The stoic, cunning, and masculinely intelligent masterminds that solve mysteries, infiltrate enemy bases, work as undercover double agents in different countries, and defend themselves from mysterious government attackers all have origins in their creators’ drawing boards and notebooks – conceived through careful design and character development to create the physically-capable, highly-specialized protagonists of your favorite political thrillers. But how do political thriller authors conjure up these complexly diverse characters with such depth and detail? Here are a few aspects that every political thriller’s chiseled-chin having, scruffy-beard sporting, a bad guy-destroying hero has in their character developments.

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A mysterious past 

Many popular protagonists in this genre have unknown or unexplained pasts, which usually serve as the plot’s focal point – either it’s unknown to the audience, unknown to the hero himself, or both.

Top-tier hand-to-hand combat training 

If they’re fit for a daunting mission, then they should obviously know how to take (and throw) a good punch. Physical close-quarter combat skills are an essential aspect of these characters.

Cunning intuition 

Whether brain-washed and pre-programmed to be a killer or a killer formed through battle-hardened experience, all of these protagonists have honed their sharp sensory skills to detect and deter any threat.

Something to lose 

All brave protagonists have something or someone dear to them – and many times, this person who means the world to them is one of their few weaknesses, as they serve as scapegoats for hostage-taking by enemies.

Firearms proficiency, razor-sharp aim, and high accuracy 

James Bond and Jason Bourne could hit a moving target from varying distances with any given firearm, all while under the stress of a dire, life-threatening situation. So should your hero.

Survival tactics and outdoorsmanship 

When they aren’t infiltrating top-secret nuclear facilities or being chased through the suburbs, our heroes often find themselves fighting to survive out in the wild – although their proficiency prevails.

A way with the women 

After saving the day, our charming hero usually gets the girl in the end. Or always has the girl. Or multiple girls. Usually, they just have constant sex with the hottest girl in town.

Good looks 

Now surely they wouldn’t achieve the 7th entry by being a hero alone. We all know that only the most well-groomed and chivalrous heroes, dapper from top to bottom, get the girl.

A reason to fight 

Whether it be a grudge, a thirst for vengeance, or simply stone-cold orders from high command, these heroes always have something in their hearts driving their bravery.

A good origin story that ties into the plot 

The elegantly suave and dapper hunk with unmatched survival skills wouldn’t be nearly as interesting if they didn’t have a good backstory – something that created or driven the force they are.