Wednesday, April 27, 2011

My Favorite (Fictional) Princes

What is it about royalty that compels storytellers so much? Think about it.... That famous phrase so inherent with the romance genre - "Happy Ever After" - came about with the retelling of fairy tales. Tales of relatable heroines who find their Prince Charming. It was fairy tales that originally sparked my fascination with royalty and romance. In real life, the two elements might not gel. To my imagination and those of many others, they're the perfect mates! Here's a look at my favorite fictional princes...and some you might not expect....

WRATH. Ok, so when we meet the "blind" king of the vampire race in Dark Lover, he's technically no longer a prince. But part of Wrath's journey throughout the book (and the series as a whole) is moving beyond his reluctance to take his place as leader of his race. I love all the heroes of the Black Dagger Brotherhood, but c'mon - there's just something about Wrath! The dark shades, the long black hair, and that hot combo of daggers, leathers and shitkickers... It's pretty hard to beat! My favorite part of the seventh series installment, Lover Avenged, was the powerful glimpses of Wrath and his shellen, Beth. Wrath has been entertaining Black Dagger fans for several years now, but in my opinion, he remains the most fascinating fictional royal.

ALBERT. Queen Victoria's prince is the only real-life man on this list, but I had to include Rupert Friend's depiction of Prince Albert. When you think "prince" the word "nobility" should come to mind. And when it comes to princely nobility, Prince Albert is the cream of the crop. I didn't become a fan of Friend until I watched him opposite Emily Blunt in The Young Victoria. I loved his portrayal of the German prince and the hurdles he had to leap to win the queen's hand and her kingdom's respect. And I think Victoria and Albert's is likely the most romantic arranged marriage in history.

DOUGRAY. Let's hearken back to 1998 when Dougray Scott was the heartthrob of the latest Cinderella adaptation, Ever After. He remains to this day my favorite "Prince Charming." It might have been the hair or the eyes, the rebellious turn...or maybe that scene with the tennis match (nom!), but Dougray gave the perfect voice to a famously cookie cutter hero. Henry is still tall, dark, and handsome, but Dougray's performance proves that a true hero needs more depth than charm to win a real lady.

NAVEEN. The Frog Prince has the distinction of being the only amphibian to make The List. That's because he is quite simply The Best. He's probably the most witty prince on this list as well. Naveen's humor had me in stitches when watching Princess and the Frog for the first time and is the reason it's one of my favorite animated films. He also had the rare distinction should we say...well, being broke, which (along with a small mucus-y problem) put to rest all those sneering complaints that Disney princes are all wealthy and classically handsome.

ALEXANDER & BENNETT. Nora's heroes are remarkably lovable, but I love and adore two of them in particular. It has a lot to do with the fact that they are royalty. The first, Prince Alexander, in Command Performance is the heir to Cordina's throne and king of the stiff upper lip. Watching those walls of protocol come crumbling down at the hands of heroine Eve Hamilton is just delicious! And speaking of delicious...there's the party prince, Bennett, in The Playboy Prince who as "the spare" goes, puts Prince Harry to shame ;)

PHILLIP. Ah, Phillip. He was the first Disney hero with his own backstory, making him more than the usual cardboard cut-out Prince Charming (as in Snow White and Cinderella). In fact, Phillip had more screen time than the title character, Princess Aurora. He is the reason Sleeping Beauty is another one of my all-time Disney favorites. Mostly because of the lengths he goes to to kiss his princess and dance off into the clouds. And you have to admit, for an animated guy, he's pretty hot ;)

SNAPE. Bet you didn't see that coming! He's not royalty, but he is the Half-Blood Prince so Snape has earned his place on my list of Favorite Princes. And why not? He's tall. He's dark. He's handsome. He wears a cloak. He might not be your a-typical hero. Like Wrath, he's more anti-hero, to be fair. But after reading Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, we have little doubt he is heroic. And the most compelling thing about Snape is his flaws. Give me a hero and a prince with flaws any day and I'll say "YES MA'AM!" Snape also has the distinction of being the only prince on this list with no happy ending. But there's always fan fiction. Am I right, ladies? ;)

So that's my round-up of Favorite Fictional & Not-So-Likely Princes! Who did I leave out? Sound off, Cozies!

****NOTE: Prayers go out to those affected by the terrible weather that went through the South today. Everyone please think of them and remember to give your loved ones extra hugs....


marybelle said...

I can't think of anyone you may have left off. I agree with you about Rupert Friend's depiction of Prince Albert. This is the first time I actually thought he was note-worthy.

Amber Leigh Williams said...

I wasn't impressed with him in Pride and Prejudice but The Young Victoria really turned my opinion around. Maybe he should be cast as more nineteeth-centuy German Princes :)