I am developing a novel, and I'm trying to pin down some traits of my character. I have one that I can't seem to define though, and I was hoping someone here would be able to help me.

I have a character who does not let wrong pass unchallenged. If he sees wrong, falsehood, or evil being gotten away with, he will not sit idly by and say nothing. If he sees a problem that is going unnoticed, he will try to fix it, even if doing so is difficult and painful.

Is there a word for this trait?

  • 2
    You could say that such a character has a hero complex. Mar 11, 2016 at 23:41
  • I don't believe there is, otherwise it would have been used in the House of Commons debate on Syria a few weeks ago. Several speakers, in favour of the motion that Britain should join in the air operations against ISIS, felt that it would probably have little effect, since both France and the United States had been so engaged for well over a year. However ISIS operations were so pernicious and egregious that they should not be allowed to continue unchallenged, purely out of principle.
    – WS2
    Mar 11, 2016 at 23:44
  • Try alt.politics next time.
    – user116032
    Mar 12, 2016 at 0:31
  • Some of the answers to this slightly related question about vicariously taking offense/umbrage on behalf of someone else might give you some ideas to work with.
    – Papa Poule
    Mar 12, 2016 at 0:56
  • 1
    @JEL I will likely not use the word in the novel itself. This is primarily for me as I develop the novel. I have trouble staying focused, so it really helps if I can say to myself that the hero is ___, know what it means, and then implement it with whatever I'm working on at the moment. Your examples aren't suitable because they are too broad. I need something short that speaks directly to who this character is. Mar 12, 2016 at 18:06

3 Answers 3


Goodie-two-shoes, White Knight, Heroic!

In DnD this would be Lawful Good/Lawful Evil depending on application.

Heroic, particularly 2b.:

Full Definition of heroic
1: of, relating to, resembling, or suggesting heroes especially of antiquity
2: a: exhibiting or marked by courage and daring
   b: supremely noble or self-sacrificing
  • 1
    I'd submit that a character the likes of OP's in D&D would be chaotic good as his heroic actions may end up unintentionally endangering others. Mar 11, 2016 at 23:47

My thought is that a word comparing him to a mythical or legendary figure known for those traits might be best...similar to "solomonic". The figure that comes to mind is Horatius at the bridge, determined that none should pass.

  • 1
    "There are some who call me...Tim." Mar 12, 2016 at 0:23

A good Samaritan would be a person who helps others instead of walking by, but is not necessarily a "righter-of-wrongs".

Perhaps you could describe what he is not, in that he will not accept being a bystander.

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