Balthier’s claims to be the “leading man”…
Balthier: An Atomos? All skiff, no ship. Hardly fit for a leading man.
Balthier: I’m only here to see how the story unfolds. Any self-respecting leading man would do the same.
Balthier: I am the leading man. Might need to do something heroic. Don’t worry, I’ll show you how to fly her.
Balthier: Princess! No need to worry. I hope you haven’t forgotten my role in this little story. I’m the leading man. You know what they say about the leading man? He never dies.
But would he have made a good leading man? What determines a good leading man?
Literature denotes two types of leading men: the protagonist and the main character. JohnAugust.com has a pretty good explanation of the two:
Just what it sounds like: this is the character who the story is mostly about. Confused? Often his or her name is in the title: Shrek, King Arthur, Tootsie, Citizen Kane.
The character who changes over the course of the story, travelling from Point A to Point B, either literally or figuratively. She learns and grows as the story progresses. Generally, Protagonists want something at the start of the tale, and discover they need something else.
Of course, the protagonist can also be the main character. But is Balthier either? Well, he’s not even the flagship character of Final Fantasy XII, that’s Vaan. He’s not who the story is about, so he wouldn’t be the main character. Is he the protagonist. He’s a protagonist, but probably not the protagonist. Balthier really doesn’t change over the course of the game. But then again, neither does Vaan. Ashe does. Her character arc goes from revenge to righteous justice. She wants the power to reclaim her throne.
So then, Vaan is the main character and Ashe is the protagonist.
But let’s play semantics. Balthier says he’s the leading man, which
the actor who is the protagonist or plays a love interest to the leading actress in a film or play. A leading man is sometimes an all-rounder; capable of singing, dancing, and acting at a professional level.
Well, he doesn’t sing, dance or act.
With all you know of his characters, would he make a good leading man? Or is Fran right about him?
Fran: I’d say you’re in more of a supporting role.
What do you think?