Day of Debate: Zeroes VS Heroes


This is a feature my brother came up with— wherein we tackle certain topics on books, young adult or not, and give you guys the low down on our opinions of them (which, mind you, generally differ). I’ll be encoding our conversation, and if you guys have any opinions of your own on the topic, or on the heated discussion, feel free to once again make my day and comment!

My brother is seventeen, a college sophomore, approximately one year and two days older. His name is Juan (that’s pronounced like the number, one), and he’s my best friend. No matter what anyone else says.


Jasmine: Why hello there!

Juan: Nice to see you, dear reader!

Jasmine: What do we have in store for this week, bro?

Juan: Something as amusing and thought-provoking as always, that’s for sure. But just to clarify, in case you’ve skimmed through this post right here, I am NOT tall and muscular. I do not have perfect skin, either. That makes me sound like Ian Smolderhotter or something.

Jasmine: You should be thanking me– even if I do agree that Ian smolders hotter. But alright, if you insist. I was just trying to make a point. My bro right here, ladies and gentlemen, is actually a fat – ass with no redeeming qualities 🙂

Juan: Damn. Let’s just pretend I never said anything. So for this week’s feature, lil’ sis and I are going to discuss zeroes versus heroes.

Jasmine: Zeroes being the once lame and rigid, now all-powerful protagonists we all love to self-insert ourselves into (admit it), and the heroes being the perpetually breathtaking, stupefying, magnificent and jaw-droppingly handsome and ostentatious, before and after.

Juan: And during, in case you’ve forgotten. SO! In terms of protagonists, do you prefer zeroes or heroes?


Juan: Heroes it is… Baby.

Jasmine: Cue Justin Bieber song?

Juan: Nahh, I’ll just sing it.

** 5 excruciating minutes later***

Jasmine: That was nice.

Juan: Wasn’t it? 😉

Jasmine: Hell no.

Juan: FINE! Moving on, I prefer heroes because they remind me of me.

Jasmine: Your argument is invalid.

Juan: I was just kidding, mahn. Anyway, I prefer heroes because… good god, to be honest I don’t prefer heroes.

Jasmine: Agreeable cyborg, is that you?!

Juan: Uhm yeah. I can explain!  I just think they’re boring. I can’t relate to them– most people can’t. I appreciate being able to put myself in the shoes of the protagonist, and see things from their perspective. When he makes a decision within realm of the possibility that it’s no less than life-changing, I’d like to think, “Oh yeah, that makes sense. I’d do that too.” You just don’t get that enough with heroes. They’re just too beautiful and mind-blowing for their own good.

Jasmine: Okay agreeable cyborg. That was totally valid. But on the flip side, I love zeroes because they’re so much more pragmatic, levelheaded, and down to earth. They’re easier to sympathize with, bleed for, and understand, and consequently, show fondness for and appreciate. I’m admittedly attracted to an entire plethora of characters that seem flawless not only in terms of exterior, but I find it hard to relate to their thought processes, and make sense of what makes them tick. But of course, heroes as love interests are adorable. I’m not going to deny completely swooning over companion novels written from their points of view.

Juan: You say zeroes are more down to earth, and all that, but why is such the case? They’ve been screwed almost their whole lives– or their whole lives, if they’re that ill-fated– and wouldn’t they be more selfish then? They’d look out for their own interests more than anything else, seek revenge for example.

Jasmine: That makes sense if you think about it. The mere fact, however, that they’ve been subservient, judged, thrown around like trash, exploited, and anything else equally demeaning, and yet, have not given up on hope and a better tomorrow– it tells me that they aren’t selfish enough. They believe in the innate rectitude of people who are capable of acceptance, people they may have yet to meet. If they were selfish, they’d just go on a personal vendetta and leave chaos in their wake. That’s not a very protagonist-like thing to do. I guess I can appreciate zeroes better because in a sense, they’re stronger. They aren’t being spoon-fed honor and glory on a silver platter, without having to do anything else but actually exist. They have to work and choose the path of sacrifice, but within reason, to achieve the recognition and love they deserve. It’s so much more satisfactory that way, if you ask me.

Juan: That makes sense. You explained it really nicely for me.

Jasmine: You are definitely NOT my brother.

Juan: However I will, say this:

Jasmine: Welcome back, bro.

Juan: Too many zeroes just “power-up” way too abruptly. It’s like a computer game, and they start from level one. Two weeks later, maybe even overnight, they’re at level max, and that’s lame. For it to work, the change has to be sure, but gradual.

Jasmine: I honestly don’t mind the sudden power-up– I mean, it’s about time they realize they’re worth more than what meats the eye! As long as they don’t lose track of their zero self, in a way, as long as they don’t make way for a new and improved, monumental ego, you’ll hear no complaints from me.

Juan: Yeah I guess that’s true. So, to conclude, my favorite types of protagonists are the smart ones. They’re way better– not that physically gifted, but they still find ways, because they have the mental capacity. They don’t necessarily have to be the zeroes that people keep squashing like bugs, and most certainly not the heroes people keep putting on a pedestal– you don’t have to go the extra mile to be a great protagonist in my opinion. As long as you’re clever, know what you stand for, and you’re not afraid to fight for whatever that is, and die trying, then I’m not complaining either.

Jasmine: Well, that just took the words right out of my mouth.

Juan: You’re welcome.


So what do you think?  Have any suggestions? Criticisms of the constructive variety? Life changing praise?  Comment if you do! 😀

P.S. We’d appreciate suggestions on future topics!

P.P.S. Next week, my brother and I are going to take a quick break from argument– we’re going to interview each other instead! Hope you like what we come up with next 😉



16 thoughts on “Day of Debate: Zeroes VS Heroes

  1. Swear, I just love your debates! Both of you are equally funny and very insightful! I’m looking forward to reading your interviews with each other! Anyway, I really like this topic of yours. I gotta say- I’m with the zeroes. Not just because they’re easier to relate to and are more realistic (although that’s a major point), but I also love seeing them grow from zero to being something. I find it idealistic in some way and quite hopeful for readers that a person can become so much better as long as he aspires it and works hard for it. The sudden upgrade is fine as long as there was enough character development. Still, I agree that heroes are pretty swoony. Girls love knight-in-shining-armors. 🙂

    • Haha thank you Hazel! 😀 And yeah, it’s going to be fun when I interview him I can feel it! XD And I agree that it’s nice to see a character develop. It always makes me happy for them to see how they evolve into heroes 🙂 But yeah, I love heroes as love interests. Total swoon, yeah? 😀 But that’s probably because they’re so idealistic they exist only in books nowadays. Haha! Thanks for stopping by Hazel!! See you at the MIBF. WOOHOO!

  2. Great debate as usual:) Hmm I don’t know. I guess I like it best when a protagonist goes from zero to hero, like Alina in Shadow and Bone. When someone is a hero from the beginning without obvious reason it just isn’t that realistic. And when someone stays a zero for the whole book and lets her/himself get used by others I get very frustrated and I want to slap some sense into that person. I just want a protagonist with character development:)

    Eveline’s Books

    • HAHA of course. Development is key, if you ask me 😉 And I love Alina! I think she’s a great example of a zero to hero 😀 But of course, they can’t stay zeroes forever. There has to be some form of change! Or else I’ll get frustrated and just quit XD

  3. I always look forward to this.

    But anyway, I was going to go with your side at first. I always side with the underdog, because I’m an underdog, and we underdogs stick together. But then your brother mentioned smart people, so Imma go over to your brother’s side of the ring now.

    • HAHAHAHA yay you look forward to it :> And technically, we weren’t on different sides this time, so bro side = me side = you side, YAY! And yeah, the smart ones are always the best 😉 Underdogs stick together. yes, I like that idea! HAHA thanks for stopping by Shannelle~ See you soon!!

  4. Cool discussion! I definitely prefer zeroes – the hero who already has the skills and believes they can defeat the big evil is just less interesting to me.

    The ideal for me is for a zero to discover the heroic qualities within themselves as the story goes on.

  5. Ha! Love this, you two are quite a pair. Sometimes I wish I had a brother or sister. I also prefer Zeroes for the same reason, I love to see them develop into heroes. Characters that are already heroes always bug me because they are so stuck on themselves. Fun post!

    • Thank you Alise! ❤ And yeahp, my bro and I can be quite a handful XD It's always the development and the change that's fun to see 🙂 Heroes tend to get stuck up, like you said! And I am real glad you like this post! 🙂

  6. I’m all for zeroes. I want to see characters grow up. I don’t want them to start from perfect and… well, stay there and reject any kind of character development. I want someone with a horrible past to overcome his/her fears and anger and then become a hero. Also, they have to be at least a little selfish so I can connect. Otherwise, they always lose me at the whole “I must save everyone at the expense of my own life!”. Nope. I don’t like suicidal people.

    • COOL! I never like seeing characters start from perfect either. It doesn’t seem right to give them that advantage early on. And yeah, I want to be able to connect. Can’t do that with heroes, because I’m nothing like them XD Suicidal is unacceptable to me. They think it’s bravery to be willing to die, but it’s cowardice in fact, because they’re escaping their problems, and not even the right way. Blegh! So yeah agreed 😉

  7. I’m all about the zeroes. The heroes have it too easy. I like my characters to work hard, but like you stated above, I don’t want them to all of sudden be gifted honor and glory – it makes them lose their charm and their edge. It matters more when you have to work for it, and I respect the characters more and am more invested in their story when things don’t come easily for them.

Write me a little something. I reply!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s