High on the hill overlooking the battlefield, all of the gods watch the war taking place below except for Ares. In full armor, he delightfully joins in the fight.  He fights to satiate his lust for blood rather than to win a noble cause.  Everything physical is joyous to him, and his passion leaves all in his wake breathless.  He is known as the protector of the community and of families, but any reason to join in a brawl is a good enough reason for him.

The Protector

The Protector is a man who lives in his body instead of his head. He feels everything intensely and craves physical activity of all kinds.  He protects the ones he loves so fiercely it seems as if he’s fighting for his own pleasure alone.  He doesn’t need much of a reason to fight or react harshly in a situation.

He lives on eggshells, as if everyone were out to get him. He’s like a ticking time bomb just waiting to go off.  At the same time he can be fiercely loyal and protective, making women feel special and cared for.  His sensual nature and bodily expertise make him a great lover.  A strong need for spontaneity and risks will drive him in and out of people’s lives, making him not someone to commit to.

Career goals aren’t foremost in his mind; the future seems far away. His life is full of adventure and risks, and he likes it that way.

What Does the Protector Care About?

  • The Protector loves to get physical. His body is everything to him; it’s how he experiences life. Dancing, singing, laughing and fighting – that’s him.
  • He cares about winning the fight whether it’s on the football field or in the boardroom, though he’s not really the corporate type.
  • He cares about his friends and family and will jump at any chance to defend them without worrying about the consequences. Every attack on his family and friends is seen as an attack on him. He may channel this intensity to protect others into a charitable cause and can be a great activist. He shines when it comes to battling for others’ rights.
  • Travel and spontaneous women are his favorite pastimes.

What Does the Protector Fear?

  • There’s nothing another person can do to him that would make him feel fear. He fears only losing touch with his body and his abilities. To be sick or paralyzed is the same as death to him. He feels everything intensely.
  • He fears not being able to protect those he cares about.
  • He would hate a job where he had to site at a desk all day, and he doesn’t understand men who do. He’d rather take a cut in pay to be a construction worker; at least there’s some risk involved.
  • He hates having to use his mind too much. He prefers to jump the physical solution to every problem that arises.

Developing the Character Arc

Look at your character’s main goal in the story and then at the fears you’ve selected to use against him. What does he need to learn to help him overcome his fear?  Does he need to learn to use his mind instead of his body?  Does he need to learn how to sit still and be alone?  Does he need to temper his need to take risks?  Does he need to learn how to control his temper?  Does he need to get a steady-paying job or career?

Very often the Protector needs to learn self-control. He’s always flying off the handle and needs to learn to take a deep breath, step back and assess the situation before reacting.  He needs to learn how to defend himself with words instead of fists.

What happened to him at an early age to make this archetype dominate his personality? What his father abusive?  Did his mother dance around the house a lot and play games with him?  Was he picked on as a kid and then swear he’d be strong?  Did he see his father get hurt?  Were his parents activists who taught him about fighting for causes?  Was his mother hurt and he couldn’t help her?

To grow, this archetype is best paired with one of the following:

  • The King – can teach him self-control and discipline of his actions.
  • The Troubled Teen – may not want to be rescued, so the Protector will have to learn to let go of someone who doesn’t want his help.
  • The Father’s Daughter – is great at using her logical mind and can teach him to fight with words. Her influence can calm him down and force him to reflect before he acts out.
  • The Overcontrolling Mother – will teach him to be disciplined with her controlling nature. Her emotions and rage can easily match his own; she’s a worthy opponent. He can’t lash out at her physically without paying a high price.

What Motivates the Protector?

  • His biggest motivator is survival. Every attack, small or large, is a threat to his survival. He lives each day on the edge. Any small threat can be the beginning of a larger one, and he’ll nip it in the bud. Many harsh words people speak are just that – words – but he takes them very seriously. “Kill or be killed” is his motto. So is “an eye for an eye.”
  • Life without risk is boring to him. If he’s not protecting and defending then he’s searching for the next big challenge. He’s the first one into the water and loves to make others feel silly for being afraid to follow him. He leads people to take risks with him and enjoy life.

How Do Other Characters See the Protector?

  • He’s seen as either intense and passionate or thick-headed and bullish. He lives in the moment and reacts without thinking. He doesn’t care much about what others think because he is enjoying himself.
  • He wants others to sense the dark need for battle that lurks behind his eyes. He wants to intimidate.
  • His clothes are always practical for the situation he’s in. He needs to be free to move around and join in so he won’t dress in a suit, no matter the event he’s attending.

The Villainous Side of the Protector: The Gladiator

As a villain the Protector turns into the Gladiator. He’s not out to protect or save the ones he loves or to fight for a good cause.  Instead he’s out for the lust of battle and blood.  He fights and destroys for the sheer pleasure and power it brings.  He lusts after the roar of the crowd, which he may get from seeing himself in the news.

His lust for risk taking makes him put other people’s lives in danger, and he doesn’t give it a second thought. He’s the man who drives twice the speed limit just to beat his friend home and doesn’t think about the safety of other drivers on the road.  Life is a game to him.

He has ingrained, maladaptive patterns of behavior with impulsive and unpredictable actions. He has frequent inappropriate temper outbursts and an unstable self-image.  He takes no responsibility for his actions and often plays the victim when confronted about his behavior.

Stress-related anxiety plagues him as do feelings of real or imagined abandonment. He always feels empty inside and tries to compensate by taking risks that put himself and others in danger.  Danger is all that can make him feel.  He can’t stand being alone and may drive others crazy needing to always go out and find something to do.

He loves to fight and enjoys challenges and risks; it makes him feel alive. Life is so boring and cruel to him, and he won’t be the one to suffer.  Why should he care about killing someone else when he so readily accepts his own mortality?  At least he’ll go out with a roar of the crowd – a hero till the end.  He isn’t concerned with growing old because he doesn’t expect to live long.


  • Feels abandoned.
  • Lusts after the roar of the crowd.
  • Craves blood, death and battle.
  • Is out of touch with his caring emotions; only feels rage and anger.
  • Has frequent temper outbursts.
  • Has a poor self-image.
  • Can’t stand to be alone.
  • Wants to feel, and danger is all that he can feel.
  • Takes risks to compensate for feeling so empty inside.
  • Pushes others to take risks with him.
  • Puts innocent people in danger.
  • Plays the victim when confronted about his behavior.
  • Doesn’t expect to live long.
  • Welcomes a valiant death.



  • Is very physical as opposed to mental.
  • Forgoes career success for fun and travel.
  • Will fight to save those he loves, never giving up.
  • Will fight for a good cause when others are afraid to stand up.
  • Loves to sing, dance and make love.
  • Searches for the next big thrill, challenge or risk.


  • Physically reacts to an attack without thinking.
  • Acts as if he’s fighting for his survival all the time.
  • Lives on the edge.
  • Has trouble considering the consequences of his actions.
  • Is merciless in his actions and believes in an eye for an eye.



Protector/Gladiator TV Heroes

Lieutenant Worf (Michael Dorn) in Star Trek: The Next Generation

Detective Danny Sorenson (Rick Schroeder) in NYPD Blue

Detective Sergeant Rick Hunter (Fred Dryer) in Hunter

Michale Knight (David Hasselhoff) in Knight Rider

Sonny Crockett (Don Johnson) in Miami Vice


Protector/Gladiator Film Heroes

Rocky Balboa (Sylvester Stallone) in Rocky

Detective John McClane (Bruce Willis) Die Hard

Archie Gates (George Clooney) in Three Kings

Cal Trask (James Dean) in East of Eden

Lieutenant Pete “Maverick” Mitchell (Tom Cruise) in Top Gun

Jack Colton (Michael Doglas) in Romancing the Stone

Han Solo (Harrison Ford) in Star Wars

“Sonny” Corleone (James Caan) in The Godfather


Protector/Gladiator Literary and Historical Heroes

Little John




The Incredible Hulk


Romeo in Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare

Jack in Lord of the Flies by William Golding

Richard in Rogue Warrior series by Richard Marchinko



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