Hector is Priam’s son, the brother of Troilus, Paris, Deiphobus and Helenus, and the pride and joy of Troy.
Easily the best of the Trojan fighters, he is also fair, chivalrous and merciful, more likely to let a defeated foe go than to kill him, particularly if the opponent is weak. His expectation that the Greeks will act in a similar way leaves him defenseless against Achilles’s brutality. Hector is horrified when, in a bloodthirsty rage, his youngest brother Troilus castigates him for this charity. Caught up in societal expectations despite his misgivings, Hector can see how ludicrous a war that could be ended by handing Helen back is, but cannot bring himself to take this way out as it would be dishonorable. Known for his gallantry, it is unusual for him to lose his temper, and he is sensible enough to pay some small attention to his sister Cassandra’s prophecies; though he ends up disregarding them, he is one of the few to do so, and she loves him for it. Nevertheless, he is dismissive of feminine fears and irritated when his wife Andromache tries to keep him from going to war simply because she’s had a bad dream. Hector refuses to be impressed by Achilles, whose pretensions irritate him; foolishly he allows Achilles to go rather than killing him when they first fight, never thinking that the Greek would use his soldiers to slaughter an unarmed man. He is one of the few decent men in either Troy or Greece, though conscious enough of his honor and the possibility of gain to kill a Greek for the sake of his armor.