George Double R’d Martin’s most obviously heroic character in the Song of Ice and Fire series, Jon stands out for being relentlessly honourable and good amongst a cast of characters where even your favourites *cough* Tyrion *cough* could be considered “a bit dodgy”. As Lord Eddard Stark’s bastard he takes a lot of flack from Lady Catelyn and in a move worthy of a sulky teenager huffs off to the Wall, where he becomes a Brother of the Night’s Watch. However, thanks to being a good chap deep down and very handy with a sword, he soon gains allies and fancier weapons.
Jon is a particularly enjoyable character because there are so many question marks hanging over him (does he have a destiny? Is he really Ned’s bastard?) But I worry for him too; honourable characters who try to do the right thing often come a cropper in Westeros.
Yes, alright, if you read this blog with any regularity then you are probably very sick of hearing about Alistair, bastard Prince and potential main squeeze of the Grey Warden in Dragon Age: Origins, but in terms of heroic bastards he has to be included. When he’s not doing relentlessly cute things like giving the main character roses or arguing with the Mabari hound, Alistair’s main function is to barrage into the centre of a crowd of darkspawn and kick the ever living shit out of them with a giant sword. He’s brave, unendingly loyal and utterly devoted to the kingdom of Ferelden, to the extent that he will quite aggravatingly dump the main character if he becomes King and feels that their relationship will get in the way of his kingly duties. Still, at least he’s suitably angsty about it.
Another bastard with a thing for wolves, Fitz is the narrator of Robin Hobb’s Farseer trilogy, a young man gifted with both the Wit and the Skill, and a horrendously complicated and backstabby royal family. Fitz stands out for me as a fantastically likeable character, someone who you can’t help but suffer with as he grows up through the books (and wow, does he suffer. Hobb knows how to put her characters through it). He’s also a trained assassin, which makes him 20% cooler than your usual royal bastard.