March 11, 2013

Why Gilbert Blythe Makes the Perfect Hero

Recently I watched the Anne of Green Gables series, one of my favorites. Who doesn't love Anne and all her antics? Besides all that, I relate to Anne's desire to be a writer.

But one of the best parts of the movie is the romance between Anne and Gilbert Blythe. It's quite swoon-worthy, I assure you. Of course, I'm partial to the idea of a romance formed from friendship, since I married my best friend (in fact, I guest blogged about it at Melissa Tagg's site last year).

But I began to think about other reasons I love the romance...and one of them is because Gilbert is such a perfect hero. By "perfect," I don't mean he isn't flawed. I mean he has all the characteristics I like to see in a hero--whether on the screen or in a book.

Some of those characteristics are:

He knows Anne's faults...and loves her anyway.
There is no question that Anne has a temper. Gilbert sees it firsthand when she breaks a slate over his head just because he calls her Carrots. He also sees she can hold a grudge. For years, she is spiteful toward him and competes against him because of this one incident. But he is able to look past her flaws and see the amazing person she is: she's intelligent, loyal, and creative, to name a few.

He risks Anne's anger in order to be honest with her.
I see so many heroes (or leading men, anyway) be big ol' wusses when it comes to standing up to the heroine. I like a strong hero--not one who walks all over the heroine, but one who can use firmness, gentleness, and honesty to speak truth into her life.

Even though he knows it might upset Anne, Gilbert tells her she should write about people she knows--who speak everyday English instead of "high-falutin' mumbo-jumbo"--instead of these nonsensical romances she favors. He truly is trying to help and doesn't just remain silent when she needs a good dose or reality.

He sacrifices for Anne.
A good hero gives up what he wants for the heroine. That is the ultimate love to me--such a picture of what Christ did for us. Gilbert gives up teaching at the school in Avonlea so Anne can have it and live with Marilla, since she cannot manage the farm alone. That means he has to board in another town, which means he has to spend money he is saving for medical school.

He waits for her.
When Anne originally rejects Gilbert's proposal, he tells her he will wait for her. Again, there's that hint of sacrifice, since he is willing to be lonely for a time if she needs space.

These are some of my favorite qualities in a hero, and because Gilbert Blythe possesses them all, I find him to be the perfect hero.

Your Turn: What are some of your favorite qualities in a hero, whether it be on TV, in a movie, or in a book? Who is one of your favorite heroes?


  1. Definitely a guy who can stand up to the heroine!! LOL

    I loved Gilbert and was so mad that Anne wouldn't forgive him!!

  2. LindsAy, you posted great characteristics of a hero. I love a hero who can make me laugh and one who shows his own vulnerability at the right moment. My favorite living hero is my hubby. One of my favorite fictional heroes is named Joe in a secular novel.

  3. You know I had to stop over when I saw the title, since my son's name is Blythe Gilbert. So I am ON-BOARD with this reasoning today, girlie! I loved him because he WAITED for her...much like my own hubby did.

  4. I LOVE this post, Lindsay! Gilbert is one of my favorite heros (and my hubby played Gilbert in the high school production)! I love Gilbert for all the reasons you mentioned above - but also because he was competent and worthy of Anne. They were a good match and when she finally got over her grudge, I was so excited!!!! :)

  5. Oh, now I have to watch the series again! I agree with you, Gilbert is such a hero. I especially love that he knows Anne for who she really is -- and loves her, strengths and weaknesses all combined.

  6. Yes, yes, yes. All of the above. One of the many reasons I love Fitzwilliam Darcy (other than that he looks like Colin Firth) is that he swallows his pride for Elizabeth. And that was a LOT of pride to swallow!

  7. It's time for a review of Anne and the neighborhood...I have a pastor son-in-law that reminds me of him...very blessed.

  8. Gilbert Blythe is a great hero. Like you, I love that he risked telling Anne the truth in order to help her. Reminds me of Professor Bhaer doing the same thing for Jo in Little Women.

  9. Swoon!

    Great post, Lindsay! I love this breakdown of the "perfect" hero! I'm pumped because I'm just about to introduce one to my MC in my WIP! woohoo!

    Is it odd that I'm a bit nervous to meet him on the page myself? hehe.

  10. Ahhhh, I love that I can lay personal claim to Gilbert Blythe. Why? Because I live a mere 4 hours from PEI AND...wait for it...*I* personally got kicked out of Green Gables National Historic Site. Me and my MIL.

    I know, what a (sniff) special bonding time for us.

    Gilbert knew Anne from minute one and let her blow off her steam until his kindness and actions were what knocked her over. He let her go on and on about all kinds of fancy foolishness, but when she was at her lowest, he simply stepped up and showed what kind of hero is was.

  11. I think you nailed it, Lindsay. All the traits you've listed are the fruit of the kind of love that makes a hero who he is. It's the kind of love that always protects, always trusts, always hopes, & always perseveres. I think Mr. Knightley in Emma is another good example.

  12. Ah, so glad to know so many of you agree with me about Gilbert's hero qualities. I also loved hearing about your own definitions and examples of heroes! Thank you so much for sharing and for stopping by today!