What defines a romantic hero? Does he have to be sexy? Strong? The most important man in the room? Or can he merely be “the one who gets the girl”? If a story has a strong, intelligent heroine, do readers—or viewers in the case of movies—just go along with the heroine’s choice of hero? If you consider the Harry Potter movies fantasy or adventure, Harry is the hero. But if you consider the cycle a romance, it is Ron who steals the focus.
More than any factor that defines a romantic hero, after all, is that he is brought closer to the heroine by the arc of the story. He may start out less than worthy, but he grows to deserve her. He may not believe he cares about anything or anyone, but by the end she is the center of his world.