Classic Remarks: Favorite Musketeer

Which of Dumas’ Musketeers is your favorite, and why?

For the musketeers of Alexandre Dumas’ swashbuckling stories, we have D’Artagnan, Athos, Aramis, and Porthos. They are the most interesting and effective when all together, which makes it a bit difficult to single one out as a favorite. Additionally, it is worth considering their various portrayals in adaptations, since the characters of The Three Musketeers are probably better known in adaptation than in their original novel.

Speaking generally, I can say my favorite musketeer is Porthos. He’s the loud, boisterous, fun fellow, always ready to make others laugh, even when being threatened with a duel. Always loyal to his friends, though I suppose that rather characterizes all the Four. He’s fun in the book, but I also admit to my choice being influenced by the 1993 Disney film, where he was played with cheerful wit by Oliver Platt. Behold:

Frank Finlay also played Porthos quite well, if drier, in the excellent 1973 film. Witness his unique solution to uncorking a wine bottle while the musketeers seek a peaceful breakfast and private conversation in the middle of a siege:

Portho’s charisma and enthusiasm for life makes him a natural favorite for many fans, and I suppose I’m not immune to that charm either.

3 Comments

  1. Krysta says:

    I think Porthos’ “loud and boisterous” nature is why I’ve never particularly been attracted to his character. I’m a rather quiet person myself and so have trouble understanding someone like him. Why can’t he say the same thing, just, you know, more quietly? 😀

    I do appreciate his loyalty, however, and I think he does seem to be especially loyal somehow, even though the four are all committed to each other. If you were going to collect people for a mission, I think you would start with Porthos because he would definitely come. Aramis might think he’s busy and Athos might question the mission, but Porthos would be out the door before he even bothered to ask where he was going.

    1. David says:

      I’m a fairly quiet person myself and tend not to gravitate towards loud, boisterous people in real life. Though I suppose I have been friends with a few; the balance between someone else’s brashness and my quieter, slower personality sometimes works a certain chemistry. Sometimes comedic. And in playing D&D with friends, I’ve recently found I have more fun playing a boisterous Russian-accented barbarian than my other character, a quiet, well-mannered half-elf Ranger who is a bit more like myself and the characters I usually write, but who rarely has anything interesting to say.

      Anyway, in fiction, a loud, brash character can often be insufferable or uncomfortable, but when the right balance is hit, they can be very fun. And when it comes to the other musketeers, Athos was a near-pick but is just a bit too broody and vengeful for my tastes, Aramis is religious hypocrite (unrepentantly womanizing despite professing to be a devout Catholic), and d’Artagnan is too foolish and lustful to win out. I enjoy them all at times, and especially together, though.

      1. Krysta says:

        That’s true. Sometimes I like characters precisely because they aren’t like me at all. Paulina from The Winter’s Tale is one of my favorites because she is bold and outspoken–and I admire her having a quality I don’t possess.

        I’m afraid I’ve never liked Aramis at all, precisely for the reason you list. D’Artagnan grows on me throughout the series, however, because he later admits he was a foolish youth. That takes some growth! Aramis may be brooding, but I guess that’s never stopped me from loving him!

        Your D&D games sound quite fun! Now I’m trying to imagine you as a boisterous Russian-accented barbarian!

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