When I showed my adult daughter my Literary Boyfriend Bracket, it was interesting to me where we disagreed on who would make the better boyfriend (or lesser of two evils, at the very least). However, there was no shaking my resolve as to who should win the battle rounds. Except in one regard: She did sway my decision in this first round between Aragorn (the future king of Gondor in The Lord of the Rings) and Howard Roark (the king of architecture in The Fountainhead).
Oh, I guess now would be a good time to note: SPOILER ALERT. Although if you haven’t seen and/or read LOTR, I guess you probably never will.
Which brings up an interesting point regarding film adaptations. When you read a book before it’s adapted for the silver screen (or before seeing said movie) , you will have one impression of how that character looks. I think an excellent example is The Hunger Games. Neither Jennifer Lawrence nor Josh Hutcherson remotely resembles the characters of Katniss and Peeta as described in Suzanne Collins’ text. While their portrayals are brilliant, neither actor was well cast, in my honest opinion.
However, when it came to the film version of LOTR, the decision to cast Viggo Mortensen as the sword-wielding reluctant king and dutifully displaced lover was pretty damn spot on. I actually read LOTR in its entirety after Peter Jackson’s films, meaning in my mind Viggo Mortensen is Aragorn.
As for the 1949 version of The Fountainhead (curiously, it’s never been remade), Gary Cooper was terribly miscast as Howard Roark, who is without question my favorite character in literary history. Why the studios chose an aging Cooper (he was almost 50) to play the youthful Roark (much of the novel takes place while the hero is in college, studying architecture) instead of an up-and-coming Gregory Peck (who would have been 32 or thereabouts when The Fountainhead was filmed) is probably a point of discussion for a college film studies seminar about the studio system of that era .
Movies aside, however, I truly was leaning toward Howard Roark winning this battle. It was my daughter who made me come to realize that there’s really no question that any gal (or guy, for that matter) would choose the man who saves Middle Earth over the guy who won a court case in what was effectively a trial of domestic terrorism. Justified or not, only one King can be crowned winner of this battle.
The King of Gondor. Aragorn defeats Howard Roark in a split decision.