10 Awesome Characters in Literature
I believe that the best stories are the ones in which the characters drive the plot. Through their eyes we’re absorbed into the depth of the world they inhabit, filled with colour in every shade. Not all protagonists need to be likeable, merely fascinating and insightful enough to realistically draw us into their tale. Here are ten I think are fabulous.
Tyrion Lannister from ‘A Song of Ice and Fire.’
Tyrion has got to be one of my most favourite characters in the history of anything. He is intelligent, kind, witty, and most of all, an underdog. He constantly gets accused of crimes yet the only thing he is guilty of is being a dwarf. Few recognise his talents, least of all his cruel and emotionally abusive father and sister. My hope is he will live to rule over those who mocked him.
Hermione Granger from ‘Harry Potter.’
Hermione is a character I related to a lot growing up. She was my curly-haired geeky soul-sister, fiercely loyal to Harry and Ron while retaining her code of ethics. Cut from the films is her work through S.P.E.W, an organisation dedicated to helping house-elves gain fairer rights. While she can be irritatingly self-righteous at times, it adds more depth to her character and shows her strengths and flaws.
Eleanor Oliphant from ‘Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine.’
This amazing novel wouldn’t stand without its unusual heroine. Eleanor is hilarious to read about, and yet we ache for the sadness she carries due to her heinous upbringing. At the start its unsure what to make of her, but by the end we love and root for all she has endured. She represents someone who strives to change and make the best of their life, despite horrible circumstances. I think that is very admirable and lovely to read about.
Steven Stelfox from ‘Kill Your Friends.’
Okay, first nasty character on this list. Steven is one of the vilest characters I’ve come across in fiction. He’s a racist, homophobic, misogynistic, entitled, self-absorbed psychopath and I absolutely ADORE reading about him. He is very well fleshed-out and it’s fabulous reading his awful scheming thoughts in John Niven’s books that feature this anti-hero we love to hate.
The Loser’s Club from ‘It’
I don’t want to saturate this list with Stephen King characters (as he is one of my favourite authors) so am just going to pick the best seven. Bev, Richie, Ben, Bill, Mike, Stan and Eddie are some of the most wonderful, courageous, brilliant people ever. Spending over a thousand pages with them all isn’t enough; the story of how they band together to triumph against evil is beautiful and heart-breaking all at once.
Piggy from ‘Lord of the Flies’
Piggy is wonderful; his fate is tragic, and I loved reading about him when I read this book. He’s another ‘underdog’ character who is under-estimated by the pack, and yet is the most rational, clever and sensitive person who ends up suffering due to the cruel indifference of his peers.
Kate Reddy from ‘I Don’t Know How She Does It’
Kate is one of my favourite realistic heroines (the book version, not the dreadful movie version – sorry Sarah Jessica Parker, I loved you as Carrie but not as a middle-class British fund manager). Her story is both hilarious and sad; seeing her struggle to juggle a high-powered job and a family shows the problems of trying to ‘have it all’ as a modern woman. The pressures of feminism are highlighted as Pearson shows us that women need to be realistic about what we can do without compromising our physical and emotional health. Having a fulfilling career is amazing, but so is being a loving wife and stay-at-home mother.
Sephy Hadley from ‘Noughts and Crosses’
A tough, empathetic woman trapped in a society that says black and white people can’t be together (sound familiar?) Malorie Blackman turns the tables in this series; Sephy is a wealthy black Cross whose father works in the government, and Callum is a poor white Nought whose family can barely get by. The two friends-turned-lovers grow up together in a world that tries to tear them apart. Despite it all, Sephy remains resilient throughout the series, and watching her grow and raise her child inspires hope.
Atticus Finch from ‘To Kill A Mockingbird’
Another story about racial tension, this time rooted in reality. I love Atticus because he is kind, intelligent, loyal and sees the good in people. He fights to defend an innocent man on trial and teaches his children to be loving and brave. (Reminds me of Ned Stark; the archetypal caring and wise father figure). Atticus takes a stand where others do not, and his lessons rub off on Scout.
Christopher from ‘The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time’
Like Eleanor Oliphant, he is an unusual protagonist we can’t help but love. The ending is beautiful and almost brings tears to my eyes, thinking about this autistic boy who views the world through such an innocent and questioning lens. His journey is amazing and written in a clever yet simple style.
And so those are ten characters from literature whom I think are awesome! Thanks to the wonderful Joey Paul for letting me appear as a guest on her blog to share these fictional beauties with you. Who are some characters you enjoy? Let me know!
Zarina Macha is an author, blogger and musician. Her novel ‘Anne’ will be out June 3rd. Check out her blog, website and social media for links to her work:
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