It’s a dirty job, but somebody has to do it. I’m talking about intensive research into the types of men my female protagonist might encounter. When I’m looking for a hero, I go to the Knights in my Rider-Waite Tarot deck.
The Knight of Wands
He’s a tall, dark, and handsome stranger who travels the globe. He’s reckless and brave and may be too cocky for his own good. You’ll often find him in hot water as a result. All of the knights are fiery, but the Knight of Wands is the combination of the fiery energy of the Knight and the highly flammable suit of Wands. That makes him a fearless fighter and a passionate lover. It also makes him dangerous and impetuous. He’s the bad boy women try to tame—with varying results.
Johnny Depp’s Captain Jack Sparrow, Val Kilmer in Willow, and James Bond seem like Knights of Wands to me, as do Deadpool and Robert Downey Jr.’s IronMan.
One of my favorite movies even though it has many, many flaws is Robin Hood, Prince of Thieves. Despite his on-again-off-again British accent, Kevin Costner’s Robin Hood is a great example of the Knight of Wands. He does it again in Waterworld—another flawed movie, but we aren’t here to critique—we’re here to talk about hunky men.
The Knight of Cups
An idealist and a hopeless romantic, he’s so romantic that he falls in love with every woman he meets. He intends to be true, but then here comes another one!! He simply loves women and he loves the thrill of the chase. If you are looking for erotic conversations about art and music, love poems delivered by unicorns, and steamy encounters in the rose garden—this is your guy. But be warned—it won’t last forever.
Hugh Grant in Bridget Jones is the epitome of the Knight of Cups. So cute and so sweet, but even as he’s kissing your neck, his eye wanders to the sweet young thing passing by on the sidewalk. Errol Flynn in Don Juan –actually by most accounts, Errol Flynn in real life—has Knight of Cups written all over him.
The Knight of Pentacles
NOT your typical dashing adventurer, this guy is a practical, careful man who likes to take a long, hard look at the situation. He may court a woman for years—even decades—before he makes up his mind. Logic and reason guide his actions. He won’t settle for anything less than perfection from himself and may be stubborn to a fault. In love, he is a considerate and thoughtful partner who takes pride in pleasing the woman he chooses in a deliciously slow manner. He is the one Knight you can depend on forever.
Colin Firth in Love, Actually has more than a little of the Knight of Pentacles in him. Gary Cooper in High Noon and Ethan Hawke in the Mission Impossibles strike me as Knights of Pentacles.
I’ve saved the Knight of Swords until last.
Because he is . . . perfect!!! A warrior—brave and skillful—he tends to rush in where angels fear to tread—and he comes out on the other side carrying the head of his enemy. He’s that good!
Chivalry is his code. He will protect the weak and lead the army to battle against miscreants and tyrants. Besides being an excellent lover, an adventurous companion, and an awesome fighter, he’s a consistent partner, too—but any woman who wants to keep him interested will need to work at it.
Clark Gable’s Rhett Butler in Gone with the Wind and (swoon) Jamie Frazer as played by Sam Heughan in Outlander are Knights of Swords. Sometimes foolhardy, but always brave, they are bigger than life and glorious to watch. They choose their quests wisely and launch their campaigns with their eyes wide open. They are suckers for lost causes and they couldn’t possibly care less what anyone thinks of them. John Wayne in most of his movies—I’m thinking Mclintock! and The Quiet Man—along with Clint Eastwood in nearly everything and Helmsley’s Thor and . . . I could go on.
Do you Know any Knights?
There you have the Knights of the Tarot as I see them. You can probably guess already, but read my books to see which Knights I’ve chosen.
My Zoraida Grey Trilogy is a Gothic Fantasy about how one small town fortuneteller wreaks havoc in a haunted Scottish Castle. If you are in a Halloween mood, the first two books in the trilogy are available now with the third nearly finished.
If you enjoyed this post, please tell me about it and share. I’d love to know what heroes in film, literature, or real life you would call a Knight of the Tarot.