1. Donal
    Offline

    Donal Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2010
    Messages:
    260
    Likes Received:
    5
    Location:
    Limerick, Ireland

    Favourite Charactes in Fiction

    Discussion in 'Book Discussion' started by Donal, Jul 19, 2010.

    I searched but couldn't find a thread so I thought I'd create one. Who are your favourite characters in fiction. Personally I love a good villain for me there is nothing better - they add conflict, they can make you question what is truly "right" and "wrong" and they are often linked to any plot twists.

    Personally I would say my favourite characters are:

    - Severus Snape; Harry Potter I-VII. For seven books we never knew whether Snape was a hero or a villain and I thought he success of Harry Potter as a series was in no small part down to him more than any other area.

    - Inspector Javert; Les Miserables. What's not to love? Somebody who truly considers himself to be a righteous man, someone who follows the law rigidly. His ideals are simple - if you break the law you are bad, if you don't you are good. When he sees a criminals acting morally he is unable to reconcile this moral dilemma. A fascinating character.

    - Iago; Othello, the Moor of Venice. Possibly the greatest villain ever created. He schemes and schemes and all the while the hero trusts him more and more. A master class in deception.


    What do you think and who would your favourites be?

    EDIT: your suggestions do not have to be villains they can he any characters.
     
  2. Elgaisma
    Offline

    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2010
    Messages:
    5,337
    Likes Received:
    92
    Villan -

    noone does em better than Shakespeare lol they have a huge amount pathos and likeability

    Lady Macbeth for me I love the wonderful idea that actually all she did was nag her husband then felt guilty about it. It is also added to by the fact I live near where the Macbeth witches were executed and Macbeth was the King of our area of Scotland.

    Shylock - he is just amazing so sad, rather than evil, angry and bitter.

    Shift the Ape, Last Battle, CS Lewis - he is just amazing lol

    Screwtape - from the Screwtape letters just so funny

    Goodies

    Margery Whitaker - Mist Over Pendle she is a strong amazing woman
    Fred and George from Harry Potter - I love their comedy sorely missed it in the films
    The Mouse - Ode to a Mouse Robert Burns, its just such a cute poem
    Temperance Brennan - Kathy Reichs, I wanted to be a forensic anthropolgist until i got sick
    Jo - Little Women, such a strong amazing woman, I loved the story about her school for boys and have found a place for something similar in my books.
     
  3. Aconite
    Offline

    Aconite Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2010
    Messages:
    178
    Likes Received:
    3
    Location:
    Albany, NY, USA
    I am sure I'll think of newer and better ones later on, but here's a sampling:

    Villains:

    O'Brien, 1984: "A boot, stamping on a human face, forever." What makes him fascinating is that he knows exactly what he's doing, and his motivations are more than just stage-villain cackling. I find that intriguing (but do not wish to subscribe to his newsletter.)

    Judas: Setting aside (please) the question of whether the account is fact or fiction, Judas is actually a really compelling villain. He sells out Jesus for thirty pieces of silver, realizes what he has done, and then hangs himself, totally betraying trust (if you ignore the question of whether Jesus actually compelled him to do it, which has always been an interesting theory in my book). Pontius Pilate and Haman (from the Book of Esther) are also some more good Biblical villains.

    Perry Smith, In Cold Blood: Smith was definitely a factual person, but Truman Capote's account of him has always rendered him weirdly sympathetic in my book. He was a paranoid schizophrenic who murdered a family of four in a psychotic break, but given better breaks in life, he might have turned out someone very unique. He fancied himself a songwriter, was keenly interested in language and in people, and was apparently very bright. It's a sad story of how he got to a point where he could become a killer, and much sadder that he wasted not just the innocent Clutters' lives, but his own as well.

    Heroes:

    Sir Percy Blakeney, The Scarlet Pimpernel: The movie portrayals only hint at the characterization in the book: The fop/derring-do hero comparison is interesting, but what's more interesting is that, in the service of being a hero (at least in the first book), he has to be an utter jerkwad to his wife, and is pretty cruel and callous in the books. That's definitely an unusual twist for a hero.

    Ged, Ursula K. LeGuin's Earthsea series: Ged makes mistakes, especially in the first book. He screws up. He doubts; he fails--but he always, always tries again. A sensitively realized character in a marvelously described world.

    Jesus/The Buddha (Siddhartha Gautama): I put these two together because their "stories," if you will, are really strikingly similar (recommendation: Thich Nhat Hanh's Going Home: Jesus and Buddha as Brothers). Both face temptation in a place of spiritual solace; both rise above it. Both eschew worldly goods to wrestle with spiritual questions. They make interesting heroes because they (again) are always questioning, testing, and re-evaluating their priorities.
     
  4. Eric Aiello
    Offline

    Eric Aiello Member

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2009
    Messages:
    67
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Saugerties, NY
    I loved both Tyrion and Daenerys from George R. R. Martin's A Game of Thrones. And Abner Marsh in Martin's other book Fevre Dream.

    I cared deeply for Winston in 1984.

    I'll agree with the above as far as Shylock is concerned!

    And after finishing one of the greatest books I've ever read - Of Human Bondage by W. Somerset Maugham, I can safely say that Philip is up there with the best of them. Though, quite frankly, through most of the book I found him completely and utterly insufferable. I came, however, to identify with him a great deal. If you like coming of age novels - I can highly, highly recommend this one. If you don't like it, I'll eat a chair.
     
  5. JTheGreat
    Offline

    JTheGreat Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2010
    Messages:
    381
    Likes Received:
    10
    Location:
    Everywhere and Nowhere
    • Gen from the Queen's Thief series. His cleverness and determination never cease to amaze me.
    • Artemis Fowl, from well... Artemis Fowl.
    • Rue from the Hunger Games series. Duh.

    Some antagonist faves include Minerva from Artemis Fowl. If we're counting all mediums of fiction then Azula from Avatar: The Last Airbender gets a place there too.
     
  6. Perdondaris
    Offline

    Perdondaris Member

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2010
    Messages:
    25
    Likes Received:
    0
    Mercutio:

    Nay, I'll conjure too.
    Romeo! humours! madman! passion! lover!
    Appear thou in the likeness of a sigh:
    Speak but one rhyme, and I am satisfied;
    Cry but 'Ay me!' pronounce but 'love' and 'dove;'
    Speak to my gossip Venus one fair word,
    One nick-name for her purblind son and heir,
    Young Adam Cupid, he that shot so trim,
    When King Cophetua loved the beggar-maid!
    He heareth not, he stirreth not, he moveth not;
    The ape is dead, and I must conjure him.
    I conjure thee by Rosaline's bright eyes,
    By her high forehead and her scarlet lip,
    By her fine foot, straight leg and quivering thigh
    And the demesnes that there adjacent lie,
    That in thy likeness thou appear to us!


    He also gave the Queen Mab monologue. So yes, just an unending fountain of brilliance. Well, not quite unending, but he ends with a pun, so all is well.

    Then there's Morano from 'Don Rodriguez', especially for this scene:

    ""Bandage one eye, indeed!" muttered Morano as he stepped up behind the stranger and knocked him down for the third time with a blow over the head from his frying-pan."

    I also like Cugel the Clever from Vance's 'Tales of the Dying Earth', who is definitely quite a bit of fun. Kai Lung from Bramah's series is also quite hilarious, and it's quite amazing how Bramah manages to maintain his style of speech throughout without it getting tiring. Kees Popinga from Simenon's 'The Man who watched Trains go by' was an interesting character, and his narration definitely enhances the book. Also, Titus and, interestingly enough, Steerpike from the Titus books (aka. the Gormenghast series).
     
  7. Lemex
    Offline

    Lemex That's Lord Lemex to you. Contributor

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2007
    Messages:
    10,507
    Likes Received:
    3,151
    Location:
    Northeast England
    Will Navidson from House of Leaves is a good character, but my favourite is Seaman Bodine from the writings of Thomas Pynchon. That guy was just funny.
     
  8. Steerpike
    Online

    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2010
    Messages:
    11,106
    Likes Received:
    5,317
    Location:
    California, US
    Yep, gotta like Steerpike :)

    Gormenghast is full of great characters; and with great names. Abiatha Swelter, the cook. Flay, Lord Sepulchrave, Fuschia, Rottcodd, Dr. Prunesquallor, and of course Titus Groan. Good stuff.
     
  9. hiddennovelist
    Offline

    hiddennovelist Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2009
    Messages:
    10,256
    Likes Received:
    161
    Location:
    Fabulous Sin City
    Samwise Gamgee, man...it's hard for me to pick favorite things, but hands down, Sam is my favorite character of all time.

    OF ALL TIME.
     
  10. Unit7
    Offline

    Unit7 Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2009
    Messages:
    1,151
    Likes Received:
    59
    Jordan McAfee from 19 Minutes/The Pact. By Jodi Picoult
    For some reason I really just love this character. His view of how the truth doesn't belong in the courtroom and how things are not black and white. That there are different versions of the truth depending entirely on the perspective you take. From a Prosecutors Perspective, its only black and white. Either the crime happened... or it didn't. Atleast in his opinion.

    I believe he appears in another book by Jodi Picoult... now to go track that down. :D
     
  11. SirSamkin
    Offline

    SirSamkin Member

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2010
    Messages:
    40
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hmmmm. so many books to choose from...

    Villains

    1- Dr. Hannibal Lector (probably one of the best characters ever written), of Silence of the Lambs fame
    2- Hedge (from Garth Nix's Lariel, and Abhosen), a Necromancer in red armor, that is basicly a servant of the real bad guy, but is still awesome.
    3- Scipio Bellorum (Stuart Hill's Cry of the Icemark, and Blade of Fire) The smartest, most evil General ever.
    4- Hades (from the disney movie, Hercules) his hair was cool.

    Heroes

    1- Sherlock Holmes (only the Aurthur Conan Doyle books) Basicly the smartest, most observant dude ever.
    2- Sabriel (from Garth Nix's Sabriel) probably my favorite book.

    3- Europe (from the Monster Blood Tattoo series) a very firery woman that could take on pretty much anything.
    4-Mauritane (from Midwinter). The most badass main character ever.

    5-Percy Jackson (from Percy Jackson and the Olympians) one of the funnier main characters.
     
  12. yellowm&M
    Offline

    yellowm&M Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2008
    Messages:
    4,684
    Likes Received:
    63
    Location:
    between the pages of a good book
    I have tons, but some of the ones that come to mind now are

    villans
    Orpheus, Inkspell and Inkdeath-I have never in my life hated a character as much as him; and when I say that I hate him i mean it in the way that he is such a clever, cunning, but also such an egotistical, cruel character that is so brilliantly written I legitimately want to strangle him. He's a fantastic character.

    Voldemort, Harry Potter series- I love how he's this horrible evil person, but he has this quiet, almost polite charisma to him that makes him more evil in a lot of ways. Another brilliantly written character in my opinion.

    The crooked man, The Book of Lost Things-He's a really interesting character in that you really don't know who he is or what he does, but he seems to just show up and always be there. He's very sinister and entralling in that you don't really know who or what he is.

    good guys


    Craig, It's Kind Of a Funny Story-He's this incredibly real feeling cahracter who is completely realtable in so many ways and understandable in all the others.

    Jena, Wildwood Dancing-She's very creative, strong, and smart and the way she handles everything that is being thrust upon her in the story and figuring out everything makes her very endearing.

    Epsilon, The Riddles of Epsilon-He's an incredibly interesting character because he is seemingly the voice and force behind everything that happens and yet you never know what he truly is and you never know until the end whether he is truly good or bad making him very interesting.

    some of my other favorites would have to be
    Percy Jackson (Percy Jackson and the Olympians Series)
    Dustfinger (Inkheart series)
    Peeta (Hunger Games series)
    Jacob (North of Beautiful)
    Ginny Weasley (Harry Potter series)
    Mr. Darcy (Pride and Prejudice)

    I could keep going, but I probably shouldn't lol
     
  13. dogboon
    Offline

    dogboon Member

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2010
    Messages:
    50
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Medway, Kent, England
    I feel quite ignorant for not knowing 95% of the characters already mentioned. But Intrigued enough to find out more.

    I love Villains weather they be plotting to dominate the world or just untouchable scum. Sir Martin the Priest- Bernard Cornwell's Azincourt. Horus Lupercal the Warmaster - Ben Counter's Galaxy in Flames and Graham Mcneil's Fulgrim.

    My Heros would include Sir John Cornwaille the most feared tournament fighter in all of Christiandom - Azincourt. Garviel Loken, Captain, 10th Company Luna Wolves - Dan Abnetts Horus Rising, Ben Counters Galaxy in Flames.

    When I read about genuine bonafide bastards I get ravenous for their defeat, but love to peer over their hunched shoulders and watch them plot. Likewise, when I read of an honourable heroes pursuits I take great pride in their acts of valour and weep at their demise. I always have to re-read that line over and over again in disbelief.
     
  14. RedRaven
    Offline

    RedRaven Active Member

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2010
    Messages:
    156
    Likes Received:
    3
    Location:
    Around..
    Ron Weasley - Harry Potter

    Annie Wilkes - Misery

    Randal Flagg aka the black man aka Walter o'Dim aka The Walkin' Dude aka Marten Broadcloak aka .... - The Dark Tower and others

    Randal P McMurphy - One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest

    Anton Sigur - No Country for Old Men

    Atticus and Scout Finch - To kill a Mockingbird

    Bilbo Baggins - The Hobbit

    All the hobbits and Aragorn - LoTR trilogy

    Jo March - Little women

    Scarlett O'Hara - Gone with the wind

    Lisbeth Salander - Millennium trilogy
     
    1 person likes this.
  15. Lavarian
    Offline

    Lavarian Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2009
    Messages:
    4,562
    Likes Received:
    93
    Heroes:

    Paul Schafer (Pwyll Twiceborn)- The Fionavar Tapestry

    Matt Sören- The Fionavar Tapestry

    Johnathan Strange- Johnathan Strange & Mr. Norrell.

    Reepicheep- Various Narnia books. The book version is much better than the character they portray in the movie.

    Samwise Gamgee - I like unlikely heroes. :)

    Abner Marsh - Fevre Dream. "To the goddamn Fevre Dream!"

    Puddleglum- Narnia: The Silver Chair. A very funny and unlikely hero, but there it is.
    When he essentially saves them all at the end it gave me goose bumps.

    Drizzt- Salvatore's Drizzt series. This is really more of a guilty pleasure hero for me. In the beginning of the series, he was flawed and great, but now he's sort of become a cardboard cutout for goodness. Hopefully, as the latest book hinted at, he's becoming flawed once more.

    Robb Stark - A Game of Thrones. Although we never read from his viewpoint directly, I just love this guy. He kind of reminds me of me-
    how he had to grow up so much faster than everyone else but- out of his youth- made a stupid mistake.

    Eddard Stark - A Game of Thrones. I agree with his viewpoints on just about everything.
    He truly would have made the perfect King, I think.

    Villains:

    The Misfit- A Good Man is Hard to Find.

    Shift - Narnia: The Last Battle. Never before have a wanted to strangle an ape so badly.

    Ser Gregor Clegane - A Game of Thrones. This guy is an absolute monster in human form.

    Both:

    Jaime Lannister - A Game of Thrones. He's really both- a hero and a villain at different parts of the book.

    Artemis Entreri - Salvatore's Drizzt series. Again, both a hero and a villain at various points. One of the few of Salvatore's characters that isn't a cardboard cutout. I always enjoy reading about him the most.

    Inquisitor Sand Dan Glokta- The First Law Trilogy Both a hero and villain as well. Probably my favorite character from Abercrombie's The First Law series. Kind of reminds me of a cross between Tyrion and Jaime Lannister.
     
  16. Elgaisma
    Offline

    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2010
    Messages:
    5,337
    Likes Received:
    92
    ooh I agree about Puddleglum he is just wonderful. And I really agree about Shift:)

    And how on Earth did a I forget Frank and Joe Hardy lol I had a massive crush on Frank from when I was 9 until I realised I was 25 and he was still 18:(
     
  17. Steerpike
    Online

    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2010
    Messages:
    11,106
    Likes Received:
    5,317
    Location:
    California, US
    How about Jaime Grymauch, from David Gemmell's RAVENHEART? Great character.

    I also like Huntsekker, from that same series.

    I agree about Paul Schafer as well.
     
  18. natsuki
    Offline

    natsuki Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2010
    Messages:
    194
    Likes Received:
    11
    Location:
    São Leopoldo - RS, Brazil
    My favorite characters are:
    Claire Beauchamp Fraser from the Outlander series
    Tyrion Lannister from Game of Thrones
    The main character from "The Gargoyle" (his name isn't mentioned in the book)
     
  19. jacklondonsghost
    Offline

    jacklondonsghost Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2010
    Messages:
    1,039
    Likes Received:
    10
    Location:
    Buffalo, NY
    Scout, Atticus and Boo from To Kill a Mockingbird.

    Gatsby from The Great Gatsby.

    Tyler Durden from Fight Club.

    Ponyboy Curtis and Dallas Winston from The Outsiders.

    Buck from The Call of the Wild (even though he is more of a vehicle for the story than a 3D character)

    Will McClean and Dante Pignetti from The Lords of Discipline by Pat Conroy.

    Remus Lupin, Sirius Black, and Snape from Harry Potter.

    and Mercutio from Romeo and Juliet. That play lost its luster for me the second he wasn't in it anymore.
     
  20. Mantha Hendrix
    Offline

    Mantha Hendrix Contributing Member

    Joined:
    May 10, 2010
    Messages:
    268
    Likes Received:
    4
    Location:
    Northern Ireland... the place I've taken for grant
    I love your choices Lydia, especially Reepicheep.
     
  21. Sabreur
    Offline

    Sabreur Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2008
    Messages:
    1,119
    Likes Received:
    39
    Location:
    At the combination pizza hut and taco bell
    Lavarian, stop stealing from my personal library, damn it.

    All great characters from greater books. The Hound from ASoIaF is one of my favorite characters, personally. Sandor Clegane or whatever his real name was. Thoros of Myr and the whole Brotherhood without Banners were all great too.

    And Logen Ninefingers from the First Law trilogy is awesome.
     
  22. Lavarian
    Offline

    Lavarian Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2009
    Messages:
    4,562
    Likes Received:
    93
    Ha, I almost chose The Hound too, but didn't want to take up too much space.

    Should Probably add Joffrey Lannister Baratheon to the list of villains too.

    Agreed about Logen. I also really like Jezal.
    Sure, he's a pompous ass, but I enjoy his chapters nonetheless.

    Maybe Simon Kress from Sandkings?
     
  23. Unit7
    Offline

    Unit7 Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2009
    Messages:
    1,151
    Likes Received:
    59
    Drizzt Do'Urden from the R.A. Salvatore's Legend of Drizzt series. Especially in the earlier books(actually I have only read through Legacy of the Drow) I remember in like 7th Grade my mom bought me The Dark Elf Trilogy and I just loved it. I loved Drizzt as he struggled with who he is, and what his society wants of him. How he struggles on his own, and then later tries to make it on the surface. The Dark Elf Trilogy is so far my favorite in the series.
     
  24. Lavarian
    Offline

    Lavarian Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2009
    Messages:
    4,562
    Likes Received:
    93
    Yep. I loved how he struggled for control over himself with "The Hunter," his ass-kicking other personality.
    Actually, Logen Ninefingers does the same thing in The First Law with "The Bloody Nine."

    I should redo my post though. Zaknafein should go on there as well.
     
  25. Unit7
    Offline

    Unit7 Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2009
    Messages:
    1,151
    Likes Received:
    59
    I always had a soft spot for characters who had that sort of alternate personality/power that when it kicks in, they are complete bad asses. lol

    Actually Drizzt and Zak pretty much inspired me to try and create my own version of them. It turned out completely different. But I think Drizzt and Zak will always have a special place in my heart. lol

    Actually Zaknafein is another favorite character. Unlike Drizzt who has avoided trying to kill his own kind, Zak almost revels in it. The higher the Priestess is, the happier he seems to get when killing them. He was similar to Drizzt and yet completely different. Almost a glimpse into what he might turn into if he were to stay and just endure it.
     
    1 person likes this.

Share This Page