To go along with my previous post “Top Ten Non-Alpha Male Heroes“, this post will highlight a few examples of the archetype which don’t suck. In fact, they’re even good. Perhaps not surprisingly, this list is way shorter than my previous one. All of the examples below are from urban fantasies.
Adam from the Mercy Thompson series (Patricia Briggs): A literal Alpha, Adam doesn’t quite feel like the quintessential alpha male character. But he’s definitely the alpha male made sympathetic. He does have overbearing tendencies, and he is a control freak. But in Adam, it feels like it stems from responsibility rather than aggression. Adam is a more mature example, and there’s never really any doubt that he’s a good person trying to do the right thing. Bonus points that he’s got a relationship with his daughter that I really enjoy.
Curran from the Kate Daniels series (Ilona Andrews): He has all of the alpha male characteristics, but is actually made into a full fledged character. I believe him as a person, and he’s got his reasons for doing what he does. Part of it is how his society is structured and how he fits into that, and part of it is him taking on full responsibility. I should note that all three of these characters are fairly intelligent, which is always a plus in my book.
Mircea from the Cassie Palmer series (Karen Chance): He is hilarious as a character that tries to be closer to this archetype, but can’t keep a lid on his centuries-younger girlfriend (to be fair, she can teleport and time-travel). He’s a master manipulator himself, but during his appearances, he usually just ends up playing muscle whenever Cassie pops up and directs him to a problem. So she’s off saving the world and stuff as Mircea keeps trying and utterly failing to keep her in a safe place. It is really, really funny.
Since this list is a little sparse, feel free to expand on it in the comments!