Sunday, August 17, 2014

Just How Tall does a Hero Have to Be?

It must be silly question time. I've been doing a lot of reading this past week in what will end up being my genre--romance. And I look over at the bookshelf sitting next to me on the left and see two book series (best sellers all of them). Out of the twelve books there it dawns on me.


Let me repeat that without the caps. Every single male protagonist is well over six feet tall. A fact which started me thinking. Lois McMaster Bujold managed an engaging male protagonist under five feet tall but Miles Vorkosigan is the only one who breaks the rule.

I don't know if research and statistics will back me up. This is strictly anecdotal and one shelf of the bookcase.
  • Jondalar from the Earth's Children Series by Jean M. Auel                     Six foot six inches
  • Jamie Frasier from the Outlander Series by Diana Gabaldon                   Six foot four inches*
  • Matthew Claremont from the AllSouls Trilogy by Deborah Harkness     Six foot three inches

I just finished reading my fifth book of the week and, yes, out of five male protagonists, not a single one of them was under six foot three. I'm not going to name titles/authors with those five. It was research, not fun, and I don't want it known I read them. Yes, they were that bad.

Not a large enough number for statistical purposes but enough to get me to asking the question. Is this becoming a rule?

So I have a question for those who write and read romance (or even other genres with a romantic subplot).
How tall is your male protagonist?
How tall were the last five male protagonists in the books you read?
*not totally sure of the accuracy of this but I recall reading it in the discussion surrounding the casting for Jamie Frasier in the new Starz series.