From Joffrey to Han Solo

King Joffrey

Yeah, he’s kind of a dick. Source: HBO

When I started writing the SF novel, I took an earlier character I’d written and lifted his origin story. Why not? You’re never going to read that material anyway. Or if you do, you’ll have to dig for it.

*Ahem* Anyway…

My original character, by the time we meet him, is kind of a cross between Han Solo and Captain Kirk. The Kirk part only came from the fact that the guy wore a uniform and had to have some degree of discipline and decorum. He still was a fly-by-seat-of-pants smart ass.  But his mother was extremely wealthy, like Koch Brothers wealthy but without the Bond villain tendencies. His father was a lord high muckety muck in the military. Being the oldest son of such prestigious and powerful parents, one might expect him to be more like Joffrey and less like Harry Potter sans wand. So I lifted that origin story, dropped it into the new SF universe and went to town.

Sorry, George, but he still shot first. Source: Lucasfilm

Sorry, George, but he still shot first. Source: Lucasfilm

With the SF novel’s rough draft in cold storage at the moment, I’ve given a little thought on how to make him believable to a new audience. As I said, he is based on another character I always envisioned as being a parallel to Han Solo, a somewhat selfish rogue who nonetheless has a conscience and a helluva pragmatic streak. The old character was cruising into middle age when I wrote him, so this wasn’t hard to sell.Now?

The new character is not much older than Joffrey. He has to have something of a conscience because he finds his life of privilege to be a gilded cage and proceeds to go out into the world for a load of drinking, whoring, and generally stealing any really cool mode of transportation owned by his mother. When mom steps out of the board room long enough to mom all over him, he runs away, and therein we dump him into what Christopher Vogler calls “the ordinary world” in The Hero’s Journey. He might be getting dumped into the ordinary world, but it’s the one we know when meet him. Actually, when we meet him, he’s vomiting on the boots of a security guard, but anyway…

When I finished the book, he was, indeed, on his way to becoming the lovable rogue. However, I don’t think I made him dickish enough in the beginning. This guy needs to be a brat, a really snotty brat. There are a couple of scenes where he acts like he’ll be out of his predicament in no time, but it’s not long before the farmer’s daughter takes a shine to him. Don’t know why she’d do that if he’s an ass. I suppose Joffrey is a bad comparison. Joffrey had no redeeming qualities. He killed whores for sport. Moments before his death (This is no longer a spoiler, kids. The episode was two weeks ago, and the book was written in 2000. Get over it.), he is busy humiliating his smarter, better-hearted uncle (possibly the only Lanister in Game of Thrones who ought to be allowed to survive the series.) And his bravery makes Draco Malfoy look like a Schwarzenegger character. (Besides, Draco turned out to have a conscience, too, even if he took after his sniveling, conniving dad.)

But these are simply references. This character is not the one I based him on. He is not Han Solo. He is not Joffrey in the beginning. But the existing characters give me points of reference to use. He has to grow up. He’s trying. Unfortunately, he succeeds if only because circumstances won’t allow anything else.

Hey, I’m fishing for Amazon reviews, good or bad. I just want tongues wagging. Wanna help out? I’ll send you The Compleat Winter or Road Rules. You tell the world what you honestly think of it. Hit me up on Facebook, DM me @authorjimwinter, or email me at for details.