Probably a very obvious answer from me! I didn't always like Mr. Darcy (c'mon, he was a bit of a jerk at the beginning of Pride and Prejudice), but after a while he grew on me once his character improved, and now he's my favorite hero! Yes, he was a bit arrogant at the beginning of Pride and Prejudice, but his arrogance decreases as the plot progresses; he's also a good brother and takes it upon himself to bring about the marriage of Lydia and Wickham after their scandal.
To me, Colin Firth is Mr. Darcy, period. He has the look of arrogance in the beginning, but then as Pride and Prejudice goes on, he has that more of a caring look. He also did all of Mr. Darcy subtle looks really well.
2. Colonel Brandon (Sense and Sensibility)
While reading/watching Sense and Sensibility, how can you not feel sorry for Colonel Brandon? All the stuff that he had to go through and yet he doesn't complain about it. As much as I like Marianne Dashwood, I still thought she was really mean about Colonel Brandon (Willoughby made fun of him and she went along with it). He was able to act like a gentleman while Willoughby was apart of the party.
I did like David Morrissey's Colonel Brandon, but it seemed like something was missing for him in the 2008 Sense and Sensibility. To me, Alan Rickman did a better job in the 1995 movie.
3. George Knightley (Emma)
Oh, Mr. Knightley. He tries to help Emma by telling her that she is wrong, but she doesn't listen (well, most of the time). Mr. Knightley is very caring, a great brother-in-law to Emma, a great uncle to John and Isabella's children, and (we can be sure) a great husband for Emma. He helps out his neighbors whenever he can (sending Mrs. and Miss Bates food, saving Harriet during the dance when Mr. Elton snubbed her, etc.). Overall, Mr. Knightley is a great guy and a gentleman!
Johnny Lee Miller is my favorite Mr. Knightley. I did also like Jeremy Northam's Mr. Knightley, but I think Johnny Lee Miller's was closer to the Mr. Knightley in the book... at least to my memory.
4. Henry Tilney (Northanger Abbey)
When you first see Mr. Tilney in Northanger Abbey, you might find him a little odd (I know I did), but in a good way. When you get to know him more, you can see that he likes to tease his sister Eleanor and Catherine a little bit in a friendly way. Once you know more about him, you can see that he's a caring brother and a great husband for Catherine.
I've only seen the 2007 version of Northanger Abbey (unless the Wishbone episode counts), and despite the problems it had with the screenplay, the actors were well cast. J.J. Field's Mr. Tilney was very well done.
5. Arthur Clennam (Little Dorrit)
I like how Mr. Clennam tries to help out the Dorrits: he's trying to right a wrong that he thinks his family business may have done, and how many people would go through the trouble of finding out who they wronged? Plus, when he loses all his money and is in debt, he doesn't run away from his obligations, but faces them and is accountable for them. He messed up and took the consequences of it. In this world where people tend to run away from their responsibilities and obligations, Arthur Clennam is a good example of what people should do: accept responsibility and face the consequences of your actions.
I've seen both the new and older version of Little Dorrit, and I think Matthew McFayden's Arthur Clennam is the better one. His was much better acted than Derek Jacobi's Arthur Clennam, plus Derek Jacobi was just too old.
I don't like that Edward had Elinor like him when he wasn't supposed to, but I will say that he does do the honorable thing by staying engaged to Lucy even though he doesn't love Lucy anymore, but instead loves Elinor. He sticks to his duty even when it becomes very hard.
I prefer Dan Stevens's Edward to Hugh Grant's. Hugh Grant just looked too sickly for the role.
7. Septimas Harding (The Barchester Chronicles)
Mr. Harding was such a sweet old man! I felt sorry that in the first part of The Barchester Chronicles that Mr. Bold was going to sue him because of his salary. He was almost instantly likable, which is what you need in a series/miniseries/movie/etc. in order for people to like it. And, considering The Barchester Chronicles is an 80s miniseries, the acting has to be very good since there aren't the effects that newer period dramas have. Donald Pleasance played Mr. Harding very well. I'll definitely have to watch The Barchester Chronicles again to see what I've missed.
8/9/10 (Tied). Robert Crawley, Lord of Grantham (Downton Abbey)
I've got three heroes from Downton Abbey that I like, but couldn't choose in what order. Robert is a great master of Downton. He cares for all of his employees and the surrounding area. He doesn't mope around about the entail, but instead teaches the way to run Downton to his third cousin and heir of Downton, Matthew Crawley. He also tries to be a good father to his three children and a good husband to Cora.
Hugh Bonneville played Robert in Downton Abbey. Hugh Bonneville does a very good job acting here. I can't wait to see what's in store for Robert in Series 2
8/9/10 (Tied). John Bates (Downton Abbey)
Poor Mr. Bates... He arrives at Downton with a limp and most of the staff thinks he can't do his job... But he persists at his job and he gains everyone's respect (well except for a few). He's almost in an Edward Ferrars position except he's actually married instead of engaged: he loves Anna, one of the maids, but he remembers his duty to his wife. He tries to do the honorable thing while at Downton. I wonder what will happen with him in Season 2 (I'm hoping they don't ruin his character like what sometimes happens when series go on).
John Bates is played by Brenden Coyle. I first saw Brenden Coyle in Lark Rise to Candleford as Laura Timmins's father, Robert. I must say that I like John Bates better than Robert Timmins: Robert became too much of a jerk after awhile.
8/9/10 (Tied). Matthew Crawley (Downton Abbey)
At first, you have to warm up to Matthew a little bit since he tries so hard not to change (and since the Crawleys at Downton Abbey are one of the first characters we've seen, it might be a little easier to side with them). But then when Matthew gets settled in near Downton, he really tries hard to learn how to run the estate. He takes an interest in fixing up the cottages in the surrounding area and as Robert's family likes him more and more, we start to like him more and more.
Dan Stevens, who also played Edward Ferrars in the 2008 Sense and Sensibility, plays Matthew Crawley in Downton Abbey.
I will say that I started to read Mansfield Park a little while ago and Edmund Bertram looks promising. Maybe he might bump someone off the list in the future? But as for now, this is the list of my top favorite heroes!
What do you think of my list? Are there some heroes in my list that you would include in your top favorite heroes? Who would you include in your list? Leave a comment!