Guest Blog: Big Things Have Small Beginnings: Why Heroes Are Like Us By Nicholas McAuliff author of Heracles the Return

As part of my Guest blog series for authors and fellow bloggers I am proud to present another guest blog spot. Nicholas McAuliff the author of Heracles the Return has been kind enough to write a guest blog post for MightyThorJRS today. I am very excited and I would like to thank Nicholas for the opportunity to host this Guest Blog.

Heracles the Return

by Nicholas McAuliff

is out NOW!

So go grab a copy!

Link to Amazon Page:



Big Things Have Small Beginnings: Why Heroes Are Like Us

By Nicholas McAuliff


Odysseus, Hercules, King Arthur, Beowulf, Joan of Arc, Rocky Balboa. All different heroes from different eras. Big names, and big legacies. Magical, powerful, and awe inspiring. But what makes them most unique? They are all just like us. From divine Greek heroes to the above contemporary icons like Rocky, heroes inspire us, energize us, and show us how to overcome the impossible. They show us where we are in our lives by comparison (this can be humbling), and prove to us what we can become. Whether you are a voracious reader of Homer’s epics of yesteryear, or a fan of modern superheroes, it would behoove you to examine the heroes in more detail. Instead of looking at the hero as a divine presence, we can recognize their accomplishments as the pinnacle of human character: what we should all strive for every day.


There is a flip side to this coin, however. Every hero, as we know from popular epics, books, movies and television, has a severe flaw. This is often a single, devastating vice that serves to mark the hero’s downfall. For Odysseus it was pride, for Hercules it was rage. In this, too, we can see our own weaknesses and the traits of bad character that we should strive to avoid at all costs. By analyzing the heroes we know and admire, we can learn some deeply important lessons about human character and motivations.


In fact, Game of Thrones does a fantastic job at this. We see the “Mother of Dragons” (from a rosy view) as a kindhearted champion for the poor and weak, who would use her supernatural gifts to mold the world of Westeros into one of grace and fairness. Upon closer inspection, however, we see some serious flaws in Daenerys’s personality. On returning to Meereen in season 6, episode 9, Daenerys informs Tyrion Lannister of her plan: to burn the masters, and anything and everything to do with the masters. When Tyrion reminds her of her father’s not-so-pretty legacy of fire, Daenerys states that “This is entirely different.” Tyrion reminds her:  “We’re talking about destroying cities, it’s not entirely different.” This goes to show that even the young hero, still reaching their peak, can display warning signs for these ugly pitfalls of character that can, and often does, usurp them.


In this way, the heroes are like all of us: ordinary mortals with no profound or magical abilities. Indeed, every hero has a duty to harness the best of themselves, so as not to become a villain. The line is often tenuous, as we saw so clearly in Darth Vader’s transformation. Going back to Game of Thrones, it could be argued that, so far, Jon Snow is doing the best job of achieving this sort of balance. However, this idealism and unwavering commitment to honor can also be a flaw. We saw this brutal lesson in Rob Stark’s death. In contrast, we saw in season 4 how pride killed Oberyn Martell when he was so close to victory.


In Hugh Howey’s first pivotal book, Wool, it could be argued that insatiable curiosity led to the sheriff Holston’s downfall. However, the overarching theme here was discovery leading to possible freedom-and more importantly-the truth. Even so, curiosity led to disaster. Similar to Jon Snow, even righteous flaws like this can lead to a hero’s downfall. Thus, it is not always black and white, and that is why things are often complicated and morally ambiguous in the best books, movies and stories. Nonetheless, the next time you read an age old epic, or tune into the latest episode of your favorite show, examine the hero with a skeptical eye. You may be surprised at what you find.


Nicholas has been writing fantasy and adventure stories since the mid 1990’s, and wrote his first novel in 2006. He received his B.A. in history from Ramapo College, with a focus on ancient civilizations. Nicholas has a background in publishing and is currently working on his next novel. The author can be contacted at

Contact email:

Twitter handle: NickSM28


Heracles the Return by Nicholas McAuliff

Link to Amazon Page:

Heracles-the son of Zeus, the hero, the legend. Now gone, a mere whisper under the tavern candlelight.

Led by an indestructible power, the brutal cults of the gods dominate tiny Greece. The fields are barren, the kingdoms are without legitimate kings, and monsters have begun to emerge for the first time in decades. Iolaus, the aging nephew of Heracles, hides away in shame until something astonishing resurfaces-a long lost relic from the time of light.

Most say that the hero is long dead. Others say he wanders in unknown lands. Iolaus pulls his dusty, rusted sword from the wall once more. Magic, blood and blade await him beyond his forest village. Iolaus alone may be able to remind the demigod of his destiny, but first, Heracles must be found. Only Heracles can stand against a force that holds a nation in chains-a force beyond chaos.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s