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Assassins, Bounty Hunters, and Sell-swords

Discussion in 'Novels & Stories' started by Philip Overby, Feb 21, 2012.

  1. Philip Overby

    Philip Overby Staff Article Team

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    I'll pick out some of the people I listed and name why:

    Bronn is interesting because he really does seem to be only motivated by money, but he also isn't a fickle employee. He knows a cash cow when he sees one and sticks by them with loyalty. That's something that makes him stand out to me is that he's a bastard but he has a sense of companionship with Tyrion anyway.

    I think a lot of bounty hunters seem to be solely motivated by money but also have an air of mystery about them that makes you wonder about their history. Boba Fett for instance is a rather mysterious character in Star Wars. However, he's iconic in that he looks cool and has that air of mystery about him. Of course the prequels sort of ruined that...

    I always like that air of mystery in my own bounty hunters. They have some tragic past that the reader only gets glimpses of. Or maybe they just get joy in capturing people. Their motivation to hunt people down for money may stem from other purposes: feeding a family, paying off a debt, self-preservation, etc.
     
  2. Elder the Dwarf

    Elder the Dwarf Maester

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    Bronn is the one that seems to be repeated the most, and Phil gave a pretty good summary of his character. He really does seem like he's motivated purely by money. At least until he's still nice to Tyrion when the Imp is pretty much screwed. I think that what Phil said, in combination with his skills and very matter-of-fact tone makes him interesting. And he's pretty funny.

    Fitz was also repeated but I can't say much for him as I only read about ten pages of the first book. I'll try again some day.

    As for mine:

    Entreri is an extremely skilled assassin that at first appears to be completely devoid of emotion, a cold killer, really until he gets his own books and turns into a slightly less cold killer. ;) He is really the only worthy enemy Drizzt has for a while, which makes him fascinating all by itself. Also, he is connected to this moblike city of different crime guilds. That's awesome. His partnership with the next member of my list is extremely interesting, and brings out more of his personality.

    Jarlaxle is an extremely charismatic and clever dark elf leader of the mercenary band Bregan D'aerthe. He is one of two dark elves to ever really escape from the Underdark and be successful, although he doesn't consider himself as "truly" escaping. He provides a connection to a vast city of mystery and intrigue, and his motivations are always far beneath the surface. He obviously loves riches, but he has other motivations as well, and I'm not even sure Salvatore knows his true personality. Jarlaxle is one of the most unpredictable characters you could write, which also makes him the most interesting.

    Caramon and Raistlin are awesome, but I wouldn't really think of them as mercenaries even though they were in the line of work for a time.

    Waylander is another master assassin who ends up saving the country because of the remorse he feels after killing the king. He becomes a really good guy and kind of makes up for the wrong he has done. I won't spoil the plot, but the three books Gemmel wrote about waylander are awesome.
     
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2012
  3. Stephyn Blackwood

    Stephyn Blackwood Minstrel

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    I have to point out the no one seems to have noted Nicomo Cosca from Joe Abercrombie's First Law trilogy and two of his 3 standalone novels. Possibly one of my favourite mercenary/sell-swords characters in any novel I've ever read. The best bit about the character is that no matter how many times he tells the protagonists that he is a treacherous scoundrel, as a reader, I always had faith in him and wanted to trust him. A very excellently written dark character
     
  4. Ronald T.

    Ronald T. Troubadour

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    The best assassin/hired-killer story I've ever read is Brent Weeks' THE NIGHT ANGEL TRILOGY. In that particular series, Weeks has a gift for grabbing you by the throat at the begging and never letting go until the last page. And while he's doing that, he tells a fantastic story of love, sacrifice, and heroism. The power of these characters blew my mind. I absolutely loved it.
     
  5. L M Rush

    L M Rush Scribe

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    I love this forum, proper appreciation for the legend that is Fitz! Even though, I kinda begrudge him being seen as an assassin (Despite being in the Assassin trilogy haha), as he never really does it for the reasons an Assassin might, well except a royal assassin, which he is. Who am I kidding, he's the perfect assassin. Nighteyes is amazing.
     
  6. ThinkerX

    ThinkerX Myth Weaver

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    Not so much 'memorable' as 'dangerous and untrustworthy.' Quite a few would be peasants turned soldiers who decided the farm wasn't worth returning to.

    That said, Fahferd and the Grey Mouser (From Fritz Lieber) and Conan from Howard.
     
  7. Cambra

    Cambra Minstrel

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    As for assassins in Robin Hobbs's books I actually prefer Chade Fallstar Fitz's great uncle... A true pro and a great dry-witted character... "Lady Thyme" anybody?
     
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