Mickey Mouse is perfect. He lives in a beautiful town, has a smoking hot girlfriend and the chief of police doesn’t seem to be capable of solving any mystery without his help.
We always end up with the same incredibly boring message: Mickey Mouse is a winner.
Donald Duck, however, is a really messed up guy. His life is a constant humiliation. He is abused by his filthy rich uncle, who makes him polish coins for salaries close to nothing. Daisy, his girlfriend, is everything but faithful and she is often seen on a date with Donald’s arch rival. He’s always in need of money and loses his temper on the smallest of occasions.
This is much better. He’s fallible and I can relate to that.
I was taught in junior college, that there were two types of heroes in the Icelandic Sagas: White heroes and dark heroes. Mickey Mouse is an example of a white hero. Donald Duck is very dark.
In Njáls Saga, we have a good example of a white hero: Gunnar of Hlíðarendi.
Gunnar is described as being close to perfect. He’s exceptionally athletic and breathtakingly good looking. He’s an honorable man and very popular. Seemingly to me, he has only one flaw: He’s a bit shallow - a common trait found in people that go through life without experiencing any real adversity.
Skarphéðinn Njálsson is a dark hero from Njáls Saga. Like Gunnar, he’s very strong. But his appearance is not as light. His mood is heavy and he often grins when he hears about warfare that may be brewing.
Another good example of a dark hero is Egill Skallagrímsson, from the Saga of Egill. He’s described as being very ugly, but stronger than most men. He’s greedy and can be unfair. Some of his most heroic moments happened when he was the sole witness. I think that is no coincidence.
These guys are not flawless. They are very complicated and have some serious issues. I have no idea what they’ll do next, and that makes me very excited.
How often has Donald Duck apologized to Daisy, by giving her a heart-shaped box of chocolate? Millions of times. And how does it usually end? Daisy hits him in the head with the box, when she finds out that he has eaten most the chocolate.
This would never happen to Mickey Mouse or Gunnar of Hlíðarendi. They are too flawless to be tempted by chocolate. They are too flawless to make mistakes of any kind.
How incredibly boring.
Jóhannes Benediktsson - firstname.lastname@example.org
Jóhannes is filling in for Katharina.