so I got my bf into Trollhunters and he turns to me and says “Jim and Strickler look a lot alike”, and I kinda picked up on the resemblances before (esp in some fan arts I’ve seen) but it never hit me just how much they look alike and can we just talk about that for a sec
Character designs are always very conscious and deliberate choices, and Jim and Strickler share a lot of likenesses. They both have long faces, long hooked noses, darker hair, thin lips, noticeable eye bags. Their body types are the same too: long and lean. Jim, in all honesty, looks more like Strickler than his own mother. Barbara has a rounder face, a smaller upturned nose, paler skin, red hair, and electric blue eyes. Very pretty, but not much like her son. We can assume Jim probably takes after his dad in this case, but I think its interesting that Strickler is the only character we’ve physically seen so far who Jim seems to resemble a decent amount. In the words of my bf “imagine what Strickler looked like when he was Jim’s age and tell me they don’t look alike.”
To which you’re probably thinking: ‘so whats the point?’ I don’t know, but characters designed similarly usually indicate similarities between those characters, like in personality or familial relations or maybe to show Jim has some changeling blood in him too. Regardless, I do find the parallels between Jim and Strickler interesting. Such as how they both love knives and are skilled knife twirlers
Or how they prefer passive aggression and snark
Or “Get [Barbara] out of here!” and “I’m only helping you for [Barbara]” aka Barbara Lake is both of their biggest concern always
Or how they trick each other, which I think Jim managing to do is pretty impressive considering Strickler’s a crafty little shit
Or how they come to the same conclusion and concoct the same clever plan to defeat Angor Rot together, following which Strickler claims how he’s surprised how well he and Jim work together. Basically: they make a good team
Or how they love being petty and annoyed with each other, but secretly care about the other
Or how they lie to others (esp Barbara) continuously
Or how they literally yell the same thing in unison at one point
Etc. Jim and Strickler are definitely not the same, like at all. But parallels like these are some of the things that make their interactions so fun and interesting. They have a great dynamic, definitely one of my favorites, and I think their physical similarities kinda emphasize that.
i love how much jim respects women and deconstructs gender stereotypes and the hyper-masculine hero trope in general
he loves cooking and cleaning and taking care of his household, a typically feminine role, not because his mom made him do it–she in fact sucks at cooking and rarely has time to clean–but because Jim just genuinely enjoys doing it.
he’s nurturing and compassionate. he enjoys taking care of his mom and best friend. he enjoys getting up early to pack his mom and best friend lunches. jim is shamelessly the Mom FriendTM.
his hardworking, single mother is literally his hero and he would do anything for her
“i am james lake, son of barbara”
the only time he’s ever willingly gotten into a fight with the school bully was when said bully insulted his mom. jim literally knocked him out and delivered the most iconic line: “she’s a doctor actually.”
he calls his best friend, toby, out when he mistakenly thinks toby’s insulting another woman, “okay so she’s not your type, you don’t have to be rude about it”
also gets fed up with toby when toby tries using ‘winning older girls’ as a reason jim should run for spring fling king
the gender roles are reversed between him and his crush, claire
she’s bold and confident. she takes the initiative, she asks him out, and its not until he’s sure she’s comfortable that he makes any real advances toward her.
claire’s also “the popular girl” but jim doesn’t care about her status. he doesn’t care about popularity. she’s not a prize to be won. he admires her as a person, and an equal.
claire’s also sorta “the smart girl” but she’s never just “the info dump” and jim doesn’t view her as such either. he doesn’t depend on her to tell him whats going on, like a lot of other male heroes i can think of.
between the two of them claire is more likely to be charging headfirst into the fray while jim is losing hair watching her. claire and toby both probably give jim gray hair by the time he’s 20.
jim is not brash and bold. he values safety. he’s constantly thinking about the danger around him. he’s patient. he works hard in training to be prepared for fights ahead of time. he takes his job seriously.
he actually reads the book. a lot of male heroes dismiss what the book has to offer, preferring to rely solely on their brawn (or, again, a “smart girl” to tell him what’s up), but jim doesn’t. he actually uses the book along with his combat training.
jim’s sensitive too. he literally cries.
he’s just really well-balanced?? he doesn’t lean extremely traditionally masculine or traditionally feminine. he likes cooking and taking care of his home, but he’s also into bikes and scooters and baseball. he’s an actual, well rounded person.
i can’t think of any one label you could pin him under except maybe “stressed”