Are Servants and Sidekicks The Real Heroes in Fiction

Most of the major blockbuster movies in years revolve around the hero persona. Whether it’s another superhero movie that involves Batman or Superman (or both), or an epic story of a man’s survival and revenge that finally gets DiCaprio an Oscar or yet another James Bond story or an epic historical drama. They all star at least one strong-willed, tough and powerful hero (and with the rise of the superhero crossovers — a bunch of them all at once). Heroes seem to be the know-it-all and can-do-it-all guys, who fearlessly run into danger and come out of it unscathed. However, there are instances when the tough guys heavily rely on the help of others. The truth is the good wouldn’t always win without the assistance of faithful and dedicated sidekicks or servants even. Here are a few examples of epic heroes who wouldn’t make it without their helpers.

Alfred and Batman


Bruce Wayne’s devoted butler has been beside the Bat of Gotham City for years. He’s never been just a mere assistant, in fact, Alfred was the legal guardian of little Bruce after the death of his parents. A butler, technician, armor bearer, informant, morals corrective and a father figure — just a few of Alfred’s versatile roles. You will see the butler serve breakfast to Bruce, sure, but also, help him with the equipment, provide him with essential intelligence reports, cure and stitch up Batman after intense fights, and even mend the Batsuit. Alfred knows his way around computers, security systems, gadgets, weapons, but he is also the one who is there to offer a fatherly advice to the fearless Dark Knight. Batman may be the protector of Gotham City, but Alfred Pennyworth is the keeper of the Batcave. No wonder that exceptional actors like Michael Caine and now even Jeremy Irons have played the at least

Sam and Frodo


Is your gardener willing to enter “In the Land of Mordor where the Shadows lie” and risk their life in the ashes of Mount Doom? After all “one does not simply walk into Mordor”, right? Samwise Gamgee is so devoted to his service to master Frodo Baggins, that he is willing to leave the peaceful utopian Shire and delve into the most dangerous adventure a hobbit has ever been into. Sam plays the role of a physical and moral compass to Frodo when he loses his way. The selfless devotion and the honest pure friendship of the hobbit gardener are easily the most profound lesson of Tolkien’s trilogy. “Even the smallest person can change the course of the future”. And Frodo does it — he takes the burden of saving the Middle Earth upon his shoulders and becomes the hero savior. But he would never have done it without his loyal servant and companion by his side.

Dr. John Watson and Sherlock Holmes


“Elementary, my dear Watson”, said Sherlock Holmes never. But even so, Dr. Watson is the faithful companion of the world’s most famous detective. The inseparable duo solves the most tangled crimes with ease. And although Holmes is the talented genius with the impeccable deduction skills, Dr. Watson is the one who serves the role of the connection (the translator if you wish) between the brilliant mind and the audience. He is more social and easily communicates Sherlock’s ideas and deductions to the other characters and to the readers/viewers. To be honest, Holmes would still be the magnificent crime solver and would still be able to be the hero without his faithful friend. However, the good Dr. Watson makes for a great sidekick, who adds character, cheerfulness, and insightful observations, especially when played by Jude Law.

Merlin and Arthur


In all film productions revealing the story of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table epic heroism seems to be the main storyline. But little is told about the great help of the powerful wizard Merlin. Good that we have the TV series with the title character of the most popular magician in the world. It’s a glimpse into the story of Arthur’s friend and the person who’s helped him achieve all of his epic wins — Merlin. However brave and heroic King Arthur is, he wouldn’t make it without some hardcore magic.

The Genie and Aladdin


Now, Aladdin is a good chap. Stealing and lying, but still, we all like him (not as much as we like Jasmine, but still). He’s the poor boy living the dream. However, if it weren’t for the Genie, Aladdin wouldn’t get far. In fact, he would probably end up in prison or worse. But the Genie and the whole crew of magical creatures, flying carpet included, save the day every time. And after all, who is the real hero — the one who makes the wishes or the one who grants them. Besides, the bluish spirit of the lamp has a great sense of humour too.

If superheroes do it, you can do it as well. Don’t try to be the know-it-all and have-it-all person. Ask for help. The harsh truth is you cannot be a perfect parent, have a splendid career, be the best friend, the most loving spouse and keep a spotless home. Hire some help — house cleaners, pet sitter, babysitter, etc. Accept the assistance and you can still be the hero at the end of the day.