Heroes are extremely important to people, especially in fiction. They inspire, give hope, and are excellent role models as we grow. I, however, could not find a hero that was like me. The protagonists of all the books I read were strong, brave, and confrontational. I was a small, anxious kid, too easily frightened and willing to back down. I read through books as fast as I could, but the more I couldn’t find a hero who represented me, the more alienated I felt. This began a quest, one that I’ve kept even until now. I was determined to find the weirdos, the heroes who didn’t fit the mold. This search led me to one of my first heroes, Raistlin Majere.
When I was only seven years old, I tackled a giant tome that contained the first three Dragonlance novels. I was pleasantly surprised that one of the central characters wasn’t like anyone I’d ever read about. Raistlin was sickly and physically weak, but his sharp mind and magical prowess led the group out of a number of threatening situations. He wasn’t the bravest but was willing to do anything to follow his own ambitions. Never worried about what people thought of him, he was one of the meanest heroes I’d ever seen. I was hooked from his first appearance in the series.
Growing up, Raistlin was often picked on by the other children in town. He pursued his study of magic with an insatiable drive, eventually being able to take the Test of High Sorcery. The test left his health in tatters, and his personality even more cynical than before. He never got along with the other companions, but even they grew to respect him. His character developed and he would grow into a person prepared to sacrifice everything for the future. Paying a terrible price, he became a key figure in their attempt to save the world.
Despite him being one of the darker characters in the series, I felt like I understood him. As someone who could never fit in no matter how hard I tried, I related to him more than any other character I’d read about. I felt the same drive to succeed that he demonstrated throughout the books. This discovery, that there were heroes that I could look up to, encouraged me to read more fantasy. I knew there must be others out there. In finding these heroes, I learned more about myself and who I wanted to be.
To learn more about Raistlin and the Dragonlance adventure, click here!
For more information on the series as a whole, visit the Dragonlance Nexus!
After graduating from Carleton University with a B.A in Political Science, Ashton Heaps found himself without direction. With a passion for writing, the Professional Writing program has allowed him to explore the different careers that he could pursue. With an interest in fantasy fiction and communications, he is excited to hit the ground running and discover what he can do.