As much as our society encourages perfection, is there anything worse than a perfect hero/heroine? Think about the brave, smart, gorgeous guy or girl character with the sparkly smile and politically correct sense of humor.
Mary Sue? Gary Stu? Either way, don’t you just want to close the book on him? I do. I’m far from perfect, and I don’t want to read about perfect heroes, either. They bore me. They’re predictable. They’re unrealistic. You know they’ll save the day, they’ll do it with panache and they’ll modestly demur when everyone reminds them of their fabulous factor. (No offense to Fabio, who I hope is not nearly as perfect in 3D as he appears in 2D.)
Thank God for Severus Snape!
It takes us about 4,100 pages to learn what a true hero Snape is … that despite the cold and callous way he treated Harry, beyond his sharp and slippery appearance, Snape is the one who risks his very soul to save not just Harry Potter, but the world (both wizard and muggle) from Voldemort.
And among the other lessons J.K. Rowling has taught us through her Harry Potter series, we have learned we are capable of great forgiveness … that we can despise a character for 4,100 pages and then recognize the good in his motives and forgive the bad. And that is ultimately how a real hero saves us.