably fine, but it’s this Harry Osborn I wanted to jump into the movie and comfort. Dammit, Peter Parker. Why didn’t you just tell him sooner?
Mr. Xanatos from Gargoyles – I wouldn’t even really call him a true villain. I mean, he was intelligent, devious, spoke with the Voice of Riker, and is personally responsible for changing my mind about the acceptability of facial hair. In addition, he was a loving husband and father. I was mad jealous of Fox. David (I can call him David?) Xanatos could put his Machiavellian machinations to rest upon occasion for the sake of his wife and kid, and unlike most villains, has no interest in revenge. This is fairly impressive stuff. Most TV/comic/novel villains are totally motivated by vengeance, but not Mr. Xanatos.
Marvel Cinematic Universe Loki, as played by Tom Hiddleston – You may have already surmised that I do enjoy a sarcastic, pranksterous, intelligent fellow. Yes, Loki had some seriously jerktastic moments, but in my darker moods, making people bow before me (never after me) is kind of one of my mental fantasies. Especially when I’m faced with a situation in which I feel intellectually superior or frustrated by ignorance. Like, during an unproductive group work session for a class project, I sometimes imagine myself sprouting golden horns and a fabulous cape and saying to my dull-eyed group members, “Is not this simpler? Is this not your natural state? It’s the unspoken truth of humanity, that you crave subjugation. You were made to be ruled. Now, do as I say and we will finish this shit and go home to our beds. Please.” Ahem.
This is not to say that these are some of my more shining qualities as a human being, but in those brief moments when I’m really pissed off, it helps. It really, really does. Jerktasic moments aside, Loki is kind of tragic in his own way. He wanted love and approval and felt that he never got that. His rise to power is thwarted(ish) and he’s basically arrested by his brother, and spends his time in god-jail fantasizing that his mom is visiting him? Oh, sweetie. Yeah, it’s like that.
The Hall of Rogues:
Remy Lebeau (aka “Gambit”) from X-Men – Be still my pounding heart. From his first issue back in The Uncanny X-Men #266 to his brief role in that one Wolverine movie, Gambit has been my number one comic book crush. I mean, look at him. No. Look. At. Him. That hair. That voice. That trench coat. The Cajun thief with a heart of gold officially stole a piece of my heart when I saw the old X-Men animated series from the ’90s, when he called Jubilee, “petit.” Dammit, Remy. Nothing comes easy for you, does it?
Through all of the traumatic childhood memories, weird Thieves-and-Assassins-Guilds drama and arranged marriages, dead wives, suddenly-alive-previously-dead wives, a girlfriend he can’t even touch, constantly being screwed with by Mr. Sinister, being accused of being a traitor a few times … you’d think he’d give up on the whole hero thing and just be a bad guy, but he doesn’t. He keeps coming back, keeps taking what they dish out, gets abandoned in Antarctica, volunteers for a creepy undercover mission as a Horseman of the Apocalypse (damn that whole arc for ugging up my pretty Cajun!), and manages to (fairly) consistently not be in a constant state of decking Scott Summers in the face …. hats off, baby. You need a vacation, darlin’.
Han Solo from Star Wars – I didn’t know I liked scruffy-looking nerfherders until Leia uttered those words. Never has a man rocked a vest and a blaster the way Han Solo does. I’ve always had a soft spot for characters that come into the fold a little bit reluctantly. Han just wanted to do a job and get paid, and instead, he ended up helping to rescue a princess – a princess who turned out to be as sarcastic as he was, and who ended up returning the favor in the next movie when he was frozen in carbonite. I definitely saw myself in that sarcastic Space Princess, and I’ve been trying to pursue a career in Space Princessery ever since. I think that what I need is more hair. Yes, more hair would further my Space Princess 2016 Career Plan.
Wizard Howl from Howl’s Moving Castle – He’s full of himself, too pretty for his own good, and definitely pulling some kind of fast one on two kingdoms with his multiple identities, but he’s also gentle, kind, and not afraid to admit that he’s a bit of a coward. He’s brave when he has to be, and he also cooks like a pro. His cleaning skills are pretty terrible, though. All of that, and all it takes is one hair dye accident gone terribly awry and he’s a slime monster of despair. I truly, truly sympathize with that. A hair dye accident is enough to wound my soul, too. As much as I love Sophie, she just doesn’t understand. Being a Person Who Cares Too Much About Aesthetic Matters is hard. Howl and I understand each other.
My feels about fictional characters sometimes stand in the way of my completion of entire book series. I literally can’t even (yep, I said it) sometimes when my affection for a character is too great to withstand their misery or death. Remember that one episode of Friends where Joey and Rachel read each other’s favorite books, and The Shining is so scary Joey advises her to put it in the freezer? And then he has to put her favorite book, Little Women, in the freezer because *sad* after they spoilered each other? Yeah. I need to put the entire Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon in the freezer. I am so scared I’ll eventually have to read about Jamie’s death that I can’t read the rest of the books. I don’t care if he dies a happy man of old age. I won’t be able to take it.
Sirius Black – Book Sirius, not Gary Oldman Sirius. Not that Mr. Oldman in any way did a less than stellar job, but my imagination’s Sirius Black was younger and more Flying-Motorcycle-Badass than he was in the movie. And yes, he had me at “Magic Motorcycle.” It’s really that easy. That, and his backstory of coming from a family of right a-holes and struggling through adolescence trying to be mostly decent. Yeah, he messed with Teen Snape, but when the rest of your family are basically a bunch of Magical Racist/Terrorists, if a bit of bullying is the worst you’ve done, then you’re probably still doing pretty well, comparatively speaking. And his friendship with Remus just breaks my heart. I wanted them to be roomies and look after each other. And raise Harry. Am I talking about fanfiction again? It seems that I am. Thanks for ripping out a piece of my heart and stomping on it, J.K. Rowling. And grinding it into the ground a little bit with your lovely, polished, philanthropic heel.
Dustfinger from Inkheart – Broke. My. Heart. Paul Bettany did a great job playing him in the Inkheart movie, and I wish more time and money had been invested in making a series of Inkheart-verse films. The world Cornelia Funke created for these books … just blows my mind. I love them! Dustfinger was motivated by love of his wife and child to do some not-so-stellar things, but he proved himself over and over again, fighting through fear, cowardice, and overwhelming loneliness. He didn’t let it make him a bad person, even when he struggled with his choices. I was so terrified that he was going to die in the series that I quit reading them before I finished the last book, just to preserve my sanity.
Harry Blackstone Copperfield Dresden – If I could actually marry a book character, Harry Dresden would be the one for me. Jim Butcher’s hero of The Dresden Files is a massively powerful wizard, whose nerdly D&D-with-actual-werewolves ways, self-deprecating humor, and heartrendingly terrible luck with the ladies conspire to make my heart ache for him. He’s an animal lover (kitty Mister and dog(?) Mouse). He respects women (Murphy!), and he has a pesky habit of sticking up for the underdog, even when he knows he’s going to get his ass handed to him. I had to stop reading the series for awhile due to actual panic about what was to become of Harry. I have never read any other series that makes me desperately wish for good things to happen to a character the way the Harry Dresden series does, and that means that Mr. Butcher has done a damn good job creating Harry Dresden, my fictional True Love. Did I mention that he rode a zombie T-Rex named Sue? Yeah, that’s my boy.
So, this is nowhere close to all of my fictional character crushes, but it’s a pretty good scattering of the who and the why. Who are your fictional crushes? What do they mean to you? What parts of your personality do they speak to? We can discuss in the comments or on Twitter!
Sara Goodwin has a B.A. in Classical Civilization and an M.A. in Library Science from Indiana University. Once she went on an archaeological dig and found awesome ancient stuff. Sara enjoys a smorgasbord of pan-nerd entertainment such as Renaissance faires, anime conventions, steampunk, and science fiction and fantasy conventions. In her free time, she writes things like fairy tale haiku, fantasy novels, and terrible poetry about being stalked by one-eyed opossums. In her other spare time, she sells nerdware as With a Grain of Salt Designs, Tweets, and Tumbls.
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