Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Top Ten Most Memorable Secondary Characters

Happy Top Ten Tuesday!

Top Ten Most Memorable Secondary Characters

1. Philippa Gordon from the Anne of Green Gables series, specifically Anne of the Island

"Phil" seems like an awesome friend. She's charming, talkative, friendly, and always getting herself into mischief. I'll never forget the time she chose which hat to wear by spinning around with a pin or the time she told Anne, "Nine times out of ten I can outshine you, but on the tenth night..."

2. Art3mis from Ready Player One

Art3mis is a kickass girl gamer who refuses to be sidelined. She fights her own battles and doesn't let romance distract her.

3. Ismene from Antigone

I can never get Ismene's fate out of my head. The poor girl gets hanged because her sister breaks the law. I always wonder what would have happened if Antigone had just listened to her and bidden her time.

4. Hermione Granger from Harry Potter

There's a fabulous cast to choose from in HP, and I'm not likely to ever forget Dumbledore,Fred and George, or Umbridge (UGH), to name a few. But of all these characters, Hermione has to be the most memorable. A witch who's the smartest in her class and, I would argue, a hero in her own right, Hermione is the one who brews the Polyjuice Potion, figures out the truth about the Chamber of Secrets and how to save Sirius Black, neutralizes Rita Skeeter, and ensures the secrecy of Dumbledore's Army, among other feats. She makes one of the biggest sacrifices of any of Harry's friends (erasing her parents' memories) and sticks with him to the bitter end, even when Ron hesitates. In some ways, Hermione is an even more important character than Harry, as an incredibly strong female character in a hugely influential series. Hermione is the one little girls (and boys) will look up to and say, "I wish I were more like her."

5. Samwise Gamgee from The Lord of the Rings trilogy

I love Sam. It never fails to amaze me when others don't recognize the critical role he plays in the trilogy. Without Sam, Frodo never would have made it to Mordor. And Sam remains the only person (Hobbit, Man, Dwarf, Elf, or Other) in Middle Earth to surrender the Ring of his own volition. Plus, Sam is just awesome. He loves Elves and everyone of all different races, longs for adventure, and yet is happy in the end to go home and tend his own garden.

6. Peeta Mellark from The Hunger Games trilogy

I might get a little swoony here, bear with me. Peeta is the opposite of the stereotypical male love interest. Yes, he's strong, but he's not hyper-masculine or especially skilled in fighting or survival. In fact, he needs to rely on the female protagonist, Katniss, for much of the trilogy. Instead, Peeta is a talented baker and an even more talented talker. It's Peeta that gets onlookers interested in Katniss and he continually saves her with his smooth talking. Plus, his love for her persists and overcomes psychological rather than stereotypical physical obstacles.

7. Mary Musgrove from Persuasion

I think I've discussed this before, but I love Mary Musgrove and her absurd sense of entitlement. She continually complains about how tired she is after her sister Anne does all of the work and insists on being seated before her mother-in-law "because [she's] a baronet's daughter." A valetudinarian on the level of Mr. Woodhouse (Emma) and obtuse on the level of Mr. Collins (Pride and Prejudice), Mary is a true gem.

8. Gretel from The Milkweed Triptych

Perhaps better on a list of most memorable villains, Gretel is unforgettable. The "raven-haired demon" is distinguished by the "wires in her braids" and utterly selfish machinations. With her clairvoyant powers, the mechanically-enhanced witch creates an entirely new timeline that sends the comparatively boring protagonist, Raybould Marsh, into the past. Stay tuned for my upcoming review of Necessary Evil!

9. Duncan Idaho from the Dune series

I didn't get what the big deal with Duncan Idaho was after the first book. I mean, he dies in the first half. But, oh when the later books come around! When the Duncan Idaho gholas (clones regrown from genetic material)take center stage and the characteristic Idaho ethics and grit play out in situations all over the Dune-verse-he's a hard man to forget.

10. Calvin O'Keefe from the Time Quartet and O'Keefe Family Books

Oh, Calvin O'Keefe, my first literary crush. The "genetic sport" is pretty fantastic right from A Wrinkle in Time and I always enjoy running into him in L'Engle's other books.


João Caldeira said...

So, how much do you recommend Dune beyond the first book? Given that the first one is probably one of my favorite books, but I never got to the others.

Space Station Mir said...

Hey Joao! I really recommend the first six Dune books (the original ones written by Frank Herbert). The fourth one is largely philosophical and might be slow for some people, but the others get more and more complicated and interesting politically and there are so many more fantastic characters.