Still a hero?

Question: Much as I hate giving spoilers of my work, even for the purposes of advice, I need help! My novel series is set in a world where semi-modern, steampunk-ish technology is replacing knights and their swords. Kind of like a western version of the Meiji Restoration of Japan. Anyway, the first novel begins in the final stages of this world's revolutionary war, where the side old ways lose to the modern. In that battle, the main character is separated from his older sister (who is kidnapped for then-unknown reasons) and a main focus of the book is his search for her and his plans to punish those who took her. He joins the new government's military, in a division which is essentially an assassin corps. and spends the next 7 years doing their dirty work, all while gaining skill and gathering resources. Anyway, he's far from morally perfect, as his past trauma has rendered him cruel, calculating and ruthless. He does, however, retain a sense of honor. Late in the series, I plan for him to find his sister, but for her to have both gone mute and developed complete amnesia, both due to traumas that befell her after her kidnapping. I won't tell all of them, as they are rather gruesome, but she does carry an infant son with her now (*hint hint*). Since his personality was already somewhat unstable, and his mind so focused on reuniting with his sister, I intended for the protagonist to be, shall we say, deeply disturbed by the fact that he's gone through so many dangers and trials to find a person who does not even remember him or know who he is. I wanted him to still retain a certain love for his sister, and never dream of harming her, but for him to slip deeper

and deeper into a violent frustration, and to lose sight of his purpose; "I've done and seen so much all for this... she doesn't remember anything. What do I do with my life now?" He becomes more vicious towards his targets and even develops a sort of burning jealousy towards his infant nephew (who is perpetually coddled by his mother). Obviously, the main character's psychological state plays a major part in this novel. Even though there are heroes who are far from perfect, is it possible for me to really call this person a hero anymore? If not, what are your thoughts on how I could continue this story with the main character becoming a villain? Just any advice would be great. Even if you're thinking of something I didn't ask, share your thoughts! I need all the help I can get. Thank you very much!


Answer: So far, it sounds like what you have is a comi-tragedy, in that the main character achieves his goal (he reunites with his sister), but he does not resolve his inner problem (he cannot regain the sister he once had and what she meant to him, because she no longer exists).

Now, if you want to continue the series after this point, I think the logical choice would be to tell the story of how he finds his redemption.

Incidentally, Dramatica would say there are generally three traits that make up a hero. He should ...

1. Be the protagonist (pursue the story goal).
2. Be the main character (principle POV).
3. Be likeable.

You don't necessarily need all three. For instance, how likeable is Macbeth? However, if the reader can sympathize with his plight and his effort, that helps. Also if he clings to some shred of morality despite what he must do in his situation.

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