“Every villain is a hero in his own mind” – Tom Hiddleston
What is the difference between a villain and an anti-hero? Both are selfish, both tend to bend morality to suit their needs, but somewhere along the way, their paths diverge. The anti-hero has some sense of morality–some line drawn in the sand which he will not cross. He may break the small rules, be considered rude or even a jerk, but he is neither out to rule the world nor be the hero.
The character of Brad Harris grew into something quite of its own in Sanctuary. The selfish, egotistical man who always tried to outdo his brother commits one selfless act in the beginning of the story that seems outside of his character. He risks his life in the attempt to save another. Selflessly.
This was a point of contention for some of my beta readers. They didn’t understand why he would do that in one scene, and then leave a character to die in another. But for Brad Harris, it made perfect sense. He was willing to attempt to save someone’s life when there was hope, but when there was no hope, he refused to put himself in danger. He’s not completely a villain. He’s just a little boy who’s always lived while wrestling the shadow of his older brother.
“I remember a shadow, living in the shade of your greatness. I remember you tossing me into an abyss, I who was and should be king!” ~Loki from Thor:Dark World
Whether you pity Brad or hate him, he’s become one of the most memorable characters in the book. I have people messaging me routinely who want to see him dead…or maybe even become a zombie. And then there are others who would like to see him reformed and redeemed.
As an anti-hero, Brad tends to be a more realistic character because of his imperfections. He doesn’t always make the best decisions, and often takes pleasure in someone else’s misery. Where will he go from here? I hope you’ll join me on the journey…
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