Intro: A few things to get out of the way: 1) I’m sorry for not posting in a while, but I have a good excuse: I didn’t feel like it. 2) I had received three awards and had been planning on writing them all in a single post, but I forgot to save it and it all got deleted and I was so frustrated I decided to put the post away to work on it later. 3) I finally caught up on Doctor Who, having watched every single episode of the new series so far. 4) There’s some mild cursing in this article, but it’s necessary, kind of. I hope I don’t offend anyone.
The goal of every writer is to create at least one character that will be memorable—one that would stay etched in the minds of readers for years to come. Some writers do more than that. There are hundreds of these complex, amazing characters, and I’ve somehow managed to narrow it down to my five favorites.
Note: I haven’t read every book in the world. This list is merely based on the small percentage of books I have read. Hopefully you’ll find one or two characters you know of.
1) Temp, from The Underland Chronicles. Temp is just a cockroach, or a “crawler” as the Underlanders call them. Before reading these books, if I ever saw a cockroach in my house I would kill it without a second thought. After reading them, I’d probably still kill the bug, but I would at the very least feel bad for it. Temp has somehow somehow managed to be the most lovable and adorable character in the whole series. Of course, knowing Suzanne Collins, she’ll probably kill him off soon (I’m only half way through the fourth book, so if anyone spoils it for me, I’ll be forced to hunt them down and make them read my Doctor Who erotica fan fiction novella), but if she does kill Temp, she’ll have to answer to me, and I’ll do unspeakable things to her (look at the parentheses above).
2) Jack Torrence, from The Shining. For those of you who’ve only seen the movie, know that the movie Jack Torrence is nothing like the book Jack Torrence. Even though he doesn’t put his head through any holes and says “Here’s Johnny!” (Greatest scene in the History of Ever, by the way.), book Jack is still way cooler than movie Jack. In the overrated movie, Jack is already half-insane before even getting to the hotel. In the book, Jack is a recovering alcoholic who loves his family more than anything else. Stephen King could not have stressed it enough that Jack’s a good guy with a troubled past and some deep flaws, and that just makes it even sadder to watch him slowly lose his mind and start hunting down his family.
3) Neville Longbottom, from the Harry Potter series. Neville is the underdog that no one expected to succeed. In the Order of Phoenix, he went from a chubby loser who everyone picked on to a not-so-chubby cool guy who beheads a snake in front of everyone, and then (although my memory’s a little hazy here,) sticks the finger at Voldemort shouting, “Take that! Volde-BITCH!” Neville is the role model for all the bullied kids in the world, along with everyone with unfortunate last names and insensitive grandmothers. And he likes plants, which shows that he’s deep. Sort of.
4) Beverly Marsh from It. The thing I hate about half the YA books out there nowadays is that the main female heroine just has to be unrealistically strong just for the sake of being unrealistically strong or the author’s criticized for being sexist. Meanwhile, a male character can be as weak and pathetic as he wants, and no one calls it sexist. Seriously, the “Strong young woman who doesn’t take sh*t from anyone” character, while cool, is overdone.
Luckily, there’s still characters like Bevvy here, who’s the most realistically written and most complex female character I’ve ever read about. She had been abused by both her father and her husband and never did anything to stop it. She’s shy, has a low self-esteem, and has a sever case of hemophobia (fear of blood); not exactly what you’d call a strong woman. But then Pennywise the Dancing Clown (terrific guy, by the way) started trying to kill her, and, with the help of her friends (who are all almost as awesome as her), she becomes a stronger person and learns to stick up for herself, and when she does, you’ll find yourself clapping and cheering her on.
Sadly, in one of the last scenes, she does something that is disturbing, hardly necessary to the plot and completely untrue to her character. But that’s not her fault; that’s just bad writing on King’s part. I forgive you, Stephen King, because “It” is 1,000 pages of pure awesome followed by 88 pages of disappointment.
5) Rudy Steiner, from The Book Thief. Just to make things clear, I love every character from The Book Thief, but I chose Rudy above all the others because his death scene was so heart-breakingly sad that I had to intentionally dehydrate myself in order to stop crying. (Just kidding, I didn’t cry. I’m a man; a manly man who doesn’t cry at anything! Don’t look at me.) I agree with Death: Rudy didn’t deserve to die they way he did. He should have at least gotten a chance to make out with Liesel once or twice. Why couldn’t Franz Deutscher have died instead?
Rudy is the kid who painted himself black to be like Jesse Owens. He stood up for Tommy Müller even after knowing the consequences. He was stupid enough to throw a rock at Franz Deutscher’s back and not run away. Being in a family of six children, he was permanently hungry. When I read that particular detail, I thought, “Oh, that’ll change when the war is over,” but it doesn’t. He doesn’t even get that kiss from Liesel. Goddammit, Zusak! Why must you make me sad?
Do you agree? Do you not agree? Do you not not not not disagree? Comment below! Or don’t; I’m not forcing you to do anything.