Why are Immortal Characters So Immature Sometimes?

Fantasy author Rachel Aaron recently posted this entertaining and insightful blog piece about immortals in genre fiction, especially the male characters, who are quite often said to be thousands of years old yet they seem to be immature and act like the thirty-something that the model on the cover depicts.

It continues to amaze me that paranormal romance and urban fantasy authors don’t see anything wrong with depicting a guy or group of guys who are supposed to be five thousand years old and all they do is go to night clubs and hang out with each other, living in “Frat Houses of the Damned” as Smart Bitches have called them, until one of the guys meets “the woman of his dreams” who “show him what he’s been missing” all this time. It kind of begs the question, what have they been doing until the present day? Like Rachel, I, too, wish the authors of some of these books would put more thought into, as Rachel says, “why is this dude still going clubbing/living alone with no hobbies at 3000 years old?”

I think perhaps more authors need to question the notion of how a creature who’s been alive and kicking around for thousands of years would find anything in common with a (usually) mortal woman who’s only been around for 20 to 30 tops (or worse, a teenage girl), and I often wish that readers would get more insights into a male character’s background and history, but that’s often not the case. More importantly, it’s difficult for many authors to convey, with authenticity, characters who are that old and it’s sometimes just a “taken for granted” thing that they know their way around the twenty-first century world without much explanation as to how they’ve adapted. The comment section of the blog post is definitely worth a gander, as well, and as one reader pointed out, Anne Rice stands out as one example of an author who has managed to lend a wonderful sense of timelessness to her immortal vampires.

But I digress. It’s a very entertaining post, and Rachel raises many good points that I often find myself wondering with some of the more popular paranormal romance series that feature several immortal characters who perhaps don’t come across as developed as they should.

Although I’ve not heard of the anime she mentions, Scrapped Princess, it seems interesting and like it might be worth checking out 🙂