First the Villain
So I really have to wax lyrical about my favourite villain, but before I do I have to say, I'm not usually into villains. I can appreciate a good one, but they are very rarely my favourite character. This gentlemen is definitely my favourite, hands down, without any competition.
The villain I am talking about is Loki of Asgard, adopted son of Odin and true son of Laufey, of the Avengers movie universe.
In mythology Loki is the trickster god and he is the trickster in Thor as well. He is the younger brother, the shadow to Thor's heart winning bravado, and the brains of the operation. Thor is not an imbecile by any means, but he is brash, loud, proud and a bit of a tit at the beginning of the movie. Thor ends up banished, Loki finds out he's adopted and a Jotun (Asgard's ancient enemy) and winds up king, because Odin falls into Odinsleep and you can just tell that's not going to end well.
What I love about Loki is how broken he is. In Thor he could have become a laughing lunatic (which if you look at the original script is how he was written), but he doesn't, he just breaks more. He is the lost son trying to prove he is worthy, even if he goes about it in entirely the wrong way. Loki's actions ultimately make Thor a better person and at each point, if one thing had been different, Loki could almost have come out the good guy.
It also helps that he's played by Tom Hiddleston who is one of my favourite two actors ever (check out my Tom Hiddleston label to find out why). Tom's range and love for the character is what makes Loki so engaging to watch. Loki has depth and it's impossible to simply hate him no matter how bad he gets. Tom is also gorgeous, which helps :).
Personally I think a lot of the Loki we see in The Avengers is an act. The plan was too complicated and too full of holes to actually be viable and I'm a firm believer he wanted away from the Chitauri and back to Asgard and attacking Midgard was a good way to do it.
That's not to say he's still not more than a little cracked. He kills lots of humans and doesn't seem to give a damn about it. Loki is way over the line and a long way down the path to becoming the creature of chaos he's supposed to be. However, even after all he does he's still my favourite character. He has moments where there is sanity in his eyes, moments when Thor's words almost get to him.
I think Loki is playing the long game and I can only hope the movies continue to build his character in Thor 2: The Dark World, coming in November. Here's a little piece of artwork I did just after The Muppets came out and Tom Hiddleston raved about the movie on Twitter - since Tom's going to be in the next Muppet movie I think it's doubly relevant :).
Now to the Heroes
I can't choose just one for this, so I am going to list a few :).
I couldn't really have Loki without Thor and I think he's an idiot in the beginning of the movie that bears his name, but then that's the point. The way Thor grows as a character is superb and I love him in his own movies and in The Avengers.
He is loyal and brave and courageous; he loves deeply, will walk through hell for his friends and he's awfully pretty as well. I am very much looking forward to seeing the more mature Thor in The Dark World.
He's my favourite character from the Lord of the Rings movies. He's handsome, brave and downright badass through the whole thing.
What I find amusing is that I don't really fancy him when he's dolled up as king, I prefer the scruffy ranger hands down :). He's also the crossover character, the one who is human, only not quite and I love that about him. I really wish Tolkien hadn't written the appendix about him and Arwen, because they have such a fabulous romance.
How could I have a list of heroes without Buffy? She was a revolution and a truly great character. The fact that she is not perfect, she is not the ultimate brain as well as being the ultimate slayer.
I love her for her faults and for her strengths. She's a teenager and she acts like one. Sometimes she sulks and yet at other times she shows more bravery than most people could ever imagine. She is strong yet vulnerable and she is always ready with a one liners.
I'm not totally obsessed with Marvel, promise, but I couldn't leave out Black Widow. This is one woman who can take on gods and win. She is totally awesome and she has no super powers. Her abilities are human and so well honed that she is a master assassin.
In a fight you want this woman to have your back.
These two are from an British 80s TV show and are an integral part of my childhood. They are agents of an unknown force for good and are elements as their names suggest. Some might say they are not heroes, but if Black Widow counts so do these two. They prevent destruction when time breaks through into the real world causing all sorts of supernatural events. If you have never seen this show and you enjoy sci-fi with a touch of paranormal that will scar you for life, this is the show for you. They keep talking about a remake and I think it would be really good.
This boy is from The Belgariad by David Eddings and I so, so, so love him as a character. He is just a boy dragged into events he cannot understand; in his case, the ongoing war between Light and Dark that has been raging for millennia with gods and wizards and demons and devils. The Belgariad is by far and away one of my favourite book series of all time. When he turns out to be far more than just a orphan farm boy it's not a surprise, but it is perfectly done and still he's more confused than competent. He faces a destiny that would scare the bravest warrior and he really doesn't know how to be a hero.
I could go on, I have so many favourites, but I'll stop here. Thank you very much for reading. I look forward to seeing everyone else's choices in the hop.