Thursday, 2 May 2013




Welcome to the Great Heroes & Villains Blog Hop! This is an exciting event where you book mad fans get the chance to win some prizes on every blog you visit. On mine I have 5 e-book copies of my novel to be won, not just one copy but 5! that means you have plenty of chance to win. All you have to do is read my blog post and then follow the easy instructions at the end of the post. Its so easy! Then hop over and take a look at everyone else's blog posts for the chance to win more prizes! there are 21 blogs to visit so that's 21 chances to win a prize! The winners of the blog hop prize will be posted here on my blog for all to see and then all you have to do is message me either on FB or twitter and I will send you your prize.


To contribute to this fun blog hop, I wanted to explore the character of my protagonist in my novel, Sons of the Wolf. Wulfhere is more hero than villain, but he is extremely flawed and although he could neither be considered evil or bad, he struggles with the side of him that is selfish and immoral. In some ways, he is both hero and villain. To get some idea of the overview of Wulfhere's story read a synopsis of the novel.



At first glance, Wulfhere is everything a stereo-typical hero should be, steadfast, loyal, loving and protective of those close to him, putting others before himself. He perhaps models himself on his Lord, Harold, who is all of these things and generally unwavering in those qualities unless he has to be. But Wulfhere has weaknesses. Women. These come in all sorts of forms, one is his wife, one is his mistress and the other is his daughter Freyda. Imagine a huge lion  lying patiently  in the cool of the outstretched branches of a tree in the hot African  plains,   while his cubs play around him, climbing over him, swatting him with their little claws and annoying him like flies. The females hunt for him, provide him with his lunch and look after his offspring, but they nag him too, because he is lazy and he doesn't do anything they want him to. When lunch is served, the little ones continue to annoy him and no one badgers the head of the family when he is at table! Suddenly, the lion roars and everyone scatters in fear. This is how it is with Wulfhere. He will patiently endure his wife, Ealdgytha's  efforts to chastise him and punish him for his discretions or his lack of motivation or advancement; he will allow his mistress, the beautiful and enigmatic Alfgyva to pressure him and make him feel guilty; as for Freyda, his vivacious young daughter, she gets away with murder because she is his favourite child and he can deny her nothing until one day they over step the mark and his anger, slowly brought to boil, suddenly reaches its maximum heat and he explodes in rage, roars like the lion and everyone is sent running, just as the lion cubs have done, in the tornado of hot wind that emanates from his great jaws. It is then that Wulfhere becomes the villain, he lashes out, either on some poor human or on some inanimate but necessary object. If only he could have asserted himself more carefully and not allowed these women to cudgel him into action. He might then have remained on the moral high-ground and stayed even-tempered like the Earl, whom he looks up to.

It is during the Battle of  Hereford that we see this other side of this man. Wulfhere morphs into Hero Mode when he is forced out of necessity to fall into that role, taking command not only of his own unit but of all the men  when the English cavalry flank he is part of is thrown into chaos, betrayed and deserted by their commander-in-chief, Earl Ralph. The King's nephew had left the field with his own mounted men before the battle had even started, leaving the already overwhelmed English army, even more depleted. Wulfhere takes charge, he is an experienced horseman, but not experienced in fighting on horseback with organised cavalry. As a thegn, he is used to being a leader among men and he knows that his forces will look to him as he rallies them to him, shouting orders in the mayhem, bringing some order to the pandemonium that has ensued the Earl's desertion. The men rally to him and he manages to instil some inspiration in them, calling upon them not to be cowards and flee the field as the yellow-livered Franko/Normans had done. He knew that either way they would die, but at least if they stood their ground and fought, they would have a chance and if that chance did not come, he for one would die like a warrior with his sword in his hand till the end and not be taken down with a spear in his back.

And so here we have the many facets of our Wulfhere. He is neither the ultimate saintly hero who will fight against all evil and maintain that saintly, chivalric characteristic as he goes about the business of life, forging a road through to Heaven that is as unobstructed by rocks and boulders as his copy book is unblotted. Nor is he the villain of the piece, without conscience or a sense of guilt at his shortcomings; never trying to put the wrongs he has committed, aright. He is proud, often to his detriment. He cannot always see the full extent of what his actions have done to those he cares for, but he truly does try to make amends when he does. He is the lion, majestic and proud, considerate and protective, loyal and steadfast, expecting love and affection in return for his love and regard. He is the roar of the beast when pushed too far and his pride explodes in a tornado of wrath that everyone should do well to fear. He is neither devilish, roguish or villainous, saintly, patient or subservient. He is human and that is what I believe are the qualities that make my readers feel empathy for him.


 


Who do you love? Is your favourite character a hero, villain or a flawed human being like Wulfhere?

To enter for a chance to win an e-copy of my novel Sons of the Wolf, tell me who your favourite character is and why and you will be entered into the draw. there are five copies to win! Please leave your answers in the comment boxes below the boxes and click on the links to the other bloghoppers for more chances to win prizes! Thanks so much for visiting us here at Sons of the Wolf!






Don't forget to hop on over to the others!!! We're here for the longweekend!


List of Links
 

14 comments:

Rhiannon Douglas said...

Favourite character... now that's difficult.

I gravitate towards charismatic villains who have a tragic past and end up not that villainous after all.

Zakath, in David Eddings "Malloreon" series would be a good example.

Karin Cox said...

My favourite hero is definitely Theseus from Mary Renault's The Bull From the Sea. He manages to be authentic to the time period, a bit of a chauvinist at times, but also a gentleman. My favourite villain, that's a hard one ... they're the characters we love to hate, after all.

Paula Lofting-Wilcox said...

Thank you ladies. Rhiannon, I'm with you there on the charismatic villain. One of my favourites in Bill Sikes of OliverTwist fame!Karin,chauvinists are ok when its in the historical context lol!

katie said...

A flawed human being :)but I'm always up for a new challenge!

Paula Lofting-Wilcox said...

Is that for you hero Katie or villain? I was wondering about villains and the villain in my book is pretty villainous and hasn't really got any redeeming features. I may have to go into his background a bit more to find out what made him that way. Obviously I had a pretty good idea because I created him but it would be worth exploring this more for my readers

Cora Lee said...

I tend toward the wounded warrior-type hero, whether he is physical wounded or emotionally so. As for villains, I like the ones that have a little bit of humanity and compassion. Very few people are simply evil--or simply good--and I like the characters in the books I read to reflect that :-D

Paula Lofting-Wilcox said...

Hi Cora, thanks for your comment! I'm sure you would like my hero Wulfhere then, he is a sort of wounded Warrior ;)

Nyki Blatchley said...

Wulfhere sounds an interesting character, and it sounds as if your setting's right at the end of the Anglo-Saxon kingdom, which is a fascinating period. Is the Harold you refer to Harold Godwinson? I take a bit of an interest in him, as his grave if just up the road from where I live.

Paula Lofting-Wilcox said...

Nyki, yes it is Harold Godwinson I was referring to. He is one of my favourite historical characters. He was awesome. A brave soldier and a competent administrator, he effectively ran the kingdom for Edward the Confessor,so he deserved to be King. I assume you are talking about Waltham Abbey or do you mean Bosham?

Nyki Blatchley said...

Yes, I mean Waltham Abbey - I know there's some doubt about which was his final resting-place, but I think Waltham Abbey's far more probable - or maybe I'm just biased.

Paula Lofting-Wilcox said...

They probably came there first. they might have gone to Bosham later. I have been to the Abbey and seen the plaque there. Kind of leaves a lump in ones throat.

Suzanne said...

Flawed heroes for me. I can go for a deliciously complex villain (e.g. King John in HBD) but it's not as easy a sell.

Paula Lofting-Wilcox said...

Hello, could Suzanne please email me at sonsofthewolf1066@googlemail.com to claim your prize?

Paula Lofting-Wilcox said...

Hi Katie Could you email me on sonsofthewolf1066@googlemail.com for your copy of Sons of the Wolf