I'm trying to find a word that describes someone who has all at once the qualities solemn, aloof, and stoical -- a word that one would use when looking at a sort of dark and brooding but admirable hero character. He/she doesn't necessarily exude these qualities all the time, but there are moments where the only way to describe them in one shot is with a word like this.

Unfortunately the most relevant example that comes to mind is Batman. Something like the image I've included below. Another character that comes to mind is Draco from Dragonheart (if you've seen it).

I don't really like asking thesaurus-like questions here, but I've been searching extensively and can feel the madness setting in (haha).

Stoic Batman

Update: Some of the words I've considered so far have been stoic/stoical, stern, austere.

Thanks for the tag modifcations. I was unaware there was a specific tag for this type of question.

  • Can you provide some words you have considered? Batman is usually considered an "antihero" but I am not sure if this what you mean without a bit more context.
    – Skooba
    Jan 27, 2016 at 19:19
  • 3
    Perhaps you can use dark knight figuratively.
    – ermanen
    Jan 27, 2016 at 19:28
  • Silent guardian, watchful protector, comes to mind too. I think I fit the description
    – NVZ
    Jan 27, 2016 at 19:35
  • "Somber" is one term that comes to mind. (And it should be noted that the TV series Batman doesn't fit your description, though other incarnations do.)
    – Hot Licks
    Jan 27, 2016 at 19:38
  • I think "Sober" is a good term for this, although it's not quite on the dot.
    – milestyle
    Jan 27, 2016 at 19:58

6 Answers 6


Byronic hero or just Byronic seems close to what you want, but not exactly. A byronic hero is a moody, mysterious, aloof hero, but is also bitter, cynical, defiant, and self-absorbed (here).

Noir hero might do. Frank Miller writes "The noir hero is a knight in blood caked armor. He's dirty and he does his best to deny the fact that he's a hero the whole time" (here). But you needn't stick to Miller's definition. A noir hero is just any hero associated with the noir genre, and the character you describe might fit that bill.


Well, you could do worse than to pick a well-known real or imaginary person who embodies the qualities you describe, and appending -esque or -ic or -ian to their name as it best suits you, thus coining your own and probably highly appropriate term.

If you are reminded of Batman, then there's no reason your hero can't be Batmanesque!

  • Always be yourself. Unless you can be Batmanesque, in which case always be Batmanesque...
    – user96551
    Mar 13, 2016 at 19:47

"Noble" seems to be a very rich adjective capable to accept others like "prestigious", "charismatic" or even perhaps "haughty".

a. Having or showing qualities of high moral character, such as courage, generosity, or honor: a noble spirit. b. Proceeding from or indicative of such a character; showing magnanimity: "What poor an instrument / May do a noble deed!" (Shakespeare).


Consider Brave knight (or "noble sir")

They tend to rescue people in distress. Thoughtful and caring, they often put others needs first.

Extract from the code of Chivalry:

  • To protect the weak and defenceless
  • To give succour to widows and orphans
  • To live by honour and for glory
  • To despise pecuniary reward

An ailing knight-at-arms (Cf. La Belle Dame Sans Merci)


Thank you for your question.

I would pick earnest, if it fits what you want to represent.

According to earnest - WordReference:

1. serious in intention, purpose, or action: The earnest young man had no use for jokes.

2. seriously important; grave: an earnest request for forgiveness.

3. in earnest, in full seriousness: Work began in earnest as the deadline approached.

I hope this answers what you are searching for well.

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