Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together
Lillian: Happy Tuesday y’all! This week’s topic is a freebie. A few weeks ago Amanda and I were messaging back and forth (I think in prep for the character freebie a few weeks ago), and somehow got off on all these broody leading men in our favorite books. Why are we SO drawn to them? So for our freebie topic this week we are doing our top ten favorite broody gents. Fits right 😂
Amanda: Honestly, I feel like we could do a whole post about why these characters ARE broody, and what that even means. But I’m finding a pattern to my choices and why I like them, and I think it makes for interesting discussion.I actually think that’s why I was initially attracted to my husband – he’s a bit of an aloof brooder and I found him to be a fun challenge. Maybe we’ll elaborate on the psychology behind a brooder in the future, but this is my list of complicated, moody, bottled-up gents that I love a whole lot.
Below are our lists of broody characters we love in no particular order. As always, titles/covers link to Blog/Goodreads/Amazon(aff).
Our Favorite Broody Gents
Amanda’s Top Ten
Fitzwilliam Darcy from Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen: Mr. Darcy is what we’d call the OG of brooders. What I love about a brooder is the many layers we have to get through to find the true character within. And Darcy is well worth the digging. I just LOVE Darcy. He’s my dream man – and in fact, my husband reminds me a LOT of Darcy. *queue dreamy sighing*
Edward Rochester from Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte: This guy and his layers. He has tons of them, secrets to hide, a character that really only unfolds as the story ends. He’s moody, secretive, and even came across as a bit of a bully at times. He is even described as “prowling the gardens like a bear” – that’s like…a big brood. Brooding like a bear. A bear-brooding gent.
Colonel Brandon from Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen: Cl. Brandon is another secretive one, though he doesn’t seem to be moody like Rochester. He is still dreamy and thoughtful and just right for Marianne – the perfect compliment.
Chaol Westfall from Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas: Chaol was my book boyfriend for a good month while I read the first couple of books in the Throne of Glass series. Dude was in his head a LOT, and I felt all KINDS of feelings when things didn’t work out the way I wanted them to…but Maas redeemed both parties…
Rowan Whitethorn from Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas: AND this is where Maas redeemed the love story I REALLY wanted. Rowan was broody, scarred, manipulated and had lost all faith in people. Then when he meets his love he BROODILY PROTECTS and works equally alongside his love. Be still my heart, babes. This Fae. I just can’t with his broodiness.
William Herondale from The Infernal Devices by Cassandra Clare: Is it possible to be broody and a king of snark? Yes. Yes it is. Enter Will Herondale. He’s got it all. Snark, secrets, moods, dark looks, demon-killing skills, and a great capacity to love. *queue more dreamy sighing*
Jace Herondale from The Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare: Clare can really write a snarky brooder. This guy is another one – he has his secrets, and he has layers, he has snark, he has an overprotective streak, he has big moods, he has trauma in his past that makes him clam up and keep his feelings inside. And, of course, it helps that he’s described as gorgeous. He’s basically the perfect guy, if you like a brooder. Which I do. Which is why I’m writing this list. Full circle, guys.
Tarzan of the Apes from Tarzan of the Apes by Edgar Rice Burroughs: Since a great deal of the Tarzan books is a lot of inner dialogue, I can classify Tarzan as broody. He isn’t forthcoming, and he is a classic brooder. Sometimes he broods in a tree. Sometimes he broods on a beach. Sometimes he broods on a train or a boat. And he can kill a tiger with his bare hands (do not recommend). But he is the first character to come to mind when I think “brooding gent”. It’s Tarzan. Tarzan is the broody gent.
Severus Snape from Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling: Oof. If you want to talk about secrets, trauma, layers…Snapes are like onions. I wouldn’t classify his as a romantic brooder, by any means, but maybe he is. In the books, he’s always skulking about, and you really never know exactly what he’s thinking. But also, he’s a legilimens, soooooo…
Lorcan Lochan from Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas: This hulking mass of a Fae is maximum broodiness. He’s so dark even his fae powers are dark. Literally. You never really know what he’s thinking, but the second you see that softer side, you know this is a broody gent for the ages! *queue even more dreamy sighing*
Lillian’s Top Ten
Chaol from Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas: Oh my heart! This man put me through the emotional wringer during the series. He loves deeply, but his loyalty to the crown ran deeper, and it hurt y’all! Then the brooding begins. Chaol over analyzes EVERYTHING from his relationship with Celaena to his loyalty to the crown in GREAT DETAIL. I mean by the time he got over himself I hated him. I really dreaded reading Tower of Dawn because of his brooding and bad choices, but Maas redeems him.
Des from The Bargainer by Laura Thalassa: If there is any character that should be on this list, it’s Des. Des is a fae king in love with and mated to a siren. Not only that but every thing he does, he does in the interest of keeping her safe and whole and mortal for as long as he can. He sacrifices so much and asks for very little in return. Not to mention he hates himself the whole time he does it.
Mr. Darcy from Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen: The original king of brooders 😂 Mr. Darcy is one of those characters that you have to wonder about your own sanity for falling for him. I mean he basically insults the girl he loves while he is proposing to her by telling her all the reasons he shouldn’t love her. He agonizes over it so much that you pity him and are angry with him all at the same time!
Dorian from The Girl at Midnight by Melissa Grey: I love this dragon! He is the second in command and happens to be in love with the man he serves. He tortures himself by loving someone who will never love him in return. His loyalty and devotion run deep. Let’s just say I’m glad he gets his own HEA.
Wolf from Scarlet by Marissa Meyer: Wolf is my favorite character in the Lunar Chronicles. He is also one of the more tortured characters. Genetically engineered super soldier he is really like the wolf from the original tale. You don’t know if you can trust him, he doesn’t know if he can trust himself. He denies himself happiness, wallowing in his own self-pity for what was done to him. But man do I love him!
Edward from Twilight by Stephenie Meyer: The sparkly, depressed teen vampire. He broods over killing Bella, he broods over loving her, he broods over making her his wife and a vampire. He broods about brooding. He’s just a broody man-child, but I can’t help but fall for him ☺️
Cal from Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard: So I have not finished the Red Queen series yet, so I put Cal on this list tentatively. His character arc in the story is heartbreaking. He never wanted to be king, he broods over that fate and what it will mean for him. When he is overthrown, he broods over that. He agonizes over his little brother and what he will have to do to stop him. And then Mare. Their relationship is complicated to say the least.
Heathcliff from Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë: Oh Heathcliff! His name should be next to the word brood in the dictionary. He makes everyone around him miserable, even the woman he claims to love. Even in death, he broods.
Morpheus from Splintered by A.G. Howard: So I’m not sure that Morpheus broods much. Instead he’s more like a trickster. He does however brood over Alyssa. Every action he takes is for Underland and her. He manipulates at the risk of losing her, but it’s for the good of Underland, and so he does it anyways. Honestly, I don’t think he truly fits this list (Jeb probably would), but I’m in love with Morpheus and wanted to include him 😉
Dane from Alinthia by Siobhan Davis: If anyone broods, it’s Dane. He is the leader of Alinthia’s protectors. And despite his feelings for her, he denies himself. He puts her safety above all else, even if it means hurting her in the process. I kinda ache for the guy.
Your turn! What broody characters would make your list? Share below