20 Historical Heartthrobs Who Are Probably Your Soulmate

Photo: Courtesy of Starz.
Modern-day conveniences like iPhones and Instagram are grand, but sometimes you just need a trip back in time with a hunky hero who sets your heart a-flutter and your bodice a-quiver. Television is currently experiencing a period show renaissance. PBS is midway through airing season 1 of Poldark. Starz has the steamy Scottish Outlander. HBO’s Game of Thrones mixes the Middle Ages with gorgeously produced fantasy. Even Comedy Central has two series showcasing the more humorous elements of yesteryear: Another Period and Drunk History. Meanwhile, the film industry has been hip to period dramas since its inception.

Ant-Man, Mystique, and other caped superheroes just can't hold a candle to these dreamy, historical heartthrobs. You can just imagine any one of these fine folks riding in on a horse and sweeping you off your feet, then taking you in a hayloft in a way that would scandalize the town elders.

Fetch your smelling salts, surrender your virtue, and meet these babes from the past who are probably your soulmates. Apologies in advance if they ruin you for all 21st century suitors.
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Photo: Courtesy of MGM.
Anna Karenina (Greta Garbo), Anna Karenina (1935)

Country of origin: Russia

Relationship status: Married to Karenin (Basil Rathbone), having an affair with Count Vronsky (Fredric March)

Occupation: Mother, socialite

If you like your soulmates with a high amount of drama and some shunning, this is the lady for you. Her hat collection alone, though, is worth the exile from society.
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Photo: Courtesy of 20th Century Fox.
Cleopatra (Elizabeth Taylor), Cleopatra (1963)

Country of origin: Egypt

Relationship status: Lover of Julius Caesar (Rex Harrison) and Mark Antony (Richard Burton)

Occupation: Queen of Egypt

She’d keep you swimming in kohl eyeliner and divine headdresses, but you can't be afraid of snakes. Ask yourself: Am I terrified of asps? If so, Cleopatra may not be the past-life partner for you.
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Photo: Courtesy of Warner Bros.
Marquise de Merteuil (Glenn Close), Dangerous Liaisons (1988)

Country of origin: France

Relationship status: Involved in a tryst with Chevalier Raphael Danceny (Keanu Reeves)

Occupation: Schemer

She strives for female empowerment at a time when women are supposed to be passive, beautiful objects. Ultimately, she’s too smart for her own good, but oh, does she burn brightly before she goes.
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Photo: Courtesy of Morgan Creek Productions.
Nathaniel Poe (Daniel Day-Lewis), The Last of the Mohicans (1992)

Country of origin: British Colonial America (where he was raised by Delaware Indians)

Relationship status: in love with Cora (Madeleine Stowe)

Occupation: Warrior

He always knows exactly what to say, and just look at those long, flowing waves.
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Photo: Courtesy of Columbia Pictures.
Theodore "Laurie" Laurence (Christian Bale), Little Women (1994)

Country of origin: United States

Relationship status: Married to Amy March (Samantha Mathis)

Occupation: Works with his grandfather

He has a bit of a preoccupation with members of the March family, but this dreamy boy next door can woo you on the piano.
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Photo: Courtesy of BBC.
Fitzwilliam Darcy (Colin Firth), Pride and Prejudice (1995)

Country of origin: England

Relationship status: Married to Elizabeth Bennet (Jennifer Ehle)

Occupation: Proprietor of Pemberley Estate

One of the greatest reminders that first impressions can be deceiving, and to never underestimate the power of a nineteenth century wet T-shirt moment.
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Photo: Courtesy of 20th Century Fox.
William Wallace (Mel Gibson), Braveheart (1995)

Country of origin: Scotland

Relationship status: widower of Murron MacClannough (Catherine McCormack); lover of Isabella of France (Sophie Marceau)

Occupation: rebellion leader

There are two things you need to know before entering into a relationship with William Wallace: He likes freedom (and don't try to take it from him), but he might love face-painting even more.
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Photo: Courtesy of Sony Pictures Classics.
Yu Shu Lien (Michelle Yeoh), Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000)

Country of origin: China

Relationship status: In love with Li Mu Bai (Chow Yun-Fat)

Occupation: Warrior

You’d better be good with a sword. Yu Shu Lien is pretty handy with a blade.
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Photo: Courtesy of Sony Pictures Classics.
Master Li Mu Bai (Chow Yun-Fat), Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000)

Country of origin: China

Relationship status: Very much in love with Yu Shu Lien (Michelle Yeoh)

Occupation: Wudang swordsman/warrior

He's loyal 'til the very end, but at what cost? A soulmate who's forever leaving you to avenge his master's death and go on quests? Okay fine, that makes him super dreamy. Plus, he can fly!
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Photo: Courtesy of New Line Cinema.
Aragorn (Viggo Mortensen), The Lord of the Rings (2001)

Land of origin: Middle-earth

Relationship status: Married to Arwen (Liv Tyler)

Occupation: High King of the Reunited Kingdom

He’s been called a Middle-earth messiah, as he's both a healer and a uniter. Aragorn fearlessly leads numerous quests and military campaigns, as well as spends 122 years ruling the Reunited Kingdom. That’s mildly impressive, to say the least.
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Photo: Courtesy of Warner Bros.
Lord Katsumoto Moritsugu (Ken Watanabe), The Last Samurai (2003)

Country of origin: Japan

Relationship status: Married

Occupation: Samurai

In a nation on the brink of modernization and westernization, Katsumoto leads the last of the samurai in a fight to remind the emperor not to turn his back on Japan’s cultural heritage. He lives by the philosophy that a life spent searching for the perfect cherry blossom is not wasted — a beautiful message.
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Photo: Courtesy of Warner Bros.
Helen of Troy (Diane Krueger), Troy (2004)

Country of origin: Greece

Relationship status: Married to Menelaus, king of Sparta, (Brendan Gleeson), having an affair with Paris (Orlando Bloom)

Occupation: Former Queen of Sparta

There aren’t too many historical heartthrobs whose beauty is so renowned, they have their own tagline. So “the face that launched a thousand ships” caused the Trojan War ... now we all know not to take gigantic wooden horses that appear out of nowhere inside our city gates during a siege. If anything, it was a teachable moment.
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Photo: Courtesy of Focus Features.
Mary Boleyn (Scarlett Johansson), The Other Boleyn Girl (2008)

Country of origin: England

Relationship status: Henry VIII’s (Eric Bana) mistress, widowed by William Carey (Benedict Cumberbatch), married to William Stafford (Eddie Redmayne)

Occupation: Heir producer

Everyone else is fixated on Anne, but we’re all about the other Boleyn girl.
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Photo: Courtesy of Film4.
Heathcliff (James Howson), Wuthering Heights (2011)

Country of origin: Unknown, but resides in England

Relationship status: Married to Isabella Linton (Nichola Burley), forever yearning for Catherine Earnshaw (Kaya Scodelario)

Occupation: Being a tortured anti-hero, seeking revenge on everyone at Wuthering Heights and Thrushcross Grange who keeps him and Catherine apart

Heathcliff disappears for three years and mysteriously earns enough money to spend the rest of his life making everyone else’s miserable. Whether he’s motivated by spite or undying love for Catherine, no one will ever know. Their spirits supposedly wander the moors of Wuthering Heights together, which again you can either interpret as extremely romantic, or very much in need of a lesson from Queen Elsa (read: Let it go.).
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Photo: Courtesy of Focus Features.
Edward Rochester (Michael Fassbender), Jane Eyre (2011)

Country of origin: England

Relationship status: In love with Jane Eyre (Mia Wasikowska), has a wife descending into madness tucked in the attic (Valentina Cervi)

Occupation: Master of Thornfield Hall

If you like Byronic heroes, look no further than Charlotte Brontë’s classic exemplar. Mr. Rochester has the weight of the world on his shoulders and moors to roam while brooding over his troubles. Pity about that mad first wife in the attic, though. Don't let her near any matches.
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Photo: Courtesy of HBO.
Jon Snow (Kit Harington), Game of Thrones (2011-2015)

Land of origin: Seven Kingdoms

Relationship status: Single following the death of Ygritte (Rose Leslie)

Occupation:
Lord Commander of the Night’s Watch

Is he really dead? Let’s instead focus on all the things Jon Snow achieved while he was alive, like rousing the Wildlings to fight White Walkers and fights alongside members of the Night’s Watch, resisting Melisandre (Carice van Houten), scaling the Wall, and having passionate cave sex with Ygritte.
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Photo: Courtesy of Fox Searchlight Pictures.
Dido Elizabeth Belle (Gugu Mbatha-Raw), Belle (2013)

Country of origin:
British West Indies

Relationship status: Married to John Davinier (Sam Reid)

Occupation: Mother, gentlewoman

The smart and passionate Belle refuses to sit back and live a life of leisure with her inheritance. She helps abolitionists and court cases that affect the law of the land, so you’d be getting a lover and a fighter.
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Photo: Courtesy of FOX.
Ichabod Crane (Tom Mison), Sleepy Hollow (2013-present)

Country of origin: England

Relationship status:
Married to Katrina Crane (Katia Winter)

Occupation: Former soldier, currently preventing the end of days

The dashing resurrected Revolutionary War captain (so what if he was fighting for the wrong side? He’s on ours now) spends most of his time trying to stop the apocalypse, but that wouldn’t prevent his sharp wit from sparkling on a dinner date with you.
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Photo: Courtesy of Starz.
Jamie Fraser (Sam Heughan), Outlander (2014-present)

Country of origin: Scotland

Relationship status: Married to his Sassenach, Claire (Caitriona Balfe)

Occupation: Former soldier, current laird of Lallybroch

The man who makes kilts look goooooood is a selfless hero who’s forever putting himself in danger to help others. The episodes of Outlander without Jamie are the worst ones (apologies to the other cast members, but you’ve seen Sam Heughan, right?), and the episodes with Jamie and Claire sex scenes are the BEST ones.
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Photo: Courtesy of Mammoth Studios/BBC.
Ross Poldark (Aidan Turner), Poldark (2015-present)

Country of origin: England

Relationship status: Married to Demelza (Eleanor Tomlinson)

Occupation: mine owner, landlord

Cornwall’s broodiest, moodiest resident is dealt a rough hand when he returns from fighting in the American Revolution. He slowly rebuilds his life and finds love with his kitchen maid, Demelza, turning his back on crusty British society in the process. And just wait until you see him galloping astride his trusty steed on a precipitous cliff above the sea. He's the literal embodiment of dashing.
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