by Kiersten Hallie Krum
The brogue. The brawn. The dark and stormy brow. The hint of ginger.
From historical romances to modern-day romantic suspense to real-life anecdotes of love amidst The Highlands, the Scottish hero rolls his Rs right into the heart of the romance. Scottish heroes put the capital “R” in romantic.
From William Wallace to Robert the Bruce to Rob Roy, Scotland’s history is rampant with romantic if sometimes tragic heroes. Or at least the Hollywood version of that country’s history would have us believe. The Scottish hero isn’t afraid to let it all hang out for his lady love…or for his kilt. He’s strong and courageous, has a wry sense of humor, is clever and cagey, loves his scotch and oatmeal, is thrift to the point of cheapness, quotes Robbie Burns, and charms a lady with the mere sound of his voice.
There’s a mysticism that surrounds the idea of a Scottish heroes no matter what the era. An old school sensibility. An inherent honor. Perhaps that’s why the Scottish hero is so prevalent in romantic fiction. It’s easy to believe that the sense of rightness that often drives a pig-headed stubborn streak includes a rare sense of unshakable right and wrong and the strength to back that code with a strength and resilience that so often seems so lacking in our regular world.
No Scottish hero embodies this ethos more than James Alexander Malcolm Mackenzie Fraser from Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander. Stubborn, strong, educated, wise, canny, reliable with a fierce temper and a fiercer wit, Jamie has fought wars, dodged bullets, evaded assassination (often by his own family), incited the British, and love one woman for centuries.
Now that Outlander is being brought to the small screen this summer as a series, we’ll be able to see Jamie in all his Scottish glory by way of his alter ego, Sam Heughan.
But Sam isn’t the only Scottish actor raising his kilt on screen as a Scottish hero. From James Macavoy as young Professor X in the X men franchise to Tony Curran in Doctor Who (do we care that van Gogh is suddenly Scottish? We do not!) to Gerald Butler in….whatever Gerald Butler is up to these days to Ewan MacGregor as everything, Scotland’s sons are bringing their versions of the Scottish hero—and sometimes anti-hero—to life and charming the hearts, or at least the pants, of women everywhere.
And we are very, very grateful.
Don’t miss a modern Scottish hero with a secret agenda and penchant for beekeepers in Liz Everly’s new release, Like Honey, out April 3rd. Find it, read it, and drink a dram.
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